Archives for January 2016

Chrissy’s Review: Novelista Girl by Meredith Schorr

Novelista GirlNovelista Girl (Blogger Girl #2)
written by Meredith Schorr
published by Booktrope Editions, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble (Nook), Barnes & Noble (print), 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 LOVED this book. It was a fantastic sequel to Blogger Girl, which I also loved. (You can read my review of Blogger Girl here.) It was fun, exciting, emotional. I read it every free chance I had and would have finished it in a day if I could have.

Kimberly Long is still blogging at Pastel Is the New Black, and now she has finally finished her novel. All she needs to do is get it published. Easy, right? We get to experience her journey trying to secure a publisher (fingers crossed!) in Novelista Girl. She’s still with Nicholas, and their relationship has some ups and downs. There were times I wanted to tell Kim that she was being ridiculous. There were times I wanted to tell Nicholas that he need to be more present. But I loved them together. They work. You can’t help but smile at the two of them.

I want to say so much more about this FABULOUS read, but I’m not going to. It is just too good, and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Let me just say that I laughed. I almost cried. I smiled. And I *SQUEEEEEE*d quite a few times. Just pick up a copy and read it. Trust me.

everyfree5

Or should I say, 5 Pink Champagne Flutes!

Would I recommend it: Absolutely!! And be sure to read Blogger Girl as well! However, you can read Novelista Girl as a standalone.

chrissysig

About the book – from Goodreads: 
Readers first met sassy Kimberly Long in Blogger Girl, and now the feisty New Yorker is back in a sequel packed with quick wit, friendship, heartache, and, of course, romance.

Kim runs the most popular chick lit book blog on the web, loves playing house with her sexy lawyer boyfriend, Nicholas, and is finally pursuing her lifelong dream to become a published author. At first glance, her life is five-pink-champagne-flutes worthy.

But is there more to the story than meets the eye?

After hearing the phrase “chick lit is dead” more times than she’s read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim is driven to desperate measures, seeking advice from up-and-coming chick lit author, Hannah Marshak, her high school nemesis and resident “mean girl.” As if Kim doesn’t have enough on her plate balancing her secretarial duties with her blog Pastel Is the New Black, shrugging off the growing pile of agent rejections, and keeping her best friend from turning green over Kim’s budding friendship with Hannah, Nicholas is so blinded by his career ambitions, he doesn’t see that their home sweet home could use more than a dash of sugar.

This is the year when all of Kim’s dreams—professional and romantic—are supposed to come true, but will the story have a happily ever after, or will Kim end up unpublished and all alone?

This novel can be read as a sequel or as a standalone and is best accompanied by a cocktail, preferably a pink one.

 

 

efchappy

The EFC Writer – Similes and Metaphors

 

Welcome to the EFC Writer—a series of quick, easily digestible writing tips based on some stuff EFC Services editor Melissa Ruiz is seriously annoyed you’re still doing (or not doing, as the case may be). 

 

TODAY’S TOPIC: Similes and Metaphors

Metaphors equate one thing with another. Similes compare two dissimilar things. These are easy to use, but for some reason, we all find it tough to remember which is which.

Honestly? I don’t care if you can tell the difference (just save a link to this post to brush up on before parties); I just want you to use them–both of them, please. They’ll improve your writing by making it more descriptive and memorable. I promise.

Metaphor: I am a god.

Simile: I am like a god. I am as awesome as a god. I am more beautiful than a god.

Metaphor: The Doctor is a star.

Simile: The Doctor is as bright as a star.

Metaphor: This pot roast is crap.

Simile: This pot roast tastes like crap.

 

FOR GRAMMAR GEEKS:

“A metaphor is a figure of speech that compares one concept to another by likening the first to something else. Often the concepts are unrelated but equal, joined by some form of the verb ‘to be’ to create a new or unusual association . . . ”

“Metaphors are frequently confused with similes because they have similar uses. They are both used to make comparisons, but they have different structures.”

“A simile is a figure of speech that compares two unlike concepts and joins them by the words like, as, or than. Similes differ from metaphors in that the concepts are not treated as equals.”

(Robbins, Lara M., Grammar & Style at Your Fingertips, Alpha 2007, 82-3.)

MERRIAM-WEBSTER DEFINITION:

met·a·phor
noun
\ˈme-tə-ˌfr also -fər\
plural met·a·phors
1:  a figure of speech in which a word or phrase denoting one kind of object or action is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in the ship plows the seas or in a volley of oaths) :  an implied comparison (as in a marble brow) in contrast to the explicit comparison of the simile (as in a brow white as marble)
1sim·i·le
noun
\ˈsi-mə-(ˌ)lē\
plural -s
1:  a figure of speech comparing two essentially unlike things and often introduced by like or as (as in cheeks like roses, a heart as hard as flint)

 

Further Reading/Sources: Grammar & Style at Your Fingertips by Lara M. Robbins

Have a suggestion or request for an EFC Writer topic? Want to complain about something? Want more info about EFC Services?

E-mail me: everyfreechance@gmail.com with EFC Writer in the subject line.

 

melissasig

efchappy

Story Time with Sara: Duck for President

storytime

Duck for PresidentDuck for President 
written by Doreen Cronin
published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2004

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

Did I enjoy this book: 
I really enjoyed this book (perhaps a little more than my kids, but they liked it too)! My kids thought it was a funny story about a Duck running for president. I enjoyed the subtext that suggests our elected officials are just lazy, power hungry, and selfish people who spend more time running for office than they do actually making the city/district/state/country a better place for their constituents.

I also thought it was a good story to illustrate to kids the “never satisfied” culture that now permeates our country. Duck is never happy with his new elected office–he always wants more power, better perks, and more people adoring him.

So, I liked that there were culturally relevant topics I could talk about with my kids. The children, however, enjoyed the silly story, vibrant illustrations, and the fact that “sticky ballots” kept being found on the bottom of various animals, people and things.

everyfree4

 

Would I recommend it: I would! It’s a great book to introduce the idea of elections to young children, but it’s also just a wonderful story that will delight the whole family!

sarasig

About the book – from Goodreads:

My fellow Americans:

It is our pleasure, our honor, our duty as citizens to present to you Duck for President. Here is a duck who began in a humble pond. Who worked his way to farmer. To governor. And now, perhaps, to the highest office in the land.

Some say, if he walks like a duck and talks like a duck, he is a duck.

We say, if he walks like a duck and talks like a duck, he will be the next president of the United States of America.

Thank you for your vote.

 

efchappy

Blog Tour: Death in A Major by Sarah Fox (spotlight, excerpt, giveaway)

Death in A MajorDeath in A Major
written by Sarah Fox
published by Witness Impulse, 2016

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

About the book: The new season for the Point Grey Philharmonic starts off on a sour note when one of the symphony’s wealthy benefactors drops dead in the second Music Lover’s Mystery from author Sarah Fox.

When Archibald Major, local big wig and nasty tyrant, drops dead at a post-concert reception, violinist Midori Bishop soon suspects foul play. Although Midori has no intention of getting involved in another murder investigation, that all changes when Jordan – her violin student and the victim’s grandson – seeks her help convincing the police that the real killer is his uncle, a low-level criminal.

As Midori digs into the victim’s life, she discovers that he was a man who created discord at every turn, even within his own family, and there is no shortage of potential suspects. When someone close to Midori unexpectedly confesses to the crime, Midori must race to discover the identity of the true killer before an innocent person goes to jail for a crime they didn’t commit… and before Midori herself becomes a victim in the killer’s deadly encore.

efcexcerpt

“I’m going to speak to Ernest. He looks lonely.”

I escaped from the questions I knew Mikayla wanted to ask and approached Ernest, a short and rotund French horn player in his late fifties. His normally pale face was flushed and he stood by himself at the edge of the room, one hand fiddling with the lapel of his tuxedo jacket as he stared through his thick glasses at the crowd of mingling people.

“Hi, Ernest.”

He started when I addressed him.

“Oh. Hello, Midori.” He cleared his throat and continued to tug at his lapel. “The concert went well, don’t you think?”

“Very.”

His gaze drifted back to the crowd in the middle of the room. I followed his line of sight. Mrs. Duffy—Mr. Major’s daughter and the mother of one of my violin students—was helping her father into a wheelchair. He sat down heavily and Mrs. Duffy hooked his cane over one of the handles.

A middle-aged woman with glasses and dull, frizzy brown hair hovered behind the wheelchair and patted Major on the shoulder once he was seated. The elderly man must have grown tired of standing, but I doubted that he’d ever grow tired of creeping out women less than half his age.

I returned my attention to Ernest. His eyes were still fixed on Mr. Major and his expression had transformed in the past few seconds from bland to darkly angry.

The drastic, unexpected change startled and puzzled me. “Do you know Mr. Major?”

“What?” Ernest swiveled his head toward me, his thick glasses drawing my attention to his gray eyes and their staccato blinking. “No. I’ve never met the man.”

“Oh.” How odd. Why would he have such an intense dislike for a man he’d never met? Unless I was mistaken about whom he’d been focused on.

Ernest pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and patted his perspiring forehead. “Excuse me.”

He made a direct line to the nearest waitress and snagged a flute of champagne off her tray. My eyebrows shot up as he gulped down the entire contents in no more than a second. He abandoned the empty glass on a nearby table and moved through the crowd, patting his damp forehead again.

Weird.

Or was it? I’d never seen Ernest act like that before, but then again, I barely knew him and had never spent time with him outside of the orchestra. For all I knew he was odd on a regular basis.

Shrugging off Ernest’s behavior, I decided to join some of my fellow second violinists who had gathered near one of the grand arched windows, the view nothing but darkness at this time of night. I threaded my way through the clusters of people, making sure to stay behind Mr. Major so he wouldn’t see me and have a chance to run his sleazy eyes over me again.

As I passed within a few feet of his wheelchair, Mrs. Duffy spread a small blanket over his knees.

“Are you warm enough, Dad?”

Major swatted her hand away. “Stop fussing. I don’t need your incompetent brand of help.”

My eyes widened at the rancor in his voice. So did Mrs. Duffy’s. She choked back a sob and turned away from her father, quickly squeezing her way through the crowd.

I glared at the back of Major’s head. What a mean old bastard.

He continued to grumble under his breath. The frizzy-haired woman patted his shoulder again and spoke to him in quiet, soothing tones.

I set my empty champagne glass down on a nearby table and searched the room for Mrs. Duffy. I spotted her just as she slipped out through a door at the far end of the room. Abandoning my plan to join my fellow violinists, I worked my way through the crowded room until I reached the far door. I pushed it open and slipped out into a corridor lined with the same red carpeting as the reception room.

There was no one in sight. I knew there was an exit around the corner, so it was possible that Mrs. Duffy had stepped outside to collect herself. I wasn’t sure if I should continue to look for her to make sure she was okay. Maybe she’d prefer to be left alone. After all, I didn’t know her particularly well. I’d taught her son, Jordan, violin for seven years, but had never talked to her for more than a few minutes at a time, and the topics of our conversations had always stayed confined to her son’s progress or lesson schedules. Certainly we’d never discussed anything personal or established any sort of friendship.

I turned back to the door, intending to return to the reception room.

“What are you doing here?” a female voice asked.

I spun around, thinking the question had been aimed at me, but I was still alone.

“I need some cash,” a man said.

“And you think I have extra lying around?” I recognized the female voice as belonging to Mrs. Duffy. “You know I’m having my own financial troubles since I left Gregory.”

I paused with my hand on the doorknob. I knew this was a conversation that wasn’t meant for my ears, but somehow I couldn’t bring myself to go back into the reception room. I’d always been too curious for my own good.

Two quiet steps took me farther along the corridor, closer to the branch that led to the exit.

“Of course I know,” the male voice said. “I need you to get some money off Dad for me.”

“Kevin, you know I can’t do that. If I even mention your name these days he goes through the roof.”

The man let out a string of colorful swearwords, most of them unsavory descriptors aimed at Mr. Major Senior. “Can’t you pretend it’s for you? I’m desperate here, sis.”

“I can’t.” Mrs. Duffy sounded close to tears. “He’s not much happier with me than he is with you lately. He thinks I’m a failure since my marriage fell apart.”

“Has he been bullying you again?”

Mrs. Duffy sniffled.

I jumped as a loud bang reverberated along the corridor.

“Kevin! Be careful!” Mrs. Duffy admonished in a hushed voice. “You almost put a hole in the wall.”

“That damn bastard,” Kevin spat. “Always trying to make everyone else miserable.”

A door opened nearby and a draft of chilly air wafted along the corridor toward me.

“Where are you going?” Mrs. Duffy asked, her voice tight with worry.

“I’ve had enough of the old miser,” Kevin said. “And I’m going to make sure we never have to deal with him ever again.”

A door slammed shut, the noise jolting me into motion. Not wanting Mrs. Duffy to know I’d overheard the conversation, I slipped back into the reception room and pulled the door closed behind me.

 

Sarah FoxAbout the author: Sarah Fox was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia where she developed a love for mysteries at a young age. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer she is often reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel.

 

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

 

efcpraise

“Readers are kept in suspense as each spinetingling event moves them towards an unforgettable ending. Sarah Fox delivers murder mystery with believable characters and earns a thumbs up.”  — Authors on the Air Global Radio Network on DEAD RINGER

“While Midori may be clueless in love, she is good at asking questions. It is easy to understand how difficult it is for her to leave the investigating to the police, particularly once she has begun. Her actions are believable, if at times rash. Dead Ringer is an entertaining cozy with just the right amount of suspense. It is a great choice for reading on a lazy summer afternoon.”  — Mutt Cafe on DEAD RINGER

“Readers are in for a treat with Sarah Fox’s new cozy…out of love, Midori sticks her nose in every place she can, which makes her a perfect heroine for lovers of mysteries. Readers will be pleased with the sheer entertainment of Fox’s plot.”  — Suspense Magazine on DEAD RINGER

giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

efchappy

Gina’s Review: Angels in the Snow by Rexanne Becnel

Angels in the Snow

Angels in the Snow 
written by Rexanne Becnel
published by Pocket Star, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble (Nook), Barnes & Noble (print), AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: I did. This is definitely the kind of book I needed to read this holiday season; it made me feel that warm and fuzzy feeling. My mother-in-law told me they turned this book into a Hallmark movie, and I can see why. It touches on not only love of a husband and wife, but also finding the balance between work and family. We can get caught up in the world of technology, materialism, and career, and forget about the important things like family and love. Yes, this book is predictable and at times cheesy, but that’s also what I loved about it: it makes its point and made me feel joy in the end.

everyfree5

Would I recommend it: Yes! It definitely makes you feel warm inside.

ginasig

About the book – from Goodreads:

The USA Today bestselling “master of her craft” (RT Book Reviews), Rexanne Becnel delivers a special treat just in time for the holidays with this heartwarming story about a family learning the true meaning of Christmas.

Having it all—money, health, intelligence, the seemingly perfect family—doesn’t seem to be working for Charles Montgomery. His wife wants a divorce. His children are spoiled rotten. And he has grown blind to the things money can’t buy. In an act of desperation he hopes will bring the family together again, he whisks them away to a mountain retreat for the holidays. But the vacation is a recipe for disaster—especially when a blizzard leaves them stranded without heat or electricity—until the Walker family shows up, seeking shelter. Togetherness has never been so uncomfortable—or enlightening. The blizzard passes, and the Walkers leave…but the Montgomerys’ lives will never be the same.

 

efchappy

Hilary’s Winter Blues Massive Giveaway

Untitled design-7

There has been so much going on here at the beach, I wasn’t able to properly celebrate the publication of my second book, Plan Bea, in October. And now, somehow, it is already 2016 and WINTER! I don’t know about you, but I have a bit of the winter blues . . . So to lift everyone’s spirits, I have teamed up with 30 of my author friends to #GIVEAWAY 44 books!

Unlike my MASSIVE GIVEAWAYS in previous years, I have half the books on the blog and all the books as part of a Facebook event for more chances to win.

And here are the books!

_______________________________________________________________________

Plan Bea

Could falling in love allow a cold, stubborn, and selfish woman to open her heart back up to her family?

Beatrice Buchanan has spent more years than she can remember distancing herself from everyone close to her. She has no relationship with her grandchildren and the only time she speaks to her daughter is during her weekly fifteen-minute commute to the nail salon. When Bea meets Walter on a cruise she realizes there may be more to life than designer clothes and impressing the ladies at her country club.

We live our entire lives thinking we know those closest to us. But do we ever really?

On the outside, Annabel O’Conner has it all – the perfect husband, two adorable children, and an amazing job. The only thing missing is her mother’s love. When Bea begs her daughter to help plan her wedding, Annabel reluctantly agrees. Little does she know the impact of her decision or the surprise that is in store for her!

This emotional and honest women’s contemporary fiction novel will tug at your heartstrings and the twist ending will shock you.

Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble-Nook, Barnes & Noble-print eBook $4.99 Print $14.95

_______________________________________________________________________

RD_COMPS.inddStacey Ballis cooks up a delicious broth of a novel about a woman whose perfect life falls apart in spectacular fashion–leaving her with a house to restore, an antique cookbook (but no cooking talent), and one very unhappy schnauzer. For fans of Jen Lancaster, Jennifer Weiner, and Emily Giffin.
To an outside observer, Anneke Stroudt is a mess—her shirts are stained, her fingernails stubby, her language colorful. But, despite her flaws, Anneke’s life is close to perfect. She has a beautiful historic house to restore and a loving fiancé who cooks like a dream.

Until Anneke’s charmed existence falls apart when she loses both her job and her future husband in one terrible day. In need of a new start, she packs up her disgruntled schnauzer and moves into her half-finished home, where she throws her pent-up frustration—and what little savings she has—into finishing the renovation.

But at the first step into the house’s overhaul, Anneke is sidetracked when she discovers a mysterious leather-bound book, long hidden away, filled with tempting recipes and steamy secrets from Gemma Ditmore-Smythe, the cook for the house’s original owners. Slowly, with the help of some delicious food and Emma’s life lessons, Anneke begins to realize that, just like a flawless recipe, she’s been waiting for the right ingredients to cook up a perfect life all along…

“With the perfect blend of humor and heart, Ballis’s writing is powerfully honest and genuinely hilarious.”–Jen Lancaster

Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble-Nook, Barnes & Noble-Print eBook $11.99 Print $13.27

_______________________________________________________________________

Speak Now

 

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?

Available Amazon eBook $2.99 Print $13.25

_______________________________________________________________________

Dangled-Carat-Hilary-GrossmanHow many faux engagements can one girl have?

Hilary learns the hard way more than you can imagine. She has no idea what to do. She’s been dating perfect on paper, Marc, for years. He’s everything she wants in a man except for one thing. He’s beyond afraid of commitment! Tired of waiting for Marc to come to his senses, the couple’s friends decide to take matters into their own hands and throw a surprise “engagement” party. Only problem is their meddling has unforeseen consequences…

In this real life chick lit story, Hilary Grossman digs deep as she explores the good, the bad, and the frustrating of dating. Dangled Carat is the perfect light hearted, funny, and relatable story for every girl who wondered if she should love him or dump him. Chick lit readers will be hooked!

Available Amazon eBook $2.99 Print $12.74

_______________________________________________________________________

Up To I DoEmerson Sinclair, twenty-seven year old hotel heiress, has said yes. With just over a year to plan her extravagant, over the top nuptials to Logan Worthington, it’s all hands on deck with the wedding plans. A Sinclair marrying into the Worthington family is the talk of their small New Hampshire town, and ideas include filming the wedding for a TV segment. But as the items get checked off the list, plans start to go … not as planned.From not getting a designer dress to a selfish bridesmaid and unaccountable best man, Emerson is afraid her wedding will be more a joke than anything.

When both her mother and sister seemingly begin to lose interest in her wedding plans in favor of their own personal lives, Emerson fears her big day will turn into the forgotten wedding. With the pressure to pull off a beautiful and elegant event that everyone expects from their respectable families, Emerson starts to forget the reason why she is saying I Do in the first place.

Available Amazon

_______________________________________________________________________

Novel girlReaders first met sassy Kimberly Long in Blogger Girl, and now the feisty New Yorker is back in a sequel packed with quick wit, friendship, heartache, and, of course, romance.

Kim runs the most popular chick lit book blog on the web, loves playing house with her sexy lawyer boyfriend, Nicholas, and is finally pursuing her lifelong dream to become a published author. At first glance, her life is five-pink-champagne-flutes worthy.

But is there more to the story than meets the eye?

After hearing the phrase “chick lit is dead” more times than she’s read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim is driven to desperate measures, seeking advice from up-and-coming chick lit author, Hannah Marshak, her high school nemesis and resident “mean girl.” As if Kim doesn’t have enough on her plate balancing her secretarial duties with her blog Pastel Is the New Black, shrugging off the growing pile of agent rejections, and keeping her best friend from turning green over Kim’s budding friendship with Hannah, Nicholas is so blinded by his career ambitions, he doesn’t see that their home sweet home could use more than a dash of sugar.

This is the year when all of Kim’s dreams—professional and romantic—are supposed to come true, but will the story have a happily ever after, or will Kim end up unpublished and all alone?

This novel can be read as a sequel or as a standalone and is best accompanied by a cocktail, preferably a pink one.

Available Amazon

_______________________________________________________________________

french twistFrom Book 1: Sydney 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.

book trio (2)

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 eBook $6.97

_______________________________________________________________________

First + GoalWhen Harper Duquaine’s no-nonsense approach to work unintentionally ruffles the wrong feathers at her new job, she joins her co-workers’ fantasy football league to prove she can hang with the guys. Only problem: she doesn’t know a sleeper from a keeper (or any of the other lingo thrown her way).

Embroiled in a world of lineups, stats, and trades, Harper’s quest to make nice topples when her competitive streak emerges. And her promise to herself that she’ll be a strong, independent woman and leave the drama and heartache behind is seriously tested when she catches the attention of her two biggest competitors: J.J., a local celebrity determined to win a fantasy championship, and Brook, the mild-mannered coach who seems too good to be true. Both threaten her resolve to remain single… and, more importantly, her chances at winning the prize pool.

With a slew of conflicting advice in her real and fantasy worlds, Harper must figure out how to play the game and come out a winner.

Available Amazon

_______________________________________________________________________

peri in progressYou know what they say about best-laid plans…

After a disastrous thirty-first birthday party where she gets stood-up by a man she isn’t supposed to be dating, Peri McKenna decides it’s time to change what hasn’t been working—which is pretty much everything. Her love life is going nowhere fast, she’s bored to tears by a job that makes her the office pariah, and the lifelong junk food addiction that used to be somewhat quirky is now positively problematic. To top it all off, her newly-purchased home is falling apart and wishful thinking hasn’t done much to fix the leaky roof.

It’s time be an adult now that she’s officially ‘thirty-something.’
But when the first step of Peri’s self-improvement plan backfires, she starts to wonder if change might be overrated.

Enter Milo Preston, an up-and-coming chef who’s in town to take over a local restaurant. When Peri and Milo begin working together, she finds it hard to ignore his easy charm and captivating emerald-green eyes. Since Milo is her best friend’s estranged brother, Peri has to keep reminding herself that he is completely off-limits. As they grow closer, Milo introduces Peri to new foods, the joy (and pain) of jogging, and makes her think her luck might finally be turning.

But when the past catches up with them, Peri finds herself back at square one. Will she be able to sort herself out—or will the roof cave in on her once and for all?

Available Amazon

______________________________________________________________________Abroken collectionAward-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.

Broken Pieces is an award winning book about relationships, a study of women, and a book with heart. Vastly different in tone from her previous essay collections A Walk In The Snark and The Mancode: Exposed, Broken Pieces is a collection of pieces inspired by life: love, loss, abuse, trust, grief, and ultimately, love again. While still non-fiction, best-selling Broken Pieces is not humor at all. In Thompson’s most intensive work to date, she opens her soul and invites the reader in for a visit. Thompson goes into those long buried rooms we lock up deep inside and shares a bit of her soul. Broken Pieces is vulnerable, raw honesty, and no-holds barred.

Available Amazon

_______________________________________________________________________

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, Barnes & Noble-Nook, Barnes & Noble-print eBook $2.99 Print $16.95

_______________________________________________________________________

Maybe Tomorrow CoverWelcome to the FORGIVE OR FORGET series, a compelling contemporary women’s fiction love story and family saga series. Cawood’s love inspired medical romance series follows the close-knit McGowan siblings; Keon, Kiera, Cormack, and Cara, as they face the difficult choice between forgiving or forgetting true love after a broken heart.

Does a heart ever really heal from its first break?

On an unseasonably hot night in late September, Dr. Keon McGowan is called away from a family gathering to a hospital emergency. Amongst his patients that night is a blast from his past he’d rather forget. He’ll certainly never forgive butterfly hunter Darcia Davenport for leaving him alone as a single dad while she chased butterflies through the Amazon rainforest.

Coming face to face with the woman who broke his heart after all this time, Keon realises that he has never fully healed from it. But any chance of finding closure is ripped away when Darcy chooses to end treatment and live her final weeks without regret. Can Keon let her go? Or will he fight for the tomorrow they might never have?

MAYBE TOMORROW is an emotional journey of love caught between fate and destiny, and Keon is forced to choose between his head and his heart, his wants and his responsibilities, forgiving Darcy or forgetting all about her, and between a second chance family or an ill-fated heartbreak romance.

Available AmazonBarnes & Noble

_______________________________________________________________________

vivid trilogyWhen Vivian Cartwright was five years old, she witnessed her mother’s death. Now, sixteen-year-old Vivian only wants a normal life, but to do that she must keep her ability to control energy a secret. Only her guardian, Charlotte, who has hidden Vivian from the man responsible for her mother’s murder, knows of her staggering power.
Her secret is safe until Vivian defends herself at school using her power. After this first use of her gift in many years, Vivian’s power seems to take on a mind of its own, increasing in strength and bringing dreams of her mother’s death and the mysterious man associated with it.
In her desire to unlock her past, Vivian is forced to use her supernatural gift over and over. With each use, Vivian fears she is losing control and discovers her powers are growing—maybe too much—bringing her unknowingly closer to the man who murdered her mother, but she soon learns she can’t escape her past . . . or her future. When she will finally learns the truth, it will turn her world upside-down.
Available Amazon
_______________________________________________________________________

TheMiracleGirl (1)Newspaper publisher and world traveler JJ Cavendish continually feels pressured to live up to her Miracle Girl nickname. Not many people know she’s living a carefully crafted lie. She may not hide ties to the LGBT community, but she does hide past struggles with addiction.

When the Colorado native is handpicked to take the helm at a dying Denver newspaper, she ends up reconnecting with her long lost love in this contemporary lesbian romance. Only there’s a catch. If JJ fires the most belligerent editor at the paper, she risks losing the love of her life.

Mid-afternoon office romps abound in this romantic comedy while also focusing on what it takes for a newspaper to remain relevant in this age of social media.

Must JJ lose everything in order to gain a life more fully her own?

Available Amazon eBook $2.99 Print $7.99

_______________________________________________________________________

party-girl-cover

 

When newly-single party girl Vicki moved to Paris, she was hoping to indulge in wine, stuff her face with croissants, and fall in love. It proved to be much more difficile than she’d imagined.

In this laugh-out-loud memoir, this cheeky storyteller recounts the highs and lows of her life in the City of Light. Sassy and shamefully honest, Vicki makes you feel as if you’re right there in Paris stumbling along the cobblestones with her.
Will she find love? Will she learn to consume reasonable amounts of alcohol? Will the French administration ever cut her a break?
Available Amazon
_______________________________________________________________________
the to do listBetween unending housework and thankless efforts to appease a loutish husband and acid-tongue teens, Ginny Cooper’s to-do list never seems to get done. Her guilty pleasure—fantasizing about her husband’s demise—her weakness—the drive-thru at Arby’s. On the job as head librarian at the county’s obsolete library, tedium reigns. One afternoon Ginny innocently stumbles upon a dating website, where the rabbit hole awaits.Who is Ginny Cooper? She is every woman who knows the exact number of calories in a Snickers bar, every woman who has ever struggled with her weight. She is every woman who has grappled with the gray areas, every woman who has wanted to escape her own life. At times the reader will want to reach between the pages, shake her, and talk some sense into her. But Ginny will have to navigate her own road. And through it all, we root for her.
Ginny’s childhood memories of her fading hometown provide a bittersweet backdrop for The To-Do List.
Available Amazon
_______________________________________________________________________

rock star's girlEmily Watts just wants a weekend break from the workaholic hours she’s taken on to keep her business–a popular fashion-snark website–up and running. What she gets is overnight celebrity and a career-killing media scandal.

While taking time out to attend a concert in support of friend Jesse Cinder, a struggling musician, Emily meets Cory Sampson, the lead singer of a chart-topping rock band. When she agrees to a date with Cory, making entertainment headlines is the last thing she expects. Even so, it’s a minor surprise by comparison to her discovery that in the music world, media notoriety trumps all. Tabloid allegations erupt when Cory and fame-hungry Jesse use Emily for personal gain, and her tarnished image spells disaster–personally and professionally. To save the website and writing career she’s made her life and dream, Emily must go from being a pawn in the Hollywood headline game to becoming the media mastermind.

Available Amazon

_______________________________________________________________________

crazy little thing called matchmakingIs it possible to find two loves in one lifetime?Dubbed “The Child Whisperer” by his peers, twenty-nine-year-old Jake Harris is a lollipop-sucking, video game-playing pediatrician, who moves to Seashore Cove, Long Island to start a family. What he finds is an immediate attraction to his new nurse, Kate, and a list of reasons why he has to keep his distance.Kate Henderson is a grieving widow with two teenage boys, struggling to keep her head above water. She knows exactly why she must fight her growing desire for the new doctor, and nothing is going to change that.But Kate’s sons think Dr. Jake is the perfect match for their mother. When they put their heads together, the duo comes up with crazy little schemes in the hopes of igniting a spark.

The teenagers succeed in throwing them together but is it enough to make their mom and the doctor tear up their lists and take a chance on love?

_______________________________________________________________________
the positionDylan Farrow puts on his pants every morning one leg at a time, just like everyone else at the Kerrigan Advertising Agency. He handles high-pressure projects with a fast turnaround. He’s prized for his keen intellect and admirable performance. But how did he get where he is today—to the level of Junior Executive of Design Production? Well, that involves how he takes his pants off…
and for whom… Hoping to break through the glass ceiling under which she’s been trapped for years, Valerie Caplan picks up her life and moves to Seattle. After hearing about the position of Senior Executive of Design Production from an art director at Kerrigan, she decides to apply. When she lands the big interview, she never thinks for a minute that she’ll have any serious competition. She assumes that she has the job in the bag…until she discovers that the only competition has something she doesn’t have—the willingness to go outside the office to impress Danica Stewart, their uptight female boss.
Available Amazon
_______________________________________________________________________

walk on the wild sideViolet Monte believed her love and marriage would last a lifetime–until she catches her husband in bed with a younger woman.
When she realizes she was nothing more than a trophy wife, Violet decides to chase her own dreams. The only problem is, she has no idea what they are. Violet begins to pursue her own interests which sometime include spying on her mysterious neighbor, who might actually be a lady of the night.

Just as Violet is finding stability–– and the possibility of opening her heart again–– her husband returns not with an apology, but with a signed pre-nuptial agreement, claiming he’ll keep everything and leave her with nothing.

Violet is far from the compliant woman he once knew but she doubts she has the strength to fight and win, until her intriguing neighbor unlocks what Violet has been looking for all along.

Can Violet fight back from a lost love and reinvent herself into the person she always wanted to be or will she forever be just an ex-trophy wife?

Available Amazon

_______________________________________________________________________
swingsAfter attending three new mom groups, only to be banned for eating Cheetos (not organic!) and uttering the occasional swear word, Sadie Walker questions why she is trying so hard to fit in. While sitting in another dingy community center playroom full of squealing babies and new moms enthusiastically discussing homemade organic baby food, Sadie meets John, a handsome, vivacious dad. They quickly form a friendship and Sadie finally finds an adult outlet. John soon becomes a lifeline and she looks to him for advice and support, and confides in him about her strained marriage and career as a copywriter. Sadie begins to have sexual fantasies about John. Those fantasies turn into opportunity when he tells her he’s in an open marriage. As Sadie contemplates how far is too far in regards to her friendship with John, she must also question herself, her marriage, an d her life. Will swinging with John improve that life, or destroy it?
Available Amazon
_______________________________________________________________________

what i really learned in collegeAlex Rose is a 32-year-old divorced mother of two, looking for a better life for her and her sons. In search of answers, she returns to college to finally get that degree she’s always dreamed of. What she finds is something she wasn’t even looking for.Mason Brooks is every girl’s dream: 21 years old, tall, with dirty blond hair that curls when it’s wet, sea-blue eyes, and dimples. Hot, sexy…and deliciously naïve and innocent.

Enter a tantalizing world where an average soccer mom utilizes her newfound knowledge of psychology to make life just a little more interesting. Follow along as Alex educates Mason on the art of seducing and pleasing a woman. Take notes as she introduces him to a whole new level of intensity and sexual pleasure. Study the sensual art of tantric sex as Alex creates her own style of silk and lace female dominance.
This little tryst will never survive past college–but Alex is determined to enjoy it the fullest while it lasts.

Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble-Nook, Barnes & Noble-print

_______________________________________________________________________

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


_______________________________________________________________________
BUT WAIT!!! There are more books! You can win these too – check out the Facebook event HERE to win these books!
FB Books set 1

FB Books set 2FB Books set 3

efchappy

Boost It Tuesday! – January 12, 2016

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!

 

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 If These Books Could Talk Facebook page and answer the question in the Boost It post!

 

If you would like to host the giveaway on your Facebook page one week, please fill out the form below. Be sure to notice the rules.

Click Here to Sign Up to Host the Giveaway

If you have participated as a guest host in the past and would like to do so again, please either sign up again or email me at everyfreechance@gmail.com

 

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


 if these books could talk
 

efchappy

The EFC Writer – Parallelism

 

Welcome to the EFC Writer—a series of quick, easily digestible writing tips based on some stuff EFC Services editor Melissa Ruiz is seriously annoyed you’re still doing (or not doing, as the case may be). 

 

TODAY’S TOPIC: Parallelism

Oh, friends, pretty please make sure your lists are parallel? For me?

I don’t want to see any of this nonsense:

The waiter’s responsibilities include making hot tea and to bring the meals. 

Ugh.

Do you think I should go see Star Wars opening night or that I should wait a week? 

Ew (and also, why would you EVER wait a week?).

The mommy manages to do the laundry, making dinner, and played trains without crying. 

I need to either go to bed or to go to the spa. 

It hurts my poor little OCD soul, people. Let’s get it together and make sure our lists are STRUCTURALLY IDENTICAL, okay? Like this:

The waiter’s responsibilities include making hot tea and bringing the meals.

Do you think I should go see Star Wars opening night or I should wait a week? 

The mommy manages to do the laundry, make dinner, and play trains without crying. 

I need to go either to bed or to a spa.*

Aaaaaahhh.  Much better.

 

FOR GRAMMAR GEEKS:

“Whether the list is shown as a series within the sentence or as a bulleted list, the elements should be structurally identical.” (Robbins, Lara M. , Grammar & Style at Your Fingertips, Alpha 2007, 80). That means everything in your list should be past tense (or present participle, or whatever floats your boat)!

The same goes for numbers, too–don’t use digits in the first bit and words in the second bit; be consistent!

  • She finished 12 of the twenty books she wanted to read. — NO!
  • She finished twelve of the twenty books she wanted to read. — YES!

*This one’s a special case–it’s a correlative conjunction (you know the type: and/or, not only/but also, etc). To keep your parallelism in check, just make sure you’re using the same part of speech directly after each conjunction.

 

MERRIAM-WEBSTER DEFINITION:

par·al·lel·ism
noun
\ˈper-ə-ˌle-ˌli-zəm, -lə-ˌli-, ˈpa-rə-\
plural -s
1:  the quality or state of being parallel<a lack of parallelism of the heads of the testing machine — Proving Rings for Calibrating Testing Machines>
2:  resemblance, correspondence, similarity<parallelism of interests><parallelism in nomenclature between the kinship terms of affinity in English, French, and German — Edward Sapir><parallelism between obesity and hypertension — H. M. Marvin>
3a :  similarity of construction of adjacent word groups equivalent, complementary, or antithetic in sense especially for rhetorical effect or rhythmb :  reiteration in similar phrases (as in Hebrew poetry)

 

Further Reading/Sources: Grammar & Style at Your Fingertips by Lara M. Robbins

Have a suggestion or request for an EFC Writer topic? Want to complain about something? Want more info about EFC Services?

E-mail me: everyfreechance@gmail.com with EFC Writer in the subject line.

 

melissasig

efchappy

December 2015 Subscription Boxes

Hi, Everyone!

Here are our subscriptions from the month of December (2015):

 

Muse Monthly

Gina loved the tea! She says it was like Christmas in a cup.

Gina loved the tea! She says it was like Christmas in a cup.

 

Lit-Cube

I did something I never used to do . . . I waited until Christmas to open my box!

I did something I never used to do . . . I waited until Christmas to open my box!

Lit-Cube Dec 2015 (1)Lit-Cube Dec 2015 (2)
 

Uppercase

I love the calendar!

I love the calendar!

 

Owl Crate
Dec 2015 Owl Crate (3)

Dec 2015 Owl Crate (1) Dec 2015 Owl Crate (2)
 

Fresh Fiction

Dec Fresh Fiction Box 2015

Fresh Fiction Christmas Box 2015

 

Jamberry StyleBox
December 2015 Stylebox

 

Kiwi Crate and Koala Crate

Dec 2015 Kiwi Crate

Kiwi Crate

 

Dec 2015 Koala Crate

Koala Crate

 

What do you think of month’s boxes?

Do you subscribe to any boxes? If so, which ones? I did include my referral links, so if you’re interested, please feel free to use them! I know I would appreciate it.

chrissysig

 

efchappy

 

Story Time with Sara: Diary of a Minecraft Zombie by Herobrine Books

storytime

Diary of a Minecraft ZombieDiary of a Minecraft Zombie Book #1: A Scare of a Dare (Volume 1)
written by Herobrine Books
published by Herobrine Publishing, Inc., 2015

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

Did I enjoy this book: 
This book was mildly entertaining. I have to say that my 3.5-year-old enjoyed it MUCH more than I did. It’s a very neat idea and I enjoyed the concept and the novelty of it, but it fell pretty flat for me personally. The plot line was very loosely tied together throughout the book. In fact, it took half the book before the “journal entries” started showing any sort of story arc.

The style of the writing was very much like you would expect a 12-year-old to write in a personal journal . . . which I guess is what they were going for. However, that means that there were no paragraphs, no character development, no educational value, limited vocabulary, and simple sentence structure. In other words, there was nothing to challenge or stretch the mind. All of these characteristics are things that I look for in the chapter books I read to my kids because I don’t just want to entertain them;I also want to expose them to new language and concepts.
Now, that being said, my 3-year-old really doesn’t care about those particular things a darn bit. He thought it was a funny story about characters from, “Mind-craft, that game I play with Daddy.” That is why this book got 3 stars instead of 2.
everyfree3

Would I recommend it: OK, so I’ve been fairly critical however, there is definitely and place for this book. This could be a great gateway book for older, independent, Minecraft-obsessed readers (8-12) who aren’t already interested in the wonderful world of books. It takes familiar concepts, characters, and settings and delivers a story written in their language that they can relate to. Even, better yet, this is just the first book in the series so there are more books to keep your kids reading.

While Diary of a Minecraft Zombie isn’t the best fit for us, it might be just what you and your family need to inspire a lifelong love of reading and get that middle-schooler away from the computer screen for a few hours. I discovered that the whole series is available on AmazonUnlimited for free, so we might check them out on my iPad, but I don’t think we will be purchasing any more in the series. So I guess my recommendation depends on what you are looking for in an early reader chapter book.

sarasig

 

Chrissy here . . . to follow up on Sara’s review, I have to say that my 7-year-old LOVES this series, which is a play off of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I agree that these books would be great gateway books for reluctant readers, but my son was already a reader when he first read Diary of a Minecraft Zombie and he added the entire series (and other spin-offs) to his TBR pile, which is quite long. My son wants to read the books. He has asked for more in the series. He reads them without being asked to pick up a book and read. He also reads them to his younger brother, and they laugh a lot. So, I have to say THANK YOU to Melissa for introducing my son to this series. 

 

About the book – from Goodreads: Diary of a Minecraft Zombie Has a Fresh New Look!

Ever wonder what it would be like to be a Minecraft Zombie?

In the first book of this hilarious Minecraft adventure series, we get to read the diary of an actual 12 year old, Minecraft Zombie. Take a peek at what is really going on between the hollow eyes, and dead expression that we normally see when we face the dreaded Zombies of Minecraft.

Are Zombies really different from us? You’ll be surprised at what you discover. So, jump into this Minecraft adventure and find out!.

Diary of a Zombie is a must-read for any kid who loves Minecraft. Kids ages 7+ can’t wait to jump into to these Minecraft adventures!

 

efchappy