Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, Review, Romantic Comedy on June 17, 2017

Romantic Comedy
Self Published
Print Length: 235 pages
Publication Date: May 1, 2017
ASIN: B06XTSHJHB

Synopsis

I’m a total mess. My boyfriend dumped me – get this – because I diet too much. Not because I’m fat, mind you. Of course, this spurs me into the diet-fitness-revenge-plan of the century, which leads me to the gym and a scorching hot personal trainer. I even manage to make some cool new friends, including a millionaire if you can believe it. Things are looking up! Naturally, that’s the moment my ex decides he wants me back, the personal trainer asks me out, and my millionaire male buddy decides to throw his hat in the ring. But that’s not enough drama. No, not for me. Because I’ve also lost my job and decided to start my own business. Just call me Ms. Drama.

Warning: Bad language, bumpy roads, and embarrassing moments ahead. But there’s also more than a bit of romance and even, if we’re lucky, love. Fingers crossed.

Not endorsed by or affiliated with any brand of tequila.

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Review

This author has a way of taking a serious topic (body shaming) and making it where many could relate to the main character (Evie/Everly) and perhaps even understand why the character feels like she does.

I really enjoyed this book and chuckled through most of it. The book was a fast read (to me!) and I hated putting it down to go do other things (like cook dinner). I could identify with Everly but to be honest she wasn’t that overweight. In the notes afterwards the author shares she was about 5’4″ and from comments the character made about wanting to lose 50 lbs and weigh 110 we know she was around 160. That really isn’t that bad but it comes down to that topic that almost all women deal with – feeling inadequate about our bodies thanks to the media and the pressures it puts on us to be thin. But despite the fact that she wasn’t that overweight, she still had a body image/self esteem issue.

There is romance in this book too – the ex- Josh that started her journey at the gym; Gabe, her personal trainer who is also a “player”; and finally Carter, a geek but a famous one and rich to boot. As her interactions with the different men ensued I knew who I was rooting for..just call me Team Carter.

Besides the men there is a team of supportive women friends – Blaze who is her best friend and holds Everly the most accountable. Everyone needs a Blaze in their life! Lily, a co-worker that is supportive in many ways especially when it comes to work and how that job plays out. Then there is the group of ladies from Zumba who are a hoot and a half.

The only thing I wasn’t wild about was some of the language. There is a disclaimer that there was bad language, I just think some of it could have been cut out and not affected the moment in the story. Also, Charise (one of the friends from Zumba) called everyone bitches. It was funny the first few times but then it got old fast for me.

We give it 5 paws up.

About the Author

I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage every once in a while to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. Another job change, this time from lawyer to B&B owner and I was again fed up and ready to scream I quit, which is incredibly difficult when you own the business. Thus, I shut the B&B during the week and in the off-season and started writing. Several books later I find myself in Istanbul writing full-time.

 

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June 13 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 13 – Bookworm Cafe  – GUEST POST

June 14 – Back Porchervations -REVIEW

June 14 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 15 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 16 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

June 16 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

June 17 –   StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

June 17 –   Books, Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT

June 18 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

June 19 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

June 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in 4 paws, Review, Romantic Comedy on February 17, 2017

Synopsis

Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Manhattan upper-cruster Cecily Sinclair now uses that pricey utensil to dish up fancy French fare on her cooking show, Serving Romance. When there’s an executive shake-up at the network, she’s not worried. Not much anyway. Her show’s a hit after all. Why would the new CEO want to mess with success?

The driving force behind several buzzed-about networks, Devlin Hayes is considered to be a wunderkind in the television industry. Although his plans to rebrand CuisineTV and make Serving Romance more Millennial-friendly don’t thrill Cecily, her charming, blue-eyed boss is a hard man to say “no” to and she really wants to keep her job—even if that means sharing screen time with a loathsome blast from her past.

Mercurial Italian chef Dante Marchetti a.k.a. “Il Duce” was once Cecily’s boss, and she has the PTSD to prove it. Now the owner of one of the hottest restaurants in town, Dante’s egomania knows no bounds and his constant attempts to provoke and upstage Cecily make her want to conk him on the head with a sautééé pan. She thinks they’re toxic together, but viewers love their chemistry and clamor for more.

As Cecily battles to maintain the integrity of her show, she finds herself scheming and manipulating right along with Dante and Devlin. Is she fighting a lost cause? Does she really belong on TV, or would her culinary talent be better served elsewhere? And could one of the men who makes Cecily’s blood boil ignite a passion in her for something other than food?

Review

If you like hunky men, comedy, romance and food/cooking then this is the book for you.

Cecily is a multi faceted protagonist. She is wealthy but was trained at Cordon Bleu and worked in restaurants before becoming a television chef. She has a very wacky family including a cousin, Dina, that is a flower child long past the 60’s. And a grandmother that makes everyone toe the line.

Then you have 3 potential love interests for Cecily – her ex-fiance’ Boyce (because is he really an ex if they still have a good relationship? maybe, maybe not), Dante – a former boss of Cecily’s who happens to have a hot body and seems to rub Cecily the wrong way. Is it conflict or perhaps chemistry? And finally we have Devlin – her boss, who despite shaking up the network and making huge changes, sees something in Cecily. So who will she end up with? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

I really enjoyed the mix of characters and the interaction (whether good or bad) because it just added more dimension to the story. I was hoping Cecily would end up with who she did, but there were times when I wondered if other incidents might influence her decision. Dina is a crack up, I love her whimsical nature. Paige (the best friend) plays a minor role, but there are some interesting twists with her life near the end.

I also liked how Cecily’s character grew as the book progressed. Yes she may be formally trained and have had a “proper” upbringing, but she learns to bend and grows as a woman and even as a chef. I liked how down to earth she was despite her parents and grandmother. I think it is her and Dina having each other as best friends growing up (even though they are cousins) that helped ground both of them.

We enjoyed the book and give it 4 paws up.

About the Author

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a “real” job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Mixing It Up is her fourth Chick Lit release, and in it Tracie finally got to live out her fantasy of being a Cordon Bleu-trained chef.

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Posted in chick lit, cooking, Romantic Comedy, Spotlight on January 14, 2017

Synopsis

Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Manhattan upper-cruster Cecily Sinclair now uses that pricey utensil to dish up fancy French fare on her cooking show, Serving Romance. When there’s an executive shake-up at the network, she’s not worried. Not much anyway. Her show’s a hit after all. Why would the new CEO want to mess with success?

The driving force behind several buzzed-about networks, Devlin Hayes is considered to be a wunderkind in the television industry. Although his plans to rebrand CuisineTV and make Serving Romance more Millennial-friendly don’t thrill Cecily, her charming, blue-eyed boss is a hard man to say “no” to and she really wants to keep her job—even if that means sharing screen time with a loathsome blast from her past.

Mercurial Italian chef Dante Marchetti a.k.a. “Il Duce” was once Cecily’s boss, and she has the PTSD to prove it. Now the owner of one of the hottest restaurants in town, Dante’s egomania knows no bounds and his constant attempts to provoke and upstage Cecily make her want to conk him on the head with a sautééé pan. She thinks they’re toxic together, but viewers love their chemistry and clamor for more.

As Cecily battles to maintain the integrity of her show, she finds herself scheming and manipulating right along with Dante and Devlin. Is she fighting a lost cause? Does she really belong on TV, or would her culinary talent be better served elsewhere? And could one of the men who makes Cecily’s blood boil ignite a passion in her for something other than food?

About the Author

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a “real” job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Mixing It Up is her fourth Chick Lit release, and in it Tracie finally got to live out her fantasy of being a Cordon Bleu-trained chef.

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Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, Review, Romantic Comedy, women on November 2, 2016

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Love Literary Style
by Karin Gillespie

Romantic Comedy
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (November 1, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1635110852
ASIN: B01KTWF3IW

 

Synopsis

They say opposites attract, and what could be more opposite than a stuffy literary writer falling in love with a self-published romance writer?

Meet novelist Aaron Mite. He lives in a flea-infested rented alcove, and his girlfriend Emma, a combative bookstore owner, has just dumped him. He meets Laurie Lee at a writers’ colony and mistakenly believes her to be a renowned writer of important fiction. When he discovers she’s a self-published romance author, he’s already fallen in love with her.

Aaron thinks genre fiction is an affront to the fiction-writing craft. He likes to quotes the essayist, Arthur Krystal who claims literary fiction “melts the frozen sea inside of us.” Ironically Aaron doesn’t seem to realize that, despite his lofty literary aspirations, he’s emotionally frozen, due, in part, to a childhood tragedy. The vivacious Laurie, lover of flamingo-patterned attire and all things hot pink, is the one person who might be capable of melting him. In the tradition of the Rosie Project, Love Literary Style is a sparkling romantic comedy which pokes fun at the divide between so-called low and high brow fiction.

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Review

What an amazing story! I was so caught up in the story that I had a hard time putting the book down to do other things (like make dinner!).

Laurie and Aaron meet by chance at a writer’s colony, plus he thinks she is a famous author. Laurie writes romance novels and is looking for a fling to enhance her life experiences and expand her writing knowledge. What they don’t expect to find is love.

Aaron’s character is very snobbish. He is a literary fiction writer and thinks that anyone that writes anything else is just mundane. Honestly, his character is very hard to like for at least half of the book. I’ve read literary fiction and most of the time I am not wild about the books and sometimes you just want to enjoy a book without having to think about the story line.

Laurie is very whimsical (she is a romance writer after all), bubbly and beautiful. However, she is not a great writer. Sadly, Aaron decides to tell her this, and I’m sure you can imagine it does not go well and doesn’t bode well for their relationship.

But both Aaron and Laurie learn a lot about themselves and life through various events, and it makes both of them better people for those experiences. I so want to go into more detail, but I do not want to spoil the book. Suffice it to say, there is redemption and forgiveness, along with the growth of both characters. But don’t think this is a serious book, there are many humorous parts throughout and of course a HEA – Happily Ever After.

We give this book 5 paws up.

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A book excerpt can be found here.

About the Author

karin-gillespieKarin Gillespie is the national-bestselling novelist and has also written for the New York Times,Washington Post and Writer Magazine. She has an MFA from Converse College and lives in Augusta, Georgia and was recently awarded a Georgia Author of the Year award.

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November 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 1 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

November 2 –  StoreyBook Reviews  – REVIEW

November 3 –  Books Direct – REVIEW

November 3 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – Book Babble – REVIEW

November 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 5 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

November 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

November 7 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 7 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST

November 8 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 9 – Varietats – REVIEW

November 10 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

November 10 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – REVIEW

Posted in 3 paws, excerpt, Giveaway, Review, Romantic Comedy on October 19, 2016

My Grandfather's Pants by Tegon Maus

My Grandfathers Pants by Tegon Maus My Grandfather’s Pants by Tegon Maus

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing (Jan  21, 2014)
Category: Contemporary Romance, Humor, Romantic Comedy, Suspense
Tour Dates: Oct/Nov, 2016
ASIN:  B00HZH5A7O
Available in: ebook,  164 Pages

Synopsis

Jack Laskin is an ordinary man. More than ordinary according to some. Running the family hardware store and a life that would bore a snail, nothing exciting ever seems to happen to him.

Then, at his mother’s urging, he tries on a pair of his late grandfather’s old pants and everything changes — most importantly his emerging love life. It’s not long before his mother and her meddling friends get involved.

When an old friend of his grandfather’s tells Jack he has something she wants, his new-found life takes another turn. Having no idea what he is supposed to have, Jack looks to his girlfriend, Connie, and her brother, Robert, for help.

In the end, the answers will all be found in his Grandfather’s Pants.

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Praise for My Grandfather’s Pants by Tegon Maus

“This story is fantastic! It is totally different to anything I have read before. As the storyline unfolds, it is sexy, humorous and very entertaining – absolutely brilliant!”- Susan Keefe, Book Reviews By Susan Keefe, Author

“I was definitely not expecting to laugh as often as I did while reading My Grandfather’s Pants. Mr. Maus has a fantastic sense of humour that translates extremely well to the written word. He is adept at teasing out the funny side of even the most serious or mundane parts of daily life. It was especially entertaining to see how he plays around with a wide range of assumptions most of us make about certain groups of people in order to keep his readers on their toes.
My Grandfather’s Pants is a great choice for anyone in the mood for something quirky and original. This is the kind of book that begs to be read more than once. I, for one, will be revisiting it quite soon!”- LAS Reviewer, Long and Short Reviews

“My Grandfather’s Pants is a funny and surprising novel. An enjoyable combination of fantasy and suspense with a touch of romance. The protagonist, Jack is a likeable old soul thrown into a bizarre situation, and the way he handles the bizarre challenges he faces will keep you guessing . . . and laughing. Pick up this book if you want to take a ride on a saucy, madcap rollercoaster. You won’t be disappointed!”- Joseph N. Sidari, Amazon Reviewer

Excerpt

Excerpt 2 – My Grandfather’s Pants

 

I was embarrassed and shocked beyond words.

“Ah hell, he ain’t got it,” Harriet sputtered, covering up again.

“Mom, I don’t need any help, really.” I struggled to form the words.

“Oh, no, dear, not you. We’re here to help Connie. She’ll be the one who will need the help if your dad passed on his gift.”

“Gift? What gift?” I asked, concerned what the answer might be.

“Last night…you get any? Did you give it to her good?” Harriet asked, thrusting her hips toward me, puffing to the end of her cigarette.

“No,” I protested, backing away.

“He ain’t got it, Moraine,” Harriet hissed, waving a dismissive hand in my direction, stepping away and buttoning up at last.

“Got what? What are we talking about here?” I pressed.

No one spoke, all three of them just stood there.

“Go on tell him. If he’s a late bloomer he’ll know eventually,” Stella crossed her arms and nodded.

“Jack, your father had an appetite unlike any…” she began.

“The man was a machine,” Harriet injected, lighting another cigarette.

The tone of her voice made my heart pound with panic and the gleam in her eye struck fear in my heart.

“Insatiable really,” Stella offered, flipping her hand back and forth.

“Mom…I…You can’t possibly…” I was lost for words, confused.

“You don’t understand. Your dad…he was relentless. There was no end. Two and three, sometimes four times a day. Outside, in the kitchen, in the garage, in the car, in…”

“In the trunk.” Stella pointed at herself.

“You know he asked, but I could never bring myself to do it,” Mom said, turning to Stella.

“It wasn’t so bad. I kind of got to like it,” Stella confessed.

“Are you telling me Dad cheated on you?” I asked in shock.

“Oh, no, dear. He would never cheat on us, never,” she soothed, patting me.

“Never,” Stella and Harriet said in unison, both with the same tone of affirmation.

“Dad was sleeping with…?” I had to sit down.

The pictures that suddenly filled my head took the very breath out of me, making me gasp like a fish out of water.

“It wasn’t like that. I didn’t believe it in the beginning either. When your father and I were dating, his mother came to me with the same story.

At first, I thought she was simply trying to get rid of me, like I wasn’t good enough for your father. Then as time went by I began to see the truth of what she said. Little things at first…soon they grew more and more urgent, more demanding. I watched as your grandfather fell apart a little more each day. He refused the gift, refused to bend to the need that roiled inside him. It devoured him.

As time went by he became bitter, angry, less of the man he had been and more of a miserable wretch.

Your grandmother did everything a woman could do but as hard as she tried there was no convincing him that things would be alright. Henry was a stubborn man.

I promised myself I would never allow that fate to befall your father or you,” she said placing a hand on my shoulder.

“So because Grandpa was cranky you what?” I asked, now bewildered.

“I had to do something for sanity’s sake if nothing else. I saw the same madness begin to show itself in your father and it began to overshadow our relationship. I promised myself then and there I would never allow it to come between us. Harriet’s husband died in a car crash and she was devastated. She cried almost every day for two years afterward. She was lonely and your father was amorous and insatiable and I was tired. You have no idea how exhausting it was.  Every time you turned around. It was a natural fit. Harriet had needs that hadn’t been filled since her husband’s death and your father didn’t seem to mind. Harriet felt better, your dad felt better and I was so relieved to have a break it was like Christmas in July. It was a win-win. Everyone was happy,” she said with a smile.

“Dad and Harriet?” I gasped, pointing at the wrinkled, old, mean spirited, chain-smoking gnome standing in front of me.

Harriet blew a smoke ring, put on a smug smile, bouncing her eyebrows in acknowledgment.

“Well…” she hesitated. “Even Harriet had her limits and after a few years, it only seemed natural to include Stella.”

“Stella?”

“Yes. We switched off so everyone had at least a day to recoup. I had Thursdays and Saturdays. Stella took Wednesdays and Fridays, while Harriet took Mondays and Tuesdays and the odd day we weren’t available. She has always been the trooper,” Mom said proudly.

I bent forward, leaning over my knees, trying to catch my breath.

“How could you…how…?” I couldn’t form a thought with the pictures that pushed themselves into my head.

“We had needs, each of us. Your father had a family trait handed down for generations, ardent cravings that I…let me correct that. Cravings that no one woman could fulfill. He was a good man. He didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, never missed a day of work, never lied, never cheated…he had this one little quirk. He was a…”

“A sexual dynamo,” Harriet interrupted.

“Oh yes,” Stella agreed, rolling her eyes back in her head, fanning herself with the magazine she held.

“And you all shared him?” I choked.

Review

This was a very bizarre story. I bounced from being kinda weirded out at the actions/comments of Jack’s mother and her friends to being intrigued at the mystery portion of the story.

I think this goes into the fantasy category because i wasn’t quite sure how the pants his grandfather wore fit into the story. Do these pants make the men more insatiable when it comes to their physical needs? Why are the women ok with there being a “harem”? Why do the older ladies call Jack by his grandfather’s name of Henry? Lots of unanswered questions.

The story is different, was a pretty fast read and was a little humorous in places.  We give it 3 paws up.

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About Tegon MausMy Grandfathers Pants by Tegon Maus

Tegon Maus was raised pretty much the same as everyone else… devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends he could conjure. Not that he wasn’t friendly, he just wasn’t “people orientated”. Maybe he lived in his head way more than he should have, maybe not. He liked machines more than people, at least he did until I met his wife.

The first thing he can remember writing was for her. For the life of him he can’t remember what it was about… something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married him shortly after that. He spent a good number  of years chasing other dreams before he got back to writing.

It wasn’t a deliberate conscious thought, it was more of a stepping stone. His wife and himself had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. “Be as detailed as you can,” we were told.

He was thrilled. If there is one thing he enjoys it’s making people believe him and he likes to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an outright lie mind you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn’t be sure if it were true or not.  When he writes, he always write with the effort of “it could happen” very much in mind and nothing, he guarantees you, nothing, makes him happier.

He has consistently placed in the top 3 in 189 writing contest in a variety of genres and has been featured in magazines a couple of times to raise money for Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Oct 3 Interview & Giveaway

Rainy Day Reviews Oct 4 Review & Excerpt

SolaFide Book Club Oct 5 Guest Post

Rockin’ Book Reviews Oct 6 Guest Post & Giveaway

Pomegranate Radio Oct 7 Review

Christy’s Cozy Corners Oct 10 Review & Giveaway

Cindy’s Notebook Oct 13 Review

Christa Reads and Writes Oct 18 Review & Giveaway

StoreyBook Reviews Oct 19 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

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Infinite House of Books Oct 25 Excerpt

fuonlyknew Oct 27 Review & Giveaway

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers Nov 2 Review

Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings Nov 4 Review

Books, books, and more books Nov 8 Review

JBronder Book Reviews Nov 16 Review & Guest Post

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Nov 22 Review

Bassgiraffe’s Thoughts Nov 30 Review

Posted in Giveaway, Romantic Comedy, Spotlight, Young Adult on October 17, 2016

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Synopsis

Life for sixteen year old Savannah Franks has just been turned upside down. Her Mum’s business has failed and they’re forced to move into a maisonette in the rough end of town.

She doesn’t want anyone to know her dire situation, not even her besties. So when the rest of the money for the school ski trip is due she can’t be seen not to attend. Everyone is going! She just needs to find a job. Add that to the list of getting a boyfriend and losing her pathetic virginity.

But working every spare hour in a job she hates on top of school work and mounting secrets doesn’t prove easy. Soon she’s keeping so many she’s not even sure herself what’s true and what’s not.

The only person she can lean on to tell the truth is her best friend Heath.

Only…did he get hot recently? That won’t make things awkward between them…right?

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About the Author

Laura Barnard lives in Hertfordshire, UK and writes romantic comedy or ‘chick lit’ as its so often described. In her spare time she enjoys drinking her body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of her face and drooling over hunks like Jamie Dornan, Ryan Gosling and Leo Dicaprio.

She enjoys wearing yoga pants and reading fitness magazines while sitting on the sofa eating chocolate. She’s a real fan of the power nap and of course READING!

She writes not to get rich or famous, but because she LOVES writing. Even if one person tells her they enjoyed her book it makes the midnight typing worth it!

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Posted in Cover Reveal, Romantic Comedy on October 10, 2016

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Kiss My Crown Cover Reveal

Releasing November 7th!

Synopsis

My name is Kate and I’m a princess. 
I had it all. Every little girl’s dream: Working as a princess in a theme park five days a week. Prince Charming and I really hit it off, until he hit every other princess in the park.
After beating him with his own sword I decided it was time to find a normal guy. I met one- or at least I thought I did. 
Now the princesses are snubbing me and the princes won’t even look at me. Worse, I’m about to be demoted to a fairy, which is like being sent to the seventh level of hell.
What do you do when the fairy tale ends?
When happily ever after sucks ass?

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About the Author

Alexis Noelle lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with her husband, and two kids. On top a writing career, she is a full-time student and a full-time mom. She loves spending time with her kids, although she has to hide the computer from them when she is writing! She loves being active and being outdoors, especially if it involves any kind of shopping.

She has always been passionate about writing. She loves to read romance books and feels like being able to lose yourself in a book is one of the more exciting aspects. The books she loves to read and write will be ones that make you feel for the characters. Alexis believes that you should have an opinion on every character in a book whether you love them, hate them, or think they are up to something.

She also believes that the most important critic is your reader, so she loves to hear from the readers. She wants her fans to be open & talk to her about what they want for the characters in the story, and what they would like to see happen.

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Posted in 4 paws, Pets, Review, Romantic Comedy, women on August 1, 2016

TheThingIs

TitleTHE THING IS
Author: Kathleen Gerard
Genre: General Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction / Romantic Comedy
Pages: 275
Distributor:  Ingram
Publishing Date: March 9, 2016 (print)  February 9, 2016 (ebook)

Synopsis

Can a woman mired deep in the throes of grief have her heart and soul rallied by a therapy dog named Prozac who possesses supernatural wisdom and a canine Mensa IQ?
Meredith Mancuso is depressed. Ever since the death of her fiancé, she has shrunk from the world. Even with her successful writing career, she’s not motivated to work. When her sister, Monica, begs for a favor, Meredith wants nothing more than to say no. But she’s ultimately roped into pet-sitting an orphaned Yorkshire terrier named Prozac.
Blessed with spiritual wisdom and a high IQ, Prozac is an active pet therapy dog. To heal broken-hearted Meredith, he rallies his fan club at Evergreen Gardens, an independent living facility, where he visits each week.
Prozac and the community of resilient older folks challenged by losses of their own propel Meredith, often against her will, back into the land of the living. Meredith learns that most people carry some sort of burden, but it’s still possible to find meaning, purpose, and joy—and  even love—along the way.
THE THING IS—a perfect read for fans of General Fiction,  Contemporary Fiction, Romantic Comedy, and Dog and Pet Lovers!

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Praise for the book

“A story brimming with humor and heart, and an ending that’s as unexpected as it is satisfying.” — Claire Ashby, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the novel, When You Make it Home
“Great story! Unexpected, delightful, uniquely creative…Kathleen Gerard not only understands the canine brain, but she gets people too. The Thing Is reminds us of how intricate and interwoven relationships are—and Prozac teaches us about grace and unconditional love.”  — Melody Carlson, author of the novels, The Christmas Joy RideFinding Alice, and The Christmas Dog
“Everyone could use a little Prozac. Kathleen Gerard’s heartwarming and uplifting book will have you heading to a pound as soon as you put the book down (if you can ever manage to do it). An absolute page turner, The Thing is provides all the proof you’ll ever need that dogs are truly nothing less than Four Legged Angels.” — Mary Curran Hackett, author of the novels, Proof of Heaven and Proof of Angels
“Kathleen Gerard captures the powers of caring, connection, and resilience in her wonderful novel, The Thing Is. Prozac, the book’s funny and wise canine hero, helps humans of all ages overcome their losses and grief, find happiness and adventure, and renew their joy in love and life.” — Susan Sipprelle, award-winning documentary filmmaker, Tree of Life Productions (Over 50 and Out of Work; Set for Life; Soldier On: Life After Deployment)
“A truly humorous twist on the issue of human frailty interacting with animal charm…offers a new take on grief recovery, which is both lighthearted and insightful!” — Trudie Barreras, Amazon “Vine Voice” Top Reviewer
“You don’t have to be a dog person to fall in love with The Thing Is. Funny and heartwarming, it’s a great read about love, loss, and what it means to be human.” — Alessandra Harris, author of the novel, Blaming the Wind

Review

Dog spirit guides can take many forms and in this book it is a 5 lbs Yorkie named Prozac.  He took this assignment not knowing what the TBD could possibly entail just so he could play Sandy in a revival of Annie sometime in the future.  He definitely was not expecting Meredith – a woman that lost her fiance 3 years ago and was still grieving.

This story goes back in forth primarily from Prozac and Meredith’s point of view.  I think there might be a few chapters from Helen or someone else’s POV, but not many.  It took me a couple of chapters to understand the flow, but once I did, I enjoyed the back and forth and especially when it was Prozac’s chapter because I found him to be a bit arrogant, but considering his history that he lays out for you in an early chapter, it isn’t too surprising.  Despite the arrogance, I think he learns something from Meredith’s pain and current situation, that perhaps there is more to the human emotions than he has experienced throughout time.

Meredith is another story, she is a mess!  Yes her fiance was killed in a brutal manner, but life goes on and one can still grieve and miss a loved one and continue with life.  However, it takes her petsitting Prozac and meeting a few other people to turn that life around.

There are some witty characters, along with some that learn lessons along the way.  I think this book touches many emotions and creates many learning moments for many of the characters.

We give this 4 paws up!

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About the Author

Kathleen Gerard writes across genres. Her work has been awarded many literary prizes and has been published in magazines, journals, widely anthologized and broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR). Kathleen writes for Shelf Awareness. Kathleen’s woman-in-jeopardy novel, IN TRANSIT, won “Best Romantic Fiction” at the New York Book Festival.

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Posted in 5 paws, Review, Romantic Comedy on February 18, 2016

The Average Girl banner

The Average Girl

Title: The Average Girl
Author: Angelina Goode
Publisher: Beach Blanket Publishing
Pages: 228
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Synopsis

Being average can lead to wonderful things…

Olivia Fowler, helper of the star-struck, runs a successful business helping average people meet celebrities in everyday ways. Flawless at what she does, the celebrities don’t have a clue they’re part of a pre-planned meeting. Business is booming and Olivia knows everything there is to know about Hollywood’s famous and their behavior. Her clients trust her because she is just like them, not famous.

But when Olivia accidentally meets the super-famous Alexander Young at the grocery store, her world is flipped upside-down. She can’t possibly resist those charming eyes and sexy arms. As their romance blossoms, Olivia learns she may not know as much as she thought she did about celebrities and their ways.

Then Olivia’s most important and loyal client requests to meet Alexander. Suddenly, Olivia is forced to choose between her love and her business.

Will Olivia be able to keep her booming business a secret from her soon-to-be boyfriend? Will her clients still trust her if she is no longer the average girl?

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Excerpt

I sit quietly at the Starbucks on the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevard, pretending to work on my laptop. Two tables away from me and next to the condiment counter sits my client, Sarah, drinking coffee and pretending to read a book. This is our second day at this Starbucks and we have already been here for forty minutes. I am beginning to wonder if we should re-evaluate our plan.

Suddenly a wave of hushed excitement spreads through the store. Everyone’s eyes are glued to the swinging front doors as Ryan Scott strides through with his shoulders back and chin up. Everyone’s eyes, that is, but Sarah’s. She looks at me without turning her head, and I give her the tiniest of nods before spinning back around to stare. She responds to my nod by feigning interest in her Jane Austen novel.

Great Sarah! Keep calm. I know you want to burst inside, but play it cool.

Ryan’s eyes quickly scan the room. Before they return to the menu board, they briefly linger on Sarah, the only person who appears not to notice him. He orders his grande latte with a double shot of espresso and leans smugly against the counter with his arms folded across his chest. He appears to be staring into space, yet every few moments his eyes fall back to Sarah, who has still not looked up from her book.

The barista calls his name, and he pauses to make sure everyone hears it before he reaches for the drink. When he turns around, Sarah is beginning to pack her things, leaving the Austen novel on the table. He heads toward the condiment counter for his regular three sugars. Just as we had rehearsed, Sarah stands up, still focused on packing up, and he tries to pass her. He stops for a moment, Sarah blocking his way.

Thank goodness these celebrities are creatures of habit. It makes my job so much easier.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there.” She breathes calmly as she speaks to him. She slings her navy-blue Coach bag over her shoulder and smiles, her head leaning to the side, her eyes soft.

“That’s all right,” Ryan responds. He stands waiting for her to move but blocks her exit. He half smiles at her.

“Okay then.” Sarah glances toward the door behind him, still smiling.

“Oh, now I’m in your way,” he declares as he steps aside and watches Sarah move toward the door. “Wait, hey, your book!”

I exhale. The one contingency worked as planned. Should be easy from here on out, as long as she sticks to the script.

She stops and turns back, hiding her smile. Ryan stands there, holding her book in his hands. “Jane Austen, huh.” He smirks. “I’m shooting a movie based on one of her books next month.”

“Oh, you’re an actor. What book?” she asks, pretending not to know.

Pride and Prejudice.” He seems intrigued by Sarah’s indifference. “Well, here you go—” He ends his sentence by fishing for her name.

“Sarah,” she finishes for him.

“Sarah,” he repeats, revealing a slow, sexy smile, “maybe we can have a cup of coffee next time.” He holds out the book but is not loosening his grip.

“Yes, maybe.” She takes the book from him, and he lets her. “Thanks.” Then she is out the door. Ryan turns and grabs his three sugars, looking around the room again to make sure everyone is still watching. Before he finishes stirring them in, I am out on the street and dialing Sarah’s cell number.

“Wow! That was unbelievable! I can’t believe it worked!” she cries.

“You were awesome! Did you see the way he looked at you?” I ask.

“Yes! I did!” She pauses. “Thank you so much, Olivia. You really made my dream come true. I mean, I never could have done this without you. I’m going to recommend you to all my friends,” she rattles on.

Thrilled that all went as planned, I head back down Santa Monica Boulevard toward my office.

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Review

I don’t know what I was expecting but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I guess you could say because Olivia is helping your average citizen meet celebrities but through casual encounters – like at the grocery store, car wash, library, etc. She also coaches the women (seems to be all women, no men mentioned!) on how to dress, act etc based on her research, and possibly past experiences,with the celebrity in question. The one thing that stuck out the most is that she told these women to act natural…not like a crazed fan because that won’t get you anywhere.

I thought it was quite funny how Olivia manages to meet a celebrity using her own methods, but not on purpose, and this celebrity becomes more than just a casual acquaintance. Of course she puts herself into dangerous waters by not being up front with him about what she does for a living. But I can see where it might be hard to tell a celebrity that you arrange meetings with other celebrities for your clients. would seem rather odd.

Now of course Olivia has some friends in her corner that keep her grounded…and her brother Preston can be a bit of a killjoy, but he does it out of love and protection.

Overall the book was well written and very enjoyable…and even made me wonder how I would act if I were in the position of meeting one of my favorite actors. Heck I know I get giddy meeting authors as they are celebrities to me!

We give this book 5 paws up.

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About the Author

Angelina GoodeAngelina Goode began writing as a teenager. Though her first works were poems about love-struck teenagers, she grew her craft while earning her degree in Journalism and Creative Writing. A former grade school teacher that loved teaching children to write, she enjoys finding creative ways to present everyday events. Now she primarily writes light-hearted contemporary women’s fiction. She lives in Los Angeles where she enjoys the occasional celebrity sighting and year-round sun.

Angelina started gaining first-hand fan and celebrity experience as a devoted follower of her generation’s boy band. Her experience shifted in college when she interned in the promotions department for a Los Angeles based radio station and for the public relations department of a network television station. There she was able to learn about the ins and outs of promoting celebrities and all the backstage activities that are rarely seen by the public eye. She was also able to observe fans’ behavior from an objective perspective, seeing what it looks like to an outside observer.

Now she combines her experience as a loyal fan attending numerous concerts and meet and greets every year, her brief but educational stint in the entertainment industry, and a highly active imagination to create fiction for celebrity lovers of all ages.

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Posted in 5 paws, Book Release, Review, Romantic Comedy, women on February 9, 2016

heart conditions

Synopsis

Breakup Doctor Brook Ogden has spent the last year sifting through the fallout from the disastrous decision that led to her unconscious uncoupling with boyfriend Ben Garrett. Despite advising her clients you can’t be friends with an ex, she and Ben have somehow begun to stitch together a friendship—one Brook hopes is slowly turning into more. That is, until Ben introduces his new girlfriend, Perfect Pamela, a paragon of womanly virtues who is everything Brook is not.

While Brook navigates her newly volatile emotional life, an unwelcome surprise shows up on her doorstep: the ex-fiancé who broke her heart two years ago—one month before their wedding. Between her ex’s desire to rekindle their attachment, her best friend Sasha’s unexpected crisis, and her own unsquelchable feelings for Ben, Brook finds herself questioning the personal progress she’s made in the last two years—and threatened with the highest-stakes Breakup Doctor failures she’s ever faced.

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Review

The 3rd book in the series and I think I like this one the best so far. I feel like there was great advice given by the Breakup Doctor that we could all take to heart in our own lives, and at the same time she could apply this to her own life – once she realized it!

There are some fun twists – the return of the fiance that dumped her, some news with Sasha and Stu and even with her parents.

This book just felt real to me…not that the others didn’t, but this one more so!

Loved the book and am giving it 5 paws up.

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THE BREAKUP DOCTOR (Breakup Doctor series book 1):

Out-of-work therapist Brook Ogden has found her calling as the Breakup Doctor: giving her always-on-the-ball relationship advice to help clients shape up after a break up.

But when her own boyfriend dumps her – by text message – she finds herself spectacularly breaking every one of her own rules.

As her increasingly out-of-control behavior lands her at rock-bottom, Brook realizes you can’t always handle a messy breakup neatly – and that sometimes you can’t pull yourself together until you let yourself fall apart.

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BEDSIDE MANNERS (Breakup Doctor book 2):

Brook Ogden has never encountered a broken heart she couldn’t patch together. Her counseling practice as the Breakup Doctor—on call to help you shape up after a breakup—is so busy she’s expanded to offer group sessions. (Turns out there are far more than fifty ways to leave your lover.) Her radio show and advice column have made her a local celebrity, and even her personal life, after some gruesome breakups of her own, is in recovery: Ben Garrett started out as a revenge date against an ex, but has turned into so much more.

But when sizzling-hot Chip Santana, an old client she once shared a rather unprofessional midnight roll in the sand with, comes back into her life asking for her help, Brook can’t say no. Yet while she’s busy stitching up his relationship troubles, Chip reveals much more than a therapeutic interest in her.

In the standoff between her heart and her hormones, Brook’s cool, collected Wise Therapist persona begins to crack like thrown wedding china. She’s yelling at recalcitrant cheating husbands. Offering crazy advice to radio callers. She’s even hugging her clients.

When the situation goes critical, Brook’s forced into a decision she isn’t ready to make—and the Breakup Doctor has to decide what kind of casualties she’s willing to accept.

About the Author

Phoebe Fox has been a contributor and regular columnist for a number of national, regional, and local publications; a movie, theater, and book reviewer; a screenwriter; and has even been known to help with homework revisions for nieces and nephews. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two excellent dogs.

 

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