Monday, September 22, 2014

Dangled Carat - Book Tour & Giveaway


Dangled Carat
By: Hilary Grossman
Releasing September 14th, 2014
BookTrope

Blurb
For every girl who wondered if she should love him or dump him.....

For every girl who listened to her heart instead of her friends advice....

For every girl who l wondered if she was wasting her time dating that guy....

Meet Hilary....

She had gotten used to dating the commitment-phobic Marc, thirteen years her senior. They had a great relationship--why rush into things? She saw no need to pressure him for marriage, believing that when the time was right, he would propose. But after they had been together for four years, their friends decided to take matters into their own hands, pushing Marc to propose and making Hilary realize how much she really did want to marry the man that she loved. Unfortunately, Marc still wasn't ready--and their friends' meddling in the form of a faux engagement party led to a disastrous New Year's Eve that brought their relationship to an inevitable turning point.

For anyone who has ever dated a commitment-phobe, who has found their patience wearing thin with the one they love, or who has sat around wondering if he is ever going to pop the question while trying to remain the very picture of patience and grace, Hilary's humorous and honest story will hit home.

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About the Author:
Hilary Grossman dated a guy so commitment-phobic that she was able to write a book about their relationship.  She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and shoes.  She loves to find humor in everyday life.  And she likens life to a game of dodgeball - she tries to keep many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. When she isn't writing or blogging she is the CFO of a beverage alcohol importer.  She lives on Long Island.

Connect with the author at:


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Five "Name Brand" Perfumes (US ONLY)
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wild Within - Review & Giveaway

Review by Marlene Engel

In this memoir, we follow Melissa Hart; recent divorcee living in Oregan.  While at a dog park, she meets Jonathan; tall, handsome and lover of raptors.  He educates Melissa on these amazing creatures and even gets her involved with volunteering at the raptor rehabilitation center that he works at.  At first, her decision to volunteer was solely with the hopes of getting to know Jonathan more, but as she gets more involved with these amazing owls, falcons, eagles and other “raptors,” she realizes that her desire to learn more about Jonathan has piqued her new interest in these animals. 

Content with their new-found relationship, Melissa is happy with not having children of her own.  However, the time and love that she shares with these wounded animals has brought out a feeling that she never knew existed.  Her desire to start a family and explore adoption was born out of her love for these creatures.  And she realizes that the definition of family is not in matching DNA, but where your heart and love lies. 

I have always been a lover of animals, so this book was one I knew would interest me.  However, it was more than just the aspect of animals.  The love that is shown not only to the animals, but between Melissa and Jonathan is beautiful.  And, as a parent to an adopted child, their story of adoption sealed my love for this book.  I absolutely recommend this book to others.  It not only appeals to animal lovers, but lovers of love in general. 

Purchase the book at:

About the Author:
Melissa Hart lives in Eugene, Oregon.  She's the author of the memoir, Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood (Seal, 2009).  Look for her new memoir--Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family--from Lyons Press in August 2014.

Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Orion, High Country News, The Advocate, Adbusters, Hemispheres, Horizon Air Magazine, Writer's Digest, and The Writer.

She teaches Feature Writing courses at the School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon, and speaks frequently for writing-related organizations and conferences in the Pacific Northwest.

Connect with the author at:

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Romancing My Love - Review & Giveaway


Romancing My Love
The Bradens # 9
By: Melissa Foster
Releasing September 15th, 2014


Blurb
After months of caring for her terminally ill mother, Rebecca Rivera is left all alone in a world she doesn’t trust—but she’s determined not to let her mother’s death define her. Losing her job, having to pummel some jerk for being too handsy, and living in her car are just temporary setbacks to an otherwise solid plan in finding her footing. Full of pride and used to being in control of her life, she’s certain she can make it on her own. The last thing Rebecca needs is a man to fix her troubles—even if that man is strikingly handsome, wealthy, and charismatic Pierce Braden.

Pierce is a powerful real estate investor on the verge of a major acquisition. As the eldest of six siblings raised by a single mother, he’s spent his life protecting those he loves. He’s used to being in charge and making things right, and although he’d give his life for his family, he treats the women he dates as expendable—until he meets sexy and stubborn Rebecca Rivera, a woman who is as strong as she is vulnerable.

Passion ignites between them, and the two share their most intimate thoughts and desires. It doesn’t take long for Pierce to realize that Rebecca is as determined not to be saved as he is to find a way into her heart. As their love grows, Rebecca must face fears she didn’t even realize she had—and Pierce must learn the hard truth that sometimes less really is more. Is the power of true love enough for Rebecca and Pierce to learn to give up control and allow their hearts to take over?

Review by Marlene Engel
Pierce couldn’t take his eyes off of the feisty woman at the bar.  Not only was she beautiful, he could sense something in her eyes.  Something that made him want to know more about her.  Unlike most women who threw themselves at Pierce, Rebecca wanted nothing to do with him.  Yes, he was tall and movie star handsome, but grieving the recent loss of her mother and trying to get her life back on track were here priorities right now.  Her mother’s landlord had been kind enough to allow them to stay rent-free while her mom was sick, but being the independent woman that Rebecca was, she could not allow herself to continue taking handouts … even if that meant she had to live in her car.  She knew that, before she could romance the thought of a man in her life, she had to find a job and a place to live. 

But fate had other plans for Rebecca.  While at the Astral resort and casino interviewing for a job, she hears a familiar voice call her name.  She’d know that voice anywhere.  It’s the same one that’s been playing over in her head since the night she first heard it at the bar.  That sexy, manly voice belonged to none other than Pierce Braden.  Determined not to let this opportunity pass, he asked Rebecca to join him for a drink.  Only this time, she said yes

Will their friendship fail before it even gets off the ground when Pierce finds out that Rebecca’s been living out of her car?  And what will Rebecca think when she finds out that Pierce doesn’t just work at Astral resort and casino, he owns it? 

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Melissa Foster’s writing.  She has the hottest characters and best stories!  But what made this book a bit different, and made me love it that much more, is that she touched on some serious subjects such as illness, death and homelessness.  Don’t get me wrong, you are still going to swoon over the alpha in this story just like all of her other books, but I enjoyed how she incorporated such sensitive topics as well.  Kudos to her for making me cry one moment and blush another!  Another book that you must put at the top of your “to be read” pile!

Purchase the book at:
Amazon * B&N

About the Author:
"Melissa Foster is a wonderful connector of readers and books, a friend of authors, and a tireless advocate for women. She is the real deal"-- Bestselling Author Jennie Shortridge

"What sets Melissa Foster apart are her compelling characters who you care about... desperately. This is psychological suspense at its most chilling. I dare you to read the first chapter and not be hooked."  International bestseller, M.J. Rose 

Melissa Foster is an award-winning, International bestselling author. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa is also a community builder for the Alliance for Independent Authors. She has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. 

Connect with the author at:

Two Digital Copies of FATED FOR LOVE 
Braden's Series, Book Eight

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Seaside Dreams - Review & Giveaway


 Seaside Dreams
Love in Bloom # 21: Seaside Summers # 1
By: Melissa Foster

Blurb
Bella Abbascia has returned to Seaside Cottages in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, as she does every summer. Only this year, Bella has more on her mind than sunbathing and skinny-dipping with her girlfriends. She’s quit her job, put her house on the market, and sworn off relationships while she builds a new life in her favorite place on earth. That is, until good-time Bella’s prank takes a bad turn and a sinfully sexy police officer appears on the scene.

Single father and police officer Caden Grant left Boston with his fourteen-year-old son, Evan, after his partner was killed in the line of duty. He hopes to find a safer life in the small resort town of Wellfleet, and when he meets Bella during a night patrol shift, he realizes he’s found the one thing he’d never allowed himself to hope for—or even realized he was missing.

After fourteen years of focusing solely on his son, Caden cannot resist the intense attraction he feels toward beautiful Bella, and Bella’s powerless to fight the heat of their budding romance. But starting over proves more difficult than either of them imagined, and when Evan gets mixed up with the wrong kids, Caden’s loyalty is put to the test. Will he give up everything to protect his son—even Bella?

Purchase the book at:
Amazon * B&N * Kobo


Review by Marlene Engel

At thirty years old, Bella is putting relationships on the backburner and focusing on her.  She plans on spending the summer finding her path in life and is hoping that her new job at the Barnstable County School District is just the place to start.  Developing a work study program will be her first step.  And, if she’s successful, she may just land a full time job and call the Cape her year round home. 

Bella and her best girlfriends are summertime staples at the Cape, but when a prank goes wrong they find themselves being questioned by one of Wellfleet’s finest.  And how fine he is!!!

After his partner was killed in the line of duty, Caden knew that he had to leave Boston to allow his fourteen year old son a chance to grow up in a safe environment.  Being a single father, his main focus had to be his son.  But the combination of single parent and a police officer didn’t leave much time for a social life. 

While patrolling the Seaside cottage community, due to several recent burglaries in the area, Caden comes upon some suspicious activity.  But, after further assessment, he learns that it was an innocent prank gone wrong among a group of residents who also happen to be best friends.  But it’s one woman in particular who catches his attention … Bella.  It wasn’t the fact that her hair was stuck in the window or that her pajamas were bunched up exposing her perfect behind.  There was something more.  But with his busy schedule, he can’t even think about a relationship right now.  Or could he …?

As the summer is coming to an end, it was nice to be able to read a book that makes you feel like summer has just begun.  The combination of best friends, alpha hunks and the beach makes for the perfect “pretend that summer isn’t ending” read.  Once again, Melissa Foster hits the mark with this book.  Her name is synonymous with captivating stories with the perfect mix of romance and heat!  And with the alpha being a police officer, who doesn’t love fantasizing about a man in uniform?

About the Author:
"Melissa Foster is a wonderful connector of readers and books, a friend of authors, and a tireless advocate for women. She is the real deal"-- Bestselling Author Jennie Shortridge

"What sets Melissa Foster apart are her compelling characters who you care about... desperately. This is psychological suspense at its most chilling. I dare you to read the first chapter and not be hooked."  International bestseller, M.J. Rose 

Melissa Foster is an award-winning, International bestselling author. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa is also a community builder for the Alliance for Independent Authors. She has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. 

Connect with the author at:

Two Digital Copies of READ, WRITE, LOVE (Remington’s Book Five)

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Sea Garden - Review

Review by Deb Czajkowski

Jess Penhaligon has won the prestigious David Porteous’ Botanical Painting Award for Young Artists.  Now Jess is on her way to Devon to receive the award from David’s widow, Kate, who has invited Jess to stay with her for the summer.  Jess is excited about winning this award, grateful to Kate for her friendly graciousness and, oddly, she thinks, eagerly anticipating the extended stay for reasons yet unknown.

Having just graduated from college, Jess views this most welcome summer-stay invitation as indeed opportune.  Going home or, more correctly, to her mother’s home, is not an option. Jess’s father died eight years ago, leaving her, an only child, feeling lost and alone.  Jess’s mother quickly remarried, a diplomat, and moved to Brussels.  Jess’s only other known relatives are her grandparents (her dad’s parents), in Australia, two people she has only seen a few times in her entire life.  Even then, her grandmother was not the warm, cookie-baking kind, and her kind and playful grandfather is, like her father, now gone.

Her mother and stepfather are surely impressed with Jess’s winning the Young Artist award.  Still, her didactic stepfather claims that painting is a lovely hobby, something she can do in her spare time, whereas teaching is a solid foundation on which to build her future.  And her always anxious, often stern mother pushes Jess to heed her stepfather’s sound “voice of experience.”  Jess listens patiently to his pontificating and then happily disregards it all as she boards her train.

Arriving in Devon, Jess knows that this prominent award is the encouragement Jess longed for to chance pursuing a career as an artist rather than her former plan to teach. True, it’s a risky move, but it’s also where her heart is.  And then there is that mysterious pull she feels as she meets Kate and settles in. Pull toward what? Or whom?  Her past?  Her future?  Suddenly Jess feels that she’s not alone, no longer so lonely.  How can that be when all of these new faces are those of strangers?  Or are they?

After reading the first few chapters of author Marcia Willett’s book, The Sea Garden, I wondered, “Why was this title chosen?  I’m not seeing its significance, its relevance.”  Now, having completed my journey with Jess, I smile and nod, knowing it’s the perfect choice. 

Marcie Willet cleverly plants, sows, and weaves her story, a story that encompasses generations, friendships, mysteries, and secrets.  To meet the author’s characters is to know them, to understand them, to care about them.  Willet’s book is truly a painting of words, clearly depicting the Sea Garden, complete with the ghosts of the past and the visions of the future.  I highly recommend it, particularly if you can read it sitting by the sea!

Purchase the book at:

About the Author:
Marcia began her career as a novelist when she was fifty years old. Until then she had been an avid reader and had never considered writing. When her writer husband, Rodney, suggested that she should—she laughed and dismissed the whole thing out of hand.  However, after months of nagging she agreed, for the sake of peace and quiet, to see what she could do. 

Eventually, she handed Rodney the manuscript of her first novel and said, ‘Right, I’ve written it—now you sell it’. So he did.

Since that first novel Marcia has written twenty more under her own name as well as a number of short stories. She has also written four books under the pseudonym ‘Willa Marsh.’ She is, as you would expect, working on another novel.

Success has not been limited to this country: she is now published in sixteen other countries - with contracts for books to be published in two others - and has been in the bestseller lists of both Germany and Greece. 

So how should her books be described? 

Marcia is a born storyteller and her books are beautifully written which makes them easy to read. Even so, they will challenge the thoughtful as they deal with the eternal problems that face everyone and often call for great strength of character if they are to be overcome.

Connect with the author at:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Skinny Bitch in Love - Review & Giveaway


Review by Marlene Engel

Clementine Cooper has busted her tail climbing up the ranks in the vegan culinary world from chopping vegetables to her current position as Sous Chef at the hottest vegan restaurant in Santa Monica, Fresh.  But her chance to really show off her skills happened when she was to prepare a dish for one of the Los Angeles Times food critics.  Had it not been for someone sabotaging her dish with butter, she would probably still have her job and not have been blacklisted from all of the other vegan restaurants in the area. 
                                    
Determined to prove that you can’t keep a good woman down, Clementine starts her own business, The Skinny Bitch Cooking School, in hopes of making enough money to open her own vegan café across the street from her apartment.  But during her first cooking class, a disturbance outside quickly dampers any hopes of that happening.  As she watches a huge 3D steer’s head being erected on what should’ve been HER restaurant’s building, she realizes she not only lost out on the building, but now will have to stare at an image of a dead steer’s head whenever she looks out her window … the soon to be location for The Silver Steer restaurant.

As luck would have it, the meat loving owner of The Silver Steer happens to not only be wildly handsome, but Clementine can’t seem to control her desire to be near him.  But what could vegan, Clementine Cooper, possibly have in common with carnivore, Zach Jeffries?  She’s not quite sure of the answer, but something in her is curious to find out!

Everyone has heard of the Skinny Bitch books.  Heck, even my husband has read the men’s version, Skinny Bastard!  When I found out that one of the authors, Kim Barnouin, was putting out a novel based on her vegan lifestyle and relating to her bestselling Skinny Bitch books, I knew that I had to check it out.  

Let me start with saying that I’m not vegan (or vegetarian for that matter).  However, you don’t have to be to enjoy this book.  I love her style of writing and how she incorporated her passion for veganism into her first novel.  After reading about how you can turn a dish that typically has animal products into one that doesn’t, has me wanting to taste some of these dishes for myself!  Kudos to Ms. Barnouin on her first novel and stay tuned for my review of her second novel, Skinny Bitch Gets Hitched, coming really soon!  And, expect an awesome giveaway for that review post as well!

Purchase the book at:

About the Author:
Kimberly Ann Barnouin was born on February 27, 1969. Yes, she has included her year of birth, she's in her 40's and proud of it. She was born in Rhode Island but grew up in Maryland. Both states were way too cold for Kim so she moved to Miami Beach in her mid 20's to thaw out. She now resides in Southern California with her hot French husband and their 4 year old son Jack.

She is the co-author of the New York Times Bestseller Skinny Bitch, and Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, as well as Skinny Bitchin, Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven, and Skinny Bastard. She released her first solo book Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook in October of 2010.

She is the founder of her website www.healthybitchdaily.com, a fun and informative green living guide for women.

Connect with the author at:

Kim is giving 1 lucky winner a signed copy of
Skinny Bitch in Love!

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Fated for Love - Review & Giveaway



Blurb:
Librarian Callie Barnes has visions of reading and relaxing—and maybe having a few too many drinks—on her girls’ weekend away. Her hopes are crushed when her friends pull into a dude ranch instead of a spa, and she refuses to say longer than one night. That is…until she realizes the ranch is owned by sinfully sexy, and dangerously rugged, Wes Braden—the subject of her late-night fantasies.

Fearless rancher Wes Braden thinks he’s the luckiest guy on the planet when the sweet, sexy librarian from his hometown shows up at his ranch. Their connection is white-hot, making it impossible for either to ignore their carnal desires. Wes is more than willing to convert sweet Callie from chick lit to a world of erotic romance, but Callie ties sex to love, and Wes avoids commitment like the plague.
Callie is thrust into physically demanding activities that ignite her deepest fears. Luckily, Wes is as tender as he is strong, and he’s there every step of the way to help her find her inner strength. With Callie’s influence, Wes might even discover that he’s been nursing a few fears of his own. Passion pulls Callie and Wes from their safe, comfortable lives into each other’s arms, and they’re about to find out just how alike they really are.

Purchase the book at:

Review by Marlene Engel

Melissa Foster has done it again with another hot, hunky Braden for us to swoon over!  This time it’s sexy, cowboy Wes Braden.  And if his six plus feet of rock hard muscle doesn’t make you melt, his love for reading surely will!  Or, at least, it did with me.  I love me some sexy nerd boys in disguise!

To the average person, Thursdays might not be the most exciting day, but to Callie it’s the day of the week that she most looks forward to.  That’s because it’s the day Wes stops by the library to pick up the books she’s pulled for him.  As a librarian, she’s used to helping people find books.  But she takes special care in picking out the ones for Wes.  There’s just something about Wes that makes Callie start casting him as the lead hunk in the books in her mind.  But a guy like Wes wouldn’t be interested in a girl like Callie.  She sees the way the other women at the library come in droves to gawk Wes.  They’ve obviously caught on that he’s a Thursday regular.  But it doesn’t stop her from fantasizing about him …

Callie’s friends are concerned that she’s spending too much time with her nose in a book, so they have organized a girl’s weekend to the spa … or so they told her!  When they pull into a dude ranch Callie is anything but excited to be there.  That is, until she realizes that it’s owned by the man of her dreams, Wes Braden!  Maybe this weekend isn’t going to be so bad after all.  Although the eye candy is nice, Callie’s fears are put to the test.  Thankfully Wes is there to hold her hand through it all.

Throw on your cowboy boots and your ten gallon hat!  Melissa Foster has treated us to another hot book that will have you melting like an ice cube in the sun!  If you haven’t read the previous books in the Love in Bloom series … WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???  There are more hunky men and sexy girls in this series than you’ll know what to do with! 

About the Author:
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women's fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. 
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on The Women's NestFostering Success, or World Lit Cafe. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Connect with the author at:

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