Friday, March 28, 2014

#FF Feature & Follow Friday: A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words (March 28)

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host has their own Feature Blog and it is a great way to learn about new blogs and network with fellow bloggers!

A picture is worth a thousand words….

So for my pictures I have chosen to introduce you to Ranger and Fiona - the doxies who helped to inspire the name of my blog. :) Next to my amazing husband Mr. Doxie, these two darling puppers (who am I kidding?) babies are my world. So, here are my fur-kids...

Here is an angelic moment, brother and sister sleeping after lots of walks and hard play :) Ranger is on the bottom left, and Fie is on the right.

Meet Ranger - he enjoys long walks, chasing squirrels, teasing his sister, naps, treats, and sitting on his toys so his sister can't have them. (Not that it stops her clearly)

Meet Fie (or Fiona) - She enjoys playing with toys, she adores squeakers (so obviously anything that squeaks is AMAZING in her book), she also enjoys walks, playing with her brother, and being a total love-snuggle bug. Fi gets two pictures because when we aren't reading/snuggling, she is up and moving quickly :)

And because I couldn't resist, one more of them more relaxed…Happy tails/tales and happy Friday! Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I'm excited to see what pictures everyone else has shared. Please feel free to comment below and leave a link to your #FF or to your most recent post. Happy Reading!

 This site prefers a follow by bloglovin' and/or GFC


 Tale of Two Doxies

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith (March 26)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This weekly meme is a chance to share upcoming books that you're most excited about.

Why I'm Waiting...

This one just sounds really sweet, fun, and heartwarming. I’m excited to give it a try, plus I like the idea of a long distance, long-term connection. Will they reunite? Will they fall in love? It sounds like a perfect springtime read.


Please feel free to share links to your highly anticipated reads below. It's so exciting to read about everyone else's picks and find new books to add to my TBR list!

 Tale of Two Doxies

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Bucket List/Resolutions (March 25)

Top Ten Tuesdays is a great weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where you get to share fun book related topic top ten lists. It is also another great meme for finding great new books, authors and blogs! 

This week is 

Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List
(bookish resolutions)

1.             Read more Classic Literature (at least a few times a year)

2.             Continuing off of #1: make time to reread favorite classics
Jane Eyre, all Jane Austen’s books, Wuthering Heights, Gone With The Wind, A Separate Peace, etc.

3.             Continued off of #1: read some of the classics off my TBR list

4.             Plan, write, and schedule blog posts ahead more often

5.             Buy some awesome bookends (preferably of a doxie nature)

6.             Read at least 50 books during the year

7.             Give audiobooks another shot (find narrators who do not annoy me)

8.             Read more books a bit outside of my comfort zone (stretch just a bit, sometimes I find some of my new authors this way)

9.             Reorganize home library, and get a new bookshelf to help with storage

10.          Update Bookpedia more regularly so as not to purchase books more than once.

How about you - what are your bookish bucket list top ten?
 Please feel free to comment and link up so I can visit your Top Ten!

 Tale of Two Doxies

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Chick Lit Reviews: Jill Mansell's Don't Want to Miss a Thing and The Unpredictable Consequences of Love


My Thoughts
Ok, to begin with I guess I should state that Jill Mansell is amazing! She is one of my favorite authors – I love her books so much that I order them from Amazon UK and have them shipped over so I can read them – like I said: amazing!
Anyway, with that out of the way…I have recently read to of her amazing books and will be reviewing them today. On a sad note, this means I am all caught up on her books – even the titles that were not released in the US and I special ordered…which means I will have to wait for a new one. This kind of makes me want to cry because like I said – I love her books!
If you are a fan of chick lit, story lines that revolve around multiple characters, contemporary adult, and/or UK authors – then these are definitely books for you. Go now – run, don’t walk and try out a book by Jill Mansell!
As with all Jill Mansell books, we are introduced to an assorted cast of intriguing and engaging characters, each of different ages and experiences.The settings, as to be expected, are charming English ones that just pull at you and makes you wish you were there. Each story feels real to me, has pieces and characters that feel real to life – and I often find myself wanting to be friends with the characters. Each story is filled with moments of love, laughter and tears – these books are perfect. They are the books I look forward to after a long, stressful day – I just want to sit with a warm blanket, my pups, and warm beverage and one of these books to relax with.

Don’t Want To Miss A Thing 
by Jill Mansell

Dexter Yates loves his fun, care-free London life; he has money, looks and girlfriends galore. But everything changes overnight when his sister dies, leaving him in charge of her eight-month-old daughter Delphi. How is he ever going to cope?

Comic-strip artist Molly Hayes lives in the beautiful Cotswold village of Briarwood. When it comes to relationships, she has a history of choosing all the wrong men. Leaving the city behind, Dex moves to Briarwood - a much better place to work on his parenting skills - and he and Molly become neighbours. There's an undeniable connection between them. But if Dexter's going to adapt, he first has a lot to learn about Molly, about other people's secrets...and about himself. (Goodreads)


First, I once again loved the characters, and I loved the sub-plots. I adored the village and the neighbors – I wanted to go live there while reading! I found Molly (one of the main characters) to be very relatable, and warm – I just really enjoyed her: bad decision making and all.

I really enjoyed that the story was made up of both serious and light moments. I found myself absorbed in the story from start to finish and was very sad when it came to an end. The writing flows, and really draws you in.

I really enjoyed the Molly and Dex story line; I also really adored the Dex and Delphi storyline. I loved that the story was about a love that grows, that starts as friendship and just progresses over time – I’d like to see more stories like that.


I know many people would state the predictability of the story and wish it was less so…however I just can’t do that. You see, I actually expect and enjoy some predictability in my Chick Lit. I want the couple to get together in the end, I want a happy ending that cheers me up and gives me hope. For me, the enjoyment of the story is in the journey the how and why of reaching the happy ending, and yeah a bit in the ending itself and it’s resolution – each one is a little different.

So I can’t really complain or have any wishes with this book. At times I found myself frustrated with characters like Dex and Frankie’s husband, but ultimately it was part of the journey and growth of the characters. I also really liked these characters and found them relatable because of their flaws and frustrating bits.

Overall, I would definitely give it a thumbs up and recommend it - so go ahead and grab yourself a copy and a cozy spot to read and relax! :)

**For Recommendations see below second review**


 4 out of 5 Doxies  Liked it a lot, definitely worth a read!

              The Unpredictable Consequences of Love 
                                        by Jill Mansell

When Josh Strachan, newly returned to his home in north Cornwall from sunny California, first meets Sophie Wells, he's immediately smitten. Sophie's pretty, she's funny, she has lots of friends and she clearly loves her job as a photographer, despite the sometimes tricky clients. There's just one problem: Sophie has very firmly turned her back on love. It's nothing personal, she tells Josh, but she just doesn't do dates. And no one - even Sophie's scatty best friend Tula - will tell him why. Josh is sure Sophie likes him, though, and he's just got to find out what's put her off romance. And then put things right... (Goodreads)


Ok, to begin with I LOVED this book. I mean, I truly love all of Jill Mansell’s books, but with any favorite author you have your favorites – this one was definitely one of mine. For me, it hit all the right notes and feels, and I just really enjoyed myself while reading it.

I adored the characters (as I so often do with Ms. Mansell’s books) but in this one I was just really attached to all of them. I really loved feeling like I was experiencing it all with them – the characters were spunky and fun. I wanted to be friends with them and hang out and I definitely wanted them all to get their happy endings – though I really didn’t want it to end!

I thought the back-stories were great in this, and particularly enjoyed Sophie’s. I really felt for her, and I was invested and interested in seeing how things would pan out for her. And I really thought the flashbacks were great, and appreciated them as a means of experiencing some of the back-story. I also really liked watching her growth throughout the book, and her getting some closure.

I appreciated once again, the delicate balance that was made between the more serious and light moments of the novel. These more serious explorations always make it feel real, but the lightness makes it enjoyable and hopeful. I also delighted in the fact that once again, various ages and generations were accounted for in the story. That is something that has always appealed to me about Ms. Mansell’s books – it isn’t all teens, or twenty-somethings, or even thirty-somethings. She strives to provide a varied cast of relatable and likeable characters with their own storylines in each book. Life isn’t all about one age group, and I enjoy seeing different points of views, and experiences across a span of people.


Although I enjoyed the book immensely, and would definitely recommend it (in fact I lent it to a friend already), like any great book you still usually walk away with a wish or two. In this case, I might have liked a bit more of a build up to Josh’s feelings/infatuation with Sophie. Although at the same time, the author did only make him infatuated with her – not in love – which is totally believable.

My biggest wish however would have to be with Laurence, I liked him but I also hated him. It wasn’t his personality that bothered me, in fact, based on that alone I really enjoyed and liked him. It was part of his story line/actions – I’m not a big fan of love triangles or falling in love with someone while in love with someone else. Personally I do believe in true love, I don’t believe there is more than one person out there for each of us – I believe in true love and working on a relationship over time. So, this was really just a matter of personal preference – and it wasn’t an active part of the story, it was part of his back-story. But it still irritated me throughout – mostly because I liked him and I wanted to despise and dismiss him out of hand based on the back-story.

Anyway, overall this book was an amazing read that I would definitely recommend and/or lend (or force) on others. J As my friend Lizzy can attest too. Once again, Jill Mansell has done it – left me with another book to love, a book hangover and a prevailing sadness as I realize I now have to wait for her next book to come out. Luckily I have all the others to reread in the meantime.


If you enjoyed this book and are looking for more romantic, Chick Lit type reads:

I’ve Got Your Number – Sophie Kinsella
Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service – Beth Kendrick
Do or Di– Eileen Cook
The Little Lady Agency – Hester Browne
Faking It – Jennifer Crusie


 5 out of 5 Doxies  Loved it! A must read, reread, and own it book!

 Tale of Two Doxies

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Stacking the Shelves - Birthday Month Edition Continued (March 22)

Stacking the Shelves
- Hosted by: Tynga’s Reviews
Description: Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Audible Buy:

 Heist Society – Ally Carter

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way. (Goodreads)

So, my newest discovery is audible! Now, I was extremely skeptical about listening to books. I loved audio books as a child – and when I was teaching Kindergarten I had a huge audio book library and a listening center. It’s not that I’m against listening to books – I think it’s a great way to get kids into reading! However, I thought it was something I had outgrown and I LOVE reading – seeing the pages, the smell of new books, the crisp turning of the page (yep – I’m a reading nerd). Anyway, I kept seeing audio book reviews and heard about audible – saw the offer a free book to try and I thought “why not?”.

So, in any event my Audible grab of the week consisted of a YA book that I LOVE! I actually already own this book in hardcover but I figured it had been awhile since I’ve reread it and I’d love to listen to it in the car on the way to and from work. So I grabbed a copy of Heist Society by Ally Carter. I love this series, if you haven’t had the chance to check it out yet I highly recommend – it’s great! I love it as a book and as an audio listen, I really enjoy the narrator.

Birthday Kindle Buys:

The Convenient Groom - Denise Hunter                                                  

She wrote the book--literally--on finding the right mate. But does she really understand what love's about?

Five hours before her Nantucket beach wedding--and on the eve of her big book launch--celebrity marriage counselor Kate Lawrence has everything in place.

Everything, that is, but the groom. She might not have a career, either, when her nationwide audience finds out their marriage guru has been left at the altar.

Enter Lucas Wright, who offers to stand in for the missing husband-to-be and marry her. Kate's desperate enough to agree--although she's sure this Mr. Wright is completely wrong for her. But can they pull it off? And why would Lucas marry her in the first place?

Could it be that "Dr. Kate" doesn't know the first thing about love? (Goodreads)

 Cress – Marissa Meyer

Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can. (Goodreads)

So, I’m very lucky because my birthday fun continued this week. My birthday was the beginning of the month, but my gifts have been arriving/being purchased with amazing gift cards. And while my family might not understand it – I am once again so excited to receive books for my birthday!

My Kindle birthday grabs for this week consisted of one YA author and one adult author. My first grab was Denise Hunter’s The Convenient Groom. It was actually also a Kindle Deal so it was a $1.99 gift card grab. I’ve read a few of her books and I really enjoy them. They are light, easy romantic reads.

My other YA author grab was the fabulous Marissa Meyer’s newest title Cress. I’ve been reading a copy loaned to me (an arc edition borrowed from my amazing friend Lizzy over at Cornucopia of Reviews), but I knew I had to own it too.

     Birthday Bookstore Gifts:

Crossed (Matched #2) – Ally Condie

The Society chooses everything.

The books you read.
The music you listen to.
The person you love.

Yet for Cassia the rules have changed. Ky has been taken and she will sacrifice everything to find him.

And when Cassia discovers Ky has escaped to the wild frontiers beyond the Society there is hope.

But on the edge of society nothing is as it seems...

A rebellion is rising.

And a tangled web of lies and double-crosses could destroy everything. (Goodreads)

 Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe – Jenny Colgan

Having grown up in an apartment above her Grandpa Joe's little bakery, Issy Randal has always known how to make something sweet. She's much better at baking than she is at filing, so when she's laid off from her desk job, Issy decides to open up her own little café.
But she soon learns that her piece-of-cake plan will take all her courage and confectionary talent to avert disaster. Funny and sharp, Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe is about how life might not always taste like what you expect, but there's always room for dessert! (Goodreads)

 Of Poseidon – Anna Banks

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch! —both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...

Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance. (Goodreads)

 Pretty Crooked – Elisa Ludwig

Willa’s secret plan seems all too simple: take from the rich kids at Valley Prep and give to the poor ones.

Yet Willa’s turn as Robin Hood at her ultra-exclusive high school is anything but. Bilking her “friends”—known to everyone as the Glitterati—without them suspecting a thing is far from easy. Learning how to pick pockets and break into lockers is as difficult as she’d thought it’d be. Delivering care packages to the scholarship girls, who are ostracized just for being from the “wrong” side of town, is way more fun than she’d expected.

The complication Willa didn’t expect, though, is Aidan Murphy, Valley Prep’s most notorious (and gorgeous) ace-degenerate. His mere existence is distracting Willa from what matters most to her: evening the social playing field between the haves and have-nots. There’s no time for crushes and flirting with boys, especially conceited and obnoxious trust-funders like Aidan.

But when the cops start investigating the string of thefts at Valley Prep and the Glitterati begin to seek revenge, could Aidan wind up being the person that Willa trusts most? (Goodreads)

 The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart. (Goodreads)

 The Tragedy Paper – Elizabeth LaBan

Perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Looking for Alaska, Jennifer Weiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author, calls Elizabeth LaBan’s The Tragedy Paper “a beguiling and beautifully written tale of first love and heartbreak.” 

It follows the story of Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “It” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim's surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.

Jumping between viewpoints of the love-struck Tim and Duncan, a current senior about to uncover the truth of Tim and Vanessa, The Tragedy Paper is a compelling tale of forbidden love and the lengths people will go to keep their secrets. (Goodreads)

 You Had Me At Hello – Mhairi McFarlane

What happens when the one that got away comes back? Find out in this sparkling debut from Mhairi McFarlane.

‘Think of the great duos of history. We're just like them.’
‘You mean like Kylie and Jason? Torvill and Dean? Sonny and Cher?’
‘I think you’ve missed the point, Rachel.’

Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart. It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away.

They’d been partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on: Ben is married. Rachel is not. Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.

Hilarious, heartbreaking and everything in between, you’ll be hooked from their first ‘hello’. (Goodreads)

So, continuing on in the birthday amazingness that brings me to tears from so many great books – I have these additional delights to add to my TBR pile. This pile consists of two new to me adult authors, and three new to me YA authors and one YA author I’ve read before. So exciting!

I have now added Meet Me at the Cupcake Café and You Had Me At Hello to my TBR pile. The Cupcake Café has a cute cover (and hello cupcakes?) it is by UK author Jenny Colgan and was recommended to me as someone I might enjoy since I love Jill Mansell. I’m super excited to try it and hope this author is even nearly as great as the amazing Jill Mansell whose books I have run out of and will now have to survive by rereading until her next one is released. The other author is also completely new to me, but the cover looks cute and I like the sound of the plot.

For my amazing YA assortment: I have the second book in the Matched series – Crossed by Ally Condie. Looking forward to finally finding out what happens next since I read Matched forever ago and haven’t gotten around to the second one until now.

The Winner’s Curse has an amazing cover, and I have been waiting for this one to release so I pretty excited to get started on this read. Of Poseiden was one I kept seeing around, I like the sound of the story and the cover was intriguing so I’m excited to dive in and give this one a chance.
The Tragedy Paper had an intriguing cover and premise, therefore I grabbed it off a display table at B&N when browsing with my birthday money. And finally, I’ve been on the fence about Pretty Crooked. The cover and story are very reminiscent of a favorite of mine (Heist Society) and to me it sounds like HS crossed with Robin Hood. I’ll be excited to see how it goes.

So, there ends the amazingness of my week so far. 
How about you? What were your finds this week? 
Please feel free to comment and share a link to your new reads below. 

 Tale of Two Doxies