Tuesday, July 26, 2016

#SRC2016 @BookSparks THE CHOICES WE MAKE @WriterKarma #BestSummerEver



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Following her bestselling debut novel Come Away with Me, Karma Brown returns with an unforgettable story that explores the intricate dynamics of friendship and parenthood 
Hannah and Kate became friends in the fifth grade, when Hannah hit a boy for looking up Kate's skirt with a mirror. While they've been close as sisters ever since, Hannah can't help but feel envious of the little family Kate and her husband, David, have created—complete with two perfect little girls. 
She and Ben have been trying for years to have a baby, so when they receive the news that she will likely never get pregnant, Hannah's heartbreak is overwhelming. But just as they begin to tentatively explore the other options, it's Kate's turn to do the rescuing. Not only does she offer to be Hannah's surrogate, but Kate is willing to use her own eggs to do so. 
Full of renewed hope, excitement and gratitude, these two families embark on an incredible journey toward parenthood…until a devastating tragedy puts everything these women have worked toward at risk of falling apart. Poignant and refreshingly honest, The Choices We Make is a powerful tale of an incredible friendship and the risks we take to make our dreams come true.

Karma Brown

KARMA BROWN is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer, who probably spends too much time on her laptop in coffee shops. When not writing, she can be found running with her husband, coloring (outside the lines) with her daughter, or baking yet another batch of banana muffins. Karma lives just outside Toronto with her family. She's the author of two novels: COME AWAY WITH ME (September 2015) & THE CHOICES WE MAKE (July 2016).


I adored Brown's first book COME AWAY WITH ME, so my expectations were high for her forthcoming book THE CHOICES WE MAKE and she did not disappoint.  This book is another hit, that grabs at your emotions right away and makes you feel for each character, as Brown brilliantly brings you into the characters hearts and minds.  There is such a wonderfully layered story with a complex story line that pulls you in because you can relate to the characters because they are raw, human and vulnerable! Another 
5 star hit!


#MMBBR #Showcase Better in the Morning by @FernRonay


Description
Veronica Buccino has a plan: marry John DelMonico and quit her soul-sucking job as a lawyer. And when he tells her he has big news, she’s certain he’ll pop the question. But instead of proposing, John informs her that he’s moving to London.

Heartbroken, Veronica feels lost. Salvatore and Antoinette, her dead grandparents, begin to visit her dreams in an attempt to steer her in the right direction. At their suggestion, Veronica takes a news reporting class, which leads to a challenging freelance assignment covering a conspiracy trial. She also begins dating an unlikely suitor: creative Syd Blackman.

Just when her love life and career are looking up, Veronica is tossed back to square one by an event that makes her question all her new choices.


Fern Ronay

Author Bio
Fern Ronay is a lawyer who has lived in Manhattan, Chicago and now sunny Los Angeles with her husband, but she will always consider herself a Jersey girl. She is working on her next novel.



Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. The sense of fulfillment I feel after getting the words on the page and seeing the story take shape.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. The editing process. It's this thing that makes the story infinitely better but is just so painful to go through.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. A journalist. I love interviewing people and am lucky to do so as part of AfterBuzzTV in Los Angeles.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. A Fern Grows in Jersey

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. Wow. Does everyone say this is a tough one to answer? I'll go with Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus. It's a "children's book for adults" in a sense but it had such a profound impact on me when I read it almost ten years ago that I even wrote a blog post about it called "The Book that Changed My Life."

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. A combo of Bridget Jones, Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City, of course, was a book before it was a show; thanks, Candace Bushnell!) and my own protagonist Veronica Buccino.

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?
A. Well, since I only have one under my belt at this point, I'd have to say I'm Veronica Buccino from Better in the Morning but I do have quite a bit of Jada, her best friend, in me.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. The Great Gatsby

Q.  What is your favorite season?
A. Summer

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. The way it works with my publisher is that we fill out a form that asks a series of questions about the story and specific feelings that are elicited from the book. It then goes to the artist and cover designer. What came back was beyond my wildest writer dreams. It was the perfect cover and includes an "Easter egg" that any reader of Better in the Morning will appreciate.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. Hmmm. Nothing comes to mind but I did have an awesome release party that was hosted at AfterBuzzTV studios, complete with a cake with the book cover on it from Cake + Art in West Hollywood, a signature cocktail with champagne that was dubbed "The Veronica," and gift bags too. I felt like it was my wedding again! And I felt like Carrie Bradshaw who said "There is one day even the most cynical New York woman dreams of ... her book release party." You can see pics on my Instagram @FernRonay.

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. Yes, I'm now telling Jada's story. She's married and a mother but is rather unhappy. It's a bit darker but has the same elements of incorporating "life after life."


Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. Well, I'd like to say thank you to you for hosting me! And, as I say in the acknowledgements of Better in the Morning: To the person reading this right now, I always believed that whoever was meant to read this would be led to it somehow. I am so happy you have found your way here and I hope you enjoyed it!


#MMBBR #Showcase My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me: The 2-Minute Solution for a Happier Marriage by Ruxandra LeMay


My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me: The 2-Minute Solution for a Happier Marriage by [LeMay, Ruxandra]

Is “not enough sex” a daily or weekly argument in your relationship? 
Is sex at the bottom of your to-do list after mopping the floors, laundry, and packing the kids’ lunches? 
Would you rather catch up on your favorite show than have sex? 

Then this book is for you. 
Nowadays, women work more than ever; they juggle a career, a household, kids, bills, pets, their own parents and in-laws. In a relationship, marriage to be precise, sex is on a continuum: from hot and sweaty to non-existent. The author has seen numerous couples in therapy, all struggling to make the transition from “I can’t breathe without you” to “I would rather sleep than have sex.” Although most couples experience these changes, many don’t know how to handle them. Women feel exhausted, guilty, and wondering whether they need medication to feel some sort of sexual desire again. Men feel unloved, misunderstood, and highly frustrated. Nobody wins. And sometimes, the table turns and the man has a lower sex drive. 
This unique book offers a practical solution that is a great compromise for both genders. It’s fast and easy to implement and maintain. It’s the real deal. The goals are realistic, easily attained, and make an actual difference in the relationship. 
Dr. LeMay also talks about the fact that the female and male sex drives are different but there is no reason to apologize for such a difference. There is nothing wrong with women that have a low sex drive and not all men are addicted just because they like sex. 
This book offers a compilation of tips and ideas to increase assertiveness and honesty during sex. Finally, the author introduces 10 insights into what affects female sex drive such as husband’s participation in household chores, his effort in looking good for his spouse, and his willingness to accommodate his wife’s sexual needs. 

Ruxandra LeMay

Dr. Ruxandra LeMay is a psychologist that specializes in couples' therapy, addiction, and mood disorders. She is passionate about women's mental health issues, parenting, and how to manage healthy interpersonal relationships. At the heart of her couples' therapy is a strong belief in partnership, compromise, and accommodating each other's needs. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage; all couples have areas to work on.
Her writing style is very similar to her therapeutic style: direct, down-to-earth, and practical. Humor is very important to her and comes out in therapy as well as her in her book.
She has been married for more than ten years and is the mother of three amazing boys.



Q. What inspires your writing?

A. I don’t really consider myself a writer. I am psychologist that wrote a self-help book, hoping to help as many as possible.  One of my interests is couple’s therapy. I have seen couples at every stage of their relationship, from newlyweds to the divorce court. During my practice with couples, I noticed some patterns, researched these patterns, and developed some interventions to help along the way. But, unfortunately, I also noticed that most couples and families don’t go to therapy until it’s too late. So, I wanted to capture them before that happens.  
I also know from reading these books myself that the majority of the marriage resources out there are cumbersome, not always practical or easy to implement, or targeting one gender over the other. That’s not good enough for couples’ therapy. Couples’ therapy is one of the most difficult to do well because you have to capture both partners’ attention and then, almost dance with both of them, back and forth until they are able to make sustainable changes.
Q. How did you decide on the topic?
Sex is an important issue for a couple; actually, it’s the main difference between intimate relationships and friendships. It’s the reason for a lot of silent frustrations in a relationship and the one topic that people don’t like talking about, not even in therapy. They dance around it, don’t address it, and it’s always there in the background. It’s a very complex issue and the book doesn’t address everything, but it starts the conversation.
Q. How would you describe your book?
My book is short, easy to read by both partners, and it has behavioral interventions-ideas to change the behavior first, which in turn may change the thoughts and feelings. The 2-minute solution is about accepting each other’s differences in terms of sexual desire without being offended, shaming each other, without the long nagging arguments about what is happening in the relationship. It’s about compromise and accommodating each other’s needs when one wants sex and the other one doesn’t. And, yes, it can be done in 2 minutes!
It’s about a shift on how we look at sex and intimacy, especially in a marriage. It changes the idea that good sex has to include 30 minute of foreplay, 30 minute of intercourse, and 30 minute of cuddling. Most married couples with kids don’t have the time or desire for that. Conversely, not having any sex at all (or just once per month) is not an answer either. My method is a bridge between the two options, but it’s based on research and it has a lot of common sense. I can tell you that most people can relate to what I describe in this book.
Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)? 

A. I wanted to capture the spirit of the book, about a couple who is tired, overwhelmed with day-to-day chores and parenting and doesn’t have time for one another.
Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A. Well, of course, there are lots of jokes around the 2-minute sex phrase and my answer is always “don’t knock it till you try it.”

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  Thank you for taking the time to read about a non-fiction book; it’s not as creative or artistic as your followers are used to, but I believe that anyone that has been married or in a long term relationship can relate to something in this book. It’s not going to fix anyone’s marriage, but it’s a great tool to have in your box when you are going through a rough patch, and trust me all relationships do.

Monday, July 25, 2016

#MMBBR #Highlight All Summer Long by @dorotheafrank @WmMorrowBks @Morrow_PB

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Filled with her trademark wit, poignant themes, and rich characters, the perennial New York Times bestselling author returns with a sensational novel that follows the travels of a one couple though a tumultuous summer.

Dorothea Benton Frank’s magical stories take us deep into the heart of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry. In her novels, this lush landscape comes alive in all its vibrancy and color. She ignites all of our senses with her vivid descriptions of landscape and atmosphere. In her novels you hear the ocean washing the shore on different islands so profoundly that you can nearly hear the sea gulls squawking too. 

This is a story of people whose lives are changing—a southern gentleman returning home to lead a more peaceful life and his talented New York wife who is not quite sure she is ready to make the transition. They are moving north to south, fast pace vs slow pace, downsizing. And while they are doing this, they are getting glimpses into other people’s lives over the course of a summer, holidays that will amuse, shock and transform them.

This irresistible story is home to captivating characters as funny, complicated, and real as our best friends—husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, friends and family who wrestle with the complexities, pain, and joys familiar to us all.

Finally, we’ll come to recognize the face of love, the kind that deepens and endures but only because one woman makes a tremendous leap of faith. That leap changes them all.

Dorothea Benton Frank

I am the author of sixteen novels placed in and around the Lowcountry of South Carolina and thanking God for my chance to speak. When I'm not writing, I'm reading or gardening or cooking. Love to travel, shoot the breeze with people and most of all, be with my husband and children - not always necessarily in that order. My most recent, ALL THE SINGLE LADIES (William Morrow) went on sale June 9, 2015. Love to have company so come visit at www.dotfrank.com or on Facebook. And by the way, serious huge gushing thanks for everything - your kind words, posts and emails. Writing saves me, but without your support it wouldn't mean as much. (So I'm a little sentimental - big deal.) xxoo Dot

Saturday, July 23, 2016

#MMBBR Mega Highlight Round-Up


Sometimes books come in and I do not have time to read them right away, but I still want to share them will all of you!  
So, here are some books that arrived on my doorstep and that I now have on my TBR pile!  
Enjoy! 



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John Knox and Grace Chu, the incomparable duo of the Risk Agent novels, team up again in the latest international thrill ride from New York Times–bestselling author Ridley Pearson.

When ex–military contractor John Knox receives a text from partner Grace Chu warning that she fears her cover may have been blown while on assignment, he jumps into action. Knox must locate her overseas handlers, convince them of the threat, and then attempt to retrace the well-hidden steps of a woman who had been attempting to determine how one million euros’ worth of AIDS vaccine disappeared, all while eluding angry poachers on a parallel trail.
            Corruption isn’t a “problem” in Kenya, it’s the way of doing business. The poaching of ivory from African elephants, driven by insatiable demand from mainland China, fuels constant blood and slaughter. Knox faces police, national rangers, journalists, and safari companies who are each in their own symbiotic relationship with elephants, both good and bad. As the threat from Al-Shaabab militants interferes with his pursuit of Grace, Knox finds himself pitted against the most savage and suicidal fighters in the world. And there’s this woman, Grace, always in his head. His gut. As Grace watches as her civilized self slips away while abandoned in the bush, Knox races against the clock to find her.





Forever Beach

From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Colors andBreakwater Bay comes this heartwarming story of love, family, and redemption. Two young girls pledged to be best friends forever. Separated by circumstance and hurt, they are reunited years later as they struggle to put their differences aside for the sake of a special little girl—perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand, Jane Green, and Kristin Hannah.

Two women…
One little girl…
Can they forgive the past in order to ensure the future of an innocent child…?

Once a foster child herself, Sarah Hargreave can’t wait to finalize the adoption of her foster daughter Leila. Sarah longs to give her all the love and stability she was denied in her own childhood. She’s put her own friendships and even her relationship with Wyatt, her longtime lover, on hold in order to give Leila her full attention. 

When Leila’s biological mother suddenly reappears and petitions the court for the return of her daughter, Sarah is terrified she’ll lose the little girl she’s come to love as her own. Convinced the mother is still addicted to drugs, Sarah and her social worker enlist the help of high profile family lawyer, Ilona Cartwright. But when they meet, Sarah recognizes her as Nonie Blanchard who grew up in the same group foster home as Sarah. They’d promised to be best friends forever, then Nonie was adopted by a wealthy family, and Sarah never heard from her again. Sarah still hurts from the betrayal. But Nonie harbors her own resentment toward Sarah who she believes abandoned her when she needed her most.

Mistrustful of each other, the two women form a tenuous alliance to ensure Leila’s future, but when Leila’s very survival is on the line, they’ll have to come to terms with their own feelings of hurt and rejection to save the child they both have come to love.






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Lydia has vanished.

Lydia, who’s never broken any rules, except falling in love with the wrong boy. Lydia, who’s been Piper’s best friend since they were children. Lydia, who never even said good-bye.

Convinced the police are looking in all the wrong places, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail begins her own investigation in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. With the reluctant help of a handsome young detective, Piper goes searching for answers in the dark underbelly of 1924 Chicago, determined to find Lydia at any cost.

When Piper discovers those answers might stem from the corruption strangling the city—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.

From the glitzy homes of the elite to the mob-run streets of 1920s Chicago, Stephanie Morrill’s jazz-age mystery shows just how far a girl will go to save her friend.






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#1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines returns to Rosemary Beach one last time in this highly-anticipated finale.

Spoiled. Selfish. Rich girl. Villain. Slut.

As the Prada-clad bad girl of Rosemary Beach, Nan Dillon has been called every vile name under the hot summer sun. Some of her reputation is deserved—she’s never had to worry about anything but maintaining her perfect figure and splitting Daddy’s private jet with her brother, Rush.

But Nan is far from happy. Rush has another kid on the way and doesn’t have time to catch up with his sister. Grant, the last guy she truly cared about, chose to be with her half-sister, Harlow, instead of her. And Harlow, who has never gotten over the way Nan treated her when she first moved to town, remains distant.

So when Major asks her out, she jumps at the chance to date the gorgeous charmer. Though she doesn’t know much about the sweet-talking Texan, and though it’s clear he doesn’t want to be exclusive, dating him beats hanging out with vapid socialites or watching Netflix alone at home.

For a while, Nan deals with Major’s playboy ways, but after he burns her one too many times, she takes off for an impromptu wild weekend in Vegas. There, she meets Gannon, a darkly seductive and oh-so-dangerous businessman who knows exactly how to handle her.

With Major asking for a second chance and Gannon haunting her dreams, Nan has to decide who to give her heart to. But what she doesn’t realize is that these players are involved in a much bigger game—and they’re already two moves ahead of her.
 




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It is in the darkest hours of a universe’s past that their legends are born and their heroes rise…

No one knows exactly how much heart they have until their mettle is put to the hazard and they reach the lowest point of hell. There, they have only two choices. Lie down and die. Or find the strength to push themselves to their feet and fight back with everything they have.

Dagger is the alias that is used by Ushara’s husband, and the father of the twins, who is on the run for his life. This is his story and shows how he became a member of the Tavali and what happens to them after Born of Betrayal ends.



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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes the explosive third book in the latest Eve Duncan trilogy.

Iris Johansen's third book in her latest explosive trilogy starring forensic sculptor Eve Duncan takes readers on a high-energy adventure with Eve fighting to overcome the odds. Protecting Cara Delaney from the enemies who want her dead leads Eve to be their target. It will take everything she has to rescue Cara, and doing so will put that which is dearest to her at risk. Night and Day is the pulse-pounding race to a conclusion that will have readers on the edge of their seats.
 




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With Joy, Love and a Little Trepidation, Courtney, Sienna and Rachel Invite You to the Most Emotional Wedding of the Year… Their Mother's

Courtney

~ The Misfit ~ 


As the awkward one, Courtney Watson may not be as together as her sisters, but she excels at one thing—keeping secrets, including her white-hot affair with a sexy music producer. Planning Mom's wedding exposes her startling hidden life, changing her family's view of her—and how she views herself—forever. 

Sienna

~ The Free Spirit ~ 


When Sienna's boyfriend proposes—in front of her mom and sisters, for crying out loud—he takes her by surprise. She already has two broken engagements under her belt. Should she say "I do" even if she's not sure she does? 

Rachel

~ The Cynic ~ 


Rachel thought love would last forever…right up until her divorce. As Mom's wedding day draws near and her ex begs for a second chance, she's forced to acknowledge some uncomfortable truths about why her marriage failed, and decide if she'll let pride stand in the way of her own happily-ever-after.





Friday, July 22, 2016

@SheReadsBookCLB Review: BEFORE THE FALL by @noahhawley @GrandCentralPub #MMBBR


She Reads

I am part of the amazing SheReads Blog NetworkWhich means that I am fortunate enough to partner with some of the most savvy, talented, and intelligent book bloggers in the business. Every month we wonderful women read our selections and review them on our personal sites. We are kind and witty and love books more than air. We would love for you to visit each of us online and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You don’t want to miss all the book goodness we have to offer! 


MY SUMMER PICK:


BEFORE THE FALL by Noah Hawley 

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

From the Emmy, PEN, Peabody, Critics' Choice, and Golden Globe Award-winning creator of the TV show Fargo comes the thriller of the year.


On a foggy summer night, eleven people--ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter--depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs-the painter-and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members--including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot--the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.

Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.



This book is quite a wild ride!  You are taken into the lives of all the people who were on the plane the night it went down. As a reader, you get to pick through their lives to try to figure out what happened in the moments before the crash.  You also become witness to the aftermath and how the survivors try to put their lives back together.  You know that all the people on that plane are pieces to the puzzle, but you can never quite figure out how all the pieces fit together.  I was not sure how it was going to be resolved until it was revealed to me at the very end! What an intense, well developed story that is perfect for summer or book club! I highly recommend this for a read or a listen! 5 stars


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Thursday, July 21, 2016

#MMBBR #Highlight Of Better Blood by @SusanMoger




Susan Moger brings her historical expertise to bear in her debut novel Of Better Blood (2/1/2016; ISBN: 978-0-8075-4774-8, $16.99), an intriguing blend of mystery and history that sheds light on one of the darker moments in America’s past.

Rowan Collier had the perfect life before polio took her mobility and her family in one fell swoop. After being paralyzed in one leg, Rowan is abandoned by her father and forced to play the part of Ruthie the Cripple in a carnival sideshow designed to show the public that the “unfit” should be kept from procreating at all costs. However, she finds an unexpected friend in a carnie orphan named Dorchy, who helps her realize that her past doesn’t have to determine her future, and that the strength she thought she’d lost to the disease may still be inside her after all – a strength she’ll need if she hopes to stop the sinister plans of the eugenics movement that’s slowly taking root.

Of Better Blood lends a human element to a grim history that isn’t often discussed, though it left a lasting mark and influenced horrors from Jim Crow to the Holocaust. An author’s note separates fact from fiction, making this book an excellent jumping off point into difficult but timely discussions about the similar prejudices we are still battling today, as well as current issues of universal healthcare and vaccinations.

Susan Moger
About the Author: Susan Moger has a graduate degree in history and was a senior editor at Scholastic magazines before becoming a writing instructor. She has written several teaching guides for young people about history, including Teaching the Diary of Anne Frank. She lives in Maryland.Of Better Blood is her debut novel.


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