Thursday, January 28, 2016

Fishing With Rayanne - Spotlight & Giveaway

RayAnne Dahl goes fishing for a different life, catching much more than she’d bargained for...

Having fled the testosterone-soaked world of pro fishing to finally settle in her Minneapolis fixer-upper, thirty-something RayAnne unexpectedly lands at the helm of the first all-women fishing and talk show. Between her dad's falling off the wagon, unwanted advice from Mom—a life coach to the menopausal rich—and her clingy dog, she needs the advice of her beloved grandmother more than ever.

With the show’s surprise success, producers press for celebrity appearances, but fans tweet support for RayAnne and her quirky guests, real women with unique stories and something to say. And though handsome Hal tempts RayAnne, he is a sponsor, rocketing him to the top of her don’ts list.

Just when she’s shedding uncertainty, RayAnne’s world nearly capsizes, and she’s faced with gut-wrenching choices. Will she live by the rules, or by her heart?

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Author’s Bio:
I'm Ava Finch. As my character RayAnne says, 'I'm a woman, I fish. Deal with it.' But RayAnne's story doesn't begin and end with 'Fishing With RayAnne' - I'm working on other books and other characters I hope readers will love as much as they seem to love RayAnne. You'll meet her again! Confession: Ava is actually the soul-twin and pen name of novelist Sarah Stonich. She's decided to adopt the name Ava to expand her writing life and go places she might not otherwise. Besides - who wouldn't want a chance to refer to themselves in the third person, AND be someone else now and then? 

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BookSparks is giving 1 lucky winner a print copy of
Fishing With Rayanne by Ava Finch

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Noah's Wife - Pub Day Giveaway!

When young minister Noah and his dutiful wife arrive at their new post in the hills, they've reached a gray and wet little town where it’s been raining for as long as anyone can remember. Noah’s wife is determined to help her husband revive this soggy congregation but soon finds her efforts thwarted by her eccentric new neighbors, among them an idiom-wielding Italian hardware store owner, a towering town matriarch, and a lovelorn zookeeper determined to stand by his charges. Overwhelmed, Noah’s wife fails to realize that Noah, too, is battling his own internal crisis.

            Soon the river waters rise, flooding the streets of the town and driving scores of wild animals out of the once-renowned zoo. As the water swallows up the houses, the telephone poles, and the single highway out of town, Noah, his wife, and the townspeople must confront not only the savage forces of nature but also the fragile ties that bind them to one another, all before their world is washed away.

            Full of whimsy and gentle ironic humor, Noah’s Wife is a wise and poignant novel that draws on the motifs of the biblical flood story to explore the true meaning of community, to examine the remarkable strength of the human spirit, and to ask whether hope can exist even where faith has been lost.

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About the Author:
Lindsay Starck was born in Wisconsin and raised in the Milwaukee Public Library. She went on to earn her B.A. in literature from Yale and her M.F.A. from Notre Dame. She currently writes and teaches in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and their dog. Noah's Wife is her first novel. 

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Website * Facebook * Instagram

G.P Putnam’s Sons is giving three lucky winners
A print copy of Lindsay’s debut novel
Noah’s Wife (US only)

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Best Friends Forever - Review & Giveaway

Review by Marlene Engel
After twelve years of marriage, Celine and Keith’s relationship isn’t what it used to be.  With their lack of communication, caring for their daughter and work, their marriage is taking a hit.  But it’s when Celine gets diagnosed with cancer that the real challenge begins.  With the issues between her and Keith, she starts to think that she’ll have to tackle this obstacle alone.  But when she turns to her lifelong friend, Lauren, for support during this time, and confides in her about her crumbling marriage, she is comforted with knowing that she does have someone to turn to.  Lauren serves as a reminder that as long as we have faith we can get through just about anything and proves to be the best type of friend … loyal, trustworthy and kind. 

A true friend is something to treasure.  To know that you have someone who will always be there for you, and have your back in the good times and bad, is worth its weight in gold! 

I love how the story flows.  The author does a wonderful job tying in all of the elements.  This is a short read, but it’s not lacking in story!  Realistic, relatable and with a cast of characters that feel so real, this is one of those books that you pick up and won’t put down until you find out how the story ends.

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About the Author:
New York Times Bestselling Author Kimberla Lawson Roby has published 22 novels. Kimberla’s novels deal with very real issues, including corruption within the church, drug addiction, gambling addiction, infidelity, social status, single motherhood, infertility, sibling rivalry and jealousy, domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental illness, care-giving of a parent, racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, sexual harassment, and overweight issues to name a few.

Kimberla resides in Illinois with her husband, Will.  Her 23rd title, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, was released on January 5, 2016.

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Grand Central Publishing is giving one lucky winner a print copy of
Best Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson Roby
US only

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Things We Keep - Pub Day Review & Giveaway

Review by Marlene Engel
This book centers around thirty eight year old Anna, a former paramedic, who has been diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  Recently placed at a small assisted living center that her twin chose when he learned that there was another young patient with the same disease, Anna, who doesn’t plan on living long enough to care, is not partial to her new living situation.  But it doesn’t take long for her to form a bond with Luke, the forty one year old patient who is suffering from frontotemporal dementia and before long they become inseparable. 

Another storyline builds when Eve is introduced.  Due to her husband’s criminal activity, she’s forced to put aside her restaurant culinary skills and accept a job as a chef at Rosalind Home.  We also meet her seven year old daughter, Clementine, who the residents fall in love with and who has had struggles in her short life that no young child should have to endure. 

I couldn’t wait to read this book.  Having a relative who was recently placed in a senior living center because of Alzheimer’s dementia, the premise of this book intrigued me.  The author was spot on with her depiction of this horrible disease.  A disease that takes people from you, even before death, in not being the person they once were or remembering the life that they previously lived. 

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About the Author:
Sally Hepworth has lived and travelled around the world, spending extended periods in Singapore, the U.K., and Canada. While on maternity leave from her job in Human Resources, Sally finally fulfilled a lifelong dream to write, the result of which was Love Like the French, published in Germany in 2014. While pregnant with her second child, Sally wrote The Secrets of Midwives, published worldwide in English, as well as in France, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 2015. A novel about three generations of midwives, The Secrets of Midwives asks readers what makes a mother and what role biology plays in the making and binding of a family. 

The Secrets of Midwives has been labelled “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s debut English language novel as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”.

Sally’s next novel is titled the Things We Keep and will be published in February 2016. She is currently working on her next novel.

Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and two children.

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St. Martin’s Press is giving one lucky winner a print copy of
The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
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Monday, January 18, 2016

Novelista Girl - Review

Review by Marlene Engel
Chick lit blogger, Kimberly Long, is back and sassier than ever!  Picking up where she left off in the first book of the series, Blogger Girl.  Having heard “chick lit is dead” one too many times, she’s out to prove the naysayers wrong.  More determined than ever to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a published author, Kimberly searches for a publisher.  However, she is finding the process a bit discouraging.  And the fact that her nemesis, Hannah, is not only having great success as an author, but also in the process of releasing her second novel is a slap in the face.  But Kimberly is not to be deterred. 
Don’t for a moment think that this book is solely about Kim’s quest to be published.  Her romance with hunky lawyer Nick, who we first met in Blogger Girl, is going strong.  Nick adds a fun twist to Kim’s life; bringing his own bit of drama to the story. 

What can I say about this book?  It was impossible to put down, has the perfect blend of humor and is such an amazing sequel to Blogger Girl.  What I love about Meredith’s writing is that you can relate to the characters, flaws and all, the story holds your attention, and there were several laugh out loud moments.  No matter if you read this book as a stand-alone or a series, you will be in for a fun treat. 

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About the Author:
A born and bred New Yorker, Meredith Schorr discovered her passion for writing when she began to enjoy drafting work-related emails way more than she was probably supposed to. After trying her hand penning children’s stories and blogging her personal experiences, Meredith found her calling writing chick lit and contemporary women’s fiction. She secures much inspiration from her day job as a hard-working trademark paralegal and her still single (but looking) status. Meredith is also the co-founder of BookBuzz, a live author/reader event held annually. She is a loyal New York Yankees fan and an avid runner.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

X - Review & Giveaway

Review by Deb Czajkowski
Kinsey Millhone is a thirty-eight-year-old private detective in Santa Teresa, CA.  Being her own boss has many perks; choosing how and when she takes a case is top of her list.  Most often someone walks into her bungalow office with a problem or missing person.  Sometimes, it’s just plain curiosity from someone or something in Kinsey’s life that pulls her in. 

Henry Pitts is eighty-nine years old and sharp as a tack.  He’s also Kinsey’s long-time landlord.  Henry converted his old garage into a spectacular apartment for Kinsey.  Their relationship has proven mutually beneficial, often sharing their evening meals together and discussing his current project or her current case.  Henry’s current project is a major plumbing issue.  Kinsey’s current case? Nothing pressing at the moment.

Pete Wolinski was also a private detective; ‘was’ because he was murdered six months ago.  Now his wife, Ruthie, is being audited and needs Kinsey’s help in locating various financial records in and amongst Pete’s haphazard filing system.  It is while sorting through one of his boxes of files that Kinsey stumbles upon an apparent case in progress.

When seemingly unconnected events all appear to point to Pete’s unsolved case, Kinsey’s curiosity meter springs to high.  But pursuing this would be purely on her own time and her own dime.  Still, doesn’t she owe it to Pete?  Technically, no; and technically it’s not even an actual case.  It is really just one sheet of paper with coded numbers on it.  Curious, though, right?

You do know what is said about curiosity?  Curiosity killed the…..  (Disclaimer:  No animals were actually harmed in this book!)  However…..

X is Sue Grafton’s twenty-fourth Kinsey Millhone novel, each novel beginning with a letter of the alphabet.  The first book, A is for Alibi, begins with Kinsey at age thirty-two and is set in the early 1980s.  Think back to 1980.  No one had a computer.  And phones were the cord kind, connected to a wall.  You want information?  You drive to the library or the court house.  You need to type up a report or a letter?  Or complete a document for filing?  Pull out your Smith-Corona!  And then put the document in an (stamped) envelope and drop it in the mailbox.

It’s now 1989.  Not a lot has changed for Kinsey: she still does things the old-fashioned way!  In other words, Sue Grafton continues to succeed in staying true to Kinsey’s character and her real-life timeframe. 

But twenty-four Kinsey murder mysteries? One might think there must be a lot of redundancy in plots and overall content.  Not so!  Each book is cleverly fresh, with new and different deviousness with each plotline.  And X is no exception.  In X the author yet again grabbed my attention in the early pages and kept me frantically turning page after page, until once again I reached Kinsey’s final report, respectfully submitted.

Which leaves me where I always am at the end of a Sue Grafton novel:  Wanting the next one!

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About the Author:
Sue Grafton is published in 28 countries and 26 languages—including Estonian, Bulgarian, and Indonesian. She's an international bestseller with a readership in the millions. She's a writer who believes in the form that she has chosen to mine: "The mystery novel offers a world in which justice is served. Maybe not in a court of law," she has said, "but people do get their just desserts." And like Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald, Robert Parker and the John D. MacDonald—the best of her breed—she has earned new respect for that form. Her readers appreciate her buoyant style, her eye for detail, her deft hand with character, her acute social observances, and her abundant storytelling talents.

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One lucky winner a print copy of
X by Sue Grafton
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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Last Dreamer - Review

Review by Marlene Engel
Fifteen years ago Iliana sacrificed her career as a journalist to start a family and support her husband in his career.  She’s anxious to get back to the career that she loved, but she’s been away for so long that she’s finding it hard to get back in the game. 
While watching old reruns, she gets to wondering … what ever happened to Jeff Downs, the hot guy on the show?  What was a question of simple curiosity turned into a quest to revive her career.  What if she could find Jeff and do a story on where he’s been since the show ended?  Maybe then she’ll get the attention of potential employers. 

From Iliana’s first meeting with Jeff, a host of lies begin.  What was supposed to have been an interview to restart her career, has turned into more than she could’ve ever imagined.  She justifies that it’s for her career, but has she gotten side tracked by her celebrity crush?  And is she willing to sacrifice her marriage for the sake of her career?

I feel that many will be able to relate to Iliana and her story.  So many women put their dreams and aspirations on hold to raise a family.  Sometimes we even fantasize about how life would be if we did thing differently.  But what if you acted on those fantasies?  And when do we say we’ve gone too far and need to reel it back in?  This story focuses on the here and now.  We are so consumed with the “what ifs” that we don’t take time to consider the “now.” 

A relatable, well written story that just about any mom can relate to.  The struggle between finding a balance between your family and professional lives.  I definitely recommend this to others and look forward to reading more from this author.

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About the Author:
Barbara Solomon Josselsohn is a New York-based novelist and freelance writer. Her first novel, THE LAST DREAMER, from Lake Union Publishing, debuts in December, 2015. Her articles and essays appear in a range of publications, including Consumers Digest, The New York Times, Parents Magazine, American Baby, Westchester Magazine, The Journal News, and Westchester Home, as well as online at, and
Barbara also teaches adult writing classes at the Scarsdale Library in Scarsdale, New York, and conducts a magazine writing course for children each summer at the Scarsdale-based JCC-Midwestchester. She is a frequent presenter at local writing workshops for children.

Barbara began her career as a reporter and editor with HFN, a trade magazine covering the home furnishings business. She has a B.A. in English from Binghamton University and an M.A. in English from the University of Connecticut, and has studied fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College and Manhattanville College.

She is currently working on her second novel.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Taste For Nightshade - Pub Day Giveaway

Manchester 1787. When budding young criminal Mary Jebb swindles Michael Croxon's brother with a blank pound note, he chases her into the night and sets in motion a train of sinister events. Condemned to seven years of transportation to Australia, Mary sends him a 'Penny Heart'-a token of her vow of revenge.

Two years later, Michael marries naïve young Grace Moore. Although initially overjoyed at the union, Grace quickly realizes that her husband is more interested in her fortune than her company. Lonely and desperate for companionship, she turns to her new cook to help mend her ailing marriage. But Mary Jebb, shipwrecked, maltreated, and recently hired, has different plans for the unsuspecting owners of Delafosse Hall.

 A Taste for Nightshade is a thrilling historical novel that combines recipes, mystery and a dark struggle between two desperate women, sure to appeal to fans of Sarah Waters and Carolly Erickson.

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About the Author:
When Martine Bailey entered a cookery contest she had no idea it would lead to a life-changing obsession with French cuisine. As an amateur cook, Martine won the Merchant Gourmet Recipe Challenge and was a former UK Dessert Champion, cooking at Le Meurice in Paris.

Inspired by eighteenth-century household books of recipes, An Appetite for Violets invites readers to feast on the past as a sharp-witted young cook is taken on a mysterious trip to Italy. In pursuit of authenticity Martine studied with TV food historian Ivan Day and experienced Georgian food and fashion at firsthand with an historic re-enactment society. She followed the route of the novel, from Chester to Paris, then over the Alps to Tuscany, consulting Thomas Nugent's 18th century Guide to the Grand Tour.

Martine lives in Cheshire, England and Auckland, New Zealand. She is married with one son and has also written The Penny Heart, to be published in 2015.

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Thomas Dunne Books is giving 1 lucky winner a print copy of
A Taste For Nightshade by Martine Bailey
US only

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Monday, January 11, 2016

The Road Back - Pub Week Giveaway

Journalist Chris Baxter is at a crossroads. He has an enviable life as a journalist in the U.S. and the prospect of an exciting new post in Thailand. But his needs aren't the only ones he must consider. His daughter is struggling with the effects of his divorce and her mother's remarriage. So Chris abandons dreams of Thailand and returns with his teenage daughter to his mother's house in the beautiful township of Neverend, where Chris comes to see that sometimes taking the road back is the start of a journey forward.

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About the Author:
I was born in Wingham in the Manning Valley NSW and at five moved to Pittwater, a remote and magical part of Sydney, which in those days was populated by rather bohemian characters. One of these, the Australian actor Chips Rafferty, taught me dozens of Australian poems and shared with me his experiences in the Australian outback where he lived before he started his acting career. The poet Dorothrea Mackeller, whose poem, ‘My Country’ has such an important place in Australian literature, also lived near us. She encouraged me to write down my stories so that other people could enjoy them, too

Initially my books were all about Australians living in Australia, but I realised that Australians had made their mark in other parts of the world, and so I began to set my stories in more exotic overseas locations where Australians live and work. I still always visit the places where I set my books, talk to the locals, and absorb the history and culture as well as the ambiance of every location.

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St Martin’s Griffin
 is giving one lucky winner a print copy of
The Road Back by Di Morrissey 
US Only

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Linny's Sweet Dream List - Promo & Giveaway

Linny's Sweet Dream List
Willow Hill #1
By: Susan Schild
Releasing January 5, 2016
Lyrical Press

Set in the off-beat Southern town of Willow Hill, North Carolina, Susan Schild’s moving and witty novel tells of one woman who loses everything—and finds more than she ever expected.

At thirty-eight, Linny Taylor is suddenly living a life she thought only happened to other, more careless people. Widowed for the second time, and broke, thanks to her cheating late husband, Linny has no house, no job, and no options except to go back home. There, in a trailer as run down as her self-esteem, Linny makes a list of things that might bring happiness. A porch swing. A job that nourishes her heart as well as her bank balance. Maybe even a date or two.

At first, every goal seems beyond reach. But it’s hard for Linny to stay in the doldrums when a stray puppy is coercing her out of her shell—right into the path of a kind, compassionate vet. The quirky town is filled with friends and family, including Linny’s mother, Dottie, who knows more about heartache than her daughters ever guessed. And as Linny contemplates each item on her list, she begins to realize that the dreams most worth holding on to are measured not in worldly success, but in the sweetness of a life lived to the fullest.

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About the Author:
Susan has a graduate degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has used her work background as a psychotherapist and a business consultant to add authenticity to her characters.

Susan is a wife, a stepmother, and a dog lover, Lab Mixes in particular. She and her family live in North Carolina where she is busy finishing up the third novel in the Willow Hill Series.

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Two Winners will receive a Tin of
Carolina Cupboard Cheddar Cheese Straws

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Hole in the Middle - Pub Week & Giveaway

The heartfelt and hilarious, international bestselling debut about having it all without losing your mind.

Sophie Whelan is the kind of woman who prides herself on doing it all. In a single day, she can host a vegan-friendly and lactose-free dinner for ten, thwart a PTA president intent on forcing her to volunteer, and outwit her hostile ‘assistant’ in order to get her work done on time.

With her fortieth birthday looming, and her carefully coordinated existence beginning to come apart at the seams, Sophie begins feeling like she needs more from her life—and especially from her husband, Jesse.

The last thing Sophie needs is a new complication in her life. But when an opportunity from her past suddenly reappears, Sophie is forced to confront the choices she’s made and decide if her chaotic life is really a dream come true—or the biggest mistake she’s ever made…

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About the Author:
Before turning to fiction, Kate worked in law, higher education, public relations and major gift fundraising. She has an English degree from McGill University and a Law degree from the University of Toronto.

She is a working mother, a community volunteer, a voracious reader and a pretty decent cook. On good days, she thinks she might have it all. On bad days, she wants a nap. Kate lives with her family in Toronto.

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NAL is giving one lucky winner a print copy of
The Hole in the Middle by Kate Hilton
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