Category Archives: Lisa Book Club

Sunday 11/27 Updates

Happy Sunday and it’s the last Sunday of November. This last week has been a combination of Birthday, Thanksgiving and politics. Only in Louisiana that happens. On to some updates :

Spotlight on Book series, KU Book Reviews ,Library Loans and Throwback Thursday.

My Lisa Book Club : Christmas Cookie Exchange : Books and recipes every Saturday at the Melville Library.

2022 November Book Challenge :

My Book Review Favorites of this month:

Latest Post on the Blog:

I am linking too these blogs:

Salon, Sunday post , and Stacking Shelves

Book Review: The Christmas Cookie Collection

The New York Times Bestselling Author ofThe First Love Cookie Clubreturns to Twilight, Texas,with one brand-new story and three storiesnever before in print!

There’s a legend in Twilight, Texas. It says that if on Christmas you sleep with kismet cookies under your pillow and dream of your one true love, he will be your destiny.

Carrie, Raylene, Christine, and Flynn are all members of the Christmas Cookie Club. Each has a story to tell, and each discovers the miracles of the season and the power of love.

Carrie: Reconnects with her high school sweetheart . . .the only man she’s ever loved.

Raylene: Discovers that the daughter she gave awayat birth is living right in Twilight . . .

Christine: Has given up on love . . . until the man ofher dreams walks through her shop door.

Grace: It’s Christmas Eve and Flynn and Jesse Calloway are thrilled to be expecting a new baby. Then Flynn’s car hits a patchof ice, and Jesse must move earth . . . and heaven . . .to save her and their unborn child.

From the Library Collection:

The small town of Twilight, Texas, has a legend. If you toss a coin into the fountain you will be reunited with your high school sweetheart. Carrie used to believe, but not anymore. Then Mark, her first love, returns to town because of his job. A cute story about second chances, finding what’s really important in your life, true love and a HEA. My only complaint is that the story wasn’t longer. A fun, quick read.

Welcome to Lisa Book Club Cookie Exchange at the Melville Library ! Across my blogs I will feature Books, Cookie recipes and Fun & Games.

Lagniappe : Little Something Extra

Happy Saturday as I promised a look at Historic New Orleans Garden district that lots of the characters call home !

Jackson square , New Orleans for art or tarot reading

s a historic park in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960, for its central role in the city’s history, and as the site where in 1803 Louisiana was made United States territory pursuant to the Louisiana Purchase.[2][3] In 2012 the American Planning Association designated Jackson Square as one of the Great Public Spaces in the United States

My favorite Haunted Bar and Dark Hunter spot;

The Ghosts of Haunted Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop

941 Bourbon St, New Orleans, Louisiana 70116

There are few buildings in the French Quarter which are associated with ghosts more than this haunted bar.

On Bourbon Street sits a quiet and unassuming building. Not only is it one of the oldest buildings in the French Quarter, it is also one of the most haunted. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop has a long haunted history. For years, there have been reports of ghosts, even what is possibly the ghost of Jean Lafitte, haunting this building which is now a bar.

Halloween drink:

Hemlock Cocktail recipe

2 pieces orange peel

2 vanilla beans, split in half 

2 sugar cubes 

4 dashes bitters 

4 ounces bourbon 

2 orange slices, for garnish 

In two rocks glasses, muddle the orange peel, vanilla beans and sugar cubes with the bitters. Add in the bourbon and some ice. Garnish with an orange slice.

Book Review: Small Town, Big Magic

Library loan

There’s no such thing as witches…right?

Emerson Wilde has built the life of her dreams. Youngest Chamber of Commerce president in St. Cyprian history, successful indie bookstore owner, and lucky enough to have her best friends as found family? Done.

But when Emerson is attacked by creatures that shouldn’t be real, and kills them with what can only be called magic, Emerson finds that the past decade of her life has been…a lie. St. Cyprian isn’t your average Midwestern river town—it’s a haven for witches. When Emerson failed a power test years ago, she was stripped of her magical memories. Turns out, Emerson’s friends are all witches.

And so is she.

That’s not all, though: evil is lurking in the charming streets of St. Cyprian. Emerson will need to learn to control what’s inside of her, remember her magic, and deal with old, complicated feelings for her childhood friend–cranky-yet-gorgeous local farmer Jacob North—to defeat an enemy that hides in the rivers and shadows of everything she loves.

Even before she had magic, Emerson would have done anything for St. Cyprian, but now she’ll have to risk not just her livelihood…but her life.

Witchlore series

Book 1: Small Town, Big Magic
Book 2: Big Little Spells (coming 2023)

Library Book Review:

I just finished this book, and it was exactly what I was looking for: a cozy, witchy, wholesome October read. The small-town setting of St. Cyprius was described beautifully, and I felt as if I were strolling all over the town right along with the main character, Emerson. Emerson was a well-developed character, with the book largely reading as Emerson’s stream of consciousness, which worked well for the book. I do wish that the side characters had been more well-developed; as it stands, they were a bit standard and bland. The romance in this book could have also been a bit more detailed, as Emerson’s love interest seemed very “run of the mill.” Still, this was absolutely an enjoyable read and I am looking forward to the second book.

Book Review: Mr October

Halloween has come early in this steamy, friends-to-lovers, teacher/teacher romance filled with secret pining, fun hijinks, and quirky small-town feels.

Sabrina is no stranger to the Halloween pranks played around Grimsby, Indiana in the month of October. In fact, she is the recipient of nearly all of them. Usually, she would laugh it off and spend the rest of the month looking over her shoulder anxiously awaiting the next scare. But not this year. She’s ready to fight prank with prank…starting with her best friend and Grimsby High’s favorite history teacher: Mr. October.

*Mr. October is a 15k word novella

Book Review

This book was a sweet spicy fantastic quick read. I really enjoyed the characters and only wish it was a little longer because | just wanted more Sabrina and Adam.
I loved the pranks, I did laugh out loud at one of them in particular. Overall, a very sweet and light hearted novella that I really enjoyed.

Book Review: Ramón and Julieta

National Hispanic Heritage Month

As seen in People en Español!

One of NPR’s “Books We Love”

A PopSugar and BookBub Most Anticipated Romance of 2022!

When fate and tacos bring Ramón and Julieta together on the Day of the Dead, the star-crossed pair must make a choice: accept the bitter food rivalry that drives them apart or surrender to a love that consumes them—perfect for fans of Jane the Virgin!

Ramón Montez always achieves his goals. Whether that means collecting Ivy League degrees or growing his father’s fast-food empire, nothing sets Ramón off course. So when the sexy señorita who kissed him on the Day of the Dead runs off into the night with his heart, he determines to do whatever it takes to find her again. 
Celebrity chef Julieta Campos has sacrificed everything to save her sea-to-table taqueria from closing. To her horror, she discovers that her new landlord is none other than the magnetic mariachi she hooked up with on Dia de los Muertos. Even worse, it was his father who stole her mother’s taco recipe decades ago. Julieta has no choice but to work with Ramón, the man who destroyed her life’s work—and the one man who tempts and inspires her. 
As San Diego’s outraged community protests against the Taco King takeover and the divide between their families grows, Ramón and Julieta struggle to balance the rising tensions. But Ramón knows that true love is priceless and despite all of his successes, this is the one battle he refuses to lose.

Book Review (library)

 Ramón and Julieta is a story of love despite the rift between families, yes, but also the story of a community coming together and the opportunity to right wrongs. Recommended for readers who appreciate retold classics, Chicano culture, examinations of real issues through fiction, and the idea that true love can pierce even the toughest walls built of grudges, hate, bad blood, and old wrongs.

Book Review: Enchant the Dawn 

Desire. Danger. Deception. The scion of the Falconer vampire clan inspires them all…

When a mysterious man rescues Madison Bainbridge from a random attack, she sees only his broad shoulders, his gray eyes, his kindness. But as she gets to know Dominic, her attraction wars with the certainty he’s keeping big secrets. Who is the menacing beauty following him around? What of the palm-reader who stops her in the park? And who’s watching them from the shadows?
Young vampire Dominic Falconer wanted nothing more than a few weeks in New Orleans, a chance to see the city on his own. He didn’t expect to be captivated by lovely Maddy—or for enemies to surround him, eager to use the stirrings of his heart to bring down his family.
A hostile rival is out for vengeance. Domonic’s fellow Hungarian vampires are vanishing without a trace. And the shadowy Knights of the Dark Wood want nothing more than to get hold of Dominic himself. But Dominic and Maddy have a connection worth fighting for—and a passion that will awaken the unexpected in them both . .

Book Review:

When a mysterious man rescues Madison Bainbridge from a random attack, she sees only his broad shoulders, his gray eyes, and his kindness. But as she gets to know him, Madison realizes that he’s keeping secrets. Vampire Dominic Falconer wanted nothing more than a few weeks in New Orleans. He didn’t expect his intense feelings for Maddy, or for his enemies to take advantage of the situation.
This was a great vampire paranormal romance filled with interesting characters, and a plot that kept me interested until the last page. Madison was a very likeable heroine, although she was a little naïve, at times. Dominic was the alpha hero, who was into protecting Madison at all costs. The romance seemed a little convoluted and quick. This story included vampires, witches and spellcasting. There was mild violence, which mostly included biting. I recommend this story to readers of paranormal romance. 

Book Review: Salted Caramel Bliss with a Wedding Kiss 

Roman Briggs has built a life for himself in Siren’s Cove. He restored the Sugar Cones Ice Cream Parlor and turned it into a popular stop along the boardwalk. He has everything he needs until a certain blue-eyed woman wanders back into his life.

Seer and witch Peyton Woods isn’t sure why her latest visions feature a man and boy she’s never met. Determined to find out, she casts a spell that leads her to a small beach town in Maine and, to her utter surprise, the man who broke her heart eight years earlier.

Peyton’s left with one question. Why didn’t her magic show her him?

Book Pick :

Salted Caramel Bliss With A Wedding Kiss – love the title – is a beautiful romantic story. The hero is a handsome single dad who made mistakes. The heroine is a witch who likes to help people. The magic reminded me of the TV series Bewitched, one of my favorites.

I’ll look forward to more books by this author, and, hopefully, they’ll be set in Siren’s Cove. I would like to visit this beach town again.

Book Review: Love in the End Zone 

Pro quarterbacks regularly face tough linemen determined to knock them down—but for one hotshot athlete, it was an infuriating blonde who stood the best chance of laying him on his back.

I was one of the top quarterbacks in the league, riding high after scoring a lucrative deal with the DC Rockets. Fans adored me, sponsors wanted me, and women, well, they were eager to date me. Except my life revolved around football, not falling in love.

Until I saw her.

I’d just scored the winning touchdown, sending the Rockets into the playoffs and ending the Virginia Thunder’s season. I spiked the ball and basked in the fans’ cheers. I’d done it. But then I took off my helmet and locked eyes with a gorgeous blonde.

She wasn’t cheering. Instead, she stood with her arms crossed, glaring at me. I smirked and winked, hoping to soften her murderous expression. Except it had the opposite effect. Rather than smiling back, she lifted her hand and extended her middle finger before disappearing into the crowd.

That was unexpected.

After my press conference, I couldn’t stop thinking about the woman in the stands. It didn’t help that social media had turned our interaction into a meme, and then I found out that the beauty was none other than Reese Parker, granddaughter of Charles Reese, owner of the Virginia Thunder. Which explained her reaction… sort of.

I should have been preparing for the playoffs, but all I wanted to do was convince her I wasn’t enemy number one—and that scoring with me would be her best move.

Book pick:

Trent and Reese had great chemistry and I liked how the relationship evolved. I did go into this thinking it was going to be more of an enemies to lovers situation which it started off as but then soon became more friends to lovers. A very sweet sports romance which made me smile

Book Review: Blitzing Emily: A Love and Football

Love and Football (7books)

All’s fair in Love and Football . . .

Emily Hamilton doesn’t trust men. She’s much more comfortable playing the romantic lead in front of a packed house onstage than in her own life. So when NFL star and alluring ladies’ man Brandon McKenna acts as her personal white knight, she has no illusions that he’ll stick around. However, a misunderstanding with the press throws them together in a fake engagement that yields unexpected (and breathtaking) benefits.

Every time Brandon calls her “Sugar,” Emily almost believes he’s playing for keeps—not just to score. Can she let down her defenses and get her own happily ever after?

Book Review (from library)

Brandon & Emily start out with a lie but end up with the real thing. The adventures along the way were comical, heart warming & sad at times. Very well written. A fun and enjoyable love story making for a great series starter.