Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Guest Post:Stranger than Fiction? by Glynis Astie, author of Gamer Girl

Stranger than Fiction?
I still remember the day I sat down to write my first book. It was an ordinary Tuesday in the fall of 2012 and I had butterflies in my stomach every time I even got close to my laptop. I mean, I had never aspired to be a writer, so what in the heck was I thinking? Could I really write a book simply because I dreamt I did? Then I reminded myself that I had an incredible love story to tell and no one would be able to tell it better—after all, I was the heroine. Chick lit had always been my favorite genre and my tale lent itself perfectly to my interests. The die had been cast!

With each keystroke, things got a little easier. I had a gorgeous French hero, a zany heroine and a charming family to help me; this story was going to write itself! Every so often I would consult the outline I had made in my trusty Yoda notebook or check with my husband about a minor detail I had forgotten. (I may have stopped a few times to freak out about sharing such personal details with the world at large, but chocolate always put me right.) There were tears, followed by revisions, laughter followed by more revisions, but in the end, I believe I crafted a story which contained enough truth to preserve our epic tale and enough judicious editing to make us all look good. Upon reflection, I probably should have downplayed my neuroses a bit, but that’s a story for another time.

Fast forward three years to the fall of 2015 and I found myself afraid of my laptop for a whole other reason. After completing three books based on my real-life French fairytale, I decided it was time to abandon the notion of “truth is stranger than fiction” and give my imagination a real workout. I found myself, oddly enough, inspired by a video game documentary I watched with my husband the month before. I had yet to see a chick lit heroine in the role of gamer, so why not give a try? And, what if, just for fun, I included her gaming world as part of the story? Chick lit infused with fantasy? Pure genius!

I was petrified for the first few days. What if I couldn’t do my story justice? What if the words simply didn’t come? What if I actually had no idea what I was doing? (I ask myself a lot of questions!) Shutting out my insecurities, I forced myself to keep writing until I felt comfortable. Before I knew it, the plot took shape. I marveled at how freeing it was, well, to make stuff up! I didn’t have to worry about how someone would react to my portrayal of his/her personality because I created everything from scratch. These people could do and say whatever I wanted. It was AWESOME!

Thanks to the indulgence of my family and a few of my writer friends, I made it to the end of my first draft with my sanity intact. (Not so sure about theirs…) As with any book, there was plenty of editing to be done, but when I finally stopped to take a breath, I realized something very important. I had fun. So. Much. Fun! In fact, writing Gamer Girl was such a blast, I think I may have to jump on the fiction train a few more times. I can’t wait to see what I come up with next!

Struck by tragedy at an early age, Meri Palmer escaped into the only world she understood. Within the virtual realm of online gaming, she lived a life filled with mythical creatures and thrilling adventures, where she was strong, powerful, clever, and beautiful—everything she believed she wasn't in real life. As the years went by, her desire to cling to her cherished fantasyland only grew stronger.
But when Meri meets Morgan, equal parts gorgeous and goofball, she begins to wonder if the time has finally come to rejoin the so-called real world. Channeling the bravery of her fairy warrior alter ego, Meri slowly lets Morgan beyond the protective walls she’s built around her heart. Just as she finds a comfortable groove in an uncertain world, Morgan succumbs to insecurities of his own, leaving her lost and confused. Through her battle to regain her equilibrium, Meri will discover that even in reality, things aren’t always what they seem.
Will Meri win the battle raging in her heart and summon the will to rescue her knight in shining armor? Or will she give in to the fear and find her game over?

Glynis never expected in her wildest dreams to be a writer. After thirteen years in the Human Resources Industry, she decided to stay at home with her two amazing sons. Ever in search of a project, she was inspired to write the story of how, in only six short months, she met and married her wonderfully romantic French husband, Sebastien. The end result became her first novel, French Twist. As this was just the beginning of their epic love story, Glynis continued to chronicle their adventures in the sequel, French Toast, and the final installment in the series, French Fry. After she finished milking her life story for all it was worth, she decided to write straight-up fiction with Gamer Girl, which infuses her beloved chick lit with a hint of fantasy.
When Glynis is not writing, she is trying to keep the peace amongst the three men and two cats in her life, finding missing body parts (Lego pieces are small!), supervising a myriad of homework assignments and keeping a tenuous hold on her sanity by consuming whatever chocolate is in the vicinity.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway LINKS TO FOLLOW 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Blog Tour Review - The Right Design by Isabella Louise Anderson

Interior designer Carrie Newman could not have envisioned a more perfect life for herself. She had a great job doing what she loved, wonderful friends, and a close relationship with her sister and brother-in-law. Add in an amazing man who she’d hoped would soon become her husband, and her life was perfect. Until one devastating decision ruins her relationship and changes the course of her life.

Determined to make a new start, Carrie leaves Texas and heads to Palm Beach to pick up the pieces of her shattered and broken life. The last thing she expects is to find herself attracted to her first client at her new job—Brad Larson, who has proven himself time and time again to be cad.

But there’s something beneath the surface of Brad’s arrogant exterior that keeps her craving more of him—something almost sweet that Carrie can’t seem to resist.

Is Carrie ready to take another chance on romance? And will this new design of her life prove to be the right one…?

Lets start out by looking at that cover!  I LOVE it!  The colors are gorgeous and it makes you feel so relaxed and at ease.
I want Carrie's life!  OK, maybe not the cheating now ex-boyfriend loser, but the rest of it I love!  Her sister Sara and her husband Sean are amazing and are there whenever she needs them, she has an amazing career (that I have always admired) and she is a strong woman that won't take any s--- from a man!  So many times in movies and TV we see men cheat on their partner and the women typically (not always) take it, think it was their fault and will do anything to make things better so he will stay and want her back.  
THAT IS CRAZY!  If he can cheat on you once in a "moment of weakness" then he will cheat on you again at the next bump in the road.
What I love is about Carrie is she took the bull by the horns and as soon as she caught him (with her own eyes), she was out the door looking for a place to stay.  Instead of feeling sad and lonely and falling into his trap of "I'm so sorry", she quit her job and moved to Palm Beach, Fl.  Bye bye Texas, hello sunshine state!
She was able to find this adorable house, and she had a job interview lined up and she was ready to breathe and move on.  Nothing like a trip to the neighborhood bar to help a girl relax, or does she?
Of course she got the job, and she was given her first assignment with Brad Larson and let me tell you from the get go drama ensues!  I will not tell you all the little secrets and fun times ahead, come on, I want you to BUY THE BOOK!
Little by little flirtation after flirtation, will Brad (the ultimate play boy) fall in LOVE with Carrie?  Will she just be another conquest for him?  Only time will tell, along with some amazing drinks and dinners that will have you wanting to move south as quickly as possible!
Sit back, sip on a cocktail and enjoy this tale of heartbreak and love. 

Even though wine is my typical theme, I decided to go with a fruity cocktail to go along with the beach and country club vibe,  my fave, a Strawberry Daiquiri!  Yum, just talking about it makes me want one right now!  (Probably not the greatest idea for a Thursday morning before I head off to volunteer at school HAHA).  One could dream though...it's 5 o'clock somewhere, right Jimmy?
I really enjoyed this tale of heartbreak and sadness that turned to her own personal paradise that she created for herself, go Carrie!  And for that I will give her story 5 wine glasses!  I recommend to all, you will enjoy it from beginning to end!

Review: The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall

Katherine Whitney has it all. She’s married, has two daughters, is the COO of Green Goddess & Co., a multi-billion dollar health and wellness lifestyle company, and with the release of her book on work-life balance, she is not only a media darling but she is a hero to working moms everywhere. In reality, though, Katherine’s life is starting to fall apart, and her loyal assistant Lucy Cooper is the one holding most things together. But when Katherine does something unthinkable to Lucy, Lucy is faced with a difficult decision. Will she choose to change Katherine’s life forever or continue being her main champion. Her decision could change the trajectory of both of their lives. The Balance Project is a story of loyalty, choices, and most of all balance as it explores the hot-button issue that all women struggle with.

I don't think I could love this book anymore if I tried!  My 14 year old daughter even made a comment to me this weekend about the fact that I read it so quickly!  Oops?  LOL
I have always found this topic of work-life balance so important, not only for women in general but personally for myself.  I am a single mom with three children ages from 6-14 and I work full-time as a paralegal and I go to school part-time at night for my Masters in Human Resource Management.  I know personally if I don't me time in there somewhere, I would explode or have a nervous breakdown!  You can't juggle everything like Super Woman and think that pace will last forever.  It won't, trust me, been there.
I will say Katherine Whitney puts up a pretty good front of being the woman that can do it all!  She has two children, a great husband, is COO of a company, participates in school activities/boards, wrote a book and seems to be a hero!  
But think about it, do you really think she's doing it all herself?  Of course not, she has nannies (2) and assistants and so many other people assisting her - if she had to do it alone it would be over!
Lucy Cooper when to college for digital media, but the only position she could find at the time was being a personal assistant so here she is, she's Katherine's go to for just about EVERYTHING! 
But then everything starts to get out of control!  Katherine's marriage is in shambles, her kids barely know her, and her presence to the outside world is falling apart piece by piece.  
And what about Lucy's world?  Her boyfriend Nick is ready to leave her, she never sees her friends and she can't even remember the last time she worked out!
What happens next is for you to find out, and I suggest you pick up a copy today!  YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!

I need to lightened up this craziness and have a glass (or 2) of my favorite Red Cat Riesling!  Delicious!  

Hands down I rate The Balance Project 5 wine glasses!  I loved it from beginning to end!



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Blog Tour Stop: The Big Interview by Libby Kirsch

Clarissa Jean 2
The Big Interview By author - Libby Kirsch

Stella's Saga Continues!

The perfect book for fans of the laugh-out-loud lines in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series combined with the who-done-it page turning style of a Sue Grafton mystery.

TV reporter Stella Reynolds signs with a new station, excited to move to a bigger city for a better job. When she arrives in Bristol, Virginia, though, she finds a sexist, mean boss, unfriendly coworkers, and a town in love with a sport she’s never even watched—NASCAR! Before she can unpack her bags, Stella is drawn into an investigation when a driver is killed in a fiery wreck on the track. Experts call his death a tragedy, but Stella has insider information that the accident is anything but. With a slippery ex-fiancee, an angry father, and a nosy neighbor, you’ll be laughing on one page and gasping on the next. If all goes according to plan, the facts will be revealed during an epic live Big Interview. But when does anything ever go according to plan? The Big Interview is a standalone book in the Stella Reynolds Mystery Series. If you like a great mystery peppered with laugh out loud moments and cringe-worthy catastrophes, Libby Kirsch's The Big Interview is for you. Buy Libby Kirsch's book today, and see how the final big interview goes down when the cameras go live.
Buy the Book:
Grab the 1st Book in this series: (click the cover to go to amazon)

The Big Lead - is FREE this week during the tour  http://amzn.to/1RhVGD1 

The Big Lead was chosen for a Publishers Weekly review - if you'd like to add this info to your post that would be fab!  It's below.

About the Author:
Libby Kirsch
Libby Kirsch is an Emmy award winning journalist, with over ten years experience working in TV newsrooms of all sizes. She draws on her rich history of making embarrassing mistakes on live TV, and is happy to finally indulge her creative writing side, instead of always having to stick to the facts.
Libby lives with her husband, children and soon (don't tell the kids yet!) a puppy in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She doesn't know what she was thinking.
Check out her website at libbykirschbooks.com
Find her here:
Visit all the tour stops:
Clarissa Jean 2
May 23rd
Steamy Book Momma - http://steamybookmomma0.blogspot.com - Book Promo Post 
Book Lover Worm - www.bookloverwormblog.wordpress.com - Book Review 
Living Life With Joy - http://www.livinglifewithjoy.com - Author Q&A
May 24th
Judging More Than Just The Cover - www.ambergreggbooks.com - Author Q&A 
The Belgian Reviewer - http://thebelgianreviewer.wordpress.com - Book Review 
Hello Beautiful Book Blog - hellobeautifulbookblog.com - Book Excerpt
May 25th
One Book at a Time - booksandwinearelovely.blogspot.com - Book Promo Post 
Book Lover in Florida - https://bookloverfl12.wordpress.com/ - Book Review 
Hello...Chick Lit - http://hellochicklit.com - Book Review
May 26th
The Bookworm Lodge - www.thebookwormlodge.com - Book Promo Post
Fervently Curious - Ferventlycurious.wordpress.com - Book Review
May 27th
Love Sex and Other Dirty Words - http://lovesexandotherdirtywords.com/ - Author Guest Post
 vvb32 reads - http://vvb32reads.blogspot.com/ - Book Review 
Chick Lit Central - http://chicklitcentral.com - Book Review
Tour arranged by:
HCL Book Tours & Author Services now booking for July/August Tours lost and found sale!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Review: The Wedding Sisters by Jamie L. Brenner

Meryl Becker is living a mother's dream. The oldest of her three beautiful daughters, Meg, is engaged to a wonderful man from one of the country's most prominent families. Of course, Meryl wants to give Meg the perfect wedding. Who wouldn't? But when her two younger daughters, Amy and Jo, also become engaged to celebrated bachelors, Meryl has to admit that three weddings is more than she and her husband, Hugh, can realistically afford.
The solution? A triple wedding! At first, it's a tough sell to the girls, and juggling three sets of future in-laws is a logistical nightmare. But when Hugh loses his teaching job, and Meryl's aging mother suddenly moves in with them, a triple wedding is the only way to get all three sisters down the aisle. When the grand plan becomes public, the onslaught of media attention adds to Meryl's mounting pressure. Suddenly, appearances are everything - and she will do whatever it takes to keep the wedding on track as money gets tight, her mother starts acting nutty, and her own thirty year marriage starts to unravel.
In the weeks leading up to the nuptials, secrets are revealed, passions ignite, and surprising revelations show Meryl and her daughters the true meaning of love, marriage and family. Jamie Brenner's The Wedding Sisters invites readers to the most unpredictable wedding of the year.

Where to begin - I will begin by saying that this book is one of my faves of 2016!  The character development is outstanding for Meg, Amy and Jo!  I never feel as if I am wanting more, I know them, I know their stories and these are some girls I would love to be friends with!  They are smart, driven, determined - well Meg and Amy are, Jo she's the baby and she will get there someday.  I will give it to Jo, she has the passion but she can't seem to settle on a path, she's clueless at the moment.
The drama starts to unfold when Meg is proposed to and the wedding craziness begins!  Meryl (mom) is excited for Meg, Amy is livid because she believes that it should be her getting married (after all she has been with her boyfriend well over 5 years- basically forever), and Jo well she is a whole other story in and of herself that I will have you piece together little by little as you read.
Things start to go down hill little by little - wedding disasters, cheating scandals, job loss, illness, mixed feelings, and more, yes I said more.
Meryl and Hugh feel like it may be OK - and then Amy and Jo announce their engagements -3 weddings in a year - I bet they are close to losing their minds!  I know I would be!
And if that wasn't enough, they are thrust into the media spotlight for better and for worse.  It's not always sunshine and rainbows - it can get downright ugly!  
Newspapers want the scoop, TV producers want to run with a story concept and political campaigns start to unfold.  
Will this family be able to weather each of these storms?  Will they make it to I do?  Grab a bottle of wine and sit back and enjoy there wild and crazy ride!

I am going with something bold and seductive with this wine pairing - Deep Merlot - Delish!  

Hands down, 5 glasses of wine for sure!  You will be shocked at the turn of each page and it's worth every second!  

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Blog Tour Stop: The Treachery of Trains by Sylvia Ashby

check out our new studio on e. grayson street!
The Treachery of Trains By author – Sylvia Ashby
Sky has made an abominable mistake at work. Something so awful she doesn’t dare stay in the HR office of XIM Technics for fear of being lynched by her colleagues.
So she gets on a train…
What happens when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year?
Sky Candy is about to find out.
Praises about other books by the same author. BestChickLit.com “Like a late night, post-pub cheeseboard or the final few drops of Rosé, it will prove mighty hard to resist.”
“If this book were a movie, it would be the biggest romantic comedy of the next five years, and I’d be first in line to pay my $10 for a ticket and $20 worth of popcorn and soda.”
“Great characters, interesting plot line and wonderful writing bringing it all together! Well worth the read. Kind of hoping for a sequel.”
Buy the Book:
Win the Book:
Sylvia is giving away an ecopy of the book to a lucky international winner! a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author:
Sylvia Ashby
Sylvia Ashby’s first book, Pot Love, is about food and love. Her second, The Treachery of Trains, is about finding love in unlikely places.
She lives in Belgium with her family. You can talk to her on Twitter @bysylvia_a
Check out All the stops on the Tour:
The Double - excellent
May 9th
Ever Growing Book Obsession - https://www.facebook.com/evergrowingbookobsession/?ref=hl - Promo Post Red's Midnight Readers - http://redsmidnightreaders.blogspot.com/ - Book Excerpt
May 10th
The Belgian Reviewer - Http://thebelgianreviewer.wordpress.com - Book Excerpt 
JustaBooklovinJunkie - http://jabooklovinjunkie.blogspot/ - Book Review
May 11th
Steamy Book Momma - http://steamybookmomma0.blogspot.com - Book Excerpt
May 12th
Judging More Than Just The Cover - www.ambergreggbooks.com - Author Q&A
May 13th
Around the World in Books - http://www.aroundtheworldinbooks.ca/ - Book Excerpt
 Ali - The Dragon Slayer - http://cancersuckscouk.ipage.com/ - Book Review
May 16th
T&L Book Reviews - http://tasz1976.wordpress.com - Promo Post 
Hello...Chick Lit - http://hellochicklit.com - Book Excerpt
May 17th
Book Groupies - http://bookgroupies2.blogspot.com/ - Book Excerpt
May 18th
ItaPixie's Book Corner - http://itapixie.blogspot.it/ - Book Review
May 19th
The Bookworm Lodge - thebookwormlodge.com - Promo Post
May 20th
One Book At A Time - booksandwinearelovely.blogspot.com - Promo Post 
ChocolatePages - http://www.chocolatepages.wordpress.com - Promo Post 
These Words: A Blog - www.thesewordsablog.com - Book Review
This Tour was arranged by HCL Book Tours & HCL Author Services an extension of Hello...Chick Lit H Services (1)

Blog Tour Stop: Excerpt from Accidental Makeovers by Carol Maloney Scott

Book Information

Title: Accidental Makeovers
Author: Carol Maloney Scott
Series: Rom Com on the Edge #4
Standalone?: Yes
Release Date: March 31, 2016
Genres: Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Carol Maloney Scott

Book Links


Twenty-something, single mom Bianca yearns for more. The cosmetology license she worked so hard to get is collecting dust while she waitresses for her mother’s catering business, but she has no clue how to turn her dreams of being a makeup artist into reality. Adding to her unhappiness is her dead-end relationship with her immature, video game-obsessed baby daddy, Max. Although he runs a successful business and Bianca still gets a thrill whenever she sees him play the drums in his cover band, Chain, she can’t deny that he’s starting to feel like her big, tattooed second child.

In desperate need of a life makeover, her fortune takes a positive turn when she crosses paths with an impulsive, runaway bride who has the connections to help Bianca achieve her goals. Suddenly, doors are being opened for her and she has a fabulous, new job that’s reigniting her zest for life. Too bad Max isn’t on board with these changes, and he starts acting like a jealous jerk, which brings their faltering relationship to a boiling point just about the time Bianca meets Eric, a sexy and charming financial manager. Eric comes from a different world, but one Bianca is increasingly eager to join.

Bianca expects her friends and family to be supportive of her budding romance with Eric, but to her surprise, they’re all on Team Max and they rally behind him when he launches a campaign to win her back. Nothing wrong with bar fights, fake girlfriends, and strategically placed rodents when they're all in the name of true love, right?

Will she be lured back to her familiar life, or will a successful career makeover beautify her love life?


“Serving Girl, have you seen my granddaughter?”
The grandmother of the bride looks at me, and through me, at the same time. She needs me, but she’s not sure if I qualify as an actual person.
I take in the pearls and the smeared red lipstick on her geriatric lips, and I want to scream. I would like to be rude to the snobby old bitch, but my mother will kill me. Her catering business is everything to her.
Instead I smile and reply, “Well, no Ma’am, I haven’t seen her lately. Not since the toast. Perhaps she’s with the groom.”
She says gruffly, “No, that asshole ran off after the cake cutting.”
“Mother, please. What seems to be the problem? Wait, are you saying Corey ran off and Raven is missing?” The bride’s mother, Penny Alexander, places her champagne glass on the bridal party’s enormous table and covers her mouth with her hand, blinding me with her diamonds. “I was so busy schmoozing with all of the guests from Harold’s club I didn’t even notice.”
The Alexanders are a wealthy family with old money roots in Richmond. But to their credit, they have taken their inherited wealth and invested in their own business ventures. Harold is a local real estate big shot, and Penny owns a line of high end salons, which Raven manages. Raven is their only daughter, and her wedding is by far the most opulent event my mother’s catering firm has worked…ever.
Mother and daughter continue to debate the bride’s possible whereabouts, while I stand here like a dork. I should be canvassing the room, looking for more ways to serve the three hundred guests in the cavernous ballroom of the Madison Hotel. But frankly, I actually like Raven and I’m a bit worried about her. She was nice to me at the rehearsal dinner, the engagement party and the bridal shower. Yes, this wedding has been celebrated for many months.
“What the hell is going on?” Violet grabs my arm and smiles at the Alexander women, as she pulls me aside. “I just heard someone say the bride and groom are both missing. Please tell me they’re together? They ran off for an early honeymoon?”
Violet is the wedding planner. She organized my friend Claire’s wedding, and my mom frequently works with her on catering jobs. Normally the epitome of calm, a sheen of sweat is forming on her forehead, and her blond hair is frizzing up at the mere mention of disaster at her most important event of the year.
“I don’t think so. Grandma said she saw the groom run off after the cake cutting. Maybe they’re outside fighting about something? Or having sex in the dressing room?” Violet does not seem to be appeased by my suggestions. “Does it really matter at this point? The reception is almost over. All of the things that require the bride and groom to be in the spotlight are over…except…”
“The damn bouquet toss. Shit. Okay, try to act natural. If anything, bring more drinks. If everyone is drunk, they may not notice…oh hello, Mrs. Alexander. How can I help?”
Violet’s expression switches back to ‘happy hostess,’ and she engages in conversation with Raven’s family. There’s nothing more I can do, so I begin to gather the empty glasses on the table…what the hell? Something just grabbed my ankle.  
I shake my foot and chastise myself for losing it. I was out late last night with my girlfriends. My boyfriend, Max stayed home with our toddler, Mick. Since he’s not one to volunteer to help out very often, I jumped at the chance to get out on a rare Friday night off.
Hopefully this wedding will end soon and I can go home and…there it is again. Now I’m almost falling over, and I steady the tray. That’s just what I need is to drop a whole tray of expensive stemware while everyone is freaking…okay, that’s it. What the fuck is under this table?
I lay the tray down, glance back at the search party still forming, and lean down to peek under the pale pink taffeta tablecloth. Oh my God…

Author Biography

Carol Maloney Scott, author of the Rom-Com on the Edge series, is a frazzled new bride and wiener dog fanatic. She is a lover of donuts, and a hater mornings. Recently unearthing a childhood passion for writing, she can once again be seen carrying around a notebook and staring into space. Her stories are witty, fresh and real, just like life.
Join her on “The Edge” for giveaways, cover reveals, excerpts, contests and members-only content at https://carolmaloneyscott.com.

Social Networking Links


9 May 2016 - Novel Escapes – Interview
10 May 2016 - Book Babble – Review
11 May 2016 - Karan Eleni – Interview
12 May 2016 - Living Life With Joy – Excerpt
13 May 2016 - Book Lover in Florida – Review/Excerpt

16 May 2016 - Hey Said Renee – Review
17 May 2016 - Monique McDonell – Interview/Excerpt
18 May 2016 - Ali the Dragon Slayer – Review/Excerpt
19 May 2016 - Karan Eleni – Review
20 May 2016 - One Book at a Time – Excerpt