Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Chesapeake Bride - promo & giveaway

New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart returns to the cherished Maryland shores of St. Dennis with THE CHESAPEAKE BRIDE the charming story of a jaded architect who meets the one man who could finally melt her heart—if she’s willing to let him in.

Cassidy Logan has sworn off good-looking adventurers, having just divorced the one she’d married. Now working with her father’s construction company to build ecologically friendly, historically accurate homes on the Chesapeake Bay, she’s designing them for Cannonball Island. Knowing there’s been no new construction on the island in almost one hundred years, Cass is sensitive to the heritage and history of the sparsely populated island, and has come up with plans so perfect she’s determined to buy one for herself to live in. Even the fact that Owen Parker—whom she dismisses as a lightweight and a player— seems to be everywhere she goes isn’t enough to deter her from building her dream house.

Owen is and always has been sinfully handsome and wickedly clever, a magnet for mischief as well as the girls in St. Dennis. He’s also a rolling stone, going and doing whatever appeals to him, from flying a mail plane in Alaska to working on a cattle ranch in Australia and a shrimp boat in Louisiana, to surfing and diving in Costa Rica. When an old friend offers him a job salvaging a sunken ship in the Chesapeake, Owen gladly accepts. Something’s been telling him it’s about time to head home to Cannonball Island, and a job is as good an excuse as any. He’s totally smitten with the pretty architect, but it seems he’s finally met a woman who’s immune to his charms. Sooner or later, Owen will have to face the reason why he always runs, because this time, leaving just might be harder than staying.

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Mariah Stewart is the award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of numerous novels and several novellas and short stories.  A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband and two rambunctious rescue dogs amid the rolling hills of Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she savors country life and tends her gardens. 

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The 10th book in The Chesapeake Diaries Series

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Monday, August 28, 2017

No Place I'd Rather Be - Pub Week Review & Giveaway

After being gone for two years, Olivia returns to Montana.  But she’s not alone.  She brings with her two girls that she is hoping to adopt.  The girls had been living with their grandmother, a neighbor of Olivia’s, while their drug addicted parents were serving time in jail.  Olivia had become close to them, so it only made sense that when their grandmother passed that she took them in.  However, their mother is due to be released from jail soon and she plans on reclaiming the children she feels rightfully belongs with her.

While home, Olivia finds an old cookbook in the attic.  Being a chef, she’s intrigued.  But more than that, she’s surprised when it causes her grandmother, a person who has kept her past hidden from the family, starts opening up about life-long secrets.  It doesn’t take long to put some of the puzzle pieces together.  After all, we know that her grandmother is Jewish and from Germany.  But it isn’t necessarily just about the secrets.  It’s the strength that the family has to keep moving forward despite the obstacles in their way.

Throughout the book, I found myself laughing and crying.  But an aspect that I really enjoyed was all of the baking.  There didn’t have to be a reason to bake, it was more of an excuse to get together and have what they called Martindale cake therapy.

No Place I’d Rather Be was a deliciously written book with an eccentric group of characters.  And one I would recommend to all.

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About the author:
Cathy Lamb was born in Newport Beach, California. As a child, she mastered the art of skateboarding, catching butterflies in bottles, and riding her bike with no hands. When she was 10, her parents moved her, two sisters, a brother, and two poorly behaved dogs to Oregon before she could fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a surfer bum.

She then embarked on her notable academic career where she earned good grades now and then, spent a great deal of time daydreaming, ran wild with a number of friends, and landed on the newspaper staff in high school. When she saw her byline above an article about people making out in the hallways of the high school, she knew she had found her true calling. 

Cathy suffers from, “I Would Rather Play Than Work Disease” which prevents her from getting much work done unless she has a threatening deadline. She likes to hang with family and friends, walk, eat chocolate, camp, travel, and is slightly obsessive about the types of books she reads. She also likes to be left alone a lot so she can hear all the odd characters in her head talk to each other and then transfer that oddness to paper. The characters usually don’t start to talk until 10:00 at night, however, so she is often up ‘til 2:00 in the morning with them. That is her excuse for being cranky.

She adores her children and husband, except when he refuses to take his dirty shoes off and walks on the carpet. She will ski because her children insist, but she secretly doesn’t like it at all. Too cold and she falls all the time.

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Kensington Publishing is giving one lucky winner
A print copy of No Place I’d Rather Be by Cathy Lamb

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Emerald Coast - Review & Giveaway

Review by Melinda Garza
Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes introduces us to Lily and Oliver. Lily is a 32-year-old business woman who owns home furnishing stores on three continents. She’s recently divorced from Oliver, her husband of 10 years. Oliver is a restaurant critic for the New York Times.  She and their daughter, Louisa, live at their restored Connecticut farmhouse. Lily and Oliver were 22 years old when they met and fell in love but later in their marriage, things were impossible. They each made silly mistakes and betrayals and the pain just wouldn't go away. They stopped making each other happy. Oliver lied to Lily about where he was one night and then she let her guard down and did something she regretted. These occurrences caused their marriage to unravel.

After their divorce, Lily traveled to Sardinia while leaving six-year-old Louisa with her parents. Sardinia is one of the sexiest coastlines in the world. Lily was staying at Hotel Cervo, a 5-star hotel, on the Emerald Coast. She was there for the grand opening of her newest store, Lily Bristol Sardinia. All of Lily's employees are women. What Lily didn't remember was that the reservation was made prior to the divorce. Unbeknownst to Lily, Oliver was also there, using their reservation. He was there to review the grand opening of Nero's, Porto Cervo's hottest new restaurant. Porto Cervo has charming, quaint fisherman’s cottages and beautiful galleries. Once Lily realized what occurred she asked for a different accommodation but the only thing available was the room right next to Oliver’s.

Lily and Oliver always seem to end up near each other, always at the same places at the same time. Is this a coincidence or not? What happens with Lily and Oliver?  Are they able to overcome their past and become friends or even date again?

Anita's latest book was a summer read that I could not put down. It is the perfect beach read or a curl up in bed read. It captivated me from page one and I continue to be a huge Anita Hughes fan.

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About the author:
Anita Hughes was born in Sydney, Australia. At the age of eight, she won first prize in a nationwide writing contest sponsored by THE AUSTRALIAN, Australia's most prestigious newspaper. She graduated from Bard College with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Creative Writing, and attended UC Berkeley's Masters in Creative Writing Program. She lives at The St. Regis Monarch Beach, where she is at work on her next novel. 

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Lucky winner a print copy of
Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Mother Like Mine - Review & Giveaway

Review by Hope Smith
Single mom Abby has returned to the small town of Hartley-by-the-Sea, a Lake District in England, after her fiancĂ©’s untimely death.  There Abby and her son move in with her grandmother to help run the family cafĂ©. 

After being raised by her grandmother, and having no contact with her mother since she was two, Abby’s mother, Laura, shows up unexpectedly after twenty years away in hopes of reconciling with her family.  But if she’s expecting to be welcomed back with open arms, she’ll be sorely disappointed.  But despite Abby’s reluctance to allow her mother back into her heart and life, they slowly forge forward at rebuilding their relationship.  Despite the pain and hurt that Abby has held like a shield for so many years, will she be able to put the past behind her and learn to forgive her mom?

This was a well-written story about family pain and learning to let go of the hurt to allow for healing.  Although it’s the third book in the series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone without any confusion or feeling like you’re missing anything.

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About the author:
Kate Hewitt is the bestselling author of over 50 novels of romance and women's fiction, including the Hartley-by-the-Sea series set in the Lake District, the Willoughby Close series set in the Cotswolds, and Tales From Goswell written as Katharine Swartz.

She lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five children. You can read about her experience as an ex-pat on her blog, 

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Berkley Publishing is giving
One lucky winner a print copy of
A Mother Like Mine by Kate Hewitt

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Exposed - Pub Week Promo & Giveaway


Mary DiNunzio wants to represent her old friend Simon Pensiera, a sales rep who was wrongly fired by his company, but her partner Bennie Rosato represents the parent company. When she confronts Mary, explaining this is a conflict of interest, an epic battle of wills and legal strategy between the two ensues―ripping the law firm apart, forcing everyone to take sides and turning friend against friend.

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About the author:
LISA SCOTTOLINE is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award–winning author of more than twenty-five novels. She has 30 million copies of her books in print in the United State, she has been published in thirty-five countries, and her thrillers have been optioned for television and film. Lisa also writes a weekly column with her daughter, Francesca Serritella, for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and those stories have been adapted into a series of bestselling memoirs, the first of which is entitled Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog. Lisa lives on a Pennsylvania farm with an array of disobedient pets.

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St. Martin’s Press is giving one lucky winner
A print copy of Exposed by Lisa Scottoline

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Best Intentions - Release Day Review & Giveaway

Review by Deb Czajkowski
Nine years ago, just three years into her marriage to Elliot, Marti Trailor chose to leave her career as a social worker to be a stay-at-home mom to their newborn, Nina, and then to Simon and Poppy.  The daughter of a Virginia congressman, Marti understood the demands that would be placed on her husband ─both innately and by himself─ as he strove for excellent in medical school, fellowship, and now as an obstetrician, and she gladly sacrificed her love of social work to support her husband’s schooling and career as well as their three small children.

Then, at a hospital soiree, Marti meets Win Phillips, the head of the New Moms program, a recent addition to the hospital’s OB team, and he’s eager to hire a savvy social worker to help him turn this grant experiment into a solid, successful service to new women and to the hospital. Within minutes of their meeting, Win offers Marti the job.  And Marti accepts!

But Elliot is not pleased.  He argues that Marti should remain at home with their children.  Marti counters that all of their children will be in school.  Elliot claims that two Trailors at the same hospital will be too confusing. Marti offers to use her maiden name. Seriously, Elliot, that’s the best you’ve got? Well then. Marti’s social work career is once again off and running, and Marti couldn’t be happier with her decision. Until….

Until an act of kindness puts Marti in the wrong place at the right time, and Marti sees something that will change her life forever.

Think about 9/11: The guy who overslept. The mom who changed her blouse after the baby spit up on it. The woman who stopped for a muffin ─or the one who didn’t stop. Circumstances. Wrong place, right time. Right place, wrong time. One act can alter one’s life forever.  

In Erika Raskin’s Best Intentions, the author builds a compelling story, the story of a doctor’s wife, a mother of three, who loves her job of helping new mothers. Yet life happens; tragedies happen.  Marti truly does have the best of intentions when she agrees, out of kindness, to an unusual ─ and one could argue unconventional─ alignment.  She could certainly not have foreseen how this simple act would lead to her being arrested and now on trial for a catastrophic event that changed the lives of all involved. 

Raskin cleverly starts her novel with a brief but effective peak at Marti and her attorney preparing for trial. Then she takes the reader back in time, back to the beginning: before Marti meets Win, before she joins his team, before she has the slightest clue how her daily, singular acts ─all of that plus what she witnessed on that one fateful night─ will together add up to a charge of murder. As Raskin carefully brings Marti’s story forward, she intersperses tidbits of the murder investigation, eventually bringing them together in the present, where Marti’s journey plays out to the end.

What is that end?  Well, you need to start at the beginning, Marti’s beginning. A story that could be any social worker’s story, any teacher’s, any doctor’s, any person’s. Life is as fascinating as it can be bewildering. We all want a happy ending.  We don’t all get one.  Does Marti?  One way to find out: Read Best Intentions by Erika Raskin.

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About the author:
I’ve been gathering story skeletons, punchlines, and snippets of “overheard” conversations since childhood. When I discovered writing, it was like happening upon the world’s greatest display case for my collections. I especially love crafting fiction as no matter what the characters get up to (or whatever mean thoughts flit across their minds) all I’mdoing is reporting. BEST INTENTIONS, my second novel, is coming out with St. Martin’s Press in 2017. CLOSE, my first, was called “a page-turner of significance.” I’ve done essays for print and radio and am currently working on a novel-in-stories.
I grew up in Washington, D.C., the daughter of a novelist and human rights activist. We lived in an old brick row house that was a hub of the women’s, civil rights and anti-war movements. There was an endless soundtrack of Motown, typewriter music and politics.
My husband has been my boyfriend since I was 18. We have three children, two sons-in-law, a grandboy and many siblings, nieces and nephews. When we all get together we turn touch football, gin rummy and ping-pong into blood sports.

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One lucky winner a print copy of
Best Intentions by Erika Raskin

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