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Book Review: Madeleine Murder

madeleine Seagrass Sweets Cozy Mystery by Sandi Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a cute book that drew me in right away. It’s also the third in a series but I didn’t feel like I was missing anything by not having read the first two.

Ashley and her friend, Patty, hope to have a food truck or restaurant one day. Until then, they share a tent at events. Patty cooks the main meal and Ashley bakes desserts. This book takes place at the Seagrass Days festival.

In a trip to look around the festival, Ashley buys a hemp collar for her dog, Dizzy. After that, she finds many fraudulent charges on her credit card and, shortly thereafter, the man who sold her the collar turns up dead.

This book has great characters, a fabulous dog, and many twists and turns to the plot. I loved it!

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Book Review: The Best Kind of People

The Best Kind of PeopleThe Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was SO good! Once I started reading it, I only put it down to sleep.

George is somewhat of a hero in his town for stopping a school shooter when his daughter was young. Years later he’s suddenly arrested and jailed under the assumption of attempted rape of girls he was chaperoning on an annual ski trip.

The story is good, showing the conflicts of his wife, son, and daughter through the process of his arrest and subsequent jailing.

This book will draw you in and keep you turning the pages until you’re finished. Highly recommend!

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Book Review: Pieces of Happiness

Pieces of Happiness: A Novel of Friendship, Hope and ChocolatePieces of Happiness: A Novel of Friendship, Hope and Chocolate by Anne Ostby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book started slow but, in the end, it made me cry. I wanted to read it because it’s set in Fiji, my favorite place in the world.

After her husband’s death, Kat invites four of her high school friends to come join her in Fiji and make a new life as a group. For one reason or another, their lives were worth casting aside and taking Kat up on her invitation and they all came.

Kat owns and operates a cocoa farm and, eventually and with great excitement, the ladies decide they should produce chocolate. They are all able to contribute to the enterprise including Maya who is spiraling deeper into Alzheimer’s.

Secrets are shared, bonds are strengthened, and there is plenty of love to go around. Including my love of these characters and this book. 🙂

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Book Review: Fitness Junkie

Fitness JunkieFitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was so much fun that immediately after I finished it, I went to get her first book Knockoffs. I loved this book!

Janey is in the wedding dress business with her bestfriend, Beau. He’s always called her his muse from the times they were kids. One day, she appeared in a gossip column eating a “bruffin”. This put Beau, who was very weight consious (she didn’t think he ate any food anymore) over the edge. He told her that she needed to take 3 months off work to concentrate on losing weight because her being overweight was bad for business.

Janey is absolutely shocked because she didn’t really feel like she was overweight, she never really thought about it at all. Her best friend CJ helps to get her signed up to some exercise classes and her cousin, Ivy, gives her VIP status at her spin club.

Going through a divorce and with time on her hands, Janey meets two men that she dates at the same time. She also meets a shaman at the juice bar and goes on an exercise retreat that the shaman recommends but the retreat doesn’t have much to do with exercise at all.

This is a great book. I couldn’t put it down. I laughed out loud. Highly recommend! 🙂

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Book Review: The Windfall

The Windfall: A NovelThe Windfall: A Novel by Diksha Basu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book!

The Jha’s are moving up in the world after Mr. Jha sells his website for big money. He’s decided that they need to move from the neighborhood they’ve always lived in to a better one with wealthier neighbors. As they move, he meets the neighbor and seeks to prove that he’s wealthier than Mr. Chopra all the while taking note of what Mr. Chopra has and does. They compete with each other to prove who is the wealthiest.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Jha is having a hard time in her new life. She misses her old neighborhood and friends. Their son, Rupack, is in America studying and trying to figure out his life. He’s in love with an American girl but feels his parents won’t accept her. He gets tossed out of school and comes back to India to live.

This is a cute story that’s fun to read. I highly recommend it!

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Snapchat Influencer Q&A with Lauri Rottmayer

It was an honor to be interviewed by Custom Filterz for their blog. You can read the interview by clicking here. It was fun to talk about my current favorite social media platform and how it applies to my business and personal life. 

Because I talk about it, but it wasn’t included in the post, I give you a sample of my daily coffee snap that I’ve become known for. 

 

 I’d love for you to join the fun and follow me on snapchat! 

Book Review: My Not So Perfect Life

My Not So Perfect LifeMy Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Such a great book! I’m always excited to read a new Sophie Kinsella book and I got right into this story. Typically, Kinsella, Cat/Katie Brenner is a quirky girl in a crazy set of circumstances.

Hailing from the farm, Katie longs to be a London girl, Cat. She gets a job at a design house and is low girl on the totem pole, envying her amazing boss Demeter’s perfect life. Demeter seems really scattered and the girls in the office, especially her assistant, have a hard time with her.

One day, Demeter who seems more scattered than usual, fires Cat and she returns home to Somerset because she can’t afford to stay in the city with no job. Try and she might, she can’t get another job but her dad, jack of all ideas, master of none, has come up with a great idea of turning their farm into a glamping site. With her marketing background, Cat now Katie again, helps her dad and stepmum get the glamping farm up and running and it becomes very successful.

Katie never quits trying to get another job in London. Eventually, through a fun and crazy set of circumstances, she does. This is Sophie Kinsella at her best. I loved it! 🙂

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Book Review: Out of Practice

Out of Practice (Breakup Doctor #4)Out of Practice by Phoebe Fox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was so happy to read this fourth and final installment of the Break Up Doctor Series. I have loved every book and this one was no different.

Brook Lyn has grown over he series and this time, things started coming apart for her. After being ambushed on the morning talk show of her high school nemesis, Brook starts losing clients. Her mom is having a hard time with the loss of her father, her best friend, Sasha, is struggling with new motherhood and Brook, herself, can’t seem to figure out what she wants in her wedding to Ben. Ben thinks maybe she just isn’t interested.

Through it all, Brook comes to realize she needs to take some time out for herself and decide what she really wants in life. I’ve laughed and cried with this character and I’m going to miss her. Terrific book, terrific series.

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Book Review: The Candidate

The Candidate (Newsmakers #2)The Candidate by Lis Wiehl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lis Wiehl is a smart gal and her book is a smart book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading!

I couldn’t put this book down once I started it. Erica Sparks is the host of the top-rated cable news show. She wants to host the presidential debate but her boss thinks her ratings are slipping and makes her feel like she needs to do something to raise them.

In preparation for moderating the debate, Erica decides to do in-depth profiles on the two candidates. While the Republican candidate seems to be what you see is what you get, the Democratic candidate, Sen. Mike Ortiz, seems to be a little “off”. Ortiz is married to the billionaire heiress Claire who has, along with her best friend Lily Lau, orchestrated Mike’s rise to the top.

When people don’t fall into line to help them achieve their goals, lives are lost and there’s a trail of dead bodies by the time Erica is snatched.

This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and you read to find out if Erica makes it out alive, if the Ortiz’s take the White House, and if the people behind the scheme succeed.

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Social Media in the Real World

urbangrind

I’ve written before about my reason for being on social media. It’s to be able to have coffee with a friend anywhere in the world. I’ve had coffee with one of my snapchat friends, nessamakes, who happens to live just a mile away from me. But we were heading to Jacksonville, FL for the Mrs.International Pageant and I was excited to see that one of my other snap friends, Dapromoqueen, lives there. I made arrangements to get together with her.

dapromoqueen

We met at a cute coffee shop called Urban Grind Coffee Shop. It was an easy walk from the Omni Hotel where we were staying and was on Laura Street. Now, I don’t like when someone calls me Laura (even though it’s my given name) but I had to have a photo with the cool Laura Street sign.

Laura Street

When Dapromoqueen aka Tory, arrived, we had to snap about our meeting, of course. We had a fun time visting. She’s so nice and genuine and I love that we felt like friends right away.

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When we got ready to head back to the hotel we took a photo together. I’m really tall AND I had tall wedge shoes on. Tory was prepared for work and had flats on so I was WAY taller than she was. It was pretty funny!

IMG_5815

THIS, my friends, is what social media is about in the real world. At least for me. I know I have a friend to share coffee with anywhere I go. I’m so glad I got to meet Tory. I hope I’ll get to meet you when I am in your town!