Tag Archives: Family

Review of The Space Between Sisters by Mary McNear with Giveaway

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About The Space Between Sisters

Return to Butternut Lake with New York Times bestselling author Mary McNear in a story where the complicated bonds of sisterhood are tested.

They are two sisters who couldn’t be more different. Win, organized and responsible, plans her life with care. Poppy, impulsive and undependable, leaves others to pick up the pieces. But despite their differences, they share memories of the idyllic childhood summers they spent together on the shores of Butternut Lake. Now, thirteen years later, Win, recovering from a personal tragedy, has taken refuge on Butternut Lake, settling into a predictable and quiet life.

Then one night, Poppy unexpectedly shows up on her sister’s doorstep with her suitcases, an aging cat named Sasquatch, and a mysterious man in tow. Although Win loves her beautiful sister, she wasn’t expecting her to move in for the summer. At first, they relive the joys of Butternut Lake. But their blissful nostalgia soon gives way to conflict and painful memories, and buried secrets threaten to tear the sisters apart.

As the waning days of summer get shorter, past secrets are revealed, new love is found, and the ties between the sisters are tested like never before . . . all on the serene shores of Butternut Lake.

My Thoughts

Great story of two sisters, as different as different can be. Despite dissimilarities their bond is strong, past heartbreaking, always there for one another as sisters should be, albeit in this instance one is grounded more than the other providing a safe haven of sorts. Reconnecting, a dark secret revealed, healing, romance, all exposed and addressed under the allure and magical spell of Butternut Lake.

A few incredibly touching and tender moments, affecting end result. Assemblage of characters along with their sketches made this a favorite of mine in the series.

Another enjoyable read taking place at Butternut Lake, as always a great cast and subject matter create a warm and fuzzy end result.

About Mary McNearMary-McNear

Mary McNear, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Butternut Lake series, writes in a local doughnut shop, where she sips Diet Pepsi, observes the hubbub of neighborhood life, and tries to resist the constant temptation of freshly made doughnuts. Mary bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the northern Midwest.

Connect with Mary on Facebook.

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of The Space Between Sisters by Mary McNear. Open to US only. Ends 6/22/16.
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Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 14, 2016)

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Review of All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank with Giveaway

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About All Summer Long

Dorothea Benton Frank novels are smart and witty fiction that readers want on their bookshelf: soulful, edgy stories about realistic characters familiar to us all that explore the most deeply felt moments of life with wry humor and heart.

All Summer Long follows one charming New York couple–prominent interior designer Olivia Ritchie and her husband, Nicholas Seymour, an English professor and true southern gentleman. They are seemingly polar opposites, yet magnetically drawn together and have been in love for more than fourteen years.

As they prepare to relocate to Charleston, South Carolina, Olivia, the ultimate New Yorker, has reservations about the promise she made to retire in the Lowcountry, where Nick wants to return home and lead a more peaceful life. They are moving north to south, fast pace versus slow pace, and downsizing. Nick is ecstatic. Olivia is not. She can’t let Nick know that their finances are not what he thought. Her client list is evaporating, their monetary reserves are dwindling, and maybe that house she picked out on Sullivans Island needs too much work. Thank God for her assistant, Roni Larini, her right (and sometimes left) hand.

As they find themselves pondering the next step of their lives, Olivia and Nick travel with her billionaire clients and their friends and are swept up in the world of the ultra-rich, exploring the globe with a cast of zany eccentrics over one tumultuous, hot summer. All as Olivia grapples with what lies ahead for her and Nick.

This is a story of how plans evolve and lives change in unexpected ways, how even those who have everything are still looking for something more. Even the most successful people can often struggle to keep things together. All Summer Long asks the ultimate question: Can money buy happiness? From Sullivans Island to Necker Island to Nantucket to the beaches of Southern Spain, we’ll come to recognize the many faces of true love; love that deepens and endures, but only because one woman makes a tremendous leap of faith. And that leap changes everything.

My Thoughts

Frank reminds us there’s more to life than possessions, money, reinforcing happiness cannot be bought.

I really enjoyed Olivia and Nick, their love, strong marriage. When turbulence hits, they work it out in a constructive manner, heal their wounds and move forward. A couple understanding forgiveness, commitment and the importance of communication.

Wasn’t a huge fan of uber wealthy Bob and Maritza, although their trivial issues and vapidity added plenty of entertainment and excitement. In the end, this troubled couple inadvertently taught Olivia and Nick what’s important along with being thankful for what you have and don’t have. Surprisingly Bob and Maritza learn a few lessons and promises are made.

Frank always crafts such lush atmospheric reads, you’ll enjoy Sullivan Island, New York and Necker Island along with rich architectural details both interior and exterior, tid bits of Lowcountry history as well. You feel the sea air on your skin, the rhythmic swaying of the yacht as you romp along with Olivia and Nick and their privileged pals all summer long.

Fun beach read, especially fans of lifestyles of the rich and famous and all the nuances accompanying the burden.

Dorothea Benton FrankAbout Dorothea Benton Frank

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She resides in the New York area with her husband.

Find her on the web at www.dotfrank.com, or like her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of All Summer Long. US residents ONLY. Ends 6/8/16
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Publisher: William Morrow (May 31, 2016)

Review of Daughters of the Lake by Jane Riddell

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About Daughters of the Lake

Daughters of the Lake is a contemporary family drama set in Switzerland. Madalena invites her four adult children to celebrate her hotel’s fortieth anniversary, unaware of their tensions and secrets. As the day of the celebration approaches, confused emotions take hold, and the occasion goes badly wrong. Set against a backdrop of mountains and lakes, this is a story of love, betrayal and family conflict.

My Thoughts

I love stories focused on dysfunctional families, serves as a distraction from my own family troubles. My life is always a cake walk compared to the families in narratives.

Purely character driven, a family reunion unleashes secrets and individual hidden issues unknown to family members. Lots of friction, spats and suspicion float about, a tension filled reunion without a doubt. Twists galore provide captivating reading.

Family reunions were risky. You couldn’t always know where your children were in their lives, how they regarded you. How often had she observed this in her guests? Tension in the public dining room. Family members occasionally checking out earlier than planned. Why, then, had she considered her family situation so rock solid? Especially when she had her own issues. Things to conceal.

It was difficult to warm or connect with the numerous protagonists. I empathized with Madalena, the mother, loving, supportive, trying to bridge the gaps between her scattered and troubled brood, not fully aware of the amount of discord within her family. Not immune to problems as she privately and singularly battles her own challenges. I liked Annie, the less selfish and kindest of the bunch. All the characters are flawed, intricate, and anxiety filled over various issues, incredibly well drawn you find yourself distancing from the lot as the drama unravels and you learn of their varying personalities.

This was the horrid thing about knowledge, the fact you could never “unknow” it. You could bury it, but it would always be there, always threatening to appear.

A family riddled with juicy secrets, guilt, regrets, betrayal, love and fractured intercourse. Extremely well written and presented.

About Jane RiddellJane Riddell

Jane Riddell grew up in Glasgow, Scotland but defected to Edinburgh in her thirties, after living in New Zealand and Australia. For many years she worked for the NHS as a dietitian and health promoter. In 2006 she took a career break to move with her family to Grenoble, France, for three years. During this time she wrote more seriously, so seriously that when she returned to Edinburgh she decided to make writing her ‘job’.

Jane writes contemporary fiction, and is a keen blogger, including penning letters from a Russian cat. She is always on the lookout for interesting authors to interview for her Papillon blog. If you fit this category, email her on: Riddell.Jane@gmail.com

Jane holds a Masters in Creative Writing. In 2011 she started a small editing business, Choice Words Editing. She is currently rewriting her second novel, Chergui’s Child, a long work in progress….

Her debut novel, Water’s Edge, is published by ThornBerry Publishing and is available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon.

Her editing guide, Words’Worth – a fiction writer’s guide to serious editing, is published by ThornBerry Publishing and is available in paperback from Amazon.

Jane is enthusiastic, addicted to chocolate and has a dysfunctional relationship with time.

Published November 28th 2014 by Jane Riddell

 

Release Blast & Giveaway: His Pregnant Princess Bride by Catherine Mann

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His Pregnant Princess Brider_coverHis Pregnant Princess Bride
Bayou Billionaires #1
by Catherine Mann
Releasing February 1st, 2016 (Digital)
Releasing February 9th, 2016 (Print)
Harlequin Desire

About His Pregnant Princess Bride

 A princess and a Southern billionaire are expecting twins! Only from USA TODAY bestselling author Catherine Mann! 

His focus is on his family’s football dynasty. Louisiana billionaire Gervais Reynaud has no time for romance. But he can’t say no to a tryst with Erika Mitras. True, she’s a princess, but in no way prim…or proper. Their time together is unbelievable…and all too short.

When Erika said goodbye, she meant it. But now she must tell Gervais the truth. He’s about to be a father…to royal twins. After leaving her overbearing family, Erika wants nothing from Gervais. But the tempting tycoon just may charm her into a future she desires all too much

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Buy Links:
Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

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Excerpt

His dark eyes heated her with memories as he strode toward her. His long legs ate the ground in giant slices, his khakis and sports jacket declaring him in the middle of a work day. He stopped in front of her, his broad shoulders blocking the sun and casting his handsome face in shadows. But she didn’t have to see to know his jaw would be peppered with the stubble that seemed to grow in seconds after he shaved. Her fingers – her body – remembered the texture of that rasp well.

Her breath caught somewhere in her chest.

He folded his arms over his chest, just under the Hurricanes logo stitched on the front of his jacket. “Welcome to the States, Erika. No one mentioned your intention to visit. I thought you don’t like sports.”

“And yet, here I am.” And in need of privacy out of the bright Louisiana sun and the even brighter curious eyes of his team and staff. She needed space and courage to tell him why she’d made this unexpected journey across the Atlantic to this muggy bayou state. “This is not an official royal visit.”

“And you’re not in uniform.” His eyes glided over her wrap around dress.

“I’m out of the service now.” About to return to school to be a nurse, the career field she’d hoped to pursue in the military but they would not allow her such an in-the-field position, instead preferring to dress her up and trot her around as a figure-head translator. “I am here for a conference on homeopathic herbs and scents.” A part of her passion in the nursing field, and a totally made up excuse for being here today.

“Are you here to share specially scented deodorant to my players? Because they could certainly use it.” His mouth tipped with a smile.

“Are you interested in such a line?” Still jet-lagged from the transatlantic flight, she was ill-prepared to exchange pleasantries.

“Is that why you are here? For business?”

She could not just banter with him. She simply could not. “Please, can we go somewhere private to talk?”

He searched her eyes with for a long moment before gesturing over his shoulder. “I’m in the middle of a meeting with sponsors. How about supper?”

“I am not here for seduction,” she stated bluntly.

“Okay.” His eye brows shot upward. “I thought I asked you to join me for gumbo, not sex. But now that we’re talking about sex–”

“We are not.” She cut him short. “Finish your meeting if you must, but I need to speak with you as soon as possible. Privately. Unless you want your personal business and mine overheard by all of your team straining to listen.”

She definitely was not ready for them to hear she was pregnant with the heir to the Reynaud family dynasty.

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About Catherine MannCatherine

USA Today bestseller and RITA Award winning author Catherine Mann writes contemporary romance for Berkley, Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Tule. With over sixty books released in more than twenty countries, she has also celebrated six RITA finals, an RT Reviewer’s Award finalist, three Maggie Award of Excellence finals and a Bookseller’s Best win. Catherine and her flyboy husband live on the Florida coast where they brought up their 4 children – and still have 5 four-legged, furry “children” (aka pets). Catherine is an active volunteer with an animal rescue, serving on their Board of Directors and fostering over 200 puppies, ill dogs, and dogs with service/working potential.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Giveaway

Grand Prize winner to get Three (3) books from Catherine Mann & Joanne Rock’s backlist plus loofah, Victoria’s Secret lotion and heart shape cookie cutters. Second Prize winner to get downloads of two Runaway Bride stories by Catherine Mann & Joanne Rock. See entry form for complete details.
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Review: Survival of the Christmas Spirit (The Survival Series #2) by Aimee Horton

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About Survival of the Christmas Spirit

“Cooking for nineteen people will be a cinch!” Ever-optimistic Dottie Harris is preparing for the biggest and best Christmas celebration ever, and nothing—not even unexpected guests or running out of gin—will get her down.

But as always, things don’t run smoothly for Dottie, and it’s not long before her two energetic children, hapless husband and a nasty stomach bug wreak havoc on her carefully planned spreadsheets.

Can Dottie throw the perfect family Christmas (without so much as a swig of gin to help her through) or will preparing for the festivities get the best of her? One thing’s for sure: This will be a Christmas to remember!

My Review

Hilarious, sentimental. I empathized with Dottie, no doubt a few of us have been in her shoes at one time or another, granted maybe not as quasi catastrophic but close nonetheless. Certainly this family will not forget such a memorable holiday in more ways than one.

Despite the numerous mishaps poor Dottie faced they ultimately reenforced the fact no matter what hiccups occur it’s being together, sharing the moment that matters most.

Witty, quick holiday read sure to make you smile during this joyous and hectic time of year as it expresses the deeper meaning of coming together as a family at Christmas.

Horton delivers comic relief and a delightful sport in Dottie, looking forward to reading more from Horton and of Dottie.

About Aimee Horton7064473

Author and writer of anything that pays for her ASOS habit, Aimee lives in Lincoln with her husband and two children. She released her first book from The Survival Series in 2013, and hasn’t looked back since.

A self-confessed social media addict, when she’s not writing books or drinking gin you can usually find Aimee on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Published July 2nd 2015 by Velvet Morning Press (first published December 1st 2013)

Interview with Jesse Kornbluth, author of Married Sex

25378531A Tattered Copy extends a warm welcome to Jesse Kornbluth, author of Married Sex. Thank you for joining A Tattered Copy Jesse. For Starters tell us a bit about Married Sex.

In 1995, Dustin Hoffman had the film rights to a novel about a divorce lawyer. No screenwriter leapt to write it, and eventually the offer came to me. The novel was beyond stupid, but the character of the divorce lawyer interested me. I thought: What does a divorce lawyer want least? To be divorced. And why do couples get divorced? They cite all manner of reasons, but in the end, I believe it comes down to sex; interest withers, or someone cheats. How might a couple prevent a divorce? I thought: What if they made an agreement — if you’re tempted to cheat, bring that person home. I pitched that story to Dustin. “It sounds like it should have subtitles,” he said. And passed. I thought: This is a good idea. (Definition of a good idea: No one else has written it.) So I went home and started to write it — as a novel. What l learned along the way: It’s got some hot sex scenes, but it’s not about sex. It’s about love and intimacy and communication in a close relationship — and sex as a way of taking the temperature of the relationship. Readers who come for the sex will be surprised.

When did you first, without hesitation, call yourself a writer?

The phrase “born writer” applies to me. I wanted to do it, I was good at it from a young age, and I didn’t think there was anything I could do better.

What’s the earliest memory you have of writing a story?

Age 8. A book review for the local paper: “Barney of the Babe Ruth League.” With my name on it.

What is your least favorite part of the writing process?

It changes. Usually it’s whatever part of the process I’m doing at that moment. Because, really, I’d rather be… reading.

How do you work with an editor without the pride thing getting in the way?

Editors are sent by the gods to help me — and I tell them that. Which makes it an easy relationship.

What technology do you use for writing?

I type with one finger. On a Mac.

How do you keep from resenting your duties and every human’s sleeping
requirement when you have to stop writing to take care of them?

You’re kidding, right? I live for interruptions.

Describe your writing style in ten words or less.

What George Orwell described as “prose like a windowpane.” What some call “style” is my enemy. My job is to put you in the room and tell you a story, not to have notice my craft.

When you hear from your readers, what do they say?

Everything. And it’s fine. I’m thrilled to hear from anyone. I answer every email.

How do you use social media to promote your writing?

Twitter and Facebook. And I hired a plane to pull a banner over Long Island beaches on Labor Day weekend.

How is this world a better place because of your books?

Isn’t the writer the last to know?

Purchase Links

Amazon • Barnes & Noble

About Jesse Kornbluth87338

Jesse Kornbluth is the founder of HeadButler.com, a cultural concierge site. He has served as editorial director of AOL, cofounded Bookreporter.com, and has been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and New York. The author of four nonfiction books, including Highly Confident: The Crime and Punishment of Michael Milken, he has written screenplays for Paul Newman, Robert De Niro, ABC, PBS, and Warner Bros.

Married Sex is Kornbluth’s first novel. He lives in Manhattan with his family.

Connect with Jesse: Website • Twitter • Goodreads

Review & Giveaway: Married Sex: A Love Story by Jesse Kornbluth

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When a husband convinces his wife to join him in a tryst with another woman, there are unintended consequences in this sharply observed erotic tale about the challenges of modern marriage.

Kornbluth constructed an impressive read. The characters are intelligent and complex. If you’re hoping for endless steamy sex scenes, you might be mildly disappointed. Yes, sex is described but it’s not the meat of the narrative, rather it’s about the unnoticed hairline fracture, of by all appearances, a healthy stable contented marriage until the addition of a welcomed third-party turns the fracture into a full-fledged compound fracture.

David and Blair were both fascinating and irksome. Great they developed this ‘cheating pact’ but I’m surprised this cerebral couple failed to discuss or form a ‘aftermath pact.’ Apparently these two forgot the simplicity of once the damage is done it’s a challenge to reverse, if at all a possibility. David needs a backbone, he also lacked the skills of persuasion post threesome with Blair. Blair signed on, held back in round one, wanted to be more participatory in round two and then pulled the stunt she did after all was said and done. Her behavior was unfair to David as well as immature. Obviously their stellar communication and respect originally in existence was nonexistent at this juncture.

The bottom line, their marriage had issues, possibly more than this couple realized or were willing to admit, the addition of Jane was the fuel igniting the blaze. If it wasn’t for Jane someone else or something else would have shaken this couples silently teetering foundation eventually.

I love the fact Kornbluth put Blair in the position of exiting instead of going the traditional path of the man needing to quench his curiosity. Also this put a zesty spin on the cast and narrative. Would Blair have been waiting or as forgiving if reversed? I’m thinking not so much, but with this liberal couple who knows. Plus what if there was insatiable chemistry between Blair and Jane, would the outcome been different, probably. With these questions along with many others, I respect the way Kornbluth left ambiguity and wonderment hanging in the air, leaves much for the reader to question and discuss.

Great glimpse into appearances and a cautionary tale of is it worth turning a fantasy into a reality without discussing ramifications on what you believe to be a solid relationship. What’s done is done, no redo’s. Consider the aftermath before you open your marriage and bedroom to others. Perception can be very deceiving.

Loved the way Kornbluth forced this reader to consider so much, great writing, wonderful theme along with content. Be fabulous to revisit David and Blair to see what their singular futures hold as well as their marriage, will their love trump all….too much left dangling by the clever hand of Kornbluth, my curiosity piqued.

About Jesse Kornbluth87338

Jesse Kornbluth is the founder of HeadButler.com, a cultural concierge site. He has served as editorial director of AOL, cofounded Bookreporter.com, and has been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and New York. The author of four nonfiction books, including Highly Confident: The Crime and Punishment of Michael Milken, he has written screenplays for Paul Newman, Robert De Niro, ABC, PBS, and Warner Bros.

Married Sex is Kornbluth’s first novel. He lives in Manhattan with his family.

Connect with Jesse: WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Married Sex, please complete the giveaway form below. Open to US residents only. Ends 10/23/15
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Paperback, 246 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Open Road Media
ISBN13: 9781504011259