This post was sponsored by Lionsgate as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.
Nicholas Sparks is my guilty pleasure. There. I said it.
I don’t get to read a lot, but when I do, I like to enjoy it. Many times, I choose research materials or biographies- hoping to expand my mind, but these often don’t give my spirit a lift. I don’t have all the feels… and I love the feels. So I was delighted to get a few friends together on the idea of a sporadic book club. A good bottle of wine shared between friends who need to catch up, read, and escape the daily grind a bit more than we do. Our first book: The Choice.
Nicholas Sparks has a way of transcending our own lives, giving us the feeling that we’ve loved in the same way, or even lost in the same way, too, as his characters. We passionately turn the pages, wanting to know more… in this case, we needed to know how it all ends up for feisty med student Gabby Holland and ladies’ man Travis Shaw.
I think my favorite theme of the book was really how everything in life is or is not a choice and it is up to us how we proceed… and whether or not we choose to honor the decisions others have made. How far does one go to keep love alive?
We gals sat around discussing how much Gabby and Travis reminded us of little bits of ourselves and mirrored parts of our relationships in their own ways, noshing on a delicious Pizza Supreme Cheese Ball (recipe below), and laughing at how friendships shape our relationships just as much as they shape us as individuals. How much we need each other- during the good, bad, and ugliest times in our lives. …a strong resemblance to the realization Gabby has upon her move, and a reminder of what Travis has had throughout his whole life.
We’re all excited to see it together, too, as Liongate released The Choice in theaters on Friday (the 5th).
This movie is about making difficult choices of the heart to find your destiny and perfect match… and waiting for the choice to come, to write your own story.
Ready to host your own book/wine club? First, pick a book that will capture your emotions- so you know everyone will have that can’t put it down feeling… Nicholas Sparks always does this for me. Then, create a Facebook group so you can all chat about the book as you go, and set a date for your next meet-up! And, don’t forget the perfect dish to serve; try my Pizza Supreme Cheese Ball and pair it with a robust red, like a malbec. To ensure we had enough for everyone, I grabbed a BOTA BOX. I know boxed wine… but it’s legit. This malbec is medium-bodied wine with aromas and flavors of jammy blueberry and blackberry with earthy tannins on he finish. It’s perfectly paired with this bold cheesy appetizer and crackers.
- 8oz. cream cheese at room temp.
- 1C shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/2T pizza sauce
- 2T minced onion
- 2T finely chopped green bell pepper
- 2T finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1T finely chopped black olives
- 1/3C finely chopped pepperoni
- In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and mozzarella- beat until well blended.
- Add remaining ingredients until well mixed.
- Shape into a ball, put onto a plate and loosely cover with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate until serving time, at least 1 hour.
- Serve with assorted crackers!
- If you want to roll your cheese ball in chopped pecans before refrigerating- it's super tasty, too!
What’s your favorite book club recipe?