Tuesday, January 17, 2017

1st Birthday Giveaway 10: Sweet Tooth for Books Pillow, Mug & Tote Bag

 
 
 

Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a Sweet Tooth for Books tote bag, mug and pillow set designed by Eviebookish. Good luck!
 

 
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.

Book Review - From Rome With Love by Jules Wake

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Review by Suze
 
Will used to be one of Lisa's best friends, but he is now her enemy because he broke her heart. They aren't speaking anymore and Lisa misses him. Lisa plans a trip to Rome to look for her father. When their mutual friend Giovanny offers her a place to stay in Italy Will invites himself on the trip as well. Instead of a fun holiday abroad Lisa is now going to be uncomfortable, because she will be spending all of her time in Rome at the same apartment as Will.
 
When Lisa arrives in Rome she hopes Giovanni will help her find her father. However, after a day he is needed elsewhere and at first Lisa dreads being alone with Will, but he proves to be the kind man she used to know instead of the man she hates so much. Lisa loves sightseeing in Rome, but she shouldn't be left alone in such a big city. Her navigating skills are lacking and she needs someone by her side to figure things out. When the search for her father isn't going according to plan Will is there to help. Is Lisa going to find what she's looking for and will the trip result in a happy reunion with her father?
 
From Rome With Love is a fun romantic story. Lisa is very sweet. She always wants to help others, she's great with kids and she loves with all her heart. Will isn't a bad guy, he had his reasons and feels bad about what he's done to Lisa. He's gentle and caring, but he works long hours and he's passionate about his job. He thinks he doesn't have much to offer, but is this really true? Lisa and Will are wonderful together and I loved their easy friendship and amazing chemistry. I hoped they would have a future together and couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out.
 
What I enjoyed the most about From Rome With Love is Jules Wake's descriptions of food. Will is in Italy to find the best products for his new restaurant and I could almost taste every delicious ingredient the main characters are sampling. I loved how she makes Rome and every good thing Italy has to offer come to life. It's obvious that Jules Wake loves what she writes about and that made the story incredibly entertaining for me.
 
Lisa is in Italy because she wants to find her father. She doesn't expect to find love, but Rome brings her a lot more than she bargained for before she left. The story is being told from two points of view. Jules Wake switches between Lisa and Will and both of their characters are equally enjoyable to read about. The story ends in a chaotic and surprising way, which I found fabulously dramatic. I really liked From Rome With Love, it's a highly amusing and endearing story.
 
Advice
 
From Rome With Love is a standalone story, but characters from From Italy With Love and From Paris With Love this Christmas are making a brief entrance. If you like stories set in Italy with a lot of family drama you will love this story.
 


Monday, January 16, 2017

Friendship - Guest post by Katie Oliver

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 Guest post

 I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU
by Katie Oliver


Friends.

Whether it’s Rachel and Monica, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, or Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia, our friends define us. They share our secrets, our hopes and dreams for the future. They commiserate with us when we’re down, argue with us when we’re wrong, and reassure us when we fail. They make us laugh and hand us a Kleenex when we cry.

(Even if it’s the messy, runny-nose, eyes-swollen-shut kind of crying.)

For a writer, online friendships are just as important as those IRL (in real life). Whether it’s another writer offering encouragement, a book blogger who takes the time to read and review a novel, a beta reader who offers feedback on a draft, or simply a reader who shares how much he/she enjoyed a book, these relationships are invaluable.

“Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' 'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.”

E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

When I write, I write alone. I often spend my day hunched over a laptop, my thoughts spinning feverishly (or not spinning at all). There are good days and bad days, days when the words, the ideas, just won’t come. It’s a solitary and oftentimes a lonely process. That’s why I cherish my online friends.

On bad days, a kind Tweet or comment on my website can wrench me out of the black hole of ‘I-can’t-write-I-suck-I’m-going-to-quit-and-get-myself-a-real-job’ that all of us writers fall into. Many of the book bloggers and readers I’ve met online have gone on to become real friends. Good friends. Friends I can count on no matter what. We exchange Christmas cards and text each other. Some of us even meet IRL (Debi, I’m looking at you).

Sure, social media can be a huge time-waster if you don’t manage it properly. It can keep you from other things, important things (like, erm, writing). But it can also be a lifeline, a continuing source of joy and laughter and encouragement. It can make you think. It can make you angry. But it always makes you feel. Just like a friend.

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

A new year gives us the opportunity to reassess our lives, our goals, and our friendships. For many people, it’s also a chance to take a long, hard look at our roster of online friends. Friends get culled from Facebook and unfollowed on Twitter, and new friends take their places. But the good friends, the true ones, remain.

Sadly, not all real-life friendships last, either. We change; we grow older; we grow apart. Distance can play a factor, or jealousy, or indifference. The things you once shared no longer bind you. Friendships evolve. Some fizzle out, some stay the same…and some grow even stronger. But true friends – real friends - can re-connect as easily and naturally as breathing, even after years apart.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve kept the friends who matter most and jettisoned the rest. Friendship is a give-and-take relationship that, like any other, requires a certain amount of commitment. It requires generosity, discretion, and the intelligence to know when to offer your opinion and when to shut up.

So here’s to lasting friendships. Here’s to Lucy and Ethel, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and Patsy and Edina.

And here’s to a new year, new adventures…and an abundance of new friendships.
 

About Katie Oliver


My name is Katie Oliver, and I love romantic comedies, Jane Austen, characters who “meet cute,” Richard Curtis films, and Prosecco (not necessarily in that order).

I reside in South Florida with my husband, a dog, and two parakeets.

I hope you enjoy your visit to my site. Here’s to love and all its complications…

Find out more at

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Book Review + Q&A - Daring to Fall by T.J. Kline

 
Book review
 
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Review by Suze
 
Ben is a fireman in Hidden Falls. When he has to rescue a kitten from a tree he takes it to the local animal sanctuary. Emma has just taken over and is trying to make the business thrive again while also taking good care of the animals. Her father died and Emma is now responsible for his legacy. Not everyone likes this and therefore she has a lot to deal with. She's being threatened and someone wants to make her look incapable of running the sanctuary. Ben is impressed by Emma's determination, good looks and love for her animals. That means he's willing to take extra risks to help her. Is it enough that he's by her side or is Emma in such serious danger that he can't protect her on his own?
 
Daring to Fall is a great romantic story. I immediately loved Emma. She's a fiery, fierce redhead who knows exactly what she's doing. She's being threatened and tries to handle this by herself so her business won't be in danger of being closed, in her world the animals always come first. I admired her strength and courage. Ben is just as passionate about his job. He's a fireman with a caring personality. He wants to help people and that is also why he's initially at the sanctuary. He wants to be there for Emma and gets more than he bargained for. There are plenty of sparks between Emma and Ben. I loved their chemistry and easy friendship. They have only just met, but are exactly right for each other and I really liked their instant connection.
 
Hidden Falls is a fantastic setting. I'm a big fan of small town romance and the Hidden Falls series is absolutely wonderful. The animal sanctuary is part of the community and Emma needs to fight to gain respect while someone's trying to turn people against her. I could easily understand why Emma loves her sanctuary so much and is willing to go through great lengths to get it back on track. The animals are unique and have a story. They each have their own distinctive character and the place is pretty impressive. T.J. Kline's descriptions are vivid and she makes her setting come to life very well.
 
Daring to Fall is exactly like the animals T.J. Kline is writing about, it's sweet, but it has a wild and sharp side as well. The animals have individual personalities, which is something I always love to see in books. Everything about Emma is special, she has a vibrant personality, she's young, but knows a lot about animals, she's intelligent and she has a backbone. Ben is a gorgeous man. He's also levelheaded and practical and he remains calm in a crisis. Their personalities complement each other and the result is a beautiful balance. I instantly loved reading about this interesting couple. Daring to Fall is an amazing and fascinating love story.
 
Advice
 
Daring to Fall is a perfect choice for readers who love small town romance and stories with animals.
 
About T.J. Kline
 

T. J. Kline was bitten by the horse bug early and began training horses at fourteen—as well as competing in rodeos and winning several rodeo queen competitions—but has always known writing was her first love. She also writes under the name Tina Klinesmith. In her spare time, she can be found spending as many hours as possible laughing hysterically with her husband, teens, and their menagerie of pets in Northern California. That is, when she isn't running around the California Gold Country researching new stories.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
 
Q&A 

Can you tell us a little about your book?

DARING TO FALL is the second in the Hidden Falls series. It’s a small-town, family saga following the McQuaid family, all seven siblings. This story centers around Ben McQuaid, the second oldest, a Hidden Falls firefighter who finds himself torn between his duty to protecting the town and his desire to protect a woman who might be threatened by the people of Hidden Falls. Emma Jordan, on the other hand, is returning to Hidden Falls and her father’s wildlife rescue, after his sudden death, to find that not everyone is excited about her return, or the fact that she’s taking over the sanctuary.

How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

With the Hidden Falls series, I knew I wanted a family saga but I wanted a diverse family unit that, at first glance, seemed so complex they couldn’t possibly be as close as they are. The McQuaids were born. Ben has always been the “responsible” guy, the Jiminy Cricket to the rest of his brothers, and exactly the kind of guy who does you expect of a small-town hero. He needed a woman who would appreciate those aspects of him, even if it meant fighting her attraction to them.

Emma Jordan sort of created herself. The same things that draw her to Ben, frighten her and, oddly enough, are the same things putting her into the predicament she finds herself in. She’s tenacious, loyal and a hero in her own right. Determined to save others who can’t save themselves. However, the idea for an animal sanctuary came because, in spite of all my ambitions to be a writer when I was young, this was the other job I wanted to have – saving (or training) wild animals.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I loved the research for this book. As a kid, I spent hours reading about a wide variety of animals, sure that one day that information would serve me. It did, in DARING TO FALL. I would spend one day researching bobcats and the next figuring out exactly which type of dart gun and dosage of medication should be used. Not to mention that I was able to reach out to wildlife rescues, trainers and fireman. What could be better than that?

What gave you the most trouble with this story?

Staying concentrated on the external conflict of their situation. I had a hard time with these two characters not wanting to keep their hands off one another. They have a great chemistry – it burns hot but both have reasons to hold back – and it meshed together well to create a very “real” couple with ups and downs. Unfortunately, if I’d left them to their own devices, I’m not sure the animals would have ever gotten fed.

Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

Easy! My cell phone. I live on it. I made sure the last time I upgraded that I purchased one that would serve me, and my writing, on the go. I do everything from it – reading, emails, texts, appointments, even writing. I can even set my home alarm from it. I even use it to set up playlists for while I’m driving. I’d be lost without it (which is why it has frequent backups!)

What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?

The best? The fact that, most days, I don’t even have to brush my teeth if I don’t want to. I do, every day, I swear! But I don’t HAVE to. I have the freedom to style my hair or not, wear PJs all day or dress up. I can set a doctor’s appointment whenever I want to rather than in limited “free” time. I work around vacations and trips, around my kids’ schedules and when I want to. Being a writer has given me more freedom than any job I could ever imagine.

The most challenging? The freedom. When you don’t HAVE to do anything, you have to be self-disciplined to still get up every day and do what needs to be done. There are times, under deadline, when I’ve planned poorly and forgo a trip to the movies. Or, even more difficult, when I’m not under deadline to actually sit in the office chair and put words on the page knowing no one is keeping tabs and I have an entire season of Hart of Dixie waiting for me on my DVR.

What do you do when you are not writing?

When I’m not writing, you can either find me hanging out with my husband and kids (two- and four-legged). If I’m not out working with my horses – is it work if it’s something you LOVE to do? – the family loves being outdoors. We’ll take off and go to the beach for the day, hiking in the mountains, or playing in the snow. Living in California, we can pick from all three, in the same week even, and I’ll be taking pictures the entire way. If weather doesn’t permit, you can find us watching movies together with popcorn, pizza, candy and sodas.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Be prepared for the “real” life of writing. It’s not all fun and games, pajamas and book signings. Most days, it’s ugly, hard, gut-wrenching work. You will doubt yourself, listen to people rip your work apart and feel like you are crazy for attempting to make this your life. It’s okay…we all live there. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve written one book or nearly twenty, writing is always hard work. But, as I said earlier, is it really work if it’s something you love to do? Never give up on what you love to do, whether it’s writing, painting, acting, debate, mathematics, history, woodworking…do what you love and it will show in the results.
 
US only giveaway
 
Three winners from the US will receive a print copy of Making the Play.
 
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