Congratulations to our Grand Prize Winner!! Winners of the individual prizes will be notified by email and posted here as they respond. If someone does not claim their prize I will choose another winner!
And the winner is…
Congratulations, Christine! And a huge thank you to everyone who participated. It was fun and we hope to see you next year!
Welcome to the 2nd Annual Authors in Bloom Hop! Enter for your chance to win a Nook or Kindle Fire! Multiple other prizes are available too! Visit all the author sites on the list below for your chance to win!
Make sure to leave a comment on each site for your chance to win the grand prize.
Taken from Six Sisters' debut book, these Mini-Maple Pancake Muffins are hands down, a delicious breakfast or snack! If you haven't yet discovered Six Sisters' Stuff, visit them at www.sixsistersstuff.com and don't forget to grab their debut! It is filled with page after page of wonderfully inventive crafts, recipes and checklist and many other ideas!
ISBN: 978-1-60907-324-4 and retails for $21.99 Here's one of the recipes you'll find!
Mini Maple Pancake Muffins
1 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. sugar
3/4 c buttermilk
3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/2 c milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 24 cup mini muffin pan with nonstick spray. (Don't be afraid to grease it up)
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. In another bowl, stir buttermilk, egg, maple syrup and melted butter until just combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until combined. Stir in chocolate chips, reserving a few ships to sprinkle on the tops. Bake 8 to 9 minutes and let them cool slightly, removing from the pan.
Within Maryland lies the beautiful town of St. Dennis, a
town Ellie Chapman has only heard of. Ellie, the only child of a successful
investment manager, had known only a life of privilege until her life takes a
turn when her father is exposed for swindling billions of dollars from
investors in a massive Ponzi scheme.
Ellie loses her money, job, home and her fiancé who is found guilty
along with her father. Her life in pieces, Ellie has only one place to go, St.
Ellie arrives in St. Dennis with plans to leave as soon as
she can sell the house her late mother left her. With hopes of moving on with her life, Ellie
keeps her true identity a secret from the residents of St. Dennis. Unfortunately, Ellie’s luck hasn’t changed
and her only chance at a new beginning is a house in dire need of expensive
improvements. In addition, Ellie will be
the one who has to make most of the improvements, a task larger than life for a
former rich lady. Ellie soon becomes one with the hardware store, as she works
toward fixing the house on Bay View Road. Soon the charms of St. Dennis and
Cameron O’Conner begin to grow on Ellie, who’s not the only one with secrets.
Soon Ellie’s renovations become the beginning of rejuvenation as she learns
more about herself, her past and her future in St. Dennis.
Within this beautiful town of St. Dennis are gorgeous
houses, colorful characters, and a descriptive setting that’s sure to please
contemporary fiction readers. The novel
is full of romance, warmth, personality and characters that capture the reader’s
attention. Ellie is a character who’s
known one way of life and had complete trust in the one person who pulled her
life out from underneath her, leaving her with no one and nothing. Ellie is a character in survival mode; unsure
of where to go or what to do she turns to the only home she has, her mother’s
last gift to her, and the house on Bay View Road in the sleepy town of St.
Dennis. What begins as a place Ellie can’t
see herself staying in, ends as an awakening of the heart, mind and
spirit. Ellie finds a home unlike any
other she has known. It’s a beautiful story
to watch unfold as she finds her way and in-turn helps Cameron find his way as
I love Mariah Stewart’s novels and always look forward to
more stories surrounding St. Dennis and its residents. The Long Way Home did not disappoint me in my
expectations. I highly suggest this book
and any other novel that you have not yet read in this series. They are novels
you won’t want to miss.
Susan McBride, author
of Little Black Dress, has released another wonderful title, The Truth About Love and Lightning. At about half way through this title I found myself extremely anxious to get back to it after stopping for those pesky house task or chores such as cooking dinner or work. This
novel is full of interesting and colorful characters as it weaves a tale like
no other, keeping your interest from the start. Here's a synopsis to enjoy.
As far as Gretchen Brink is concerned, the tornado that just
ripped through her land has nothing on the storms of a different sort happening
all around her. Her grown daughter, Abby, has returned home with news that
she's pregnant, and no, she's not sure whether she's going to marry the father.
A man with no memory has been dropped practically on her doorstep. And the
not-so-little white lie she's been telling for years is about to catch up with
Abby is sure that the mysterious man is her long-lost father,
Sam, who has finally returned just when she needs him most. As Abby, Gretchen,
and the Man Who Might Be Sam get closer, the lie Gretchen told all those years
ago begins to haunt her. When her secrets come out, and Sam's past is finally
revealed, will it tear down this fragile life they've built—or will the truth
bring them all closer together?
The Truth About Love and Lightning was released and available in stores on
February 12, 2013. Making it a perfect Valentines gift for any book worm! I absolutely loved the charming characters, interesting and engaging story line and the uniqueness this book offered. There are tidbits of the author scattered throughout this book, which made me smile. How anyone can come up with such imaginative and inventive stories while keeping it full of warmth, love and allure still baffles me, but Susan is one of those authors that does it again and again! Don't miss reading this one! Find out why it's all the rave among book lovers everywhere. Oh, and hopefully your life isn't as busy as mine. This was the first book I read this year and is only joined by one other book. That's NOT normal for me! I hope you've been able to read more than I have lately!!
Name 3 things that help you gain inspiration for writing. 1) Song lyrics—Some songs move me every time I hear them. Usually, it’s a simple phrase or image that tugs at my heart, and I love the way songwriters manage to make us feel something with just a few, carefully chosen words. 2) Movies and TV shows—Movies are a nice way to recharge after meeting a deadline, and they’re also great teachers of story structure. TV shows like Downton Abbey are inspiring too—each episode is like a lesson in story-weaving and pacing. (So fun to watch, too!) 3) Real-life heroes—Sometimes the headlines give me ideas for heroes and heroines. Today I saw a news story about a man who jumped into a raging river in order to save a teen boy. That’s something one of my heroes would do!
Do you have another title in the works? Yes! My second book, ONCE SHE WAS TEMPTED, releases in the fall. It features Daphne, Anabelle’s sister. Everyone thought she was the sweet, innocent sister, but it turns out she has a few secrets of her own!
What is your favorite season? Summer! Sadly, however, it’s not my hair’s favorite season. Oh well, that’s what ponytails are for. :)
Best childhood memory? I have lots of wonderful memories, and most of them involve my siblings. Just sitting around and talking with them was always a good time (and it still is!) Maybe that’s why my first two books feature the Honeycote sisters. :)
If you were given the chance to do any one thing over again, what would you do over? My semester of college in London! I got to study architecture, literature, theatre, and art—all while living in the city. It was a wonderful experience, and more years ago than I care to admit. ;)
What are you most looking forward to this summer? Reading on the beach and spending time with my family. The Romance Writers of America conference (in Atlanta this year) is also a highlight of every summer.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Join a writing group like RWA. Write a lot, and be as fearless as you can be. Don’t hold anything back!
Thanks so much for having me!
Thank you to Anne for being here with me today! I hope you all enjoy "When She Was Wicked." My review is coming soon, but don't wait for it! Get your copy today!
Libby loves history and has a talent for restoring things, so inheriting a beautiful old hotel on the Outer Banks is like a dream come true. It's also somewhat exciting to learn about the family she never knew she had while getting to know a handsome Coast Guard lieutenant she's met while on the island. One thing's for sure, he has the potential to be the man of her dreams! However, if we stopped there we wouldn't have a romantic suspense would we?
Soon Libby is forced to realize that she can only afford to keep up the inn by selling it to developers who are stalking the island. Her unknown father, died before she could meet him, leaving Libby with a brother and sister who are convinced she is there to steal what is rightfully theirs. However, none of these new trials compare to the kidnapping of her best friend and business partner, a scene that takes place in front of Libby and puts her under speculation and suspicion for the crime.
Libby’s dream come true quickly becomes a nightmare. She must find her friend in order to prove her innocence, or risk losing everything she has wanted on Hope Island.
Tidewater Inn started off with a bang. Almost instantly the action begins with a kidnapping in the first chapter! The story had some very intriguing parts which include the kidnapping, life changing long-kept secrets, and the romance of Libby and Alec on the backdrop of beautiful Hope Island. The characters are well developed. Colleen is an amazing writer. This story will be enjoyable to her fans and those looking to find a new author to enjoy. This novel is full of secrets, love, suspense and faith. If you love romantic books with suspenseful elements, you will enjoy this book. It's an enjoyable read.
Safe Haven will be in theaters Feb. 14, 2013! If you're like me, you'll be there opening day. Grab a chance to own a copy of this book or read or re-read before seeing the movie! For more information about the movie, tickets and the EVENT on Feb. 17, visit http://bit.ly/SafeHavenEvent. 1 copy of this book is available for US residents only, no PO Boxes. The publisher will be shipping the prize to the winner.
Don't you just love this cover? Which path is right? What happens to the path not takin'? Do you walk the path alone? So many questions!
I had the wonderful opportunity to beta read this book and let me tell you, it is wonderful! Dianne is not one to shy away from hard hitting topics, and this book is sure to stir conversation. It would be perfect for book groups, especially for mothers. Read about it below and don't forget to check out the excerpt! If you want a review copy and can post a review within 4 to 6 weeks, comment below!
About the Book:
The words no mother wants to say, and every mother yearns to hear.
Bound by friendship, two women find themselves at common crossroads, struggling with choices both past and present, career and home.
Simone Sheridan and Claire Atkins have been friends since college. Upon graduation, they took off in different directions, forging separate paths through motherhood. Neither planned to look back on the road they traveled with regret—yet that’s exactly what happens when their daughters issue opposing proclamations with regard to college.
Mariah Sheridan blows her mother’s expectations to pieces while Rebecca Atkins crushes her mother’s dreams. Both mothers battle the news, but soon come to learn they must change course, or lose the sacred relationship between mother and daughter.
But change is not an easy task when Simone and Claire unexpectedly find themselves staring down their choices, confronted by the same question: Where did I go wrong?
This one is still about the women, their issues, but without the romance. The debate is an old one, but continues to burn hot. And why? Is our sisterhood broken? Have we taken sides, drawn lines in the sand?
Every woman has an opinion on this subject and most believe theirs is the right one. I dare you not to find a piece of yourself in this book. No kids? A piece of someone you know will leap from these pages…
READ THE EXCERPT HERE: http://ow.ly/gkPcg
WARNING: Reading this excerpt will make you want to read the book. Enjoy!
The Seven Steps to Closure by Donna Joy Usher
I was sitting in the hairdressers, resembling a large wet rat and feeling no closer to obtaining closure. To make things worse, a huge billboard of Jake had been erected straight across the street from Funk Hair - which was Elaine’s brother Tristan's hairdressing salon.
'Yummy,' Tristan had commented, rubbing his hands together when I pointed out the billboard to him and Elaine.
Elaine had kindly responded by sliding one of the pot plants into the window, and positioning me with my back to the board. But if I bent down a little and peered into the mirror I could still see the side of his face, one of his legs and the words Jake Well..... yor. It was a little disturbing.
Tristan is - of course - gay. He is much shorter than Elaine, and doesn't look anything like her - probably due to the fact that they have different biological fathers. Elaine's Dad died when she was quite young. She doesn't remember him and considers Tristan's Dad - a tidy looking Italian man - to be her father. Tristan has taken his father's dark looks and combined them with their mother's good looks and the results are quite stunning. A lot of the women who come to get their hair done at Funk Hair come to enjoy the scenery. Tristan hires a bevy of gay men and women, all of them desirable. He also won the ‘Australian Hairdresser of the Year’ award two years running, so the patrons are never disappointed when they leave the salon. It normally takes weeks to get an appointment at Funk Hair and months if you want to see Tristan. I was very lucky to be one of Elaine's best friends.
'Hmmmmmm,' said Tristan thoughtfully, as he lifted my hair from my shoulders and held it around my face at different lengths.
'Ahhhhhhhhh,' said Tristan contemplatively, as he pulled my hair back behind my head and played with my fringe.
'Uh huh,' said Tristan decisively, as he looked at a colour chart and held different swatches of pigmented hair around my face.
'I didn't say anything about a colour change,' I whispered urgently to Elaine, who was flipping through a magazine with Benny asleep on her lap.
She held it up for me to see. 'See this Tara?' She pointed to the date. 'A current magazine - you and Dinah should try it some time.'
I stuck my tongue out at her.
Meanwhile Tristan had stopped work and was staring at me in the mirror with one eyebrow raised.
'Did you not ask Elaine to fix this appointment for you?' he asked imperiously. (Have I mentioned that not only is Tristan gorgeous, but he is also a huge drama queen?) 'Did you not beg her to get you in with me as fast as possible?'
'Well actually,' I said.
'Shhhh,' he responded, holding one finger up in the air. 'You beg and you plead and now you insult the master.'
'Oh no, no,' I gushed, 'no, it's just that I've never coloured my hair before.'
'Never?' He held the back of one hand to his beautiful forehead as if about to swoon. When he had recovered he snapped, 'Sebastian, Veronica, major hair emergency. I need you here now.’ And then he started pointing at the colour chart and very rapidly giving orders. I couldn't quite make out what he was saying, and I was trying really, really hard because I was starting to feel a little panicked. What if I looked awful when he'd finished? What if he gave me a hairdo that, while nice on someone else - someone hip and chic and eighteen years old - did nothing for me at all? And then I would have to smile into the mirror, and I mean really smile. Smile so that it made it right to my eyes while I gushed about my hair - when all I really wanted to do was go home and spend hours staring at myself in the mirror willing myself to like it. Oh and worse, I would have to pretend to Elaine that I loved it. I would never be able to get rid of it. Christ what had I done? ______________________________________________________________ Thank you to Donna for allowing me to post this excerpt! I wish I could have provided a review for this novel, as I certainly have added it to my TBR list! Alas, it is the season for gift giving, Christmas plays, parties and many other things that have kept be very busy. I relish my reading time these days! Watch out, January will bring many new reviews and suggestions! If you need a gift for the reader in your life or maybe a present for you, you've been good this year right?, this book is a great choice! Check out http://www.clpblogtours.com/ for more suggestions and reviews! Happy Reading!
The firstborn of a large Irish-American family, Meg Brennan Roberts is a successful publicist, faithful wife, and doting mother who prides herself on always making the right decisions. But years of being “the good woman” have taken a toll and though her winery career thrives, Meg feels burned out and empty, and more disconnected than ever from her increasingly distant husband. Lonely and disheartened, she attends the London Wine Fair with her boss, ruggedly handsome vintner, Chad Hallahan. It’s here, alone together in an exotic city, far from “real” life, that Chad confesses his long-standing desire for Meg.
Overwhelmed, flattered, and desperately confused, Meg returns home, only to suddenly question every choice she’s ever made, especially that of her marriage. For Meg, something’s got to give, and for once in her life she flees her responsibilities—but with consequences as reckless and irreversible as they are liberating. Now she must decide whether being the person everyone needs is worth losing the woman she was meant to be.
I always have a hard time putting Jane's books down, so I wasn't surprised when this one was irresistible to me. Jane has a knack for exploring her characters from the inside out. The characters grow and develop over the course of the story, just as we do when faced with trials and opportunities in our life.
The story is told from many points of view, enabling the reader to understand the story from all sides, which gives a unique perspective to the reader. I love this set up in novels. They can be extremely difficult to navigate but Jane makes it effortless for the reader.
The story is a picture of families and dynamics that make them one of a kind unique, special, infuriating and irreplaceable. I highly recommend it!
Author: Michael Lowenthal
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Having a baby to save a marriage—it’s the oldest of clichés.
But what if the marriage at risk is a gay one and having a baby involves a
Pat Faunce is a faltering
romantic, a former poetry major who now writes textbooks. A decade into his
relationship with Stu, an airline pilot from a fraught Jewish family, he fears
he’s losing Stu to other men—and losing himself in their “no rules”
arrangement. Yearning for a baby and a deeper commitment, he pressures Stu to
move from Manhattan to Cape Cod, to the cottage where Pat spent boyhood summers.
As they struggle to adjust to
their new life, they enlist a surrogate: Debora, a charismatic Brazilian
immigrant, married to Danny, an American carpenter. Gradually, Pat and Debora
bond, drawn together by the logistics of getting pregnant and away from their
spouses. Pat gets caught between loyalties—to Stu and his family, to Debora, to
his own potent desires—and wonders: is he fit to be a father?
In one of the first novels to
explore the experience of gay men seeking a child through surrogacy, Michael
Lowenthal writes passionately about marriages and mistakes, loyalty and
betrayal, and about how our drive to create families can complicate the ones we
Paternity Test is a
provocative look at the new “family values."
The Paternity Test is a novel that is sure to turn a few
heads as it takes a look at our evolving world and the many different types of
families within it. I accepted this book for review because it’s quite
different from most books in its genre. The writing is strong, weaving emotions
throughout the story that are sure to tug at your heartstrings no matter what
thoughts you may have on the topic. However, given that the subject matter
attacks a widely opinionated topic, there are sure to be those that love and
those who hate this book. Keeping all
personal thoughts and beliefs out of it, this author has a wonderful writing
style, imaginative story, colorful characters and something to say that begs
you to listen. If it peaks your
interest, go for it.
*Thank you to BookSparks PR for providing this review copy. Visit them at www.booksparkspr.com
Seattle’s commercial waterfront, San Diego’s
topless beaches, and the waters of Cabo San Lucas are all breathtaking and
beautiful, but in Perfect Bait, these settings are the backdrop for a story of
kidnapping, rape and murder – leaving the reader deeply engrossed in a
spellbinding and suspenseful thriller.
When Corey Phillips moved to Southern California
to start a charter boating operation with his girlfriend Jennifer, he never
expected he’d be looking for anything other than fish among the open waters.
Lately though, young girls have been disappearing and the local authorities are
depending on the FBI to put the pieces of this mystery together. However, the
puzzle proves difficult to solve, until Corey and Jennifer find themselves the
perfect bait and fighting for their lives.
Michael Fowlkes brings a smooth and addicting
writing style to the pages of this novel. The story flows effortlessly across
the pages as the action, adventure and suspense hold the reader captive. While gritty and all-too-real, the book
brings to life the horror of crime combined with the beauty of the ocean and a
love for boating. Mixed within the pages is a story of love as Corey and Jennifer
fight to stay alive, together.
I loved the thoughts that opened each chapter in
this book. Simple sentences such as, “Exercise caution in your business
affairs, for the world is full of trickery” signify the beginning of a new
chapter, often lending themselves to the story unfolding on the pages to
follow. If you enjoy a good mystery/thriller/suspense novel, you’ll love
My Scandalous Viscount
Author: Gaelen Foley
Publisher: Avon Books
Source: TLC Book Tours
Meet the courageous men of the Inferno Club as they face their greatest challenge yet: marriage!
Sebastian, Viscount Beauchamp, lives by a code of honor, and now honor dictates he must marry Miss Carissa Portland. He has no regrets over stealing a kiss from the adorable little busybody—a fitting punishment for putting her delectable nose where it didn't belong. But now, caught in a compromising situation, he knows he must make her his bride. He's faced danger before—but nothing like this!
Carissa is not a gossip—she's a "lady of information." And all she was trying to do was warn the rakehell Beauchamp away from an irate husband. But even she can't flaunt Society, and while her head tells her that Beau's a notorious scoundrel, her heart—and her body—are captivated by his dangerous charm. But when Carissa next goes snooping, the secrets she uncovers about the Inferno Club may prove even more hazardous than falling in love with her own husband.
Carissa Portland has always been full of information. If anyone knows anything about society, it's Carissa. However, her reasons for knowing the secrets flying through the ton are for her own sanity because she herself has a secret. In order to keep her past hidden, Carissa makes sure she knows what's being talked about among the rich aristocrats in London. When Carissa is caught searching for information, her snooping ends up leading to a marriage of safety. Will her knack for finding information threaten the survival of her marriage?
Viscount Beauchamp, Sebastian, is one of the men of the Inferno Club, a secret aristocratic Order of spies. When Sebastian is caught in a compromising situation with Carissa Portland, a sneaking busybody, he has no choice but to marry her, making his situation harder than intended. When Carissa finds out more than Sebastian ever intended her to know about him, Sebastian finds himself trying to keep her quiet and safe, not realizing she may just be his greatest ally.
These two lead characters are quiet entertaining to read about. The sparks fly between them from the very beginning as their secrets unfold. This romance is full of political unrest, spies, bureaucracy, aristocrats and secrets. From the moment you pick it up, you will find yourself wondering what's in it for Carissa and Sebastian, forced into marriage but not into love. It is an enjoyable read.
I've had my share of both good and bad advice, but the best advice? Actually comes from my years as a televisions reporter - and it fits in so well with writing that I'm going to write about that today.
Early in my journalism career I tried to emulate the best - Katie Couric, Jane Pauley, the list goes on. I watched them like a hawk - from their facial expressions to their little ticks. Did they hold their hands *this* way or *that*? How did that voice inflection go again? How did they say ____? I twisted myself up, down and all around trying to be exactly like my favorite news people because I thought that was what viewers wanted. After all, they were all working for major networks while I was still in small-market news.
One of my favorite people ever, a sports anchor in the town where I worked, was a rancher Monday through Friday and a sports reporter/anchor on weekends. He was funny - very dry humor - had amazing pipes - oh, what a voice! - and a way of saying things that still makes me melt. He'd been in the business for years and years, and one night as I was fiddling with my makeup and hair and going over the story scripts he said, 'You know, all anyone really wants is for us to tell them a story. Our way.'
He'd seen what I was doing - making myself into the perfect replica of what I thought a news person should be. When what I needed to actually do was just report the news in my own way. He mentioned that I was perfectly competent in my impersonations but all that preparation and practice was keeping viewers from relating to *my telling* of the story.
I think that relates to writing, too. Nora (Roberts) and Jayne (Ann Krentz) and Jill (Shalvis) may be best sellers, but they are because they tell their stories their way. They don't imitate or emulate. They are what we all need to be: unique. Shakespeare and Dickens told crazy-good stories. It's okay to hope to someday be that good. The key is to realize we'll only get to that level if we are true to our inner voices, our storytelling abilities and the stories that are in our hearts, waiting to get out.
--Kristina Knight, author of The Saints Devilish Deal
Esmerelda Quinn has been looking for a place to belong since her parents were killed in a car crash when she was young. The closest thing to home has always been Aunt Constance's villa in Puerto Vallarta, so after a string of hotellier jobs, she's coming home to run the villa.
Santiago Cruz has called the villa home for as long as he can remember. In between surfing events, Constance has always had a room for him. Color him surprised when Constance leaves him with a joint interest in the villa - along with her niece Esmerelda.
Esme isn't thrilled to share ownership of the villa with the the youngest Cruz brother - especially as the Cruz family has been after the villa for years. But Santiago has grown up while she's been away and soon she finds herself falling for the rich boy down the hall - all over again.
One of the things I love about reading is the ability to go anywhere, all from the comfort of your own living room. I'm not a fan of flying, which limits the places I travel too, making books like this one great to read because their settings are somewhere I haven't been or likely won't go. While I am visiting another world through the story, I'm also visiting a place, adding to my reading enjoyment.
I really enjoyed this book. The storyline that surrounds the villa and the plans to make it a successful establishment interested me. Something about the setting of a villa intrigues me. I would love to have my own Tuscan Villa, its romantic. Esme and Santiago have a connection that is spicy hot from the very beginning. Their past relationship and years of knowing each other adds to the connection. I found myself hoping that this time Santiago would settle down and stay in one place, minimizing the risk Esme feels is attached to a relationship with Santiago. Their relationship develops throughout the story, making this book a fun and easy read. I read it fairly quickly once I started.
This romance was simple and enjoyable but I found myself wishing the story went a little deeper, the plot line had room for expansion and depth without being too deep. Though this didn't effect my enjoyment of the story, I may have enjoyed it more if the story went deeper. Needless to say, this book is about romance and romance you will get! It was a wonderful read. It took me outside my own life and into the lives of Esme and Santiago. I highly recommend it.
About the Author
Once upon a time, KristinaKnight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police – no, she wasn’t a trouble-maker she was a journalist. When the opportunity to write what she wanted – business and family/parenting articles – and to focus more energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it.
And she’s never looked back. Now she writes articles for magazines and such by day and writes romance novels with spice by night. And any toddler-free, five minute break she has. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and 4 year old daughter. Happily ever after.
Recently fired and almost broke, thirty-year old Ellie
decides to push all distractions aside and form a crash-or-burn plan to save
herself and finally pursue her dreams. She gives herself one month to make the
near-impossible happen, otherwise she has to leave New York City and move into
her niece's toy room.
The plan seems simple but becomes complicated by a
nosey best friend, a difficult roommate, a dreamy stranger, and a really bad
ring. As the month progresses, Ellie must confront the realization that by
deciding to focus on herself, she may have become completely self-centered.
Will she let her own ambitions, insecurities, and
assumptions ruin her friendships and get in the way of a possible romance?
Ruled by endless lists and fueled by several plates of pie, Ellie's comical
thoughts and mishaps drive this story from the office to the coffee shop during
a month that will leave her with a broken foot, a great pair of shoes, and a
forever changed life.
If a book makes me laugh, it is very likely
that I will love it in the end. This
title didn’t disappoint me in this regard. That Time of the Month is a witty
and very humorous novel that kept my attention throughout the entire ordeal that
is Ellie. Ellie, the lead character, is
a bit clumsy –to say the least- and has a lot going on in her life. During this period of transition and search for
balance and purpose while chasing her dream, Ellie is supported by a wonderful
set of supporting characters that will remind you of those in your life who
love you despite your flaws.
That Time of the Month was a lovely book. Fans of chick lit are sure to enjoy it. I
started laughing within the first chapter as Ellie loses her job in a comical
scene I still haven’t forgotten. When Ellie decides to chase her dream of
becoming a famous author, the book takes off and the laughter doesn’t stop.
Ellie is a character that is easy to relate to because she is in a phase of
life we all reach at some point in time. The reader is given a comical story
that demands attention and deserves it.
I highly recommend the read.
About the Author
I am a Tennessean by birth, and have lived pretty much
everywhere. My Dad always says that when I was born, and the doctor tried to
slap me to make me cry, that I stood up on the table and slapped the doctor
instead…and from then on, I never did anything that I didn't want to do.
Luckily, what I want to do is write…and not carjacking or vandalism.
Like my main character, Ellie, I love making random lists…so here are some
random facts about me: - I'm nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the
other. The world looks like a fun-house mirror if I don't wear my glasses or
- I was almost kicked out of Graceland for using flash photography in the
peacock-mirrored front room, and my tour group shunned me the entire rest of
the tour. That made for a lonely trip through the Jungle Room.
- I was once mistaken for a member of Hanson…granted, they all had long hair at
the time, but still… not what you want to hear as a girl.
When I wrote That Time of the Month, I really saw it as though it
was a movie. I can see every scene, every character and what they are wearing,
every piece of pie, perfectly in my mind. I'm currently writing the sequel, That
Time of the Year. I love the story and characters so much, that I am
tempted to turn the series into a trilogy.
As Kara Newell packs up to leave New York City for
a fabulous, much needed, vacation, she receives a call requesting her appearance
at the reading of a will. As a result, Kara puts off her plans to return home
and heads to Cavanaugh Island, both confused and interested in the stranger who
left her something in the wake of his death. Upon arrival, Kara learns the
unexpected truth regarding her family, a truth that changes her life forever.
Landing was a fun, light-hearted and romantic book, but didn’t have the block
buster qualities that make novels a top pick, in my opinion. The characters are
attractive, loveable and well developed, but they have some annoying qualities
that kept sneaking up and making me wince. For example, Jeff, the hot sheriff
that’s into Kara, calls Kara “baby” constantly throughout the novel. Jeff
begins using this term of endearment almost immediately, which turned me off
almost instantly. The term is used far too often and made me feel like Jeff was
a player or that he didn’t respect Kara fully. He uses the term so loosely,
right off the bat.
pace of the novel is steady but it didn’t capture my attention and keep it. I
would much rather be glued to the pages than find myself taking breaks from
reading and putting the book down. I did however enjoy the setting immensely.
Cavanaugh Island is a gem hidden in the form of land, surrounded by the sea.
The close knit, family community stands up for each other, protects each other
and puts their peers in their place when actions need to be corrected or
adjusted. The town really had each other’s back, so to speak, and didn’t put up
with discrimination or bullying from the developers attempting to take what’s
Overall this romance was
a good read, but not a favorite. The love story is all about surprise and the
unexpected, as are many of the other story lines in this piece of fiction. If
anything can be said about this book, it should be that you’ll find yourself
wanting to be in Angels Landing, enjoying the locals, the culture, the food and
the charm of an endearing island oasis.
The Lords of Vice were not given their nicknames on a whim.
In fact, their titles openly air their love of gambling, women and
self-satisfaction. Now, the Marquees of
Sainthill, also known as Saint - to the Lords of Vice – is one of the few
remaining unwed Lords. When Saint unexpectedly falls for Madame Venna, the
unthinkable suddenly becomes a reality and Saint finds himself deeply in love
with the proprietress of London’s most exclusive brothel.
Madame Venna has a secret.
Her former life leads her down a specific path that is full of
success. As the owner of The Golden
Pearl, Madame Venna lives the life of a wealthy and mysterious business owner,
tending to the needs to London’s men. However, outside the walls of the notorious
brothel, Madame lives another life, hidden from all those who know her as
Madame Venna – or so she thinks. When Madame breaks her cardinal rule and falls
in love, her walls are slowly torn down, threatening to expose her secrets and
ruin her carefully constructed life.
I greatly enjoyed this romance. There is a little bit of mystery to the
story, though the reader knows it all. The characters, however, are discovering
the secrets bit by bit, while falling deeper in love with each passing day.
Saint and the other Lords of Vice are well developed, well built upon
characters. Those who follow the series are enabled to sit back and fall into
the story as if they were meeting up with old friends. The characters are
comfortable around each other and it shows. They give meaning to the phrase
“Friends are the family you choose.” In addition, the author has found
wonderful supporting characters for each Lord, Madame Venna is no
different. She is the perfect pick for
the Marquees of Sainthill, who would be quite bored without the intrigue of this
woman and her mysterious background.
The story is not without its flaws. There were a few parts
that were left unaddressed in the end, though they are minor and did not stick
with me for long. For the most part this story kept me turning the pages at a
steady pace, I found very few areas that didn’t grab and hold my attention.
On the upside this romance is full of heat. The passion between these two is
electrifying. It’s visible even when they are not together, which adds to the
story in many ways. Though the story isn’t my favorite in the series, it is
highly entertaining and addictive.
Hawkins writes in such a way that demands the reader’s attention and
holds it effortlessly. I would recommend
this book as well as the series to others.
It’s definitely worth the read and delivers the unexpected. I’m positive this is the first Marquees and
Brothel proprietress romance I’ve read.
Author: Susan McBride
Publisher: William Morrow
Rating: Must Read
At the age of 40, Susan McBride was in her prime, comfortable and happy despite her mother’s fear that she’d never marry. Though still single and fully aware she had a greater chance of being killed by a terrorist than being married, the St. Louis-based author didn’t feel anything was missing from her life.
In 2005, McBride was named one of St. Louis’s top singles by St. Louis magazine. Ironically, at the magazine’s top singles party, McBride met the love of her life and future husband. With Ed, she found a companionship and love she never expected; she began to see what she might miss without him by her side.
A second surprise came in 2006: McBride was diagnosed with breast cancer. Six years later, she recounts her journey through love and survival in her entertaining memoir, In the Pink: How I Met the Perfect (Younger) Guy, Survived Breast Cancer, and Found True Happiness After 40. The book, released Oct. 2 for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is a tribute to life and a letter of encouragement to women everywhere.
McBride writes candidly and openly about age, love, cancer and coping. The memoir is a laugh-out-loud account of the author’s journey, even as she navigates through sadness and pain. McBride takes the reader to a place of contentment and understanding, inserting humor to lighten the mood. In the Pink sends an uplifting message that calls on women to follow their dreams and develop self-worth. By sharing her darkest times, McBride encourages others to discover who they are. Readers will be inspired.
*This article is my review of In the Pink as seen in the October issue of Inside Columbia magazine.
My contribution to the magazine was unpaid. All thoughts are purely my own.*
The Time Keeper is a compelling fable about the first man on earth to count the hours.
The man who became Father Time.
In Mitch Albom's newest work of fiction, the inventor of the world's first clock is punished for trying to measure God's greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.
He returns to our world--now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began--and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so.
Told in Albom's signature spare, evocative prose, this remarkably original tale will inspire readers everywhere to reconsider their own notions of time, how they spend it and how precious it truly is.
I absolutely love everything Mitch Albom writes. His books are compelling and thought provoking. They are also uplifting and enlightening while giving the reader a solid storyline and well developed characters. I haven't missed a book yet, and I won't start now! Read it with me....