Bookclub By Author Fiction New Adult Romance

“The Sweet Gum Tree” by Katherine Allred

Do you ever find that when you really love something (or even like it a whole lot) you tend to gorge yourself on it until even the mere thought of that beloved item makes you numb? Or even worse sick and annoyed? For example, when I was young, I loved bananas…I mean I LOVED them! I used to eat them constantly (yes, I know, with all of my erotic book recommendations you aren’t surprised at all to find my favorite fruit was the banana). My parents used to tell me that if I kept eating bananas as often as I did, I would turn into a banana. Heehee, haven’t we all heard that line before?! I find myself using those same words with my own kids. Anyway, no, I never turned into a banana, but I did learn to hate bananas for a long time. There were years when just the thought of eating a banana would turn my stomach. As an adult, I do enjoy the occasional banana but I cannot over-eat them or…I will puke. Sorry for the graphics, but the point needed to be made. I find as a society, that we tend to find something that “works” for us – be it special foods, anti-aging products, electronics, clothes, whatever and we latch onto it and gorge until we make ourselves numb or sick (sometimes only in the proverbial sense but sick none-the-less). For me, sometimes, I find a genre of books that rock my world and I gorge myself until I am ready to explode (think Violet, in the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory). After reading the Twilight Saga, I read every single book that included hot men with fangs…in fact, there was a short time where I think my husband was worried I was going to demand he bite me until I bled! Hahaha…crazy…kind of… The vampire phase smoothly led into the paranormal phase, which still concerned hubby quite a bit. Because when I’m reading, I like to discuss what’s going on with my “friends” in the books, so poor hubby is forced to listen. Well, he pretends to listen… but he still has to take in a few words here and there just in case there is a pop quiz! Lol. Then, I started reading erotica novels and wow, that phase…phew, well, I’m still going through that one! I can honestly say, hubby is a lot less worried during this phase (wink). While I absolutely love these stories, and they entertain me (and hubby) to no end, too much of anything bad or GOOD can end up being, well….too much. After a while, I have started to connect the dots in a lot of these stories and there a lot of books out there that sound very similar to one another. When you are reading a book or two a month, there is no problem, but I’m reading 4-5 books a week. That is a lot of “baby” “babe” “I wanna f*ck you” “I wanna s*ck you” “I’m gonna come” etc. Do you know what I mean? Is it all mind melting hot? Hell, YES!!! But at some points, I become numb to it all and I find that I need a break from it. NOT from the passion and the love, but from the in your face sexual intensity. And that is when I find myself reaching into my bag of recommendations from you (my readers) who send in book titles for me to read.

So, this post is dedicated to my loyal reader and friend, Jen. Thanks for giving me this title – It was exactly what I needed! (more…)

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Bookclub By Author Fiction Heather Gunter Romance Romance/Series Young Adult (YA)

“Love Notes” by Heather Gunter

*Disclaimer – In the following post, I am going to use generalizations such as “we,” “us,” and “our” – please know that I DO realize, not EVERYBODY feels the same things and the same way. I do, however, have a feeling, that there are more of us that can relate than those who can’t. If you are one of the lucky people who cannot imagine what it feels like to share in any of the experiences below, count your blessings, baby – because you are one lucky girl! xo

Do you remember the first time you looked in the mirror and didn’t like the image staring back at you? What about the first time someone said something hurtful or unkind to you? Probably not. For a lot of us, that experience happened when we were far too young to even realize what was going on, so we put those feeling in our proverbial back pocket and let them stay there. We continue to go through life – experiencing ups and downs. For some of us, there may be more downs than ups, for others, we may just spend more time focusing on the downs then enjoying the ups and after a while, our pockets begin to droop and those feelings begin to find their way out, impacting each of us in various ways. For some of us, we use food (either in excess or in sparsity), for others – drugs/alcohol, for some, we become aggressive, while others completely introvert, some use our bodies for the attentions we felt we lacked, while others try to become invisible to the world around us. We look around and see our friends or our “not” friends, and they seem to be so happy and alive and content and we think to ourselves, why can’t I feel like they do?

The older we get, if we are lucky, smart, and touched (no not in a physical way) by the right people, we can learn to believe in ourselves, start listening to the positive more than the negative, and start to love who it is that we have become. We can also learn that if we don’t like where we are, we possess the strength to change and move on (more…)

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Bookclub By Author Fiction L.B. Simmons Romance

“Running on Empty” by L.B. Simmons

The only thing better than an author giving you exactly what you want is when what you want is also what you need. This weekend I wanted a story that would take me away from myself (being that myself was stuck in the hospital with a nasty stomach bug..and was disgusting and unhappy), I wanted a story that would stay with me after I finished reading it. I needed a story that wasn’t going to make me crazy with turmoil and angst (being that my body had enough angst of it own!!) Based on the beautiful cover and the fact that it was a debut novel, I chose to read, “Running on Empty” by L.B. Simmons. I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

You know that I am a huge fan of the Indy authors here at Lisa’s Reads, I know how hard they work to not only write their story but then publish and market it as well. It is a huge project and often times a lot of stories get lost in the shuffle. Not because the stories aren’t good/great/wonderful but because the market get saturated and stories get lost. That’s one of the reasons why I blog, to keep you informed of all the wonderful books you might miss out on if not for…well..me (Smile!!).

“Running on Empty” is a story that just needs to be read. It’s a story that grabs you by the heart from the first page and never lets it go. We are introduced to Alex, a widowed mother of three young daughters, she is flustered and tired but doing the best she can to figure out how to move on and raise her girls. Ms. Simmons brings her readers into the story during a typical morning routine that any parent has experienced some version of during their parental tenure. We are shown motherhood in all of its “glamor” which can only make you laugh if you have ever spent time around children. In fact, while there are so many amazing and wonderful things about “Running on Empty,” three of them are Alex’s daughters. They are precocious, silly, messy, mischievous, little devil-dolls and their presence is a guaranteed scene stealer. Alex’s best friend, Harlow, is the kind of friend we all wish we could have. She is loving, loyal and always there with sound advice or a swift kick in the ass (which ever is needed is what gets delivered). (more…)

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Adriani Trigiani Adult Contemporary Alice Clayton Ashley McNiel BDSM Bella Andre Bookclub By Author Cathy Lamb Charles Sheehan-Miles Charlie Carillo Colleen Hoover Comedy Darynda Jones Debra Anastasia Eliza Gayle Elle Aycart Erotic Contemporary Erotica Fiction Gail Mchugh Gayle Forman Historical Romance Holly Hood J. Sterling J.A. Redmerski J.R Ward Jaci Burton Jamie Canosa Jay Asher Jess Dee Jessica Park Jonathan Tropper Joshilyn Jackson Judi Fennell K.A. Linde Kate Morton Keary Taylor Kele Moon Kristen Ashley Laura Hillenbrand Lexi Blake Lexxie Couper Lillie Spencer Liz Crowe Lorelei James Lori Foster Lynda LeeAnne Lynn Kiele Bonasia Mari Carr Marie Force Maya Banks Michelle Mankin Molly McAdams New Adult Nicole Williams Non-fiction Non-Romance Rebecca Donovan Romance Romance/Series S.C. Stephens S.J Drum Samantha Young Series Shannon Stacey Sherry Gammon Supernatural Suspense Sylvia Day Tammara Webber Tara Sivec Tiffany King Tina Reber Tracey Garvis-Graves Uncategorized Vivian Arend Young Adult (YA)

2012 Year in (Book) Review…heehee! By Lisa Paul

Hello my friends, I hope this post finds you all well.  I hope your holidays were happy and the year to come holds nothing but health and happiness for you and your loved ones.

I have received feedback from some of you requesting a top ten (or so) list of my favorite books from Lisa’s Reads this year.  After giving the requests a lot of thought I came to this conclusion….I CAN’T do it.  I just CAN’T.  Why, You ask?  I’ll tell you.  If you read the “About Me” section at the top of the page, or if you have been following this blog over the course of the year, you know that I only post books that I LOVE.  I don’t have a rating system…I don’t do negative reviews…I ONLY post books that have won my heart.  That being the case, how could I possibly choose ten books that I love more than the rest of the books I have claimed to love up until this point.  To me, it would be like asking a parent to choose which child she loves more.  I can’t do it.  As any good mom would say, while I do love all of the children (or in this case my books) the same amount, I love them for different reasons.  So what I thought I would do is list for you ALL of the books I reviewed or even mentioned in my blog this year.  However, I will break them into genres/categories to make it a little less overwhelming for you.  **Please understand, the books listed below are NOT listed in any particular order!** It is also important to note that while, for the purpose of this post, I have placed the books in one list or another, a lot of them can be in more then one genre.  When you click on each book, you will be taken directly to it’s original post, there you will be able to see if the book falls into another genre.  Have fun!

Non-Fiction:

Unbroken:A World War 11 Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand

Fiction/Book Club:

Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher

The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morton

Raising Jake” by Charlie Carillo

Some Assembly Required” Lynn Kiele Bonasia

A Grown -Up Kind of Pretty” by Joshilyn Jackson (more…)

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Bookclub Charlie Carillo Fiction Non-Romance

“Raising Jake” by Charlie Carillo

Buy this book here:

Buy for your Kindle:
The Sweet Gum Tree

Buy the Paperback:
The Sweet Gum Tree

I have always been so fascinated by the relationships males have with one another.  Whether it be young boys or gown men, male bonds have an unspoken essence that female relationships just don’t have.  When boys are young, and they have a disagreement  they bite or push each other and then they get over their issue and move on.  As teenagers, they disagree and possibly punch each other and then laugh about it and move on. When they are gown men, hopefully they are past the bodily harm phase but not always, and they use a few choice words, share a beer (or drink of choice) and move on.  Are you getting the pattern?  There is just something about male camaraderie that I really envy.  I don’t want to say that there is NO emotional baggage because sometimes there is, but with guys, 99% of the time what you see is what you get.

That being said, books based on male relationships have always appealed to me.  I am a sucker for almost any book where the main characters are brothers, best friends, fire fighters (swoon), Navy SEAL (swoon and drool), and especially fathers and sons (no swooning.. just a sweet sigh).  When women authors (which is  most of the books I read) write stories, they are able to capture the emotion, the sexuality, the passion and humor in the heroes they are creating.  However, I have learned from some of my favorite male authors, that when men write the stories, they are able to capture the grit, charm, internal conflict and humor that can only come from a man’s perspective.

In Charlie Carillo’s ”Raising Jake,” Carillo is able to take the reader into the to world of a tormented man, Sammy, who just so happens to be a tormented father and son as well.  This is a multi-generational story that takes place through the eyes of a man.  That alone separates it from so many other books I have read.  I can compare Carillo’s writing to that of Jonathan Tropper, my all time favorite male author.  While Carillo does not have Tropper’s sense of humor, he definitely makes up for it with his ability to give each character a depth that will leave you heart-broken and elated at the same time.  In the course of one weekend, and the handy tool of flashbacks, we learn about Sammy’s life before and after fatherhood, we meet Sammy’s awe-inspiring (and title inspiring) son Jake and Sammy’s father Danny.  These three men are the beautifully crafted characters that will put Mr. Carillo on my favorite author list.

I loved reading “Raising Jake”.  I felt like I was riding on the bus with Sammy and Jake and taking the life tour that was so desperately needed for each “boy” to finally become the man he needed to be.  I felt Jake’s confusion and Sammy’s guilt and my own desire to hug them both.  This is not just a book for my wonderful ladies who so faithfully look to me for book suggestions.  I would go out on a limb to say, maybe your husbands (boyfriends) would like this too.

If you are looking for more of a concise book review, please check out my review on Amazon.com. If you go to “Raising Jake” in the Kindle section, I am listed as Lnp416. Check it out.

Tell me what you think.

xo,

Lisa

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