Subscribe via RSS Feed

Blog Tour: Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery

[ 5 ] March 2, 2015

girls of mischief bay book coverPlease join bestselling romance author Susan Mallery as she tours the blogosphere with her new book, The Girls of Mischief Bay!

Reviewed by Vera Pereskokova

In the fictional town of Mischief Bay, California, three women in very different stages of their lives come together to commiserate and lean on each other through the thick and thin.

Nicole runs the local Pilates studio where she whips her clients into shape. Unfortunately, her own life is anything but in shape. When her husband announced that he left his lucrative job to sit at home and write a screenplay, Nicole did her best to be supportive. But with no sign of a screenplay and no help at home, Nicole is at her wit’s end trying to keep everything afloat.

With their kids grown and out on their own, Pam and her husband have settled into a comfortable – albeit boring – existence of quiet dinners at home and doting on Lulu, their health-challenged Chinese Crested dog. Despite their contentment, Pam knows that their marriage has lacked that spark for a long time and goes out of her way to reinvent their relationship.

A female CFO in a male dominated industry, Shannon is smart, beautiful and ambitious. Unfortunately, her success at work does not translate to her love life. She has always expected to get married and was even engaged twice, but never quite made it down the aisle. These days, most men are either too intimidated by Shannon’s success or too eager to take advantage of it. But when an online date turns out to be a pleasant surprise, Shannon is tempted to think that it might not be too late for her after all…

The Girls of Mischief Bay was my first experience with Susan Mallery’s writing and boy am I hooked! I’m always on the fence with women’s fiction because many books that fall into this category wind up being all fluff and no substance. Mallery, however, is in a league of her own—her writing flows effortlessly and her characters are smart, relatable and easy to root for. Female readers are likely to find many parallels between their own friendships and the bonds that unite Nicole, Pam and Shannon.

I’ve wanted to try Mallery’s books in the past but did not want to start in the middle/ end of a series. Luckily for me, Mischief Bay is the first book in a brand new series and I definitely look forward to future installments!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Harlequin MIRA. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

Be Sociable, Share!
Pin It

Giveaway: The Cake House by Latifah Salom

[ 9 ] March 2, 2015

the cake house book coverI have 2 copies of The Cake House by Latifah Salom to give away!

Open to US residents only

About the book

Part mystery, part compelling coming-of-age tale, The Cake House is a riveting debut novel that re-imagines the classic story of Hamlet amidst the hills of suburban Los Angeles.

Rosaura Douglas’s father shot himself when her mother left him . . . or at least that’s the story everyone is telling. Now her mother has remarried and Rosie is trapped in a new home she calls “The Cake House,” a garish pink edifice that’s a far cry from the cramped apartment where she grew up. It’s also the house where her father died—a fact that everyone else who lives there, including her mother, Dahlia, and her mysteriously wealthy stepfather, Claude, want to forget.

Soon, however, her father’s ghost begins to appear; first as a momentary reflection in a window, then in the dark of night, and finally, in the lush garden behind the house where Rosie spends most of her days. After he warns her that Claude is not to be trusted, Rosie begins to notice cracks in her new family’s carefully constructed facade. Dahlia is clearly uncomfortable in her marriage; her stepbrother, Alex, is friendly one second, distant the next, and haunted by troubles of his own; and Claude’s business is drawing questions from the police. And as the ghost becomes increasingly violent–and the secrets of The Cake House and her family’s past come to light–Rosie must finally face the truth behind the losses and lies that have torn her life apart.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be Sociable, Share!
Pin It

Mailbox Monday

[ 10 ] March 1, 2015

Welcome to Mailbox MondayMailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at the Mailbox Monday blog

Here are the books that made their way into my mailbox last week:

Paper Review Copies

amanda quick book coverbeyond championships book coversmall mercies book coverparis red book coverskandal book coverafter a fashion book coverwar of the wives book coverwhere they found her book coverworld within book covernormal by cameron book coverarchitect's apprentice book coverlocus amoenus book coverbye bye love book coverinvisible city book cover

Be Sociable, Share!
Pin It

Review: Keep Calm and Ask On by Michael Samuels

[ 1 ] March 1, 2015

keep calm and ask on book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

As each of us go through our day to day lives, we look around us and notice. Some people are the “haves” and some are the “have-nots.” Some people live the American dream and some people just sit around and daydream. What makes one successful and the other not? How can someone turn those dreams into reality? In his book, Keep Calm and Ask On: A No-Nonsense Guide to Fulfilling Your Dreams, Michael Samuels addresses our wishes and wants and how to make them come true.

Samuels encourages each one of us to think about what we want…and then write it down. He suggests that we analyze why we want it, as dreams of a selfish nature won’t really make us happy and that is what this is all about. In his upbeat manner, he gives the reader a pep talk regarding the “hows” and “whys” of fulfilling dreams. He includes advice on how to get motivated and what to do when life isn’t working the way you hope. He insists that no matter what, we laugh despite the inevitable obstacles. Most of what is included is typical of a “how to be happy and successful” style of book. It is upbeat and encouraging. But, his final chapter is unique. After discussing wants and success, he says, “in order to be content with what you have, you technically have all you need.” That thought brings the idea of wants full circle to its completion in  choosing contentment.

The opinions expressed in this book would make for great dinner conversation or a light philosophy discussion. There are lots of little ideas to think on. The only unusual thing is the way Samuels defers to and gives praise to the Universe. I realize this book is in a series of other books about the Universe but the premise rings a little odd. Consider the following quote: “What you have to do is set your wishes, your goals and your wants correctly. You have to know that although you don’t have that particular thing now, your subconscious and the Universe will work hand in hand to materialize it for you.” That theme of asking and receiving from the Universe continues through the book. The advice he gives is good but then he gives credit for the positive changes to the Universe. Despite that, there are some good ideas here and I enjoyed it as a quick, motivation read.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Sarah McCubbin is a homeschooling and foster mom in NE Ohio where she resides with her husband and 7 children. In addition to reading great books, she enjoys gardening, traveling and blogging at Living Unboxed.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Red Feather Publishing. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

Be Sociable, Share!
Pin It

Review: Misdirection by Austin Williams

[ 1 ] February 28, 2015

misdirection book coverReviewed by Melanie Kline

Rusty Diamond, a burnt out magician has left the bright lights of Las Vegas to return to his hometown of Ocean City, Maryland.

He finds a kindly older woman who rents him a house for considerably less than the going rate. And since he hasn’t told anyone he’s back, he doesn’t exactly have references. Obviously, the landlady has a good heart. When Rusty’s landlady does not come by for the rent, he goes to her house to check on her and finds that she has been murdered by having her throat slashed.

Like a good citizen, he calls the police. When they arrive, they look him up and down and sideways (remember, life has not been kind to him in Vegas). Lucky for Rusty, a high-school acquaintance of his is a detective. Rusty is released and decides to investigate the murder himself. It’s not the smartest thing in the world, but if I had been accused falsely of murder, I can’t say I wouldn’t poke around scenes and suspects myself.

In the middle of the book Rusty does something that makes you wonder if Austin Williams has lost his mind or if you are still actually reading the same books. It’s a disappointing diversion and one that the story never quite recovers from.

Unfortunately, though, the rest of Misdirection is only a mediocre, by-the-numbers supermarket checkout novel, and suffers from the exact kinds of problems you would expect from such a book–stilted dialogue, uneven pacing, etc. The characters are like cardboard cutouts that project their “goodie” or “baddie” status from a mile away.

Overall, I was torn by this book–parts of it were very appealing yet parts of it were too terrible for words. I almost feel compelled to read it again to see if it’s any better the second time around. One thing I can say for certain is that the comparisons I keep seeing between this book and Harlan Coben are sorely misguided.

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Diversion Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

Be Sociable, Share!
Pin It

Review: Your Life Isn’t For You by Seth Adam Smith

[ 2 ] February 28, 2015

your life isn't for you book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

Your Life Isn’t for You by Seth Adam Smith is the author’s story of learning to be less selfish (as the title intimates) and as a result, turning his life into one that is richer, more productive and more satisfying. Smith found peace in his life; his story is one of truth and acceptance told in an honest and heartfelt way.

The book opens with Smith explaining how his article “Marriage Isn’t for You” got over 30 million views and became an overnight sensation. He goes on to relay his life experiences over the span of ten chapters. He discusses his time as a Mormon missionary, his withdrawal from others and his ensuing depression, and even his thoughts of suicide. Smith talks about feeling like a “selfish giant” and living out his days in a depressed type of fog. Later, with the help of his family he begins to recover, and finally realizes how much his experiences affect not just him, but also those close to him. He later travels to Russia, meets his wife, gets engaged and subsequently married.

I believe that the author wanted to chronicle his life in an uplifting way that might inspire others to greatness. I don’t prefer to read recovery stories, so the references to other works of literature were lost on me–but I could tell that the author was profoundly impacted by his journey and wanted to encourage others to live better. So, in that respect, he was successful since he did clean up his life and was able to move on and prosper. The book is recommended for anyone who enjoys recovery type of stories and is a short read for a reader ready to learn how to enjoy life today.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by FSB Media. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

Be Sociable, Share!
Pin It
Page 1 of 65812345...102030...Last »