Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Mother Like Mine - Review & Giveaway

Review by Hope Smith
Single mom Abby has returned to the small town of Hartley-by-the-Sea, a Lake District in England, after her fiancĂ©’s untimely death.  There Abby and her son move in with her grandmother to help run the family cafĂ©. 

After being raised by her grandmother, and having no contact with her mother since she was two, Abby’s mother, Laura, shows up unexpectedly after twenty years away in hopes of reconciling with her family.  But if she’s expecting to be welcomed back with open arms, she’ll be sorely disappointed.  But despite Abby’s reluctance to allow her mother back into her heart and life, they slowly forge forward at rebuilding their relationship.  Despite the pain and hurt that Abby has held like a shield for so many years, will she be able to put the past behind her and learn to forgive her mom?

This was a well-written story about family pain and learning to let go of the hurt to allow for healing.  Although it’s the third book in the series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone without any confusion or feeling like you’re missing anything.

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About the author:
Kate Hewitt is the bestselling author of over 50 novels of romance and women's fiction, including the Hartley-by-the-Sea series set in the Lake District, the Willoughby Close series set in the Cotswolds, and Tales From Goswell written as Katharine Swartz.

She lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five children. You can read about her experience as an ex-pat on her blog, 

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Berkley Publishing is giving
One lucky winner a print copy of
A Mother Like Mine by Kate Hewitt

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Exposed - Pub Week Promo & Giveaway


Mary DiNunzio wants to represent her old friend Simon Pensiera, a sales rep who was wrongly fired by his company, but her partner Bennie Rosato represents the parent company. When she confronts Mary, explaining this is a conflict of interest, an epic battle of wills and legal strategy between the two ensues―ripping the law firm apart, forcing everyone to take sides and turning friend against friend.

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About the author:
LISA SCOTTOLINE is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award–winning author of more than twenty-five novels. She has 30 million copies of her books in print in the United State, she has been published in thirty-five countries, and her thrillers have been optioned for television and film. Lisa also writes a weekly column with her daughter, Francesca Serritella, for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and those stories have been adapted into a series of bestselling memoirs, the first of which is entitled Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog. Lisa lives on a Pennsylvania farm with an array of disobedient pets.

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St. Martin’s Press is giving one lucky winner
A print copy of Exposed by Lisa Scottoline

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Best Intentions - Release Day Review & Giveaway

Review by Deb Czajkowski
Nine years ago, just three years into her marriage to Elliot, Marti Trailor chose to leave her career as a social worker to be a stay-at-home mom to their newborn, Nina, and then to Simon and Poppy.  The daughter of a Virginia congressman, Marti understood the demands that would be placed on her husband ─both innately and by himself─ as he strove for excellent in medical school, fellowship, and now as an obstetrician, and she gladly sacrificed her love of social work to support her husband’s schooling and career as well as their three small children.

Then, at a hospital soiree, Marti meets Win Phillips, the head of the New Moms program, a recent addition to the hospital’s OB team, and he’s eager to hire a savvy social worker to help him turn this grant experiment into a solid, successful service to new women and to the hospital. Within minutes of their meeting, Win offers Marti the job.  And Marti accepts!

But Elliot is not pleased.  He argues that Marti should remain at home with their children.  Marti counters that all of their children will be in school.  Elliot claims that two Trailors at the same hospital will be too confusing. Marti offers to use her maiden name. Seriously, Elliot, that’s the best you’ve got? Well then. Marti’s social work career is once again off and running, and Marti couldn’t be happier with her decision. Until….

Until an act of kindness puts Marti in the wrong place at the right time, and Marti sees something that will change her life forever.

Think about 9/11: The guy who overslept. The mom who changed her blouse after the baby spit up on it. The woman who stopped for a muffin ─or the one who didn’t stop. Circumstances. Wrong place, right time. Right place, wrong time. One act can alter one’s life forever.  

In Erika Raskin’s Best Intentions, the author builds a compelling story, the story of a doctor’s wife, a mother of three, who loves her job of helping new mothers. Yet life happens; tragedies happen.  Marti truly does have the best of intentions when she agrees, out of kindness, to an unusual ─ and one could argue unconventional─ alignment.  She could certainly not have foreseen how this simple act would lead to her being arrested and now on trial for a catastrophic event that changed the lives of all involved. 

Raskin cleverly starts her novel with a brief but effective peak at Marti and her attorney preparing for trial. Then she takes the reader back in time, back to the beginning: before Marti meets Win, before she joins his team, before she has the slightest clue how her daily, singular acts ─all of that plus what she witnessed on that one fateful night─ will together add up to a charge of murder. As Raskin carefully brings Marti’s story forward, she intersperses tidbits of the murder investigation, eventually bringing them together in the present, where Marti’s journey plays out to the end.

What is that end?  Well, you need to start at the beginning, Marti’s beginning. A story that could be any social worker’s story, any teacher’s, any doctor’s, any person’s. Life is as fascinating as it can be bewildering. We all want a happy ending.  We don’t all get one.  Does Marti?  One way to find out: Read Best Intentions by Erika Raskin.

Purchase the book at:

About the author:
I’ve been gathering story skeletons, punchlines, and snippets of “overheard” conversations since childhood. When I discovered writing, it was like happening upon the world’s greatest display case for my collections. I especially love crafting fiction as no matter what the characters get up to (or whatever mean thoughts flit across their minds) all I’mdoing is reporting. BEST INTENTIONS, my second novel, is coming out with St. Martin’s Press in 2017. CLOSE, my first, was called “a page-turner of significance.” I’ve done essays for print and radio and am currently working on a novel-in-stories.
I grew up in Washington, D.C., the daughter of a novelist and human rights activist. We lived in an old brick row house that was a hub of the women’s, civil rights and anti-war movements. There was an endless soundtrack of Motown, typewriter music and politics.
My husband has been my boyfriend since I was 18. We have three children, two sons-in-law, a grandboy and many siblings, nieces and nephews. When we all get together we turn touch football, gin rummy and ping-pong into blood sports.

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One lucky winner a print copy of
Best Intentions by Erika Raskin

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Monday, July 31, 2017

I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool - Giveaway

The bestselling and “perennially hilarious” mother-daughter team is back with a new collection of stories from their real lives, guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Join Lisa and Francesca as they regret drunk-shopping online, try smell-dating, and explore the freedom of a hiatus from men - a Guyatus. They offer a fresh and funny take on the triumphs and facepalm moments of modern life, showing that when it comes to navigating the crazy world we live in, you’re always your own best lifeguard.

Purchase the book at:

About the authors:
LISA SCOTTOLINE is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar award-winning novelist and coauthor of this series of humorous memoirs. There are 30 million copies of her novels in print, and she has been published in thirty countries. She and Francesca also write a Sunday column entitled Chick Wit for The Philadelphia Inquirer. She lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with an array of disobedient pets.

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FRANCESCA SERRITELLA is a New York Times bestselling author and a columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. She graduated cum laude from Harvard University, where she won the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize for her novella. She lives in New York City with one dog and one cat, so far, and she is working on a novel.

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One lucky winner a print copy of
I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cicada Summer - Release Day Review & Giveaway

Review by Darcie Czajkowski
Alex Proctor sees the beauty in the ugly, rundown, and abandoned. Through this lens, she is able to renovate dilapidated houses and turn them into warm, lively homes. As Alex tackles her latest project, a century-old house along tranquil Lake Geneva, she finds herself revisiting her past and addressing buried feelings of loss from her marriage that she hasn’t been able to release herself from. Four years ago, when her marriage was falling apart, Alex could only see its brokenness. But was it actually worth saving?

Throughout the remodel process, Alex grapples with the stress of uncertainty that attends renovation projects while she investigates the history of the former residents of the house, one of whom is connected with the house’s elderly neighbor, Elsie.

Will Alex find a satisfying resolution to her personal life along the journey of restoring this historical property?

In “Cicada Summer,” Maureen Leurck explores some common challenges that individuals face after going through a divorce, including custody arrangements, unresolved feelings, and new love interests. A central theme in this story is rejuvenation and rebirth. These concepts are logical when one thinks of remodeling a house. But they be applicable in life as well. This book will resonate with lovers of HGTV programs as well as readers who can relate to the struggle to reconcile past loss with his or her vision for the future.

Purchase the book at:
Amazon * Barnes&Noble

12 Things About Maureen Leurck

1.      Like Alex in Cicada Summer, I believe in second chances.
2.     Restoring and renovating an old house is one of my bucket list items. I have the show Rehab Addict to thank for that.
3.     I grew up vacationing in the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin area and it’s my happy place. There is simply nothing better than sitting on a pier, looking out onto the water on a beautiful summer day.
4.    I went to Australia for my honeymoon, where I almost got my finger bitten off by a wallaby. (I would still love to go back!)
5.     My favorite book is Beach Music by Pat Conroy.
6.    My favorite movie is Sixteen Candles. Without even realizing the connection, I named my sons Jake and Ryan. The pull of the John Hughes vortex is apparently very, very strong.
7.     The last time we had a cicada summer in Chicago, I was eight months pregnant with my first child and less than thrilled about the bugs flying all over in the summer heat.
8.    I wrote Cicada Summer right after I had my third child, often typing scenes while nursing at three in the morning.
9.    I have a black thumb and unwittingly kill almost every green thing I come into contact with, including the “impossible-to-destroy” vinca in my front yard.
10. I love scary movies, and my favorite is the original Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis.
11.  I learned every curse word from going to Blackhawks hockey games as a child.
12. I have a seventeen year old cat named Tinkerbell who still steals my breakfast every morning. 

About the author:
Maureen Leurck graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and three children. She escapes up to Wisconsin for a good fish fry as often as possible.

Connect with the author at:

Kensington Books is giving
One lucky winner a print copy of
Cicada Summer by Maureen Leurck

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Monday, July 24, 2017

It Takes One To Tango - Review

With a focus on self-empowerment and resilience, this refreshing and witty relationship guide has a reassuring counterintuitive message for unhappy spouses: you only need one partner to initiate far-reaching positive change in a marriage.

Conventional wisdom says that “it takes two” to turn a troubled marriage around and that both partners must have a shared commitment to change. So when couples can’t agree on how—or whether—to make their marriage better, many give up or settle for a less-than-satisfying marriage (or think the only way out is divorce).

Fortunately, there is an alternative.

It Takes One to Tango is a groundbreaking guide that shows how one determined partner—acting alone—can spark lasting, significant change in a marriage, often accomplishing change that cannot be made any other way. It doesn’t matter how short-fused, argumentative, or seemingly impossible your partner can be—or how long you’ve been stuck.

Marriage and family therapist Winifred Reilly has this message for struggling partners: Take the lead. Doing so is effective—and powerful. Through Reilly’s own story of reclaiming her now nearly forty-year marriage, along with anecdotes from many clients she’s worked with, you’ll learn how to:

-Focus on your own behaviors and change them in ways that make you feel good about yourself and your marriage
-Take a firm stand for what truly matters to you without arguing, cajoling, or resorting to threats
-Identify the “big picture” issues at the basis of your repetitive fights—and learn how to unhook from them
-Be less reactive, especially in the face of your spouse’s provocations
-Develop the strength and stamina to be the sole agent of change

Combining psychological theory, practical advice, and personal narrative, It Takes One to Tango is a fresh and engaging guide that will empower those who choose to take a bold, proactive approach to creating a loving and lasting marriage.

Let’s face it.  Marriage isn’t easy.  Most of are of the mindset that it takes two to make a relationship work.  But marriage and family therapist Winifred Reilly has put together a book that will guide you, step-by-step, on how to take control of your marriage single-handedly.  She stresses that it only takes one partner to implement positive change in a relationship. 

Drawing upon personal experiences as well as from her clinical expertise, the author was able to keep my attention whereas other “self-help” books I’ve found myself tuning out.  Very well-written, this book is essential for anyone looking to make positive changes in their marriage.

Purchase the book at:

About the author:
Winifred Reilly is a marriage and family therapist, with a private practice in Berkeley, CA. In her thirty-five years of clinical practice she has treated hundreds of couples—many of whom felt certain they were headed for divorce. Winifred has been a guest lecturer on marriage and sexuality, and her writing has appeared on The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, xoJane, and on her relationship advice blog, Speaking of Marriage.

Connect with the author at:
Website * Facebook * Twitter  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hello Sunshine - Pub Day Review & Giveaway

Review by Melinda Garza
Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave explores and unravels the secrets of Sunshine Mackenzie.  Sunshine (or Sunny) has it all.  She has a successful career, a loving and wonderful marriage, and a lovely home.  Then she loses it all: her career, her husband Danny, and her home. Sunny's very successful career included cookbooks and a YouTube cooking show called A Little Sunshine.

On the morning of her 35th birthday, she awakes to her favorite song, Moonlight Mile, and then the dreaded email was received. The email confirmed she was hacked on Twitter. The hacker reported that Sunny's show was not honest or authentic, that she stole recipes, would borrow husbands, and lived a marriage of infidelity.

Once all these secrets were brought to light, she decided to go to her childhood home. She and her sister have a strained relationship but it ends up that she helps out her sister with her daughter Sammy.  In turn, she somewhat has a place to live.

While at her childhood home, she gets a job at a local restaurant in order to rectify herself. She then finds out she is pregnant. After going through much turmoil Sunny is shocked when she learns who the hacker is. Through all this heartache, she comes to several realizations.

Laura Dave gives her fan base a funny and compelling story and one that could become reality for anyone. Her look at what it means to live an authentic self is right on.  This is a must read.

Purchase the book at:

About the author:
Laura Dave is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The First Husband, The Divorce Party, London Is The Best City In America, and the forthcoming Eight Hundred Grapes. Dave’s fiction and essays have been published in The New York Times, ESPN, Redbook, Glamour and Ladies Home Journal.

Dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” (USA Today), Dave has appeared on CBS’s The Early Show, Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends and NPR’s All Things Considered.  Cosmopolitan Magazine recently named her a “Fun and Fearless Phenom of the Year.”

Three of her novels have been optioned for the big screen with Dave adapting Eight Hundred Grapes for Fox2000.

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Simon& Schuster is giving
One lucky winner a print copy of
Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave

a Rafflecopter giveaway