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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
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I had the perfect life.
Beautiful and loving husband.
Three gorgeous little girls.
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?
Enter our GIVEAWAY for an e-copy of Running on Empty
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.
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.
Title: I Choose You (Friends & Lovers, Book 2)
Author: Bethany Lopez
Release Date: Dec. 27, 2012
Age Group: New Adult
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.
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.
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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.
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.”
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.
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.
Title: Paradise Hops
Author: Liz Crowe
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Grade/Rating: 4 out of 5
To begin, I will admit that although I had heard good things about Ms. Crowe’s books and even had a couple on my list to read, I had not read a single one until now. Sometimes a book just comes along in unexpected ways and you go into it thinking “Why not? I’m up for something new and fresh.” I had skimmed the synopsis, and it appeared to be a typical angst-like romance with the potential to stimulate more than my ability to have hot flashes on command so I dove right in. As of now, I have read it twice in less than two weeks…
Ms. Crowe has developed a cast of characters that come alive on the pages flaunting their flaws and all. To start we are given a shattered woman who’s lost in a fog that is slowly suffocating her ability to return to the lively and spunky woman she once was. Lori Brockton is a frustrating character that you want to shake to death one minute and then smother her in a hug the next. To see someone compartmentalize her feelings and push away any real social contact was hard; but in the same sense, I’m not sure if I personally would not do the same having gone through what she has. Everyone deals with things differently, and it was refreshing to see real trauma and emotions dealt with in an unfavorable manner and being forced to accept it.
Of course, you can’t have a romance novel without a handsome man or two, and Ms. Crowe did not skimp in this department either. First, there is Garrett Hunter, the man we all want to see opening doors for us and treating us like the princess we all believe we are. He is undeniably handsome with a crisp and clean feeling that hangs a suit like few others but also has the education, drive and dependable qualities we all crave beyond the eye candy. His first interaction with Lori alone made my heart go pity-pat, and I was immediately cheering for him to be that changing force I knew Lori needed from page one. Even from the very first few pages, he made me feel safe; and his compassion and need to care for Lori was evident from the get go, which was exactly what she needed. Now that we have established which team I started on, I will admit that when Eli Buchanan was introduced you could almost hear the “Boos” coming from my own inner monologue. Of course, you can’t have a good romance plot without some angst driven-lust and Eli provided more than enough lust and anger for me and Lori and probably a whole slew of others as well. He’s the bad boy with a temper that has a flash point of zero. But what makes him appealing is his passion for brewing that makes even me want to be on his payroll and even in his warpath just to watch the creativity take over. To say he demanded attention is an understatement…he commanded it and got it. When Eli was in the room, everyone knew it and felt it long before he opened his mouth. And who doesn’t find that kind of man addictive or attractive?