Subscribe via RSS Feed

Giveaway: The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van Praag

[ 23 ] March 3, 2014

9780143124948_p0_v1_s260x420Enjoyed our review of Menna van Praag’s The House at the End of Hope Street? I have a copy to give away to 1 lucky reader!

Open to US residents only.

About the book

What would you do if you had ninety-nine days to change your life? When you enter the world of Menna van Praag’s magical debut, The House at the End of Hope Street about an enchanted house that offers refuge to women in their time of need, that is precisely what you’ll begin to ask yourself.

When Alba Ashby, the youngest Ph.D. student at Cambridge University, suffers the Worst Event of Her Life, she finds herself at the door of 11 Hope Street. There, a beautiful older woman named Peggy invites Alba to stay, on the house’s unusual conditions: she’ll have ninety-nine nights, and no more, to turn her life around. The enchanted house will help Alba get her life back but, Peggy warns her, it may not give her what she wants. It will give her what she needs. The house, invisible to everyone except those who need it, has had more than a few distinguished guests. Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Parker, and Agatha Christie, among others, all stayed there at hopeless times in their lives and still hang around—quite literally—in talking portraits on the walls.

At Hope Street Alba meets Carmen, a sexy singer who no longer performs, and seems haunted by something that is buried under a plant in the garden with flowers so dark they are almost black. Living with them is Greer, a failed actress who’s hiding a dark secret of her own. But perhaps most mystifying of all is Peggy herself, who entertains her lover on Sundays, eats chocolate cake for breakfast, and holds conversations with the illustrious tenants occupying the house’s walls. As Alba begins to piece her life back together she discovers her own family has been hiding truths from her, truths that will lead Alba to places and people she never knew existed and to a life she never dreamed possible.

Inventive, charming, and filled with a fabulous cast of literary figures, The House at the End of Hope Street is a wholly imaginative novel of feminine wisdom and second chances, with just the right dash of magic.

About the author

Menna van Praag is a freelance writer, journalist, and Oxford graduate. She is the author of Men, Money and Chocolate. She lives in Cambridge, England, with her husband and son.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be Sociable, Share!
Pin It

Guest Post & Giveaway: My Cup of Tea by Kat Lieu

[ 7 ] March 3, 2014

redo3(2) copyPlease welcome Kat Lieu, author of the novel My Cup of Tea!

And don’t forge to enter the giveaway below – Kat is giving away 5 e-book copies of her last novel, Maid for Me, 5 e-book copies of My Cup of Tea and 1 paperback copy of My Cup of Tea.

by Kat Lieu

In 2006, I won third place in Seventeen Magazine’s Annual Fiction Contest. My winning short story, “The Bike Ride”, was about a silly girl named Sara and her first love Ian. I expanded upon the short story and wrote a first version of My Cup of Tea, published it on fictionpress.com and gathered a fan following. I also created a popular game based on this story, which can be found on my website, nummyz.com.

During my three-month maternity leave, while my sumo son, Philly (he’s super chubs – photo below) slept, I completely rewrote My Cup of Tea and published it on January 18th, 2014. I wanted to finish writing this book because once maternity leave ends, I’ll be working full-time during the day and taking care of Philly during the night.

I had so much fun writing My Cup of Tea, a book that features two points of view in present tense. It was a bit of a challenge too, but I love writing in the first-person now. My Cup of Tea is a new adult romantic comedy about a nerdy pastry chef, Sara, who falls for her badass, rich boy boss, Ian.

photoSara lost her mother at the age of ten to breast cancer. Sara creates a best-selling cupcake at Ian’s failing bakery, calling it the Olivia in memory of her mother.

During the entire month of October 2014, 50% of the profits from this book’s sales will go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure ®.

As a Certified Lymphedema Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy, I’ve treated hundreds of patients with breast cancer and have a special place in my heart for them.

Here’s an excerpt of my book, My Cup of Tea. Happy reading everyone, and a big, big thank you to the wonderful Vera for welcoming me back as a guest blogger again.

My Cup of Tea: Summer of Love, Book One Excerpt:

Oh hey, there’s Aunt Tootie (the strangest of them all) staring daggers my way. Holy, she should not have worn that teenie-tiny yellow bikini with red polka dots. It looks like she has jaundice and chicken pox at the same time. I think I’m going to have nightmares for a week. Oh the horror. How she jiggles!

When she notices me, I wiggle my eyebrows at her. She shakes her head at me and quickly looks away. Ha.

I exit the pool and dry off with a soft navy-blue beach towel. As I’m staring straight ahead, someone catches my eyes.

She’s that silly bee-in-the-ear girl from the wedding. Sitting alone under a large umbrella on the patio, she’s holding what looks like an e-reader. She’s wearing an unattractive one-piece bathing suit that reminds me of seaweed. Auntie Tootie and the girl should swap outfits.

Over the girl’s lap is a towel with watermelons all over it.

I shake my head. She’s the most covered-up female at the party. Even Granny Fran is wearing a stylish blue bikini. You go girl, Granny Fran. Rock that thong.

Anyway, whatever that girl is reading creates different expressions on her face every few seconds. She bites her bottom lip and furrows her brow. Then she widens her eyes.

She’s just so darn animated. I’d like to know what kind of meds she’s taking and get some for myself. I walk toward her. What do I hope to accomplish from this encounter? Just to say hi and maybe apologize? I’d like to know how the hospital treated her little bee sting. Might as well keep myself entertained for the rest of the day. Time will pass faster that way.

The girl looks up as if sensing my approach. Her jerk-alert senses must be tingling. Our eyes meet. Hers widen like a startled lamb’s in the presence of a wolf. Then they narrow into unhappy slits when she recognizes me. I prepare to duck just in case she decides to chuck that e-reader at my head. That thing has hard edges. It’s guaranteed to hurt if she has a mean throw. Though I highly doubt that, seeing how she has un-toned arms and small hands.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be Sociable, Share!
Pin It

Mailbox Monday

[ 10 ] March 2, 2014

Welcome to Mailbox MondayMailbox Monday are hosted by Marcia at Mailbox Monday blog

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

For Review – Paper Copies

81AU62N7HsL91Vr6kI4XuL._SL1500_32983157375831813986318222542empire striketh backForgivingLiesPB citscomplicated08book "Tne New Mind of the South" by Tracy Thompson.Mom-Seeks-God-jacket-200x300Safe Keeping - Final CoverSperber-Marx-725x10241tempting-fatethe-savages71bYSPeNYkL51jX0N1u1SL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

For Review – NetGalley.com eBooks

17571140The Here And Now by Ann Brasharesthe wicked we have doneTucker_One-Tiny-Lie-cover

eBooks Borrowed from the Library

EmptyMansions_cover

Be Sociable, Share!
Pin It

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Bedlam by B.A. Morton

[ 9 ] March 2, 2014

500About Bedlam

Joe loves Kit. Everyone thinks she’s dead. Joe knows she’s not.

If you lost the love of your life, how far would you go to get them back?

Detective Joe McNeil would do absolutely anything.

When Joe breathes life into a crime scene victim, he discovers what anything really means.

Nell will use whatever is necessary to ensure she survives, including Joe. Is she really a victim or merely the weapon being wielded by a much more cunning foe?

Against the background of a multiple murder investigation, Joe struggles between his love for missing Kit and his growing obsession with the enigmatic Nell. Plunged headlong into a spiraling nightmare of kidnap, murder and betrayal, his relentless search for the truth jeopardizes his career, his sanity and his life.

But for Nell, the risk is even greater..

A haunting tale of obsessive love, ultimate sacrifice and deadly consequences

About B.A. Morton

Born in the North East of England, B.A.Morton writes across a number of genres including crime, romance, horror and historical fiction. After a twenty year civil service career, she and her family escaped the rat race and relocated to the remote beauty of the Northumberland National Park. She now works part time in the village GP surgery and lives in a cottage built on the remains of a medieval crypt. Her debut novel Mrs Jones a fast paced, romantic, crime thriller set in New York, was runner up in the Yeovil Literary Prize 2011, published by Taylor Street Publishing and closely followed by the sequel Molly Brown, and the first in a medieval trilogy Wildewood Revenge. Her latest book Bedlam is a psychological/horror/thriller.

Researching the story

Writing both crime and historical fiction allows me the opportunity to employ a variety of research techniques. In crime writing it’s vital to get the facts right, particularly police procedural terminology and hierarchy but equally important to allow the story room to breathe. I use research to underpin the story, but only if it’s crucial to the plot. I’m fortunate in having a serving Scene of Crime Officer as a valued friend to offer advice re evidential procedures. I also have many books written by professionals within crime related fields, bought after attending seminars at crime festivals. Being an expert in any field isn’t necessary, knowing where to access the information definitely is. The internet is a valuable tool, not only to source up to date information, but you can hop onto Google earth and research your crime scene almost anywhere in the world. My horror, thriller Bedlam begins with the discovery of a particularly gruesome multiple, murder. It was important to understand initial UK murder scene procedure and hierarchy, in order to present it as accurately as possible without the story becoming bogged down in unnecessary detail.

My research for my medieval trilogy The Wildewood Chronicles is slightly different. I have an advantage in that I live in an area steeped in history and my own home is built on the foundations of a medieval chapel and crypt. Research in this field is definitely a labor of love. I still use the internet, but there’s also a lot of footwork, visiting sites of interest and lots of reading. It’s not just about the facts, the historical events; you also have to capture the feel of the period, the language, culture and behaviors. And you have to do it all with a careful hand so that the story, that wonderful creation, isn’t swamped by historical data. In the case of my historical novels I create a research document, a timeline to underpin the plot. A skeleton if you like which supports the muscle and flesh of the story. Once it’s in place, I’m quite ruthless in removing all but the absolutely necessary. It’s a fine balance. The amount of research shouldn’t be obvious to the reader, it should in my opinion, be seamless to the story.

This giveaway is international

For a chance to win one of five mobi copies of Bedlam and one paperback copy of Bedlam

The winner will be announced at the end of the tour. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be Sociable, Share!
Pin It

Review: The Big Picture by Tony Horton

[ 3 ] March 1, 2014

9780062282392_p0_v3_s260x420Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Tony Horton is the creator of the bestselling workout program P90X (please remember this), and he writes about 11 lifestyle rules that will change your life in his book, The Big Picture. These lifestyle changes are to be applied to your work, personal life, or any situation that requires rising to a challenge. These change center around theories like being the best, finding your purpose, planning, allowing freedom, finding balance and staying flexible in your approach to life.

There are sections included in the book with advice from other experts (such as celebs and CEOs), information on Tony’s personal life, and information on his diet and fitness regimen (P90X). All are menat to help the reader regain balance for a better life. The book focuses heavily on bringing all life lessons back around to his diet and fitness plan P90X. For example, in the chapter on “Getting Real,” Horton’s advice is good regarding changing your attitude to include focusing on your mental and emotional place in life to problem-solve and overcome present obstacles. But in chapter 9, titled “Finding a Balance”, the advice circles back around to a good workout (could you utilize P90X?) and how intense it should be to improve our attitude.

Personally, I have many books on fitness and eating right, and whether I do it all the time or not, I know exactly how I am supposed to be doing it. So the overuse of information on that topic, and the topic of – yes, once again – P90X tended to make me want to keep scanning forward to get back to the life changing advice bits. Yes, workout and fitness are good life changers, so if you are a fitness buff this book will work well for you.

I apologize, dear reader, for the continued and otherwise annoying references to P90X. I promise that I only mentioned it a small fraction of the times Tony Horton mentions it in his book and we both did it for a very good reason. I did it to test you, and if you were not annoyed, then this book is for you. If you found the references to “you know what” unbearable, then don’t buy this book, just buy the program and get it over with. The advice in the book is common knowledge by now, and the book is a thinly veiled advertisement for “something which will not be named.” But it is still good to hear another person’s perspective on the issue of being better at life today, and for that I will always be grateful for this type of book.

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 HarperCollins. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

Be Sociable, Share!
Pin It

Review: Mother of God by Paul Rosolie

[ 2 ] March 1, 2014

mother_of_god_select_7.11Reviewed by Lauren Cannavino

In a society where everyone is told to get and education and get a good job, Paul Rosolie never felt much at home. School was a struggle and at times the relationship with his parents was strained. The only place that Paul felt content and alive was in nature and in the presence of animals. Once he reached the point of realizing that a conventional education was not for him, Paul, with the support of his parents, took his GED and began taking college courses and working. During this time, he contacted countless researchers, environmental organizations and scientists with the hope that a team would take an inexperienced kid with the love of the wild on. Luckily for Paul, one did. This incredible chance lead Paul into the heart of the Amazon in Peru.

Once in the Amazon, Paul comes under the tutelage of researchers Emma and JJ, whom he forms a close bond with, JJ particularly, and he throws himself passionately into the work at the research center. There is much to see and learn from the jungle and Paul wastes no time digging in. He quickly learns about the many complexities of the rainforests and all of the animals, insects and plants within. When he finally has to return home, Paul knows that he must return to the Madre de Dios (Mother of God) region as much as he can and as soon as possible.

Rosolie lays out the massive levels of delicate complexities that lie within the rainforests that he has come to think of as a home. There are poachers, loggers, tribes, locals, oil companies and researchers that all find their own reasons for seeking out the Amazon. For Paul, it is the conservation and preservation of the land, the animals that lie within and trying to uncover the secrets of the untouched areas of the deep forests. The message of the book is clear; the world needs the rainforests of the Amazon in order to thrive and we all need to pay attention to what is happening there, even if it seems so very far away.

The author tells his story as a friend; he shares his fears, his brilliant discoveries/observations, both in the natural world and of himself in a gracious, relatable way. While Mother of God does not unfold as a typical coming of age story for Rosolie, it is undeniable how much he learns, grows and changes. He accepts wisdom from the land, his elders and accepts his mistakes and even when he puts himself in danger, he trusts his gut and his thoughts. The land and the inhabitants that call the lush rainforest home are presented intelligently and carefully detailed. Rosolie and his work transport the reader to a land many will never see, but all should be aware of.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Lauren Cannavino is a graduate student, freelance writer, wine lover, and avid reader. Random musings can be found over at www.goldiesays.com.

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

Be Sociable, Share!
Pin It
Page 12 of 567« First...1011121314...203040...Last »