Friday, July 31, 2015

Heads or Tails by Leslie A. Gordon

Published May 31, 2015 by Leslie A. Gordon    
           
“Take my baby.”

Hillary can’t believe the words her best friend Margot just uttered. Deeply committed to her devoutly childless marriage, Hillary doesn’t know the first thing about infants – and has zero interest in learning. But Margot’s post-partum depression has reached a dangerous peak. With the baby a sperm donor production and Margot’s mother Jean suffering from Parkinson’s, there’s no one else. And for reasons nobody knows, Hillary owes both Margot and Jean.

Suddenly, Hillary is forced to bring the baby from Manhattan to San Francisco, where she works as general contractor for the city’s hottest restoration company. Right away, the baby’s arrival exposes hairline cracks in Hillary’s marriage to Jesse and stirs up latent resentment towards her parents, who’d been too overcome with grief to ever parent her properly. Before long, Hillary finds herself doing all kinds of things she vowed never to do, including things with her handsome and mysterious neighbor Abe. And then the question arises: should this arrangement become permanent?

Fans of Jodi Picoult, Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner will be drawn to the fresh premise of HEADS OR TAILS, a story that explores themes of friendship and loyalty and what happens when your core identity is challenged. Perfect for book clubs, the Kindle edition concludes with questions for discussion.

My Thoughts…

Heads or Tails is a easy read, yet covers a not so easy topic.  Post partum depression is not something that is talked about often.   Leslie A. Gordon took this topic and gave it the attention it needs while still being considerate and understanding to those who suffer from it.     It cannot be easy to want a baby and then once you have one not be able to care for it as it deserves.    Then to have to choose who can take care of the baby for you, it has to be shattering.  

While I did not know a lot of about Margot and her history, I love the friendship between Hillary and Margot.    To know that you can trust a person who has always she does not want children to raise and care for your child while you heal is definitely what I would call trust.   I had to laugh, numerous times, at how clueless Hillary was concerning Gretchen.   But I was also impressed with how quickly she figured out what had to be done and how to get it done.     She was inventive in some of her fixes but always kept Gretchen safe and healthy.   I could tell she was falling in love with Gretchen long before she realized it herself.   

Jesse was my biggest worry.   As Hillary’s husband it was important that he supported Hillary and Gretchen.  I was worried that he would walk away from them leaving them to flounder.    Yet, he turned into something I was not expecting.     The way he changed made me thing about what their future could be.

There is more to this story, including Abe’s storyline, but you really need to read the book to find out about him.      I recommend checking out this book right away.   It is not a long book, just the right amount of pages to tell the entire story .   


**Thank you Leslie A. Gordon for sharing a copy with me.    This review is my thoughts.  I was not reimbursed in any way for my review.   

Book Links
Author Links
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Killing Me Softly by Kathryn R. Biel

Publish date July 7, 2015 by Kathryn R. Biel

Sadie Perkins has a sixth sense about things—especially people dying. Her clairvoyance has never bothered her until she starts to believe that her visions are causing the deaths of those around her. After her latest relationship ends ... badly ... Sadie swears off love for good. While searching for an uncomplicated life, Sadie finds her hands full not only with a home renovation project but with defending herself against suspicion of murder. There's a fine line between predicting someone's death and causing it. Has Sadie finally crossed that line?
Enter contractor Max Schultz, who is not only good at working on houses, but he's good at working on Sadie too. Much to Max's dismay, as he's trying to win Sadie's heart, he finds Sadie's first love, Henry Fitzsimmons, is back in the picture, snooping around. 

Sadie doesn't know which way to turn or who to trust, including herself. Can Sadie clear her name and open her heart all at the same time?

My Thoughts…

I wasn’t sure what I expecting when I picked up this book, but I wasn’t expecting what happen in this story.  Killing Me Softly is quirky and funny.  The story starts a little slow but quickly adds steam and goes full speed ahead.    I loved that it started with the history of Sadie.   A peek into her life as one of three children and her relationship with her siblings, which sets the main story line.    While I don’t think she was neglected growing up, but I do not think the last few years of her life have been nice to her.  It seems like she had one of those take one step forward and get thrown two steps back lives.    While she had good intentions with all that she did, it did not always work out that way.  

The characters were relatable and well developed.   Each character had their own story, yet they all managed to intertwine with each other making a complete book.      With Sadie’s history all I wanted for her was to become happy and settled in life.   I wanted her to finish her house how she wanted it done, meet the man of her dreams, and I mostly wanted her to be okay with her life and realize she did not cause death.   

I loved that the setting was a small town.  Even living a few towns over from where she works she still runs into people she knows regularly.   She could visit her mom and dad, work in a bar that she knew everyone, and teach in a school where she could invest in the students.  It was also not so good for her.    When things went wrong there were no keeping secrets or hiding what was going on.  Rumors flew, people talked, and fingers were pointed.  

I suggest snuggling in, preferably with a glass of wine, and start reading.   You will not be able to put this book down.   



Book Links
Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Amazon UK   |   Smashwords

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Introducing the Something Like Normal series by Monica James



Now Available from Limitless Publishing...
SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL SERIES by Monica James

- One-click all 3 books today -
Book 1: Something Like Normal: http://amzn.to/1IqzPcT
Book 2: Something Like Redemption: http://amzn.to/1IHbLEE
Book 3: Something Like Love: http://amzn.to/1LQeRW6



Title: SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL
Author: Monica James
Series: Something Like Normal #1
Publisher: LIMITLESS PUBLISHING
- SYNOPSIS -
Mia Lee has a secret… 

A secret she’s kept hidden since she was eight years old, however, Mia will no longer allow that secret to define her. 

An irrevocable decision has left Mia Lee a fugitive and on the run—a circumstance that should leave her weak and scared, yet Mia has never felt so alive. 

Under the pseudonym of Paige Cassidy, Mia is ready to live the life she’s never had, and she’s determined not to allow her tainted past dictate her promising future. 

Paige is on a Greyhound bus heading from L.A. to South Boston, Virginia, to start a new life. 

A life that includes finding her mother, who abandoned her at age three. But what she finds, is four people, who will change her life forever. 

Yet no one can outrun their past… 

Especially one filled with bitter memories, which refuse to remain hidden.

•••• PURCHASE •••• 

Title: SOMETHING LIKE REDEMPTION
Author: Monica James
Series: Something Like Normal #2
Publisher: LIMITLESS PUBLISHING
- SYNOPSIS -
Some secrets are best left untold... 

Mia Lee escaped to the sleepy little town of South Boston, Virginia with the intent to be normal, and to find a place she could call home. 

Sadly for Mia, her past has come back with a vengeance, and forced her to flee yet again. 

This time, however, she’s not alone… 

Mia and Quinn are on the run, fleeing for their lives, while attempting to prove their innocence for a crime they did not commit. 

But with a tainted past like Mia’s, it was inevitable that one day, it was going to catch up to her in a way she never fathomed. 

One ill-fated decision leads to an explosion of unimaginable events, and now Mia and Quinn are not only running for their lives, but also, for their redemption.

•••• PURCHASE •••• 


Title: SOMETHING LIKE LOVE
Author: Monica James
Series: Something Like Normal #3
Publisher: LIMITLESS PUBLISHING
- SYNOPSIS -
The secret’s out... 

Fate has never been kind to Mia Lee, but her misfortune has driven her to seek redemption from a past filled with regret. 

Mia’s future depends on uncovering her past, but sadly, the answers lay with her mother, a mother who abandoned Mia when she was only a child. 

Now that Mia has finally found her kin, she’s determined to get the answers she so desperately seeks. 

But those answers come with a price… 

Mia’s blossoming relationship with Quinn Berkeley is the sole reason she carries on. But Quinn has a secret of his own. Will his secret destroy the one stable foundation in Mia’s life? And more importantly, what will Quinn’s secret do to him once he confesses the sins of his past? 

Life for Mia and Quinn is about to explode in a way she never thought possible…

•••• PURCHASE •••• 


•••• GIVEAWAY ••••
Enter for a chance to win a PAPERBACK COPY of ONE of the books in the SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL SERIES by Monica James! There are TWO ways you can enter!

and


•••• MEET THE AUTHOR ••••
Monica James

Monica James spent her youth devouring the works of Anne Rice, William Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson.

When she is not writing, Monica is busy running her own business, but she always finds a balance between the two.

She enjoys writing honest, heartfelt and turbulent stories, hoping to leave an imprint on her readers, and her inspiration comes from every day life. She is an Amazon best selling author in both the US and UK.

Monica James resides in Melbourne, Australia, with her wonderful family, and menagerie of animals.

She is slightly obsessed with cats, chucks and lip gloss, and secretly wishes she was a ninja on the weekends.




Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Catching Cassidy by Melissa Foster & GIVEAWAY

Catching Cassidy Banner
Title: Catching Cassidy (Harborside Nights, #1)
Author: Melissa Foster
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 28, 2015
goodreads
Synopsis
“Catching Cassidy was laugh out loud funny, heartwarming, sexy, and hands down one of my favorite reads so far this year!”— #1 NYT Bestselling Author of The Bet – Rachel Van Dyken 5 STARS – Readers Favorites “Melissa Foster has proven again that she is a fantastic storyteller, excelling at making seemingly simple stories complex and heartfelt. Wyatt Armstrong never imagined that instead of celebrating his college graduation, he and his twin sister would be dealing with the death of their parents. Then again, Wyatt had never been one to think past tomorrow. He heads to their summer home in Harborside, Massachusetts, with his best friend Cassidy Lowell in tow, to deal with his parents’ death and to try to figure out his next step. Six foot two, infuriatingly handsome, and flirtatious, Wyatt Armstrong has always been there for Cassidy, helping her pass her classes and fend off unwanted advances, while driving her insane with his one-night stands—but that’s what best friends are for, isn’t it? Having each other’s backs. There was never any doubt that she would accompany him to his family’s summer home—but she never expected to begin seeing Wyatt as more than a friend. Or has she been ignoring her feelings all along? It’s impossible to ignore the sizzling heat between them as Wyatt and Cassidy get even closer, but Cassidy knows Wyatt’s past, and she has a real job to begin in the fall. Wyatt may be a sure thing for the summer, but Cassidy needs more. For the first time in his life, Wyatt is forced to look toward the future if he doesn’t want to lose the one woman who’s shared his past and owns his heart. *** HARBORSIDE NIGHTS is a sexy, hot, and evocatively real New Adult Romance series that follows a group of friends who have known one another for years as “summer” friends, and now come together after college to build their lives. They’re tough, edgy, and accepting—most of the time. This series is written in the loving, raw, and emotional voice readers have come to love by New York Times & USA Today bestselling, award-winning author Melissa Foster.

My Thoughts...

Oh how I love these characters.   They are more young adult than some of the other characters Melissa Foster usually writes about but they are just as wonderful.   I felt like these could be my daughter's friends and I wanted them to be happy, safe, and successful.  

I loved the Wyatt and Cassidy had been friends for so long, yet they never took their relationship to the next level.   They both got jealous when the other was in a relationship but were afraid to lose each other.   This goes to show that sometimes best friends make the best boyfriend/girlfriend.  While they were both afraid to take that first step, I knew it was going to happen.  How can sparks that bright and hot be ignored?  But I do love that they talked about what would happen, they discussed if it was worth risking their friendship, and they didn't rush anything.  

The other characters in this book were also wonderful.   The friendships and relationships were real, fun, and something I look forward to learning more about.   Every character is someone I would want to know and someone I want to know more about.    This series is going to be amazing.  I cannot wait for more.   
Catching Cassidy





Buy The Book











About The Author

MelissaMelissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance (M/F, M/M, F/F), romantic suspense, thrillers, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa also co-writes the Love on Rockwell Island series with New York Times bestselling author Bella Andre. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary CafĂ©. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod. Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on social media or her personal website. Never miss a release! Follow Melissa here on Amazon and sign up for her newsletter: www.MelissaFoster.com/Newsletter Newsletter 


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Monday, July 27, 2015

Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal

Published July 3, 2014 by Pamela Dorman Books

When Ibby Bell’s father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throws in her father’s urn for good measure. Fannie’s New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever been — and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylum — is like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannie’s black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South, both its grand traditions and its darkest secret.

For Fannie’s own family history is fraught with tragedy, hidden behind the closed rooms in her ornate Uptown mansion. It will take Ibby’s arrival to begin to unlock the mysteries there. And it will take Queenie and Dollbaby’s hard-won wisdom to show Ibby that family can sometimes be found in the least expected places.

My Thoughts…

Dollbaby is a book that I started one morning and by the next morning I was finished.   I could not put it down.    The characters are so relatable, lovable, and people I cared about by the time I was done reading about their lives.     I felt like Laura Lane McNeal created characters that could be my friends, she let the reader learn about the characters personal lives, their real feelings, and their real fears.  

Dollbaby is set in New Orleans right before the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964.    Queenie and Doll are the maids that come with the house that Frannie lives in.  While Queenie believes that this act will not mean anything, Dollbaby wants to step out and fight for her rights.   It is not an easy life for white people or black people.    There is a lot of violence, especially in the south.  I believe that both races are trying to come to terms with where the world is heading.   I enjoyed that both Ibby and Frannie, the white people, seemed to understand the Civil Rights Act and know that it was going to be a big change in the world. 

Ibby, Fannie’s 12 year old granddaughter, is dropped off at her grandmother’s house by her mother and never picked back up.   I felt for Ibby’s rejection by her mother.   This is a tough subject at any age much less as a teenager.   She was left in a town she was not familiar with, with people she did not know, and she was thrown into a world so different from what she knew.    

I felt that this was a great read.  It was not always an easy subject to read about but the book was easy to read.    The history, the characters, the setting were all perfect. 

Book Links

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Laura Lane McNeal grew up in New Orleans where people laugh a lot, talk with their hands, love good music, good food, and will make up any excuse for a party. After receiving two undergraduate degrees from Southern Methodist University, she went on to earn an MBA from Tulane University. DOLLBABY is her first novel. For more information, please visit www.lauralanemcneal.com or follow Laura @llmcneal.



What others are saying...

“Don't be surprised if you see McNeal's book in a lot of beach totes along the Gulf Coast this summer.”—New Orleans Times Picayune
 
“When someone asks you for a great book to read, usually you pause and think about genre and authors and then give a few options. But every now and then there’s a book you tell everyone to read, because it is that good. DOLLBABY by Laura Lane McNeal is that book.” —Durham Herald-Sun

“A vivid portrayal of post-war New Orleans, lush and evocative in its descriptions, McNeal’s unique voice shines through surprising and pleasing the reader. Fans of Pat Conroy and Sue Monk Kidd will enjoy this new Southern talent.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“In the vein of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and The Help, McNeal's touching coming-of-age tale brings to life Civil Rights-era New Orleans. . . . Rich characterization makes McNeal's debut a lovely summer read.”Kirkus

“McNeal's witty prose and expertise on all things New Orleans will enrapture readers of The Help and Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.”BookPage

“Beautifully rendered and perfectly paved, DOLLBABY is one novel this year not to be missed, with just the right amount of mystery mixed with coming of age drama.”—Book Reporter


“In this tender coming-of-age novel, McNeal brings to life a place, an era, and an amazing cast of strong, larger-than-life characters. Heartrending, captivating, and ultimately, triumphant.”
Cassandra KingNew York Times bestselling author of Moonrise

“McNeal’s DOLLBABY is such an impressive debut—a powerful roux of family drama, long-simmering secrets and resentments, and ultimately, forgiveness and redemption. Deeply evocative, with memorable characters, DOLLBABY belongs on the keeper shelf along with The Help and The Secret Life of Bees.”
Mary Kay AndrewsNew York Times bestselling author of Ladies’ Night





Sunday, July 26, 2015

Unbound (The Guardian Legacies #1) by Emily Goodwin.

The world of ghosts and spirits is nothing new to Anora Benson; she’s spent her whole life trying to ignore them, trying to be normal. But when the Pricolici, a group of ancient bounty hunters, are sent after her, Anora realizes she is more than just a medium. 

As a witch she has power, power she doesn’t know how to use, power that makes her vulnerable to the demons that desire her gifts. Anora is alone and scared, forced to face the darkness on her own.

Then she meets Ethan, a handsome and mysterious stranger who shows up in her life right along with the magic, and he seems to know quite a bit about her and the Coven she hails from. Will she risk everything by trusting him or risk fighting alone?

My Thoughts…

Paranormal. Sigh.. probably my favorite genre to read, when it is written good.     Unbound is written perfectly.   There is just enough real life in the story to make it realistic, while still having enough paranormal to make it fall into the genre.  

I love when a young person comes into them self.    That is what happens to Anora.   She has always known she was different.    She knew she could connect with dead, but she didn’t really know how special she was.     I loved that she accepted what was happening to her.  She took her responsibilities and did what had to be done.   She also did not take what was going on lightly.  She knew that she had to do research and find out what was attacking her and how to stop it.    It was interesting to see all the goodies that her great aunt left her after her death.   These things seemed random at first, especially the items that were mailed to her.   Yet in the long run they all worked to keeping her safe.
I was curious about her parents.  Even without the acceptance spell they seemed to accept a lot.   Whether they were just that busy that they had no clue what was going on with their children, they didn’t care, or they were juts flightly it seemed odd that they could be that blind.    The injuries, the late nights, the overnight sleepovers, the attacks, and everything seemed a little much to be ignored by parents.

The relationship between Ethan and Anora was great.   It was a true teenage relationship, with paranormal demons thrown in.    They got each other.  They protected each other.  They trusted each other.    I never had a doubt that this relationship would be a healthy relationship for them both.     The two of them had true love and knew that they had to protect that.  

This is my first Emily Goodwin book and it will not be my last.    I love this series.  I want more already.

Book Links
Amazon  |   Goodreads   |    Amazon UK





Saturday, July 25, 2015

Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor


Published July 14, 2015 by Penguin Books  
    
Eighteen-year-old Ada Concannon has just been hired by the respected but eccentric Dickinson family of Amherst, Massachusetts. Despite their difference in age and the upstairs-downstairs divide, Ada strikes up a deep friendship with Miss Emily, the gifted elder daughter living a spinster’s life at home. But Emily’s passion for words begins to dominate her life. She will wear only white and avoids the world outside the Dickinson homestead. When Ada’s safety and reputation are threatened, however, Emily must face down her own demons in order to help her friend, with shocking consequences.

My Thoughts…

I am fairly new to historical fiction and am finding them to be one of my favorite genres to read.   Miss Emily is a novel about Emily Dickinson told in her own words and that of Emily’s friend and housemaid Ada.    Their stories intertwine in alternating chapters.   It is interesting to see how some of the events are perceived by Emily and then by Ada in a different way.   I enjoyed their friendship.  

Spending time with Emily in her own time, her own house, and in her own world was wonderful.    Watching her interact with her siblings and family was entertaining and eye opening.   I do not know a lot about Emily’s history and am not sure how much of this was made up and how much is true, but I was intrigued by her need to be alone.   She stayed in the house or close to the house for most of her time, yet she didn’t want to always be truly alone.  She would sit in the kitchen with Ada just to have her company or call on her sister-in-law to visit her just for the company.     Then she would retreat to her room when it got to be too much for her.   

While I enjoyed Emily’s storyline, Ada’s is what really pulled me in.    To leave her home and travel to a new world then have her safety be threatened.     I was upset with how Austin, Emily’s brother, dealt with Ada and thrilled with how Emily stood by her no matter what.   Ada is the friend that Emily needed.   She managed to push Emily out of her comfort zone, yet keep her comfortable by not pushing too hard.   

Miss Emily is the perfect historical fiction book.  I recommend checking it out.    

Book Links




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nuala O’Connor has worked as a bookseller, a librarian, and in a writers’ center. She was shortlisted for the European Prize for Literature, and her short story “Peach” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in East Galway, Ireland, with her husband and three children.

PRAISE
“A superb novel, I was captivated from the first page. With gorgeous, compelling period detail and graceful prose, Nuala O’Connorreimagines a friendship between one of our greatest poets and her Irish maid. With uncanny insight into the expected portrayal of a servant-mistress relationship, and in keeping with the power and beauty of Dickinson’s poetry, O’Connor celebrates her women with great delicacy and exuberance.”
Kathleen Grissom, bestselling author of The Kitchen House

“I read this wonderful novel in a gulp. Nuala O’Connor is a gifted storyteller with a poet’s eye for detail. We are offered a tantalizing glimpse into the private life of one of America’s greatest poets, but for me, the real triumph is the character of Ada, Emily’s young Irish maid. It’s Ada who is the heart of this novel.  She’s as beautifully realized as the gingerbread she so meticulously bakes with Emily. I can’t wait to read what O’Connor writes next.”
—Natasha Solomons, New York Times bestselling author of The House at Tyneford

“Beautifully written and utterly compelling, this vivid portrait of Emily Dickinson examines her humanity, complexity and profound relationship with words.  Told in her own eloquent voice and that of her trusted maid, MISS EMILY deftly braids together the stories of two intriguing women in this highly accomplished novel.”
Cathy Marie Buchanan, New York Times bestselling author of The Painted Girls

“Nuala O’Connor’s MISS EMILY is evocative, thought-provoking, and beautifully rendered; a poignant portrait of two very different women, drawn together in unlikely friendship by a common strength of spirit and mind. Readers will delight in this richly imagined glimpse into the worlds—both inner and outer—of the immortal Emily Dickinson. I wanted to race through the novel, and yet, the language was so engrossing that I forced myself to slow down, just enough to savor each sentence.”
Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor’s Wife and The Accidental Empress

“A jewel of a novel, MISS EMILY by Nuala O'Connor is a fascinating, heartfelt, and captivating glimpse into the mind and heart of EmilyDickinson, one of America’s most beloved poets, interwoven with the story of her spirited, witty, and devoted Irish maid, Ada. With its luminous prose and sympathetic, realistically drawn characters, you will feel yourself irresistibly drawn into Emily’s and Ada’s private worlds with every turn of the page.”
Syrie James, bestselling author of Jane Austen’s First Love and The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen

“This beautifully-crafted biographical novel vividly evokes Emily Dickinson and her world: her obsessive solitude, her sensual relationship with her sister-in-law, her conflicted relationship with her brother, and, most central, her companionable friendship with Ada, a spunky and superstitious Irish maid. Alternating between the stories of Emily and Ada, the novel brims with the charming details of their domestic life, the unfolding of a sweet romance, yet also, ultimately, brings to light the tragic effects of a violent reality that most often goes unmentioned, even today. This is an intensely engaging, emotional and important story, exquisitely rendered. Brilliant!”
—Sandra Gulland, author of the internationally bestselling Josephine B. Trilogy

“Like a Dickinson poem, MISS EMILY seems at first a simple story of friendship, but gradually reveals itself as a profound meditation on the human condition. O’Connor accomplishes this unfolding, just as Dickinson did, with her exquisite use of language.  I lost myself in the beautiful detail of 1860s Amherst, a cast of characters that leapt off the page with life, and the constant reminder that words, properly wielded, can transcend time, transmit love, and, above all, inspire hope.”
—Charlie Lovett, New York Times bestselling author of The Bookman’s Tale

“The structure of the book is reminiscent of one of Emily Dickinson’s poems, a lyrical dialogue between two distinct voices.  Ada andEmily are divided by class, ethnicity, learning, circumstance; but a deep empathy and shared humanity unite them as women.  This is a bittersweet story of repressed passion, thwarted opportunity, and the selflessness that is the essence of love.”
— Stephanie Barronbestselling author of the Being A Jane Austen Mystery series

“An absorbing and provocative take on the inner life of a brilliant poet and her increasingly shrinking universe. The Dickinson household of Amherst, Massachusetts is complex and very odd indeed and the tension builds towards shocking consequences for all involved.  Nuala O’Connor’s prose skillfully and lyrically creates Emily Dickinson’s voice and that of her young Irish housekeeper who chronicles the poet’s harrowing struggle to find the freedom to write while living a cloistered life at home.  A novel you won’t want to put down.”
—Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack, authors of Freud’s Mistress

MISS EMILY is an intricate, intimate novel that, in its careful attention to language, pays homage to our most American poet's extraordinary work. There are references to that work, rewards to true Dickinson aficionados, secreted in O’Connor’s prose, but this novel achieves a broader aim too: it tells a story of friendship that keeps us turning the pages.”
— Kelly O'Connor McNees, author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott and The Island of Doves

“Secrets will always out. In the same way as Emily Dickenson’s poems were once the best kept secret in Massachusetts, NualaO’Connor’s luminous prose has long been one of Ireland’s most treasured literary secrets. Now through her superb evocation of 19thcentury Amherst, an international audience is likely to be held rapt by the sparse lyricism and exactitude of O’Connor’s writing. Through a fusion of historical ventriloquism and imaginative dexterity, O’Connor vividly conjures up—in the real-life Emily Dickenson and the fictional Ada Concannon—two equally unforgettable characters who pulsate with life in this study of the slowly blossoming friendship between a delicate literary recluse and a young Irish emigrant eager to embrace the new world around her.”
— Dermot Bolger, playwright and author of The Journey Home and The Venice Suite, among others

“I finished this morning and had to write to you straight away! My goodness—what a wonderful, wonderful book. I feel so privileged to have read it; I honestly cannot praise this book enough. Nuala O’Connor’s beautiful writing sings from every single page as Emily and Ada’s fascinating story unfolds. An absolute joy to read—I will be telling everyone about this book.”
Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home

“An original portrayal of Emily Dickinson seen here not just as a lover of words, but as a heroine and friend to a plucky Irish maid who casts a new and sympathetic light on the Belle of Amherst.”
Sheila Kohler, author of Becoming Jane Eyre

“Nuala O’Connor casts a keen, compassionate eye below the veneer of domesticity to illuminate the passion, pain, and life force behind the poetry of Emily Dickinson. Quietly elegant and moving, poignantly humane, MISS EMILY is a rare gift.”
—Ania Szado, author of Studio Saint-Ex



Friday, July 24, 2015

Montana Cherries by Kim Law

Published on July 28, 2015 by Montlake Romance

After her mother’s tragic death, Dani Wilde had no choice but to abandon her dreams. She left Columbia University and returned to her family’s Montana cherry farm, intent on being a maternal figure to her brothers. Now the kids are grown, and it’s finally her time to fly. Her sights are on New York City, and nothing will stop her—not even an old flame with gorgeous green eyes.

Celebrity photographer Ben Denton hasn’t seen Montana in years—and hasn’t spoken to Dani since “that night” so long ago. When he discovers he’s a dad to a four-year-old—and the child’s mother refuses to care for her—Montana and the Wilde farm spring to mind. The orchard is the only place that’s ever felt like home, but will the warmth of the Wilde family be enough to help Ben figure out how to be a father?

As the Wilde family gathers for the yearly cherry harvest and Dani struggles to figure out what she really wants in life, she discovers the shocking truth about her own mother—and learns that following her heart may lead her to her dreams after all. 

My Thoughts…

Montana Cherries is a great book.   The story is not easy to tell.    Kim Law tells a story that deals with a mental illness and how it affects a family.   The fallout from this illness is disastrous to everyone in the family.     I do not have much experience with mental illness but I do know that Montana Cherries is told with dignity, grace, and understanding to all those who have to deal with this in their real lives.  

I felt for Dani.    She grew up with distorted memories of her deceased mother.    These memories haunt her and make her strive to do everything possible to make her mother happy.    Unfortunately for Dani these memories made her give up her life to play “mother” to her brothers.     I wanted her to go to New York, I was ecstatic when she did go, and even happier at what happen while she was there.  By dealing with the past she was able to move on with her life and find her future.  

Ben, oh alpha, sexy Ben.    I was his biggest fan.    Ben needed to figure out how to win Dani.   I truly believe that they are the perfect (or as close to perfect as can be)couple.   Ben proved himself to me again and again with how he dealt with his adorable daughter, Haley.    Men like him are rare.   The respect, love, and understanding that he showed Dani and her entire family made him a real man in my eyes.   

I cannot end this review without talking about the location.  I have never been to Montana, yet I could picture the ranch, the towns, and the beach as Kim Law described them.   I want to live in the house with all the rooms, windows, deck, and family that Dani learned to love again in.   I want to see the area that Ben and Haley put roots down in.    Montana Cherries played like a movie to me.   I could hear the characters, see the scenery, and feel the emotions as I read.  


Definitely pick up this book.    You will not be sorry. 

Book Links
Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes and Noble   |  Audible   |    Amazon UK

BIO:
As a child, award-winning author Kim Law cultivated a love for chocolate, anything purple, and creative writing. She penned her debut work, “The Gigantic Talking Raisin,” in the sixth grade and got hooked on the delights of creating stories. Before settling into the writing life, however, she earned a college degree in mathematics and then worked as a computer programmer. Now she’s living out her lifelong dream of writing romance novels. She’s won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award, has been a finalist for the prestigious RWA RITA Award, and has served in varied positions for her local RWA chapter. A native of Kentucky, Kim lives with her husband and an assortment of animals in Middle Tennessee.

CONTACT LINKS:
www.kimlaw.com
kim@kimlaw.com
twitter.com/kim_law
facebook.com/kimlawauthor

pinterest.com/kimlawauthor/


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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Back To The Drawing Board by L.L. Collins

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Title: Back To The Drawing Board
Author: L.L. Collins
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 10, 2015
goodreads
Synopsis
Lies. Betrayal. Deceit. Carter knows them all too well. His whole life was based on them. He decided long ago that his life would be on his own terms. No one would dictate his future, since he'd had no control over his past.
 
Desire. Lust. Love.
 
Julia is the bosses' daughter. She's everything that Carter wants, and nothing that he thinks he needs. She's got plans of her own, and Carter is one of them.
 
Both determined to control their own paths, can she show him what his future could be like if he just lets go, or will he send her BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD?
 
Excerpt
 
“You called for me, Ms. Gibbons?” Carter stepped up to the desk. “I finished those plans you wanted done. Would you like me to show them to you?”
 
Oh, he was good at this. “Yes I would, Mr. McIntyre. I hope they are to my satisfaction.”
 
“You’re going to have to get up and let me get to your computer so I can pull them up.” Of course, we had no computer, but I went with it. I stood, pushing the chair back as Carter walked around and stood behind me. He leaned over.
 
“You smell so good, Ms. Gibbons,” he said, making goosebumps prickle down my body.
 
“Mr. McIntyre, let’s keep on track. We have a lot to do today.”
 
“Oh yes, the plans. I’m going to need you to move this way so I can get to the computer.” I shifted, and he placed his hands on my hips. “No. This way.” He pulled me into him so there was no space in between us. “Do you like these plans?” he growled into my ear, grinding against me.
 
“They may need a few adjustments,” I said, turning to face him. His eyes followed my fingers as I began to unbutton my jacket. “Is this acceptable?”
 
“These plans need further investigation.” He removed my fingers and continued unbuttoning the jacket himself. I thought I was losing control, and fast. Thing was, I didn’t care. He reached the last button and the jacket fell open. Carter gripped the lapels of my jacket and pulled me to him, taking my lips with his. He let go, snaking his arms under the jacket and to my naked body underneath.
 
“These plans are almost perfect,” he whispered against my lips. “Turn around.” Need clenched low in my belly as I listened. He pulled my hair from it’s bun and it cascaded around me. He fisted it gently, pulling me back so he could reach around and kiss my neck.
 
“Mr. McIntyre,” I purred. “I didn’t know I had this type of plans.”
 
“You do now,” he said. “This fine body in this jacket; you’re going to get all sorts of plans, Ms. Gibbons.” He lifted the jacket, caressing my body and making me almost pant with need. “But first, there’s one more thing.”
 
“What’s that?”
 
“The plans can’t be complete with this boulder in the way. We’re going to have to remove it.” When he began pulling on the jacket, I assisted, shoving it down my shoulders and arms. It fell in between us on the floor and he kicked it away. “Oh yes. The extraction of that boulder now makes the plans ready to go.”
 
“Not exactly. Mr. McIntyre. There’s one more thing that must be done first.” I reached around and tugged the towel until it joined the jacket on the floor. “There. Now plans are set.”
 
“Oh yes, that’s good, Ms. Gibbons. I like a lady that remembers all the details. Now, lean over the desk and hold the edge.” I did as he said, leaning over and closing my eyes, ready for him. Beyond ready. His hands roamed my body, starting at my ankles and moving north, stopping so he could grip my bottom and then he moved up to my back and shoulders. “Perfection. Your body is better than the best architectural design any man could come up with. It’s a masterpiece.”
 
About The Author
L.L.
LL Collins is a teacher who loves spending her days in the Florida sun with her husband and boys, reading, and writing. Her love of writing has found a home in the self-publishing world. The Living Again series: Living Again, Reaching Rachel, Guarding Hearts, Finding Forever, and Breaking Free: A Living Again Novella are available now in both eBook and paperback. The Twisted Series, consisting of both Twisted Souls and Twisted Paths, is available now exclusively on Amazon. LL has been writing since she was old enough to write. Always a story in her head, she finally decided to let the characters out to try to make her lifelong dreams of becoming an author come true. She has been a teacher for over ten years, a wife for 15, and a mom to two boys, 13 and 11.
 
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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

When Cicadas Cry by Laura Miller

Published August 4, 2015

My Thoughts…

If you are looking for a good, honest, love story this is the book for you.    Laura Miller is an author that knows how to write a story that brings the characters to life, gets you involved in their lives, and makes you become invested in them.     The characters are real, wholesome, small town people.    Especially Rem.    His demeanor is typical small town.   Everyone knows what everyone else is doing and he is okay with that.  He knows that is how his town is.     Ashley comes from rural, but not quite small town USA.    She learns that rumors are started and spread quickly throughout the small town.   

There is a mystery in this book.  Who is leaving Owen postcards?    I did not figure it out.   I was surprised when the who was revealed.    I had ideas, I even thought about the person who was leaving the postcards.   Yet, I did not believe that I had the right answer.        This was not the main part of the story, but it was an important part.  

The relationship between Ashley and Rem was the story.    I enjoyed hearing about the past and learning where they were at the present in the same book.   It was easy to follow, fun to read, and kept me entirely entertained from the first page to the last page.  You could feel the love, the respect, and the angst within each chapter.  I cannot choose which I liked better, the present or the history.    They both told a story that was necessary to know Ashley and Ben.  


Laura Miller is the perfect romance author.    When Cicadas Cry is wonderful.   This is a book that you cannot pass up.  Pick up your copy NOW!

Book Links

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Wanted by Krista Holly


WANTED
Author: Krista Holly
Genre: Contemporary Romance
~ SYNOPSIS ~
With a Mother that shipped her off to boarding school as fast as she could, feeling unwanted is nothing new to Lo. When she got a chance to convince her parents to let he move back home, she went from feeling unwanted to being wanted by every guy in school.

Chase has always looked forward to summer and seeing Lo. He's loved her devil-may-care attitude from the start. But when she moves back to town for good she's changed and no longer the carefree girl she once was.

When jealousy gets the best of some people, you never know what's going to happen, especially when they want something you have.

Would you let someone take away everything you’ve ever wanted?

~ PURCHASE ~


~ EXCERPT ~

I knew exactly how to throw her off her game. But I didn’t want her to throw me out.
“Lo,” I barely whispered when I came up behind her at the sink. She was rinsing off our plates. I was an inch from being flush against her back. The urge to close the gap was strong. Like a moth to a flame, my body was being pulled to her. My muscles ached, clenched, wanting her wrapped around me.
I reached around her and took the plate, placing it at the bottom of the sink. She turned the faucet off then braced herself, hands clenching the edge of the counter. I heard her breathing hitch, then shallow, quick breaths escaped her mouth. I could see her shoulders rise and fall. I reached my other hand out and placed it next to hers. “Can I stay?” It was the only thing I really wanted.
I didn’t care if we just stayed up and talked, or not even talked. Music, movies, games—I didn’t care. I just wanted to be in her presence. She blew out a hot breath.
“No,” she breathed out.
I knew if I pushed her too much she would throw my ass out in a heartbeat. But I wasn’t leaving without a fight.
“Please, Lo.” I leaned into her, still not touching her but moving my mouth close enough to her ear that she could feel my breath and I could see her hair move from the force of it. “I won’t try anything. I swear.” I’d promise not to touch her, if that’s really what she wanted. I’d promise her anything.
But when I looked down to her arm I could see the goose bumps covering her bicep. I could practically feel the heat radiating off of her. It was euphoric and entrancing. This moment felt just right. It felt like I could stay here forever. Hovering over the most infuriating and beautiful girl I’d ever laid eyes on.
Her shoulders slumped when she let out a deep breath. “What are you doing Chase?” Lo was trying not to give in but even I could tell that she really wanted to. She felt it too. “Weren’t you just with Cam?” It was a question but came out as more of a statement.
I hated being reminded of that night. I was so damn frustrated with Lo that I didn’t even think twice. I just buried myself in something meaningless so I wouldn’t focus on Lo running off in the middle of the night with some fucking douche bag.
Cam was absolutely nothing to me. I’m a dick for saying it, but it’s true. Lo was becoming everything. I was obsessed. I needed to get under her skin like she did mine.
“That was nothing,” I whispered to her. I knew it wasn’t the answer she would want or the answer she deserved. But it was honest and she deserved that much from me. “I’ll do whatever it takes to prove that I’m not that guy. I’m not Dieter and I’m certainly not Beckon.”
She finally released her hold on the edge of the counter and turned to face me. She kept her head low and avoided eye contact. Her chest rose and fell quickly. “I can’t do this with you. Just last week you were calling me a whore, now your defending me and trying to prove your worthiness? What is it with you guys? You can’t get me one way so you’ll try to swoon me into oblivion.” With her last word she finally locked eyes with me.
There was always a wall up in her eyes, but I could see it crack and start to crumble. Lo was putting up a worthy fight but I could feel her faltering. If I just swooped in and sealed the deal with a kiss I know she’d finally let go of the chain holding her back.
Leaning into her, tasting her breath, watching her eyes shift from my mouth to my eyes, I was almost there. She put her hands on my chest. I thought she was going to push me away. She started to but then she gripped the material like it was her lifeline.
Our lips touched, but before devouring her like I wanted to, I asked, “Is this okay?” She took a deep breath, her ocean eyes shut for what felt like forever. I was struggling to hold myself back and when her eyes finally opened I could see her letting the wall crumble.
She moved her lips tentatively and kissed me, slow. It was so slow it was painful. I felt the buzz spread through my body and head straight for my dick. I wanted to speed things up, but she seemed more comfortable taking it slow so I followed her lead.. I pushed myself into her, pinning her against the counter. I wrapped one hand around her waist and the other threaded through her hair and traveled down to her neck.
I didn’t want to be rough but I couldn’t help but jerk her towards me. She started to open her mouth to me and I took the opportunity to sink my tongue into her mouth and take what she was giving. She tasted spicy and sweet at the same time. It was the perfect, heady combination.
I almost lost my control when she moaned into my mouth. Lo released my shirt and wrapped her arms around my neck and threaded her fingers into the hair at the nape of my neck. It tickled but it was the best fucking turn on I’d ever had.
Her touches were hesitant, but when she finally made contact it was greedy. I could stay here forever.
Consuming her.
Raptured by her.
I was lost in her touch and when she bit down on my bottom lip and tugged a little, every sensation I had shot straight to my groin. I was rock hard and straining to contain myself. I moved my hand down to her ass and pushed her harder against me.
I wanted her to feel what she was doing to me. Her effect was only growing stronger with every second, minute, and hour I got to be with her. It was torture but the good kind. Feeling her like this.
I had no doubts about her. She was wild but tame. Almost like she was questioning if she was doing it right. I pulled her against me harder, pressing her into me, not giving her an inch away from my body. She pulled back and gasped for air. I took the moment to kiss her jaw and down her neck. Kissing and sucking as I went. She let out a taut moan and I could feel her pulse hammering in her neck. I kissed her there. Trying to calm her, but shit, even I wasn’t calm.
When I slid my hand down from her neck and to the front of her tank top I felt her jump a little. I rested my hand on her hip and started to caress the little sliver of skin that showed. I continued to suck on her neck.
“Chase,” she said, and I couldn’t tell if it was a plea for more or a sign that she was about to stop what I damn well didn’t want to stop. “Chase, stop,” she said so hoarse and raspy, I couldn’t actually believe she wanted me to.
But then she pushed on my chest and turned her head away from me. Shock coursed through me.
“Lo, what’s wrong?” I asked panting. I knew she felt what I did. Why was she stopping me?
“I just can’t do this, okay? You need to go to your party.” 

~ TEASERS ~
** Teasers were provided by the author, but were created by @butthisbook from instagram ** 







~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~
Krista Holly

Krista Holly is an avid reader and a Namast’ay in bed kind of girl. She started life in the City of Sin then traveled the country most of her life, going from coast to coast. A gypsy at heart with a passion for traveling and meeting new people. An ambivert, if you will. The only things she likes at Starbucks are Valencia Orange Refreshers and pumpkin bread and the occasional French Vanilla Cappuccino. She loves dogs and cuddling with her 85 pound white unicorn. When she’s not reading or writing or working she’s watching TV with her family or making fun of her brother’s love life.

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