Thursday, February 23, 2017

Starlight Bridge - Excerpt & Giveaway


Starlight Bridge
Harmony Harbor #2
By: Debbie Mason
Releasing February 28, 2017
Forever

Blurb

A second chance for romance...
Hidden in Graystone Manor is a book containing all the dark secrets of Harmony Harbor, and Ava DiRossi is determined to find it. No one-especially not her ex-husband, Griffin Gallagher-can ever discover what really tore her life apart all those years ago. With Griffin back in town, it's more important than ever that she find the book before someone else does. Because her ex is still angry with her for leaving him. And he still has no idea Ava never stopped loving him...
Ava is no longer the vibrant, happy woman Griffin had once loved and married, and he would do anything to bring back the sparkle to her brilliant green eyes. But what's never changed are the sexy sparks of attraction between Ava and Griffin, and he won't give her up again without a fight. He knows there's the real possibility of a future together... if the truth doesn't burn the bridge between them forever.

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“What happened to your arm?” Griffin asked Ava.
She turned to grab the bucket. “I hit it on the service cart. It’s nothing, really.”
“It’s not nothing. Let me see.” He reached for her at the same time wondering what he was doing. Why couldn’t he just leave it alone?
“No. I…” Her gaze jerked to his hand as he gently wrapped his fingers around her fine-boned wrist. She pulled away from him, wrenching her arm as she did. He noted her desperate attempt to contain the pained gasp, the flash of panic in her eyes.
They were the same, her eyes. They no longer lit up with laughter and passion, but they were just as incredibly beautiful as they used to be. Her eyes were the only thing about her that was remotely familiar. Maybe they were the reason he couldn’t let it go. The reason he took her hand, despite her murmured protest, and carefully pushed up the sleeve of her sweater.
His breath hissed through his teeth. Her forearm was almost completely black and blue. He raised his gaze to hers. “You didn’t get this from banging your arm on the service cart.”
She wouldn’t meet his eyes as she tried to push her sleeve back down. “I hit it again last night. Please, Griffin, it’s just a bruise.”
“You sure about that? It looks pretty bad to me. Maybe you have a hairline fracture. Did you let Doc Bishop take a look?”
She pulled away again, and this time he let her go. They hadn’t been alone together in a long time. He hadn’t stood this close to her or held her hand, and he didn’t like the uncomfortable pressure building in his chest. He tried to convince himself that it was nothing—just a reaction to seeing the extensive bruising. His protective instincts were strong. That’s all it was. He’d react the same to anyone with a similar injury. But with Ava, he didn’t want to feel anything. Not one damn thing.

Author Info
Debbie Mason is the USA Today bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series and the Harmony Harbor series. Her books have been praised for their "likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots" (RT Book Reviews). When she isn't writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their three wonderful children and son-in-law, two adorable grandbabies, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.

Author Links:   WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Mother's Promise - Review & Giveaway

Review by Deb Czajkowski
Forty-year-old Alice and her fifteen-year-old daughter, Zoe, have always been a tight team of two and for good reason─make that two good reasons. The first is that Zoe has severe social anxiety disorder. The second is that they have no family or friends for a support system.  Not that they’ve ever needed a support system.  They’ve done fine, just the two of them. Until today.

Today Alice is diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer. And now she needs help: help for herself, getting her to appointments and treatments.

Hence, a social worker, Sonja, is assigned to Alice’s case.  Part of Sonja’s role is to be Alice’s support person throughout her treatments. Out of necessity, Alice grudgingly agrees. The other part is to support the family.  This part Alice refuses, claiming Zoe is fifteen and fine on her own for a few days. Skeptical Sonja stops by the apartment anyway to check on her.  Unaware of Zoe’s disorder, Sonja misinterprets Zoe’s lack of eye contact and inability to converse with this stranger as evasive and secretive and calls in Child and Family Services, and a terrified Zoe is forced into foster care.  Now Alice needs help for Zoe as well─to get her out of foster care!

Alice doesn’t remember much from that first, shocking doctor’s appointment, but she does remember Kate, the nurse who sat there with her and was so incredible kind to her.  Still, Alice couldn’t be more surprised when Kate provides the solution to her Zoe concerns by offering to take Zoe into her own home while Alice is in the hospital.

So, out of necessity and despite these complications, this group of four forms a cohesive unit. But each of them carries a personal secret─four secrets that have the power to destroy.

Author Sally Hepworth’s powerful novel, a mother’s promise, is incredibly moving and simultaneously humbling.  As the saying goes, if you don’t like the cross you are carrying, you can exchange it for another one.  But, when you see how much bigger the other crosses are in the cross room, you hastily leave with yours, thankful your cross isn’t one of those.  That’s how I felt as I read about Zoe, struggling daily with severe social anxiety; and Alice, diagnosed at age forty with ovarian cancer and staring death in the face while she makes plans─just in case!─ for her daughter’s future without her. Sincerely grateful for my comparatively small cross!

In a mother’s promise, Kate and Sonja also have crosses, situations that are painful and have the potential to devastate their lives and the lives of people close to them.  The author exquisitely intertwines the lives of these four women─Alice, Zoe, Sonja, and Kate─giving them as a unit more emotional strength than they each have individually. Yet, just as it is in real life, just as we can’t phone in the work, just as no one can fix our problems for us, so also Alice, Zoe, Sonja, and Kate must first own their problems, and then reach deep inside themselves for the strength to overcome them. 

One word of caution, though.  If you’re looking for a book right now that is easy to put down, that you can read a chapter every now and then and it’s fine, this isn’t that book.  a mother’s promise is a story that will capture your heart at the very beginning and hold it long after you’ve reached the end. I challenge you to read the first chapter today and tomorrow to tell me how many chapters you’ve already read.  I promise you that when you’ve finished this book, you’ll thank me─and Sally Hepworth!

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About the author:
Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of The Secrets of Midwives. The Secrets of Midwives has been labelled “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s debut novel as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”. The Secrets of Midwives was also the highest selling debut Australian fiction of the year in 2015.

Sally is also the author of The Things We Keep, published in January 2016. The Things We Keep was a Library Journal Pick in the U.S. for January 2016, and an Indie Next Pick in the U.S. for February 2016. NYT bestselling author of The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion praised The Things We Keep calling it ‘A compelling read that touches on important themes, not least the different forms that love may take.”

Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Orphan's Tale - Pub Day Review & Giveaway

When Noa’s parents notice her growing belly she is forced to flee her home.  Sixteen and pregnant by a German soldier, she resorts to cleaning at a train station as a means to survive.  But when things become unsafe, she flees once again.  She is found by a member of the traveling circus, Astrid, and brought to where the circus is.  In order for her to stay, Noa needs to learn to be an aerialist.  Astrid would have to be the one to teach her, but she knows what a time-consuming process that will be and instantly starts to resent Noa. 

Told in alternate point of views, this story tells how Noa and Astrid find themselves at the Neuroff Circus.  Although they meet under horrible circumstances, they lean on each other to get through the nightmare that they’re living. 

This is the first book I’ve read about circus life during WWII.  I was unaware that the circus was used as a safe haven for Jews during the Holocaust.  Clearly the author did much research and the way it was translated on paper was seamless.

Both emotional and empowering, The Orphan’s Tale is not one to be missed.

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About the author:
Pam Jenoff was born in Maryland and raised outside Philadelphia. She attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge University in England.  She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and three children.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sweet Southern Hearts - Review #Wintervention

Twice widowed Linny is now married to Jack and hoping for her happily ever after.  The book starts out with Linny and Jack on their honeymoon.  Linny, the true definition of a people pleaser, can think of a million places she’d like to spend her honeymoon.  Instead she is on a white water rafting expedition because she knows that’s what would make her husband happy.  For better or for worse, their honeymoon is cut short when Jack’s 12-year-old son is upset and insists that they come home.

Learning to deal with her new reality of being a wife (again) and step-mother, Linny is also running a business, helping her sister care for her newborn daughter and dealing with a mother who insists that she accompany her and her friends on an RV trip. 

Full of fun and, at times, quirky characters, this heartwarming book is about getting through life’s obstacles while still keeping your sanity.  It also leaves you believing that second, and sometimes third, chances are possible.

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About the author:
Susan Schild writes wholesome and sunny Southern fiction. She likes stories about charming men, missing money, adventuresome women, sweet dogs, and happily ever afters at any age. 

Susan is a wife and a stepmother. She enjoys rummaging through thrift store for treasures like four dollar cashmere sweaters and amateur watercolor paintings. She likes taking walks with her Lab mix, Tucker, and his buddies. She and her family live in North Carolina.

Susan has used her professional background as a psychotherapist and a management consultant to add authenticity to her characters.

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Learn more about BookSparks’ #wintervention book tour HERE.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

This Is How It Always Is - Giveaway

This is how a family keeps a secret…and how that secret ends up keeping them.
This is how a family lives happily ever after…until happily ever after becomes complicated.
This is how children change…and then change the world.
This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.
When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.
Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.
Laurie Frankel's This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it’s about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don’t get to keep them forever.

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About the author:
Laurie Frankel is the author of three novels: THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS (Jan. 2017), GOODBYE FOR NOW, and THE ATLAS OF LOVE. She is also the parent of one child, the minder of one border collie, the partner of one husband, the denizen of one city (Seattle), and the reader of tens of thousands of books.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Abby's Journey - Pub Day Review & Giveaway

Raised by her father after her mother’s passing shortly after her birth, Abby’s only connection with her mother is through the books she wrote with Abby’s father along with some videos, postcards and journals.  Having suffered from a potentially life threatening condition, her father has sat by her hospital bed numerous times praying that he doesn’t lose his daughter, as he lost his wife.  Because of this fear, Abby at times felt like she wasn’t able to live life as others her age.  But as she gets older, the need to branch out intensifies. 

After going almost a year without her typical health issues, Abby’s doctor feels that she is out of the woods.  She takes advantage of this new diagnosis and, with reluctance from her father, ventures to Europe with her grandmother to retrace her mother’s footsteps through her journal. 

Abby realizes that she not only shares physical characteristics of her mother, but also her love of adventure and travel.  Just as her mother did, Abby documents her adventures and writes blog posts about her experiences.  She also gets to meet some of the people who knew her mother.

As a mother, this story touched me.  I could relate to the father wanting to protect his child, but at the same time could understand Abby’s need to spread her wings.  The author writes in such a way that you feel connected with each character.  You take away from this story a sense of love of family and friends.  What a beautiful story.  What better day than Valentine’s Day for such a heart-warming story to hit the shelves!

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About the author:
Steena Holmes grew up in a small town in Canada and holds a Bachelors degree in Theology.. 

She currently lives in Calgary with her husband and three daughters and loves to wake up to the Rocky Mountains each morning.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

I Liked My Life - Giveaway

A story from debut author Abby Fabiaschi that is "as absorbing as it is illuminating, and as witty as it is heartbreaking."
Maddy is a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother, host of excellent parties, giver of thoughtful gifts, and bestower of a searingly perceptive piece of advice or two. She is the cornerstone of her family, a true matriarch...until she commits suicide, leaving her husband Brady and teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering what happened. How could the exuberant, exacting woman they loved disappear so abruptly, seemingly without reason, from their lives? How they can possibly continue without her? As they sift through details of her last days, trying to understand the woman they thought they knew, Brady and Eve are forced to come to terms with unsettling truths.
Maddy, however, isn’t ready to leave her family forever. Watching from beyond, she tries to find the perfect replacement for herself. Along comes Rory: pretty, caring, and spontaneous, with just the right bit of edge...but who also harbors a tragedy of her own. Will the mystery of Maddy ever come to rest? And can her family make peace with their history and begin to heal?

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About the author:
ABBY FABIASCHI is a human rights advocate on the board for Her Future Coalition, an international nonprofit organization with a unique prosperity model that uplifts victims from human trafficking and extreme abuse. In 2012 Abby resigned from her executive post in high tech to pursue a career in writing. I Liked My Life is her first novel. She and her family divide their time between West Hartford, CT and Park City, UT.

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