Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Cookbook Club - Review & Giveaway

Margo, Trista and Aja, three woman who couldn’t be more different, form friendships while bonding over food.
  Each at a crossroads in their lives, they come together as members of a cookbook club.  Through an eight-month period, each woman gains new perspective on life to enhance and rebuild their lives.

Part-time real estate agent, Margo’s life gets turned upside down when her attorney husband, Calvin, announces that he is moving to San Francisco for a promotion and she’s not invited.  It doesn’t take long for Margo to realize how much of her life she has devoted to her husband, only to neglect herself in the meantime.

After posting an invite on Intagram for The Cookbook Club, a club that will focus on a new cookbook every couple of weeks, Trista feels this will help her create new menu dishes for her sports bar/restaurant that is in need of an update.  Previously working as an attorney, Trista, aka Boozy Crocker, is trying to pick up the pieces of her life after being fired from her high-paying job.

Pregnant and with a partner who puts her down at every turn, Aja has a revelation that has her reprioritizing her life … without the baby daddy.

This story was very enjoyable.  And there’s something about food that not only brings people together, but forms long-lasting bonds.  Included in the book were some recipes that I’m anxious to try.

I took away from the story a wonderful sense of friendship, women empowerment and wanting to join a cookbook club.  I have always enjoyed Beth Harbison’s books and this one did not disappoint.  It was the perfect fall story.  I absolutely loved it.

Purchase the book at: Amazon* Barnes&Noble


About the author
New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison started cooking when she was eight years old, thanks to Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls. After graduating college, she worked full-time as a private chef in the DC area, and within three years she sold her first cookbook, The Bread Machine Baker. She published four cookbooks before moving on to writing women’s fiction, including the runaway bestseller Shoe Addicts Anonymous and When in Doubt, Add Butter. She lives in Palms Springs, California. 

Connect with the author atWebsite * Facebook * Instagram * Twitter

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The Cookbook Club 

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Louisiana Lucky - Review & Giveaway

Let’s be honest, we have all fantasized about what we would do if we won the lottery.  Me?  I’d pay off all of mine and my family’s debt, buy myself the car of my dreams and invest the rest.  But, that’s just a fantasy.  Who really wins that kind of money?

For the Breaux sisters:  Lexi, Hanna and Callie, who have been playing the lottery for years fantasizing of how each would use the winnings, their dream of winning became a reality.  Each had their own unique ideas of what to do with the money.  Lexi wanted her storybook wedding.  Hanna wanted a reliable home and a safe school for her son.  And for Callie it was to pursue the career she’d always dreamt of.  One would think that this landfall of money would make everyone’s dreams come true and solve all of their problems, right?  But as we know, with a large fortune comes the potential for just as large problems. 

With fun, relatable characters, Louisiana Lucky is the perfect summer read.  From start to finish, this book captured my attention and held on tight.  I would absolutely recommend this book.  And, who knows, maybe one of us will get the itch to buy a lotto ticket and, with a dollar and a dream, become the next big winner.


Purchase the book at:

Amazon * Barnes&Noble 

About the author:

Hi there! I'm a lifestyle writer and author. I cover travel, home, health, career, personal finance and relationships for various national publications. I'm a former digital editor for Seventeen magazine and Alloy Entertainment. My first novel, The Young Wives Club, was published by Emily Bestler Books at Simon & Schuster in February 2017.

Originally from Louisiana, I moved to New York City for the dream the second I graduated from college (Louisiana Tech journalism '05, go Bulldogs!) There's still a crawfish-shaped place in my heart for my home state. I am married to a St. Louis boy I met in Manhattan, and we currently live in Philadelphia with a rambunctious toddler.


Connect with the author at:

Website * Twitter * Instagram


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Louisiana Lucky by Julie Pennell

U.S Only

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Book of Lost Names - release day giveaway

Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.

Purchase the book at:

About the author:
Kristin Harmel is the #1 international bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of The Winemaker’s Wife, The Room on Rue Amelie, and a dozen other novels that have been translated into numerous languages and sold all over the world.

A former reporter for PEOPLE magazine, Kristin has been writing professionally since the age of 16, when she began her career as a sportswriter, covering Major League Baseball and NHL hockey for a local magazine in Tampa Bay, Florida in the late 1990s. After stints covering health and lifestyle for American Baby, Men’s Health, and Woman’s Day, she became a reporter for PEOPLE magazine while still in college and spent more than a decade working for the publication, covering everything from the Super Bowl to high-profile murders to celebrity interviews with the likes of Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, OutKast, Justin Timberlake, and Patrick Dempsey. Her favorite stories at PEOPLE, however, were the “Heroes Among Us” features—tales of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. One of those features—the story of Holocaust-survivor-turned-philanthropist Henri Landwirth (whom both Walter Cronkite and John Glenn told Kristin was the most amazing person they’d ever known)—partially inspired Kristin’s 2012 novel, The Sweetness of Forgetting, which was a bestseller all over the world.
In addition to a long magazine writing career (which also included articles published in Travel + Leisure, Glamour, Ladies’ Home Journal, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and more), Kristin was also a frequent contributor to the national television morning show The Daily Buzz—where her assignments included flying to London three times to interview the cast of the Harry Potter films—and has appeared on Good Morning America and numerous local television morning shows. She even stumbled into a role as an extra in the 2003 American Idol movie while awaiting an interview with Kelly Clarkson.

Kristin was born just outside Boston, Massachusetts and spent her childhood there, as well as in Columbus, Ohio, and St. Petersburg, Florida. After graduating with a degree in journalism (with a minor in Spanish) from the University of Florida, she spent time living in Paris and Los Angeles and now lives in Orlando, with her husband and young son. She travels frequently to France for book research (and—let’s be honest—for the pastries and wine) and writes a book a year for Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster.

Connect with the author at:

Enter to win a print copy of
The Book of Lost Names

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Wedding Thief - release day promo & giveaway

The Harrington sisters have never gotten along. Sara is a Type-A, career-focused event planner, and her younger sister Mariel is the opposite: bohemian, semi-employed, and recently engaged. When Sara's mother lures her back to Connecticut under false pretenses, she is perturbed to discover Mariel waiting for her, eager to reconcile their relationship -- and get some help with the final arrangements before her big day. The two sisters haven't spoken since the night Sara realized something was going on between Mariel and Sara's boyfriend, Carter Pryce. And now Mariel is about to marry Carter, the man she stole from Sara, the man Sara still loves.

When Mariel asks Sara to stand in for a bridesmaid who has to cancel at the last minute, Sara realizes it's the perfect cover to unravel the nuptials and win Carter back. Sara begins to slowly sabotage Mariel's picture-perfect wedding, but when she crosses paths with David Cole, he challenges her self-image as the jilted second-fiddle to her spotlight-stealing sister. Will Sara realize what a bridesmaid-zilla she's become in time to fix the damage before Mariel's big day?

Funny, soulful, and as sweet as buttercream, The Wedding Thief is the perfect summer read.

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About the author:
Mary Simses grew up in Darien, Connecticut and began writing stories as a child. After majoring in journalism in college, she worked for a few years in magazine publishing, but then decided to go back to school to become a lawyer. While working as a corporate attorney, Mary enrolled in an evening fiction writing class at a university in Connecticut and began writing short stories “on the side.” Several of her stories were published in literary magazines. She finally took the advice of a friend and decided to try writing a novel. That manuscript ultimately became The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café, which was published in 2013 and later adapted as a movie called The Irresistible Blueberry Farm for the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. Mary has since written The Rules of Love & Grammar and The Wedding Thief.
Mary enjoys photography, old jazz standards, and escaping to Connecticut in the summer. She lives in South Florida.
Connect with the author at:

Back Bay Books is giving
one lucky reader a print copy of
The Wedding Thief

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Christmas at the Chalet - release day review and giveaway

Review by Melinda Garza
Christmas at the Chalet by Anita Hughes is her latest Christmas novel. This sweet story takes place at a gorgeous ski chalet in St. Moritz during the ever busy week of Christmas. Felicity Grant, the bridal designer, is revealing her latest collection and it was felt that this location was best for publicity. This is her best collection yet. Despite it being Christmas, Felicity's life is somewhat a mess. She was hoping for an engagement ring from her boyfriend, Adam. They had dated six years but instead received a spa certificate. She was disappointed in her gift. Is she beginning to think of the possibility that she may never walk down the aisle especially in one of her stunning dresses? 

Nell is the top model for the showing and is engaged. Nell has a problem though. Her parents are divorced and cannot be around each other. Both have voiced that they will not be at her wedding if the other is there. What both parents don't know is that they are both in St. Moritz. Nell is having problems juggling spending time with both and not having one run into the other. 

Both Felicity and Nell need some inspiration and insight. For Felicity, it is hard to see what is right in front of her. She also gets advice from the local doctor. For Nell, one extraordinary feat might not be enough.
What happens between Felicity and Adam?  What about Nell?  Will she get her romantic wedding? Anita Hughes's latest story is romantic and fun. It's about love and putting the past behind you. The setting is beautiful and the time of year is just magical. This is definitely a cozy read and does not disappoint.

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About the author:
Anita Hughes was born in Sydney, Australia. Her titles include MONARCH BEACH, MARKET STREET, LAKE COMO, FRENCH COAST, ROME IN LOVE, ISLAND IN THE SEA, SANTORINI SUNSETS, WHITE SAND, BLUE SEA, EMERALD COAST and CALIFORNIA SUMMER. Her Christmas books, including CHRISTMAS IN PARIS, CHRISTMAS IN LONDON and the upcoming CHRISTMAS AT THE CHALET are reader favorites. She lives in Dana Point, CA

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2 lucky winners a print copy of
Christmas at the Chalet by Anita Hughes

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Not Her Daughter - release day giveaway

Emma Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes, brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.

Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Kidnapper.

Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal. When a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her―far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?

Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure whether she wants her daughter back.

Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now Emma is gone without a trace.

As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But what about Emma’s real mother, back at home?

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About the author:
Rea Frey is the author of four nonfiction books. Her debut novel, NOT HER DAUGHTER, will be released by St. Martin’s Press August 21, 2018. 

When she’s not exercising, mothering, adulting, wifing, eating, or writing about herself in the third person, you can find her hard at work on her next book and ghostwriting for other people. 

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1 lucky winner a print copy of
Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Every Time You Go Away - release day review & giveaway

Review by Deb Czajkowski
Now you see him; now you don’t.

Ben was supposed to be gone only for the weekend.  He went to their beach house in Ocean City, Maryland, to take care of routine maintenance. Willa had seen him just before he left. And then, suddenly, Ben was gone. Now you see him; now you don’t.

Three years after Ben’s unexpected death at the beach house, Willa is still struggling in a big way.  She has vaguely gone through the motions of parenting their son, Jamie, these past three years, but her emotional distance is taking its toll on him ─ as well as on Willa herself.  Finally acknowledging this, Willa decides it’s time to move on with her life and to try to reconnect with her son before it’s too late.  With this realization, Willa starts the process by facing the beach house, the old haunts, and the ghosts of summers past.

At first the years’ of memories ─Ben and Willa met here at this beach house when they were both still teens─ overwhelm Willa, and she pictures Ben everywhere she goes. But then she actually ─literally─ sees Ben.  Well, his ghost. She would see him, then he’d be gone.

Now you see him; now you don’t. Is Willa going insane?  She doesn’t think so, but can an insane person be a reliable source? Willa enlists the help of Jamie, her best friend, Kristin, and Kristin’s daughter, Kelsey for the summer ─for more reasons than one! It is Willa’s hope that working together to fix up the beach house will bring far more benefits than just the house, for each of them.

Every Time You go Away is bottom line a story of loss, of grief that is heart-wrenching and far-reaching.  Author Beth Harbison’s main character, Willa, has quite unexpectedly, at age thirty-five, lost her husband and best friend. It happens.  And how a person traverses the days that follow are personal to everyone who has been in Willa’s shoes. Some may even assert to have seen their loved one’s ghost, or felt a “presence.” Grief is a path unto itself.

Every Time You go Away is also a story ─Willa’s story─ about finding a way through the grief, finding a way to heal from the pain and loss, finding a way to fully rejoin the world of the living again. For the people in her world ─ family, close friends─ that new normal is an adjustment as well.

We all know someone who’s grieving a personal loss ─maybe it’s even you!  If so, you have my sympathies. Read Every Time You go Away. Yes, it begins with grief and loss, but it’s also Willa’s journey to hope, to living again. And hope ─and living life─ are both worth it every day of the week!

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About the author:
BETH HARBISON is The New York Times bestselling author of One Less Problem Without YouIf I Could Turn Back TimeDriving with the Top DownChose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger; When In Doubt, Add Butter; Always Something There To Remind Me; Thin, Rich, Pretty; Hope In A Jar; Secrets of a Shoe Addict; andShoe Addicts Anonymous. She grew up in Potomac, Maryland, outside Washington, DC, and now shares her time between that suburb, New York City, and a quiet home on the eastern shore.

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Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison

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