The Stand In

Have you ever been told you look like a celebrity? What would you do if given the opportunity to fill in for that celebrity twin of yours?

That is exactly what happened in “The Stand In” written by Lily Chu. When Gracie Reed got the opportunity at right time in her life. Right when she was debating whether she was going to quit her job because of her boss or whether to suck it up because she needs the money to get her ailing mother into the top nursing home in town. She was ambushed by the talented Chinese actress Wei Fangli on a walk and asked to step in for her at events while she is filming a movie in Canada.

Will Gracie be able to full fill her duty without being recognized or caught? What will happen between her and Wei Fangli right hand man and friend Sam Yao? And what will happen to the relationship between Wei and Gracie when Gracie finds out they maybe closer than they might have original thought?

“The Stand In” is that guilty rom com of a story that will leave you with your own question of “what if I was given an opportunity of a life time by my own celebrity look alike?”

Episode 31: Memorial and Demi Lovato


My review on “Memorial” by Bryan Washington. Including my thoughts and opinion on the Demi Lovato documentary “Dancing with The Devil” part 1 & part 2 — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. Support this podcast:


In Five Years

Love, Life and Unforeseen circumstances are the 3 themes that come to my mind after reading “In Five Lives” written by Rebecca Serle. A beautiful story of how life doesn’t goes as planned no matter how are you try to stay on track.

Dannie Kohen always lived by numbers and a plan. She had everything planned out from her professional law career to her personal love life with her boyfriend David. Everything was working out and going as planned. Then on the night of her engagement she has an unexpected dream, a dream of herself in 5 years.  Now she tries everything in her power to prevent her dream from becoming reality. However, when her best friend gets unexpected and heartbreaking news Dannie soon realizes that she cannot prevent all of lives hurdles. Did Dannie’s own five-year plan work out or did her dream become reality?

Rebecca Serle does a wonderful job with a story about how life doesn’t always go as planned no matter how hard you try. She highlights a non-perfect yet beautiful friendship of two friends that would do anything for each other. How someone you love and consider your best friend and partner in life might not be your soul mate or your partner for life after all. Promises were made/promises were broken; mistakes will be made but that is what life is all about. It is not perfect but that is what makes us human.

Capital Gaines – Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Things

Author: Chip Gaines Published: October 2017

Lessons learned, Family and Dreams are the 3 themes that came to my mind after reading “Capital Gaines – Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Thing” by Chip Gains. An insightful story on the journey that Chip Gains took that led him to being a star on the hit television show about fixing up houses in Waco, Texas Fixer Upper.

From a young age Chip had to learn that dreams do not always work out the way that you plan. No matter how much passion and hard work you put into them. That is what happened when his dream of becoming a player in the MLB came to an end, when he was suddenly cut from the Baylor University baseball team in his Sophomore year. He became down on himself believing he did not just disappoint himself but also his parents especially his father. However, one day while sitting in class, he looked out the window at the landscapers cutting the grass and an idea came to him. After a conversation with the landscaper’s owner, her got himself a job and shortly after a new dream of becoming a business owner himself!

Many viewers who have seen Fixer Upper might think that Chip Gaines is just the goofy, lovable contractor. Yes, he is all of those things and so much more. He is hard working business man and a dedicated husband and father. He was the one who had the passion to be a business owner and who actually started several small business at a young age. When his new bride Joanna came to him about opening a small antique shop, he was the one the helped get Magnolia Homes off the ground. Then they both started building and flipping houses.

It was not until the show their businesses started to grow into what they are today, and they make that very know in this book. Chip talks about the struggles that they faced early on in their relationship with his passion for business but lack of planning. The way that mistakes needed to occur in ordered to realize for himself what was right in front of him and what he could lose if he did not try harder. He talks about Joanna and his decision to step away from TV and focus on the important things in life, family and love.

Chip encourages the reader to find their passion and create a plan. He encourages us to work hard for that passion but to never lose sight of yourself and those who is helping you get to your end goal. I say encourage because I felt as if he was never forcing step by step tips to get to your goal but lending encouraging lessons to a happy, healthy, and successful life!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Life, Hollywood, and Love are the 3 themes that come to my mind after reading “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” written by Taylor Jenkins Reid. A beautiful story that will take you on a up and down journey through the life of the most beautiful woman in Hollywood.

This is a lot more than just a book about a Hollywood queen marring every Hollywood king. It is a story about love, life, and challenges. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for a young and inexperience journalist Monique Grant to sit down for a cover story for the magazine that she works for. However, she soon realizes that Evelyn has something else in mind. Evelyn decides to indulge in her whole story, from beginning to end. Covering all the ups and downs, all her marriages and the birth and tragic death of her daughter Connor. She even reveals her one true love! Evelyn has chosen Monique to write her biography. The reason behind Evelyn choosing Monique is the turning point in the book and will leave you like myself wanting to throw the book across the room!

Taylor Jenkins Reid does a fabulously job betraying Hollywood throughout the decades starting in 1950 and right through to present day. She highlights women and the LGBT community particularly and the challenges they faced in Hollywood.

The one thing I took away and makes me appreciate a lot more is the challenges that the LGBT community faced in Hollywood and around the world. I remember when gay marriage became legal in 2015 and what a beautiful moment that was for our country and all the people that benefits from it. I believe that everyone should be allowed to love whoever they love and marry whoever they love!

The Midnight Library

Life, regrets and second chances are the 3 themes at come to my mind after reading “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. A beautiful and powerful story that will have the reader left with a whole new outlook on life.

Have you ever made a decisions you instantly regretted? A decision you wish you could revisit in order to change your path. An extra minute with a loved one is the strongest regret a person can carry. Of course you do! After all we are all human beings. We have and will continue to make decisions that will have us taking a left instead of a right. However, it is up to us as human beings and living creatures on this earth to make the best out of every decision that we make or that is handed to us.

Here is another thing to ponder:

Have you ever wondered what happens when a person leaves this earth? Some people believe that there is a heaven. Where people go and reunite with God and live peacefully, watching over their love ones for eternity. Other people believe in other forms of the afterlife. Have you ever wondered if there is a moment in between life and death?

That is exactly what happens in “The Midnight Library” Nora Seed is at a crucial point in her life where she believes that she is better off dead than alive. However, it is that decision that will send her to “The Midnight Library.” It is there that she meets a person from her past and is given the opportunity to see what would occur if she had taken the right instead of the left.

“The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig is a breathtaking and beautifully written novel about life, regrets and that once in a lifetime opportunity. A book that will leave a mark on the reader for a long time.





Fly Away

Family, grief and healing are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading “Fly Away” written by Kristin Hannah. A heartfelt sequel to the magnificent novel “Firefly Lane”. A novel about managing the ups and downs of life after a beloved love one passing on.

With the recent passing of Kate Malarkey ½ of the dynamic duo Tully and Kate, Tully and Kate’s family have to figure out a way to live life without their glue. They hit rough patches and one particular rough patch lands Tully on life support and fighting for her life. Now on the brink of death Tully has to decide whether she wants to give up and join her best friend on the other side or continue to fight and keep her promise to her best friend and be a mother and support to Kate’s family.

Kristin Hannah has the unbelievable ability of pulling the reader into feeling the characters pain in losing a love one. The reader feels as if they are going through the stages of grief alongside the characters. I believe it has to do with the readers connections to the characters that was there from the first book and now continues with the second. This book does not leave anything unsaid and it wraps up the Tully and Kate story beautifully.

I would rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves Kristin Hannah novels!

Everything Beautiful in It’s Time

Love, loss and healing are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading “Everything Beautiful in its Time” by Jenna Bush Hager. A lovely love letter written by a granddaughter to her beloved and greatly missed grandparents.

Former First Daughter and Today Cohost Jenna Bush Hager, takes the reader on a personal journey of growing up with her grandparents on both her mom and dad side. As well as giving a glimpse into her husband Henry’s family as well. She shares special moments such as introducing her own children to her grandparents to her last conversations with each grandparent. She doesn’t hold back with sharing letters written between her and her love ones and even sharing some embarrassing moments as well.

Jenna does a wonderful job writing such a raw and emotional biography on such a difficult topic. You can feel the love and appreciation from the lessons learned from her grandparents. You can tell that she is truly is herself in front on the camera by the way this story is written. You will shed tears and as well as laughter along with Jenna. It is a must read for anyone who is missing their loves ones that gone on before them.

Trouble in Paradise

Author: Elin Hildebrand                                             Publishing date: October 6 2020

Family, trust, and forgiveness are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading “Trouble in Paradise” by Elin Hildebrand. A lovely ending to a trilogy full of ups and downs that never a had a dull moment.

In the third and final book in the Paradise Series by Elin Hildebrand, Irene Steel and her boys Cash and Baker, alongside his son Floyd return to the island on St. John to start their new lives with their new extended family. An extended family that now includes Huck, Ayers and Baker and Cashes half sister Mia. Upon their return Baker gets a surprise of a lifetime when he finds out that he will be extending his family with a new bundle of joy with Ayers Wilson. Now the family has to figure out this whole new family dynamic that is far from anything that the beautiful island of St. John can offer. All the while trying to conclude what actually what happened that resulted in the death of their beloved ones.

Elin Hildebrand does a beautiful job with the conclusion of her Paradise series. She does not make it all rainbows and butterflies in paradise. There is some conflict, trust issues that arise and heartbreaking revelations. However, she does make this about how through all the hardships, these are people that come out on the other side with more love and respect for one another and that is all that paradise could ask for after everything, everyone has been through since the new year.

I would recommend this book to anyone that loves books on family drama and the islands. This book will not disappoint!

Anxious People

Author: Fredrik Backman Publishing date:

Life, Mistakes and second changes are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading “Anxious People” by Fredrick Backman. A story about an ordinary day turning into one of the most unforgettable life changing day for the most ordinary and extraordinary group of people. A tale that will leaving you with a whole new outlook on your life.

Have you ever had a day that was all planned out and the plan never working out? Have you ever thought what you would do if you were held hostage by a bank robber? Well that is exactly what occurred in this book. A group of complete strangers simply went to this apartment open house when a bank robber stormed in and held them hostage all by mistake. Now these complete stranger have to figure out what to do next in order to get everyone out alive!

Fredrik Backman dives right into the struggles that these group of characters are facing. Both currently with the hostage situation and in their personal lives. He has an unbelievable ability to create characters that are relatable to the reader with the many flaws that they carry. The struggles that Backman’s characters face are anything from: financial struggles, fears of becoming a new parent and getting old. All the way to even depression. Backman highlights this groups struggles and then proceed to show the reader the best way for them to get through their own struggles. I learned that if you are in a situation such as these characters are in, you are more likely to open to strangers about your struggles and listen to their own. By doing this you are able to find things in common and offer support to one another rather than criticism. Fredrick has the ability of creating a story with such an important message, all the while having the reader in tears of laughter!!

This book I believe is for anyone that is struggling during this time. To show that you are not alone in your worries whether they are big or small! This book is full of compassion, love, empathy, and lighthearted moments as well. It surely had me having a different outlook on life.