Yes, I Do – A Fun Comedy about a Runaway Bride!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Yes, I Do (2018) Hallmark Review

Initially, Hallmark’s June Weddings line up included only four all-new originals. But in a kind of last-minute add on, a fifth title was spotted. That film is Yes, I Do. One of the cuter movies to air on this network, this one is less about poignant emotions and more about laugh-out-loud romcom shenanigans.

Hallmark alum Jen Lilly plays a would-bride Charlotte. Everything is perfect on this wedding day. The sun is shinning, guests are waiting and the groom, well he’s perfect. The one hitch? The bride. You see, Charlotte just can’t quite go through with the “I Dos.” So instead of facing her fiancé and the guests, Charlotte runs. She does this not once but twice! This is why on the eve of their third attempt just when Charlotte is getting the telltale jitters, James (Marcus Rosner) decides to call off the wedding.

Yes I Do Hallmark Channel

Suddenly, the idea of living without James scars Charlotte far more than the thought of a wedding. But first, she’ll have to prove to James that she’s finally ready to say “I do.”

Following the pattern of a romantic-comedy favorite, this story is reminiscent of the Julia Roberts and Richard Gere-led Runaway Bride. Though not my favorite oldie romcom ever, it is a film I do enjoy watching once in a while. Hallmark’s take on the story is, as one would expect, adorable. The script is formulaic, but throws in a few romance appropriate moments that helps the story shine.

With its familiar Hallmark leading lady, Jen Lilley (Harvest Love, and Eat, Play, Love) gives this story and character a “sparkle.” There’s something about her performances that sets apart the films she headlines. Her Charlotte is instantly likable despite the set up potential for dislike. At first blush, she’d actually be the kind of character whom we’d dislike not only as a leading lady, but also on behalf of the man who’s heart she breaks. Speaking of the leading man, Rosner is also familiar to “Hallmarkies” (as avid Hallmark fans refer to themselves), but he’s unusually in the role of the guy who never gets the girl. It’s fun to see him in a leading role this go round.

If you like Runaway Bride or anything from this network, Yes, I Do is charming. The typical romantic-comedy shenanigans will surely make you laugh as a dash to the alter is made. Originally titled Today I Do, this one keeps the smiles coming as we root on Charlotte, and hope the likable James doesn’t (yet again!) get his heart stomped on. The complications for this threepeat wedding pile up not just as a result of Charlotte’s aversion to marriage (and all the comic issues that come with this), but also James’ ex-girlfriend. (Who is played by Jessica Lowndes.) Fun fact, this film is also penned by the Hallmark film Eat, Play, Love which also features Jen Lilley!

Any frequent viewer of Hallmark will enjoy Yes, I Do. It's certainly a cute romantic comedy sure to make us smile and remind us again why we all love this network.

Content: As is the signature of this network, Yes, I Do contains nothing offensive. It’s rated TV-PG.

Photos: Hallmark Channel / Crown Media Press

Top Ten Tuesday | Favorite Places to Visit for a Book Nerd

Monday, August 13, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday | Favorite Places to Visit for a Book Nerd (aka CLICK BAIT!!)

The calendar again says it’s Tuesday, which means one thing: we’re coming to you with another edition of Top Ten Tuesday.

That Artsy Reader Girl August 14: Favorite Book Blogs/Bookish Websites

Bookish websites are the best, aren’t they? For me, love of them is all-encompassing and varied. Some of my click bait favorites are merchandise interwebs, others are resources, and others still are simply book bloggers (or booktubers) like myself. Lest you think I’m minimizing book bloggers, I am not. They are amazing. They are talented. They have creativity. They write from the heart. In short, this book blogging community (no matter what this net encompasses – bloggers, sellers or business bloggers) is freaking amazing.

This is something I continue to learn anew every day and have done for the past 7 years of this wild (mostly in a good way) journey. To all of my fellow book bloggers, thank you for all you do. Thank you for keeping with this journey (especially in light of the declines, but that’s a post for another day), and thank you for being a Finding Wonderland reader.

Today Jana gives us the immense pleasure of sharing some of our favorite bookish interweb places to visit or bookish things to do and participate in. Let’s take a look. *My apologies today's list isn't more about specifics. But I do sincerely mean all of the words that make up the list.

Top Ten Tuesday | Favorite Places to Visit for a Book Nerd

1: Blogs | In general, I love the blogs I regularly make a more-than-one weekly visit to (just of few of whom are Rel, Lydia, Jamie and Kara (INSPY friends!!), Emilie, Brittaney, Courtney, Becky, Lindsey, and SO MANY OTHERS I'm neglecting - you know who you are), and the bloggers who run them are unique talents who put forth much effort to create a fun space full of bookish conversation and to spread the word about amazingness that is the world inside the pages of a book. Tell me about your favorite bloggers?

2: Booktube | I realize these first two things all about generalizing (but they also go together which is why they stay together on this list) and not specifics (or really, the first THREE will be), but what can I say? I enjoy the booktube community as well. Among my favorites are large booktubers (like Peruse Project) to small, enthusiastic ones. They all put in so much effort and work to create fun content. Who are your favorite booktubers?

3: #Bookstagram | Ok, so this isn't the same as the rest of the things on this list, but seriously Instagram's "bookstagram" community, and the IG world in general is where it's happenin'. Or so says the experts! Oh, and speaking of experts, those of you who have mastered Instagram, wanna' share your secrets!? *grin*

4: Bookshelf Tees | Who doesn't love a good fangirl/bookworm company? I realize the website is on hiatus for now which means this isn't the best time to share, but I couldn't not include this fun company!

5: Emilie of CreateExploreRead | Emilie is an amazing blogger, bookstagram-mer, entrepreneur, and all around, human. Oh, and she's also a photographer! In short, she's a lovely lady to know in this community. 

6: Etsy  | Of course, this online marketplace isn’t exclusive or catered to bookworms, but golly, there is still lots of bookworm-y things to love and fangirl gear, which I basically feel is the same as bookworm fun.

7: JustRead Tours | Recently launched, this lovely new tour service is something bloggers who love being a part of tours may want to look into. Plus, its founders? They're awesome. 

8: Libib App | Love this library app!

9: Nose Graze | Ashley is an amazing designer and developer who is so helpful to those of us who know nothing about the best behind-the-scenes (aka hosting) goings on.

10: Top Ten Tuesday | Of course, I’m going to mention this fun book worm meme, and the lovely blogger who helms it all, Jana of That Artsy Reader Girl. This simple meme is always fun, a great way to meet with new bloggers, and the work Jana puts into it deserves a blogger thank you.

...of course, I also love Amazon (I know, this is controversial) and though I don't shop here often, I do browse Book Outlet. Epic Reads is another of my forever favorites (their cover reveal posts are bookworm drool worthy!!). I also appreciate Alicia's and FLYLeF's Summer Comment Challenge, and Shannon's monthly Giveaway Hop link ups!

And… | In the spirit of bookish things and blog-y resources, I have questions to put to you, readers. I am again in a place where I’m planning to move this bookish space, but also need to find good resources to help with this. Plus, a goal of mind (for years now) has been to be better organized (or rather to find organization) in blogging. Tell me, do you use or know of a great editorial calendar? Or any good blogging resources/helpful behind-the-scenes stuff and all this jazz. If so, please share!

*video publishes Tuesday afternoon; channel linked above

Tell me, bloggers, what are some of the places you visit Or bloggers you most appreciate for their style, writing or things they do to help this community? Or do you have a shop or friend with a shop? Share the link below! Please, comment with all of your favorite book (aka CLICK BAIT!!) places (shops, friend's blogs, booktubes, anything!) to visit. I’d love to know about them.

If you joined today’s meme, make sure and leave your Top Ten Tuesday links below so I can visit – or simply introduce your blog. I’d be glad to visit your bookish spaces.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.

PS: before you go...

if you'd like to have Finding Wonderland's new content sent to your inbox; sign up for our once (or twice) monthly round up of new content. (In order to be signed up, you will be asked to confirm via email; if you don't confirm, you will not receive the newsletter. Please note, this may also end up in your spam or trash folder.) If you'd like to have this newsletter sent to your inbox, you can enter your email address here.

and you can enter the August New Release book giveaway

Love on Safari – A South African Adventure in the Sun

Love on Safari (2018) Hallmark Review

Hallmark’s 2018 ‘Summer Nights’ campaign made a return with its first premiere. The first in a block of five all-new originals, Love on Safari is certainly an adventure to remember.

Chicago is home for web designer Kira Slater (Lacey Chabert). It’s where she’s happy, where she’s building a life with her boyfriend, Brad, and where she works in a job she likes. Her vacation plans fall through when she receives a letter from a lawyer asking that she attend the reading of her uncle’s will; an uncle who owns a wildlife preserve... in South Africa.

Much to the surprise of her boyfriend, and even no-risk-taker Kira herself, off to Africa she heads. Once there, she meets park rangers Tom Anderson (Jon Cor) and Ally (Brittany Bristow), both of whom have a love for the preserve not unlike her uncles. Everything changes when Kira learns it’s she who has inherited this preserve. Overwhelmed and unprepared for the effect it’d have on her life, Kira is suddenly thrust in a role she never expected in a place full of sunsets and adventure.

Love on Safari is different than anything Hallmark has produced before now. The obvious being its script and the large, wildlife that features in many of the scenes. Whether it’s a curious giraffe or elephants playfully spraying one another in the water, you’ll spy plenty of wild creatures alongside Hallmark’s frequent leading lady, Lacey Chabert.

Co-stars Lacey Chabert and Bristow are familiar faces on this network, while leading man Jon Cor is a newcomer. Though this film can’t claim the best chemistry, it’s still a film that allows all the trademarks this network is known for.

What’s most exciting about this one is the on-location shoot the network opts for. As with all of their ‘Summer Nights’ originals, this one goes for the full experience, and the difference is evident in the production's finish. The location shoot proves to not only make the experience more of an adventure, but also lends authenticity to the story. Not to mention the likelihood of this being a fun experience for the cast!

I must confess that while I did enjoy this, it’s not a favorite. There isn’t that same “spark” (romance) present as in some of my favorites. That said, I still respect the script and its emphasis on family and preserving memories. Between its playful (four-legged) co-stars, and the adventures the story takes its viewers on, as usual Love on Safari is a winning way to unwind and spend an evening in.

Photos: Hallmark Channel

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society - A Love Letter

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I'll receive a small percentage of the sale. Read the disclosure page for details.) 

Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Publisher: Dial Press
Publication Date: 2008
Genre: Fiction; Historical Fiction, epistolary
Source: Amazon Buy
FIND the BOOK ELSEWHERE: Amazon | Goodreads
Amazon | Blogger | Goodreads | Wordpress
Rating: ★★★★

THE STORY | The year is 1946, and the war is over, though the consequences from it aren’t. London is still rationed and residents are trying to remember what normality looks like. One of whom is Juliet Ashton, a Londoner who’s trivial fictional books (under a pseudonym) gave a nation hope in a dark time. Now the war is over, and Juliet wants her writing to be more than the inspiration for a good laugh. Now, she wants to write something real – something that matters.

Her life, and these plans change when she receives a letter from a man named Dawsey...

REVIEW | ‘Guernsey’ is one of those novels on the receiving end of much praise. It’s also
found many readers over its many years in print. I was not among this group. There’s no real reason for this except that I didn’t really know the details of this novel, plus historical fiction isn’t something I read much of. It wasn’t until news broke that a period drama with this same title was to go into production that curiosity got the best of me. A good period drama (with a superb cast to accompany it) goes a long way in securing this girl’s attention. Needless to say, after this, reading the book become more of a priority.

The story inside these pages is all heart and gumption. This is true of the present and the past as the plot slowly reveals through the letters of Guernsey’s residents. The spunky nature of the story is thanks to two heroines (who am I kidding; all of the characters are spunky!). The obvious heroine is Juliet, and the other is Elizabeth (who I suspect we’ll see a better portrait of in the film). Both women are unique, but also share many similarities.
“I don't want to be married just to be married. I can't think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can't talk to, or worse, someone I can't be silent with.” - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  
This leads me to the characters. 99% of these characters are likable like no other cast of characters I’ve (recently) met. It’s rare to like all of the characters in a book, which is why this makes such an impression. They’re full of personality, spunk and much empathy. I’d even wage a guess to say they’re the kind of people we wish to surround one’s self with because they care and are genuine. 

War puts them through unimaginable sorrow, and yet through it all, they press on – they live and don’t just exist. This is a rare and beautiful quality even in our world today, which is fortunate. Everyone is memorable right down to the adorable Kit, but it’s Juliet who makes the greatest impression. She’s a heroine with heart, and her humor is infectious.

As one reader in a spontaneous read-along (which I kind of “fell” out of, and feel terrible about), I think it’s safe to say, everyone who reads this one finds this book memorable. It’s one of those books that lingers with the reader after you turn the final page. For me personally, it’s one I can see myself re-reading. Maybe not next month or next year, but someday. It’s a beautiful story full of heart and memories we don’t want to forget – nor do we wish to leave this story. Suffice to say, not only do I adore this story, but the Netflix film's promise to be gorgeous is another source of excitement. ♥

Top Ten Tuesday | A Mash Up of Two Bookish Worlds

Monday, August 6, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday | A Mash Up of Two Bookish Worlds

Hey, hey fellow book nerds! Welcome back to Finding Wonderland. I’m so glad you made this space one of your Top Ten Tuesday stops. Let’s take a look at today’s topic.

That Artsy Reader Girl August 7: Books You’d Mash Together (pick two books you think would make an epic story if combined) (Submitted by Rissi @ Finding Wonderland)

(This post does contain affiliate links, which means – at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Despite this being an idea I thought sounded epic (and fun), as I sit down to put this post together, my bookish mind draws a blank. This is perhaps what I get for not better thinking this through. Or jotting down notes – like what books did I have in mind at the time? what books DO sound like epic mash-ups!?

Alas, my mind remains a blank canvas.

In the spirit of today’s theme, today’s list is all over the place (aka it gets the mix up treatment) wherein I talk about a few mashups I’ve yet to see happen, a few that already have (and I hope these are epic) and general author/style mashups!

1: Jane Austen meets Kasie West | Though Kasie West has written many YA-lite novels that mirror (in certain respects) Austen-esque themes, who else thinks she’d write a dynamic contemporary Austen series!? Her style seems ideally suited to these stories. Amazon | Goodreads

Mash Up of Two Bookish Worlds

Top Ten Tuesday

2: P+P+Z by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith meets Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen | Though I did (much to my surprise) enjoy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, who here thinks it’s Catherine Morland who’d actually slay in this world!??

3: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen meets Spies (Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance) | This mashup has already happened thanks to Talia’s Spies and Prejudice. Because I mean really, who else things Lizzy Bennet would be a rock star in the spy game!? I mean I love spy movies, and I love Pride and Prejudice, so basically this mash up is a must-read.

Pride and Prejudice: Amazon | GoodreadsPride and Prejudice on Amazon Video ▪ Spies and Prejudice: Amazon | Goodreads

Mash Up of Two Bookish Worlds

4: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas meets Steampunk! | Because, why not? Don’t you think Edmund’s brooding hero would fit into the steampunk era nicely? I like to think so. Amazon | Goodreads The Count of Monte Cristo on Amazon Video

5: Wait for Me by Caroline Leech meets Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte | This pair is kind of weird (but that’s part of the charm of today’s topic, right?) since I’ve read neither one of these books. However, as I put this list together, for some reason seeing the Jane Eyre story told during the 1940s (which is the timeframe for Wait for Me) sounds like the potential for a great story.

Wait for Me: Amazon | Goodreads ▪ Jane Eyre Book: Amazon | GoodreadsJane Eyre on Amazon Video

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday

6: Hushed by Joanne McGregor meets Unblemished by Sara Ella | Recently I began to read Hushed, a contemporary Little Mermaid re-telling that strips away all of the magic. This is an idea I like and in fact wouldn’t wish to see changed, but do wish Hushed had a better fairytale voice like Sara Ella’s Unblemished.

Hushed: Amazon | Goodreads ▪ Unblemished: Amazon | Goodreads

Mash-Up Book Talk: In my head swirls the thoughts that any of Charles Dickens stories would rock the steampunk era. They already have that kind of dark brooding vibe, so why not see them in the creative and Gothic-esque world of steampunk? Who else thinks Bleak House would be cool as a steampunk story? 

Also, who'd like to see some kind of mashup of North and South (the British story)? I'm not sure how I imagine this one being creatively blended with x-story, but I think a different era (but is still historical) is the only way to go. Mashing it with a contemporary story or setting wouldn't net the same results. 

*video publishes Tuesday afternoon; channel linked above

What mash ups would you create? Name two stories you’d like to see combined! How’d you spin this topic? I’ve love to see all of your thoughts. Comment below with your made-up bookish worlds.

If you joined today’s meme, make sure and leave your Top Ten Tuesday links below so I can visit – or simply introduce your blog. I’d be glad to visit your bookish spaces.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.

Book #GiveawayHop! | August 2018 New Release Celebration

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Hello and HAPPY August 2018, readers and friends. Late though this is, today it's again time to celebrate this new month - *confetti toss* - with a kind of virtual party. A party that includes books! 

(Because what other kind of party is there?)

Just because it's August, we're celebrating with a little giveaway. 

BOOK REVIEW | To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Love Letters with Heart

(This post does contain affiliate links. Read the disclosure page for details.) 

We've again signed on to take part in Shannon's (of It Starts at Midnight) giveaway hop. So, here we go. Ready to post a new giveaway post and all the fun that accompanies its awesomeness.    

Up for grabs is a little "winner's choice" selection of books - one in which you can pick from the below list. You can choose from the following August 2018 releases - books that include new releases and some books that inspired upcoming film adaptations. Just because it's fun to celebrate these too. 


- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society** (Out Now!) · Amazon | Goodreads
- Thirst of Steal by Ronie Kendig (Out Now!) · Amazon | Goodreads
- Freedom's Kiss by Sarah Monzon (August 6) · Amazon | Goodreads
- The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell (August 7) · Amazon | Goodreads
- The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby (August 7) · Amazon | Goodreads
- Catwomen: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas (August 7) · Amazon | Goodreads
- Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson (August 7) · Amazon | Goodreads
- Some Like it Hot by Susan May Warren (August 14) · Amazon | Goodreads
- In Another Time by Caroline Leech (August 28) · Amazon | Goodreads
- The Towering Sky by Katharine McGee (August 28) · Amazon | Goodreads

Since this is a month-long hop giveaway, it will run through the end of August, the 31st.

*Please note: I have not read any of these; with exception to 'Guernsey'
** Offering this one again because a: the film airs on August 10 and b: it's lovely. 
And now let's get those annoying rules and regulation details out of the way. 

The book will be a Kindle prize, and is open to All READERS
+ By entering, you are acknowledging that you are over 18*, and that you are aware, I will contact you via the email address you provide in the Rafflecopter form (below). (With your permission, this address will then be used to gift the book to you via Amazon.)  
Anyone who leaves a comment under "anonymous," please leave the same name you enter into the widget in your comment (I ask this in consideration of fairness to everyone else, I want to be able to be sure everyone who used the Rafflecopter correctly has a fair chance at winning against those who abuse it - there have been a few people I could not verify). 
+ The winner is chosen randomly (via Rafflecopter); failure to complete the "tasks" does result in disqualification. 
+ The winner(s) will be contacted via the email address in the Rafflecopter form within 1-3 days of the giveaway's close.
+ Winner(s) will have 48 hours to respond to the email notification before another winner is randomly chosen.

To be entered in the giveaway, just enter as much or as little as you like into the Rafflecopter widget, which you'll find down below. The giveaway ends August 31. Happy Rafflecopter-ing!

*Or you must have a parent's permission to provide a mailing address


#GIVEAWAY Enter for a chance to win a 2018 August release! Part of @ShannonMiz's giveaway hop! #YALit #BookNerd #Bookworm via @RissiJC 

Book #Giveaway | Enter for a chance to win a August 2018 #YALit or #ChristFic adult novel #NewRelease #Bookworm #GiveawayHop #MustRead @RissiJC

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Month in Review | July 2018 + #Booktube Talk

Month in Review | July 2018 + #Booktube Talk

Hey, there August! Another end of another month brings with it yet another Finding Wonderland Month in Review recap-y thing. Late though this is (*looks for July*), here we are. Getting our "recap" on and sharing all the July 2018 recap thoughts. (Yes, I'll mention it: we're now past the halfway point of 2018! Like, whaaat!?)

Ciao, July 2018. Bonjour, August!

Here we go.

»Favorites & News from July 2018«

1: Carrie Underwood's 'Cry Pretty' | This is definitely "old news," but I forgot to mention and ask, who's excited for new music from this talented artist!? I know I am. Her first single, 'Cry Pretty' is unique, but also stays true to her brand and "sound." 

2: Netflix | Still plugging away at all my Netflix binge-watching. Tell me, would you like a post reading about my most recent posts a-la June's post that is In My Netflix Queue: 6 New Reasons To Love Netflix. 

3: To All the Boys I've Loved Before | After months, nay, years, of saying I wanted to read Jenny Han's popular YA novel. Finally I did, and I've actually already reviewed it. Bring on the Neflix adaptation. 

4: Wordpress vs Blogger | I am again engaged in the internal debate whether or not to move to self-hosted Wordpress. I've been against WP for so many years, when I blogged for "free," because of the limited design abilities. Now, what holds me back is the costs! I mean, wow! Self hosting WP is expensive. Who here self hosts!? Tell me your best sources, hosting and tips. I'm curious. 

»Wishful Wonder Bookstagram Challenge«

There’s another #WishfulWonder Bookstagram challenge. The fun began August 1! All the details can be found in the introduction post. PS: if you’d ever like to join in as a host, let me know.

 »Favorite Blog Posts«
 (Blog posts that, while not necessarily the most popular, were fun to write)

»Popular Posts the Week of July 25 - August 1 «

»Finding Wonderland on Booktube | July 2018 «

 »Books Read | July 2018 «
(This post does contain affiliate links. Read the disclosure page for details.) 
»Around the Interwebs«
what else am I writing?

Silver Petticoat | As is the norm, there's been plenty of amazing new content over on Silver Petticoat. Here’s a recap look at what I contributed to the amazing webzine.

Articles and Lists | In honor of Hallmark's June Weddings, I highlight Love at First Dance in Silver Petticoat's weekly Romantic Moment feature. Speaking of Hallmark, we also preview their 'Summer Nights' 2018, and take a look at "What we Know" about the new Little Women adaptation! Finally, we provide a list of (hopefully) ten of the best new flicks heading to the summer trip to the Box Office.

Film and TV Reviews | My single review for July? (All about articles this month.) I review Freeform's latest TV show Cloak and Dagger, which is the newest addition to Marvel's TV universe. 

TV Recaps | None!

As always, thanks to the editors of Silver Petticoat and my fellow contributors! Working with you all is always fun.

That’s an end to the month here at #FindingWonderlandBlog. What was your bookish, blogging or life like this past month? What tips, advice or new tricks are you learning to keep up with the changing blogging world? Did you discover any new (and amazing) authors or reads? How about new bloggers? Or must-try new finds? Comment down below with your thoughts! As always, I’d love to chat with you.

What plans are going to take you through the rest of the summer? Do you have big end-of-summer plans or something exciting to anticipate!?
Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.

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