EFC Promotions Blog Tour: The Wolf Mirror by Caroline Healy

 

The Wolf MirrorThe Wolf Mirror
written by Caroline Healy
expected publication February 2017

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

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and as part of an EFC Promotions Blog Tour Event. 

Did I enjoy this book: I liked everything about this book but Cassie. Actually, I didn’t like Lady Cassandra that much either. Don’t get me wrong–I really liked the story, and, you know, Mr. Charles Stafford. Yum. It’s a fun twist on a familiar plotline, and I enjoyed the read. I knew going in that both girls needed to do some serious growing up (it’s in the teaser blurb, for goodness’ sake), but, I don’t know, I guess I’m a bit too old to enjoy the company of teenagers. If I’d have read this book twen . . . um . . . ten years ago I’m certain I’d have given it five stars. I’m old, though, so I was mostly on Judge Miller’s side.

 

Would I recommend it: Yeah. It’s got its moments. =)

 

If you would like to review this book, please email us at efcpromotions@gmail.com.

 

About the book – from Goodreads: Changing places doesn’t always help you see things differently.

Cassie throws the first punch in a brawl at Winchester Abbey Girl’s School. Her subsequent suspension is a glitch in Cassie’s master plan; Finish School/Get Job/Leave Home (and never come back). As punishment her mother banishes her to Ludlow Park, their creepy ancestral home. In the dark of a stormy night Cassie finds herself transported to 1714, the beginning of the Georgian period.

With the help of a lady’s maid and an obnoxious gentleman, Mr Charles Stafford, Cassie must unravel the mysterious illness afflicting Lord Miller. If Lord Miller kicks the bucket the house goes to Reginald Huxley, the brainless cousin from London.

Cassie’s task is to figure out who is poisoning the Lord of Ludlow without exposing herself to the ridicule of her peers, getting herself committed to the asylum or worse, married off to the first man who will have her.

Cassie must learn to hold her tongue, keep her pride in check and reign in her rebellious nature – because the fate of her entire family, for generations, rests on her shoulders.

Meanwhile, Lady Cassandra Miller frantically searches for her smelling salts or her trusted governess Miss. Blythe, whose soothing advice she would dearly love. Instead Cassandra finds some woman and a boy squatting in the Ludlow mansion; her father, her lady’s maid and all the servants have magically disappeared.

Tell-a-vision, the In-her-net, horseless carriages and women wearing pantaloons; Cassandra is afraid that she might have inhaled fowl air causing her to temporarily lose her senses.

Only when both girls can get over their pride, societal prejudices and self-importance will they be able to return to their rightful century. Until then, they are free to wreak maximum damage on their respective centuries.

 

Interview

Describe your ideal writing space?

I was once fortunate enough to win an award to attend a writing retreat at Cill Rialaig in Ireland. It is a very special place in County Kerry in the townland of Ballinskellig.

Ballinskellig, historically, was a secular settlement for holy men and women who wanted to live a quiet life. They grew food for monks who lived on Skellig Micheal, which is a World Heritage Site and the location where they filmed the most recent Star Wars film.

This place in Ballinskellig consists of eight tiny cottages dating from the medieval period. The cottages are bare and only contain the essentials for visitors. No television, no internet, no distraction, lots of gale force Atlantic wind, sea swell and squawking seagulls.

This place was the most magic of places, a really beautiful setting. I was stranded here for two weeks. At the beginning I thought I was going a bit mad because it was SO quiet but I managed to write a huge amount because there were NO distractions. My ideal writing space.

What are your five favorite words?

I love the word actually. When I was a kid I used to add the word actually, actually to every actual sentence I actually said. It used to actually drive my brother mad. Actually.

Cretin is always a good word to have handy. Most cretin’s can’t really understand that you are insulting them when you use that word to their face.

Starlight (is that two words or one?) I love this word because it makes me smile when I think of it. I saw my first shooting star this summer and it was magic. So Starlight makes me think of magic and that always makes me smile.

Unicorn (see reasoning above).

Pajamas – who doesn’t like that word and all it brings to mind.  Every now and then I like to decree that it is Pajamas Day . . . a day where I loll about in my pajamas drinking tea, reading, eating cake . . . in fact . . . I now declare . . . Today Shall Be A Pajamas Day!

Please tell us why we should read your book. Use one sentence only.

You should read this book because it is about young women learning to be strong, to be independent, to kick-ass.

Why did you did you decide to write The Wolf Mirrror?

I wanted to write a historical romance for young adults, a take on the classic that includes modern influences. In The Wolf Mirror, there are corsets and carriages but there are also mobile phones and Snapchat.

Do you have a favorite character in The Wolf Mirror? A least favorite?

It took me blood, sweat and tears to write every book so a character, even one with flaws is close to my heart. Every character is necessary in this book and so all have a role to play, there is no lesser or greater.

What is your process? Do you plan everything out before you begin writing or just go for it?

I learn from my mistakes and I once spent six months writing a project with no plan, no breakdown, no chapter outline…needless to say it went in the bin because it was totally disorganized and manic. I get an idea and I plan in stages of three, a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. Then I work to chapters with beginning, middle and end and I build characters that start from one place and progress to another (in terms of character development).

Computer? Typewriter? Pen and paper? What is your favorite way to write?

I plan in paper and ink, and I complete with keyboard.

Coffee or Tea?

Tea.

What kind of background noise do you prefer when you are writing?

The sweet sound of silence.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Historical. No fantasy. No wait, mystery. Actually the classics . . . ahhhhh, it’s really hard to decide.

Who is your favorite author?

That’s a question right up there with picking favourite child or pet. It is not possible to answer.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?  Jane

What did you want to be when you grew up? An archaeologist

Tell us three things about yourself that cannot be found on the Internet.

I hate marmite. I have two tattoos and my best friend from primary school is still my best friend today.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?

I am writing two books at the moment . . . (a big no no but can’t be helped). I am working on a middle grade historical adventure called Leonard Moonfinger and the Giant’s Ring and I am also just finished first edit on an adult book called Which Craft?, about a witch.

 

About the author: Caroline Healy is a writer and community arts facilitator. She recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University. She alternates her time between procrastination and making art.

In 2012 her award winning short story collection A Stitch in Time was published by Doire Press. Fiction and commentary has been featured in publications across Ireland, the U.K. and more recently in the U.S. Caroline’s work can be found in journals such as Wordlegs,The BohemythShort Story IrelandShort Stop U.K., Five Stop StoryProle, Literary Orphans and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice

Her debut Y.A. novel, Blood Entwines was published by Bloomsbury Spark in August 2014 and she is in the process of writing the second book in the series, Blood Betrayal, as well as a short story collection, The House of Water.

She has a fondness for dark chocolate, cups of tea and winter woollies.

(More details can be found on her website www.carolinehealy.com)

Find Ms. Healy here: Web, FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest

 

Tour Stops

Feb 13: EFC Kickoff (review)

A Good Book Can Change Your View For Life (spotlight, interview)

Feb 14: The Desert Bibliophile (review)

Feb 16: Maureen’s Books (review)

Rainy Thursdays (review)

Feb 17: Glorious Panic (review)

Feb 18: CBY (spotlight)

Sip, Read, Love (review)

Feb 19: Bound4Escape (review)

Feb 20: Second Run Reviews (guest post)

 Daughter of Moonlight (review)

Feb 21: Romantic Escapes (review)

Feb 22: A Page to Turn (review)

Feb 23: Zerina Blossom’s Books (review)

Writing Pearls (spotlight)

Feb 24: Underneath the Covers (spotlight)

Feb 25: The Pages In-Between (review)

 

 

 

 

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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

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EFC Promotions Blog Tour Wrap-Up: Faith In Every Footstep by Wesley Banks

 

efc-promotions-blog-tourfaith-in-every-footstep-2

 

faith-in-every-footstep-cover-640x1024Faith in Every Footstep
written by Wesley Banks
published by Chasing Pace Publishing, 2016

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

If you would like to review this book, please email us at efcpromotions@gmail.com.

 

About the book – from Goodreads: On the eve of one of mankind’s toughest races, accompanied by thirteen of America’s rarest dog breed, rookie musher Kyle Walker only has one thought in mind: win. Discovered in the lowlands of South Carolina, the Carolina grays have traveled over five thousand miles to face off in the 2003 Yukon Quest. But one dog stands above the rest—King.

When an unexpected storm strikes, Kyle Walker and the reigning champion are forced to turn back. Stranded at the checkpoint, Kyle and his dogs find solace in a young veterinarian with auburn hair and keen green eyes—Jenna Maynor.

In this storm another race is forming, one of an Inuit man racing to save his family. Presented with the choice to help, but at the risk of his and his dogs’ lives, Kyle Walker ventures into the unknown in search of a mom and two young daughters.

The Yukon Quest was founded on the premise that a dog driver and his team should be a self-sufficient unit capable of challenging varied terrain and severe weather. But these conditions may prove to be too much, even for Kyle and King.

wesley-banks-600x800About the author: Wesley Banks was born in 1983 and grew up on the west coast of Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering.  After spending over 7 years building movable bridges from Florida to Washington he decided to focus on his true passion: writing.

Wesley recently moved from Florida to Oregon to get back to the great outdoors that he loves so much. He lives with his wife Lindsey, and his two dogs Linkin and Story. Most of his time these days is spent writing, with as much rock climbing, hiking, or skiing as he can fit in.

Find Mr. Banks here: webblogFacebookTwitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram

 

blog-tourjanuary-9-14-2017

 

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the blog tour! You can see the bloggers’ posts below.

 

TOUR SCHEDULE

Jan 9: EFC Kickoff Post (review, spotlight)

Jan 10: The Pages In-Between (review)

Maureen’s Books (review)

Writing Pearls (spotlight)

Jan 11: Underneath the Covers (spotlight, excerpt)

Jan 12: Books, Dreams, Life (spotlight)

Jan 13: Girl of 1,000 Wonders (review)

Jan 14: Leels Loves Books (review)

CBY (spotlight)

Jan 15: Laura’s Reading (review)

Jan 16: Romantic Escapes (review)

Jan 17: Zerina Blossom’s Books (guest post)

Jan 18: NJKinny’s World of Books and Stuff (review, spotlight, author interview)

Second Run Reviews (guest post)

Jan 19: Book Lover in Florida (spotlight)

Jan 20: Sip, Read, Love (spotlight)

Jan 21: Always a Book to Read (spotlight)

Jan 22: Books, Dreams, Life (review)

Always a Book to Read (review)

Congratulations to at Alecia at CBY for winning our Host Incentive Reward!

 

 

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Blog Tour: Stack a Deck by Sue Duff (spotlight, interview, giveaway)

 

Stack a Deck (Book 4: The Weir Chronicles)
written by Sue Duff
published by Crosswinds Publishing, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: Ian’s alliance with the rebels brings the wrath of the Pur army crashing down on them, but he is forced to abandon his new allies and travels to Earth’s alternate universe to rescue Rayne.  As Ian combs the strange, desolate planet in search for her, he discovers the true story of the Weir and his connection to Earth’s imminent destruction.

Interview

We’re now on book four in the Weir Chronicles. Can you tell us where readers will find Ian Black in Stack a Deck?

Ian has been forced to turn his back on the Pur Weir and align himself with the rebels to rescue Rayne.  When he travels to Earth’s alternate universe, he finds himself powerless and struggles to survive the dangerous planet while staying one step ahead of Aeros.

Since there may be some readers that haven’t yet read Fade to Black, Masks and Mirrors and Sleight of Hand, can you catch them up on what they’ve missed?

In Fade to Black, the main protagonist and “superhero” is Ian Black. Born the last of the Weir, all hope rests on him to save the planet, but he doesn’t inherit the powers as predicted. Tortured in a last ditch effort to bring his supposed powers to the surface, he escapes and hides among the humans as an illusionist – until a nosy college reporter uncovers his secret. Together, they discover a malevolent Weir who is sucking Earth’s energy and depleting its resources at an alarming rate.

The Weir are a race of magical beings who have served as caretakers of Earth for thousands of years and it is their connection to the planet that keeps what roams above in harmony with the energies that churn below. Unfortunately, they are becoming extinct and as a result, there is an intense rise of natural disasters across the globe. Desperate to save the earth and prevent the end of their race, the Weir turn to modern science to perpetuate themselves. But this philosophy separates their kind into two warring factions – the Pur and the Duach. To keep them from killing each other, and all but guaranteeing their extinction, a Curse is created by the Ancient counsel as a means of keeping them apart. Of course, as you could predict, the Weir soon discover it’s not wise to mess with Mother Nature!

A band of rebels, committed to stopping their mutual enemy, come on the scene in Masks and Mirrors, and give Ian reason to be suspicious as he struggles to uncover what ulterior motive they have for saving Earth.

In the third book, Sleight of Hand, Ian pursues answers in order to stop Earth’s natural disasters and eminent self-destruction, but the rebels have their own agenda and poison him.  Patrick and Rayne search for a cure and in so doing, Rayne ends up on Thrae, Earth’s alternate universe, while Patrick confronts the rebel leaders and learns the truth about the Weir.

What are your initial thoughts when thinking about your book(s)?

I write the way I like to read – short chapters that end with a cliffhanger so you can’t help but turn the page and read just ‘one more chapter.’ I’ve received feedback from individuals, who don’t typically read my genre, but end up loving my books. Others that aren’t big readers have finished my novels in one, two or three sittings!

What kind of research did you have to do for your book / series?

The fourth book was the most challenging of all, because I had to consider the worst future for Earth and ask the “what if” questions.  What if the ozone layer decayed? What if asteroids weren’t destroyed by the outer atmosphere and impacted the early regularly? What if the Earth’s core slowed its rotation and what affect that would have on the planet and to the gravitational pull on the moon? These facts are the basis for how Aeros affected Thrae, and since it ‘used to be’ the mirror image of Earth, I had to apply those results in this novel.

Do any pieces of the book come from personal experience?

When I was a teenager, we took a road trip up the California Coast and spent time in the redwood forests. I thought it was the most breathtaking place on Earth, which is why I have Ian living there in my stories.

What do you hope readers most get out of your book (or the series as a whole)?

Regardless of the naysayers,  believe in yourself and follow your own strengths and path in the world. Ian didn’t develop his powers as the prophecy predicted, and Rayne wasn’t the firstborn male Sar that her father desired. The fact that Ian turned to illusions in order to do what he couldn’t naturally (lack of powers in a magical world) is key to his character.  Tortured for what he had no control over, he discovered and nurtured something that he could control.

I also hope that my readers can accept that science can’t explain everything and embrace the wonders and mysteries in the universe. My favorite line from the first book is, “There will always be magic in the world, as long as we believe in what we don’t understand.”

You also released TICK TOCK, an anthology with six other Colorado authors this past year. How did that come together, and do you have anything planned for 2017?

Our first anthology, TICK TOCK: Seven Tales of Time, was nominated as Best Anthology of 2016 by UTOPIA Con in June, and we also won the silver medal for Best Anthology of 2016 and the gold medal for Best Book Cover through Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards in August! Our next anthology is based on short stories inspired by our favorite song.  In addition, we opened the second book up to submissions and received more than 45 from all over the world! After the marathon readings and critiques, we chose two that stood out above the rest and we’re excited to include them in the second anthology, releasing this spring.

So after working both solo and in tandem with other authors on a project, do you have a favorite method of writing?

There are pros to doing both!  I love my Wicked Ink team and we do so much to support each other.  It can be daunting to self-publish a novel, but with having a team, the burden can be shared by all – which makes it easier.  But…I also love writing on my own, because the final decisions and content are solely mine and I don’t feel so stressed by deadlines – albeit the ones I put on myself.  But truly, I have the best of both worlds!

 

 

“A stunning debut with a thrilling mix of sci-fi and fantasy. Duff has a real hit on her hands.” ~ Roxanne Kade, blogger at Therian

“I recommend this to anyone who loves a good Sci-fi esque, fantasy, dystopian, secret-war-going-on-behind-the-human’s-backs-and-right-under-their-noses sort of book.” ~ Jaay V, blogger at Reckless Indulgence

“This is one series that I recommend to readers of fantasy and paranormal romances.  It just keeps getting better and better. Just when you think you might know what’s going on, there are new twists that get added in.” ~ Jessica Bronder, blogger at J Bronder Book Reviews

 

 

Catch up on the series by reading Fade to BlackMasks and Mirrors, and Sleight of Hand!

Love Audiobooks? You can also listen to Fade to Black through Audible.

 

 

Want more? Join The Weir Chronicles Fan List for exciting news and updates on special events, giveaways and upcoming books in the series!

 

 

About the author: Sue Duff has dreamed of dragons and spaceships before she could even read, so it’s only natural that she now combines both fantasy and science fiction as her favorite genre.  Having written since high school, Duff never took it seriously until a skiing accident laid her up for an entire summer and she turned on the word processor to combat the boredom.

A few years later, her first urban fantasy novel, Fade to Black, was one of five finalists in the RMFW Colorado Gold Writing Contest. Duff’s writing has also earned her a PEN Award, a nomination for 2015-2016 RMFW Independent Writer of the Year, three consecutive years as a featured panelist at Denver ComicCon and a coveted spot on the Denver Post Bestseller list.

She is the second oldest of six girls with an avid reader mom and her dad, the family’s single drop of testosterone in a sea of estrogen.

By day, Duff is a dedicated speech-language therapist at an inner city school district, a career she pursued much in part to her aunt who got her hooked on stories of the profession when Duff was younger. She is passionate about the work she does and regularly works to help those students that need it the most.

Sue is a member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and The Pikes Peak Writers. She calls Colorado home and when not saving the world one page at a time, she can be found walking her great dane, getting her hands dirty in her garden, or creating something delicious in her kitchen.

Check out her blog, A Cook’s Guide to Writing and other musings on her website.

 

Find Ms. Duff here: Official WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramLinkedInNewsletterAmazon

 

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Fall Reading Challenge: The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell (spotlight)

 

 

The Madwoman Upstairs
written by Catherine Lowell
published by Touchstone, 2016

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

About the book – from Goodreads: In this smart and enthralling debut in the spirit of The Weird Sisters and Special Topics in Calamity Physics, the only remaining descendant of the Brontë family embarks on a modern-day literary scavenger hunt to find the family’s long-rumored secret estate, using clues her eccentric father left behind.

Samantha Whipple is used to stirring up speculation wherever she goes. As the last remaining descendant of the Brontë family, she’s rumored to have inherited a vital, mysterious portion of the Brontë’s literary estate; diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts; a hidden fortune that’s never been shown outside of the family.

But Samantha has never seen this rumored estate, and as far as she knows, it doesn’t exist. She has no interest in acknowledging what the rest of the world has come to find so irresistible; namely, the sudden and untimely death of her eccentric father, or the cryptic estate he has bequeathed to her.

But everything changes when Samantha enrolls at Oxford University and bits and pieces of her past start mysteriously arriving at her doorstep, beginning with an old novel annotated in her father’s handwriting. As more and more bizarre clues arrive, Samantha soon realizes that her father has left her an elaborate scavenger hunt using the world’s greatest literature. With the aid of a handsome and elusive Oxford professor, Samantha must plunge into a vast literary mystery and an untold family legacy, one that can only be solved by decoding the clues hidden within the Brontë’s own writing.

A fast-paced adventure from start to finish, this vibrant and original novel is a moving exploration of what it means when the greatest truth is, in fact, fiction.

 

Catherine Lowell

About the author: Catherine Lowell is writer of novels, letters, and the occasional limerick. She received her degree in English literature from Stanford University, where her academic interests were inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s observation: “There is creative reading as well as creative writing.” The Madwoman Upstairs owes its existence to a fierce love of the Brontës, a terrible bout of insomnia, and the kind hospitality of many Manhattan coffee shops.

Catherine’s passions include reading obscure books about Ancient Greece and testing out hot chocolates. She’s a great believer in the power of stories to change history and if you have a few hours she will happily tell you far too much on the subject. She tries her best to live by the following two quotes:

” We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.” (Aristotle) 

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” (Robin Williams)

Find Ms. Lowell here: Web, Goodreads

 

 

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Fall Reading Challenge: Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel (spotlight)

 

 

Small AdmissionsSmall Admissions
written by Amy Poeppel
published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazoniBooks, TargetWalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: For fans of The Nanny Diaries and Sophie Kinsella comes a whip-smart and deliciously funny debut novel about Kate, a young woman unexpectedly thrust into the cutthroat world of New York City private school admissions as she attempts to understand city life, human nature, and falling in love.

Despite her innate ambition and Summa Cum Laude smarts, Kate Pearson has turned into a major slacker. After being unceremoniously dumped by her handsome, French “almost fiancé,” she abandons her grad school plans and instead spends her days lolling on the couch, watching reruns of Sex and the City, and leaving her apartment only when a dog-walking gig demands it. Her friends don’t know what to do other than pass tissues and hope for a comeback, while her practical sister, Angela, pushes every remedy she can think of, from trapeze class to therapy to job interviews.

Miraculously, and for reasons no one (least of all Kate) understands, she manages to land a job in the admissions department at the prestigious Hudson Day School. In her new position, Kate learns there’s no time for self-pity or nonsense during the height of the admissions season, or what her colleagues refer to as “the dark time.” As the process revs up, Kate meets smart kids who are unlikable, likeable kids who aren’t very smart, and Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.

Meanwhile, Kate’s sister and her closest friends find themselves keeping secrets, hiding boyfriends, dropping bombshells, and fighting each other on how to keep Kate on her feet. On top of it all, her cranky, oddly charming, and irritatingly handsome downstairs neighbor is more than he seems. Through every dishy, page-turning twist, it seems that one person’s happiness leads to another’s misfortune, and suddenly everyone, including Kate, is looking for a way to turn rejection on its head, using any means necessary—including the truly unexpected.

 

Amy PoeppelAbout the author: Amy Poeppel is a graduate of Wellesley College. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she lives with her husband and three sons in New York City, where she worked in the admissions department of an independent school. She workshopped a theatrical version of SMALL ADMISSIONS at the Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit. She later expanded it into a novel.

 

Find Ms. Poeppel: WebFacebook, Twitter, GoodreadsInstagram

 

 

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Fall Reading Challenge: In the Heart of Texas by Ginger McKnight-Chavers (Melissa’s review)

 

In the Heart of Texas: A NovelIn the Heart of Texas
written by Ginger McKnight-Chavers
published by She Writes Press, 2016

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

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

Did I enjoy this book: 
It’s the best book I’ve read all year. The story is unique and the writing is amazing. I wish I could quote the entirety of chapter four for you, because WOW. Chapter Four. Seriously. Buy this book just for chapter four; it’s fantastic.

 

GOLDEN LINES

“So I’m back in Texas. Smack dab in the middle of the snorer and the beauty queen. Back in my old room with the ‘Midland Lee Rebels’ and Dallas Cowboys pennants over the bed and my wooden rackets leaning against the bookshelf with my tennis trophies and worn copies of Jane Eyre and Mrs. Dalloway. Eating iceberg lettuce instead of mesclun and rib eye instead of tuna rolls. Drinking DQ Blizzards instead of wheatgrass juice (OK, I never really bought into the wheatgrass thing, though I faked it). Not to mention Bud instead of Sauvignon Blanc. A lot of Bud, actually, sitting by the pool with my cousin, Memphis. Swatting flies while we wonder how inevitably hot the next day will be.”

Would I recommend it: Yes. Seriously. Yes.

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads:

Named a “Top Pick” by RT Book Reviews

Named a “Fall Must-Read” by RedbookMag.com * PopSugar * Parade Magazine * Brit + Co * SoulCycle
Hailed as a “Best Fiction Book by Women of Color” at Bustle.com
Pitched as “a poor man’s Halle Berry,” forty-one-year-old soap star Jo Randolph, has successfully avoided waiting tables since she left Midland, Texas at eighteen. But then, in the span of twenty-four hours, Jo manages to lose her job, burn her bridges in Hollywood, and accidentally burn down her lover/director’s beach house—after which she is shipped home to Texas by her agent to stay out of sight while she sorts out her situation.

The more Jo reluctantly reconnects with her Texas “roots” and the family and friends she left behind, the more she regains touch with herself as an artist and with what is meaningful in life beyond the limelight. The summer of 2007 is cathartic for Jo, whose career and lifestyle have allowed her to live like a child for forty years, but who now must transition to making grown-up decisions and taking on adult responsibilities. In the Heart of Texas is a wry, humorous commentary on the complexities of race, class, relationships, politics, popular culture, and celebrity in our current society.

 

 

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Fall Reading Challenge: Hindsight by Mindy Tarquini (spotlight)

 

HindsightHindsight
written by Mindy Tarquini
published by Sparkpress, 2016

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

About the book – from Goodreads:

“Tarquini’s innovative concept is paired with realistic characters and sparkling wit, making this enjoyable novel a keeper.”
–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Finalist, General Fiction — 2016 USA Best Book Awards

EUGENIA PANISPORCHI LIVES WITH HER MOTHER, TEACHES CHAUCER, AND REMEMBERS ALL HER PAST LIVES. SHE IS DESPERATE TO CHANGE HER FUTURE

Born this time around into a South Philadelphia Italian-American family so traditional, she and her siblings are expected to marry in birth order, Eugenia lives a simple life―no love connection, no controversy, no complications. Her hope is that the Blessed Virgin Mary (who oversees her soul’s progress) will grant her heart’s desire, the option to choose the circumstances of her next life. But when a student reveals he shares her ability, Eugenia suddenly finds herself setting up a Facebook page and sponsoring a support group for others like her, an oddball odyssey, during which she discovers she must confront her current shortcomings before she can break the cycle and finally live the life of her dreams.

A layered contemporary fable, Hindsight reminds us to live this life like it’s the only one we’ll have.

 

 

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Fall Reading Challenge: In the Heart of Texas by Ginger McKnight-Chavers (spotlight)

 

In the Heart of Texas

In the Heart of Texas
written by Ginger McKnight-Chavers
published by She Writes Press, 2016

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

About the book – from Goodreads: Named a Top Pick by RT Book Reviews Named a Fall Must-Read by RedbookMag.com * PopSugar * Parade Magazine * Brit + Co * SoulCycle

Hailed as a Best Fiction Book by Women of Color at Bustle.com

Pitched as a poor man s Halle Berry, forty-one-year-old soap star Jo Randolph, has successfully avoided waiting tables since she left Midland, Texas at eighteen. But then, in the span of twenty-four hours, Jo manages to lose her job, burn her bridges in Hollywood, and accidentally burn down her lover/director s beach house after which she is shipped home to Texas by her agent to stay out of sight while she sorts out her situation.

The more Jo reluctantly reconnects with her Texas roots and the family and friends she left behind, the more she regains touch with herself as an artist and with what is meaningful in life beyond the limelight. The summer of 2007 is cathartic for Jo, whose career and lifestyle have allowed her to live like a child for forty years, but who now must transition to making grown-up decisions and taking on adult responsibilities. In the Heart of Texas is a wry, humorous commentary on the complexities of race, class, relationships, politics, popular culture, and celebrity in our current society.”

 

 

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Fall Reading Challenge: Found by Emily Brett (spotlight)

 

FoundFound
written by Emily Brett
published by Sparkpress, 2016

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

About the book – from Goodreads: Twenty-seven-year-old ICU nurse Natalie Ulster has a desire to see the world, in case she dies young like her mother, and a need to heal, which is compensation for her own damaged heart. Armed with an independence and self-reliance that stems from her father s emotional abandonment and wanting to separate herself from a deranged nurse whose husband just died under suspicious circumstances on Natalie s watch Natalie grabs life by the globe and accepts successive assignments in Belize, Australia, and Arizona. When Natalie meets Dr. Joel Lansfield, a physician who is also familiar with grief, she finds that Joel sees her for the strong woman she is, and loves her for all she has yet to figure out but she s not sure she s ready to make room in her heart for love. Desperate to maintain her emotional distance with Joel, she continues to travel. In each country, however, she finds herself confronted with near-death accidents, from a poisoned drink to a severe food allergy to being thrown overboard in the Great Barrier Reef. Too many coincidences force her to ask herself a frightening question: Is someone trying to kill her?”

 

 

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