Saturday, June 24, 2017

#BookReview - Secrets of the Tulip Sisters by Susan Mallery

Title: Secrets of the Tulip Sisters
Author: Susan Mallery
Genre: Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HQN Books/Harlequin
Release Date: July 11, 2017


About the Book:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Daughters of the Bride comes the charming tale about the problem with secrets, the power of love and the unbreakable bond between sisters 
Kelly Murphy's life as a tulip farmer is pretty routine—up at dawn, off to work, lather, rinse, repeat. But everything changes one sun-washed summer with two dramatic homecomings: Griffith Burnett—Tulpen Crossing's prodigal son, who's set his sights on Kelly—and Olivia, her beautiful, wayward and, as far as Kelly is concerned, unwelcome sister. Tempted by Griffith, annoyed by Olivia, Kelly is overwhelmed by the secrets that were so easy to keep when she was alone. 
But Olivia's return isn't as triumphant as she pretends. Her job has no future, and ever since her dad sent her away from the bad boy she loved, she has felt cut off from her past. She's determined to reclaim her man and her place in the family…whether her sister likes it or not. For ten years, she and Kelly have been strangers. Olivia will get by without her approval now. 
While Kelly and Olivia butt heads, their secrets tumble out in a big hot mess, revealing some truths that will change everything they thought they knew. Can they forgive each other—and themselves—and redefine what it means to be sisters? 
Told with Mallery's trademark heart and humor, the Tulip Sisters are in for the most colorful summer of their lives…

Buy Links: Amazon (available for pre-order)
Release Date - July 11, 2017

My Review:

I truly enjoy books written by Susan Mallery.  She is masterful at creating heartwarming characters that are so full of life and are multi-dimensional.  Secrets of the Tulip Sisters is no exception.  The story was sweet and romantic with intense emotions elicited from those charming characters.

Kelly and her father, Jeff, have a good working relationship as well as a home life together.  Things have run smoothly in their tulip growing business.  But that is about to change as the "past" comes head-on with the "now".  First comes the arrival of Griffith, who definitely has the hots for Kelly, especially since she had broken up with her long-time boyfriend Sven six months earlier.  Griffith pursues Kelly but has some rather unrealistic guidelines for their romance.  Then comes the arrival of Olivia, Kelly's sister.  Olivia had been sent away to boarding school when she was younger and had not been back home in many years.  Shortly after that, just as Kelly and Olivia are getting reacquainted, the mother from hell arrives.  This is the mother (and I use that term loosely) who ran around and abandoned Jeff, Kelly and Olivia many years ago.  Add in Kelly's best friend Helen who has secretly been in love with Jeff for a long time, Kelly's hot ex-boyfriend Sven, Olivia's old boyfriend Ryan (the jerk of the century) and we have one delightful small-town powder keg, ready to explode.

This story has secrets unfolding and family ties binding them back together.  Lots of sweetness and lots of romance.  A definite book for summer reading.

Disclosure:  A complimentary ARC was provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.

My Rating:



About the Author:


Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books about the relationships that define women's lives—romance, friendship, family. With compassion and humor, Susan keenly observes how people think and feel, in stories that take readers on an emotional journey. Sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, and always uplifting, Susan's books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list, thanks to her ever growing legions of fans.


Critics, too, have heaped praise on "the new queen of romantic fiction." (Walmart) Booklist says, "Romance novels don't get much better than Mallery's expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling," and RT Book Reviews puts her "in a class by herself!"

Although Susan majored in Accounting, she never worked as an accountant because she was published straight out of college with two books the same month, January of 1992. Sixteen prolific years and seventy-four books later, she hit the New York Times bestsellers list for the first time with Accidentally Yours in 2008. She made many appearances in the Top 10 before (finally) hitting #1 in 2015 with Thrill Me, the twentieth book in her most popular series, the Fool's Gold romances, and the fourth of five books released that year.

Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a tattletale toy poodle. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Animals play a big role in her books, as well, as she believes they're an integral component to a happy life. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.


Friday, June 23, 2017

#CoverReveal & #TrailerReveal - SeQuence Entangled by Lorraine M.L.M.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

#BookReview - Mother, Can You NOT? by Kate Siegel

Title: Mother, Can You Not?
Author: Kate Siegel
Publisher: Crown Archetype/Random House, LLC
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Genre: Humor, Parenting & Families, Entertainment

About the Book:

Based on the wildly popular Instagram account @CrazyJewishMom, Kate Siegel's essay collection about life with the woman who redefined the term "helicopter mom"

There is nothing more wonderful than a mother’s love. There is also nothing more annoying. Who else can proudly insist that you’re perfect while simultaneously making you question every career, fashion, and relationship decision you have ever made?

No one understands the delicate mother-daughter dynamic better than Kate Siegel—her own mother drove her so crazy that she decided to broadcast their hilarious conversations on Instagram. Soon, hundreds of thousands of people were following their daily text exchanges, eager to see what outrageous thing Kate’s mom would do next. Now, in Mother, Can You NOT?, Kate pays tribute to the woman who invented the concept of drone parenting.

From embarrassing moments (like crashing Kate's gynecological exams) to outrageous stories (like the time she made Kate steal a cat from the pound) to hilarious celebrations (including but not limited to parties for Kate's menstrual cycles), Mother, Can you NOT? lovingly lampoons the lengths to which our mothers will go to better our lives (even if it feels like they’re ruining them in the process).

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Audible


Scherry's Review:

Although Janna and I generally reach for different genre's, occasionally we both grab the same book to read and review.  That's what happened here.  Sort of.

My youngest daughter actually bought this book for me.  Was she trying to tell me something?  She and I have a great relationship and talk about things I would have NEVER talked to my own mother about... but I don't think I ever went as far as Kate Siegel's mom did.  At least I never coerced her into stealing a cat for me.  And I never, ever, threw her a "period party"!  I did hover over her as a child, I guess.  Just simple stuff like being the room mother in school and going on every field trip with her and being her girl scout leader because no other girl scout leader could do it right.  We do talk on the phone several times a day, and I do send her an occasional text message... usually telling her about crazy stuff her father is doing.  And perhaps I do comment on her love life from time to time.  And about sex.   And sex toys.  OMG!  I'M JUST LIKE KATE'S MOM! 

All that aside... I really loved this book.  I laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face.  But I totally get it!  Kim is the kind of mom I could be best friends with!  She just wants to make Kate's life so perfect!  Perhaps she went to extreme measures a few times, but it all seemed to work out.  That's what mom's do!

Loved this book!!



Janna's Review:

I've been a fan of the Instagram Account @CrazyJewishMom for several years. When I found out she'd released a book, I couldn't help myself. I had to pick it up. This book is terrific! I laughed so hard that I cried. I even ended up reading parts of it to my son -- you know, just to remind him that as crazy and neurotic as he thinks I am -- I could be even worse. He got such a kick out of it, he even borrowed it from me so he could finish reading it too.

This is a quick and incredibly fun read. Kate's mom's antics are hilarious and the little screenshots of the instant messages at the end of each chapter will make you want to read more! At the very least, read a sample of this book -- or check out their Instagram account. Trust me, you don't want to miss out on this book.


Our Rating:



About the Author:

KATE SIEGEL is a writer and a social media guru who started the hit Instagram account @CrazyJewishMom. She has been featured on BuzzFeed, Elite Daily, The Huffington Post,Cosmo, Today.com, Vogue.com, in People Magazine, and on Nightline and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She previously served as an associate producer for Condé Nast Entertainment, overseeing digital video for Teen Vogue, Bon Appétit, The New Yorker Festival, Condé Nast Traveler, and Self. Prior to joining Condé Nast, Kate studied English, creative writing, and theater at Princeton University.

Author Links:
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

#BookBlitz & #Giveaway - Gears of Fate (Forgotten Gods, Book 1) by WIlbert Stanton


Gears of Fate
Wilbert Stanton
(Forgotten Gods #1)
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Centuries have passed since the Fey conquered Earth, forcing mankind and gods alike to flee to the sky city Olympus. Forgotten gods walk amongst man, lost and powerless. Little do they suspect a second Fey war looms, and an unlikely duo will set in motion the gears of fate.
Zak Walker is a fringe rat living in the slums who would do anything to protect his sister, Alice. His neglectful father threatens to consign him to a life away from home on an airship, but he yearns for his life to mean something more than drudgery.
Princess Seneca Rose is the last surviving member of the Seelie royals. They tried to establish peace with mankind, but fell to the forces of Queen Mob and the Unseelie Court. Fleeing for her life, Seneca arrives on Olympus in hopes of uniting the forgotten gods against the oncoming Fey.
Zak couldn’t care less about the fate of Olympus, until faeries kidnap Alice. He doesn’t believe Seneca’s stories of faeries or gods, but soon has no choice but to accept their lives are intertwined. All his life, he’s dreamed of something more. If he cannot face the dangers that await down on Earth, the gods, mankind, and his sister Alice are all doomed.
EXCERPT:
I watched helplessly as we flew further away. Alana and Gharis, fighting furiously side by side, hadn’t noticed me getting snatched. Seneca still struggled with Francis’s pack. I had to take matters into my own hands. I struggled under my attacker’s iron grip. He had me in a tight bear hug rendering my arms useless. I thrashed about until I broke free. The rust bucket flew away, and for a moment, it felt like I could fly. Gravity had a different plan in mind.
I’m going to die.
Clouds swallowed the world; the white darkness devoured me, the gushing air made my ears pop. I’d never get to kiss Abby; I’d never become a man; Most importantly, I failed to keep Alice safe. Alice, I’m sorry.
I closed my eyes and prepared to die. Until I heard laughing. I’m cogged. The wild laughter of a maniac got closer, closer, and closer still. Seneca burst through the clouds head first, her body straightened with arms pressed tight at her sides. Goggles covered her eyes, and her smile seemed to go for miles. She caught up and wrapped her arms around me, locking her body against mine.


Author Bio:
Wilbert Stanton was born and raised in New York City. From an early age, Wilbert decided he would either write books or take over the world; everything else was just a precursor to his end game.
Along the way, he has studied Psychology, English, and Computer Science. He's held jobs in a wide range of fields and met people from all walks of life. Wilbert is constantly learning and growing as a person, in order to solidify his dreams.
In the end, world domination was a bit tedious, so he decided to focus on writing books.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

#BookReview - Serenity Harbor by Rayanne Thayne @raeannethayne

Title:  Serenity Harbor
Author:  RaeAnne Thayne
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
Release Date:  June 27, 2017

About the Book:

In the town of Haven Point, love can be just a wish—and one magical kiss—away… 
Computer-tech millionaire Bowie Callahan is about the last person that schoolteacher Katrina Bailey wants to work for. As far as she can see, he's arrogant, entitled and not up to the task of caring for his young half brother, Milo. But Kat is, especially if it brings her closer to her goal of adopting an orphaned little girl. And as her kindness and patience work wonders with Milo, she realizes there's more to sexy, wary Bo than she'd ever realized. 

Bo never imagined he'd be tasked with caring for a sibling he didn't know existed. Then again, he never pictured himself impulsively kissing vibrant, compassionate Katrina in the moonlight. Now he's ready to make her dream of family come true…and hoping there's room in it for him, too…

Available for pre-order.  Release date is June 27, 2017
Buy Links: Amazon 
My Review:

I have to say that when I first started reading SERENITY HARBOR I almost felt like I was reading the second book in a series.  Was I?  Oh dang!  It was Book #6!  I didn't see where this was a series when I requested it.  My mistake.  There were a lot of characters and a bit of background had to be introduced for each one.  The author managed to acquaint the reader to each one with a minimum of infodump material though.  And although I had not read any of the previous books in this series, I actually caught on and was able to enjoy the book.

As for the story, I loved it!  Both Bowie, the hunky computer genius, and Kat, the teacher-turned-nanny, had their own insecurities.  Together, their compassion toward Milo and Gabi, brought them together in a heartwarming story that brought me to tears on more than one occasion.

Katrina had just returned from living in South America, coming home for the sole purpose of attending her sister's wedding.  Although she had no intention of getting involved with another man after the fiasco she had dealt with from Carl, she couldn't help coming to the aid of handsome Bowie as he struggled in the store with his little brother Milo trying to deal with a meltdown.  Katrina recognized the signs that this young child had autism and her experience as a teacher helped calm the situation.  Bowie was so impressed and grateful, he offered Kat an outragious amount of money if she would become Milo's nanny until the autism specialist he hired could arrive a few weeks later.  At first Kat rejected Bowie's offer, but later decided the money would help her reach her goal of adopting little Gabi.  Gabi was a little girl with Down's Syndrome living in an orphanage in a small village in South America who had stolen Kat's heart.

I loved how Rayanne Thayne brought out the problems and solutions of dealing with a child with autism and the varying degrees of autism.  That little boy melted my heart.  And the love that grew between Katrina and Bowie gave me tingles!

There were a lot of characters in this book.  The author fully developed the main characters to the point where I really felt like I knew them and loved them (although there were times when I wanted to slap the back of Kat's head to get her to tell Bowie how she really felt).  The rest of the characters, however, were way off in the background somewhere, but I believe that was because they were more fully developed in previous books in this series.

I would probably give this four and a half wine glasses, but I'll round it up to five.

Disclosure:  A complimentary ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.

My Rating:

About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews magazine. 

I'm not one of those people who knew from birth she was destined to become a writer. I always loved to read and throughout my childhood I could usually be found with a book in my hands. To the disgust of my friends, I even enjoyed creative writing assignments that made them all groan. But I had other dreams besides writing. I wanted to be an actress or a teacher or a lawyer.

Life took a different turn for me, though, when my mother made me take a journalism elective in high school (thanks, Mom!). I knew the first day that this was where I belonged.

After I graduated from college in journalism, I took a job at the local daily newspaper and I reveled in the challenge and the diversity of it. One day I could be interviewing the latest country music star, the next day I was writing about local motorcycle gangs or interviewing an award-winning scientist.

Through it all -- through the natural progression of my career from reporter to editor -- I wrote stories in my head. Not just any stories, either, but romances, the kind of books I have devoured since junior high school, with tales about real people going through the trials and tribulations of life until they find deep and lasting love.

I had no idea how to put these people on paper, but knew I had to try -- their stories were too compelling for me to ignore. I sold my first book in 1995 and now, more than 30 books later, I've come to love everything about writing, from the click of the computer keys under my fingers to the "that's-it!" feeling I get when a story is flowing.

I write full-time now (well, as full-time as I can manage juggling my kids!) amid the raw beauty of the northern Utah mountains.

Even though I might not have dreamed of being a writer when I was younger, now I simply can't imagine my life any other way.
I love to hear from readers. You can reach me at my email address, rthayne@xmission.com or through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.


Monday, June 19, 2017

#BookBlitz & #Giveaway - Shades of the Gods (Elysium Legacies, Book 1) by Erin Hayes


Shades of the Gods
Erin Hayes
(Elysium Legacies #1)
Publication date: September 27th 2013
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Mythology
Caught between life and death, all Callie wants is to live again.
Homicide detective Callie Saunders knows that death isn’t all pearly gates and angels. After being hit by a bus, she finds that it’s the ancient gods and goddesses of Greek mythology who are in charge of everything.
So when Hades offers her a deal, she accepts. If she wants to be brought back to life, she’ll have to figure out who is trying to kill his son. But if she fails, both her soul and the world will be destroyed.
With the odds mounting against her, it’ll take everything she has within her to wake up from death. But the rules are constantly changing. And someone wants her to stay dead.
(This book was formerly titled Death is but a Dream. The covers and titles have changed for The Elysium Legacies, but the content is still the same.)
99¢ for a limited time only!
EXCERPT:
    “You’re blackmailing me,” I sneered at him, fury raging within me at the realization. “You want me to do something in return before you allow me to wake up.”
    He raised his hand in a gesture of supplication. “Not blackmail,” he assured. “I’m looking to employ you for a time.”
    I recoiled. “Employ me? As what? Muscle? Is this the Underworld’s version of the Mafia?” Now that I thought about it, Hades did remind me of a mob boss. He even looked like some I knew. “I don’t play that, sorry.”
    Hades grinned. “I want to make a deal with you, Callista. You find out who is trying to kill my son. Give me a name and a motive. And I’ll restore you to life.”



Author Bio:
Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.
She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she's an award-winning New York Times Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.
You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

#BookReview - Grave Ransom (An Alex Craft Novel, Book 5) by Kalayna Price


Title: Grave Ransom (An Alex Craft Novel, Book 5)
Author: Kalayna Price
Publisher: Penguin Group, LLC (Ace)
Release Date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fantasy

About the Book:

In the thrilling new novel from USA Today bestselling author Kalayna Price, Alex Craft comes face-to-face with the walking dead….

Grave witch Alex Craft is no stranger to the dead talking. She raises shades, works with ghosts, and is dating Death himself. But the dead walking? That’s not supposed to happen. And yet reanimated corpses are committing crimes across Nekros City.


Alex’s investigation leads her deep into a web of sinister magic. When Briar Darque of the Magical Crimes Investigation Bureau gets involved, Alex finds herself with an unexpected ally of sorts. But as the dead continue to rise and wreak havoc on the living, can she get to the soul of the matter in time?

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

My Review:

YES! Alex is back and better than ever!

Alex Craft is a grave witch and private eye, specializing in raising the dead and kicking some serious metaphysical butt.

I've been anxiously awaiting the release of this book and nearly fell off my chair when I saw the Netgalley approval. After doing a little dance around my living room, I immediately jumped into this book and proceeded to snarl at anyone who dared to disturb me. I kept checking the percentage at the bottom of the screen, wanting to draw out the experience and not willing the story to end.

The author, Kalayna Price, is one of my favorite Urban Fantasy authors -- right up there with Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, Laurell K. Hamilton, Chloe Neill, Karen Marie Moning, and Christina Bauer. If you enjoy any of those authors, you should definitely check out Kalayna Price's books.

The world-building in this series is phenomenal, with more intricacies to discover in each and every book. I love the inclusion of Faerie, the courts, and the different planes of existence (including the Land of the Dead). Although we didn't get to see much of Faerie this time around, the story was excellent and action-packed. I loved seeing all of the characters again and the progression of their relationships.

The plot was a little bit predictable, but it didn't lessen my enjoyment of the book. I was a little surprised that Alex wasn't able to figure things out a bit sooner... after all, she seems to be a catalyst for all the excitement around her. We also were introduced to a new character -- Briar's partner -- and I have to admit, I'm curious to learn more about him. I can't help but wonder if we'll be seeing him in future books?

We also said goodbye to another character... and although I cried at this part... it made sense. Only future books will tell us if it's permanent or temporary. *sniff* Dammit. I wasn't expecting it when it happened, especially because I loved that character. I won't tell you who... you have to read it to find out.

So yes... this is one installment of the Alex Craft series that you won't want to miss. I fell in love with this series years ago when I first stumbled upon it. Now, here we are... five books in... and I'm just as excited with each new installment today as I was back then. That's no easy feat to keep the momentum going after five books. I can't wait for the next one!

If you enjoy Urban Fantasy books, I *strongly* recommend this series. You're seriously missing out if you haven't added them to your library. On a side note -- these books really aren't intended to be read as standalone books. There's so much rich backstory and so many memorable characters that you won't want to miss... so make sure you start with the first book -- Grave Witch.

Happy Reading!

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley with the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

My Rating:



About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author Kalayna Price writes the Alex Craft Novels, a new dark urban fantasy series from Roc, and the Novels of Haven from Bell Bridge Books. Her works have been translated into several languages and are available (or have been contracted for release) in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, France, Poland, Russia, and Germany. Kalayna draws her ideas from the world around her, her studies into ancient mythologies, and her obsession with classic folklore. Her stories contain not only the mystical elements of fantasy, but also a dash of romance, a bit of gritty horror, some humor, and a large serving of mystery. Kalayna is a member of SFWA and RWA, and an avid hula-hoop dancer who has been known light her hoop on fire. To find out more, please visit her at www.kalayna.com

Author Links:
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