Book Review – Save The Date


Source: Amazon

As I finished packing to go to the beach, I felt like 7 books wasn’t enough. Two weeks, one book every two days, made sense mathematically, but I needed more choice. So I went to the library and borrowed two more books – Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews, and another Sarah Addison Allen – Garden Spells. Now I was ready for the beach!

Mary Kay Andrews has been an author that I’ve wanted to read, but just never got around to. I always saw her books at Target (on my regular trips, where I wind up with way more than I went in for!), but never took the plunge to buy them. I could tell that they obviously were more fluff and not quite the literary fiction that I usually like. But, I do go for easy chick lit every so often, and I figured this beach trip was a good time to finally try one of her novels. I ended up with Save the Date because it was one of the few summery ones left at the library, and I have to say that it was a good first read from a new-to-me author.

The novel centers around Cara, a florist with a growing business in Savannah, Georgia. Most of her business comes from weddings, and in Savannah, word of mouth is everything. After several successful jobs, she lands the ultimate wedding – a huge budget, which means a huge paycheck for her, since she will not only be the florist, but the overall planner. This wedding is just what Cara needs to help her pay back the money she owes her strict father, and to establish herself as the florist for weddings in Savannah. It’s not easy, of course. Besides the planning itself, Cara has to worry about her budding romance with a cute contractor, keeping her business safe from a new, relentless rival, and keeping tabs on the flighty bride.

This was a fun read, and I’m so glad I finally started on Mary Kay Andrews. The characters and their problems were pretty realistic, which I appreciated. I have to say that the book was honestly better than I expected, since I went in with a chick-lit-fluff mindset. I found myself drawn in and interested, wanting to read more and more as I got further through the book. It also helped that the chapters weren’t terribly long – I could easily read “just the next chapter” to see what would happen, and find myself through the next five! Once I finished Save the Date, I wanted to see if Andrews’ other books were equally enjoyable, and so I borrowed a second one from the library (review coming soon!). I think that’s a good sign, and I’m glad I found another author this summer that I really enjoyed.

If you’re heading to the beach or the lake, or even to the pool for the last few days of summer, give Save the Date a try. I think, like me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!


Are there any other authors and/or books you would recommend for summer reading? You know, so I can make my list for next year…or the middle of winter when I need to feel a little sun on my skin! 🙂


That’s A Pretty Cover…

As I was writing my reviews for Tiny Little Thing and A Hundred Summers, I realized that I mentioned how both books had been on my TBR list for so long, and I didn’t talk much about why they caught my attention (maybe I said a thing or two about TLT). This is only a little embarrassing, but I know I’m not the only one so I am not afraid to admit it:

I loved their covers.

I just loved the cover of Tiny Little Thing! I love the ’50s and ’60s (and especially the ’40s), and I thought the girl’s dress was so perfect. And how could I not swoon over the cover of A Hundred Summers? Sitting on the beach, vintage swimsuits, big beach umbrella. Perfect.

That’s not to say that I bought the books solely for their covers, without reading their synopses! Of course I had to have an idea of what they were about before I decided whether or not to buy them. But those covers were certainly a big help!

Please tell me I’m not the only one! What are some books that had covers which drew you in?

I Make Wine Disappear. What’s Your Superpower?

Isn’t that hilarious? I didn’t come up with that on my own, of course. I have Bright Cellars to thank for that gem of a title. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Bright Cellars (I always see it advertised on Facebook), but it’s a monthly club that matches you with wines based on results from a taste palate quiz that you take when signing up. What I really like is that you’re not locked in – you can cancel before your monthly shipment so you don’t get charged. I’ve only received my first box so far, but I have been very impressed up to this point.


IMG_6767I’ll be honest, I did not order my first box as soon as I took the quiz. I took the quiz, and then saw the list of wines that I was matched with, and then I think I exited the screen. A few weeks went by, and I kept getting emails with offers for a bonus bottle. That meant I would receive five bottles for $38 (your first box is cheaper than what the rest of them would be, just like any subscription service, I’d think). That sounded like a great deal, and so I finally ordered the box. It took about a week to get here, but I did receive an email upon ordering which said that they were backed up because of high demand. While I waited for my box, I actually received a handwritten thank-you note in the mail from the Director of Member Experience! How awesome!

When I finally opened my box a few minutes ago, I was impressed with how well everything was packed, but especially by how great the presentation was. Each bottle was wrapped in tissue paper, with a fun little wine quote on a sticker (this is where I stole my title for this blog post!). It made the experience even more fun to open each bottle and see which one was which. Also inside the box was a “Grape & Grill” Guide, which shows which wines pair well with different foods you might grill over the summer. I’m guessing there would be a different guide included each season.


I can’t wait to open my first bottle tonight and try them out! Once I try each bottle, I can go back on to the website and rate each one, which would give them more information on my tastes, and could give me even more options in the future.

If you’re interested in trying this yourself, visit this link so that you can get $30 off your first box. Then come back and let me know what you think!

Wine and books – it’s a perfect combination!


Book Review – A Hundred Summers


Source: Amazon

As soon as I finished Tiny Little Thing, I jumped right into A Hundred Summers, also by Beatriz Williams. This has also been on my TBR list for a long time, and on the same shopping spree where I bought Tiny Little Thing, I bought A Hundred Summers. This one solidified Williams as a new favorite author.

A Hundred Summers takes place in the beach town of Seaview, Rhode Island, in 1938. Lily Dane has summered at Seaview for her entire life, and most of those summers were spent with her best friend growing up, Budgie Byrne. This friendship lasts through their senior year of college, until Budgie betrays Lily and Lily stops contact with her. It has been six years since Budgie and Lily’s friendship ended, and Lily is settling in for another summer at Seaview, when Budgie returns to her family’s beach cottage. She is not alone, though; she is with her new husband, and Lily’s former fiancé, Nick. As the summer goes by, Lily begins to form a new friendship with Budgie and to move on from Nick. It isn’t until the summer begins to draw to a close and the Great New England Hurricane approaches, that Lily learns that things were maybe not quite as they seemed six years ago.

I am so glad that I waited to read this book until I was at the beach! With the setting a small beach town, it was the perfect read as I listened to the waves crash – either in my beach chair in the sand, or an Adirondack chair on the porch of the house my family rents! I felt like I was in Seaview with Lily, and even more fun, like I was back in time, living in the 1930s. One thing my mom commented on as she read it (at my suggestion as soon as I finished it!), was how she wanted to have the same drinks the characters were drinking throughout the books. The details and descriptions drew me in so completely, so I knew exactly what she meant. Just like Tiny in Tiny Little Thing, I found Lily very easy to relate to and sympathize with. I also was a huge fan of the incorporation of the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 into the storyline, and the historical note included at the end. This is something I would never have known about if I hadn’t read the book, and I was interested to learn more. I always love learning a thing or two while I’m reading a great story! A Hundred Summers was a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it. But if you’re anything like me and would be depressed reading about the beach while you’re land-locked, then definitely save it until you’re on a beach trip!

Book Review – Tiny Little Thing


Source: Amazon

Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams has been on my wish list and then TBR list for a while. I’d read about it on another blog or two, and I think I also saw it advertised on Goodreads. Finally, when I went on a shopping spree at the beginning of summer, I picked it up and put it aside for beach reading. I am so glad I had it with me!

Tiny Little Thing is set in the 1960s and is about Tiny Hardcastle, the wife of a Massachusetts politician, who is living the perfect life. She runs the household, including the family home on Cape Cod, and is the model housewife. But, as can be expected, Tiny has secrets. These secrets threaten to spill into the open when some photos arrive in the mail for her and her husband’s cousin returns from Vietnam.

I really loved this book, and I especially loved Tiny. The first person narration made her much more real to me, and made it easy to sympathize with her. This was another book which alternated settings and narration, and it worked so well – the secret was revealed slowly, while the current story took place. When everything came to a climax, I truly was shocked. There were plenty of instances where I thought I knew what would happen, but I never expected what actually did happen.

It’s safe to say that this book was one of my favorites that I’ve read in a long time. I was disappointed to reach the end, only because I was sad to leave Tiny and her world. Beatriz Williams is another author that I need to read more of, and I plan on making a trip to the library very soon!