The Fixer Upper
Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Narrated by: Isabel Keating
Published: June 23, 2009
Today Kim and I bring you a double review of The Fixer Upper by a favorite of ours: MKA (better known as Mary Kay Andrews). We both really enjoyed this one!
After her boss in a high-powered Washington public relations firm is caught in a political scandal, fledgling lobbyist Dempsey Jo Killebrew is left almost broke, unemployed, and homeless. Out of options, she reluctantly accepts her father’s offer to help refurbish Birdsong, the old family place he recently inherited in Guthrie, Georgia. All it will take, he tells her, is a little paint and some TLC to turn the fading Victorian mansion into a real-estate cash cow.
But, oh, is Dempsey in for a surprise when she arrives in Guthrie. “Bird Droppings” would more aptly describe the moldering Pepto Bismol-pink dump with duct-taped windows and a driveway full of junk. There’s also a murderously grumpy old lady, one of Dempsey’s distant relations, who has claimed squatter’s rights and isn’t moving out. Ever.
Furthermore, everyone in Guthrie seems to know Dempsey’s business, from a smooth-talking real-estate agent to a cute lawyer who owns the local newspaper. It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the pesky FBI agents who show up on Dempsey’s doorstep, hoping to pry information about her ex-boss from her.
All Dempsey can do is roll up her sleeves and get to work. And before long, what started as a job of necessity somehow becomes a labor of love and, ultimately, a journey that takes her to a place she never expected–back home again.
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Mary Kay Andrews is easily one of my all time favorite authors. She has a way of capturing real Southern towns filled with real Southern people faced with outrageous, hilarious problems. Her characters are some of the funniest I have ever read about and the situations they find themselves in are unforgettable and crazy, yet totally believable.
Poor Dempsey Killebrew (MKA creates the awesomest names) finds herself in the middle of a federal investigation as the scapegoat for a rich and powerful DC lobbyist. She goes from sleek executive to house flipper in overalls all in a week. By the time I finished this book, I was ready to go flip a house. And you gotta understand, I am the least creative, crafty, construction minded, practical person you will ever meet.
Enter father-son, small town, legal team of Carter and Tee Berryhill and now you’ve got the elegant Southern gentleman factor. And, of course, Tee, fabulous man that he is, throws Dempsey’s world even more askew. But my favorite character of all, Ella Kate Timmons. Old, crotchety, and set in her ways Ella Kate and her yippy cocker spaniel, Shorty. If for no other reason, y’all need to read this book simply to meet Ella Kate. I normally listen to the audiobook, and the narrator brings such life to each character. Isabel Keating narrates several of MKA’s books, and if I see that she’s the narrator for a book, I don’t even read the synopsis, I just buy it.
This is such an awesome book and I recommend it to anyone who wants a fun, hilarious, heartwarming read.
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dates Read: August 28- September 8, 2018
Mary Kay Andrews (MKA) is a ‘go to’ author of mine; her books are always so much fun and The Fixer Upper is another of those! She really captured the genuine small town feeling for me with Fixer Upper. I could picture everything she wrote as I listened to the audiobook. Everything was very descriptive and even the descriptions of Birdsong (the house) are well written.
I felt for Dempsey in her situation that she goes through. She’s an innocent (situationally and in life) and you want her to pull through everything successfully. It is crazy to believe how quickly she goes from a high class junior lobbyist to an overall wearing ‘do it yourself’-er in a small town. She obviously missed her calling in life!.
The heart of the novel is Ella Kate! She is an older woman very much set in her ways and tells it like it is and does not care what you think! She was my absolute favorite character and I would love to read more books with Ella Kate! You just have to read Fixer Upper to understand….
As previously mentioned, l listened to the audiobook version of Fixer Upper. I would recommend listening to the audio version as the narrator, Isabel Keating, does a superb job. Her portrayal of Ella Kate is 100% spot on!
The Fixer Upper is recommended.
**If reading The Fixer Upper gets you in the mood to buy a house that needs fixing up, we would be willing to sell ours…..
Today I am helping to the end the blog tour for Evie’s Little Black Book by Hannah Pearl. I will be sharing my review! There is also an international giveaway going on!
Is hunting down every man you’ve kissed the answer to finding Mr Right?
When Evie is invited to the wedding of the guy she’d fancied throughout her teens, it’s the final straw. What’s wrong with her and why can’t she keep a man?
In between consoling herself with ice cream and chocolate, and sobbing her heart out to her cousin Chamaine, Evie has a brainwave – and it all centres around her ‘little black book’ (well, more floral patterned notebook really) – which contains the details of every man she’s ever kissed or dated. Perhaps the cure for her disastrous love life has been nestled within its pages all along …
Does Evie’s little black book really hold the answers, or will she learn that exes are exes for a reason?
Author: Hannah Pearl
Published: August 21, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 12-18, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Should you look at your past to move forward in your life? The premise of Evie’s Little Black Book had me wanting to read it! This is a fun chick lit novel that entertains throughout and you can’t help but like ALL of these characters.
I enjoyed going on this journey with Evie and learning about her past as she did. Was the problem in past relationships actually Evie or her former partners? Has she just not met the right man yet? Is it really “It’s me and not you”?
You know where the novel is going once she meets Jake, but it is a fun ride. There is a deeper meaning here towards the end of the novel that I was not expecting. Even though this is a fun and quick read, I found myself genuinely concerned with the actions the characters chose to go with towards the end of the novel. Luckily that direction did not happen (Note to self: Remember this is light-hearted chick lit!)
There is an important message here: Real and true friends will always come back to you even if you have not been treated well.
Evie’s Little Black Book is recommended.
About the Author:
Hannah Pearl was born in East London. She is married with two children and now lives in Cambridge.
She has previously worked as a Criminology researcher at a university in Leicester, as a Development Worker with various charities and even pulled a few pints in her time.
In 2015 she was struck down by Labrynthitis, which left her feeling dizzy and virtually housebound. She has since been diagnosed with ME. Reading has allowed Hannah to escape from the reality of feeling ill. She read upwards of three hundred books during the first year of her illness. When her burgeoning e-reader addiction grew to be too expensive, she decided to have a go at writing. In 2017, she won Simon and Schuster’s Books and the City #heatseeker short story competition, in partnership with Heat magazine, for her short story The Last Good Day.
Hannah is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association.
Win 2 x set of floral notebook, pen, book locket necklace, and chocolate
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.[Top]
Authors: Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella
To Be Published: Tomorrow, July 10, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 28-July 1, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
In I See Life Through Rosé Colored-Glasses, the bestselling mother/daughter pair is back with another hilarious and heartfelt collection of essays about the possibilities and pitfalls of everyday life.
Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella’s delightful essays are sure to strike a chord with every woman. Their nine book series is among the best reviewed humor books published today, and has been compared to the late greats Erma Bombeck and Nora Ephron.
I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses is the ninth collaboration between mother/ daughter team Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella. In these collaborations they share about the hilariousness that is their everyday life. We get both hilarious perspectives of life from the ‘younger generation’ and the ‘older generation’.
Through these essays you get to know both Lisa and Francesca. If you have read all the collaborations you know them and their family very well. They come from a big Italian family and we get to see first-hand what that is like.This is the first collaboration I have read and I would love to read more! I am a big Scottoline fan, so I feel I now know her more as a person. Francesca writes a column every Sunday in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
There are lots of laughs and a little sadness in the essays they share with us. Every mother and daughter will enjoy this collection of essays. You can see Lisa and Francesca have a very special relationship: They are each other’s number one fan. Go ahead and start reading these books now, you won’t regret it! Bring this with you to the beach, it is a perfect beach read!
Thank you St Martin’s Press for granting me an arc copy via NetGalley![Top]