Sunday, December 17, 2017

Kindle Fire 7 and Sass & Belle Fox Mug, Bowl, Pencil Pouch, Notebook, Pillow and Lunch Box Giveaway




Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a Kindle Fire 7 and a Sass & Belle fox mug, bowl, lunch box, pencil pouch, notebook and pillow. Good luck! 



The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green by Eve Devon - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

Kate, Daniel and Juliet are working hard to get the Clock House on the Green ready for opening. They will share the business and have one spot that still has to be filled, they have a bar that needs a manager. Kate knows someone who will be perfect for the position, her friend Emma, who has tried to become a successful Hollywood actress for years, but doesn't seem to get the right parts, and is ready for a change. Is moving to Whispers Wood what Emma needs to feel happy again?

Jake doesn't like Christmas. He was badly hurt by a woman once and as everyone knows everything about him in the small village, he wants to get away from Whispers Wood during the holiday season. He finds comfort in designing beautiful gardens, but there's an emptiness he can't seem to fill. When Emma arrives at the Clock House Jake's heart is slowly thawing. However, Jake doesn't know if he can trust again. Is Christmas really such a horrible time or will he have the chance to enjoy it again because of Emma?

Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green is a wonderful heartwarming story. It was fun to read more about the Clock House. There's so much progress and I enjoyed watching the business develop into something amazing. I liked reading about Kate and Juliet again. They're fabulous main characters and I enjoyed finding out more about their love lives. Emma is a good addition to the Clock House family. She's got a big heart, she's always friendly and she has a smile for everyone. Her character is perfect for a Christmas story. Especially when there's a moody man whose heart needs to be defrosted. I absolutely loved the romantic part of the story and couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out what would happen between Emma and Jake.

Eve Devon has a lovely easy flowing writing style. I was spellbound by her story from the start and enjoyed reading it from beginning to end. I love her vibrant descriptions of Whispers Wood and its inhabitants. The village has plenty of character and there's a lot going on. Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green has the exact right Christmas spirit. It's a charming feelgood story filled with beautiful moments and romance. I highly recommend this fantastic festive book.

Advice

If you love romantic stories set in small towns the Whispers Wood books would be a perfect choice. If you want to know every detail of the story I'd start with The Little Clock House on the Green before reading Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green.

About Eve Devon


I write sexy heroes, sassy heroines & happy ever afters...Growing up in locations like Botswana and Venezuela gave me quite the taste for adventure and my love for romances began when my mother shoved one into my hands in a desperate attempt to keep me quiet during TV coverage of the Wimbledon tennis finals!

When I wasn't consuming books by the bucketload, I could be found pretending to be a damsel in distress or running around solving mysteries and writing down my adventures. As a teenager, I wrote countless episodes of TV detective dramas so the hero and heroine would end up together every week. As an adult, I worked in a library to conveniently continue consuming books by the bucket load, until realising I was destined to write contemporary romance and romantic suspense myself. 

I live in leafy Surrey in the UK, a book-devouring, slightly melodramatic, romance-writing sassy heroine with my very own sexy hero husband!

Links


Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green: Nailing It!
Guest post by Eve Devon

Thank you so much to the lovely Anniek and Suze for allowing me to guest on their gorgeous blog today…

One of my favourite scenes to write in Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green was where Emma and Kate are at Juliet’s place for the evening, working on their ideas to decorate The Clock House for Christmas.

Of course being three incredibly resourceful women, they nail their design for the decorations in the first hour and get to spend the rest of the evening bonding while binge-watching episodes of Poldark (or, more accurately, scenes of Ross Poldark scything!). All will be revealed if you read the book!

I threw in some home-made Christmas popcorn and some of the girls’ favourite drink…honey martinis, and because they’d been working so hard to get The Clock House ready for opening, I decided they needed a little pampering and gave them all a basket of nail varnishes so they could do manicures.

Confession: every Christmas Eve, as soon as I think everything is done for The Big Day, I sit down in front of a Christmas movie and paint my nails. Of course as soon as I’ve put the second coat on, I invariably have to get something out of the oven and end up having to start all over again! It’s a good job half the fun is picking the colour. These days there are so many nail art designs and fancy colours to choose from with brilliantly seductive or hilarious names. I’ve always thought it would be great to get to name a nail varnish – sort of like working for Farrow & Ball but with pretty paint you put on your nails instead of the walls.

In Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green I couldn’t resist choosing Christmassy names for the nail polishes so that I could match them a little to their characters. In the book Juliet chooses “The Nice List” which I imagined to be a pretty pastel pink with white glitter overcoat. Kate chooses “The Naughty List” which I imagined to be a deep vampy crimson with subtle gold overcoat. As for Emma….well, it turns out that Emma can’t resist the dark green frosted “The Holly and The Ivy” that reminds her of a certain Mr Knightley!

If you had the choice, what would your perfect Christmas nail polish colour be and what would you name it?

Love and Little Clock House Kisses,

Eve xx

Giveaway


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a beautiful handmade Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green bookmark.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Shining Through by Elizabeth Harmon - Book Review, Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

Tabitha's figure-skating career would be complete if she'd win the Olympics. Tabitha has worked towards this goal her entire life. She has an impeccable reputation and has made a lot of sacrifices to get where she is today. The same goes for her family and Tabitha desperately wants to win to give something back to her mother and sister for what they've done for her. However, the pressure is immense and Tabitha has already failed before because of too much stress. Will she be able to handle it this time?

When Tabitha meets Russian bad boy skater Daniil she realizes she should have some fun for the first time in her life. He's just as determined as she is to win and they have a lot in common, so he understands where she's coming from. Unfortunately Daniil also has a reputation. Should Tabitha believe everything that's being said about him? After one magical night a tempting invitation follows. Should Tabitha accept? Would spending time with Daniil harm her career or will she get a boost through skating together? What will happen to them when the season is at its peak, will they both win at the games and in love or will they end up with a broken heart and shattered dreams?

Shining Through is a fascinating romantic story. I love ice skating and really enjoyed reading about Tabitha's career. She's a driven person, but she's also someone who doesn't always follow her dreams. Tabitha and Daniil come from different backgrounds and can learn from each other. Tabitha never takes anything for granted and has to work incredibly hard for every achievement. Daniil managed to get in trouble a few times, he never has to worry about money and he can do whatever he wants to do. He doesn't know what it's like to be loved though. He teaches Tabitha how to loosen up and she shows him how to take responsibility and put in as much effort as possible. Besides their common professional interests they have plenty of sparks and they are a good intellectual match as well, which is a great basis for a story.

Elizabeth Harmon writes about competing, winning, losing, passion, love and dreams in a great descriptive way. It's easy to understand her main characters. I enjoyed reading about the movement on ice, the choice of music, the being part of something and the creativity of the athletes and their trainers. I liked how Elizabeth Harmon combines this with a wonderful love story. Shining Through is a terrific book filled with unexpected twists and turns.

Advice

If you love romantic stories and like figure-skating you should definitely read Shining Through. It's the fourth book in the Red Hot Russians series, but can easily be read as a standalone.

About Elizabeth Harmon


Elizabeth Harmon loves to read and write romances with a dash of different. She is the author of the Red Hot Russians sports romance series, and her debut novel, Pairing Off is a 2016 RITA Award Finalist.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, she has worked in advertising, community journalism and as a freelance magazine writer. She feels incredibly blessed to have a career that allows her to spend her days imagining “what if?” and a loving family that keeps her grounded in the real world.
An adventurous cook, vintage home enthusiast, occasional actress, and entry-level figure skater, Elizabeth makes her home in the Midwest, where life is good, but the sports teams aren’t. She loves to hang out on her front porch, or at her favorite local establishments, enjoy good food and wine, and talk writing with anyone who will listen.

Links


Why This Good Girl Loves Bad Boys
Guest post by Elizabeth Harmon

Show of hands… who loves a bad boy hero?

Yep, me too.

There’s something about putting myself in the shoes of a heroine drawn to a sexy man she knows she shouldn’t want, yet she just can’t stay away from.

Maybe he’s a rock star with a bad reputation. Maybe he’s a biker, who lives outside society’s mainstream. Maybe he came from a good family, and grew up with every advantage, but then something in his life went very, very wrong.

As the heroine walks his dangerous path, we breathlessly turn the pages, waiting for him to be redeemed by love.

I started as a historical romance fan and adored reading about rakes, rogues and the proper ladies who fall for them. When I turned to contemporaries, I found so many bad boy heroes, I would never run out.

But the ones I love best aren’t the extreme Alphas who star in so many dark romances. If the Kindle best seller lists are any indication, obsessive, possessive billionaire hitmen have lots of fans, but I just don’t happen to be one of them.

The bad boy I like the best has been through hell but still has his heart and humanity intact. He’s got charisma, he’s got courage. He’s a scarred, tattooed survivor. He plays by his own rules and somehow, seems to land (mostly) on his feet.

While the rest of the world might see him as a dangerous outsider, the heroine knows that on the inside, the bad boy is a good man.

He helps her step outside her safe world, and she knows that if things go wrong, he’ll be there to set them right. He’s seen the worst of life and lived to tell about it. And if he’s still trapped in a hell of his own making, she can be the reason he needs to change.

Those are qualities I’ve tried to bring to the hero of my new release, Shining Through, the fifth book in my Red Hot Russians contemporary romance series.

U.S. figure skating champion Tabitha Turner has spent her life living up to others’ (and her own) high expectations. Heading into her final competitive season, she’s feeling the pressure and keenly aware of everything that she’s sacrificed in order to become one of the world’s top skaters. When she meets Russian skater Daniil Andreev, she’s drawn like a magnet, despite his reputation for trouble.

Daniil, the son of a Russian oligarch and a British supermodel, has spent most of his life rebelling against his family, an oppressive coach, and the Russian sports ministry, which never approved of him. Heading into a Winter Games season he’s determined to put his mistakes behind him and establish himself as a contender for gold.

When Tabitha tempts him to help her take a secret walk on the wild side, he gives her a taste of the freedom she craves, never expecting that one unforgettable night will turn into something more.

One of the things I love most about Daniil and Tabitha is that they accept each other and at the same time, inspire one another to grow and change.

Bad boy Daniil helps Tabitha find the courage to set aside her manufactured Ice Queen image and be true to herself, both in skating and in life. Good girl Tabitha inspires Daniil to set aside his past hurts and never give up on his dream.

Excerpt

“After a tough day on the ice, she’s hitting the hard stuff.”

Daniil Andreev leaned against a tall table, a few feet away. Dressed in skinny jeans, a black leather jacket, and with smudged liner around his eyes, he looked like a member of Green Day who’d wandered into the wrong party.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” she snapped, angry that the mere sight of him brought flushed cheeks and noodle-knees.

He came and stood beside her at the bar. His dark eyes looked that much darker because of the smoky color surrounding them. His lashes were so long, she wondered if he was wearing mascara too. Regardless, it took nothing away from his masculinity. It took guts and confidence to carry off the look. Daniil had both.

“Nothing bad, I promise. I enjoyed your program today.”

Tabitha shut off her phone. “I’m glad someone did.”

“I’ve been where you are.” He spoke in a quiet voice and leaned closer. She caught a whiff of Polo Black. He would have to wear her favorite men’s fragrance. “Not only are you disappointed for not skating as well as you hoped, you feel you disappointed others.”

She tried to shrug off the hurt. “No one said this season would be easy.”

“Are any of them?”

His penetrating gaze searched to see behind her public face. Too bad for him, she was a pro at keeping it hidden. She stirred the ice in her drink and offered a careful smile. “So you’ve been where I am. How did you deal with it?”

“I used it as motivation to prove everyone wrong and did what I had to do to stay in the sport. Even things that hurt my pride.”

This sounded intriguing. “Like what?”

“Like training in Lake Shosha, instead of Moscow or Petersburg.” His casual shrug suggested there might be other things, but pushing for more seemed rude. Nor was she sure she wanted to know. “Anyway, three seasons ago, everyone thought my career was over. Everyone except me. Now, I’m on the verge of making it to Grenoble. Whether I get there because of bronze medals, or gold, I’m there just the same.”

Tabitha knew she put too much pressure on herself, but her entire career had been about succeeding against the odds and you didn’t do that without striving for perfection. “Until today, not making the team was just this vague notion I tried not to think about. Now it feels like something that could really happen. But I can’t let it. I’ve worked too hard to fail now.”

“You aren’t going to fail.”

He spoke slowly, enunciating each word. His tone was gentle, but insistent. He believed in her, and she felt bolstered by it, even if she didn’t share it. “You sound so sure.”

His gaze held hers, and a spark of attraction flew between them. “I am.”

Giveaway

Two very lucky readers of With Love for Books will receive a digital copy of their choice from The Red Hot Russians series by Elizabeth Harmon.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Heroes of Olympus Books & Make Your Own Magic Tea, Mug, Candy and Chocolate Giveaway




Enter this giveaway for a chance to win The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan and Make Your Own Magic mug, tea, sour candy and chocolate from Hema.



The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

To the Duke, With Love by Amelia Grey - Book Review, Interview & Amazon Gift Card Giveway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

Hawk is one of the Rakes of St James and is afraid his younger sister will be a target for revenge because of his past actions. To avoid this the duke wants to find a suitable match for his sister before the Season starts. He has someone in mind, a kindhearted young man named Paxton. However, Paxton has a sister, who's a lot tougher to handle. Instead of having his first meeting with the man he wants to be his sister's future husband, he has to deal with Loretta, a woman who doesn't believe in arranged marriages.

Loretta wants Paxton to marry someone he loves, so she isn't going to help Hawk with his plans. Loretta has made a vow and is paying dearly for it. To escape an unhappy marriage to a nobleman chosen by her uncle she's now on her own, not allowed to leave the remote house she's living in. Hawk thinks he can change this, but he hasn't counted on Loretta's stubbornness and her determination to keep her vow. He's in for a challenge, will he succeed in his quest to make Loretta change her mind?

To the Duke, With Love is a fantastic romantic story. I was captivated by Hawk and Loretta's story from the start. Hawk has a reputation, but he also has a good heart and wants to protect the people he loves. He's honest and resourceful, something I really liked about his character. Loretta is strong, smart and resilient. She doesn't let anything get to her and I admired her courage. She's a good match for Hawk and I loved their banter, their sparks and their easy companionship. It's a good basis for a story and for me it worked very well. I couldn't put To the Duke, With Love down and read the book in one sitting. It put a big smile on my face and I loved every sentence.

Amelia Grey has a wonderful heartwarming writing style. I can easily picture the time she writes about because of her vivid descriptions of houses, clothing, food and etiquette. I love how she makes her main characters come to life. To the Duke, With Love is entertaining, charming, surprising and sweet. I absolutely loved this fantastic story that's filled with beautiful true love, romantic gestures and fascinating chance meetings and highly recommend it.

Advice

Amelia Grey's books are absolute must-reads for readers who love historical romance. If you love intrigues, plenty of unexpected twists and turns and beautiful people you will definitely like To the Duke, With Love. It's the second book in the Rakes of St James series, but can easily be read as a standalone.

About Amelia Grey


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Amelia Grey read her first romance book when she was thirteen and she's been a devoted reader of love stories ever since. Her awards include the Booksellers Best, Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill.

Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the prestigious Maggie Award. Her books have sold to many countries in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and most recently to Japan. Several of her books have also been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs.

Amelia is the author of twenty-five books. She's been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida. Her first book with St. Martin's was The Duke in My Bed.

You can follow Amelia on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmeliaGreyBooks or email her at AmeliaGrey@comcast.net to be added to her monthly newsletter list.

Links


Interview

1) Can you tell a bit about yourself?

The first thing I would like you to know about me is that I’m a girly girl! I love pearls, lace, ruffles, candlelight, and soft music. I love flowers but don’t want to get my hands dirty planting them.

I’m a big fan of college football, and I always pick a team and watch the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, and the World Series. I love to watch sports—I just don’t want to play sports. I love living on the beach but I don’t like to walk barefoot on the sand or getting in the water. I love to watch the waves roll in and listen to them crash on shore and one of my favorite things to do is watch the sun set over the beautiful Gulf of Mexico.

I enjoy going to movies, reading books, and traveling to places I’ve never been before. I would rather have a quiet dinner with my husband and a few friends than be at a loud, rocking party. Growing up, we never had a place to go to where I could dress up in fancy clothing so now I love to dress up in lovely dresses and go to dinner. I think that’s why I always have a ballroom scene in all my books.

2) What do you like the most about regency romance?  

To me there’s just something extremely appealing and very sexy about a tall, handsome gentleman dressed in buff-colored trousers, black Hessian knee boots, and a white shirt. A man whose honor is more important than his life. Ah, it must be the Regency. The time period itself is quite alluring because men were gentlemen and women were ladies. Most of the gentlemen truly wanted to make a young lady feel beautiful, desired, and treasured. A Regency man was not only expected to open the door for a lady, pull out her chair, and watch his language and his manners around her, he wanted to do these things. He was the epitome of class and standards dressed in perfectly tied neckcloths, cutaway coats, and boots polished to a sexy gleam, slowly sipping a glass of brandy from a fine crystal snifter.

I love the Regency countryside with its green, gently rolling hills, dotted with stately manor homes surrounded by fabulous gardens that go on forever with vistas, waterfalls, and neatly trimmed yew. I love the hustle and bustle of busy London streets, and all the secrets and mysteries that are hidden within the boundaries of Hyde and St. James’ Parks.

3) What inspires you to write about rakes, scoundrels and falling in love?

I love all the trappings of the Regency. Lavish accompaniments of the setting, can make readers wish they were there. The glossy black of a barouche pulled by six white spirited horses, an ivory handle walking stick, a jeweled brooch settled in the hollow of a pale throat, and an expansive marble floor. Wall scones that flicker candlelight in dark corridors are perfect for a romantic rendezvous between an innocent young lady and a handsome gent, or star-crossed lovers.

I enjoy the first blush of true love that simmers and sizzles until the lady and the gentleman know the moment they must be together. There is a definite feeling of contentment when the hero and heroine succumb to their destiny. Titled gentlemen and ladies of quality- -quite simply--fascinate me! The ton is that elite group, in that exalted, inner circle. I want to be a part of them. They are courtly and powerful, in the know, and a station above everyone else. I want to hear their secrets and share their intimate lives. I can vividly see ballrooms glittering with candlelight and cooled by a night wind.

4) Can you describe the main characters of To the Duke, With Love in seven words each?

Miss Marlena Fast is smart, loyal, determined, wholesome, happy, lovely, and bold.

The Duke of Rathburne is rake, a friend, strong, determined, roguish, handsome, and loveable.

5) What does true love mean to you?

For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health until death parts you.

6) What are your plans for the future?

I’m so excited you asked! The third book in my Rakes of St. James trilogy It’s All About the Duke will be published May 29.

Here’s a teaser about the book: 

He could be a rake if he only means to steal a kiss but steals your heart as well.

Miss Honora Truth’s Words of Wisdom and Warning About Rakes, Scoundrels, Rogues, and Libertines

Nearing thirty, the Duke of Rathbone is finally ready to make amends for the wager that caused him and his best friends such scandal—but taking on a ward who needs a husband is a feat he’s not sure he can manage. The last he saw of Miss Marlena Fast, she was a spirited little ruffian, not the sort of bride most bachelors on the marriage mart sought. But one glance at the lovely young lady she has become is enough to convince him otherwise…

Orphaned young and shuffled from family to family, Marlena counts on her fierce independence and quick wits to keep herself content. Being the responsibility of a notoriously wicked rake who upended so many lives is an unexpected challenge when she realizes he arouses her decidedly womanly desire. Marlena must be careful. She has her own scandalous secret to protect. Will it shatter her chances of a happily-ever-after with the too-good-to-be-true duke?

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will win a $25 Amazon gift card. One runner up will receive a digital copy of one book from Amelia Grey's back list (winner's choice).


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

The Girl I Used to Know by Faith Hogan - Book Review & Giveaway


Review by Anniek

Amanda thinks she has it all. Once upon a time she was an upcoming artist, but she turned her back on her talent when she married Richard. Richard works hard and brings in lots of money. This makes them able to live comfortably in a picture perfect house. Amanda is always busy keeping up appearances with her fake friends, because she doesn't want to be the main subject of their gossip. Her two teenage children know that something isn't right and their behavior is only making the already bad situation worse. Will Amanda ever be able to go back to that stress-free girl she used to be?

Tess has been renting Amanda's basement flat for a long time. She already lived there before they moved in and Richard and Amanda have had it in for her ever since they bought the place. Their bickering slowly turned into ugly fights, which even led to a court hearing. Richard wants nothing more than to throw Tess out of the only place she ever truly called home. Tess has been badly hurt in the past and has been on her own ever since. She keeps everyone at bay with her bad attitude and her hateful words. Tess was a promising singer with a voice that could mesmerize any audience. She lost the pleasure to sing, but will she eventually find it in herself to change the tune of her life?

Amanda knew that Richard was a player when she first met him and she played hard to get. In the beginning they had wonderful years, but Richard has always been very cold towards Amanda. Her marriage changed her and she kept her true feelings to herself, because she didn't want to stir up any unwanted negative attention. I loved to read about how she slowly realises what has become of her. She needs to find herself again and I was rooting for her to succeed.

Tess grew up in a strict household. Her father decided everything and controlled their day-to-day life, soTess was very happy to leave their small town behind. Her sister Nancy went with her to Dublin, but both of them always knew that Nancy would return home someday. Tess never expected that Nancy would take Tess's heart and soul with her, leaving Tess devastated and alone. Tess is such a feisty old lady and her comments made me laugh out loud so many times. She has a strong will and can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. I wished for Tess to find happiness again and I couldn't wait to find out what she would do next.

The Girl I Used to Know is a heart-wrenching gripping story about two women who have lost theirselves due to the circumstances of their lives. The Girl I Used to Know also showed me hope. Everybody can change if they really want or need to. Both Amanda and Tess are so much stronger than they think they are and I loved to read about their individual journeys. I found myself glued to my seat because I wanted to find out so badly where Amanda and Tess would end up. Tess is an older woman and I liked how Faith Hogan shows her readers that age is nothing but a number. Love and happiness can be found at any time and at any age. The Girl I Used to Know is bittersweet, it moved me to tears, but it also put a big smile on my face. Faith Hogan is a new author for me and I can't thank Suze enough for introducing me to her books.

Advice

If you love to read moving stories about love, loss, friendship and making your own choices I highly recommend The Girl I Used to Know.

About Faith Hogan


Like most writers I didn’t take the direct route into publishing, I gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. I have worked in all sorts of jobs, as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector. The constant throughout has been a love of books! I have read and written all of my life.

For many years, I wrote scraps of poems, just joined up lines of thought, that conveyed life as I saw it. My ‘everyday poetry’ was written in waiting rooms, on serviettes, left over note books and sometimes stuffed into the back of my wallet! When I began to write longer fiction, the experience was very different, sometimes the thread would come from overheard words or a notion of ‘what if…’ For the novels, I needed quiet, time and a little planning and structure. My first attempt was a ramble of long narrative that brought me along for eighty thousand words and left me feeling incredibly fulfilled. I could do it. I could actually write a novel. Since then, the ambition has been to write a novel that I’m happy with and that is going to appeal to a wide audience – that’s a tightrope order, but with My Husbands Wives, I hope I’ve managed it.

I was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers, the feedback was very positive and complimentary and suddenly, there were possibilities beyond just scribbling a few lines here and a few lines there.

My debut novel, ‘My Husband’s Wives,’ is a contemporary women’s fiction novel set in Dublin. It was published initially in digital format by Aria, (Head of Zeus) in May 2016 and has been a top ten best seller in the US, Canada and Australia. In 2017, it debuted as a top ten best seller in Ireland when it was released in trade paper back.

In February 2017, my new book, ‘Secrets We Keep,’ was released. This is a contemporary story with echoes from the past, it is about secrets and second chances, it is about love old and new and it is about being brave enough to become the people we’ve always wanted to be. It is very much inspired by where I live and for that reason among others I really enjoyed writing it and I’m so excited about bringing it into the hands of readers.

I am currently working on my next novel which is due to be released in December 2017. I live in the west of Ireland with my husband, four children and a very fat cat called Norris.

Links

Website: http://faithhogan.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Faith-Hogan-1063828353674397/?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gerhogan

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of The Girl I Used to Know by Faith Hogan.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Book Review - If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

Lena is looking forward to her senior year. She's doing well at school, she has great friends and she has a nice job. She's also in love with Sebastian, her best friend. She thinks after many years she might even dare to tell him how she feels. However, her positive flow comes to an end when something terrible happens. One moment changes the course of Lena's life forever. Could she have prevented it from happening and can she handle the guilt she now has to live with?

Lena's whole life has unravelled. She seemed to have a glorious future ahead of her and now the last thing she wants to think about is what she's going to do tomorrow, let alone next year. There's something she hasn't told anyone and this secret is tearing her apart. Will Lena be able to move on and find a way to deal with the consequences of what happened to her on one awful night? Will she be able to tell anyone the truth, so she can share her burden or will she keep struggling with it on her own?

If There's No Tomorrow is an impressive story about love, loss and consequences. Lena is a kindhearted girl. She loves books, she enjoys spending time with her friends, she likes good food and she has a huge crush on the boy next door. She's like a lot of other teenagers, but that changes in one fatal moment. My heart ached for everything she had to go through. Lena has a lot to deal with and she doesn't know what to do with the abundance of overwhelming emotions, they make her feel so bad that she feels she's stuck and therefore she's unable to talk to people. She used to be a cheerful girl, but now she has to discover who she is again and find a new equilibrium. That complex process was moving to witness and it made me tear up quite a few times.

Jennifer L. Armentrout has written an amazing thought-provoking story about a difficult, but very real topic. I loved her honest approach of the situation. She doesn't spare her main characters, she doesn't sugarcoat the situation and she gives her readers the opportunity to make up their own minds about the subject matter. I love the way she does this and the combination with a strong story makes If There's No Tomorrow a gorgeous gripping read. I loved this terrific book.

Advice

If you love strong emotional YA stories If There's No Tomorrow would be an excellent choice.

Books of Choice Giveaway

Enter this giveaway for a chance to win $26 to spend on books of your choice. Good luck!



The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang - Book Review & Interview

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Review by Suze

Weylyn is different. He's wise, he can influence the weather and he has a gift with animals. He was orphaned at a young age and was then raised by wolves for years until he was taken in by humans again. Weylyn has a pig named Merlin, a dear friend and loyal companion. Wherever Weylyn goes something happens. Weylyn has powers he doesn't always know how to control and this makes him well loved by some and feared by others at the same time. He gets into trouble because his abilities tend to appear when he doesn't expect it and he doesn't always know how to manage the consequences.

Weylyn is in love with Mary, someone's he's met at a young age. However, he feels his powers are a danger to the woman he loves. What should he do, he thinks that if he stays with her he'll put her at risk. Will Weylyn be able to live with that knowledge and be with her or will he leave the woman who has his heart? Can he risk losing the love of his life to protect her? Sometimes it takes a chance meeting to gather wisdom about matters of the heart, will Weylyn do something with the opportunities he's been given?

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a beautiful story. I immediately felt at ease with Weylyn. He's a special person with a wonderful gift. He can influence nature, but it also controls him. It was interesting to see where that would lead. Weylyn is a wise man, he knows who he is and doesn't pretend or play a role, which makes him an admirable main character. I loved his peaceful nature and his gentleness that knows no bounds. He's a gorgeous man inside and out and I kept hoping that after his many wanderings he'd find his place in life. I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to see what would happen to him.

Ruth Emmie Lang has written an impressive book. I was captivated by her story from the start. She writes about Weylyn from many different points of view and because of this the reader gets an amazing complete image of him that makes him come to life incredibly well. I was fascinated by each encounter he has and enjoyed every single story about this remarkable man. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a gorgeous enchanting story filled with many surprises and adventures. I absolutely loved this terrific gem of a book.

Advice

If you like magical realism Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is an absolute must-read. 

About Ruth Emmie Lang


Ruth Emmie Lang was born in Glasgow, Scotland and has the red hair to prove it. When she was four years old, she immigrated to Ohio where she has lived for the last 27 years. She has since lost her Scottish accent, but still has the hair.

Ruth currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and dreams of someday owning a little house in the woods where she can write more books. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is her first novel.

Links

Website: https://www.ruthemmielang.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ruthemmielang/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ruthemmielang
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ruthemmielang/

Interview

1) Can you tell a bit about yourself?

I was born in Glasgow, Scotland (hence the red hair), but I’ve lived in the U.S. since I was four. I love the outdoors which is why many of the stories I write are set in nature. I particularly love trail running and hope to run a marathon someday.

I currently live in Columbus, Ohio, with my husband (who is also a redhead), and spend most of my free time reading and binge-watching episodes of Gilmore Girls.

2) Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a story about a very special man, where did you find the inspiration for Weylyn’s character?

It started with an image I had in my head of a beekeeper leaning over a glowing beehive. I thought it was a really cool visual, so I tried to draw it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a good enough artist to pull it off, so I decided to write a story, instead. I don’t remember any specific moment of inspiration for Weylyn as a character per se. I just started writing, and he organically took shape. I knew I wanted him to be deeply tied to nature, so I think his openness and innocence were born from that.

3) You love nature, what kind of influence does that love have on your writing?

Nature has had a strong influence on my writing. As a writer, you should write what you’re passionate about, and I’m very passionate about nature. I’m the kind of person who could spend all day outside. I need green things around me and fresh air, so I think it makes sense that my love of the outdoors ended up in my writing. I also think it lends itself well to magical realism, because there are so many places for magic to hide!

4) What do you like best about magical realism?

I love the idea that, even in our everyday lives, something magical could be waiting just around the corner. Being an adult can be tedious and difficult, and I think it’s refreshing to get in touch with your inner child once in a while. I have a tendency to worry and overthink things, so magical realism is an escape for me as I’m sure it is for almost everyone who reads any kind of fantasy.

5) Weylyn has a unique way of dealing with animals, could you tell a bit more about this?

Weylyn has the ability to communicate with just about every animal he meets. I wouldn’t so much call it talking to animals as I would understanding them. Much of the way he communicates with them is non-verbal, and vice-versa. I see him as a sort of link between the human and animal worlds.

6) What does magic mean to you?

To me, the concepts of magic and mystery are intrinsically linked. I think of magic as anything that can’t be explained. It doesn’t mean there isn’t explanation, just that no one has thought of one yet. I think you can also find magic in the everyday. We live on a planet filled with amazing things, and it’s hard not to see magic in the beauty of it all.

7) You write about true love in a beautiful way, what’s the most essential part of true love for you?

I think lasting love is rooted in friendship. My husband and I have been together for eleven years, and he’s my best friend. Even when life is difficult, we still make the effort to be silly and make each other laugh. Likewise with Weylyn and Mary. Their friendship is the bedrock of their eventual relationship.

8)There are a lot of similarities between animals and humans, have you explored them before writing your novel and what is the most striking one in your opinion?

This is the first time I’ve written at length about animals. I chose to write about wolves because I grew up with dogs, so I have an affinity for all things canine. I think the similarities between the wolves and humans came from the deep bond I’ve felt with my dogs over the years. At some point, you forget that your dog is an animal and they just become a member of your family. In fact, Merlin the pig’s personality is based on a family dog!

9) Did you always know you wanted to write and how did your journey to become an author start?

I knew I wanted to write ever since I was in the third grade. I would spend my spare time writing knock-off Goosebump books (my favorite series at the time). I had just learned the word “eerie” and used it way too much! I wrote off and on for the rest of my life. In my twenties, I wanted to be a screenwriter, so I mostly wrote screenplays. Eventually, I got tired of writing things that would never see the light of day, and started writing Beasts.

10) What are your plans for the future?

I just started working on something new, so I’m seeing where that goes. In the next year or two, I’d like to buy a little house in the woods where I can write more books, and I’d also like to go on an adventure of my own to the Pacific Northwest!

Fable & Black Mug, Lucky Dip Box, Book Lover Necklace, Bookworm Pin & Book Bag Giveaway



Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a Fable & Black Lucky Dip box filled with bookish surprises, a mug, a Bookworm pin, a Book Lover necklace & a book bag. Good luck!



The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

A Cornish Christmas Carol by Liz Fenwick - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Abigail is a strict boss, she comes across as cold and moody and she doesn't have any joy in her life. She used to look forward to the holidays when she was younger, but working through Christmas has become normal in her world. She has a successful career, but she has no friends and there's no love in her life. How did this happen? When Abigail has to fill in for someone at work she has no choice but to return to Cornwall, the place where her whole life unraveled.

While Abigail is traveling she's being forced to take a good look at her life. She gets three visits that make her view the past, present and future in a different way. Are they on time to save her soul and make her defrost? Will they be able to remove the bitterness from her character, so she can enjoy Christmas once more?

A Cornish Christmas Carol is a beautiful story about a woman who lost everything, including her kindness. My heart ached for Abigail, for everything she had to go through and the person she's become because of it. Liz Fenwick has given her main character a great multilayered personality with plenty of flaws, but many wonderful qualities as well and I was immediately intrigued. I couldn't wait to find out if Abigail would find love and joy again with a little help of the magic of Christmas.

Liz Fenwick has a heartwarming writing style that always makes me love her stories straight from the beginning. Her descriptions are vivid and colorful and there are many little unusual details that make her writing stand out. I love reading about Cornwall and she makes her setting come to life incredibly well. I like a good moving story and A Cornish Christmas Carol definitely falls into that category. I enjoyed reading it just as much as A Christmas Carol and the title is well chosen. I absolutely loved this amazing enchanting Christmas novella and highly recommend it.

Advice

If you love reading about Cornwall and like magical Christmas stories you should definitely read A Cornish Christmas Carol.

About Liz Fenwick


I was born in Massachusetts and after nine international moves - the final one lasting eight years in Dubai- I now live in Cornwall and London with my husband and a cat. I made my first trip to Cornwall in 1989, bought my home there seven years later. My heart is forever in Cornwall, creating new stories.

My debut novel THE CORNISH HOUSE was followed by A CORNISH AFFAIR, A CORNISH STRANGER and UNDER A CORNISH SKY. All published by Orion in English. There are editions in Dutch, German, Portuguese, French, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Estonian, Latvian, Turkish, Serbian, Czech and soon Hungarian. My latest novel is THE RETURNING TIDE.

Links


Guest post
By Liz Fenwick

It’s that time of year…when we all fall in love…with Christmas or not. I’m one of those people who has always loved Christmas. Growing up in the States just outside Boston, I remember hours spent by the Christmas tree watching snow falling outside. On the record player Christmas carols played and I day dreamed, or more truly snow dreamed. Even now when sleep is elusive I imagine snow falling and the peace it brings.

Now living in Cornwall snow is not a part of my Christmas dreams but the Christmas tree is. My ‘Christmas’ begins with decorating it and each ornament is a time capsule. The first ornaments on the tree are always my grandmother’s glass ones which hung on all the trees of my childhood. I look at them and see my snow filled winters. Next on the tree is a present from my husband when we were dating and it was our first Christmas together. He bought it in Houston knowing I love teddy bears. This is followed by ones which were given to us as a wedding present (one the most enduring wedding presents ever…and they were all chosen to represent Boston and Cape Cod so I’d would never forget home).


Next on the tree are the ornaments my children have made over the years. I’m sure as they look on them they cringe at the half glittered badly painted stars and trees. But I smile, remembering their joy and excitement in those early days.


At this point I step back and look at my tree as it then becomes not just a time machine but a travel one. I moved to London in 1989 and met my husband. He worked in the oil industry which took us all over the world. So Canada is represented in the form of a wooden brown bear, Moscow in blue and gold domes, Houston in a cowboy boot, Dubai in camels and palm trees, Asia in people dressed in vibrant red silk.


The end result is never something that would end up in a photo shoot for a house beautiful magazine. But it is a reminder of a life filled with blessings and love, which for me is what this time of year is all about.

Giveaway

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One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Books by Kate Morton & Rachel Hore, 2 Mugs, Pillow, Notebook & Real Flower Necklace Giveaway



Enter this giveaway for a chance to win books by Kate Morton and Rachel Hore, two rose mugs, a floral pillow, a notebook and a real flower necklace made by Bulles de Resine. Good luck!



The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Stella's Christmas Wish by Kate Blackadder - Book Review & Guest Post

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Review by Suze

Six days before Christmas Stella receives an urgent phone call. Alice, her grandmother, fell and hit her head. Stella rushes from London to her hometown Melrose in Scotland to be with her granny. While trying to spend as much time with her beloved grandmother in the hospital as she can Stella can't help being confronted with her past. There are things she'd rather forget, but those memories are strong. She's being forced to spend time with the last person she wants to see, her ex boyfriend Ross. She left him behind when she moved to London. Will their meetings be as painful as she fears?

Alice loves to take care of others. There's always someone who needs a roof over their head living in her home and Alice's generosity knows no bounds. Who will look after Alice's most recent guest? Stella's sister isn't in Scotland, she suddenly went abroad. Why did she go and what doesn't Stella know about her own family? Will she be able to unravel the family secrets even though she can't ask her grandmother? And will Alice be all right? Stella's plans for Christmas won't become reality this time, will the magic of Christmas pass her by this year?

Stella's Christmas Wish is a heartwarming Christmas story about family, true love and friendship. Stella is responsible, capable and practical. She's incredibly sweet and caring as well. She carries the weight of the world on her shoulders and doesn't know how to lift the burden. My heart ached for her as it's clear from the start something has made her very sad, but she's strong and will keep going no matter what, which is an admirable character trait. I love a good story about secrets and Kate Blackadder kept me on the edge of my seat. I read Stella's story in one sitting because I couldn't wait to find out what they were.

Kate Blackadder's writing has a lovely flow. Her vivid descriptions of Melrose made the town come to life really well. It was easy to picture Stella's friends and family. I love stories about close communities and Stella grew up among wonderful people. I enjoyed reading about every single one of them. Stella's Christmas Wish is a charming and sparkling Christmas story with a terrific moving and fabulously romantic ending.

Advice 

If you love a good Christmas story and like reading books about secrets Stella's Christmas Wish would be a perfect choice.

About Kate Blackadder


Hello - my name is Kate Blackadder and I’m an author and avid reader.

I’m delighted to say that my first full-length novel, Stella’s Christmas Wish, is published by Black and White Publishing in November 2016. It’s set in the beautiful Scottish Borders and in Edinburgh.

I have had over fifty short stories published in magazines including Woman’s Weekly, The People’s Friend, The Weekly News and Writers' Forum, and Woman's Day and Fast Fiction in Australia. In 2008 I won the Muriel Spark Short Story Prize, judged by Maggie O'Farrell. Other stories have been in New Writing Scotland and long/short-listed for competitions such as the Jane Austen Short Story Award and the Scotsman/Orange Short Story Prize.

Two of my magazine serials are now available on Kindle (and in large-print library editions) – The Family at Farrshore and The Ferryboat. A third serial, A Time to Reap, set in a Highland farming community in 1963 will be out in large-print and Kindle in 2017.

A collection of stories previously published in magazines, Three's a Crowd and other family stories, is available in Kindle and in paperback. The paperback is also available from https://www.feedaread.com/ and other e-tailers.

I am delighted to be guest author at The People's Friend writing workshops in Dundee, Glasgow and York. I am a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and of the Society of Authors.

I always have several short stories on the go plus longer pieces. I used to write a lot of poetry but the muse has taken the huff since I took up with prose.

Writing to be published is a more recent passion but I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t read. My mum was a great reader, and, frankly, I think I learned in utero. When we visited relatives or friends I made a bee-line for their bookcases and then hid behind the sofa trying to read as much as I could before going-home time. I would still like to do that … My desert island book (and, yes, I’d like the King James Bible and the works of Shakespeare as well, please) would be … impossible to choose. Would I be allowed all the volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica? Once I’d mastered barbecuing fish and given my cave a makeover, my worry would be that I’d run out of reading material.

I read fiction mostly, social history too, and travel accounts, particularly if they’re about China. And I love to browse through my large collection of girls’ annuals which range in date from the 1890s to the 1970s.

So that’s a bit about me – like many of my writing projects I’m a work-in-progress.
I guess if you’re reading this you like writing and reading too, or writhing and reeling as Lewis Carroll memorably put it. Let’s writhe and reel together ...

Links

Website: http://katewritesandreads.blogspot.nl/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KateBlackadderAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/k_blackadder

Guest post

What Christmas Means to Me
By Kate Blackadder

Early December. Packets of Christmas cards, each with a different design – pretty, traditional or quirky – are spread out on the table. I send around eighty each year, to my large extended family and to friends and neighbours. Some just get a signature, others get a little scribbled note inside, and about ten get a long letter (typed, my handwriting is barely legible after a few lines – but each letter is a personal one, not a round robin).

I should have done what I promised myself I’d do last year, which was to type addresses so that they can be printed out neatly onto labels … and I should have started to do this days – weeks – ago … but I have been organised enough to have an alphabetical list on the computer and I put a tick beside each name after the envelope is sealed.

And what a pleasurable task it is, to take time matching the recipient to the card, while I listen to a CD of traditional Christmas carols, a mug of hot chocolate close at hand.

It’s a joy, as I write their name, to think of each person: a cousin perhaps, a niece, an old school friend, a couple met on holiday. To think of where they are, whether that’s the other side of Edinburgh (where I live) or the other side of the world. To remember how I know them, how long I’ve known them, what they mean to me.

It’s not that we’re not in touch at other times of the year but Christmas, for me, starts with all these folded pieces of colourful paper, popped into envelopes and sent off to be delivered through eighty letterboxes – it’s like having a virtual party to which all my favourite people are invited.

And it’s a joy, in return, to get a postal delivery and find, not the usual household bills or humdrum documents, but – ta da! – cards with little donkeys and reindeers and the Baby in the manger and Father Christmases and puddings and …

…. robins and toys and holly berries and snowmen and angels and three wise men and twinkling stars and carol singers and baubles and decorated trees and …

… sleighs and tinsel and cats and dogs wearing Santa hats and sparkle and glitter … all the symbols of Christmas from centuries ago to the present day (and even better if I find a long newsy letter tucked inside, maybe a photograph or two as well).

I love communicating with people on social media and by email – but it is very special to hold a piece of paper in your hand, something tangible that is a direct connection with the person sending it.

So one of my wishes is that sending cards will always be a big part of the Christmas tradition.

Now where did I put those stamps?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Alice in Wonderland Book Sleeve, Necklace & Tea Giveaway


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win an Alice in Wonderland book sleeve made by Story Hero, necklace made by The Locket Library and tea from Rosie Lea Tea. Good luck!


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

A Perilous Passion by Elizabeth Keysian - Book Review & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

It's 1804 and Charlotte lives with her mother and aunt. She hasn't got a flawless reputation, but she tries to keep this hidden. Unfortunately her curious nature gets her in trouble. When she meets Rafe she unintentionally becomes involved in a case against smugglers. Rafe is working under a false name. He's an earl trying to restore his reputation by proving himself as a cunning and competent spy. Rafe doesn't know his surroundings that well and Charlotte can be of use, but she has a past, can Rafe actually trust her?

Rafe is on a dangerous mission. Charlotte knows he'll leave when he's done, so she shouldn't fall in love with him. However, this proves to be harder than she thought. The earl is a handsome man with many skills. He's convincing and capable, something she can't resist. Can she trust this man with her heart or will he break it? Are Charlotte and Rafe a good or a bad match? What will happen to them when Rafe's investigation progresses, will they be able to keep themselves safe?

A Perilous Passion is a captivating romantic story. I was immediately intrigued by the subject, I love stories about smugglers and Elizabeth Keysian makes this world come to life incredibly well. Her main characters are beautiful and strong. They have their flaws though, which makes them fascinating to read about. Charlotte has a good heart, she genuinely wants to help. She's also daring and impulsive and this makes her land herself in many unexpected situations. Rafe is a rake, but he does have manners too. His personality is versatile, he's daring, reckless and charming, which is a winning combination for a main character who spies. I was intrigued by their connection, there are sparks, they click on an intellectual level and they share a sense of adventure. This made me fly through the pages.

Elizabeth Keysian's writing has an easy flow. Her descriptions are vivid and I enjoyed picturing the time she writes about. Her story is fast-paced and there's plenty of entertainment. I like lighthearted historical romance and loved this story from beginning to end. I had a great time reading about complex conspiracies, matters of the heart, seduction and honor. A Perilous Passion is a terrific dynamic story with a wonderful ending that put a big smile on my face.

Advice

If you love regency romance and like a good smuggler story A Perilous Passion would be an excellent choice.

About Elizabeth Keysian


Elizabeth first started writing fiction when she was eight, encouraged to do so by her Head Teacher father, who needed something to keep her quiet during school holidays. Her favorite topics were mermaids, ghosts, Norman knights and quests, and she illustrated and decorated her own books. She emerged from the world of her imagination to read History at the University of London, after which she spent many years working as an archaeologist and artifact illustrator. She then became a primary school teacher, after which she moved to museum education work, and display and collections management.

Elizabeth has been involved in Medieval, Tudor, and English Civil War re-enactment and has enjoyed sword-play and traditional archery, excelling in neither. She lived for seven years on a Knights Templar estate in Essex where she pursued her interest in historical textiles, cookery and medicine. She loves anything to do with the past, and still looks down holes in the ground to see if there’s anything archaeological in them. There generally isn’t.

She has written fifteen historical romances since moving to the West of England in 1997, the landscape and history of which have inspired the “Wayward in Wessex” series. Book #1 in the series, “Distracting the Duke”, has recently been published by Entangled Publishing.

Links

Website: https://elizabethkeysian.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EKeysian
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/LizKeysian
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/LizKeysian1

Giveaway

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One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a digital copy of Distracting the Duke OR Unmasking the Earl by Elizabeth Keysian (winner’s choice).

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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.