Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Christmas at the Chalet - release day review and giveaway

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

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

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

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

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Christmas at the Chalet by Anita Hughes

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Not Her Daughter - release day giveaway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Every Time You Go Away - release day review & giveaway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Late Bloomers' Club - release day giveaway

A delightful novel about two headstrong sisters, a small town's efforts to do right by the community, and the power of a lost dog to summon true love

Nora, the owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner, is perfectly happy serving up apple cider donuts, coffee, and eggs-any-way-you-like-em to her regulars, and she takes great pleasure in knowing exactly what's "the usual." But her life is soon shaken when she discovers she and her free-spirited, younger sister Kit stand to inherit the home and land of the town's beloved cake lady, Peggy Johnson. 

Kit, an aspiring--and broke--filmmaker thinks her problems are solved when she and Nora find out Peggy was in the process of selling the land to a big-box developer before her death. The people of Guthrie are divided--some want the opportunities the development will bring, while others are staunchly against any change--and they aren't afraid to leave their opinions with their tips.

Time is running out, and the sisters need to make a decision soon. But Nora isn't quite ready to let go of the land, complete with a charming farmhouse, an ancient apple orchard and the clues to a secret life that no one knew Peggy had. Troubled by the conflicting needs of the town, and confused by her growing feelings towards Elliot, the big-box developer's rep, Nora throws herself into solving the one problem that everyone in town can agree on--finding Peggy's missing dog, Freckles.

When a disaster strikes the diner, the community of Guthrie bands together to help her, and Nora discovers that doing the right thing doesn't always mean giving up your dreams.

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About the author:
Louise Miller is a writer and pastry chef living in Boston, MA. Her debut novel, THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING was selected as an Indie Next pick by the American Booksellers Association, a Library Reads pick by Librarians across the U.S., and was shortlisted by the America Library Association’s Reading List Council for best women’s fiction in 2017. Her 2nd novel, THE LATE BLOOMERS’ CLUB, will be published in July 2018. Louise is an art school dropout, an amateur flower gardener, an old-time banjo player, an obsessive moviegoer, and a champion of old dogs.

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The Late Bloomer’s Club by Louise Miller

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Her Pretty Face - release week giveaway

The author of the bestselling novel The Party—lauded as “tense and riveting” by New York Times bestselling author Megan Mirandareturns with a chilling new domestic drama about two women whose deep friendship is threatened by dark, long-buried secrets.

Frances Metcalfe is struggling to stay afloat.

A stay-at-home mom whose troubled son is her full-time job, she thought that the day he got accepted into the elite Forrester Academy would be the day she started living her life. Overweight, insecure, and lonely, she is desperate to fit into Forrester’s world. But after a disturbing incident at the school leads the other children and their families to ostracize the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever before.

Until she meets Kate Randolph.

Kate is everything Frances is not: beautiful, wealthy, powerful, and confident. And for some reason, she’s not interested in being friends with any of the other Forrester moms—only Frances. As the two bond over their disdain of the Forrester snobs and the fierce love they have for their sons, a startling secret threatens to tear them apart.

Because one of these women is not who she seems. Her real name is Amber Kunik. And she’s a murderer.

In her masterful follow-up to The Party, Robyn Harding spins a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal, asking the question: Can people ever change? And even if they can, is it possible to forgive the past?

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About the author:
Robyn Harding is the author of several books, including The Party and Her Pretty Face, and has written and executive produced an independent film. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband and two children.

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One lucky winner a print copy of
Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

I See Life Through Rose'-Colored Glasses - release day giveaway

In I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses, the bestselling mother/daughter pair is back with another hilarious and heartfelt collection of essays about the possibilities and pitfalls of everyday life.
The New York Times bestselling mother daughter duo are back with more hilarious, witty, and true tales from their lives. Whether they are attempting to hike the Grand Canyon, setting up phone calls with their dogs, or learning what “adulting” means, Lisa and Francesca are guaranteed to make you laugh, cry, and appreciate the funniest moments in life. Like the perfect glass of rosé, they’re always here to help you escape from your own busy, modern life and instead, get lost in theirs.
Praise for the series:

"This summer beach read―which is indeed “like a glass of rosé, between two covers”―is sure to cheer readers spanning the generations." ―Publishers Weekly on I See Life Through Rosè-Colored Glasses

“We all need down-to-earth wisdom and comedy now more than ever, and you will find both in abundance in I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere But the Pool.” ―Connecticut Post
“We get to be flies on the wall as the mother-daughter team fights, makes up, and hurls barbs just like you and your mom. ―O, The Oprah Magazine (“Perfect Summer Must Read”)

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About the authors:
LISA SCOTTOLINE is a bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author and a columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer.She has been published in thirty countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of pets.
FRANCESCA SCOTTOLINE SERRITELLA graduated cum laude from Harvard University, where she won the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize, the Le Baron Russell Briggs Fiction Prize and the Charles Edmund Horman Prize for her creative writing. She lives in New York with one dog and one cat, so far.
Together they have written I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere But the Pool, Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog and many others.
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I See Life Through Rose'-Colored Glasses

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Monday, July 9, 2018

When We Found Home - release week promo

#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery masterfully explores the definition of a modern family—blended by surprise, not by choice—and how those complicated relationships can add unexpected richness to life.

“Heartwarming…this book is sweet and will appeal to readers who enjoy the intricacies of family drama.”—Publishers Weekly

Life is meant to be savored, but that’s not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. 

Callie Smith doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister—Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life.

But starting over can be messy. Callie and Keira fit in with each other, but not with their posh new lifestyle, leaving Malcolm feeling like the odd man out in his own home. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love. But love isn’t Malcolm’s strong suit…until he learns that an open heart, like the family table, can always make room for more.

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About the author:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming and humorous novels about the relationships that define women's lives—family, friendship, romance. She's best known for putting nuanced characters into emotionally complex, real-life situations with twists that surprise readers to laughter. Because Susan is passionate about animal welfare, pets play a big role in her books. Beloved by millions of readers worldwide, her books have been translated into 28 languages.

Susan lives in Washington state with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. 

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

All We Ever Wanted - release day review & giveaway

Review by Melinda Garza
In Emily Giffin's novel, All We Ever Wanted, we come to meet Nina, who is subjected to choose between her family and her values. Nina and Kirk Browning live a very wealthy life after Kirk sold his software company. Together they have a son named Finch. Finch recently was accepted into Princeton University. They were "that" couple and to everyone; they looked perfect yet something was off about them. As a matter of fact, Finch spoke very little to Nina and she suspected Kirk was cheating on her. One night, Nina and Kirk attended an event but what happened during that event at a totally different location changed the Brownings’ lives forever.

That night, Finch attended a party. Also in attendance at the party was Lyla. Lyla is the daughter of single parent Tom. Tom works multiple jobs so as to give Lyla a better life. She also attends the same prestigious school as Finch. Unlike Finch, she attends on scholarship as they cannot afford tuition outright. She has a crush on Finch but he is dating Polly. At the party, in which Lyla was not given permission to attend, a picture was taken of her and was uploaded onto the Internet. She was half naked in the picture and drunk. A racist comment was also posted with the picture. The post came from Finch's phone.

Finch gets in trouble with his school for doing such a thing and his college admission could be jeopardized. He has to have a hearing as to what his consequences will be but Kirk attempts to give Tom hush money. Tom then returns the money to Nina when they secretly meet. After meeting up with Tom, Nina has personal battles to deal with as to whether to believe Kirk and Finch's story or follow her own morals and convictions. Is this horrible incident one that Nina and Kirk can survive?  Does Nina want their relationship to survive?  Did Finch really take Lyla's picture and post it? 

Emily Giffin, again, does not disappoint with this novel. Her characters are complicated and the story is powerful and intriguing. This is a definite page turner, one you cannot put down.

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About the author:
Emily Giffin is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. After practicing litigation at a Manhattan firm for several years, she moved to London to write full time. The author of seven New York Times bestselling novels, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love The One You're With, Heart of the Matter, Where We Belong, and The One & Only, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and three young children.

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All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

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Monday, June 25, 2018

The Perfect Family - release week giveaway

Relentlessly twisting, Samantha King’s debut novel is a dark and brilliant slice of psychological suspense in which even the happiest family can awake to a nightmare . . .
Maddie Castle is broken. Ever since the tragedy that struck on her twins’ tenth birthday, she’s been trying to fit the pieces together, to get back to the life she led before. Maddie, her husband, Dom, and their children, Aidan and Annabel, lived in a comfortable home on a quiet street in a London suburb. Life was busy and satisfying. They were happy. Weren’t they?
Now, a disoriented and grieving Maddie floats like a ghost through each day, hardly sleeping, eating, or speaking. It’s easier to stay locked in her own head than to torment herself by reliving what happened. And yet, the harder Maddie tries to pin down her memories, the more they slip out of reach. Is her guilt and remorse justified? Is it Maddie’s fault that everything was ripped apart?
Or could it be that the real terror is still to come?

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About the author:
Samantha King is a former editor and a qualified psychotherapist. After her childhood in the south‑west of England, teenage years spent in the north‑east and student days somewhere in between, she finally settled in west London where she enjoyed a career publishing other people's books, before going freelance and surrendering to a long‑time urge to write her own. She lives with her husband and two young children, who inspired her to write her debut novel. An English graduate and lifelong bookworm, Samantha is always fascinated to hear readers’ opinions.

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The Perfect Family by Samantha King

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

California Summer - release day review & giveaway

Review by Melinda Garza
Anita Hughes brings to life Rosie Keller in California Summer. Rosie met Ben Ford while in college and they live together in LA. Together they have one Indie film under their belts. Ben directed the film and Rosie was the associate producer. As a couple, they had three goals -- get married, go to Africa, and buy a house. To Rosie, Ben seemed like the perfect partner. He was a sleeping giant, never raised his voice, and hardly ever disagreed with Rosie.

One day Rosie came home and found that Ben had slept with MaryBeth Chase, a producer. After admitting that he slept with her, Rosie moved to Montecito for the summer. Montecito was the home of her friend Angelica's parents, Estelle and Oscar. Everyone was friendly there and made Rosie feel welcome. Estelle enforced into Rosie to love what you do and throw out the rule book.

After the breakup, Rosie learned that Ben was going to direct To Catch A Thief and his lover, MaryBeth, was going to be the executive producer. They even had a new production company called MB&B.  In order to keep busy and attempt to move on, Rosie opened up her own taco shop, Rosie's Tacos. She even personalized it to her style. The white sign of the taco shop had her name written in cursive letters. The lettering was done in deep red which was the same color of her favorite Bobbi Brown lip gloss. Rosie even had a heart placed over the I in her name and a red rose after the word Tacos.

At Montecito, she met many people, including Josh and Colby. She and Josh got quite close and at Estelle and Oscar's annual 4th of July party, they kissed. Their romance blossomed.  She and Colby, a famous musician, became good friends. He even wrote a song about her. He titled the song “Rosie.” The song was about breaking free of the fast track and doing what you love. The song made her restaurant famous and super busy. Colby, soon after, offered Rosie to expand her business with him. At the time, she turned down his offer due to Josh. Will she change her mind?
Ms. Hughes did it again with California Summer. She gives us a beautiful and charming love story.  It's a captivating read that is a curl up in bed, beach, or just about anywhere read. I would highly recommend it.

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About the author:
Anita Hughes was born in Sydney, Australia and had a charmed childhood that included petting koala bears, riding the waves on Bondi Beach, and putting an occasional shrimp on the barbie. Her writing career began at the age of eight, when she won a national writing contest in THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper, and was named "One of Australia's Next Best Writers." (She still has the newspaper clipping.)

She received a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing from Bard College, and attended UC Berkeley's Masters in Creative Writing program.

She lives in Dana Point, CA with her family, where she interrupts her writing to watch the glorious sunsets.

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California Summer by Anita Hughes

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