Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh

The untold story of how wholesome Bonnelyn Parker became half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde Duo
Jenni L. Walsh

“Walsh’s debut historical novel brings the Prohibition era, the Great Depression, and American gangsters to life …  supporting characters provide further perspectives on the magnetic pull of jazz, illegal booze, and a (short) life on the lam. … Look forward
to the sequel for later exploits of these notorious bandits.

“A compelling account of a nation and a life in disarray—
readers will feel for Bonnelyn as she finds herself scrabbling
 for survival in a world turned upside down. How do you
get from good girl to gangster's moll? Jenni Walsh takes
you along for the ride with Bonnelyn Parker in an account
so vivid you would think you were there with her.”
New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig

Before Bonnelyn took to a life of crime as one half of the infamous Bonnie & Clyde duo she was teenager with ambitions. Travel back to the height of the Roaring Twenties and meet the sweet, wholesome Bonnelyn Parker in Jenni L. Walsh’s debut novel BECOMING BONNIE (Forge Hardcover; $25.99; On-sale: May 9, 2017).
Bonnie and Clyde are two of the most famous outlaws in American history. They have captured people’s imaginations for decades, and now BECOMING BONNIE will continue their story on the small screen: it has been optioned for television by Edyson Entertainment, headed by Ed Gernon, a veteran producer whose credits include Nuremberg, Joan of Arc, and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister among many historical TV specials.
Jenni L. Walsh has spent the past decade enticing readers as an award-winning advertising copywriter. BECOMING BONNIE marks her turn to the lives of heroic women: Walsh also has a new middle grade series with Scholastic, Brave Like Me, that tells true stories of young women who accomplished great feats of perseverance and bravery.
Pick up BECOMING BONNIE and step back to the summer of 1927 to meet Bonnelyn, a sharp girl with plans to overcome her family's poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. What she doesn't know is that her life—like her country—is headed for a crash. She’s about to meet Clyde Barrow.
In an era like our own, with a sharp divide between rich and poor and debt mounting as fast as hope fades, Bonnie is a relatable young woman looking for a way out of her life. Trace how a young woman who was promised the American dream and given the Great Depression fell so hard for a convicted felon. Fans of history and romance novels will find BECOMING BONNIE a rich exploration of a young woman’s journey.

"In BECOMING BONNIE Jenni Walsh delivers an intriguing insight into the life of one half of the infamous duo, Bonnie and Clyde. I look forward to reading more from this new author."
New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor

“A dazzling and compulsively-readable adventure of self-discovery, with a voice both singular and irresistible.  I dare you not to fall in love with Bonnie, and her intoxicating, wholly immersive world.”
—Lee Kelly, author of City of Savages

“Booze-soaked, southern-fried, and fully immersive, BECOMING BONNIE is a rocking good read.”
—Tall Poppy

JENNI L. WALSH has spent the past decade enticing readers as an award-winning advertising copywriter. Her passion lies in transporting readers to another world, be it in historical or contemporary settings. She is a proud graduate of Villanova University, and lives in the Philly 'burbs with her husband, daughter, son, and goldendoodle. You can visit her online at http://www.jennilwalsh.com/ or on Twitter under the handle @jennilwalsh.

Head over to my Blog Facebook Page for a Giveaway!


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Book Review - Does This Volvo Make My Butt Look Big? by Annabel Monaghan

In a perfect world, mothers would unionize. The next best thing — they’d treat themselves to a break and read this book. Does This Volvo Make My Butt Look Big? is an honest and hilarious peek behind the curtain into the messy, wonderful moments of family life. And not the lightly staged and heavily filtered ones you see on Instagram.

Columnist Annabel Monaghan writes with enough empathy to cut through the hushed gossip of the playground and enough humor to disarm a toddler with a sugar habit. Undoubtedly, her words are the ones you need when you send your oldest child to college. Written with crisp prose that diffuses the illusion of the perfect mom, Annabel will remind you that when we peer over the tall fences that divide families, much of our experiences are shared.

If you’ve ever lied your way through a parent-teacher conference or marveled at the cluelessness of teenagers, this book is for you. If you’ve ever quietly rooted against your own child when he was trying to win a goldfish, you’ll certainly find your truth here.

My Thoughts 
What a breath of fresh air!  I love reading about someone who is in the same boat as me.  Annabel doesn't sugar coat things, she tells it like it really is!  That's what we need in this day and age! She's only saying what we are all thinking!

Some of my Top 10 favorite parts include: 

1. The Game of Life (Her 5 year old has the best philosophy!)
2. What Boy Moms Know (I know all about this!)
3. This Just In - My Kid Got A Job! (My daughter just got her first job!)
4. Raising Losers (Yes!)
5. In September, The Devil Is In The Details (I HATE back to school!)
6. I'm Over The School Photo (I feel the same way)
7. In The Hot Seat (I cringe on these days!)
8. Lost and Found (Daily struggle)
9. How I Became Irish (I love being Irish)
10. College Admissions Mania (I'm just starting the whole college process)

These are just my top ten but are so many more to read and some very funny stories embedded in each and every chapter!  I loved it and I will highly recommend this book to everyone! A must read for 2017!

Drink Selection
Who says you can't drink Champagne during the week?  Not Annabel or I!  Enjoy!  It looks delish!
5 wine (or champagne) glasses all the way!  I loved each and every chapter.  Honest and funny all in one.

Author Bio
I write fiction for young adults and a column for not-so-young adults. Since you’ve gotten this far into my website, you probably knew that already.
Back in the 1990s, David Duchovny assured me during every “X Files” episode that the truth is out there. He might have told you too. I looked and looked, but I’m starting to think that the truth is in here. I believe that telling the truth about ourselves and our lives is the most liberating and unifying thing we can do. Writing is my way of mining life for small nuggets of truth. I’m often grateful that David Duchovny didn’t ask anything else of me.
The Digit books are about coming to terms with your gifts and then using them to take your place in the world. The opposite of authenticity is probably conformity, a challenge I was familiar with myself in high school — as a teenager I lived in fear that people would discover exactly how much I did not fit in. Digit finds happiness, true love and a way to save the world when she fully embraces and shares the truth about who she is.
Likewise, when I write my column (which appears in The Week, The Huffington Post and / or The Rye Record), I’m looking for truth in my current phase of life: the horror of the parent-teacher conference, the chronic reoccurrence of dinner, the lessons learned from the mid-life crisis, the mindfulness that can be found at Little League, the magic of the sock pile, the difficulty in explaining exactly what I do all day. There is so much that divides moms – whether we work or stay at home or both; our economic and geographic situations; the genders, temperaments and special needs of our kids. It’s nice to know that if we were to peer over these tall, tall fences, we’d see that so much of our experience is really the same.
Other things:
I grew up in Los Angeles, and nearly every one of my relatives still lives in Southern California. I attended Duke University where I studied English. I have an MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania and a brief history as an investment banker. I am now living in the suburbs of New York City with my husband and three sons and teach a novel writing class at The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. You should totally sign up.

Link to Purchase

Book Spotlight - Ella's Ice Cream Summer by Sue Watson

Ella’s life just hit rock-bottom, but can a summer by the sea mend her broken heart? When life gives you lemons… make ice-cream!

Life hasn’t always been easy for single mum Ella, but she has just hit an all-time low; she’s jobless, loveless, very nearly homeless and, to make matters worse, now the owner of a pocket-sized pooch with a better wardrobe than her.

Packing her bags (and a bigger one for the dog), Ella sets off for the seaside town of Appledore in Devon to re-live the magical summers of her youth and claim her portion of the family ice-cream business: a clapped-out ice-cream van and a complicated mess of secrets.

There she meets gorgeous and free-spirited solicitor, Ben, who sees things differently: with a little bit of TLC he has a plan to get the van – and Ella – back up and running in no time. 

My Thoughts
What a fun summer read!  Who doesn't love ice cream?  The beach? Well this book will have you ready to go to the beach and while you are there you can read about Ella's crazy life!
The poor woman is dreading the day that her two kids go off on their adventures (in the next few months) but at least she has her job to rely on, right?  WRONG!  
Her friend had to close her shop and now what is Ella to do?  She is taking care of her mother and she has a mortgage to pay!  
And then the call comes in...she has been left something in her aunts will - did she leave her the ice cream shop?  This could be the answer to her prayers!
She heads to Appledore and find out her aunt did not leave her the shop - she left her the ice cream truck...Well ok, now what?  Well Ben is pretty hot, maybe she should stay around a bit?
Grab this fun read today, head to the beach, grab an ice cream cone and enjoy!  You will love it!

Drink Selection  
I found the PERFECT beach drink, Mermaid Water!  Delish!
I give this fun beach read 4 wine glasses!  Sit back and enjoy!

Author Bio
Sue Watson was a TV Producer with the BBC who combined motherhood and family life with a busy career. However, one day it dawned on Sue that Cosmo magazine may have been telling porkies about 'having it all,' and her life had become a slightly crazed juggling act.

So after much soul searching (and comfort eating) Sue abandoned her TV career, bought a pink laptop and wrote a novel. 'Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes,' tells the story of Stella Weston, whose life is a constant struggle with a nasty boss at work, the weighing scales and being a mum, wife and daughter.

Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire. When she's not toiling over her latest novel, Sue bakes (and eats) cake and enjoys very large tubs of Caramel Chew Chew ice cream all to herself while watching 'The Biggest Loser USA.'

Sue's second book, 'Younger, Thinner, Blonder' was released in October (2013) and her third book 'Love, Lies and Lemon Cake' is released on June 27th 2014.


Follow Sue on Twitter @suewatsonwriter

Link To Purchase:


Review - The Break Down by B.A. Paris

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

My Thoughts
Wow!  What a crazy ride!  There is so much going on in this book I don't even know where to begin.  One minute I thought I knew what happened and the next minute the whole thing just turned upside down and I had to keep referring back to what happened in the beginning!  Then I was like...oh yea! LOL
When you think you are going crazy, who do you turn to?
Cass's mom had dementia and every little lapse in memory is really throwing Cass off and making her think the worse.
She was driving home from a night with friends and she takes a creepy, dark road through the woods that no one should attempt when there is a storm (how about no one should take that road EVER!)  She sees a car pulled over and wonders if she should stop, she slowly drives by and sees a women and hesitates on what to do, should she stop?  She pulls over and waits for the woman to flash her lights or beep her horn.  Nothing happens, her fear gets the best of her and she decides to stay safe and make her way home.
Then the worst happens...the woman is murdered and turns out Cass knew her!
Cass is distraught, she can barely function.  Then after a crazy turn of events she feels as if the murderer is after her!  I mean why not?  Shes two minutes away from the scene and lives on a quiet part of the street.  Maybe he saw her and thinks she saw him?
Her life begins to spiral out of control - strange things begin to happen and she doesn't know who she can trust!
I will not disclose to many more details - you must read it to believe it!

Drink Selection
I found the PERFECT wine to pair with this book, Break Down!  (Check out the other kinds as well!)

Loved this book from the beginning!  Hands down 5 wine glasses all the way!
Author Bio
B A Paris grew up in England but has spent most of her adult life in France. She has worked both in finance and as a teacher and has five daughters. Behind Closed Doors is her first novel.
Link to Purchase

Friday, May 19, 2017

Review - One Last First Date by Kate O'Keeffe

Cassie Dunhill is sick of dating. It’s been ten years now and it’s time: time to find The One. It’s either that or buy a fetching habit and veil, and abandon the whole thing. But Cassie believes in love and she’s not ready to give up yet.
She and her friends decide to take drastic action. They make a pact to marry the next guy they go out with. That means just One Last First Date. The pressure is on.
Of course, Cassie can’t take the leap without the perfect guy. Enter ideal marriage material, Parker Hamilton. He’s good looking, smart, cultured—and a doctor. I mean, come on! Despite his obvious credentials, Cassie’s not taking any chances. She’s vetted Parker so thoroughly, she could offer some pointers to the CIA.
At last, she knows everything she needs to know about him. Well, almost. Cassie’s taking the leap: Parker Hamilton is her One Last First Date.
But when Will Jordan, her irritating work colleague, muscles in on her dream job and her love life, things get complicated. Like, how good Will looks with his shirt off type of complicated. Really, Cassie can do without that kind of distraction right now.
When all is said and done, will Parker turn out to be The One for Cassie? And what happens when someone else decides Cassie’s The One for him? Perhaps, through it all, Cassie needs to figure out who she is—and what she really needs.

Escape to New Zealand in this fun, feel-good chick lit story.

Book 1 in the new Cozy Cottage Café series.
Book 2 due out in mid 2017!

My Thoughts
What a fun read!  A great beach read for the summer hands down! 
Who isn't sick of dating?
Well Cassie, Paige and Marissa enter into a pack (after a few glasses of wine of course!).  Paige is little more into it than the other two but they all go along with it in the end.  They made this pact in front of the Goddess of the Beach.  The next man each girl goes out with will be their last first date.  They will MARRY that man (hope he's a good catch)!
Hmmmm....not sure if I would enter into such pact but I am all about hearing their fun tale!
And hey, Cassie meets Parker and who wouldn't say yes to marrying a gorgeous Dr.  Think about that for a minute?  But are things really as perfect as they seem or should be?
In what should be the happiest time in Cassie's life, she needs to deal with an annoying co-worker (in walk's another gorgeous professional guy) Will Jordan.  He gets under Cassie's skin more than any man she has ever met!
But this is where my review ends, I can't give away all the fun juicy gossip that takes place with these girls!  There is a little romance, a little love, a little sadness and a whole lot of fun!  I can't wait for the next book!

Drink Selection
What better way to toast the Goddess of the Beach then with little sparkly bottles of Champs!  Aren't they are the cutest things ever! 

I can't say enough about this fun summer read!  I am smiling while writing my review!

Author Bio
I write funny, sexy, feel-good romantic comedies.

I've loved rom coms, romance, and chick lit since I first encountered Bridget Jones as a young, impressionable writer. It really was a match made in chick lit heaven.

I've been a teacher and a sales executive, but am now content as a mother and writer, madly scribbling all the ideas I've accumulated during my time on this planet we call home.

I live and love in beautiful New Zealand--where my novels are all set--with my wonderful family and my two very scruffy, naughty dogs.

Books in the Wellywood Romantic Comedy Series:
Wedding Bubbles (short story prequel)

Book 1: Styling Wellywood
Book 2: Miss Perfect Meets Her Match
Book 3: Falling For Grace

Visit kateokeeffe.com and sign up to my newsletter for new releases and your chance to win!

Review - It's Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge . . and someone else is urging her to jump.

How did things come to this?

As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?

My Thoughts 
This is a favorite book of 2017!
Who doesn't have a close set of college friends that you can turn to with any problems in your life?  I personally do - I don't know where I would be without Melissa and Alyssa!  Two different schools but we are closer then anyone I have ever known!
But when I compare my friendships to those of Kate, Aubrey and Jenny - there is no comparison!  My friends are my BEST friends, those three girls are friends by association and that is it!  You will notice that they each have a love/hate relationship with each other.
Kate thinks she is amazing and can have whatever she wants.
Aubrey is a clinger and basically is stuck to Kate's side!
Jenny she is a local who feels that no matter how irritated she is with Kate and Aubrey that they are her best friends and she will do anything for them.
Then tragedy strikes and it changes the girls forever.
Fast forward 20 years and the past is still there.  But everyone is going in WAY different directions!
Then like the past, tragedy strikes again - is it suicide?  Is it murder? Only time will tell - and you will be second guessing yourself until the last few pages!
I recommend that you run to get this book and get started this weekend!  You will not be able to put it down!

Drink Selection
I am going to pair this thriller with a glass (or bottle) of the Witching Hour!  Sounds delish, right?
5 wine glasses all the way!  This is one of my top reads of 2017!  You will not be disappointed!

Author Bio
Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor in New York City who specialized in international narcotics and gang cases.

A while back, she said goodbye to her big-city legal career and moved with her husband and two children to an idyllic New England college town a lot like Belle River in IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND. Since then, she has spent her time teaching criminal and constitutional law and writing novels.

She's had many close female friends, a few frenemies, and only one husband, who – to the best of her knowledge – has never tried to kill her.

Link To Purchase:

Monday, May 15, 2017

Book Boyfriend Blog Hop!

Hello to all by blog fans and follows!

The great authors of Chick Lit Chat are having a FUN Book Boyfriend Blog Hop!  How fun does that sound?
You get to travel to all the fun sites below and meet each and every boyfriend!
There is even an amazing prize at the end!  Who can say no to all that awesomeness?
Hilary Grossman  www.feelingbeachie.com
Jayne Denker  http://jaynedenker.com
Beth Labonte  www.secretary4life.com
Meredith Schorr  www.meredithschorr.com
Stacey Wiedower  www.staceywiedower.com/blog/
Ellyn Oaksmith  http://ellynoaksmith.com/