Saturday, July 25, 2015

Saturday Kid Reads featuring Baby Lit by Jennifer Adams

Like Saturday morning cartoons, but much better because it involves books! Yes! This week I want to share with you some adorable board books, written by Jennifer Adams. These board books are from the BabyLit Book series, and they are sure to delight the adult, as well as the young reader.  I have three books to share with you, and I know you'll want to share these with your adorable little ones!

Don Quixote 
A Spanish Language Primer

There was a man (el hombre) named Don Quixote. He was the man of La Mancha. He would say "Yo soy el hombre de La Mancha." He carried his armor (la armadura) and had a horse (el caballo). Horses neigh (relincho) and the lady (la dama) was a very important part of the story as well. This adorable take on classic literature will have your babies learning espanol and the premise for Don Quixote! This is one of the books (los libros) that you will want to leave on the shelf to read to your baby every night!

The Secret Garden 
A Flowers Primer

This flower primer illustrated the flowers that were part of the original children's novel The Secret Garden. In this BabyLit version, an illustration of the flower is combined with a quote from the book. If you are unfamiliar with the original book which was published entirely in 1911, there is a secret, untended garden that holds beauty, and tranquility from a life that can often be troubling.  The children learn to appreciate nature and their kinship through this mysterious garden. A classic children's book.

Doodle Lit
Drawing on the Classics

Break out the colored pencils, markers and crayons for the classic lit version of a coloring book! In this book you will find Kids can follow the entertaining prompts provided and put pencils to work doodling such things as:
• Mr. Darcy’s dog (kids doodle what they think his dog looks like)
• Bob Cratchit’s Christmas tree
• Tattoos on Queequeg’s arms
• Anna Karenina’s hairdo
• Dress designs for Elinor and Marianne
Sprinkled throughout are also designs with perforated edges, perfect for popping out and crafting! Illustrated in the same colorful and playful style as the acclaimed BabyLit board book series.
This one is my personal favorite! 

Don't forget to visit my Instagram (@lilmommareader) for your chance to win a copy of this set of three books! 
Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Beautiful Girl by Fleur Phillips

For fans of Young Adult novels, this book, Beautiful Girl is one that you will quickly devour. The book is short and sweet, and the novel moves quickly through the story of Melanie, and her journey to recover from her life-altering accident, and the focus on external beauty in the world. The premise of this story resonated with me not only because I live near Los Angeles, and understand the culture of vanity that permeates everything people do and have done, but also because I have suffered feelings of inadequacy myself. Melanie was a character with whom I could identify. Read more about the novel in the synopsis.
Beautiful Girl by Fleur Phillips
Seventeen-year-old Melanie Kennicut is beautiful. Her entire life revolves around this beauty because her overly controlling mother has been dragging her to casting calls and auditions since she was four years old. According to Joanne Kennicut, Melanie was born to follow in her footsteps. But Melanie never wanted this life. When a freak car accident leaves her with facial lacerations that will require plastic surgery, she can't help but wonder if this is the answer to her prayers. For the first time in her life, she has a chance to live like a normal teenager‹at least for a little while‹away from the photo shoots and movie sets that have dominated her entire existence. But after Melanie allows her best friend to come to the house to see her, Joanne decides to hide her daughter in Montana for the remainder of the summer. There, Melanie won't be seen by anyone they know, and her face will heal in time for the scheduled surgery in late August. Joanne’s plan backfires, however, when Melanie meets Sam, a Native American boy hired by the home's owner to tend to the property. Sam is nothing like the Hollywood boys Melanie knows‹he¹s poor, his father's a drunk who possesses a bizarre gift inherited from a Kootenai Shaman, and his only brother disappeared into the mountains after the death of their mother eight years before. What transpires over a mere 36 hours after Sam and Melanie meet changes both of their lives in ways they never thought possible.

Truly a quick read! You will finish in a single day.
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Reid

The girl crush continues. I cannot dole out enough compliments to this writer for the amazing work she publishes every year! Once again, she has written a book that leaves the reader breathing a sigh of relief. From the author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a People's Magazine, Glamour, and US Weekly (I could go on-there are more!) pick about making choices that change the circumstances of your life. Is anything ever really meant to be? Is it possible that the choices you make, every second and every day lead to a new path? The path that you are meant to walk. This book will make you think about the decisions you make, and where those choices lead you or leave you.
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Reid
Taylor's new novel is about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.
Sounds amazing, right? Yes! Grab your copy today!

If you have never read a book by Taylor Reid, you have struck author gold! She is an incredible author. Her books are like a long-awaited steak for the reluctant vegetarian.

For more about Taylor visit her websiteTwitter @ tjenkinsreid, or Facebook

Happy Reading!

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This book. I did not receive an early copy of this book, and was on the fence about reading it for a very long time. This book was a sleeper. Quiet for a while, and then all at once like an angry toddler waking from a nap. Loud, everywhere, and wildly selling. So, I headed to the library to check the book out. I knew it was popular, so I knew it would have a hold on it. Mind you, this was February, and not long after its release. I was #239 on the hold list. Wait a second...let that sink in. #2-3-9. yes, that is a whole THREE DIGITS. What in the world? two weeks ago, it actually became available for check out. In the entire Los Angeles County, it has taken months for me to receive a copy of this book for check out. For those of you wondering why the heck I didn't just borrow it from a friend, the answer is that it was a little of a contest to me to see when I would actually get a copy.

Now, to the nitty-gritty. After all that wait, did I actually like the book? Was the long wait worth it. The answer is a resounding YES! This was absolutely 5 stars for me. By the end, I could not wait to know what was to come of Rachel, Anna, Megan, Tom and Scott. I am not on the fence about this book, I really liked it. For those of you who hated Rachel and thought she was awful and unlikeable, you have added a feather in the cap of Ms. Hawkins writing hat. To be able to write a character that people hate is truly a gift. If you become so involved in the story that you loathe a character, then the writer has done their job really well.

I think you should read it! See for yourself. That is a challenge.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Medea Complex

The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts

The Medea Complex-derived from Greek definition meaning "a murderous hatred by a mother for her child(ren), driven by the desire for revenge on her husband; it is a reference to Medea of Greek mythology, who kills her children." That alone would entice the reader to delve in to this novel, but then you read the synopsis and you are further driven to read this book. Inspired by true events that occurred during the Victorian era, and peppered with experiences a new mother has in the days following birth, Rachel Florence Roberts writes a thriller unlike any other. What possesses us, and what is the line between madness and sanity, and evil and illness? 

1885. Anne Stanbury wakes up in a strange bed, having been kidnapped from her home. As the panic settles in, she realizes she has been committed to a lunatic asylum, deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for an unspeakable crime. But all is not as it seems….

Edgar Stanbury, her husband as well as a grieving father, is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity and seeking revenge for his ruined life. But Anne’s future rests wholly in the hands of Dr. George Savage, chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital.

The Medea Complex is the darkly compelling story of a lunatic, a lie, and a shocking revelation that elucidates the difference between madness and evil….

With the historical tie and the thriller behind the story, readers will be unable to remain on one side in this new novel. Being a mother myself, and remembering the period post-baby, I truly became engrossed and could not wait to approach the resolution. I have a copy of The Medea Complex to give away as well. Please visit my Instagram (@lilmommareader) to be entered for a chance to win! Good luck. 

Happy reading!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wednesday #wanttoread List-Jenny Milchman Double Take!

This week is brought to you by books I want you to read...
I know what you are thinking...that I am the girl who reads fluff. I am the one who recommends books in the "Women's Fiction" genre. I rarely read Literary Fiction only because the depth of concentration it requires is usually not within my grasp. I recently turned over a new genre leaf after reading The Stranger by Harlan Coben, and now I am hooked! What took me so long to read this genre? I've missed out on a lot of reading opportunities, but that will not happen again! I also am writing today to get you started on two great mysteries, both from the same author-Jenny Milchman.

Cover of Snow

When a story starts out with a suicide, and then the pieces of the puzzle slowly add up together, you know you have the makings of a great audio book. The police corruption, and the suspicion of all the characters make this audio book a great companion for your commute, workout or chore list! 

Waking up one wintry morning in her old farmhouse nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, Nora Hamilton instantly knows that something is wrong. When her fog of sleep clears, she finds her world is suddenly, irretrievably shattered: Her husband, Brendan, has committed suicide.

The first few hours following Nora’s devastating discovery pass for her in a blur of numbness and disbelief. Then, a disturbing awareness slowly settles in: Brendan left no note and gave no indication that he was contemplating taking his own life. Why would a rock-solid police officer with unwavering affection for his wife, job, and quaint hometown suddenly choose to end it all? Having spent a lifetime avoiding hard truths, Nora must now start facing them.

Unraveling her late husband’s final days, Nora searches for an explanation—but finds a bewildering resistance from Brendan’s best friend and partner, his fellow police officers, and his brittle mother. It quickly becomes clear to Nora that she is asking questions no one wants to answer. For beneath the soft cover of snow lies a powerful conspiracy that will stop at nothing to keep its presence unknown . . . and its darkest secrets hidden.

To Read
As Night Falls

Oh, goodness, this is a woman's worst nightmare! Alone and isolated with a pair of murderers on the loose? The suspense will have you wondering what will happen next, and glancing sideways in to the blinds. It was quite a book. Truly a page-turner and a great segue in to this genre for a new mystery/thriller reader! 

Sandy Tremont has always tried to give her family everything. But, as the sky darkens over the Adirondacks and a heavy snowfall looms, an escaped murderer with the power to take it all away draws close.

In her isolated home in the shadowy woods, Sandy prepares dinner after a fight with her daughter, Ivy. Upstairs, the fifteen-year-old—smart, brave, and with every reason to be angry tonight—keeps her distance from her mother. Sandy’s husband, Ben, a wilderness guide, arrives late to find a home simmering with unease.

Nearby, two desperate men on the run make their way through the fading light, bloodstained and determined to leave no loose ends or witnesses. After almost twenty years as prison cellmates, they have become a deadly team: Harlan the muscle, Nick the mind and will. As they approach a secluded house and look through its windows to see a cozy domestic scene, Nick knows that here he will find what he’s looking for . . . before he disappears forever.

Opening the door to the Tremont home, Nick brings not only a legacy of terror but a secret that threatens to drag Sandy with him into the darkness.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

It's You by Jane Porter

It's You by Jane Porter

Aside from the beautiful cover art on this book, readers will be enthralled with Jane's newest book, It's You. The story is set from alternating points of view, and centers around a historical period of time-World War 2. The numerous letters and tales from the front lines that were written during this time period provided the basis for the story, and the connection between Dr. Alison McAdams and Edie. I only hope to find someone like Edie in my life. This book may be a little departure from Jane's other novels, but a good writer can transport you through time and space, and Jane has done just that. This book flashes back to World War 2, a time surrounded by sadness and unthinkable events. When Edie shares her life with Alison, she is helping her attempt to piece her life back together with the help of her new community. The story offers readers a trip to two places this summer, and one that you should not miss!

A heartwarming story about finding love and strength, even in the darkest moments…
In the wake of a tragedy that tore her life down to the foundations, Dr. Alison McAdams has lost her way. So when she’s summoned to Napa to care for her ailing father, she’s not sure she has anything to offer him—or anyone else.
What Ali finds in Northern California wine country is a gift—an opportunity to rest, and distance from her painful memories. Most unexpectedly, she finds people who aren’t afraid of her grief or desperate for her to hurry up and move on.
As Ali becomes part of her father’s community, makes new friends of her own, and hears the stories of a generation who survived the Second World War, she begins to find hope again. In a quest to discover the truth about another woman’s lost love, she sets off on a journey across oceans and deep into history. And in making sense of that long-ago tragedy, Ali is able to put together the broken pieces of her heart and make new choices that are right for her.

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Run-Down

I had such a wonderful, eventful week! I had the opportunity to meet Taylor Reid, who is one of my favorite authors! She is so gracious, and wonderful, it is no wonder her books have been such a success. Years ago, I won a copy on Twitter of Taylor's first book, and I was a fan-girl from that day forward. She promises nothing crazy is going to happen in the first chapter in her new book, and I can attest that this is true! Here is the run-down on what is happening this week at Read Baby Read.

It's You by author Jane Porter. I grew to love Jane's work when I was introduced to the Brennan  Sisters' trilogy. It was a fabulous series, and one I recommend time and time again to friends who love books with continuing story lines.

Want to Read Wednesday is brought to you by Mystery/Thriller books by the incomparable Jenny Milchman. Her new book As Night Falls is out now, and you can combine with the audio of The Cover of Snow, which I recently listened to and loved! I have recently begun to read Mysteries, and I am loving it! I believe it is important for us all to expand our horizons and try new things, and you never know-it may just be what the brain needed!

Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts is a psychological thriller about the madness that ensues post-birth, and a husband who is torn between helping his wife regain her sanity and trying to save his own ruined career. What is the line between madness and evil?

Fun Friday- you will have to stay put to find out whether I loved or hated The Girl on the Train. Should authors entertain the thought of placing unreliable narrators in their stories, or is this the very thing that readers loathe? Unlikeable characters. Love them or leave them? 

Have a wonderful reading week! 

Friday, July 10, 2015

"It" Book Failure

"It" books are a publishing house's dream! A book you can't keep on the shelves, and that everyone has heard of-we are talking about readers and non-readers. Everyone knows the "it" book of the moment. What happens when the "it' book of the moment is a huge flop for you? I, for one, become embarrassed to admit to anyone that I didn't like it? Will everyone question my sanity, and wonder what is wrong with me? Why would I give some fluffy Women's Fiction novel 5 stars on Goodreads, but the "it" book  just passes with a meh? You know what? It's okay. We don't all love the same books and that is all right! I'm going to share some "it" books that didn't cut it for me, and some that really hit the target!

"It" Books that hit the target

"It" books that missed the Target
One word-Nope.

What say you, readers?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wednesday's #wanttoread List

I first heard of this title from Books on the Nightstand, a weekly book podcast that I listen to. After hearing the description of the short stories that make up the book, I knew this was a title I had to get my hands on! So this week's feature is In the Country by Mia Alvar-watch out literary world! She's going to be a huge star!


These nine globe-trotting, unforgettable stories from Mia Alvar, a remarkable new literary talent, vividly give voice to the women and men of the Filipino diaspora. Here are exiles, emigrants, and wanderers uprooting their families from the Philippines to begin new lives in the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere—and, sometimes, turning back again.

A pharmacist living in New York smuggles drugs to his ailing father in Manila, only to discover alarming truths about his family and his past. In Bahrain, a Filipina teacher drawn to a special pupil finds, to her surprise, that she is questioning her own marriage. A college student leans on her brother, a laborer in Saudi Arabia, to support her writing ambitions, without realizing that his is the life truly made for fiction. And in the title story, a journalist and a nurse face an unspeakable trauma amidst the political turmoil of the Philippines in the 1970s and ’80s.

In the Country speaks to the heart of everyone who has ever searched for a place to call home. From teachers to housemaids, from mothers to sons, Alvar’s powerful debut collection explores the universal experiences of loss, displacement, and the longing to connect across borders both real and imagined. Deeply compassionate and richly felt,In the Country marks the emergence of a formidable new writer.

Add it to your TBR list! Happy Reading!