It's that time again! The first of the month and time for this month's Read and Watch picks for the challenge. If you want the details on the Read & Watch challenge, you can still join in. Just click here to see the other themes. And even if you're not doing the challenge, stick around for some great book recs!
This month we're welcoming summer with an ESCAPE theme and have author Brighton Walsh as a guest to help us out.
Now, though "escape" is clearly related to summer and vacations and such, don't feel confined by that. Escape can also mean a book or movie about someone escaping a serial killer or escaping to another universe or escaping a bad marriage. Or it could just be a book that provides you an escape to another world. However you want to interpret it is up to you! But Brighton and I do have some suggestions if you're looking for a place to start.
But first, meet Brighton!
Brighton Walsh spent nearly a decade as a professional photographer before deciding to take her storytelling in a different direction and reconnect with her first love: writing. When she’s not pounding away at the keyboard, she’s probably either reading or shopping—maybe even both at once. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children, and, yes, she considers forty degrees to be hoodie weather. Her home is the setting for frequent dance parties, Lego battles, and more laughter than she thought possible. Website: www.brightonwalsh.com
And now let's let her take it away with her picks...
I tried not to think too hard on the word escape and just recommend the first things that came to mind. In the case of books, that was Jill Shalvis’s Lucky Harbor series. I fell in love with Jill’s books long before the people of Lucky Harbor came into my life, but this series is what made me a lifetime fan of hers. These books all focus not only on the relationship of the hero and heroine and their various friends and family, but also treats the town as a character in and of itself. It’s easy to picture yourself in the quaint little town, and I always compared it to the literary version of Stars Hollow. The lush descriptions and quirky characters make Lucky Harbor the perfect getaway when you need to escape for a while.
Choosing a TV show was slightly harder. I have a lot of comfort watches, but in the end I picked HGTV’s Island Hunters. This show is like House Hunters on crack. And I’ll admit, I spend the entire time these lucky people are choosing their own private island getaway pretending it’s me. As soon as I sell a million books, I’m totally getting my own island. Until then, the next best thing is watching someone else do so (and shouting at the TV telling them which choice is the right one).
Thanks, Brighton! And be sure to check out Brighton's latest book, Paige In Progress, which also looks like a great choice for an escape. :)
About the book:
She wanted a one-night stand...and then he moved in next door.
Paige Bennett is more than content with her life and what she does—and does not—have in it. She’s got a supportive family, a great apartment, and the best friend a girl could ask for; so what if her relationships expire faster than a carton of milk? After a disastrous detour courtesy of poor judgment in the boyfriend department, her plan is back on track and her dream job is finally within her grasp. Nothing can make her lose focus now. Well, nothing except the one-night stand she had with her best friend’s surrogate brother. The one-night stand she can’t stop thinking about.
Adam Reid has always been reliable...the responsible son, the loyal friend, the steady boyfriend. Two years ago, he graduated Magna Cum Laude and is well on his way to making a name for himself at an accounting firm in Denver—a far cry from working as a helper in the Mom and Pop store his parents own in Michigan. But when said store starts failing, he’s the only one who can step in and help. So reliable Adam does what he always does, and he comes to the rescue.
Paige thought Adam was a safe bet because he lives halfway across the country. But then suddenly he’s moving back to their town, and then into her apartment building, and soon he’s worming his way right into her life. If she’s not careful, he might sneak his way into her heart, too...
And if you really want to take the ESCAPE theme to the next level, escape to another world. A Promise of Fire will introduce you to a fascinating world with a tough-ass heroine and a swoony hero. This is a series but this first book doesn't end on a big cliffhanger or anything. Full review here.
If you're looking for a quick read about escaping your life for a summer with a super hot guy, grab a copy of Nice Girls Don't Ride. Summery escapist fun. Plus, it won a RITA award for best novella last year! (And psst, it's only $1.99)
If you follow me on social media, you may have seen my ranting about the remake of Dirty Dancing. I don't even want to talk about it. I'm still slightly scarred. BUT this just means that it's time for a rewatch of the original. This is my favorite movie of all time and nothing sweeps me away like going to Kellerman's with Baby and Johnny. I know I'll be watching it again this month.
What I Plan to Read for the Challenge:
I'm currently reading The Dry which fits the escape theme because it's set in Australia. And I have these other two on my TBR. The Identicals because it looks like the perfect summery read and will be part of my Book of the Month order. (Join Book of the Month with this link and get 3 months for only 9.99 a month, which is way cheaper than what you can get the hardcovers for any other place. For instance, The Identicals is 19 bucks on Amazon. And it makes the first of the month more fun because you get to see what the new pics are. Note, this is an affiliate link but I haven't been asked to promote it and I'm a full paying customer. I just love it and like to share.) And Someday, Someday Maybe, which is written by the actress from Gilmore Girls and is about an actress, which sounds like escapist fun.
What I'll Be Watching:
Besides a rewatch of Dirty Dancing, I will be eagerly awaiting the start of Big Brother at the end of the month. It is tradition at our house and it's one of those things that screams "it's summertime!" to me.