Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Book Review: Sand Castle Bay by Sherryl Woods

Title: Sand Castle Bay (An Ocean Breeze Novel)
Author: Sherryl Woods
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

About the Book: In a trade-off she's lived to regret, Emily Castle left home years ago to become an interior designer. The youngest of three sisters, Emily desperately wanted to prove herself. Success, though, came at the cost of leaving behind the man she loved.For Boone Dorsett, losing Emily left his heart shattered, but another woman was waiting in the wings. Now a widower with a young son, Boone has a second chance with Emily when a storm brings her home. But with his former in-laws threatening a custody suit, the stakes of loving her are higher than ever.

Will fate once again separate them—or is the time finally right for these two star-crossed lovers?

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My Thoughts: This is the first in a new trilogy about sisters by Sherryl Woods. I love trilogies and so I jumped on the chance to review all three of these (Wind Chime Point will be reviewed in April, followed by Sea Glass Island in June).  

This one focused on Emily, the youngest of the three sisters.  She left home ten years before and has since become a very successful interior designer.  She has only returned home after a hurricane has damaged her Grandma Cora Jane's restaurant.  Both of her sisters also return to help with the clean up -so you get to meet them all in this book.  There is Gaby, who has a career in PR and still lives in North Carolina.  Samantha is the oldest sister and is an aspiring actress in New York City.  

Cora Jane is somewhat of a meddler and begins pushing to get Emily and Boone back together almost before Emily gets there.  She has always liked Boone and he has become a son to her, so it is only natural for her to want him paired with Emily. He has a precocious son, BJ, who is always welcomed at Cora's restaurant and Emily finds a place in his heart without even trying.  This causes some dissension between Emily and Boone though.  Boone does not want BJ to be hurt as he is still recovering from the death  of his mother.  Where Emily is concerned, Boone is still hurting himself over her leaving years before and wants to spare his son that. Even though they both try to pull away, the attraction between them continues to grow.  

I really hated Jodie, BJ's maternal grandmother.  I just wanted to pick her up and shake her!  She does everything to make Boone feel guilty about the death of Jenny and even threatens to try to take BJ away from him if he continues to see Emily!  Aargh!  Talk about unreasonable!

My only criticism is that the book seemed to get a little long about 3/4 of the way through.  But I had to keep reading because I had to find out how it ended!

~I received a complimentary ecopy of Sand Castle Bay from McAllister PR and Harlequin MIRA publishers in exchange for my unbiased review.~

Publisher/Publication Date: Harlequin/MIRA, March 2013
ISBN: 978-0778314363
384 pages

Book Review and Giveaway! A Spoonful of Sugar by Brenda Ashford

Title: A Spoonful of Sugar: A Nanny's Story
Author: Brenda Ashford
Publisher: Doubleday

About the Book: Brenda Ashford is the quintessential British nanny. Prim and proper, gentle and kind, she seems to have stepped straight out of Mary Poppins. For more than six decades Nanny Brenda swaddled, diapered, dressed, played with, sang to, cooked for, and looked after more than one hundred children. From the pampered sons and daughters of lords ensconced in their grand estates to the children of tough war evacuees in London’s East End, Brenda has taught countless little ones to be happy, healthy, and thoroughly well bred. In this delightful memoir, Brenda shares her endearing, amusing, and sometimes downright bizarre experiences turning generations of children into successful adults.

From the moment Brenda first held her baby brother David she was hooked. She became a second mother to him, changing his nappies, reading him stories, and giving him all the love her warm heart contained. Knowing a career caring for children was her calling in life, Brenda attended London’s prestigious Norland College, famous for producing top-notch nannies. It was a sign of privilege and good taste for the children of the well-to-do to be seen being pushed in their Silver Cross prams by Norland nannies, who were recognizable by their crisp, starched black uniforms with white bib collars, and their flowing black capes lined with red silk. And what skills were these trainees tested on daily? Lullaby singing, storytelling, pram shining, bed making, all forms of sewing, cooking simple meals, and dispensing first aid—including knowing the best way to help the medicine go down.

In A Spoonful of Sugar, Brenda recalls her years at Norland and her experiences during the war (after all, even if bombs are dropping, there’s no reason to let standards slip), and recounts in lovely detail a life devoted to the care of other people’s children.

Sprinkled throughout with pearls of wisdom (you can never give children too much love, and you should learn how to sew a button, for goodness’ sake), this delightful memoir from Britain’s oldest living nanny is practically perfect in every way.


"I had puzzled many times over the ingredients for a perfect recipe for a happy home. Throw in some stability, a dash of routine and respect. Sprinkle some fun and imaginative games and stir well. But the most vital ingredient is the mother. The mother is truly the heart and soul of a family.”

“As for fussy eaters? I don’t stand for it. I have taken a hard line on this topic. This is a home, not a restaurant and you will jolly well try it before you turn your nose up at it.”

“If a child has sufficient breakfast, lunch and dinner they shouldn't need a snack. I don’t really like it today when I see children being wheeling along in a pram stuffing things in their mouth. ”

“Children cannot get up to your level, so you have to get down to theirs; try and understand how the world looks through their eyes.”

“If we respect little people then they in turn will grow up to respect others.”

“Put a book in a child’s hands or plant them in an empty field or park, and suddenly the world opens up and becomes a fantastical place of make believe and adventure.”

“Never let a house define you. You can make a home anywhere from an air raid shelter to a shed, if you have to. Riches and wealth don’t matter a jot.”

“I was always honest with my charges. In fact in every area of my life I have been most careful to never tell a lie. Why can’t everyone be more careful to tell the truth? At least we would all know where we stand in life.”

“Little folk deserve a childhood that’s full of fun. It’s the single most valuable lesson in my eyes. I have always encouraged children to have a giggle wherever and whenever they can.”

PEARLS OF WISDOM FROM A Spoonful of Sugar: A Nanny’s Story by Brenda Ashford
*9780385536417* On Sale April 2, 2013
Strung Together During 60 Years of Devoted Service as a Nanny

My Thoughts: This was such an easy book to read.  The words just flowed out of the pages.  You could really feel the passion that Ms. Ashford had for those children in her care -- really all children.  Reading the book, it was hard to picture a 90+ woman writing it, as the spirit and energy was of someone much younger.

As you can see from the Pearls of Wisdom above, she is very honest and down to earth, and I don't know of anyone who would not benefit from some of her advice. About the first 1/3 of the book was dedicated to her own childhood and how she came about deciding she wanted to be a nanny, as well as her training at Norland Institute. For the most part, the rest of the book is dedicated to the time she spent with some of her charges and their families.  From humor to tragedy, she has experienced it all.

For some reason, and this is probably just the English flavor that the book had, but it reminded me of the books written by James Herriott and his experiences of being a vet.  They just seemed to have the same rhythm and style and leave you with just a feeling of goodwill.

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About the author: Brenda Ashford is a graduate of Norland College, a world-famous institute for British nannies.  For sixty-two years, she cared for more than one hundred children, making her Britain's longest serving nanny.  She lives outside London.

Thank you to the team at Doubleday, Ms. Ashford and Providence Book Promotions for generously offering this book to me for review.
If you'd like to join in on an upcoming tour just stop by their sites and sign up today!

A Spoonful of Sugar
Publisher/Publication Date: Doubleday, April 2, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-385-53641-7
320 pages

Now is your chance to win a copy of A Spoonful of Sugar!  Just sign up through the rafflecopter below.  This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada only.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop (Mar 29 - Apr 5) INT

It seems like it has been awhile since I have participated in a Giveaway Hop, even though I know it was just earlier this month!  It is Spring Break here, and it has not turned out like I expected at all.  I am going to need another week off just to recover from this week!  So, let's have a bit of fun and enter some giveaways!  This one is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not a Writer and Read Now Sleep Later.  All participating blogs will be giving away something a reader, author, or blogger would enjoy.

For this hop, I am giving away any Kindle Book with Easter or Spring in the title up to $10 in value.  So, that means this would be an International giveaway!

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Book Review: The House Girl by Tara Conklin

Title: The House Girl
Author: Tara Conklin
Publisher: William Morrow

About the Book: Virginia, 1852. Seventeen-year-old Josephine Bell decides to run from the failing tobacco farm where she is a slave and nurse to her ailing mistress, the aspiring artist Lu Anne Bell. New York City, 2004. Lina Sparrow, an ambitious first-year associate in an elite law firm, is given a difficult, highly sensitive assignment that could make her career: she must find the “perfect plaintiff” to lead a historic class-action lawsuit worth trillions of dollars in reparations for descendants of American slaves.

It is through her father, the renowned artist Oscar Sparrow, that Lina discovers Josephine Bell and a controversy roiling the art world: are the iconic paintings long ascribed to Lu Anne Bell really the work of her house slave, Josephine? A descendant of Josephine’s would be the perfect face for the reparations lawsuit—if Lina can find one. While following the runaway girl’s faint trail through old letters and plantation records, Lina finds herself questioning her own family history and the secrets that her father has never revealed: How did Lina’s mother die? And why will he never speak about her?

Moving between antebellum Virginia and modern-day New York, this searing, suspenseful and heartbreaking tale of art and history, love and secrets, explores what it means to repair a wrong and asks whether truth is sometimes more important than justice.

My Thoughts: Where to start. . .   I did enjoy this novel very much - especially the sections that pertained to Josephine.  I really liked her character and was moved by her story.  She was a slave, but had been chosen as a house girl for LuAnne Bell.  Her life was seemingly full of contradictions.  Even though she was a slave, she lived a different life as a house girl, even getting to paint and express herself.  Though the credit for her much of her work was given to LuAnne, I am not sure she was looking for credit for her work - she was looking for a new life.

Lina, on the other hand, seemed, if not content with her life, at least in a place that she wasn't ready to "stir the pot".  She still lived with her father, and yet was an associate in a big law firm.  Her mother had been killed when she was just a little girl, and I think this was part of the reason that she still lived with her father.  It was in that house that she could remember what little she did about her mother.  There was a mystery surrounding her death because her father never really wanted to talk about it with her - so being so young when she died - she didn't really know what happened.

As she starts to research Josephine's life and to see her struggles, a series of events in her own life seem to awaken her need for a change as well. I think it was learning about Josephine, and how she never gave up to be free makes her realize she has just been drifting along in her own life - waiting for something to happen rather than going out and finding it.  She starts to see the people in her father's (and mother's previous) life in a new light.  Questioning what she thought to be the truth, forces a confrontation with her father that was far too long in happening.  

Filled with interesting characters, to me, this book explores how relationships with family and others, have an influence on our lives and the choices that we make. Would Josephine have done the same things had she not been a house girl?  Would her life have been different is she would not have been close to Lu Anne Bell?  And Lina,  if her father would have shared things about her mother when she was younger, how would that have influenced Lina's choices in life, and would her father have been able to let things go earlier than he did?  I think this book would be a great choice for a book club read as there are so many things you could discuss and explore.  

~I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from William Morrow through Edelweiss in exchange for my unbiased review.~

The House Girl
Publisher/Publication Date: William Morrow, Feb 2013
ISBN: 978-0062207395
384 pages

Book Blast: Fire and Ash by Anne Patrick

Fire and Ash by Anne Patrick

Fire and Ash is the story of female fire investigator Sadie McGregor.  When she was a child, Sadie lost her family in a horrific fire that still haunts her.  She's now been called in to investigate a fatality fire in her hometown of Emerald Point, Missouri. What Sadie and the handsome new police chief discover will not only affect those close to them, but will rock the entire community.

Reviews and Awards
"This is a beautiful, yet hard-hitting story, fluently written, presenting characters you fall in love with." 
~ Reviewed by Fennel at LASR

"A Top Pick! Another Fantastic Novel!!!! Anne Patrick's novel, "Fire and Ash" is a well-written novel that flows wonderfully. A fantastic read!" 
~ Night Owl Reviews

"A wonderful read, this book had me laughing and crying. True to life characters and vivid descriptions, along with comedy and heart stopping moments, make this a page turner you'll want to read again." 
~ Happily Ever After Reviews

"As a forensics show enthusiast, I found that Anne Patrick, in her book, Fire and Ash, goes into great, minute detail of the fire investigation, that puts you on the scent of a perpetrator.  Her unique ability to incorporate multiple plots to throw you off course makes the pages fly by to connect the dots."  
~ Onedesertrose's Christian Book Reviews Blog

"As a retired fire investigator I have to say kudos to Ms Patrick on her research. I normally don’t read romantic suspense, but this book sounded intriguing so I couldn't resist. I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED
~Review from 'Fireboy' at Christianbook.com

Received Four Stars from Romantic Times Book Reviews!

LASR BEST BOOK of 2010 Nominee!

'Best Inspirational' 2010 at The Romance Reviews!

#1 Bestselling Suspense eBook, and #1 Bestselling Romance eBook at Christianbook.com!

Amazon Top 100 Bestseller in Christian Fiction!

Author Anne Patrick

Anne Patrick is the author of more than a dozen novels of Romance, Mayhem & Faith, including the award winning and bestselling WOUNDED HEROES SERIES, FIRE AND ASH, and TIES THAT BIND. When she isn't working on her next novel she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and traveling to foreign countries to experience new cultures and adventures. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she now makes her home in Kansas. 

She loves to hear from her readers!

Book Blast Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/10/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

My Birthday Surprise!

This is a sticky post. . . First let me start by apologizing to anyone who I had scheduled a review with for 3/22 - 3/26.  My husband is taking me away this weekend as a surprise for my birthday!  He gave me the note below earlier today:


For my lovely wife, who I love more than anything in the world, what do I get her for her birthday. . .

I thought of diamonds, cars, even stitching supplies, but nothing really seemed like what she would really like.

So in a moment of desperation, I selected a night on the town:
Unfortunately Gurnee was really busy, so it will not be our town (so please pack an overnight bag).
I think a nice dinner is in order, so a nice outfit would be good to pack.
And because I am still "concussed" from the Crazy Trail, I guarantee there will be dancing.
Swimming is an option, so just in case.

When should we do this "extravaganza" of a night?????  I hope you have no plans for the weekend of 3-22, as we will be leaving our residence about 1 in the afternoon, returning sometime Sunday afternoon.  Do not worry, no plane trips, this will be all driving.

More details to come as my concussion clears, but for now above is all I can remember (other than I really do love you).

Is this not the sweetest thing ever???   So, for those reviews I had scheduled this weekend, I will try to get them up early next week.  And for those that were scheduled at the beginning of the week - I will not be doing the reading this weekend that I thought I would be doing, so they will probably be late as well.  But this is probably the coolest thing anyone has ever done for me - so I am going to go get a good night's sleep and plan on having a good time!  Happy reading to everyone!

Book Review: Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt

Title: Chosen Ones (The Lost Souls, Book One)
Author: Tiffany Truitt
Publisher: Entangled Teen

About the book: Life is bleak but uncomplicated for sixteen-year-old Tess, living in a not-too-distant future where the government, faced with humanity's extinction, created the Chosen Ones, artificial beings who are extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly. 

When Tess begins work at Templeton, a Chosen Ones training facility, she meets James, and the attraction is immediate in its intensity, overwhelming in its danger. But there is more to Templeton than Tess ever knew. Can she stand against her oppressors, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?

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My Thoughts: This was a great dystopian novel!  I would love to see it made into a movie!   Tess tries to be tough and unfeeling, but her walls start to crumble after she meets James.  She is a Natural, and he is a Chosen One.  While the powers-that-be don't discourage contact between the Chosen Ones at Templeton and the Naturals working there, it is understood that any contact they may have is simply a physical relationship.  That there can be no true feelings between the two.    But let me back up.

When war has taken the life out of the Naturals, they decide to create a race to fight for them, so the Chosen Ones are created.  They are all male, no emotions, fighting machines.  For the first years of their life, when emotional attachments are generally formed, they are kept alive on machines with only videos looped over and over to educate them - to tell them how insignificant the Naturals were and how they are unbeatable. Women especially are viewed as insignificant and what caused the downfall of the human race.  For the most part, they are now sterile and if they try to have children, both they and the child die in childbirth.  This is how Tess comes to be at Templeton.  

The oldest female child is forced to serve a term at Templeton.  If for some reason, they cannot fulfill that term, then the next female child must finish it.  Tess's older sister Emma, foolishly got pregnant and died in childbirth, so Tess had to finish her obligation at Templeton.  She meets James the first day there and there is immediately a strange attraction between the two.  They know it is dangerous and that they must keep it hidden, as  theirs is not a physical relationship, but one of trust and caring.  If it is found out, they can both be in danger.

I love how you see and feel their relationship build from the beginning.  How you want to see them together, but you don't know who you can trust.  The author slowly reveals the secrets of Templeton to you and begins to reveal the power of the Chosen Ones.  You learn right along with Tess, so her shocks are your shocks as well.  

I am so happy that I already have book two, Naturals, to read! It is being released in April, so watch for my review then!

~I received a complimentary ecopy of Chosen Ones from Entangled Teen in exchange for my unbiased review.~

Book Review: Scent of Lilacs by Ann H. Gabhart

Title: Scent of Lilacs (Hollyhill, Book 1)
Author: Ann H. Gabhart
Publisher: Revell

About the Book: After the summer of 1964, life for Jocie Brooke will never be the same.

Life-changing events rarely happen in quiet Hollyhill, Kentucky, and when they do, they are few and far between.  But for young Jocie Brooke and her family, they happen all at once during the humid summer of 1964.  though on the surface things are just fine, it seems like everyone in Jocie's life has something they're not saying, something they're hiding from her -- and from themselves.  As Jocie digs into her family's past, she stirs up a whirlwind of discoveries.  Will she find the answers everyone so desperatley needs? Or will her questions lead to truths better left hidden?

Combining unforgettable characters, true-to-life struggles, and the perfect dose of humor and nostalgia, this riveting story from bestselling author Ann Gabhart explores the very essence of new life and love.

Purchase Links
~Baker Retail~     ~Amazon~     ~Barnes and Noble~     ~Christianbook.com~

Add on Goodreads

My Thoughts: I was raised in a small town in the midwest and could really relate to Jocie and the pace of Hollyhill.  Even though the book is set in 1964, they have many of the same struggles that people have today.   Jocie is so innocent when the story starts.  Her two biggest prayers are that God will bring her a dog and will bring her sister Tabitha home.  

Seven years earlier, when Jocie was only 5, her mother left in the night, taking Tabitha, her older sister, with her.  They receive letters from Tabitha, usually asking for money so she can come home and visit, but she never does.  Jocie prays everyday that Tabitha will come home, and she prays for a dog as well.

One day out in the woods, a dog finds Jocie.  He follows her home and she is smitten.  She names him Zebedee or Zeb for short and sees that God has answered her prayers.  Since he answered the prayer about a dog, she surely believes He will bring Tabitha home.  And sure enough, within a few days, after being away 7 years, Tabitha shows up on their front porch - no longer a young girl of 13, but now a young woman of 20. 

Jocie has always been full of questions, but now she starts to question what she knows to be her family's history.  As the truth starts to come out, will it make things better to know the answers, or should some secrets stay buried.  

This book was originally published in 2005 and was rereleased with a new cover.  I found it to be very engrossing and read it in one afternoon.  It was a good lesson to me that even Christians can make mistakes, but we need to grow from every decision that we make, whether it be good or bad.  I am looking forward to reading more books in this series.

~I received a complimentary copy of The Scent of Lilacs from Revell Blog Tours in exchange for my unbiased review.~

Publisher/Publication Date: Baker Publishing, March 2013
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3080-2
345 pages

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Little Bit Cupid by Jennifer Shirk (My review and Jennifer's Little Bits of Paradise!)

Official Tour Stops

February 4, 2013
February 5, 2013
February 6, 2013
February 8, 2013
February 9, 2013
February 11, 2013
February 12, 2013
February 14, 2013
February 15, 2013
February 16, 2013
February 19, 2013
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March 15, 2013
March 21, 2013
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March 25, 2013
March 28, 2013

Title: A Little Bit Cupid

Author: Jennifer Shirk

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

About the Novella: Finding love should be easy, but wedding photographer Pheobe Ward knows better. When Cupid shows up on a crazy mission to help her—and save the world in the process—Phoebe realizes love might be even more complicated than she thought. Even with Cupid showing her Mr. Right, she can’t stop thinking about his best friend, Mr. Wrong.

Cal Crawford has never had time for love, but now he’s falling for Phoebe. Which means it’s got to be just plain wrong to set her up with his best friend, right? But even though seeing Phoebe with someone else will break his heart, he can’t walk away from her.
Phoebe can’t afford to choose the wrong guy with the fate of the world at stake. But maybe Cupid has it wrong. Maybe she has to rely just a little bit on Cupid, and a whole lot more on her heart.
Purchase Links
My thoughts: This was a really cute story and you should be able to read it in under an hour.  Even with the short format, you could still feel the attraction and the tension between Cal and Phoebe, and the forced attraction between Phoebe and Adam.  Story left me thinking about all the things that would be missing in my life if love didn't exist in the world.  Great little novella.   
Other books reviewed from this author: Kissing Kendall

~I received a complimentary ecopy of A Little Bit Cupid from Entangled Publishing in exchange for my unbiased review.~

About the author: Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy--which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.

She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. She won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC's Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her first book, The Role of a Lifetime.
Lately she's been on a serious exercise kick. But don't hold that against her. 
Feel free to follow her on Twitter or become a friend on Facebook
Social Media Links:Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenniferShirk 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorjennifershirk 
Website: http://www.jennifershirk.com/ 
Blog: http://www.jennifershirk.blogspot.com/ 
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3112488.Jennifer_Shirk 

            Hi, all! Jennifer here!

Thanks so much to Books and Needlepoint for having me today!     

Some of you may or may not know that I have romantic comedy out now called A Little Bit Cupid. It's set in Boston, MA. Boston is not exactly what you would call "paradise" but it does happen to be one of my favorite cities in the U.S.

Want to know what places I DO consider paradise?

Oh, good! Because I have a list. And as of yet, I have never set a book in one of these places. Maybe it's time I change that!               

                                                Ten Places I Consider Paradise

10) Napa Valley Wine Country in CA --rolling hills, vineyards, and wine. So lovely that I've vacationed there FOUR times!

9) Charleston, SC--the lush plantations, the palm trees--and the food! The hubby and I totally ate our way through this city.

8) Bonita Springs, FL --where I go and visit the in-laws when they're in FL. 

7) Marblehead, MA--true New England feel along the water, quaint shops, and the birthplace of the Navy.

6) Glacier National Park, MT-- the mountains, the views, the clean air!

5) Puerto Rico-- the aqua-colored water, the great food--and no need for passports. :)

4) The Atlantis, in Nassau, Bahamas-- true heaven, all the amenities you could ever want and more. Vacationed there four times too!

3)Newport, RI all the yachts, the lovely New England coast, and the mansions. So pretty!

2) Ocean City, NJ Yes, little NJ has a piece of paradise in the south. BEST BEACH in the east coast, in my humble opinion.

1) Home Ha! Sorry, but I do tend to me a bit of a homebody. I love stay vacations the best!
And there's my list. Have you to been to any of these places?

Well, you should check them out. And you should also check out my romance A Little Bit Cupid--not paradise, but very sweet and fun!

Thanks for having me today!

What place do you consider paradise?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

GREAT! Book Review: Going Under by S. Walden

Virtual Book Tour of Going Under by S. Walden is presented by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, March 19 - 21.  Ebook is currently 99 cents and definitely worth it!  Purchase links at bottom.
March 19th

1. Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet

March 20th
Review Stops

March 21st

Title: Going Under
Author: S. Walden
Publisher: Penny Press

About the Book: Brooke Wright has only two goals her senior year at Charity Run High School: stay out of trouble and learn to forgive herself for the past. Forgiveness proves elusive, and trouble finds her anyway when she discovers a secret club at school connected to the death of her best friend. She learns that swim team members participate in a “Fantasy Slut League,” scoring points for their sexual acts with unsuspecting girls.

Brooke, wracked with guilt over her friend’s death, decides to infiltrate the league by becoming one of the “unsuspecting girls,” and exact revenge on the boys who stole away her best friend. An unexpected romance complicates her plans, and her dogged pursuit of justice turns her reckless as she underestimates just how far the boys will go to keep their sex club a secret.

(This is a New Adult fiction book with mature themes. It contains explicit language and descriptions of sexual violence.)

My Thoughts: I stayed up until 1AM reading this book because I just knew that I had to finish it.  It was fantastic.  The author took a very tough subject and handled it with great sensitivity.  Brooke was perfect as the teenage protagonist against this group of boys who treated the girls in their school as toys.  She was deluded, as a teenager would be, into thinking that she would be able to handle anything that came up on her own - and she wanted to avenge her friend Beth's death.  Along the way, though, she does come up with some colorful allies. 

Terry, the head chef from her job, becomes her computer hacker, and is able to get her all kinds of information that confirms her suspicions.  Gretchen, her best friend from her old school, gets wrapped up in the plot when one of the swim team members  takes a liking to her.  Then there is Ryan, they are instantly attracted to each other, though they each seem to be trying to keep their distance.  Brooke is trying not to have any romantic attachments, because she thinks it will thwart her plans for revenge.  Try as she might though, she can't stay away from Ryan.  He ends up playing an unlikely role in the end anyway.

Speaking of endings, I thought the author wrapped this up beautifully.  It could have been a tragic ending, but it contained hope and healing. I will agree with the disclaimer above though, there is explicit language and descriptions of sexual violence, but they were essential to the story.
~I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from Reading Addiction Blog Tours in exchange for my unbiased review.~

About the author: S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she's not writing, she's thinking about it.

She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at swaldenauthor@hotmail.com and
follow her blog at http://swaldenauthor.blogspot.com where you can get up-to-date information
on her current projects.

Connect with her:
Blog: http://swaldenauthor.blogspot.com
email: swaldenauthor@hotmail.com
twitter: @swaldenauthor
Purchase Links: 
The Author is having Going Under special release day price of 99 cents.
~Amazon~     ~Smashwords~     ~CreateSpace~    



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