Monthly Archives: August, 2012

Breaking The Rules by Cat Lavoie

♥♥♥♥♥ YOU GOTTA READ THIS BOOK! ♥♥♥♥♥
When twenty-seven year old Roxy Rule’s best friend and roommate accepts a glamorous new job overseas, she expects their relationship to continue as it’s always been—carefree and easy—until they share a heart-stopping kiss moments before his departure. Overcome with mixed emotions, she fights the urge to over analyze the situation and resumes back to her normal life in New York City, working for an intolerable boss at a dead end job, creeping further and further away from her own dreams of becoming a professional chef.While things become more complicated between her and Ollie, Roxy is sure that nothing can come between two lifelong best friends—not even mild jealousy over a thriving career or a silly little kiss that meant nothing. In fact, it was such a meaningless and forgettable kiss that she convinces herself that it’s not even worth mentioning to her fiancé, although it is all she can think about.Roxy’s already topsy-turvy life only gets more complicated when her sisters Steffi and Izzie suddenly become her roommates. Steffi is six months into a pregnancy she refuses to discuss and Izzie is in the throes of a premature midlife crisis. Roxy tries to take control of her career, her love life and her sisters – but can she really handle it all? And can the Rule family keep it together – or break under the pressure?
~*~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~*~
I was really excited about reading this book. After all, it’s one of the first published by Marching Ink. (And it has a great pink cover). I was not disappointed. I literally had to put it down and go to bed–very unwillingly, but alas, I don’t get paid to read (yet) and duty was calling. What a great book! Breaking the Rules is as much a story about Roxy and Ollie as it is about Roxy and her sisters. Having two sisters of my own, I could totally connect with Roxy. And given that I too am the “middle sister,” love to cook, and well, that’s where the similarities end.
Funny and real characters, funny and real situations, great friends and crazy family members. Breaking the Rules has it all.  But make sure you have plenty of time, because you are not going to want to put it down. Kudos to Cat for giving us such a fun read and kudos to Marching Ink for bringing it to us! Thanks ladies! Your efforts are greatly appreciated. 🙂
~*~*~*~*~ About Cat ~*~*~*~*~

Cat Lavoie was born in the small town of Jonquière in Québec, Canada. At the age of nineteen, she packed up her things (mostly books) and moved to the big city of Montreal where she currently lives with her tempestuous cat Abbie—who is both adorable and quite possibly evil.

An incurable Anglophile since her university days where she studied English Literature, she can often be found daydreaming about her next trip to London. Since she’s an expert at the art of procrastination, Cat is easily distracted by cooking and home improvement shows—even though she’s not particularly good at either.

Cat grew up watching soap operas and legal dramas and—had she not decided to be a claims analyst by day and write chick lit by night—she would have probably become a designer suit-wearing lawyer. Or a character on All My Children (which is what she really wanted to be when she was twelve).

Cat is not sure whether she’s a geek or a nerd—and is afraid she might be both. Breaking the Rules is her first novel.

Cat blogs about the writing life and posts adorable pictures of Abbie over at the Catenabi Chronicles. Come say hello at: www.CatLavoie.com and follow @Catenabi on Twitter.

~*~*~*~*~ Connect with Cat ~*~*~*~*~

www.CatLavoie.com

http://www.facebook.com/CatLavoieAuthor?ref=stream

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6440914.Cat_Lavoie

 ~*~*~*~*~Buy Links ~*~*~*~*~

Barnes & Noble – Nook

Amazon – Kindle

Kobo

Amazon – Print

https://twitter.com/Catenabi

~*~*~*~*~ Cat On Tour ~*~*~*~*~

http://www.clpblogtours.com/2012/07/breaking-rules-by-cat-lavo

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Rum Punch Regrets by Anne Kemp ~ A Review

♥♥♥♥♥ You Gotta Read This Book! ♥♥♥♥♥

In just a few short weeks, thirty something Abby George has endured the death of her mother, was dumped by her fiancé, and got laid off from her job.

Stunned and seeking a shoulder to cry on, she turns to her perfect older sister, Leigh. But instead of comfort, Abby receives a surprise: Leigh needs her in the Caribbean to help with some mysterious personal business.

While assisting in the sale and repair of a bed-and-breakfast, Abby uncovers a few huge family secrets as she juggles an unexpected roommate, quirky locals, and nasty centipedes.

Abby’s world is further complicated when two potential suitors enter her life. Can Abby get beyond her own psycho drama long enough to open her heart to someone new? Or will she neurotically make her romantic life worse?

Packing nothing but her suitcases and a sense of humor, Abby George travels down an unfamiliar road, but it’s all she can do to hang on for the ride…

~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~

There are a few things about a book that (to me) make it worthwhile. I have to be able to smile, even laugh out loud from time to time. There has to be likable characters, even secondary characters, that I can identify with or recognize as being part of my life (if only for a time), and the ability to understand the story. And by that I mean, the story means something, it has a purpose, there is something happening that makes me want to find out what happens next. Rum Punch Regrets has all this and more. And more? You say. Yep–a beach, one of my favorite things in the world.

Abby George is real, she’s likable and easy to sympathize with, but (envy) she gets to hang out in the Caribbean. I have walked the beaches there, met up with characters like Abby encounters, and dealt with a few of the same issues. For those who have never spent time in the  Caribbean, Anne’s description of St Kitts is spot on for most of the islands. It takes some getting used to, but it happens. However Abby has a little more on her plate than how to survive on island time. She’s got a host of family and personal issues that are enough to drive a lesser woman out of  her mind. But Abby manages to pull it all together for the best of everyone involved.

Can’t take a vacation this year? Pick up Rum Punch Regrets. It’s the next best thing to a Caribbean vacation!

~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~

Anne Kemp is the author behind the Abby George Series, which includes her debut novella, All Fruits Ripe, and first novel, Rum Punch Regrets, which is available in print and as an eBook. She is also the columnist behind “Anne In Progress,” which appears monthly in the Frederick News-Post, a newspaper in the DC-Metro area. As a blogger, she was nominated for a 2012 Bloggers Choice Award for Best Humor Blog, and is known for penning “The Ultimate Late Bloomer.”

Follow her on Twitter, @MissAnneKemp, or join her fans on Facebook for fun contests and giveaways. You can always find her at her website: www.annekemp.com.

A portion of Anne’s proceeds are donated to Lupus LA.

~*~*~*~ Anne On Tour ~*~*~*~

**Everyone who leaves a comment at http://www.clpblogtours.com/2012/07/rum-punch-regrets-by-anne-kemp.html

will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Rum Punch Regrets before September 3 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**

Viewer Discretion Advised by Cindy Roesel

♥♥♥♥♥ You Gotta Read This! ♥♥♥♥♥

LIVE FROM MIAMI! The sensationalism shown on television can only be topped by the drama that happens behind the camera! After being fired from her job in Los Angeles, Charlene “Charley” Thomas moves to sizzling Miami and begins working as news director at a local television station. While getting used to her new gig, Charley wakes up to the fact that her station manager, Jonathan Lefton, is the boss from hell who will do anything for a story no matter who gets hurt in the process. When nude pictures of noon anchor, Miranda Andrews, are discovered in the men’s room of a Key West bar, all hell breaks loose. They end up on Lefton’s desk and he promotes her over the main anchor, sparking off a firestorm. Miranda’s quickly thrown into the mix and assigned special reports. Charley finds herself overseeing an investigation that could shine light on the guilt of a dirty cop. Real life begins to mimic the drama of broadcast news when station personalities face life and death all for rating and Emmys! VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED is a modern day “Sex and the City” meets “Broadcast News.”

~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~

I never know what’s in store for me when I crack open some of novels I’m asked to review.  It’s good for me to read outside my chosen genre of romance, and it feels fine to stretch my legs and test other waters. Next in line is chicklit (You know, books that are written by and targeted toward women). When I think of chicklit, I think of books like Bridget Jones Diary and other light-hearted and fun reads. But we all know that chicklit is more than that. It accounts for novels that cover more serious issues and problems with today’s world. Well, Viewer Discretion Advised fits right in the middle. It’s fun and  upbeat, but it’s more than that. Cindy Roesel takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of what it’s like behind the scenes in a newsroom. Fast-paced, smart and savvy, yet it deals with issues in the lives of the people who work at WCAR–drinking problems, low self-esteem, cheating husbands, fragile egos, and the problems that result with long distance relationships.

How Cindy managed to pack all that in under 300 pages is a mystery to me, but it’s all there. The reader can’t help but root for Charley. There’s something inherently likable about her. Everyone around her can sense it as well. This also means that we love the people she loves by way of association.  The reader wants her to end up with Oz, needs Rori to get help, and Charley to succeed in the cut-throat world she has landed in. But Charley knows her stuff (As does Cindy) and with odds like that she has to succeed. And the same goes for Cindy Roesel and Viewer Discretion Advised as well.

And one thing is certain: I’ll never look at the news the same way again.

~*~*~*~ Author Bio~*~*~*~

CINDY ROESEL is an Emmy Award winning television broadcast journalist. After working for twenty years in newsrooms filled with ambitious backbiting adrenalin junkies, she’s turning her experiences into novels.  Cindy lives in Miami with her shih tzu, Sassy.

~*~*~*~ The Interview ~*~*~*~

Amie: Where did the story idea come from/how did it come about? 

Cindy: It’s often said, “write what you know.” Well. I’ve wanted to write a novel since I was a little girl and the majority of my first career has been as a TV news anchor and reporter and that includes writing, so it makes sense that my first book should be about a broadcast journalist.  VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED is a suspenseful, romantic thriller set in Miami, Florida, which features news director, Charlize “Charley” Thomas.  It’s a mix of the new HBO hit show “The Newsroom” meets “Sex and the City.”

Amie: One thing you want the reader to walk away with after reading this book.

Cindy: It’s important that readers walk away knowing that if you work hard you can accomplish anything.  That may sound hokey, but I believe in the dream.  I was the first one in my family to graduate from college, go into a profession and I won an Emmy Award for my hard work in Broadcasting.  Charley comes up against quite a few obstacles, but she doesn’t give up and she never looks for the easy way to get something done.  It’s really important young women on their career path find a mentor they believe in that they can trust.  It’s important to me that readers of VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED see Charley as a positive professional woman.

Amie: Why did you choose your genre?

Cindy: I always knew my first attempt at writing would be fiction. VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED evolved into a suspenseful, romantic, thriller as I wrote it.  I really didn’t plan it that way.  Actually, I thought it was going to be a chick-lit romance, but then the story and the characters took over.  There comes a point when the writer, in this case, me, stops resisting and follows their lead so the project is organic.

Amie: Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?

Cindy: There are many challenges for a writer, especially one who wants to write well.  Writers have to not only write, but they must read, and that includes reading everything, not only what they enjoy.  It’s important to surround yourself with other writers in real life and on the Internet.  I write book reviews for a blog called Chick Lit Central and I’ve made a lot of friends over the web, some of whom I’ve met in person.  We read one another’s work, and help proof each other.  I’m constantly taking classes and going to author readings at my local bookstores.  The bottom line is you must always be working at your craft.

Another challenge is getting my butt in the chair to actually write, but once I’m there, you practically have to peel me out.  There are so many other things vying for my attention, and I’m easily distracted.  Let’s face it, once we’re on the computer there’s Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, ChickLitPlus, your Blog, mine, Chick Lit Central…. all screaming our name….  so I guess what the big challenge comes down to for me is to FOCUS!

Amie: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Cindy: The first thing I’d tell writers who are just starting out is, “Congratulations!  You’ve entered a very special club.  What you’re going to do is honorable work and the people you’re going to surround yourself with are unique, life as you know it has changed.  Number one rule:  There are no rules, except this one.  Don’t fall in love with your first drafts.  The final project never looks like what you first put down on paper.  Remember, writing is rewriting.  Have fun!”

Amie: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

Cindy: No, I don’t believe in writer’s block.  When I have to write something or I have a deadline, I do it.  It may not be my best work, but I fulfill my obligations.

Amie: What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

Cindy: A comfy writing environment, a dictionary, thesaurus, EB White’s, “The Elements of Style,” a full pot of coffee and lots of writer and non-writer friends!  I also happen to love having plenty of plain M&Ms on hand…. yummy!

Thank you so much Amie for inviting me and VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED to visit you and your wonderful blog and Facebook site.

Thanks for coming, Cindy. Readers, you’re all  invited to contact Cindy anytime if you have questions or comments about anything here or in her novel.

And…**Everyone who leaves a comment at http://www.clpblogtours.com/2012/05/viewer-discretion-advised-by-cindy.html will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Viewer Discretion Advised before August 20 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.** Whoop!

~*~*~*~ Connect with Cindy ~*~*~*~

www.cindyroesel.com

~*~*~*~ Buy the Book ~*~*~*~
AMAZON.COM
 B&N.com

~*~*~*~  Cindy On Tour ~*~*~*~

CLP Blog Tours

The Way by Kristen Wolf ~ A Review

 ♥♥♥♥♥An Astounding Read ♥♥♥♥♥

Anna is a fiery tomboy living in ancient Palestine whose androgynous appearance provokes ridicule from the people around her and doubt within her own heart. When tragedy strikes her family, and Anna’s father—disguising her as a boy—sells her to a band of shepherds, she is captured by a mystical and secret society of women hiding in the desert. At first Anna is tempted to escape, but she soon finds that the sisterhood’s teachings and healing abilities, wrapped in an ancient philosophy they call “The Way,” have unleashed an unexpected power within her.

When danger befalls the caves in which the sisters have made their home, Anna embarks on a hazardous mission to preserve the wisdom of her mentors by proclaiming it among ordinary people. Her daring quest and newfound destiny reveal, at last, the full truth of her identity—a shocking revelation that will spark as much controversy as it does celebration.

Anna’s story is one of transformation, betrayal, love, loss, deception, and above all, redemption. Readers will cheer for this unforgettable protagonist—and for debut novelist Kristen Wolf, whose beautifully written book both provokes and inspires. A compelling mix of history, myth, and fantasy, The Way is a fascinating exploration of the foundations and possibilities of human spirituality.

~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~

I pride myself on being able to find some fine and good quality about each book I read, but it’s not often that I’m blow away. This was one of those rare times. Kristen Wolf takes a story that most of us knows by heart and puts a new spin on it–the story of Jesus. In the same vein as The Last Temptation of Christ and The DaVinci Code, Kristen weaves an amazing tale of what might have been. I say The Last Temptation because her book gives us a different look into the familiar stories and shows  us a  possibility that borders on speculative fiction. I mention The Da Vinci Code because there is much historical and Biblical fact woven throughout.

This book is effortless and easy to read despite the heavy content. The descriptions are near poetry and play out like a movie unfolding in the mind’s eye. The Way will suck you in and not let you go until the last page. Ever read a book, then hate when you get to the end, knowing it’s over? This is that book.

However, I’m sure this book will spur controversy to those who are steeped in the tales as told in the Good Book. I like to think that I’m opened minded for a Christian. Did the story of Jesus happen like in Kristen’s tale? I don’t know. Do  I believe it happened this way? Uhum…not sure about that either. But what The Way will do is make you stop and think. And I believe that just what Kristen wants for us.

So I  applaud her for the fabulous book and the success of making us stop and examine the truth as we know it. Hats off to you, Kristen Wolf.

~*~*~*~ Meet Kristen ~*~*~*~


 
Kristen Wolf, 43, is a mother and writer living in the Rocky Mountains. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and holds an M.A. in creative writing and film from Hollins College where she was awarded a full scholarship.
As a child, Wolf grew up in a heavily forested suburb outside New York City with her parents, a younger brother, and an ever-changing menagerie of pet animals.
Both Wolf’s parents and grandparents passed onto her an avid love and respect for nature which explains the photos of Wolf posing with an ever-widening array of pets, including cats, dogs, guinea pigs, mice, quail, two raccoons, chickens, even a squirrel that lived in her bedroom! Needless to say, hers wasn’t the average American family.
Later, Wolf’s family purchased land in upstate New York and on weekends and summers lived like a regular Swiss Family Robinson, clearing the land, building fences, barns and, eventually, raising and tending cattle, horses, pigs, goats, chickens etc. This led to a very unique life for Wolf and her brother as they lived like farmers on the weekends and students in a suburban public school during the week.
Wolf credits her unique childhood for providing her with keen powers of observation, a passion for living things, unlimited curiosity, and a strong independent streak.
As an adult, Wolf has worked primarily as filmmaker and writer.
THE WAY is her first novel.

~*~*~*~  Connect with Kristen ~*~*~*~

Please visit CLP Blog Tours for all the tour stops! **Everyone who leaves a comment on Kristen’s tour page will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of The Way before August 20 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**

A Year to Remember by Shelly Bell

♥♥♥♥♥ You Gotta Read This Book! ♥♥♥♥♥      

When her younger brother marries on her twenty-ninth birthday, food addict Sara Friedman drunkenly vows to three hundred wedding guests to find and marry her soul mate within the year.  After her humiliating toast becomes a YouTube sensation, she permits a national morning show to chronicle her search. With the help of best friend, Missy, she plunges head first into the shallow end of the dating pool. Her journey leads her to question the true meaning of soul mates, as she decides between fulfilling her vow to marry before her thirtieth birthday and following her heart’s desire. But before she can make the biggest decision of her life, Sara must begin to take her first steps toward recovery from her addiction to food.

~*~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~*~

This is a really long post, so  I’ll keep my review short and sweet. READ THIS BOOK.  But seriously, A Year to Remember is laugh out loud funny, and I was sad to see it end. The kind of book that you want to thumb back through even though you just read the last page. The kind of book with characters you wish you could be friends with. Even better, the ending is *good*, and Sara ends up with the right man for her.  You can’t always say that about chicklit. And y’all know I’m a sucker for a happy ending. Okay, I demand it on a regular basis. There’s no one more deserving of a happy ending than Sara. She’s funny, a good friend, and an all around decent person. That’s not to say that she’s perfect, but isn’t it our imperfections that make us funny, I mean, human. And for Sara, the year is about more than just finding the perfect man. It’s a year of hard self discoveries. As painful as that may be, I wish us all to have A Year to Remember!

~*~*~*~*~ An Excerpt From A Year To Remember ~*~*~*~*~

“Today, I turned twenty-nine and I wonder if I’ll ever meet my own beshert. Did we already meet and fail to recognize we belonged together? Did I lose my chance already?”

I stopped and pondered my own profound musings for a moment, before remembering I still held the microphone. Oh dear, what was I saying? I decided I better wrap it up, since the room started spinning.

“I’m jealous of my brother.” Crap, did that really just come out of my mouth?

“I mean, I’m not jealous just because my younger brother got married before me and I’m twenty-nine with no possible prospects in sight,” I stammered.

The audience giggled, and I wondered if they believed me, because I sure didn’t.

“I’m happy for my brother, because if he can find his beshert, it gives me hope that someday, I will, too.”

Before I could stop myself, the words I would live to regret flew out of my mouth. “Even without a significant man in my life at the moment, I promise you by the time I turn thirty, I will be married.”

Oh my God, did I really just say that? “With that, I’ll end by saying Mazel Tov, Seth and Emily. L’chayim!” I held up my empty glass of champagne.

Everyone clapped as I returned to my table. I hoped the videographer could edit my speech out of the wedding video, or ’I’d never live it down. My brother would play it at every holiday just to torture me.

Missy gave me a sympathetic smile. “That was a great speech until you blew it by admitting you were jealous and swore to marry by your thirtieth birthday.”

I groaned and put my head in my hands, terrified to think the night just started.

~*~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~*~

Shelly Bell started reading at three years old. In elementary school, the librarian gave her books to test out for the school library. As a teenager, she spent her allowance each week on romance novels, enjoying both young adult and adult romance.

Married to Jason in 2003, they have two children and reside in the metro-Detroit area, where she reads on her Kindle each night when her family falls asleep.

She is a member of Romance Writers of America and writes both women’s fiction and paranormal romance.

~*~*~*~*~ Connect with Shelly ~*~*~*~*~

www.ShellyBellBooks.com

Twitter Facebook

Pinterest             LinkedIn

Google Plus       Goodreads

~*~*~*~*~ Buy the Book ~*~*~*~*~

 ~*~ For e-book ~*~

Soul Mate Publishing

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 ~*~ For paperback ~*~

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

~*~*~*~*~ Shelly On Tour ~*~*~*~*~

 http://www.clpblogtours.com/2012/04/year-to-remember-by-shelly-bell.html