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Tag: "giveaway"

Guest Post & Giveaway: Last Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright

[ 1 ] May 30, 2016

9781501100789 (1) (1)Please welcome Kim Wright, author of Last Ride to Graceland, who’s virtually visiting Luxury Reading to talk about what inspired her latest novel. 

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy below!

by Kim Wright

Each of my books comes to me a different way.  Some of them are slowly and painfully assembled in pieces, sort of like a mosaic, while others arrive in the world quickly, with the idea fully formed.  My latest novel, Last Ride to Graceland was one of the easy births.

It started on a rainy Sunday morning when I was lying in bed flipping through my hometown paper, The Charlotte Observer and a headline in the local section popped out at me: Last Ride to Graceland. Yep. I stole the title then and there. The article was about how Graceland had kept a Stutz Blackhawk, the big black hideously expensive muscle car that Elvis Presley drove on the last day of his life, wrapped up for over 35 years. Then they finally, to celebrate the expansion of the car exhibit in the Graceland museum, decided to pull it out and add it to the collection.

The reason all this was in my local paper was that the car was being pulled on a flatbed from Memphis to Charlotte so that it could be restored at the NASCAR museum. Legend was that the car had been Elvis’s favorite and he never let anyone else drive it, so the flatbed was necessary to keep the legend intact. The authenticator said that when he pulled back the wrap which had encased the car for years, it was “like opening a time capsule.”

Like opening a time capsule. Those are the kinds of words that get a writer’s imagination fired up.

By the time I got out of bed that Sunday afternoon I’d sketched out the whole concept for Last Ride to Graceland.  I imagined that the car was found not at Graceland, but rather in an abandoned fishing shed in South Carolina and that the discoverer was a down-on-her-luck blues singer named Cory Beth Ainsworth. Cory Beth’s recently deceased mother, Honey, had briefly been a back-up singer for Elvis in her youth but had always refused to talk about her single year at Graceland – including why she had abruptly fled Memphis in the summer of 1977 and returned home to marry her high school sweetheart. Cory Beth was born seven months later and because of the timing, coupled with the gospel grit of her voice, she has always fantasized that she’s the illegitimate daughter of the King himself. Cory decides to dig out the car and return it to Graceland, hoping to gather some long-awaited answers along the way.

The premise came to me fast, but in order to make the details work I decided to drive to Graceland myself, taking the same wandering route through the deep south as my heroine. Cory Beth was traveling in a muscle car with a coon hound, while I was driving in a Prius with a terrier, but the spirit was the same. After hearing about my pilgrimage, Graceland welcomed me with open arms and I got to view a Stutz Blackhawk very much like the one being restored back in Charlotte. (Elvis, being Elvis, had bought a new one every year.) But when I asked the museum guard if I could sit in it, he said “Ma’am, nobody touches that car but the ghost of Elvis.”

I won’t kid you.  I would have loved to sit in that car. But I had my story by then, and that’s the main thing. I hope readers enjoy it.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Saving Abby by Steena Holmes

[ 3 ] May 30, 2016

saving abby book coverPlease join Steena Holmes, author of Saving Abby, as she tours the blogosphere with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!

Enter to win a copy of the book below! Open to U.S. and Canada residents only

Reviewed by Bethany Kelly

Saving Abby by Steena Holmes is an emotional, yet beautiful, book. One that will make you cheer for joy and cry in despair. One that will elicit sighs of relief and grievous sobs.

Claire and Josh Turner have spent the past six years trying to get pregnant. However, when their doctor tells them that there is virtually no chance of them conceiving a child of their own, they give up on their dream of becoming parents.

After coming home from a trip to deal with their grief, they get joyous news: Claire is pregnant! Unfortunately, their stint on cloud nine is quickly gone. Claire begins to get crippling headaches, blurred vision, fainting spells, and waves of exhaustion that aren’t normal in a pregnancy. After visiting her doctor for these symptoms, Josh and Claire get a devastating diagnosis…one that she can’t beat without putting her miracle child’s life at risk.

In the end, Claire and Josh have a difficult decision to make: save Claire, or save their baby?

When I read the synopsis for this book, I knew that it was going to be a difficult read. This assumption was obviously right, but in a good way. Saving Abby shows the unconditional and selfless love that a mother has for her child. It shows the difficult decisions that we are sometimes faced with. It is a real-to-life novel and shows a situation that many are faced with during their pregnancies…should a woman put herself first? Or her unborn child?

On top of the fascinating, yet difficult, subject matter, this novel is very well written. All of the characters are well-rounded and developed well. Within a couple of chapters I found myself not only invested in the main characters, but the supporting characters as well. Plus, there are a few sub-plots in this novel that are also very interesting.

Saving Abby is written in multiple perspectives: Claire’s, Josh’s, and Millie’s (Claire’s mom). This gives the story more depth. Seeing this difficult situation from the perspective of all involved gives the reader the availability to look at Claire’s diagnosis from all vantage points. We, as readers, get to experience multiple emotions evoked by Claire and Josh’s difficult situation, and get to “live through” the difficulty of how it feels to know that the only way your daughter or wife may survive is by putting your grandchild or child’s life at risk. It definitely is both heartbreaking and eye-opening.

If you prefer not to read about emotional matters, this book is not for you. However, if you are all right with getting your heartstrings pulled, this is definitely a great read. I would even go as far as saying this is one of the best books that I have ever read.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking. Check out her website at www.bckwritingcorner.com.

Review and giveaway copies were provided by Lake Union Publishing. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Giveaway: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

[ 10 ] May 28, 2016

finding audrey book coverTo celebrate the recent release of Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella in paperback, I have a copy to give away! Open to U.S. residents only

About the book

Sophie Kinsella, the author of such favorites as the Shopaholic series, Can You Keep a Secret?, Wedding Night, and Remember Me?, introduced readers to 14-year-old Audrey Turner, a teen in the throes of a severe social anxiety disorder after a bullying incident at school, and following her journey to rediscovering herself and her happiness. Receiving much critical acclaim from reviewers and fans, the book was hailed as “heartfelt,” “engaging,” and “relatable.”

Audrey spends most of her days hiding behind her dark sunglasses and in the safety of her own home, surrounded by her lovable but chaotic family. Interaction with non–family members has been almost impossible to master since the incident at school. But then one day Linus arrives at her house. A friend of her brother’s, Linus makes an instant connection with Audrey and starts to chip away at her exterior, exposing the girl underneath—the girl Audrey herself has been searching for. What results is a tender love story that begins as a friendship and continues in the local Starbucks, where Audrey begins to heal the wounds that have threatened to hold her captive.

Filled with poignancy and laugh-out-loud moments, Finding Audrey gives readers a character they can relate to and a family to embrace. Kinsella’s story tackles serious topics with humor and heart and creates the next YA couple to root for in Audrey and Linus.

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Giveaway: Orchard by Jack H. Bailey

[ 4 ] May 23, 2016

orchard jack h. bailey book coverI have 2 copies of Orchard by Jack H. Bailey to give away! Open to U.S. residents only

About the book

This much is true. It’s 1899. Harry Orchard is a member of the fire-breathing Western Federation of Miners. While other members labor underground to harvest the riches of the earth, Orchard is paid to kill men who are a problem for the union. He’s an interesting killer, well-liked by his peers and by the ladies.

After years of cat-and-mouse pursuit by legendary Pinkerton, Charles Siringo, when he’s arrested in 1906 for the murder of Idaho’s former Governor, Frank Steunenberg, he’s killed nineteen men in Idaho and Colorado. Even today, in the silver mining towns of northern Idaho, his name is spoken in whispers by those familiar with his deeds.

About the author

Jack H. Bailey, author of Orchard, descended from gold miners and grew up in and around the locales frequented by Harry Orchard. It was while living in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho that his fascination with Orchard began. Jack joined the navy at seventeen and served in WWII aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lexington until she was sunk in the Battle of the Coral Sea. He graduated from USC with a BA in English and spent sixteen years in aerospace during which time he wrote two critically praised novels, The Number Two Man and The Icarus Complex. Jack wrote prolifically until his death in 2010. Most notably, Jack was an annual participant in the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and was one of only a handful of writers to have advanced in the competition seven times. Follow his author page on Facebook.

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Giveaway: The Heart of the Fight by Judith Wright EdD & Bob Wright EdD

[ 1 ] May 13, 2016

heart of the fight book coverI have 2 copies of The Heart of the Fight by Judith Wright EdD and Bob Wright EdD to give away! Open to U.S. residents only

About the book

Every couple fights — it’s how you fight that can determine the success of your relationship. This book teaches you to look beyond what you and your partner fight about, and discover the core issues that undermine your relationship.

In the midst of a disagreement, many couples ask themselves, “What are we really fighting about?” Sound familiar? As it turns out, breakups and divorce don’t happen because couples fight, they happen because of how couples fight. In this much-needed book, Judith and Bob Wright — two married counselors and coaches with over thirty years of experience helping couples learn how to fight well — present their tried-and-true methods for exploring the emotions that underlie many relationship fights.

In this unique guide, you’ll learn how to use disagreements as an opportunity to deepen your understanding of your partner, bring more intimacy to the relationship, strengthen your bond, and really learn from the conflicts and tensions that occur between you. You’ll also learn how to navigate the fifteen most common fights couples have, including “the blame game,” “dueling over dollars,” “If you really loved me, you’d . . . ,” “told-you-so’s,” and more.

If you’re ready to start fighting for your love, rather than against it, this book will show you how.

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Giveaway: I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around by Ann Garvin

[ 7 ] May 10, 2016

i like you just fine book coverI have 1 copy of I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around by Ann Garvin to give away! Open to U.S. and Canada residents only

About the book

Everything is falling apart in psychologist Tig Monahan’s life. Her mother’s dementia is wearing her out; her boyfriend takes off for Hawaii without her; and her sister inexplicably disappears, leaving her newborn behind.

When a therapy session goes horribly wrong, Tig finds herself unemployed and part of the sandwich generation trying to take care of everyone and failing miserably. Just when she thinks she can redefine herself on the radio as an arbiter of fairness, she discovers a family secret that nobody saw coming.

It will take everything plus a sense of humor to see her way clear to a better life, but none of that will happen if she can’t let go of her past.

Ann says, “I Like You … is for any woman who has ever pondered the unfairness of life, who has wished for someone to call and weigh-in on an imbalanced marriage, relationship or to-do list. For any person who does more than their fair share. I was a gerontology nurse for many years while putting myself through graduate school, and my mother (who later contracted Alzheimer’s) was a gerontology nurse professor for 25 years. I wrote this book to try and make sense of it all in the context of fairness, caregiving, and family.”

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