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Book Review: Sweet Southern Hearts by Susan Schild

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Title: Sweet Southern Hearts
Author: Susan Schild
Series: Willow Hill
Publisher: Lyrical Press Books – Kensington
ISBN: 978-1-60183-889-6

Synopsis:

Susan Schild welcomes you back to the offbeat Southern town of Willow Hill, North Carolina, for a humorous, heartwarming story of new beginnings, do-overs, and self-discovery…

When it comes to marriage, third time’s the charm for Linny Taylor. She’s thrilled to be on her honeymoon with Jack Avery, Willow Hill’s handsome veterinarian. But just like the hair-raising white water rafting trip Jack persuades her to take, newlywed life has plenty of dips and bumps.

Jack’s twelve-year-old son is resisting all Linny’s efforts to be the perfect stepmother, while her own mother, Dottie, begs her to tag along on the first week of a free-wheeling RV adventure. Who knew women “of a certain age” could drum up so much trouble? No sooner is Linny sighing with relief at being back home than she’s helping her frazzled sister with a new baby…and dealing with an unexpected legacy from her late ex. Life is fuller—and richer—than she ever imagined, but if there’s one thing Linny’s learned by now, it’s that there’s always room for another sweet surprise…

About the Author:

Headshot1.jpgSusan Schild has an undergraduate degree from James Madison University and a master’s degree (MSW) from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has used her professional background as a psychotherapist and corporate trainer to add authenticity to her characters. Susan

Susan is a wife, a stepmother, and a dog lover. She and her family live near Raleigh, North Carolina where she is busy finishing up the third novel in the Willow Hill Series.

My Review: (more…)

Book Review: Within Reach by Jessica Stevens

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Title: Within Reach: A Novel
Author: Jessica Stevens
ISBN: 978-1-940716-69-51
Publisher: Spark Press

Synopsis:

Dying wasn’t on seventeen-year-old Xander Hemlock’s summer to-do-list. Finding ways to spend more time with his girlfriend, Lila, was the most critical thinking he planned on doing. But that was before he found himself trapped in a realm of only darkness with thirty days to convince Lila he’s not actually dead―well, not completely, anyway.

As Xan tries to show Lila she isn’t alone, she struggles to comprehend how her life has changed so completely. Six months ago her life was perfect: she was on her way to becoming a professional dancer, her parents were still married, and her boyfriend was alive. But now, with her anorexic tendencies stronger than ever, she must decide which is the lesser of two evils: letting go to be with a boy she doesn’t love, or holding on to the unreasonable, yet overpowering, feeling that Xan is still within reach…and trying to show her something.

Within Reach is a story of two soul mates discovering that sometimes it takes more than one lifetime to get it right.  Join Lila and Xan as they struggle to find the inner strength to trust in their intuition.  It will leave you believing in the impossible-and questioning life as you have always known it.

My Review:

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Book Review: One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank

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Title: One Paris Summer
Author: Denise Grover Swank
ISBN: 978-0-310-75516-6
Publisher: Blink YA Books
Published Date: 06/07/2016

Synopsis:

Most teens dream of visiting the City of Lights, but it feels more like a nightmare for Sophie Brooks. She and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father, who left home a year ago without any explanation. As if his sudden abandonment weren’t betrayal enough, he’s about to remarry, and they’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter, Camille, agrees to show them around the city, but she makes it clear that she will do everything in her power to make Sophie miserable.

Sophie could deal with all the pain and humiliation if only she could practice piano. Her dream is to become a pianist, and she was supposed to spend the summer preparing for a scholarship competition. Even though her father moved to Paris to pursue his own dream, he clearly doesn’t support hers. His promise to provide her with a piano goes unfulfilled.

Still, no one is immune to Paris’s charm. After a few encounters with a gorgeous French boy, Sophie finds herself warming to the city, particularly when she discovers that he can help her practice piano. There’s just one hitch—he’s a friend of Camille’s, and Camille hates Sophie. While the summer Sophie dreaded promises to become best summer of her life, one person could ruin it all.

About the Author:

Denise Grover Swank
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

My Review: 

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Audio Book Review: The Law of Attraction by N.M. Silber

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Title: The Law of Attraction
Author: N.M. Silber
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press Books
Pub Date: 2015
ISBN: 9781927817889
Length of Production: 7 hours 33 minutes

Note: This book contains explicit descriptions of sexual situations and mature language.  It is intended for readers over the age of eighteen.

Synopsis:

Once upon a time two lawyers fell in love across a courtroom … Gabrielle Ginsberg was a public defender with plenty of nerve and Braden Pierce was an assistant district attorney with a whole lot of swagger. Gabrielle wanted Braden and Braden wanted Gabrielle.

And Cameron wanted Gabrielle.

And Marla wanted Braden.

And Cole wanted Gabrielle.

And Mrs. Mason wanted Braden. And an anonymous letter writer wanted to keep Gabrielle and Braden apart.

Together Gabrielle and Braden discovered many important things, like which doors at the courthouse actually locked, and that desks could be useful for more than writing. They also found out that the path of love was not always smooth, and it was sometimes trod upon by some really wacky people, like a confused fanny grabber, an eighty-two year old pothead and a gentleman who threw a wine and cheese party in his pants. Could true love overcome a lack of privacy, interference by jealous rivals and the insanity of the criminal court system?

NOTICE: This book contains explicit descriptions of sexual situations and mature language. It is intended for readers over the age of eighteen.

My Review:

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Book Review: The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

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Title: The Knockoff: a novel
Authors: Lucy Skykes and Jo Piazza
Publisher: Doubleday
ebook ISBN: 978-0-385-53958-6 (Hardcover)
Pages: 310

Description From NetGalley.com:

An outrageously stylish, wickedly funny novel of fashion in the digital age, The Knockoff is the story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twenty-something former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app.

When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign,Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to Beyoncé. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Book Review: Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

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Synopsis from the back cover:

When seventeen-year-old Paige Townsen gets plucked from obscurity to star in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a bustling movie set on the shores of Maui, and she is spending quality time with her costar Rainer Devon, one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive. But when troubled star Jordan Wilder lands the role of the other point in the movie’s famous love triangle, Paige’s crazy new life begins to resemble her character’s.

My Review

I love the ending for this first part of the trilogy.  I had to re-read the prologue to make sure I understand which guy she chooses at the end. (more…)

Book Review: The Coin by Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra

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Description:

France, 1993.

Gabriela Martinez has a problem to solve: she strongly suspects that her mentor and friend wants her as his mistress, her husband is increasingly neglecting her, and her latest illustration has been ruined. But while going to her favorite thinking spot in La Marbriére, the mountain overlooking her home in the Côte d’Azur, Gabriela makes a wrong turn and finds herself lost. There, in a clearing cocooned in emerald forest and towering cliffs, she finds a beautiful French coin, half-buried in dirt. Little does Gabriela realize the danger of that discovery, nor does she suspect the devastating consequences placing the coin on her favorite bracelet will have on her life.

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Book Review: Asian Pickles: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Fermented Pressures by Karen Solomon

About the Book

Tired of the typical pickled cucumbers?  Try some these Asian pickles and they are easy to make.   Asian Pickles: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Fermented Preserves is more than just a collective recipes from the Japanese tsukemono,  the Korean Kimchi, Chinese yen tsai/ suan tsai or pickles from the Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Malasia). (more…)