Climax (Part 1 & 2) Cover Reveal, author Christina George GIVEAWAY!

 

It’s finally here, the long-awaited sequel to The Publicist! CLIMAX by Christina George is the final installment in the series. It comes in two parts:


The Covers

 

 

Here is the Bundled set version:

 


About the Book

Release date: December 15, 2014. You can pre-order now!

 

Kate Mitchell has never forgiven herself for breaking Nick Lavigne’s heart. Now he’s back and he’s moved on, and it’s affecting Kate’s life more than she’s willing to admit.
Kate Mitchell has everything. She’s the head of a crazy successful publishing house, engaged to the traffic-stopping sexy Mac Ellis and she’s about to sign one of the biggest authors of her career.
And that’s when everything falls apart.
Everything is perfect…until it’s not.
In a city of 8 million people Kate manages to run into someone she never expected to see again.
Nick is handsome, impossibly kind, every girl’s dream, and Kate’s former fiancé. He’s also the brother of the rising star author she’s trying to sign. Now that Nick’s back in town and has moved on he insists he’s over Kate, but part of him still can’t get past how amazing they were, and his sister won’t let anyone forget how brutally it ended.
When Mac is dealt a life-changing blow, it forces Kate to question every single choice she’s made.
Follow Kate as she embarks on a journey of life and love, navigating through the decisions that will change it all forever.


About the Author

 

 

Christina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn’t. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it.


Let’s Revisit the Characters…

 

 

Some Fun Stuff!

Head on over to Kate’s site and listen to a sample of the audio book version of The Publicist and enter her Amazon gift card giveaway. She also has a playlist of songs for the book!
So which team are you on? Want to know who Kate ends up with?

 There’s a giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nowhere but Here by Renee Carlino (Media Blast, Reveal)

 

 

Nowhere But Here Cover

Title: Nowhere But Here

Author: Renée Carlino

Genre: Contemporary Romance

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47



About Nowhere But Here:

Nowhere But Here CoverA Chicago reporter in her mid-twenties unexpectedly finds love in Napa Valley when she’s assigned to spend a week with a famously reclusive genius.

Kate Corbin has lost her spark. From the outside, her life seems charmed. She has a handsome, long-term boyfriend and a budding journalism career at a popular Chicago newspaper. But in reality, her relationship is going nowhere, and she’s quickly losing motivation for what she once believed was her dream job. When her boyfriend dumps her unceremoniously, Kate loses all hope of finding love.

With no living family and few friends, Kate confides in her boss. Trusting that the hungry, ace reporter is buried somewhere deep inside, he gives Kate the opportunity to jumpstart her career. The assignment: to interview the famously reclusive R.J. Lawson, a wealthy tech genius who disappeared years ago but recently reemerged as a Napa Valley vintner. The week takes an unexpected turn, however, when Lawson refuses to divulge any information. Desperate for a lead, Kate turns to Jamie, a vineyard hand who shows her the romance of wine country—and stirs her aching heart. But his connection to Lawson is ambiguous, and when Jamie disappears before the end of the week, Kate is left to investigate another story: the truth behind the man who stole her heart.

USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino explored love and heartbreak in her beautifully written debut Sweet Thing, and her newest novel does not disappoint. For fans of Colleen Hoover, K.A. Tucker, and Katja Millay, Nowhere But Here is a stirring and satisfying romance that you won’t want to put down.

Amazon | iTunes | B&N

 

To read an exclusive bonus short from Nowhere But Here, click the following link: Nowhere but Here bonus scene

 

About Renée Carlino:

renee carlinoRenee’s first friends were the imaginary kind and even though her characters haven’t gone away, thankfully the delusions have. She admits she’s a wildly hopeless romantic and she blames 80’s movies staring Molly Ringwald for that. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on the next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.

 

Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Website

 


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Win a Copy of The Publicist and Shelflife by Christina George!

When I say that this is a book you’ll want to read – believe me! THE PUBLICIST AND SHELF LIFE will pull in and not let go of you. (Read my review below and others on Amazon) The books are fascinating just for the inside information on publishing – throw in a romance and it is a winner! Book 3 is due out this summer and I am eagerly anticipating it!

ANNOUNCEMENT!!! Drum roll please! I have TWO – not 1, but TWO copies to giveaway!  Your choice – Paperback or E-book! Just leave a comment with your name and email (for contact purposes) to be eligible to win a copy. 

 

 

 

 

 

Can one woman change an age-old institution like publishing? Probably not, but Kate Mitchell sure wants to try. As a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house, Kate finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t sell, and author egos that are often, well, as big as the island of Manhattan.


Enter the star editor, MacDermott Ellis: Tall, handsome, charismatic, married, and ready to save the day. Then there’s Allan Lavigne, once a revered author—now as forgotten as last year’s bestsellers and his nephew Nick: Tall, gorgeous, sweet, single, and ready to sweep Kate off her feet. Kate wants to do the right thing but her hormones seem to be driving her decisions. 


As Kate tries to navigate the landmine of publicity, over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn’t on the bestseller list this week,” she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more romance and sex, more celebrities, and more scandal. 


Includes Book Two: 

Publishing: An industry of out-of-control of egos, unrealistic expectations, and books with the shelf life of milk. This is Kate’s world, but for how long? 

When one of Kate Mitchell’s star authors is carted away in handcuffs, she thinks it’s only the beginning of her troubles. As her world crumbles around her, Kate desperately looks for anyone to hold onto but finds that happy endings are truly works of fiction. When her career and love affair hit their expiration date, Kate sets off on a new adventure…. 

Starting over in California is easy, but Kate soon learns that leaving her old life behind isn’t. Nicholas Lavigne is eager to help her forget, but two things still own her heart, the dream of discovering the next great American novel, and MacDermott Ellis. As Kate tries to rebuild her life she finds a surprising gift that reboots her career in a new and unexpected direction. Suddenly her name becomes synonymous with one of the biggest bestsellers publishing has seen in ages and she’s welcomed back with open arms. At the height of her success the ghosts of her past come back to remind her of the world she’d been trying to forget and the man who never let go of her heart. Behind the book, there’s always more to the story. 

iRead Book Tour Logo Medium

 

Christina GeorgeChristina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn’t. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it. 

Website: http://www.thepublicistnovel.com
Twitter@publicistgal
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/kate.mitchell.528316

BUY THE BOOK ON AMAZON HERE:

My Review:

I’m not sure how much is accurate about the publishing world – but it sounds pretty accurate – from the little I know. I’ve been reviewing books for a long time and I’ve not only met and mingled and conversed with authors, but with publishers, and public relations people and the book is on the money with what I’ve learned. I still found it fascinating because the publishing world is just that – fascinating; the fast paced dog eat dog world – and will the book get published and will it be a success.

Christina gives us a peak into the publishing world and what it means to be a publicist dealing with out-of-control over-the-top authors and the chaos that surrounds them. As a book reviewer, I am contacted on a regular basis by publicist to write reviews. The book, as well as giving us an outstanding love story, tells a story about a side of publishing few of us will ever see. Having been to New York City and roamed the streets of Manhattan, I was familiar with some of the landmarks mentioned in the story and the street vibe depicted in the story is something to be experienced. The book came alive for me and I was drawn in hook, line, and sinker.

The humor in the book is laugh out loud funny. This is from a scene where Kate is talking an author from jumping off a roof.

But I just bought Armani! Kate was silent for a moment, a line officers standing behind her. She wasn’t sure what Haley was talking about. ‘Haley,’ she began, ‘what do you mean?’ ‘I bought Armani for the show. An outfit, you know. Clothes?’ Her sarcasm was dripping, and it was all Kate could do not to slip her foot in front of one of Haley’s expensive shoes and topple her off the roof. Kate thought for a moment about leaving Haley on the ledge and walking over to the nearest bar to watch the rest on TV while she sipped a Cosmo. But she didn’t. She stayed.

‘How does one decide what to wear to a suicide? Kate pondered. ‘I’ll never get past this – I’m ruined. Oprah cancelled on me! No one will ever speak to me again!’ …’You don’t know my friends.’…’and the next time I’m cast aside, discarded by some lowlife producer and replaced by some bleeding-heart novelist.’ Kate rolled her eyes. Jesus this girl. If she wasn’t so close to the edge of the roof, Kate would rush over and give her a good wallop. Oprah was off the air, but her name still sounded like magic to many authors.

 

Can you imagine being a publicist and having to deal with so much drama? The book also shows the softer side of working with authors who are easy to please. Everyone wants their book to be a best seller. That is as evident in the book as it is in real life – by some of the review requests I receive from authors.

Then, there’s the love story. While Fifty Shades left little to the imagination, I enjoyed the way author Christina George did leave some to the imagination. It’s always much more fun that way. There are a few hot love scenes – nothing that compares to the Red Room in Fifty Shades – but then again, do we actually need that every day? No. It gets redundant. It you are talking about sex, then Fifty Shades comes out on top. If you want a story, read The Publicist and

Kate sighed. The rest of her life. She had imagined it very differently. But that’s the irony, isn’t it? We make plans and God laughs. He was certainly laughing now.

I wrote my original review before I read Book 2. I loved the extension of Book 1, and I am looking forward with anticipation to the release of Book 3. I wouldn’t want to give any spoilers away and I just hate regurgitating the book blurb, but I will tell you the books are enjoyable and you will love them. I’m giving The Publicist five stars.

Kate, darling, listen to me carefully. If you really wanted to get rid of him, you could. You’d tell him to go, and he’d believe you. My sense is that you told him, and he knows what I know – that you’re not over him. Men can sense that, you know. We’re piranhas.” “Maybe if I ignore him, it’ll just go away.” “I think some weary banker once said that about the crash of Wall Street.

 

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book was provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

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The Publicist – The New Fifty Shades? (Review) by Christina George

 

 

 

 

Can one woman change an age-old institution like publishing? Probably not, but Kate Mitchell sure wants to try. As a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house, Kate finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t sell, and author egos that are often, well, as big as the island of Manhattan.


Enter the star editor, MacDermott Ellis: Tall, handsome, charismatic, married, and ready to save the day. Then there’s Allan Lavigne, once a revered author—now as forgotten as last year’s bestsellers and his nephew Nick: Tall, gorgeous, sweet, single, and ready to sweep Kate off her feet. Kate wants to do the right thing but her hormones seem to be driving her decisions. 


As Kate tries to navigate the landmine of publicity, over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn’t on the bestseller list this week,” she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more romance and sex, more celebrities, and more scandal. 


Includes Book Two: 

Publishing: An industry of out-of-control of egos, unrealistic expectations, and books with the shelf life of milk. This is Kate’s world, but for how long? 

When one of Kate Mitchell’s star authors is carted away in handcuffs, she thinks it’s only the beginning of her troubles. As her world crumbles around her, Kate desperately looks for anyone to hold onto but finds that happy endings are truly works of fiction. When her career and love affair hit their expiration date, Kate sets off on a new adventure…. 

Starting over in California is easy, but Kate soon learns that leaving her old life behind isn’t. Nicholas Lavigne is eager to help her forget, but two things still own her heart, the dream of discovering the next great American novel, and MacDermott Ellis. As Kate tries to rebuild her life she finds a surprising gift that reboots her career in a new and unexpected direction. Suddenly her name becomes synonymous with one of the biggest bestsellers publishing has seen in ages and she’s welcomed back with open arms. At the height of her success the ghosts of her past come back to remind her of the world she’d been trying to forget and the man who never let go of her heart. Behind the book, there’s always more to the story. 

iRead Book Tour Logo Medium

 

Christina GeorgeChristina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn’t. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it. 

Website: http://www.thepublicistnovel.com
Twitter@publicistgal
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/kate.mitchell.528316

BUY THE BOOK ON AMAZON HERE:

My Review:

I’m not sure how much is accurate about the publishing world – but it sounds pretty accurate – from the little I know. I’ve been reviewing books for a long time and I’ve not only met and mingled and conversed with authors, but with publishers, and public relations people and the book is on the money with what I’ve learned. I still found it fascinating because the publishing world is just that – fascinating; the fast paced dog eat dog world – and will the book get published and will it be a success.

Christina gives us a peak into the publishing world and what it means to be a publicist dealing with out-of-control over-the-top authors and the chaos that surrounds them. As a book reviewer, I am contacted on a regular basis by publicist to write reviews. The book, as well as giving us an outstanding love story, tells a story about a side of publishing few of us will ever see. Having been to New York City and roamed the streets of Manhattan, I was familiar with some of the landmarks mentioned in the story and the street vibe depicted in the story is something to be experienced. The book came alive for me and I was drawn in hook, line, and sinker.

The humor in the book is laugh out loud funny. This is from a scene where Kate is talking an author from jumping off a roof.

But I just bought Armani! Kate was silent for a moment, a line officers standing behind her. She wasn’t sure what Haley was talking about. ‘Haley,’ she began, ‘what do you mean?’ ‘I bought Armani for the show. An outfit, you know. Clothes?’ Her sarcasm was dripping, and it was all Kate could do not to slip her foot in front of one of Haley’s expensive shoes and topple her off the roof. Kate thought for a moment about leaving Haley on the ledge and walking over to the nearest bar to watch the rest on TV while she sipped a Cosmo. But she didn’t. She stayed.

‘How does one decide what to wear to a suicide? Kate pondered. ‘I’ll never get past this – I’m ruined. Oprah cancelled on me! No one will ever speak to me again!’ …’You don’t know my friends.’…’and the next time I’m cast aside, discarded by some lowlife producer and replaced by some bleeding-heart novelist.’ Kate rolled her eyes. Jesus this girl. If she wasn’t so close to the edge of the roof, Kate would rush over and give her a good wallop. Oprah was off the air, but her name still sounded like magic to many authors.

 

Can you imagine being a publicist and having to deal with so much drama? The book also shows the softer side of working with authors who are easy to please. Everyone wants their book to be a best seller. That is as evident in the book as it is in real life – by some of the review requests I receive from authors.

Then, there’s the love story. While Fifty Shades left little to the imagination, I enjoyed the way author Christina George did leave some to the imagination. It’s always much more fun that way. There are a few hot love scenes – nothing that compares to the Red Room in Fifty Shades – but then again, do we actually need that every day? No. It gets redundant. It you are talking about sex, then Fifty Shades comes out on top. If you want a story, read The Publicist and

Kate sighed. The rest of her life. She had imagined it very differently. But that’s the irony, isn’t it? We make plans and God laughs. He was certainly laughing now.

I wrote my original review before I read Book 2. I loved the extension of Book 1, and I am looking forward with anticipation to the release of Book 3. I wouldn’t want to give any spoilers away and I just hate regurgitating the book blurb, but I will tell you the books are enjoyable and you will love them. I’m giving The Publicist five stars.

Kate, darling, listen to me carefully. If you really wanted to get rid of him, you could. You’d tell him to go, and he’d believe you. My sense is that you told him, and he knows what I know – that you’re not over him. Men can sense that, you know. We’re piranhas.” “Maybe if I ignore him, it’ll just go away.” “I think some weary banker once said that about the crash of Wall Street.

 

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book was provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

 

 

Related articles

“If you’re looking for this year’s Fifty Shades of Grey, you’ve found it with The Publicist.” JollyBuzz

 

 

Can one woman change an age-old institution like publishing? Probably not, but Kate Mitchell sure wants to try. As a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house, Kate finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t sell, and author egos that are often, well, as big as the island of Manhattan


Enter the star editor, MacDermott Ellis: Tall, handsome, charismatic, married, and ready to save the day. Then there’s Allan Lavigne, once a revered author—now as forgotten as last year’s bestsellers and his nephew Nick: Tall, gorgeous, sweet, single, and ready to sweep Kate off her feet. Kate wants to do the right thing but her hormones seem to be driving her decisions. 


As Kate tries to navigate the landmine of publicity, over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn’t on the bestseller list this week,” she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more romance and sex, more celebrities, and more scandal. 


Includes Book Two: 

Publishing: An industry of out-of-control of egos, unrealistic expectations, and books with the shelf life of milk. This is Kate’s world, but for how long? 

When one of Kate Mitchell’s star authors is carted away in handcuffs, she thinks it’s only the beginning of her troubles. As her world crumbles around her, Kate desperately looks for anyone to hold onto but finds that happy endings are truly works of fiction. When her career and love affair hit their expiration date, Kate sets off on a new adventure…. 

Starting over in California is easy, but Kate soon learns that leaving her old life behind isn’t. Nicholas Lavigne is eager to help her forget, but two things still own her heart, the dream of discovering the next great American novel, and MacDermott Ellis. As Kate tries to rebuild her life she finds a surprising gift that reboots her career in a new and unexpected direction. Suddenly her name becomes synonymous with one of the biggest bestsellers publishing has seen in ages and she’s welcomed back with open arms. At the height of her success the ghosts of her past come back to remind her of the world she’d been trying to forget and the man who never let go of her heart. Behind the book, there’s always more to the story. 

iRead Book Tour Logo Medium

 

Christina GeorgeChristina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn’t. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it. 

Website: http://www.thepublicistnovel.com
Twitter@publicistgal
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/kate.mitchell.528316

BUY THE BOOK ON AMAZON HERE:
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Love’s Revenge by Joan Avery, (Cover Reveal, Media Blitz)

 

St. Louis, Missouri, 1879

Heiress Kate Barker thought she’d met the man of her dreams the night the mysterious English viscount swept her off her feet at the masquerade. Until his real identity is revealed – the cold, calculating scoundrel is really there to rip her world apart.
The only things that have kept widower Stephen Worth alive for the past two years are the pomise of revenge against the man who framed him for murder and the love for Andy, his son, who was taken by the beautiful but vexing sister of his dead wife. He didn’t know what to expect when he met Kate, but it wasn’t undeniable desire.
Torn by attraction, driven by hatred, tempered by their love for a child, Stephen and Kate fight their growing feelings across the country to the wilds of Colorado. If he cannot convince Kate to trust him before she learns the truth about his past, he could lose Andy – but his demons are all the ammunition she needs to keep the boy for good.

Title: Love’s Revenge
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Joan Avery
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous
Pages: 261
Language: English
Format: Ebook

 

AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

 

Joan Avery has spent over thirty five years in advertising and advertising related businesses including over fifteen as a producer of Radio and Television commercials for companies as diverse as Cadillac and Whirlpool.

She discovered the joy of writing after switching from full-time to part-time employment with the birth of the first of her three children. They joined her two older stepsons to make a fairly large family. She lives with her husband in a Detroit suburb and enjoys traveling.

She believes that nothing opens your eyes like seeing a whole new culture with different tastes and values. The only thing that remains the same is love.
It is a universal language.

 

Be sure and watch for my review – coming soon.

 

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A Slight Change of Plan by Dee Ernst (Review)

Kate Everett is about to begin her “second act.” She’s been a widow for eight years and thinks it might be time to start looking for someone to share her life with again. She quits her high-pressure job for something that will allow her more leisure time. She gets rid of the huge family home and moves into a fabulous condo that’s smaller and easier to manage. She’s pretty much got the rest of her life figured out. All she has to do is sit back, relax, and let the pieces fall into place.

But her real life never gets the memo. First, her son moves back in with her—along with his girlfriend. Her dream job falls through, leaving her unemployed. Her mother, whom she hadn’t spoken to in years, can no longer live alone and has to move into her basement. And her only daughter is planning the smallest and simplest wedding in the history of all weddings, much to Kate’s dismay.

Kate thinks that she and Jake, her former college love who has reemerged on an online dating site, of all places, can build something real, and that maybe her happy ending is in front of her at last. But the arrival of Edward, her daughter’s future father-in-law, presents Kate with an unexpected choice.

It looks like real happiness may require a slight change of plan.

Author:

Dee Ernst was born in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in Morristown. She attended Marshall University, where she majored in journalism. Several years, career changes, and a few daughters later, she was listening to the Joan Hamburg Show, where a guest made the suggestion that if you want to be happy, you should go back to what you were doing when you were ten and try to make it a career. Since Dee was writing stories when she was ten, she decided to give writing another go. After three novels and many rejection letters, she self-published Better Off Without Him.  It became a success and was optioned by Unique Features for possible development.  Her next book, A Different Kind of Forever, was released in April of 2012. In the spring of 2013, she signed with Montlake Publishing, which re-released Better Off Without Him and launched her third title, A Slight Change of Plan, that fall. Though Dee finds a lot in common with all her heroines, she is happily married and living in New Jersey.

Review:

A SLIGHT CHANGE OF PLAN is such a funny book. Everyone should have a best friend like Cheryl! Past 50 years of age and growing pot in the middle of your roses on the patio? to be discovered by your adult children?

A phrase in the book that perfectly describes life (and the book) is “There’s an old saying – man plans, God laughs. And let me tell you, he has an interesting sense of humor.”  Kate has it all planned. She’s sold the huge house, purchased a condo, and then God laughed!

Suddenly, she has adult children moving back home, she’s beginning to date again, and her ailing mother moves in. Add to that one cooky best friend and the pot starts growing!

A SLIGHT CHANGE OF PLAN is a book about life and what life can throw at you. When Kate comes across her one and only true love, the one who dumped her, on a dating site, she finds that he can still take her breath away, but in the end, is he still the same guy and is the same guy the one she wants to spend the rest of her life with.

Dee Ernst writes a book full of humor and laughter and clearly shows how art imitates life. I have to include a few quotes because they are too good to pass up. I highly recommend the book, especially if you’ve hit the  50 something time period. You will totally appreciate every page of the book.  By the way, I’m giving this book 5 stars. If I were to read books more than once, this would be one of them.

Quotes:

(Talking with an old college roommate after seeing old boyfriend on dating site)

“Kate! Hi!…let me sit and get comfortable…And the kids?” “Jake Windom just waved at me” I blurted. There was a moment’s silence. “From where, honey?” “I signed up for an online dating service,” I explained. “Well, that’s fine. You’ve been alone for a long time. But I still don’t understand. Were you driving in a car and he passed you?…” “He’s on the same dating site. He must have seen my profile. So he expressed an interest. It’s called waving.” She was quite again. The best thing about MaryJo was her patience. She was originally from Atlanta, and always had that slow, Southern way about her. She could never be rushed. “Kate, you know I love you. And I want for you to be happy. That man broke your heart. If there had been any justice in the world, he would have been struck down dead for all the pain he caused you. He is not worthy of your time or energy, not now, not ten years from now. Do not even think about waving back.”

There it was, the worst thing about MaryJo: She really held on to a grudge…”Didn’t you once tell me that you still dreamed about that man?” Ah, yes. The other worst thing about MaryJo: She never forgot a word anyone said. Which tied in perfectly with the whole grudge thing. “He looks exactly the same,” I told her. “Well shit. Not even bald?”…”I’d love to know if he ever married that stupid Penn State bimbo he left you for.” I laughed. “See, if I waved back, I could ask him.” MaryJo did not laugh. “Honey. I am so afraid that if you see him, all that old stuff will come rushing back…The final worst thing about MaryJo: She was one smart, savvy woman.”

Conversation with friend Cheryl (pot growing cohort)

I pulled over…”Where were you last night?” “At Tom’s. What happened?” “Really? Already?” she said “Cheryl? You called me, remember? Like, a million times? What happened?” “Can you come over? I had a little sexual adventure my self last night, and I may never recover.” I turned around and headed toward Cheryl’s.

And, if all of that is not enough, Kate can’t help but goad her daughter’s future mother-in-law every time she calls by pretending not to have caller ID.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase on Amazon: A Slight Change of Plan

Review: The Widows of Braxton County: A Novel by Jess McConkey

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A William Morrow Paperback Original 

In the vein of Jennifer McMahon‘s Promise Not to Tell comes a haunting story about family secrets and how well we really know the people we love. 

Kate is ready to put her nomadic, city-dwelling past behind her when she marries Joseph Krause and moves with him to the Iowa farm that has been in his family for more than 140 years. But life on the farm isn’t quite as idyllic as she’d hoped. It’s filled with chores, judgmental neighbors and her mother-in-law who-unbeknownst to Kate until after the wedding-will be living with them.

As Kate struggles to find her place in in the small farming community, she begins to realize that her husband and his family are not who she thought they were. According to town gossip, the Krause family harbors a long-kept secret about a mysterious death that haunts Kate as a dangerous, unexplainable chain of events begins.

Jess McConkey aka Shirley Damsgaard is an award-winning writer of short fiction, the Abby and Ophelia series, and Love Lies Bleeding. She lives in a small Iowa town, where she served as postmaster for more than twenty years.

My Review

Before you even open the book, the cover of THE WIDOWS OF BRAXTON COUNTY by Jess McConkey will leave you with an ominous feeling. I felt the picture was a perfect setting for the story to come. You could feel the secrets emanating from the pages. THE WIDOWS OF BRAXTON COUNTY is an impressive who-dun-it book that left me bleary-eyed one night determined to finish the book.

In a book where history seems to be repeating itself a hundred years later, Katie seems determined to break the cycle of abuse and murder, and in the name of justice, discover the truth about a murder.

As the saying goes, “The sins of the father…” Jacob and Hannah’s history seems to be a bad omen for their ancestors. All of the Krause brothers seem to be dying, generation by generation until the last of the sons is gone. Can history be re-written? You will be kept guessing until the very end of this multi-generation novel.

I am giving THE WIDOWS OF BRAXTON COUNTY five stars. It was well written, the characters were intriguing and the story-line kept me in suspense until the end. I would definitely recommend the book to all suspense lovers.

Purchase on Amazon:

It’s Nothing Personal by Kate O’Reilley (Fiction based on a true story)

 

On a chilly January morning, anesthesiologist Dr. Jenna Reiner made her daily drive to St. Augustine hospital, completely unaware that her life was about to change forever. One of the surgical technicians in her hospital has been stealing syringes, and infecting patients with hepatitis C. The battle against the thieving surgical technician was only the beginning. Jenna Reiner was about to begin the fight of her life – the fight for her reputation, her pride, and her sanity. Beautifully composed, and inspired by real-life events, It’s Nothing Personal is a riveting, suspenseful, and emotional thriller that tells the story of faith and fortitude when an innocent woman finds herself surrounded by corruption and greed.

 Kate O’Reilley

Kate O’Reilley is a physician specializing in anesthesiology.  In late 2009, life brought Kate to her knees when she was named in a high-profile medical malpractice suit.  The ordeal nearly destroyed her.  When the dust settled, friends and colleagues urged Kate to write a book about her experience.

  

Heeding their advice, Kate poured her heart into her first novel.  IT’S NOTHING PERSONAL provides a fictional account of Kate’s experience, peppered with some unexpected twists.  To many, it will be an eye-opening glimpse into the relentless and corrupt world of medical malpractice.

 Working tirelessly, Kate has also completed her second novel.  IN GOOD HANDS is a gripping account of Dr. Mandy McGowen, an anesthesiologist who starts dispensing her own version of justice on patients at a county hospital.  IN GOOD HANDS WILL BE RELEASED SUMMER 2013.

 Kate O’Reilley also entertains her readers through her blog at www.katevsworld.com.  A demonstration of Kate’s wit and sarcastic humor, her posts expose idiosyncrasies, atrocities, and contradictions in our world. 

 A native of Colorado, Kate continues to live in the Rocky Mountain state with her husband and their daughter.  In Kate’s spare time, she enjoys running, reading and spending time with her family.  Her family vacations are always spent in Hawaii, a place that Kate and her family hold dear to their hearts.  Having lived on Oahu while her daughter was young, Kate and her family relish the day when they can return to the islands permanently.

 

My Inspiration for It’s Nothing Personal

A Guest Post by

Kate O’Reilley

 Some people feel inspired to write, and then they go about the arduous task of creating a story.  In my situation, things worked in reverse.  My story was thrust upon me with fury and venom.  When the dust settled, I was urged by close friends and co-workers to document my experiences.  From the depths of misery, the words poured from my soul, and It’s Nothing Personal was born.  

 On a cold winter’s day in 2009, a surgical scrub technician named Kristen Parker was allegedly targeting unsuspecting anesthesiologists.  According to Parker’s testimony, if she found herself alone in an operating, she would seize the opportunity – the opportunity to feed her drug addiction.  Reportedly, she would steal syringes of Fentanyl, a powerful and addictive intravenous narcotic, from anesthesiologists’ carts.  In order to conceal her theft, she stated that she would replace the stolen syringe with one containing saline and bearing a Fentanyl sticker.  To the naked eye, the two syringes would have been indistinguishable.  As time passed, however, Parker apparently became lazy.  Instead of substituting clean syringes for the stolen ones, she would simply refill the syringes that she had used to inject herself.  Purportedly, anesthesiologists used these syringes on patients during surgical procedures.  Unfortunately, the syringes were contaminated with Parker’s deadly hepatitis C virus.

 What ensued was a public health scare of epic proportions.  Over five thousand terrified patients were tested en masse for the virus.  Meanwhile, anesthesiologists at my hospital silently prayed that they would be spared and that none of their patients would end up infected.  I was one of those doctors, selfishly hoping that it would involve somebody else, but not me.

 Six months later, I was sued.  My patient’s attorneys were among the most aggressive, ruthless, and successful malpractice lawyers in the region.  As the lawsuit progressed, the stakes increased considerably.  The plaintiff’s attorneys threatened to include punitive damages in the charges against me.  If that happened, they could go after my personal assets.  I was thrown into a dangerous and very cunning game of chess, but instead of fighting to protect my king, I was fighting for my life.

 On my lawyer’s orders, I was locked in a world where I could talk to a very select group of individuals – my attorneys and my husband.  Isolated from my peers, I dealt the grief, guilt, despair, embarrassment, self-doubt, and immeasurable sadness on my own.  For over two solid years, the malpractice suit dominated my existence.  There wasn’t a day that went by where it didn’t creep into my consciousness – some days more than others.  During that time, I felt so alone, so tarnished, and so inferior.

 The ordeal didn’t just unleash its devastation upon me.  My husband and daughter both lived under a cloud of uncertainty and dread.  Everything was falling apart.

 When the situation finally came to a close, I felt obligated to document my experience.  Although It’s Nothing Personal is a work of fiction, it is inspired by my personal journey through hell.  As much as it is a story of sadness and corruption, it is also a story of survival.

 Up close and personal with author Kate O’Reilley:

 

Can you tell me about writing the book?

The book is inspired by my personal experience as a physician sued in a high-profile case.  I risked a great deal even writing it, and more so with my recent interviews with the local press.  In the end, I feel strongly that it is an issue that needs to be aired, regardless of the personal repercussions.  This event brought a hospital to its knees.  I’m sure there will be those who are angry with me for causing the story to resurface.  However, after living through the most stressful event of my life, I feel compelled to expose what a malpractice suit does to a physician.  I hope doing so helps other doctors in the future who are facing something similar.

 Tell me about the characters.

When it comes to Jenna Reiner, her experiences and emotions are very much my own.  The other characters are creations of my imagination.

 Tell me about the deposition. Was it as intimidating as indicated in the book?

Much of the deposition reflects exactly what happened in that dreadful conference room high above the city.  

 Can you tell me about the publicity surrounding the your case?

As far as news stories, there are a few.  It humiliates me up to reveal them, but they are part of the story.  In late November, early December of 2011, we were in the middle of settlement negotiations.  I was broken, and I wanted out.  Just like in the book, my family and I flew to Hawaii on Thanksgiving Day.  My attorneys assured me that the lawsuit would be settled by the time we got back.  On Black Friday, the first ‘real’ day of our vacation, my office notified me that a reporter was attempting to reach me.

 Rick Salinger, a local television reporter, was demanding to reach me for comment.  That night, he aired a story on the CBS affiliate here in Denver.  A week later, while still on vacation, I was notified of another potential story being pursued by Michael Booth from the Denver Post.  That story ended up being published on the front page of the paper on my first Monday back from vacation.  The scenes and emotions from the book don’t begin to tell the true horror I experienced on that Monday morning.  That event pushed me into a very dark place.

 Why the pen name and not your real name?

At the time that I began writing It’s Nothing Personal, I was very wounded.  I thought it would be better to keep my true identity a mystery.  However, since the book’s publication, I’ve become stronger.  I’ve also become driven by the desire to help other doctors who are facing malpractice litigation.  In order to tell my story, I was compelled to reveal my identity.  However, I will continue to write as Kate.  For me, Kate O’Reilley represents hope and optimism.  In many ways, I identify much more with the new me (as Kate) than my former self (Sherry Gorman).

 Kate (Sherry) provided me with the following news links. Please pay special attention to her message below, because as most of us have already had the experience of knowing – the news media does tend to take things out of context in order to sensationalize stories. 

 Please know that when you read the article for Channel 4 and The Denver Post, the reporters took things out of context.  My attorneys forbade me to comment.  In the eyes of the public, “no comment” is equivalent to an admission of guilt.  

 In particular, the Denver Post article contains particularly damaging statements quoted from my deposition.  These words, admittedly, were uttered from my mouth.  However, they were taken completely out of context.  

 In one statement, Michael Booth writes that I consider drug diversion to be “urban legend” and “folklore.”  In reality, these words came after a series of hostile questions from the patient’s attorney.  She asked me repeatedly if I had knowledge of specific drug diversions that had occurred at Rose Medical Center, unrelated to Kristen Parker.  Each time she asked whether I had knowledge about a particular diversion, I answered, “no.”  Finally, she asked me if I had any knowledge that drugs are ever stolen.  I interpreted the question as being very general.  My answer reflected my interpretation.  I explained that everyone who works in the OR has heard stories of drugs being stolen, and that these stories were basically “urban legend.”  My intention was not to minimize or trivialize the issue.  It was merely to point out that, in a general sense, this is common knowledge.  In the same response, I explained that no one had ever heard any stories of a person doing something like Kristen Parker allegedly did.  That is, stealing syringes of narcotics, injecting them into herself, and replacing the stolen syringes with contaminated ones, knowing they would be used on patients.  Not surprisingly, my explanation was omitted.

 In my blog post, “My Redemption,” I further elaborate on these misrepresentations. I was also able to defend myself in my interview with Kim Christiansen (9News).

 My Review:

 I am going to say first of all that I have been spending some time over on Kate’s blog. It is well worth the trip – only if you are not opposed to rotfl (rolling on the floor laughing!) This brave lady also has a sense of humor!


My first chapter review:

It’s Nothing Personal is Kate O’Reilley’s first book and she’s started it with a bang. The writing is intelligent and the characters were well on their way to distinguishing their personalities in the just the first chapter. 

 The book begins with Dr. Jenna Reiner hurrying along snow covered roads to work, hoping to be on time for the morning’s surgery. The author then sets the scene with Dr. Jenna Reiner, the anaesthesiologist, Hillary the scrub tech, and Rebecca, the circulating nurse in the operating room, each setting up their respective stations. 

 The author’s background as an anaesthesiologist, plays to the reader’s advantage as she sets the scene for surgery. We watch as Dr. Jenna Reiner gathers the narcotics and supplies from the locked cabinet and places them in her surgical cart, and with a nagging feeling, leaves the OR and Hillary, the scrub tech behind. The chapter ends with Hillary removing the syringes of narcotics and replacing them with syringes of saline solution.

 The first chapter left this reader with a feeling of unease, imagining they were being prepped for the surgery that would be taking place in that particular operating room (and highly anticipating the second chapter).  If the rest of the book is as well written as the first chapter, then It’s Nothing Personal promises pages of nail-biting suspense and drama.

 My review of the entire book:

I was captivated after completing the first chapter and went on to read the entire book – as fast as I could! What unfolded and took up the remaining chapters of the book was a bone-chilling fiction documentary (right or wrong – these are my descriptive words) of the author’s life. Not only does the author use her anaesthesiology background to give the reader first hand knowledge of the inside workings of an OR, but she goes on to use her lawsuit deposition experience to enlighten the reader to the nerve wracking tactics of barracuda attorneys. The story also shows how friendships and marriage can be tested to the limits, and how even the most loyal of friends may be forced to do things to save themselves. 

 The author did an amazing job of taking the reader into her life, her being, her emotions, until the words on the pages left this reader exhausted from having stood by Dr. Jenna Reiner’s side for two years of her life. It’s Nothing Personal (and you will learn that phrase well) takes the reader through the two years of the battle; from the beginning when the surgical tech’s abuse of the operating room is discovered, through the agonizing period of waiting to see if the doctor’s patients have been infected, and the ensuing malpractice law suit.

 After reading the book and knowing that it was based on Kate O’Reilley’s real-life experience, my overwhelming curiosity led me to hit the Internet and begin researching. My first stop was the author’s website and blog page, and then an in-depth conversation with the author. 

 In the book, the author speaks of her one true disappointment in the ordeal her family experienced due to the lawsuits. She was not allowed the opportunity to stand up for what she she believed in – justice, and to be the role model for her daughter that she wished to be. She was finally able to accomplish this. The author, Dr. Sherry Gorman, revealed her true identity recently, with the help of Kim Christiansen (9News), in the hopes of helping other physicians.

 In closing, I would like to say once again, what a captivating book. It was intelligently written with fully developed characters. The story was intense and suspenseful. It is definitely a book worth reading and I would give it 15 stars if they were available. 

 Book Quotes:

I would sue everyone involved and take him or her for all that they had. I wouldn’t stop until everyone who bore any responsibility suffered miserable. I would seek revenge. At that exact moment, Jenna fully comprehended the degree of trouble she faced if she indeed had an infected patient.

At that moment, Jenna’s entire life was dissolving. Everything she had strived to achieve was blowing away, like a pile of dust. Standing in the small room, Jenna felt the air grow thick and heavy. It hurt to breathe. Scorching bile rose up from her stomach, coating the back of her throat. She stared at the letter, but the words bled into one another – a sheet of blurry black waves upon a white background. Jenna needed to flee before anyone could see her. Attempting to escape, her legs buckled beneath her. Unsteady and weak, she pushed herself into motion.

“The judge cleared his throat, never for a second taking his eyes off of Hillary Martin. “Ms. Martin, how do you wish to plea?” “Guilty, Your Honor,” she replied, this time slightly louder. “Do you enter this plea on your own free will and not under any coercion or external influence?” “Yes sir.” The judge smacked his gavel once. The thud echoed throughout the crowded courtroom, like a gun being fired. “The court rejects your guilty plea.”

“Besides your (Jenna) performance in court, your deposition will probably be the most important thing you contribute to your case. To be brutally honest, the purpose of your deposition is singular. It’s Anders’ chance to get you to hang yourself with your own words. She will try to get you to admit that what you did was wrong. She will attempt to twist our words, trip you up, and make you appear dishonest. She will hammer you with the same questions over and over again for hours in hopes that you will eventually contradict yourself. All while you are being videotaped, audiotaped, and every word you say is transcribed by a court reporter.”

“Mommy, please don’t cry,” Mia begged. “Everything will be okay. Daddy and I promise. Don’t we, Daddy?”…Jenna blindly followed her daughter into the bedroom. For Mia’s sake, Jenna let her pick out a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt. In a reversal of roles, Mia helped Jenna pull her cotton scrub top over her head and tossed it into the hamper…Indulging her daughter was the best thing that had happened to Jenna all day.

Lyle had been secluded in his office for the duration of the deposition. He watched the events unfold from a live video stream supplied by multiple hidden cameras embedded at strategic locations within the conference room. His entire day was spent dissecting the facial expressions, body language, and mannerisms of everyone in the room, particularly those of Dr. Reiner. On more than one occasion  Lyle fought the impulse to barge in and attack her. The doctor’s soft-spoken nature and composure incensed him.

Reprinted from Kate O’Reilley’s website:

 Kate O’Reilley is a physician, specializing in anesthesiology.  In late 2009, Kate was plunged into a painful battle in a high-profile, medical malpractice suit.  The calamity that ensued nearly destroyed Kate and her family.  After the suit ended and the wounds started to heal, Kate was urged by close friends and co-workers to document her experiences.  The words flowed, and It’s Nothing Personal was born from Kate’s journey through her temporary hell.

 Through the process of writing It’s Nothing Personal, Kate has come to terms with her ordeal.  She has emerged a new person, with a new goal — to share with the public and other doctors the brutal reality of medical malpractice suits.  Speaking openly about the trauma of being sued is considered taboo amongst most physicians.  That unspoken code of silence inflicts further isolation and grief upon the doctor who has everything on the line. For a doctor whose skills and judgement are publicly questioned and scrutinized, the stress is all-encompassing.  Most physicians are irrevocably changed, and some are even pushed to the ultimate breaking point — suicide.  In order to publicly address this topic, Kate was forced to summon the courage to reveal her real-life identity, Dr. Sherry Gorman.  Her story has been featured in a televised interview on the Denver NBC affiliate, on radio, and in the national publication, The Daily Beast.  If even one physician gains some level of solace in Dr. Gorman’s/Kate O’Reilley’s story, she will feel the personal risks she faces associated with going public will have been worth it.

Although Dr. Gorman has publicly shared her identity, she identifies more with her pen name Kate O’Reilley.  For this woman who has endured so much heartache, Kate O’Reilley represents her new spirit.  One that is filled with hope, optimism, and a new found passion in writing.

Kate’s second book, In Good Hands, is a moving, gripping, and tragic story of an anesthesiologist who dispenses her own version of  justice after being the innocent victim of a brutal crime.

Kate currently resides in Colorado with her husband and beautiful daughter.  In her spare time, she enjoys running, writing, reading, and spending time with her family.  Her family vacations are always spent in Hawaii, a place that Kate and her family hold dear to their hearts.  Having lived on Oahu while her daughter was young, Kate and her family relish the day when they can return to the islands permanently.