Two Family Home Author by Sarah Title – Cover Reveal

 

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Title:
 Two Family Home
Author: Sarah Title
Publisher: Lyrical Press

Lindsey Alford moved to Willow Springs, Kentucky, to prove to all doubters (mostly her parents) that she’s all grown up. Something her neighbor Walker Smith never questioned—those short shorts of hers!

Put a cute single girl with an overactive imagination next door to a reclusive hot guy, add in a decadent blue velvet sofa, a locked garage and a nursing home full of busybodies, and trouble is bound to pop up. Literally, in the form of an adorably naughty stray pup with a longing for two people to lick and a home all his own.

Love isn’t complex…it’s a duplex!

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Two Family Home is available at Amazon

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PUYB Meet the Author

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Sarah Title

By day, Sarah Title is a (sort of) mild-mannered librarian in West Virginia, and by night, she writes funny, steamy, comfort reads.  Sarah holds a B.A. in English from Vassar College and an M.L.S. from Indiana University.  Her first book, Kentucky Home, was released by eKensington in April 2013.  The follow-up novella, “Kentucky Christmas,” came out, surprisingly, the following December.  She also contributed to the anthology, Delicious, with Lori Foster and Lucy Monroe.

Her newest book, Home Sweet Home, was released by eKensington in April 2014.

Sarah is represented by Louise Fury with the Bent Agency.

Praise for Sarah Title’s work:

“Quite a sexy book.”  —USAToday.com on Kentucky Home

“The funny, down-to-earth characters who fill the pages are wonderfully sympathetic and their chemistry is delightful, but it is the added dose of magic featured in each story that lends this book its unique charm. With subtle flair, Foster, Monroe and Title walk the narrow border between genres to great success.”  —RT Book Reviews on Delicious (4 stars)

“I hope there are many more from this author.”  —My mom, in her Amazon review of Kentucky Home

For More Information
Visit Sarah’s website.
Connect with Sarah on Facebook  and Twitter.

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Review From Here

Literal Exposure

I’m Shelf-ish

Bent Over Bookwords

The Literature Exchange

Inkslinger’s Opus

The Revolving Bookshelf

The Book Czar

All Inclusive Retort

Carpe Librum

Lover of Literature

Voodoo Princess

Charles Reads

Confessions of a Reader

3 Partners in Shopping

My Life. One Story at a Time

Carti Cu Colti

The Dark Phantom

The Literary Nook

If You Believe by Mya O’Malley

 

Sometimes love only comes once in a lifetime. For some lucky people, it is possible to love again.
Melody and Jack had shared an unforgettable love story that abruptly came to an end. Melody, left picking up the pieces, finds herself alone years later, with no hope or desire to date again. With the holiday season approaching, Melody finds it particularly difficult to get Jack out of her thoughts.
Jack isn’t sure if he’s an angel or a ghost, but his mind is set on one thing only, finding a new love for Melody by Christmas Eve at midnight. Easier said than done, with many obstacles to tackle, Jack underestimates how difficult the task is. With conflicting emotions, Jack takes it upon himself to find a man for a woman he still loves.
With the clock ticking as the holidays approach, this charming story of finding love the second time around will have you laughing and crying, but ultimately, it will have you believing in true love.

Review – I’ll be reviewing this book in the near future. 

Buy on Amazon

Mya O’Malley was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, daughter and three step-daughters. The family also consists of two boxers; Destiny and Dolce and a ragdoll cat named Colby. Mya earned an undergraduate degree in special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students.
Mya’s passion is writing; she has been creating stories and poetry since she was a child. Mya spends her free time reading just about anything she can get her hands on. She is a romantic at heart and loves to create stories with unforgettable characters. Mya likes to travel; she has visited several Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Costa Rica. Mya is currently working on her fifth novel.

Unlike Any Other by Claudie Burgoa – Media Blitz, Giveaway, Excerpt

UnlikeAny_Coming

AJ

The name AJ Colthurst may not have any meaning to the public eye, but it should, as I’m the daughter of two famous celebrities. Like any superstar, they crave privacy; so much of it, they built a house in the middle of nowhere for us children. As we grew older, we discovered the lies they built as a fort to protect us from the media, ended up causing emotional damage along the way.
I carry a portion of the guilt on my shoulders; the other part I discovered is the separation of my parents. Their unorthodox ways may have driven me bonkers, but knowing they are no longer together is unacceptable.
That’s why I decided to rattle their cage by reminding at least one of my parents of the past and the reason they belong together. They need to remember why their love is so perfect and why they have to fight to keep it alive. Even if it means I have to dredge up some of my own painful memories along the way.

Gabe

Back in the early eighties, I set myself to succeed in the financial world. The first step had been moving to New York City to become a stockbroker, but things didn’t work out the way I had hoped. Instead, I ended up making movies and by the end of the decade, Gabe Colt had become a famous name. The downside to my career of choice: the paparazzi. In order to protect my family and our privacy, I maintained my family away from the circus. It had been for their own good; a decision we had made before we started our family.
However, those past decisions ended up chasing my entire family away and now I’m trying to put the pieces back together along with my little girl.

GOODREADS:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23203739-unlike-any-other

Buy Link:

Amazon Kindle

UnlikeAnyOther_RDbanner

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY

2 $25 gift cards to an online retailer

a Rafflecopter giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bc4d7a9096/?

Unlike Any Other Cover
Born on the mystical day of October 30th in the not so mystical lands of Mexico City, Claudia Burgoa grew up with a childhood that resembled a caffeine-injected soap opera. Seventeen years ago she ventured to the lands of her techie husband—a.k.a. the U.S.—with their offspring to start a new adventure.

She now lives in Colorado working as a CFO for a small IT company, managing her household filled with three confused dogs, said nerd husband, two daughters wrought with fandoms and a son who thinks he’s the boss of the house. To survive she works continually to find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact.

Website: http://www.claudiayburgoa.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudiaYBurgoa

Twitter: https://twitter.com/yuribeans

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7202946.Claudia_Y_Burgoa

EXCERPT

“You don’t seem surprised to see me.”

“The bank called earlier to inform me that Miss Colthurst spent twenty-five thousand dollars in one swipe and to confirm that I authorized the transaction. You haven’t used your card in a long time and suddenly you spend thousands of dollars in just minutes.” We enter a large room with wall to wall bookcases that span from the floor up to the ceiling. Behind a mahogany desk, there is a majestic panoramic window that faces the ocean. A familiar setting, but I’m positive that I’ve never been here before. Gabriel closes the door behind us and resumes the conversation. “Logically, I had to find out what you were up to. I feared you’d been in the hospital and with that pride you carry… you wouldn’t call. That’s why I sent Mason to pick you up, I wanted him to make sure you’re alright. He was in the neighborhood.”

Well, he’s here, I’m here, might as well get the party started.

“I wanted you to tell me that what the magazine published is a lie.” I fight with the fist-sized knot in my throat. “But I witnessed that it’s real: a wife, a kid… your first kid, the magazine highlighted that part. Congratulations, I guess.”

I clean the dripping sarcasm from my mouth with the back of my hand.

Those wrinkles around his blue eyes shrink even more. He doesn’t look as young as he does on the cover of magazines. Late fifties look different in front of the cameras, in the media, and, in general. With all the makeup and Photoshop they apply, not many get to see the real face of Gabriel Colt; only a few of us are lucky.

“Ah, that made you crawl outside your little hideout, I see.” He closes his eyes and takes several breaths before opening them again. “Life changed while you were gone, AJ. I don’t think you have the right to burst into my house and make a scene.”

“Your house?” I try to grab the edge of the desk to keep myself from getting caught in the rapids I’m swimming against at the moment. What happened to: “What’s yours is ours?”

“So, I take it you’re not here to apologize?” he dodges my question.

“This house looks a lot like the house in Baja—also looks like home,” I take a few steps and scan the room—avoiding his question.

Two can play the same game. I learned from the best—him.

The answer is simple. Hell, no, I’m not asking him to forgive me. Not when he’s proving that I was right. He lied for a long time. Or, that he only cares about his image and what the rest of the world thinks of him.

“Eight rooms upstairs, I bet. The biggest facing the ocean and it’s right above this library, isn’t it? You never brought us here.” Babbling, faking anger that’s keeping me standing in one piece without shedding a tear. “Can I ask you a question? Actually, just a few things and after that, I swear I’ll disappear forever since that is what you want.”

I cough a couple of times masking the shakiness of my voice. Gabriel sets his hands on his hips and stares at me before he lets a breath out. I take that as a ‘yes’ or a ‘go ahead you poor kid, let’s give this one last time before I start my new family’.

Get Lucky Anthology – Nicola Marsh, Kelsey Browning, Robin Covington, Avery Flynn, Sarah Humphreys, Kimberly Kincaid

Available on Amazon for .99

Get Lucky Anthology

Six brand new Irish-themed contemporary, new adult and paranormal romance novellas that will give Get Lucky a whole new meaning.

From USA Today bestselling author Nicola Marsh – Walking the Line
Ellie is a decade older than Finn but that doesn’t stop the charming Irishman from wooing her.
Ellie doesn’t believe in the happily-ever-after dream any longer, not since hers imploded a long time ago. But can a smooth-talking Irishman sway a hard-hearted cynic to believe in love again?

From reader favorite Kelsey Browning – Amazed by You
Author’s assistant Olivia McLaughlin must pull off an extravagant St. Patrick’s Day garden party to win a coveted promotion, but her success hinges on landscape designer Cody Kavanaugh, her old high school boyfriend. Now, Olivia must decide which she can’t live without—the job that will make her a success or the man offering her a second chance at love.

From sizzling hot and bestselling Robin Covington – One Little Kiss
Trapped by a snowstorm in the same place at the same time, Leighton and Jonas must decide if their hot night together was the end of their story or if they started forever with just one little kiss…

From RT Book Review Award nominee Avery Flynn – Big, Bad Red
There’s nothing little or naive about this Red Riding Hood. Red runs the biggest fencing operation for fairytale treasures out of the back of Granny’s Pub. But when she comes into possession of the Caladbolg sword things get hairy–as in hot, sexy Liam MacTíre the werewolf hairy.

From paranormal darling Sara Humphreys – Luck of the Irish
Banished to the mirrored realm for hundreds of years, Declan Aherne had nothing but time to plot his revenge and mourn the loss of his beloved wife. But when a beautiful human woman, with a familiar amulet, stares into the mirror….Declan’s luck was about to change.

From the sexy sweet Kimberly Kincaid – Something Borrowed
When her successful brother announces his plans for an impromptu wedding in Ireland, unlucky-in-love chef Sasha Arrington is stuck between the Blarney Stone and a hard place. Sasha needs a wingman for her brother’s wedding, and the romantic destination could be just what James Sullivan needs to tempt Sasha out of the friend zone.

Purchase on Amazon

Review – I’ll be reviewing this book in the near future. 

USA TODAY bestselling author Nicola Marsh writes flirty fiction with flair for adults and riveting, eerie stories for young adults. Based in Melbourne, she has published 45 books and sold over 5 million copies worldwide. She writes contemporary romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon, Entangled Publishing and is self-published.

Kelsey Browning writes sass kickin’ love stories and co-authors Southern cozy mysteries. She’s also a co-founder of Romance University blog, one of Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers. Originally from a Texas town smaller than the ones she writes about, Kelsey has also lived in the Middle East and Los Angeles, proving she’s either adventurous or downright nuts. These days, she hangs out in northeast Georgia with Tech Guy, Smarty Boy, Bad Dog and Pharaoh, a (fingers crossed) future therapy dog.

 

Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her bestselling books. A Night of Southern Comfort, her debut novel was nominated for the RT Book Reviewers Choice Awards for Small Press and was touted by RT Book Reviews as bringing a “fresh, modern feel to the genre while still sticking to the things that get our adrenaline pumping — sex and danger”. Her books were also nominated for the Bookseller’s Best Award and the National Reader’s Choice Awards.

Robin lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband, brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!) and her beloved furbabies.

Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

Sara Humphreys is a graduate of Marist College, with a B.A. Degree in English Literature & Theater. Her initial career path after college was as a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me. In 2013 Sara’s novel UNTAMED won two PRISM awards–Dark Paranormal and Best of the Best.
She loves writing hot heroes and heroines with moxie but above all, Sara adores a satisfying happily-ever-after. She lives in New York with her husband, their four amazing sons, and two adorable pups. When she’s not writing or hanging out with the men in her life, she can be found working out with Shaun T in her living room or chatting with readers on Facebook.

Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance novels that split the difference between sexy and sweet, taking the traditional idea of boy-meets-girl and infusing it with a sassy magic all her own. She believes in fiery yet flawed characters destined for a crash-course in falling in love– usually the hard way– and injects her trademark humor as well as poignant touches into her writing to create her stories.

 

The Party Plan by Melanie Jayne – Review

The Party Plan CoverAvery Grant has been through a rough patch, she gave up her career to move home to help take care of her ailing parents. She married a man that she did not love and he almost bankrupted her family’s farm. Now she is going to get what she wants and for over twenty years she has wanted Kade Martin.

Party_Plan-teaser3
Kade has been attracted to his sister’s best friend for twenty years. In the beginning Avery was too innocent, then she was married and he was busy working hard and playing harder.

The plan is simple.

Party_Plan-teaser1
After tonight’s party for their godson’s engagement, Avery is going home with Kade. One night of sex with no strings.

Party_Plan-teaser2
That’s the plan.

PartyPLan_Available_now

 

 The Party Plan is available on Kindle or Paperback

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25028145-the-party-plan

iTunes/iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-party-plan/id970270911?mt=11&uo=4

My Review:

Hot, Fast, and Cheap! Well, take back the cheap there! If you only have a few minutes and you are looking for a great sexy read – look no further! The Party Plan will have you hot and bothered in a smoldering New York second as the saying goes.

Two people who have spent half their lives longing for each other find themselves unattached and at each other’s beck and call. Let the flirting begin.

Not the normal genre I review on my blog, but I like experimenting with my reading every now and then. I’m giving The Party Plan a huge thumb’s up.

Check back tomorrow for an interview with the author!

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bc4d7a9095/?

Excerpt

This domineering side of Kade was the man she had fantasized about being with. Avery moistened her lips as she prepared her answer, “Yes.”

Yes what?”

Oh God,” his lips continue teasing her sensitive neck. It was so hard to form words, lost in the feeling. “I, uhm, I like this. I like your hands on me.” She tilted her head further so that he would have better access to her sensitive skin.

Kade chuckled, “Very good, Avery. For the record, I’ve wanted you for a long time. Christ, you were still a shy teenager when I wanted you the first time. I remember watching you spread suntan lotion on your body, your oil covered hands touching your skin. I was home on leave, but back then you were too innocent for me. So I stayed away, I knew it wasn’t the right time. I’ve been waiting for that time to come. I won’t stay away tonight.”

The Author, Melanie Jayne –

I live on a grain farm southeast of Indianapolis, Indiana with my very patient husband of twenty-five years and our two English Mastiffs, Buster Brown and Ginger. I graduated from Indiana University when it was the #1 party school in the country and I took great pride in helping the school achieve that ranking.

I haven’t figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I change careers every decade. I have worked in retail, a federal courtroom, travelled across the state closing loans, and behind the scenes in a casino.

I’ve always had an active imagination so when a good friend suggested that I try writing a book, I thought why not, it should be fun. It has, but I have had to work very hard to learn how to do it. I am so lucky for the outpouring of advice and education from so many in the industry, plus the hand-holding and cheerleading from My Gurls. I also have an incredible Ad-man-istrative Assistant, who tries to keep me under control. He rolls his eyes so much that I worry about a permanent condition.

When I ‘m not working or writing type stuff, I sleep, watch courtroom TV shows, and sports. I was a competitive pro-am ballroom dancer for ten years and I read as many books as I can.

​I love to attend Author-Reader Conventions and look forward to meeting you.

Website: http://www.readmelaniejayne.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjsmut

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mjsmut

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25028145-the-party-plan?from_search=true

PLAYLIST FOR THE PARTY PLAN

By Melanie Jayne

-Turning Tables by Adele

-Colorblind by Amber Riley (the Cast of Glee)

-I’ll Be by Edwin McCain

-Raise Your Glass- Pink

-Glitter in the Air- Pink

-Fields of Gold- Sting

-If I Were a Boy- Beyonce

-Don’t Speak-No Doubt

-Only Happy When It Rains-Garbage

-This is the Time-Billy Joel

-Clown-Emeli Sande

-Animal-Nine Inch Nails

-Hate On Me- Jill Scott

-Cowboy-Kid Rock

-Bawitdaba-Kid Rock

The Christmas Women by Elyse Douglas (Review)

Fiction/Romance – The Christmas Women

The Christmas Women

When 38-year old Trudie Parks learns that her high school drama teacher is seriously ill, she immediately contacts her two best friends in high school, Kristen and Mary Ann. Together, they’d been known as “The Christmas Girls.” They’d produced and starred in the annual high school Christmas show, which their teacher, Mrs. Childs, had directed.

Determined to show their love for Mrs. Childs, they plan a 20-year reunion to recreate the Christmas show for her. What they don’t anticipate is the complicated emotions this provokes, as former sweethearts appear and rekindle romance, painful memories and the sting of unrealized dreams. All three women must reassess their lives and their friendships, while struggling to produce the show, even while Mrs. Childs seems to grow weaker by the day.

As Christmas Eve approaches, The Christmas Women prepare for an event that will take them and the audience to the farthest reaches of the human heart and resonate throughout the rest of their lives.

Elyse Douglas

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse’s mother was a painter and her father a textile consultant. Elyse began writing poems and short stories at an early age, and graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s Degree in English Literature. Douglas grew up in a family of musicians, astrologers and avid readers. His great grandfather lived to be a 134 years old, and was the oldest man in the world when he died in 1922.

Some of Elyse Douglas’ novels include: “The Astrologer’s Daughter,” “Wanting Rita,” “The Christmas Diary” and “The Christmas Town.” They live in New York City.

My Review -

As I read the author’s biography, I was surprised to read that Elyse Douglas is actually a husband/wife writing team. I had already written the review in my head, but when I read this, my thoughts started to wander and I began thinking of the story in an entirely different way.

Throughout the story, which involves a Christmas high school reunion, there is the usual high school drama that seems to unfold no matter how old we get. I tend to think it quite easy to picture a woman writing about all of the melodrama, but now, thinking of a man collaborating on it, the story takes on a different spin.

I enjoyed reading The Christmas Women. The storyline was interesting and the writing was good. There was friendship and romance, humor and otherwise. The story will have you laughing and then crying. Even though the Christmas season has passed, it would still be a great book to read.

I am giving The Christmas Women five stars.

 

Back in the kitchen, she laid the yearbook down before her. She spooned her oatmeal and stared at the yearbook. She sipped coffee, staring at it. She made a steeple of her hands, staring at it. She hadn’t looked through it in years. The group photos and senior portraits always provoked both fondness and an aching regret. Some of her classmates had already died. Some had seemed to vanish. Most had moved away after college. Like a lot of Midwestern towns. Deer Lake had suffered manufacturing losses and most of the young people had fled to the cities for better opportunities.

 
Purchase on Amazon in these formats:
Kindle
Paperback

 

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 may have been 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. 

Always Yours by Kari March Blog Tour

Blog Tour Banner

Title – Always Yours (Always 2)

Author – Kari March

Genre – Contemporary Romance

Cover Photo by Daniel Erny

Cover design by K23 Designs

 

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Synopsis

That was the only word Cam Greer, the son of a wealthy media mogul, had ever associated with women. When he met Amber Murphy his senior year in high school, he felt like, for once, this girl loved him for him. When she pursued her dreams and left Cam behind, Amber not only crushed Cam’s heart, she destroyed his future as well. He was left to start his life over, thinking the only woman that would ever truly love him was gone.

Cara Pratt has finally got her life on track. Ten years after watching her father literally walk out of her life, Cara has finally found happiness with a new stepfather and her high school boyfriend, Lance. Everything is going according to her plan, until a pregnancy test comes back positive. Once again, she finds herself watching the man she loves walk out
of her life, taking her future along with him.

When Cam and Cara spot each other across the bar at Maggie’s Place four years later, neither of them are interested in starting a relationship. They’re both a little unsure and completely untrusting. They try to fight the intense immediate attraction, realizing right off, the seriousness of their chemistry, but as hard as they try, they can’t.

As fate pulls them together, will their mistrust push them apart? As the smoldering embers from their pasts come blazing to the surface, fears are uncovered that neither of them are ready to face.

This is Cam and Cara’s story and can be read as a standalone.

Laugh

Goodreads linkhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20799372-always-yours

Buy Links

AmazonB&NiTunesKOBO

 

Don't hurt me

Excerpt

Cam’s POV

“You know, since we’re on the subject,” I began, raising my eyebrows at her, “do you maybe want to invite me in?”

She shook her head at me as she chuckled a bit. “Do you ever think of anything else besides sex?” She started walking to her door and I followed her.

“No, not really,” I said, shrugging my shoulders. “It doesn’t help that I’ve done nothing but think about you for the past two weeks.” She grinned timidly over her shoulder at me as she unlocked the door. Leaning forward I swiped the hair off of the back of her neck as I softly said the next part in her ear, “Your sexy body, the way you cried out my name, and the look on your face when you came all over me, is all I’ve been able to see.” Her face flushed with color. “You’ve got my balls cussin’, firecracker, and there is only one thing that is going to make them stop.”

Spinning her around swiftly, I pressed my mouth to hers, kissing her hard. She moaned into my mouth and I lost it…Laying her down on the couch I climbed over her. Moving down my shirt, she continued her assault on the buttons—one by one, her fingers brushed against my skin, leaving a wake of warmth in their path.

Once she had it open, she pushed it over my shoulders and slid her hands over my chest as she made her way to my pants. Her touch was impulsive and desperate, like she craved me as much as I did her. I grabbed her wrists and pinned them above her head. Burying my face in her neck, I kissed and nibbled on her earlobe and she let out an inviting giggle. I continued down her throat and goose bumps broke out all over her skin.

Thrusting her hips upward, she tried to make contact but I denied her and pulled back. She whined a little and I couldn’t help but laugh—I loved making her squirm…

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About the Author

I’m an Amazon bestselling, new adult, contemporary author. I’m a wife, mother of 2 amazing kiddos, photographer and owner at K23 Photography & Design, graphic designer and cover designer at K23 Designs, as well as an avid reader and blogger at A Book Whores Obsession! I have been married since 2004 to the most amazing man ever and together we have two amazing children.

I was born in Aurora, CO and still reside their today with my amazing family. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world. I have become accustom to bi-polar weather living here and I absolutely love getting all four seasons (although winters could be a bit shorter.)

I have a small obsession with Starbucks and gummy bears! They make the perfect writing snack! Wine helps a lot too especially with the late night writing sessions. I love the summer and everything that goes along with it, camping, swimming, boating, hiking, etc. I love to travel and Disneyland is one of my family’s favorite places to visit together. I have a dream of visiting so many places in the world such as Italy, Greece, Australia, Fiji, Bora Bora and New Zealand (just to name a few.)

Author Links

Website – http://karimarchauthor.wordpress.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/karimarchauthor?ref_type=bookmark

Twitter handle – @Kmarch23

Booktropolous – https://booktropoloussocial.com/index.php?do=/karimarchauthor/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7336531.Kari_March

Newsletter Sign up – http://eepurl.com/2vPvX

 

If you haven’t read Promise Me Always, here is some information on it too!!

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Promise Me Always (Always 1)

Synopsis

Blake Bentley had a rough upbringing, never fully believing he was good enough for anything or anyone. After being left with a broken heart by his only girlfriend, Blake swore off relationships for good and turned to the only two things that made him feel sufficient – sex and firefighting.

Tessa Collins was brought up in the traditional ‘perfect’ family – loving parents, great sister, and amazing friends. After falling in love with Jared, her life was perfect – until he betrayed her. She has no idea that his betrayal could end up costing her more than just a shattered heart.

Blake and Tessa have been friends since high school. Never wanting to admit their attraction for each other, the two always remained close friends. Now, three years later, Blake and Tessa find themselves being pulled together by a force much greater than friendship.

Buy Links for Promise Me Always

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1iA5jCw

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/promise-me-always-kari-march/1118598015?ean=2940148191834

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/promise-me-always/id818676997?mt=11

Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/promise-me-always

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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

During the Fall by Cheryl Murnane (Review)

Jenny and Alex are high school sweethearts intertwined in an idyllic romance that spans several decades. Their journey carries them through unexpected trials that challenge the security and the very foundation of their relationship. Jenny’s fears of losing the only man she’s ever loved quickly become overshadowed by a tragedy she couldn’t have imagined.

This is an emotional tale about how life can force you to grow when you least expect it. This provocative story will fill your heart with the belief that you can survive the most unforeseen and intense moments when you learn to trust.

 

 

I
Cheryl Murnane

CHERYL MURNANE lives in a suburb of Boston with her husband, two children, and dog, Mitzi. “During the Fall” is Cheryl’s first novel. As a practitioner of yoga, she lives a disciplined life, balanced by faith and family, and she believes that everything happens for reasons we may not always understand. Cheryl loves to hear from fans at http://www.facebook.com/cherylmurnaneauthor or at her website http://www.cherylmurnane.com

 

My Thoughts:

During the Fall is an inspirational book and a nice read. At the core of the book was the simple, yet profound message that we are not in charge; God is. It is a heart-warming story of a young Christian family that must go through a tragedy to find their faith.

While I found there were parts of the book that could have been edited down to make the story more concise, it was a great book.  The story showed a deep and profound love between the characters and their families. In today’s fast-paced world, we tend to get bogged down in the day-to-day mundane happenings and we forget to look at those we love as people. We tend to forget to open the door, pull out a chair, or even give our spouse a kiss hello. These are the important things in life and that is what the book was about. It gives the reader pause to check their own actions and to contemplate the important things in life.

I also loved the cover of the book. In addition to being a beautiful cover, it was a great cover for the story.

Even though I lost your Aunt Sally too soon, we knew we loved each other. I don’t think differently about it. She left this world with as much love as she could take with her.

I smiled, ‘You’re right Mom. I guess I need to make sure I give Alex as much love and attention as I can and appreciate the time we have together, because in the end, love is all there really is.’ I smiled, realizing those were the words my mother had said to me my whole life.

…I took a personal oath during my drive home on that sunny spring day to spread joy in my husband’s life, hoping it would fill both of us with an endless amount of love, so that in the end neither of us would ever forget the depth of our love for each other.

I am giving During the Fall four stars.

 

Purchase During the Fall in these formats:

 Kindle
Paperback

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 may have been 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. 

A Home for Christmas by MK McClintock – includes 3 Historical Fiction Short Stories

 

A HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
is available for Pre-Order!

Includes three historical fiction short stories to inspire love and warm the heart this holiday season

CHRISTMAS MOUNTAIN
In search of family she barely knows and adventure she’s always wanted, Katherine Donahue is saved from freezing on a winter night in the mountains of Montana by August Hollister. Neither of them expected that what one woman had in mind was a new beginning for them both.

TETON CHRISTMAS
Heartache and a thirst for adventure lead McKensie Stewart and her sister to Wyoming after the death of their parents. With the help of a widowed aunt and a charming horse breeder, McKensie discovers that hope is a cherished promise, and there is no greater gift than love.

LILY’S CHRISTMAS WISH
Lily Malone has never had a real family or a real Christmas. This holiday season, she might get both. From an orphanage in New York City to the rugged mountains of Colorado, Lily sends out only one wish. But when the time comes, can she give it up so someone else’s wish can come true?

Settings: Montana, Wyoming, Colorado
Christmas Short Stories

 

Pre-Order A HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

 

 

Trigger by Julia Derek (Book Review – 3 stars)

Sparks fly when struggling actress Nina Tyler meets hot lawyer Dylan Whitman. The chemistry between them is so intense Nina even rethinks her staunch position on relationships. Maybe they’re not a waste of time after all. But there’s something about Dylan that scares her—and she knows it has nothing to do with fear of getting close to a man, like her best friend thinks. It’s something far worse.

Preppy Dylan has had his heart broken and his uncle challenges him to move on by going on five online dates. Dylan ends up on a date with Nina. While her unabashed attitude unsettles him at first, he soon realizes that he really likes her. But as they get closer, she pulls back. It’s as if she’s convinced he’d physically hurt her, which he’d never do. Still, if he doesn’t figure out what’s triggering her fear, she’ll never be his. Little does he know her fear is directly tied to him.

Julia Derek grew up in SImage of Julia Derekweden but always knew she was meant to live in America, more specifically, in New York City. A former stand-up comic, she has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. When she doesn’t write or read, she spends her time whipping people into shape as a fitness trainer. She is the author of the L.A. Girls Romance Series. The Series follows the steamy love lives of four different girls from Los Angeles. While interconnected, the four standalone novels don’t have to be read in order (though Julia recommends you start with LOVE CURSED). TRIGGER, LOVE CURSED and UNDERCOVER LOVERS are currently available. The fourth installment will be out in the beginning of October, 2014.

Her YA romantic thriller, The Smiley Killer, is now available.

Julia loves to hear from her readers. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter or by visiting her website: http://www.JuliaDerek.com. Email her at juliatheswede@yahoo.com to get notices about her latest release.

Purchase Trigger in Kindle format on Amazon

My Thoughts:

The following review contains what may be considered a spoiler. Please keep this in mind as you read my review. Thank you.

After reading the book, I felt the title, “TRIGGER“, was an apt name. The book dealt with trigger memories from a prior bullying experience. As this is a topic we are seeing a lot about in the news today, I felt the author touched on a relevant subject for her book.

TRIGGER by Julia Derek is the story of a young woman who finds herself dealing, or in the beginning, not dealing with the after effects of high school bullying as well as survivor’s guilt. She becomes involved with a guy and finds herself having strange reactions to the different facial expressions he uses. Through therapy, she is able to begin addressing her delayed reactions. Another twist in the story has one of the bullies in close proximity.

I thought some of the book meandered. Then, all of a sudden the story came to a conclusion and closed up shop fairly quickly. I am not a fan of sudden endings. I feel that books need to focus as much attention on setting up the endings as the beginnings, and I felt this book was lacking in that respect.

The plus side is that the story topic was good, but I felt the actual writing was more on a 3-3.5 level. Something in the writing just didn’t resonate with what I look for in a book. It was almost as though I were reading a book that fluctuated between several grade levels.

I did enjoy the point of view change with each chapter. The author pulled that aspect off quiet well. There are also a number of detailed sex scenes in the book.

I am going to give the book an overall 3 star rating. The book enveloped a good topic with good character development, even though I felt the writing needs some improvement.

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 may have been 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. 

 

More Than Pancakes by Christine DePetrillo (Promotion)

 

Lily Hinsdale spends her California days designing extravagant hotels for Utopia Resorts. Her nights are filled with the glitz and glamour of upscale parties. Until her grandmother dies and leaves Lily property in wretched Vermont. The woods mean only one thing to Lily—nightmares. When Utopia wants the land for development, Lily is forced to travel to a place she’d rather forget.

Rick Stannard makes maple syrup and builds barns in the peace and quiet of picturesque Vermont. Noisy New York City nearly killed him a few years back, and now he lives a calm, simple life with his coyote, Poe, and his beloved book collection. It’s the only way he’s guaranteed to wake up each morning.

When Lily marches her expensive boots onto Rick’s land and proposes turning it into a mega resort, the serenity of the woods is shattered. Lily always closes a deal. Rick never intends to sell. They’ll need to compromise, or someone else will do it for them. Someone who is not afraid of the woods or the city.

Or spilling a little blood.

 (Scroll to read)
First Chapter:

 

“Leave it, Poe. Quit fooling
around.”

 

Rick Stannard wrestled his
glove away from his coyote. She was forever burying, slobbering all over, or
chewing holes in his good work gloves. Ever since he’d rescued the abandoned,
starving pup from the woods at the edge of his property, he’d been living with
the eccentricities of having an animal meant for the wild living in his cabin.
He’d trained her. Knew she wouldn’t attack him while he slept, but now and
then, her feral nature would flare up. Poe considered it playing, and most of
the time so did Rick, but today he had to insert the taps on his maple trees
and inspect the lines. The sap was about to run and that meant the Stannard
Mountain Pure Vermont Maple Syrup Company—Rick’s company—was all systems green.

 

“C’mon, you beast. We don’t
have all morning to waste. We’ve got work to do.” Rick gave a final tug that
freed his glove from Poe’s jaws. He stumbled back, landing on his backside on
the hickory floor of his small kitchen. “Brat.” He swiped Poe’s muzzle with his
glove.

 

The coyote licked his hand and happily
trotted beside Rick as he went into the garage to load his sled with the
necessary tools. Clothed in his snow pants, thermal shirt, fleece jacket, knit
hat, boots, and snowshoes, Rick was ready for a day out on his three-hundred
acre property in the woods of Danton, Vermont. He’d upgraded his equipment, all
gravity-fed lines, about three years back. The only assistance he accepted was
from his aunt, Joy Stannard, and his cousins, Hope and Sage, who ran the bakery
and book swap storefront of the business during the late winter and early
spring months. Customers needed a cozy, friendly little shop from which to
purchase their maple products. Rick didn’t do cozy or friendly, but Aunt Joy
and his cousins excelled in both areas.

 

Leaving the sled outside, he
pushed open the door to the storefront and let Poe scurry in first.

 

“Morning, Rick! I was
thinking if we arranged the tables this way, it would allow for more
interaction between customers, and if the customers interact more, this place
could become the social center of Danton. It would mean more sales, more book
swapping, more action. Sometimes this place can be such a tomb, but with the
tables like this, maybe some hot, interesting guys will come in and whisk me
away to—”

 

Rick held up two hands
to stop Hope from continuing her verbal assault. Too much. Too early.

 

“Sorry.” Hope pushed in
a chair at one of the tables she’d moved. “I forgot you aren’t a morning
person.”

 

“Isn’t much of an
afternoon or evening person either,” Sage, Hope’s sister, called from behind
the pastry case where she had been vacuuming the shelves.

 

Rick shot her a glare
to which she responded with a snarl that ended in a grin.

 

“What brings you
amongst the people, Grouch?” Sage gathered her long, blond hair into a ponytail
then leaned against the pastry case.

 

Rick pointed down to
his winter attire. “What does it look like I’m going to do?”

 

“Sumo wrestle with
Bigfoot?” Hope offered, making Sage chuckle.

 

“If you weren’t so busy
turning this place into a dating club, you’d know what’s going on.” Rick pulled
his glove off to scratch Poe between the ears as the coyote pushed her muzzle
into his knee.

 

“I’m not turning it
into a dating club, Rick.” Hope gestured to the tables arranged in a tight
little formation that made him a little claustrophobic. “It looks better this
way, doesn’t it?”

 

“It looked fine the old
way.” Rick shrugged.

 

“How is it that you’re
only six years older than me but seem as if you’re eighty-six years
older?” Sage asked. “Change is good, old man.”

 

He knew Sage was only
busting his chops, but it stung a little today. He didn’t know why, which made
him feel exactly like an old man.

 

“I don’t care what you
do with the tables, Hope, as long as there are tables and they’re clean.” Rick
headed for the door. “Where’s Aunt Joy?” And why do I want her around?
Because Hope and Sage are picking on me? Foolish.

 

“She went into town to
buy some fabric. Don’t freak out, Rick.” Hope grabbed his biceps and opened her
brown eyes real wide as she stood on tiptoes in a useless attempt to look him
in the eye. “She wants to make new curtains for these windows. Now I realize
she didn’t clear it with you first, O Master of Keeping the Status Quo, but I
don’t think a curtain change will destroy the world as we know it.”

 

Rick growled at Hope,
and she laughed along with Sage. Even Poe let out a few short barks that
sounded like chuckling.

 

“Whose side are you on,
mutt?” He nudged Poe with his knee, and the coyote let out a whimper of
apology.

 

“You headed out now?”
Sage asked.

 

“Yep.”

 

“Take this.” Sage placed
a thermos on top of the pastry case and slid it toward him. “Minestrone like no
other, Cuz.”

 

For all her poking fun,
Sage took care of him just as Aunt Joy and Hope did. They were his family, all
he had. All he needed. 

 

“Thanks.” He took the
thermos and held it out of Poe’s reach as the coyote tried to climb up his leg
for it. “Down. No meat in this one.” He tapped her on the nose, and Poe sank to
all fours. Even if the soup did have meat in it, he wasn’t sharing. Everything
Sage made tasted like heaven. That was what made her a fantastic caterer when
it wasn’t sugaring season. She was busy cooking all times of the year. And her
cookies? Off the charts tasty.

 

“I’ve got some website
updates I’ve been working on.” Hope gestured to her laptop on one of the tables
she’d moved. She handled all their online sales, promotional materials, and
website. She was awesome at it too, which was good because Rick didn’t want to
handle that stuff. Lots of people didn’t want to handle that stuff, so Hope was
busy with that work in the off season.

 

“Okay,” Rick said.
“Make them happen. I’m sure it’s all good.”

 

Hope patted his cheek.
“I love that I have you trained to believe I’m always right.”

 

“Except when you move
my tables.”   

 

Hope stuck her tongue
out at him then said, “Don’t get lost out there.”

 

“Have I ever?” Rick
zipped the front of his fleece coat.

 

“No,” Sage said, “but
we can dream.” She smiled sweetly and turned on the vacuum again.

 

He could still hear his
cousins’ laughter as he left the store with Poe on his heels. He put on his hat
and picked up the cable attached to his sled. A day out in the tranquility of
the woods stretched before him, and he couldn’t think of a more perfect way to
spend his time. The morning sky was clear, and a fresh snow had fallen last
night making his property seem like uncharted territory, free from any
indications of civilization.

 

On a whistle, Rick and
Poe headed out. His snowshoes cut a trail across the blank white page of his
land, and he fell into the easy rhythm of his work. He moved at a steady pace,
covering more ground than he’d expected. The terrain was a bit hilly in this
section of the sugar bush, but he pushed onward. He chewed up some of his time
watching a moose and her calf at the edge of the still frozen Cassie’s Pond.
The cow’s ears constantly twitched as she listened for signs of danger. The
baby huddled beside her, its thick brown coat lightly dusted with snow.

 

When a hawk cried
overhead, the cow nudged her baby and the two wandered deeper into the woods.
Woods that weren’t a part of Rick’s property, but were tapped by him. When he’d
first started his syrup business on his land, he’d cut a deal with his neighbor
to lease and tap her trees. She received a specified amount of money per tap
for the intrusion, which she didn’t seem to mind, and Rick always supplied her
with free syrup every year. She was a great neighbor. Not around much and as
respectful of his privacy as he was of hers. A marvelous business arrangement
if such a concept existed. Someday Rick hoped to own her land when she was
ready to sell it and double his empire without having to go all big city and
corporate.

 

He continued inserting
spiles until the sun faded and hunger knocked on the walls of his stomach. He’d
install the taps on his neighbor’s trees tomorrow and spend tonight going
through three boxes of donated books back at his cabin for the book swap. The
bonus was he got first dibs on anything of interest in the donations, and he’d
made some good finds in the past. An early edition Kafka. A leather-bound
collection of Shakespeare plays. An autographed Jane Austen. Those finds were
now displayed on the floor to ceiling bookcases that lined three of Rick’s
living room walls.

 

Anticipating the buzz
he always got when surrounded by books, he pulled his sled around to head home,
but as he turned he dropped the rope attached to the sled. He was on enough of
a hill that the sled immediately slid away from him. Not wanting to have to
chase the sled and his tools all the way to the bottom, Rick ran after it in
his snowshoes.

 

No easy feat.

 

He started off all
right until the tip of his left snowshoe got caught under a fallen branch
hidden below the snow. His ankle made an unnatural grinding sound as his foot
stayed wedged in one direction and his body fell the opposite way. He let out a
howl of pain that had Poe darting over to sniff his face.

 

“Back, Poe.” Rick
pushed the coyote out of his space, but she circled around him, sniffing and
whimpering.

 

The hurt in his ankle
was a slow burning that got hotter as he tried to release his boot from the
snowshoe. Every movement sent ripples of fire up his entire left leg. After too
many minutes of struggling, he finally managed to unfasten the straps. His foot
spilled off the snowshoe and when it landed in the snow, he hurled a shout into
the arm of his fleece jacket. The muffled agony further agitated Poe who began
howling. A few dogs replied, and Rick suddenly felt very Stephen King.

 

Not a great feeling.

 

Knowing it would be
dark soon, he tried to stand. That went okay until he put his weight on his
left foot and crumpled right back down to the ground.

 

Dammit. I don’t need this now.

 

He grumbled under his
breath as Poe ran a little ahead of their position and then galloped back to
him. When she came close enough to sniff him again, he grabbed her. Pointing
her toward the sled resting at the bottom of the hill, he said, “Go get it. Get
it, Poe.”

 

Poe barked once and
shot down the hill toward the sled. She dug in the snow a bit and touched her
nose to the ground. When she raised her head, the rope was in her teeth. She
bounded back up the hill with the sled gliding along behind her, and Rick
cursed over his stupidity.

 

What good is having a coyote if I don’t know how to use her?

 

Poe continued past him
with the sled until it rested on level land. The coyote stood by the sled and
barked at him as if to say, “C’mon. Let’s go.”

 

“Would love to, Poe.”
As much as he didn’t want to, Rick untied his boot and slid it off with a few
grunts of pain. He removed his thermal sock and glanced at the instant swelling
in his ankle. That was the last thing he saw.

 

When he opened his eyes
again, the snow-covered canopy of trees had been replaced by the
tongue-and-groove pine ceiling of his living room. He was still in the jeans
he’d worn during the day and his thermal shirt, but a flannel blanket had been
thrown over him. Good thing too, because he was freezing.

 

And maybe a little
dizzy. Definitely tired as all hell.

 

“You awake, sugar?”
Aunt Joy came in from the kitchen.

 

He attempted to sit up,
but found he didn’t have the strength.

 

“Easy, Rick. Take it
slow.” Aunt Joy stood over him with a smile on her face he knew was forced.

 

“How’d I get back
here?”

 

“When nine o’clock
rolled around and we didn’t see this face,” she bent to pat his cheek, “we knew
something not good had happened.”

 

Aunt Joy helped him
wiggle up to a sitting position on the couch, and a plastic air cast spanning
up to his calf stared back at him from the armrest on the other end. Rick let
out a groan and flopped his head onto the back of the couch.

 

“Yeah, it’s severely
sprained. Doctor Reslin made a special house call so we didn’t have to take you
to the h-o-s-p-i-t-a-l.” Aunt Joy whispered the letters, and despite his
situation, Rick appreciated the woman’s tenderness. She knew better than
anybody how much he hated hospitals.

 

“The police found you
in the snow, one shoe on, one shoe off, and out cold in more ways than one.”
Aunt Joy sat on the edge of the old chest Rick used as a coffee table and
rested her chin in her hands. “Gave an old lady a good scare, sugar. I don’t
like when you do that.”

 

He pulled his gaze from
the cast and looked at Aunt Joy’s face. Her brown eyes were watery, her nose a
little red. He reached his hand over and tugged one of hers out from beneath
her chin. Giving it a squeeze, he said, “I’m sorry, Aunt Joy. I tripped. It was
stupid.”

 

“It was an accident.
Could happen to anyone.” She placed her other hand atop his. “Just glad you’re
okay. You’re a miserable hermit most of the time, but I kind of love you, you
know?”

 

“I love you too.”

 

“Of course you do.
Nobody takes better care of you than me.” Aunt Joy patted his cheek again and
stood. “Okay, here’s the scoop. Cast for a few weeks. Stay off the ankle for
the rest of this week and keep it elevated, then Doc left you a cane so you can
hobble around.”

 

Rick opened his mouth
to protest, but Aunt Joy waved him off. “I know. I know. ‘Aunt Joy, how am I
supposed to stay off my feet when there’s so much to do?’ Listen, kid, this is
the way the cards got dealt this hand. Roll with it.”

 

She made it sound like
no big deal. No big deal that he was reduced to the functioning level of an
infant during a key time for his syrup business.

 

“It doesn’t hurt that
much,” Rick said.

 

“That’s because you’ve got these in you.” Aunt Joy reached
to an end table by the couch and shook an orange bottle of prescription pills.
“Wonder drugs. Once they wear off, you’ll be writhing in pain.” She leaned in
close to his ear. “Here’s a tip, sugar. Don’t let them wear off.”

 

 

****

 

 

 

 



 

Excerpt
#1:

 

 

 

As he continued
stacking books, Poe padded to the door and woofed once at it.

 

“No customers today,
Poe. Not yet.” 

 

She barked again at the
door and as she sat by it, a soft knock echoed in the store. Rick put down the
books he had in his lap and limped to the nearest window. A Jeep he didn’t
recognize was in front of the store along with footprints in the remaining
patch of snow. The knock came again, but he couldn’t see who was at the door.
He contemplated not answering as he often did when the phone rang, but figured
it wouldn’t waste much time to explain the store wasn’t open yet.

 

He ambled to the door,
resting his hand on the tables as he passed by without the cane. As he neared
the door, another knock sounded.

 

“Okay, okay,” he said.
“I’m coming.” He cursed his slowness and hoped he’d be rid of the cast soon.
Not likely, judging by the ache, but a man could hope.

 

He reached the door and
pulled it open. What was standing on the other side of it made him forget his
own name.

 

A woman. Not much
shorter than him with reddish-blond hair that brushed her shoulders and curled
about a face meant for makeup commercials. Her skin had a wonderful glow he’d
never seen on any native Vermonter, and her eyes were blue-green jewels. Slim,
black jeans spanned down two long, shapely legs and disappeared into brown,
knee-high leather boots that belonged on a runway not on his partly muddy,
partly snowy doorstep. The rust-colored dress coat that hung to her thighs also
seemed out of place in this setting, but not out of place on her. The woman was
perfection in that coat, and the cream-colored scarf she had looped around her
neck fascinated Rick.

 

Poe barked and the
woman jumped. “Is that a coyote?” Her voice, soft yet assertive, matched her
delicate mouth and intense eyes, but she looked as if she were ready to run for
her vehicle.

 

“Yeah, but she won’t
hurt you. She’s been raised to think she’s a big hamster.” What is this
woman doing here?
Then the pieces fell into place in his mind. “You’re one
of Hope or Sage’s friends, right?” That had to be it, but he didn’t remember
ever seeing this one. He didn’t think he could forget her if he had seen her.
God, she was tall.

 

“No,” she said. “I
don’t know Hope or Sage. I’m looking for whoever signed this.” She pulled an envelope
out of her shoulder bag and rifled through it. While keeping a wary eye on Poe,
she handed Rick one of the documents, and he scanned it quickly.

 

“You’re looking for me
then.” Why did that make something in his stomach tighten?

 

“You’re the neighbor? You
knew Gail Hinsdale?” A section of snow slid off the roof and landed in a pile
about a foot away from the woman. She stumbled back and threw a glance all
around her, almost dropping the envelope in the process.

 

“Come in,” Rick said,
though he hadn’t remembered consciously deciding to invite her inside.

 

“Thank you.” She
knocked the mud and snow off her boots and squeezed past him into the store.
She smelled like grapefruit and coconut and sunshine. Like something far too
exotic to be here with him. “Could you…” She motioned to Poe and made a shooing
gesture with her gloved hand.

 

“Sure. C’mon, Poe.”
Rick smacked his thigh and shuffled toward the kitchen behind the pastry case.
He pushed open the door and guided Poe in. She whimpered on the other side when
she realized he’d locked the door.

 

Poor girl. Rick
felt like a big, fat meany.

 

“I appreciate that.
Wild animals unsettle me.” The woman pulled off her leather gloves to reveal
long, slim fingers with nails polished a deep crimson.

 

“She’s not wild,” Rick
said. 

 

“Right. Tell that to
her teeth.” The woman dropped the envelope on one of the tables and unlooped
the scarf to expose a slender neck. She turned in a tight circle to survey the
store. What was she thinking? She obviously came from a place where the stores
didn’t look like his.

 

“You knew Gail
Hinsdale?” She leveled her gaze on Rick, then flicked a glance down to his
ankle. “Do you want to sit down?”

 

“I think I’m supposed
to ask you that.” He indicated the chair across from the one he currently had a
death grip on.

 

She slid the chair out
and sat on it, but just on the edge, not like she meant to stay for any length
of time. This saddened Rick, because for the first time in his life, he didn’t
have the urge to get rid of company.

 

He eased onto the opposite
chair, and the muscles in his entire body relaxed as the pressure was taken off
his ankle. The woman noticed.

 

“What happened there?”
She peeked under the table.

 

“Snowshoeing incident.”
He shrugged, determined not to explain any further though the woman waited a
moment as if he might. “How is Gail? I haven’t seen her in a little while.”

 

The woman’s lips
twisted down at the corners, and Rick had this ridiculous urge to scoot over to
her side of the table and… and do something.

 

“Gail died.” Those
piercing blue-green eyes grew watery. “My grandmother is gone.”

 

“I’m so sorry,” Rick
said. “She was real generous with allowing me to tap her trees. Nearly doubled
my productivity.” He had reaped nothing but benefits from his arrangement with
Gail Hinsdale. One of the smartest, healthiest business moves he’d ever
made. 

 

“She left me the
property.” The woman extended her hand. “I’m Lily Hinsdale.”

 

Taking her hand in his
and noting how cold her fingers were, he said, “Rick Stannard.” He looked at
the envelope again. “Are you thinking of moving to the property?”

 

At this, Lily let out a
loud laugh. “Moving to Vermont? Are you serious? I don’t want to be here right
now, never mind live here.” She brushed her hair out of her face with a
shaky finger.

 

“What’s wrong with
Vermont?” Rick asked. It was the perfect place as far as he was concerned.

 

“Umm, everything.” Lily
stretched her magnificent legs out to the side of the table and peered down at
her boots. Cringing, she knocked her heels together letting caked mud drop to
the floor. “Vermont is no California.”

 

 

****

 



 

Excerpt
#2:

 

 

 

With a stop to check a
few taps, he confirmed the sap wasn’t running yet, but it would be. He could
feel it in the air. The woods were beginning to smell like the woods again
after being asleep under the snow for months. This was truly his favorite time
of the year. This in-between time, when one season surrendered to the next.
When the trees shared their natural goodness with him so he could make a living
on the land he loved.

 

When… an ugly cream-colored
Jeep was parked in front of his store.

 

“Oh, I don’t think so.”
He shuffled as fast as he could with Poe jogging along beside him.

 

He swung open the door
and marched in to find Aunt Joy, Hope, and Sage sitting at a table. With her.
Their laughter filled the empty store and burrowed right underneath his skin.

 

“What are you doing?”
he roared.

 

All four women jumped
in their seats, and Rick had to contain his satisfaction. He hooked the cane on
the nearest chair and limped over to them. Pointing a finger at Lily, he said,
“You. Get out. Now.”

 

“Rick,” Aunt Joy said.
“Where have your manners gone?”

 

My manners? Are
you kidding me?” He lasered a glare at Lily. “I don’t know what you think
you’re doing, but you’re not welcome here.”

 

“That’s it,” Sage said
to Hope. “He’s finally lost all of his social skills.”

 

“Shut up, Sage.”

 

Sage shrank back in her
seat, and Rick clamped his mouth shut. He didn’t usually snap at his cousins
like that. This… this outsider was turning him into a monster.

 

“Did she tell you what
she’s doing here?” He gestured to Lily. Why does she have to be wearing a
low-cut, black sweater that hugs her amazing body?
He shook his head and
looked back to Sage.

 

“She’s staying at
Gail’s house,” Hope said. “Gail passed away. She was Lily’s grandmother.” Hope
rested a hand on Lily’s and gave her a compassionate look.

 

“So maybe you could try
to act like a human, Rick,” Sage said, “and be nice to the girl who just lost
her grandmother, huh?” She shook her feathery blond hair out of her face.

 

“I’m not going to be
nice to her,” he said. “She’s leaving.” He slid Lily’s purse off the back of
the chair and made a move to grab her by the bicep.

 

“Rick, you will not lay
a hand on our guest.” Aunt Joy’s tone froze his hand just shy of Lily.

 

“It’s okay, Joy,” Lily
said.

 

Joy? First name
basis. So nice we’re all chums here.

 

Rick tossed Lily’s
purse onto the table where it landed like a bag of rocks. It upended the saucer
Lily’s teacup rested on and sent the tea into her lap. She popped up from her
seat as did Aunt Joy, Hope, and Sage.

 

“Rick!” his aunt and
cousins said together.

 

He tried to feel
triumphant over the dark, wet stain on Lily’s light blue jeans, but he couldn’t
get past the way the denim molded to her thighs and tapered down her legs.
Amazingly long legs. She was so much taller than his aunt and his cousins. They
were mere dolls next to her.

 

“Get some towels,
Hope,” Aunt Joy said as she handed Lily some napkins in the meantime. “I’m
sorry about my nephew.” She turned to Rick. “What’s your problem? This is
Robert Hinsdale’s daughter. Robert Hinsdale, the actor. The one I adore,”
she said through clenched teeth. “I know you don’t do people very well, but
I’ve never seen you be this rude.”

 

“Tell them.” Rick
stared at Lily, and she swallowed as if she had trouble doing so. He’d
interrupted her game, her attempt to win over his family then dive in for the
kill.

 

“Tell us what?” Sage
asked.

 

“This is not Miss
Hinsdale’s first trip in here, is it?” He pulled another chair over and sat. He
would have loved to remain standing to appear more imposing, but his ankle was
screaming from walking so fast to the store. Plus, his foot was soaked with
mud.

 

“I stopped in
yesterday.” Lily took a towel from Hope and dabbed at the stain on her jeans.
“To make a deal with Mr. Stannard.”

 

“What kind of a deal?”
Aunt Joy sounded suspicious now. Good.

 

“Well, I was getting
around to telling you before the Abominable Snowman came in.” She shot Rick a
glare. “I work for Utopia Resorts and—”

 

“Those fancy hotels
with the themes?” Sage asked.

 

“So not everyone is a
recluse up here, I see.” Lily nodded at Sage. “Yes, I design those resorts.”

 

“Oh, my God,” Hope
said. “Sage and I have been saving a little money every year with the wild
notion of visiting one of those resorts sometime.”

 

“You have?” Lily and
Rick said at the same time. Lily with encouragement, Rick with disdain.

 

“Well, sure,” Sage
said. “They’re beautiful hotels and who wouldn’t want to escape this.”
She threw her hands out indicating everything around her. “I mean, I love it
here and all, but it is a bit monotonous.”

 

“And quiet,” Hope
added. “So quiet.”

 

“I’ve noticed the
quiet.” Lily folded the towel and placed it on the table. “California is not
like this at all.”

 

“No, it isn’t,” Rick
said. “And I’m not going to let you turn Vermont into another California. One
is all we need.”

 

“I never said I wanted
to recreate California here,” Lily said, a laughing edge to her voice that
irritated Rick. “If you’d let me finish my discussion yesterday, you would have
seen that Utopia wants to keep this resort natural, outdoorsy.”

 

“And get rid of my
home, my business, my woods.” Rick shook his head. “Not going to happen. I
don’t want to live next door to a fancy resort either. No one around here
does.”

 

“I’m sorry about your
grandmother,” Aunt Joy finally said, “but I have to agree with my nephew. This
is no place for a mega-resort.”

 

Finally. Someone is
making some sense.
Rick nodded at Aunt Joy, and she patted his hand.

 

Lily reached into her
bag and pulled out a small laptop. “Let me show you some of the designs I’ve
drawn up.”

 

“We’re not interested, Miss Hinsdale,” Rick said. But why
was he interested in the way her strawberry curls fell around her neck? In the
small freckle below her right eye?

 

Christine DePetrillo tried not being a writer. She attempted to ignore the voices in her head, but they would not stop. The only way she could achieve peace and quiet was to write the stories the voices demanded. Today, she writes tales meant to make you laugh, maybe make you sweat, and definitely make you believe in the power of love.

She lives in Rhode Island and occasionally Vermont with her husband, two cats, and a big, black German Shepherd who guards her fiercely against all evils.

 ONLINE LINKS:

WEBSITE: www.christinedepetrillo.weebly.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/christinedepetrilloauthor

TWITTER: at @cdepetrillo

–on the 4th and 14th of every month

 

Available in paperback today! The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice

About The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice

Paperback release: May 27, 2014

the-lemon-orchard-by-luanne-rice-paperback-medium

Year after year, Luanne Rice’s fans eagerly await her next book. Their enthusiasm is soon to be rewarded with The Lemon Orchard, Rice’s romantic new love story between two people from seemingly different worlds.

In the five years since Julia last visited her aunt and uncle’s home in Malibu, her life has been turned upside down by her daughter’s death. She expects to find nothing more than peace and solitude as she house-sits with only her dog, Bonnie, for company. But she finds herself drawn to the handsome man who oversees the lemon orchard. Roberto expertly tends the trees, using the money to support his extended Mexican family. What connection could these two people share? The answer comes as Roberto reveals the heartbreaking story of his own loss—a pain Julia knows all too well, but for one striking difference: Roberto’s daughter was lost but never found. And despite the odds he cannot bear to give up hope.

Set in the sea and citrus-scented air of the breathtaking Santa Monica Mountains, The Lemon Orchard is an affirming story about the redemptive power of compassion and the kind of love that seems to find us when we need it most.

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

 

About Luanne Rice

luanne-rice-by-adrian-kinloch-0226-web

 

 

Luanne Rice is the author of thirty-one novels including many New York Times bestsellers. Five of her books have been made into movies and mini-series, and her work has been featured at Hartford Stage in Hartford, Connecticut, the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, California, and in several off-Broadway theatre productions. She divides her time between New York City and the Connecticut shoreline.

 

 

 Click to enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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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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The Noise Beneath the Apple by Heather Jacks (Media Blitz, Music Giveaway)

noisebanner

HJacks_Logo FINALheather

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Foreword’s 2013 Book of the Year Award Finalist** 

About The Book

Written by Heather Jacks and accompanied by an eleven-track vinyl record featuring the original music of a select number of participants, this 200-page art-style coffee table book measures 12’’ x 12’’ and weighs in at a whopping 8lbs. Putting the spotlight on the age-old profession of busking, Jacks also seeks to stem the tide of regulation intended to suffocate creative expression and take performers off the streets.

A limited-edition coffee table book, ‘The Noise Beneath the Apple®’, is a unique and vibrant study of the culture of street performance, its legitimacy in modern times and above all, an intimate look at thirty-five buskers throughout New York City. Released with an eleven-track vinyl record that was mastered by Grammy and Academy Award winning mastering engineer Reuben Cohen, this book is a singular achievement and a one-of-a-kind tribute to the chaotic, beautiful and spirited world of busking.

Heather Jacks was raised on an Indian reservation in southeastern Oregon, until age fifteen. Jacks was the first ‘experimental exchange student’ to Australia with an organization called YFU, Youth for Understanding, where she spent 10.5 months in 1982. Once she returned, she received her B.A. from USF and followed that with two years of study at UC Davis.  She has worked in the music industry in various capacities, since the eighties; radio, production, A&R, booking and most recently as a music journalist.  She was recently named a finalist in the Book of the Year Award in the Performing Arts & Music category, for her multi-media project, The Noise Beneath the Apple®, which was inspired by her love for street music, busking and the people who make it.  Heather can be contacted at: heather@heatherjacks.com

 

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What is busking? Busking is, very simply performing on street corners in exchange for money.  That includes any type of street performance; acrobats, jugglers, mimes, dancers, ventriloquists, magicians, ‘cos-play’ and of course musicians.

Buskers are the street performers, the traveling troubadours and minstrels who entertain us in the most unexpected places; in the subway or on train platforms underground; parks or street corners.  We walk by them, playing their guitars, singing their songs, performing their music. We may smile at them. We may not. We may hurriedly drop a buck in their open guitar case. We may not. We may stop and watch. We may not.

Busking has been with us since the beginning of time; from 11th century Russian comic actors and harlequins to 14th century Strolling Players from India and Pakistan; ancient Roman street performers and jesters to town criers delivering news and political events prior to the Industrial Revolution. In the 1800’s, traveling medicine shows in which vendors entertained onlookers with “miracle cures,” and potions with the promise of improved health, love life or finances would ‘pass the hat’ when the show was over.  Circus performers earning a few extra coins on their day off by entertaining on street corners swept the USA. Gypsies, mariachi bands and Japanese Chindon’ya—(elaborately dressed street musicians hired to advertise for shops), are all types of buskers. 

On the streets, their shows fall into different categories.  There are those who create “circle shows,” usually drawing people into large crowds around them and are characterized by the fact that they have a definite beginning and ending. Examples would be; Break Dancers or dancing troupes, acrobats, ventriloquists and comedy/sketch routines.

Café busking, which many of us are most familiar, is when performances are done in exchange for tips—often  “passing of the hat” (Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, started in this way and the 1973 hit, Piano Man, by Billy Joel, was inspired by his six months as a café busker in Los Angeles).

Where does the word ‘busking’ come from?  The Indo-European and Celtic languages are considered the predecessors of Latin, and it is in both of these languages—(which predate Latin) that the root of the word can be found.  In the Indo-European languages, bhudh-sko means ‘to win’ or ‘to conquer.’ In the Celtic languages, boudi means ‘victory.’  Historical linguists place the Celtic derivation first, which in turn gave birth to the Indo-European term.   Both of these terms referred to ‘looking for work,’ and according to historical linguists, together they evolved into the Latin root busk. This took place over 8,000 years ago. From here we can find the Latin root ‘busk’ traced back to ‘buskin’, which was a decorated sandal, worn by Roman street performers. Historic records from that time also indicate the practice of throwing coins to street performers; the first tips. Busk then appears throughout Asia and Europe, including in the obsolete French, where it was described as a service exchanged for alms; prostitution.

It is said that the first mention of buskers in the English language, was in Augustus Septimus Mayhew’s, May 8, 1858, tract in Punch, or the London Charivarl titled “Our Organ-Grinding Tyrants,” Mayhew wrote: “The House of Lords enjoyed a merry laugh the other night at the expense of a by no means small portion of the public-we mean the sufferers from that greatest plague of life, street music…”

At its core, the centuries old tradition of busking is what it has always been: the spirited mad ones from a Jack Kerouac novel who embody a magic that is exclusively their own, yet extraordinarily communal.

They are there because they belong there. The streets have called them. The world underfoot has beckoned them.  They become more real than the trains whizzing by, more concrete than the skyscrapers overhead.  And they give the city a life and breath, an undercurrent of alchemy, which would not exist if they were not there. They invite us to sing out of key, to dance out of step; not necessarily trying to discern the meaning of life, but rather to experience being alive.

If you dig what you hear or see then dig a little deeper and drop them a buck, for the song, the experience, the story, the photo, the YouTube video; because after all, this small exchange of daily experience is a currency, which is not exchangeable for articles of consumption. In other words, you can’t buy it at Walmart!

 

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What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin (Review)

Image of Linda Yellin

 

Molly Hallberg is a thirty-nine-year-old divorced writer living in New York City who wants her own column, a Wikipedia entry, and to never end up in her family’s Long Island upholstery business. For the past four years Molly’s been on staff for an online magazine, covering all the wacky assignments. She’s snuck vibrators through security scanners, speed-dated undercover, danced with Rockettes, and posed nude for a Soho art studio.

Fearless in everything except love, Molly is now dating a forty-four-year-old chiropractor. He’s comfortable, but safe. When Molly is assigned to write a piece about New York City romance “in the style of Nora Ephron,” she flunks out big-time. She can’t recognize romance. And she can’t recognize the one man who can go one-on-one with her, the one man who gets her. But with wit, charm, whip-smart humor, and Nora Ephron’s romantic comedies, Molly learns to open her heart and suppress her cynicism in this bright, achingly funny novel.

Linda Yellin‘s second novel, WHAT NORA KNEW, an homage to Nora Ephron and romantic movies, about a cynical journalist who’s assigned to write about romance Nora-style and flunks out big time, will be published by Simon & Schuster in January, 2014.

Her memoir, THE LAST BLIND DATE, about moving to New York for love but finding condo boards, contractors, step-children, private schools, Ivy League name-droppers, and the challenge of making new girlfriends all waiting for her, too, was published in 2011 by Simon & Schuster. Her first novel, SUCH A LOVELY COUPLE, was reissued by Simon & Schuster the same year.

Previously, she spent an inordinate number of years in the advertising industry, where she worked at Needham, Harper & Stears (now DDB), J. Walter Thomson (now JWT), Foote, Cone and Belding (now DraftFCB) and Ogilvy and Mather (now Ogilvy). Tired of all her employers changing their names, she changed careers.

Linda was an ongoing guest on SiriusXM Radio’s women’s talk show, Broadminded, and has published many national magazine pieces, including several short stories featuring an ongoing character, Daphne Bogin, for Redbook magazine, as well as humor pieces and essays for More magazine.

Review:

WHAT NORA KNEW is such a sweet and funny novel. It is like watching a Nora Ephron movie. You have Molly, with her quick wit and sarcasam, and you have Cameron the ladies man author. They match each other witty comment to witty comment, neither understanding in the beginning that they had just met their match.

WHAT NORA KNEW is full of laugh out loud moments as we accompany Molly through her life, her friends, her family, and her relationships. The banter between the two leading characters, Molly and Cameron, is charming and the reader cannot help but fall in love with them.

There are the Sunday dinners when everyone shows up with Mr. Right – including Grandma. There are Saturday night gatherings where adult friends cannot keep their hands to themselves. Everyone has found love, has found the right one, except for Molly.

I am a huge fan of Nora Ephron’s movies, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail. I put this book up there among these great movies. Linda Yellin has a hit on her hands and I’m off to buy her other books.

WHAT NORA KNEW definitely rates a 5 star.

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

Book Quotes:

“What an opportunity!” “I want this to be sharp, witty, candid. Poignant and intimate. Written like Nora Ephron.” I gulped. An audible, embarrassing gulp. “But I’m not Nora Ephron.” “You aren’t Abe Lincoln, but you can study the Civil War.”

Kristine‘s wide-eyed and thin-lipped, with eyeglasses that are always smudged. Honest to God, she must dredge them through a mud puddle every morning. She wears heels to make herself not just tall, but intimidating, and can out eat a military division without gaining an ounce.”

“Hot guys frequent rock-climbing clubs,” she said. “That could be a place to meet someone.” I grinned at my optimistic friend. “Yes, sweetie. Right before you meet a paramedic.”

“I wonder if you and I would have been paired on Match” my mother said to my dad. They were sitting side by side. She elbowed him and smiled like a schoolgirl. “Absolutely” my father said, “as soon as I wrote searching for a woman who can decoupage.” “Ziggy Grossman was the most romantic man I ever met,” my grandmother said. “Started every morning by making me breakfast. Two fried eggs and  buttered toast.” “Oh, that is romantic,” Lisa said. “Up until the day he died?” “Up until my cholesterol went to hell.”

“Kristine picked up the check. “My treat. I can use my discount.” She started unloading her purse onto the table. A wad of used Kleenex. Crumpled receipts. A brush with enough hair in it to weave a wig. A spare pair of smudged eyeglasses (no case). Two condom packets. A rolled-up open potato-chip bag. The bottom half, but not the cover, of a lip gloss. “This is not an attractive sight,” I said. “Just give me a minute. You know Nora Ephron’s essay about hating her purse? In her hating-her-neck book? She was writing about me.” “How about I buy? I’m willing to pay full retail if I can stop you before you whip out an old tampon.”

“Russell turned on a side lamp. I poured wine. “Kristine, you look beautiful in this light,” Hunkster said. “So do you, Angela,” Charlie said. I turned to Russell, waiting for him to say how striking I looked in the glare of his three-way bulb. “Peppadew, anyone?” he asked.

“At dinner I sat next to Kristine and Hunkster, across from Russell, who sat next to Charlie and Angela. Underneath the table Hunkster and Kristine were rubbing knees, Charlie and Angela played footsy. More hands were under the table than on the table. It’s a good thing we didn’t serve corn on the cob. Where were my girlfriends? These two strangers looked like Kristine and Angela, sounded like Kristine and Angela, but these women were a couple of horny-assed sex kittens.”

“I can’t tell if he likes me, or if he hates when a woman doesn’t like him, making me some sort of challenge. He’s what your generation would call a ladies’ man.” “What would your generation call him?” my father asked. “A man-whore.”

Purchase What Nora Knew on Amazon in Kindle format or Paperback

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The Edge of Whiteness by Joe Montaperto (Review)

The_Edge_of_Whitenes_Cover_for_Kindle

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Author Joe Montaperto

It’s 1969. Brooklyn smolders after the race riots. The Montaperto family reluctantly flees their beloved Italian neighborhood for a New Jersey suburb so painfully white that it makes the TV show “My Three Sons” appear exotic. The only excitement young Joey Montaperto finds is breaking into his neighbor’s house with his cousin Skinny on Saturday afternoons – to steal the raisins from their Raisin Bran. Until that first day of school in 1973. Forced integration delivers two busloads of inner city black kids to Roselle High, sending a collective shiver through the all- white student body.

“One by one they pour out, laughing, cursing and jive talking. Giants. Imposing black giants – and those were the girls! Then the boys swagger off the bus – or should I say grown men?”

Nothing would ever be the same.

It isn’t long before the inevitable racial conflict becomes personal. After he’s saved from a hallway ambush by Na-Na, a brutal, yet artistic loner, their unlikely friendship turns Joey on to the cool world of black culture. Fascinated by the music of Etta James, Marvin Gaye, and The Funkadelics, he embraces the happenin’ scene. Soon he’s pimped out in purple Swedish knits (that were never worn in Sweden), Isaac Hayes glasses, and a sizzling Puerto Rican hairdresser on his arm. Esperanza. As she gives him a mod shag afro, Joey becomes obsessed with her. He whips himself into shape, boxing at a ghetto gym, and finds a dishwashing job at an Italian restaurant, so he can afford to take her out, only to discover that she already has a boyfriend, a dealer who’s getting her hooked on heroin.

Reeling from heartbreak, Joey searches for meaning in his life, finding inspiration in The Autobiography of Malcolm X. His parent’s think he’s gone mad when he refuses his mother’s homemade Italian sausage, announcing “It’s hard to be a good Muslim in this house”. Joey freaks out his entire Catholic family – and the Mafia guys at work – as he finds his “soul”.

Filled with heart and wisdom, The Edge of Whiteness is an autobiographical account of one adolescent’s struggle to discover his identity. This timeless coming-of- age story is a humorous social commentary on the funky early 1970’s that is still remarkably relevant today.

 Joe Montaperto studied acting at The Sonia Moore Studio of The Theater, and the New Conservatory Theater in New York, among others. After doing some stage and film work, he embarked on the comedy circuit in the edgy, crack riddled New York City of the 1980’s, counting among his contemporaries and friends John Stewart, John Leguizammo, and Dave Atell of HBO’s “Insomnia” fame.

After performing pieces based on characters from his adolescence with several comedy/improv troupes and the  East Village performance art scene, he took a few years off to seek his spiritual path, and living for a time in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the mountains of Woodstock, NY, while undertaking a number of silent meditation retreats. Returning to the city, he created his one man show “Four Degrees of Disconnection”, which ran at houses on Theater Row several times from 1998 – 2001.

He has spent the last five years splitting time between New York and the South American Amazon jungle working on several eco projects, translating, and teaching English as well as writing.

My Review:

“Me and my cousin Skinny stood b y ourselves in the large foyer that led to the front doors. It’s the first day of high school for us. The year is 1973. Our freshman year. We gaze out through those front doors to the sparkling blue sky that opened up majestically above us, the American flag rippling in the mild breeze, high up the flag pole on the front lawn.

Heaving a synchronistic sigh, we check out the scene in front of us – the paintings of George WashingtonAbraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson adorning the foyer walls, our new classmates spread among us in the hall, chattering excitedly in their own little groups. Fresh faced girls with spindly filly-like legs, blond crew cut jock types punching each other in the arms, scientific brainiacs with Clark Kent glasses, peeking about nervously. Everybody – the kids, the paintings – had one thing in common, though. They were all white. Painfully white. The kind of white people who should never be exposed to bright sunlight. Thank God me and Skinny  had some color, I though to myself, owing to our Sicilian heritage. At least we were olive-skinned. We could get brown in the summer. These other kids – no hope.

Suddenly, a dilapidated school bus from like – the 1950’s – comes chugging up the street, clouds of smothering black smoke spewing from it’s tailpipe into the picturesque background. It is immediately followed by another equally monstrous relic, as their brakes screech, the gears groan and the buses lurch to a thumping half right in front of Roselle High.

The joyous buzz reverberating through the foyer quickly dissipated, replaced by an overwhelming crescendo threatening laughter, cursing and yelling from outside.

I could sense the collective shiver rise from our group inside as the doors to the ancient vehicles creak open, and the noise threatens to pierce the sound barrier. One by one they pour out. Giants. Imposing Black giants – and those were the girls…”

And that is how Joe Montaperto sets up THE EDGE OF WHITENESS, a book that brought back so many memories of my own life, although I was born, raised, and still live in the South. THE EDGE OF WHITENESS is a coming of age book that anyone who lived in the 60s-70s can resonate with. We all went through the desegregation of the schools and the adjustment of attending school with “people of color.”

Rather than regurgitating the book blurb, I’ll tell you just how Joe hits the proverbial nail on the head with his depiction of the buses rolling to a stop in front of the school and nothing remaining the same. Everyone’s world changed on that day. I know my life was never the same. For me, the change came as I was entering seventh grade.

I had attended a small town all-white elementary and in seventh grade began attending a junior high school that brought together all of the kids in our half of the parish. Not only was I thrown in with many other white kids I did not know, but I was also introduced to the first black kids I had ever seen except for the sanitation workers. I don’t think any of us quite knew where to put ourselves.

Territory and groups were quickly marked in a pattern that would last throughout my three years of junior high and three years of high school. It was a place that I didn’t want to be and was only too happy to leave behind at graduation.

As a kid, you tended to think that what was happening in your neighborhood was unique to only your part of the world. It turns out, that after reading this book, I realized my little part of the world was the same as everyone else’s.

I’m giving THE EDGE OF WHITENESS five stars. It was well written with uncanny honesty and is a book worth reading. And I liked the cover. That alone made me laugh. How easy we forget the look of the past. What you don’t see above is the humor with which Joe Montaperto writes. His fascination with noses as opposed to breasts or legs. His falling in love and getting the crap beat out of him. His boldness in training in a gym on the wrong side of the tracks. He weaves his story with historical accuracy and humor that will leave you laughing out loud. I invite you to pick this book and read it and see for yourself.

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Reveal: Tara’s Cross, a 9/11 memoir by G.J. Bachmann

Tara's Cross

Rescuers pulled George Bachmann, a New York City firefighter from Ten House, from beneath the rubble of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. He survived the terrorist attacks, but somehow, his memory had been temporarily left behind. As Bachmann recuperated, he knew he needed to remember what had happened and he needed to confront his dreams, which was not an easy task. His mind was privy to an unknown piece of history that drove him to the brink.

In this memoir, TARA’S CROSS, Bachmann describes the unimaginable events at Ground Zero. He tells not only of his physical recovery, but also shares the return of his memory through a series of dreams. He reveals the details of the magnificent sighting on West Street where he witnessed the two highest ranking NYC officers saluting each other at the foot of the North Tower before they perished on 9/11.

A tale of survival and salvation, TARA’S CROSS is a testament to how the mind and soul heal themselves and how the spirits of the honored dead guide them home. This love story, set against the backdrop of the attacks on the World Trade Center, is also one of courage and recovery.

The Author:

G.J. Bachmann worked more than twenty-seven years as a New York City firefighter and survived the events of 9/11. He was awarded the World Trade Center Double Star Rescue/Recovery Citation. Bachmann and his wife Annie live in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, with their daughter Tara Bridget.

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The Eighth Wonder by Kimberly S. Young (Review, Guest Post, Excerpt)

the Eighth WonderA modern Bridges of Madison County, Nicole Benson, 35, is an ambitious college professor with dreams of teaching at an Ivy-League school until she meets Tom Ryan, 44, married 23 years and shattered after his daughter’s death from leukemia. A first-generation in her family to go to college,  Nicole is a self-made woman. She put herself through school, sacrificing marriage and children for her career. In the summer of 1997, she finally graduates with a Ph.D. from NYU, but her life is thrust into chaos when her father is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Abandoned by her mother as a girl, her father is all she has. After fifteen years in New York City, Nicole leaves everything and everyone she knows to teach for a year in rural Bradford, Pennsylvania to be close to him in nearby Buffalo. Now, trapped in tiny Bradford, she has never felt more alone in her life…until she meets Tom Ryan. At 44, Tom represents what Nicole longs to be: settled, secure, and clear about his purpose and direction in life. Emotionally scarred, he and his wife are empty nesters with an older son away at college and struggle to grieve together after the death of their daughter. Tom and Nicole’s story begins as a journey of self-discovery for both of them but turns to bittersweet romance when their friendship becomes love. Nicole risks offering what she has never given before, her heart; and Tom has never felt happier or more conflicted when he falls in love for the second time in his life. 

 


Dr. Kimberly Young

Image of Kimberly S. YoungDr. Kimberly Young is a psychologist and an internationally known expert on Internet addiction and online behavior. Dr. Young founded the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery in 1995 (site at Netaddiction.com) and is a nationally-known speaker on the impact of the Internet. Her work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets such as The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The London TimesUSA Today, Newsweek, Time, CNN, CBS News, Fox News, Good Morning America, and ABC’s World News Tonight. She has received several awards for her research such as the Psychology in the Media Award from the Pennsylvania Psychological Association and the Alumni Ambassador Award for Outstanding Achievement from Indiana University at Pennsylvania. She is an expert on Addicted.com and GoodTherapy.org. She has served as an expert on the Child Online Protection Act Congressional Commission and serves on the editorial board of CyberPsychology & Behavior, the American Journal of Family Therapy, and the International Journal of Cyber Crime and Criminal Justice. She has dabbled in creative writing since she was eight-years-old. THE EIGHTH WONDER is her first novel. To learn more visit her blog at KimberlyYoung.net or on her research at Netaddiction.com

 

From the author (via Amazon)


I started writing The Eighth Wonder while I was recovering from retina re-attachment surgery. This was very serious. I had surgery in both eyes. I was homebound for several months and the surgeon was not sure if I would see again out of my left eye. All he could say was that it was “in God’s hands now”. I was scared. I made an entire career from reading and writing, so the idea of potentially being blind was difficult for me. During my recovery, I could not drive, bend, or even poop too hard for fear of my retinas becoming dislodged. I felt pain in my eyes, something I had never experienced, both were full of blood and I looked like I was punched in the face several times. I felt embarrassed for anyone to see me. 


The first weeks of recovery, I laid on the couch thinking about my life. During those reflections, I remembered how lost I felt when I first moved to Bradford after graduating with my doctorate in clinical psychology. I had moved to Bradford to be near my father who was dying of cancer. Like Nicole, my dad was the only anchor in my life. It was very life-changing when he died. It was only a few weeks before I was diagnosed with retina detachments and had my surgery, so the experience was still fresh in my mind. This began the journey into Nicole’s character. I started making notes, some by hand and some on the computer. My surgeon said that using my eyes was good — they were muscles in need of exercise is how he put it. I had long hours alone after my husband went to work so writing gave me something to do. It took my mind off my eyes.

 

As I wrote more about Nicole, a story popped out, and four months later I had the novel written. It was written in first person, focusing on Nicole. I sent the manuscript out to several agents. Several rejections later, I started to re-examine the novel. I realized that I had not talked about Tom. For him, a devoted family man, I needed to dig into his character much deeper than I had. He was the one making harder choices after all. I remember that the more I wrote about Tom, the more I reflected how different it was to fall in love at mid-life. A pivotal moment in the novel comes when Tom says “falling in love at this age is much deeper”. It is fairly easy to fall in love when we in our 20s with our lives ahead of us. It is a different experience in our 40s or 50s (or beyond). After our expectations for relationships have evolved, falling in love takes on an entirely different meaning. Writing became my therapy during a difficult time in my life, I enjoyed writing the novel. I did not know how much it was impact me personally unlike anything I have written before. I only hope that others enjoy reading it!

 

 

I had an opportunity to ask the author one question. My question was “What drew you to write about this topic and this genre”. Here is what the author had to say.  

 

A modern Bridges of Madison County, Nicole Benson, 35, is an ambitious college professor with dreams of teaching at an Ivy-league university until she falls in love with Tom Ryan, 44, married 23 years and shattered by his daughter’s death from leukemia.

 

As a psychologist, I have counseled men and women struggling with extramarital attractions and understand the emotional conflicts those endure who deeply value fidelity but still feel the pull of falling in love with another, even when one party or the other appears to be happily married. These experiences led me to write The Eighth Wonder.

 

I was homebound for almost five months recovering from retina re-attachment surgery. This was very serious. I had surgery in both eyes.  All the surgeon could say was that it was “in God’s hands now” because my left retina almost completely fell off before it was detected. I was scared. As a professor, I made an entire career from reading and writing, so the idea of potentially being blind was difficult. During my recovery, I could not drive, bend, or even poop too hard for fear of my retinas becoming dislodged. I felt pain in my eyes, something I had never experienced, both were full of blood and I looked like I was punched in the face several times. I felt embarrassed for anyone to see me.

 

I had always wanted to write a novel. During this time, I thought of my father who had just died. This began the journey into Nicole’s character. I started making notes, some by hand and some on the computer.

 

Like Nicole, I was the first generation in my family to go to college and I found Bradford, Pa when I took a faculty position at the local college to be near my father, who lived in Buffalo and was ill with pancreatic cancer.  Using my own experience on how I came to Bradford seemed like a good place to start my novel.

 

As I wrote more about Nicole, a story popped out. As I wrote more about Tom, he reminded me of many men that I met in life, middle-aged, content in their lives and marriages yet longing for something more.

 

 Tom was not looking to have an affair. He loved his wife, Rose, and the life that they made together. When Tom meets Nicole, something very deep stirs within him.

 

He was a devoted family man crushed by the death of his daughter. Nicole was the only person who could heal him from his grief and loss. He becomes whole again and can help her with the loss of her father. In this process, they fall in love and the story becomes bittersweet.

 

Like the Bridges of Madison County, they have a difficult choice to make. I wanted The Eighth Wonder to capture that feeling of how difficult it is to fall in love when you are older. That difference of falling in love at an age when love is much deeper and more difficult to do. It is fairly easy to fall in love in our 20s with our lives ahead of us. It is a different experience in our 40s or 50s (or beyond). After our expectations for relationships have evolved, falling in love takes on an entirely different meaning.

 

EXCERPT:

“He couldn’t remember a time without Rose in his life. He had dated a few women before Rose, but he was young and could hardly remember any of them. He figured the number of women he had been with was low compared to other men, but most men were not married so young. It was just what you did back then, the path he chose. Grow up, go to college, get married, and start a family. It was what everyone did.

 

He felt so young at the time, like a child himself, the first time he held his new son. He was only twenty-one and Rose only twenty. They had no clue how to raise a child, and they lived in a one-bedroom apartment—they had nothing but were happy. Tom was working at his first job out of college, and yet, as he held his son, his whole life seemed to be set, his path predestined.

 

He stacked another layer of wood alongside the porch wall. His gloves were thick and the baseball cap he wore kept his head warm, but he felt the wind pick up and the air turn cold. He grabbed another log to stack and wondered what he should do when Nicole arrived. What would they do to pass the time? This wasn’t like The Friendship Table with other people around and tasks to complete. This wasn’t like being alone when they were at the bridge. 

 

Then he didn’t know Nicole very well and didn’t think about her all the time. Then he didn’t have feelings for her. What was he doing? Like a shot through his heart, he felt fear. Again, the question: what was he doing?

 

The panic bubbled up and he couldn’t stop it. The feelings kept flooding over him. He wasn’t sure if he was infatuated. He hadn’t really felt like this before. Was he falling in love with Nicole?

 

He shuddered at the implications. What about Rose? The guilt swept over him like a tidal wave. How could he even have feelings for another woman? He loved Rose and they had a good life together. They had gone through so much together. What could he possibly be thinking? He could never hurt Rose like that. But he was getting ahead of himself. Nicole could be coming just to get away, just to go on a hike, to get away from the academic grind. 

 

Maybe what he was feeling had nothing to do with her, and yet, he had an intuition that it had everything to do with her. She was beautiful and smart, and she had made him feel alive again.

 

He stacked the last of the wood. He wondered what a young, attractive woman like Nicole could possibly see in him, and he decided it was probably safe to have her come for a hike. They would talk and that would be about all. There was no way anything more could happen. Nicole could never be interested in him, not in any romantic way. She had too many other choices in her life. Yet, for a moment, just a moment, Tom wondered what he would do if she had feelings for him too.”

 

 

 

Book Trailer can be viewed here:

The Eighth Wonder by Kimberly S. Young

 

My Review:


If I were to be honest with myself, I would have to admit that when I first began the book, I was not at all intrigue. I even thought that this was going to be a s-l-o-w read. I quickly had to rethink my position, because the more I read, the more I couldn’t put the book down. As the story unfolded, so did the wonder of life and all of the tricks that it plays on us.


The Eighth Wonder is a quiet love story between a lonely woman (Nicole) searching for a place to belong and a heartbroken man (Tom) looking to feel alive after his young daughter’s death. The Kinzua Bridge in Bradford, Pennsylvania plays a pivotal part in the story and the author included the fascinating history of the bridge in the book. It was this bridge, after seeing it on both the cover of the book, and in the author’s photo, that kept coming to mind as I read the book. 


This book is a story about life, love, loss, heartbreak, and moving forward. How we sometimes sleepwalk through life focused on superficial goals rather than out hearts desire; and how we sometimes find love and comfort in the most unlikeliness of places.


The characters were well developed and the story line was unique. I found no errors and when you finish the very last word on the very last page, you feel as though life has completed its circle.

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. Albert Camus

 

 

We have a giveaway! And, it’s international (e-book)! You can enter here:

The Eighth Wonder by Kimberly S. Young

 

 

All Things Southern – The Cookie

With my impending trip to New York City, I’ve been thinking about how quickly I can sneak out to my favorite cookie shop, Levain Bakery. It is actually one of the first places to which I learned to navigate my way to in the city. It didn’t take me long to learn that I had to simply board the 1 Train and exit at the Columbus stop, and after departing the subway station in to a beautiful park, I head north to 167West 74th Street. Even if I didn’t know the address, I could put my Southern nose into the air and smell my way to the little shop. And, when I say little, I really mean little. I could also just look for the line because it is always out of the door and into the street. You even have to duck to avoid hitting your head as you descend the steps into the little bakery.

Levain Bakery is a tiny little shoppe that sells the best cookies in the world. My favorite cookie is their dark chocolate chocolate chip cookie. That little stinker will fill your hand and the hand of the person standing next to you. Of course, I’m not sharing, I’m just saying. In fact, son-in-law knows not to touch mother-in-law’s cookie. Mother-in-law doesn’t share her cookie with nobody! It has actually become our little joke when we visit. But, if I start with that story, we’ll be here all day and I want to tell you about cookies.

Levain Bakery (here’s the link: http://www.levainbakery.com  ) only makes four different types of cookies; Chocolate Chip Walnut, Oatmeal Raisin, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip, and the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip. They also make a variety of buns, muffins, breads, and rolls. I’m sure that everything they make is good, but I don’t think I’ll ever make it past the Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies. Most folks come home loaded with souvenirs, me – I come home loaded with cookies.

Out of fairness, Levain Bakery does have two other locations and I would actually prefer you use one of them – only so they don’t run out my cookie before I arrive. Levain Harlem

2167 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY, 10026 and Levain Hamptons Wainscott, 354 Montauk Hwy, Wainscott Village Shopping Center, Wainscott, NY, 11975. This store is open seasonally.

I was surfing the net one day and found some “Cookie Facts”. Now, just keep in mind, we Southerners like to think we invented everything, and that includes the cookie. So…with that in mind – did you know?:

 Cookie Facts

1) The chocolate chip cookie is the official state cookie of both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. (I need to see if we have a state cookie.)

2) The chocolate chip cookie was invented by Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1930 at the Toll House Inn Restaurant in Massachusetts (at that time, Massachusetts was in the South). One of her favorite recipes was for Butter Drop Do cookies. The recipe called for the use of baker’s chocolate and one day Ruth found herself without the needed ingredient. She substituted a semi-sweet chocolate bar cut up into bits. However, unlike the baker’s chocolate the chopped up chocolate bar did not melt completely, the small pieces only softened, thus creating the first known chocolate chip cookie.

3) Americans consume over 2 billion cookies a year, or 300 cookies for each person annually. (That’s less than one a day – I think it should be 365 cookies myself.)

4) The Chocolate Chip is the most popular type of home-baked cookie.

5) Chocolate Chip cookies are Cookie Monster’s favorite. His birthday is November 2nd and his original name was Sid. (Now, this I did not know.)

6) America has designated April 30th as National Oatmeal Cookie Day!

Now that I have given you a little knowledge, let me entice you a bit. These pictures are from the Levain Bakery Site. This time next month, I’ll be eating one of those Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies – I guarantee you!

Chocolate Chip Walnut
Chocolate Chip Walnut
Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip
Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
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My Crazy Life – Starting the New Year with a little from the old


January 1, 2012

          It has become a tradition in our family for Hubby, daughter Katie-Beth and husband, Jude, and son, Joshua to play music with their dad for the Christmas children’s pageant at mass on Christmas Eve. They normally provide vocals as well. This year there was a change. A local teacher gathered a few volunteers from the church community and formed a children’s choir.

          After a few practices, Hubby had them overcoming their shyness and they were singing like angels; never more so than for the actual performance on Christmas Eve. As children go, well – we all know the unpredictable will be happen, and did. The mikes were hot so the children’s voices would fill the church, along with a hiccup that came out instead of words. Sitting up close and seeing my daughter burst out laughing (never missing a keystroke on the keyboard) and then Hubby start laughing (while keeping up on guitar), then son-in-law, Jude (still keeping beat on drums), I thought that the hiccup had come from Katie-Beth. Once the song ended and everyone had dried the tears in their eyes, Katie-Beth made motions that it had been one of the children.

          There were a few other mishaps, fortunately none of them serious. Son in law Jude, being the talented musician that he is (yeah – Manhattan School of Music), relied on one drumstick and his fingertips to get him through the Christmas pageant. No one was the wiser until after mass when he made the remark – “Note to self – next year bring sticks.”

          During the meditation after communion, it has become a tradition (started by Hubby) to sing Silent Night in the different languages of our church congregation. This year Silent Night was sung in English, Pilipino, Vietnamese, French, and Spanish. It is truly amazing to sit and listen to this one song sung in so many different languages, the world becoming a smaller place for a few minutes each Christmas Eve.

          Last year I recorded it and posted it to my blog. This year, Katie-Beth wanted me to use her Flipcam and quickly explained to me how to work it. Once. Needless to say, we have no recording. I forgot how to use it and thought the battery died. I quickly grabbed my phone and finished recording the performance, but missed Katie-Beth singing in English and Hubby singing in French. I now have my own Flipcam and will definitely know how to use it next year!

          Hubby received a ukulele for Christmas and has yet to put it down. Try being woken up to Mrs. Brown you’ve got a lovely daughter and Ave Marie each morning at six o’clock. At least he is now singing the correct words! I practically injured myself getting to the computer to print out the correct lyrics. Pet peeve – singing the wrong words to a song.

          A few highlights from 2011:

-      I started writing book reviews on my blog, reviewing 32 books since April. I found Bookblogs and Blogaholics quite by accident and began a foray into the book-reviewing world and met many friends along the way.

-      I participated in blog hops.

-      My blog won six incredible awards throughout the year.

-      I did a series of 21 days of compliments to myself. I learned a great deal from that little exercise.

-      I added two new dogs to my family, 3 year old Ryka and six-week-old Calypso. I’ve watched them grow this past year as we approach their one year anniversary with us. They have given me a lot to write about with their adventures.

-      I visited New York City twice this year and added Niagara Falls and Canada the second trip and wrote stories about those adventures.

-      I attended a writer’s conference and got to meet lots of authors.

-      I held my annual Cookie Swap for friends.

          I would like to thank all of my friends and followers for a great year and for all of the comments left on my blog. I am looking forward to visiting all of you this year and hearing about what is new on your agenda.
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