Wednesday, July 30, 2014

When Dreams Are Calling

~ 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): Inspired by a true story, When Dreams are Calling is a powerful mixture of adventure, travel and reflections that will redefine your idea of courage while making you laugh all the way. 

The main character, Dora, is a witty young woman who chases her dreams across continents, from Europe to America, then to Asia, and finally, to the far away shores of Australia. 

We see the changes she goes through, the price she pays for following her dreams, but also the rewards she gets on the way. Her life is a roller coaster and her plan is nothing more than the confidence that everything will work out for the best. 

The story is filled with magical words of wisdom that will inspire and delight you, while making you reflect on the beauty of friendship, lust, love and kindness. 

“Words have power, dreams have power, we have power” is the motif which echoes all through this enthralling novel that bursts with optimism. 

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  The book jacket sums it up best.."Not a travelogue, but a journey. Not a comedy, but a joy. Not a self-help book, but a lesson. A book you won't forget."

I think When Dreams are Calling would make a FANTASTIC movie. I don't recall every thinking that or saying that about a book.  I just wanted to travel right along side Dora and share her experiences and all the lessons she learned. 

Truly a remarkable story…I mean journey!

One of my favorite quote (and there are lots of them) is, "If we juggle everything at once, we might drop the most important piece and not even notice."

Favorite Character(s):  Besides Dora, I really liked her friend Robert, who she meets in Canada.  He was a true friend, through and through.  What a great character.

I also really liked Stallion! There is no need to say anything else about him!

Setting:  The book is written in different parts: Dora's home country, Romania, on to Canada, and ends in Australia.

Fast read/slow read:  Just right!  Every chapter ended with me wanting more. Darn those work hours!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  Yes, I would.  I really enjoyed this one!  Carol keep me in mind when you publish your next novel.

Carol Vorvain is an Australian fiction writer who lives in Melbourne, a city famous for having all four seasons in a day. A lawyer and mediator by training, Carol writes uplifting, touching stories about people from all over the world. Her characters are funny and witty while exploring life choices and the power of intention, change and passion. She loves to travel, share a laugh, and dream with her eyes wide open in her beautiful rose garden.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from For Holly Denham, life seems too good to be true. She loves her job as a receptionist at swanky investment bank D.K Huerst. And she’s going out with the man of her dreams. All she has to do is stay out of trouble But things are about to go disastrously wrong. There’s a scandal in the City and the gossip is all about Holly. And she discovers someone’s been keeping a very big secret from her…. Can she save her job and her relationship? For Holly, time is running out…

One (or more) Sentence Summary: Email-azing!  Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City is absolutely HILARIOUS!  I couldn't get enough or read it fast enough.  I love the format of telling a story through email.  My very first Meg Cabot that I read was in email too - The Boy Next Door.  

This is 100% chick lit and I LOVED IT!  Even though it is a stand alone book, you must read Holly's Inbox first - merely for the enjoyment!  I also think the second book will make more sense (all the underlying comments) if you read Holly's Inbox first!

Favorite Character(s):  Of course Holly is my favorite, but I have to mention Grandma too.  She was too funny.  There could be a separate book just on the emails between Holly and Grandma.  I also have to say.Ron emailing for Holly's brother.roll on the ground laughing.

Fast read/slow read:  SUPER fast!

Cover:  I like it!.

What Others Are Saying:  You can see what others are saying at Holly's website, including comments from Jill Mansell, NBC News, New York Post, Ok Magazine and more.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Absolutely!  I loved Holly's Inbox and was so excited when I stumbled upon Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City.  Please, please write more!

Holly Denham is the pen name for Bill Surie, the owner of a placement service for receptionists and secretaries in London. He started the Holly's Inbox website as a place to serialize his first novel, and it became an overnight sensation. He lives in Maida Vale, England.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Construction Beauty Queen

~ 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): She's on the job…and out of his league.

Chicago socialite Veronica Jamison is determined to shake off her sheltered lifestyle and overbearing parents. She heads to her grandfather’s small town of Kortville, ready to roll up her sleeves and work for the family construction business. She’ll prove her worth, even if it means answering to the company’s ruggedly handsome co-owner, Matt.

Matt Shaw just wants to run his business, spend time with the niece he’s raising on his own, and give back to the townspeople who have stood by him. Managing a spoiled-rotten princess he knows he’ll never be good enough for? Not part of his plan. But as he gets to know Veronica, he learns there’s more to her than her beautiful looks and designer clothes. She’s got a heart as rich as her background. 

With the quirky townspeople rallying against Veronica inheriting her grandfather’s business, it’s up to Matt to try to drive her out of town. But how can he, when instead she’s driving her way into his heart?

One (or more) Sentence Summary: Veronica is a perfect chick lit type of lady!  She could have easily stayed in Chicago in her pampered life, but she had something to prove!  Given I have never been a socialite, but would love to give it a try (!!!), I don't think I would have taken on the challenge.  I love how she doesn't go running back home, even though she has plenty of opportunity and reasons to do just that!

Favorite Character(s):  This is a toss up between Veronica and Matt.  Let's just say I was cheering for both of them.

Setting:  Small town where everyone knows your business.

Fast read/slow read:  Quick read!

Cover:  It works.  I would have loved to have seen Veronica in front of her tailor too!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I would, Construction Beauty Queen provided an escape and was a quick read.

Sara Daniel writes what she loves--irresistible romance, captivating drama, and quirky characters. She writes to entertain and to give people hope and a belief that everything can and will turn out happily ever after.

On the personal side, she's a frazzled maid, chef, chauffeur, tutor, and personal assistant. She was once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels. She's crazy about country music and the drama of NASCAR. And she has her own happily-ever-after romance with her hero husband.

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Magnificent Crime

~ 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): Cat Montgomery is a natural-born thief with a special talent for stealth--or at least she thought so. Years ago, she stole from the diamond-hording businessman Albert Faulkner III, but he somehow figured out she was responsible. Now he wants revenge, and dares her to swipe the elusive Hope Diamond. If she fails the mission, he'll wreak bloody havoc on her loved ones. But the stakes are raised even higher when Cat discovers that stealing the Hope is not only an impossible task, it's a cursed one. . .

Meanwhile, Cat's boyfriend, FBI agent Jack Barlow, is tracking a fierce criminal known as the Gargoyle, running into Interpol and resistance among his agency. As he follows the trail to Paris, where Cat is, their missions entwine in ways neither of them would have suspected. . .

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I was so excited to be able to read all about Cat's new adventure (can't wait for the next one).  Filled with twists, turns, foul play, good people, evil people, high society mixed with the average joe and so much more.  Let's not forget to mention the two gorgeous men who want her.  It is driving me crazy who she ends up with….Jack, Ethan, Jack, Ethan…..ergh!

Favorite Character(s):  I absolutely love Cat, but I am so torn between Jack and Ethan.  Good boy vs. bad boy.  Erghhh, which one.

Setting:  Paris - Ooh La La!!

Fast read/slow read:  Very fast read

Cover:  It works!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I would and I did!  Check out my review on the first Agency of Burglary & Theft book, A Beautiful Heist.

Kim Foster is the author of the Agency of Burglary & Theft Series, a series of novels about a professional female jewel thief. Kim has a typical background for someone who writes thrillers about thieves and spies and criminals: she has a degree in medicine and is a practicing family doctor. (Don't worry, it doesn't make much sense to her friends and family, either.) 

Kim is addicted to yoga, loves to travel, and has a clinical weakness for dark chocolate with sea salt. Online, you can find her blogging about her left-brain, right-brain mash-up on Kim lives with her husband and their two young sons in Victoria, British Columbia, where she's hard at work on her next book. And drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Damsels in Distress Cover Reveal and 99-cent Kindle countdown sale!

The cover reveal for Damsels in Distress is here! And it’s coinciding with a 99-cent Kindle Countdown deal … so you can get acquainted with all the ladies of Marestam before their stories continue!
In this second installment of the Desperately Ever After series, Belle, Dawn, Snow, Penny, and Rapunzel struggle with love, obligation, old flames, new flames, disappointments, triumphs, and plenty of secrets. (Cinderella takes a bit of a breather in this one, but rest assured she’ll be back!)

About the series:
Imagine what might happen if our most beloved fairy tale princesses were the best of friends and had the dreams, dilemmas, and libidos of the modern woman. How would their stories unfold after true love’s kiss? Set in a fictional realm based on New York City, the Desperately Ever After series sprinkles women’s fiction with elements of fantasy, and encourages readers to rethink everything they know about happy endings.

About Damsels in Distress:
(Warning: If you haven’t read the first book yet, there are some spoilers!)
After watching her fairy tale go up in flames, Belle is finally starting over. With a baby on the way, a business to run, and a new love interest she just can’t shake, things are finally looking up. That is, until she learns her independence might revive broken curses the world over. Could “happily ever after” really mean staying with her unfaithful husband? Or will Belle and her steadfast friends find another way?
Meanwhile, Dawn still longs for the life she had three centuries earlier—before her sleeping curse ended in two kids, an unfamiliar era, and a husband she barely knows. So when she encounters the childhood sweetheart she believed to be dead, Dawn must suddenly choose between the past she once wanted and the present she never knew she did.
As both women struggle between love and obligation, they fail to see a great danger brewing in the capital–one that could change everything forever.
Damsels in Distress takes a whimsical look at our most beloved fairy tale characters several years down the road. Part Sex and the City, part Desperate Housewives, and part Brothers Grimm, it’s ultimately about a group of friends coming to terms with how their lives have turned out. They just happen to live in castles.

Damsels in Distress will be available through Amazon in late August. In the meantime, the book that started it all, Desperately Ever After, is part of a 99-cent Kindle countdown sale. The clock is ticking!

“Laura Kenyon makes happily ever after desperately delicious!” ~ Stephanie EvanovichNew York Times bestselling author of Big Girl Panties

“At times laugh-out-loud funny, and at times very touching, Desperately Ever After is the debut of a real talent.” ~ Elizabeth Blackwell, author of While Beauty Slept and The Letter

“It’s no longer a case of just reading their stories and hoping to meet our prince charming and getting swept away. Kenyon shows that the fairy tale promise is not all that it’s cracked up to be. She keeps it real and enduring for the modern woman.” ~ Janice G. Ross, author of Damaged Girl and Island Hopping

"...while it is a very emotional story it’s witty and funny and full of magical quirks that keep that atmosphere of the worlds the Grimm Brothers first created." ~ RG Dole, author of Immortal Longings

"If you are looking for a fun and gossipy story to satisfy the holes left when Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives had their series finales (or even if you're going through Once Upon a Time withdrawal come season finale time) look no further than Desperately Ever After." ~ Chick Lit Central

"An explosive cocktail that will have you laughing out loud and wanting more and more!" ~ Lost in Chick Lit

“No more damsel in distress, useless without her prince, but modern day woman struggling with and enjoying love. Desperately Ever After is a wonderfully sarcastic, romantic and heartwarming tale about love and friendship with witty conversations, juicy cliches and a healthy dose of humor. I cannot wait to read the sequel!” ~ M’s Bookshelf

"Empowering and hilarious, I think everyone should read this." ~ Tea Party Princess

"It's the perfect book to be reading this summer and it's completely unputdownable!" ~ The YA's Nightstand
While Damsels in Distress won't be available until late August, the first book in the series (Desperately Ever After) is available at Amazon in both print and e-book formats. The price just dropped to99 cents for the Kindle countdown sale, but will steadily rise until it reaches $2.99 on Sunday night. Please use the following links for more information:

Monday, July 7, 2014

In the Mirror

~ 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): In the Mirror is the story of Jennifer Benson, a woman who seems to have it all. Diagnosed with cancer, she enters an experimental treatment facility to tackle her disease the same way she tackled her life - head on. But while she's busy fighting for a cure, running her business, planning a party, staying connected with her kids, and trying to keep her sanity, she ignores her own intuition and warnings from others and reignites an old relationship best left behind.

If you knew you might die, what choices would you make? How would it affect your marriage? How would you live each day? And how would you say no to the one who got away?
One (or more) Sentence Summary: What a great book.  There were so many different twists and turns - mostly I didn't see them coming.  The characters are great too.  Love some and hate some - which makes for a great read!  

Favorite Character(s):  Jennifer - hands down.  I have no idea how anyone can be so strong with what she was going through.  

Setting:  Primarily in a nursing home/transition care home.  However, the focus was really about relationships.

Fast read/slow read:  In between speed.  Not too slow, but not to fast.

Cover:  Honestly, I don't get it.  Wait.I think I just got it.  Looking back at your life.  Hopefully that is right, because it makes perfect sense to me now!

What Others Are Saying:  "Kaira Rouda has created relatable characters you'll care deeply about. Emotionally gripping and heart-achingly beautiful, In the Mirror will make you think about what's truly important." 
~ Tracey Garvis Graves, New York Times bestselling author

"I was completely absorbed by In the Mirror. This is a moving story from the unique perspective of a seriously ill patient who is a wife, sister, daughter and friend, examining all of those relationships with honesty and humor. This story will stay with you because of the questions it asks and the answers it offers." 
~ Lian Dolan, bestselling author of Helen of Pasadena

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I would and I have.  I have read Here, Home, Hope.  Click here to see the review.

Kaira Rouda is an award-winning entrepreneur and author. She lives in Southern California with her husband and four children and is at work on her next novel. Connect with her on Twitter, @KairaRouda, and on Facebook at Kaira Rouda Books. For more about Kaira and her books, please visit

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sorry, I have been MIA

Wow - what a month.  Busy is the norm, crazy in the norm, but it has been OUT OF CONTROL!

My kids just got out of school June 27th.  It has nothing to do with snow days - since we don't ever get any here in NY.  It is just the normal school calendar.  There was a month full of end of school year activities, rec sports wrapping up, travel sports starting, play rehearsals, the play itself, birthday parties, etc.  On top of all the normal crazy, my company is going through a merger and everything was voted and signed July 1.  We have had a lot of extra work in preparation, but we hit crunch time.

To make matters better, or worst, depending on how you look at it…..we went to Sandbridge Beach, Virginia (just 10 miles south of Virginia Beach) this past week.  It was FABULOUS.  We had a wonderful and relaxing time.  I would recommend anyone looking for a vacation spot to check it out.  I loved it so much, I could move there.

We rented a condo through Sandbride Realty and it was beautiful.  We were maybe 50 feet from the beach.  It took more steps to get from the beach to water than the condo to the beach!  We went kayaking with the dolphins through Surf Adventure, another company I would recommend.

We went to the Virginia Beach Aquarium.

We also went to Colonial Williamsburg for a day.

My kids favorite activity was The Adventure Park.  It is owned and operated as part of the aquarium but you need separate tickets.  It is a giant ropes course.  We had a blast.  They take you through a quick but thorough training course (you are locked in the entire time - very safe) and off we went.  They have different levels.  One of my twins was not too excited and I was so proud of her - she did 4 courses.  Of course my son (Mr. Athletic) went through all of them except the double black diamond and only because he ran out of time.  My other twin did all the levels up to the black diamond and was very proud for getting almost as far as her brother (she also ran out of time).  It really is a great activity.

Lastly, we rode out Hurricane Arthur (tropical storm for VB) and it was exciting for the kids.  Having lived in Jacksonville, near the beach, my husband and I had been through much worse.  The storm cleared up by Friday afternoon and the fireworks were spectacular!  The ocean was still crazy with rip tides, so the kids spent the afternoon collecting shells and at the pool. My twins went to grandparents in NC for the week.  Grandpa and Grandma came up for a few days to the beach.

Now we are back home and trying to get ready for the week ahead.  I hope to get a lot of book reviews out this month.  I have plenty to get caught up on and out in reviews.  Again, please forgive the lack of reviews the past month or two.  My life needs to be get back to normal.  Hope you had a great 4th of July and have a wonderful week.