Sunday, July 24, 2016

This Loving Feeling by Miranda Liasson - Book Review & Giveaway


About Miranda Liasson
 

Miranda Liasson loves to write stories about courageous but flawed characters who find love despite themselves, because there’s nothing like a great love story. And if there are a few laughs along the way, even better! She’s a former Golden Heart winner who writes series romance for Entangled Publishing and lighthearted contemporary romance for Montlake Publishing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, three kids, and Posey, a rescue cat with attitude.
 
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Review by Suze
 
Samantha has her future planned, she's going to marry her boyfriend Harris and she'll support him in achieving his political goals. She will move in with him and leave Mirror Lake and everything she loves behind. He's her safe choice and she thinks she's doing the right thing, until Lukas comes back to their hometown. Lukas is now a famous singer who left Sam six years ago without every contacting her again. He was the one who broke her heart and now that he's back she doesn't want him to smash it to pieces once more.
 
Lukas is taking care of his adorable nephew and he's looking for some stability. He wants to adopt the boy and be a responsible parent. Sam is an art teacher and as she's brilliant with kids Lukas could use her help. It will also give them a chance to form a connection again. Their spark might still be there, but will Lukas be willing to commit this time? Once he manages to convince her he's sincere who will Sam choose, him or her almost fiancĂ© Harris?
 
This Loving Feeling is a wonderful romantic book. I immediately loved Sam and Lukas. They have great chemistry and I loved their conversations. Lukas has a lot of making up to do and Sam is with someone else, so he has to fight for her with everything he has, which is a good foundation for a love story. I immediately liked their connection. They're both talented and creative people and it was fun to read about Lukas's performances and about Sam's art. Lukas is charming and generous and Sam is kind and caring, they both really deserve to be happy.
 
Miranda Liasson's writing has an easy flow and she knows how to tell stories about relationships. She perfectly understands what's going on in people's hearts. I love her descriptions of feelings and the way she explores the emotions of her main characters. Everything she describes feels natural and realistic. There are several interesting twists and turns in the story and I loved the exceptionally sweet ending.
 
Mirror Lake is a fantastic town and I immediately fell in love with the inhabitants. I enjoyed reading about their lives very much. This Loving Feeling is the third part of a series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. Miranda Liasson has made sure the reader won't miss anything important and I love her vivid descriptions of the important locations, she includes them in a clever way by giving them a real part in the story. I also liked the charity work aspect very much, it's a fascinating part of the story with a friendly atmosphere, which gives the book something extra special. I highly recommend this fabulous heartwarming series.
 
Giveaway

One very lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.
 

 

Book Review, Interview & Giveaway - Protector by Elaine Gonzales

 
About Elaine Gonzales

 
Elaine Gonzales graduated from the University of Arizona with a journalism degree and worked at The Arizona Republic for 17 years. She's an insane sports enthusiast, pop culture/news junkie and an unapologetic fan girl. 

She recently released her debut novel – the romantic suspense story, Protector, and the ebook prequel, The Condition Series Vol. 1.

Find out more at


Interview

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

My son thinks I’m weird. He tells me all the time, usually when I’m showing him photos of my favorite man crushes I’ve downloaded on my phone. Little does he know, my weirdness is going to eventually wear off on him and he’s going to be even weirder. Brilliant! Besides being a devoted fan girl and a bit immature for my age, I’m a single mom who managed to find time to fulfill a lifelong dream of writing a novel. I work full-time for a newspaper publisher, I am raising a pretty cool little man, and I wish there was more time in the day. I’m exhausted most of the time…but thrilled I found my passion, at last.
 
2. On your website I found that you have always been plotting stories in your head and casting every character. If you had to cast Veronica and Jude who would play them?

As I wrote these characters, I pictured Eva Green and Aidan Turner. I’ve been a fan of Eva’s for a long time, but I had just discovered Aidan when this story was forming in my head. He perfectly encapsulates Jude’s loneliness and sensitivity (see: Being Human). And Eva, she IS Veronica. She’s fierce, but also has a vulnerability in her eyes that just kills me. Watch Penny Dreadful and you’ll see what I mean.

My entire fan cast is on my website. I love hearing from readers about who they think could play these characters in a movie.

3. Which storyline from the past did you love the most?

The Belfast flashback is my favorite. You learn so much about Veronica in that chapter – her pain, her convictions, and what she’s capable of. It was the most fun to write, but it was also the most emotional. There’s a scene in that chapter that when I finished writing it at 2 a.m., I just sat there crying at my computer.

4. You are a sports enthusiast. Which sport do you like best?

In my family, sporting events (live and on TV) are the center of most gatherings. I have four older brothers so a love for sports came naturally. American football is my favorite. I’ve been a San Francisco 49ers fan since I was a teenager. But, I’ll watch any type of competitive sport. I truly enjoy it!

5. Which book would you recommend for all of us to read?

One of my favorites is Savages by Don Winslow. It may not be for everyone, though. It’s pretty graphic in language and content. But his in-your-face type of narrative influenced me to not hold back on how my characters express themselves. There were a few instances while I was writing Protector where I thought I should take out some of the expletives in the dialogue, but then I would realize that is how I hear them. I wanted to stay true to that. Winslow talks a lot about writing outside the box and not following “rules” that we have no idea who set up. That way of thinking really freed me up as I wrote my story.

6. What is your favorite season of the year and why?

Not summer! I live in Arizona and it can get up to 120 degrees here. It’s brutal, but the other seven months of the year are gorgeous. Autumn/Fall is my favorite. The temperature cools down. Football season begins, and the holidays are right around the corner.

7. Veronica is a very complex character. What has been your inspiration for her?

When I began writing her, I had a very clear picture of the kind of woman I wanted her to be. I wanted her to be as powerful as a male protagonist would be in the same situation. Many times I would think to myself, ‘What Would James Bond Do?’ Yet, I wanted her to have the female qualities that separate us from men. Veronica is as confident, determined and kick-ass as Bond, but she’s also emotional, passionate and self-aware. She doesn’t wear her heart on her sleeve, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t vulnerable and sensitive. She keeps her emotions under control, which is why she’s so rocked by what happens when she meets Jude.

8. If you could go anywhere in the world for a vacation where would you go and why?

Number one on my bucket list has always been the British Isles. I’ve wanted to go to England, Ireland and Scotland since I was a teenager. It’s a huge regret of mine that I never went when I was younger, but that’s about to change. I’m planning a trip in the spring. Once I wrote my first novel and published it, I realized that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. No more excuses. I’m going!

9. If the choice was given to you to have the serum for the condition you write about. Would you take it?

Yes. No question about it. I’d be one of those outliers enjoying the benefits and experiencing life to the fullest. I wouldn’t take any risks or give the Protectors any cause to call on me.

10. What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m currently writing the follow up to Protector. The story picks up the very next day and you see how Veronica deals with the consequences of her actions. McNair has a much bigger storyline and you’ll find out his backstory. Evie, too, has a more significant role. Her relationship with Veronica is very important, and she’s so much fun to write. I love her! Oh, and there are lots more twists to come.

Book review

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Review by Anniek

Veronica Farrell grew up in her own clan and she led an extremely protected life. When she was a teenager her parents told her about the condition. Her parents’ generation created a serum because they wanted to slow down the aging process. Instead of slowing it down the serum stops it completely at the age of thirty. The serum also makes people heal faster and prevents them from getting ill. The originals want to keep the serum and the effects that it has a secret. Because of that they all live in clans.

Veronica is really angry about the fact that her parents were keeping secrets and didn't let her know about the condition for so long. She also has a lot of trouble accepting that she had no choice in this matter. Veronica turns away from her parents and finds an outlet for her anger when she joins the protectors. The protectors will do everything in their power to keep the condition hidden from the world. They go to extremes if they have to. Once, during an assignment, Veronica let a man go. She was supposed to stop him from getting away, but one look into his eyes prevented her from doing that.

Many years later Veronica meets Jude again. This time he is not running away from her. Jude has never forgotten Veronica. He has been looking for her for many years but never found her until now. Jude also has the condition, but left his clan so he could live a normal life. Jude and Veronica fall in love with each other very fast. Both of them never knew that an all-consuming love like theirs was even possible.

Veronica isn't an easy person to like. She is calculated, cold and can be brutal when things need to be done. Veronica has never shied away from a challenge and will work as hard as she possibly can to match her strength with that of the male protectors. Veronica has never been able to let her anger go and she is awfully harsh towards her parents. Her actions made me feel like she is brainwashed by the protectors. When she falls in love with Jude she finally shows her softer side. I was wishing for her to open up to Jude. She isn’t a bad person, but she does make terribly bad choices.

Jude is such a sweet man. He loves with his whole heart and he is amazingly trustworthy. Jude is big on honesty and doesn’t hold back when he feels betrayed. He is connected to a group that fights against the protectors. That Veronica is one of them certainly makes things complicated. Will that be their downfall of will they be able to overcome their differences?

Protector is a true must-read. It does have some graphic scenes, so I would not recommend it for the younger readers. Elaine Gonzales has created strong characters with a lot of depth in their personalities. It felt like the characters are real people. Protector is a unique and refreshing story that will keep you interested until the final chapter. The ending surprised me and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. If you like stories with a lot of action and a fast pace, you will love Protector.

Giveaway

 
One very lucky winner will receive a signed paperback version of Protector including the necklace Veronica is wearing on the cover.
 
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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add withloveforbooks@gmail.com to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Book Reviews - Who Needs Mr Darcy & The Bad Miss Bennet Abroad by Jean Burnett

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Review by Suze
 
Lydia Wickham is a young widow and Mr. Wickham hardly had any money, so she has to find a way to make a fortune on her own. She only has one huge weakness, an appalling taste in men. Together with her friends she organizes gambling evenings that should bring in some money. She also has an adventure with a highwayman, who keeps making her an accomplice because Lydia can't resists his charms. She even has a royal affair, but she can't seem to find a suitable husband. She can't marry any of the men she meets while a prosperous marriage is exactly what she needs.
 
Lydia has her maid Adelaide by her side and together they're trying to find luck and wealth. When Lydia screws up one time too many she's being punished for it with a position that might actually make her wishes come true. However, her fortune never seems to last. Will Lydia finally find the money she so desperately wants or is she destined to be poor forever?
 
Lydia Wickham's sister is married to Mr. Darcy and she doesn't get along with her brother in law at all. Her sister Elizabeth and her husband are respectable people, but Lydia loves a gamble, she likes to party, she can't resist charming men and she isn't good at saying no. She's delightfully shallow, she isn't that smart, but she can be cunning and she never thinks about the consequences of her actions. Having fun is her main goal in life and she's fabulous at it. I loved reading about her successful and not so successful quests to make money. Lydia is absolutely fantastic and the more flaws she has the better. She flutters from one disastrous situation to another like an upbeat bright colored butterfly that everyone can't help but notice.
 
Jean Burnett has a great sense of humor. She combines this with writing that perfectly suits Lydia's fancy upbringing. I love it that she's given the black sheep of the Bennet family her own chance to shine. I often laughed out loud while reading Lydia's story and loved that she lands herself in so many comic situations. I advise you to take the time to read this story, don't try to fly through it, but read slowly and savor the scenes. It's a book that doesn't deserves to be rushed through, because there's a chance to overlook too much of the wittiness that way, which would be a real waste. I'm a big fan of Lydia Bennet, she's amusing and daring and her stories are captivating. I loved this funny first Lydia Bennet book very much.
 
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Review by Suze
 
Lydia Bennet is on her way to Brazil by accident. She's now a member of the Portuguese court together with her maid Adelaide. Brazil is a tropical paradise, but that actually means it's extremely hot, most of the people smell, beautiful clothes don't matter all that much and Lydia has to eat shrimp every day. Still, Lydia finds her entertainment and this time it's the Portuguese heir. Of course she's fallen for the one man she should have stayed away from. The result is that she has to leave Rio de Janeiro to be hidden in a coastal village. Lydia Wickham always finds a way out though.
 
While trying to find a rich husband Lydia meets pirates, she's being abducted, she finally receives the jewels she's always dreamed of, but if she can keep them is a completely different matter, and she spends a lot of time on different ships, to end up exactly where she started, with her sister Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, who can't wait for her to leave. The loathing is mutual and as usual she stumbles upon the perfect way to get out of his house as quickly as she can. Will her adventures finally bring Lydia the rich husband she so desperately wants or will she lose everything she has once again?
 
The Bad Miss Bennet Abroad is another wonderful book about Lydia Wickham and her quest to find a good looking, wealthy husband. Lydia is great at making the wrong decisions, she's impulsive, never thinks things through and she doesn't say no when it's obvious she should have. She's superficial, but not in a bad way. She's easy to like because she's so much fun. I loved reading about her adventures in different countries on various continents. Lydia has the opportunity to see the world and she does it by chance, like she does everything. I enjoyed reading about the men she meets and the ways she finds to make sure she has something to sell to make her fortune. Adelaide is her accomplice, but she can be trusted with men as much as Lydia herself. That's something else I really liked about this story. They're quite a pair.
 
Jean Burnett has a brilliant sense of humor. I love the stories she comes up with and Lydia Bennet is a character to adore. I like the Jane Austen references, they're there precisely when they are needed and they're never too much. Jean Burnett knows when something's just enough and she has a good eye for timing. I like that she's chosen to go her own way instead of copying the style and the characters in detail. I think The Bad Miss Bennet Abroad is another cheerful and adventurous Lydia Bennet book. It's a dazzling and entertaining story that put a big smile on my face.

The Star Series by Krysten Lindsay Hager - Interview & Giveaway

 
About Krysten Lindsay Hager
 

Krysten Lindsay Hager is a book addict who has worked as a journalist and humor essayist. She is the author of the Landry's True Colors Series and the Star Series. Tue Colors was her debut novel and the first book in the Landry's True Colors Series. Best Friends...Forever? (book 2) was #1 in Amazon's hot new releases in teen & young adult values and virtues fiction and #1 in Amazon's hot new release in children's books on values. Landry in Like (Book 3) was #3 in Amazon's Hot New Releases for Girls & Women. Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Bellbrook Times, and on the talk show Living Dayton. Check out her YA novel, Next Door To A Star (book 1 in the Star Series) and Competing With The Star: Book 2 in the Star Series. You can follow her at: http://www.krystenlindsay.com.
 
The Star Series Interview
 
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1) Could you sum up Hadley's character in five words?

Loyal, sensitive, thoughtful, sweet, and introverted. She cares about her friends and trusts them to a fault, so when she’s betrayed she doesn’t know how to handle it.

2) Hadley and Nick are a very sweet couple. What's so special about real teenage love?

I think Nick and Hadley have a special bond because he’s able to share things with her that he can’t talk about with other people and she understands. He finds a safety and peace in her that makes him love her more. However this is her first boyfriend and she lets her friends get into her head and hears that safe equals boring. She worries Nick will want to be with someone more exciting and exotic like his ex-girlfriend or Simone, the teen star next door.

3) Simone used to be a big star and has the personality to go with it, what inspired you to write about her this way?

I wanted to show that even celebs who appear self-assured and confident have moments of deep insecurity. There was a celeb that I imagined as Simone appearance-wise when I first began writing the series and later I found out that particular person had major insecurities about her own physical appearance. Simone is the type of person who wants (and needs) to be the center of attention and there’s an insecurity in that—that fear of being ignored or lumped in with everyone else. She needs to feel loved and special.

4) You also write about a serious topic in this story, Nick's grandfather is very ill. Could you tell a bit more about this?

Nick’s grandfather developed Lewy Body Parkinson’s with dementia. It’s not a very well-known disease and when a family member of mine was diagnosed with it was obvious the doctors weren’t super familiar with it either. I decided to include it in the story because I wanted people who were dealing with it (like I was) to feel less alone and also to inform people about it. Even though Nick’s grandpa is dealing with a lot and it’s changed his life, Nick’s bond with him has deepened and that’s what happened in my family. We grew closer. I hope anyone who is dealing with a loved one who hasLewy Body or Parkinson’s or dementia can feel less alone when reading this story.

5) Why have you chosen Grand Haven as the location for your series?

Grand Haven is one of my favorite places to get away. It’s a beach town on Lake Michigan and I have gone there ever since I was a little kid. It’s somewhere I can be in the present moment and take in the gorgeous surroundings. I am obsessed with lake towns.

6) Do you have any advice for teenage girls who are in the same situation as Hadley: struggling with fitting in and trying to find out where they belong and how they can be themselves?

Years ago I had to share something with a friend—something I was a little insecure about and I remember she said, “Well, everyone has their something.” And that is so true—we all have things we don’t put out there into the world for everyone to see, but it’s important to realize we are all dealing with something and to try to not compare ourselves. The key to accepting yourself is seeing what you have to offer and not worrying about what you don’t.
 
Links
 
 
Giveaway
 
 
One very lucky reader of With Love for books will win this beautiful sterling silver (and nickel free) heart necklace made by Sendi.
  

 
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add withloveforbooks@gmail.com to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.