Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Night Blindness - Promo & Giveaway

A future as bright as the stars above the Connecticut shore lay before Jensen Reilly and her high school sweetheart, Ryder, until the terrible events of an October night left Jensen running from her family and her first love. Over the years that followed, Jensen buried her painful past, and now, married to a charismatic artist, she has created a new life far away from the unbearable secret of that night.

When Jensen's father, Sterling, is diagnosed with a brain tumor, she returns to her childhood home for the first time in thirteen years, and the memories of her old life come flooding back along with the people she's tried to escape. Torn between her life in Santa Fe with her free-spirited husband, Nic, and the realization that it is time to face her past, Jensen must make a terrifying decision that threatens to change her life again--this time forever.

An emotionally thrilling debut set during a New England summer, Susan Strecker's Night Blindness is a compelling novel about the choices we make, the sanctity of friendship, and the power of love.

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About the Author:
SUSAN STRECKER resides in Essex, Connecticut, with her husband and two children. Her first novel, Night Blindness, was an Indie Next pick.

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Thomas Dunne Books is giving 1 lucky winner a print copy of
Night Blindness by Susan Strecker
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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Christmas Chocolat - Review & Giveaway

Review by Marlene Engel
The Christmas season used to mean festive meals and holiday traditions for the Arnaud children.  But when their mother passed, so did those events.  And with that came the distance that their father put between them.  Now, all grown up, they are surprised when they are summoned by their father to gather as a family under one roof.  None desires to return to Philadelphia, but even as adults, and after all the time that’s passed, they still know not to deny their father.

Each sibling is dealing with their own set of issues.  And to call the family dysfunctional is putting it lightly.  But as they come together, they reconnect on events of the past and fill each other in on the happenings of each of their lives.  Emotions will be high during this reunion, but when their father drops a bomb on them, the true reason behind this reunion, this difficult situation gets a million times tougher.  Just at the siblings start to mend their past, will their father’s secret be the final nail in the coffin to push them away for good?

I really enjoyed this book.  With a cast of flawed characters, a story that will move you and delicious recipes, this is the perfect book to get you into the holiday spirit.

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About the author:
Kate Defrise grew up in the United States but spent summers with her family in Belgium, where she learned that great food was a catalyst to a great life. She earned her degree in translation in French and Italian from the Ecole d’Interprètes Internationaux in Mons. She worked as a translator and teacher in Belgium before moving to France, where she did a stint in radio and television. She lives and cooks in San Diego with her husband, two daughters, and a cat.Christmas Chocolat is her first novel.

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Kensington Books is giving 2 lucky winners a print copy of
Christmas Chocolat by Kate Defrise
US/Canada only

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Shadow Play - Promo & Giveaway

Eve Duncan: the most sought-after artist in the field of forensic sculpting. Dedicated to her work ever since her daughter Bonnie was taken and killed at the age of seven, Eve feels a sense of duty to those whose lives were lost and whose bones are now in her hands.

When a sheriff in California contacts her with a request for help on the reconstruction of the skull of a girl whose body has been buried for eight years, his fierce investment in the case puzzles her. But when Eve finds herself experiencing an unusual connection with the girl she calls Jenny, she becomes entangled in the case more intensely than she could have ever imagined. Not since Bonnie has Eve had such an experience, and suddenly she finds herself determined to solve the murder and bring closure to the crime.

When the killer discovers that Eve Duncan is on the case, he begins to move in. First, eliminating those most remotely involved. Then, targeting those more closely tied to Jenny. And he won't rest until anything and anyone that could reveal his identity is eliminated-but even that won't satisfy him. He wants something more. He wants something more. One girl escaped from him. And she is his ultimate prize...

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About the Author:
IRIS JOHANSEN is The New York Times bestselling author of Your Next Breath, The Perfect Witness, Live to See Tomorrow, Silencing Eve, Hunting Eve, Taking Eve, Sleep No More, What Doesn't Kill You, Bonnie, Quinn, Eve, Chasing The Night, Eight Days to Live, Blood Game, Deadlock, Dark Summer, Pandora's Daughter, Quicksand, Killer Dreams, On The Run, Countdown, Firestorm, Fatal Tide, Dead Aim, and more. And with her son Roy Johansen, she has coauthored The Naked Eye, Sight Unseen, Close Your Eyes, Shadow Zone, Storm Cycle, and Silent Thunder.

Johansen began writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great success. She had seventeen consecutive New York Times bestsellers as of November 2006.

Johansen lives near Atlanta, Georgia and is married. Her son, Roy Johansen, is an Edgar Award-winning screenwriter and novelist. Her daughter, Tamara, serves as her research assistant.

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St. Martin’s Press is giving one lucky winner a print copy of
Shadow Play by Iris Johansen

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Sweet Spot - Book Tour & Giveaway

The Sweet Spot
By: Stephanie Evanovich
Releasing Sept 29th, 2015
Mass Market Paperback

The amazing Stephanie Evanovich returns with The Sweet Spot, the sizzling story of everyone’s favorite couple from her New York Times bestseller Big Girl Panties: hunky professional baseball player Chase Walker and his sassy wife Amanda

When pro baseball player Chase Walker first meets Amanda at her restaurant, it’s love at first sight. While Amanda can’t help noticing the superstar with the Greek-god-build, he doesn’t have a chance of getting to first—or any other—base with her. A successful entrepreneur who’s built her business from scratch, Amanda doesn’t need a Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet. And a curvy girl who likes to cook and eat isn’t interested in being around the catty, stick-thin herd of females chasing Chase and his teammates.

But Chase isn’t about to strike out. A man who isn’t interested in playing the field, he’s a monogamist who wants an independent woman like Amanda. His hopes rally when she discovers that squeaky-clean Chase has a few sexy and very secret pre-game rituals that turn the smart, headstrong businesswoman on—and into his number one fan.

Then a tabloid discovers the truth and turns their spanking good fun into a late- night punch-line. Is Amanda ready to let loose and swing for the fences? Or will the pressure of Chase’s stardom force them to call it quits?

Buy Ebook:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo  
Buy Paperback: Amazon | B & N | BAM

About the Author:
Stephanie Evanovich is a full-fledged Jersey girl from Asbury Park who began writing fiction while waiting for her cues during countless community theater projects. She attended New York’s School of Film and Television and acted in several improvisational troupes and a few small-budget movies, all in preparation for the greatest job she ever had, raising her two sons. Now a full-time writer, she’s an avid sports fan who holds a black belt in tae kwon do.

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Website   |   Facebook   |   Twitter | GoodReads

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BIG GIRL PANTIES by Stephanie Evanovich

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Reading the Sweet Oak - Giveaway

About the Book: 
Along the banks of the Sweet Oak River, deep in the heart of the Ozarks, a romance novel book club takes five women on stunning journeys of self-discovery. After losing first her husband, then her daughter, seventy-eight-year-old grandmother Ruby wants to teach her risk-averse granddaughter, Tulsa, that some leaps are worth taking, no matter how high the potential fall. Tulsa loves her grandmother dearly, but she has a business to run and no time for romance―not even the paperback version. But when Ruby ropes her into a book club, Tulsa can’t bring herself to disappoint the woman who raised her. Together with Ruby’s best friend, Pearl, as well as family friends BJ and Jen, the women embark on an exploration of modern-day love guided by written tales of romance. What they discover is a beautiful story that examines the bonds of friendship and the highs and lows of love in all its forms.

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About the Author: 
Jan Stites has been a screenwriter, a screenwriting instructor, a waitress, a secretary, a middle school teacher in both inner-city and affluent schools, a scuba dive travel writer, a journalist, a transcriptionist for doctors and for documentary filmmakers, and a volunteer teacher in Kenya and the Yucatan. She considers the affirmative action plan she wrote for a maritime company to be perhaps her greatest work of fiction. Edgewise, set in a gritty Oakland setting, is Jan's debut novel. She's currently hard at play writing her next different book--a romantic comedy set in the Ozarks. Scheduled for release in the spring of 2014, Reading the Sweet Oak is a different, much lighter book involving small towns, good friends, rivers, herons and love in many forms.

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Website * Facebook * Twitter

BookSparks is giving one lucky winner a print copy of
Reading the Sweet Oak by Jan Stites
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Monday, September 21, 2015

Come Away With Me - Review & Giveaway

An unexpected journey leads one woman to discover that life after loss is possible, if only you can find the courage to let go… 

One minute, Tegan Lawson has everything she could hope for: an adoring husband, Gabe, and a baby on the way. The next, a patch of black ice causes a devastating accident that will change her life in ways she never could have imagined. 

Tegan is consumed by grief—not to mention her anger toward Gabe, who was driving on the night of the crash. But just when she thinks she's hit rock bottom, Gabe reminds her of their Jar of Spontaneity, a collection of their dream destinations and experiences, and so begins an adventure of a lifetime. 

From the bustling markets of Thailand to the flavors of Italy to the ocean waves in Hawaii, Tegan and Gabe embark on a journey to escape the tragedy and search for forgiveness. But they soon learn that grief follows you no matter how far away you run, and that acceptance comes when you least expect it. Heartbreaking, hopeful and utterly transporting, Come Away with Me is an unforgettable debut and a luminous celebration of the strength of the human spirit.

On Christmas Eve, newlyweds Tegan and Gabe are riding in the car when they hit a patch of black ice.  Gabe loses control of the car and Tegan loses the baby she’s carrying.  Tegan, depressed, blames Gabe for the death of their unborn child and threatening to put an end to their marriage.  Desperate to keep their marriage intact, Gabe suggests that they draw three locations from the Jar of Spontaneity that they have.  His hope is that some time away together would help to heal their pain and bring the pair back to the closeness they felt before the tragedy.  And so begins their journey to Hawaii, Thailand and Italy.

The author takes you on an emotional journey of loss and heartache.  And shows how a couple struggles to stay together after tragedy hits.  She writes with such detail that you feel as if you’ve been transported into the story and are watching the events as they unfold.  Toward the end of the book, you get hit with a twist that you never would’ve expected. 

Emotional, powerful, and raw … this book will take you on an adventure of loss, heartache and their road to recovery.

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About the Author:
KARMA BROWN is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer, who probably spends too much time on her laptop in coffee shops. When not writing, she can be found running with her husband, coloring (outside the lines) with her daughter, or baking yet another batch of banana muffins. Karma lives just outside Toronto with her family. COME AWAY WITH ME is her first novel.

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TLC Book Tours is giving one lucky winner a print copy of
Come Away With Me by Karma Brown
US/Canada Only

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Orphan #8 - Promo & Giveaway

In this stunning new historical novel inspired by true events, Kim van Alkemade tells the fascinating story of a woman who must choose between revenge and mercy when she encounters the doctor who subjected her to dangerous medical experiments in a New York City Jewish orphanage years before.
In 1919, Rachel Rabinowitz is a vivacious four-year-old living with her family in a crowded tenement on New York City’s Lower Eastside. When tragedy strikes, Rachel is separated from her brother Sam and sent to a Jewish orphanage where Dr. Mildred Solomon is conducting medical research. Subjected to X-ray treatments that leave her disfigured, Rachel suffers years of cruel harassment from the other orphans. But when she turns fifteen, she runs away to Colorado hoping to find the brother she lost and discovers a family she never knew she had.
Though Rachel believes she’s shut out her painful childhood memories, years later she is confronted with her dark past when she becomes a nurse at Manhattan’s Old Hebrews Home and her patient is none other than the elderly, cancer-stricken Dr. Solomon. Rachel becomes obsessed with making Dr. Solomon acknowledge, and pay for, her wrongdoing. But each passing hour Rachel spends with the old doctor reveal to Rachel the complexities of her own nature. She realizes that a person’s fate—to be one who inflicts harm or one who heals—is not always set in stone.
Lush in historical detail, rich in atmosphere and based on true events, Orphan #8 is a powerful, affecting novel of the unexpected choices we are compelled to make that can shape our destinies.

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About the Author:
Kim van Alkemade is the author of the historical fiction novel Orphan #8 (William Morrow August 4, 2015). Her creative nonfiction essays have appeared in literary journals including Alaska Quarterly Review, CutBank, and So To Speak. Born in New York, NY, she earned a BA in English and History from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and an MA and PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is a Professor in the English Department at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania where she teaches writing. She lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

She spent eight years researching and writing Orphan #8. It all began with her interest in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of New York, the institution in which her grandfather, Victor Berger, and his brothers, Charlie and Seymour, grew up. Her great­ grandmother, Fannie Berger, worked at the orphanage, first as a domestic and later as a counselor. Many of the characters and events in Orphan #8 were inspired by her family history.

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WilliamMorrow Paperbacks is giving one lucky winner a print copy of
Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade
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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Broken Homes & Gardens - Review

A girl, a guy, a broken-down house. Not exactly on-again, off-again, Malcolm and Joanna are in-again, out-again: in love, out of each other’s arms, in an awkward co-living arrangement, out of the country. Their unconventional relationship is the only way, Joanna says, to protect herself from the specter of commitment, which inevitably leads to heartbreak.

When Harry Met Sally for the Millennial generation, set in the damp and drizzly neighborhoods of Portland, Oregon, Broken Homes and Gardens is an ode to friendship, lust, and the unrelenting pull of love.

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Review by Marlene Engel
The connection that Joanna and Malcolm have from the second that they meet at a party is obvious.  But when he leaves for a couple years to go off to the Peace Corps, they agree to date other people.  When Malcolm returns home, Joanna has moved on, but her heart can never fully break away from Malcolm’s. 

Coming from a broken home, Joanna fears getting too close to someone.  The thought of potentially having to deal with divorce again is a pain she never wants to relive.  So, in her mind, it’s easier to just date and not fully commit. 

Malcolm doesn’t want to get tied down to one person.  But when he finds himself in love, even when that’s the last thing he wants to be in, they tend to suppress their true feelings.  They may feel that by hiding how they really feel that they’re preventing heartache, but it ends up causing more problems than they thought. 

What I love about this book is that the characters are perfectly flawed.  Both in their twenties, they want to be in relationships but don’t seem to have the proper tools to get there.  Full of funny, and at times cringe worthy moments, the author takes us on their romantic journey that for every step forward, there are two steps back.  

About the Author:
Rebecca Kelley grew up in Carson City, Nevada, wandered for a few years, and eventually landed in Portland, where she teaches writing at Oregon College of Art and Craft. She is the co-author of The Eco-nomical Baby GuideBroken Homes & Gardens is her first novel.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lies and Other Acts of Love - Cover Reveal & Giveaway

After sixty years of marriage and five daughters, Lynn “Lovey” White knows that all of us, from time to time, need to use our little white lies. 
Her granddaughter, Annabelle, on the other hand, is as truthful as they come. She always does the right thing—that is, until she dumps her hedge fund manager fiancé and marries a musician she has known for three days. After all, her grandparents, who fell in love at first sight, have shared a lifetime of happiness, even through her grandfather’s declining health.
But when Annabelle’s world starts to collapse around her, she discovers that nothing about her picture-perfect family is as it seems. And Lovey has to decide whether one more lie will make or break the ones she loves . . .

LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE will grab you by the heart strings and pull hard. A perfect story about the lies we tell and the secrets we keep-- all in the name of love.” – Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life 

“LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE by Kristy Woodson Harvey is a richly detailed, intergenerational tale of love, loss and loyalty. Harvey pulls the reader into the hearts and souls of her characters.” -- Heather Gudenkauf ~ New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence

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About the Author:
Kristy Woodson Harvey is the author of Dear Carolina. She blogs at Design Chic about how creating a beautiful home can be the catalyst for creating a beautiful life and loves connecting with readers at She is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's school of journalism and holds a Master's in English from East Carolina University. She is a regular contributor for The Salisbury Post, Domino magazine and Houzz. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and three-year-old son.

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Buy Links for DEAR CAROLINA: 

To celebrate the LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE cover reveal, we are giving away three wonderful bundles of books penned by Tall PoppyWriters!

Book Bundle 1: MY VERY BEST FRIEND, Cathy Lamb; THE DOG YEAR, Ann Wertz Garvin; CONFESSIONS OF A PARIS PARTY GIRL, Vicki Lesage; VINTAGE, Susan Gloss; DEAR CAROLINA, Kristy Woodson Harvey; FUGITIVE COLORS, Lisa Barr

Book Bundle 2: THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE, Amy Guertin Reichert;  CLOSE TO DESTINY, Adria Cimino; LEMONGRASS HOPE, Amy Impellizzeri; KEEP THE ENDS LOOSE, Molly Duncan Campbell; ROME IN LOVE, Anita Hughes; LITTLE BLACK LIES, Sandra Block

Book Bundle 3: THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE, Sonja Yoerg; WAKING UP JOY, Tina Ann Forkner; WHILE YOU WERE GONE, Kate Moretti; THE BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS, Nicole Baart; ENTANGLEMENT, Katie Rose Guest Pryal; DEAR CAROLINA, Kristy Woodson Harvey

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Blueprints - Review & Giveaway

Review by Darcie Czajkowski
Mother Caroline MacAfee and daughter Jamie are best friends. They’ve been that way all of Jamie’s life, in part because it’s been just the two of them since Jamie’s father divorced her mother, citing her advancing age and his desire for a younger model, which he then pursued, twice over.

Despite working closely together in their family business, MacAfee Homes, Caroline as a carpenter and Jamie as an architect, the two rarely experience conflict in their relationship. That is, until their roles on the home-renovations series, Gut It!, are challenged. The network wants Jamie to take over her mother’s hosting role, which hits Caroline hard when she learns that the switch is being pursued because her fifty-six years make her too old for television.

But before the two women can sort out their feelings on the matter and talk through the situation, Jamie’s father and his wife die in a car accident, leaving their two-year-old son, her half-brother, Tad, an orphan. Jamie, having agreed long ago to be his legal guardian, never imagined actually being thrust into this role. So much so that she failed to tell her fiancé, Brad, about the decision she made before she met him, and Jamie quickly learns that he’s not interested in becoming an instant-parent. The timing of it simply doesn’t work for him.

In the subsequent weeks, the roles and identities of both MacAfee women are put to the test. Jamie is forced to make tough decisions about her future, both with Brad and the direction of her career. And then there’s the issue of the attractive single father at the playground, who goes out of his way to help her during her first weeks of mothering Tad. At the same time, Caroline battles feelings of insecurity, all while exploring her feminine side that was neglected in the decades since her divorce. Having never pursued a relationship, now long-time friend Dean is expressing his interest, and she’s not certain she shares his interest.

Will these women be able to reclaim the closeness of their relationship? How will the network’s desire for a host swap affect MacAfee Homes? And most of all, will Caroline and Jamie be able to carve out new identifies when the blueprints of the old ones are destroyed?

Barbara Delinsky’s Blueprints drew me in right away by creating tension between mother and daughter. As someone who is very close to her own mother, I instantly related to Caroline and Jamie’s relationship, recognizing that any conflict with my mom is disconcerting, and one involving the sensitive-for-women topic of age would be particularly so. If I couldn’t call her to share in my joy at a personal success or cry on her shoulder when things get tough, I would feel much like Jamie and Caroline do in Blueprints: lost, alone, and troubled. While I had difficulty relating to the quickness of the romantic relationships in the story, the rest of the book flowed extremely well. I would highly recommend this wonderful story about family, love, and the value of being true to our own identities, which naturally shift over time as we experience little – and big – bumps in the road of life.

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About the Author:
Barbara Delinsky has written more than twenty-two bestselling novels with over thirty million copies in print. She has been published in twenty languages worldwide. Barbara's fiction centers upon everyday families facing not-so-everyday challenges. She is particularly drawn to exploring themes of motherhood, marriage, sibling rivalry, and friendship in her novels. 

A lifelong New Englander, Barbara earned a B.A. in Psychology at Tufts University and an M.A. in Sociology at Boston College. As a breast cancer survivor who lost her mother to the disease when she was only eight, Barbara compiled the non-fiction book Uplift: Secrets From the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors, a handbook of practical tips and upbeat anecdotes. She donates her proceeds from the sale of this book to her charitable foundation, which funds an ongoing research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Barbara enjoys knitting, photography, and cats.

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St. Martin’s Press is giving one lucky winner a print copy of
Blueprints by Barbara Delinsky
US only

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Sit! Stay! Speak! - 12 Things About Annie & A Giveaway

Echoing the novels of Mary Alice Monroe, Allie Larkin, and Holly Robinson, this charming debut novel tells the unforgettable story of a rescue dog that helps a struggling young outsider make peace with the past.

Addie Andrews is living a life interrupted.  Tragedy sent her fleeing from Chicago to the shelter of an unexpected inheritance—her beloved aunt’s somewhat dilapidated home in Eunice, Arkansas, population very tiny.  There she reconnects with some of her most cherished childhood memories.  If only they didn’t make her feel so much!

People say nothing happens in small towns, but Addie quickly learns better. She’s got an elderly next door neighbor who perplexingly dances outside in his underwear, a house needing more work than she has money, a best friend whose son uncannily predicts the weather, and a local drug dealer holding a massive grudge against her.

Most surprising of all, she’s got a dog. But not any dog, but a bedraggled puppy she discovered abandoned, lost, and in desperate need of love. Kind of like Addie herself. She’d come to Eunice hoping to hide from the world, but soon she discovers that perhaps she’s finding the way back—to living, laughing, and loving once more.

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“12 things about Annie”
1.       I love Pop Tarts, but I’m totally weird about it—I like only the unfrosted strawberry ones. I could eat them for every meal.
2.       Sit! Stay! Speak! was my first attempt at writing a novel. Before that, I wrote mostly poetry and humor non-fiction.
3.       I’ve been working in animal rescue for almost a decade. It is absolutely my passion in life. I love all dogs, but my favorites are the dogs with special needs. Two of my three dogs are mobility impaired. I’ve had as many as six special needs dogs in my house at one time (my husband is a saint).
4.       Lately, I’ve been reading Jill Mansell like crazy. I picked up one of her books on a whim during vacation and haven’t been able to stop reading since!
5.       I like happy endings. I don’t think they’re impossible to achieve in writing OR in life—you just have to know where to look!
6.       Whenever I’m stressed or upset, I like to take a long, hot bath. It’s the only thing I can do to clear my head, and I’m not sure why. When the stress hits, it’s all I can think about!
7.       My best friend lives in Saudi Arabia. It’s hard being so far away from each other, but we actually talk more now than we did when she lived close. We’ve been best friends since 1997, and I couldn’t live without her!
8.       I wear cardigans even in the summertime.
9.       I’m a terrible housekeeper. If I ever win the lottery, the first thing I’m going to do (after paying off my massive student loan debt) is to hire someone to help me organize!
10.   I live in the Missouri Ozarks. Yes, that’s where Winter’s Bone is set. No, we don’t all cook meth or shoot squirrels and stew them for dinner. 
11.   If I was stranded on a desert island, I wouldn’t be able to survive without a lifetime supply of Dr. Pepper.
12.   Three of the pets in my house are named after Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters. There is Mikey, the English Bulldog, Master Splinter, the cat, and Shredder, the Beta Fish.

Author Bio:
Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.

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Harper Collins is giving one lucky winner a print copy of
Sit!  Stay!  Speak! by Annie England Noblin
US only

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