Thursday, August 31, 2017

September 2017 Book of Choice Giveaway Hop


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a September 2017 new release of your choice worth $16. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Monday, August 28, 2017

Little Red Capuccine Tote Bag, Notebook and Pillow Giveaway


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a Little Red Capuccine tote bag, notebook and pillow set designed by Sandygrafik. Good luck!


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

Book Review - The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin

 

Book review
By Suze

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Danielle's mother has a clear plan for her daughter and that includes the college she went to herself. She helps every other student in the area to get into the college of their choice, but her own child failed an important class and therefore her admission is rescinded. Danielle has a big problem, she doesn't only have to come up with a new strategy for her future, she will also disappoint her mother. Danielle is determined to solve her own issues and enrolls in her hometown community college to pass the course she failed. She also finds herself a job at a bookstore. There she meets Porter, her first college friend. His roommate Luke coincidentally lived next door to Danielle when they were younger and is now back in town. Danielle isn't alone and suddenly community college doesn't seem so daunting anymore.

College isn't as bad as Danielle thought. She tries to fix her own mistakes, she has the chance to find out what she's passionate about and she falls in love for the first time. She still messes up and she certainly doesn't get everything right the first time, but she is trying and finds out that success is all about the road she's on and not the destination.

The Big F is a great story. I immediately admired Danielle. She isn't afraid to look inside herself and work on her shortcomings. She doesn't pretend, she is who she is. I loved that she's determined to solve her own problems instead of counting on her mother's expertise to get her out of a messy situation. She admits her mistakes, she knows she'll mess up again and she keeps trying over and over again. That's a fantastic idea for a story. She isn't perfect and that makes her a very realistic main character. She's also easy to like and to sympathise with, which warmed my heart.

Maggie Ann Martin writes about a subject that's reality for a lot of girls Danielle's age. Not everyone's future is set and plans sometimes can't be executed because life gets in the way. I loved the way she writes about resilience, about setbacks and the beauty of being strong enough to fight your way out of a difficult situation. Danielle asks for help, she has friends who are there for her and she isn't afraid to tell people how she feels, which makes her story interesting and gives it plenty of different layers. She's a regular girl with normal problems and that makes her accessible, which is another thing I liked about The Big F. The story is never over the top and it doesn't have huge highs or lows, but it's captivating from beginning to end. Maggie Ann Martin has written a terrific enjoyable story.

Advice

If you love realistic stories about going to college, first love and discovering what's important in life you will definitely like The Big F.

About Maggie Ann Martin


Maggie Ann Martin hails from Des Moines, Iowa but moonlights as a New Yorker. She has a shiny new BA in English and Journalism from the University of Iowa, the most welcoming literary community in the world. When she is not writing, you can find her binge watching TV shows or passionately fangirling over fictional characters on the Internet. The Big F is her debut novel.

Links

Website: https://maggieannmartin.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15217298.Maggie_Ann_Martin
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maggieannmartinwrites/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/maggersann

US/Canada only giveaway

One very lucky winner will receive a paperback copy of The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Can't Hardly Breathe by Gena Showalter - Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

 

Book review
By Suze

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Dorothea doesn't have much confidence. She was bullied in high school and the man she married, and later divorced, made her feel bad about herself as well. There's only one person who always makes her feel good about who she is, Daniel. She already had a crush on him when they were both in high school, but she never let him know. Daniel often stays at Dorothea's inn, looking for privacy, having a different woman with him every time, which doesn't help her to feel brave enough to admit she likes him.

The army used to be Daniel's life, but he came back to Strawberry Valley to keep an eye on his father. Owning a business with two friends is giving him something to do, but Daniel doesn't feel complete. He tries to fill the void with as many different women as possible, but he secretly longs to be with just one person. Will he and Dorothea ever get a chance or will their pasts make it too difficult for them to be together?

Can't Hardly Breathe is a great romantic story. Gena Showalter writes with a lovely sense of humor and her main characters are wonderfully unique, which is something I love about her books. Daniel is a tough guy with a complex personality. He's afraid to lose and that fear often influences his decisions. Dorothea is good for him. She makes him feel better about the future and she makes the sad Daniel feel a lot happier. I loved her charming personality and her strength is admirable. She's hopeful, she manages to keep going, even if things are bad, and she's incredibly sweet. I enjoyed reading about her very much and I liked her bond with Daniel. There's plenty of chemistry and due to their shared history they connect on a deeper emotional level as well, which makes the story even more moving.

Gena Showalter writes about loss in a beautiful honest way. She doesn't stay away from the sadness life brings, but due to her warm writing style her stories never become too heavy. She's chosen an intimate setting, a small town where everyone knows each other, which makes it possible to learn a lot about her main characters. I loved reading about their feelings, thoughts, plans and fantasies. She makes everything come to life really well. Can't Hardly Breathe is sexy, captivating and sweet, it's an amazing story.

Advice

If you love small town romance with interesting main characters you will definitely like the Original Heartbreakers series. The books can easily be read as standalones.


About Gena Showalter


Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series--Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles--and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader's Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she's appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black--if you ask her about it, she'll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfans

Links

Website: www.genashowalter.com
Twitter: @genashowalter
Facebook: Facebook.com/genashowalterfans
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/48192.Gena_Showalter

Excerpt

Daniel, having served multiple tours of duty, had come back a hero.

His life had meaning, hers didn’t. He and two of his friends had started a security company right here in Strawberry Valley. He took care of his ailing father, and in his free time he dated a plethora of city girls.

Dorothea knew about the girls because he’d stayed at the inn every time a date had ended…successfully.

Her flush returned full force as she considered the other five rooms he’d wrecked since his return…all the pleasure he’d been having…all the pleasure she wished she could experience.

Not with him, of course. With someone she liked and respected. Someone who liked and respected her, too, despite the fact that she was still too round for society’s unhealthy standards, a lot too freckled and trapped in a dead-end job.

Daniel Porter would never qualify.

Dorothea found him attractive, yes, but to her, appearance would never outshine personality.

My man must be my equal. She had a lot of love to give. She’d even grown to like herself…kind of. Maybe. Fine, she was trying to like herself.

Avoiding Daniel’s gaze, she said, “No, you stay. I’ll go.” Words her mother had drilled into her shouted inside her head: the customer comes first. “I’ll finish your room later.” She rolled the vacuum toward her cart.

“You live here, right?” he asked. “You own the inn?”

“I… Yes.” Technically she lived in the attic. The more rooms she had available for guests, the more money she would make. At least in theory.

Money was the number one reason she cleaned the pigsties herself, rather than hiring a maid. She was saving her pennies to turn every plain, ordinary room into a themed paradise. Then Strawberry Valley residents would happily pay to stay just for fun.

Again, in theory.

So far she’d decided on six themes. (1) Four seasons—the weather, not the hotel chain. (2) An enchanted forest. (3) A techno dance club. (4) The underwater world of Atlantis. (5) A royal palace. And (6) an inner sanctum, aka a superhero’s wet dream.

Also up for consideration? A beach hut, an igloo, an insane asylum for her more daring patrons and a desert oasis.

With twenty-three rooms in total, she needed other ideas fast. And more money. A lot more money.

Maybe, when the transformations were completed, the feeling of accomplishment would finally chase away her anger and bitterness. Maybe she would feel alive. Happy.

“If any part of your stay was subpar,” she said, “I will personally—”

“No, everything has been great.” He looked over his shoulder and winked at her. “Just wanted to make sure you weren’t going to get into trouble with the boss.”

Every pulse point in her body leaped with excitement. He’d winked at her. Her!

I think you’re perfect just the way you are.

Red alert! She would not read more into his words than he’d intended. Not this time. He was a flirt, plain and simple. Always had been, apparently always would be.

“Why would I get in trouble?” she asked.

“For not finishing the room.”

Oh. Right. “Well, as long as you plan to come back to the inn, I won’t fire myself. Not because I’m desperate to see you or anything,” she added in a rush. “I’m not.” Dang it! “I mean, I’m always glad to see you here. I mean, I just want your money.” Okay. Enough!

He laughed, his amber eyes twinkling.

Air caught in her throat and sizzled. He had the sexiest laugh on the planet. His entire face softened. He pulsed with new life; fresh and vibrant, he was the epitome of spring.

Then he frowned, as if he couldn’t believe he’d found humor in, well, anything.

Her brow furrowed with confusion. Why the doom and gloom?

“In that case,” he said, his tone flat, “I think I’ll stay another night.”

“Really?” She licked her lips. “What about your girlfriend?”

He stiffened. “She isn’t my—”

“No, don’t tell me. I’m sorry I asked. Your love life isn’t my business.”

“I live in Strawberry Valley. My love life is everyone’s business.”

His wry tone made her chuckle, and he stiffened all over again. Great. What had she done wrong this time?

“I’ll be alone tonight,” he said, looking anywhere but at her. “Apparently I hover over my dad when I’m home, so he’s asked for another night off. But I swear to you, this room will be clean in the morning.”

She snorted. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

The corners of his mouth twitched. “Doubting Dottie.” A pause, then, “Would you like a cup of coffee before you go?”

“Oh, uh, no, thank you.” While she no longer viewed Daniel through the wounded eyes of high school betrayal— he’d been a nice boy doing a nice thing for a vulnerable girl in desperate need of a white knight—she’d endured too much heartbreak over the years to risk getting to know him better and reigniting her crush.

Look at the way she’d reacted to him already.

He appeared…disappointed? No, of course not. A trick of the light, surely. “Well. See you around, Daniel.”

“Yeah. See you around, Dottie.” He returned his attention to his toiletry bag, dismissing her.

Irritation had her snapping, “My name is Dorothea.”

Before he could respond, she stepped into the hall and closed the door with a soft snick. Hands trembling, she hooked the vacuum to the cart and rolled the cargo to the supply room…where her younger sister Holly was smoking a cigarette.

Giveaway

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

Guest Post - My Love For Regency by Anabelle Bryant


My love for Regency
Guest post by Anabelle Bryant

Regency obsessed. It sounds like an affliction. A psychiatrist’s somber diagnosis. But I beg to differ. For me, it’s a pre-existing condition. One I’ve managed since my teenage years. For more than three decades, I’ve read hundreds of historical romance novels and while the genre has changed, evolved, and expanded over time, I’m no less in love with the intimate stories of enduring romance which feature dashing heroes in shiny Hessian boots.

I think my love of the Regency era lies in how well the unique qualities of the time period parallel the beliefs I hold dear. Honor, pride, and reputation come to mind. Courtship was romantic, sometimes, scandalous, and always interesting. The thought of transcending tradition, defying social custom, and following one’s heart at all costs, is an eternal temptation I cannot ignore.

And so, I embrace the historic escape of a well written Regency romance, unable to experience the era any other way than through literature. The Regency era is a feast of culture, closely connected to the works of masterful romantic poets like Shelly, Byron and Coleridge, fashion, wealth, aristocracy and the delightful propriety of social grace. It’s revered as one of the most idyllic periods in world history.

Once I began writing, it was natural to place my stories in the Regency era. I’ve lived there in my mind for decades. And while it’s true to some degree that the modern world still possesses similar qualities, I find that point debatable. Until I walk into a gathering and have a proper introduction to a handsome gentleman in waistcoat and breeches, his top boots buffed to a brilliant shine or have my dance card filled by an aristocratic triple play – viscount, earl and duke— I’ll keep my nose in a book, my pen to the paper, and my love of the Regency forever locked in my heart.

About Anabelle Bryant


Anabelle began reading at age three and never stopped. Her passion for reading soon turned into a passion for writing and an author was born. Happy to grab a suitcase if it ensures a new adventure, Anabelle finds endless inspiration in travel, especially imaginary jaunts into Regency England, a far cry from her home in New Jersey. Instead, her clever characters live out her daydreams because really, who wouldn't want to dance with a handsome duke or kiss a wicked earl?

Though teaching keeps her grounded, photography, running and writing, counterbalance her wanderlust. Often found with her nose in a book, Anabelle earned her Master's Degree and is completing her Doctorate Degree in education. Thrilled to be an author for Harlequin's Carina line, Anabelle's historical romances are character driven. She strives to provide a heartfelt connection between her hero, heroine, and the reader, believing the emotional journey on the path to true love is the most important bond. Clever secondary characters and lively conversation keep the pages turning.

Anabelle knows sometimes life doesn't provide a happily ever after, but her novels always do. She enjoys talking with her fans. Follow her on Facebook and join her mailing list for the latest news concerning her upcoming novels.

Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | YouTube

Books by Anabelle Bryant

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Fable & Black Mug, Notebook, Bookmarks, Tote Bag & Lucky Dip Box Giveaway

Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a Fable & Black mug, notebook, bookmarks, tote bag and Lucky Dip Box filled with bookish surprises. Good luck!
 
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Guest Post - How I Write by Raven McAllan

 How I write
Guest post by Raven McAllan

 The writing secrets of Raven...
Sort of.

Let’s face it. I’m not sure they are secrets. I’m one of those lucky people who can and do write anywhere.

It’s a standing joke in my family. I open my laptop and shut off the world. I’m in the world of my characters. Whatever I’m writing, I put that ‘hat’ on and be it. Ya which I write as J Lilley, dark romance, as Kera Faire and both contemporary and Regency as Raven. I get into that mind set and write. And hear nothing. The TV can be on, hubby driving the sit on mower outside my study window, tourists shouting in the lane, and the guy in the nearby house tinkering with his Harley. I block it all out. 

I have a study which opens onto my garden. I can watch the birds and red squirrels if I need a break. I’m only a room away from the coffee pot and the chocolate.

But, study apart, I write sitting in the car if I’m waiting for someone. On the train, on the bus, in airport lounges and on the plane. 

I was on a long haul flight a few years ago, got up to go to the loo, and when I came back a bloke was reading my M/s. (I’d left my lap top open on my table.) He moved in to let me pass. I smiled and told him it was my seat. He moved away and about half an hour later one of the cabin crew came up to me and said the gentlemen in seats ** and ** wanted to know what happened after she (the heroine not the cabin crew member) got on the bed and faced the wall. I handed her my card and said they would need to read the book to find out.

Six months later I got an email. We read it, loved it and have bought several more.

I’m a plotter and a pantster. Sometimes I get an idea. Just a germ of an idea about, ohh say a hot guy who meets the love of his life when she’s not ready to settle down. I know they will get together. That’s it. The story evolves as they work out what they want to do. It’s fun, because I get surprised along the way. Sometimes I wonder if they will ever sort their differences out and give me a HEA. Luckily, so far they have but it is touch and go at times.

Other times I suddenly discover I have a full plot in my head. I make notes so I know it all, and don’t forget anything. Then I make notes about the notes. What I need to check etcetera. I admit the one thing I always mean to do and often don’t, is keep a list of names I’ve used, and the characteristics of my hero and heroine. I often have to go back to check those things.

It’s lucky that I love research. Especially for my Regency. The trouble is, I’ll start off with one thing, go on to another and end up nowhere near where I started, with a head full of non-relevant information. But it might come in handy one day. (At least that’s what I tell myself)

When I need to write a synopsis before the book is actually written isn’t always that easy. After all even with the plot sorted, I know fine well there will be deviations

along the way. Luckily a synopsis before the book is written is only a guide. To show where you intend the story to go and how. A few side turns are okay.

Do I always get it right? Heck no. Do I always enjoy it? Mostly. No one enjoys it when you’ve written something and you know it has to be deleted. Be it 1k or 20. But deep down if it’s not what is needed, I know. It doesn’t matter how much I try to ignore it, in the end that niggle of ‘change it’ prevails. It would be a lot easier and cause less angst if I just did it straight away.

What it all boils down to is this. I write because I can’t imagine not writing. I love it. 

I write as I can, not as I think I should. This is my voice, unique to me, just as yours is to you. It’s no use me trying to copy the way someone else writes, or the way a certain publisher requires. It will be awful. Stilted and lifeless. I can only be me. 

So far people like my voice—or is that voices? Let’s hope they continue to do so.

Happy reading (and writing).

Love, Raven

About Raven McAllan
 
 
Raven lives in Scotland, along with her husband and their two cats—their children having flown the nest—surrounded by beautiful scenery, which inspires a lot of the settings in her books.

She is used to sharing her life with the occasional deer, red squirrel, and lost tourist, to say nothing of the scourge of Scotland—the midge.

Her very understanding, and long-suffering DH, is used to his questions unanswered, the dust bunnies greeting him as he walks through the door, and rescuing burned offerings from the Aga. (And passing her a glass of wine as she types furiously.)

Why Raven? EASY!

The Raven is the harbinger of change. My Raven was around a lot after I sent Wallflowers Don't Wilt off to Breathless Press. And then, I was offered a contract. Thanks Raven.

McAllan? EASY!

I live in Scotland. McAllan is a variation of the name of the BEST single malt in Scotland.
What else could I pick?

So O.K. It's a pen name, but one with deep meaning for me. I hope you enjoy reading Raven's books.

Why don't you drop me a note and say Hi?

Looking forward to meeting you.

Raven McAllan also writes under the name Kera Faire.

You can find out more about Raven McAllan on her website and on Facebook.

 Other books by Raven McAllan/Kera Faire
 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

With Love For Reviews - Mini Guest Posts by Tracy Bloom & Charlotte Ledger

 
The importance of reviews
by Tracy Bloom
One of the best things about being a writer is hearing what people think of your work. When someone says it made them laugh out loud it's amazing and brilliant. When someone tells me why they didn't like it it gives me a new perspective that can help me improve. All authors want to write the best books they possibly can and reviews help us do that.

About Tracy Bloom


I started writing when my cruel, heartless husband ripped me away from my dream job, shopping for rollercoasters for the UK’s leading theme parks, to live in America with a brand new baby and no mates. In a cunning plan to avoid domestic duties and people who didn’t understand my Derbyshire accent, I wrote NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY. It went on to be successfully published internationally and became an ebook Number 1 Best Seller in the UK in 2013 before being named Best Author Published Read at the Festival of Romance.
The importance of reviews
by Charlotte Ledger, Commissioning Editor, HarperImpulse and HarperFiction
There's nothing I love more than reading a submission or working on an idea with an author that makes my heart flutter with excitement and my fingers quick to turn the page, but then, when the hard work has been done, my authors have poured their heart and soul into their writing and there's nothing left for us to do but wait until publication day, the doubt starts to creep in...what will everyone else think? Have I done the absolute best for my author? That first positive review, no matter the star rating, feels like the biggest, warmest hug from a friend. I can't tell you how amazing a feeling it is to know other readers enjoyed the book as much as I did. Share the love, everyone!

About Charlotte Ledger



Book editor at HarperImpulse and HarperCollinsUK. Loves Hufflepuff and is obsessed with Suits, the Food Network channel, Scandinavia and books that make you cry.

You can visit HarperImpulse to check out their amazing books. 

Fable & Black Badge, Tote Bag, Lucky Dip Box & Book Lover Necklace Giveaway

 
Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a Fable & Black badge, tote bag, Book Lover necklace and Lucky Dip Box filled with bookish surprises. Good luck!
 
 
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Guest Post - The Inspiration for Summer at Coastguard Cottages by Jennifer Bohnet

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 The Inspiration for Summer at Coastguard Cottages
Guest post by Jennifer Bohnet

THE inspiration for SUMMER AT COASTGUARD COTTAGES was a long time brewing!

Many years ago I lived with my family in a coastguard cottage and loved it. When we decided to sell and move our lives in a different direction, I had no idea just how much I would miss our tiny cottage. 

Set on a Devonshire clifftop it was one of ten properties and was little more than a two up two down terraced cottage, but it was in an idyllic position. I never tired of standing and watching the sea in all its moods. I loved how at night the flashing beam from a lighthouse along the coast would illuminate our bedroom window with its regular sequence. Put simply, I’ve never forgotten the sheer joy of living on that clifftop.

I wanted to write a summer book which needed to be based around a community as I like writing stories with a cast of characters whose lives entwine with each other in unexpected ways. I didn’t want to write another cafe or coffee shop book with characters coming and going, and while I was thinking about suitable settings for the book, a picture of the old coastguard station flashed into my mind. And that was that!

Most coastguard cottages in Devon these days appear to be holiday homes but I didn’t want a transient community - I wanted the characters to have real friendships and to look out for each other. I also wanted to set the new story within a definite time scale: July and August the two months of ‘proper’ summer would be ideal. This gave me the working title of Eight Weeks in Summer, so I set to work creating a ‘new’ coastguard station but most definitely based on my former home. 

I made a couple of the properties belong to long-term owners, one used as a full time residence, and none would be rented out as a business, just to friends and family. I decided to leave the exact location of the cottages vague and to just have them on a clifftop ‘somewhere’ in south Devon, but with easy access to places I know well - Modbury, Kingsbridge and Dartmouth. I gave the complex a swimming pool, a tennis court and well tended gardens. Once I had my setting, characters started to inhabit the cottages, their backstories became clear to me and their present day storylines began to form. 

I really enjoyed writing about Carrie, Guy, Bruce and Karen and while they, and their stories, are completely fictional, writing Summer at Coastguard Cottages took me back to a very happy time in my life.

About Jennifer Bohnet


Sixteen years ago Richard and I, with our then dog, 14 year old Holly in a trailer attached to Richard's bike, cycled down through western France via the canal paths, arriving in Antibes in July. With the exception of two fleeting visits back to the UK we have lived in France ever since.

For the past five years we have lived in a small cottage in central Brittany with one large collie dog called Viking, one fat cat known as Little’un and a young tortoiseshell cat called Missy. Oh, and there are various ducks and chickens in the garden, and a large pond with about a hundred fish in!

I am a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and the Society of Authors.

Links

Website: http://www.jenniferbohnet.com/index.html
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jenniewriter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Bohnet/170217789709356

Other books by Jennifer Bohnet



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Books by Jane Green and Catherine Alliott and Creative Tops Cup, Saucer and Plate Set Giveaway


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win books by Jane Green and Catherine Alliott and a Creative Tops cup, saucer and plate set. Good luck!


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

Book Reviews, Extract & Giveaway - I Don't Want to Talk About It and Can't Buy Me Love by Jane Lovering

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

Winter loves her twin sister Daisy and she talks to her every day. Even though they can't meet because there's a lot of distance between them their connection remains unbreakable. Winter needs her sister more than ever because her life is a big mess. She broke up with Dan, the love of her life, and can't seem to get him out of her mind. Their relationship ended because of Daisy. Dan and Winter have to work together, as he's the editor of Winter's books, so she can't try to forget about him and move on. Winter isn't as far with her writing as her schedule requires and the last thing she wants is pressure from Dan.

Winter moved into a small cottage in Yorkshire. Living in a village means interacting with people and Winter's first new friend is an eight year old girl named Scarlet. She's lost her mother and her father isn't in the picture, so Scarlet is living together with her uncle Alex. Alex is a gorgeous, friendly man and he and Winter instantly become close. Will Winter get the chance to heal in the countryside or does it take more than a change of scenery to accomplish this?

I Don't Want to Talk About It is a beautiful story about the bond between sisters, friendship, love and grief. Winter is a talented and smart woman. She's pretty, she's a clever writer and she's so sweet to Scarlet, which shows what a kindhearted person she is. Because of her grief she's breakable and needs comfort, but instead of asking for it she gives whatever she can and tries to make Scarlet's life a little better. I immediately loved their easy friendship and for me that was the best part of the book. Scarlet is adorable, she's a cute, attentive girl who's been through so much already. She's a breath of fresh air and her behavior kept making me smile.

Dealing with the women around her isn't as hard for Winter as dealing with the men. Winter's strong, but uneasy bond with Alex is complex and amusing. Alex is a kind man who makes the most endearing mistakes and I liked reading about him very much. Dan is a bit more dark and melancholic. He's fabulous with Scarlet, which surprised me given his personality. I couldn't wait to see what would happen between Winter and the two men in her life, Jane Lovering made the situation fascinating and this made it difficult for me to put the book away.

What I love about Jane Lovering's stories is the way she portrays her characters. They have flaws, which makes them human and because of this I like all of them a lot. I was curious about Winter from the beginning and slowly Jane Lovering reveals all of her secrets, which were incredibly interesting. I enjoyed reading about the relationship with her sister and her friendship with Scarlet. I loved the fact that a little girl becomes a good friend of a grown woman. I Don't Want to Talk About It is a moving story. It's also original with many interesting twists and turns. I think Jane Lovering is a very talented writer.

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

When Willow was a student she had a crush on Luke, but he never really noticed her. Ten years later he's back into her life and asks her out on a date. Willow has inherited some money, so she has the feeling she has more to offer than she used to. Will she be good enough for Luke, so she can finally be happy with the man of her dreams and does she still fancy Luke as much as she did when she first met him?

Willow has just started seeing Luke when her brother introduces her to Cal. Cal knows everything there is to know about computers. He's smart and has a quirky sense of humor. The good guys are usually taken, but in this case it shouldn't matter if Cal would be with someone, because Willow has Luke and he's all she's ever wanted, isn't he? What makes Willow feel good and can she be truly happy with someone before she has found that out about herself?

Can't Buy Me Love is an amazing story about true love, money and dreams. Willow doesn't have much confidence. She doesn't think anyone could be genuinely interested in her and she doesn't feel like she's worthy of love. I felt sad for her because she has no idea how lovely she is and she's holding herself back because of her low self-esteem. Slowly she finds more confidence and it was wonderful to see her grow. She gradually starts to think about herself in a different way and I silently cheered her on the entire time I was reading about her. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to discover if she'd be able to see her wishes fulfilled and if she'd find true love.

Jane Lovering's writing has a nice easy flow. I love how vividly she describes her characters. She makes every person she writes about come to life incredibly well, it doesn't matter if they're playing a large or small part in her story, they are all being presented with care and attention. I absolutely love that about her writing. In Can't Buy Me Love she gives her readers a fantastic valuable lesson, love is the most important thing there is in life. The clever and funny way she does this put a big smile on my face. Can't Buy Me Love is charming, entertaining and romantic. I especially enjoyed reading the energetic witty dialogue and for me that made the story extra special. I liked this captivating and enchanting story a lot.

Advice

If you love original stories with wonderful main characters, beautiful love and surprising twists and turns you will definitely like the Yorkshire Romances series. The books can all be read as standalones.

Extract of Can't Buy Me Love

My house technically belongs to my parents, but they’d handed all the responsibility for its upkeep on to me when they decided to go off on the longest hippy trail in recorded history. None of the others had wanted it. My sister Bree and her husband lived in an old rectory in a village north of the city. Of my other siblings, Flint lived in Beijing, Ocean had a flat over his bookbinding business in Harrogate and Ash, well, of all of us Ash had most inherited our parents’ free spirit and tended towards no-fixed-abodeness. Although I gathered that an orderly queue had formed of people only too willing to provide him with a roof over his head and, most importantly, a mattress under his back. He writes for travel blogs, which means he gets to go to places all over the world and neglects to keep in contact from any of them.

I’d better get it off my chest now, before you meet him. Ash is not only my brother, but my twin. I hate, resent and adore him in roughly equal measures. He irritates me so much that it makes my head itch. He’s mouthy, stroppy, sulky and permanently late – absolutely nothing like me. Really. He thinks he’s ‘hip and happening’. I think that thirty-two is far too old to be using phrases like ‘hip and happening’.

And then there’s the name thing. Our parents, relentless children-of-nature that they are, had decided that they wanted four children to name after the four elements: earth, air, water and fire. Along in due course came Flint, Breeze, Ocean and Ash. I suppose it was no one’s fault, more of a cosmic joke, that their last-born fire-child turned out to be children. They were a bit stumped when it came to naming me. Bree, apparently, wanted me to be called Cinderella, but she was only two at the time. Then someone pointed out that Ash is also a tree and the rest, as they say, will be played by Cameron Diaz.

As I turned into my street, I could tell they were all already here. Flint was staying with me until he flew back to China, and his little black hired Smart car was parked neatly aligned with the front door. Ocean’s van was in front, Bree had borrowed her husband Paddy’s second car (a convertible BMW, which should tell you all you need to know about him) and Ash’s current vehicle of choice, a 750cc Yamaha motorbike, was corralled in my front garden, bridled with the weeds I hadn’t had time to clear from the walls since summer.

They were all seated around the dining table and they were, as usual, arguing.

‘I don’t know what you’ve got to complain about, Flint, he’s left me Booter and Snag, and what the hell am I supposed to do with a couple of smelly spaniels?’ My sister Bree patted her barely visible bump. ‘This is due in four months!’ With her smooth hair tied up and her work suit on – she’d only been able to spare half an hour for the will reading – she looked like one of those stock model photographs in a ‘working whilst pregnant’ article.

‘Complain? Oh, now why should I want to complain about being left an allotment on the outskirts of York when I live on a different bloody continent!’ Flint shouted back. ‘What did he expect me to do, fly over twice a week to spray the cabbages?’

‘No, but this is different, this is a baby.’ Bree patted her stomach again as though Flint might have missed the point. ‘Dogs are all germy. Especially those two.’

Ash wandered in from the kitchen at the same time as I entered from the hallway and we exchanged our trademark glare before sitting down. Ash had a bottle of wine and was drinking from it without benefit of a glass. He only did it because he knew how much it annoyed me. ‘Suppose you’re happy with what Ganda left you.’ He pointed the neck of the bottle at me. ‘At least yours is portable.’

‘Well, I’m hoping some of the luck he said it brought him will rub off on me.’ I took the coffee which Flint passed me and smiled at Ocean who was, as ever, sitting listening to the tirade.

‘How can it be lucky, for god’s sake?’ Ash waved the bottle now. ‘Tell me in which context it is lucky to carry your nose in a matchbox.’

‘You’re only angry because he left you twelve pairs of rubber boots. You could always open your own fetish-wear shop.’

There was a sound of a throat clearing from across the table and we stopped bickering to await Ocean’s pronouncement. He rarely spoke, our brother. It was a family rumour that he hadn’t uttered a single word until he was four and had then said ‘balloon angioplasty’ and frightened our mother half to death.

‘I think’ – and Ocean looked around at us all, with his mismatched eyes, one blue and one brown – ‘that we’re just disappointed that Ganda didn’t leave us any money. That’s why we’re bickering.’ Then, as though embarrassed that he’d spoken, he looked down at the table and let his long hair fall over his reddening face. He was a man who’d been born to the largely solitary career of bookbinding and found social interaction, of any kind, acutely painful. No wonder Ash tended to refer to him as ‘the oldest virgin in York’. But he was clever, Ocean, and astute. Disappointment was the real reason for this whole gathering of the clan, or rather, disillusionment. None of us needed the money, as such, we’d just always thought … to be honest, I don’t know what we’d thought. Although we were now all clearly beginning to think that our beloved grandfather had been bonkers.

‘Ganda never had any money to leave, though,’ I said. ‘I should know.’

They all turned to look at me. Even Ocean.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Love at the Italian Lake by Darcie Boleyn - Book Review & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Sophia and her boyfriend Lee don't have an equal relationship. Sophia earns the money and has a high-end job while Lee likes spending what she makes. Lee doesn't mind living an easy and carefree life and Sophia keeps enabling it. When she finds him in bed with another woman Sophia knows it's time to make some drastic changes. Her sole purpose in life is doing her work as well as she can and she used to be prepared to give up everything for it, what if being a successful businesswoman isn't enough any longer?

To give herself time to think Sophia quits her job and travels to Italy to stay with her grandmother for a while. In Italy she meets Joe. Joe is at a crossroads in his life as well. They like each other, but they are both in Italy for a short time, however they have the summer. Will they have a chance to find some happiness, even if it's just for a short while, or will family secrets and problems at home make it difficult for them to enjoy their time together?

Love at the Italian Lake is a wonderful story. Sophia is driven, but insecure. She doesn't know how beautiful she is, both inside and out. Her stay in Italy makes her discover a lot about herself and her family, which was really fascinating. It was fabulous to see her grow and find herself. Joe is a good friend and he has a trustworthy personality and natural charm that make him accessible. He's a kind and talented man, but he's also troubled. Sophia and Joe are great together, but they both have baggage. I was curious to find out their family secrets and couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to discover if Sophia and Joe would have a chance together. I liked their easy and sparkling friendship. They're perfect main characters for a feelgood romantic story.

Darcie Boleyn has a heartwarming writing style. Her way with words is clever and her stories are laced with humor. Love at the Italian Lake is about people who have to deal with change and I loved the complete way she explores the many emotional layers of this recognizable theme. She combines this with a stunning setting that kept mesmerizing me. I enjoyed reading about Italy and the abundance of deliciousness and beauty it has to offer. I liked this gorgeous captivating story very much and thinking about it keeps putting a big smile on my face.

Advice

If you love beautiful settings combined with wonderful main characters and a lovely romantic story I'd highly recommend Love at the Italian Lake.

About Darcie Boleyn



Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night.

Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate.

Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

Author links

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Other books by Darcie Boleyn


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 Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will receive a wonderful Summer at Conwenna Cove prize consisting of a signed bookmark and a postcard with a message from Darcie Boleyn. One runner up will win an unsigned bookmark and postcard.

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

Fable & Black Mug, Mirror, Lucky Dip Box & Book Lover Tote Bag Giveaway


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a Fable & Black mug, pocket mirror, Book Lover tote bag and Lucky Dip Box filled with bookish surprises. Good luck!


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

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Book Review - The Last Time I'll Write About You by Dawn Lanuza

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Review by Suze

One of my favorite poems of The Last Time I'll Write About You is the following:

IN A NUTSHELL

I'm not brave enough to love you
The same way
You're not strong enough to take me on.

It's a short poem that has so much meaning and in a few sentences Dawn Lanuza can say it all. She skillfully writes about emotions in a way that makes them easy to understand, to sympathize and possibly identify with and to find the deeper meaning behind her words. The Last Time I'll Write About You is a quick read and the words that are being used aren't difficult. That makes it possible to completely focus on the emotions themselves and all the complex layers that are part of them.

Dawn Lanuza's writing has a consistent quality and she has a strong voice. The poems are all connected and have a clear universal theme while they still stand out individually too, which I think is a wonderful achievement. I was captivated by the honesty and the fantastic rhythm that matches it so well. I really liked these beautiful poems, they're filled with so many different feelings that the author expresses splendidly and the execution and choice of words are gorgeous.

Advice

If you like poetry about love that is easy to read and filled with emotions you'll definitely like The Last Time I'll Write About You.

Wish You Were Here by Renée Carlino - Book Review & Excerpt


Book review
By Suze


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Charlotte and her best friend Helen aren't driven to make something of themselves, they work in a greasy café while they both try to figure out what to do with their futures. They're also living together and haven't had any steady relationships. That changes quite suddenly though. Charlotte meets Adam when she and Helen are on their way home after an evening out and he gives her the night of her life. Adam isn't like anyone she's ever met before and even though they part ways after their wonderful experience a strong bond has been formed. When Helen meets someone and is ready to move forward Charlotte is being forced to take a good look at her life. Will she be alone and adrift forever?

With a little help Charlotte connects with someone online. When she meets Seth she immediately feels at ease. They start dating and they have something good together. However, being with Seth makes Charlotte realize how much she still likes Adam. She starts looking for him, but what she finds isn't what she expected at all. She has a difficult decision to make, will she ruin her chance at a happy relationship with Seth for something complicated and uncertain? Will the joy of being with Adam be worth the heartache she's inevitably going to get?

Wish You Were Here is a fantastic book that I can't recommend enough. I immediately loved Charlotte. She doesn't know what she wants exactly, but she tries to figure it out in an active way and she is both funny and fabulously honest. Her night with Adam is something truly magical and reading about their enchanting first meeting warmed my heart. It's a beautiful moment and he's such a special soul. Renée Carlino couldn't have come up with a better version of his personality. He's gorgeous inside and out and I enjoyed reading every single word about him. Seth is a terrific sweet guy with a great sense of humor, so Charlotte has a difficult choice to make. The men in her life both sparkle in their own way, which makes the direction the story eventually takes understandable and incredibly romantic.

Wish You Were Here has many emotional layers. Renée Carlino made me smile plenty of times, I also often laughed out loud and I shed quite a lot of tears as the story progressed too. She's written a brilliant moving rollercoaster of a book. Wish You Were Here is impressive, surprising, heartwarming, energetic, captivating and charming. This novel is absolutely amazing, it's a definite must-read and one the best books I've read this year.

Advice

If you love beautiful romantic stories with many unexpected twists and turns and main characters that will have a place in your heart forever you should definitely read Wish You Were Here.

About Renée Carlino


Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women's novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher's Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she's not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she

likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.

Author links

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Excerpt

“You’re making love sound tragic,” I said.

“No”—he shook his head—“I wouldn’t want it any other way. Tell me about us. What do we like to do?”

“Paint and sail and eat and drink. Just simple things.” “Don’t forget about sex,” he said. “Yeah, lots of sex. Before the children were born we

"We were practically naked every second of the day.”

“I like that.”

“When they got older, we’d sneak away for weekends and leave them at my mom’s.”

“What are they like? Our children.”

“Happy. That’s all we wished for. We put our love first and it just spilled over into them and now they’re happy.”

Tears sprang from my eyes and ran down my cheeks. Isn’t that what we all hope for when it comes to our children?

His tone suddenly changed. “That’s beautiful, Char- lotte.” It was like he was waking up from the dream. I didn’t want to go back to reality yet, but I knew these fantasies were just to help Adam get his mind off things.

“I can imagine a long life with you,” he said. “I can imagine what a great wife you’d be."

I pulled my hand out of his. “The story is about you and me.” He didn’t say anything; he just nodded and then continued to stare out the window. I bent and kissed the top of his head again, and whispered, “It’s about us. Don’t take that away from me.”

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Buddle Owl Book Sleeve & Book of Choice Giveaway


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win an owl themed Buddle book sleeve suitable for paperbacks made by Bookbuddle and a book of choice worth $10. Good luck!


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

Elephant and Pinky Moon by Lilac Mills - Book Review & Giveaway


Book review
By Anniek


Nina lives a fairly boring life. She’s very comfortable with how things are going and isn’t interested in changing anything. Nina has a good relationship with her grandmother Flossie. Ever since her grandfather died, Nina’s been worried that her grandmother can’t cope with the loss of her husband. Flossie tricks Nina into going on holiday to Turkey with her. She deliberately booked an all-inclusive hotel that is especially suited for tourists around Nina’s age. Flossie can be a handful, so Nina has no idea what to expect. What’s the worst that could happen on a holiday with her 83-year-old grandmother?

Flossie doesn’t think she’s old. She’s determined to live her life to the fullest. She’s straightforward, loves cocktails and is incredibly funny. I laughed out loud so many times because of the hilarious stunts she pulls. Flossie reminds me a lot of my own grandmother and this brought back a lot of sweet memories. She and Nina are very close and I loved to read about their special bond. Flossie is a person who lights up the room just by being there. Flossie and Nina go on several excursions together and they find themselves in the most peculiar situations. I’ve been to Turkey several times myself and really enjoyed reading about all the beautiful places Lilac Mills writes about. Flossie and Nina are complete opposites and their adventures made me smile during the whole story.

Elephant and Pinky Moon is an easy and delightful read. The fact that Flossie has the energy of a party animal, has no problem wearing a neon pink bikini and doesn't have any shame made this book beyond funny. Lilac Mills has chosen a stunning hotel in Turkey as the main setting for her story. I loved her vivid descriptions of the place and could almost feel the warm sun on my skin and smell the salty air from the ocean. The story grabbed me from the beginning and I flew through the pages. Lilac Mills is a new author for me and after reading Elephant and Pinky Moon I’m definitely curious about her other stories.

Advice

If you’re looking for a light beach read filled with humor, then Elephant and Pinky Moon will be a perfect choice.

About Lilac Mills


Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework. She apologises to her employer and her loved ones, but the house will simply have to deal with it!

She calls Worcester home, though she would prefer to call somewhere hot and sunny home, somewhere with a beach and cocktails and endless opportunities for snoozing in the sun…

When she isn’t hunched over a computer or dreaming about foreign shores, she enjoys creating strange, inedible dishes in the kitchen, accusing her daughter of stealing (she meant to say “borrowing”) her clothes, and fighting with her husband over whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.

You can find out more about Lilac Mills on her website: www.lilacmills.com.

Giveaway

One very lucky winner will receive signed copies of Elephant and Pinky Moon and Under the Cherry Tree.