Saturday, July 31, 2021

Book Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

Description

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They're polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She'll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he'll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really. 


My Thoughts

If you remember back in May when I reviewed People We Meet On Vacation, I mentioned that Beach Read was a book that I was really looking forward to checking out this Summer. And I finally did! It was one of the books that I took on vacation with me, and it was really fun to read it on the beach.

I knew that I was going to like this story right off the bat because it's about two writers. And not only that, but January and Augustus (who went by Gus, in college) went to school together. They were in the same writing workshop and Gus was plenty critical when going over January's work.

But that's mostly because the two of them write in completely different genres. He publishes literary fiction, while she publishes what most consider to be Women's fiction.

Although she makes some very compelling arguments throughout this book. Why does fiction centered around female characters have to be classified as "Women's Fiction" and not just "Fiction"?

But I digress.

Here's what I liked about this book:
  • I loved the backstory with January's family. Early on we learn that her mother has survived multiple battles with cancer, while her dad has many secrets that aren't revealed until after he dies. I liked how the backstory with her family really helped to create who January is as a character. I loved that she first got into romance novels when she was sitting at the hospital with her mother, looking for anything to take her mind off the situation at hand.
  • Some of the dialogue between Gus and January was just too funny. The two of them get off on the wrong foot from the very beginning, which leads to quite a few back and forths between them. I love a good enemies to lovers story and since Gus and January are both writers, they're very snappy with their comebacks.
  • It's about writers! Since I myself am a writer, I love to read books about other writers. It was fun to read about the progress January and Gus made on their novels throughout the summer. And I loved hearing about the end results and the end of this book.
  • Small town book clubs. I couldn't stop laughing when January made her first appearance at Pete's book club near the beginning of the book. It was a very comical scene.
Have you read Beach Read yet? If so, let me know in the comments section down below. I'm in the mood for another romantic read right now and so I'm trying to figure out what to read next.

Until next time,

Marian

Purchase your copy of Beach Read here

July Reading Wrap Up

July was a relaxing month for me. I honestly spent about half of the month out of town, since I was in the mountains over the 4th of July and I was in The Outer Banks for vacation near the end of the month. That resulted in lots of time for relaxation and quite a bit of time for reading.

1. When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

When No One Is Watching is a creative and unique thriller/horror novel about two people fighting gentrification in their neighborhood, but also fighting for their lives as big companies begin taking over and things start inexplicable happening.
2. The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

A creepy thriller about a young woman who poses as a dog walker in a rich neighborhood. I mean, she actually does walk the dogs, but she's got more on her mind than dog walking. She wants to land herself a rich husband, who will take care of her for the rest of their days.

As the story unfolds and Jane gets to know Eddie, their relationship quickly develops and Jane is pretty pleased with herself. But there's something weird going on, and new information keeps coming out about the deaths of Eddie's ex wife and her BFF.

Jane thought she found everything she wanted, but it becomes very clear that things with Eddie aren't quite as simple as they seem.

3. The Cousins by Karen M McManus

What a bizarre mystery! (And I totally loved it). The Cousins is about 3 cousins who are invited by their grandmother (who they have never met) to come and work at her New England resort for the Summer. She's a total mystery to them, because she disowned their parents when they were in their early twenties.

Their grandmother is very elusive and it's pretty early on that the cousins realize that something strange is going on. As they start investigating and trying to figure out what is going on, they come across way more family secrets than they are ready to handle.

4. Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach read is such a delightful book, and it's perfect for Summer Reading. The story of two authors who find themselves living next door to each other for the Summer. He challenges her to write a book in his genre, literary fiction. She challenges him to write a book in her genre, Women's Fiction.
  • Click here to read my full book review
Until next time,
Marian

Book Review: When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Description

The gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning…

Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.

But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.

When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?

My Thoughts

I've never read anything by Alyssa Cole before, although she is an author I follow on twitter. Her romance novels have caught my eye before, but when I was at Target I picked this book up because I had heard that it was her first Thriller novel.

When No One is Watching is an interesting story because it's told from two perspectives. Our protagonist is Sydney, a black young woman who is watching her Brooklyn neighborhood change completely. Big companies are moving in and buying the houses of her friends and neighbors, hoping that this neighborhood will be the next big thing.

And Sydney is not ok with that. This is her neighborhood. This is where she grew up. This is where her mother's beloved community garden exists. The last thing she wants is to be forced into selling her mother's home, just because the money would be helpful in helping ends meet.

The other main character in this Theo, a white man who is new to the neighborhood. He has a terrible girlfriend and is in an unfortunate living situation. He and Kim just bought a house together and are fixing it up. The only problem is that he and Kim aren't even really "together", after Kim cheated on him with another man.

I'll be honest, I had a hard time getting into this story at first. But when I realized what was going on, I was so impressed by what a creative and unique story Alyssa created. It's so original and I really had no idea what was going on for a majority of the plot.

However, I wasn't totally in love with this story. I found it hard to follow. It took a while for all of the pieces of the mystery to come together and at times, I wasn't completely sure what I was reading.

This book is marketed as a Thriller, but I would really consider it more of a Horror novel.

Overall, I was impressed with the story. But I wish things had come together a little sooner. Maybe it's just me, but I had trouble understanding some of the scenes, like when Sydney had an eerie experience with the Uber driver or when Theo and Sydney were both experiencing strange blackouts.

I do recommend reading this book if you like spooky, horror-like stories. As I mentioned before, it's completely original and I have a feeling that if you haven't read it yet, you'll never be able to guess the ending. Haha. The issues that I had with the story might just be personal issues. Since I own this book in paperback, I think I'm going to wait a couple of months and read it again.

I have a feeling that giving it another read through will help me understand the story a little bit better.

My Rating 
3 Stars

Until next time,
Marian

Get your own copy of When No One Is Watching

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

6 Secrets Every Indie Author Should Know - A Webinar by Alessandra Torre

On Tuesday June 29th I sat in on a webinar by New York Times bestselling author Alessandra Torre. I saw on Instagram that she was going to be discussing her 6 Secrets Every Indie Author Should Know and so I immediately signed up, since I usually have free time in the evenings and I thought it sounded interesting.

Now here's the thing... I am well aware that the main purpose of free webinars is to sell you something. Haha. And this webinar was no different. In it, she advertised and provided a discount code for her online writing conference called Inkers Con.

And if I'm being completely honest, she sold me. The classes that they're offering sound amazing and the cool thing is that you can take the classes and lectures at your own pace. She even suggested setting 1/2 an hour aside every week to take a class so then in a couple of months you're finished and have all of that new knowledge to help you with your publishing career. Once you're signed up, you have access to watch the content for 3 years.

But alas, I don't have the money to be spending on that right now, even with the discount code. So I won't be signing up this year. But I have it bookmarked because it might be something I'm interested in if they do it again next year.

But anyway...

I've decided to start documenting my writing & self publishing journey on this blog and so I wanted to share a couple of my thoughts on the webinar.

1. It was an enjoyable presentation! The slides were visually pleasing and I liked Alessandra's personality right off the bat.

2. I'm not going to share Alessandra's tips here, because that is her content and you'll have to sign up for her next webinar if you want it, but I thought her tips were very helpful. Some of them were more obvious than others but I took about 5 pages of notes in my notebook so that I can look back and reference them later.

3. The examples she used were interesting. She used real life examples by discussing other indie authors as well as sharing screenshots from her own works. I appreciated seeing some of her stats as well as explanations. It really gave me a lot to think about.

"Keep your head down and write." - Alessandra Torre


I feel really motivated after watching the webinar and it gave me a lot to think about when it comes to my own writing and self publishing journey. I feel fired up, quite frankly. 

Camp NaNoWriMo, here I come!

Until next time,
Marian

Camp NaNoWriMo - July 2021 (Goals)

It's been a while since I've participated in a NaNoWriMo event and it's been even longer since I've actually won one. But I used to get so much writing done during those events and I miss it.

I'll be honest, I've barely written any NEW words this year. Fiction words, anyway. I'm always writing blog posts and essays and journal entries and whatnot. But when it comes to my fiction writing, I've been mainly editing this year.

Which is good. I have two projects that I am planning on self publishing this year and I feel like I'm finally getting organized on that end.

But now, it's time to write.

So here are my goals for Camp NaNoWriMo (July 2021). If you're planning on participating, let me know in the comments what your plans are.

  1. My goal is to write 30,000 words this month.
  2. I want to finish writing the first draft of Cleaning Him Up (Mayfield Manor Book 2)
That's only 1,000 words a day so I'm thinking that this challenge will be a good way to get me back into the writing habit without overwhelming me.

Good luck to everyone who is starting their writing journey tomorrow!

My plan for today is to finish organizing/plotting Cleaning Him Up, and then I have a couple of other creative tasks for yesterday and Monday that I need to finish up. I like to set my bullet journal up in a way that if I don't finish my tasks that day, it's all good. Just add them on to the next day.

Until next time,
Marian

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Once Upon a Royal Summer by Teri Wilson

Description

A theme park “princess” meets a single dad…who turns out to be a real prince!
Enjoy the delightful royal romance from acclaimed author Teri Wilson and Hallmark Publishing.

Lacey found her dream job: playing a princess character at a popular fairytale theme park in sunny southern Florida. Her diamond tiara might not be real, but the smiles of the children she meets every day certainly are. It’s just too bad that her ex-boyfriend was never impressed with her career choice.

Henry, the crown prince of Bella-Moritz, is trying to fulfill his young daughter’s birthday wish: to be a normal girl with a normal life. That’s why they’re pretending to be ordinary tourists at an American amusement park. Henry lost his wife four years ago, and he’s been going through the motions ever since. But could a meeting with a make-believe princess lead to real love?

My Thoughts

If you're like me and you enjoy reading about royalty, then Once Upon a Royal Summer does not disappoint!

I've always found theme parks to be exciting and so reading about Lacey's job as a theme park princess was so fun. Her job is especially important to her because when she was a kid and her mother was sick, she would see characters from the local theme park come in and visit kids in the pediatric unit. It meant so much to her and as an adult, it brings her joy that she can put smiles on all the faces of the kids who come to see her.

Lacey is a truly kind person and I enjoyed reading about her. Her kindness (as well as her spunk) are what attracts Henry to her, when he visits the theme park with his daughter. Lacey at first bonds with his daughter, but she soon captures his attention as well. Henry hasn't experienced much in the way of dating since his ex wife passed, but he can't seem to keep his feelings for Lacey away.

Once Upon a Royal Summer is a really cute story that has a lot going on, so before I close out this review, I thought I would share a few of my favorite moments with you.

+ I loved how the relationship developed between Lacey and Henry's Mom. At first, the Queen is very skeptical of Lacey. A theme park princess is no match for her son! But she soon comes to realize what a great influence Lacey has on Henry and how important she is to her granddaughter. When the Queen helped Lacey get ready for the ball in the end it made me very happy.

+ I love a good side romance, so it made me smile how Lacey's friend Ava and Henry's bodyguard kind of hit it off when they met at the palace. All good romances have side characters falling in love too!

+ Henry's daughter is absolutely adorable and it made me laugh how right after Lacey arrives at their palace, the two get together for a slumber party with pillow forts. It kind of reminded me of in The Princess Diaries 2 when Princess Mia (Anne Hathaway) has her slumber party and all of the princesses go mattress surfing. Haha.

My only critique is that to me, the ending felt rushed. Without spoiling the ending, I enjoyed the final scene, but I also felt like the story could have used an epilogue. I wanted to know more about Lacey and Henry's future together! But that's just me.

- - - - - - - - - -

How do you feel about royal reads? Have you read any good Summer romances lately? Let me know in the comments section down below.

Until next time,

Marian

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Love for Beginners by Jill Shalvis

Description

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis continues her Wildstone series with the moving story of a young woman who has to start her life—and her love life—over again.

When Emma Harris wakes up from a coma, she learns that her fiancĂ© and her BFF have fallen in love, she’s lost her job, and the life she knew is gone. Overwhelmed but grateful to be alive, she decides to start over from scratch. Not as easy as it sounds, of course. But she’s never been a quitter, even if she wishes she could quit rehab, where her hot but evil physical therapist, Simon, puts her through the wringer.

Desperate for a new start, Emma opens a doggy day care. Unfortunately, the only space she can afford is owned by her childhood nemesis Ali Pratt. But hey, she’s been through worse, right? She tries to roll with the punches, but a friend drops his grandpa off at the doggy day care because he can’t find senior care. On top of that, she and Ali bring the term “frenemies” to a whole new level. And then another grandparent shows up. And another.

In the midst of all that, Emma realizes she’s accidentally fallen for her Evil PT. But the most horrifying thing of all is that Ali just might have turned into the best friend she’s ever had. And as Emma grows from the pain of her past and takes on her new path, she comes to learn that life isn’t what you’re given, it’s what you make of it.

My Thoughts

Love for Beginners is a great title for this book. The main characters are named Emma and Simon and while the two of them are not exactly new to love, they may as well be. Simon uses his family and work responsibilities as a way to keep from getting close to anyone. Emma is recovering from surviving an accident and waking up from a coma, which means that it's been quite some time since she's experienced love, or even been on a date.

Interspersed through this romance story are different storylines. Simon's main confidante is his cousin Allison, who is going through a breakup herself. She and her boyfriend Ryan ended things because she just couldn't seem to fit in, with everything else going on in his life. Ryan is a people person and has lots of friends and family and events to go to. Meanwhile, Allison has trouble interacting with people, thanks to how she grew up.

In typical Jill Shalvis fashion, this book was filled with humorous situations and hilarious side characters. I loved Simon's Dad. Dale is a firecracker and never failed to have a funny viewpoint about his son or his niece's love problems.

I also enjoyed the dog characters in this book. Since waking up from her coma, Emma has been the owner of Hog, and adorable St. Bernard who serves as her emotional support dog. Allison also has a dog named Killer (who is actually a small, small Yorkie) who she shares with her ex, Ryan.

The relationships in this book made me happy. I loved how Simon and Emma slowly fell for each other, and worked through their issues together. It made my heart happy as Allison worked to become more friendly and open, so that she could show Ryan that she was ready for a second change.

But what I REALLY loved was the female friendship between Emma and Allison.

The two were enemies in high school and thanks to Simon, they find themselves in each other's lives again. Neither of them is in the market for a new friend, but thanks to certain situations, they find themselves being stuck together a lot more than they would like.

I thought their friendship/rivalry was so funny and it really made me happy how they learned to love each other and were really there for each other in the end.

Overall, this was a story that warmed my heart in more ways than one.

Thank you to Netgalley for this eArc in exchange for an honest review. Jill Shalvis is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors and this latest installment in her Wildstone series did not disappoint.

Love For Beginners comes out on June 8, 2021
PURCHASE HERE

xo Marian

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Mini Book Haul from Goodwill | I Spent $8.40

 Hello friends! I wanted to pop in today to share my latest book haul with you. Last Sunday on Mother's Day my Mom and I drove across town to go to a home decor store, but it was closed so we wound up at the Goodwill next door.

We had fun looking at all of the different things throughout the store, but of course I wound up in the book section. I wound up finding quite a few reads that were interesting to me! Here's the video that I filmed, sharing what books I picked up in my latest used book haul.

And in case you're interested in any of these books, here are some links to what I found.

  1. Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe by Jodi Thomas
  2. Huckleberry Lake by Catherine Anderson
  3. The View from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr
  4. Lucky Caller by Emma Mills
  5. The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert
  6. There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
  7. Commencement by J Courtney Sullivan
  8. To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
I was so excited to find the Netflix version fo To All The Boys I've Loved Before, because I love this series so much. And to be honest, I think the Netflix series is just as good as the books.

Agree? Disagree?

Let me know in the comments section below. The only other book to movie version that I think is great is the Holes movie, starring Shia Labeouff. Haha.

xo Marian

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Blog Tour | People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read, a sparkling new novel that will leave you with the warm, hazy afterglow usually reserved for the best vacations. 

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven't spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?


About the Author

Emily Henry writes stories about love and family for both teens and adults. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the New York Center for Art & Media Studies, and now spends most of her time in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the part of Kentucky just beneath it. Find her on Instagram @EmilyHenryWrites.

Author Photo by Devyn Glista St. Blanc Studios

My Thoughts

People We Meet On Vacation was the perfect book for me to read right now, because I am stressed and cold and I could really use a vacation. Who's with me?

I liked the story right off the bat because of how it is told. Part of the story takes place in the past and explains how Poppy and Alex met, as well as how their friendship developed over the years as they take their annual vacation every time Summer rolls around.

The other part is in the present. There was a rift between the two friends when they were in Croatia (two years ago) and they've barely spoken to each other since. Poppy thinks that if they reunite for another vacation, they'll be able to work things out and get back to their normal friendship.

But what exactly happened in Croatia? And why has their friendship been pretty much nonexistent since?

I loved reading about Poppy and Alex's past trips. Whether they're in Colorado or California, or a country halfway across the world, the two of them have an awesome time and memorable adventures. They have the kind of trips that I dream of going on, where they do whatever they want to do and meet interesting people and make memories.

Part of what made this story so enjoyable is the writing! Emily Henry has a great way of writing dialogue and the jokes between Poppy and Alex flowed so well. I loved their conversations and it especially made me smile when they first started texting again after their long dry spell. It was sweet reading about the two of them feeling each other out and trying to figure out what was what, or if the other one was mad.

Poppy and Alex's trip in current day (Palm Springs for a couple of days before his brother's wedding) made me cringe so bad. I could practically feel the heat as they suffered through their terrible stay at a man named Nikolai's apartment building (lol). But the thing about Alex and Poppy is that they really are true friends. Because while they had a few small fights (who wouldn't in such miserable, hot weather?) they never gave up an each other.

And I think that is the sign of a real, true friend.

I also made a short video discussing People We Meet On Vacation for my Youtube Channel. You can watch it here if you would like. Please consider subscribing for more bookish & life content.



Thank you to Netgalley for a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! I was lucky enough to also receive a copy in the mail as part of my Book of the Month package. I feel very grateful for that because I know this is a book that I will want to read again.

xo Marian

P.S. Poppy and Alex have quite a few issues with their Palm Spring vacation. What is your worst vacation memory? I think mine is when my family went to Disney World when I was a kid and it poured all day. We still had fun, but we had to run around the park in these yellow mickey mouse ponchos all day! Haha.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Bookish Gifts for Mom | Mother's Day 2021

Mother's Day is coming up! Hip hip hooray! I myself am not a mother yet (Being a dog mom doesn't count lol) so this is the day that I celebrate my own mother!

Hopefully she doesn't look at my blog because otherwise my gift for her might be spoiled. I got her a Barnes & Noble gift card because she recently retired from her job (about two weeks ago) and now she has so much more time for all the things she loves like knitting, weaving, and reading.

If you're not sure what to get your Mom this year I've come up with a few bookish ideas that are not genre specific, so they might work for your Mom as well. As long as she likes books.

As a kid, I never would have tried to pick out a book for my Mom. All I knew about her reading tastes was that she liked murder mysteries and she liked stories that were set in England, or written by English authors.

So here are some non-genre specific ideas for Moms. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to let me know in the comments section. In my opinion, the more ideas, the merrier!

1. A nice bookcase for her overflowing library

All book lovers know that while it's important to have books, it's also important to have a beautiful way to display them. I personally have 2 bookcases and a book cart in my house, and I'm always having fun rearranging and sorting my books. Right now I have them sorted by color.

2. An eReader so that she can take her books wherever she goes

I adore my kindle because I can take my entire library with me no matter where I go! When I went on my recent camping trip I took it along and I liked how I had so many different reading options. If you're Mom is an avid reader and likes to travel, you might consider getting her an eReader for Mother's Day.

My favorite is the amazon kindle but there are other options, like an iPad mini or the Kobo. It's completely up to you!

My Mom really likes her iPad because it has so much versatility. She can read AND watch all her shows. What's better than that?

3. A gift card to a local bookstore (or online retailer)

Gift cards are a great gift because then your Mom gets to choose her own books! I got my Mom a gift card to Barnes & Noble because she's going to be flying out to visit my brother next month and she'll need some fresh reading material for the plane.

If you have indie bookstores in your area, buying a gift card can really help them out right now since not a lot of people are shopping due to the pandemic. Hopefully that will change soon since vaccinations are becoming more available.

4. A Subscription to Book of the Month

If you're not familiar with Book of the Month, it's a monthly subscription box for readers. Every month they come up with a small selection of books that they think most people will enjoy and as a member, you get to pick one book and they'll ship it to you for free!

It's really nice because if you don't like any of the books that month, you can skip that month and they won't charge you. That way you can wait until the next month and pick out a book you'll really enjoy.

It's also neat because all of the books are hardcover. They look really pretty on your bookshelves. Not that looks matter, but to a true bookworm, it kind of does. Lol

Click here to Sign Up

5. Kindle Unlimited Subscription

The way I think of Kindle Unlimited is that it's kind of like Netflix, but for books. As long as you're a KU member you can read the books in the Kindle Unlimited program for free. This is especially helpful if you're a voracious reader because you totally get your money's worth for your monthly subscription fee.

There are also some books that allow you to listen to the audiobook for free. I took advantage of that last year when I listened to Mindy Kaling's collection of essays that she released through Amazon.

Click here to sign up

6. Books

I saved the best for last. Books are always appreciated by book lovers, right? Some of my most memorable gifts are books. Like the Christmas my Mom got me Looking for Alaska by John Green or the Christmas by Nany gave me Ready or Not by Meg Cabot.


I have so many books that I associate with wonderful memories.

So make sure to check out your local bookstores. Make sure to visit online retailers like Amazon or ThriftBooks.  And who knows what you'll find if you check out eBay or a secondhand store? There are gems out there just waiting to be found.

xo Marian

I'm Home! (Camping & Reading Update)

Hello friends! I'm back from camping and it was a lovely couple of days. I didn't wind up reading during the trip (There were too many people to talk to, so I didn't have a lot of down time) but I did start reading People We Meet on Vacation on Wednesday night and I am in love with it!

While my boyfriend was finishing up his chores and mowing the grass, I sat inside and I read. It's a wonderful story and I love Emily Henry's writing style. I'm hoping to finish it within the next couple of days and then post my review on the release date.

I had a great time in Virginia so I thought I'd show you a couple of photos from our trip. There were about 20 of us spread out throughout a couple of different camp sites, but ours was the main hangout spot. I think it was because our site had a nice deck, and a great fire pit for everyone to sit around in the evenings.

On Friday a small group of us went hiking with the dogs. Then in the afternoon my boyfriend and I checked out the fishing pond. Unfortunately, he didn't catch anything and I got a pretty bad sunburn! That is very typical of me though. I always forget that just because it's cool out doesn't mean the sun can't get you.


There's nothing I love more than sitting around the campfire at night. People telling stories and jokes. There was definitely an increase in laughter as the night went on. Beer will do that to you! Lol Plus the men made very strong mint juleps on the night of The Kentucky Derby. I stuck to my hard seltzers. 

And finally, a few pictures from the cavern tour. A couple of us visited Shenandoah Caverns on Saturday and it was a really neat tour. It was almost an hour long and everyone was wearing masks which was good!



So that was my long weekend! It was a lot of fun and I have to admit that it was hard waking up today. Sigh. But I'll be heading down to Delaware at the end of the month for a beach weekend so at least there's that to look forward to.

What are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments section. I will be finishing up People We Meet On Vacation early this week and then moving on to something else. I still haven't caught up on my Netgalley TBR so maybe I will try to finally finish reading The Boyfriend Project! More soon.

xo Marian