Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Same Sky - Review & Giveaway

Review by KT Sullivan
Alice and Jake Conroe own a barbeque restaurant in Austin, Texas. They have been trying to adopt a baby and have been refused again. They were given a baby boy for a few hours, but the mother changed her mind and took him back. Alice wants to matter and make a difference. The principal at the local high school asks Alice to be a Big Sister to a disadvantaged girl named Evian. Her life story is very sad. Alice helps, but it put a strain on her marriage. Jake is trying to run his restaurant in competition with other family members. His idea helps his town and the high school.

Carla’s challenges are never ending. Left in Honduras with her younger brother, Junior, and her ailing grandmother, Carla, age eleven, begs her mother in Texas to help. She sends money to the family, but it’s never enough. The grandmother dies and Carla decides to take the trip to Texas. Ernesto helps them and they are faced with hunger, thirst, and thieves. Tragedy and heartbreak travel with her. Carla’s final triumph is well deserved.

The story alternates between Alice and Carla. Both are on journeys to the unknown. Because of her age and circumstances, Carla’s is more dangerous and compelling. She is faced with decisions adults would be hard pressed to solve. She draws her strength from within and I found myself rooting for her. The author notes that many of the incidents in Carla’s life are based on true stories.

Purchase the book at:

About the Author:
Amanda Eyre Ward is the critically acclaimed author of five novels, including the bestseller How to Be Lost. She has spent the last year visiting shelters in Texas and California, meeting immigrant children and hearing their stories. This novel is inspired by them.

Connect with the author at:



1 lucky winner will receive a print copy of
The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward
US Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Return to You - Excerpt and Giveaway

She will never forget their past...

He can't stop thinking about their future...

James Montgomery has achieved everything he'd hoped for in life...except marrying the girl of his dreams. After a terrible accident, Selena Ainsley left ten years ago. She took his heart with her and she's never coming back. But it's becoming harder and harder for him to forget their precious time together, and James can't help but wonder what he would do if they could ever meet again.

Excerpt:
It was near midnight and Selena’s eyes felt heavy. With her head resting on James’s shoulder, she tried to focus on the ending of The Philadelphia Story. Back when they were dating, they used to enjoy watching classic movies, and finding one on the television seemed like the perfect way for them to relax after such an emotional evening.

James looked over at Selena and smiled to himself. If he could freeze this moment in time, he would. For years he had wondered if he’d ever find a woman he could come home to, with whom he could sit like this and simply relax. The woman half-asleep beside him was the only woman he wanted to fit that bill. The credits were beginning to roll, and he gently nudged her with his shoulder. “Hey,” he said softly, “are you still awake?”

“Mmm…barely,” she whispered and then yawned. As much as Selena knew that the bed would be a far more comfortable place to sleep, she didn’t want to leave the security of James’s side. She jumped when he shifted beside her to stand up. A wave of panic hit her as she prayed that he wasn’t getting up to leave. Before she could even voice her concern, James turned off the television and then scooped her up into his arms. “Oh!”

“Don’t get me wrong. I was completely enjoying being curled up with you on the sofa, but I had a feeling your neck was going to kill you tomorrow.” He walked through to the bedroom and carefully held her close as he pulled back the comforter and gently placed Selena down. Without a word, he walked back out to the living room and locked the door and turned out the lights before returning to her.

He didn’t ask permission.

She didn’t extend an invitation.

Neither seemed necessary.




Purchase the book at:

About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan's Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40's to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.

When she's not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

Connect with the author at:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Enter to win this amazing prize pack!
Including two contemporary romance novels
A Coach tote and other fun goodies!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 23, 2015

Seaside Secrets - Review & Giveaway



Seaside Secrets
Seaside Summers # 4: Love in Bloom # 24
By: Melissa Foster
Releasing February 24th, 2015
Self-Published

Blurb
Tony Black is the hottest surfer on the planet. He travels the world throughout the year and spends his summers on Cape Cod with his friends, at the Seaside cottages in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. He’s got his choice of women, but Amy Maples is the one he wants. Fourteen years ago she was his for an entire summer, until a devastating accident changed everything, and what they had seemed like it had never existed—at least for her.

Amy Maples is as consistent as the day is long. She’s spent summers on Cape Cod forever, she always does the right thing, and she’s spent years trying to reclaim the heart of Tony Black, the only man she’s ever loved. She’s back for a summer of fun with her friends at Seaside, only this year she’s been offered the opportunity of a lifetime thousands of miles away, and she’s decided to try one last time to reconnect with Tony. But having a relationship with Tony means dealing with her past—and dealing with her past may knock her to her knees.

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

Review by Marlene Engel
Amy has loved Tony all of her life.  The summer before college, she thought that she finally had the man of her dreams until a tragedy tore them apart.  Afraid to confide in her best friends, she was forced to deal with the situation alone.
                     
Fourteen years later, Amy’s still pining after Tony.  Now a professional surfer and motivational speaker, Tony spends his time traveling the world, but still devotes his summers to the Cape.  Amy doesn’t know if she can spend another summer so close to him.  She now has to make a tough decision, take the job offer in Australia and put Tony in her past for good or see if he feels for her what she’s felt for him all these years.

Seaside Summers (Love in Bloom) is one of my all-time favorite series.  Who doesn’t love being at the beach with your best girlfriends and finding love?  Something that I especially enjoyed about this book is the way the author wrote of the tragedy that Amy and Tony dealt with many years ago.  It’s something that I feel many couples are going to be able to relate to and Melissa Foster does a brilliant job making the characters emotions feel so real and raw.

Seaside Secrets is a great story, full of fun characters, that touches on a serious subject.  Melissa Foster fans are going to love this book.  And, if you are a first time reader of her books, this one will make you want to go out and get the rest of the books in the Love in Bloom series.



About the Author:
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 CafĂ©. 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.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

2 lucky winners will receive a digital copies of SEASIDE SUNSETS

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Back In The Game - Book Tour, Promo & Giveaway


Back In the Game
Stardust, Texas # 1
By: Lori Wilde
Releasing February 24th, 2015
Avon


Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde welcomes you to Stardust, Texas . . . where dreams come true and love is always right around the corner

Wanted: ghostwriter. Must be female, a baseball fan, and have a great pair of legs.

Ex-pitcher Rowdy Blanton never saw a woman he couldn't conquer or a team he couldn't beat. And now that he's off the field he's ready to tell all about when he played the field. So he chooses Breeanne Carlyle to do the job-she's got the requirements, but more important, there's something about her that makes him want to be a better man.

Convinced there's more to Rowdy than a good fastball, a wicked smile, and a tight pair of pants, Breeanne can't help but be tempted. After all, it's boring always being the good girl, and Rowdy dares her to be just a little bad. The stakes are high, but win or lose, this time Breeanne's breaking all the rules playing the game of love.

Buy Links:  

Author Info:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lori Wilde has sold seventy-eight works of fiction to four major New York Publishing houses.

Her first NYT bestseller, the third book in her Twilight, Texas series, The First Love Cookie Club has been optioned for a television movie. The town of Granbury, Texas, upon which her fictional town of Twilight, Texas is loosely based, honors Lori with an annual Twilight, Texas weekend each Christmas.

A popular writing instructor, Lori is a two time RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award. She's won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, The Golden Quill, the Lories, and The More than Magic.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest  | Goodreads

Print Bundle including:
BACK IN THE GAME & Twilight Texas Series Bks 1-5

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 16, 2015

New Uses For Old Boyfriends - Review & Giveaway

Review by Marlene Engel
Lila Alders is used to the best of the best.  Raised in a privileged household and marrying into money, she has always been the envy of others.  Now divorced and finding out that she isn’t entitled to her former husband’s fortune, Lila is forced to return to her small childhood town of Black Dog Bay. 

With her father’s recent passing and her mother living alone in the family mansion, going back home was the only option.  But it’s not until she learns that her father’s fortune is no longer and her mother is in jeopardy of losing the house that reality truly sets in.  With a house full of expensive designer clothes, Lila knows that their only hope of keeping the house is by selling off her mother’s prized garments.  But getting her mother to agree may be harder than she thought.

It just so happens that Lila’s high school sweetheart Ben is back in town.  After trying to see if that flame could be rekindled, it’s obvious that their past relationship is best left, well, in the past.  Also crossing paths is a boy that Lila snubbed as a sophomore, who has turned into quite the specimen.  More than a pretty face, Malcolm has a fascinating past and secret, hidden talents.  She may not have given him much attention in high school, but she is hoping to make up for lost time!

You can always count on Beth Kendrick to give you a fun book that is impossible to put down.  With a cast of colorful characters, laugh out loud situations and an all-around great story, this is the perfect book to get you through the cold winter days! 

Purchase the book at:

About the author:
Beth Kendrick is the author of The Week Before the Wedding, The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service, and Nearlyweds, which was turned into a Hallmark Channel original movie. She lives in Arizona with her two rescue dogs, but she loves to vacation at the Delaware shore, where she goes to Funland, eats boardwalk fries, and wishes that the Whinery really existed.

Connect with the author



Book Sparks is giving one lucky winner a print copy of
New Uses For Old Boyfriends
US Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 13, 2015

A Collector of Affections - Review & Giveaway

Review by Marlene Engel
Leah’s in need of some much needed soul searching.  Since her divorce, she’s enjoyed the company of several men; has had laughs, some great sex and was even engaged.  But Leah’s life has become a bit stale and she’s hoping that a trip to Spain is just what she needs to give it a kick-start. 

On the flight to Spain, Leah bonds with her seatmate, Miguel.  A native Spaniard whose conversation catches her attention immediately.  Although marriage is not a road that Leah anticipates travelling again, the thought of this man potentially being her soulmate is somewhat intriguing to her.  But she will learn that the person she thinks may be the perfect man, may not be so perfect after all. 

A book about rediscovery of one’s self and not having to conform to the middle aged norms, A Collector of Affections takes you on a journey of one woman’s quest to have her perfect life in an imperfect world.

What a treat this book was.  The setting was perfect, the emotions so real and the story so relatable.  No matter if you are middle aged or not, this book will resonate with just about anybody!  It is definitely the perfect read for this Valentine’s Day!

Purchase the book at:

About the Author:
Judith Glynn never intended to become a dedicated writer when she chose a nighttime creative-writing class over belly dancing. She simply wanted a distraction from her disintegrating marriage. Her first assignment – Confidence. That’s all You Need in Life – received a D. But her passion for the craft ignited her soul and innate talent, enough to take her on a successful writing journey for three decades and counting.

Her travel-writing specialty surfaced after a trip to Ireland and subsequent publication in The Washington Post. That and numerous articles led to a five-year, monthly shopping column in The Chicago Sun Times and other newspapers. Spain eventually became a focus and where her discerning writer’s eye captured the local flavor. However, after hours logged in flight and new destinations produced only a nonchalant shrug, she closed her notebook to build a successful entrepreneurial career in New York City. But she still wrote because life wasn’t complete without writing a story – if only for herself.
Connect with the author at:

The author is giving one lucky winner a copy of
A Collector of Affections
Winner’s choice of print or e copy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Secrets of Midwives - Review & Giveaway

Review by KT Sullivan
Three generations of midwives are dealing with secrets, a new baby, and a possible lawsuit. Floss, the grandmother, has been holding a sad secret about her daughter, Grace’s birth. Grace’s husband is facing job loss and worries about her daughter Neva’s unexpected pregnancy. Grace is also being questioned about a home delivery of a baby with a birth defect. Neva is not married and not naming the father. The three work together as midwives, each feel they were called to this profession. Neva believes “women were warriors” when it came to natural birth. She has two possible fathers for her child, but her friend, Patrick, would like to step in and be the father.

Watching Neva avoid questions, Floss recalls the circumstances surrounding Grace’s birth. She isn’t Grace’s biological mother. Her best friend married a worthless man who abused her. She later died in childbirth. Floss left England with Grace and fled to America. Dealing with complex births have been the three’s life’s work. Years of expertise will be needed for their most important and personal case. Are they ready for their biggest challenge?

The family business and dynamic between the three is fascinating. Most readers will see themselves or someone they know in these roles. The sage, the rebel, and the peacekeeper all mix together. Floss is the most interesting character. So many facets of her life are outside of society’s norms. She has strived to be herself and help all around her while keeping her secrets from everyone close to her. Excellent read.  

Purchase the book at:

About the Author:
Sally Hepworth is the author of THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES, a novel about three generations of midwives, to be published by St. Martin's Press, NY, in Feb 2015. The novel will be published worldwide in English, as well as in France, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Sally has lived around the world, spending extended periods in Singapore, the U.K., and Canada, where she worked in event management and Human Resources. She is the author of Love Like The French, published by Random House Germany in February 2014.

Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and two children. Sally is currently working on her next novel.

Connect with the author at:

Listen to an excerpt from the audio edition HERE

Giveaway!
1 print copy and 1 audio copy of
The Secrets of Midwives courtesy of St. Martin’s Press
2 winners - US Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mug O'Comfort Swap - Chaotic Goddess Swap

Being a blogger is one of the most enjoyable things that I do.  When I heard about a blog called Chaotic Goddess where they host themed blog swaps, I knew I had to take part!  I’ve met so many amazing people through my blog and if I can use this platform to connect other bloggers, I’m all for it.  

The current swap is called Mug O’Comfort Swap.  This is right up my alley, as I’m a self-proclaimed mugaholic!  If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you’ve seen the album that I call “My Mug Shots”.  If you’re a blogger and want to take part in this fun swap, click on the button below for more info!  You never know, you may be partnered up with me!




Your Swap Objective:
Get to know your fantastic partner and send them an awesome package that has a mug and other mug-related goodies.  Goodies can include things like treats, cocoa, coffee, tea, etc.

Dates to Remember:
·                  Sign-Ups Start: Monday, February 9th.
·                  Sign-Ups End: Monday, February 16th.
·                  Giveaway Ends: Tuesday, February 17th.
·                  Partners Assigned: Wednesday, February 18th.
·                  Packages Ship: by or on Saturday, March 7th.
·                  Show-Off Link Opens: Wednesday, March 11th.

Just a sampling of some of my mugs.  I told you I have a mug obsession ;)


Meet Me at the Beach - Excerpt & Giveaway


Meet Me at the Beach
Seashell Bay # 1
By: V.K. Sykes
Releasing February 24th, 2015
Grand Central / Forever


Blurb:
YOU CAN’T STOP A RISING TIDE

When Lily Doyle spots her high school crush Aiden Flynn on the inbound ferry, she knows trouble is about to dock in Seashell Bay. And not just because he’s more handsome than ever. If Aiden’s in town, the rumors must be true about his family’s plan to sell their coastal land to the highest bidder. But Lily will do whatever it takes to convince the hottest guy on the beach to protect their idyllic island home.

Gorgeous Lily Doyle was the only thing Aiden missed after he escaped from his hometown to play pro baseball. Now all Aiden wants is to wrap up the business deal and get back to his life, not relive a past that still haunts him. But as memories rush in about the night of passion he and Lily shared long ago, everything else washes right out to sea-everything except the desire that still burns between them.

Buy Links:  Amazon | Barnes | iTunes | Kobo | Book Depository

Excerpt:
Aiden turned to face the five-foot-zero, one-hundredpounds-dripping-wet dynamo who had more or less run Seashell Bay for as long as he could remember. Annie Letellier was an eighty-three-year-old member by marriage of the Doyle clan. And Lily’s grandmother.

“Good evening, Miss Annie,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to see you looking so well.”
In khaki pants and a starched blue shirt, Miss Annie propped her hands on her hips and tilted her head back to glare up at him. “Don’t you try to sweet-talk me, Aiden Flynn. Your brother is acting like a pure horse’s ass.”

Bram made a garbled sound of protest that Aiden silenced with a sharp elbow.
“I’m sorry,” Aiden said politely. “You know better than anyone that Bram was pretty much born that way.”

There were a few snickers from the peanut gallery, and Miss Annie let out a delicate snort. “You’ve got that right, son.”

Aiden knew Miss Annie was actually fond of Bram. She’d often babysat both brothers when they were snotty little runts, despite their father’s objections about a Doyle looking after his sons. Aiden’s mother had ignored his protests, because Miss Annie was her dear friend. Like most of the women in the Flynn and Doyle families, they steered clear of the feud that was carried on by the damn fool men.

“Can I buy you a drink?” he asked, trying to defuse the tension.

Miss Annie’s gaze coasted over the crowd that watched with undisguised anticipation. Then her eagle-eyed gaze snapped back to him. “I’ll not be drinking with any Flynn until I get my answer.”

What the hell? When had Miss Annie started playing Hatfields and McCoys? “What answer would that be, ma’am?”

She jabbed a gnarly finger at Aiden. “I asked that brother of yours why your father was spreading rumors about the car ferry. That’s when you barged in on us.”
“They’re not rumors,” Bram interjected hotly.

Aiden glared at his brother. “Shut. Up.” Then he turned back to Miss Annie. “Exactly what rumors?”

“Sean’s been claiming that the developer won’t buy his land unless the town builds a car ferry dock. And he says if the Doyles convince people to vote against it, there’ll be no development at all.”

“Well, I think that’s the case. If the town won’t build the dock, the developer isn’t interested in going ahead with the project.” Aiden glanced over his shoulder at Bram. “Don’t people know that already?”

When the onlookers started jabbering at once, Aiden had his answer.

Miss Annie sidestepped him to resume her rant at Bram. “It’s pure blackmail, if you ask me. Why are you and your father in bed with those greedy mainlanders? Shame on you, Bram Flynn!”

Bram loomed over the old woman, looking furious. “You can’t talk to me like that, Miss Annie. Not even you!”

Swallowing a curse, Aiden figured he’d better pull Bram out of the bar before Miss Annie started whacking him upside the head. He grabbed his brother’s arm again just as the door opened and the deputy sheriff strode in.

Deputy Micah Lancaster, Aiden’s sworn rival in high school and just what he didn’t need right now.

When his idiot brother tried to push him out of the way so he could continue arguing with Miss Annie, Aiden grabbed him by the shoulders to manhandle him out the door. But then a slender, feminine figure popped out of the crowd and gently eased Miss Annie away from Bram.

Sweet Mother of God, it was Lily Doyle, up close and personal.

The tumult around him faded as Aiden drank her in, starting at her pretty, gold-painted toenails showcased by matching sparkly flip-flops, and then traveling all the way up to her gorgeous face. She was wearing a denim skirt short enough to show off a fair amount of spectacular leg and a slim-fitting, sleeveless, white polo shirt that showcased her tan. Her auburn hair fell in soft waves around her shoulders, and her emerald eyes sparkled with amusement. Her Irish-fair complexion seemed devoid of makeup, and he could see the freckles tossed lightly across the bridge of her nose and cheeks. Yeah, he remembered kissing those freckles, and that luscious mouth too. Lily was the embodiment of a sweet, all-American girl—a girl who was as smart as a whip and a lobster boat captain who held her own in a rugged man’s world. Not to mention she was also the island’s reigning darts champion, which definitely meant something in Seashell Bay. 

She was one hell of a sexy package, and she rocked Aiden right back on his heels. A quizzical look pulled Lily’s eyebrows together and made him realize he was gaping at her.

Author Info
V.K. Sykes is really two people – Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance and also romantic suspense. Randy excels at plot and characterization, but tends to fall down on the job when it comes to that pesky old thing called emotion. That’s where Vanessa steps in. She usually writes the sex scenes too, since Randy is a bit uncomfortable when it comes to that sort of stuff. Vanessa also writes award-winning Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra under her own name. You can check out Vanessa’s bestselling historical romances at www.vanessakellyauthor.com

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Grand Prize: $50.00 Amazon eGift Card
2 Runners up will win a Bundle of all V.K. Sykes Digital Releases in choice format

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Before I Go - Review & Giveaway

Review by Marlene Engel
On the cusp of Daisy’s four year anniversary of being cancer-free, she gets the dreaded call from her doctor.  Her cancer is back!  But this time it not only invades her breast, but has also travel to other parts of her body.  Including an orange size tumor that has taken up residence on the back of her brain.  If this news isn’t enough to cause a huge blow, her doctor proceeds to inform her that she has approximately four to six months to live. 
                                      
But Daisy doesn’t have time to die.  She has too much to do.  Including caulk the windows, fix the door that sticks, a laundry list of other household chores … not to mention, her husband Jack needs her.  Who will pick up his dirty socks off the floor or scratch his back?  Who will pack his lunches and make sure that he doesn’t eat cereal for every meal?  And, that’s when it hits her.  Daisy will find Jack a replacement wife. 

And so her search begins.  She searches coffee shops, dog parks and even places an ad (pretending to be Jack) at an online dating site.  She is going to make sure that, before she goes, Jack is sufficiently taken care of.  What she didn’t expect was the guilt and jealousy that would come along with it.  Could she really handle seeing Jack with another woman?  But can she go in peace knowing that he doesn’t have anyone to care for him?

We all have an expiration date.  But if you knew that you only had a limited time to live, how would you spend your remaining days?  Would you think of others like Daisy did?  Or would you live out your last days checking things off your bucket list?

Saying that I loved this story doesn’t even begin to touch on how I truly feel about this book.  The way the author brings the characters to life with each word that she writes is amazing.  There are many books that I’ve read and enjoyed, but it takes a special story and writing style to get the effect that this book had on me.  And the way that she takes such a serious topic and perfectly incorporates humor is sheer brilliance.  If you’re looking for a book that will stick with you long after you turned the last page, then you must read this book!

Purchase the book at:

About the Author:
One night in high school, I was watching the evening news with my mom, and she started yelling at a reporter onscreen who was being particularly pushy in his interviewing tactics. “I hate journalists,” she scowled.

That’s when I decided to become a journalist.
Since then my articles and essays have been featured in newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Redbook, Parade,and Martha Stewart Weddings.

I live in Atlanta with my husband, two children (who are also rebellious because, genetics) and a huge mutt named Bailey. I like to write and read and drink tequila. Not necessarily in that order.

Connect with the author at:

Simon & Schuster is giving 1 lucky winner a print copy of
Before I Go by Colleen Oakley
(US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway