Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book Review: "Love & Cupcakes" and a Kindle Giveaway!!

 I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review of the book. All opinions are my own.
About the Book:
Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie's bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.

But when Lucas Brannen, Kat's best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself---her---is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat's senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.

My Review:
Betsy St. Amant's new book, "All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes" is as light and fluffy as Kat's Raspberry Lemonade cupcakes.  This is a simple read that I was able to whip through in about a day.  If you're looking for a sweet little love story then this book fits the recipe.  Personally I found the book a little vanilla, with about as much creativity as a pre-packaged cupcake.  While the characters are likeable enough, it was the same-old story of best friends who fall in love and are too afraid to tell one another for fear it will mess everything up.  So instead, we spend the whole book listening to their insecurities as they over-analyze every word, look, and gesture from the other.  I just wanted to shake Lucas and tell him to man-up already and tell her how you feel!  It ends exactly how you would expect, with everything wrapped up as nice and neat as a white bakery box.
I tend to be pretty hard on books and it takes a lot to impress me so be sure to check out other reviews, here, from bloggers who loved the book!

Don't miss Betsy St. Amant's latest fiction release, All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes. A "sweet" tale of two best friends and the choices they make between dreams and a possible "sure thing," St. Amant's novel is sure to satisfy your romantic-fiction craving.
Betsy is celebrating with a fun Kindle giveaway and a Love & Cupcakes Facebook party! One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle
  • All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 18th. Winner will be announced at the "Love & Cupcakes" Author Chat Party on 9/18. Betsy will be hosting a "sweet" book chat, giving away prizes, and answering questions from readers. She will also share an exclusive sneak peek at her next book project!

So grab your copy of All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes and join Betsy on the evening of September 18th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Everetts Go to Europe, Part 3 {London's Calling!}

 Warning: Picture overload in this post!! I'm not sorry :)

We trained into London on Wednesday and Friday. It was cheaper to train in on 2 separate days than get a hotel for one night so that's what we did! Once we figured out the Underground system we had a blast running around London and sight-seeing, I think we managed to do just about everything on our list. And after 2 different attempts at 2 different museums we realized that we are simply not museum people....as Aimee said "you can see most of this stuff in America...or on Google." So enjoy our pics of all the things you can't find in America :)

 Jonathan won major points for agreeing to take this picture with me in the middle of King's Cross station. Ravenclaw and Gryffindor all the way! #booknerd1

 We visited Portobello Markets, which is a whole street of different shops, with a flea market feel to it

Sherlock Holmes museum at 221B Baker Street #booknerd2

 Supreme Court building

  This is one of my favorite pics from our time in London...the Elizabeth tower, Big Ben, London Eye, and double decker buses...doesn't get much more British than this!
 Westminster Abbey


 Me & Aimee Jane on the Millenium Bridge...you know, the one that the death eaters attacked in Harry Potter :) #booknerd3
 Shakespeare's Globe Theater
 They have these book benches scattered all over London!
 Enjoying some fresh donuts from a vendor while people watching by the Thames

 Buckingham Palace
 I had to include this picture because it cracks me up...that lady was so oblivious!

Next up: Stratford-Upon-Avon

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Everetts go to Europe, Part 2 {Birmingham}

If you happened to miss part 1 of our adventures click here to read all about it! 
Monday morning we left Paris bright and early, actually that's a lie...more like gray, rainy, and early and arrived in Birmingham a few hours later to the same weather. (side note, we flew AirFrance and loved it! They give you croissants and hot chocolate for snacks...way better than pretzels and soda!) Anyways, Aimee met us at the airport and after a quick train ride and 20 minute walk in the rain with all of our luggage we were at Aimee's cute and cozy little house. We spent most of Monday and Tuesday around Birmingham recovering from jet lag as Aimee showed us around.

Our cute welcome basket with all things British

We visited the original Cadbury chocolate factory that's only about a 30 min walk from her house.  I felt like I was in Willy Wonka's and the air smelled like chocolate once you got close to the factory! We actually ended up going here twice during our visit so we could stock up on all of our favorites before we went home :)
Old Joe, the world's largest free standing clock tower, on University of Birmingham's campus.

Aimee's favorite chip shop a short walk from her house. We loved our first taste of fish & chips, such salty, vinegary goodness!

 We spent the evenings watching Sherlock, and eating homemade popcorn with our favorite Cadbury bars

 Our first taste of tea & scones at Aimee's favorite tea shop, The Meeting House. Unfortunately the queen was not able to join us.

I loved how when you order tea anywhere over there, coffee shops, hotels, etc. you get your own pot with cream & sugar! So fun!
Apparently there is much debate over what should come first, the clotted cream or the jam. I'm more of a cream first kinda girl, but honestly I don't really care how they come because they were delicious! I'm currently on the lookout for a good scone recipe so I can recreate them here at home!

Next up: London!
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