Archives for April 2015

Cover Reveal: Like All Things Beautiful and This Is Where We Begin by Shannon McCrimmon

Like All Things Beautiful cover SMLike All Things Beautiful (Hearts Of Haines #2)
written by Shannon McCrimmon
published by

release date May 14, 2015

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About the book: In this sequel to Kiss Me Hard Before You Go, Evie Barnes is living day-to-day, trying to keep her father’s land and his cattle business afloat. She is adjusting to his absence and to living with Finch and the rest of the carnies, which is creating quite a stir amongst the locals in Haines.

As Finch and the others learn a new way of life that doesn’t involve the carnival, they’re dealing with prejudice from almost everyone in town. A string of suspicious incidents occur, prompting all fingers to point the blame at them.

Just when Evie and Finch learn to deal with the mountain of obstacles facing them, the unexpected happens, causing them to question if their relationship can survive it all.

 

This is Where We Begin cover SMThis Is Where We Begin (Hearts Of Haines #3)
written by Shannon McCrimmon
published by

release date May 14, 2015

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About the book: In this continuation in the Hearts of Haines Series, Katie McDaniels is unemployed, pregnant, and relying on Evie and Finch for a place to live. She is trying to survive. Nothing seems to be going right for her until Preston Dobbins steps into her life and an unexpected gift comes her way, finally giving her a chance at happiness.

Preston Dobbins is fighting his strong feelings for Katie McDaniels. He guards a well-kept secret, one that consumes him with guilt.

As an old foe threatens Katie’s happiness, Preston risks everything to save her from tragedy.

 

shannon mccrimmonAbout the author: Shannon McCrimmon was born and raised in Central Florida. She attended Rollins College and earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling. In 2008, she moved to the upstate of South Carolina. It was the move that inspired her to write her first novel. She currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband and toy poodle. She’d love to hear from you!

Find Ms. McCrimmon here: web, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

 

 

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DNF: The Tell-Tale Heart by Jill Dawson

The Tell-Tale HeartThe Tell-Tale Heart
written by Jill Dawson
published by Harper Perennial

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.

Where I stopped reading: page 56 of 242

Why I stopped reading: I could not get invested in this story. I wanted to, but it just wasn’t happening. I didn’t like the first main character, Patrick. He wasn’t likeable or sympathetic. He just had open-heart surgery, and I didn’t care. In part two, we are introduced to Willie Beamiss. I didn’t like his narration. I understand that he was uneducated, illiterate, but it was difficult to read his language. I understand that the author was writing in his voice, but I just couldn’t read it. I’m sure this book will appeal to many, but it just didn’t appeal to me. chrissysig
What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for The Tell-Tale Heart is 3.46. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 4 stars. There were 3 4-star reviews on Amazon. At Barnes & Noble, the majority of the reviews were 3 stars. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: After years of excessive drink and sex, Patrick has suffered a massive heart attack. Although he’s only fifty, he’s got just months to live. But a tragic accident involving a teenager and a motorcycle gives the university professor a second chance. He receives the boy’s heart in a transplant, and by this miracle of science, two strangers are forever linked.

Though Patrick’s body accepts his new heart, his old life seems to reject him. Bored by the things that once enticed him, he begins to look for meaning in his experience. Discovering that his donor was a local boy named Drew Beamish, he becomes intensely curious about Drew’s life and the influences that shaped him–from the eighteenth-century ancestor involved in a labor riot to the bleak beauty of the Cambridgeshire countryside in which he was raised. Patrick longs to know the story of this heart that is now his own.

In this intriguing and deeply absorbing story, Jill Dawson weaves together the lives and loves of three vibrant characters connected by fate to explore questions of life after death, the nature of the soul, the unseen forces that connect us, and the symbolic power of the heart.

 

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Spotlight: The Cave by Michela Montgomery (excerpt, giveaway)

The Cave The Cave (The Wind Cave book 1)
written by Michela Montgomery
published by Post Hill Press, 2015

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

About the book – from Goodreads: Most students wouldn’t want to spend part of their summer break in a claustrophobic cave deep below the earth’s surface, but for six Stanford students spelunking in one of the longest and deepest caves in North America, may just save their lives. Michela Montgomery’s first book in a trilogy, The Cave (Post Hill Press, April 2015) takes readers on an exhilarating ride of adventure and suspense.

Kate Moore, orphaned at sixteen, has experienced her fair share of loss and loneliness. She left her small town, and the sad memories, behind for bigger and better things when she got early acceptance into Stanford. Now armed with her best friend Ano and her mentor (and crush) Percy, she feels a million miles away from the life she left behind. When summer break comes Kate plans a four-day excursion into The Wind Cave so Percy can do research for his senior thesis.

When the climbers are deep within the cave, a nuclear war rains down outside and the climbers become trapped. The geography of the cave starts to shift and the only way out is to navigate the dark tunnels of the cave to survive. When their leader is injured and things start to get bleak, each member of the group reveals the real reason why they made their descent into the Cave. What started out as a four-day excursion turns into a life-and-death battle for survival.

With the popularity of apocalyptic fiction like Emily St. john Mandel’s Station Eleven, Chang-Rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea and Lauren van den Berg’s Find Me, The Cave is a gripping and heart-pounding thrill ride of novel.

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A sharp black point on the sheer face of the cavern pierced my shoulder. I felt the first drop of dark blood squeeze out and drip down my arm. I bit my lip against the pain and concentrated on clinging to the handholds above my head. After another half hour, my arms became numb from the strain and cold. I began to tremble.

I swallowed hard, trying to force my voice into something strong enough for someone to hear. Anyone. I tipped my face upward, the weight of my wet pack pulling me back toward the blackness. My heart skipped several beats. I adjusted my fingers on the handholds and gripped as tightly as I could.

“Ano! Percy! Anyone!”

Mist turned to droplets of water. I wiped my hand across my forehead and succeeded only in covering my hand with more blood from the cut on my head. I could smell the blood trickling down the sides of my face. Heavy droplets dripped down my legs, soaking my calves and shoes, resting on slick moss that covered the foot-wide ledge. I looked around, suffocated by opaque blackness. Reality sank in, and I allowed fear to take over. I pressed my cheek to the rough cavern wall, tears squeezing from between my eyelids. I leaned against the cold face of the cavern. Carefully, I slipped one hand from the handhold above me.

Cradling my numb arm against my body, I shook my hand to allow blood to flow back through it. I dropped it to my side, hoping that gravity would work to pull the blood back through my hand and fingers. Pain seared through my fingers when I tried to make a fist.

My other arm throbbed, heavy from the burden of clinging to the ledge. I leaned in closer to the rough face of the wall. Resignation filled me. My left arm had given out. Releasing my grip from above, my arm slid down the wall to rest against my hip. Without my hands to anchor me, my feet slid closer to the edge. Shooting pain from my shoulder to my wrist forced the first sob from my chest.

“Ano!” I screamed, even though my head was no longer tipped up, and the only sound that returned was the echo of my own desperation. “Help me,” I whispered, “please don’t let me die this way.”

 

Michela MontgomeryAbout the author: Michela Montgomery graduated with her B.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Long Beach. She lives in Northern California with her two children, a feisty Yorkie and a teacup Chihuahua named Killer. The Cave is her first novel and is the first book in a planned trilogy.

Find Ms. Montgomery here: web, Twitter, Goodreads

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Blog Tour: Blushing by Katie Delahanty (Chrissy’s review)

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BlushingBlushing (The Brightside #2)
written by Katie Delahanty
published by Entangled Embrace

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 really did. It was a great read, just as good as the first book, In Bloom. I read it every free chance I had!

It was great to catch up with Olivia and Berkeley. We pick up where In Bloom lets off, with their engagement!!! It is so exciting. Olivia is still a bit naive and a bit shy, until a certain point in the movie. I don’t want to give too much away, so I won’t go into detail. But there were quite a few moments that left me a bit shocked. There were quite a few moments that left me worried.  And many moments that left me with a smile. This book had so many swoon-worthy, giddy-worthy, smile-worthy, cringe-worthy moments. I loved that Berkeley’s movie is filmed in Pittsburgh, and I loved that Olivia slipped into Pittsburghese easily. There were quite a few more Yinzer instances in this book . . . and I loved every one of them! I loved the supporting cast as well–Parker, Psychic Mom, Boots, and Dig. All great.

Even now, days after I finished this book, I still get this giddy feeling and I can’t stop smiling. It was so good!

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Would I recommend it: Definitely! Be sure to read book one of the Brightside series, In Bloom, first.

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About the book: 
My name is Olivia bloom and I. Am. Engaged. When Berkeley proposed, I thought we’d live happily ever after–we’d plan our wedding and he’d tour with the Brightside while I continued designing lingerie. Instead he dropped a bombshell: he’s starring in a movie with his gorgeous ex, Christina Carlton. And what’s more? I’ve been erased from the public eye. All anyone can talk about these days is #Berkstina. To be together, Berkeley asked me to work on set as a costume designer–a dream come true–but there’s a catch: we have to keep our relationship secret. I’m okay with not being photographed, but the sneaking around, the lies, his love scenes; it’s not how I imagined our engagement. Berkeley is passionate and driven; it’s one of the reasons I love him. But he has so much going on–am I ready to drop everything to become Olivia Dalton?

 

Katie DelahantyAbout the author: Katie Delahanty is a fashion designer turned novelist. She holds a BA in communication studies from UCLA and a professional designation in fashion design from FIDM. It never occurred to her that she was a writer until an economic crisis-induced career shift from fashion designer to lingerie e-commerce webmistress led her to start the company blog. Not being an expert in lingerie, she decided to write the blog as a fictional serial starring a girl named Olivia Bloom who worked for the lingerie line. And that’s when Katie fell in love with storytelling. She’s been waking before dawn to write ever since.

Find Ms. Delahanty here: web, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

 

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Chrissy’s Review: Speak Now: or Forever Hold Your Peace by Becky Monson

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your PeaceSpeak Now: or Forever Hold Your Peace
written by Becky Monson
published by Becky Monson

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

Disclosure: I did some editing work on this title. After that work was completed, I was asked by the author to review the book. I received a copy of this book for review purposes. Although I was compensated for the editing work, it in no way affected the outcome of my review. My review is my honest opinion of the book.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I really did! This was a fantastic read that I read every free chance I had.

I loved Speak Now. It grabbed me from the very beginning, and it kept me guessing throughout. I didn’t know what team to be on–Team Ian, Team Justin. I kept flip-flopping sides. I was glued to the book. I laughed. I gasped. I questioned. I was involved from the very beginning. I had to see how this story ended.

I loved Bridgette. I think that anyone can relate to her and want to be on her side. Maybe not at first, but by the end, you’ll be on her side. The poor thing went through a lot. There were a few times I wanted to tell her that enough was enough, move on! But I got what she was going through. I loved the other characters as well. Gram was one of my favorites. She cracked me up. The things she read! The guys were well written. I won’t say anything about them because I don’t want to give too much away. Read it.

Overall, this is a great chick-lit read. It moves. It’s funny. It will keep you reading.

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Would I recommend it: Absolutely!

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About the book – from Goodreads: 
If there’s one thing that Bridgette Reynolds has learned recently, it’s that the perfect shoes, the perfect hair, and the perfect dress do not make for the perfect proposal. In fact, sometimes they make for the not-so-perfect breakup.

Now, Bridgette must do everything in her power to win Adam back. She knows they are meant to be. And nothing will stand in her way—not her friends, not her grandmother, not even the fact that Adam is now engaged to Serene after a whirlwind romance.

Focused on her plan to win Adam back, Bridgette isn’t expecting Ian—her college best friend, her love, her big regret—to come back into her life. They sink back into their comfortable friendship as if no time has passed at all, making Bridgette start to question her feelings for Adam. But Ian has a few secrets of his own . . . secrets that could shatter their friendship once and for all.

Bridgette has to make some major decisions—should she speak now? Or forever hold her peace?

 

 

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Boost It Tuesday! – April 21, 2015

boost-it-TuesdayEFC

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 ChanceCandace’s Book Blog, & If These Books Could Talk for  Boost It Tuesday!

 

 As you can see, we have a new host! A big thank you to Kate for joining us!!!

 

And a big thank you and we’ll miss you to Ginny!! Thank you for hosting with us!!

 

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.

 

Here are some tips for Boosting. A big thanks to Kate at If These Books Could Talk for the image!

 

Boost It Poster

 

As an added bonus, Candace, Kate, 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 Every Free Chance Facebook page and answer the question in the Boost It post!

 

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

 if these books could talk
 

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Chrissy’s Review: Sundaes with Nora by Anna Garner

Sundaes with NoraSundaes with Nora (Sweet Dreams #2)
written by Anna Garner
published by Anna Garner, 2015

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 did enjoy Sundaes with Nora. I read book one in the Sweet Dreams series, Sugar Spun Sister, and really enjoyed it. I couldn’t wait to read this one.

This book picks up after Cricket, Nora, and Lindsay open their ice cream shop, Sweet Dreams. And as the title reflects, this book centers on Nora. Nora left her high-powered career to open this shop with her friends. The consequences of that decision play out in this installment. Her husband, Kenneth, is not happy with Nora’s decision, and he ends their marriage. Now, Nora is on her own and has to figure how to make the ice cream shop successful and how to live on her own again.

This was a fun, quick read. I loved Nora’s ideas, drive, ambition. It was great to get to know Nora as she gets to know herself. She loves the ice cream shop and her friends, that is evident throughout this tale. I did not care for Kenneth at all. He was a complete jerk. I loved that Nora used her finance background to help the shop. And I enjoyed catching up with the girls and their shop. Let me just say, I loved their marketing for the hangover ice cream! I can’t wait for the next book.

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Would I recommend it: Yes! This is a fun series.

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About the book – from Goodreads: 
Nora Finch has a sweet life. She’s married to one of San Francisco’s wealthiest venture capitalists, she lives in a gorgeous old Victorian mansion in one of the city’s most sought-after neighborhoods, and she just launched an ice cream business with her two best friends, Cricket and Lindsay.

However…exactly one week after Sweet Dreams opens its doors to the public, Nora’s husband, Kenneth, informs her he wants a divorce.

Talk about bad timing. Now, on top of the tremendous pressure she feels to drive sales, Nora has to deal with the breakdown of her marriage, adjust to a more frugal lifestyle, find a new place to live and prepare to dip her toes in the dating pool for the first time in four years. If that weren’t enough, everyone keeps trying to get her to “process” her feelings. For an overachiever like Nora, juggling the demands of a new business along with a total overhaul of her personal life should be doable…right?

 

 

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Book Blast: Wedding Haters by Melissa Baldwin (spotlight, giveaway)

Wedding HatersWedding Haters
written by Melissa Baldwin
published by Melissa Baldwin

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

I loved this book! Check out my review here

About the book – from Goodreads: The exquisite dress, the dazzling menu, the family drama . . . It’s the day every girl dreams of, and Madison Wales is no exception. Her wedding plans seem to be going perfectly thanks to her very talented wedding planner, Sienna Harris. That is, until her grandmother and her two overachieving, bullying cousins suddenly want to become very involved in her big day. But . . . why?

Madison’s perfect wedding dreams are dashed as things slowly start to unravel. With family drama in her midst, she wonders if her cousins are behind each disaster or if she has truly become a paranoid bridezilla.

Will Madison be able to withstand all of the pressure and finally stand up for herself? The idea of eloping with her fiancé, Cole, is looking better everyday, even if it means leaving her dream wedding behind. Will she make the right choice?  

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“There you are. Why did you run off so abruptly?” She sounds very concerned. I contemplate explaining everything to her, but I’m not sure I want to share the skeletons in my closet just yet.

“I’m sorry. I’m just a little nervous about seeing my cousins. I haven’t seen them in a while,” I explain.

“Don’t you worry! When it comes to family, it doesn’t matter how much time goes by,” she says as she pats my arm.

This woman has no clue what is about to take place. My grandmother alone is a piece of work; thankfully, they have met and really got along well. I’m secretly hoping that the Ellie I spoke with on the phone is the Ellie that shows up tonight. Susan and Cole leave as I take a few more minutes to myself. As I stand, there in Susan’s perfect guest bathroom it occurs to me that maybe I’m completely over-reacting. Ellie and I did have a good conversation, and ultimately they have gotten their way by being asked to be in the wedding. That should be enough for them to be on their best behavior and not make themselves look bad in front of my new family.

Just then, I hear the doorbell ring and hear several female voices. Cole knocks on the door.

“All hell is about to break loose, are you ready?” he says, raising his eyebrows. He grabs my hand.

“I’m ready, but the question is, are you?” I lean up on my tippy toes to give him another kiss, and we head to the living room as if we are walking into a lion’s den.

 

MelissaAbout the author: Melissa graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications; she has always had a love for writing. An avid journal keeper, she fulfilled her dream with her debut novel, An Event To Remember . . . Or Forget.

Melissa resides in Orlando, Florida, with her husband and young daughter. She is a master at organization and multi-tasking. Her daily jobs include mother, chauffeur, wife, PTA President, Fitness Trainer, and now Author.

When she has free time, she enjoys traveling, fitness, decorating, fashion, and taking a Disney Cruise every now and then.

Find Ms. Baldwin here: Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Instagram

 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ends May 11, 2015 — Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or PayPal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Book Club Recap: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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Once we got our wine and snacks, our book club curled up next to the hostess’s fireplace to talk about The Night Circus. We all agreed: this book is outside what we would normally choose for ourselves, but it’s great. It’s full of magic, drama, and romance.

We first discussed which characters we thought were a waste of writing and which ones were most memorable. One of our favorite characters is Herr Friedrick Thiessen. He is an endearing, lovable character, and we all wanted him to be Celia’s father. Herr Thiessen is a special man.

The ladies and I also agreed that it would be great to have a real night circus, and in this day and age, it would be very unique. I don’t like the circus or the carnival (I think perhaps I watched Are You Afraid of the Dark and It too many times as a child), but a night circus would be amazing!

The Night Circus was a big hit for my book club, and we’d all recommend it.

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The Night Circus

The Night Circus
written by Erin Morgenstern
published by Doubleday, 2011

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

Check out Gina’s review and Chrissy’s review.

About the book – from Goodreads: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called “Le Cirque des Reves,” and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway–a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per-formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead

If you belong to a book group, please tell us about what you’re reading in the comments.

Has your book club read The Night Circus? What did they think?

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Story Time with Sara: Pizza for Breakfast by Maryann Kovalski

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Pizza for Breakfast 
written by Maryann Kovalski
published by Morrow Junior Books, 1991

Did I enjoy this book: Pizza for Breakfast is a silly and magical book with a wonderful lesson for children of all ages, and everyone in this house LOVED IT!

 

Would I recommend it: Sure. It was a fun read, and despite the fact that I have read it several dozen times in the last couple days, I don’t hate it yet–which is saying something! Go ahead and pick up a copy. I think you will have fun going on a pizza-making adventure with Frank and Zelda. I know we did!

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