“The Little French Bistro”–Review

51fN2ZGIF4L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_After 41 years, Marianne is fed up with her loveless marriage. For years, she’s felt so unworthy, so unloved because of her husband’s controlling ways. Finally realizing her life has passed her by, Marianne decides life is no longer worth living—until she is saved. Finding herself in Brittany, the northwestern part of France, she is swept up by a new life at Ar Mor (the Sea) restaurant, where she meets Yann, the handsome painter; Genevieve, the restaurant owner; Jean-Remy, the heartbroken chef; and many others.

While she takes in her new surroundings, along with getting to know the locals, Marianne starts to find a forgotten version of herself.  Even though she’s often afraid, she learns what it means to truly live again. However, her past still beckons her, and that’s when she needs to decide if she’s meant to return to her old life or to push it aside for a better future.

Although I liked the storyline, the book was leaving me in a bit of a slump. I felt I couldn’t really connect with the characters. I’m less than halfway through with the book, so I just might finish it to see if it may change my perspective. No matter, I don’t discourage anyone from reading a book I didn’t really enjoy. Perhaps you’ll feel differently. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

About the author: Nina George is the author of the bestselling international phenomenon, The Little Paris Bookshop, as well as numerous other books that have been published around the world. She also works as a journalist, a writer, an advocate for author rights, and a storytelling teacher. She lives with her husband in Berlin, Germany, and Brittany, France.

FTC Disclosure: I received this copy from Blogging for Books, in exchange for an honest review.

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“The Map That Leads to You”–Review

517U90EoYSL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Good evening, bloggers! Here’s my review of The Map That Leads to You.

The main character, Heather, has just finished college. Now she and her best friends are about to travel throughout Europe, to enjoy life before beginning their new lives. When it comes to everyday life, Heather has always been organized. Everything will work out, she tells herself. During their train ride to Amsterdam, however, Heather meets Jack. Unlike Heather, Jack lives by his own rules, while following his grandfather’s journals throughout Europe.

It isn’t long before Heather and Jack are drawn to each other. During their travels, it is Jack who shows Heather how to truly live, to not live life based on daily itineraries. Although they have their many disagreements when it comes to living life and the corporate world, their feelings for each other become stronger, leading Heather to make new choices about her life. But, then, she learns of a secret Jack has kept for quite some time. Will it change everything, though?

I loved reading about all the many cities in Europe and I’m sure I’m not the only one to say this, but I really hope to, one day, visit these places, to fall in love with my surroundings.  I’ve stumbled upon dozens of beautiful travel journals and told myself that I’ll have the opportunity to use one, someday. It all sounds as wonderful and romantic as this book is. For all of the wanderlusts, I recommend this book. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

The Map That Leads to You will be available on June 13, 2017.

*I received this copy from St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: J.P. Monninger is an award-winning writer in New England and professor of English at Plymouth State University.

“The 5 Love Languages: Singles Edition”–Review

51AXd5ixNpL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Great advice for any relationship.

In The 5 Love Languages, the reader learns how to give and receive love in different types of love languages, which helps their relationships—not just romantic relationships—to grow.  I’ve never read the original book; however, it’s been recommended to me.

The singles edition describes the 5 love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.  Each chapter will help the reader:

  • Understand themselves and others better
  • Relate to others more confidently
  • Grow closer to family and friends
  • Discover the missing ingredient in past relationships
  • Date more successfully.

This book is definitely helpful for those who would like to learn the love languages of their family members, friends, significant others, etc.  Not sure what your love language is, no problem.  The book includes a quiz to reveal your language.  In fact, I still need to take the quiz.  And if you’ve ever been curious about online dating, there’s a section in the back of the book giving the pros and cons.  This was worth the read, in my opinion.

Feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

*I received this copy from Moody Publishers, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Gary Chapman is an author, speaker, and counselor, who has a passion for helping people form lasting relationships.  He is the bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages series and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc.  Gary travels the world presenting seminars, and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations.  For more info on the author, click here.

“The Long Journey to Jake Palmer”–Review

410mbxgu66l-_sx322_bo1204203200_What if there was a place where everything wrong in your life could be fixed?

That’s an interesting question.  What if there was such a place?  And would you be willing to find it?  In this story, Jake Palmer is a corporate trainer who coaches people to see deeper into themselves, to motivate and provide inspiration to their lives.  The problem, however, is that Jake no longer practices what he preaches.  Recently divorced and after a near-death experience, Jake is discouraged with life.  Even after his seminars, he questions his own purposes, all the while feeling sorry for himself and just wanting to be left alone.

Although he’s not too excited about the idea, Jake agrees to meet his close friends at a lake-house for a ten-day vacation.  While he’s there, Jake is informed of the legend of Willow Lake, where a lost corridor leads to a place where one’s longings can be fulfilled, where their lives can be completely healed.  Jake’s not sure what to believe.  Although he considers the idea absurd, he still can’t help feeling tempted to find this corridor.  And when he meets a man who talks of particular beliefs of the corridor, Jake becomes determined to find this path, to find himself, and to have his life back.

This book is quite an inspirational read and I’m happy for having the opportunity to read and share this with you.  It definitely wasn’t what I expected, but it was great.  Some of the scenes where almost as if I’d stepped into a fantasy novel and I liked the creativity behind it.  Sometimes, no matter where we are in our lives, we all could use that little push.  I don’t want to spoil it, so I’ll just recommend you check it out.  Feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

FTC Disclosure: I received this copy from BookLook Bloggers, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: James L. Rubart is a professional marketer and speaker.  He is the author of the bestselling novel Rooms, as well as Book of Days, The Chair, the Well Spring Novels, and The Five Times I Met Myself.  He lives with his wife and sons in the Pacific Northwest.  You can visit his websiteTwitter, or Facebook.

“Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal”–Review

41okQLg0eoL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Why the title Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal?  Because each piece of prose is organized into classic subjects such as Social Studies, Music, and Language Arts.  Because textbook would accurately describe a book with a first-of-its-kind interactive text messaging component.  Because textbook is an expression meaning “quintessential”—Oh, that wordplay and unconventional format is so typical of her, so textbook AKR.  Because if an author’s previous book has the word encyclopedia in the title, following up with a textbook would be rather nice.

This is an interesting, humorous read, which I finished in three days.  It’s an insightful memoir of the author’s life, filled with random insights, memories, and moments.  Included are some drawings, charts, and diagrams.  In a way, I see this book as a diary.  In fact, it may have inspired some new writing ideas for me.  I’m happy for having the opportunity to read this book.

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal will be available on August 9, 2016.  Feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

*I received this copy from Dutton Books, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal writes for both adults and children.  She has written more than thirty children’s picture books, including Little Pea, Spoon, Exclamation Mark, Duck! Rabbit!, Uni the Unicorn, and I Wish You More.  Amy is a contributor to public radio, YouTube, and TED.  She resides digitally at whoisamy.com and for real in Chicago.