Friday, September 30, 2011

Interview with Shannon Hart

When given the chance to interview Shannon Hart, the author of "Until the End of Forever," I was thrilled.  The book, which I reviewed for Shannon's tour is a charming read.  Here's our interview for your enjoyment!

Where did you get the idea for "Until the End of Forever?"

The idea for the storyline actually started out as bits and pieces of ideas, feelings and emotions I was feeling… about work, about marriage, about life as a mom, and a lot of other things. I have also had the privilege of meeting a lot of people and have a lot of good friends who are married and whenever we would talk, we would always end up talking about the same thing: at one point or another, we’ve all had moments when we wondered if there was more to what we already had. Especially some of my friends who made sacrifices in their career, those who always wanted to do things but never got around to doing them. That’s how the basic plotline of Sarah going away on a Sabbatical came about. After that, everything else just fell into place. 

This novel is very unique, I loved the plotline and characters.

 In what ways do you connect with Sarah and her story?First of all, thank you so much! I’m so happy you loved the story! Connecting with Sarah was easy actually. When I was writing, I infused a lot of myself into Sarah’s character. Her complicated thought process, her insane level of denial, and her ability to overreact to everything – that’s basically all me. Unfortunately. J Even her physical features are based on me: petite and dark haired. I’m just not as pretty as she is!

Do you find yourself drawn to, or more like, one character than another?

Do you have a favorite character?I am totally in love with all my characters. But if I really had to choose, I’d choose Rob. He’s the ultimate dream guy! He’s romantic, talented, dedicated, and from what is written, seems like he’s ridiculously handsome too. The only problem he has is that he’s a tad bit clueless when it comes to women’s emotional instability. Haha.

Do you believe dreams tell us something?

Probably not all dreams, but some, yes. I remember when I was younger, I used to dream all sorts of weird things and well, me being me, I’d always (over) analyze them. But in doing that, I discovered a lot of things, believe it or not! Like when I was in college and I kept dreaming about either running around in circles or running into dead end alleys. I basically realized that it was like an illustration of what I was feeling. I did feel like I was at a dead end. At the time, I was struggling with Business Statistics (I failed twice!) and I just felt like no matter what I tried, no matter how much I studied, I just never got it right. 

Did you have fun writing this story?

Oh yes, I certainly did. In fact, on some nights (I could only write when my husband and kids were asleep), I’d have such a massive adrenaline rush that I’d write until the sun came up. Literally!

What has the publishing process been like since you were "discovered"?

It’s been a priceless experience for me. I have met wonderful people who have become new great friends, and I have learned so much. Publishing is a really tough job and it’s not for everyone. It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of details, long hours and requires so much dedication and concentration. I’ve always loved books but now I appreciate them much, much more.

How does it feel to see your novel in print at a bookstore?

Seeing Until the End of Forever being printed is surreal. I never thought it would be anything else than a Microsoft Word document in my laptop. The other day, I caught a colleague at work hiding behind her laptop and secretly reading the book. I was over the moon!

Until the End of Forever has been receiving wonderful reviews! Did you ever expect such an outpour of love for your book?

I am so grateful that people are responding well to my book. When I wrote it, I had high hopes that people would be able to relate to the story and enjoy it. Of course, I was never sure that they would! It really means so much to me that readers love it. It’s a dream come true. 

What's it like having fans?

I have fans? Really? That’s awesome! I am unbelievably grateful.

Do you have a publicist or PR Agency?

No, I don’t at the moment. You think I should get one?
      I highly recommend BookSparks PR

Have you made any new friends through this experience?

Absolutely! I am so delighted that this experience has led me to meet such wonderful people like Samantha ( and Nancy ( and I’ve been in touch with some of the nicest authors, bloggers and readers too. I’m dying to meet a lot more people who share my passion.

Do you have a writing buddy?

I have Chris – he’s not really a writing buddy, more like a reading buddy. But I send him everything because I know that when I send him something to read, he’ll read it and give it to me straight. He’ll tell me if it sucks or if he loves it. He’ll tell me when something sounds a bit off or unrealistic. 

What are you currently reading?

I’m actually in the middle of reading Tina Fey’s Bossypants right now. I don’t usually read anything besides fiction unless I really have to, but come on, this is Tina Fey we’re talking about. She’s hilarious! 

Any new titles in the works?

I have a second novel that is in the works. I’m so excited about it. I hope you’ll be able to read it soon. 

How can readers connect with you?

If readers want to get to know me, they can read a lot about me and my life on my personal blog For updates on my writing projects, reviews and books, they can go to I’d love to be able to connect and speak to more readers actually! They can email me anytime, too. I can be reached through And of course, I am on Twitter constantly (@dramaprincess). I tweet about anything and sometimes about nothing at all. Consider yourself warned.

Thanks so much Shannon!!  I enjoyed our interview and your book, but more about that tomorrow....

The Story of Noah’s Ark: Storybook and Wall Clings

Written by Lori C Froeb
Illustrated by Luana Rinaldo
ISBN: 978-0-8254-5552-0
Publisher: Kregel Kidzone
Source: Review Copy

About the title:
The story of Noah and his ark is one of the most beloved stories in the Bible.  With this deluxe set, kids can use the wall clings to recreate the awesome scene of all the animals boarding the ark.  As they read about Noah and his adventure, children can stick the vinyl clings on any painted wall to retell the story.  The clings peel right off, so kids can rearrange them however they choose.
My Thoughts:
This book is wonderful.  I really enjoyed the vivid illustrations, colors and design.  The story itself is sound and perfect for young kids.  I would recommend its use in Sunday school classrooms.  My daughters loved these fun wall clings.  Our walls are textured and the clings do not stay on the wall long.  I would recommend a flat, un-texturized wall for these clings.  My daughters ended up putting them on their bedroom doors and enjoyed it!  The clings do peel off and re stick so they can be rearranged.  This has happened multiple times in our household.  Overall, I would recommend this book.  It’s colorful and interactive and a fun way for your child to put their hands to work while learning about the bible and God’s provision.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What Color Are You?

Guest post by Crystal Connor, author of The Darkness.

I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure what I was going to talk about but after some thought I figured why not talk about how and why I started blogging. The reason I started blogging is because I used to belong to a writing group called Author’s Anonymous. What attracted me to the group was the fact that the founder gave us all writing assignments, and we posted them to our blogs so that other we could read, critique and comment on our fellow members stories. It was an amazing group but as we, as writers, spent more and more time with our own writing goals and deadlines we just didn’t have the time to commit to our group.  I am going to share two of my “early works” that I posted while a member of Author’s Anonymous with you today. I hope you enjoy them. Coaches instructions: If you had to describe yourself as a color, which would you choose and why?

So I was going to skip this assignment to work on the next one (which seems so kick ass, totally fun with a ton of room to maneuver…and that's right up my alley) This drill seemed a little challenging and I couldn’t find a way not to incorporate race and clearly that’s not what’s she’s asking, but it’s the 1st thing that came to mind and the only thing that stayed there.
Because I sooo do not want to do this assignment I’ve decided to do it twice…two different stories. If you wanna wear daisy dukes you gotta do your squats & lunges there is just no way around it. My story Colors

Part 1 follows:

“What color we’re you?”

The little girl asked me what color I was and the question caught me completely off guard and ushered in a flood of memories that I had tried for ten years to forget.

Once I was alone and had more time to think about her question I realized I could no longer remember my native planet. I couldn’t remember what it felt like to breath relatively clean air or enjoy the warmth of the sun beneath the protective barrier of an ozone layer. That was a long time ago and Earth is no longer there.

This planet was different. The landscape was harsh and colorless, the weather was openly hostile and it was as if the sun was trying to use the cleaning power of fire to rid her 5th planet of disease.

It’s surprising how quickly the human body can adapt and evolve but I guess we can thank Monarch Pharmaceuticals for that because God had nothing to do with this.

Out of the 758,459 of us who had won the lottery to escape the Garden of Eden that God had given man in the form of Planet Earth, only twenty-eight of us were still alive. In this sector there were only two of us but that wouldn’t be the count for long because Eric was dying.

This planet already had a population in the billions and the girl who asked the question was a 3rd generation native and that was why she had asked the question in the 1st place.

In just 10 years I had become known as a settler. I was an immigrant, a relic from the “old country,” with an outdated language, ancient customs, and conservative ways and I am only forty.

Thanks to Monarch Pharms, to deal with the combative environment of the brave new world, I no longer had skin but scales. I was still humanoid in form and so were the natives…sort of.

I guess you can say us settlers were like the Cardassian race from Star Trek; and like the lizards of the deserts of our old planet, our genetic manipulation allowed us to live on this one and it was our genetic manipulation that was also killing us.

You could still see that I had once been beautiful and I think that is why the youth of this planet got themselves “scaled” despite the fact that their shinny chromed skin was more than capable of dealing with the proximity of a sun that never set. Like the young of planet earth, who in emulated African body modification by stretching their ears without fully understanding the culture or significance behind the act. Some things never change.

I closed my eyes and let my memory recall the green rolling hills, red desert sands, and canyons carved from lakes, and deep blue-green seas that had once been my home. In my minds eye I saw the girl and heard her question asked and asked again…

“What color we’re you?”

I didn’t answer her question because I couldn’t. Tears breached past my closed reptilian eyes and flowed down my cheeks as I cried myself to sleep. I didn’t answer her question because I couldn’t…because I didn’t remember what color I had been.            

And here is my 2nd attempt. It’s not a short story it’s a poem and I was so incredibly blown away by how this piece turned and the amount of feedback that I got from it I used it as the dedication it to my mom in The Darkness.

Colors Part 2:

As you know I did not want to do this drill. It’s still just as challenging as when I wrote the 1st Color and I still couldn’t find a way not to incorporate race.

Well like I promised I gave it another shot.

I am the color of the Red Sands of African a land where my roots were 1st planted.

I am the color of Oxidized Iron, from shackles that bound my predecessors in the storage hold.

I am the color of the green, brown, and white cotton fields and I am the color red from the blood that ran down the fingers that picked them.

I am the blue color of the Civil War Union uniform. I am the white hot color of rage, I am the iridescent color of tears, I am every color on the spectrum from orange to red in outrage and am the bottomless color of black by the betrayal that the Choctaw people felt when being removed from lands that been held since antiquity.

I am the Silver-Blue color of The Rio Grande that “Los Mojado’s”, the wet ones, risked their lives to cross in order to make a better life for their heirs. I am the color of fire that burned bras in the 60’s.

I am all the bright colors of the arrogant peacock, because I am the color of my ancestors. 

Thank you Crystal!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Lancaster County Christmas

Author: Suzanne Woods
ISBN: 978-0-8007-1995-1
Publisher: Revell Books
Source: Litfuse Book Tour

About the Book:
Jaime and C. J. Fitzpatrick began their married life as most couples do--in love and looking forward to a bright future together. But four years later they've drifted apart and are almost ready to call it quits.

Mattie Riehl was hoping to give her husband Sol the Christmas gift they have both longed for--news that a baby was on the way. But as usual, she is disappointed. The holidays bring an acute awareness to Mattie that her dream of a big family isn't likely to become a reality.

Then a winter storm raging outside blows the Fitzpatricks into the Riehl home--and into a much slower pace of life. Can these two couples from different worlds help each other understand the true meaning of love this Christmas?

With her trademark plot twists and attention to detail, Suzanne Woods Fisher offers readers a beautiful Christmas story of love, forgiveness, and what truly matters in life.

My Thoughts:

A Lancaster County Christmas is a beautifully written novel fully of plot twists that are detailed and imaginative.  This book captures your attention.  It's a heartwarming holiday story that I personally connected to.  The novel promotes my favorite verse; "All things work together for good..." which can be found in Romans 8:28.  The book notes that things happen for a reason and that questioning things usually doesn't give insight, but rather stress and a deeper confusion or worry.  Suzanne is a wonderful author.  I always enjoy her books but I loved the unique aspect she brings to this book by having an Amish and English couple brought together.  I appreciate Suzanne's ability to bring charming characters and an intriguing story into the same book.  Women will be able to connect with this novel and the characters within.  It's a wonderful Christmas story to read on a cold day by the fire.

About Suzanne:
Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised Plain. She has many, many Plain relatives living in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and travels back to Pennsylvania, as well as to Ohio, a couple of times each year for research.

Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world.  In both her fiction and non-fiction books, she has an underlying theme: You don't have to "go Amish" to incorporate many of their principles--simplicity, living with less, appreciating nature, forgiving others more readily-- into your life.

When Suzanne isn't writing or bragging to her friends about her first new grandbaby (!), she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you just can't take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.

Suzanne can be found on-line at:

Highly Recommended

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Last Page

Author: Lacy Camey
Publisher: Lacy Camey
Purchase Link
Source: Chick-lit Plus Blog Tours

About the Book:
Norah Johnson is at a crossroads and is in desperate need to heal after a highly publicized breakup from her major league baseball player boyfriend. To escape, she moves to her summer home at the beach with her sister and best friend where she journals, attends therapy and works on her pending clothing line. When a gorgeous stranger finds her lost journal, he seeks to find the author and make her fall in love with him. But is Norah ready to love again?

Book 1 in the romantic comedy trilogy of living, loving, and laughing again; a Norah Johnson story.

My Thoughts:

The last page is a great story that is well written.  I enjoyed the aspects of this book that made it unique, such as the fashion.  I also enjoyed the close bond that Norah has with her sister.  I was able to easily relate to that bond as well as having friends who are like sisters.  This title was a great start to the trilogy it is part of.  I look forward to reading more about Norah.  Aside from a cute and fun cover, this book is a fun to read as well.  I was easily attached to the storyline and its charming characters.  Ex-boyfriend aside, these characters were lovable and fun to read about.  I think any girl can relate to Norah's story, which makes this title a great chick-lit.

If you love fashion, romance, stories with family relationships or dynamics, this one has something for you!  It really has a little of everything.  Top that with a great writing style and you get The Last Page.  Oh and it has great setting!  I love beach house, beach themed reads!!

About Lacy: (Isn't she beautiful?)
Lacy Camey is a fiction writer and lives in Houston, Texas with her musician/producer/songwriter husband, Joel, and has a cat who acts like a dog, named Blue. When she isn't writing, or collaborating with her husband, she enjoys being outside, running, working out, reading, cooking, is a huge movie buff and loves watching reality shows on Bravo, especially The Real Housewives franchise. She loves having fun, enjoying the life God has given her and loves to encourage others to follow their bliss. She secretly dreams of going on the Amazing Race with her husband on CBS but is still trying to convince him to audition. Every book written by Lacy Camey purchased by others, a portion goes to supporting an orphanage in Southern America. Lacy has plans to build an orphanage very soon with proceeds from her books. You can stay updated on the process at her blog at would love to stay in contact with her readers. Feel free to visit her blog and website at or follow her on twitter @lacycamey or e-mail: lacycameywrites (at) gmail (dot) com

4 out of 5 Photobucket Highly Recommended

Shouty Good Habits & Shouty Food & Fitness

Neon Seon
ISBN: 978-0-842069-0-2 ( Good Habits)
ISBN: 978-0-984206-9-19 ( Food & Fitness)
Publisher: Rixkin
Source: Pump Up Your Book Blog Tour

About the Book:
If change is the one thing we can count on, why is it so difficult for most of us to change our bad habits? In Life of Shouty: Good Habits, Shouty attempts to do just that. As he tries to change his ways, comfort zones and negative self-talk threaten to keep him from his goal. Will his bad habits prevail? Or can Shouty pull through and make better choices?

Life of Shouty: Good Habits is a universal story that explores themes of hope and persistence in the face of adversity. Readers can relate to Shouty’s struggles: procrastination, stagnancy, and habitual ways of thinking that pose obstacles to achievement and personal growth. This  book helps children see that their bad habits can follow them into adulthood, like they did for Shouty. The poetic style and illustrations help to create a reading journey that speaks to the heart of those who want to be their best selves.

Changing habits is not easy, but you will be motivated to—or at least have hope that you can—after reading this book. Whether you’re an adult or child, Life of Shouty: Good Habits offers a refreshing view of life’s common challenges.

My Thoughts:
" I have this great vision of who I could be!  As I look in the mirror, that's not what I see" -Shouty

Though shouty was given sound advice he didn't practice good habits and had to learn the hard way.  Shouty takes "easy street" and is a lazy, messy, couch potato who discovers "easy street" isn't easy at all.  When his life starts to make him ashamed of himself, and his procrastinating builds his "to do" pile to high, life becomes overwhelming.  The little voices inside Shouty's head tell him to quit, just rest, eat whatever you want and do it later.  They are hard to ignore, but he must in order to gain a life of good habits.  Shouty is determined to practice good habits and shun the bad ones.  With hard work, determination and practice, Shouty takes his unhappy life and turns it into something to be proud of.

This is a cute story with a good message.  I was trying to figure out exactly what Shouty was and decided on a potato.  The book has simple illustrations and a positive message meant for children ages 7 and up.  There are lots of different books available on this topic, this one is a good option based on your child's preference, your family views and their age. 

Shouty also has a second book out which discusses food and fitness.  This book is great for kids because it teaches them that everyone struggles with fitness and eating healthy but it can be done and is important.  Check out both books and see what you think.....

About the Author:
Creating Shouty Mack as a comic strip for a high school newspaper in 1991, NeonSeon—-some 20 years later—-decided to develop Life of Shouty, a book series focused on life issues for ages 8 & up.
You can visit his website at


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Candle Wreaths Review & Giveaway

Candle Wreaths Review & Giveaway
Guest Post by Angie Holtz of Lilac Wolf and Stuff

My friend at Shadows of the Goddess on Etsy sent me a set of Candle Wreaths she crocheted up and decorated nicely.  Look here:
I thought the beads were glass or plastic but they were wood.  It gives it a classy and antique feel.  I purchased the glass candle holders myself at Wal-Mart.  I was looking for something taller and thinner, but I think these worked out great.
I plan on taking them with me when I go visit family for Thanksgiving.  They will go with any centerpiece.  Plus they fit in now with fall decorations and/or Halloween.

Lisa creates numerous crochet designs, and they are all one of a kind.  She never uses a pattern.  In addition to crochet items, she makes jewelry (which I adore and am addicted to) and occasionally soap and fudge.

Here Ivan joined the fun; he thought the candles meant it was his birthday again!  LOL

These are so simple but so lovely, I would recommend them for your own home or as a hostess gift for the holidays.  Just go see Lisa at her Etsy store Shadows of the Goddess.  Also she has 20% off her entire store for the rest of the year, just enter LDSALE during checkout.  She has a variety of colors and items on her site, and it’s always changing – make sure to add her to your favorites.
As an added bonus, she made these darling red/white candle wreaths with gold embellishments for one lucky winner.  Just comment below and leave some love for Shadows of the Goddess!  Let us know what you like about this post, review or product!  Giveaway ends 9/30/11 at 11:59pm CST.
Thanks to Angie from Lilac Wolf and Stuff for this product review!  Thanks to Shadows of the Goddess for the giveaway and 20% off savings!!!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Flashback

The Eleventh Hour
Michael Phillips
ISBN: 9781414307879
Publisher: Tyndale House
Series: Secret of the Rose #1
Source: Purchased

About the Book:
Prussia, 1937.

Baron von Dortmann cares for his family with the same passion and devotion with which he tends the roses in his beloved Spring Garden. His daughter, the beautiful Sabina, drinks in the nourishment of his fascinating stories in the garden--his wonderful life-lessons about God and creation and the secrets of growing things.
As the baron watches over his estate and his family, he knows his daughter is destined to be a lovely bloom. Already she has caught the eye of the young American, Matthew, and their neighbors’ son, Gustav.
Amid the placid rhythms of farm life, the baron looks over his world with both a father’s and a gardener’s eyes.

Unfortunately, he is not the only one watching...

Suddenly a storm sweeps over neighboring Poland--the thunder and lightning of the German blitzkrieg--which will change the Dortmanns’ lives forever...
The baron will be left with a most difficult decision. Sabina will be left with the secret of the rose.
My Thoughts:
I LOVED this series!  I have read it twice and each time I appreciate the novels more.  This Christian historical fiction series is wonderful.  I couldn't tear myself away from the pages.  The novel intrigued me so much that I had to buy the next book in the series as soon as it was available.  I read this series in high school and re-read it after college.  I am not a fan of the cover pictured above, the edition I have has a more appealing cover.  This is a book you should not judge by the cover.  Picture it as something you'd love and read it.  I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it!  Great writing, great flow, intriguing story and lovable characters make this one a must read.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Grief of Others

Leah Hager Cohen
ISBN:  978-1594488054
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
Source: TLC Book Tours

About the Book:
Is keeping a secret from a spouse always an act of infidelity? And what cost does such a secret exact on a family?
The Ryrie’s have suffered a loss: the death of a baby just fifty-seven hours after his birth. Without words to express their grief, the parents, John and Ricky, try to return to their previous lives. Struggling to regain a semblance of normalcy for themselves and for their two older children, they find themselves pretending not only that little has changed, but that their marriage, their family, have always been intact. Yet in the aftermath of the baby’s death, long-suppressed uncertainties about their relationship come roiling to the surface. A dreadful secret emerges with reverberations that reach far into their past and threaten their future.
The couple’s children, ten-year-old Biscuit and thirteen-year-old Paul, responding to the unnamed tensions around them, begin to act out in exquisitely- perhaps courageously-idiosyncratic ways. But as the four family members scatter into private, isolating grief, an unexpected visitor arrives, and they all find themselves growing more alert to the sadness and burdens of others-to the grief that is part of every human life but that also carries within it the power to draw us together.
Moving, psychologically acute, and gorgeously written, The Grief of Others asks how we balance personal autonomy with the intimacy of relationships, how we balance private decisions with the obligations of belonging to a family, and how we take measure of our own sorrows in a world rife with suffering. This novel shows how one family, by finally allowing itself to experience the shared quality of grief, is able to rekindle tenderness and hope.

My Thoughts:
This book is beautifully written.  The Grief of Others follows the Ryrie family and two close characters as they deal with their grief.  Each character is reacting to their loss in their own way, giving a realistic look at grief and how people handle it differently.  The novel focuses on the Ryrie family and their inability to cope with the death of a baby.  Though not every member of the family deals with the loss in a healthy manner, their reactions and later, their actions, make the book realistic and believable.  I was easily able to identify to some characters more than others due to my own personality.  Though not all of the characters were likeable, the story was well done.
This book is highly poignant and at times frustrating.  I disliked Ricky and the way she handled herself.  Not only did Ricky keep a huge secret from her husband, she doesn’t handle her own grief and guilt well, which hurts her family and mostly her children, who are still alive and well.  As a mom, I can’t imagine the grief of losing a child ever, never mind so soon after birth.  However, the loss of one does not make the loss of all.  I had trouble with Ricky regarding the way she treated everyone else because of the loss.
Though a tough read the emotions in this book are captured in a believable manner that makes this novel conflicting yet enticing.  At times I wanted to quit reading, yet I couldn’t put it down.  Leah is a talented writer.  This story stayed with me for quite a while.  I would recommend this book.
About Leah Hager Cohen
Leah Hager Cohen is the author of four nonfiction books, including Train Go Sorry and Glass, Paper, Beans, and three novels, most recently House Lights. Among the honors her books have received are selection as a New York Times Notable Book (four times); American Library Association Ten Best Books of the Year; and a Booksense 76 Pick. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review.

Visit Leah at her website,, and read her blog, Love as a Found Object. Join Leah’s fan page on Facebook.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wildflower Hill Winners

Congratulations to the winners of Wildflower Hill!

Mlhrk9 and Megan23!! 

Both have been emailed and have 48 hours to respond or I'll pick replacement winner.

Thanks for entering!  Check this book out at your local bookstore!

Review to come soon (  :


Author: Bonnie Trachtenberg
ISBN: 978-1462022670
Source: Pump Up Your Book Blog Tour
Read the Excerpt

About the Book:
On what should be the happiest day of her life, Rebecca Ross is panic stricken. Rebecca has just wed Craig Jacobs, but she realizes she put more thought into choosing her florist than she did in choosing the man she’s just pledged to love for the rest of her life.
Before Craig, Rebecca, a talented Long Island girl, dreamed of following in her grandmother’s footsteps with an acting career. Unfortunately, she was cut down to size by years of disappointment, and by her first love—a Hollywood director. She returned to Long Island a lost and broken woman, and ended up in the last place she ever wanted: her old bedroom at her parents’ house.
But Rebecca’s mother, an overzealous convert to Judaism, has a long held dream too: marry off her three daughters to Jewish men. So no one is more thrilled than her when Rebecca meets and marries bon vivant Craig Jacobs, the man who has won over the whole family. Too bad they’re all about to discover that underneath his charismatic shell, this Prince Charming is anything but!
This unputdownable romantic comedy will amuse and enthrall you from angst-ridden start to glorious finish.
Rebecca Ross is about to get married but can’t shake the feeling that she’s making a huge mistake.  The book flashes back to Rebecca’s childhood and follows her life to current day to help guide the reader in understanding Rebecca and what she is feeling.  While I enjoyed this part, it was a little long and made my mind wander a bit. 
This book was definitely a fun read, give or take a few parts that were slower than others.  My favorite thing about this book was the authors’ clever and humorous writing.  The author made me laugh, which I always appreciate.  The novel is very vivid; it captures the reader and made me feel as if I was there.  Before I knew it, the book was over.
Overall, this is a great debut.  Fun, humorous, witty, clever and full of interesting characters and situations, this book was a pleasure to read.  Though not realistic, the book captures bits reality and exaggerates it.  If you have ever lived with another person you’ll understand how much you learn about others by sharing a living space.  I found these situations to be very funny in the novel, especially the sleep walking.  I would recommend this novel and I will read more by Bonnie.
About the Author:
Bonnie Trachtenberg worked as Senior Writer and Copy Chief at Book-of-the-Month Club and has written seven children’s book adaptations. She’s also written for three newspapers, and has penned countless magazine articles. Wedlocked is her first novel. She lives on Long Island with her husband, stepchildren, and cats.

Please visit her blogs at:, and on Twitter at

4.5 out of 5 Photobucket

Monday, September 19, 2011

Once Upon a Groom

Once Upon a Groom
Karen Rose Smith
ISBN: 978-0373656288
Publisher: HQN
Excerpt: Click Here
Source: Pump Up Your Book Tour

About the Book:
Zack and Jenny fell in love in high school. But Zack intended to escape the Rocky D while Jenny craved the roots she’d found on his parents’ ranch. With resentment and bitterness toward his father, blaming him for his mother’s death, Zack left for California to find a life as a movie director with wealth, fame and privilege. Now when he returns to Miners Bluff, his father isn’t the man he once was. And Jenny has a secret she has never divulged.
As old fires reignite, Zack and Jenny fall in love all over again. A rescued horse becomes a bond that helps them revisit the good times in their past. Due to Jenny’s passion for the holidays and her insistence that they visit with friends, Zack begins to remember the meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Will their differences push them apart once more? Or is Jenny truly Zack’s Cinderella and he will be able to whisk her away into their happily-ever after?
My Thoughts:
I love romance and happily ever after stories.  I especially love when a title keeps you wondering if happily ever after will happen for the hero and heroine.  Once upon a groom was wonderful, it gives you that “dreams do come true” feeling.  It is a romance that picks up on the essence of the genre, happily ever after, while also keeping realistic expectations alive.  The truth?  Love is hard.  Two people always have to work together in order to keep a relationship working.  If you love someone, this can be done.
This book was well written, flowed easily, intrigued me and had great family subplots and relationship issues that made the book realistic.  I was left wanting more from the author.  I will read more books from her.  The story is on the shorter side, since it is a HQN thin novel.  It doesn’t lack due to its page count.  I was fully satisfied at the end of the story. 
I enjoyed the characters in this story.  Zack and Jenny find out how to take care of their responsibilities, make their relationship work and what love is all about in the midst of putting their dreams on hold and taking care of Zack’s ailing father.  Zack is given the chance to see his father in a new light, realizing everything he thought was truth, was not all together true.  Zack always found his father disapproving of him.  The characters are given a chance to re-evaluate what is important and openly communicate with each other.
Overall, this was a fun, realistic romance and I enjoyed it.  It had good characters, a great flow, intrigue and of course, the chance for happily ever after.  I would recommend it.
About the Author:
Karen Rose Smith was born in Pennsylvania in the Susquehanna Valley. In college, she began writing poetry and also met her husband to be. They both started married life as teachers, but when their son was born, Karen decided to try her hand at a home decorating business. She returned to teaching for a while but changes in her life led her to writing romance fiction. Now she writes full time. Her first romance was published in 1992; her 74th novel will be published in 2011 with Harlequin Special Edition. A winner of New Jersey’s Golden Leaf Award in Short Contemporary Romance, Colorado Romance Writers Award Of Excellence for short contemporary, as well as the Phoenix Desert Rose Chapter’s Golden Quill for Traditional Romance, she has also been honored with’s award for Best Special Edition. Her romances have made both the USA TODAY list and the Waldenbooks Bestseller list for Series Romance.
Married to her college sweetheart, believing in the power of love and commitment, she envisions herself writing relationship novels for a long time to come!
Readers can visit Karen for info and excerpts at: