I don’t know about you, but my favorite time to read is during the summer. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge reader and I love to escape real life with an amazing novel. But to me, there is just something special and magical about reading while being outdoors. I especially love lounging on the beach or by a pool with a great read. Hopefully, I am not the only one! It’s been a very long time since I organized a massive book giveaway. So just in time for summer, I have an amazing one for you!!! To help fill your Kindle and beach bags this summer with amazing read my author friends and I have fifty-four awesome books up for grabs. AND it gets better…. We are also giving away $150 worth of Amazon gift cards in increments of $25. And here are the books…. Good luck and happy reading XOXO, Hilary Beach read bundle #1 – print copies of PLAN CEE by Hilary Grossman, WEDDING GIRL by Stacey Ballis, SEE YOU LATER BROADWAY by Melissa Baldwin, and THE WEDDING HOAX by Heather Thurmeier (US only) PLAN CEE - Hilary Grossman – 1 autographed print Would you abandon your present for a second chance at your past? Cecelia Reynolds has spent most of her life trying to forget the commitment-phobic man who broke her heart. It wasn't easy, but eventually she did it, or so she thought... As Cecelia and her husband gather for a friend's wedding, her perfect world is thrown into complete turmoil. Even though it's been twenty years since she last laid eyes on Keith Emerson, all it takes is one glance for her to feel emotions she thought were long gone. When Keith ends up officiating the ceremony, she quickly realizes his message of love is directed at her, not the happy couple. But can she believe him? We live our entire lives thinking we know ourselves. But do we ever really? As secrets and lies cause Cecelia's world to spin completely out of control, she is forced to seek advice from the most unlikely ally. In the process, she must confront the demons of her past and the events that shaped her into the woman she is now. Will she finally learn the real meaning of love, friendship, and family? While this book is a sequel to Plan Bea, it also reads as a standalone. WEDDING GIRL – Stacey Ballis – print You’ve Got Mail meets Julie & Julia in the new foodie fiction from the author of Recipe for Disaster. Top pastry chef Sophie Bernstein and her sommelier fiancé were set to have Chicago’s culinary wedding of the year…until the groom eloped with someone else in a very public debacle, leaving Sophie splashed across the tabloids—fifty grand in debt on her dream wedding and one-hundred percent screwed on her dream life. The icing on the cake was when she lost her job and her home… Laying low, Sophie moves in with her grandmother, Bubbles. That way, she can keep Bubbles and her sweater-wearing pug company and nurse her broken heart. But when Sophie gets a part-time job at the old-fashioned neighborhood bakery, she finds herself up to her elbows in dough and reluctantly giving a wedding cake customer advice on everything from gift bags to guest accommodations. Before she knows it, she’s an online wedding planner. It’s not mousse and macarons, but it pays the bills. But with the arrival of unexpected personal and professional twists, Sophie wonders if she’s really moving forward—or starting over from scratch... Includes Recipes SEE YOU LATER BROADWAY - Melissa Baldwin – 1 autographed print Decisions, decisions, decisions . . . Maris Forrester’s exciting new life is not everything she was hoping it would be. Although she’s happy in her new career, she’s plagued with the feeling that something is still missing. Imagine her surprise when an old friend presents her with an unbelievable opportunity that could change everything. This new career sounds almost too good to be true, including the upcoming trip to London. She quickly learns that even the most perfect scenarios have their drawbacks, and when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is . . . In addition to making a life-changing career choice, Maris realizes she has other decisions to make—whom to love and where to find happiness. What if neither is what she thought they should be? THE WEDDING HOAX - Heather Thurmeier - 1 autographed print Meet the bride... Wedding dress designer Daisy Willows always imagined marrying the man of her dreams. The fantasy did not include a fake engagement or a fake wedding. Or that her ex, Cole Benton, would be the groom. But as her mom's medical bills pile up, Daisy can't refuse the help of a well-known bridal show expo owner...or his plan for the fake wedding of the century. Meet the groom... Cole Benton's bridal magazine is on the verge of capsizing, taking Cole's dream of an outdoor lifestyle magazine with it. So Cole agrees to the publicity stunt and becomes "engaged" to Daisy. But despite their searing-hot chemistry—both in public and in private—not everyone is buying the charade. And now the only way to save their skins and prove that their big white wedding isn't a big white lie is to say "I do..."
This book is THE SINGLE BEST TOOL every writer needs NOW to build, boost, and grow their author platform. Are you unsure how to market your book? Do you feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of author platform options out there (or not even sure what the term means)? Do you wish someone could break it down for you in simple steps?Then this is the book for you! Over the course of one month, Rachel provides you daily challenges containing a wealth of information, and easy to follow assignments to help energize your book sales. If you haven't released your book yet, this book will help you set the stage necessary to build the strongest foundation possible for success.
This book is a must-read and must-DO for any aspiring, new, or veteran author! Bloggers and small businesses can also benefit from this guide as wella Rafflecopter giveaway Beach read bundle #9 – print copies of THEN COMES LOVE by Lindsay Detwiler, THE OLD CAPE HOLLYWOOD SECRET by Barbara Eppich, BACK TO THE BEACH by Denise Stout, and SEE YOU SOON BROADWAY by Melissa Baldwin (US only) THEN COMES LOVE- Lindsay Detwiler – 1 autographed print Three generations of women, Three second loves, All with a dose of chaos mixed in. Sometimes in life, changes can be good… After losing her husband, her five cats, and her home, Charlotte Noel hates feeling dependent. As Charlotte tries to find her identity in this new stage of life, she comes to realize that drama never ends, dance aerobics can be a war zone, and love is always a possibility. You never know when a midlife crisis is going to strike… Charlotte’s daughter, Annie, is going through struggles of her own. Recently divorced, she is feeling frumpy and worn-out. Run ragged, Annie mourns her youth and wonders where her life is headed, all while hoping she can help her daughter Amelia get it together. Settling down can be overrated, especially when you’re falling for a rock star look-alike… THE OLD CAPE HOLLYWOOD SECRET- Barbara Eppich – 1 autographed print In 1947, Maggie Foster and her cousin, Gertie, leave Cape Cod for Hollywoodland in search of glamour and fame. One girl returns home and the other disappears. Present-day Nancy Caldwell travels to Hollywood, where she discovers the paths of Maggie and Gertie. In "The Old Cape Hollywood Secret," a novel of historical suspense, Nancy's curiosity gets her into trouble again. Along the way, a missing ring and a pearl-studded pouch are mixed in with the search. Using alternating chapters, across seventy years, the tragic stories of two young girls unfold and a murderous secret is uncovered. BACK TO THE BEACH (From Anthology THOSE SUMMER NIGHTS)- Denise Stout – 1 autographed print Darby McKinnon, preschool teacher, escapes to a beach rental to refresh her life. Running into a former boyfriend creates the distraction she needs. Alex Markham, workaholic owner of a cyber security firm, takes his job too seriously until an unexpected stay at the beach makes him pause. Their chance encounter begins with nostalgia, but kisses ignite into possibilities of the heart. Summer fling or a second chance at forever? Almost losing each other when the past and present collide, both realize love requires determination to stay together when obstacles seemingly get in the way. SEE YOU SOON BROADWAY- Melissa Baldwin – 1 autographed print Maris Forrester has a wonderful life with an amazing boyfriend and a fulfilling job. She’s happy and content . . . or so she thinks. Maris has always had huge dreams of being on Broadway. Ever since her very first performance as a child, she has envisioned herself on the stage under the shining lights. Now she has to decide whether she should to give up her wonderful life to chase those dreams. When her parents announce they are moving, she comes across a long-lost family treasure. She doesn’t realize that this treasure may hold the key to her future and to all her dreams coming true. And if that wasn’t sign enough, a mysterious stranger throws another wrench in the mix at a dazzling rooftop party benefiting the Arts. These could be signs of things to come. But will she remain content in her perfect world, or will she step into the unknown world she has always dreamed of? Amelia is the wild child of the family. Working three jobs, because she just hasn’t figured out what she wants in life, she realizes happiness isn’t always settling down with a steady, dependable man; sometimes it’s about following your true passion and living on the edge. No matter what age you are, life and love can be crazy… a Rafflecopter giveaway Beach read bundle #10 – autographed copies of THE GOLDEN AGE OF CHARLI SERIES by Jena C. Henry (3 book set - US only) GOLDEN AGE OF CHARLI - RSVP Charlotte McAntic spent her thirties, forties, and even fifties in peace and harmony aligning her marriage, mortgage, careers and children. As she stumbles into a new phase of life—also known as the Golden Years—Charli cannot help but wonder where the gold and her husband, Pud, are hiding. Pud is happily cruising down the retirement path that, for him, leads straight to the golf course. While Charli spends her days at home cleaning out closets and the basement, she yearns to gaze deeply into Pud’s blue eyes and remember all the reasons why she fell in love with him 30 years ago. Unfortunately, the only thing Pud is eying is the next fairway. Knowing there is more to savor in retirement than silver-hair shampoos, senior discounts, and hernia surgery, Charli embarks on a quest to do whatever it takes to spend retirement in the embrace of the man she loves. But is it too late for happily ever after? In this humorous novel, a high-energy wife and her solid guy must learn to adjust to a new chapter in their lives and find their way back into each other’s hearts after their retirement begins with a jolt. GOLDEN AGE OF CHARLI - BMI When Charli and her husband, Pud, enter retirement, Charli mistakenly believes that paradise is just around the corner. Unfortunately, instead of spending their days soaking in matching hot tubs and admiring each other’s wrinkles, Pud lives on the links and Charli cleans out the basement. Still, they press on, eventually becoming closer while bonding with young relatives through a love of fine dining. Now the couple faces new and weighty challenges. Charli and Pud’s days are filled with more excitement than AARP discounts and Lawrence Welk reruns—and more calories than they ever imagined. Realizing they are out of shape and slipping mentally, Charli and Pud check their BMIs and immediately decide they need to change their ways. With a goal of becoming healthy sooner than later, the couple embarks on a roller-coaster ride through calorie counting, label reading, and laborious exercising. But when Pud begins making mysterious phone calls and acting strangely, Charli cannot help but wonder if more problems are lurking around the corner.The Golden Age of Charli continues the delightful tale of the energetic, friendly, and positive McAntics as they cruise through their retirement years and discover the consequences of too much of a good thing. GOLDEN AGE OF CHARLI - GPS Empty nesters Charli McAnctic and her husband, Pud, have settled into their golden years. Although their early days of retirement were filled with disillusion and despair, they are now ready to relax and swing upon a star. Put continues to golf most days and Charli still organizes her closets and rearranges her collectibles, but now they are a solid team? Or are they? Charli and Pud are no strangers to the art of creating fun. These days they spend their time sharing gourmet meals with the nieces and nephew, attending Cleveland Cavalier basketball games, and rekindling their romance. But when a series of calamities suddenly rock their world, they each meet a new friend, leading Charli to work if she and Pud are heading in the right direction. In the third book of this delightful series, an empty nester is left to recalculate her path to happiness after she and her husband discover that their golden years are full of more surprises. a Rafflecopter giveaway Beach read bundle #11 – print copies of WITHOUT YOU by Lindsay Detwiler, CHARMED BY CHARLIE by Amanda Uhl, and IMPERFECT CHEMISTRY by Mary Frame (US only) WITHOUT YOU- Lindsay Detwiler – 1 autographed print On the surface, Jenna Landsen has it all… She’s smart, beautiful, confident, and married to Camden Landsen, who happens to be drop dead sexy and just as successful. But after five long years, all the success in the world hasn’t brought the romantic spark back into her marriage. Jenna fears it never will. When life gives you lemons, open a bakery and name it Vi’s… Violet Streiff made the exact mistake her mother warned against—she fell in love with Liam Coffman, a charming finance major. When he left her heartbroken to further his career, Violet drowned her sorrows by opening a bakery, and now relies on Bob, her eighteen-pound cat, for warmth at night instead of a sexy man. To find love, sometimes you first have to discover yourself… When Jenna’s job offers an extended trip to New York, she packs her bags and takes a two-month vacation from life. The chance of her marriage surviving looks grim, until the surprise of a lifetime throws a wrench in her plans to stay in the Big Apple for good. You can bend the rules—but sooner or later they’ll break… When Violet meets a gloomy but totally drool-worthy guy named Camden in her shop, she’s sure her luck has changed. There’s no denying the chemistry, but he’s married, and that’s a major problem. Violet isn’t a homewrecker. Still, staying away from Camden proves nearly impossible. That is, until his wife comes home. Two women. Two men. Double the chance to find love in the most unexpected places—or double the chance for disaster. CHARMED BY CHARLIE - Amanda Uhl – 1 autographed print Everybody loves marketing whiz Charlie Solanger...except the woman he really wants. PAINT, PROMOTIONS & PERFECTION Creative genius Charlie Solanger has it all: good looks, money, intelligence, charm. And when he swoops in to save Reynolds Paint Company with a brilliant marketing campaign, he has all the ladies in the office vying for his attention. Everyone except math whiz Valerie Wilson. Val’s not happy Charlie stole her promotion. Worse, his brand of flirtatious charm is reminiscent of her cheating ex-fiancé. So, how come she can’t get him out of her head? The more she challenges him, the more interested—and interesting—he becomes. What secrets is Charlie hiding, and who or what is behind the sudden mysterious drain on their company’s funds? The only way to find out is to join forces. Then it will be a battle of wills…and a triumph of hearts. IMPERFECT CHEMISTRY - Mary Frame – 1 print Lucy London puts the word genius to shame. Having obtained her PhD in microbiology by the age of twenty, she's amassed a wealth of knowledge, but one subject still eludes her—people. The pendulum of passions experienced by those around her confuses and intrigues her, so when she’s offered a grant to study emotion as a pathogen, she jumps on the opportunity. Enter Jensen Walker, Lucy's neighbor and the one person she finds appealing. Jensen's life is the stuff of campus legend, messy, emotional, and complicated. Basically, the perfect starting point for Lucy's study. When her tenaciousness wears him down and he consents to help her, sparks fly. To her surprise, Lucy finds herself battling with her own emotions, as foreign as they are intense. With the clock ticking on her deadline, Lucy must decide what's more important: analyzing her passions...or giving in to them? a Rafflecopter giveaway Beach read bundle #12 – 5 CHANCES TO WIN eBooks of CARDS FROM KHLOE’S FLOWER SHOP by Isabella Louise Anderson, THE SINKING CHEF by Sylvia Ashby, and VISITING LILLY by Toni Allen CARDS FROM KHLOE’S FLOWER SHOP - Isabella Louise Anderson – 5 ebooks As the owner of a successful florist shop, Khloe Harper trusts her instincts. She has a strong bond with her family and friends, but after being betrayed by her last love, she's kept herself at arms’ length from romance. When dashing entertainment attorney Derek Thomas walks into her store, Khloe’s interest is piqued. What at first seems like a business relationship quickly turns into romance, and Derek slowly plucks away the petals she’s been hiding behind. Just as Khloe lets down her guard, she discovers that Derek may not be worthy of her love after all. Frumpy Connie Albright has a faux fascination with an imaginary man named Walt, thinking that by sending herself flowers from him she’ll feel less out-of-place with the “mean girls” she works with. When she comes face to face with her possible prince charming and thinking she might have a happy ending, when a truth is revealed, she wonders if she’ll ever have a Cinderella story. A recently widowed senior, Gabby Lewis, isn't ready to give up on love—which means releasing herself from survivor's guilt and taking a chance on finding happiness and companionship again. After signing up for an online dating site for senior citizens, much to her surprise, she’s matched with Harry, an energetic and loving man, who quickly eases himself into her heart. Will Gabby take the leap of falling in love again, knowing it’s possible to have two loves of her life? As each woman’s story develops through flowers and cards sent from Khloe's shop during the Fall months, they begin to learn that love can only truly blossom when you trust your heart. THE SINKING CHEF - Sylvia Ashby – 5 eBooks Bridget Jones meets Burnt in this delightful comedy novel about a talented YouTuber and the guy who keeps trying to bring her down. In Belsize Park, London, Ashley works hard on her daily YouTube channel “The Sinking Chef”. It’s filmed right in her kitchen, so she doesn’t go out much. James is a gruff British TV director, turned publisher, who Ashley had a crush on ages ago. She has moved on but when he calls with an offer to take her out to lunch she doesn’t say no. It’s only lunch – what can go wrong? The day Ashley meets James for lunch and he promises her a book deal, she makes the worse decision in her life – to hide the book deal from her boyfriend, Giacomo. As things progress Ashley’s secrets mount up and other things in her life unravel. Is there a connection? And how is she going to get out of this without losing Giacomo and the life she loves? Set in the heart of fast-paced London, The Sinking Chef is a charming story of love, recipes, secrets, and the determination to do thinks right by those you love most in your life. VISITING LILLY - Toni Allen – 5 eBooks Why should a man at a Surrey police station go ballistic because someone tries to visit Lilly, his elderly grandmother? Detective Inspector Jake Talbot is intrigued, and this little puzzle might serve to distract him from sorrows of a Christmas past. Soon he is entangled with Frankie, an odd young man who claims to have met Lilly in her youth. Talbot dismisses the notion of time travel, but then discovers the Ministry of Defense has been monitoring Frankie since his friend disappeared ten years previously. Forced to work with the MOD, Talbot unearths family secrets and betrayals. The families act ruthlessly to prevent him from discovering the facts, colluding to ruin him. If Frankie is innocent, Talbot won’t let him be victimized. An uneasy understanding grows between them as they follow the evidence, for only the truth will allow Frankie to visit Lilly. a Rafflecopter giveaway Beach read bundle #13 – eBooks of DEFINING HER by Samantha March, VENUS RISING by Celia Kennedy, MARGARITAS & MURDER by CeCe Osgood, and FALLING FOR YOU by Heather Thurmeier DEFINING HER - Samantha March – 2 ebooks Nellie Hawthorne is a woman who has it all. A devoted husband, her own business, a wealthy lifestyle. But the Nellie she is now is much different from her past. A past filled with abuse, addiction, and men. Nellie’s carefully constructed new life is suddenly in jeopardy when a blast from the past emerges in her small town and her overbearing mother-in-law starts pushing for grandchildren and questions start being asked. A budding new friendship presents itself at an opportune time, and a once friendless Nellie finds herself growing closer to Prue Doherty. Prue Doherty is the quintessential good girl. Always making the right decisions, always playing it safe. Until she meets a man that could change all of that. Still reeling from a devastating breakup and betrayal that had her fleeing from Chicago and settling into suburb life with her mom close by, Prue finds herself in a damaging funk. But everything changes when she befriends Nellie Hawthorne. Nellie is trying to escape her past. Prue wants that perfect future. While both women strive to change their lives, they continue to cling to the past. But what defines us? Who we were then . . . or who we are trying to be now? Lies, manipulation, and deceit are woven throughout the pages of this edgy women’s fiction novel, with an ending you won’t see coming. VENUS RISING - Celia Kennedy – 1 ebook Between Boston and Bangalore, blossoming love reveals long-buried truth. When Dr. Jared Harrison, an extremely handsome, world-renowned Middle East journalist, accepts a teaching position at an elite Massachusetts college, he wonders if he can settle down and rebuild his family after all the horrors he has seen. When he meets the dazzling, brilliant art history professor Akshaya Bertrand, an exotic and highly private beauty, the challenge seems worth undertaking. While many have tried and failed to capture Akshaya’s attention, Jared is determined to slip past her armor and into her life. When Jared finds himself once again traumatized by the tragedies imprinted on his psyche, an exciting joint book project he has landed for him and Akshaya is put in jeopardy. Can he release his demons and help her release her own, so they can take advantage of the unique opportunity to travel through India for research, combining Akshaya’s passion for art with Jared's war correspondent resources in order to, together, create a dynamic, loving future? MARGARITAS & MURDER - CeCe Osgood – 1 ebook LOVE A FUN, TWISTY COZY MYSTERY? An old friend is found dangling in a tree with a dead man in her apartment. Did she kill him? That's the question bedeviling apprentice P.I. Sunny Truly. Witty, earnest and stubborn, Sunny goes undercover as a glam-girl to ferret out suspects at the Texas nightclub where her friend worked. With the aid of her wisecracking boss and a handsome police detective, she uncovers a terrible secret with deadly consequences. Now Sunny might the next victim. Fans of Janet Evanovich, Stephanie Bond, Julie Smith will be tickled by this feisty sleuth and fast-paced mystery in this twisty whodunit. FALLING FOR YOUHeather Thurmeier - 1 eBook Newly single Cassidy Quinn is thrilled to be a contestant on the new reality dating show The One. But her excitement turns to horror when the gorgeous bachelor turns out to be her ex-boyfriend. Seeing Brad again makes Cassidy realize she might not be as "over him" as she thought--and then she meets hunky cameraman Evan Burke. After watching his brother lose his wife in a tragic accident, Evan vows never to fall in love. But following Cassidy around as her personal cameraman makes him question his decision, and resisting her gets harder with every sunbathing, bikini-wearing day. Cassidy and Evan begin a forbidden affair while her ex-boyfriend tries to win her heart back one groping, awkward moment at a time. If Cassidy can manage to stop falling off horses (literally); stop falling onto her ex-boyfriend, the bachelor (yes, literally); and stop falling in love with backstage playboy Evan; she might still make it through the show without becoming a tabloid sensation. But soon Cassidy must choose between the ex who broke her heart and the cameraman who might never love her back. For Cassidy, this reality show just got real. a Rafflecopter giveaway Beach read bundle #14 – TWO CHANCES TO WIN a print or eBook bundle of UNDECEIVED by Karen Cox, BESIDE THE MUSIC by BJ Knapp, RADICAL NEW ME by PK Herozo, and COMING HOME by Holly Kerr (print US only) UNDECEIVED - Karen Cox – 1 print 1 ebook Pride and Prejudice in the Spy Game …if I endeavor to undeceive people as to the rest of his conduct, who will believe me? —Pride and Prejudice (Chapter 40) During the last gasp of the Cold War, Elizabeth Bennet, a young, forthright counterintelligence officer, embarks on an exciting assignment that would make her late father, a fallen CIA operative, proud. She transfers to Europe to investigate the legendary and elusive William Darcy, an officer in line for the coveted Soviet station chief position who’s suspected of being a double agent. William Darcy appears to lead a charmed existence, but now he finds himself fighting for his career and against his growing feelings for the young woman he doesn’t know is watching his every move. Elizabeth wants to throw the book at him, but the facts don’t match her preconceptions. Is Darcy being set up? Are there darker forces at work? Or is William Darcy a skilled double agent after all? Nothing is as it seems, however, and the closer Elizabeth gets to the truth about Darcy, the more she spirals into danger. Undeceived, the new novel by award-winning author Karen M. Cox is part romance, part spy game suspense— a compelling variation on Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s classic tale. BESIDE THE MUSIC - BJ Knapp – 1 ebook, 1 print Can mailing a fan letter change a life? Brenda Dunkirk didn’t think so. She also didn’t think 80s metal star Keith Kutter would have actually read her letter. Watching him stand in the rain on her patio and compose a new song is something she never imagined. Brenda thinks she’s the luckiest woman in the world when Keith’s band, Hydra, and their entourage declares her home as their base camp while recording their comeback album. She fantasizes about late night lyric writing sessions at her kitchen table and being the first one to hear all the new songs. She is confident that with her help the band will get back on top where they belong. Swept up in the glamour of being the rock and roll muse, Brenda risks her already faltering marriage. Tim, her husband, walks out on her and Hydra’s chaos, and to make matters worse her boss is threatening to fire her if she doesn’t get her act together at work. The band will not leave until the album is done--it could be another month or it could be another year. Ultimately Brenda must choose between the secure contentment of her marriage or the allure of rock and roll. She must decide: is it possible to be one man’s wife and another man’s muse? RADICAL NEW ME- PK Herezo – 1 print 1 ebook CALLIE COW: WHERE IS SHE NOW? That's what Calliope Crown's old high school classmates want to know--thanks to the notoriously unflattering snapshot from gym class that went viral her junior year. Now it's five years later and Calliope's gone from fat to fit in a year-long transformation with a world-renowned self-help guru. She's on her way to forgetting the past and becoming the self-confident, successful woman she's always wanted. Until that snapshot emerges again--just in time for her Five Year Reunion--and Calliope questions whether she's learned anything at all. Her credit card bills say beg to differ with the cost of her guru's bills, which leaves Calliope stuck working at her snooty aunt's (AKA Cruella Cupcakes) upscale bakery all summer. There Calliope will put herself to the transformation test while sharing the challenge of her high-calorie abstinence online as an anonymous masked avenger, in comical, but truthful vlog snippets. With her new friends and followers cheering her, Calliope will need to decide if delivering a dramatic comeback online is worth the risk of making a fool of herself all over again. What would you do? COMING HOME - Holly Kerr – 1 autographed print /also ebook) Loving your sisters is easy. Liking them is the hard part. After her cheating husband destroys her career, Brenna has nowhere to go but home. Home means her four sisters in the tiny Northern Ontario town with no Starbucks and well-meaning townsfolk who know her every move. Every mistake. And Brenna is making more than a few mistakes. From falling asleep at the local bar to hooking up with her niece’s boyfriend, Brenna’s life is giving the town a lot to talk about. Her sister Cat wants nothing to do with her. Content living in the family home with the ghost of their mother, Cat’s left a trail of broken hearts and failed marriages on the road to Brenna’s ex, Seamus Todd. Brenna’s return brings back old insecurities and unanswered questions for Cat. Sibling rivalries, old grudges and a least one knock-out, drag-down kitchen fight ensue as Brenna and Cat are forced to live under the same roof. And to make it worse, Brenna’s not the only one coming home. a Rafflecopter giveaway Beach read bundle #15 – 5 CHANCES TO WIN eBooks of SAVED BY THE CELEBUTANTE by Kirsty McManus, LOVE AND PIZZA.IT by Daniela Pesconi-Arthur, and JEEP TOUR by Gail Olmsted SAVED BY THE CELEBUTANTE- Kirsty McManus – 5 eBooks When Chrissie Lambert discovers an earth-shattering secret about her husband Corey, she wonders if life will ever be the same again. At thirty-five, Chrissie had been ready to start a family, but now she must put her dreams on hold. In order to cope, Chrissie throws herself into her job as publicist to Kahlua, a celebutante famous for having triplets with a volatile actor. Yet with Corey acting increasingly erratic, Chrissie’s personal life starts to interfere with her career. After a potentially fatal mistake involving a movie audition, Chrissie heads off to track down director Peter Carson at a festival in the middle of the Nevada desert. There, she must battle the elements, navigate through a minefield of colorful characters and avoid falling for the mysterious Matt, who seems to have issues of his own. Will Chrissie be able to save Kahlua’s career – and find her own happily ever after? LOVE AND PIZZA.IT - Daniela Pesconi-Arthur – 5 eBooks Carolina had only one thing in mind: to show everyone that she wasn’t a little girl anymore. That she could do well on her own. That she was a person with her own dreams and opinions and who knew what she wanted to do with her life. Well, at least she was willing to find out. An unexpected job interview via Skype and a job offer in Napoli help just graduated Dr Carolina decide to embark on the craziest adventure of her life. In Brazil, her parents can’t understand what they’ve done wrong. In Napoli, there is her English teaching job… and one of the most handsome (and richest) men she’s ever met ~ one of her students. In Napoli, there is also Margherita pizza… and the sweetest man she’s ever met ~ her local pizzaiolo. Carolina will find out that choosing a pizza topping isn’t the most difficult thing to do, after all… JEEP TOUR - Gail Olmsted – 5 ebooks To move forward, you need to let go of the past... Jackie Sullivan decides it’s time for a fresh start, after her marriage falls apart and she loses her job. Meeting a sexy tour guide inspires her to build a new life for herself among the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. But Jackie is looking for more than just romance. Fueled by an unflagging sense of humor and lots of caffeine, she sets out on a journey of self-discovery and she plans to get it right this time. Jackie’s had her happy, now she wants her ever after! a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway
Celebrate Release Day With Prizes and fun!
Come join us at Bradley's Books in the Altoona Logan Valley Mall on Saturday, April 29th starting at 2pm for our release day celebration. We're celebrating the release of my seventh novel, Remember When. Let us know if you can make it on the event page.
What we've got in store for you:
Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Review
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Some books you read are entertaining, engaging, or page-turners. Some books are exciting, interesting, and fun. Although The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has some of these qualities, there is one major quality that stands out from the rest: Importance. This book has great importance.
Henrietta Lacks is a woman who has impacted millions of lives and probably indirectly impacted your life--yet few people know her story. Before Skloot, few people even knew her real name. This book is important because it gives a face to the name that has been so influential in science. Moreover, it is important because it addresses so many deep and potentially controversial issues, from racial tension to medical ethics to scientific research. This is a book to make you think but also to help you celebrate the life of a woman who certainly deserves our accolades.
Henrietta Lacks died early in life from cervical cancer--but not before doctors at Johns Hopkins could take some of her cells for study. These cells proved immortal, leading to advances in tissue research and cell research. As the cells defied all odds of the time period and became immortal, they allowed for many scientific discoveries. The cells were used for everything from developing new medicines to searching for cures for cancer to testing nuclear radiation. Henrietta's cells quickly became the foundation worldwide for scientific study.
This sounds like a noble pursuit and a positive thing. There are just a few problems with the endeavor. 1.) Henrietta Lacks never gave permission for this study, and her family was never even informed about the studies until years later 2.) The cells of Henrietta became a multi-million dollar industry, of which Henrietta's family never saw a penny.
This book stirs so many emotions. First, I think this book stirs great sympathy. To read about Henrietta's immense suffering at the clutches of cancer is very sad. To hear about her families struggles afterward also really grips the reader. Skloot does an excellent job at portraying the human side of Lacks' story when no one else really did. Most only remember Henrietta as HeLa cells. They see her as a scientific commodity. Skloot puts emotion to the story and paints a picture of a strong woman dealt some difficult hands in life. I appreciated the honor and tribute Skloot paid to Henrietta in making her personal story known.
The book also incited a lot of questioning and even anger within me. This story raises crucial questions about bioethics and how far science should go in the sake of discovery. The concept of medical testing and experimentation being done without consent was, quite frankly, frightening. It raises the question of ethics and what elements of the individual and privacy should be sacrificed in the name of science, a question that Skloot clearly emphasizes as a murky question. Although Henrietta's cells certainly lead to groundbreaking discoveries, the idea that this was done behind the family's back is angering. Perhaps the most frustrating part is the commercialism of the endeavor. The fact that these cells were sold for large amounts of money calls into question the motives of some of the scientists involved. The fact that the Lacks family struggled with poverty while scientists selling Henrietta's cells were making millions seems completely unjust.
Finally, Skloot sheds light on racial tensions of Henrietta's time period. To learn about medical treatment--and the lack thereof--of African Americans during Henrietta's time period really opened my eyes. This is an issue not heavily discussed, but to hear about the lack of treatment or the sub par treatments afforded to certain races during this time period is angering. Skloot highlights how medical treatment and science aren't always a cut and dry issue. Politics, social values, and money all play a role in who gets treated and how.
Some critics of this book find Skloot to paint herself as a hero. I did not find this to be the case. While she is inserted into the narrative throughout, it is to discuss her research endeavors. I believe this highlighted the depth and complexity of Henrietta's story. It showed just how much work it took for Skloot to find the truth. It showed how layered the truth was and how much mystery surrounded a woman who is still regarded as having the most important cells in science. I admire Skloot for all of the work she did to find the story and to tell the real truth about Henrietta Lacks. I do believe that paints her as someone to be admired. I did not feel like she wrote the book in a way that focused on that. I truly felt that her focus was on shedding light on Henrietta the woman instead of HeLa, the scientific entity. I believe she paid tribute to a difficult and sometimes controversial subject in the most sensitive, respectful way she could without sugarcoating the hard truths surrounding the story.
This book should be read by everyone because of the importance of Henrietta's cells and how much they have contributed to science. I think we owe it to Henrietta to learn her personal story and to put a face, emotions, and personality to the cells talked about in scientific terms in so many contexts. I also think it is crucial that we explore the issues presented in this book such as tissue ownership, bioethics, and the motives of science in medicine in order to be prepared for the future. Henrietta's story is a cautionary tale in many ways. It cautions us to live life to the fullest, but it also cautions us that medicine is not always a cut and dry subject. Furthermore, it forces us to explore a human, controversial question about how much we are willing to sacrifice in terms of individual privacy and well-being for scientific exploration.
Skloot's book does a beautiful job at weaving together these questions in bioethics with the personal tale of a woman I now feel like I know. She sheds light on a story often overlooked in history. Most of all, she puts a story to the woman, hands on hips, who appears in so many textbooks. Skloot has ensured that the world now knows her real name and much, much more.
Thank you, Rebecca Skloot, for telling the story of a woman almost forgotten by science, by history, and by the world
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