Thursday, March 31, 2016

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery - Review & Giveaway

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery
Little Beach Street Bakery #2
By: Jenny Colgan
Releasing March 22, 2016
William Morrow

The New York Times-bestselling author of Little Beach Street Bakery and Christmas at the Cupcake Café returns with a delightful new novel-with recipes!-that is already an international bestseller and is perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Meg Donohue, and Sophie Kinsella.

For fans of Jojo Moyes and Elin Hilderbrand, an irresistible novel—moving and funny, soulful and sweet—about happiness, heartache, and hope. And recipes.

A thriving bakery. A lighthouse to call home. A handsome beekeeper. A pet puffin. These are the things that Polly Waterford can call her own. This is the beautiful life she leads on a tiny island off the southern coast of England.

But clouds are gathering on the horizon. A stranger threatens to ruin Polly’s business. Her beloved boyfriend seems to be leading a secret life. And the arrival of a newcomer—a bereft widow desperately searching for a fresh start—forces Polly to reconsider the choices she’s made, even as she tries to help her new friend through grief.

Unpredictable and unforgettable, this delightful novel will make you laugh, cry, and long for a lighthouse of your own. Recipes included.

Review by Marlene Engel
The author begins with a little bit of backstory for those who may not have read the first book in the series, allowing this to be read as a stand-alone.

After a breakup and events leading up to a near financial ruin, mainlander Polly has relocated to the tiny Cornish town of Mount Polbearne off the coast of England.  Life is starting to settle down as she enjoys days working at the bakery and nights at the lighthouse with her boyfriend and pet puffin.  But when a new owner takes over the bakery, Polly finds herself in the middle of turmoil again.  Turning her life upside down and forcing her to reevaluate life and make some difficult decisions.

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a book based around a bakery?  The way the author describes some of the breads and other bakery items, I could practically taste them.

I truly enjoyed Polly.  She came across some difficult times, but through it all she tackled the hurdles head-on and became a better person because of it.  Some of the secondary characters also made for a more interesting read.

At times tense, other times sweet, this book has the perfect blend to make for a delicious springtime read!
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Author Info
Jenny Colgan is the New York Times-bestselling author of numerous novels, including Christmas at the Cupcake Café, Little Beach Street Bakery, and Meet Me at the Cupcake Café, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Better Man - Pub Week Promo & Giveaway

A Better Man
Sunshine Creek Vineyard #1
By: Candis Terry
Releasing March 29, 2016


In Candis Terry’s first novel in her Sunshine Creek Vineyard series, the handsome Kincade brothers convene to rescue their legacy-but the last thing they expect to find is love….

Sooner or later…

Hockey star Jordan Kincade wasted no time ditching Sunshine Creek for the NHL, but his sports career has overshadowed everything else-a truth Jordan confronts when his parents’ deaths bring him home. Now his little sister Nicki is flunking out of school, and only one teacher can help Jordan save her-the shy but incredibly sexy Lucy Diamond, the same girl whose heart he broke years ago. But he’s determined not to make the same mistake twice. If only Lucy would give him the time of day.

Love has a way of catching up with you.

Lucy has no intention of drowning in Jordan’s deep blue gaze again, even if he seems to have turned over a new leaf. Still, his devotion to his sister is impossible to ignore. As they team up to salvage Nicki’s future, Lucy soon discovers that Jordan’s sweet caresses and lingering kisses might just be everything she needs.

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Author Info:
Candis Terry was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers. Only one thing has remained the same: her passion for writing stories about relationships, the push and pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily ever after.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Blue Stars (Now Available In Paperback) - Promo & Giveaway

Emily Gray Tedrowe has written an extraordinary novel about ordinary people, a graceful and gritty portrayal of what it's like for the women whose husbands and sons are deployed in Iraq. BLUE STARS brings to life the realities of the modern day home front: how to get through the daily challenges of motherhood and holding down a job while bearing the stress and uncertainty of war, when everything can change in an instant. It tells the story of Ellen, a Midwestern literature professor, who is drawn into the war when her legal ward Michael enlists as a Marine; and of Lacey, a proud Army wife who struggles to pay the bills and keep things going for her son while her husband is deployed. Ellen and Lacey cope with the fear and stress of a loved one at war while trying to get by in a society that often ignores or misunderstands what war means to women today. When Michael and Eddie are injured in Iraq, Ellen and Lacey's lives become intertwined in Walter Reed Army Hospital, where each woman must live while caring for her wounded soldier. They form an alliance, and an unlikely friendship, while helping each other survive the dislocated world of the army hospital. Whether that means fighting for proper care for their men, sharing a six-pack, or coping with irrevocable loss, Ellen and Lacey pool their strengths to make it through. In the end, both women are changed, not only by the war and its fallout, but by each other.

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About the Author:
Emily Gray Tedrowe is a Chicago-based writer whose second novel, Blue Stars, is available from St. Martin’s Press. Her first novel Commuters was named a Best New Paperback by Entertainment Weekly, an IndieNext Notable pick, and a Target Breakout Book. Her short fiction has been published in the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Journal, Fifty-Two Stories, andOther Voices. Recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award, she has also received fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

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Blue Stars by Emily Gray Tedrowe

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Charm Bracelet Pub Day Review & Giveaway

Review by Melinda Garza
The Charmed Bracelet by Viola Shipman tells a unique story of one's life by the significance of each charm. This story tells the history of Lolly, Arden (Lolly's daughter), and Lauren (Lolly's granddaughter). It takes place in Scoops and in Lost Land Lake.

One day Arden gets word that her elderly mother is not doing well due to a mild cognitive impairment and so she and Lauren decide to take a trip to visit Lolly. The trip is to find out what is wrong with Lolly but turns out they learn of many other things about their history by listening to Lolly and the stories behind each charm.
Arden is finally able to find love again and Lauren learns to be honest about herself and where she wants her life to go. Lauren is a college student studying what Arden wants but that is not Lauren's passion. She finally gets the strength to voice what she wants to do. That strength comes from Lolly and her charms stories. Without this roadtrip to Lolly's, none of the women would have experienced what they did via the stories that came from the charms they proudly jingled around their wrists.

Each of them has their own charm bracelet and each charm has a significant meaning and story behind it. Several examples of the charms and their meanings are the half heart charm which means to a life where we are never separated, the puzzle charm which is to a life filled with friends who complete you, the ice cream charm which means to a sweet life filled with a passion for what you do, the book charm for a story that will never end, and the mustard seed charm which stands for a life filled with faith.
Lolly's experiences were best told by sharing the stories behind the charms. The charms are pieces that encompass love, loss, and life.
This story is so sweet and really shows how ones life has so many personal stories and how they shape our own journey through life.

On a personal note, I own a charm bracelet and each one has its own story behind it so I could truly relate on a personal level to this story.

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About the Author:
VIOLA SHIPMAN is a pen name for Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning memoirist.  Rouse chose his grandmother’s name to honor the woman whose charm bracelet and family stories inspired him to write his debut novel, which is a tribute to all of our elders. Rouse lives in Michigan and writes regularly for People and Coastal Living, among other places, and is a contributor to All Things Considered.  To date, The Charm Bracelet has been translated into nine languages. He is at work on his second “heirloom novel,” which will be published in 2017.

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The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Immaculate Heart - Pub Week Promo & Giveaway

About the Book:
When visiting Ballymorris in Ireland for a funeral, a down-on-his-luck American reporter learns of a story that happened only months after his last visit many years before. A group of four teenagers, three of whom are family friends, claimed to have been visited by the Virgin Mary. Almost twenty years later, one of them denies it ever happened, another has left the small town, never to be heard from again, another has become a nun, and the fourth has been locked away in a psychiatric ward for many years. At the time, news of the visitation brought much wealth and tourism to this dreary Irish town, but as the years went by, and after the Pope refused to officially recognize it as a true Marian Apparition, what had been seen as a miracle began to feel like a curse, and this reporter believes there is more to the story than the townspeople are letting on.

As he seeks out each of the four stories, each begins to take a different and sinister turn. Surrounded by secrecy and confusion, the journalist must decide how much of what he's uncovering is the truth, how much of it is lies, and much he can trust the four witnesses-one of whom he's become infatuated with-or for that matter, himself.

Immaculate Heart is a novel where nothing is certain and everything should be questioned. Camille DeAngelis will leave you guessing what is real and what is only just a vision.

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About the Author:
I'm the author of three fantasy novels for adults (Mary Modern, Petty Magic and Immaculate Heart) and a YA-crossover novel called Bones & All. I've also written a first-edition guidebook, Moon Ireland, as well as an as-yet-unsold children's novel that is, paradoxically, my favorite thing out of everything I have written so far. You can read about that "book of my heart," The Boy from Tomorrow, on my friend Nova Ren Suma's blog.

I love reading and writing about the supernatural: my second children's novel (in progress) is a ghost story, as is my first published short story, "The Coroner's Bride."

I've got plenty of other irons in the fire, besides: I'm veganizing an 18th-century Scottish cookbook, mulling over ideas for at least three more adult novels, and I'm also working on a treatise of sorts called Ego Management for Artists.

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Immaculate Heart by Camille DeAngelis

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sisters of Heart and Snow - Review and Paperback Giveaway

Rachel, age thirty-eight, and Drew, age thirty-four, Snow are sisters caught between their parents. Rachel was kicked out of the house at sixteen for being a rebellious teenager, failing to be an Olympic swimmer, and sticking up for her mother. Drew plays the viola and is her father, Killian’s favorite, meaning he doesn’t complain about her as much as the others. Their mother, Hikari, was a mail order bride from Japan. She says little and spends her time sewing quilts. When Hikari develops dementia and is hospitalized, she gives Rachel power of attorney which enrages Killian. Rachel is married with two children and Drew is floating from job to job. She moves in with Rachel’s family and tries to reconnect with her mother and sister. They are the Snow sisters, but need work on the Heart. Everyone avoids toxic Killian. He has spent their lives playing them against each other and their mom.  In a moment of clarity, Hikari wants a book from her sewing room. The sisters sneak into the father’s house to retrieve it. It’s in Japanese and they find a translator. It’s the story of a twelfth century female warrior, Tomoe, and how she deals with discrimination, tragedy, friendship, and loss. The sisters channel strength from the story to deal with their own problems. Killian’s pettiness is constant through the story, even after Hikari dies. He’s held a shameful secret over her head their entire marriage. When Rachel finds out, she feels closer to her mother and finally done with Killian.

The characters are well-written, especially the one who will never be redeemed. Killian is a jerk throughout the entire book. He’s mean and cruel to his wife, children, granddaughter, and complete strangers. The story of Tomoe is fascinating and helpful. Learn to do the best with what you have been given. She’s a role model to the sisters and they follow her advice to happiness.

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About the Author:
Margaret Dilloway is the award-winning author of SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS and HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, all published by Putnam Books.

She lives in San Diego with her husband and three children and Gatsby the Goldendoodle, who looks like a giant teddy bear. 

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Website* Facebook * Twitter

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Sisters of Heart and Snow by Margaret Dilloway

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

When I'm Gone - Review & Giveaway

Review by Darcie Czajkowski
Luke Richardson lost a part of himself when he lost his wife, Natalie, to cancer. With three young children, Luke doesn't know how he's going to do it alone.

Natalie anticipated this, knowing her husband since they were kids themselves, and wrote letters to him which start to arrive the day of her funeral.

In them, she shares messages to pass on to their children, some of the challenges she faced during chemo, her fears as she struggled to come to terms with her terminal diagnosis, and, finally, the admission of a long-held secret that she wrestled with telling him while she was alive.

At first, Luke lives for her letters, not only because it makes him feel close to his wife but also because she leads him to people who help him to continue on with his life.

But when Natalie starts revealing pieces of her secret, Luke begins to wonder if he ever knew his wife and what irrevocable implications her revelation will have in his life and the lives of his children.

I feel in love with Emily Bleeker's writing in her debut novel, Wreckage, and was eager to read her latest novel, When I'm Gone. Amd it didn't disappoint. She writes with passion and a maturity that evidences a proficiency at story-telling. She kept me guessing until the end and filled the story with many layers and twists and turns. I was invested emotionally in the characters and their journeys, and read the story with an eagerness to know how it would end. I highly recommend this sophomore novel from Emily Bleeker.

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About the Author:
I’m a mom of four, an author and Chicagoland native. My first novel, WRECKAGE, was released by Lake Union Publishing March 2015. My second book, WHEN I’M GONE, will hit shelves March 2016.  I’m learning to balance life as a stay-at-home mom with my life as a writer. Both come with a lot of laughter, tears and a shocking amount of Diet Coke.

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The Total Package - Virtual Tour & Giveaway

The Total Package
By: Stephanie Evanovich
Releasing March 15, 2016
William Morrow
Smart and sexy Dani Carr knows as much about football as any man--maybe more. It’s always been her dream to make a living talking about the game she loves. But Dani’s not interested in being just the usual eye-candy sideline reporter; she wants to be the first woman analyst on a pre-game show, the ultimate in exclusive boys-club jobs. And it turns out, that despite the odds, she has the talent to get her there.

Star quarterback-and heartthrob--Tyson Palmer always did things in spectacular fashion, including ruining his career after debuting as a first-round draft pick. When the head coach of the Austin Mavericks refuses to let him waste his million dollar arm, Tyson makes a Hail Mary pass at redemption and succeeds with everyone…except Dani, who appears to be using her high-profile commentator job to make a name for herself at his expense.

Dani refuses to let anyone forget about Tyson’s transgressions….and for good reason. There’s history between these two, sizzling history that dates back to their college days, and it ended in another spectacular flame-out of Tyson’s. He’s conveniently forgotten all about that episode because Dani is no longer the cute girl next door he barely remembers--she’s a bombshell with huge ratings and a long memory.

But can a woman trying to claw her way to the top and a quarterback who knows all about rock bottom make it to the Super Bowl without destroying each other in the process? And what will happen when Tyson-riding high on his career comeback-realizes he needs to make an even more important comeback with Dani?

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Guest Review by Hope Smith
Dani has always dreamed of being a professional football broadcaster.  After graduating, she transforms herself.  Giving herself a new look and even a new name.  But one thing that she couldn’t change is her feelings for Tyson.  During her college days she adored him and never gave up on him, even when he was sabotaging his own career.
Dani never thought she’d see Tyson again.  But when she’s offered a job with the Austin Mavericks, the team that Tyson is the quarterback for, the money’s too good to pass up.  Desperate to keep her distance, and a secret she’s been holding for many years, Dani does all she can to avoid a run-in.  But this only piques Tyson’s curiosity.  He knows she looks familiar, but can’t place exactly how he knows her.  That is until he witnesses her getting emotional and that triggers his memory of the woman who meant so much to him.  Knowing that dredging up the past will only further complicate his personal and professional lives, he knows that he needs to right the wrongs he created so many years ago.

Well-developed characters and a strong storyline, you don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy this story! 

Author Info
New York Times Bestselling 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.

Author Links: Website Facebook Twitter | GoodReads

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Return of the Witch - Pub Week Celebration and Giveaway

Paula Brackston's debut novel, The Witch's Daughter, was the little book that could--with a captivating story, remarkable heroine, and eye-catching package, it has now netted over 200,000 copies in all formats. Now Paula returns with its sequel The Return of the Witch, another bewitching tale of love and magic, featuring her signature blend of gorgeous writing, a fabulous and intriguing historical backdrop, and a headstrong and relatable heroine readers will cheer for.

After five years in the Summerlands, Gideon has gained his freedom. Elizabeth knows he will go straight for Tegan, and that she must protect the girl she had come to regard as her own daughter. In the time since she the dramatic night in Batchcombe woods, Tegan has traveled the world learning from all manner of witches, and she is no longer the awkward teenager and novice spellcaster she once was. However, her skills are no match for Gideon's dark, vengeful power, and he succeeds in capturing her. Will Elizabeth be able to find her? Will they be able to defeat their nemesis once and for all?

In a breathless journey that takes them through history to the 17th and 19th centuries, witch pursues warlock. Three people steeped in magic weave a new story, but not all will survive until the end.
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About the Author:
Paula Brackston lives in a wild, mountainous part of Wales. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport. Before becoming a writer, Paula tried her hand at various career paths, with mixed success. These included working as a groom on a racing yard, as a travel agent, a secretary, an English teacher, and a goat herd. Everyone involved (particularly the goats) is very relieved that she has now found a job she is actually able to do properly.

When not hunched over her keyboard in her tiny office under the stairs, Paula is dragged outside by her children to play Swedish tennis on the vertiginous slopes which surround them. She also enjoys being walked by the dog, hacking through weeds in the vegetable patch, or sitting by the pond with a glass of wine. Most of the inspiration for her writing comes from stomping about on the mountains being serenaded by skylarks and buzzards.

In 2007 Paula was short listed in the Creme de la Crime search for new writers. In 2010 her book 'Nutters' (writing as PJ Davy) was short listed for the Mind Book Award, and she was selected by the BBC under their New Welsh Writers scheme.

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The Return of the Witch by Paula Brackston

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Multiple Listings Pub Day Giveaway

About the book:
What would you do if your ex-con father suddenly came to visit…indefinitely? Family drama ensues when Nicki’s dad unexpectedly wants to move in with her, her son, and her boyfriend in this comedic novel from successful TV writer Tracy McMillan.

Nicki Daniels owns a home appraisal business, but real estate is her true passion: she lives for open houses and really knows her way around a floor plan. And especially at this juncture of her life, real estate has come to signify the stability she is trying to build with her teenage son, Cody, and her much younger boyfriend, Jake. She’s finally ready to find the perfect house for the three of them and work on a new business venture with Jake that she thinks will jump-start their lives together.

Meanwhile, Ronnie, a longtime inmate at a nearby correctional facility, is getting some good news for once—there was a mistake in his sentencing, and he’s eligible to get out of prison. Ronnie decides his best option to avoid homelessness is to move in with his estranged daughter: Nicki. Even though they haven’t spoken in years, her door is always open to him, right?

Imbued with wit and profound insight into relationships, Multiple Listings speaks poignantly—and often hilariously—about the ties that bind families of all types together.

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About the Author:
I’m from Minneapolis. I had a really dramatic childhood involving foster care, prison visits and multiple moms that gave me lots of opportunity to interface with some of the darker aspects of human nature. People ask me how I survived and I think it comes down to 1) Finding pretty much everything funny. And 2) Being willing to get a paper route. In winter. In Minnesota.

Naturally, my dramatic childhood led to a rather eventful adulthood, involving multiple cities, husbands, spiritual paths, and careers. If you want all the gory details, read my memoir, I Love You and I’m Leaving You Anyway. But here are the broad strokes: I wrote television news for 15 years, I got married a bunch, I had a beautiful, amazing kid, and I transitioned into writing film, television, and books.

My big television credit is MAD MEN, but I’ve also written on other great shows like UNITED STATES OF TARA and NECESSARY ROUGHNESS. I love writing television so much that even if I won the Powerball lottery tomorrow — which isn’t going to happen because I don’t even buy tickets — I would still want to do it. The only thing that could possibly make me stop is being one of the matchmakers on NBC’s READY FOR LOVE, the most riveting, photogenic, and informative dating reality show ever invented. Watch once — I dare you not to love it!
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Gallery Books is giving one lucky winner a print copy of
Multiple Listings by Tracy McMillan

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