Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Everything We Give by Kerry Lonsdale

Award-winning photographer Ian Collins made only one mistake in life, but it cost his mother her freedom and destroyed their family, leaving Ian to practically raise himself. For years he’s been estranged from his father, and his mother has lived off the grid. For just as long, he has searched for her.
Now, Ian seemingly has it all—national recognition for his photographs; his loving wife, Aimee; and their adoring daughter, Caty. Only two things elude him: a feature in National Geographic and finding his mother. When the prized magazine offers him his dream project on the same day that Aimee’s ex-fiancé, James, returns bearing a message for Ian but putting a strain on his marriage, Ian must make a choice: chase after a coveted assignment or reconnect with a mysterious woman who might hold the key to putting his past to rest. But the stakes are high, because Ian could lose the one thing he holds most dear: his family.

My Thoughts
I have enjoyed both other pieces to this puzzle (Books 1 and 2).  If you have yet to read those, I would skip my review until you have, there are some spoilers in this 3rd book in the series.
While I enjoyed this book, I found this one to be slightly slower and it took a bit for me to get into it, unlike the other two.
This book concentrates mainly on Ian's life, current and year's ago when he was a young child.  We learn about his mother with a split personality, one side being very abusive, her name was Jackie.
Despite his mother's mental issues and the abusive care he suffered at her hands, he has never stopped thinking about her and wondering where she is.
Some time ago, he was in touch with a psychic and recently has decided to put more efforts into looking for her and connecting with his father. 
He gets the dream job of a lifetime, to photograph for National Geographic and along the way he gets this sudden urge to look for the keys to his past as well.
He and his wife Aimee go through a few ups and downs in this third book, will they survive?  Will he find his mother?  Reconnect with his father?
Enjoy this third book in the series which starts to connect some missing pieces and has some challenges along the way. 

Limoncello Collins
Drink Selection

I'm going to pair this selection with a Limoncello Collins.  So pretty, but not too pretty to taste.  Delish.

Check out this delish recipe:

Rating
4 wine glasses for this 3rd book in the series!

Kerry Lonsdale

A Little About Kerry

Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal, and #1 Amazon Kindle bestselling author Kerry Lonsdale writes standalone and series based emotionally charged domestic drama, family suspense, and women’s fiction. Her books are sold worldwide in more than 25 countries and are being translated into 22 languages (and counting). Co-founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, an international organization that boasts over 1,000 writers, Kerry resides in Northern California with her husband, two children, two naughty kitties, and an aging Golden Retriever convinced she’s still a puppy.

Link to Purchase




 

Lady Be Good by Amber Brock

Kitty Tessler is the winsome and clever only child of self-made hotel and nightclub tycoon Nicolas Tessler. Kitty may not have the same pedigree as the tennis club set she admires, but she still sees herself as every inch the socialite--spending her days perfecting her "look" and her nights charming all the blue-blooded boys who frequent her father's clubs. It seems like the fun will never end until Kitty's father issues a terrible ultimatum: she may no longer date the idle rich. Instead, Kitty must marry Andre, her father's second-in-command, and take her place as the First Lady of his hotel empire. Kitty is forced to come up with a wily and elaborate plan to protect her own lofty ideas for the future, as well as to save her best friend, Henrietta Bancroft, from a doomed engagement: Kitty will steal Henrietta's fiance, a fabulously wealthy but terribly unkind man from a powerful family--thereby delivering the one-two punch of securing her now-fragile place on the social ladder and keeping her friend from a miserable marriage.

Then Kitty meets Max, a member of a band visiting New York from her father's Miami club, and her plans take a turn. Smitten, but still eager to convince her father of her commitment to Andre, Kitty and Hen follow Max, Andre, and the rest of the band back down to Miami--and later to Cuba. As Kitty spends more time with Max, she begins waking up to the beauty--and the injustice--of the world beyond her small, privileged corner of Manhattan. And when her well-intended yet manipulative efforts backfire, Kitty is forced to reconsider her choices and her future before she loses everyone she loves.


My Thoughts
What an AMAZING piece of historical fiction!  I loved every page! It also takes place in my favorite spots to visit - NYC, Miami and Cuba (I haven't been but I am dying to take a trip one day!)
Kitty Tessler is an only child growing up in NY high society (or trying to at least)in the 1950's.  Her father rose to the top from nothing but that doesn't mean much when you want to fit in with the old money types as Kitty does.  Recently, she has been trying to figure out how to marry the right man to get her to where she needs to be, who knew it could be so difficult?
Then the ultimatum comes from her father - start to settle down or you will be getting a job starting as a maid in the hotel.  Someone must be getting sick of her over the top constant spending.
Kitty has two goals she must meet trying to keep herself from mopping the bathrooms - she needs to find a man to marry in the right social class and she needs to get her best friend away from the man that is ruining her life. 
Then one night at the club, Kitty meets Max, a trumpet player in a band visiting from her father's Miami hotel.  Well, he's not exactly high society, at all.  What is she going to do?
Of course a trip to Miami is order (and a Cuba detour) and that may be a recipe for trouble.  Will she marry Andre?  Will she kindle a relationship with Max?  Will Hen find out her plans to sabotage her engagement to a man she hates? What could possibly go wrong?  Or maybe things will turn out perfectly right?  Grab this amazing 2018 beach read today!  You will LOVE it!

Image result for miami beach cocktail
Drink Selection
What better drink to pick for this tale then the Miami Beach Cocktail, doesn't that look fabulous?
"This Prohibition-era classic combines grapefruit juice with smoky scotch and dry vermouth."

1 oz. dry vermouth
1 oz. fresh white grapefruit juice
1 oz. blended scotch, such as Johnny Walker

Instructions

Combine vermouth, grapefruit juice, and scotch in a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupe glass.

This delicious recipe is from:


Rating
5 wine glasses of course!

Amber Brock

About Amber

AMBER BROCK teaches British literature and creative writing at an all girls' school in Atlanta. She holds an MA from the University of Georgia and lives in Smyrna with her husband, also an English teacher, and their three rescue dogs.

Link to Purchase





Thursday, June 7, 2018

Clutch - Lisa Becker




clutch: a novel is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc. With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks a lot of Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to discover the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.


My Thoughts


What a fun read!  I'm a purse girl all the way - Marc Jacobs, Vera, Kate Spade, just to name a few! Although I am not able to buy as many as I would like being a single mom of three.  Someday...I will buy a purse a week versus a purse a season!
OK, enough about me...on to Ms. Caroline Johnson.

As the story begins, she meets this awesome, yet very sarcastic guy, Mike, during her time at Harvard Business School, yes I said HARVARD!  He showed up with a coffee, gave it to her and they have been besties ever since! (There was that one time that they slept together, and you will hear about it maybe once or 15 times!)

Catherine has used her love of purses and her Harvard Business degree to start her own business and is doing quite well for herself!  She is in several major department stores and has more talks set-up with future sellers frequently.  Mike chose not to follow in his families financial footsteps and instead put his business degree to use in setting up his own bar known as The Last Drop.  (Based on his love for Risky Business).

When school is over and graduation has commenced Mike asks his best friend in this world, Caroline, to move to LA - not with him but join him there.  She thinks for all of 2 seconds and the plans are set!

LA has been a great move for both of them, although their dating lives could say otherwise.  Mike has slept with each of his waitresses or so it seems and poor Caroline is truly finding someone to be happy with and she is hitting one dead end after another!

I do not want to give away too many details but I ill state their names and fun nicknames she has associated them with!
Jason Nash - AKA Hobo  (starving artist)
Craig - AKA Demi-Bag (shortie/boring)
Tyler - AKA Messenger (religious fanatic)
Sam Stanhope - AKA Doctor Bag (no one could think more highly of themselves then this man)
Damien - AKA Diaper Bag (single dad) **one of my faves
Dunham - AKA Briefcase (all about the connections)
Marcus - AKA Wallet (big spender)
???       - AKA Clutch (who will this be?)

As you can see Caroline has had a pretty interesting pool of dating candidates and I am going to leave you guessing who she ends up with in the end, or maybe she will continue her dating saga, we shall see!

Grab a bottle of Caroline's favorite wine, Chardonnay, and sit back and enjoy this fun dating tale!


Drink Selection
We are going to go with Ms. Caroline's Favorite, Chardonnay, White Cat Chardonnay from Hazlitt’s Red Cat Cellars!  Yum!







MY RATING

I loved this book from beginning to end, 5 wine glasses all the way!



Lisa Becker


About Lisa



Lisa Becker is a romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money - on books and margaritas. In addition to Clutch: a novel, she is the author of the Click trilogy, a contemporary romance series about online dating and Links, a standalone, second chance romance readers. As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a tush.” Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach, California with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone! You can share your love stories with her at www.lisawbecker.com.




Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Let's Take Some Time to Get To Know Orly Konig, author of Carousel Beach


Orly Konig
Welcome Orly!

1. First of all let me begin by saying how absolutely gorgeous this cover is!  How did you come up with the storyline of this amazing carousel that had this mysterious hidden meaning?  I’ve always wondered how author’s are suddenly hit with inspiration?

Thank you! I love it as well. I had a print out that my publisher sent above my computer all winter. J

I’ve always loved carousels. There’s just something magical about them, especially the old, hand-carved ones. When my son was young, we would go to a local park that had a gorgeous historic carousel that had recently been restored. Okay confession, we went as much for me as for him.

 I’d been noodling a story idea but hadn’t quite wrapped my head around how the family secrets would come out. On one of the trips to the park, we were standing in line, inching forward so very slowly which allowed for enough time to read the plaques along the outside of the carousel house detailing the history and restoration work. When we got to the front of the line, there was the horse from one of the descriptions. I’m not sure what about him specifically spoke to me, but there in front of me was the key to my story.


2.  Do you have a 3rd book started and if so can you give any hints as to what it may be about?

I actually have 3 projects underway that I’m pretty excited about. All three deal with different issues – rediscovering yourself after giving up who you wanted to be for a family, the fine line between friendship and emotional infidelity, and moving on after the world you know is pulled out from under you. My stories always touch on family and friendship dynamics because those are the themes that I love reading about. And yes, there are animals in each of those stories.

J

3.  When you’re not writing or reading, what are you doing with your spare time?


I have a newly minted 13-year old boy. Spare time? *laughing to tears*

The rare times I actually sit to watch a movie or TV show, I love to crochet. And pretty much every new writing project gets a crochet project or two. Sometimes I just need the busy fingers time to help sort through plot ideas. Each of the books so far has had a crochet animal associated with it for select giveaways. Those have turned out to be a ton of fun.



4.  I know it will be difficult to choose (at least for me it would be) who would you say is your favorite author?  Favorite book?

Oh wow. I honestly don’t think I have “a” favorite. There are a number of authors who are auto-buys for me and who I fan girl over. There are also several authors who I’m completely enamored with for their generosity.

Favorite book? The one I’m in the middle of reading. J Okay, that’s a cop-out. But it’s also true. There are a few books that have stuck in my heart, but when I pick up a new book that blows me away, it becomes the new favorite.


5.  What are your thoughts on negative book reviews?  Does it hurt to see someone dislike your book baby?

I’d love to say I’ve listened to the more seasoned authors and don’t read reviews, but, yeah I still read them.

I’m in two minds about negative reviews, to be honest. Everyone has a right to their opinion and taste and not every book will appeal to every reader. Thankfully, there are enough books out there to please everyone.

If a review calls out something that is fundamentally wrong with a book, then I think it’s fair. Sadly, mistakes happen – typos, missed or extra words, wrong names, etc., and I find it unfortunate when readers ding authors for that.

I struggle most, however, with the reviews that penalize a book and author for personal preference. Reading is subjective. If you picked up a book that wasn’t something you normally read and it didn’t float your happy, why leave a bad review or low star rating?

 
6.  Do you ever re-read books?  Do you keep your books and display them or do you donate or sell them to consignment shops?

I’m a one and done kinda gal. J I think I can count on one hand how many books I’ve re-read.

But I’m also very loyal to my books. The only books I can part with are ones that I’ve received in giveaways or at events but are so completely out of the genre-range that I read. I end up with duplicates from time to time either because I’ve won a copy that I’ve also purchased or because I was overenthusiastic and didn’t pay attention that I’d already bought a copy. Those are books and authors I want to support, though, and I’ll use the extra copy in a giveaway for my followers.


Orly it was so great to "meet" you!  I can't wait to talk more in the future and have you back again in the hot seat and answer more questions!

About Carousel Beach

A cryptic letter on her grandmother's grave and a mysterious inscription on a carousel horse leads artist Maya Brice to Hank Hauser, the ninety-year-old carver of the beloved carousel she has been hired to restore in time for its Fourth of July reopening in her Delaware beach town. Hank suffers from Alzheimer's, but on his "better" days, Maya is enthralled by the stories of his career. On his "off" days, he mistakes her for her grandmother--his secret first love.

While stripping chipped layers of paint from the old horse and peeling layers of fragmented memories from the old man, Maya untangles the intertwined secrets of love, heartbreak, and misunderstandings between three generations of strong willed women.

Links to follow Orly!








 
 
 











Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Book Blitz - Cooking with Ghosts by Patricia V. Davis





About Cooking for Ghosts by Patricia V. Davis
Do hearts broken long ago forever leave a tangible trace?

A Vegas cocktail waitress. An Indian herbalist. A British chemistry professor. An Italian-American widow. Four unique women with one thing in common: each is haunted by a tragedy from her past.

Cynthia, Rohini, Jane, and Angela meet on a food blogging site and bond over recipes. They decide on impulse to open The Secret Spice, an elegant café on the magnificent ocean liner, the RMS Queen Mary, currently a floating hotel in Long Beach, California. Rich in history and tales of supernatural occurrences, the ship hides her own dark secrets.

The women are surrounded by ghosts long before they step aboard, but once they do, nothing is quite what it seems. Not the people they meet, not their brooding chef's mystic recipes, and not the Queen Mary herself. Yet the spirits they encounter help them discover that there's always a chance to live, as long as one is alive.

An Official Pulpwood Queens Book Club Selection, COOKING FOR GHOSTS is an unforgettable tale of love, redemption, and divine female power.   


About Spells & Oregano by Patricia V. Davis
A mother desperate to save her twin sons, a war veteran in torment, a beautiful young psychic with a terrible secret, a powerful magician with a shattered soul, and a Queen steeped in history and glory. These extraordinary beings cross paths and set off a remarkable chain of events in Spells and Oregano: Book II in The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy.

 

Overcome by despair after a trauma when she was sixteen, Sarita Taylor has spent the past ten years isolated and lonely aboard her beloved RMS Queen Mary. Fearful of outsiders, she dedicates her time to managing The Secret Spice Café, now an award-winning restaurant. Until Luca Miceli, a man with a dark past, steps on board.

 

Patricia V. Davis deftly spins past and present, mystery and magic, into a potent story of passionate longing and family tragedy all at once. Spells and Oregano is a compelling tale of atonement, devotion, and undying love, set aboard one of the world's most magnificent, haunted ships.

 

Spells & Oregano is an Official Pulpwood Queens Book Club Selection

Patricia V. Davis
About Patricia
PATRICIA V. DAVIS's debut novel, COOKING FOR GHOSTS: Book I in The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy was presented at the Queen Mary Salon Series. Book II, SPELLS AND OREGANO has just been released. Both novels are official selections of The Pulpwood Queens Book Club, the largest book club in the world, with over 700 branches. The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy is also part of the Breathless Wines Bubbles and Books program. Book III in the trilogy will be released in 2019. Patricia lives with her poker player/rice farmer husband, and so divides her time between southern Nevada and northern California. Prior to starting a full time writing career, she taught English in Athens, Greece, and Queens, New York. Represented by Gordon Warnock at FUSE LITERARY.

Link to connect with Patricia



You Tube Video Book Trailers:  http://www.youtube.com/user/patriciavdavis

And separately:


 


Links to Purchase
Cooking for Ghosts
Spells & Oregano










Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Big Event by Anne John-Ligali

You are cordially invited to the party of the season where you'll meet Constance and friends in action.

Constance Jeffries is excited when she gets the chance to meet up with virtual friends at a get-together in a London hotel. She’s been tweeting and messaging her lovely friends for years and feels they must be just as excited to finally meet her in person too. Or so she hopes.

The Big Event is first part in a short story series about the importance of ‘real’ friendships and how it’s the little things that matter the most.

A Gorgeous Venue, A Room Full of Friends, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

My Thoughts
What a fun story of friendships through social media.
It's so funny to think that someone could be living within a 10 minute walk of someone else and now in this day and age of technology has never met face to face.
Her virtual friends come in all forms - the partier, the narcissist, the complication and the poser. 
What a line up of characters, what could possibly go wrong?
What a fun beginning to this new series!

Image result for champagne
Drink Selection
The perfect section to pair with Champs!  Drink up, well not too much!



Rating
5 wine glasses for this fun short story that sets that tone for part 2 to come.

Anne John-Ligali

About Anne
Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website featuring author interviews and book reviews.  She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeting other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.
Anne has always loved stories and read many books as a child, including the entire Sweet Valley High and Caitlyn series.  Her interest in writing fiction came years later, when she began writing for pleasure in 2007. Since then, Anne has been writing on and off and enjoys participating in writing groups.
When Anne is not writing, she is likely to be at soft play with her kids, taking long evening walks in Hyde Park, making green smoothies, window shopping, or having a pampering session at her local beauty salon (whenever she gets the chance).
Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number IT administration jobs in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s fiction books, a non-fiction book and several children’s books.

Link to Purchase





Lowcountry Boil (A Liz Talbot Mystery, #1) by Susan Boyer

Private Investigator Liz Talbot is a modern Southern belle: she blesses hearts and takes names. She carries her Sig 9 in her Kate Spade handbag, and her golden retriever, Rhett, rides shotgun in her hybrid Escape. When her grandmother is murdered, Liz high-tails it back to her South Carolina island home to find the killer. She’s fit to be tied when her police-chief brother shuts her out of the investigation, so she opens her own. Then her long-dead best friend pops in and things really get complicated. When more folks start turning up dead in this small seaside town, Liz must use more than just her wits and charm to keep her family safe, chase down clues from the hereafter, and catch a psychopath before he catches her.

My Thoughts
Let me start out by saying that Liz Talbot is one tough girl.  LOVE her!  She carries her Sig everywhere she goes (with good reason) in her Kate Spade - fashionable and badass!
Liz returns home after a short stint away in Greenville, due to her grandmother's passing.  Little did she know, she would be thrown into an investigation of her grandmother's MURDER.
Her brother keeps trying to keep her locked up but nothing stops her - she climes down trees, escapes from police watches of her home, just to name a few.
I don't think she realized how much work it was going to be coming back to Stella Meris.  She is seeing ghosts, dealing with her conniving sister and her cousin from hell, and heck even getting proposed to a few times!  Geez!
All I have to say is I am so happy I started this series and can't wait to start book 2!  Perfect summer beach read to take along on those hot days!

Image result for mint julep

Drink Selection
I'm going with a Mint Julip all the way!  Pretty and delish!

10 mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish

Place the mint leaves in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass and top with the sugar. Muddle these together until the leaves begin to break down. Add a splash of seltzer water, fill the glass 3/4 full with crushed ice, and add the bourbon. Top with another splash of seltzer, stir, and garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve immediately.


Rating
5 wine glasses for this awesome mystery!

Susan M. Boyer
About Susan
Susan M. Boyer is the author of the USA TODAY bestselling Liz Talbot mystery series. Her debut novel, Lowcountry Boil, won the 2012 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and garnered several other award nominations, including the Macavity. The third book in the series, Lowcountry Boneyard, was a Spring 2015 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Okra Pick, and was short-listed for the 2016 Pat Conroy Beach Music Mystery Prize. It was also a 2016 Daphne du Maurier finalist for the Mainstream Mystery/Suspense award. Lowcountry Bordello, the fourth Liz Talbot mystery, was released November 3, 2015. Lowcountry Book Club was released July 5th, 2016 and was a Summer 2016 SIBA Okra Pick. The seventh novel in the series, LOWCOUNTRY BOOKSHOP, comes out May 29, 2018.

Susan loves beaches, Southern food, and small towns where everyone knows everyone, and everyone has crazy relatives. You’ll find all of the above in her novels. She lives in Greenville, SC, with her husband and an inordinate number of houseplants.

To learn more about Susan, visit susanmboyer.com

Link to Purchase