Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Idea of Him + Giveaway!

~ 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): From the New York Times bestselling author of The Manny—a vibrant novel of love, life lessons, and learning to trust yourself
Allie Crawford has the life she always dreamed of—she's number two at a high-profile P.R. firm; she has two kids she adores; and her husband is a blend of handsome and heroic. Wade is everything she thought a man was supposed to be—he's running a successful newsmagazine and, best of all, he provides the stable yet exciting New York City life Allie believes she needs in order to feel secure and happy.

But when Allie finds Wade locked in their laundry room with a stunning blonde in snakeskin sandals, a scandal ensues that flips her life on its head. And when the woman wants to befriend Allie, an old flame calls, and a new guy gets a little too close for comfort, she starts to think her marriage is more of a facade than something real. Maybe she's fallen in love not with Wade—but with the idea of him.

Captivating and seductive, told in the whip-smart voice of a woman who is working hard to keep her parenting and career on track, The Idea of Him is a novel of conspiracy, intrigue, and intense passion—and discovering your greatest strength through your deepest fears.



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I hate to say it, but I couldn't stand how dumb the main character, Allie, is even though she is suppose to be so bright.  I am not sure how she couldn't know something slimly was going on with her husband.  Her boss treated her like dirt and she was clueless as to what was going on between her boss and husband.  Jackie did make it a little bit more interesting.  It just wasn't my kind of book.  Maybe this is the real life in NYC and not my idea of fantasy NYC.

Fast read/slow read:  Slow read.  I just didn't want to rush home from work to read the next chapter. 
What Others Are Saying:  Please make sure you stop by the other blogs that are reviewing The Idea of Him as part of the TLC Book Tours tour and read other opinions.  I hate giving a book a low rating, but I have to be honest.
Tuesday, April 1st: cupcake’s book cupboard - Review and Giveaway
Wednesday, April 2nd: Mom in Love With Fiction
Thursday, April 3rd: bookchickdi
Friday, April 4th: BookNAround
Monday, April 7th: Olduvai Reads
Thursday, April 10th: Always With a Book - Review and Giveaway
Monday, April 14th: Anita Loves Books - Review and Giveaway
Tuesday, April 15th: Luxury Reading - Review and Giveaway
Wednesday, April 16th: Staircase Wit
Thursday, April 17th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Friday, April 18th: From L.A. to LA - Review and Giveaway
Monday, April 21st: The many thoughts of a reader
Tuesday, April 22nd: No More Grumpy Bookseller - Review and Giveaway
Wednesday, April 23rd: Book-alicious Mama - Review
Thursday, April 24th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, April 28th: Sara’s Organized Chaos - Review and Giveaway
Tuesday, April 29th: Book-alicious Mama - Q&A
Tuesday, April 29th: Drey’s Library - Review and Giveaway
Wednesday, April 30th: Seaside Book Nook - Review and Giveaway
Thursday, May 1st: Good Girl Gone Redneck
TBD: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews - Review and Giveaway

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I would, I heard The Manny was great.  


Holly Peterson is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Manny. She was a contributing editor for Newsweek and editor-at-large for Talk magazine. She was also an Emmy Award-winning producer for ABC News for more than a decade, where she covered global politics. Her writing has been published in the New York TimesNewsweek,Talk, the Daily BeastVogueHarper's Bazaar, and other publications.  You can connect with Holly on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

Amazon |  Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

One lucky winner (US only) will win one copy of the book and one really amazing Andrea Schroder candle (website and twitter) 
Leave a comment on this post by Wednesday, May 7th, midnight EST, along with your email address. Good luck!


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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Touch Blue





Synopsis (from Amazon): An exquisite second novel from the Newbery Honor author of RULES! TOUCH BLUE, sure as certain, will touch your heart.

The state of Maine plans to shut down her island's schoolhouse, which would force Tess's family to move to the mainland--and Tess to leave the only home she has ever known. Fortunately, the islanders have a plan too: increase the numbers of stunts by having several families take in foster children. So now Tess and her family are taking a chance on Aaron, a thirteen-year-old trumpet player who has been bounced from home to home. And Tess needs a plan of her own--and all the luck she can muster. Will Tess's wish come true or will her luck run out?

Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord offers a warm-hearted, humorous, and thoughtful look at what it means to belong--and how lucky we feel when we do. Touch Blue, sure as certain, will touch your heart.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I really like this book, Touch Blue. I like how the island is a made up name. I thought it was cool that if you touch blue your wish will come true. I like all the lucky and unlucky rules Tess has and her special sayings.  Each chapter started off with one. 

For example, "to learn when something will happen, pull off a daisy's petals, one by one while saying, 'This year, next year, sometime, never.'  The last petal tells the answer."  My mom's favorites were, "if you find a button on the ground, walk around it clockwise three times to remove its bad luck before you pick it up"  and "if you write your wish beneath the stamp on a letter, the letter will carry the wish with it."

I think this book is amazing and I give it five stars. 


Favorite Character(s):  My favorite character is Tess. She is fun, adventurous  and creative. I liked how she made Aaron feel a part of her family and accepted by others on the island.  I also really liked how she set the blue lobster free!  She could have sold it for a lot of money.

Her Uncle Ned was very funny.  Her sister Libby, is a typically little sister, can't keep a secret and loves to play Monopoly.

Setting:  On an island in Maine, called  Bethsaida.  I went to Maine when I was 5.  I would really like to go back again.  My Aunt lives in Bath, Maine.

Fast read/slow read:  Fast read! 

Cover:  I like the cover and love the Monopoly pieces!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  Absolutely, in fact my class is currently reading Rules. It is really good so far. My favorite charter is Jason. He is funny , adventurous,  and amazing. 



Cynthia Lord, is a children's book writer, seaglass collector, daydreamer, and the mother of two teenagers. You can find discussion guides for her books, interviews, links, goofy childhood photos, and more at her website.  She is coming to my school, as our visiting author and I can't wait to meet her.


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Driving Lesson: A Novel and 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): Sometimes life's most fulfilling journeys begin without a map.


An executive at a New York cosmetics firm, Sarah has had her fill of the interminable hustle of the big city. When her husband, Josh, is offered a new job in suburban Virginia, it feels like the perfect chance to shift gears.
While Josh quickly adapts to their new life, Sarah discovers that having time on her hands is a mixed blessing. Without her everyday urban struggles, who is she? And how can she explain to Josh, who assumes they are on the same page, her ambivalence about starting a family?

It doesn't help that the idea of getting behind the wheel—an absolute necessity of her new life—makes it hard for Sarah to breathe. It's been almost twenty years since she's driven, and just the thought of merging is enough to make her teeth chatter with anxiety. When she signs up for lessons, she begins to feel a bit more like her old self again, but she's still unsure of where she wants to go.

Then a crisis involving her best friend lands Sarah back in New York—a trip to the past filled with unexpected truths about herself, her dear friend, and her seemingly perfect sister-in-law . . . and an astonishing surprise that will help her see the way ahead.
One (or more) Sentence Summary: I really enjoyed Driving Lessons, but I am not sure why.  I didn't connect with the characters, but wanted to keep reading the next chapter (actually read the Driving Lessons very fast), felt there was too much drama over nothing (or little things)....I don't know.....I just can't put my finger on it.  Enjoyable, fast read, but lacking the "wow" for me.

Favorite Character(s):  Sarah's sister-in-law.  I felt she was a "real and honest" character without drama.  She was the only character I seemed to relate too.

Fast read/slow read:  I can't put my finger on it why, but this was a fast read for me.

Cover:  I am not sure why, but I like it.  Maybe it is the ladybugs, the old jar, I don't know.

What Others Are Saying:  See what others on the TLC Book Tours are saying about Driving Lessons: A Novel.
Tuesday, April 8th: BoundbyWords
Wednesday, April 9th: Bibliotica
Thursday, April 10th: cupcake’s book cupboard
Monday, April 14th: missris
Tuesday, April 15th: Books in the Burbs
Wednesday, April 16th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Thursday, April 17th: Seaside Book Nook
Monday, April 21st: Write Meg
Tuesday, April 22nd: Luxury Reading
Wednesday, April 23rd: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, April 24th: From L.A. to LA
Monday, April 28th: The Well-Read Redhead
Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Yes, I would love to read Saving Ruth and Balancing Acts.


Zoe Fishman is the author of Balancing Acts and Saving Ruth. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and son.  Connect with Zoe online, Twitter, and Facebook.


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Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Storyteller



Synopsis (from Amazon):  Some stories live forever . . . 

Sage Singer is a baker. She works through the night, preparing the day’s breads and pastries, trying to escape a reality of loneliness, bad memories, and the shadow of her mother’s death. When Josef Weber, an elderly man in Sage’s grief support group, begins stopping by the bakery, they strike up an unlikely friendship. Despite their differences, they see in each other the hidden scars that others can’t, and they become companions. 

Everything changes on the day that Josef confesses a long-buried and shameful secret—one that nobody else in town would ever suspect—and asks Sage for an extraordinary favor. If she says yes, she faces not only moral repercussions, but potentially legal ones as well. With her own identity suddenly challenged, and the integrity of the closest friend she’s ever had clouded, Sage begins to question the assumptions and expectations she’s made about her life and her family. When does a moral choice become a moral imperative? And where does one draw the line between punishment and justice, forgiveness and mercy? 

In this searingly honest novel, Jodi Picoult gracefully explores the lengths we will go in order to protect our families and to keep the past from dictating the future.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Wow, another amazing book by Jodi Picoult!  The Storyteller is a very powerful story about Sage's grandmother, Minka and what happened to her and her family in the Holocaust.  Most of the story was  incredibly heartbreaking during most of it, but so informative.  I honestly, am so amazed by stories of the Holocaust and just can't imagine what people went through or how they survived.  

Favorite Character(s):  Minka is my very favorite character.  What a strong incredible woman to have survived all what she did during her lifetime..The Holocaust, breast cancer, the death of her husband and daughter.

Fast read/slow read:  I listened to The Storyteller and I couldn't' wait to get in the car to listen to more.  

Cover:  I actually love the one above.  It is perfect!  I also found this cover too.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: There hasn't been a Jodi Picoult book I haven't loved.  I would absolutely, no doubt about it, read any book by her!



I grew up on Long Island with my parents and my little brother, the product of a ridiculously happy childhood. My mom says I've been writing as long as she remembers - my first masterpiece was "The Lobster That Was Misunderstood," at age 5. I honed my writing skills beyond that, one hopes, before I headed off to Princeton, where I wanted to work with living, breathing authors in their creative writing program. Mary Morris was my teacher/mentor, and I really do believe I wouldn't be where I am today if not for her guidance and expertise. I had two short stories published in SEVENTEEN magazine when I was in college. However, when I graduated, a desire to not eat ramen noodles exclusively and to be able to pay my rent led me to take a job on Wall Street (not a great idea, since I can't even balance my checkbook). When the stock market crashed in 1987, I moved to Massachusetts and over the course of two years, worked at a textbook publishing company, taught creative writing at a private school, became an ad copywriter, got a master's in education at Harvard, got married, taught at a public school, and had a baby. My first novel was published shortly after my son was born, and I've always said that the reason I kept writing is because it's so much easier than teaching English.

In fourteen years, I've published thirteen novels: Songs of the Humpback Whale, Harvesting the Heart, Picture Perfect, Mercy, The Pact, Keeping Faith, Plain Truth, Salem Falls, Perfect Match, Second Glance, My Sister's Keeper, Vanishing Acts, and the upcoming The Tenth Circle, this March. Two of my books (Plain Truth and The Pact) were made into Lifetime TV movies; Keeping Faith will be another. My Sister's Keeper is in development at New Line Cinema to be a feature film. And there isn't a single day that I don't stop and marvel at the fact that when I go to work, I get to do what I love the most.

My husband Tim and I live in Hanover, NH with our three kids, a dog, a rabbit, and the occasional donkey or cow.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Great News and a Giveaway - The Publicist Book One & Book Two

Yesterday, I shared with you all the interview with Christina George and two great books….The Publicist Book One and Shelf Life: The Publicist Book Two

Today, I have great news!  I have the opportunity to give one of you your own copy.  Your choice of e-book or print! More great news, its open internationally!!!

Complete the form below and good luck.


Synopsis: The Publicist Book One 


Behind every book, there’s always more to the story.

Can one woman change an age-old institution like publishing? Probably not, but Kate Mitchell sure wants to try. As a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house, Kate finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t always sell (at all) and author egos that are often, well, as big as the island of Manhattan.

Enter the star Editor, MacDermott Ellis. Tall, handsome, charismatic, married, and ready to save the day. Kate wants to do the right thing but her hormones seem to be driving her decisions. Then there’s Allan Lavigne, once a revered author, now as forgotten as yesterday’s news; and his nephew Nick, who wants to sweep Kate away from New York for another coast, California.

As Kate tries to navigate the landmine of publicity, the over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn't on the bestseller list this week”, she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more sex, more celebrities, and more scandal.



Shelf Life: Shelf Life: The Publicist Book Two

The story only an insider could tell.

Publishing: An industry of out-of-control of egos, unrealistic expectations, and books with the shelf life of milk.

This is Kate’s world, but for how long?

When one of Kate Mitchell’s star authors is carted away in handcuffs, she thinks it’s only the beginning of her troubles. As her world crumbles around her, Kate desperately looks for anyone to hold onto but finds that happy endings are truly works of fiction. When her career and love affair hit their expiration date, Kate sets off on a new adventure….

Starting over in California is easy, but Kate soon learns that leaving her old life behind isn't. Nicholas Lavigne is eager to help her forget, but two things still own her heart, the dream of discovering the next great American novel, and MacDermott Ellis.

As Kate tries to rebuild her life she finds a surprising gift that reboots her career in a new and unexpected direction. Suddenly her name becomes synonymous with one of the biggest bestsellers publishing has seen in ages and she’s welcomed back with open arms. At the height of her success the ghosts of her past come back to remind her of the world she’d been trying to forget and the man who never let go of her heart.



Christina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn't. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it.  


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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Publicist Book One & Two




Synopsis: The Publicist Book One 

Behind every book, there’s always more to the story.

Can one woman change an age-old institution like publishing? Probably not, but Kate Mitchell sure wants to try. As a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house, Kate finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t always sell (at all) and author egos that are often, well, as big as the island of Manhattan.

Enter the star Editor, MacDermott Ellis. Tall, handsome, charismatic, married, and ready to save the day. Kate wants to do the right thing but her hormones seem to be driving her decisions. Then there’s Allan Lavigne, once a revered author, now as forgotten as yesterday’s news; and his nephew Nick, who wants to sweep Kate away from New York for another coast, California.

As Kate tries to navigate the landmine of publicity, the over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn't on the bestseller list this week”, she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more sex, more celebrities, and more scandal.


Shelf Life: The Publicist Book Two

The story only an insider could tell.

Publishing: An industry of out-of-control of egos, unrealistic expectations, and books with the shelf life of milk.

This is Kate’s world, but for how long?

When one of Kate Mitchell’s star authors is carted away in handcuffs, she thinks it’s only the beginning of her troubles. As her world crumbles around her, Kate desperately looks for anyone to hold onto but finds that happy endings are truly works of fiction. When her career and love affair hit their expiration date, Kate sets off on a new adventure….

Starting over in California is easy, but Kate soon learns that leaving her old life behind isn't. Nicholas Lavigne is eager to help her forget, but two things still own her heart, the dream of discovering the next great American novel, and MacDermott Ellis.

As Kate tries to rebuild her life she finds a surprising gift that reboots her career in a new and unexpected direction. Suddenly her name becomes synonymous with one of the biggest bestsellers publishing has seen in ages and she’s welcomed back with open arms. At the height of her success the ghosts of her past come back to remind her of the world she’d been trying to forget and the man who never let go of her heart.


Author Interview:  I am so excited to have Christina George here today for some fun and interesting Q&A!

1.     Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? That’s funny because it didn’t. Well, that’s not to say that I didn’t noodle with writing and poetry (which God-willing will never see the light of day!) but these stories really came out of life experience and also, I wanted to know I could do it!

2.     Can you share a little of your current work with us? Sure… so much like Kate I work with authors and I work in publishing and for a publisher. I face many of the same battles Kate does: getting attention for my authors, getting publishers to pay attention to really great books. I love my job but it’s not always easy work.

3.     How did you come up with the title? That’s a funny question. So I wrote The Publicist Book One and had every intention of naming this The Publicist Book Two and then one night I woke up thought: Wow, that’s stupid, how will anyone be able to tell the difference between the two? So, I was on a plane the next day for a writer’s conference and the title Shelf Life came to me. And as anyone who has ever “named” a book knows, a title is right when it’s right. This one felt right and it still does. I love it!

4.     Can you tell us about your main character? I adore Kate, she’s my main character. She’s strong, she knows what she wants and she’s not afraid to tell it like it is. She’s also really dedicated to her authors which is so important in this line of work and she loves publishing. Despite the fact that the industry seems to be crumbling down around her, she loves it.

5.     Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Please be kind to your publicist or marketing person :-)

6.     How much of the book is realistic? It’s all very realistic. Ninety-five percent of what happens in the book actually happened to me while working at my job.

7.     Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? Yes, and yes --- people I adore, authors I adore and folks I didn’t care too much for. I’ve included all of it. That’s part of what made this so fun, much of it was pretty cathartic. It’s also kind of fun for folks to guess which author story is real and which one isn’t. Ninety percent of them are real.

8.     What is your favorite quality about yourself? I would have to say my sense of humor, or rather my ability to laugh at stressful situations or during stressful times. I feel like humor is so important and it can get us through a lot of tough times.

9.     What is your least favorite quality about yourself? Hmmmm, I am not good at picking good men. There, I said it. When I was a kid I was always bringing strays home. That hasn’t changed much :-)


10.  Where do you see yourself in five years? Hopefully on the set of my new HBO series called The Publicist. Wait, too far-fetched? Well, you know, a girl can dream!

11.  What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out? Well, first and foremost and author should have a website. As tools go, I’d say that’s the best one. You should be blogging there and really getting to know your reader. Your reader is your new BFF, you respond to their comments on your blog, you thank them for reading the book. It’s all about engagement. So, that said, you should also be on Facebook – but get a Fan Page because that’s a better way to promote yourself. Other tools? Well, I know there’s a lot of controversy around Goodreads but I’ve never, ever had a bad experience there. It’s such a fun place to engage with your reader. It really is.

12.  Do you have any advice for writers? Yes, I think it’s that you should really be vigilant with your marketing. You know stuff takes time – I always say that. But the key to a solid marketing plan is an author who is engaged in their own success. When you are engaged you’re commenting on blogs, you’re dialoging with your reader and you are careful about who you hire to do your marketing. Look, no one can do miracles. I’m on this book tour and it’s great but will I sell a thousand books? Probably not. That’s not why I’m doing it. I’m doing it for exposure. Get enough exposure and you’ll sell books. But don’t expect every “ping” you get to warrant a big blockbuster sale because it may not.


I've worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here's what this book isn't. It's not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it's not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won't know which ones, hell it's more fun to guess, right? I continue to work in publicity and help authors because at the end of the day I do love books, I love publishing, and I love authors. I hope you'll enjoy this romp through Kate's world as much as I enjoyed creating it.

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