BLOG TOUR for HOLDING ON by Karen Stivali

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When you have everything you’ve ever dreamed of, the hard part is Holding On.

British NYU professor Daniel Gardner thinks life can’t get better than the day his three-year-old stepdaughter, Ella, calls him Daddy for the first time. Then his wife Marienne tells him she’s pregnant. Daniel is thrilled, but worried about Marienne’s health. Not wanting to cause her stress he turns to writing to calm his nerves. He pens a screenplay, thinking it’s nothing more than a mental health exercise, but when a colleague reads it and hands it to a producer, it turns into a production contract. Daniel accepts the offer and transfers to a teaching position at Dartmouth, hoping that small town living and a shorter commute will simplify his life.

As he attempts to juggle his new responsibilities he gets an unexpected letter from Roger, the father he never knew. For the first time since they met, Daniel and Marienne are at odds; she wants him to give Roger a chance but Daniel wants nothing to do with the man he thinks abandoned his mother. As Daniel and Marienne struggle they must contend with interference from Daniel’s sexy ex-wife, who appears to want him back, and a handsome, all-too-helpful single dad who desires Marienne as more than a play-date pal. They must both confront deep-seated issues with trust and acceptance if they’re going to find a way to make their marriage work and hold on to the love they share.

Purchase Links:
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GIVEAWAY Win one of Karen’s back list or the grand prize of a $20 Amazon or B&N gift card
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January 21
Black Raven Reviews

January 22
Jessy’s Book Club

January 23
What’s On The Bookshelf

January 24
Literati Literature Lovers

January 25
Manic Readers

January 26
A Little Fiction of Every Flavour

January 27
Guilty Pleasures

January 28
Mrs. Condit & Friends Read Books

January 29
My Life Beyond Lables

January 30
Love, Laughter, Friendship
Sugar and Spice Book Reviews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker, and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. (source Goodreads)
Website | Goodreads

Join us Tuesday January 15, at 9:00 p.m. EST for a ‘live’ Fan Chat with Katie Ashley

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We scheduled a fan chat for this Tuesday, January 15, 2013, at 9:00 PM EST with author Katie Ashley where YOU have the opportunity to chat with her online and ask her the questions you’ve always wanted to know about The Proposition and The Proposal or anything else for that matter. Of course, she has complete control over what she does and doesn’t answer.  :)

If you are new to our fan chats, we utilize Tinychat (which are live chat rooms) and will post the link on both Facebook and Twitter around 8:30 PM EST Tuesday night. The link for the chat is: http://tinychat.com/vgvj8

  • You simply click on the link, which will take you to the chat room. (Do not login using Facebook, which seems to lock up or kick you out).
  • Select Guest and change your user name
  • If a Facebook pop up appears, press cancel
  • You’ll now be in the chatroom

Listed below are some frequently asked questions to help you understand how Tinychat works.  So spread the word and we hope you can join us!  

Do I need a webcam to join the chat?
No.  All our chats are conducted off camera so there’s no need for one.

Do I need to have a Facebook/Twitter account to log on? It’s asking for one, and I don’t feel comfortable using my real name.
We respect your wish to remain anonymous and totally understand your concern.  No, you don’t need to have an account.  It should give you the option of joining a chat as a “guest.”  If that option is not available, try opening the chat link under a new browser (Safari, Firefox, Opera, etc.).  The new browser option should prompt the guest option.  If it doesn’t and you would like your name changed in the transcript, just contact us at the end of the chat and we’ll change it for you.

I’m on my phone and can’t log on! Help!
If you’re using a mobile (iPhone/Android), our suggestion is to download the tinychat app.  The same goes if you’re using a tablet:  http://tinychat.com/download.

I’m using a Mac / PC and I can’t connect or log on.  How can I join?
If you’re using a Mac / PC and still can’t get logon, try a different browser other than the one you are using (Firefox, Opera, etc).  If you still can’t log on, then try downloading the desktop app: http://tinychat.com/download.

I’m using an App on IPhone or Ipad.
After you have connected to the chat DO NOT log out or switch apps. If you do in order to reconnect you will have to power down device. Tiny Chat app will not allow you to leave app and return with out the power down.

I keep getting a plugin error or crashed.  How do I fix it?
While we can’t help with technical issues, our only suggestion would be to reinstall the plugin.  If that doesn’t fix the issue, then try to download the tinychat app and go from there or use another browser.

I’ve tried the above and still can’t get in, but I have a question for the author. What can I do?
The easiest thing would be to tweet us your question(s), and we’ll do our best to get your question answered.  Afterwards we’ll give you the response and you can read the chat transcript.

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Running on Empty by L.B. Simmons: Guest Post & Giveaway

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Running on Empty by L.B. Simmons
Release Date: January 3, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult

Book Description:

I had the perfect life.

Beautiful and loving husband.

Three gorgeous little girls.

Successful career.

The only thing missing was the white picket fence.  I really wanted that fence.

Three years ago, I lost that life.  I lost my husband.  And I lost myself.  But, eventually, I found my way through the darkness.  I’ve made peace with my new life. I have my girls, and that’s all that matters. They are my world.  I have no illusions of ever falling in love again or getting whisked away on a white horse.

But then he came back into my life. On a freakin’ motorcycle.

There’s no way I’ll let him turn my life completely upside down.  Absolutely no way.

The question is…

How long can I keep pretending that I’m happy with my life being right-side up?

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Enter our GIVEAWAY for an e-copy of Running on Empty

About Running on Empty:
I’m the mother of three adorable little girls.  That’s where it all really started.  I have so many ridiculous stories about these children…they make me laugh continuously.  Never a dull moment.  I’m constantly at the office telling stories about them and laughing.  It was suggested to me that I should write them down.  So I did.  And when I did, I found myself writing a beautiful love story.

The situations that Alex finds herself in as a result of her children, yeah, they happened to me.  First scene of the book…happened to me. Actually, almost everything in the first chapter happened to me.  Pretty much everything in the book that revolves around the children is true.  Whether it be their personalities, their actions, the conversations…all true.  I love my girls more than anything.  And I really wanted them to have a piece of their childhood to remember.  So I wrote the book really for them and I figure if I have readers that enjoy the story, then that’s just a big cherry on top of everything else.

Running on Empty is not a true story.  But it is what I would like to see happen for a woman who had the perfect life, but suddenly finds herself in a position of being a single mother.  To me, it’s a story of learning to accept loss and let go of the fears that stand in the way of true happiness.  I hope all readers can take something away from this story and that they love it as much as I do.
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About the Author
L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science.  She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years.  She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.

FACEBOOK  | BLOG | TWITTER

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Join Us Friday, January 4, at 9 PM EST for a Live Fan Chat with “Back to You” Author, Priscilla Glenn

index The Back to You Blog Tour will be stopping at LLL on Monday. In the meantime we scheduled a fan chat for this Friday, January 4, 2013, at 9:00 PM EST with author Priscilla Glenn, where YOU have the opportunity to chat with her online and ask her the questions you’ve always wanted to know about the book or anything else for that matter. Of course, she has complete control over what she does and doesn’t answer.  :)

16111679This is Priscilla’s first “live” chat so she is a little nervous. But we assured her that we always have so much fun during these chats and to expect the unexpected. So get your questions ready, tell your friends, and if you haven’t read the book yet, what are you waiting for?  This is definitely one of my Top 10 reads of 2012!  (Review to be posted Monday, January 7, 2012, in conjunction with the blog tour.)

If you are new to our fan chats, we utilize Tinychat (which are live chat rooms) and will post the link on both Facebook and Twitter around 8:30 PM EST Friday night. The link will look similiar to this (although this is NOT the link for Friday night):  http://tinychat.com/mlog9.  You simply click on the link, which will take you to the chat room.  Listed below are some frequently asked questions to help you understand how Tinychat works.  So spread the word and we hope you can join us!

Do I need a webcam to join the chat?
No.  All our chats are conducted off camera so there’s no need for one.

Do I need to have a Facebook/Twitter account to log on? It’s asking for one, and I don’t feel comfortable using my real name.
We respect your wish to remain anonymous and totally understand your concern.  No, you don’t need to have an account.  It should give you the option of joining a chat as a “guest.”  If that option is not available, try opening the chat link under a new browser (Safari, Firefox, Opera, etc.).  The new browser option should prompt the guest option.  If it doesn’t and you would like your name changed in the transcript, just contact us at the end of the chat and we’ll change it for you.

I’m on my phone and can’t log on! Help!
If you’re using a mobile (iPhone/Android), our suggestion is to download the tinychat app.  The same goes if you’re using a tablet:  http://tinychat.com/download.

I’m using a Mac / PC and I can’t connect or log on.  How can I join?
If you’re using a Mac / PC and still can’t get logon, try a different browser other than the one you are using (Firefox, Opera, etc).  If you still can’t log on, then try downloading the desktop app: http://tinychat.com/download.

I keep getting a plugin error or crashed.  How do I fix it?
While we can’t help with technical issues, our only suggestion would be to reinstall the plugin.  If that doesn’t fix the issue, then try to download the tinychat app and go from there or use another browser.

I’ve tried the above and still can’t get in, but I have a question for the author. What can I do?
The easiest thing would be to tweet us your question(s), and we’ll do our best to get your question answered.  Afterwards we’ll give you the response and you can read the chat transcript.

I Choose You (Friends & Lovers #2) by Bethany Lopez

Title:  I Choose You (Friends & Lovers, Book 2)
Author:  Bethany Lopez
Release Date:  Dec. 27, 2012
Genre:  Contemporary
Age Group:  New Adult

Synopsis:  A young couple kissing
Up until now, Nicole’s life has been mapped out for her. She’d go to college, marry Jake and become the upstanding minister’s wife. When she leaves that life to begin again in a small town in Texas, she finally has the freedom to live as she chooses. There, she meets Kent, a guy whose charm and passion make it hard to stick to her morals.

Dodging his father’s fists and protecting his twin sister made Kent into the man he is today. He learned by watching his mother stay by his father’s side that it’s better to keep relationships simple. Then he meets Nicole. Her sweet smile and genuine response to him land like punches to his resolve. After a lifetime of learning to protect his heart, can he finally let down his guard?

Excerpt from I Choose You

They hit the trail hard. Nicole used the time to clear her head and to reflect on what Kent had told her about his childhood.
They’d led very different lives, and Nicole couldn’t imagine the obstacles he’d dealt with growing up, but she was very impressed with the man he was today.
Kent made sure they did some cool down stretches before getting back in the car.
He’d worried briefly that Nicole would look at him differently when he’d told her a little about his upbringing, but he was happy that he had. He wasn’t ready to tell her everything yet, but he was comfortable with what he’d told her.
He drove her back to her apartment and walked her to the door.
“Do you want to come in?” Nicole asked him, her face was flush from exertion and glistened prettily.
Kent felt a strong urge to gather her in his arms and take her to her room, kissing and stroking her gloriously toned body along the way. He imagined carrying her into the shower and lathering her up.
He shook his head, trying in vain to calm his raging hormones. He felt like a teenager again: unbearably horny and unable to find release. Well… At least not the way he wanted to.
“Um, no,” He replied gruffly. “I’d better not. You have to get ready for work and I have some stuff to do at my house. I’ll give you a call later.”
He leaned down and gave her a kiss on the forehead, then turned and jogged down the stairs, leaving her there staring off after him, the confusion she felt apparent on her face.

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Bethany Lopez
About the Author:  Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult novel. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her contemporary Young Adult series, Stories About Melissa. Ta Ta for Now!, xoxoxo, and Ciao are available now. Bethany is currently working on a Contemporary Fantasy YA and a Contemporary New Adult Trilogy.

Connect with Bethany using the Social Media links below:

IAN | WEBPAGE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST

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Review: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

15858248Title: Wallbanger
Author: Alice Clayton
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Grade/Rating: 4 out of 5

Alice Clayton is funny.  There’s no other way to put it.  She’s funny, and she knows it.  The last time I laughed out loud from reading a book was when I read The Unidentified Redhead series by none other than Ms. Clayton herself.  So, it shouldn’t have been a big surprise when I started Wallbanger that I’d do the exact same thing.

Wallbanger starts off with a bang.  Really.  With a title like that, were you expecting anything else?  You see, new tenant Caroline and her cat, Clive, are awakened on their first night by her neighbor, who is apparently hell bent on affixing his coital partner to the wall.  He’s just banging away, and we are informally introduced to our demolition man via his partner’s encouraging words:

“Oh, Simon, that’s so good! Mmm…”

Ah, yes, Simon.  That is so good.  Not only do we find out about Simon, whom I call The Vagina Whisperer, but we also learn that Caroline has lost her orgasm, O.  It’s at this point that I’m thinking that when one door closes, there’s a wallbanger that’ll knock it down.  By the time you’ve read the first page of the book, you know what’s going to happen eventually.  You just don’t know when.  Just like life, the journey is the best part.

The cast of supporting characters includes Mimi and Sophia, Caroline’s best friends.  Thru them, we talk to Caroline.  They say to her what I was thinking.  Truthfully, if you lived next door to a gorgeous man who could make a woman meow (MEOW!) when having sex and you hadn’t had an orgasm in over six months, do you think your friends may wonder why you’re not testing out that specimen.  No?  Oh, okay.  Moving on… I really enjoyed the fact that the interactions between the three friends resemble real conversations that I’ve had with my girlfriends.  They are protective over each other, but at the same time are willing to poke fun at each other.

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Review: Nopeming Shores by Margie Church

Title:  Nopeming Shores
Author:  Margie Church and J. Andrew Lockhart
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Grade/Rating:  3 out of 5

Synopsis:  An IED snuffed out Gabe Holliway’s life, but couldn’t destroy his love. Using his unique gift, Gabe struggles to help his young wife, Lily, rebuild her shattered future.  But when Gabe’s ghost reaches out to her, Lily fears she’s lost her last hold on sanity. Can she trust what she discovers and what her heart says? When she sees Gabe face-to-face, can she believe her eyes?  When love transcends death, the answers are found in Nopeming Shores.

In this story we are given Lily, a broken woman who struggles daily with the devastating loss of her husband and soul mate, Gabe, during the war in Afghanistan.  These two characters represent thousands of military families who make the sacrifices which most are unaware of.  These spouses place themselves in danger to protect and fight for freedom, while their families are at home watching the news and feeling their resolve break when their world crumbles.  War is an ugly thing no matter which way you look at it; and unfortunately, Lily’s story is like the thousands of spouses who face each day with unimaginable strength only to be taken down by those unexpected memories.

Lily has a life saturated by the Army but now faces this world without the one person she was destined to spend it with.  Every song on the radio, every place she goes, even those she speaks to somehow test her fragile heart and nearly break her each time.  Every day feels like a battle to conquer; and most days, she barely makes it through.  During this time Gabe, whose spirit has not moved on, watches helplessly as his love becomes a shadow of what she once was, and he struggles within himself on how to help her move on.  He is given an opportunity; but if it’s not handled correctly, neither of them will survive this new reality they face.

“All the old habits and routines had kinks in them now, too. Nothing came easy. People acted awkwardly around her and sometimes seemed to avoid her on purpose. At times, old friends spoke to her like she was as fragile as a butterfly’s wings. Some days she was.”

This story is written with great detail; and although it is not my favorite style of writing, readers can still gain the emotion and message the author is trying to convey.   I had moments of understanding and felt a common bond with them that all military families share but is rarely ever written about.  I wish this story had more of Lily and Gabe’s inner struggles to showcase the hardships these couples face, but there is enough to show readers just how these spouses live their lives.    There is also an element of poetry that is not often found in novels, and it brought a different feel and flow to the story and gave it a more personal touch.  It is a story with strengths and weaknesses, unbreakable love, and survival at its best and its ugliest.  It shows the power that memories can have and the perseverance to get through life and potentially find peace.

“If I’ve learned anything, it’s that tomorrow is a gift. And so is love.”

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Review: Ann Lee Miller’s The Art of My Life & Giveaway

Title: The Art of My Life
Author: Ann Lee Miller
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Grade/Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Art of My Life, is a love story. If you’re looking for a messed up kinky billionaire sweeping the beautiful girl off her feet, plying her with expensive presents, and kinky sex then this isn’t the book for you. This book by Ann Lee Miller is a powerful inspiring story about love, hope, failure, forgiveness, and redemption. The story has so many facets that it sparkles and shines like a beautiful diamond.

We first meet Cal as he walks out of the Volusia county jail, after doing a couple of months time for marijuana possession with the intent to sell. He’s a 25 year old artist and a college dropout. He’s also a habitual marijuana smoker, one hell of a nice guy, and on probation. Yes, he screwed up, but he has a plan to get his life in order and get the girl, Aly, he’s loved since he was a teen. She’s on his mind as he walks out of jail and he’s decided that she’s his future and has always been the one. Cal comes from a straight laced conservative family; he’s the son of a minister and his mother, Starr, is a dance teacher. He’s the middle child and the one who never fit in. All his life, his mother has been incapable of giving him the unconditional love that he needed because of her own past and passed judgment of him.

Both Cal and his mother are both introduced in the first chapter. Rather than being concerned about her son, Starr is more worried about what the locals will think about Cal and him messing up his life. She has a plan to fix him; his grandmother Henna, has signed over her sail boat and Starr has come up with the idea of letting Cal start a charter boat business with a $40,000 loan co-signed by her husband and herself. The loan is for repairs and startup capital. They say the path to hell is paved with good intentions and Cal’s parents have very good intentions. We also find out the marijuana he was arrested for belonged to his grandparents and not to him. Yes the grandparents are both potheads, but they are also the only ones that gave Cal the unconditional love he so desperately needed. They also have enabled his addiction to marijuana as they are the growers. His grandparents have been lifelong users. Cal’s goal is to get the business up and running. His biggest concern is to become the type of person Aly would take a chance on.
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Review: Donald Ray Pollock’s The Devil All the Time

Title: The Devil All the Time
Author: Donald Ray Pollock
Genre: Thriller
Rating: 5 out of 5

Gritty and noir, The Devil All The Time is composed of intertwining stories that span from the 1940s to the 1960s.  This is done masterfully as Pollock describes each character and location in a way as to not overburden us, but to help us understand and see the world he has created.  We are reminded of the importance of faith and religion throughout the novel with tales of the consequences of their misuse.

Pollock’s novel kick starts with Arvin as a nine year old boy follow his father, Willard, into the woods to pray at what has become their church; a log.  In the prologue, we learn much about Willard and Arvin’s small family of three.  We learn that their family is relatively new to the holler of Knockemstiff.  Willard has a drinking problem and is very religious, the mother, Charlotte is known for her beauty, Arvin has trouble at school with the other kids, and the best day that Arvin ever spent with his father was the day he watched him beat a man to a bloody pulp.  If this doesn’t set the pace of what the reader will find ahead, I’m not sure what will.

Here’s the thing, Pollock immerses you in the story.  It spans from post WWII Ohio to the 1960s.  Using the third-person omniscient point of view, we get to see the seedy thoughts of the characters.  We watch them act, unable to change the terrible lies, murders, and deceit that they do throughout.  You’ll want to stop reading, not because you don’t like the style or story.  On the contrary, you’ll want to stop reading because you’ll realize that there are actually people in the world that act this way and because you cannot save the characters who’ve done nothing to deserve death.  Pollock doesn’t describe his characters in an unrealistic fashion.  They are more than real.  People like this exist and the author doesn’t need to embellish their descriptions and deeds.  This is what makes this story riveting.  You will fear the unsaid thoughts of your friends and neighbors.

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