Tuesday, April 30, 2019

BOOK GIVEAWAY: Her Pretty Face, by Robyn Harding {ends 5/5}

About six months ago, I read Her Pretty Face, by Robyn Harding ... it was definitely an interesting book, and it's one that I still remember vividly, even months later. I gave it 4.5/5 stars which is also a very high rating for me.

It's now out in paperback, and one of my lucky readers will win a copy!

About the book:
BOOK GIVEAWAY: Her Pretty Face, by Robyn Harding
The author of the bestselling novel The Party—lauded as “tense and riveting” by New York Times bestselling author Megan Miranda—returns with a chilling new domestic drama about two women whose deep friendship is threatened by dark, long-buried secrets.

Frances Metcalfe is struggling to stay afloat.

A stay-at-home mom whose troubled son is her full-time job, she thought that the day he got accepted into the elite Forrester Academy would be the day she started living her life. Overweight, insecure, and lonely, she is desperate to fit into Forrester’s world. But after a disturbing incident at the school leads the other children and their families to ostracize the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever before.

Until she meets Kate Randolph.

Kate is everything Frances is not: beautiful, wealthy, powerful, and confident. And for some reason, she’s not interested in being friends with any of the other Forrester moms—only Frances. As the two bond over their disdain of the Forrester snobs and the fierce love they have for their sons, a startling secret threatens to tear them apart.

Because one of these women is not who she seems. Her real name is Amber Kunik. And she’s a murderer.

In her masterful follow-up to The Party, Robyn Harding spins a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal, asking the question: Can people ever change? And even if they can, is it possible to forgive the past?


GIVEAWAY:

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Sunday, May 5th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be chosen the next day and notified via email, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Her Pretty Face, by Robyn Harding

Monday, April 22, 2019

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Courting Mr. Lincoln, by Louis Bayard {ends 4/29}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

Strange. Joshua Speed had assumed there would be some comfort in seeing Mrs. Francis’s agenda at last laid bare.

“Why do you not marry him yourself?” he murmured. “I think you would if you could.”

“You’re probably right,” she answered amiably. “Diamonds in the rough have always been my weakness. Oh, you should have seen Mr. Francis when I first got hold of him. Licking his knife, balling up his handkerchief, scratching himself at all times of day. He made our Lincoln look like Beau Brummell.”

“So,” he said, “in lieu of yourself, you propose some other candidate.”

“Not as yet,” she said equably. “I must first survey the field.”

“And in so doing, you will find what? A limp, lisping virgin of, what, seventeen? Eighteen? Just enough brain to fit in her own thimble?”

“Oh, for the first time, I believe you underestimate me, Mr. Speed. And him. Do you honestly think our Lincoln could attach his fortunes to someone he couldn’t talk with?”


I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting from this intimate tale of Abraham Lincoln’s personal relationships before his political life reached its peak. I suppose I’d never really considered him – or his wife and other friends – as real people, as shallow as that may sound.

Official synopsis: 
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Courting Mr. Lincoln, by Louis Bayard
When Mary Todd meets Abraham Lincoln in Springfield in the winter of 1840, he is on no one’s short list to be president. A country lawyer living above a dry goods shop, he is lacking both money and manners, and his gift for oratory surprises those who meet him. Mary, a quick, self-possessed debutante with an interest in debates and elections, at first finds him an enigma. “I can only hope,” she tells his roommate, the handsome, charming Joshua Speed, “that his waters being so very still, they also run deep.”

It’s not long, though, before she sees the Lincoln that Speed knows: an amiable, profound man who, despite his awkwardness, has a gentle wit to match his genius, and who respects her keen political mind. But as her relationship with Lincoln deepens, she must confront his inseparable friendship with Speed, who has taught his roommate how to dance, dress, and navigate the polite society of Springfield.

Told in the alternating voices of Mary Todd and Joshua Speed, and inspired by historical events, Courting Mr. Lincoln creates a sympathetic and complex portrait of Mary unlike any that has come before; a moving portrayal of the deep and very real connection between the two men; and most of all, an evocation of the unformed man who would grow into one of the nation’s most beloved presidents. Louis Bayard, a master storyteller, delivers here a page-turning tale of love, longing, and forbidden possibilities.


I don’t recall reading much fiction or historical fiction from this time period, so I found this book to be interesting from that perspective. The stories we hear about Lincoln are usually just surrounding his presidency and assassination. In this book I learned about the probable relationships he had before all this. Mary Todd comes to Springfield to stay with her sister’s family, and find a husband. While she passes on several suitable prospects, she seems almost more intrigued than attracted to Lincoln.

During Mary’s early days in Springfield, Abraham Lincoln and his roommate Joshua Speed are nearly a package deal. They arrive at all events together, telling stories together, and adding charm and entertainment on a regular basis. But can such a close friendship make choosing to take a wife even harder?

I liked how the book alternated between Mary Todd’s perspective and Joshua Speed’s perspective of the same events involving Lincoln. It made it feel like the reader knew the whole story, although Lincoln’s perspective was never given. Overall, I’d give this book 3 out of 5 stars. I’m glad I read it and learned more about that time period, but the fame of the characters is something that’s only recognized from a previous knowledge of history.


Becki Bayley is a wife, and mother of two who has been blogging for more than 15 years at SweetlyBSquared.com. She loves reading, building her Tiny Tower and crushing all the candy.

GIVEAWAY:

One of my lucky readers will win a copy of Courting Mr. Lincoln!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, April 29th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be contacted via email the next day and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Courting Mr. Lincoln, by Louis Bayard

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

GIVEAWAY: David Sedaris, October 23, Fisher Theatre, Detroit {ends 4/24}


If you're a David Sedaris fan: head on over to my other blog, Yes/No Detroit, to enter to win two tickets to see him live at the Fisher Theatre (Detroit) on October 23rd! There will be two winners.

*Pre-sale code!*

If you'd like to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public, click here. Presale code is BOOK.

Head here to enter my giveaway, which ends on April 24, 2019.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Bookstock is back! April 7-14, at Laurel Park Place, Livonia

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Bookstock—I've written about it here for the past four years or so. It's an annual event that takes place at Livonia's Laurel Park Place, and is a great way to stock up on books or even other forms of media such as DVDs/Blu-rays, records, and audiobooks.

More about this year's event:

Metro Detroit's Biggest and Best Used Book and Media Sale Returns
Sunday, April 7 Through Sunday, April 14 at Laurel Park Place, Livonia

Bookstock is back, offering unbelievable deals on used books and media Sunday, April 7 through Sunday, April 14 at Livonia’s Laurel Park Place. Bargains abound at Bookstock, metro Detroit’s biggest and best used book and media sale, where proceeds benefit literacy and education projects throughout the City of Detroit and Oakland, Wayne, Benzie, Washtenaw and Grand Traverse Counties.

Bookstock is forming a new partnership with JVS Human Services, which serves as the institutional home of Bookstock. Detroit News columnist Neal Rubin is Honorary Chairperson of Bookstock, and Alycia Meriweather, Deputy Superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District, is Bookstock's Honorary Chancellor. Bookstock 2019's Presenting Sponsor is the Mike Morse Law Firm.

Bookstock’s Pre-Sale will kick-off on Sunday, April 7 at 8:15 a.m. There is a $20 admission charge for the Pre-Sale only, which runs through 11 a.m. and offers savvy shoppers and collectors first crack at Bookstock’s treasure trove of deals. Bookstock has 300,000-plus gently used books, DVDs, CDs, books on tape, and vinyl for sale at bargain basement prices. The sale will continue through Sunday, April 14, running Sundays, 11 a.m.—6 p.m. and Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.—9 p.m. New stock is added to the floor daily.


This year, Bookstock will feature seven days of special sales:

• Monday Madness – Monday, April 8: The first 2,000 shoppers will receive spectacular giveaways plus a chance to win a $100 VISA gift card every hour!
• Teacher Appreciation Days – Tuesday, April 9 and Wednesday April 10: Bookstock is celebrating teachers by giving 50% off to all teachers with a valid ID from 3 — 9 p.m. on both days. On Tuesday at 5 p.m., the Bookstock B.E.S.T. Awards, (Bookstock Extraordinary Student/School/Teacher) will be presented to fourth grade students from Detroit Public Schools Community District who write the top essays entitled, “My Favorite Book Character…and Why.” A WDIV TV personality will present the awards live, and cash prizes will be given to five students, their teachers and their schools.
• Bookbuster Special Days – Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12: Buy three books and get the fourth book *free (*least expensive item) from 3 – 9 p.m.

Spend $25 or more on either night and be entered in a special drawing for:
• Skates signed by Olympic Gold Medalist Meryl Davis
• 2 tickets to a Detroit Tigers game
• 2 grand stand tickets to the Detroit Grand Prix

• Cookstock – Saturday, April 13: Half price on the area's largest collection of used cookbooks plus incredible cooking and dining prizes given away throughout the day.

• Half Price Finale, Sunday, April 14: All books and media will be sold for half price!


Marking 17 years of supporting the need to read, Bookstock has generated more than $2 million for literacy and education projects in Michigan. Nearly 800 volunteers work together throughout the year to organize and staff the weeklong Bookstock sale.

Bookstock is brought to the community by a consortium of non-profit organizations that support education and literacy projects throughout metro Detroit. For more information about Bookstook, call the Bookstock hotline, (248) 645-7840, ext. 365, or visit bookstockmi.org. Laurel Park Place is located on 6 Mile Road east of I-275 in Livonia.

Follow Bookstock on the web here:
Bookstock website: http://www.bookstockmi.org
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BookstockMI
Twitter: @BookstockMI
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/BookstockMI

Have you been to Bookstock before, if you live in the metro Detroit area? If so, did you pick up any good finds?

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