Friday, September 8, 2017

Blog Tour: Two Last First Dates by Kate O'Keeffe {Review & Excerpt with Giveaway}


Romantic, Comedy, Chick Lit, Fiction
Publication.Date:August 8th 2017

Published By:  Wild Lime Books

My review copy:
I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

Where to get:



To Paige Miller, Two Last First Dates sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

Paige is having a rough time. She's unhappy in her career and her One Last First Date ended in total disaster. Now, she has to figure out what to do professionally and personally. Life as a spinster with fifteen cats doesn't sound too bad, though.

Deciding to give up on love, Paige begrudgingly befriends Josh Bentley, the friendly coffee delivery guy, while helping out at the Cozy Cottage Café. His T-shirts make her eyes roll, but their runs have become an important part of her day and a blessing to her waistline, because Bailey's cakes are too good to pass up.

Meanwhile, her best friends offer to find Mr. Right for her, and all Paige has to do is let them. Then, the man of her dreams walks through the door. Marcus Hahn is as good-looking as he is charming, and any thoughts Paige had of being alone with those fifteen cats, fly out the window. Now, she just has to hope her friends choose him as her Last First Date.

But in the end, are Two Last First Dates enough to find The One?

“Look, Helena. I’ve got to do something. I’ll talk to you later, okay? I promise.”

She gave me a meaningful look. “Sure. You go, girl. I’ll back you up, no matter what.”

She hit her fist against her chest, like she was a centurion, pledging her allegiance to me.

I turned and walked through the line of cubicles to Portia’s office, nodding as people

said hello. This wasn’t the time to be social. I was on a mission, and I wasn’t going to allow

anything to get in my way.

I arrived at Portia’s office and stood, collecting my thoughts. I could see her sitting at

her desk, immaculate as always in a pale pink suit with black trim, tap-tapping on her

keyboard. I lifted my hand and knocked firmly on her door. Her head popped up, a look of

surprise on her face.

“Paige. What are you doing here?” she asked, pushing her chair back and standing up.

Did she look nervous?

I stepped into her office and closed the door behind myself, leaning up against it as my

heart raced. “I need to talk to you.”

“Okay,” she replied uncertainly. She gestured for me to take a seat. I shook my head in

refusal. I needed to be standing for this.

“I thought we’d said all we were going to say last night?”

“No, Portia. You said all you were going to say. I didn’t.”

She tilted her head. “Oh?”

I clenched my hands at my side, preparing to launch into the speech I’d practiced on the

way here this morning. My mind was made up; I had something to say.

I took a deep breath and looked directly at her. “Portia, I quit.”

Okay, so it wasn’t much of a speech, and practicing it hadn’t exactly taken very long

this morning, but I wanted to ensure I hit the right tone. And hadn’t I learned in my years in

marketing that a clear, simple message was the most effective?

To my unutterable surprise, Portia laughed. “I think you misunderstand, Paige. I fired


“No, you didn’t. Your exact words were, ‘I’m moving you on.’ I remember. You never

said I was fired.”

She shot me a condescending look, as though I was a three-year- old who needed to

have the difference between a hug and a punch explained to them. “Paige. We talked about

this. Your work has not been up to scratch for some time now. That’s why I am moving you


I jutted out my chin, defiant. “But you can’t. Because I quit.”

She put her manicured hands up in surrender. “Sure. If that’s the way you want to play

it, fine. Take your petty revenge over whatever it is you think I have or haven’t done.”

“I will. Thank you.” My voice dripped with sarcasm.

As I turned and put my hand on the doorknob, ready to leave, she added, “So, do I take

it you don’t want that job in Dwight’s division, then?”

I pursed me lips. It was true, Portia had fired me—or “moved me on,” as she’d insisted

on calling it—but she’d also offered me a role in her colleague Dwight Barlow’s team,

working in product development. She thought I’d be a better “fit” there as she didn’t think

email marketing campaigns were “quite my passion,” as she’d put it. I’d almost scoffed. Of

course, email marketing campaigns weren’t my passion! Was she insane?

My interest had been piqued by the chance to work for a different boss, someone

perhaps whose team wasn’t plotting to torture and kill him. That never makes for a

harmonious working environment, in my experience. So last night, I’d agreed. Getting away

from Portia and my yawn-inducing job had been the most important things to me.

And today? Things felt . . . different.

I narrowed my eyes at Portia, with the supercilious look she so often had on her face.

Although I’d never shared Helena’s Tarantino-inspired depth of hatred for her, this was the

last time I ever wanted to lay eyes on her again.

“You know what, Portia? I don’t want that job, or any job at AGD. Let’s agree I quit

and I’ll leave right now. I even brought my own box to clear my stuff.”

She pursed her lips and stared at me through her designer glasses.

I locked my jaw and squeezed my hands into fists at my sides once more. What was her

next move going to be?

Still staring at me, she let out a puff of air and nodded.

I’d won.

I smiled at her. “Good. We’re done here.”

I could almost hear that old nineties band, singing I’ve got the power! as I flung

Portia’s office door open and strode toward my desk, people popping their heads over the

tops of their cubicles to see what was going on as I passed by. My heart was racing,

adrenaline was pumping around my body at a rate of knots, and it felt good, oh so good!

Daa-da, da-da- daa-da . . . I’ve got the power!

I reached my desk and began to collect my things. Before I could say “wannabe

gangster,” Helena was at the entrance to my cubicle. “Oh, my god! What happened?” She

glanced at the box in my hands, half full of my personal paraphernalia. “Oh, hell. She fired

you, didn’t she? That nasty, conniving bitch!”

At Helena’s loud exclamation, several more of my colleagues arrived at my cubicle.

“Did you say Paige was fired?” one asked. “Oh, my god!” exclaimed another.

It's getting, it's getting, it's getting kinda hectic. Daa-da, da-da- daa-da.

“You cannot take this, Paige! This is wrong, so wrong. You must have your revenge!”

Helena exclaimed vehemently, her fist in the air, her face turning purple with rage.

I half expected her to launch into the Samuel L. Jackson Ezekiel vengeance speech I’d

enjoyed while watching Pulp Fiction. I admit, I’d rewound and watched that speech a few

times. But instead, I held my box against my body and smiled at them all. “Actually, I quit.”

There was a collective gasp.

“You did? Why?” someone asked as another said, “Good for you!” Helena gawped at


“Yup. And . . . I have to go.” I collected my jacket and dropped it into the box and

slung my purse over my shoulder.

“But . . . don’t you have to work your month’s notice out?” Helena asked.

“I figured since The Princess doesn’t exactly want me around, we’d forget about that

whole notice thing.”

My—now ex—colleagues stepped aside like the parting of the Red Sea, and I walked

through them all. “Bye, everyone! It was great to work with you all. Good luck!”

“Hey,” Helena said, grabbing my arm. “Good for you.”

I grinned at her. “Thanks. It was nice working with you. And thanks for the tip on

Tarantino. I’m not sure I would have done this if it hadn’t been for him.”

She gave me a knowing nod. “Quentin changes lives.”

Usually, I would have thought she’d possibly taken her admiration for the guy a little

too far, but in this, I decided she was right.

Stay off my back, or I will attack and you don't want that. Daa-da da-da- daa-da.

As I left, I glanced up between the row of cubicles toward Portia’s office. She was

standing, watching me, her skinny arms crossed across her chest. I waved and smiled at her,

enjoying every moment of my minor triumph.

I was no longer an Email Marketing Assistant. I was out of here. And I was free.

I am definitely swooning right now and can barely catch my breath.

I went into this story expecting a sweet love novel and I came out with so much more.

Paige thought she met the love of her life when she met Will but soon got her heart broken when she came to realize, he wasn't hers to love. Bamn shot through the heart. Paige swore she was done with men and love was not something that was going to happen for her. She certainly wasn't going to play the game her two girlfriends wanted to. The Last First Date was a competition of sorts that her and her girlfriends thought up where the friends pick the guy you will have your last first date with. This will be the one you will marry. After her heartache over Will, Paige can't even imagine this happening for her.

In walks Marcus, who could be  Channing Tatum's double. He's gorgeous and definitely swoon material. Paige is convinced he is her last first date. 

The author does an amazing job at making this book stand on its own, even though this is the second book in the series. She also makes you fall in love with Paige easily and you find yourself routing for her to find herself and have her happily ever after.

I definitely think this author is one to watch and I will definitely be tearing into her books moving forward. Can't wait to read the first book in this series next.

This book is more than just an amazing romance. It's also about following your dreams and not letting others pigeon hole you into thinking you can't find a new career, a new life and a new guy all at the same time.

Kate O'Keeffe is an award-nominated author of fun, feel-good romantic comedies. She lives and loves in beautiful New Zealand with her family, two scruffy dogs, and a cat who thinks he's a scruffy dog too. He's not: he's a cat.

To date, Kate's written the chick lit series, the Wellywood Romantic Comedy Series, and the new Cozy Cottage Café Series.

Where to Find AUTHOR



Monday, August 28, 2017

Blog Tour: the Keep of Ages trilogy by Caragh M. O'brien (Playlist + Giveaway)

Welcome to Day #9 of the Keep of Ages Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of The Keep of Ages (Vault of Dreamers #3) by Caragh M. O'brien (8/29/17), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Caragh and 10 chances to win a complete set of The Vault of Dreamers Trilogy!

Bookish Lifestyle gets to share the Keep of Ages Playlist! Check it out below!

The Keep of Ages Playlist

The Keep of Ages is an intricate, mysterious story about family, dreams, and what it means to be alive, with scenes in the Arizona desert at evening time, at a ruin of a horror theme park, deep underground, and along the Pacific shoreline in full, shimmering sunlight. Finding songs for this play list, I included favorites I listened to while I was writing, (such as “Burning House” and “She Used to Be Mine”) others that tie to certain themes (“Demons” and “Castle on the Hill”), and still others that match well with key scenes in the plot (“Malibu” and “A Life That’s Good”).  Together, the songs reflect many of the moods, turning points, and characters of the novel.

Blog Tour Schedule:
August 16th — BookhoundsYA August 17th — Fiktshun
August 18thBook Briefs August 21st — The Fandom
August 22nd — A Dream Within a Dream August 23rdThe Reading Nook
August 24th — Reading Teen August 25th — YA Books Central August 28th — Bookish Lifestyle August 29th — Mundie Moms

About the Book:

In the fast-paced, high-stakes conclusion to Caragh M. O'Brien's Vault of Dreamers trilogy, Rosie travels to a derelict theme park to shut down dream mining once and for all. Driven by fear when Dean Berg kidnaps her family, Rosie Sinclair strikes out across the country to rescue them. When an elusive trail leads her to Grisly Valley, the contaminated ruin of a horror theme park, Rosie has to consider that Berg may once again be manipulating her every move to make her fearful, priming her for a final, lethal dream mining procedure. As Rosie struggles to outmaneuver Berg, she unearths the ultimate vault of dreamers and the hint of a consciousness more powerful and dangerous than any she's imagined before. Faced with unspeakable suffering and otherworldly beauty, Rosie must discover how to trust her mind, her friends, and reality itself. Propulsive and deeply speculative, The Keep of Ages concludes the Vault of Dreamers trilogy with stirring possibilities for what it means to be alive.
About the Author

Caragh M. O’Brien is the author of the BIRTHMARKED trilogy and THE VAULT OF DREAMERS series, both from Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Ms. O’Brien was educated at Williams College and earned her MA in the Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University. Her young adult science fiction has been honored by the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, the Amelia Bloomer Award, the Junior Library Guild, and numerous state reading lists. A former high school English teacher, she now writes young adult novels full time from her home in rural Connecticut


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Friday, August 11, 2017

The FIfty Bookish Questions Book Tag

The Fifty Bookish Questions Book Tag

Hello fellow bloggers and readers, it’s Friday and I felt like posting a book tag. I found this really lovely tag on the fantastic blog that is Life of a Female Bibliophile. It’s a lot of questions so I’m going to keep this short and simple! So without anymore delay – onto those fifty bookish questions.

1. What was the last book you read?
What She Knew by Gilly MacMillian

2. Was it a good one?
Yes, a bit slow in the beginning, some unnecessary back story but over all a great read.
3. What made it good?
Great character development, suspenseful a real page turner.
4. Would you recommend it to other people?
Yes, especially if you like suspense!
5. How often do you read?
Almost every single day unless I am too busy.
6. Do you like to read?
Well duh yeah! 
7.What was the last bad book you read?
Bad book? I'd have to give this to "Shadow of Night" by Deborah Harkness. I absolutely loved the first book but I've picked this second one up three times and I can't seem to get past chapter 10. I'm completely bored. 
8. What made you dislike it?
Extremely boring!!! 
9. Do you wish to be a writer?
Yes i do!! I'm a great journal writer and hope to some day have the self confidence and drive to submit some of my writings. 
10. Has any book ever influenced you greatly?
Lots of books have definitely influenced me – I couldn’t name them all here, but yes is the answer.
11. Do you read fan fiction?
No, it hasn't yet held an interest for me. 
12. Do you write fan fiction?
13. What’s your favorite book?
I HAVE TO PICK ONE!!! That's is impossible!! If you are an avid reader like me, I bet you couldn't pick just one either! Here are a few: 
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Summer Sisters by July Blume
The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons
The Truth About Air and Water by Katherine Owen
God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo
Post-Traumatic Brazilian by Tamara Lyon
14. What’s your least favorite book?
I think Wuthering Heights – just didn’t click with me! I've nether understood how many can love this book and actually get through it without wanting to poke your eyes out!! Sorry, just an opinion. 
15. Do you prefer physical books or ready on a device (like a kindle)?
I do love my Kindle but physical books are much better for me.
16. When did you learn to read?
I think I learned to read at about 5 years old. 
17. What is your favorite book you had to read in school?
When I took an English literature course in my junior year of high school, we read "Pride and Prejudice" This was my first experience with this book and I was really scared of the language but I ended up devouring it and absolutely loving it as well. 
18. What is your favorite book series?
I don't usually read a lot of book series but the one I still adore is the Twilight series. 
19. Who is your favorite author?
OMG another super hard question for a book lover!! I just can't. What if I left someone out. Just nope! 
20. What is your favorite genre?
I'd have to go with contemporary fiction although I have really been getting into more suspense books lately. 
Twenty-five things us bookworms are super awesome at (4)
21. Who is your favorite character in a book series?
I'd have to go with Clay in "Thirteen Reasons Why". He is just so likable. From the very beginning, I knew he couldn't have possibly done anything wrong to Hannah. I was sure of it. He is swoon worthy in my book just for being caring and sweet. 
22. Has a book ever transported you somewhere else?
Yes, that’s what books are supposed to do.
23.Which book do you wish had a sequel?
This is a hard question to answer off the top of my head but I would say "Dear John" It ends happy enough but doesn't give a real "what happens next" chapter and that would have been nice to have. 
24. Which book do you wish DIDN'T have a sequel?
I'd definitely go with Discovery of Witches because the first book was amazing but meh for the next. 
25. How long does it take you to read a book?
It depends on how fast paced the book is and how motivated I am to read. Some days I can read a 350 page book in one sitting and some days it could take me weeks. 
26. Do you like when books become movies?
For me it would depend on the book in question-The Harry Potter books were done phenomenally but many books have been ruined by their film adaptions.  
27. Which book was ruined by its movie adaptation?
I would say Divergent on this one. I absolutely loved the series but the films just fell short of the excitement and fantasy world I was anticipating. 
28. Which movie has done a book justice?
I am going to go with the Hunger Games Trilogy. These movies were top notch in my opinion and really made the trilogy shine even more than the books in some respects. 
29. Do you read newspapers?
No, they always depress me. 
30: Do you read magazines?
Yes I like Oprah, Food Network Magazine, Cosmo, Parenting, & Book Page. 
Twenty-five things us bookworms are super awesome at (5)
31. Do you prefer newspapers or magazines?
Definitely Magazines 
32. Do you read while in bed?
Yes. All. The. Time.
33. Do you read while on the toilet?
Nope, I think that's the one place I don't read. LOL 
34. Do you read while in the car?
Yes, although I have to be careful because I suffer with car sickness which really isn’t pretty.
35. Do you read while in the bath?
Yes, although not very often. I’m not good at holding a book and taking a bath at the same time. I seem to always be nervous that the book will fall in the water. 
36. Are you a fast reader?
Yes, very fast for the most part. 
37. Are you a slow reader?
38. Where is your favorite place to read?
I love to sit under a tree at the park by my house and read. It is so peaceful. 
39. Is it hard for you to concentrate while you read?
Sometimes but it depends on what I have going on in my life. 
40.Do you need a room to be silent while you read?
No, I'm pretty good at reading with some noise as long as it's not extremely loud.

41. Who gave you your love for reading?
Even from a very young age I was taken to the library, read to and I loved to do book reviews on everything I read. 
42. What book is next on your list to read?
Little Grey Dress by Aimee Brown
43. When did you start to read chapter books?
I was in 5th grade. 
44. Who is your favorite children’s book author?
Judy Blume 
45. Which author would you most want to interview?
Jennifer Weiner 
46. Which author do you think you’d be friends with?
Sophie Kinsella 
47.What book have you reread the most?
The Truth About Air and Water by Katherine Owen & Unlike Any Other by Claudia Burgoa
48. Which books do you consider “classics”?
I'd say anything that is recognized as great literature by the masses. 
49. Which books do you think should be taught in every school?
For this one I have to say any BOOKS that will get people READING! Even books that tend to be controversial would be great because it would get discussions going and students involved. 
50. Which books should be banned from all schools?
I don't think books should be banned period!! In my opinion, all books have a purpose whether all ages should be reading them is another topic entirely.

Wow, that was a monstrous tag to complete but so much fun. Hope you enjoyed. Make sure you tag me if you decide to tackle it. You can find me on twitter at @writersdream
Thanks for reading.

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