180 Seconds by Jessica Park
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"I am brave. I am brave. I am brave. But I cannot stop the tears. 'I don't want to live this like,' I say out loud over and over through my sobbing. I cry for who I have been, who I am, and who I could be. However, I also cry with an iota o relief, because a change is about to happen."
180 Seconds follows the story of Allison, who is very broken at the beginning. Having lived in foster-care pretty much her entire childhood, she learned to not get close to people and to not trust. Recently adopted by her adoptive father, Simon, she's still holding back. The only person she is close to is her best friend Steffi, who also grew up in foster care. On campus, though, she comes across a boy named Esben Baylor. She doesn't realize he is a YouTube sensation. When he challenges her to a social experiment in which they spend a mere 180 seconds together in silence, she agrees just to get out of the situation.
What she doesn't expect, however, is that the 180 seconds will change everything for her and threaten to break down her carefully constructed walls. As Esben and Allison explore something she never expected, she comes to learn that everyone has so much underneath the surface and that trusting another person can be safe.
I'll be honest--at first, I wasn't crazy about this book. I found the whole premise to be a little bit cheesy; could two people really fall for each other in 180 seconds? I also had a hard time connecting with the characters. I expected some superficial college romance to happen.
And then this book completely, utterly won me over. As Allison's walls come down with Esben, they also come down for the reader. As she finds herself, you discover so much about her that you like. By the end, I realized what masterful writing it takes to pull this off. It really puts you in the book, in the situation, and in the story.
This book is also about so, so much more than a college romance. It has so many twists and turns in the plot that I don't want to spoil, but trust me, by the end, you will be emotionally exhausted but satisfied. This book has so much packed into its pages. By the end, I adored Esben and Allison. I especially loved Allison's dad, Simon.
This book is heavy and fun. It's light and it's deep. It's this perfect concoction of the best of so many emotions. I definitely see why this book has become so popular. I would definitely read a sequel if the author wrote one.
So do yourself a favor this summer and pick up 180 seconds. Get ready for a roller coaster of emotion. Just, whatever you do, don't judge the book by the first few chapters. As the book teaches you, there's so much more underneath the surface if you're patient and brave enough to look.
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Why It's So Important To Snap Every Photograph You Can
This week, I did something archaic, something I rarely do anymore: I had pictures printed.
We live in a world where it seems every moment of our lives are documented, our phones capturing photos for Instagram, selfies, and videos of life-changing moments and normal moments. However, over the years, I've found my scrapbook pages empty, picture frames sitting bare, and physical photographs being a rarity.
Today, though, I got my packet of pictures in the mail. I printed pictures from the past decade and even beyond, gathering all the files from my computer. I discovered that there's something about physical pictures you lose on your phone. I flipped through the memories, the moments that have made my life, and I couldn't help but smile.
Most of all, I realized how happy I am that I or a family member snapped all of those moments. I'm happy we forced the family to pose, that I made us stop and pause for a minute to capture the moment, big or small.
Flipping through pictures of small moments and big moments, I realized that these are the moments that have defined me. These are the moments of smiles and of love. At the time, I didn't realize these moments would be so important. For some of them, they felt like just another regular day. Now, though, with the passage of time, I've come to appreciate how every moment, every smile, every memory becomes so important.
These are moments I would have overlooked in my memory bank or not even remembered. Moments at a local park on an autumn day with my parents, laughing in our ponchos on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls. Pictures of Chad and I at a picnic before we were married, pictures of Henry hanging out in the backyard.
Life is not always about the flashy moments or once-in-a-lifetime travels. We don't need photographs to remember those. Life is about the people we share our moments with. It's about the smiles in our hometown, it's about the regular moments of family, of fun, and of love. It's about the moments that seem so small but really, in the scheme of things, become so big.
These are the moments we need to remember. These are the moments that we will someday look back at and smile.
So next time you think about setting the camera down and walking by a moment, don't.
Next time your kids are jumping around and the dog is barking and you think, "Is this picture really worth it?" Know that it is.
Next time you feel embarrassed about asking everyone to pose or you think that a moment can't be that important to take a photo of, take the photo anyway.
And the next time you're having just an average day at home with your loved ones, know you should take the photograph.
Our lives go by so fast, and we don't always realize that they're blurring right on past us. But the photographs of our memories, big and small, sometimes are the reminder we need to slow down, to smile, and to be thankful for the beautiful life we've been given.
I'm a bookworm, but I'm also a beauty addict. I've spent tons of cash over the years at Ulta, Sephora, Target, and all sorts of places looking for the best beauty products for the average woman. I believe in cruelty-free cosmetics as well. Every Tuesday, I bring you quick information about a beauty product I've tried and loved. Feel free to comment below with products you think I should try out. I'm always on the hunt for the next best product :)
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation Review
I have been on the hunt for the perfect foundation for years. I want one with the perfect amount of coverage. I've tried dozens of foundations, and they're either too heavy, the wrong color, too sheer, too greasy, etc.
I found TARTE's Rainforest of the Sea foundation thanks to Christen Dominque, my latest Youtube obsession. I bought it from Sephora for $39.00 with fingers crossed Christen wouldn't lead me wrong. She didn't.
This is by far the best foundation I've ever bought. I have super pale skin, so usually even the lightest foundation colors look too dark on me. The porcelain color in this foundation is truly porcelain and perfect for my pale skin. The water-base helps it blend into your skin effortlessly, but somehow the coverage manages to be at a medium level. Once it soaks in, you don't even feel like you have foundation on, which is amazing.
The foundation uses a dropper, which helps eliminate waste of the product. There is a brush you can buy to apply, but I use a beauty blender for seamless application. Below is a picture of me wearing the foundation...I do not claim to be a makeup expert, just an average woman who loves beauty products. Thus, my motto is that if I can pull it off, anyone can!
Have you tried this foundation or another foundation you love? Let me know in the comments.
Happy Tuesday Beauty Break! Please share with your friends if you want to see more Tuesday Beauty Break :)
The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read The Beach House years ago and fell in love with Jane Green's writing charm and witty humor. I loved how she delved into deep issues fearlessly but with a sense of lightheartedness that made for great reading.
Jane Green's The Sunshine Sisters did not disappoint. It had that same feel as The Beach House, which was a great thing. The story follows the Sunshine family through the decades. In many ways, it is a family saga, but it is also about how the past can impact our identities.
Ronni Sunshine was a famous actress. However, she was never quite at the top of the Hollywood circuit. She was always just on the cusp of true, undeniable, life-altering fame. Because of this, she spent most of her life chasing that fame, resulting in a loss of connection with her three daughters. Through the years, the three daughters, Lizzy, Nell, and Meredith, are impacted by their mom's attitude and character.
The book is set at the end of Ronni's life, when she realizes how many mistakes she's made. She comes to regret the fact she hasn't been there for her daughters and that her daughters aren't close anymore. Deciding she still has time to make things right, she sets out on an impossible task: she wants to bring her family back together.
The book tells the family's story through the decades, giving us glimpses into their dynamic through the years. I love how each sister is very different and finds her own path in life. Each sister has her own successes and her own challenges. The three sisters have complex lives that are far from perfect, which made the book exciting to read. I love how there were so many different viewpoints and stories happening within the story.
I also love the deep themes that run through the book. Jane Green touches upon identity, family, loyalty, regret, and so many other human emotions in this book. I think every woman can relate to several pieces of this family's puzzle, which makes it a truly unique novel. It captures so much of the modern woman's struggle in a way that isn't in-your-face. It doesn't feel like a lecture; Jane Green's writing allows the reader to come to their own conclusion about the theme and about life itself.
I love the lighthearted moments that break up the novel. Lizzy was my favorite character by far. I found her to be the most human and the most exciting. I love the entire premise for the novel and found it to be very addicting. I also felt like I left the novel with many thinks to think about. This is definitely a book you could read several times because there are just so many themes running through it.
The only thing I disliked was the tense. The book is told in third person, and I found during the earlier segments of the book, the present tense felt awkward. I'm not sure if this was just me or because I've read a lot of books in past tense. I just found myself being thrown from the story. However, when the story got to present day, it made more sense.
Overall, Jane Green's newest book is a must read for the summer and really for anytime. I like that the cover captures the feeling and main plot of the story perfectly. Above all, I love that Jane Green managed to make me feel something for the Sunshine sisters. Even though I'm an only child, I felt like I could understand the bond of sisterhood, the loyalty of family, and the way it all shapes the women we become.
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Video Review of Jane Green's The Sunshine Sisters
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Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I picked up Where They Found Her because I was I really liked Reconstructing Amelia and thought I'd give this author another try.
Where They Found Her is a mystery/suspense focused around the discovery of a dead body near a campus in a small town. Molly Sanderson has just moved to the small town of Ridgedale with her husband after he takes a job at the University. Their lives are in turmoil due to personal events, but Molly ends up being assigned the case as a journalist. The story is her chance to restart her career and perhaps get her life back on track.
As Molly gets wrapped up in the mystery in the town, other mysteries begin to surface. By the end of the book, she finds herself completely entwined in numerous situations, all of which complicate her life and career.
I liked Molly's character in the book because she is a broken woman searching for redemption and strength. Readers get to see her emerge and blossom throughout the book from an unsure woman into a confident, strong force. I like her dedication to doing what's right and to finding her way, despite many obstacles.
Like many suspense novels, this book follows numerous characters' perspectives. It was really confusing for a while to keep all of the characters straight, but I like how McCreight seamlessly weaves so many people together in her book. There are many subplots to the novel, and I like how McCreight can keep all of the stories feeling well-developed. I was surprised numerous times in the book as many twists and turns occurred. This book is far from predictable, which I enjoyed.
I did find the middle section of the book to lose my attention and lose the intensity. Nonetheless, the last one hundred pages were absolutely thrilling and made me want to keep reading. I felt the last few pages of the book could have been better developed, but overall, I thought McCreight did a good job at tying up all loose ends.
This book is an exciting, intense read filled with all sorts of questions and horrifying conclusions. It really makes you think about issues of trust, love, and loyalty. I liked the well-rounded characters and the pace of the book at the beginning and end. McCreight is clearly a talented writer, and I look forward to reading more of her works in the future.
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99 Cent Romance for a Limited Time!
To Say Goodbye, my fifth novel, is on SALE for only $0.99 for a LIMITED TIME. Order my emotional drama now...it's perfect for your summer reading list.
Starting Thursday, you can also enter the 99 cent Book Fair contest to win a $75 Amazon card!
Feisty Sophia never shies away from life. Playful, romantic, connected—her marriage was the thing of fairy tales. But when tragedy strikes, Sophia is left to pick up the pieces of her life.
After leaving the army, Jackson is ready to start afresh. But when he returns home, his life spirals out of control.As Sophia and Jackson find themselves in each other, they start to see redemption is possible.
Trying to piece together a new life, they must answer the question: Should they forge a life together and say goodbye to their pasts completely, or should they loyally go their separate ways to avoid heartache?
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I picked up The Woman In Cabin 10 after finishing Paula Hawkins' Into the Water. I'm not much of a suspense/thriller/mystery type reader, but Ruth Ware's bestselling novel is truly a read for anyone. The depth of the story, the excitement of the plot, the setting, and the main character make this a quality book in all ways.
The book starts with a terrible robbery leaving Lo Blacklock on edge. Nonetheless, she leaves for a business trip aboard a luxury cruise ship. As a journalist, she's hoping the trip will help her move up the ladder. Nonetheless, when a horrific mystery taints the trip early on, Lo finds herself in a terrifying position--stuck aboard a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean with certainty that no one can be trusted. Lo begins digging for answers but soon finds herself in harms way with no one to turn to. Trapped in the middle of the ocean without anyone to help her, she's faced with a harrowing situation of survival and morality.
This book kept me engaged from page one. Lo is a very imperfect character. She is flawed and suffers from many ailments, making the reader constantly question the narrator's reliability. I adore books that can pull this feat off convincingly and make me question what's actually happening. The plot was also exciting and kept me engaged the entire time. I loved the format of the book because we get to see correspondence back home between Lo's loved ones as the trip unfolds.
I found the ending to be satisfying. I like that this book focused on the plot and not heavily on deep, introspective reads. This is a super fast read but an exciting one. Ruth Ware is a master at weaving together a thrilling plot with characters we grow to love. I will definitely be checking out her next book.
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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
Dog Lovers Prizepack Up For Grabs!
It's Henry's birthday at the end of the month...and we're giving you the chance to win!
All this month, check out the pinned post on my Facebook page. All you have to do is:
1. Like and share Henry's birthday bash post
2. Comment with a happy birthday wish for Henry or a pic of your furry friend
3. Tag a friend for an additional entry
On June 29th, we'll pick a random winner and announce them live on our Facebook Live Chat Birthday Bash. We'll have a special appearance by Henry and other prizes, so be sure to join us at 7pm on my author Facebook page.
The prizepack includes:
1. A copy of A Dog's Purpose
2. A $10 Petco Card
3. A dog lovers cup and notepad
4. A dog lovers sign
Happy birthday to Henry!
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