Thursday, October 18, 2018

How Are You Keeping Track of Your To-Review Books?

As a book blogger I’ve been receiving books to review for years. And I love it! It’s something I’m honestly still proud of. Authors and publishers that choose me to review there book. I mean does it get any better than that? In the early days of Maureen’s Books I used to accept every review request. I was just so honored that people picked me to read their book that I wanted to read them all. Even if it were books that didn’t really spark my interest, or were in a genre I normally didn’t read. Soon I had way to much books to review and I couldn’t read fast enough to keep up. So I updated my review policy and nowadays I’m only accepting review requests if the book interests me and I have the time. 

But still it’s hard to keep track of all the books to review at times. I manage, but I keep thinking I need to find something to make it easier to keep track of all those books. I have used a notebook, but I found it didn’t work quite as well since some books needed to be read earlier than others and I would miss some because they weren’t in order. Currently I’m using an excel sheet, but I keep changing it since I’m still not completely convinced this works the way I want it too.

Obviously I write a review date in my planner if theirs still a publish date coming up. But flipping through my planner every time just doesn’t sound like a good way to keep track either. 

So tell me, how do you keep track of the books you need to review? 

Do you use a notebook? Words, Excel?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Review 'The Formidable King' by Alyssa J. Montgomery
A chance meeting, a misunderstanding, and a second chance for a royal love affair… 

Once, King Gabriel was bewitched by a violet-eyed beauty at a masquerade ball, but she left the function without a trace...not even a slipper. Now, Cinderella has a name. Fate has thrown India Hamilton right in Gabriel’s path, and he’s determined to expose her as the gold-digger he knows her to be. 

But Gabriel’s attempt at revenge soon loses its appeal as he spends more time with India. Her generous actions and smart control of his sister’s foundation suggest a strong, kind woman, undeserving of his scorn and anger. It soon becomes clear that this is not a Cinderella story at all: India is a beauty, and Gabriel has been behaving like a beast. 

The Facts:

Publication Date:
December 12th, 2017
Royal Affairs #3
Contemporary Romance
Available at:

My Review:

A little while ago I read the second book in the Royal Affairs series ‘The Irredeemable Prince’. Although I didn’t love that book, I definitely enjoyed reading it. So when I saw that I had this third book on my TBR list, I decided it was definitely time for me to start reading this one.

In ‘The Formidable King’ we meet King Gabriel. Gabriel has always been one who did everything for his country. But when fate throws India Hamilton, the girl who stole his heart and left him many years ago, on his path again he does and says things he just couldn’t imagine he would. India has a lot of secrets and Gabriel is determined to get his revenge on her leaving him.

Well, where do I start with this one. For one this is a standalone novel, you don’t need to have read the previous books. Secondly I really didn’t like the beginning of this book. I felt like I missed something, and Gabriel was just an insufferable and unkind man. It really took some effort from me to keep on reading. And I don’t often find myself enjoying a book that I really didn’t like in the beginning, but this one I definitely started to enjoy after the first half.

The beginning of this book felt rushed, there were a lot of assumptions from Gabriel that I just didn’t understand and I wished that India would just tell Gabriel to go away. I didn’t get there ‘chemistry’  at all. But thankfully, after the first view chapters, I began to like Gabriel more and India became this strong woman who had been through a lot. There were some thrilling and suspenseful moments and I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen next. I definitely could understand there romance from that moment on.

When the ending of the book neared, I definitely thought there were some rushed moments again but I didn’t mind it as much as in the beginning. To be honest, I don’t think I’m going to read more books in this series but in the end I did enjoy reading this one. Alyssa Montgomery definitely created an interesting and unique ‘world’. 

My Rating:

About the Author:

Alyssa enjoys writing pacy, passionate contemporary romance novels and her favourites involve some plot twists. She also writes medieval romance under the pen name Alyssa James.

Alyssa still has a busy private practice where she works as a Speech-Language Pathologist - mainly with children with developmental disorders, literacy difficulties and autism. She has also been a professional pianist and worked for Qantas Airways as an International Flight Attendant.

Alyssa lives with her husband and three children in New South Wales, Australia on a five acre property. They have a menagerie of animals and also enjoy occasional visits from deer, wallabies, echidna and the daily morning singing of numerous varieties of native birds.

Spare time is fairly limited with three children, however dinner parties with friends, gardening and playing tennis or saddling up the horses and going for a trail ride, are favourite activities.

For more information about Alyssa please visit her website. Or visit her on Twitter and Facebook.

I received this book from Escape Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday Post #90: Ten Weeks

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ the Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.  

See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

Another week has flown by. Our baby girl is now ten weeks old and she is making more sounds every day and she is definitely finding out that those arms and legs belong to her. I can honestly look at her all day. It’s just so fun watching her discovering new things. I’ve also been spending more time on tummy-time with her. She hates it! But slowly on she is getting better at it. And they say it’s good for her, so we’ll keep practicing. I’m also still reading to her every evening. I keep changing between Dutch and English books! And I’m having a lot of fun with these stories, she definitely starts watching me more and more. It’s possible that she's just fascinated with the voice that tries to do all these different voices but fails miserable. LOL!!

On Tuesday two of my colleagues came to visit. It was nice to see them again and hear how everything is going at work. But it honestly also made me wish my maternity leave could last even longer. LOL! There’s still a big problem with getting enough nurses to keep everything going. But I won’t think about that too much for now! Still 6 weeks to go before I have to go back.

On Thursday my mom and I took Rosanne on her first Zoo trip. It was fun! We walked and talked and enjoyed watching our baby girl sleeping in her stroller. I just love the Zoo. I really hope to be able to go much more when Rosanne is older.

I watched some episodes of Friends and Elementary this week, and I squeezed some reading time in before bed. Hopefully I’ll be able to read a little more next week, I just keep getting distracted a lot! But it was definitely a good week. 

Last Week On The Blog:

This Week On The Blog:

  • Review ‘The Formidable King’ by Alyssa J. Montgomery
  • How Are You Keeping Track of Your To-Review Books? 

New Arrival:

Happy Sunday! How was your week?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Review 'By Virtue Fall' by Carrie Elks
Love blooms when you least expect it . . .

Juliet Shakespeare is done with love. With a growing floristry business and an adorable daughter to raise, life after separating from her husband is complicated enough - the last thing she needs is a man.

But when handsome single father, Ryan Sutherland, arrives in town, everything changes. As much as she tries to distract herself, Juliet can't help but be drawn to the easy-going Romeo next door and the way he makes her feel.

Photographer Ryan is only back in his hometown for a few months so there's no point falling for someone he'll just have to say goodbye to. But he didn't account for Juliet - the intriguing and beautiful woman next door. And in her, he might just have found everything he ever wanted . . .

The Facts:

Publication Date:
October 11th, 2018
The Shakespeare Sisters #4
Contemporary Romance
eBook, Paperback
Available at:

My Review:

I have loved the Shakespeare Sisters series from the very beginning and devoured every book. So when the fourth book in the series ‘By Virtue Fall’ was offered as a review book on Carrie Elks Reader’s Group Facebook page I immediately requested a copy. You can imagine my excitement when I received an email from the Little, Brown Book Group only a view days later also with the request to read this book. I was super excited and started reading as soon as I could.

In ‘By Virtue Fall’ we meet Juliet Shakespeare. Juliet left England and her sisters years ago when she got pregnant and married a rich American who seemed to be perfect at the time. Unfortunately her marriage soon started to fall apart. Now Juliet is in the middle of a divorce and she has a young daughter to protect. And this isn’t easy with an ‘ex’ husband who seems to like making it hard on her. But Juliet is determined to make sure her daughter still gets the best life possible. And the last thing she wants is another guy in her life. But when she meets her handsome neighbor Ryan she just doesn’t seem to be able to stay away from him.

We read little bits about Juliet in the previous books, and she always seemed so unhappy and far away from her family. So I was super excited to finally be able to read more about Juliet and find out who she really was. And let me tell you, I loved Juliet’s story. Juliet married young and moved away from her family and now finds herself in a rough situation. And I loved everything about Juliet. I loved how strong she was and how hard she worked for everything. And Juliet was just a great mom. The moments between Juliet and her daughter were so fun to read about.

Ryan’s character was definitely one of my favorite man in the Shakespeare sister series. I loved that he was a father and reading about how he was with his son was just so good. And the way he took his time with Juliet and really wanted to take care of her.. Wow! I loved that. The romance between Juliet and Ryan took some time to develop and it was really good. I loved everything about this couple.

In ‘By Virtue Fall’ you can really see how good a writer Carrie Elks is. Not only was the romance amazing, it really gives you all those romantic butterfly feels, but Carrie is also able to make you really like or dislike different characters. And boy did I dislike one of the characters in this book. I definitely wanted to scream sometimes.

This book was another great one and I’m honestly sad that this book is the end of the series. I loved getting to know the Shakespeare sisters and I definitely fell in love with Carrie Elks writing.

My Rating:

Check out my previous reviews in this series:
The Shakespeare Sisters #1
The Shakespeare Sisters #2
The Shakespeare Sisters #3

About the Author: 

Carrie Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. At the age of twenty-one she left college with a political science degree, a healthy overdraft and a soon-to-be husband. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. When she isn't reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two. 

For more information about Carrie Elks please visit her website. Or visit her on Facebook and Twitter.

I received this book from the Little, Brown Book Group in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Book Promo 'The Reluctant Healer' by Andrew Himmel

Today I’m excited to share with you a Book Promo of ‘The Reluctant Healer’ by Andrew Himmel. ‘The Reluctant Healer’ is a New Age, Literary Fiction novel that was published yesterday on October 8th. 

About the Book:
Between Doubt and Belief

The Reluctant Healer tells the story of a young attorney who is torn between mounting evidence that he has the spiritual ability to heal others and his life-long skepticism of alternative views. Will Alexander is cautious and conventional. But when he meets Erica, a beautiful, intense energy healer, he becomes troubled not only by her unorthodox endeavors but also by the limitations of his own existence. Amidst this turmoil, Will is startled to discover that he may possess metaphysical gifts of healing that confront the narrow doctrines of his regulated life.

The Reluctant Healer paints a portrait of a reasonable man who traces a path between skepticism and belief. Flawed, funny, and agnostic, Will distrusts much of the alternative world, even as he struggles internally with phenomena that challenge both his sense of self and his orderly perspective. Will’s love for Erica, the exposure to her world, and his newfound powers place his life in a state of uncertainty, teetering between disruption and liberation.

The Facts:

Publication Date:
October 8th, 2018
New Age, Literary Fiction
eBook, Paperback
Available at:

About the Author:

Andrew Himmel has practiced law for over 30 years.  He is a founding partner and civil litigator of Himmel & Bernstein, LLP, a law firm in the Flatiron district in New York City. Prior to his experience in the legal field, Himmel began his professional life in book publishing where he served as an editorial assistant and assistant editor at William Morrow for Harvey Ginsberg. He attended Cornell Law School and New York University School of law, receiving his law degree from NYU.

Himmel resides in Manhattan with his wife Michele, a universal energy healer who holds a BA in Art and Psychology and an MA in Education from Stanford University.  He credits her with his understanding of energetic healing, enabling him to write the novel from an informed perspective. Their daughter, Nicole, holds a BA and MA in comparative literature from Stanford University.  She is a writer living in Manhattan.

For more information about Andrew please visit his website. Or visit him on Facebook and Instagram.

This promo was made possible by Smith Publicity

Imagination Designs
Artwork from: