Sunday, December 27, 2015

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season! I've been enjoying plenty of time with family and friends and doing lots of reading during my time off.  I'll be posting more reviews in the new year!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Why I Love Chick Lit

Today I'm excited to be guest posting over on author Meredith Schorr's blog as part of her Celebration of Chick Lit Tour.  Her latest book, Novelista Girl, is coming out in January.

Head on over to Meredith's blog to read my guest post on Why I Love Chick Lit.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What I'm Reading: Christmas Confessions and Cocktails

American-turned-Parisian Vicki tells it like it is, from her crazy Christmases growing up in the Midwest to her even crazier holidays in her new home in France. Bizarre gifts, stomach-turning food, and holiday travel disasters are just some of the tales you'll chuckle at in this installment of the Paris Confessions series. 

This Christmas-themed memoir features 25 funny and heartwarming essays, all with a tenuous tie to Christmas, and pairs each with a delicious drink recipe. So grab your martini shaker and get ready for tasty cocktails and hearty laughs this holiday season! 


A humorous collection of holiday-inspired stories with Christmas drink recipes

If you're looking for a great read this holiday season, don't miss Christmas Confessions & Cocktails! The 25 stories in this holiday collection take you on an adventure full of Christmas spirit (and spirits, including Christmas cocktail recipes like Christmas Cookie Martini, Peppermintini, and Glitter & Gold). And it makes the perfect Christmas gift! 


Review 

This was a cute collection of Christmas stories about the author's life coupled with holiday drink recipes.  I enjoyed the stories about life in France more than the childhood ones.  They offered a fun, unique perspective on life outside the States and had me laughing as I read through them.  Foreign travel is always an adventure, and I can hardly imagine living in another country with young children!

The author's childhood holiday stories could have been a little more polished. Some of them rambled on a bit, causing me to lose interest. The addition of cocktail recipes was a fun touch.  I'm looking forward to trying them out next year. (I'd try them now but baby #2 is on the way!)

This book would be a cute holiday gift for anyone on your list and a fun, light holiday read for you to sit down to during winter vacation.


December 7 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
December 8 – A Southern Girls Bookshelf – Excerpt
December 8 - Chick Lit Goddess – Q&A & Excerpt
December 8 – Living Life With Joy – Q&A & Excerpt
December 9 – Readsalot – Excerpt
December 10 – Around the World in Books – Excerpt
December 11 – Caroline Fardig – Excerpt
December 11 – Granny Loves to Read – Review
December 15 – Whispering Stories – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
December 16 – Love Chick Lit – Review
December 16 – My Pretty Little Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
December 16 – One Book At a Time – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
December 16 – Leigh Anderson Romance – Q&A, Guest Post & Excerpt
December 17 – Book Lover in Florida – Review & Excerpt
December 18 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
December 18 – A Page To Turn – Review


Author Bio:

Bestselling author Vicki Lesage proves daily that raising two French kids isn't as easy as the hype lets on. In her three minutes of spare time per week, she writes, sips bubbly, and prepares for the impending zombie apocalypse. She lives in Paris with her French husband, rambunctious son, and charming daughter, all of whom mercifully don't laugh when she says "au revoir." She penned the Paris Confessions series in between diaper changes and wine refills. She writes about the ups and downs of life in the City of Light at VickiLesage.com.











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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Book Buzz: A SEAL's SEDUCTION

Do you love romances?  A SEAL'S SEDUCTION, book four in the Alpha SEALs series by Makenna Jameison, is now available!

http://amzn.to/1QbYBke

He’ll heal her wounds one night at a time….
Kenley Bristow has her future mapped out: she’ll meet a nice guy, settle down and have kids, and live the stable family life that she never had growing up. The last thing she wants is the assertive Navy SEAL who pinned her against the door, his hard body filling hers with desire she’d never felt before.

Navy SEAL Mike “Patch” Hunter prefers his relationships to be only one night. The petite woman with the face of an angel wasn’t who he thought she was. But after he felt her trembling beneath him, he knew one taste would never be enough.

When an accident leaves Kenley injured and alone, she’s forced to call on the one man she swore she’d never see again. But with heat she’s never felt before burning between them, can she fend him off long enough to escape what she really fears—a life together?

A SEAL’S Seduction, a stand-alone novel, is book four in the new Alpha SEALs series. 


About the Author 

Amazon Bestselling Author Makenna Jameison writes stories with hot alpha males, steamy romance, and happily-ever-afters. She loves reading, writing, coffee, the beach, and traveling to new places. Makenna lives in Washington DC with her husband and daughter.

Makenna loves to hear from her fans! Contact her or join her mailing list by sending an email to info@makennajameison.com.

Website: MakennaJameison.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/MakennaJameison
Twitter: Twitter.com/MakennaJameison

Purchase on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1QbZ2ev

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What I'm Reading: Thirty Days to Thirty


http://amzn.to/1HkvutL



What if you were on the cusp of marrying the guy of your dreams and reaching that career goal you set for yourself, only for all of it to be taken away in one fell swoop? 

What if this all happened a month before you turned 30? 

 
This is the story of Jill Stevens, who after moving back home, finds a list she made in high school of thirty things she wanted to accomplish before her thirtieth birthday. 

 
With a month left and hardly anything crossed off her list, she teams up with old friends to accomplish as much as she can before the big 3-0. Along the way, she discovers her true self and realizes it’s not about the material successes in life but the journey. 





 Excerpt 


“So do you want to talk about it?” my mom finally asks me, taking a seat next to me with a cup of tea.

“I’m not really ready to recap,” I tell her with a mouth full of peanut butter. “I’m still trying to process everything.”
My mother basically got the hysterical gist of it when I called her at midnight, crying, and all she could make out was “pig head … boyfriend … cheated on me … fired … homeless.” She sat on the phone with me while I tried to pull myself together, and finally ordered me to pack up and get on the next train home.
“I understand,” she says, sounding disappointed. “We can talk about what you want to do for your birthday coming up.”
I look up mid-bite to stare at her.
“It’s your thirtieth, it’s a big deal,” she presses.
Yes, I know it’s a big deal. It’s a big deal because that’s when you’re supposed to have your life together. “Mom, that’s really the last thing I want to think about right now.”
“Fine,” she says getting frustrated. After a few minutes of silence, she leans forward as if to say something and then retreats.
“What’s wrong?” I ask her, knowing I won’t be able to avoid hearing what she wants to say.
“Well, I mean, aside from wanting to know what happened, I want to know what your plan is to get past this? I don’t want you just sulking around the house for the next few weeks.”
“Come on, Mom it’s been twelve hours since my life fell apart. I can’t get a full day to mourn here?”
“I didn’t mean it like that,” she defends herself, shaking her head as if I’ve blown things all out of proportion. “I was just reading this pamphlet about how to handle adult children living at home that I downloaded off the Internet.” She stands up and pulls it out of a drawer underneath the phone. Then she hands it to me. I scan it over. “When the Empty Nest Becomes Full Again,” I read. “I don’t plan on being here that long,” I say, handing it back to her. “Think of it as a two-week vacation.”
She doesn’t say anything. She simply shrugs and puts the pamphlet back in the drawer.
Finally, I give in and proceed to tell her what happened. My father, who’s come in from the garage to get his keys out of the drawer, listens in and eventually joins us at the table.
“Those bastards,” he contributes.
“Tell me about it,” I say, looking down at my milk and swirling the liquid inside the glass.
“Can you sue them?” my mom suggests.
“For what, exactly? Even if I could, it’s a law firm. You ever try to sue a bunch of lawyers?”
They’re both silent for a moment and give each other nervous looks. It’s obvious they’re trying to be supportive but they don’t really know what to say.
“It’s fine.” I try to convince them and myself. “I’m going to call a headhunter first thing Monday morning and I’m going to bounce back from this in no time. I’ll start looking at apartment listings today. Everything will be fine.” I stand up from my chair.
“I think you should at least stay here until you find another job,” my mother says. “There’s no sense in you getting an apartment somewhere and finding out your job is a far commute.”
Stay here? I do a double take. I can’t imagine doing that. “Mom, it’s New York. No matter where I get an apartment, as long as it’s in Manhattan, the commute will be doable.” I stand up and dump the remainder of my milk in the sink and load my glass and plate into the dishwasher.
“Well, what if you don’t get a job in New York?” she says, turning around in her chair to face me.
“Why wouldn’t I get a job in New York?” I ask, confused, as I close the dishwasher and stare out the window. I feel my body turn to ice at the thought.
“Well, Jill,” my dad says, “the job market is pretty bad, and as great as your resume and your education are, there may not be a lot of opportunities out there.”
“All we’re saying is maybe you’ve outgrown the city, and maybe now it’s time to settle somewhere closer to home. Maybe you’ll meet someone and settle down,” my mom concludes.
“Really?” I say, shaking my head. “You’re really giving me the you-aren’t-getting-any-younger speech when I’m already at the lowest point in my life?” I start to storm towards the hallway. I really don’t need to be hearing this right now.
“Sweetie, it’s not that I’m trying to kick you while you’re down, I’m just saying maybe it’s time to start reassessing your life.” My mom stands up to follow me.
“Thanks for the talk,” I say, walking past her and back up to my room. I suddenly feel like I’m a teenager again as I slam the door to my room.
“Marilynn, she just got home. Go easy on her,” I hear my dad defend me.
“Martin, I’m just following the pamphlet,” she insists.
“Well stop reading,” he says. “This is our daughter, not a case study.”
Living at home with my parents in my thirties? Maybe I really am a case study. I barely made it out alive the first time, how the hell am I supposed to do it all over again? 


Review

This was a fun read that has you rooting for the main character, Jill.  She's imagined her life to turn out one way by the time she reaches the big 3-0, but instead loses her job, boyfriend, and home.  Left with little choice but to return home to her parents in Manhattan, she discovers a list she made back in high school of thirty things to do before she reaches thirty.

It's easy to imagine you'll have life all figured out by the time you're thirty when you are younger.  The reader will enjoy watching Jill come into her own.  This was a fun chick lit read that I enjoyed!

Blog Tour


November 17 – Chick Lit Plus – Review

November 18 – Book Groupies – Review

November 19 – Chick Lit Goddess – Q&A & Excerpt

November 19 – Change the Word – Q&A

November 24 – Love Chick Lit – Review & Excerpt

November 25 – Queen of All She Reads – Excerpt

November 27 – Authors and Readers Book Corner – Excerpt

November 27 – Granny Loves to Read – Review & Excerpt

December 1 – Annabel and Alice – Review

December 2 – Wendi Nunnery – Review

December 2 – A British Bookworm – Excerpt

December 3- The Write Review – Excerpt

December 4 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Q&A & Excerpt

December 4 – The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

December 7 – Reecas Pieces – Review & Excerpt


Author Bio:


Courtney Psak is a New Jersey native who grew up with a passion for reading and writing.
After traveling the world, she settled into New York City where she earned her Masters in Publishing.
She is a member of the National Writers Association and the Women's Fiction Writers Association.
She currently resides in Hoboken with her husband.
She spends her weekends seeking adventure through hiking, skiing and traveling.


Purchase Links below:



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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Author Q & A: Lisa Becker


Today I'm interviewing Lisa Becker, the author of Clutch: a novel.

1) How did you come up with the idea for Clutch? 
When I was writing the Click Trilogy, (Click: An Online Love StoryDouble ClickRight Click) I was obsessed with NCIS reruns and would have the show on in the background as I wrote.  There was an episode when one of the characters mentioned that men were like purses – something useless to hang on a woman’s arm.  I started thinking about how men are like handbags and the idea grew from there.

2) What was your favorite scene to write? 
I love the scene where Caroline and Mike are talking about her short-statured date, Craig.  There are hilarious moments that show Mike’s humor and charm but also his sensitive side.  He’s one of my favorite characters and I’ll admit to have a pretty big book boyfriend crush on him.

3) Describe Clutch in five words. 

A hilariously romantic dating tale!

4)  Who is your favorite author?

I’m not sure I have a favorite, as I tend to go through phases where I’m really into one author and read all of their books one after the other.  I just finished Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and really enjoyed the story which is told in both emails and traditional narrative.  I also recently read Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover and loved it.  I immediately fell in love with the back and forth narrative from present to past and thought the characters were well developed, realistic and likeable.  I was rooting for a happy ending the entire time.  

5) What genre have you never written that you’d like to try?
I’d love to write a mystery one day.  I’m not sure if I would be any good at it, but I think it would be fun to create a scenario that keeps people guessing until the very end.  

6) What do you order at Starbucks? 
Believe it or not, I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life.  I tried a sip once and didn’t like it.  Chocolate, on the other hand, I tried and loved and can’t stop consuming.  So I would likely order a hot chocolate with a big dollop of whipped cream on top.

 7) What place in the world do you most want to visit?
My husband and I honeymooned on a small private island off the coast of Australia called Lizard Island.  It was truly the most romantic, relaxing and magical place I’ve ever been to.  I would love the opportunity to go back someday. 

8)      What new projects are you working on?
In addition to promoting the new book, I’m looking into making connections within the motion picture industry to try and get a movie version made.  The book started out as a screenplay that was under option at a major studio, but fell out of development.   I’m eager to see if there’s interest from someone else on bringing this fun and quirky story to the big screen.  So if you happen to be a well-to-do movie producer looking to make a new romantic comedy, please get in touch!

 
http://amzn.to/1LMlhEX

 

About clutch: a novel

clutch: a novel is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc.  With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks a lot of Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to discover the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.  

Author Bio

In addition to clutch: a novel, Lisa Becker is the author of the Click Trilogy, a contemporary romance series comprised ofClick: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click.  She’s written bylined articles about dating and relationships for “Cupid’s Pulse,” “The Perfect Soulmate,” “GalTime,” “Single Edition,” “Healthy B Daily” and “Chick Lit Central” among others.  She lives in Manhattan Beach, California with her husband and two daughters.  To learn more, visit www.lisawbecker.com

Social Media Links for Lisa Becker

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Pinterest  | Web

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Monday, November 2, 2015

What I'm Reading: Completions and Connections

http://amzn.to/1MqATeq


Christine's list of resolutions contains many clich├ęs. Try something new. Buy a pair of heels. Get a promotion. Fall in love. 

Seems simple, especially when Christine meets Patrick, the man who could be Mr. Right. He's got the right credentials: a job, a sense of humor, a love of all things Indiana Jones, and best of all, he's actually taller than Christine. But busy schedules take over and gets in the way of Patrick and Christine's budding romance. 

 
Life interferes, as it has a way of doing, and Christine wants to throw in the towel. Is the magic of the Christmas season enough to renew Christine's faith in love? 


Review

Completions and Connections was a cute novella.  Although it's listed as a romance, it's really more of a chick lit novella with all the mishaps that the heroine Christine encounters throughout the year.  There is surprisingly little interaction between the heroine and her love interest Patrick.  I found it hard to get into the story since it was so short and the characters hardly spend any time together.

The story is more about Christine's hectic year and all the missed connections with Patrick than an actual budding romance between the characters.  I liked the novella but would have loved a full-length novel that went into much greater detail.  Too much was glossed over for me to really connect with the characters in this one.


Excerpt


"Michele, you've got to be kidding me!" I'm trapped. I can't move. And my best friend is laughing at me.
"C'mon Christine, you can do this. It's going to be fun."
"No, it's not. It's going to be torture. A cold, painful torture that ends with me in a body cast."
"You said you'd try new things this year. Isn't this number one on your list? This is what you need to bring you out of your shell. It will be good for you. Think of it as an item you can check off your list."
"My shell is just fine. I don't see how throwing myself down a mountain in sub-zero temperatures can possibly be good for me." But she knows she's got me. I'm a list maker, and nothing makes me happier than checking things off my lists.
Michele snaps her boot buckles and stands up. She looks like the perfect snow bunny, all cute and adorable in her snow pants and coordinating sweater. Her blond curls cascade perfectly down her shoulders, and no hat will flatten them or make her look bedraggled.
I look bedraggled before I even start. My hair is a dull, coppery brown. I can't call it red, and it's not regular brown. The closest description I can come up with is an old penny. It's straight. Like pin straight. And even attempts at perming have not been successful. Hot curlers, curling irons—nothing. Pin straight and boring.
Just like me.
"When I said new things, I meant maybe cutting my hair or getting highlights put in," I mutter, trying to buckle my boot. The layers of clothes are constricting, and I'm having trouble breathing bent over like this. The buckle finally snaps shut, and I return upright, only to find myself out of breath and lightheaded.
Not off to the most auspicious of starts.
I've got a bad feeling about this.
Michele, who grew up skiing, is itching to get out on the slopes. Despite the fact that I've lived in Upstate New York my whole life, I've somehow managed to avoid this particular form of torture thus far. I've signed up for a lesson and am starting a novena that I don't die on the chairlift.
I pick up my skis from the rental shop and awkwardly carry them outside. We find Michele's skis on the rack, and in a few swift moments hers are donned and she's ready to swoosh off. I'm still trying to figure it out. Michele lets out an exasperated sigh and pops her ski off. She goes through the process again, step-by-step. Finally, I have my skis on.
Except now I can't move. She uses her pole to point to where I have to go and she's off, gliding on the snow like a figure skater.
Do you know how freakin' hard it is to move on skis when you're not on a hill? Or worse, when you have to go uphill? Not to mention that in order to fit my 5'10" (Okay, 5'10 ¾". Fine. I'm 5'11") frame, my skis are the length of Delaware.
I'm exhausted by the time I get to the ski group. But then the embarrassment continues. I'm the only adult in the group. This is so not worth it. Checking one stupid item (try something new) off my resolution list is not worth it.

 Book Tour

November 2- A Southern Girls Bookshelf – Excerpt

November 2 – Love Chick Lit – Review & Excerpt

November 3 – Hey Said Renee – Review & Excerpt

November 4 – Change the Word – Q&A

November 5 – Living Life With Joy – Q&A & Excerpt

November 6 – Chick Lit Goddess – Q&A & Excerpt

November 6 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

November 6 – Books and Wine – Q&A & Excerpt

November 6 – Basically Books – Excerpt

November 6 – Granny Loves to Read – Review & Excerpt

November 6 – The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

November 6 – A British Bookworm – Excerpt

November 6 – CDYess Writes – Excerpt

November 6 – Caroline Fardig – Excerpt





Bio:

Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn R. Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her clients' needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Her musings and rants can be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather. She is the author of Good Intentions (2013), Hold Her Down (2014), I'm Still Here (2014), Jump, Jive, and Wail (2015), and Killing Me Softly (2015).

Links:

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