This post is looooonnnng overdue. But the best laid plans and all of that. But here’s the deal, it makes me uncomfortable as an author to review other’s books. Now, I’m not sure why. I don’t have a problem with other authors reviewing books, but to me it feels a little like a conflict of interest. So I’ve decided to close this site. I’m leaving it live so that the reviews I have already written are available for the authors readers.
Thanks to all those who trusted me with their work and thanks to those who cared enough to read what I had to say.
If you are interested in checking out my books, click the link below, it’ll take you to my author website.
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 ~*~*~*~
Jill Adgate wants three things from life: a successful catering business, a family, and the love of an exceptional man. What she has is no job, a mounting pile of bills, and her outspoken best friend—who sets her up on a blind date with the man who inadvertently ruined Jill’s life.
Chet Castle is a businessman who has everything, except the ability to trust. Burned by a money-hungry fiancée, he refuses to get involved in any relationship that has a shelf life longer than a head of lettuce. Intrigued by her ambition—and determined to get her in bed—Chet offers Jill the chance of a lifetime: work as his live-in chef and he’ll help her get her catering business off the ground. When sparks fly in the kitchen, Jill realizes what’s cooking is a recipe for disaster…
Y’all know I’m a sucker for a good romance and that’s exactly what Bachelor’s Special by Christine Warner is: a good romance. A *really* good romance. Jill is a girl with plans for her life, too bad no one bothered to tell her life that. Chet Castle is a man through and through. He sees Jill and wants her in his bed, so he devises a way to keep her close and put his plan into motion. But Chet’s plan backfires. In a fit of conscience, he changes his mind about the blatant seduction. Yet the sparks between them cannot be denied and do not need to be flamed to burst into something more. But Chet and Jill are mismatched for sure. They don’t want the same things out of life and they’ll have to find some common ground in order to meet in the middle.
Never fear, lovers of romance, Christine Warner is the writer to make it all happen.
A bit about Christine
Besides laughing and a good round of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing but no arithmetic. A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities. She loves to read and write about strong heroes and determined, sometimes sassy, heroines.
A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on facebook, twitter and her website.
Twitter under @ChristinesWords: https://twitter.com/#!/ChristinesWords
Facebook page : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-Warner/143430882396013
A word from Christine
Can soup be sexy?
There are several foods that are considered an aphrodisiac—chocolate and oysters come to mind for me first—but would you consider soup a turn on?
I think any food can become sexy…it depends only on the people involved and their attraction. Think about it a minute, feeding your special someone strawberries from between your lips, painting each others bodies with whip topping and licking it off, tossing some pop rocks in your mouth before you share an explosive kiss…
Why not soup too?
I’d like to share a scene from Bachelor’s Special between Chet and Jill in the kitchen that involves a bit of soup. A slight misunderstanding gets words and sparks of attraction flying. Part of the meal Jill had just prepared—squash soup, her specialty—moves to the forefront of the scene to set off bells of sexual tension and a spine tingling kiss.
Here’s a little taste. In the comments let me know what you think…is soup sexy too?
Laughter swelled Chet’s chest. He stopped short when he looked into Jill’s upturned face, enjoying the fact he could inspect her so closely and she didn’t know. Blinded by the soup, she was at his mercy.
Thick, yellowish-orange liquid covered her skin, hiding the sprinkle of fine freckles dotting her nose. Black eyelashes spiked from the moisture, and her parted lips revealed the whiteness of her teeth. The apron she wore reminded him of something a housewife would wear on a fifties sitcom. Undeniably cute and damn sexy. All she needed was a set of pearls.
She’d be the type of girl he’d bring home to his mother. Hold up, Castle! You don’t play the girlfriend game. His blood raced as her tongue darted out and she licked her lips again. The twinge of his groin reminded him once more that a fling with the lovely Jill would be on his list, but nothing more.
Still holding her wrists, he leaned forward and flicked his tongue out to taste the drop of soup forming on the tip of her chin.
Jill’s body went quiet at his touch. The pulse beating against the soft skin of her inner wrist burst forward at a quick tempo.
Her button-down shirt pulled with each quick breath she took.
“Damn, you’re right. Tastes great.” A salty quality mingled with the rich flavor of the soup. A dash of Jill mixed in to add a more potent flavor.
“I told you I’m an awesome cook.” Her husky voice lowered further.
“I particularly like your presentation.” He matched her tone, his heartbeat erratic.
She tried to step back, but her butt connected with the counter. If she took a half step forward she’d be pushed against his chest. Not that he minded.
“Let me loose. I’d like to wipe my eyes.” A giggle slipped past her lips.
“Not yet. I’m not sure you’ve learned your lesson.”
“I guarantee you I have.”
Her struggled swallow caught his attention. “Nervous?”
Jill shook her head as if trying to clear away the thick soup. “Never.”
He laughed. “I’m going to have more soup.”
“Can’t, it’s all on my…” She stiffened in his arms and a soft sigh, almost a whimper, caught in her throat.
His attraction grew tenfold. He lowered his head, brushing her lips with his own before pulling back. His heart pounded against his chest, bongo drums in a heady rhythm. This situation had escalated into a major turn on.
Christine on Tour
ROYAL SECRETS is the story of the Royal Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, and of Lily Lavender, whose family is distantly descended from the British royal family. Immersed in the regal world of weddings and romance, Lily grew up believing in brides, grooms and happily-ever-afters. It seemed her destiny and royal birthright to someday assume a position as wedding coordinator in their family-owned wedding chapel business. But when her mother Mimi’s third marriage eventually fails, Lily’s dreams of her own happily-ever-after quickly fade. She’s no longer interested in a life of assisting brides walk down the aisle into a life of disillusionment and possible divorce. Lily turns her back on The Royal Wedding Chapel and leaves Las Vegas to fashion a life of her own. Years later, Lily—now a single mom—discovers her teenage daughter has run off to Las Vegas, lured by Mimi to help run the chapel. Determined to save her daughter from the broken dreams of Sin City and the nonsensical world of which family fairy tales are made, Lily returns to Las Vegas. But nothing prepares Lily for the royal drama which awaits her… or the sins and secrets she stumbles across that threaten to close the chapel and ruin her family forever.
~~~The Review ~~~
Royal tiaras, secrets that are decades old, and more brides than you can shake a stick at, Royal Secrets by Kathleen Irene Paterka has all this and more. Set in Sin City with a dysfunctionally functioning family, Royal Secrets is sure to please.
At first I have to admit that I didn’t like Lily. I didn’t *dis*like her, she just wasn’t a sympathetic enough character for me. She made choices that made me frown and decisions that made me shake my head. But Kathleen Paterka pulled it off by the end of the book and made me not only sympathize with her, but like her as well as cheer for her happily ever after.
Personally I would have *adored* this book if it had contained a little more of genre romance elements. Not that it isn’t fabulous just the way it is (my confession is, I would like most books better if they contained more romantic elements.)
All in all, this is a book about people, an almost a slice of life that is larger than life as well. Lovers of the royal family and family secrets are in for a great ‘American’ read.
Kathleen Irene Paterka is the author of numerous women’s fiction novels which embrace universal themes of home, family life and love, including ROYAL SECRETS and the James Bay series (FATTY PATTY, HOME FIRES, LOTTO LUCY and FOR I HAVE SINNED). Kathleen is the resident staff writer for Castle Farms, a world renowned castle listed on the National Historic Register, and co-author of the non-fiction book FOR THE LOVE OF A CASTLE, published in 2012. Having lived and studied abroad, Kathleen’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Michigan University. She and her husband live in the beautiful north country of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.
ScribBLING Divas Blog: http://scribblingdivas.com/
Buy the book:
**Everyone who leaves a comment on Kathleen’s tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Royal Secrets before August 12 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**
~~~ Kathleen 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 ~*~*~*~
Kashi proves he cares too much about Daly to let her fade into the background of her own life. After a series of false starts, their quirky romance carries them to India, where Daly must win the approval of Kashi’s family in order to seal their “forever.”
Will these friendships be enough to turn around Daly’s directionless life? Will she move past the hurt and learn to trust again? Or will her mother, once again, ruin everything she’s worked so hard to achieve?
Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen clutched in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm Novel Publicity. Best known for her Young Adult novels, she is also developing a small, but devoted, following to her children’s book series and is beginning to dabble in other genres as well. Emlyn enjoys connecting with readers and is available via almost every social media site in existence. Visit EmlynChand.com for more info, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or GoodReads. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!
~*~*~*~ Buy the Book ~*~*~*~
***It hasn’t yet posted to iTunes despite having released in August. We hope it will be there soon!***
Learn more about Torn Together or read the entire first chapter at
~*~*~*~ Emlyn Chand 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
Sparkle by Cara Alwill Leyba ~ A Review
As women, we have become professional self-critics. We’ve become so convinced by society that we need to attain a level of perfection that just isn’t real. Whether it’s trying to get skinnier, look younger, get that promotion, please our parents, get fuller lips or rid ourselves of cellulite — we’re on a never ending mission to change and it always makes us feel like crap.
Instead, why not focus on all the fabulous qualities we already possess? There is so much to celebrate when we look at all of our accomplishments. In this straight-up girlfriend’s guide, lifestylist and wellness coach Cara Alwill Leyba encourages women to discover what makes them sparkle so that they can design the lives they desire and deserve. So raise your glass and toast yourself. You’re about to start shimmering, shining, and dazzling every day. Because isn’t everything better when it sparkles?
~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~
Absolutely Fabulous! How’s that for a review? But seriously…I got my days mixed up and started Sparkle yesterday. Nothing like a little pressure to get the ol’ heart racing. But Sparkle is extremely easy to read with a conversational tone that smacks (in a good way) of a heart-to-heart with your best friend. And what a great conversation. From dieting advice, tips on self esteem and how to feel utterly fabulous every day of your life, Sparkle has it all. The only problem with reading it in one sitting (and that is totally possible) is that Sparkle is jammed-packed full of great advice. So much so that trying to absorb it all in a couple of hours is impossible. My advice to you is buy the book, read it all at once, then read it a second time a section a day. (That’s my plan) Buy a copy for your closest friends and discuss it on a regular basis. The subtitle on the cover it dead-on. This is “The Girl’s Guide to Living a Deliciously Dazzling, Wildly Effervescent , Kick-Ass Life.” So what are you waiting for? Go out and get a copy now! Sarah Grimm, your copy is in the mail! 🙂
~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~
Cara Alwill Leyba is a best selling author, and certified life and wellness coach from New York City who empowers women to live their most effervescent lives and celebrate themselves. She encourages women to indulge in the things that make them happy, and swears that every woman can live a “champagne life,” no matter how busy she is or how tight her budget.
Her blog, The Champagne Diet, boasts a following of thousands of loyal readers and has been featured in Glamour, Shape, Cafe Mom, Daily Mail UK, MSN Australia, AOL UK Lifestyle, and a host of other publications worldwide. Cara’s writing has been featured in The Huffington Post, xJane, Mind Body Green, MTV News, and many other sites.
Cara regularly appears on the “Ask Dr. Fritz” radio show on WWRL New York, where she helps host Dr. Fritz answer questions from callers about love, career, family, relationships and more. She also hosts her own lifestyle and wellness show, “Uncork Your Best Self” on Blog Talk Radio.
Cara’s first book, SPARKLE, became an immediate #1 bestseller on Amazon in both the Happiness and Self-Esteem categories upon hours of its release. She celebrated the release of her book with a book signing in New York City this past fall.
When she’s not popping bubbly, blogging, or working with her coaching clients, Cara spends her days leading a digital advertising team at MTV Networks. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and dog-child. For more on Cara visit www.LiveCreateSparkle.com
~*~*~*~ Connect with Cara ~*~*~*~
Cara’s website: www.LiveCreateSparkle.com
Cara’s blog: www.TheChampagneDiet.com
Want to learn how to sparkle? Join Cara’s “Sparkling Start” workshop next month and kick off 2013 in glittering, shimmering style!http://www.livecreatesparkle.com/group-workshops.html
~*~*~*~ Buy the Book ~*~*~*~