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Cocktails & Book Tales With Ashley Winstead

July 28, 2022

Dear Fabulous Readers,

I am so excited to announce that I will be going LIVE on Instagram with author Ashley Winstead tonight at 8 pm EST. We will be discussing her new book, The Last Housewife, which comes out on August 16th, and a bunch of other fun things. I hope to see you all there. If you happen to miss it…It will be saved to my Instagram account and can be watched later. In the meantime, here is what I said about all three of her books.

Happy Reading!

Kelly

The Last Housewife (Sourcebooks Landmark)

I’m not going to lie… the potency of some of the scenes is mind-blowing and carries significant weight throughout the story. Survival and redemption ring true, but so does emotional and physical trauma. ⁣

Winstead’s book was BANANAS… in the BEST possible way. Here’s the scoop… Her writing is RAZOR-SHARP, and her attention to detail is veritable. She led me into a dark sadistic world filled with power and humiliation beyond anything my imagination could ever even try and muster up on its own. ⁣

I loved how Winstead brilliantly weaved in themes from some of the foundational thinkers of our time. Rigorous thoughts and pieces of writing from Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, and good old Dante were no doubt examined and creatively incorporated into this psychosexual tale, and I was obsessed with every second of it! ⁣

Because The Last Housewife is graphic in nature, it may not be a good-fit read for sensitive readers. Winstead offers trigger warnings for her story in the actual⁣ Book and on her website. Please DM me for specific content warnings if you are in need. ⁣

Synopsis:

While in college in upstate New York, Shay Evans and her best friends met a captivating man who seduced them with a web of lies about the way the world works, bringing them under his thrall. By senior year, Shay and her friend Laurel were the only ones who managed to escape. Now, eight years later, Shay’s built a new life in a tony Texas suburb. But when she hears the horrifying news of Laurel’s death—delivered, of all ways, by her favorite true-crime podcast crusader—she begins to suspect that the past she thought she buried is still very much alive, and the predators more dangerous than ever.

Recruiting the help of the podcast host, Shay goes back to the place she vowed never to return to in search of answers. As she follows the threads of her friend’s life, she’s pulled into a dark, seductive world, where wealth and privilege shield brutal philosophies that feel all too familiar. When Shay’s obsession with uncovering the truth becomes so consuming she can no longer separate her desire for justice from darker desires newly reawakened, she must confront the depths of her own complicity and conditioning. But in a world built for men to rule it—both inside the cult and outside of it—is justice even possible, and if so, how far will Shay go to get it?

Fool Me Once (Graydon House Books)

𝘍𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘔𝘦 𝘖𝘯𝘤𝘦…a ROMANTIC COMEDY Yes, you heard me correctly.  Winstead shifted from four-wheel driving up a steep hill in a blizzard to effortlessly cruising in a convertible down a long, windy country road.  What does this jumble of words mean, you ask?  It implies that 𝐀𝐬𝐡𝐥𝐞𝐲 𝗪𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐰𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐩𝐬.  𝘍𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘔𝘦 𝘖𝘯𝘤𝘦 is a ginormous departure from her other work, and it is literally “swoon-worthy,”… a phrase that thriller readers may not be well-versed in.   𝐋𝐞𝐞 𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐁𝐞𝐧 𝐋𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐧’𝐬 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝-𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞, 𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐞𝐬-𝐭𝐨-𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐦𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥𝐬.  Heartbreak, trust issues, politics, green energy, and laugh-out-loud scenes line the pages of 𝘍𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘔𝘦 𝘖𝘯𝘤𝘦.  Let’s not forget the serious banter and chemistry between our two potential “love-birds” that left my cheeks on the rosy side.  With fantastic rhythm and a wicked fresh storyline, 𝘍𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘔𝘦 𝘖𝘯𝘤𝘦 deserves a place on your shelf.⁣

Synopsis:

“Lee Stone is a twenty-first-century woman: she kicks butt at her job as a communications director at a women-run electric car company (that’s better than Tesla, thank you), and after work she is “Stoner,” drinking guys under the table and never letting any of them get too comfortable in her bed…
That’s because Lee’s learned one big lesson: never trust love. Four major heartbreaks set her straight, from her father cheating on her mom all the way to Ben Laderman in grad school–who wasn’t actually cheating, but she could have sworn he was, so she reciprocated in kind.
Then Ben shows up five years later, working as a policy expert for the most liberal governor in Texas history, just as Lee is trying to get a clean energy bill rolling. Things get complicated–and competitive–as Lee and Ben are forced to work together. Tension builds just as old sparks reignite, fanning the flames for a romantic dustup the size of Texas.”

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife (Sourcebooks Landmark)

WOW! I could not put this thriller down to save my life.  This one kept me guessing literally to the very end. My heart was racing, and my mind was bending with every page I read.  All of the characters had significant issues, and I trusted no one. This book is dark academia at its finest! Can you say SPECTACULAR! 

Synopsis:

“Ten years after graduation, Jessica Miller has planned her triumphant return to her southern, elite Duquette University, down to the envious whispers that are sure to follow in her wake. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see—confident, beautiful, indifferent. Not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather Shelby’s murder fractured everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she’d been closest to since freshman year.

But not everyone is ready to move on. Not everyone left Duquette ten years ago, and not everyone can let Heather’s murder go unsolved. Someone is determined to trap the real killer, to make the guilty pay. When the six friends are reunited, they will be forced to confront what happened that night—and the years’ worth of secrets each of them would do anything to keep hidden.”

Mother of Dragons

Slay Like a Mother:  How to Destroy What’s Holding You Back So You Can Live the Life You Want by Katherine Wintsch (Source Books)

“Your cruel inner voice is your worst enemy, and it’s making life harder than it has to be.  To make changes, you need to hear, trust, and believe the following statement with every bone in your body: You are not the voice in your head. It might sound like you, but it is not you; it might be inside of you, but it is not rooting for you.  It is fueled by your dragon, and therefore, it is fighting against you.”

June 24, 2021

Dear Mr Hemingway,

Being a mother is tough stuff.  Let’s face it, raising small human beings to be independent, good people is no easy feat.  Throw in a healthy portion of self doubt and this motherhood gig just got a whole lot more interesting. As a mom to three, I personally know all about self doubt, negative thinking and how pure exhaustion can literally take over and lead the way (been there, done that and still a work in progress).  Self confidence is hard to come by, especially when it’s competing with all the garbage that has invaded our heads.  Why just muddle through motherhood though when we can enjoy the experience without losing ourselves along the way.  It’s time to rejoice!   Katherine Wintsch is here to share that you can be a thriving mom and eat your cake too.  Young mothers and seasoned mothers alike will find nuggets of wisdom from Wintsch’s book, Slay Like a Mother, that will carry them through this crazy mom journey with some much needed peace and understanding. Let’s take a look!

“If you despise “perfect mothers”, then stop trying to be the bitch you hate.”

Wintsch’s book is all about slaying our dragons.  Dragons are the things that are holding us moms back from being the best version of ourselves.  Traumatic events, negative thinking, self doubt, being too sensitive, and my favorite…comparing ourselves to other moms are just a few examples of dragons that are taking up residence in our heads.  Wintsch offers her readers a behind the scenes look at where these dragons come from, how to manage these beasts and how to eventually eliminate all of these fire breathing creatures from our lives. Struggling is a part of motherhood. However, it’s when the switch flips from struggling to suffering that reevaluation becomes dire. Slay Like a Mother is filled with everyday examples of situations that wreak havoc on our personal growth and fuel those flame throwing dragons. There are interactive sections between the pages that aid in identifying what our unique issues are.  For example, would you talk to your friend the way you talk to yourself, what battles are worth winning, and how do you define success for yourself are all situations that can be explored and analyzed in a constructive way.  How great is that?  You can read this book, write in it and then re-visit it for optimal results.  Peace Out self doubt!!!

“When you give away your free time, you believe others deserve it more than you.

Slay Like a Mother is a breath of fresh air to mothers young and old.  I loved how it didn’t read like a “self help” book, but instead like a friend helping a friend. Instead of preaching and lecturing (no one likes that), Wintsch shares and relates.  Her writing has a vulnerability and understanding to it that gives off an empowering vibe. Learning how to “not care what other moms think” or how to get off the comparison merry-go-round may not be rocket science, but it is still downright HARD to do. Having a few of those oh so shiny swords at our disposal to slay these nuisances are always welcome.

“Be the slayer you want to see in the world.”

It is time to get our slay on and take care of some much needed business so we can be kick ass moms and live our lives to the fullest! 

Write to you again soon my friend!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. Be sure to check out everything about Slay Like a Mother Right Here.

Click on the book pic to purchase!

***I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.  My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it!

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