Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Seashell Season - Pub Week Review & Giveaway

Review by Marlene Engel
An emotional story about a mother’s love, loss and determination to piece back together the family that was so abruptly taken from her.    

On the same day, every year, Verity puts a message in a bottle and releases it into Ogunquit Beach.  She has done this for the past 16 years, ever since her two month old daughter was kidnapped by her ex-fiancĂ©, Alan.  It’s not until Alan is arrested for a similar crime and incarcerated that Verity’s daughter is returned to her.  Now 16 years old and going by the name of Marni, everything she thought to be truth, she’s now learning has all been a lie.

Marni was raised to believe that her mother was a drug addict, forcing her father to flee with her in order to keep her safe.  Now both essentially strangers to each other, their reunion is anything but smooth.  But despite Marni’s confusion and walls that she’s built up, Verity is determined to do everything she can to get the daughter that she’s mourned for so long back into her life. 

It’s every mother’s worst fear to have their child taken from them.  The pain and heartache of having your baby taken from you, only to be reunited and work harder than you ever thought possible to form a relationship that should’ve been effortless is unfathomable.  Although of very dark subject matter, I found this book very engaging and difficult to put down. 

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About the author:
Holly Chamberlin was born and raised in New York City. After earning a Master’s degree in English Literature from New York University and working as an editor in the publishing industry for ten years, she moved to Boston, married and became a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband now live in downtown Portland, Maine, in a restored mid-nineteenth-century brick townhouse with Betty, the most athletic, beautiful and intelligent cat in the world. 

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KensingtonBooks is giving one lucky winner a print copy of
Seashell Season by Holly Chamberlain

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

First Comes Love - Review & Giveaway #SRC2016 #BestSummerEver

Review by Melinda Garza
In Emily Giffin's latest novel, First Comes Love, two totally different sisters find themselves in very raw and emotional times. On 12/22/01, the family is struck with a tragedy that no one is able to overcome completely. Fast forward fifteen years and they are still stuck in unwanted places and situations they wish they were not.

One sister, Josie, is a school teacher who is single and longs for a child. Meredith, the other sister, is an attorney with a loving and perfect husband and daughter. Meredith is uncertain if her marriage is one she wants. The tragedy takes a toll on their parents and on the sisters’ already rocky relationship. The sisterly bond is nil.

As they both begin to question their current situations, they realize that in order to move on and be happy, they must come to terms with their family's past tragedy. Most importantly, what they learn is that "first comes love".

Emily's novel is witty and creative. I was cheering for both sisters as I read this book as I wanted both to be happy and to have that sisterly bond we all wish for. This book is a must read for all chick lit book lovers!


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About the Author:
Emily Giffin is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. After practicing litigation at a Manhattan firm for several years, she moved to London to write full time. The author of seven New York Times bestselling novels, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love The One You're With, Heart of the Matter, Where We Belong, and The One & Only, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and three young children.

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Learn more about BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge HERE.

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First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

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Friday, June 24, 2016

25 Sense - Spotlight #SRC2016 #BestSummerEver


Claire Malone didn’t mean for this to happen when she moved to New York. She just wanted to live the city life and gain experience in television writing, her dream career. It’s not like she meant to reciprocate when her married boss, Sean Vared, sent her flirty e-mails. And you can’t blame her for coming into the office on the weekend when Sean told her he was going to be there . . . alone. She didn’t mean to sleep with him—but hey, she wanted to experience the city life, so no big deal, right?

Wrong. By the time Claire wakes up on her 25th birthday, she’s very much in love with Sean. At work, she struggles to hold it together when he passes her desk—the very desk that they used to make love on. Soon Sean has turned his affection to the show’s starring actress, and Claire is devastated. Can she break away from Sean without ruining her barely started career? Will someone find out what happened? Will she ever grow up and stop making stupid mistakes? 25 Sense is about the time in a young woman’s life when the world starts to view her as a responsible adult—but all she feels is lost.

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About the author:
Lisa Henthorn is a television writer who wrote on the CBS show Swingtown, the CW show TBL: The Beautiful Life, and the A&E show The Glades.  She lives in Santa Monica, CA with her husband, Peter, and her newborn son, Oliver.

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Learn more about BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge HERE.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Everybody Rise - #SRC2016 Spotlight #BestSummerEver


Chosen as one of Summer's Best Books by People Magazine
Featured in Time Magazine's Summer Reading
Entertainment Weekly's Summer Must List
Good Housekeeping Beach Reads Feature

“Finally, a novel that admits ‘making it’ isn't just a makeover away.” -Vanity Fair

Twenty-six-year-old Evelyn Beegan intended to free herself from the influence of her social-climbing mother, who propelled her through prep school and onto New York’s stately Upper East Side. Evelyn has long felt like an outsider to her privileged peers, but when she lands a job at a social-network startup aimed at the elite, she has no choice but to infiltrate their world. Soon she finds herself navigating the promised land of Adirondack camps, Hamptons beach houses, and, of course, the island of Manhattan itself. Intoxicated by the wealth, access, and influence of her new set, Evelyn can’t help but try to pass as old money herself. But when the lies become more tangled, she grasps with increasing desperation as the ground beneath her begins to give way.

A sparkling debut that is “full of ambition and grit” (Emma Straub), Stephanie Clifford's Everybody Rise is a story about identity and loss, and how sometimes we have to lose everything to find our way back to who we really are.

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About the Author:
As a New York Times reporter, Loeb-award winning journalist Stephanie Clifford covered courts, business and media. Everybody Rise, her first book, was a New York Times bestseller, with movie rights optioned by Fox 2000. A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, she grew up in Seattle and lives in Brooklyn. 
My notes on my bio: It doesn't rain that much In Seattle. In fact, it rarely rains hard enough that an umbrella is required, hence the city's happy embrace of rain gear for all occasions. (Raincoats + formal dresses = totally acceptable.) I spent most of my time at Harvard at the paper, living on late-night Doritos from the vending machine. Some of my favorite Times stories are here, and here's one and here's another of my favorite Inc. stories (largely because Inc. let me go to Turkey and China for them). Brooklyn is grand and there are pockets where it's not that hip; I'm lucky enough to live in one of those, and near a park, to boot. I live with my husband, 2-year-old son, and our cats, Mac and Mabel.

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Learn more about BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge HERE.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sleepless in Manhattan - Spotlight

USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan introduces From Manhattan with Love, a sparkling new trilogy about three best friends embracing life—and love—in New York 
Cool, calm and competent, events planner Paige Walker loves a challenge. After a childhood spent in and out of hospitals, she's now determined to prove herself—and where better to take the world by storm than Manhattan? But when Paige loses the job she loves, she must face her biggest challenge of all—going it alone. 
Except launching her own events company is nothing compared to hiding her outrageous crush on Jake Romano—her brother's best friend, New York's most in-demand date and the only man to break her heart. When Jake offers Paige's fledgling company a big chance, their still-sizzling chemistry starts giving her sleepless nights. But can she convince the man who trusts no one to take a chance on forever?

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About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy contemporary romance and her trademark humour and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. She has been nominated four years in succession for the prestigious RITA© Award from the Romance Writers of America and has won the award twice, in 2012 and 2013. RT Book Reviews has described her as 'a magician with words' and she won their Reviewers' Choice Award in 2012 as well as making numerous appearances in their 'Top Pick' slot. 

Sarah lives near London with her family, and when she isn't reading or writing she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Saving Abby - Review TLC Book Tour & #SRC2016



Review by Marlene Engel
Claire and Josh have tried unsuccessfully for years to get pregnant.  Trying to come to terms with the fact that they won’t have the child they so desire, they decide to take a trip to Europe in hopes of easing some of their sorrow.  After returning, Claire begins to experience headache and fatigue.  She goes to her doctor only to find that they conceived during their vacation.  Their joy is short-lived when she’s diagnosed with a condition that if she chooses treatment could very well put her child at risk.  But as Claire’s symptoms get worse, they’re forced to make the hardest decision of their lives … start treatment for the illness and potentially harm the baby, or do nothing and risk her own life.
                                                                                           
As a parent, you can’t help but put yourself in Claire and Josh’s shoes.  What would I do if I were them?  Would I save myself?  Or would I do everything I could for the child that I never thought I’d have?  What I love about Steena’s books is that she makes you think.  You are given a tough challenge, but it’s delivered in such a way that you can’t help but relate to the characters.  And, with this novel in particular, you will leave the story with a better appreciation of life and those around you. 

It’s no secret to those who know me, and even to many of my blog readers, that I had a daughter who was totally blind that passed away.  In Saving Abby there is a character by the name of Sami who is blind.  Her name and likeness were taken from my daughter Samantha, who we all called Sami.  I want to thank Steena for not only forever memorializing my daughter in this amazing book, but in writing her character so true to life that I felt like I was given extra time with her through this character. 

Heartwarming, powerful, and honest.  Saving Abby is a book that you will take with you long after you finish the last page.



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About the Author:
After writing her first novel while working as a receptionist, Steena Holmes made her dream of being a full-time writer a reality. She won the National Indie Excellence Book Award in 2012 for her bestselling novel Finding Emma. Now both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Steena continues to write stories that touch every parent’s heart in one way or another. To find out more about her books and her love for traveling, you can visit her website at www.steenaholmes.com or follow her journeys over on Instagram @steenaholmes.


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Friday, June 17, 2016

The Weekenders - Review & Giveaway

Review by Marlene Engel
In North Carolina is an island that few live on full time, but as the warm weather rolls around several families will come to enjoy Belle Isle.  Typically the wives and kids stay on the island while their husbands go to the mainland during the week.  They become known as the weekenders, as they are devoted to their careers during the week, but come back to the island on the weekend.  For many families, this is a tradition that’s been passed down throughout generations.

Riley knows this island well.  It was developed by her great grandfather and carried down through the generations.  But her brother, Billy, chose a different path.  In doing so, when Riley married Wendell, he was welcomed with open arms not only into the family, but also the family business.  Some not so wise business choices puts Wendell’s financials in jeopardy and threatens her marriage. 

Mary Kay Andrews is synonymous for summer, beach reads.  I’ve come to expect something fabulous that I can read by the water while sipping a fruity, paper umbrella clad beverage.  Although this book was a bit darker than her others, it still had a great storyline and complex characters. 

If you’re looking for a great book to kick off the warm summer months, look no further than The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews.

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About the Author:
A native of St. Petersburg, FL (and a diplomate of the Maas Bros. Department Store School of Charm), she started her professional journalism career in Savannah, GA, where she covered the real-life murder trials which were the basis of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. 

She has a B.A. in newspaper journalism from The University of Georgia (go Dawgs!), and is a frequent lecturer and writing teacher at workshops and book festivals.

Married to her high school sweetheart, she is the mother of two grown children and a proud grandmother. When not on book tour, she divides her time between Atlanta and her two beach cottages on Tybee Island GA.

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Tandem Literary is giving one lucky winner a print copy of
The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

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