Archives for January 2015

Spotlight: West of Sunset by Stewart O’Nan (reader’s guide, giveaway)

West of SunsetWest of Sunset
written by Stewart O’Nan
published by Viking – Penguin

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: In 1937, F. Scott Fitzgerald was a troubled, uncertain man whose literary success was long over. In poor health, with his wife consigned to a mental asylum and his finances in ruins, he struggled to make a new start as a screenwriter in Hollywood. By December 1940, he would be dead of a heart attack.

Those last three years of Fitzgerald’s life, often obscured by the legend of his earlier Jazz Age glamour, are the focus of Stewart O’Nan’s gorgeously and gracefully written novel. With flashbacks to key moments from Fitzgerald’s past, the story follows him as he arrives on the MGM lot, falls in love with brassy gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, begins work on The Last Tycoon, and tries to maintain a semblance of family life with the absent Zelda and daughter, Scottie.

Fitzgerald’s orbit of literary fame and the Golden Age of Hollywood is brought vividly to life through the novel’s romantic cast of characters, from Dorothy Parker and Ernest Hemingway to Humphrey Bogart. A sympathetic and deeply personal portrait of a flawed man who never gave up in the end, even as his every wish and hope seemed thwarted, West of Sunset confirms O’Nan as “possibly our best working novelist” (Salon).

Be sure to check out the readers’ guide for West of Sunset. You can find it here.

 

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“It would appear to be a daunting task to write a biographical novel of one of our most iconic writers, yet O’Nan avoids every pitfall. Focusing on the last years of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life, when he was depleted both mentally and physically from overwork and too much drink, O’Nan, in understated prose, renders a heartbreaking portrait of an artist soldiering on in the face of personal and professional ruin . . . O’Nan’s convincing characterization of a man burdened by guilt and struggling to hold onto his dignity is, at once, a moving testament to grace under pressure and an intimate look at a legend.”—Booklist (STARRED)

“O’Nan places Scott back at center stage, with a sympathetic portrayal of a troubled genius, a kind but deeply flawed man… [and] has crafted an insightful glimpse into a sad period in Fitzgerald’s life, as he fades into poverty, drunkenness and anonymity among a cast of notables, after his and Zelda’s reign as America’s literary golden couple and before his resurgence into universal acclaim.”—Kirkus

“O’Nan taps into primary-source material on Fitzgerald to craft a realistic piece of historical fiction…. Fitzgerald comes across as a haunting, multifaceted, sympathetic character… [His] slide into drugs, alcoholism, and the heart disease that shortened his life is tragic to behold; Fitzgerald fans will mourn his loss all over again.”—Library Journal

West of Sunset is a rich, sometimes heartbreaking journey through the disintegration of an American legend.  O’Nan captures the fire and frailty of F. Scott Fitzgerald with an understated grace that would have made Fitzgerald himself stand up and applaud.” – Dennis Lehane

“An achingly nuanced love story and one of the best biographical novels to come along in years.  O’Nan’s great achievement here is in so convincingly inhabiting the character of Scott Fitzgerald and of the people surrounding him during his descent into the clarifying depths of 1930s Hollywood.”–T.C. Boyle

“O’Nan is an incredibly versatile and charming writer.  This novel, which imagines F. Scott Fitzgerald’s troubled time in Hollywood (with cameos by Dorothy Parker, Bogie, and Hemingway), takes up (like much of O’Nan’s work) that essential conundrum of grace struggling with paucity.  One brilliant American writer meditating on another–what’s not to love?” —George Saunders

“I’ll direct my enthusiasm for West of Sunset to writers who revere Fitzgerald’s short story “Babylon Revisited.”  Stewart O’Nan captures Fitzgerald’s mood of spiritual reflection, without trying to imitate Fitzgerald’s voice. This book is an inoculation against self-pity. It’s not a mock Fitzgerald novel, but an original portrait of a writer struggling to keep his dignity while trying to make a living. I don’t doubt the biographical details but it’s a waste of the book to check it against fidelity to fact; if Fitzgerald wasn’t friendly with Humphrey Bogart and Mayo Methot in 1939, he is now.  It’s one of the best books I’ve read in years and it deserves a cheering crowd.” —Michael Tolkin

 

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Chrissy’s Review: Surviving the Rachel by Aven Ellis

Surviving the RachelSurviving the Rachel
written by Aven Ellis
published by Soul Mate Publishing

find it here: (affiliate links) Amazon, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I really did! I loved Surviving the Rachel.

Bree is young and trying to find her footing after an unexpected start post-college. After moving home, she finds a friend in her neighbor, Jack.  I love their chemistry. They make great friends, and more.  There were a few times that I wanted to smack each of them and ask them what they were thinking, or why didn’t they ask the other one very pertinent questions! It was a good frustration. I was invested in their stories, in their lives. I loved watching Bree come into her own in her new profession.

On top of that, there were quite a few swoon-worthy moments, giddy moments, sweet moments. And fireflies! And the end! Wonderful.

Another aspect of Ms. Ellis’s books that I really like is that they are all connected in some way. They all use Connectivity. Avery and Deke from Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista show up in Surviving the Rachel. You feel like you are in the same community. These aren’t sequels or books in the same setting/series. But they all fit together. Oh, and the Friends references were perfect! It is one of my favorite TV series of all time. I’ll say it again: wonderful.

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Would I recommend it: Absolutely! Ms. Ellis is a must-read author for me and she should be for you as well!

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About the book – from Goodreads: 
Life after college graduation is not at all what twenty-one-year-old Bree Logan expected. Unable to find a professional communications job, dumped by the guy who was THE ONE, and stuck with a pricey city apartment she can’t afford, Bree ends up moving back home with her parents in the suburbs and working as a cocktail waitress at a posh Chicago hotel.

In a desperate attempt to get a fresh start, Bree goes to a hip salon and requests that the first available stylist chop off her long dark hair. Alarmed when the stylist suggests “The Rachel,” after the famous haircut from the show Friends, Bree is hesitant, but decides to go for it when she is assured it will be a “fresh, modern adaptation” of the infamous 90’s cut. Unfortunately for Bree, it turns out to be exactly the same cut, but with horrific heavy bangs added to it. Hideous doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Bree is convinced nothing will ever go right when she meets neighbor Jack Chelten, a twenty-five-year-old German translator. Not that Bree is looking to date anyone, but there’s something quirky and intriguing about his freckle-splashed face and blue eyes. And suddenly Bree finds herself seeking out different opportunities and challenges . . . as well as the boy next door.

In her new adult life, Bree learns that sometimes you have to go through crises to get to where you need to be. And if you can survive The Rachel, you can survive anything, right?

 

 

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Blog Tour: The Originals: The Rise by Julie Plec (Chrissy’s review, giveaway)

The Originals BT banner

 

Welcome to my tour stop for The Originals: The Rise created by Julie Plec.

From the creator of The Originals, the hit spin-off television show of The Vampire Diaries, come three never-before-released prequel stories featuring The Original vampire family.

This tour runs January 12-30, and it will consist of reviews, special content, and spotlights. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.

 

The Originals_The Rise_book 1_coverThe Originals: The Rise
written by Julie Plec
published by HQN Books

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I did enjoy The Originals: The Rise. It kept me interested from start to finish.

I’ll admit: I haven’t read or seen The Vampire Diaries. And I haven’t seen the show The Originals. But I didn’t have to in order to enjoy this book. Anyone can jump in with this book and become fully engrossed and hooked.  There are werewolves, witches, and vampires. There is a family feud, a merging of families/species, and unlikely love. There is fighting, war, and romance. The Originals has it all. I love the setting as well. Although I’ve never been to New Orleans, I’ve always been fascinated by the city. The Originals:The Rise also makes me want to read the rest of the series as well as The Vampire Diaries. And I wouldn’t mind watching the television show.

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Would I recommend it: Sure!

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About the book: 
Family is power. The Original vampire family swore it to each other a thousand years ago. They pledged to remain together always and forever. But even when you’re immortal, promises are hard to keep.

Arriving in New Orleans in 1722, Original vampire siblings Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah Mikaelson believe they’ve escaped their dangerous past. But the city is lawless, a haven for witches and werewolves unwilling to share territory. The siblings are at their mercy…especially after Klaus meets the beautiful and mysterious Vivianne. Her impending marriage is key to ending the war between the supernatural factions—and Klaus’s attraction to her could destroy the uneasy alliance. As Elijah works toward securing a piece of the city for his family, and Rebekah fights her unexpected feelings for a French captain, will Klaus’s volatile desires bring their world crashing down—and tear them apart for good?

Originals Quote Image 19 - Jan.29

 

JuliePlec_AuthorPhotoAbout the author: Julie Plec is the co-creator and executive producer of The Vampire Diaries and the creator of The Vampire Diaries spin-off, The Originals. Plec got her start as a writer and producer on the ABC Family series Kyle XY. She also collaborated on the CW drama The Tomorrow People. Her screenplay adaptation The Tiger’s Curse is in development at Paramount, and she will produce the feature @emma with Darko Entertainment. Past feature production credits include Scream 2 and Scream 3.

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Gina’s Review: Lost & Found by Brooke Davis

 

Lost & FoundLost & Found 
written by Brooke Davis
published by Dutton – Penguin Random House

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
Lost & Found captured my attention the moment I read the synopsis. It’s a quirky story that I honestly found endearing. The characters are written with a great deal of heart and you could feel their vulnerability as well as their happiness as they go on their adventure. There were a lot of times where I’d pause to take in a certain scene and savor the moment. Davis has a way of making the chapters fly by, and her writing style makes the book a pleasure to read.

The only con I found was the ending. There were some parts that simply weren’t needed, and if she had left them out, I think that would have been better. Otherwise, this book was a journey I’m glad I took.

GOLDEN LINES

“Everyone knows everything about being born, and no one knows anything about being dead.”

“Maybe when you let out your last breath, you let out everything, your memories and thoughts and things you wished you’d said and you wished you didn’t say and the pictures in your head of hot coffee steam and the last look on your dad’s face and the feeling of mud between your fingers and the wind when you run down a hill and the color of everything, ever.”

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Would I recommend it: If you are looking for something different that feels like it could be made into an independent film, then absolutely.

 

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About the book – from Goodreads:

Millie Bird is a seven-year-old girl who always wears red wellington boots to match her red, curly hair. But one day, Millie’s mum leaves her alone beneath the Ginormous Women’s underwear rack in a department store, and doesn’t come back.

Agatha Pantha is an eighty-two-year-old woman who hasn’t left her home since her husband died. Instead, she fills the silence by yelling at passers-by, watching loud static on TV, and maintaining a strict daily schedule. Until the day Agatha spies a little girl across the street.

Karl the Touch Typist is eighty-seven years old and once typed love letters with his fingers on to his wife’s skin. He sits in a nursing home, knowing that somehow he must find a way for life to begin again. In a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes.

Together, Millie, Agatha and Karl set out to find Millie’s mum. Along the way, they will discover that the young can be wise, that old age is not the same as death, and that breaking the rules once in a while might just be the key to a happy life.

 

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Boost It Tuesday! – January 27, 2015

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Have you noticed that despite ALL of your Facebook “Likes” you are only “reaching” a very small portion of those followers? Does that bother you? It bothers us, and we want to boost each other up. Link up with Every Free Chance, Candace’s Book Blog, and Gin’s Book Notes for Boost It Tuesday.

 

What is Boost It Tuesday, you ask? Well, we want to help each other out. We are a great community of bloggers and authors, and we should be supporting each other. Share your Facebook address below, then visit the Facebook pages, like 3-5 posts, share or comment on 1 or 2 posts. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” the page if you don’t want to, just “like” some posts. Let’s help expand each other’s page reach. Who knows! You may find a new blog or author to follow along the away. Please be aware that any non-Facebook links will be deleted.

 

As an added bonus, Candace, Ginny, and I will be hosting a giveaway each week just to say thanks for the boost!

 

For this week’s giveaway, head over to the Gin’s Book Notes Facebook page and answer the question in the Boost It post!

 

Remember: Like, comment, and share!  Let’s all give each other a boost!

 

Gin's Book Notes
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Melissa’s Review: Neelie’s Truth by Betsy Fitzgerald

Neelie's Truth: A Novel

Neelie’s Truth
written by Betsy Fitzgerald
published by Salt Cliff Press

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I couldn’t put it down. The writing is beautiful, the characters are amazing, and the story will stick with me for years to come. Neelie’s Truth is going on my “favorites” shelf. Fitzgerald’s written some lovely, heartbreaking stuff. Read it.

 

GOLDEN LINES

“She looked down at the blood then up at the wall. The wall was fine.”

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Would I recommend it: Yes. Go buy this book. Now.

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About the book – from Goodreads: 
Neelie’s Truth introduces us to the James family and a rural New England life that holds dark secrets and a breathtaking, twisting story. Neelie James, deserted by her father and struggling with a town turned against her family, must find her own path. Even the mysterious stranger who opens the door to a life Neelie has never known, cannot rescue her. Neelie’s decisions will change her life, forever-and will bring the reader to face to face with revenge and preservation. Ultimately, the challenges faced by Neelie are timely in today’s world of retribution and violence. Seldom has this time and place been brought so vividly to life. From Fitzgerald’s poignant descriptions of a tragic farm accident to fiercely led rural lives, she writes with a clear sense of regional honesty. Luminous with prose that brilliantly respects time, place and character, Neelie’s Truth is an unforgettable tour de force.

 

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Feeling Beachie’s Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

 

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And here are the books!

DANGLED CARAT by Hilary Grossman

Dangled-Carat-Hilary-Grossman FINALFor every girl who wondered if she should love him or dump him…..

For every girl who listened to her heart instead of her friends advice….

For every girl who l wondered if she was wasting her time dating that guy….

meet Hilary….

She had gotten used to dating the commitment-phobic Marc, thirteen years her senior. They had a great relationship–why rush into things? She saw no need to pressure him for marriage, believing that when the time was right, he would propose. But after they had been together for four years, their friends decided to take matters into their own hands, pushing Marc to propose and making Hilary realize how much she really did want to marry the man that she loved.

Unfortunately, Marc still wasn’t ready–and their friends’ meddling in the form of a faux engagement party led to a disastrous New Year’s Eve that brought their relationship to an inevitable turning point.

“Dangled Carat sparkles with humor and shines with wisdom. It is a gem of a book.” – Christina Baker Kline – New York Times & USA Today Best Selling Author of Orphan Train.

Available: AmazonBarnes & Noble

 

OUT TO LUNCH by Stacey Ballis

Out_to_Lunch

A touching and hilarious novel from the fabulous Stacey Ballis about best friends, true love, and the joy of food—for fans of Jen Lancaster, Jennifer Weiner, and Emily Giffin…

Jenna has lost her best friend.

With Aimee gone so tragically young, Jenna barely knows where to turn. Aimee was the one who always knew what to do—not to mention what to wear. The two built a catering company together and had so much in common—well, except their taste in men. Jenna never understood what the successful, sophisticated Aimee saw in Wayne, with his Star Wars obsession and harebrained business schemes.

And gained her best friend’s husband…

But Aimee has left a shocking last request: Jenna now has financial custody of the not-so-merry widower. True, Wayne needs someone sensible around to keep him under control, but what was her dear departed friend thinking?

The thing is, as she gets to know Wayne better, his latest moneymaking idea actually starts to intrigue her. Her attractive new lawyer boyfriend doesn’t approve of it—but then, Wayne doesn’t approve of her attractive new lawyer boyfriend. Now Jenna has to figure out what direction her life is going to take next. And she can’t help asking herself: What would Aimee do?

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

 

MY BIG DELICIOUS LIFE by Stacey Ballis

Big_Delicious_Life

150 simple and scrumptious recipes from Stacy Ballis’s hit novels Out to Lunch, Off the Menu, Good Enough to Eat, and Recipe for Disaster, as well as 40 new, never-before-seen recipes!

Stacey Ballis is not a professional chef. She is, however, a foodie novelist, meal innovator, family cook, memory maker, and Brussels sprout advocate who believes that delicious meals can be simple, fun, and creative. Her love of all things culinary has made her “foodie fiction” irresistible. Now, all of the best recipes featured in her novels are available in one mouthwatering cookbook, including 40 “lost” recipes that were not included in the original printings.

With dishes for every occasion, designed to appeal to both experienced cooks and kitchen newbies, this easily-transportable digital collection will make every meal a happy moment and a special memory.

Includes a preview of Stacey’s delectable novel, Recipe for Disaster

“Deeply satisfying.”—Jen Lancaster, New York Times bestselling author of The Tao of Martha

Available: Amazon

 

BLOGGER GIRL – by Meredith Schorr

blogger girl

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out. A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm. While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads—and pages—across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox—for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

Available: Barnes & Noble, Amazon

 

HOW DO YOU KNOW – by Meredith Schorr

how do you know

What if you were approaching the end of your thirties and all of the life milestones you took for granted in your youth suddenly seemed out of reach?

On the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday, Maggie Piper doesn’t look, act, or feel much different than she did at twenty-nine, but with her fortieth birthday speeding toward her like a freight train, she wonders if she should. The fear of a slowing metabolism, wrinkling of her skin, and the ticking of her biological clock leaves Maggie torn between a desire to settle down like most of her similarly aged peers and concern that all is not perfect in her existing relationship. When a spontaneous request for a temporary “break” from her live-in boyfriend results in a “break-up,” Maggie finds herself single once again and only twelve months from the big 4.0. In the profound yet bumpy year that follows, Maggie will learn, sometimes painfully, that life doesn’t always happen on a schedule, there are no deadlines in love, and age really is just a number.

Available: Barnes & Noble, Amazon

 

 

BROKEN PIECES – by Rachel Thompson

Broken-Pieces-paperback

Not easy subjects — love, loss, sexual abuse, date rape, grief — but real ones, told in pieces (thus the title). Broken Pieces is a work of non-fiction.

Poetry, prose, and essays to let you into one woman’s life — a searingly raw examination of topics most people avoid.

Already a #1 best seller on Amazon (eBooks) on Women’s Poetry and Abuse, this book is recommended for mature audiences only.

Available: Amazon

 

 

 

BROKEN PLACES – by Rachel Thompson

broken places

 

Award-winning author Rachel Thompson courageously confronts the topics of sexual abuse and suicide, love and healing, in her second nonfiction book of prose: Broken Places. The sequel to Rachel’s first nonfiction book, Broken Pieces, Rachel bares her soul in essays, poems and prose, addressing life’s most difficult topics with honesty. As you follow one woman’s journey through the dark and into the light, you will find yourself forever changed. Rachel’s first book in this series, Broken Pieces, has been a #1 best seller on Amazon (eBooks) on Women’s Poetry and Abuse. Please note: this book discusses serious topics, and is intended for mature audiences only.

Available: Amazon

 

 

LIVING BY EAR – by Mary Rowen

living by ear

What happens when the world you love doesn’t press pause when you do? Singer-songwriter Christine Daley hit the streets of Boston and became a minor celebrity—with a local radio hit—in the 90s, but a “short” career break to marry and have kids changed everything. Now, sixteen years later, she’s a frustrated suburban housewife, struggling to find her place in life.

After filing for divorce, she learns that her attempts to reestablish her own rhythms—both in music and in love—are more complicated than she’d anticipated. Her two teenagers are desperate for their mom, and her soon-to-be-ex-husband is throwing every obstacle he can in her way. Adding to the stress is the progress in technology, which has not only changed the music industry, but also the dating world. Is there room in the mix for Chris?

Available: Amazon

 

 

LEAVING THE BEACH – by Mary Rowen

leaving the beach

Erin Reardon gets her first kiss from Jim Morrison. She loses her virginity to David Bowie. When she flunks out of college, Bruce Springsteen is there to comfort her, and Elvis Costello breaks her heart in Europe. So what happens when she actually meets a rock star? Leaving the Beach is a gritty story about illusion, reality, and the odd ways that music can blur the lines between the two.

Written with heart and keen observation about the day-to-day struggles of a “functioning bulimic,” Leaving the Beach explores the power of fantasy, then shoves it up against harsh reality until something has to give in this women’s novel set on the sandy beaches of Winthrop, Massachusetts.

Available: Amazon

 

 

STARTING FROM LOST – by SK Wills

Starting from LostHannah Rogers is lost: cynical, insecure, and withdrawn. Skeletons forged through a bad breakup that should have been a marriage proposal. Now four years later, Hannah follows her dead-end job to the big city where her only hope is to survive the next eight months as her flirtatious boss’s personal assistant. The last thing her predictable life needs is to collide with the boy responsible for breaking her heart, or the twist of fate that sends a sexy new neighbor to awaken feelings she’s long since put to bed.

Alex Sorrento doesn’t have any room in his life for another pet project. He’s already put aside his career and his personal dreams to follow his half-sister Mackenzie to the big city. Lost in the guilt over the events that nearly took her life, he feels he owes her that much. When Mackenzie befriends the new girl on the third floor, Alex finds himself defenseless against the sizzling chemistry between them and the sadness in her eyes. Can he protect Hannah from her ex without losing his heart?

In this turbulent journey about self-discovery, forgiveness, and love, some second chances aren’t worth taking, but others have their own rewards.

Available: Amazon

 

MY FAIR LILY by Meara Platt

My Fair Lily CoverEwan Cameron, estranged grandson of the Duke of Lotheil, is in London because of a deathbed promise made to his father and has no intention of staying beyond his three month obligation. Nothing can tempt him to remain, not even Lily, the beautiful bluestocking determined not only to restore relations between him and his grandfather, but to turn Ewan into a proper gentleman. Ewan, proud of his Scottish heritage, refuses to admit that Lily, a blue-eyed, English girl, has claimed his heart. It doesn’t matter that his big lump of a sheepdog is madly in love with her. Nor is it significant that Ewan can always tell Lily apart from her identical twin sister. Always.

Lily Farthingale, the scholarly twin, dreams of becoming the first female member of the Royal Society. She grabs at the chance when the elderly Duke of Lotheil approaches her with a proposition – he’ll admit her into the Royal Society, if she helps him to establish a relation with his estranged grandson, Ewan Cameron, a very rough-around-the-edges Scotsman who hates everything English. Between shootings, explosions, and Lily’s abduction, Ewan ends up falling in love with Lily in this Pygmalion-inspired story.

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

A SHIFT IN THE WATER – by Patricia D. Eddy

shift_fullCade Bowman leads a small werewolf pack in Bellingham, Washington. Or he did, before a fire elemental intent on revenge traps him as his wolf. His pack gone, held prisoner by the elemental’s charms, he knows death is coming for him.

Mara Taylor is dying. A mysterious blood disorder is taking her life and her doctors can’t seem to stop it. Only her daily swims offer her any relief. Resigned to her fate, she heads to Orcas Island for one last swim.

When Cade’s wolf finds Mara, he knows instinctively that she’s the key to freeing him from the fire elemental’s charm. She’s more than that. She’s his.

Can Mara free Cade his wolf and save her own life in the process? And if she does, can they survive when they learn the identity of the fire elemental hunting them both?

Available: Amazon

 

32 GOING ON SPINSTER SET – by Becky Monson

Spinster Cover - Amazon

Julia Dorning is a spinster, or at least on the road to becoming one. She has no social life, hates her career, and lives in her parent’s basement with her cat, Charlie.

With the arrival of Jared Moody, the new hire at work, Julia’s mundane life is suddenly turned upside down. Her instant (and totally ridiculous) crush on the new guy causes Julia to finally make some long-overdue changes, in hopes to find a life that includes more than baking and hanging out with Charlie.

But when the biggest and most unexpected change comes, will the new and improved Julia be able to overcome it? Or will she go back to her spinster ways?

Available: Barnes & Noble, Amazon

 

 

33 GOING ON GIRLFRIEND

Girlfriend Cover - AmazonJulia Dorning thought she would die a lonely spinster. That was until nine months ago, when her world was turned upside down. Now she’s got a dream career as a bakery owner, and a relationship with handsome Jared Moody—a life she never thought possible.

Just as she’s starting to feel comfortable in her new life, Julia is invited to battle it out on national television making cupcakes. An amazing opportunity, if she can muster up the confidence to do it, that is. Then, out of the blue, Jared goes and throws a rather large wrench in their relationship causing Julia to have to make some big decisions. With her two trusted confidants off in wedding la la land, Julia is on her own to figure everything out.

Left to her own devices, will Julia be able to work things out for herself? Or will she make a disaster of it all?

Available: Barnes & Noble, Amazon

 

WHISKEY AND GUMDROPS – by Jean Oram Book TWO in the Blueberry Springs series — All STANDALONE novels from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jean Oram!

Whiskey303KOne woman. One case of self-denial. One hunky best friend who wants a lot more.

Mandy Mattson has always believed that what you want isn’t what you need. But never in her life has she been more wrong.

As a small town waitress, Mandy has never felt as though she deserves the love of her best friend Frankie. But when she sees an ex-lover marry her rival she realizes her life is adding up to a big fat nothing and she needs to make a change. With every path in her new life leading back to Frankie, will she finally be able to reconcile that the one thing she’s always wanted is the very thing she needs?

This best friend romance is a companion novel to Champagne and Lemon Drops: A Blueberry Springs Chick lit Contemporary Romance and can be read as a standalone–does contain spoilers for Champagne and Lemon Drops (free ebook).

Available: Amazon Barnes & Noble

THERE ARE NO MEN – by Carol Maloney Scott

ThereAreNoMen-ebook coverDivorced thirty-something Claire doesn’t know who’s in her dating pool—but she’s doing her best to avoid shark infested waters.

Leaving her clueless and insensitive husband behind was a smart move after losing her fertility, but now she’s riding the wave of flying toupees and strange men in leather thongs.

After a long drought, men are flooding her shores and she’s drowning in choices. There’s the 25-year-old IT boy-genius with the GQ looks, the charming but mysterious doctor, and her hot new neighbor with the hard rock night gig.

To further rock her boat, Claire’s ‘stable’ career in publishing has been tossed about by her floundering company’s launch of a new line of trendy, salacious books. Cookbooks aren’t selling these days, but erotica is flying off the shelves—and challenging Claire’s attitude about sex, work…and her new, tempestuous life.

Available: Amazon

CHARLOTTE’S RESTRAINED, THE ACCIDENTAL STALKER – by Celia Kennedy

2 Charlotte's Restrained E-Book Cover

What could go wrong celebrating New Years in the swanky, celebrity-packed, French Alps? The answer is nothing, unless your name happens to be Charlotte Young.

Her four closest friends conspire to help Charlotte meet long-time celeb crush, Des Bannerman, a.k.a. King of Romantic Comedies. While she may not be able to dislodge his world-famous girlfriend, the evening is a dream come true. That is, until an innocent night of champagne, gambling and lighthearted banter turns into tabloid fodder and a restraining order.

An entertaining series of events allow Charlotte to hunt Des down, helping her restore her reputation and uncover a misunderstanding. Fifteen minutes of fame just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

Available: Amazon

VENUS RISING – by Celia Kennedy

Venus Rising E-Book Cover

Akshaya Bertrand, is a Professor of Art History at an Ivy League college in New England. Young and incomparably beautiful, she hides her traumatic childhood in India behind vibrant veils of secrecy.

Jared Harrison, a war correspondent in the Middle East accepts a position as guest lecturer. Upon meeting, the two find themselves drawn to one another, sensing the others deep wounds.

Thrown together on a voyage of discovery, the two travel through exotic India. Amongst beauty and poverty, sorrow and friendship, they both will finally face the past that has shaped them and the present that defines them.

Will the answers they find close the gap between them or push them further apart?

Available: Amazon

I’M STILL HERE – by Kathryn Biel

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00070]It started out as an ordinary day for Esther Comely-Cox, if you consider simultaneously totaling your car, smashing a Ho Ho in your face and meeting a handsome doctor ordinary.

Estranged from her family over her sister’s mental illness and death, Esther can’t help but feel alone. And when Esther hears the voice of her twin sister who committed suicide seven years ago, she begins to question her own sanity, leading her to wonder if anything is what it seems. Searching for answers, Esther must confront her past while looking towards a new future—one in which she is finally accepted.

Through humor and heartbreak, Esther learns that blood does not mean family, that absence does not make the heart grow fonder and that silence can speak volumes.

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

 

CONFESSIONS FROM A COFFEE SHOP – by TB Markinson

Confessions CoverCori Tisdale was on top of the world. A basketball star at Harvard and a promising author with a lucrative book deal.

A few years later, Cori’s life is falling apart. Her beautiful girlfriend, Kat Finn, has a shopping addiction. To make ends meet, Cori takes a part-time job at a coffee shop.

Just when Cori thinks her life can’t get any worse, an old crush appears out of the blue. Cori’s friendship with Samantha Clarke pushes Cori further into a dangerous abyss when Sam reveals two secrets to Cori and asks her not to tell a soul, including Kat.

Will this be the end of Cori’s and Kat’s relationship?

Available: Amazon

 

 

FRENCH TWIST – by Glynis Astie

french twistSydney Bennett had spent her life in pursuit of perfection. She planned, weighed her options and made careful choices based on calculated outcomes. Through all of her efforts, she had come pretty close to perfection, if she didn’t say so herself. She had fled the cold winters in New York for sunny California, found a job that she loved and lived in the same town as her sister, and best friend, Kate. The one area of perfection that had always eluded her was her love life. No matter how hard she tried, she always ended up with a broken heart. After a particularly traumatic breakup, Sydney vowed that she was done with love.

Just as Sydney threw herself into her new plan to forget about men, a handsome Frenchman tossed all of her intentions out the window as he swept her off of her feet. Louis Durand had lived a life filled with excitement and adventure. He was impetuous, intelligent and incredibly charming. So naturally, he scared Sydney half to death. From the moment they met, Louis and Sydney’s romance progressed at warp speed. Sydney did her best not to run, but her deep rooted relationship anxiety threatened to provide an easy exit. When Louis mentioned marriage before Sydney even knew his favorite color, she was more than tempted to reach for her running shoes. Will she be able to put her fears aside to follow her heart? The one thing that Sydney will learn is that sometimes perfection comes with a twist…

Available: Amazon

FRENCH TOAST – by Glynis Astie

FRENCH TOAST!Sydney Bennett is back! And her pursuit of perfection is alive and well. Naïve to the core, Sydney believed that when she finally married the man of her dreams, the hard part was over. Following a civil ceremony as a means to keep Louis from being deported, Sydney continues to plan the fairytale wedding that she had dreamed of since the age of five. Much to her chagrin, she discovers that her mother-in-law is planning what seems to be a rival wedding in France that SHE has been dreaming about for her only child since before he was born. How will poor Sydney be able to ensure two perfect weddings in the midst of Louis’ fruitless job search? Especially when her mother-in-law’s idea of perfection appears to be having Sydney embarrass herself in front of hundreds of French people that she has never met?

As if she didn’t have enough on her mind already, Sydney finds herself faced with the trials and tribulations of being a wife. Sydney had always heard that marriage was hard, but she thought that this was just a ruse that married couples portrayed in a bid to make single girls feel less desperate. But as the bills pile up and emotions run high, she realizes that there may just be some truth to this statement. And as she watches Louis’ perfection fade away before her very eyes, she begins to wonder if she made a rash decision in marrying a man that she had known for a mere six months.

With all of the obstacles that Sydney and Louis will encounter, will they be raising their glasses in celebration or watching their impulsive marriage crash and burn? One thing is for certain, Sydney and Louis Durand are headed for one hell of a toast…

Available: Barnes & Noble, Amazon

HOME – By Rachel Smith

homeAfter twelve years on top of the charts, country music superstar Lily Rae has decided to hang up the microphone and move home. Becoming Lillian Raftzen again is harder than she anticipated and soon, it seems running home is not enough to escape from her manipulative ex-agent, who not only threatens to end her happiness, but her life.

When the girl of his dreams walks back into his life twelve years later, Justin DeLuca realizes as much as he loves her, she is no longer the girl he remembers. With everything they must overcome, can the two of them make their dreams come true? Lily’s dream to sing and Justin’s dream for a family are so very far from the same path. But by veering off course they find a new dream on a new path ending up right where it all began…..home.

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

FIVE MINUTES LATE – by Rich Amooi

Five minutes late ebook coverCan an always-tardy garlic mogul and a punctual Silicon Valley librarian fall in love?

The world needs garlic and somebody’s got to sell that garlic. Cedric Johnson is that man. But even though he’s got just about everything he can wish for, Cedric is still missing one thing in his life: someone special. Fate may be on his side, but he encounters a few distractions along the way—like almost being killed by a UPS truck. Oh, and a little case of blackmail.

Ellie Fontaine is a walking Wikipedia with clear professional goals, but when it comes to landing Mr. Right, she doesn’t know jack squat. She even gives online dating a shot and ends up with an unappetizing buffet of unibrows and losers. What’s a girl to do?

After Ellie saves Cedric’s life, serendipity takes over as they continue to run into each other. Their connection grows stronger with each meeting, even though he embodies her number one pet peeve: he’s always late. But even if they can get past their issues and misunderstandings, Ellie’s ex-boyfriend, an unscrupulous cop, will do anything to keep them apart.

Five Minutes Late is a hilarious fast-paced romantic comedy, full of snappy dialogue and fun, quirky characters, guaranteed to warm your heart.

Available: Amazon

PLOTTING MR. PERFECT – by S.E. Babin

Plotting mr perfectThe closest Katie has come to romance lately is arguing with her lawn-care-obsessed, handsome neighbor, Will. After a drunken girls’ night out with her best friends involving a visualization exercise for the perfect man and an instance of breaking and entering, Katie wakes up thankfully in her own bed with a massive hangover and her neighbor standing on her porch with a peace offering.

But soon after, she gets another surprise in the form of a naked man in her driveway who proclaims he’s been created just for her. As antics and romantic gestures commence, Katie will begin to question herself about love and loyalty. How do you know when the perfect man is not really perfect? And when does Mr. Wrong begin to look like Mr. Right?

Available: Amazon

 

 

BATTER UP – by Robyn Neeley

BatterUp_FinalShe mixes more than flour and sugar into her cake batter, and he’s about to find out if a little bit of magic is to his taste…

Bakeshop owner Emma Stevens has a secret — a delicious, slightly unorthodox secret. Each Monday, she mixes up a premonition to share with the bachelors of Buttermilk Falls, and sets one lucky man on the path to true love.

When reporter Jason Levine finds himself mixed up in a Las Vegas bachelorette party, he hears the strangest rumor: the marriage is happening thanks to magic cake batter. Seriously skeptical, and sick of frauds, Jason journeys to the backwater town of Buttermilk Falls to expose the baker and release the townspeople from her evil clutches.

But when Jason meets Emma, tempers flare and sparks fly. Will Jason cling to his logic at the expense of a future, or will he let himself fall under Emma’s spell?

Available: Amazon

THEIF FOR HIRE – by Jillianne Hamilton

Theif for hireProfessional, experienced contract burglar.

It’s not exactly something you can put on a business card.

Molly Miranda has made a successful living from “acquiring” valuables and delivering them to clients who pay buckets of cash for her unique services.

So what if she has to lie about her lavish lifestyle in Manhattan and her frequent trips out of the country? Molly has everything under control.

Things go astray when she knocks boots with her charming roommate right before taking off to Scotland with an untrustworthy wildcard on a job assignment that doesn’t go quite as planned.

It doesn’t help that this new partner-in-crime is super annoying. And attractive…

Join Molly on her hilarious adventures as she dodges bullets, trespasses, wears disguises, and steals her way into trouble.

Available: Amazon

SHE SINS AT MIDNIGHT – by Whitney Dineenshesincover-copy

Lila Montgomery, thirty-two-year-old Hollywood assistant extraordinaire, has a secret. On the outside, she’s a hard-working dedicated employee, a good friend, and a loving daughter. But above all else, she’s been raised to be a lady, which of course is why she’s determined to conceal her secret life. If her straight-laced friends and family back home ever discover that she is really the smashing new author of a steamy romance novel, their disapproval would shame her forever! That’s why Lila has chosen to publish her sexy narrative under the nom de plume, Jasmine Sheath.

With her fifteenth high school class reunion on the horizon, Lila finds herself at a crossroads. More than anything she wants to go home and see her childhood friends but is embarrassed that she hasn’t accomplished the things she feels she should have by this time in her life; mainly marriage and children.

After another brutal run-in with Melinda Forrester, Oscar nominated actress and client of her boss, Josh Furber, Lila decides that fleeing Hollywood for a month is the best thing for her. Lila packs her bags for her childhood home of Bentley Hills, sure that her friends and family will be the touchstone of normalcy that she so desperately needs. What she doesn’t expect is that Melinda will follow her and a tabloid media circus will ensue!

Not only does Lila discover that her home is nothing like she remembers, but she meets and falls in love with the very man that inspired the hero in her novel.

She Sins at Midnight is full of laugh out loud hi-jinks that will make you never look at Hollywood the same way again!

Available: Amazon

SET ME FREE – by Jennifer Collin

Set me free coverDisastrous love life aside, Charlotte Evans is rather content with her life. Her quaint little art gallery is plodding along nicely, and her sister Emily’s artistic career is about to take off, thanks to her tireless promotion. She even gets to see her best friend every day and drink his delicious coffee in the café next door.

But when dastardly property developer Craig Carmichael comes along, threatening to demolish her gallery and take everything away, Charlotte has an unexpected fight on her hands. Not only is she battling to stop Craig’s development, she’s also struggling against the mysterious magnetic pull that has her on a collision course with Craig himself.

Craig Carmichael is fighting the Battle for Boundary Street on more than one front. The tenants of the building he wants to knock down are mounting a strong case against him and in a hot-headed moment he put his career on the line for a project that is threatening to fail. If the project doesn’t succeed he will lose everything, but for some reason he’s having trouble maintaining his focus.

As their worlds begin to unravel around them, anyone could win. It’s what they might lose that has Charlotte and Craig wondering what it is they really want.

Available: Amazon

What A Texas Girl Wants – by Kristina Knight

what a tx girl wantsKathleen Witte is a down-to-earth girl. She has to be, with the family

ranch on the verge of success. After seven months of keeping it all

together by swearing off men, however, Kathleen needs a bit of fun in the

sun. Waking up with a husband she can’t remember isn’t how she planned to

blow off steam.

The last thing Jackson Taylor wants in his life is a down-to-earth girl.

He has four weeks of freedom in which to find his birth mother. He’s done

well avoiding commitment until now, so when he wakes up on a Mexican beach

with Kathleen his first reaction is curiosity. When he spies the matching

wedding rings on their left hands curiosity turns to concern.

Neither Jackson nor Kathleen want to stay married, but when her family

shows up, they have no choice. Once back in Texas, however, can they keep

this all-business marriage from turning into an all-consuming love?

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

THE DAUGHTER HE WANTED – by Kristina Knight

the daughter he wantedSince the loss of his wife, Alex Ryan has been living a half-life. But

with one phone call, Alex discovers he’s the biological father of a

four-year-old girl…and everything changes.

Single mom Paige Kenner preferred to have a family without the man. Now

suddenly there’s Alex, who desperately wants to be a father to her little

girl. A gorgeous, kind and committed father. Letting a stranger into their

lives is far too dangerous—especially if his presence stirs a part of

Paige that she longs to forget…

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

 

THE TROUBLE WITH DYING – by Maggie La Page

the trouble with dyingWhen Faith Carson wakes up on a hospital ceiling looking down on her body in a coma, it’s a bad start to the week. A very bad start. She has no idea who she is or how she got there or why, and the biggest mystery of all is why she married the schmuck who wants her ventilator switched off.

As if that’s not enough Faith has a dead gran haunting her, a young daughter missing her, and one devilishly delicious man making her wish she could have a second chance at life. And maybe she can, if she finds a way back into her body and wakes up by Friday. But if she doesn’t, this will be her last bad week–ever.

Nate Sutherland decided long ago he’d settle for friendship if he couldn’t have Faith’s heart. But now, as she nears death, he’s going to have to listen to his feelings in a whole new way–and act. Because if he doesn’t, this week will be the worst damn week of his life. He’ll lose everything he’s ever loved.

Available: Amazon

 

MISS ADVENTURE – by Geralyn Corcillo

Miss Adventure Cover

Day-dreaming city girl Lisa Flyte decides to face her fears and get a backbone by going on daring outdoor adventures with the cynical adrenaline junkie Jack Hawkins. She survives all the treks, dives, and jumps (barely!), but can she use her new found moxie to become the alpha hero of her everyday life? Will she find the grit to go after a career she really wants or the nerve to stand up to her bulling family? And will she get gutsy enough to go after Jack? He’s a man who’s not afraid of anything…except falling for Lisa.

Available: Amazon

 

 

 

CHEATING TO SURVIVE – by Christina Ardigo

Cheating_To_Survive_E-Book_CoverEdge-of-your-seat Drama, Steamy Romance & Hilarious Humor!

So many Women are trapped in Marriages & feel they have no options.

Is Cheating the Answer? Heather traveled down a forbidden Road. TWICE.

And she was Married.

Can Cheating on Your Husband Bring Unimaginable Pleasure or Completely Destroy Your World?

To her three daughters, Heather is a fun-loving, silly mom. Her co-workers at Norlyn Plains Hospital think she has it all, including a handsome lawyer husband.

But when a flirtatious new doctor chooses Heather to spend his down time with, he reminds her of the man she regrettably gave up so many years before. Each interaction breathes new life into her and she gives in to the doctor’s seductions, threatening her fifteen year marriage.

Her co-workers Victoria and Catherine, are stunned by her actions, but when they see the positive transformation in Heather, and question their own crumbling marriages, they wonder if she has the right idea.

Can cheating on their husbands bring the three of them happiness? Or will they be destroyed by the consequences?

Available: Amazon

BLACKMAIL BRIDE – by Storm Chase

Small Blackmail Bride by Storm Chase

 

No swirling highlanders here! This is a modern Scottish novel (But the hero is a hunk and the heroine has brains!)

Stalked by her abusive ex-husband, Lucy Grant is desperate for a protector. Lucy aims for the one man who is tough enough for the job, ex-convict Jack Welsh. Found guilty of a crime he didn’t commit, Jack Welsh is convinced Lucy’s ex set him up. Jack will do anything to clear his name – even if it means marrying Lucy. A story of love and redemption with fully depicted love scenes.

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

 

 

 

THE DEGAS GIRL – by AJ Adams

small The Degas Girl“He wore jeans and a turquoise T-shirt. The colour made his eyes look blue instead of green. I wasn’t fooled by his looks and his gentle ways. This man had a will of iron, and by the way he looked at me, I could see he was just as determined to control me as Angelo. He just used his tongue instead of his fists.

I’d go along with it, because anything that kept me out of the hole meant I had a chance to escape. I’d pretend to be docile, and as soon as he fell asleep or took his eye off me, I’d make a run for it.

He looked me over, frowning slightly. Suddenly I wondered if he was changing his mind. Maybe he wasn’t going to let me eat. Maybe it was a game. Maybe he’d show me the food, and then tie me up and leave me to starve while he stuffed his face. I was trembling at the thought. “

###

Serenity Bishop is a work of art. Her skin a canvas, decorated with the scars of her evil captor’s twisted abuse. But her tormentor, Angelo, is about to lose control.

Zachary Schiavelli is an art thief and forger. His handsome face is merely the mask that hides a cold, calculating man whose own childhood of abuse has honed him into a remorseless killing machine.

Zachary is about to take an intense disliking to Angelo.

Sometimes you need to fight fire with fire.

In a violent tale of mob rule where violence begets violence, an unlikely alliance between two forces of nature is about to change the face of organized crime. When Serenity and Zachary collide, it’s an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, and everyone around them is about to get caught in the crossfire.

A complete novel with no cliff-hangers.

A violent tale of mob rule and dark romance. Warning contains explicit scenes of dubious consent, graphic violence and sex. Adults only

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

A FAIR EXCHANE – by Monique McDonell

A_Fair_Exchange (2)Who hasn’t wondered about their first love? What happened? What went wrong? Where are they now?

What if you got a second chance?

Amelia Armstrong is about to find out. What a shame her long-lost love, Matt, has returned (looking way too good and acting way too sweet) when her life is a shambles and she has finally decided once and for all to put herself and not whichever man is currently in her life, first.

How do you balance that desire to recapture that loving feeling with the need to finally be the best version of yourself? What if this really is the one, how do you choose when to stand your ground and when to cut your losses? Amelia takes a journey from Sydney to New York and back again trying to find the answers while negotiating with pop-divas, ex-lovers, crazy teenagers, a well-meaning cousin and the tabloids.

A Fair Exchange is a story about being a grown up when, maybe, you’d much rather be sixteen again.

Available: Amazon

THE DIVORCED NOT DEAD WORKSHOP – by CeCe Osgood

Divorced Not Dead Workshop. Final.contrast ebookcover (2)Divorced five years ago and recently dumped by Theo, her Brit boyfriend, Dorsey brainstorms about a dating workshop for divorced men. Too bad she’s an idea person with zero follow-through.
That all changes when her feisty best friend opts to set up the workshop on a cruise ship. But do things ever really work out as planned. No. No, they don’t.

A startling mishap, rebellious workshop attendees and the arrival of handsome but wily Finn Woodall soon send things topsy-turvy for Dorsey. More trouble arises with the unexpected re-appearance of Theo. Will Dorsey and Theo rekindle their relationship? Or is she smitten with Finn who could possibly be a back-stabbing weasel? And has the workshop made a difference in what she desires in life … and love?

Available: Amazon 

 

THE UNICORN’S DAUGHTER – by Norma Beishir

unicornJaime Lynde would stop at nothing to find the truth….

As a child, she was told her father was dead, but one by one, the lies began to unravel. James Lynde was an operative for the OSS during World War II, and later for the CIA. In 1986, he was still alive and working undercover in Libya. As Jaime followed his trail, a traitor followed hers…and the US prepared to take military action….

“Beishir pens a winner with this gripping thriller…she confidently builds to a revelatory and spellbinding finale.”

— Publishers Weekly

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

WE’VE ALWAYS GOT NEW YORK – by Jill Knapp

Weve_always_got_new_york high resThe second book in Jill Knapp’s fabulous series about dating in New York picks up after Amalia Hastings returns to Manhattan from her trip to Brazil – and finds that life has indeed gone on without her.

Fresh off the plane, Amalia’s feeling anxious and unresolved; left alone to pick up the pieces and deal with the repercussions of choosing her own path over Michael.

Without an apartment, without a job, and starting to wonder if she’s even without a best friend, she finds herself holding on tightly to the one thing she is familiar with, New York City.

Sometimes you have to let go of who you were to become who you will be…

Available: Amazon

 

 

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efchappy

Gina’s Review: Cocktail Hour by Tara McTiernan

Cocktail Hour

Cocktail Hour
written by Tara McTiernan
published by Bramblevine Press 2013

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I think if Desperate Housewives and Sex in the City got together Cocktail Hour would be their love child. It’s the type of book that would be perfect for a week at the beach. There is an excessive amount of woman drama, fashion, and fancy parties, which kept me entertained. I can’t tell you how many times in the first few chapters I thought I wouldn’t want to finish the book. However, I’m really glad I stuck with it because I grew to really like some of the characters, and the ending was satisfying.

 

GOLDEN LINES

“I guess it’s great because it’s so true. That’s it. It’s true. You can’t always get what you want. But,” he said, holding up a finger, “if you try, sometimes, you get what you need.”

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Would I recommend it: Definitely! It’s as I said–the perfect book for a vacation or even a book club!

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About the book – from Goodreads: What if your friend – someone admired, envied, and fervently sought after by everyone who knew her – was really a dangerous sociopath?

Spring in glamorous uber-rich Fairfield County, Connecticut is a time of beginnings: a new diet for the approaching summer spent out on the yacht, fresh-faced interns being offered up at the office as the seasonal sacrifice to the gods of money, and corporate takeovers galore. Five women in their thirties have a brand-new friendship, too, one that’s fed and watered regularly at local hotspots over cocktails. With all of their personal struggles – Lucie’s new catering business is foundering due to vicious gossip, Kate’s marriage is troubled due to an inability to conceive, Chelsea’s series of misses in the romance department have led to frantic desperation, and Sharon’s career problems are spinning out of control – the women look forward to a break and a drink and a chance to let their guards down with their friends. And letting their guards down is the last thing they should do in the kind of company they unknowingly keep with the fifth member of their cocktail-clique: Bianca Rossi, a woman who will stop at nothing to have it all.

 

efchappy

Guest Review: March of the Ants by Anna-Christina (audio)

March of the Ants

March of the Ants
written by Anna-Christina
published by Busy Bees Publishing 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Goodreads, Music Audio Stories

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this audio book: 
There is one word for this story: Adorable! The voice actors are dynamic, full of expression, and truly bring to life the smallest ant in the colony, Sid. The catchy musical soundtrack beautifully complements the elements of drama and suspense as the listener waits to discover the fate of Sid and the rest of the ant colony. Not only was the story entertaining, my 2-year-old was so interested he actually stayed silent for the entire 4 minute story and immediately asked to listen to it again (we did). The character of Sid is a great role model for small children – he demonstrates that even the smallest of creatures can make a big difference!

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Would I recommend it: I sure would! We listened to it several times in the car and everyone enjoyed it. Any story that’s entertaining to adults and children (even after the 13th listen) gets 4 stars in my book.

 

~ Sara ~

 

About the audiobook – from Goodreads: It all began with an adventure about an ant called Sid. The music and story was already written as a college assignment but the story was developed further after we began to more seriously work on it. We recorded all of the characters voices ourselves which was very amusing and began to delve into the world of sound effects to try to create the whole atmosphere of the story.

 

efchappy

Melissa’s Review: Liberators by James Wesley Rawles

Liberators (The Coming Global Collapse)

Liberators
written by James Wesley Rawles
published by Dutton Adult, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooksBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
It was a big bag of propaganda masquerading as a novel. I hated it. I’ll give Rawles a single star because he did give me a few ideas for additions to my Go Bag (Yeah, I have one. Because Zombies.), but as a novel it lacked, well . . . let’s just say it lacked. The characters weren’t memorable, the plot wasn’t original, and though I’m all for disaster preparedness, it’s hard to take advice from characters who feel the need to add hipster labels to their lunches (oh no, these aren’t hard-boiled eggs, these are PASTURE-RAISED hard-boiled eggs).

GOLDEN LINES

“Megan had routinely endured the ‘moonshine’ jokes from her colleagues jeering at the recycled glass jars she would use to transport green tea with her to work. Today she was grateful for having given up the chick purse for the ‘maternal urban assault pack,’ as Malorie called it. The large satchel allowed her to carry a lot of valuable things with her, including an Altoids tin filled with small survival items, a six-inch nonmetallic knife with the sheath sewn to the inside of the bag for easy presentation, a Gideon’s pocket New Testament, paper maps of the Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia areas vacuum sealed in a pouch, a made-in-America Mag-Lite XL50, and of course baby wipes . . . She also carried her green tea sweetened with local honey in the outside pocket of her satchel.”

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Would I recommend it: Absolutely not.

 

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About the book – from Goodreads: 
The latest survivalist thriller from the New York Times bestselling author and founder of survivalblog.com gives readers an unprecedented look into a post-apocalyptic world resulting from an all-too-real disaster scenario.

When looting and rioting overwhelm all the major US cities, Afghanistan War vet Ray McGregor makes his way from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to his parents’ cattle ranch in Bella Coola, British Columbia, in remote western Canada. Joining him is his old friend Phil Adams, a Defense Intelligence Agency counterintelligence case officer based in Washington State.

Reckless banking practices, hyperinflation, and government negligence have led to an unprecedented socioeconomic collapse in America that quickly spreads throughout the world. Lightly populated Bella Coola is spared the worst of the chaos, but when order is restored it comes in the form of a tyrannical army of occupation. Ray and Phil soon become key players in the resistance movement, fighting the occupiers in a war that will determine not only their own personal survival, but also the future of North America.

Liberators depicts a world that is all too conceivable and terrifyingly familiar. Fastpaced and packed with authentic information on outdoor survival, self-sufficiency, and small-unit tactics, James Wesley, Rawles’s latest thriller will resonate with his dedicated fanbase and encourage new readers to prepare for anything from lesser disasters to the dreaded worst-case scenario.

 

efchappy