Archives for August 2012

Blog Tour – Spotlight: Back to Bataan by Jerome Charyn with an interview and an excerpt

Back to Bataan
written by Jerome Charyn          
published by Tribute Books 

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

For more blog tour info check out the official book website! And visit Tribute Books!

About the book – from the publisher: New York City, 1943. War is raging in Europe and the Pacific, while Jack Dalton is stuck attending Dutch Masters Day School. What Jack really wants is to enlist in the army, to fight…

Everything changes when Coco, Jack’s “fiancee,” throws him over for one of his classmates. Jack sees red and does something drastic. Then he runs away. Hiding out in a nearby park, Jack joins ranks with a group of vagrants and is soon under the sway of a man called the Leader, an ex-convict who is as articulate and charismatic as he is dangerous. The Leader turns Jack’s world upside down. To put things right, Jack must prove himself a braver soldier than he ever imagined.

Please enjoy this excerpt from Back to Bataan!

Mauricette told Harriet Godwin I was the pig of the class. I had treated her like garbage. Mauricette wouldn’t answer my phone calls. She wouldn’t read the notes I dropped inside her desk. But Arturo Fink kept reminding her who she was. “Fiancée,” he said. “Jack’s fiancée.”

I promised myself I wouldn’t write anymore compositions, but how could I graduate from Dr. Franklin’s class and join General MacArthur?

It felt lonely without a fiancée.

Mauricette began seeing Barnaby Rosenstock after school. They were holding hands and having chocolate malteds at the Sugar Bowl on Seventy-ninth Street. Fat Arturo was eating two ice-cream sodas. The Sugar Bowl is our hangout. It’s the official candy store of Dutch Masters Day School. I didn’t have money for ice-cream sodas. I didn’t have money for malteds. I’d buy a Hershey bar or some Chuckles once a week. I’d peek at the comic book rack and wonder what was happening to Captain Marvel or the Sub-Mariner. Marvel and the Sub-Mariner were already at war, fighting Japs. And when Mauricette was still my fiancée, I’d sit with her over a glass of water and treat her to some candy whenever I could. But now she was sucking malteds with Barnaby Rosenstock. I could hear her from my corner, next to the comic book rack.

“Oh, Jack Dalton,” she said. “He has a wild imagination. He likes to fling words around. He thinks half the school is going to marry him.”

She didn’t have to shame me in front of her friends. Arturo was laughing into his fat cheeks. Barnaby had a chocolate rainbow on his lips. I didn’t even bother with the comic books. Marvel would have to fight the Japs without me. I walked home.

Mama was at the factory. She makes parachutes. Sometimes she’d bring home a little piece of silk left over from one of the chutes. That’s how I get my handkerchiefs. Not even Arturo with all his father’s money has a handkerchief of genuine silk. But handkerchiefs couldn’t make me feel good. Silk is only silk. I wondered about the American fliers who had their planes shot down and had to fall into the dark wearing some of that silk.

I couldn’t concentrate on my homework. It didn’t seem important when you considered all the Japs and Germans out there. I hope General MacArthur takes me with him to Bataan. I’m not asking for a Purple Heart. I’m only asking to kill Japs. And if I have to die, I want to die near my dad…

Mama came home at seven. The streets from my window looked so dark, I thought the world had gone gray. I didn’t care. I wouldn’t mind going to school after midnight.

“Darling,” Mama said, “what’s wrong?”

I couldn’t tell her how I lost a fiancée, because she would have figured I was insane.

“Mama, I’m blue…that’s all.”

“You’re still dreaming of the Army, aren’t you? We’ll have dinner and listen to the radio, my little blue boy.”

We had soup and bread and boiled potatoes and peas out of a can. It’s not Mama’s fault if meat is rationed and sugar is rationed. No one can inherit ration stamps, not even the President or Arturo’s dad.

We listened to Jack Benny. He played the violin and talked about the Japs. Mama laughed, because Jack Benny is the biggest miser in the world. He would never spend a nickel. But he told everybody to buy war bonds.

“What about you, Mr. Benny?”

Mama told me it was time for bed.

I put on my pajamas. But I didn’t feel like sleeping. I dialed Mauricette’s number and let the telephone ring. Somebody picked up the phone.

“It’s me,” I said. “Jack Dalton. Your former fiancé. Coco, are you there? I wanted to—”

Mauricette hung up. And I wondered who was lonelier. The dead cowboys on Bataan, or young Jack Dalton.

Here is an interview with the author, 
Jerome Charyn!

What are your thoughts on the explosion of popularity concerning the YA genre? I think it might very well be that it started with Harry Potter, that young adult writers are trying to tell good stories and adults have moved into that kind of dream.

You are the master of writing across a realm of different genres, what excites you about connecting with different audiences? I’m not so sure that these are different audiences, I think we all love stories, whether we’re children or great-grandfathers and when you move from genre to genre you are still telling a story like Scheherazade and the king is always waiting for the next tale.

Your writing is so precise, yet evocative – how do you work at crafting your unique style of prose? Everything begins and ends with the word, with the music of the sentence and as Tolstoy once said, “I’m always composing.”

Being a published author for nearly 50 years, what do you think of eBooks? I think that this is a kind of logical step as we move from the internet into eBooks.  Publishing is changing even as we speak. I think there now will be a more complicated dance between the eBook and the printed book, and as we’ve seen recently, successes in eBooks allow the author to move into print.

What would be your advice to young people who aspire to a literary career? It’s not worth the money – only write if you’re absolutely in love with it.

How much of your life is in Back to Bataan? How did you personally experience New York during World War II? I think so much of the source of my writing comes from my childhood, I grew up during the War  – so many of the terrors and the magic of certain films have remained with me.  And all of this appears in the character of Jack.

Your older brother was a detective. Did your experiences with him influence the plot? Not really, I think all writing is crime writing. And Back to Bataan is a crime novel with a very original twist.

Why did you decide to include the fascination with the famous as a theme – Gary Cooper, Eleanor Roosevelt, etc.? These people were heroes to me as a child, particularly Eleanor Roosevelt, who was one of the most extraordinary women who ever lived, and of course as a child I fell in love with Gary Cooper’s face and with his very slow drawl, that seemed so exotic to me.

Jack finds acclaim through his writing, yet feels guilty for exploiting other people (Mrs. Fink). How does a writer starting out work to bridge this gap? You’re always cannibalizing other people and writers when you start to write, so it’s natural that Jack should be a young cannibal.

How important is the New York Times in your own life? Why did you decide to make it a form of connection between Jack and the Leader? As a child, I didn’t even know that the Times existed – I grew up in a neighborhood without newspapers and books, so that when I first fell upon the New York Times, I was very very greedy, and wanted to include it in Jack’s middle-class life.

About the author: Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”

New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,” and the Los Angeles Times described him as “absolutely unique among American writers.”

Since 1964, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.

Find him here: web, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

The Light and Fallen (Chronicles of the Nephilim #1) by Anna White

The Light and Fallen (Chronicles of the Nephilim #1)
written by Anna White          
published by Anna White

find it here: Amazon, Goodreads

*100% of the proceeds of this novel will be donated to The Water Project.

Why did I pick this book: The author, Anna White, contacted me about reviewing her book and I gladly accepted her request. (I received a copy of the book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: This was a good story and a fairly fast read. It took me about a day, start to finish. The last quarter of the book had all of the action…that’s when it grabbed me and I read every free chance I had. 

Even though the end had all the action, it seemed to end rather quickly with a quick explanation. This left me wanting more…which is a good thing since there is a sequel coming out. I will have to read that book – Divide the Darkness – to see what happens next. 

The two main characters were Samara and Lucian. Samara is the human girl who becomes the love interest. Lucian is the angel that has fallen to earth in order to find “the key” and save the future. Jack is the antithesis of Lucian, and also a cocky jerk who is abusive and a user who is rather full of himself. (I didn’t like Jack, if you couldn’t tell.) The relationship that develops between Samara and Lucian kind of reminded me of Edward and Bella – insta-love, he shouldn’t be with her but can’t stay away, he’s there when she really needs him to be, she doesn’t feel worthy of him, etc. The relationship works for this story and isn’t a bad thing at all. 

There were some flaws with this book. The story line was predictable to a point. It had quite a few typos…not enough to be distracting or to take away from the story, but enough to notice. There was one major mistake where the name of the nemesis, Jack, was replaced with the name James in Chapter 53. That kind of bugged me. There were also some missing words here and there as well. 

Would I recommend it: If you like books about angels, paranormal teen romance, and you like indie works, then, yes, read this book! 

Will I read it again: I will not but I do want to know what happens next so I will probably read book #2, Divide the Darkness

About the book – from Goodreads: 
Lucian isn’t sure what to expect when he steps over the banister separating Heaven from Earth. He opens his eyes in a new body, one with no wings, no knowledge of the future, and no special powers. All he remembers is his mission: to find a mysterious key. When he meets a human girl that he can’t ignore he is forced, for the first time in eternity, to choose between duty and the pull of his heart. The future hangs on his decision, but he’s fallen into a world where nothing is just what it seems. 

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

GIVEAWAY!! Blog Tour: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris

MSS16C_RGB-500pxMy Super Sweet Sixteenth Century
written by Rachel Harris
published by Entangled Publishing
release date September 11, 2012

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book DepositoryGoodreads

Why did I pick this book: I was very lucky to be able to participate in the blog tour for this book hosted by Shane at Itching for Books. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: I really, really did enjoy this book! I couldn’t put it down, I read it every free chance I had and when I was finished, I couldn’t stop smiling nor could I stop myself from having that excited feeling you get when you finish a great book. (In fact, that reaction lasted for most of my day!)

I enjoyed so many things about this book. The characters were great. Cat, who has always been in the spotlight because of her parents, is a character you feel bad for yet you want her to learn the lessons that she needs to learn. Alessandra is a sweet girl and I want to know more about her. Lorenzo was a great match for Cat. Nicollo was a character I did not like from his introduction. Reyna, the gypsy, was strange at first but I loved her at the end. I would give you more detail but I don’t want to give anything away.

I really liked that this book wasn’t all about the usual cliches that come with these century-swap-type of stories. Of course, there were the inevitable blunders but it wasn’t too much and it all worked fabulously. Two scenes really stood out to me. First, the scene in the field between Patience and Lorenzo, while they were watching the clouds, was so sweet, intimate, and left you with a content sigh. The second scene that stood out was the scene between Patience and Michelangelo discussing the David sculpture. I literally laughed out loud. That scene was written so well…I loved it!

The end…oh, the end…I loved how it all came together. The little things that popped up were great – the painting, the boy – so good. I cannot wait for the next book in this series. If I had it now, I would have started it immediately because of the cliffhanger that was the end of this book!

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this wonderful book to anyone!

Will I read it again: I just may.

About the book – from Goodreads: On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

rachel harrisAbout the author: As a teen, Rachel Harris threw raging parties that shook her parents’ walls and created embarrassing fodder for future YA novels.
As an adult, she reads and writes obsessively, rehashes said embarrassing fodder, and dreams up characters who become her own grown up version of imaginary friends.
When she’s not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, you can find her homeschooling her two beautiful princesses, hanging out with her amazing husband, or taking a hot bubble bath…next to a pile of chocolate.
MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY is her debut novel.  She did have her own fantabulous Sweet Sixteen in high school. Sadly, it wasn’t televised.
Find her here: web, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

And now it is time for the awesome GIVEAWAY!!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win a copy of the book and some fantastic swag!

Castles on the Sand by E.M. Tippetts

Castles on the Sand BN KoboCastles on the Sand (Shattered Castles #1)
written by  E.M. Tippetts
published by Emily Tippetts

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I have read Ms. Tippetts’ other two books – Someone Else’s Fairytail and Paint Me True – truly enjoyed them both. When I was presented with the opportunity to review Ms. Tippetts’ latest release, I jumped at the chance. (I was provided with a copy for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. Unlike her other two books, Castles on the Sand took a little while to get into it. However, the last 100 pages had me glued to my Nook. (I was happy that it didn’t need charged until I finished this book!)

This book is definitely a young adult book told in the voice of a 15 year old, Madison. The situations that she finds herself in – while some are typical teen problems – are more adult than most teens have to deal with. Madison has to deal with a mother who isn’t there for her, a best friend who lashes out at her with bullying and harassment because of her own home life, finding out she has a sibling she never knew about, that her classmate is dealing with far more than what most people know, and boys who want to be with her but not in a real relationship way. Madison is quite mature even though she comes across as naive at times. She is strong, nice, and can stand her ground when push comes to shove.

Madison’s best friend, Kailie, was a character that I didn’t really care for. I understand some of her reactions but I don’t think her problems justify what she did to Madison. (I don’t want to give anything away…so if that is cryptic, I’m sorry. You’ll just have to read the book to know what I’m talking about.) Carson was arrogant and not that kind. John was very overprotective but a loving older brother to Madison. Alex was a fantastic character. He was so misunderstood yet I got him.

One of my favorite scenes was the dinner at the Japanese restaurant with Alex, Grace (Alex’s mother), and Madison. It was sweet, touching, almost normal.

To me, the message of the book is that not everything is as it seems. Everyone has secrets and issues that they are dealing with…whether they deal with correctly is up for discussion and though. But through everything, hope is necessary.
everyfree4Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book. It is a good read with a good message. 

Will I read it again: I don’t think that I will.

About the book – from Goodreads: Madison Lukas knows her place in the world. She’s not pretty, not interesting, and therefore easy to forget.

John Britton is serving his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has been praying for fifteen years to find the sister he lost in his parents’ divorce. She is beautiful, talented, and makes kindness a fine art.

When John and Madison cross paths, he recognizes her at once, but Madison is certain that he’s got it all wrong. Even if she is his long-lost sister, she can’t possibly be the exceptional, amazing girl he thinks she is, can she?

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

GIVEAWAY!! Blog Tour: Shift (Firstborn Trilogy #2) by Raine Thomas

Shift (Firstborn Trilogy #2)
written by Raine Thomas          
published by Iambe Books 

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

find the author here: web, Facebook, Twitter

Why did I pick this book: I fortunate to again be able to participate in the blog tour for the Firstborn Trilogy hosted by YA Bound. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.) 

Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. I read it every free chance I had. In fact, I had been anxiously awaiting this book after finishing Defy

Shift picks up about two months after the end of Defy. This book is mainly about Sophia and Quincy. I loved the interaction between those two and knowing what each of them are thinking when they themselves do not. It was great! I also loved seeing Tate and Zachariah together. Their relationship is fantastic. 

Shift has a lot of action and adventure. It was wonderful to see the different sides of the characters emerge and develop. Not everyone is as they seem. It was satisfying to see Sophia tap into her powers, finally. Some of the Mercesti are also shown in a different light…they aren’t all evil. Poor Knorbis and Ariana. They both are trying to do the right thing which sometimes conflicts with doing what their heart is pulling them towards. 

All-in-all, a great read that kept me interested from beginning to end. Speaking of the end, what a cliffhanger!! I cannot wait for the third book to be released!

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book, especially if you read Defy. If you haven’t read Defy, you really should read this series.

Will I read it again: It depends on when the third book is released. I may at some point down the road. 

About the book – from Goodreads: 
Having the ability to shapeshift, Sophia is familiar with change. But even she feels the rising tension in her homeland.

A shadowy male and deadly beast reside in their midst. The births of the newest Kynzesti loom. Hostile Mercesti continue to hunt for the Elder Scroll, and a traumatized female is too afraid to use her abilities to stop them.

Topping off Sophia’s stress is Quincy, the male she’s convinced can’t stand her. She rues the loss of their friendship, but can’t figure out how to move past it. She’ll soon learn, however, that mending that rift bears more significance than she ever imagined.The search for the Elder Scroll takes on unexpected urgency, and Sophia finds herself in a race across the mainland. To stop the Mercesti led by Eirik, she and her companions must get past their differences and unite against them. If they don’t, Eirik will acquire the immense power he seeks, and two of the beings Sophia loves most will die. 

And now for a great GIVEAWAY from the author, 
Raine Thomas, and YA Bound! Enter to win a paperback copy of Defy and Shift along with a butterfly necklace! (Open US only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

Blog Tour: Showbiz, A Novel by Ruby Preston plus an Interview with the author

Showbiz, A Novel
written by Ruby Preston          
published by Ruby Preston, via Smashwords

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour for this book organized by CLP Blog Tours(I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. It was very enjoyable and had me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happens next. I read Showbiz, A Novel every free chance I had. 

I loved all of the characters…each were very well written and developed. I loved the action and the inside drama. There was nothing in this book that I would want to change. 

I loved Scarlett Savoy. I really wanted her to succeed and make it on her own as a producer. Her friend, and go to guy for functions and whatnot, Lawrence, was fantastic. He and Scarlett were great together. I wanted more but I can see the reason behind the direction taken. Reilly was a  wonderful love interest for Scarlett. The two of them complimented each other quite nicely despite having to walk the fine line of “what can I tell/share” and “what can I print v. keep confidential”.  Margolies was an ass…his ending was all that I could hope for. And the Jeremys…so funny, so sweet, and I hope their new musical, Swan Song, is a hit. 

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book to anyone who likes chick lit or who likes Broadway.

Will I read it again: I probably will not read this book again. But I will be anxiously awaiting the sequel!!!

About the book – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS: After four years in Manhattan, slaving away as the under-appreciated apprentice to the brilliant but ruthless “King of Broadway”, Scarlett Savoy is finally on her way to becoming a Broadway producer in her own right. But then, a shocking suicide turns Broadway on its head. Scarlett finds herself at the center of the storm as everything she thought she knew about the business of Broadway begins to unravel. A chance meeting with an influential gossip columnist sparks romance – but can he be trusted? Scarlett is forced to decide to what lengths she’ll go, who she’s willing to become, and what she’ll sacrifice, to achieve her Broadway dreams.

I’m pleased to welcome Ruby Preston to the blog today! She answered a few questions that I had…I hope you enjoy!

What is it like to be a producer on Broadway? It is nothing short of thrilling to be a Broadway producer. I’ve never worked harder in my life, but to be creating new musicals that will go out into the world and impact people’s lives is an honor and a privilege. The politics and personalities can be tricky (as readers will discover in Showbiz) but watching the curtain go up on a show I’ve helped create makes it all worth while.

Why did you decide to write this book? My job as a Broadway producer gives me exclusive behind the scenes access into show business.  Before I started writing, I’d often meet up with friends for drinks at Sardi’s (just like Scarlett in the book) and I’d regale them with stories about my crazy theatrical experiences. They eventually convinced me to put them into a book. I decided on fiction so I could include some of the more juicy characters without running into trouble.

Which character was your favorite to write about? Which was your least favorite? The heroine, Scarlett Savoy, was the most fun to write because she’s the most like me. I loved putting her in situations similar to what I’ve been through but let her say and do things I could never get away with!

Scarlett’s boss, the ruthless but brilliant Margolies was the most difficult to write. I’ve had to work with nasty people like him and it’s not fun. However, writing for Margolies forced me to look at things from his perspective and try to understand out how someone might become so nasty in the first place.

What was your favorite scene to write in Showbiz? Why? I enjoyed writing the early scenes between Scarlett and her potential love interest, Reilly. I feel most comfortable writing dialogue, probably because I spend hours reading scripts for Broadway, and it was fun to imagine their banter as they decide how they feel about each other.

How “true” is this work of fiction? Since I’m still very active on Broadway, I have to be careful that my characters truly are fiction. Though they may have aspects of several real life “characters” I can’t afford to explicitly offend too many people. In fact, it was my publisher who suggested I write under a pen name, though keeping my real identity a secret in the inner circles of the tight knit Broadway community is a challenge.

How long did it take you to write Showbiz? What was your writing process like? I wrote Showbiz very quickly. Once I had set my mind to it, I wrote every free moment I had – all day, all night, all weekend – whatever time I could find! After two months I had a first draft and then I spent another two months revising it thanks to my editor as well as several wonderful friends who read numerous drafts and offered brilliant suggestions and edits. So all told, four months almost to the day!

Will there be a sequel to Showbiz? I know I would love to know what happened to all of the characters (a few more so than others)! Yes! In fact, I’m nearly done with the second book in the Scarlett Savoy series. Once I got into the habit of writing, it was hard to stop. I took a break between books for a celebratory glass of champagne and then dove right into writing the sequel. I’m having fun with the continued adventures of Scarlett and her friends and I can’t wait for you to read it!

In one sentence, tell us why we should read your book. If you enjoy seeing theater, Showbiz will prove that the behind the scenes drama is every bit as entertaining as the drama you see on stage!

What is/are your favorite book(s)? I love reading and have many favorite books. If I had to name a few… The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Who is/are your favorite author(s)? I love so many books and authors. I’m particularly enjoying getting to know the work of some fabulous new indie writers now that epublishing is taking off!

What are you currently reading right now? I’m reading and loving Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.

Thanks for the interview. See you at the theater!

About the author: Ruby Preston is an up and coming Broadway producer currently working on several new musicals on the Great White Way. She couldn’t be more thrilled to be living her dreams in the Times Square trenches of Manhattan. Ruby loves hearing from readers and Broadway fans so feel free to drop her note via email ruby (@) rubypreston (dot) com or twitter @BroadwayRuby.

Also find Ms. Preston here: website, her publisher, Twitter

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

12 Precious Anecdotes from Life by Payal Roy

12 Precious Anecdotes from Life
written by Payal Roy         
published by Payal Roy

find it here: Amazon, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: The author, Payal Roy, contacted me about reviewing her book. I accepted her request. (I received a copy of the book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: I’m sad to say that I did not really enjoy this book. It was not a book that I had to keep reading…I only finished it because I agreed to review the book. 

The twelve short stories are all connected to one another by the characters in them. All of the stories have worthwhile messages behind them that make the reader think and evaluate their own experiences. The first story, Share and Have Some Chocolates, is about taking the time to savor and relax. Money Can’t Buy Everything is like the title, money isn’t everything, you need to hang on to what matters. To Be Human(e) is about being aware of those around you and to help those that are less fortunate that yourself. The sixth story, To Be Alive, tells the reader to live life because it is too short and unpredictable. Treat Others the Way You Want to Be Treated is just as the title suggests and it also reminded me of that television show, Undercover Boss. 

However, with that being said, the problem I had with this book was mainly the language that was used. The conversations between the characters felt forced and almost too proper for an everyday conversation. There were also a lot of typos and misuse of words. For example, an “at” when it should have been “to” or “in” when it should have been “on.” These things made it harder to read the book smoothly. This should have been a quick, easy read but it took a long time to get through the stories. 

Would I recommend it: I don’t think that I would recommend this book. 

Will I read it again: I will not. 

About the book – from Goodreads: 
12 short stories that initiate the ball of fate rolling on the court of life. Meet Samantha, John, Amy, uncle Ben and an octogenarian amongst a dozen other faces who share their anecdotes through this book.

What do they have in common? Successful and interesting people from a diverse background, their paths cross with Anita Maher. This sets off a cascade of events that compels everyone to look back at their own lives. How is Anita affected? Other people too seem to bump into Anita all of a sudden . Does life want to convey a message to all?

12 heartfelt anecdotes from their lives kept a secret all this while, only to be revealed to Anita, when time seems limited and many ventures still left unexplored. Does life give a second chance? Find out in this book which shares their exploits and adventures through their intriguing and engaging vignettes on life.

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

Blog Tour: Rum Punch Regrets by Anne Kemp, plus a guest post from the author

Rum Punch Regrets
written by Anne Kemp          
published by Premier Digital Publishing

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

A portion of Anne’s proceeds are donated to Lupus LA.

Why did I pick this book: 
I participated in the blog tour for this book organized by CLP Blog Tours. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy Rum Punch Regrets. I read it every free chance I had. I thought it was a good story and I loved the twists that were unexpected. 

All of the characters were well-written. Abby was a bit childish in the beginning but watching her character develop and change throughout the story was fantastic. I wanted her to take charge of herself and stop letting her sister, Leigh, boss her around. I wanted her to find happiness and find the strength within her to do what needed to be done.

I didn’t really like Leigh. I thought she was too bossy and on her high horse with her “I know what’s best for everyone” attitude. She was a great character but I didn’t like her that much. There were times when I really felt for Ben and times that I really wanted to smack him. He and Abby were great together. Their early roommate relationship really set up the rest of the story. (I would explain more but I don’t want to spoil anything!)

The secondary characters were fantastic. Maria, Ziggy, Cutty, Tracey, and Buddy were great and provided enough fun, antics, and support for Abby and Ben. They didn’t steal the show but they were necessary and great additions.

I can’t wait to find out what else lies in store for Abby George!

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book. It is a great chick lit read and it would be a great book to read at the beach or while wishing you were at the beach.

Will I read it again: I probably will not unless there is another Abby George book that will be coming out…then I may read again to refresh the story.

About the book – from Goodreads: 
In just a few short weeks, thirty something Abby George has endured the death of her mother, was dumped by her fiancé, and got laid off from her job.

Stunned and seeking a shoulder to cry on, she turns to her perfect older sister, Leigh. But instead of comfort, Abby receives a surprise: Leigh needs her in the Caribbean to help with some mysterious personal business.

While assisting in the sale and repair of a bed-and-breakfast, Abby uncovers a few huge family secrets as she juggles an unexpected roommate, quirky locals, and nasty centipedes.

Abby’s world is further complicated when two potential suitors enter her life. Can Abby get beyond her own pyscho drama long enough to open her heart to someone new? Or will she neurotically make her romantic life worse?

Packing nothing but her suitcases and a sense of humor, Abby George travels down an unfamiliar road, but it’s all she can do to hang on for the ride…Or will she wake up with “Rum Punch Regrets?” 

And now a Guest Post by the author, Anne Kemp, for all of you to enjoy!!!

I remember a time in high school when writing my own name seemed like a chore. I wasn’t a fan of writing papers, not one bit. I always put it off until last minute, hemming and hawing and wishing someone else, like the Writing Fairy, would come along and do it for me.
Well…that never happened.
I can still remember the fear in my heart and the panic I would feel the night before a big assignment was due. I think there were usually tears and sometimes a few guttural cries for help. I’d howl questions of “why, why, why?” at my Mom or sister, expecting someone to give me the answer I needed. They would shake their heads, remind me I brought it on myself and go about their business. Eventually, things settled down and I’d work my magic.
That’s right. Magic.
I say this sarcastically because it should not have been magical. I should have been more prepared, done ahead of time. No, I would fly through the process, stay until all hours and get a paper knocked out in no time flat, under the wire. But it almost killed me each time. Thankfully at this point in my life I was learning I could not be a Pantser, even though I was getting away with it. Too stressful and I was finding I liked to sleep.
As for being a Plotter? Can’t quite do that either, which is funny as I grew up to be a somewhat Type-A gal. I like to make notes and work within a form or some type of outline, but I also like the freedom allowed when one can stray off course. Sometimes I’ll be in the middle of a column or even working on a book and I can see quite clearly how it needs to veer off its current course and be pointed in a different direction. If I was plotting, I wouldn’t feel this freedom – I’d feel stunted. Not saying this doesn’t work for everyone, it’s just my way of doing things.
I’m definitely not traditional in this manner; my writing style is a fun blend of slight organization mixed with a hint of spontaneity. It’s kind of how I like to live my life. A bit of structure and planning combined with some room for me to wiggle.
Or, as I like to say, “I’m a woman. I’m allowed to change my mind if I wanna.”

About the author: Anne Kemp is the author behind the Abby George Series, which includes her debut novella, All Fruits Ripe, and first novel, Rum Punch Regrets, which is available in print and as an eBookShe is also the columnist behind “Anne In Progress,” which appears monthly in the Frederick News-Post, a newspaper in the DC-Metro area. As a blogger, she was nominated for a 2012 Bloggers Choice Award for Best Humor Blog, and is known for penning “The Ultimate Late Bloomer.”

Find Ms. Kemp here: Web, Facebook, Twitter

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

All Fruits Ripe (The Abby George series #1) by Anne Kemp

All Fruits Ripe (The Abby George Series #1)
written by Anne Kemp          
published by Premier Digital Publishing

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I am participating in the blog tour for Rum Punch Regrets and I wanted to read this first book in The Abby George Series before I read the second book. 

Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. It was a quick, fun read that sets up Rum Punch Regrets beautifully. 

However, it is not necessary to read All Fruits Ripe prior to reading Rum Punch Regrets. But it was very helpful. This book was a great way to be introduced to Abby George and her sister, Leigh, and how they got into the positions that they are in come Rum Punch Regrets.  

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book if you like chick lit and you plan on reading Rum Punch Regrets, the next full-length installment of the The Abby George Series

Will I read it again: I will not read this book again.

About the book – from Goodreads: 
All Fruits Ripe introduces the loveable, single and laid-off thirty-something, Abby George. 

In just a few short weeks, Abby has endured the death of her mother, was dumped by her fiancé, and got laid off from her job.

Stunned and seeking a shoulder to cry on, she turns to her perfect older sister, Leigh. But instead of comfort, Abby receives a surprise: Leigh needs her in the Caribbean to help with some mysterious personal business.Should she go? Will she go? Join Abby as her journey begins… 

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

News on the Home Front by Christopher Geoffrey McPherson

News on the Home Front
written by Christopher Geoffrey McPherson          
published by Christopher Geoffrey McPherson 

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: The author, Christopher McPherson, requested that I review his book. I happily accepted his request. (I received a copy of the book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. It took a little while to find the groove and really get into it, but once I did, I read it every free chance I had until I finished the last sentence.

I have always enjoyed historical fiction revolving around World War II. News on the Home Front was a great, new perspective…much different than a lot of the WWII fiction books that I have read in the past. I don’t think I have every read a WWII fiction novel that focused on the women left at home in the states when the men went to war. This book put me through so many emotions…sad, happy, content, anxious, laughter, stress. You name it (just about anything), I felt it while reading this book. 

At first, I did not care for the two main characters – Carole and Irene. I thought that they were rather spoiled and childish. However, the further along in the book I got, the more I felt for them. Carole grew the most throughout this book. She is truly a strong and courageous young woman. Irene, Carole’s best friend, was a hard worker, volunteering to work in the factory even though she didn’t need to work. She became a crane operator much to the chagrin of her male counterparts. Although Irene doesn’t always make the right decisions, she is a true, caring friend. 

The other characters were well-written, too. I enjoyed Mrs. Kennison, the loving maid and long-time “member” of the family. Philip was Carole’s fiance and pilot sent overseas for a top secret mission. Bretaigne, Carole’s doctor, was a good guy who had fled to the US from Nazi Germany. I would have liked more of his story. 

The book went back and forth between the present time and the past which laid some groundwork for Carole and Irene’s friendship. With these different scenes came different points of view for the narration. Sometimes these transitions were difficult to keep up with but not so difficult that it made that book less enjoyable. The same can be said for the typos that were found here and there – more so towards the end of the book. 

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book, especially if you enjoy reading World War II historical fiction.

Will I read it again: I will not read this book again but I will definitely read more by this author.

About the book – from the author: 
Set against a worldwide canvas that includes New York, Paris and Germany “News on the Home Front” tells the story of two women who have been friends since their childhood in West Lake, Maryland. The world war has torn apart their lives leaving each trying to find a way to put it back together. It’s been a difficult few years with rationing and shortages starting to take their toll. Carole’s boyfriend, Philip, is off to fly for the Army; and Irene has taken a job at the nearby aircraft factory. Carole promised Philip that she would wait for his return from the war — but circumstances begin to conspire against her. She’s waited her whole life for him, but can she make it until the end of the war? 

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!