How is it April already? March was a blink. But you know what the first of the month means, a new Read & Watch theme and a guest with recommendations!
April's theme word is TIME. And I invited author Maggie Wells to join us and give us her picks for this month's theme. If you haven't seen this challenge before, each month has a new theme word that you can interpret however you'd like. You can join in at any time and can get all the details on the challenge here.
First, a little more about Maggie:
Maggie Wells is a deep-down dirty girl with a weakness for hot heroes and happy endings. By day she is buried in spreadsheets, but at night she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. The product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt, this mild-mannered married lady has a naughty streak a mile wide.
Fueled by supertankers of Diet Coke, Maggie juggles fictional romance and the real deal by keeping her slow-talking Southern gentleman constantly amused and their two grown children mildly embarrassed.
All right, now I'll turn it over to Maggie and let her tell you her picks!
I admit it, my instinctive response to the word “TIME” is Outlander! But I shall refrain and travel a less obvious path. Not that choosing to spend time with James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser is ever wrong…
The book I want to share this month was once my least favorite book from one of my favorite authors. It wasn’t until I read The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen a second time, that I truly came to appreciate all of its glorious nuance.
For those who haven’t read it yet, I’ll share just this one quote:
“It feels like he's taken your heart, doesn't it? Like he's reached in and pulled it out from you. And I bet he smiles like he doesn't know, like he doesn't know he's holding your heart in his hand and you're dying from him.”
If you have read The Sugar Queen, it may not seem like a good fit for this month’s theme at first glance, but to me, this book is all about time. Each character has a different relationship with time. Josey is waiting for her life to start. Margaret is holding her breath until enough time passes for scandal to fade away. Chloe has put her own life on hold. Jake destroys everything he loves in a rash moment. Adam is simply killing time because he doesn’t quite know what to do next. And then, there’s Della Lee, who has just enough time left to show them all how they are wasting their most precious commodity.
For this one, I chose one of my all-time favorites: Big Fish.
Again, this may not seem like an obvious choice for the theme, but bear with me. Will Bloom has only a brief window of opportunity to mend his strained relationship with his dying father. But unlike other movies with the same sort of theme, Big Fish takes us, and Will, along on the epic adventures of his father, Ed Bloom’s, life.
Let’s face it, most of us think our parents are frozen in time. Our time. They are simply Mom and Dad. The rule makers. Those ever-present forces that shape our lives for better or worse. I think many us don’t really get an opportunity to know our parents as people with hopes, dreams, and adventures of their own. I know I didn’t, and now it’s too late for me to ask them to tell me their version of their story.
So, yeah, use your time wisely. Watch Big Fish with one or both of your parents, if you can. If you’re lucky, you may be able to use it as a springboard to pry a few of their fish stories from them.
Okay, fine, I have to say it—Outlander!
A time-traveling woman from the 20th century.
A Scottish highlander from the 18th century.
Love. War. Desire. Jealousy. Kilts. Greed. Shenanigans.
I’m usually not a fan of book-to-screen adaptations, but I think Ronald D. Moore and the gang are doing a bang-up job of adapting the books for the series. If you haven’t given it a peek yet, take the time!
Thanks so much, Maggie! And I'm totally with her on Outlander. I haven't read or seen the others, but Outlander...yessss.
Now that you Maggie has excellent taste, you should check out her book!
Available April 4th from Kensington/Lyrical Press
True love, like lightning, never strikes twice—or does it?
As a free-spirited young woman, Hope Elliot was desperate to escape her snobbish high society family. So she ran off to Paris, where she lived for twenty-five years. Now widowed, she’s come home to settle her family’s massive lakefront estate. But before she can put her mother’s house on the market, it needs a major renovation. Enter master electrician Mick McInnes, a traditional guy who’s about to turn her life upside down . . .
Aside from the fact that Mick is hopelessly attracted to his latest client, Hope represents everything he doesn’t want in a woman. She’s ridiculously rich and adventurous, yet she doesn’t seem to know much about the real world. Besides, his policy is to never get involved with clients. But he can’t seem to resist the Chicago heiress’s sizzling advances—and soon enough finds himself in her bed, feeling like a teenager once again. And like teenagers, the two of them will just have to convince their families that opposites can not only attract, but they can also make the perfect match . . .
Roni's April Picks
Here's what I'll be reading and watching this month for the challenge!
Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This one takes one event in a woman's life and then branches off into two possible storylines, what happens if she makes one decision and what happens if she makes another, so it will be dual timelines/fates. I loved her book One True Loves, so I have high hopes.
About the book:
From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.
At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.
Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?
In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?
Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.
Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix
This is a brand new series on Netflix and is based on a YA book I read many years ago and really liked. It's been long enough that I don't remember much about the book, but I remember that it was good enough to keep on my shelf. I DO remember that it flashes back in time to show the things leading up to a certain even, so it goes perfectly with this month's theme.
Oddly enough, both my book and TV show picks have heroines named Hannah.
Now, it's your turn! What will you be reading/watching? Or if you have any suggestions for the theme, let us have 'em! :)