Sunset Beach Book Review- Mary Kay Andrews

Recently, I was contacted by a representative of Tandem Literary to ask if I would be interested in reading Mary Kay Andrews newest book, Sunset Beach. MKA is an amazing author and story teller so I didn’t hesitate to say yes!

I received my Early Readers Edition of Sunset Beach this week and I may have squealed a little when I opened my mailbox. I was so excited to open the package, although the packaging was almost too beautiful to take apart.

Sunset Beach is about Drue Campbell, a 36 year old woman with a life that is falling apart. Her mother passed away, she was homeless and working at a disgusting job. She was injured in a kite boarding accident, something she had once lived for. Nothing was going her way. Her entire world was rocked when her absent father appeared at her mothers funeral, out of nowhere, with the keys to her inherited beach cottage in Sunset Beach. He also came with a job offer in his busy law office. Drue had few other options, and while she did not have a great relationship with her father, she took the job offer and left Florida to start a new life.

It wasn’t long after she started her new job as a cubicle rat that Drue turned her energy towards solving a mysterious death at a local beach resort, as well as a decades-old cold case. This was in combination with dealing with her new stepmom- her eight grade ex-best friend, rehabing her cottage, and starting an office romance. Drue’s life has gotten pretty busy, to say the least.

This story was exciting with so many twists and turns. MKA does an incredible job of painting a scene so that you can really picture the characters and what they are going through. I could truly see Drue investigating her mysteries and following up on leads. And I caught myself holding my breath a few times because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next! This entire book kept me hooked from start to finish. After I finished reading last night, I laid in bed and wondered why none of her books have been turned into movies yet! They are that good!

I’m looking forward to reading through the rest of Mary Kay Andrews books very soon! And I recently noticed she has a Beach House Cookbook full of fun summer recipes! I hope to hunt that one down, quickly.

Sunset Beach will be available for sale 5/7/19 in stores! Make sure you grab a copy as soon as it hits the shelves and take it along with you on summer vacation, or make your own vacation with a fruity drink and a comfy chair. You will not be disappointed!

Galveston Family Vacation 2018

Yesterday, a Facebook friend of mine posted asking for opinions on things to do in Galveston, Texas. Our family took a trip there last April, so I figured this was a good opportunity to share our experience!

This was actually mine and the kids first trip to the ocean! Galveston may not be the prettiest beach, but it’s only about a 10 hour drive from our house, so I’ll take a beach whenever I can get it.

We made a pit stop in Waco, Texas on our way there, but I’ll save Waco for another post. I made it to Waco two times last year and I have a lot to share about that later.

We stayed at Casa Del Mar in a condo, right across the street from the beach. Our condo number was 215 and the reason why I’m sharing that is because different people own the condos. Maureen was our host and she did an amazing job! She text me a couple of days ahead of time with the entry code and you could tell that she really loves renting out her property. Here are some pics I found online since apparently I didn’t get any of my own.

When we walked in we automatically felt like we were in a beach house. Her decorations are gorgeous and there was so much attention to details like beach toys, coffee pods, and lawn chairs available for guests to use. The only problem we had there was our BABY! She would not sleep in a pack and play and had to sleep between us. Which would be fine if she slept instead of kicking like a ninja all night. If she would have slept in the pack and play or a bunk bed it would have been a perfect fit.

As soon we were settled we ventured out to the beach. The kids and I fell in love automatically. The weather was perfect and we had a pretty empty beach since it was a Thursday in April! We ate dinner at the condo since it had a full kitchen, which was amazing. Such a great way to save money on a family vacation!

On our second day we got up early and went to the Bolivar Ferry so we could be taken to Crystal Beach. I had never been on a ferry so it was pretty cool to be able to pull up with our car and ride the boat across to the island.

We drove all around Crystal Beach. We spent the day stopping at a couple of beach access points to play in the water and hunt for shells before heading to Stingaree Restaurant and Marina for lunch. Everyone’s food was so good and what’s better than eating while watching the water outside? We finished lunch and drove around on the island a bit more. I love looking at the beach houses. What I wouldn’t give for a little turquoise house on the beach.

It was about naptime for Jordyn so we jumped in the car and headed back to Galveston. She feel asleep in the car so we continued driving around. We hunted down the Kettle House that was rumored to be a subject of an upcoming HGTV show. When we got back home we went to the beach, again, and then made dinner and decided to walk to the pier.

Listen, this was a dumb idea. It was a long walk from our condo. Like 3 miles round trip? With three kids? Stupid. We should have drove. We will mapquest our walks from now on. I guess it was one of those times where you show your kids; “See, parents do dumb shit too!” I did like that I was able to see a few statues that I had wanted to hunt down on our way there.

Look at this gorgeous memorial to victims of the Hurricane in 1900.

Anyway, my husband and our middle daughter are the only ones that like rides so we basically paid a small fortune for the two of them to ride on a roller coaster on the pier. If rides are your thing, you might find it worth the cost. They had fun riding but the rest us had to pay to get onto the pier so it was kind of a waste for the rest of us. When we got back to the condo we were dead from walking a 5k so we all went to bed pretty early.

The next morning we got up pearly and went downtown. Our first stop was the Dolphin Tour. The kids had been looking forward to this the entire trip so we were super excited to go. Annnnnd it was too windy to go out on the water. They shut the tour down just as we arrived. The girls were devastated and I felt like a total failure. This is where I learned that you should do important things on your first day of vacation just in case you can’t go another day. Hopefully we can take them on a Dolphin Tour next time we go the beach!

Instead of the tour we walked around downtown and shopped for souvenirs.

After our walk we stopped into Saltgrass Steakhouse for lunch. We got there right at opening and I found out that I love this chain restaurant. We had most of the restaurant to ourselves so it was a nice relaxing lunch. After lunch we went back to the beach for a while before deciding to head back that night instead of the next morning. Its hard to drive overnight but it’s so much easier to drive with kids while they are sleeping. We hated leaving the island but we had a great trip while we were there! It was a great first trip to the ocean!

Every Breath Book Review

Nicholas Sparks is the one person that is singlehandedly responsible for making me fall head over heels in love with the East Coast. This was years and years before I ever visited there. When my husband and I started dating he was just getting ready to go his new Army base in Germany. This was about the time that Sparks book, “Dear John” was made into a movie. This was a story about a soldier meeting a girl and starting out a new relationship, while they were separated due to the Army. (Hello, is this my life?! More on that another day) Instantly I knew I would have to read the book and then of course that ended with a spiral of me reading every single Nicholas Sparks book ever made. I would go to the library and check out two at a time and return them both within 5 days before checking out two more. It’s been a while since I read much of anything for the pure joy of it, so when I went to the library to pick up some new reading material it was no shocker that this was the first one I grabbed.

As always, this book was hard for me to put down and I read most of it in a day. ( I have a bit of an addictive personality.) A major part of this story is based around an old mailbox situated in Bird Island, North Carolina. People will go to this mailbox and read letters that were left inside, that were never intended to be mailed to their recipient. After reading what is inside, visitors are encouraged to write a letter of their own using paper that is located in the box. So now naturally I feel like I need to get to Bird Island ASAP and check out Kindred Spirit for myself. I’m not lying when I saw that I’ve already researched nearby VRBO’s.

Anyway, this book is based on a true story that Sparks started to write after finding a story inside of the box. He hunted down the writer and from there used his magical romance skills to beautifully retell their story. I don’t want to give away too much of the story because it really is an amazing read and a story worth checking out for yourself. But, what I will tell you is that I fell in love with the characters, this was a beautiful story.

I really do hope to go visit Kindred Spirit one day. We have our vacations planned for the next couple of years but I keep thinking that I may be able to squeeze a quick trip in anyway. Are you a Nicholas Sparks fan?