Archives for February 2017

#ChickLitLoveHop 2017

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Join 50 chick lit and romantic comedy authors in celebrating friendship and romance in the #ChickLitLove Hop on Facebook. We’ll honor Galentine’s Day on February 13 and Valentine’s Day on February 14 with giveaways, freebies, and entries for the chance to win the grand prizes of SpaFinder gift certificates.

 

Here’s a list of the participating authors:

GALENTINE’S DAY (Monday, February 13)
Traci Andrighetti
Melissa Baldwin
Tracie Banister
Kathryn R. Biel
Renee Conoulty
Geralyn Corcillo
Whitney Dineen
Lauren Faulkenberry
Amy Gettinger
Elizabeth Hein
Laura Kenyon
Liberty Kontranowski
Jennie Marts
Monique McDonell
Kirsty McManus
Becky Monson
Joy Norstrom
Kate O’Keeffe
Meredith Schorr
Carol Maloney Scott
Holly Tierney-Bedord
Barbara Valentin
Heather Wardell
Stacey Wiedower

 

VALENTINE’S DAY (Tuesday, February 14)

Cindy Arora
Glynis Astie
Laurie Baxter
Laura Chapman
Adria J. Cimino
Karen M Cox
Maggie Dallen
Lindsay Detwiler
Katlyn Duncan
Liz Durano
Laurie Finkelstein
Tina Ann Forkner
Hilary Grossman
Kate Hewitt
Cristina Hodgson
Erin Huss
Elaina Jadin
Andrea Johnston
Beth Labonte
Robyn Neeley
Elise Noble
CeCe Osgood
Amy Rivers
CF Rose
Charlene Ross

Check the Facebook event page (click here to join) throughout the days of February 13 and 14 for prompts on where to hop next and how to enter to win prizes. Be sure to check out the Galentines and Valentines shared on each the pages. You’ll learn more about your favorite characters and meet new ones. Plus, you never know. Maybe you’ll find the perfect way to say “I love you” to the loved ones in your life.

 

We’ll see you at the party!

 

Romance is in the Air Giveaway Hop

 

I’m pleased to participate in this year’s Romance is in the Air Giveaway Hop hosted by Bookhounds!

 

I’m giving away any book by Aven Ellis. I love her stories. They are fabulous, feel-good, happily ever after reads that always leave me with a smile. You can find her books on Goodreads, Amazon, and Book Depository. The winner can either choose the book or I will choose one.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Be sure to stop by the other stops on the hop!




Chrissy’s Review: Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics (Mr. Lemoncello’s Library #2)
written by Chris Grabenstein
published by Random House Books for Young Readers, 2016

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


Did I enjoy this book: 
After reading Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, I had to dive into this book. I really enjoyed this read as well, not quite as much as the first book, but it was still great.

We are back with Kyle Keeley and his friends, the champions of the library escape. They have now been challenged to a library olympics against teams of kids from across the country. Mr. Lemoncello devised another fun set of games, but as always, there is a twist. I did like the twist at the end of this book.

This story was fun and kept me reading from beginning to end.

Would I recommend it: Sure! I loved the first book, and this was a great follow-up. I can’t wait for book 3, Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race.

 

Chrissy


About the book – from Goodreads: 
Welcome, boys and girls, readers of all ages, to the first-ever Library Olympiad! Kyle and his teammates are back, and the world-famous game maker, Luigi Lemoncello, is at it again!

This time Mr. Lemoncello has invited teams from all across America to compete in the first ever LIBRARY OLYMPICS. Will it be fun? Like the commercials say. . . HELLO? It’s a Lemoncello! But something suspicious is going on . . . books are missing from Mr. Lemoncello’s library. Is someone trying to CENSOR what the kids are reading?! In between figuring out mind-boggling challenges, the kids will have to band together to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Now it’s not just a game—can Mr. Lemoncello find the real defenders of books and champions of libraries?

 

 

Happy 2

Gina’s Review: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

The NestThe Nest
written by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
published by Ecco, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazon, iBooks, TargetBook Depository, Goodreads


Did I enjoy this book: 
I loved this book. I loved the dysfunctional family as if it were my own. The characters were developed very well, and it was easy to know which chapter was about which sibling. I also liked how some of the secondary characters were brought to the front when the next piece of the puzzle needed to be set.

The one character that never grew on me was Leo. There were times when I questioned what he was doing, but most of the time I wanted to punch him in the face. He didn’t know how to treat someone well, and I don’t believe he was even trying very hard to be part of his family. However, I think that is really what Sweeney wanted you to feel.

I wasn’t bored with any part of this book. I wanted to keep reading and was willing to stay up into the wee hours of the morning to do so. I even ended up crying sentimental tears at the end and texting a friend from book club to share my emotions.

 

 

GOLDEN LINES

“Nothing was a sure thing; every choice was just an educated guess, or a leap into a mysterious abyss. People might not change but their incentives should.”

 

 

Would I recommend it: Definitely! Read this one!

 

Gina

About the book – from Goodreads: A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.

 

Happy 2

Melissa’s Review: Unexpected Love by Kristy Kryszczak

Unexpected Love

Unexpected Love
written by Kristy Kryszczak
published by She Writes Press, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazoniBooks,Book Depository, WalmartGoodreads

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

Did I enjoy this book: 
The story is cute, but Ms. Kryszczak has some serious work to do on her prose. I think she must’ve forgotten to read her dialogue out loud, because real people just don’t speak the way she’s written them. For example:

“‘So you know Jason, Inez’s fiance?’ Sam asked. 

‘I’m Inez’s fiance’s brother . . .'”

I mean, I nearly always refer to my husband as “John, my husband,” Um. I mean . . . I nearly always refer to John, my husband, as “John, my husband,” and I ALWAYS introduce myself to people as “Chris’s husband’s sister,” too. It just flows off the tongue, you know?

I’d also have preferred a little less wardrobe description and a little more story depth, but as the Internet would say, it’s still a better love story than Twilight.

 

Would I recommend it: If you have to choose between reality television, a fashion magazine, or this book, then read this book. Otherwise, not so much.

 

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads: 
As a young woman living in the wondrous city of New York, Inez Champlain has always aspired to be like Carrie from Sex and the City, sans the tulle skirts and poor financial decisions, of course. Inez has it all: great friends, her dream job as a notable beauty writer, a studio loft on the Upper East Side, and no messy romantic drama to get in the way. But life takes a surprising turn when Inez catches the eye of the charming and handsome Jason Parkson, who fearlessly introduces himself the moment he sees her. Romance is the last thing on Inez’s mind, but there is something about Jason she can’t resist, and before long she’s hooked—that is, until she’s introduced to his brother, Jimmy, and the two share an instant connection she can’t quite understand. Inez tries to resist Jimmy, but there’s no denying the feelings growing between them. Her mind and heart are at odds—will she stay with the man she thinks she loves, or surrender to a more precarious yet alluring fate? When Inez is pulled away from New York, the balance of her life shifts yet again. Soon she is caught in a web of confusion and heartache while trying to do the right thing. Could the love Inez never set out to find cost her everything she cares about?

 

Happy 2

My Favorite . . . Book Cover — February 8, 2017

 

My Favorite . . . is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it, the world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive.

 

Each week I will post a new My Favorite . . . post about one subject and I’ll tell you all about it. And the best part? Everyone is welcome to join. The only thing you’ll have to do is sign up on the weekly post, link back to that post, and visit others.

 

This week’s Favorite is: Book Cover

 

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I love the cover for my current read, The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser.

 

 

 
 
 

My mom re-made a dust jacket for An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott out of an old greeting card. I’m sorry to say I love that cover more than the actual book (sorry, Ms. Alcott!).

 

 
 
 

Jaclyn’s Review: What’s Left of Me by Amanda Maxlyn

What's Left of Me (What's Left of Me, #1)What’s Left of Me 
written by Amanda Maxlyn
published by Amanda Maxlyn, LLC, 2013

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooksBook DepositoryGoodreads


Did I enjoy this book: 
This book is amazing! The writing is so good–you get pulled in from the very beginning. It is so easy to sympathize with Aundrea, so easy to understand why she’s behaving the way she is and why she’s made the decisions that she has. Parker is written to be the perfect man. So perfect that he borders on being unbelievable–but you want him to BE that perfect, so you willingly ignore it. Even the supporting characters were brilliantly developed. This is a quick read–not because it is short, but because every page leaves you wanting more! And the Epilogue . . . oh, the Epilogue . . .

 

Would I recommend it: Absolutely! This is a real life, feel good kind of book. I loved everything about this book. Plot, characters, writing–EVERYTHING! . . . the only drawback is that I now have to find something else to read on my Kindle for my Monday lunchtime workout! Eep!

 

jaclyn

About the book – from Goodreads:

Life works in mysterious ways.

Four years ago I became known as the girl with cancer.

I refuse to cry.

And I refuse to give in.

A relationship with a man is the last thing I’m looking for right now, but one night with Parker changes everything. He is persistent, and he knows what he wants. Me.

He doesn’t treat me like I’m fragile.

But he doesn’t know, and I’m not ready to tell him.

What if it changes everything?

Tragedy found me when I was seventeen.

Love found me when I was twenty-one.

My name is Aundrea McCall, and this is my journey.

 

Happy 2

Jaclyn’s Review: Sisters One, Two, Three by Nancy Star

Sisters One, Two, ThreeSisters One, Two, Three
written by Nancy Star
published by Lake Union Publishing, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazoniBooksBook Depository, Target, WalmartGoodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
I loved this book! It was an easy read–very compelling. The book is structured so that you read one chapter set in present day and one set in the past. I love this style of writing; I thought it was a great way to unravel the story without giving too much away all at once. The author included book club type questions at the end and I thought that added to the book as well. This was definitely one that I read and loved, then spent some time thinking about and loved even more! It wasn’t clean and it wasn’t always pretty–but I found myself continually reaching for this book.

 

Would I recommend it: Absolutely! This is a great one for any reader. It’s an awesome mystery–not too scary, no overly adult themes, good writing, and good pacing throughout the chapters. I can’t find anything bad to say about this one!

 

jaclyn

About the book – from Goodreads: After a tragic accident on Martha’s Vineyard, keeping secrets becomes a way of life for the Tangle family. With memories locked away, the sisters take divergent paths. Callie disappears, Mimi keeps so busy she has no time to think, and Ginger develops a lifelong aversion to risk that threatens the relationships she holds most dear.

When a whispered comment overheard by her rebellious teenage daughter forces Ginger to reveal a long-held family secret, the Tangles’ carefully constructed web of lies begins to unravel. Upon the death of Glory, the family’s colorful matriarch, and the return of long-estranged Callie, Ginger resolves to return to Martha’s Vineyard and piece together what really happened on that calamitous day when a shadow fell over four sun-kissed siblings playing at the shore. Along with Ginger’s newfound understanding come the keys to reconciliation: with her mother, with her sisters, and with her daughter.

At turns heartbreaking, humorous, and hopeful, Sisters One, Two, Three explores not only the consequences of secrets—even secrets kept out of love—but also the courage it takes to speak the truth, to forgive, and to let go.

 

Happy 2

Winter Reading Challenge: Sweet Southern Hearts by Susan Schild (spotlight, giveaway)

 

Sweet Southern Hearts
written by Susan Schild
published by Lyrical Press, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: Susan Schild welcomes you back to the offbeat Southern town of Willow Hill, North Carolina, for a humorous, heartwarming story of new beginnings, do-overs, and self-discovery…

When it comes to marriage, third time’s the charm for Linny Taylor. She’s thrilled to be on her honeymoon with Jack Avery, Willow Hill’s handsome veterinarian. But just like the hair-raising white water rafting trip Jack persuades her to take, newlywed life has plenty of dips and bumps.

Jack’s twelve-year-old son is resisting all Linny’s efforts to be the perfect stepmother, while her own mother, Dottie, begs her to tag along on the first week of a free-wheeling RV adventure. Who knew women “of a certain age” could drum up so much trouble? No sooner is Linny sighing with relief at being back home than she’s helping her frazzled sister with a new baby…and dealing with an unexpected legacy from her late ex. Life is fuller—and richer—than she ever imagined, but if there’s one thing Linny’s learned by now, it’s that there’s always room for another sweet surprise…

This charming and well observed novel about finding the courage to love after loss will make you smile as well as cry more than a few happy tears.  Be prepared for a story of true tenderness, humor, and sometimes nail biting tension. Sweet Southern Hearts delivers all this and more.” –Holly Chamberlin, author of Summer with my Sisters

giveaway

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Happy 2

 

 

 

 

Heather’s Review: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

 

Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4)Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4)
written by Diana Gabaldon
published by Delta, 2001

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooksBook Depository, Walmart, TargetGoodreads


Did I enjoy this book: 
Yes, but not nearly as much as the other three. In fact, after reading this one I had to take a break. This book opens with Brianna taking her turn through the circle of stones to find her parents and hopefully save them from a fatal moment. My heart was all for that trip, but the problems and situations that came after just made my head spin. I found a few of them unnecessary, and when Jamie’s nephew, Ian, sacrificed himself–I almost gave up.

 

 

Would I recommend it: Yes, but only if you’re planning to finish the series. And I do plan to–in 2017.

 

 

About the book – from Goodreads: In this breathtaking novel—rich in history and adventure—The New York Times bestselling author Diana Gabaldon continues the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser that began with the now-classic novel Outlander and continued in Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager. Once again spanning continents and centuries, Diana Gabaldon has created a work of sheer passion and brilliance….

It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice.

Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna….

Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history … and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past … or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong….

 

Happy 2