HipMamaB Lit: My Favorite Read of the Summer So Far

Candice: "Beth. I hate you right now."

Me: "What? What did I do?"

Candice: "That book you told me to download yesterday..."

Me: "Remember When? Oh, yea. You were up until 3 reading, huh?"

Candice: "5. I didn't sleep at all. I now I downloaded book #2 so I don't know when I will sleep again. Bitch."

 *actual conversation between Candice and I a few weeks back...

I love those books that you somehow stumble upon and fall madly in love with. Even better is when you tell your friends about them and they love them as much as you. 

Remember Whenthe first in the Remember Trilogy, is that book. 

So first off, if you are one of those people who can't sleep when they are engrossed in a good read, then please make sure you have adequate daylight hours to spend reading this book before downloading. I don't want anymore hate letters. And this book is addicting.

It's a fast-paced, amusing story of a 1990's high-school romance told from the view of the Layla Warren - a somewhat popular New Jersey girl who falls head over heels for the new boy Trip Wiley. Trip is beautiful and engaging and every girl in the school is desperately trying to get his attention... Oh yea, and in the future he turns out to be a Hollywood IT BOY the likes of Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp. 


Ever wonder how often Brad Pitt’s high school girlfriend must ponder jumping off a bridge? Ever think about the girl that had her hooks in George Clooney before he took off for TV stardom? How about Leonardo DiCaprio’s ex, or Johnny Depp’s first groupie, or any number of young women who got left behind when their boyfriends set off for greener pastures and eventually achieved unfathomable Hollywood fame?

My name is Layla Warren and I don’t need to wonder about any of those things. I already know. Because years before Trip Wiley could be seen on movie screens all over the world, he could be seen sitting in the desk behind me in my high school English class.

OMG. Can you imagine? But it had to have happened. There is some girl out there that was Brad Pitt's first kiss, or that went to prom with George Clooney. This is that story. And it's SO GOOD.

This summer, book #2 in the trilogy came out. Reuniting Trip and Layla 10 years later, book #2 is defiantly the sophomore book of the series, but still tells a fabulous story of how a first love will never really die. 

Put your shirt down Austin Moon!My ONLY issue with the book is as I was trying to imagine the characters, in my head the person playing Trip kept defaulting to Ross Lynch from Disney's Austin and Ally. Which isn't bad, until it came to the sex scenes.. because then I felt like a total perv. 

So my advice, look up a picture of a young Brad Pitt (and don't listen to "Heard it on the Radio" on repeat with your kids for days before) and start the book when you have at least a 12-hour period you can dedicate to reading... and you will come back to thank me later. 


HipMamaB Lit: The Elemental Mysteries... Vampires for Grown-Ups

What does one write about after a post like my last one? Jumping back into make-up talk seems a bit frivolous at this point… so I’ll talk about books!

I love reading. I also love just how easy it is to read suggested books when you have an eReader. It used to be that someone would recommend something, you would have to write it down then hope that you remembered the name/author/note with the information by the time you made it to Barnes and Noble. Now I go on Amazon and download the book instantly. At least that was what I did when a friend suggested the “grown up Vampire series”, The Elemental Mysteries by Elizabeth Hunter, to me.

Billed as a “paranormal romance,” this series contains four titles that follow librarian Beatrice “B” De Novo and 500 year old vampire Giovanni Vecchio as they search the world unraveling an ancient mystery. While yes, it is a love story, I hate that it’s paranormal romance, because these books are really so much better than that.  

I loved the characters, I loved the story line, I loved the history and I loved the descriptions of the places they visited. The story dragged just a bit in book three and the beginning of book four, but by that point you are so invested in the story line that it doesn’t weigh the series down. The books are not silly or comical like other books of this genre can be, and while it is an “epic romance,” its not a smut read. The author does a fabulous job of weaving the story through all four books and while the romance between the characters is anticipated and felt from page one, it develops and grows over the course of the story arch.

Elizabeth Hunter is a independent writer that I’m amazed hasn’t been immediately snapped up (but maybe she has by now?). In an oversaturated market, The Elemental Mysteries series will remind you how good vampire books can be.

The four books in the series are: A Hidden Fire, The Same Earth, The Force of Wind, A Fall of Water. Bonus? They are all super cheap and sometimes free on Amazon and iBooks. 


HipMamaB Lit: Let’s talk about Sex (books) ba-by…

If you know me IRL, then you know that in the past 6 months I’ve somehow become the go-to for “romantic erotica” books. I guess my openness to discussing 50 Shades of Gray has led me to this role – with friends and book publishers alike sending me titles to read and review. While I’ve mentioned a few here and there, I still hesitate to really go into details, but every once in awhile I come across a book or series that I think really deserves recognition.

Months ago I came across the book Backstage Pass (Sinners on Tour #1) by Olivia Cunning, while actually searching for something else on iBooks. I ended up downloading it and WOAH-MY-GOD, it makes Christian Grey look downright virginal.

One of the reviews on Goodreads actually says “How much sex can one get into a book?” A question I found myself asking a few times. I’m not even sure what type of research this author did to be able to come up with some of these scenarios. But sex aside (which is hard to put aside with this book), I enjoyed all the books in this series because at their core, they are well-written, heart tugging, love stories.

No, seriously. 

The Sinners on Tour series chronicles a (fictional) famous, heavy metal rock band as they each individually find love and relationships in ways that work for them as individuals. While each book follows a different member of the 5-person band, the book’s point-of-views switch back and forth during the stories, showing the emotions of both (or in one case, *spoiler* all 3) of the main characters in the book. Each of the characters battle with past issues, intense emotions and the struggle of how to create a future while on tour.

The best part about these books is that I genuinely have grown to like each of the characters. While towards the end of other books you want to scream “If you can’t stop fighting just break the hell up!!!” in these books I found myself rooting for the characters to make it work. Yes, a few of the plot lines got a little silly, but if we’ve learned anything from Downton Abbey, it’s that one group of people can suffer through disaster after disaster in fictional situations.

One note – if you end up reading the whole series - read them 1, 2, 4 and then 3. For some reason the publisher released them in a different order than they were written.

If you are not sure you want to dedicate the time, or you want to see if this type of book appeals to you, Cunning also has recently released a few novellas of similar note in a series called “One Night With Sole Regret,” which highlights one (hot, steamy) night in each of the members of (another) rock group called Sole Regret. These short stories give you all the sex with not a lot of that fancy plot or character development crap - pretty much JUST enough of it to not make it read like a cheesy porno. 

So tease up your hair, put on a mini-skirt and relive your high-school fantasy of falling in love with a rock star and get to reading.