BOOK and AUTHOR FEATURE: “Modern Love” by Beau North

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“Modern Love” by Beau North

Blurb: “Love at first sight wasn’t meant for millennials,” thinks Alice Aberdeen: art student, recovering addict, David Bowie enthusiast. Alice is among the recently dumped and only wants to keep her nose to the grindstone until she finishes her degree. Her sister has other ideas and sets her up with new-in-town Will Murphy–tall, dark, and aloof. To say it wasn’t an instant attraction is an understatement: He finds her abrasive, with her sharp tongue and don’t-screw-with-me attitude. She thinks he’s excessively reserved, too damn serious. But the more time Alice spends with Will, the more their slow burn begins to thaw her heart. A man of two worlds, half-Irish, half-Indian, Will feels at home with Alice. He soon realizes her tough shell is hiding extensive scar tissue–from her addiction and recovery to her spectacularly bad ex-girlfriend to the loss of her mother. Modern Love isn’t a story about love at first sight but learning to love yourself before being able to see the one you love.

*****

GUEST POST

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m relatively new to the Contemporary Romance world. From the first time my aunt snuck me a copy of Jude Deveraux’s ‘A Knight in Shining Armor,’ you could always find me with my nose buried in a historical romance novel. From ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Mysteries of Udolpho’ to Sarah MacLean and Maya Rodale, I just couldn’t get enough of a good, old-fashioned historical romp. Even my first two books, one set in the 1940’s and the other in the 1810’s, are firmly rooted in the past. So I was a late bloomer when it came to contemporary romance.

It wasn’t until my friend Shelley Ann Clark got her book,’Have Mercy,’ published by Loveswept that I began to sit up and take notice. At the time I was desperately trying to finish my first novel, ‘Longbourn’s Songbird,’ and wanted to be published so badly that I was instantly excited and consumed with envy. How did this happen? What made her book so special? So I read it, and it was like having a blindfold pulled off…by the sexiest person you’ve ever seen.

What made this experience such a revelation? What was it that made me connect so quickly and so strongly with contemporary romance? When Isabella asked me to name five things I love about contemporary romance, I was ready to go. So here is (in no particular order) five things that made this die-hard historical fan go modern:

  • Being rooted in present day make for a more immediately relatable story
    • I love forbidding castles and long carriage rides as much as the next girl, but it’s not exactly something I can relate to. These modern-day heroines have modern-day problems, be it making rent on time, getting their kid to daycare or jockeying for a promotion at work. These women aren’t fine, untouchable ladies, they’re us. I wouldn’t be able to parse the problems facing a countess on the cusp of social disgrace, but I do know about crappy waitressing jobs, cranky bosses, trying to finish a semester of college, being stuck working with a jerk (who is actually kind of hot, and maybe I don’t dislike him as much as I thought I did).
  • Women are in charge
    • While I’ll always love the petticoat adventuresses, princesses in disguise and penniless-but-charming wallflowers, there’s something so satisfying about a romance where an independent, successful woman has choices in her life, and can find some fulfillment beyond a husband and family. I cheer when a woman can laud her own achievements, silence her critics, and be comfortable in her own skin. Extra bonus love goes to stories where the female character is better at her job than her male counterparts. It gives so much more texture to the story, makes the romance that much more satisfying.
  • The men have evolved too.
    • Hey, we all love a pirate. Or a viking. Or a barbarian. You know what else I love? Consent. The total absence of male fragility. Judgement-free acceptance of a woman’s sexual history, her preferences, and the ability for a male character to accept that it’s not always about him. Maybe his love interest can have a conversation with another male character, and she’s not in danger of being labeled a wanton woman. As much as I love the protective spirit of historical romance heroes, it can be…a little much. A man who is happiest letting a woman just be herself is a man worth keeping.
  • Representation matters!
    • As much as I LOVE when historical romance revolving around a gay character or one that features an interracial relationship, it’s a lot more difficult to pull of in the 18th century when in many places who you loved could get you arrested, tortured, or killed. And now with the cultural shift of our interconnectivity through social media, we know so much more about ourselves and each other than ever before. I grew up in a tiny, tiny, southern town in the analog days before the internet. I didn’t know what nonbinary or cisgendered meant, because I was uninformed. Now I know better, and I see that  there is so much storytelling opportunity for Gay romance, transgender romance, nonbinary romance, even asexual romance! For someone who identifies as any of those things, it must be immensely satisfying to be able to pick up a book and lose yourself in a story with characters that you see yourself in. Everyone deserves that!
  • Let’s face it…it’s the sex
    • Okay, I’m going to just come out and say it: I really dislike the deflowering-of-maidens parts of historical romance. While I understand that it’s more probable that a young woman in 1805 would be inexperienced in lovemaking, I still tend to skim those parts, just knowing how unlikely it is that this lady’s first time is that enjoyable. I’m happy that this isn’t often a problem in contemporary romance, though I have read my fair share of modern day stories with a virginal heroine, they’re not quite as common. I’m certainly not here to judge you if that’s your thing! Contemporary romance does have the freedom to be open about sex, sexuality, and kink, where historical romance (for the most part) has to stay within the confines of what was known and acceptable at that time. Particularly with any story involving a kink, it’s much more likely that a historical romance will attach some element of bewilderment or shame to it. It’s also liberating to have a character who knows what she (or he!) likes, what pleasures them, and who isn’t embarrassed to ask for—even demand—what feels good.

*****

And since I never do anything by halves, my newfound love of Contemporary Romance inspired me to write my new novella, aptly titled Modern Love. The name, other than being a tip of the hat to modern romances, was inspired by the music of David Bowie. I started writing this book the week he passed away, a few days after his birthday (which was, in fact, a few days after my own birthday). For me, there’s always a great deal of emotion tied in with music. A first dance, the song playing on the radio behind those early, clumsy fumblings of intimacy, a wedding march. In Modern Love, Allie and Will first meet to the sounds of David Bowie, which is where I take you now.

ALLIE

Chanda grabbed my hand and pulled me onto the dance floor where we spun and flailed around. While I’m notoriously bad at it, I love dancing. When you dance, you’re not thinking about your shitty ex or your overdue MFA paperwork or the way your boss likes to hit on you when he gets two beers in. It’s like yoga (only more fun and way less bougie) where you just get boiled down to your most physical self. Move. Breathe. Dance. Your problems are non-existent. You’re not a complex human. You’re biology. And biology doesn’t have problems. Biology just is, so dance. Shimmy like an amoeba under a microscope. Prance like a cat stalking the red dot. Sway like a sapling in high wind. You get the idea.

So, we danced, and because I haven’t an ounce of physical grace, we laughed. Laughed so much my face started to ache. My dumb ex, my bad boss, the pressure of school—all of it went on the back burner as I gulped down the ginger ale Gabe brought us. It was in that moment, when I was feeling pretty good about things, that I ran into a wall, drink-first. Cold ginger ale and half-melted ice cubes spilled everywhere, all over me, the floor, the wall…

“Watch it.” The wall snapped, brushing ice off of his v-neck.

I craned my neck back, my eyes finally lighting on a beautiful face made severe by flinty disapproval. He took my breath away. His glossy black hair curled gently behind his ears, long features softened by thick brows and a silver-flecked beard, incongruously reddish against his olive skin. His frame was broad-shouldered and lean, and if it weren’t for the glare, he’d be a perfect specimen of male beauty. It’d been quite some time since I’d been with anyone (the sex with Jamie became occasional at best well before our relationship ended) let alone a guy, but this one made my neglected libido sit up and take notice.

“My bad,” I said. My fingers twitched towards the soft fabric of his shirt, but I thought better of it and let my hand drop.

“Ugh, perfect,” he said, looking down at the damage. His voice was deep with the telltale flatness of the Midwest. “All I need is to smell like booze all night.”

“It’s ginger ale,” I protested. “I doubt it ruined your Prada.”

His full lips pulled back with a hint of a sneer. “I didn’t realize this was an all-ages show.”

“And I didn’t realize you had to have a stick up your ass to get in the door,” I retorted, bristling. I was twenty-six but often mistaken for younger. It’s frustrating to be underestimated because you happen to have tits and good Scandinavian genes.

He opened his mouth to speak when Gabe ran up to us. “Will! There you are! I see you met Allie.”

“You know this guy?” I asked, incredulous. Maybe he was Gabe’s boss and Gabe had to be nice to him. Gabe was so open, so friendly, so nice. It seemed weird to me that he would be friends with this strange, forbidding man.

“This is my friend Will, don’t you remember? I told you I’d invited a friend…for you to meet…?”

Oh no. No, no, no. I started to get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. No wonder Emma had been so adamant I come to the show. She’d been dropping so many hints lately about “getting back out there.” Gabe had the good grace to look embarrassed, at least. There was a pause in the music, enough for me to hear the gorgeous jerk say, “This is who you’ve been talking about?”

Oh well, excuse me for existing. The opening “aaaahs” of “Let’s Dance” started playing, drowning out the end of his question. Gabe pointed at his ear and shouted, “Sorry! Can’t hear you!” He shooed us towards the dance floor before wandering off, leaving me alone with Sir Scowls-a-lot. I was still trying to wrap my head around why Gabe and Emma thought we’d hit it off. Aren’t you supposed to seek balance? One pessimist, one optimist, that sort of thing? Whose bright idea was it to try to pair up two obvious misanthropes?

“I had no idea!” I shouted over the music. “I didn’t ask Gabe to do this!”

The guy, Will, gave me a long look before nodding curtly at me, turning and stalking away without another word.

“You okay?” Chanda asked from behind me. “That guy seemed…intense.”

“Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine,” I assured her. She looked at me doubtfully as I excused myself to go to the bathroom. My hands were sticky with ginger ale. The water in the ladies’ bathroom was hot enough to scald, but I washed them anyway, avoiding looking up at my reflection. I felt stupid now, in my costume and makeup, because from the moment I’d locked eyes with Gabe’s sneering friend, I’d felt like a fraud. The whole evening had clearly been a mistake and I wanted nothing more than to go home and curl up on the couch with a jar of Nutella and Jon Stewart. The sooner the better.

WILL

Well, that went as badly as anything could. Now here I stand, covered in soda, alone, and hating the world. Pretty much like any other night.

How hard is it to just meet someone at, say, a bookstore? Or at the gym? Or in a cooking class? Isn’t that how every chick flick started? Two sexy people meet, have an equal exchange of appreciating glances and hurled insults, and eventually fall in love?

This scenario shouldn’t have been so much different. I’m new in town, my best friend is dating a nice woman, a leggy ginger who suggests that her sister isn’t seeing anyone and would I like to meet her? Sure, why not. It doesn’t have to be love. It doesn’t have to be anything.

But then I meet her, and it is the worst.

Meet isn’t the right word. Rammed into? Nearly toppled? I didn’t see her; all I saw was Gabe waving at me in that ridiculous getup. And then, splash. And there’s this kid, her face is all flushed, eyes big as saucers in her head. I can’t tell what color they are in this light, but there’s something behind them that I could almost…almost reach. She’s small, flint-eyed and sharp-tongued with a strong don’t-fuck-with-me vibe that doesn’t quite hide the way she stared at me. I’m not blind, I know what I look like. Girls like this never notice the tired circles under my eyes or the angry patches of acne I get under my beard.

When Gabe explains that this is Emma’s sister I want to deck him. What was he thinking? Even if she’s not a kid, she looks enough like one to land me on some kind of sex offender registry. And apart from her looks (which, youth aside, aren’t all that bad) she seems like the kind of girl who’d break your bones, your balls, and your will to live.

From across the room I see her standing at the door, watching people dancing to this impossible-to-dance-to music. Maybe it’s the hangdog expression, but I can see her age better now, and that thing behind her eyes that I couldn’t quite grasp. It’s loneliness, something I’d recognize anywhere. It sets my teeth on edge, and I’m glad when she finally turns and leaves.

The second she’s gone I feel it. A nagging guilt that buzzes in my ear like a mosquito. It says did you have to be such a dickhead?

No. I guess I didn’t.

The second I step out the door the muddy smell of the Mississippi hits me, mixed with exhaust fumes and piss, the perfume of cities. I’m still getting used to this place, not nearly as big as Chicago but bustling enough. Those that welcomed me thus far did so with their trademark “Minnesota Nice,” which seems to me to be grandly self-congratulatory passive aggression. People in other states were nice, why did Minnesotans have to act like they had a trademark on the concept? When I pull out of the public parking garage, the Tesla moves smooth and silent as a snake over the patched asphalt. The condition of the streets here should be a crime.

And there she is, the thin white duchess. Standing at the bus stop, pulling her jacket closer to her. She’s pulled her hair out of its braid and it hangs down her back in a wavy curtain of gold. What the hell, I tell myself and pull up beside her. She looks startled when she sees me behind the wheel. Wary.

“Hey,” I say. Off to the races.

“Hey?”

“Can I give you a lift home? I didn’t intend to scare you off back there.”

Her smile is a jackknife that pins me to my seat, balls first. Her eyes glint in the streetlight. “Scare me? You wish, moneybags.”

*****

There’s more that follows, of course, but I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into Modern Love. Thanks so much for giving it your time!

*****

**About the author, Beau North: Beau is a native southerner who now calls Portland, Oregon home with her husband and two cats. She attended the University of South Carolina where she began a lifelong obsession with English Literature. In her spare time, Beau is the brains behind Rhymes With Nerdy, an internet collective focused on pop culture.

**Contact Beau!: Website   Facebook   Twitter   Instagram

*****

**Click HERE to see other stops on Beau’s Chick Lit Plus Blog Tour!

BOOK FEATURE: “Beach House for Rent”

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“Beach House for Rent” by Mary Alice Monroe

Blurb: When Cara Rutledge rents out her quaint beach house on Isle of Palms to Heather Wyatt for the entire summer, it’s a win-win by any standard: Cara’s generating income necessary to keep husband Brett’s ecotourism boat business afloat, and anxiety-prone Heather, an young artist who’s been given a commission to paint birds on postage stamps, has a quiet space in which to work and tend to her pet canaries uninterrupted.

It isn’t long, however, before both women’s idyllic summers are altered irrevocably: the alluring shorebirds—and the man who rescues them—begin to draw Heather out of the shell she’s cultivated toward a world of adventure, and maybe even love; at the same time, Cara’s life reels with sudden tragedy, and she wishes only to return to the beach house that had once been her port amidst life’s storms. When Heather refuses to budge from her newfound sanctuary, so begins the unlikeliest of rooming situations. While they start out as strangers, as everything around the women falls apart they learn that the only thing they can really rely on is each other.

And, like the migrating shorebirds that come to the island for the summer, these two women of different generations must rediscover their unique strengths so by summer’s end they, too, can take flight in ways they never imagined possible.

**About the Author: Mary Alice Monroe is the award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty novels (A Lowcountry Wedding, A Lowcountry Christmas, The Summer Girls, The Summer Wind, The Summer’s End, The Beach House, Beach House Memories), and was recently named a 2018 inductee into the South Carolina Academy of Writers Literary Hall of Fame. She is an active conservationist and lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina.

**Connect with Mary Alice Monroe online:

Website   Facebook   Instagram   Twitter

*****

**Praise for BEACH HOUSE FOR RENT & Mary Alice Monroe:

“Mary Alice Monroe writes gorgeously, with authority and tenderness, about the natural world and its power to inspire, transport, and to heal. Readers will love this story of two unforgettable women—one reeling from an unexpected tragedy, the other drawn into a daring and passionate new love.” –Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Readers interested in environmental fiction highlighting endangered birds, turtles, and lands will delight in this latest novel featuring women who need the healing power of nature.” —Library Journal, starred review

“Mary Alice Monroe understands that a house is never just a house. As we revisit The Beach House, we are immersed in the heartbeat and pulse of her South Carolina Lowcountry as never before. Monroe’s singular ability to blend the natural world with the emotional world allows for a gorgeous novel, wondrously bittersweet and life-affirming. No one else tells an insightful and powerful story quite like Mary Alice Monroe—and in BEACH HOUSE FOR RENT, you won’t be able to stop reading—for even that glass of sweet tea.” —New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry

“There is no way to describe Monroe’s writing style other than to say it is uniquely wonderful. She has a heart for the lowcountry and the talent to bring it to life.” —Huffington Post

“Every book Mary Alice Monroe has written has felt like a homecoming to me.” —New York Times bestselling author Pat Conroy

**SUMMER 2017 TOUR DATES:

Thursday, June 15 — Spartanburg, SC
Friday, June 16-18 — Nantucket, MA
Monday, June 19 — Charleston, SC
Tuesday, June 20 — Charleston, SC
Tuesday, June 20 — Kiawah Island, SC
Wednesday, June 21 — St. Simon’s Island, GA
Wednesday, June 21 — Savannah, GA
Thursday, June 22 — Bluffton, SC
Thursday, June 22 — Florence, SC
Friday, June 23 — Pawleys Island, SC
Friday, June 23 — Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Saturday, June 24 — Mt. Pleasant, SC
Saturday, June 24 — Isle of Palms, SC
Sunday, June 25 — Summerville, SC
Tuesday, June 27 — Augusta, GA
Tuesday, June 27 — Decatur, GA
Wednesday, June 28 — Peachtree City, GA
Wednesday, June 28 — Woodstock, GA
Thursday, June 29 — Kingsport, TN
Thursday, June 29 — Knoxville, TN
Friday, June 30 — Chattanooga, TN
Saturday, July 1 — Vero Beach, FL
Sunday, July 2 — Wellington, FL
Tuesday, July 4 — Rehoboth Beach, DE
Wednesday, July 5 — Collegeville, PA
Thursday, July 6 — Brielle, NJ
Saturday, July 8 — Strongsville, OH
Thursday, July 13 — Westerville, OH
Saturday, July 15 — Mt. Pleasant, SC
Thursday, July 27 — Santa Clarita, CA
Friday, July 28 — Signal Hill, CA
Saturday, July 29 — Palos Verde, CA
Tuesday, August 1 — Huntington Beach, CA

BOOK FEATURE: “The Corner Shop of Whispers”

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“The Corner Shop of Whispers” by Debbie Viggiano

Blurb: Romantic Florrie, scatty Daisy and snobby Alison are neighbours, living their married lives in the tiny English village of Lower Amblegate where everyone knows everybody. Together the three friends share laughter, tears, and things they wouldn’t want anybody else knowing. But unbeknownst to them, a scandal is brewing. As rumours circulate, the gossips go into overdrive, rocking marriages and revealing the women have much more in common than just neighbourly bonds…

*****

**About the author: Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued puppy from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her children return home from uni bringing her much joy…apart from their gifts of dirty laundry.

**Contact Debbie Viggiano: Blog   Facebook   Twitter

BOOK REVIEW: “Plan Cee”

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“Plan Cee” by Hilary Grossman

Blurb: Would you abandon your present for a second chance at your past?

Cecelia Reynolds has spent most of her life trying to forget the commitment-phobic man who broke her heart. It wasn’t easy, but eventually she did it, or so she thought…

As Cecelia and her husband gather for a friend’s wedding, her perfect world is thrown into complete turmoil. Even though it’s been twenty years since she last laid eyes on Keith Emerson, all it takes is one glance for her to feel emotions she thought were long gone. When Keith ends up officiating the ceremony, she quickly realizes his message of love is directed at her, not the happy couple. But can she believe him?

We live our entire lives thinking we know ourselves. But do we ever really?

As secrets and lies cause Cecelia’s world to spin completely out of control, she is forced to seek advice from the most unlikely ally. In the process, she must confront the demons of her past and the events that shaped her into the woman she is now. Will she finally learn the real meaning of love, friendship, and family?

While this book is a sequel to Plan Bea, it also reads as a standalone.

My Review: 

When I heard that Hilary Grossman would be writing a sequel to “Plan Bea,” I knew I had to read it! Once I started reading, I did not want to stop. From the first book, I loved Cecelia’s character, so I was eager to get to know her better!

While on the outside, her life seems perfect, when her past comes back to haunt her, in more ways than one–things get out of the way control–and fast.

There were so many times I was clutching my stomach and wondering what Cee would do and how she’d handle whatever situation came up, but she didn’t disappoint. After all, when a lover comes back in the picture, it’s normal to wonder “what if,” even though she’s now married with twin boys. While I’m not as brave or would be so easily tempted (especially if I was happy in my marriage), in the end, I understand why she did. With each swipe of the page, there were great twists, which, thankfully, turned out for the best.

As for the ending, I was in tears. Cee made the right choice on which path she wanted to be on, and I applaud the author for making what I think was the right choice, mainly for the fact that some people never change…I’m not going to give any spoilers, but…WOW! My only issue with this book was that I wanted to see how once she made her choice life would be for her.

This is a must-read book would be perfect for a day at the beach!

I give “Plan Cee” 5 stars!

**Click HERE to get your copy of “Plan Cee” now!

**Reviewer Note: While it’s mentioned that “Plan Cee” is a standalone, I highly recommend that you read “Plan Bea” first, (click HERE to see my review).

COVER REVEAL: “Plan Cee”

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“Plan Cee” by Hilary Grossman

Blurb:

Would you abandon your present for a second chance at your past?

Cecelia Reynolds has spent most of her life trying to forget the commitment-phobic man who broke her heart. It wasn’t easy, but eventually she did it, or so she thought…

As Cecelia and her husband gather for a friend’s wedding, her perfect world is thrown into complete turmoil. Even though it’s been twenty years since she last laid eyes on Keith Emerson, all it takes is one glance for her to feel emotions she thought were long gone. When Keith ends up officiating the ceremony, she quickly realizes his message of love is directed at her, not the happy couple. But can she believe him?

We live our entire lives thinking we know ourselves. But do we ever really?

As secrets and lies cause Cecelia’s world to spin completely out of control, she is forced to seek advice from the most unlikely ally. In the process, she must confront the demons of her past and the events that shaped her into the woman she is now. Will she finally learn the real meaning of love, friendship, and family?

While this book is a sequel to “Plan Bea,” it also reads as a standalone.

**Click HERE to pre-order your copy of “Plan Cee” now!


hilarygrossman3picAbout the author: By day, Hilary Grossman works in the booze biz. By night she hangs out with her “characters.” She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and high heel shoes. She’s been known to walk into walls and fall up stairs. She only eats spicy foods and is obsessed with her cat, Lucy. She loves to find humor in everyday life. She likens life to a game of dodge ball – she tries to keep many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. She lives on Long Island.

**Contact Hilary: Facebook   Twitter   Instagram


**GIVEAWAY**

**Click HERE to enter for your chance to win a $10.00 Dunkin Donuts Gift Card!


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“Plan Bea,” new cover, same memorable story…

**Click HERE to see my review of “Plan Bea!”

BOOK RELEASE: “Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop”

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“Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop” by Isabella Louise Anderson

Blurb: As the owner of a successful florist shop, Khloe Harper trusts her instincts. She has a strong bond with her family and friends, but after being betrayed by her last love, she’s kept herself at arms’ length from romance. When dashing entertainment attorney Derek Thomas walks into her store, Khloe’s interest is piqued. What at first seems like a business relationship quickly turns into romance, and Derek slowly plucks away the petals she’s been hiding behind. Just as Khloe lets down her guard, she discovers that Derek may not be worthy of her love after all.

Frumpy Connie Albright has a faux fascination with an imaginary man named Walt, thinking that by sending herself flowers from him she’ll feel less out-of-place with the “mean girls” she works with. When she comes face to face with her possible prince charming and thinking she might have a happy ending, when a truth is revealed, she wonders if she’ll ever have a Cinderella story.

A recently widowed senior, Gabby Lewis, isn’t ready to give up on love—which means releasing herself from survivor’s guilt and taking a chance on finding happiness and companionship again. After signing up for an online dating site for senior citizens, much to her surprise, she’s matched with Harry, an energetic and loving man, who quickly eases himself into her heart. Will Gabby take the leap of falling in love again, knowing it’s possible to have two loves of her life?

As each woman’s story develops through flowers and cards sent from Khloe’s shop during the Fall months, they begin to learn that love can only truly blossom when you trust your heart.


BioPic**About the author: Isabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She focuses her time on featuring other writers on her blog, Chick Lit Goddess, along with organizing Goddess Book Tours, and is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

She lives in Dallas with her husband, enjoys spicy Mexican food, margaritas, gin on the rocks (with a splash of lime). She loves spending time with family and friends and cheering on the Texas Rangers. Not only is Isabella an author, she’s also a Scentsy consultant and hoarder.

Isabella’s short story, “Meet Me Under the Mistletoe,” was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design is her first novel, and she’s currently working on her next release.

**Contact Isabella: Email   Website   Facebook

Instagram – Isabella Louise Anderson   Instagram – Chick Lit Goddess   Pinterest   Twitter

**Find the book!: Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Goodreads   Kobo

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BOOK REVIEW of “RAGS & RICHES” by Camille Nagasaki

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“Rags & Riches” by Camille Nagasaki

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

What is your writing/editing/publishing process like? Write daily for the first draft—about 800-words/day, then let it sit for a couple of months. Afterward, I begin a few rounds of re-writes, send it to some beta-readers, do another re-write, send to copy editor and complete another re-write. I’m actually constantly going back and tweaking here and there. I feel like it will never be finished, but part of the goal, I guess, is to let it go.

What made you want to become an author? Storytelling is what connects us to our humanity. I have an acting background and both acting and writing bring a story to life so transitioning from one to the other was pretty natural. I’ve had a lifelong love of books and of the written word.

Salty or sweet? Sweet!

What is your favorite characteristic of a character you’ve created? Lane is resilient, through and through.

Hard/paperback or eBooks? Hard/paperback

What has been your greatest achievement as an author? Well, as this is my debut novel so my biggest achievement thus far is actually getting the book out there! It’s been a long journey so to have it finally published is gratifying.

Describe your perfect day: A harmonious day with my family with a bit of everything; nature, adventure, indulgence, reflection, good food, laughter. Those kinds of days are glorious!

Is the social media more of a help or a hinder? I was super apprehensive about embracing social media. I used to be on FB ages ago and left it because it felt like high school all over again. This time around I’m enjoying both FB and twitter but I find I have to manage my time efficiently, otherwise you can get lost in those sites.

What are you reading right now? Love the one you’re with by Emily Giffin

In five years, where do you want to be with your writing career? I hope to have a couple more books under my belt and I hope that readers are connecting with my words. My dream is for Riches & Rags to be brought to life on the silver screen so the film aspect is something I definitely want to explore.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? The last advice my late and dear mommy gave me was to concentrate on one passion at a time. My weakness has always been to get SO EXCITED about all these various opportunities but my mom said if I really wanted to be serious about pursuing my writing, I needed to focus on it. One thing at a time. I struggle with this daily as there as so many things I want to DO!

What are you working on right now? I’m promoting Riches & Rags for now. Next, I will record the audio book for R&R, write a non-fiction book for teens and a sequel to Riches & Rags.


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About the author: Camille Nagasaki is a Toronto-born Canadian author, film/TV actress, and entrepreneur.

Having always had a tremendous fascination with the written word, Camille became an avid reader at a young age and has written creatively and for business for many years.

After leaving the corporate world to be home with her kids, Camille earned a professional designation in her field, launched a new business, and began a three-year labour of love writing Riches & Rags.

Camille lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children. Riches & Rags is her first novel.

**Contact Camille: Website   Twitter   Facebook

**Find the book!: Amazon   Goodreads


Blurb: 

Lane Carson is used to getting her own way—apart from throwing hissy fits and pulling outrageous stunts to attract her workaholic husband’s attention, Lane lives a seemingly perfect life. But things are seldom as they seem…

Lane is blindsided and her charmed and pampered existence uprooted, when her shattered husband, Micky Capello, breaks the devastating news: he’s lost the family fortune and is leaving on a quest to “find himself.” The most daunting part is they’re losing the nannies—and the children Lane barely knows will live with her.

Without the leisure to wallow in misery and self-pity, Lane is catapulted into an adventure of a lifetime that’s filled with outlandish and often emotionally charged escapades of trial and error, all with her über supportive—albeit dysfunctional—family in tow.

This comedic drama is bursting with outlandish hilarity and warmth, and is sure to keep you roaring with laughter, while tugging at your heart with its endearing, candid reflection. A must read!

My Review:

Right from the beginning, I loved this book. It was funny, charming, and a page turner. I was curious as to see how Lane would do after her husband left her, along with her bank account that she easily took for granted would survive. Also, without the nannies who stepped in and were basically her daughters’ parents, she was lost with them–but only at first, as she easily adjusted herself into falling in love with her two girls.

I loved her landlord, George, and found him to be kind and genuine through his crusted old man attitude. As for Billy, her cousin and best friend, not only was he great with Lane’s girls, he made for a great sidekick, one that everyone should have.

Camille’s creation of “Riches & Rags” was a great story, highly intriguing and a must read!

From the beginning to the ending, which I loved, Lane’s journey is on that makes one stop and think about their own life.

I give “Riches & Rags” 5 stars!


GIVEAWAY

Click HERE to enter the giveaway!


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**Click HERE to see other stops on Camille’s Chick Lit Plus Blog Tour!


BOOK REVIEW: “Secrets of the Suburbs”

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“Secrets of the Suburbs” by Alisa Schindler

Blurb: Secrets of the Suburbs is the story of Lindsey, a 42 year-old suburban mom who seems to have it all – doctor husband, two great kids, satisfying part-time work; all the spin classes, shopping and lunches she can fit into her busy schedule.

But when a drunken moment with her friend’s husband opens up a well of desire, excitement and emotion that she didn’t even know existed, it throws her perfectly perfect life into turmoil. Because as Lindsey opens her heart and body to this forbidden passion; her eyes open as well, and she is forced to take a closer look at her life, her marriage and herself.

Already her friends are starting to whisper, her husband is growing suspicious and there is a Secrets of the Shore Facebook page that just may be talking about her.

Will Lindsey stay in her safe, pretty world with her seemingly perfect husband who just might have secrets of his own, or will she break every rule and follow her heart?

Whatever she decides, she’d better figure it out fast because in small town suburbia nothing stays secret for very long.

Sexy and engaging, with characters who seem like friends and issues that make you think about marriage, satisfaction and the lines we draw, Secrets of the Suburbs is the perfect book to curl up with next to your (sweet) snoring husband.

My Review: I’ve always been intrigued by books where affairs take place, curious where the author would take the characters, along with what the “excuse” would be, which is one reason I decided to review this book.

It started off quickly, and I found myself widening my eyes at some parts, blushing at others, all while Lindsey struggled to find herself. I’m thirty-five, have been married for almost seven years, and though I don’t condone extramarital affairs, I felt that I could relate to Lindsey because I think all she really wanted was a spark put back into her marriage, and for someone to see her in a new light (as a mother of two, who’s getting older). Some might think she was weak (which, yes, she did have), but I thought she was strong, considering the situations she was in.

I don’t want to give away anything, but I came away satisfied with the ending.

Writing about affairs can be very difficult, but I really enjoyed this quick and sexy read. I recommend this book to any woman who is on their own journey to finding themselves.

I give “Secrets of the Suburbs” 5 stars!


alisa-schindler**About the author: Alisa Schindler is a SAHM of three boys and wife to Mr. Baseball. In between schlepping to the ball fields and burning cupcakes, she chronicles the sweet and bittersweet of life in the suburbs on her blog icescreammama.com. Her essays have been featured online in the Washington Post, NYT, Scary Mommy, Kveller, Parents, Brain, Child, and Good Housekeeping, among others. Random nights, she can be found hiding in the closet with a pint of ice cream and a good book.


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**Click HERE to follow Alisa on her Chick Lit Plus Blog Tour!


National Book Lover’s Day

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Hello, everyone! I know some of you might think that Chick Lit Goddess had vanished, but I’m here to let you all know that it’s still here, and so am I! While I thought that my next personal blog post would be that I’ve released CARDS FROM KHLOE’S FLOWER SHOP (I’m so close to finishing the final edits), something tragic in my family life occurred, so I needed to take some time off. However, as of today, I’m slowly beginning to get back to work, starting with this post. While I’m not back full-time, and Goddess Book Tours, reviews, and book/author features are still on hold, I’m taking it one day at a time in rejoining the book/social media world. The past few weeks haven’t been easy, but as each new day begins, I feel stronger. I’m not ready to go into details yet, but when I do, I hope you understand why I’m choosing to keep this matter to myself.

On a much lighter note, today is National Book Lover’s Day!

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Summer’s almost over, so if you haven’t had a chance to pick-up your copy, you can get it now for only $0.99!

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1xsWYUG

 

Again, thank you for understanding, and I look forward to getting back into full-time work! 🙂

BOOK FEATURE: “Mistletoe and Murder”

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“Mistletoe & Murder” by Laina Turner

Blurb: In this short story Presley goes home for Christmas expecting it to be a relaxing holiday until her old boyfriend, Brian, asks for her help finding out who has been stealing from him and it turns from theft to murder. Why would anyone want to kill Tommy and what was he hiding?

**Click HERE to buy the book!


laina turnr**About the author: As a child Laina thought she would either be a truck driver (thanks to Jerry Reed in Smokey and the Bandit) or work at Taco Bell (her favorite restaurant as a child).

As she grew older she realized her talents lay in academics and business and for the last several years has been a business consultant and college professor where she uses the analytical side of her brain and not the side that makes up stories.

Through all her career choices she has continued to have a passion for writing. This stemmed from childhood whereas an only child she developed a vivid imagination spending most of her time making things up and thinking the Incredible Hulk lived in her closet.

Proud of her vast experiences in life from barrel racing to being on the dance team for a semi pro basketball team to being a mom of 2 amazing kids, she tells her family and friends that no one is safe from their escapades slipping in to her books.

Taking the plunge to write books (cozy mysteries and chick lit) that she actually let people read in 2010, she has worked her way up to being a real author, having 5 fans (maybe 6 now). Her blog, Writing is a Lifestyle, was launched to share the daily fun in the life of a Real Housewife of the Midwest along with the musing of other fabulous ladies.

**Contact LainaFacebook   Twitter   Goodreads


Mistletoe & Murder

**Click HERE to see other stops on Laina Turner’s Chick Lit Plus Blog Tour!