When coffee shop owner Zoey Everwood takes her obsession with ex-boyfriend Braden too far, everyone—except Zoey—is convinced a bit of fun in the sun at the Moment of Zen Wellness Resort will help her get over him once and for all.
But Zoey’s relaxing vacation turns out to be anything but peaceful when she meets Shane Lawson, a resort guest who bears a striking resemblance to Braden. And things get even more complicated when the resort’s owner starts spilling secrets about Zoey’s aunt Nessa, the woman who raised her. Add a snarky Wellness Coordinator and Nate Holmes—Shane’s grumpy friend—to the mix, and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect tropical storm.
When Zoey comes back home with a new husband instead of tacky souvenirs, she must convince everyone she hasn’t completely lost her mind. As Zoey and Shane struggle to keep the magic alive outside the resort, Zoey discovers that she isn’t the only one having trouble letting go of the past. And when Nate drops a bombshell that changes everything, Zoey must decide if the old saying is true—what happens at the Moment of Zen stays at the Moment of Zen.
~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~
Cat Lavoie has a great sense of screw ball humor presented as everyday life. Or maybe I see so much of myself in her characters that it only *seems* like everyday life.
After a family and friend intervention of the boyfriend kind, Zoe is shipped off to the Moment of Zen resort where she meets her ex’s doppelganger. Of course she kicks up a relationship with him that has *nothing* to do with her former boyfriend and from there things just go crazy.
Zoe and the Moment of Zen is a humorous story with moments poignancy and forgiveness. But Zoe also teaches us something on her journey. Life can get crazy and it’s some kind of ride, but don’t miss what’s right underneath your nose while looking back at what you’ve left behind. Or maybe it’s what you left behind can be more important that what you’re doing now. No, that’s not quite it either.
Oh, I know! Be careful of what you *think* you want. There may be something better out there and you’ll miss it wallowing in the mistakes. Well, just read the book and you’ll see!
~*~*~*~ More About Cat Lavoie ~*~*~*~
Day is a thirty-five year old free-spirited, commitment-phobic, Venice Boardwalk roller skating waitress. When Dandy is suddenly dumped by her therapist, right when they were on the brink of figuring out why her relationships last only a whopping three months, Dandy decides to take her relationship issues into her own hands. With the reluctant help of her lifelong best friend, Simon, Dandy tracks down her exes one by one and does a relationship autopsy on each of them in order to get to the bottom of her relationship challenged life.
A short novel about love, friendship and grown ups (sort of) growing up (sort of).
~~~ The Review ~~~
Dandy Day by Annie Wood is a quirky read as expected, (What else would come from a book about a 35 year old roller skating waitress?) but that’s not to say that it’s predictable. Far from it.
Once I got past the unprofessional fill-in therapist, Dandy Day became a fun and over the top look at relationships and life on Venice Beach–a world that seems too colorful to believe and few of us ever get to experience. Take an interesting setting, a fun premise, and a quirky yet lovable heroine and you have Dandy Day.
I think there’s a little bit of Dandy in all of us, that never-quite-grew-up child that scratches to get out from time to time. Just another reason why Dandy is irresistible!
Animated Excerpt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuRylE-2C3E
Pinterest Board: http://www.pinterest.com/gypsywood/dandy-day-a-novella-by-annie-wood/
~~~ Author Bio ~~~
Annie was born in Hollywood, raised in the valley. She avoided the valley girl accent by speaking backwards for the first 15 years of her life. As an actress she has guest starred on several TV shows. You may remember her best in her recurring role onBecker with Ted Danson, Lara in Good Luck Chuck and as the host of her own nationally syndicated dating show, BZZZ! which she also co-produced. As a writer, she is a produced and published playwright and recently had a comedic scene in the NBC/UNIVERSAL showcase. Her web-series, Karma’s a B*tch
THE WEB and season 2 is now in the works. Her books of comedic scenes, Snapshots! & Act Up & Make a Scene have been performed on Hollywood stages and is available on Amazon. She lives in Los Angeles with her charming, Italian husband and her equally charming, Jewish/Buddhist/Italian dog, Lucy.
(a poem about writing by Annie Wood)
when i am older;
i will sit in my favorite chair
and i will write what pleases me.
i will not worry about them.
i will not feel the need to climb;
nor will i wish with all my might;
i will find comfort in the stillness.
i will find peace within the knowing.
i will smile to myself and remember only what i choose to remember.
and i will be joyous.
and i will be abundant.
and i will be successful beyond my wildest dreams.
in fact, why not start practicing now?
i will now sit in my favorite chair
and i will now write what pleases me.
Jazzy secretly wants to get back together with her ex-boyfriend, Curtis, so when he calls and reveals that he’s got something important to tell her, she’s got no idea that he’s about to propose—to her first cousin and bitter rival, Mercedes.
The annual family dinner is coming up, and fearing that she will spend the evening seething while Mercedes flaunts her four carat engagement ring in her face, Jazzy asks Reggie, an Adonis she met at the mall, to accompany her. As fate would have it, not only did Reggie and Mercedes used to date; that backstabbing, leopard print wearing cow is still carrying a torch for him! Revenge. It’s never been so sweet.
But falling for Reggie? Holy crap! That wasn’t part of the plan! She’s got enough on her plate as it is; restaurant shootouts, a neurotic boss, a mother who spies on the neighbors, and a sister and best friend with man problems that could land them on Jerry Springer. Who has time to fall in love? So when Curtis comes sniffing around again—this time, with an accusation that sends her blood pressure shooting through the roof—the one good nerve that Jazzy’s got left has just about run its course.
~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~
When I sat down to write the review for It Aint Easy Being Jazzy by Quanie Milller, I had a little bit of an advantage: I had already read her author interview (which I included at the end of this post). But what a wonderful advantage for me to be able to tell you, Quanie Miller has done exactly what she set out to do. It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy is a fun, fun time from being to end.
Told in first person in a voice too real and snarky to resist, It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy recounts the times of Jasmine (otherwise known as Jazzy) and she tries to make it in her crazy life. She’s trying to get over her boyfriend, accept that he’s engaged to her rival cousin, and somehow make him jealous with a cute guy from the mall. Add in her sister, her wacky neighbors and her nosy mother and Jazzy is your wildest day times five.
I love the writing, I loved the premise and I loved the all around fun time to be had in reading this book! It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy will make you laugh and just as the author wishes, you’ll get up from reading it saying, “Honey, I done had me a good time!”
~*~*~*~ The Interview ~*~*~*~
Where did the story idea come from/how did it come about?
I sat down to write a paranormal story about this woman who gets a job as a nanny and discovers the children’s new step mother has mystic powers. But when I started writing this funny voice took over and I had to step back and ask myself if I wanted to scrap what I had and rework the story so that the tone would be consistent with a paranormal story, make the nanny story funny, or extract that funny main character from there and create a whole new story. And I decided to create a whole new story. So glad I did because the novel was so much fun to write.
One thing you want the reader to walk away with after reading this book.
I want them to have laughed so much that they are gasping for air. When they’re done with the book I want them to say, “Honey, I done had me a good time!”
Why did you choose your genre?
For this particular novel, it was accidental, because even though I set out to write something paranormal, this funny voice took over that steered me in another direction story wise. So for me, my characters dictate genre.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
The most challenging thing is learning to believe in yourself. Doubt creeps in at every stage; the outline stage, the drafting stage, editing. But at the end of the day you have to just shake it off and remind yourself why you write. And if you write because you love it then you’ll always find your way back to it.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Study your craft. Definitely. Whether it’s reading novels, books about writing novels, taking writing workshops, or joining a critique group. Study, study, study. And find your voice. Don’t try and be like anybody else. Tell your story from your point of view. The world wants to hear it!
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Not in the sense of “I’m sitting at the computer and oh my goodness I just can’t write!” It’s not like that. It’s more like “something about this story isn’t working and I can’t figure out what right now.” So I don’t really have periods of time where I can’t write; only periods where I’m trying to figure out what about the story isn’t working and during those times I take a break from writing until I can figure it out. Sometimes I take a day. Sometimes I take a week or two, but I always go back knowing what to fix.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Something to write on. That’s pretty much it. Well, that and your coffee! But other than that I don’t think there are any must have tools except for your imagination.
~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~
Quanie Miller grew up in New Iberia, Louisiana. She fell in love with reading at an early age and spent most of her time at the Iberia Parish Library discovering new authors like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike (she was often found walking back home from the library with a stack of books that went up to her chin). She holds degrees from Louisiana State University and San Jose State University. She has been the recipient of the James Phelan Literary Award, the Louis King Thore Scholarship, the BEA Student Scriptwriting Award, and the Vicki Hudson Emerging Writing Prize. She loves writing humorous stories about strong willed, sassy women who can’t keep themselves out of trouble. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and is currently, as always, working on another novel.
To find out more about Quanie and her works in progress connect with her online:
~*~*~*~ Buy the Book ~*~*~*~
~*~*~*~ Quanie on Tour ~*~*~*~
Charlie’s the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, his own mother can’t remember his name. So when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don’t take him seriously. Still, this isn’t all bad. Who needs school when you can learn about history first hand, like from Ben Franklin himself. And there’s this girl… Yvaine… another time traveler. All good. Except for the rules: boys only travel into the past and girls only into the future. And the baggage: Yvaine’s got a baby boy and more than her share of ex-boyfriends. Still, even if they screw up history — like accidentally let the founding father be killed — they can just time travel and fix it, right? But the future they return to is nothing like Charlie remembers. To set things right, he and his scrappy new girlfriend will have to race across the centuries, battling murderous machines from the future, jealous lovers, reluctant parents, and time itself.
~~~ The Review ~~~
Okay, I admit it…I’m a bit ADD. I squirm and shift. I have trouble sitting through an entire movie and, thanks to the fact that I write as well, I have little tolerance for watching movies that don’t immediately catch my interest. The same thing can be said about books.
What a delightful surprise when I sat down to read Untimed by Andy Gavin. I expected a good read. In my special way. Read a little, do something else, read a little more, start a new project, read more, and so forth until I make my way to the conclusion. That was not the case with this book. I finished Untimed in a little over a day and a half, reading it as I cooked dinner and my family patiently waited to be fed.
I am almost embarrassed to say that. With the amount of history the book contains (and all cleverly woven throughout the story) I know that Gavin worked long and hard searching for historical facts. And the sheer brilliance of the time travelling rules and screw-ups! He did a fabulous job and I ran through it like nobody’s business.
So to Andy I say, “I’m sorry.” But I could not put your book down. I practically devoured it, and in no way gave it the attention and thorough read it deserved . And to you, the readers, I say get get a copy. It’s sassy, unorthodox, funny, suspenseful, and filled with Charlie’s snarky brand of humor.
I loved every minute of it and can’t wait for the next one!
~~~~Author Bio ~~~
Andy Gavin is an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president for two decades. There he created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and best selling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. He sleeps little, reads novels and histories, watches media obsessively, travels, and of course, writes.
~~~ Find Andy ~~~
~~~ Andy on Tour ~~~
I love being on vacation. Not that taking a vacation provides a great deal of change in my life. No matter where I go, I have my computer, I check Facebook, I tweet. So more than actually taking a trip, I rely on the books that I read to take me to a different place. Meltdown is a book that definitely transports the reader to another world–a world of sophisticated models, tycoons, and international playboys. Normally I prefer a more romantic read–one guy, one girl, and a guaranteed happy ending. The feel of Meltdown is grittier than a romance by definition, yet has a polished feel where everything glitters. If I could change one thing about the book, it would be to make it a little more about action than back story. I would have loved to have walked the streets with Nyssa, been there with Steve as he married Johanna, and experienced first hand how Demetri fell for Nyssa so long ago. But all in all, Meltdown is a satisfying read with interesting characters and a love square (yes, it is a square) whose outcome will have you guessing until the end.
I am a married thirty-something with three awesome kids and a sweet, workaholic husband. We had two dogs but about the time I was feeling completely overwhelmed, they abandoned my chaotic house for doggie heaven (for their sakes, I hope no children are chasing them anymore). In my former life I attended Washington University in St. Louis and Columbia Business School in New York, and worked on Wall Street and Main Street before giving up on both. I thoroughly enjoyed my twenties and am quite content settling down to a much quieter life in Suburbia, USA. For me, writing is a much welcome respite from the reality of running to the bus stop, pediatrician, food store, gym, soccer games, tennis lessons, etc. etc etc. My family and I recently moved from Garden City, Long Island to Wilton, Connecticut and couldn’t be happier.
~~~Buy the book~~~
~~~Tara on Tour~~~
~~~ The Review ~~~
Lovers of Greek mythology, this book is definitely for you. After the death of her parent’s Macy retreats to the country to the land she has inherited only to find Jason, son of Poseidon. I don’t want to give anything away, but I don’t think it’s clear from the blurb how entwined with mythology the story truly is. Fabulous research and interesting characters round out this interesting tale.
The only problem I had was with the wordiness of the story. To me, it was a bit distracting, I kept wondering where the idea came from instead of simply reading. Perhaps it was the amount of description that pulled me away from the story. Though beautifully written, I didn’t feel that I needed all the surrounding details about the forest and the lake and especially the poison in Jason’s various wounds. (yuck!) I would have preferred a bit more about the mythological tales than the ordinary surroundings.
All in all, Eleusis is a unique tale and an interesting take on the gods and what has happened to them as the world has changed around them.
~~~Author Bio ~~~
The author lives in Atlanta with her husband and two teenagers. She attended Wellesley.
~~~Connect with Genevieve ~~~
Goodreads author page:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6941372.Genevieve_Fairbrother
Book trailer: http://youtu.be/BSYk-8Y_5zc
~~~ From Genevieve ~~~
Advice for new authors…
The story that draws you in is the one to write. Writing is a selfish pastime. If you don’t enjoy the story or if is tedious to write it will be deadly to read. Your passion will be self evident.
If a passage doesn’t read well you have to be persistent and keep editing until works. Edit your work, be ruthless, edit again. Poor editing is as detrimental as poor writing. A professional editor is well worth the money.
If a passage doesn’t move the story forward get rid of it. Don’t be sad, it wasn’t a waste of your creative energy. You are merely moving it into a hidden backstory that further informs your character’s actions or feelings.
Consider how you want your characters to evolve. The actions of your characters to the situations that you create are mere shadows. You must understand the deeper issues that produce the conflicts in your book. The deeper issues drive the story and through conflict produce a maturing change in the participants. This is what is worth the reader’s time.
~~~ Genevieve on Tour ~~~
**Everyone who leaves a comment on the tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Eleusis before June 17 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**
Archaeologist Dr. Angela Hunter discovers an ancient codex at a Mississippian Indian dig site in the St. Louis area. Knowing the Mississippians, or Mound Builders, had no written language, she is determined to solve the mystery of the 700-year-old, perfectly preserved codex.
In the early 1300’s, an Aztec family is torn apart. A judge rebelling against the Aztec tradition of human sacrifice is cursed and escapes his enemies with his 12-year-old son. They travel from the Gulf of Mexico up the Mississippi River to settle in the thriving community of Migaduha, modern-day Cahokia Mounds, Illinois.
Angela recognizes the symbols as Aztec pictograms and begins to translate the story. However, other forces also want the codex and will do anything to get it. Can she learn the secrets of the chronicle before the tragic events of the past are repeated today?
~*~*~*~ The Review~*~*~*~
I love to read indie books because they give a new perspective in reading. However, this one was a little more than I had bargained for. And I mean that in the best possible way.
Chronicle of the Mound Builders is a long book filled with a great many historical facts and details about archaeological digs all wrapped up in a complex story.The book is told from two different time perspectives: the early 1300s and present day. The chapters go back and forth, present to past and back to present again all the while building the story of the Aztec-esque urn and the codex it contains.
As a former history major I discovered something about myself while reading this book: ancient history is not my favorite. Not by a long shot. But in all fairness to Elle Marie and the undeniable work she put into this book, I went to amazon and read the reviews there. Unorthodox, I know, but as a reviewer of indie books and an author for a small house, I know what kind of work goes into a novel of this length and I wanted to be as fair as possible. Elle Marie spent her time (and possibly money) to get this book out for others to read. She put her heart out there and that alone deserves commendation.
What discovered is that Chronicle of the Mound Builders is just not my kind of book. That doesn’t mean that it’s not well written, or poorly formatted. It was neither of those things. As I said before, it is very complex,almost too much so for my distracted brain. But…I know a great many people who would fall head first into such a detailed and intricate tale and not emerge until the very last page.
That said, if you love deep books, with involved plots cleverly woven through historyand fact, then this is the book for you!
~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~
A visit to Cahokia Mounds sparked a fascination with the mysterious Mound Builders, about whom so little is known. What was their culture like? How did ordinary people live in the 14th century? What caused the civilization to vanish, seemingly overnight? She put her imagination to work and came up with a story line that put it all together.
By day, Elle works in the information technology field at a large financial services firm. She is a graduate of the Missouri University of Science & Technology and lives in the St. Louis area with her husband. Chronicle of the Mound Builders is her first novel.
~*~*~*~ Connect with Elle ~*~*~*~
~*~*~*~ Buy the Book ~*~*~*~
~*~*~*~ Elle Marie on Tour ~*~*~*~
College junior Alex Abrams scores her dream job at the ripe age of twenty – manager to a successful salon and spa. Thrilled to finally have a real adult job, Alex enthusiastically jumps into the world of schedules, conference calls, and getting a massage when interviewing prospective employees. What she doesn’t expect are the very grown-up issues that comes with a demanding boss. Kevin Dohlman quickly becomes Alex’s worse nightmare – covering up his affairs, dealing with his enormous ego, and trying to protect her female staff from him becomes a full-time job in its own right. Alex has also befriended Kevin’s wife and co-owner, Dani, and is trying to keep Kevin’s secrets hidden from her. The situation only worsens when Kevin starts paying Alex off to make sure she keeps her insider knowledge to herself.
While struggling to keep her wits and stay happy with her new grown-up job, Alex is juggling college courses, a new love interest, and keeping up with her close group of girlfriends. When her roommate and best friend Lila gets offered an opportunity to move to Los Angeles and sign with an agent, Alex realizes her life truly is changing, and everyone around her – including herself – is is growing up. Knowing she is faced with some hard decisions ahead, Alex struggles with keeping her job at Blissful. But does she really want to throw away what she dreamed of as a career – or will the secret-keeping for Kevin become too much to handle? The Green Ticket is a story about morals versus money, and how one young woman navigates the shaky line between the two.
~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~
Samantha has done it again! Okay, so it’s no secret that I adore Samantha March on many levels, but here it is again: a fabulous novel for young adults about real people, with real problems, in real situations. Samantha expertly takes her sympathetic characters and puts them in situations which are challenging and true to their age and experience yet not so gritty that I feel like I should wash my hands after reading a chapter.
Alex is a college junior who falls into the dream job that may just be the answer to her “what do I want to be when I grow up?” Except…it doesn’t come without costs. Will it be possible to keep up with the demands of her job and school morphs into moral issues concerning the couple who owns the business.
I love how Samantha takes these fabulous young women in her books and puts them in situations that pulls and challenges them to the point that (although they don’t always make the right decisions) they learn and grow as do the others around them.
The market for young “grown-ups is difficult water to navigate…Samantha March has it down to an art!
~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~
Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and celebrity related. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and her debut novel Destined to Fail. When she isn’t reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers.
~*~*~*~ Connect with Samantha ~*~*~*~
~*~*~*~ Buy the Book ~*~*~*~
Barnes and Noble: eBook
Marching Ink: Print
A Fiscal Thriller Set in Historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia Stock market meltdown. United States housing bubble. Global financial crisis. Chief executives cooking the books. Who can you trust for financial advice? Gina Van Story, a savvy 40ish investment advisor to the rescue. She can spot a trend on the market and jump on it like a cat. She dreams of grabbing the bull by the horns and is on the hunt for one final big score. Gina and her three best friends from the Bloody Mary Investment Club and come face-to-face with corruption in a David and Goliath struggle when their stock portfolio turns deadly…literally. Over made-to-order Bloody Mary cocktails at historic Gadsby’s Tavern, Gina takes her friends under her wing and teaches them the ins and outs of the stock market. Trouble begins when, following Gina’s bullish advice, they become majority owners in the local bank and then stubbornly turn down a lucrative buyout offer. Not only will money and greed challenge their friendship, they will have to get smart fast and figure out how to turn the tables on the charmingly seductive, yet evil, banker who wants control of their stock by any means necessary – including murder!
Author Debbie Dyke has a fun and unique voice and a definite head for figures. The Bloody Mary Club is a fun read all financial references aside. See, I don’t have a tendency toward investments and hire someone like Gina (her main character) to take care of those things for me. I have to admit that I got a little lost somewhere between the stocks and the bonds, but all in all, I loved this book. The references to her belly dancing, the passion that her instructor has and triangle between her, Johnny and Andrew is fabulous. And the Bloody Mary Club? Well, I think we all should have friends like that. Women who will stick by you (And share a drink) even when things gets tough. So add this one to you TBR pile, it’s a “beach read” with murder and the stock market–who could ask for more?
Before the same happens to Trevor, Caitlin must convince him to sell his art. But armed with only a handful of allies, and little experience of the supernatural, she must proceed with caution against the hellish forces besieging her family. If she succeeds, she will break the ancestral curse. If she fails, she may lose forever the one thing she cares about most: her beloved Trevor.
If you follow any of my reviews, you know that romance is my preferred genre, but I do like to stretch myself a bit and read a variety of works. Such is the case with The Artist’s Inheritance.
It took me a little longer to finish the story because I could only read it during the daylight hours. No, it’s not that scary. I’m just a big wimp like that. But there are paranormal elements that have to be uncovered and deciphered by our heroine, Cait.
See she and her husband Trevor have recently moved into his twin brother’s home in Florida near a fort that was used during the Civil War. Trevor (an artist) becomes obsessed with a chair he is carving while strange things begin to happen all around them. Cait sees apparitions, feels cold spots in the house, and starts to believe that a famous art critic is really an imp. Ooh, and did I mention that Trevor’s twin Gordon committed suicide?
With the help of friends, Cait uncovers just what’s bothering Trevor which reveals family secrets and curses that are over a hundred years old.
Juli D does a great job at setting up the work for future stories. There are a lot of happenings in The Artist’s Inheritance which makes it a quick and interesting read. It’s impossible to know what’s going to happen next. But I can’t wait to find out.
Connect with Juli:
The Artist’s Inheritance–Available at Amazon
on twitter: @juliannewrites
on tumblr: http://jdrevezzo.tumblr.com/