Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Review: A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge

Heirloom recipes, family secrets…and a chance for love
The youngest heir to a French-Italian restaurant dynasty, food writer Juliette D’Alisa has spent her life negotiating her skill with words and her restaurant aspirations. When her brother Nico offers her a chance to open a restaurant together, she feels torn—does she really have what it takes? Should she risk leaving her journalism career?

After the death of her grandmother, Juliette discovers an antique photograph of a man who looks strikingly like her brother. As the truth behind the picture reveals romance and dark secrets, Juliette struggles to keep the mystery away from her nosy family until she can uncover the whole story.

Inspired by her grandmother’s evolving story, Juliette resolves to explore the world of online dating. To her surprise, she finds a kindred spirit in Neil McLaren, a handsome immunologist based in Memphis, Tennessee. With a long-distance relationship simmering, Juliette faces life-shifting decisions. How can she possibly choose between a promising culinary life and Neil, a man a world away in more ways than one? And is it possible her Grandmother’s story can help show the way?

My Thoughts/Review

A Table by the Window was an interesting story! I really admired Jules! I enjoyed her spunk and even uncertainty, but most of all her descriptions of food! Her column that she wrote for the newspaper as well as other food-related articles was mouth watering and delightful!

The highlight of the novel for me was by far the romance! I loved it! Neil is such a great guy and his patience with Jules is so sweet! I am eagerly looking forward to reading more of their romance!

However it was hard for me to keep an interest throughout the entire novel! I felt like I only really got into the story when family secrets were discovered and the romance grew! I thought it fascinating what Jules learned/learning and the time she puts into finding those secrets out! Other times I felt the story fell a little flat, but the food quotes and recipes definitely helped me keep turning pages!

Overall I did enjoy A Table by the Window! It wasn't exactly what I expected and definitely caught me off guard in the parts that wrapped me into the storyline! When book 2 comes out I will be looking forward to getting my hands on it! 

I give this novel a 3.5/4 out of 5 stars! 

About the Author

Hillary Manton Lodge is the author of Plain Jayne, a Carol Award Finalist, and Simply Sara, an ECPA Bestselling book. A graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, Hillary discovered the world of cuisine during her internship at Northwest Palate Magazine. Her latest novel, A Table By the Window, will release in May of 2014 from WaterBrook Publishing Group.

At an early age, Hillary decided on royalty as a career path. A storyteller at heart, she admits that publishing is plenty exciting, and marriage to an engineer results in a less complicated in-law situation. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, watching foreign films, and going on motorcycle rides. She and her husband live in Richland, Washington.

Learn more at her blog,  http://hillaryonwriting.blogspot.com/.

Monday, July 28, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

 "It's Monday! What Are You Reading?" is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey where we share what we're reading and our goals for the week.

What I Read Last Week...

Sadly I didn't read much this past week! :(

What I'm Reading Now...

It's been a little slow for me in getting into A Table by the Window! I'm hoping it picks up a little more to fully gain my interest!

What I Hope to Read This Week...

I definitely plan to start Out of Hiding this week for sure and hopefully One Realm Beyond

There's a glimpse into my reading world! What about you? What are you reading?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Author Interview with Heather Manning

About the Author...


Heather Manning is a young lady who loves to read—and write. She has won multiple competitions for her writing with “Nextgen Writers” and placed first in some writing contests with the “Go Teen Writers” blog and is a proud member of ACFW. She lives in Missouri where she attends high school, acts in community theatre, eats donuts and reads every Inspirational Historical Romance she can get her hands on.

About the Book...

Lady Eden Trenton never wanted to leave her privileged existence in London—until her father invites a dangerous suitor into her life. Left with few options, Eden devises the best reprieve she can: escape. Chasing freedom, she stows away aboard a pirate ship, praying she will gain her independence in the colonies before she is discovered by the nefarious crew. 

Captain Caspian Archer has spent the last five years hardening his heart and searching to exact revenge for the event that tore his life to shreds. When he catches word that his enemy is residing in Jamaica, Caspian steers his ship toward the colonies in all haste. His plans soon change, however, when he discovers the young beauty hiding in his ship’s hold. 

Cut from the only lives they have known, Caspian and Eden are pulled together as each pursues a fresh hope upon the sea.

Buy on Amazon or add to Goodreads!  


Let's Chat! 

 - What inspired you to write Swept to Sea?

I originally wanted to write a story about three best friends who find themselves involved with pirates...and suddenly, I came up with the idea for Swept to Sea. Lady Eden Trenton stows away on a pirate ship to escape her abusive fiance, and her friends end up following her to come to her rescue.

- Have you been on any kind of sailing adventures?

Actually, when I was younger, I had a terrible fear of sailing. I was always scared that we would sink and then sharks would eat us. I know, sad, right? Haha but later on I grew to love the ocean. One time I went to Alaska and took a cruise tour of the ocean up there. We got caught in the storms and the waves were so violent I was afraid we would capsize! All together, though, I have not sailed nearly as much as I wish I would have. A lot of the sailing in Swept to Sea just comes from research.

- Which of your characters would you like to meet and why?

I would truly love to meet all of them! But I think my favorite would be Reed, my hero's young son. I love little kids and Reed is just so cute that I think he would be so fun to meet.

- What was the most interesting/fascinating thing you learned when doing research for this novel?

Hmm....I learned so much while researching Swept to Sea! I guess an odd bit that I learned that didn't make it into the novel was that in England during the time Swept to Sea happens, households were charged "window taxes." This meant they were charged a tax for each window in their home. To get around this, they would fill up their windows with bricks. This didn't make it into my book, but I thought it was fascinating!

- One of my favorite things about reading Christian novels is the Biblical message that is weaved into the lives of the characters. Is there something special that God taught/showed you while going through the process of writing?

Well one major message weaved into Swept to Sea is trust in God, and I think this applies to me and anyone else who reads it. My main character, Eden, has trouble trusting God and runs away from all of her problems. My hero, Caspian, wants to take matters into his own hands through revenge rather than trusting in God for justice. I think this can apply to everyone.

- What’s next for you in the writing world?

I'm editing my second novel, Carried Home, right now, and working on writing my third, Tossed Together. These focus on some secondary characters in Swept to Sea, and Caspian and Eden will make a few reappearances.

- Lastly, where can your readers connect with you online? 

Readers can find me on my blog: heathermauthor.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heather-Manning-Author/140994172751360
And Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeatherM_Author 

Thanks so much for stopping by Heather! It was a pleasure having you! 
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