Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Yours To Keep Tour and Giveaway!!

Synopsis: Serena Bell makes her Loveswept debut with the captivating story of a woman living on the edge—and the man who’s destined to love her.

Ana Travares has been looking over her shoulder her whole life. Her U.S. visa expired when she was a young girl, and if her secret is discovered, she’ll be forced to return to the Dominican Republic. Ana allowed herself to get close to someone once before—and after he broke her heart, she swore never to make the same mistake again. But when a handsome doctor asks for her assistance, she fantasizes about breaking all her rules.

Even though pediatrician Ethan Hansen is a natural when it comes to little kids, as the single father of a teenage son he just can’t seem to get it right . . . except for the Spanish tutor he’s hired for his son, Theo. Ana has managed to crack Theo’s shell—and he isn’t the only one taken with her. The sexy tutor has fired up Ethan with a potent mix of lust and protectiveness. But as he starts to envision a future with Ana, Ethan is devastated to learn the truth about her citizenship. Somehow he’s got to find a way to help her—and hold on to the woman he’s falling hopelessly in love with.

Meet the Author:  Serena Bell writes stories about how sex messes with your head, why smart people do stupid things sometimes, and how love can make it all better.

Serena wrote her first steamy romance before she was old enough to understand what all the words meant and has been perfecting the art of hiding pages and screens from curious eyes ever since--a skill that's particularly useful now that she's the mother of two school-aged children.

For a while, Serena took a break from penning love stories to explore the world as a journalist, where she spent time shadowing and writing about a cast of fascinating real-life characters.

When she's not writing or getting her butt kicked at Scrabble by a six-year-old, she's practicing modern dance improv in the kitchen, swimming laps, talking a long walk, or reading on one of her large collection of electronic devices.

Serena is a member of RWA National and the Seattle and Boston chapters, and blogs regularly about writing and reading romance at and She also tweets like a madwoman as @serenabellbooks.

Serena's debut novella, Ticket Home, releases from Samhain Publishing in April 2013 as part of Strangers on a Train, a series of stories about railroad encounters of the very hot kind.

Connect with Serena online at her websiteFacebook, and  Twitter

Interview with Author:  

SBN: Happy Thanksgiving, Serena!  I am so happy to have you blog by!
Jill, thank you so much for having me here today! It’s a pleasure to visit Seaside Book Nook as part of my Yours to Keep Thanksgiving tour. 

SBN: Did you plan on having Yours to Keep a holiday book?
I didn’t set out to make Yours to Keep a holiday book. It’s the story of an undocumented immigrant, Ana Travares, who has avoided intimacy for years out of fear that no man will be able to handle her truth—until she meets Ethan Hansen (Dr. Handsome!), the one man who can. But spending time with Ana and Ethan led me naturally to writing about Thanksgiving, and finally, to Christmas. 

I think it’s because their own stories are so intertwined with their families’ stories, and the holidays reveal so much those relationships. Ana comes from a big, expressive Dominican family, while Ethan comes from a much more reserved upbringing. Ethan is raising his son Theo alone, after his wife’s death many years ago, something Theo has never complained about until he gets a chance to spend time at a friend’s house on Thanksgiving:  
“Leah has a big family. Lots of cousins.”  
That made Ethan’s chest ache. “I would have liked us to be a bigger family. Your mom and I wanted more kids. She had a couple of miscarriages, though, and then she was too sick to risk getting pregnant again.”  
“You could still get married and have more kids.” 
“It’s kind of late for that. You’re almost all grown up.”  
“I bet Ana wants kids.” Theo stood up and took a few steps away from his father, facing into the far corner of the room so that Ethan couldn’t see his face.  
Ethan’s throat tightened. 

SBM: My mom opened her house to all our family and friends for Thanksgiving.  There were at a minimum 25 people each Thanksgiving.  It was my favorite time and we all had so much fun!  What are/were your Thanksgivings like?
I grew up with medium-sized Thanksgivings that ranged from around nine people to as many as eighteen. But my closest friend was an only child, and she was always sad that she didn’t have more people around her at the holidays. My empathy for her was the inspiration for Theo’s experience.

Yours to Keep is at bottom a book about how love is rewarded with more love and how there’s always hope you’ll get what you want and what you need. And I promise you that by Christmas, Theo has nothing to complain about in the not-enough-people department. 

SBN: Thanks again Serena and Happy Holidays!
Please join the conversation below by telling us about how big or small your holiday celebrations are, and whether you prefer them that way or crave a bigger (or more intimate) version. And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to have a chance at winning books and/or a gift card! 

Praise for Yours to Keep:
Yours to Keep is a timely, richly written emotional romance with complex characters readers will fall in love with.”New York Times bestselling author JoAnn Ross

“Serena Bell delivers a fully adult romance with authentic characters, genuine stakes, and the kind of sweet, hot yearning that turns pages and stops your breath.”—Mary Ann Rivers, author of Live

“I love this book on so many levels.”Fab Fantasy Fiction

Purchase:  You can purchase Yours to Keep online at Amazon or at Random House for $2.99.

Giveaway:  Please visit the other great sites on Serena's tour and join in celebrating Thanksgiving and the rest of the winter holiday season! Enter below to win books and/or a $20 etailer gift card! Rafflecopter giveaway ends December 1, 11:59 p.m.

Tour Stops:  Make sure you check out the other blogs on the Yours to Keep Tour!
11/24/13 – Romance At Random
11/25/13- Book Binge
And, Drey’s Library
11/26/13 – Steamy Guys After Dark
11/27/13 – Seaside Book Nook
11/28/13 – Fictional Candy
Plus, All Romance Cafe
11/29/13 – Fiction Vixen
11/30/13 – Harlequin Book Junkie

Monday, November 18, 2013

Severed Colours by Dawna Raver ~ Scavenger Hunt and Giveaway

Book Information
Title:   Severed Colours

Series: Colour Wielders # 2

Author:  Dawna Raver

Published:  November 18th, 2013

Genre:  Romantic Urban Fantasy

Content Warning: Erotic sexual material and language

Recommended Age:  18+

Synopsis:  The epic continues…
Quinn Sinclair trusted Arik Morgaine until he betrayed her. Scared and alone, she finds herself delivered into the hands of the evil Morgana le Fay. When Quinn discovers Morgana's plans are beyond demented and seriously depraved—making life with the Changeling seem like a day at the beach—she wonders if death is a better option?

Arik Morgaine vowed he'd save Quinn no matter the price. When his well thought out plans failed (go terribly awry), a desperate and heartbroken Arik is forced to beg the cruel Triarchia for help.  Unwilling to go on without his Älskling, he answers a question that irrevocably alter their lives.

Can Arik and Quinn find a way back to each other, or will the price of saving her rip them apart forever?

From GoodReads
About the Author:  Dawna Raver is an author of erotic romance, romantic urban fantasy. When she's not spending time in her fantasy world, Dawna loves football, reading, and pretending she's a top chef in the kitchen. Oh, and fawning over her dogs and husband, sometimes in that order.

Now on to the scavenger hunt! A special excerpt has been shared exclusively for this event and can’t be found anywhere other than participating blogs. This excerpt has had twenty words removed and it’s up to you to find these key words on the blogs taking part

~ Where can the key words be found? ~

 One key word is located on each participating blog in green text. Some will jump right out at you with ease while others will be a little harder as you search for the cleverly hidden words. Each word gets you another entry in the giveaway below.

~ When will the posts go up for the hunt? ~

 All key words will be posted on November 18th. If you miss a word or get turned around while searching, below is the entire schedule so you can pick up where you left off. 

~ Hunt Bloggers ~

Excerpt – Shared specifically for the Scavenger Hunt and cannot be found anywhere but participating blogs:

"Zaira!" Arik yelled, standing outside Quinn's _______ in Conifer. Thank the Gods Quinn wasn't here to see the state of her property. The land was once again battle scarred. But the state of the royal sibling's home was in ruins. But the property was the least of Arik's problems. Buildings could be rebuilt. Lands could be _________.
Broken hearts weren't so easily mended.
"Arik Morgaine! Why do you ______ me again? Do you fancy me your beck and call girl? You risk much by coming here. Morgana will note your absence."
"Quinn thinks I've ________ her. The pain in her eyes…. I—I can't do this."
"Arik Morgaine, it is too late to turn the tide now. The lot is cast. You must stay the course."
"What if she can't _______ me? What if—?"
"Stand and be the man you are." Zaira crossed her arms over her chest, her opal eyes narrowed as she looked down at him. "Would you rather the Princess enter the Fading Times? For that is the alternative.”
Arik forced himself to his feet sans his ______ swagger.  "Call the quest completed," Arik implored. "Let me take her home to the Magykal Realm."
"You know that is impossible. Once the quest is set only _______ lifts its prohibitions."
"I know who carries the __________ Valknut," he said, playing his one trump card.
"Do you now?" Zaira lifted her perfect white-blonde brows.
"Aibrenne." Arik ______ his chin and pinioned Zaira with a _________ stare. "And what's more, I think you've known all along, haven't you?"
"I will not deny your assertion." Zaira's voice was cool and unaffected as if they discussed the color of the sky. "Admittedly, I gambled. One that ______ to return the bargained for rewards.
Arik ground his teeth together. "Why does it seem like I'm the only one who cares about what's at _____? Screw this! I'm taking Quinn out of there, and I'll ______ it out myself."
"Arik Morgaine! You will do no such thing. Either you stay and follow the Princess into the Marbh Chamber, or you watch her die. Choose now!"
Arik clawed both hands through his hair. "You don't understand," Arik said, his voice a regretful whisper. "This is killing me. I—I can't be _______ her."
Zaira blinked rapidly as if she warred with some decision. "I told you both your _______ would not be an easy one. I will do what I can.
Arik leaned his head back and howled, letting out his rage, frustration and fear. His dark emotions manifested into _________ clouds and loud claps of thunder.
Zaira lifted her eyes heavenward as she ______ for his fit to pass. She shook her head in a chiding manner. Her ass-long braid shimmied with her ire much the way a dog's tail ________ when agitated. "It is about faith, Arik Morgaine."
"Fine, Emissary, I'll operate on faith." Arik unsheathed Magyk Slayer and planted it in the ground between himself and Zaira. "But make no _______," Arik said and glared down at her. "I swear to the Gods above and all we hold precious, if Quinn doesn't survive this, I will use the Magyk of Making to make the _______ of the Dubh War look like a stroll through a field of daisies on a summer day. Are we clear?"
With that, Arik shifted away.


A winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter to WIN a $10 Amazon gift card! Giveaway is International!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Lost in London

~ I received a copy of this book from the publisher or author to facilitate this review.  I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon): A tween’s foreign exchange experience lands her in London luxury—and some hot water as well!

Twelve-year-old Jordan isn’t unhappy, but she’s definitely bored. So when she gets the chance to take part in a London exchange program, she’s thrilled to ditch her small town in Delaware and see the world across the pond.

Unfortunately, Jordan’s host sister in London, Caroline, isn’t exactly enthusiastic about entertaining an American girl. Despite the chilly welcome, Jordan finds herself loving the city and Caroline’s group of friends, who are much nicer than Caroline herself.

And then a major misstep leaves Jordan and Caroline trapped together overnight—inside Daphne’s, the world’s largest department store. Given they have complete access to all the fancy shoes, designer dresses, and coolest makeup around, there are worse places to be stuck. But when the girls’ fun has not-so-fun consequences, Jordan’s wish for excitement abroad turns into a lot more than she ever bargained for...

My Review: 

One (or more) Sentence Summary: Really cute story about Jordan (J.J.) going aboard for one week to one of my favorite cities, London.  She stays with her mom's sorority sister who has a daughter, Caroline, the same age.  J.J. wants to see the sites and Caroline wants to shop and go to the movies.  They are able to end up doing both and solve a series of crimes at the same time.  

Favorite Character(s):  My favorite character was Ellie.  She was just a really funny individual and didn't care that she was different.  She didn't seem to care what Caroline (the leader of the gang) thought of her and she was full of surprises!  She came to the rescue more than once!

Setting:  London, of course.  I love London.  I was lucky enough to go for work in 2007 and have wanted to get back ever since.  Absolutely LOVED it!  I really enjoy reading books that take place in London, especially since my trip.

Fast read/slow read:  Perfect tempo - not too fast, not too slow!

Cover:  I think it is just too cute!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I would!  

Check out the Book Trailer:

Meet the Author: Cindy Callaghan is the author of the middle grade novels Just Add MagicLost in London, and the upcoming Lucky Me, all with Aladdin MIX. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware.

Connect: You can connect with Cindy on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Instagram.

Purchase it:  You can purchase Lost in London online at Amazon for $6.99 (Kindle version $5.98).

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The First Phone Call From Heaven - TLC Book Tours

~ I received a copy of this book from the publisher or author to facilitate this review.  I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon): One autumn day, in a small town on Lake Michigan, the phones begin ringing. The people calling are all deceased. They talk about heaven. They say they are safe and happy. Each call is greeted differently—some with relief, some with love, some with religious zeal, some with fear.

On that same day, Sully Harding is released from jail for a crime he may not have committed. During his time behind bars, his wife, Giselle, passed away, leaving him a single father filled with heartbreak and regret. He returns to his hometown hoping to rebuild his life. Instead, he finds a community increasingly gripped by miracle fever. As the mysterious phone calls become more frequent, outsiders begin flocking from all over the world to be part of the blessing, changing the small town indelibly, and turning local citizens into worshipped heroes.

When his own son begins to carry a toy cell phone awaiting word from his mother, Sully has had enough. He sets out to prove that the phenomenon is a hoax. But is it? Or could this be the world’s greatest miracle? Do the calls give people hope, or do they imprison the receivers to a never-ending cycle of grief?

The story follows several residents whose lives have been irrevocably touched when they are confronted with evidence that heaven exists. This remarkable novel takes us on a journey both of individual healing and society’s response to the question of life after life.

Part mystery, part allegory, The First Phone Call from Heaven is a heart-racing page-turner and a soul-fulfilling tale of faith, hope and love.

My Review: 

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I don't even know what to say.....I am still processing this absolutely amazing book.  The First Phone Call from Heaven is by far my favorite Mitch Albom book.  This is the type of book that would touch anyone and everyone who reads it.  The First Phone Call from Heaven will be a book I purchase for many of my friends and recommend to everyone.

I have always liked Mitch Albom (his books and articles) and not just because he is from Michigan, but it does help!!  I met him (and I am sure he doesn't remember at all) at a book store in Ohio.  He was promoting For One More Day and my mother had just passed away (and my parents have been divorced since I was 7 years old).  His discussion about the book had me in tears.  I immediately read the book - in record time.  I swear I could have written such a similar book - and cried my way through it.  The impact One More Day made in one of the worst years of life is indescribable.  

The First Phone Call from Heaven had me hooked from page one.  Oh, what I wouldn't do for a phone call.  

Favorite Character(s):  All of them.  The story wouldn't be the same without every single one of them.

Setting:  Coldwater, Michigan.  I so enjoy books that take place in Michigan. The First Phone Call from Heaven could have taken place anywhere and it wouldn't have made a difference.  The story was so powerful, the place is secondary.

Fast read/slow read:  Extremely fast.

Cover:  Perfect, but maybe a telephone cord would be cool to add the cover.

What Others Are Saying: 
“A beautifully rendered tale of faith and redemption that makes us think, feel, and hope—and then doubt and then believe, as only Mitch Albom can make us do.”
—Garth SteinNew York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
“Beautiful and smart. Perhaps the most stirring and transcendent heaven story since Field of Dreams.”
—Matthew QuickNew York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook andThe Good Luck of Right Now
"A brisk, page-turner of a story...another winner from Albom.”
Publishers Weeklystarred review
"Albom artfully captures the emotional turbulence caused by the testing of faith. His story clips along at an increasingly frenetic pace, realistically displaying the ugliness wrought when combining the media circus, mass hysteria, and greed of commercialism. [A] moving tale of loss, recovery, and the power of love."
Library Journalstarred review

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Given I have already read all of his other books and LOVED The First Phone Call from Heaven, without a doubt, I would read anything by Mitch Albom.

Conversation between Nicholas Sparks and Mitch Albom:  I found a conversation between Nicholas and Mitch on Amazon and this was my favorite question and answer.  

"NS: Hearing from a deceased loved one is such a powerful idea. Whom would you talk to if you had the chance? And if Morrie from Tuesdays with Morrie were one, what would you ask him?MA: My mother is still alive, but has suffered several strokes and can’t speak. I wish I could dial to the past and engage in one of our long, impassioned, all-over-the-place talks. And Morrie? Well. He never got to read a page of Tuesdays. I’d ask if he is pleased. Am I doing OK by him? Mostly, I’d like to hear his laughter. I think we miss laughter most."
SBN: Without a doubt, my mother.  Too hear her voice again, to ask her questions, oh my word.  I am speechless and choking up again.

Meet the Author: Mitch Albom is an author, playwright, and screenwriter who has written seven books, including the international bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie, the bestselling memoir of all time. His first novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller, as were For One More Day, his second novel, and Have a Little Faith, his most recent work of nonfiction. All four books were made into acclaimed TV films. Albom also works as a columnist and a broadcaster and has founded seven charities in Detroit and Haiti, where he operates an orphanage/mission. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan.

Fun Fact about Mitch:  I learned this fun fact when I met Mitch in Ohio years ago (again, I know he wouldn't remember me at all).  Mitch is a band member of Rock Bottom Remainders.  The band members are other famous authors.  

"By day, they’re authors.

Really famous authors.

But once a year they shed their pen-and-pencil clutching personas and become rock stars, complete with roadies, groupies and a wicked cool tour bus.

The Rock Bottom Remainders is a band that includes some of today’s most talented authors: Mitch Albom, Dave Barry, Roy Blount Jr., Greg Iles, Stephen King, Matt Groening, James McBride, Ridley Pearson, Amy Tan, and Scott Turow. Between them, they’ve published more than 150 titles, sold more than 200 million books, and been translated into more than 25 languages.

For one week a year, they’re rock stars--artist-access-only, laminate-wearing, security-escorted rock stars with roadies and groupies. Four ringers help them out: drummer Josh Kelly, Erasmo Paolo on saxophone, Sam Barry on harmonica and Janine Sabino on vocals.

The Remainders were founded by Kathi Kamen Goldmark."

Check out this video - they are too cool!

Connect: You can connect with Mitch at his website, on FacebookTwitter, and sign up for his newsletter.

Purchase it:  You can purchase The First Phone From Heaven online at Amazon (available November 12th - preorder is an option) for $24.99.

Make sure you check out the other blogs on The First Phone Call from Heaven, TLC Book Tours.  I am sure you will find a new blog to follow.

Wednesday, October 30th: Semi-Country Life
Thursday, October 31st: Alison’s Book Marks
Monday, November 4th: Lisa’s Yarns
Wednesday, November 6th: Seaside Book Nook
Thursday, November 7th: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Monday, November 11th: She’s Got Books On Her Mind
Wednesday, November 13th: One Book at a Time
Thursday, November 14th: A Utah Mom’s Life
Friday, November 15th: Excellent Library
Monday, November 18th: Drey’s Library
Tuesday, November 19th: Love at First Book
Wednesday, November 20th: Teena in Toronto
Thursday, November 21st: Wall-to-Wall Books
Monday, November 25th: Lavish Bookshelf
Tuesday, November 26th: Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, November 27th: A Novel Review
Monday, December 2nd: Reflections of a Bookaholic
Monday, December 2nd: The Best Books Ever
Tuesday, December 3rd: Book-alicious Mama
Wednesday, December 4th: BoundbyWords
Thursday, December 5th: Walking With Nora
Friday, December 6th: The Book Wheel
Monday, December 9th: Suko’s Notebook
Tuesday, December 10th: Found Between the Covers
Wednesday, December 11th: A Dream Within a Dream
Thursday, December 12th: Book Snob
Friday, December 13th: Books a la Mode
Monday, December 16th: The Well-Read Redhead
Tuesday, December 17th: My Bookshelf
Wednesday, December 18th: Literary Time Out
Thursday, December 19th: Brooklyn Berry Designs

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Good Wife - A Brennan Sister Novel

~ I received a copy of this book from the publisher or author to facilitate this review.  I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~
Jane Porter

Synopsis (from Amazon): Is it possible to love someone too much?

Always considered the beauty of the family, the youngest Brennan sister, Sarah, remains deeply in love with her husband of ten years. Boone Walker, a professional baseball player, travels almost year-round while Sarah stays home and cares for their two children. Her love for her husband is bottomless—so much so that her sisters say it will end up hurting her.

Living apart most of the time makes life difficult, especially since Sarah often wonders whether Boone is sharing his bed with other women on the road, even though he swears he’s been true to her since his infidelity three years ago. While she wants to be happy and move forward in her life, Sarah constantly fears that Boone will break his promise. Now with Boone facing yet another career change, tension rises between the two, adding more stress to an already turbulent marriage. Emotionally exhausted, Sarah can’t cope with yet another storm. Now, she must either break free from the past and forgive Boone completely, or leave him behind and start anew . . . 

My Review: 

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I love books about sports and couldn't wait to read about Sarah (and Boone) in this trilogy.  I find it so interesting what families go through in the pro-athelete world. All the traveling, down time, the fans, the other women, etc.  We are taken on Sarah's journey from the beginning all the way to end (which I loved how it ended!!).  It is no wonder Sarah has so many insecurities....who could blame her.

The whole Brennan family is really interesting to me.  I think the "issues" that each of the siblings are going through is not uncommon in most families.  All of this is surrounded with an ill mother who passes away in The Good Wife is so real to me.  My only negative comment is....Jane, why stop at three.  Please write about Brianna and Tommy Jr.  I need this series to be more than a trilogy!

Favorite Character(s):  Sarah is my favorite sister.  I have been waiting for her story since The Good Woman first came out.  Of course, I like all of the Brennan clan, but we always have our favorite, eh?

Setting:  Northern California is where the book (all three) primarily takes place.  The setting works for me!

Fast read/slow read:  Not too fast, not too slow, but just right!

Cover:  The cover fits the theme of the trilogy   All three books have a very similar style and photo.

What Others Are Saying:  “Porter writes with genuine warmth and quiet grace about the everyday problems all women face.”—Chicago Tribune

“Jane Porter has written her way into this reader’s heart.”—Susan Wiggs

“[Porter’s] musings on balancing work, life, and love ring true.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Porter writes with honesty, warmth, and compassion.”—Library Journal

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Oh course - I love her books!

Brennan Sister Reviews:  You can read my reviews on the first two books here.

The Good Woman              The Good Daughter

Jane Porter

Meet the Author:  Jane Porter, a native of Visalia, California, graduated from UCLA with a degree in American Studies and worked in sales and marketing before returning to school to earn a teaching credential and an MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco. Since publishing her first romance novel in 2001, Jane has written and sold 39 novels, including her latest release, The Good Woman, the first book in her Brennan Sisters trilogy. A bestselling author, Jane has also been a finalist for the prestigious RITA award in 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2010 from Romance Writers of America, and her '06 release, Flirting With Forty, picked by Redbook as its Red Hot Summer Read, went back for seven printings in six weeks before being made into a December 08 Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear. Jane, her surfer husband, and three sons make their home today in San Clemente, CA where she's currently working on her next novel.

Connect: You can connect with Jane Porter on her websiteTwitter, her Blog and Facebook. 

Purchase it:  You can purchase The Good Wife online from Amazon for $15.00 ($7.99 Kindle version).