Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop 2014!

The 4th annual Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Read Now Sleep Later, works like this: each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers to hop easily from one giveaway to another. For followers, it means lots of chances to win free books. For blogs hosting giveaways, it means lots of new visitors and followers. It's a win-win! The Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop is scheduled from April 17th at 12.01 AM until April 24th at 11:59 PM (EST).


The Prizes


One lucky follower will win their choice of ANY book from their wishlist. Any book you want!


As always, winner gets to choose between eBook or print. 

What would you choose if you won?

In celebration of Easter, I'll throw in another little prize I think EVERYONE will enjoy:
A Lindt (my favorite!!) chocolate bunny! These cuties come in dark, milk, white, and hazelnut chocolate, so the winner will get to choose :) I will be shipping these out myself and am willing to send them internationally!

And yes, we'll have ANOTHER winner for this amazing set of eBooks:

That's three winners total! Woohoo!!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hold Me in Contempt by Wendy Williams Giveaway! (open US/Can)

Brought to you by the fabulous Tasty Book Tours...

Hold Me in Contempt
Wendy Williams

Move over 50 Shades, there’s a new romance in town. Superstar Wendy Williams of "The Wendy Williams Show" brings on the heat in her first ever, no-holds-barred, down and dirty, romance novel.

Kimberly Kind is trying to get beyond her roots. A successful, beautiful, smart lawyer, she’s finally finding direction in her life and getting out of the streets. But a terrible accident threatens to throw her carefully laid plans off course. Now Kim’s hiding a huge secret… one that could threaten everything.

Enter King. A perfect mix of Justin Timberlake and David Beckham, the man oozes sex and has more swagger than anyone Kim’s ever met. Their chemistry is off the charts. But after passion-filled nights, the intensity of their emotions takes both of them by surprise.

Love was not supposed to be an option. Now it’s the only thing holding them together. When their pasts come back with a vengeance, can love possibly be enough?

About the Author


Mother, wife, media mogul, entrepreneur, performer and best-selling author, Wendy Williams is best known for her long-running talk show “The Wendy Williams Show”. Named one of the “35 Most Powerful People in Media” by The Hollywood Reporter in both 2012 and 2013, Williams’ nationally-syndicated weekday program was hailed a “breakthrough in daytime” by The New York Times when it launched in 2009. The show now airs in 52 countries, on BET at midnight, is set to launch its fifth season in Fall 2013 and has been renewed through 2017.

Williams is the author of The New York Times best-seller “The Wendy Williams Experience” (Dutton Books), as well as several novels including Ritz Harper Goes to Hollywood and her most recent, Hold Me in Contempt. She contributes a regular celebrity hot topics column to the entertainment magazine Life & Style Weekly.

Williams earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with a minor degree in Journalism at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Both of her parents were university professors and Williams remains an advocate for education at all levels. Williams credits the start of her career with her decision to take an internship at a radio station on St. Croix, Virgin Islands immediately following her graduation from college.

Williams grew up in Ocean Township, New Jersey and currently lives in Northern New Jersey with her husband and their teenage son Kevin, Jr.


Giveaway!


We are giving away five print copies of Hold Me in Contempt as part of the virtual tour hosted by Tasty Book Tours—that's five winners tour-wide. Yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below:
As a reminder, this is a generic tour-wide giveaway so I do not choose winners or prizes, and am merely a part of the promotional efforts.

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher—a huge thank you to Tasty Book Tours and Harper Collins!
Giveaway ends April 27th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US/Canada residents only. Sorry, rest of the world! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently-running giveaways that are open worldwide.
Void where prohibited.
As this is a tour-wide giveaway, I have no say in the selected winners and am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Author: Susan Meissner Interview + Giveaway! (US/Can only)

I'd like to welcome Susan Meissner to the blog today to celebrate the publication of her newest novel, A Fall of Marigolds from NAL Trade, a division of Penguin. Stick around until the end for a fabulous giveaway that you don't want to miss!

Welcome to Books à la Mode, Susan! Let's get this interview started.

Will you please share a brief bio with us?


Susan Meissner was born in San Diego, California, the second of three. She spent her childhood in just two houses.

Her first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories she wrote when she was eight.

She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980. When she is not working on a new novel, she is directing the small groups ministries at The Church at Rancho Bernardo. She also enjoy teaching workshops on writing and dream-following, spending time with my family, music, reading great books, and traveling.

Readers, here's a bit about the book, which was released in February!

A Fall of Marigolds

A beautiful scarf, passed down through the generations, connects two women who learn that the weight of the world is made bearable by the love we give away...

September 1911. On Ellis Island in New York Harbor, nurse Clara Wood cannot face returning to Manhattan, where the man she loved fell to his death in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Then, while caring for a fevered immigrant whose own loss mirrors hers, she becomes intrigued by a name embroidered onto the scarf he carries…and finds herself caught in a dilemma that compels her to confront the truth about the assumptions she’s made. Will what she learns devastate her or free her?

September 2011. On Manhattan’s Upper West Side, widow Taryn Michaels has convinced herself that she is living fully, working in a charming specialty fabric store and raising her daughter alone. Then a long-lost photograph appears in a national magazine, and she is forced to relive the terrible day her husband died in the collapse of the World Trade Towers…the same day a stranger reached out and saved her. Will a chance reconnection and a century-old scarf open Taryn’s eyes to the larger forces at work in her life?

Where did the inspiration for the book come from?

I’ve long been a history junkie, especially with regard to historical events that involve ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances. A couple years ago I viewed a documentary by author and filmmaker Lorie Conway called Forgotten Ellis Island, a hauntingly poignant exposé on the section of Ellis Island no one really has heard much about: its hospital. The two man- made islands that make up the hospital buildings haven’t been used in decades and are falling into ruins, a sad predicament the documentary aptly addresses. The documentary’s images of the rooms where the sick of a hundred nations waited to be made well stayed with me. I knew there were a thousand stories pressed into those walls of immigrants who were just a stone’s throw from a new life in America. They were so close they could almost taste it. But unless they could be cured of whatever disease they’d arrived with, they would never set foot on her shores. Ellis Island hospital was the ultimate in-between place—it lay between what was and what could be. A great place to set a story!

Your last few novels have had historical components interwoven within a contemporary story. Why do you prefer that kind of structure?

Living in Europe for five years awakened my love for history. It’s like it was always there but my time spent overseas just woke it up. When I think back to the subjects I did well in and that came easy to me in high school and college, it was always English and history, never math or science. I appreciate the artistry of math and the complexity of science, but neither subject comes easy to me. History has the word “story” in it; that’s what it is. It’s the story of everyone and everything. How could I not love it? Study history and you learn very quickly what we value as people; what we love, what we fear, what we hate, what we are willing die for. History shows us where we’ve been and usually has lessons for us to help us chart where we’re going.

This is your first general market novel after having written more than a dozen books for the inspirational market. Why the switch?

I got my start in the inspirational market and am immensely grateful for that experience. Every published novelist wants to connect with her ideal reader. We don’t all like the same genres and we don’t all like the same style and voice. I believe a great many of my ideal readers shop in the general marketplace because that’s where I shop. My favorite authors—among them Kate Morton, Geraldine Brooks, Lisa See, Jamie Ford, and Diane Setterfield—are all general marketplace authors. Add to this that my faith threads are always subtle rather than obvious, then the move to the general market place seems like a great way for me to connect with more readers.

My approach to faith in my writing is one that I liken to the subtlety of God’s presence and influence in the Book of Esther in the Old Testament. The faith thread in the Book of Esther is as subtle as it can be—God is never even mentioned—and yet the story is powerfully told and the virtues of loyalty, trust, hope, and courage are obvious. I have never thought of myself as writer of Christian fiction but rather a Christian who writes fiction.


I think that's a beautiful approach! What will readers already familiar with your style find different about A Fall of Marigolds?

I would say any difference between my last book and this one is minimal. The takeaway of A Fall of Marigolds is heavily influenced by the idea of sacrificial love—as great a theme as any—as well as the decision we all must make as to whether we believe all of life is random or that there is purpose and design and therefore a Designer. I have never thought of my books as inspirational in nature, even when I was first starting out. I have not sought to point people to my theological positions or anyone else’s. I merely and only want to tell stories that compel my readers to ponder anew what they love, fear, or long for; what they are willing to die for, live for, hope for. I don’t put messages in my books. At least I never want any book of mine to sound like it is message-driven. But I do want my books to make you want to sit down and talk bout the story with someone.


How did you arrive at writing women’s fiction? Are there any other genres you’d like to try your hand at, or any you want to stay away from?

Actually, I don’t think of myself as a writer of women’s fiction as much as I think of myself as a writer of the kind of fiction that women like best, and defining that is kind of a gray area. You usually don’t hear women describe what they read as "women’s fiction" and you won’t often find books shelved that way in bookstores. I think storylines that women are drawn to most are those that deal with human relationships, especially those found in the family, and women readers are all about relationships.

I love mysteries, have written a few, and I would love to (someday) try my hand at a YA read with magic realism in the mix.

Not sure I would be very good at your basic thriller or true crime. I like stories that are character-driven.


Describe A Fall of Marigolds in six words.

Love makes the hard times bearable.

As a huge fan of first lines, I’d love to hear the first line of A Fall of Marigolds. Could you give us a brief commentary on it?

The length of floral-patterned challis rested on the cutting table like a bridal bouquet undone.
This line wasn’t the first line I wrote when I began; it came much later in the writing process. When I first wrote this novel, I didn’t frame the historical story with a contemporary thread as I had done with my most previous novels. My new editor at Penguin really wanted me to include one. So I set a parallel, current-day story in Manhattan, just across the river from Ellis. The setting is a tony fabric store on the upper west side and the woman who manages it is a 9/11 widow about to mark the tenth anniversary of her husband’s death. What ties this current-day woman to my main character on Ellis Island in 1911 is an heirloom scarf patterned in marigolds. This first visual is meant to hint that a piece of fabric is about to become something more than just pretty threads woven together.

I think that's brilliantly done, and a gorgeous line too! Which character from A Fall of Marigolds was most difficult to write?

Writing Taryn’s story—she’s the 9/11 widow—was the hardest for me because she was dealt (okay, I dealt her) a pretty heavy hand. Researching and then writing the scene where she’s on the sidewalk watching the Twin Towers burn, and then running from the suffocating wall of debris when the first one falls, was mentally and spiritually exhausting. She lost so much, and I knew I had to restore much to her by the book’s end for the reader to feel satisfied. I had my work cut out for me. But I think I delivered what the reader deserves.

Tell us about your road to publication, such as how you first queried, unexpected challenges, and things you picked up along the way.

I’ve loved to write for about as long as I can remember. I wrote once-upon-a-time stories in grade school, a ton of teenage drama poetry in high school and then in my 20s when I was working full-time and also in my 30s raising four kids, I let the creative writing slide because I was afraid to see if I was really any good at it. I became editor of a small town newspaper and did the journalism thing for 10 years. But there were stories inside me clawing to get out. I realized I’d rather live with rejections than regrets. I quit my 50-hour a week job at the newspaper in 2002 to write my first novel, Why the Sky is Blue and wrote it in 10 weeks. In 2003, Harvest House Publishers picked it up after I had queried maybe a dozen other publishers. What has surprised me the most is that, even after sixteen novels, it doesn’t get any easier. It gets harder, actually. I raise the bar for myself every time I start a new book but I still start with a blank page and a whole lot of nothing looking back at me.

Raising the bar is the only way you can keep up with readers. It sure may be difficult, but it makes you more seasoned as an author, which clearly shows in the quality of your writing! How do you react to a negative or harsh review to your books?

I have a little mental system for dealing with these kinds of reviews. First, I look at who wrote the review and determine how much this person’s opinion matters to me. Then I look to see if they “got it.” Sometimes a reader and a writer just aren’t on the same page, no pun intended. If that unhappy reader didn’t receive the book I wrote but somehow received something totally different in the reading, I let it go. We didn’t meet on the pages, that reader and I.

Usually though, there is at least a smidgen of truth in even the most heartless and uninformed review. I look for that smidgen and let it tutor me. If a reviewer, even that one whose opinion doesn’t really matter to me, says my characters lack depth or my plot is contrived or the pace is slow, I look to see where and how she or he came to that conclusion. Sometimes, the reviewer is right, even if they communicated it harshly.


What are you involved in when you aren’t writing?

In our spare time, my husband and I like to be outside, either walking or hiking or enjoying a glass of wine or craft beer on a sunny patio. We both love good music, good books, and quiet places like the mountains or a hideaway cove. I also volunteer with a program here in San Diego called Words Alive. We reach out to at-risk kids and teens to help them connect or reconnect with reading and writing.

Words Alive sounds amazing; thank you on behalf of the teen community for being a part of that! Name the top five novels that have made the biggest impact on your life or on your writing.

That is almost like asking what is my favorite breath of air! I’ve been moved by the writing of Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner), Jane Hamilton (A Map of the World), Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale), Geraldine Brooks (A Year of Wonders), Ann Patchett (Bel Canto), Lisa See (Snowflower and the Secret Fan) and most recently by Kate Atkinson, Kate Morton, and Donna Tartt.

What’s the greatest thing you ever learned?

It’s the choices we make that define us, not what happens to us.

I think that's an interesting perspective on things.

Click "Read more" to find out Susan's guiltiest pleasure, what she wanted to grow up to be when she was younger, and what makes A Fall of Marigolds stand out from all the other books out there. We're also hosting a giveaway for a print copy at the end, so you don't want to miss that either!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

7 Heart Beauty Review: Simply Beautiful Tangle Teaser Brush

The Tangle Teaser Brush, currently available through Second Glance Beauty via Amazon in five vibrant colors, is excellent for detangling both wet and dry hair—use firm pressure to get painless detangling! A godsend for unruly curly hair, a must for extension-wearers, and gentle enough for children, Simply Beautiful's Tangle Tease Brush detangles effortlessly.

I've always had thick, frizzy hair that's hard to manage straight out of the shower, so I was really excited to get to try this detangling brush.

The body of the brush is made out of a lightweight plastic. It isn't as dense as the plastic in most hair styling tools, so it does feel a little insubstantial, but I had no problems with it cracking or snapping or anything, so all good on that front. The plastic is smooth but rather slippery, and paired with the odd curve of the handle (it tapers, but isn't curved to the shape of a hand's grip—rather not very ergonomic, if you ask me), it makes it rather uncomfortable to hold. Not a massive issue, you just have to hold it a little firmer than you would a straight-handled brush.

The bristles themselves only have one component: a very flexible plastic, which makes brushing a bit frustrating, but it gets the job done. Because of the flimsiness of the bristles, they sometimes bend too much when running them through very tangled hair, but the point of the brush is that the bristles mold to the tangles, which causes painless detangling. I like this idea, and I can definitely say that when brushing out my wet hair, I didn't have as many snags or pulling as I typically do.

Apparently this product is a knockoff of the wildly popular Tangle Teezer hairbrush, which has rave reviews. The original Tangle Teezer is much pricer than the Tangle Teaser, though (don't get the names confused!). I appreciate affordability, but also imagine the quality of the plastic and coating used for this brush falls proportionately, as I wasn't completely wowed by it.

Overall, Simply Beautiful's Tangle Teaser Brush delivers what it promises: it detangles wet and dry hair gently and fuss-free. I personally wasn't completely impressed by the weak bristles and awkward handle, and also don't see how this is too different from just brushing your wet hair out with your fingers. However, since I don't have extremely curly, knotty hair—my hair is probably just a 4 on a 1-to-10 scale of unmanageability—I can't say this won't work wonders for people who have more trouble untangling their hair, especially after showering.

Tell me:
Do you have hard-to-tame or curly hair? What products or styling tools do you use to manage it?

FTC Disclosure: Second Glance Beauty provided me with a complimentary sample of the Tangle Tease Brush in Green for me to write an honest and unbiased review. I was not paid or sponsored to write a positive review and all content is mine and mine alone.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Amazing Power Behind Writing Fiction: Notes from The Publicist by Christina George + Giveaway (International!)

The Publicist (The Publicist #1)

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 land mine 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.

Welcome the the world of publishing. The ego has landed.


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.

Behind the book, there's always more to the story.
Buy the book from: Amazon | CreateSpace

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

9 Heart Review: The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh + Giveaway! (US)

The Moon Sisters
by Therese Walsh
Writer Unboxed | Fan Page | FacebookTwitter | Goodreads | PinterestFollow the Tour!

Page Count: 317

Release Date: March 4th 2014
Publisher: Crown (Random House)
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher via tour publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Random House and TLC!)
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

This mesmerizing coming-of-age novel, with its sheen of near-magical realism, is a moving tale of family and the power of stories.

After their mother’s probable suicide, sisters Olivia and Jazz take steps to move on with their lives. Jazz, logical and forward-thinking, decides to get a new job, but spirited, strong-willed Olivia—who can see sounds, taste words, and smell sights—is determined to travel to the remote setting of their mother’s unfinished novel to lay her spirit properly to rest.

Already resentful of Olivia’s foolish quest and her family’s insistence upon her involvement, Jazz is further aggravated when they run into trouble along the way and Olivia latches to a worldly train-hopper who warns he shouldn’t be trusted. As they near their destination, the tension builds between the two sisters, each hiding something from the other, until they are finally forced to face everything between them and decide what is really important.
"If you live your whole life hoping and dreaming the wrong things, what does that mean about your whole life?"

Beth Moon believed in one thing her entire adulthood—something that surpassed the importance of her husband, children, and self. Beth Moon was a writer, one who incorporated her dream into every word she penned, and one who penned words into every dream she dreamed. Upon recognizing the inevitable void in her entire crux of belief, she fell into a terrifying depression; and soon after, she took her own life.

But this is not the story of Beth Moon. Not really, anyways. This is the story of Beth Moon's untimely, ill-fated death: the uncovering of and reconciliation with her past, her ailments, her baggage. This is the story of her dreams and her writing: her unsent letters and unfinished novel. Ultimately, however, this is the story of her daughters, Jazz and Olivia Moon, and more importantly: of their inheritance.

Olivia's reality has always been bizarre, so when she decides to toss her mother's ashes into a suitcase and leave her isolated West Virginian hometown to go off to fulfill her mother's yearnings, Jazz isn't all that surprised.
[Olivia has] never been the poster child for sense.
Olivia's unfaltering quest propels the clashing sisters into what begins as a risky adventure—involving traveling, train-hoppers, and the unforgiving wilderness—and ends in devastating but simultaneously uplifting family revelations that makes The Moon Sisters one of the most evocative and perceptive adult coming-of-age novels I've ever read.

Narrated in alternating first-person voices of the two sisters, the novel elegantly embodies the suffocation and restlessness that arises from living in a small town, as well as the many faces and stages of grief. Readers follow both Jazz and Olivia's physical and emotional journeys as they lose their way, find their way, fall apart, and fall in love; with this progression, readers discover how each sister deals with her own denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, triumphantly: acceptance.

One of the most significant questions Therese Walsh raises through both of the Moon daughters is on the worthwhileness of hoping and believing. The elusiveness of dreams—a once-comforting notion—increasingly causes both sisters distress as they reflect upon their respective childhoods and their mother's dismal reason for existence. Is it smart to hope and dream? Is it safe? Does it ever end in anything other than disappointment?

I was impressed by how realistic Jazz, the older sister, is—so flawed and easy to sympathize with. It was difficult for me to like her because she's so uptight, so logical, but I identify with her in so many other ways. Olivia, on the other hand, is a brightly burning character—both on the pages, and off. Her way of thought is difficult to penetrate—partly due to the synesthesia, partly due to the undeveloped sense of maturity—but it doesn't make her any less distinct; she's a colorful, imaginative character who's entirely offbeat, but that much more lovable. Therese Walsh is excellent with describing the flavor of words and the appearance of sounds and the way a person can smell like the sun. As in Amaryllis in Blueberry and A Mango-Shaped Space, the author vividly creates a different kind of reality from within Olivia; the effect is subtly hallucinogenic and staggeringly poetic.

While Hobbs, Olivia's secretive train-hopping companion, is a minor character, his relationship with Olivia smolders, ignites... intoxicates. I won't give too much away, but their slow-building rapport made me melt and shatter and want to cry. The Moon Sisters isn't explicitly a romance, but it contains overwhelming glimpses into the sheer capacity and capability of the human connection, that will desperately make you wish it was.

Illuminated by Walsh's mesmerizing, commanding voice, The Moon Sisters reads dreamlike—magical and dizzying and airy—but still possesses the emotional weight of coping and continuing—the care, keeping, and purging of ghosts, if you will. Readers will easily identify with the firmly planted emotions regarding tortured souls, family bonds, and the weakness and resilience that comes with being human.

Pros


Perfectly blends adventure, family drama, and personal reflection together // Exquisite style // Both sisters' points of view are equally refreshing and intriguing // Olivia and Hobbs... ugh ♥ // Story lulls in pace, but the tension makes it impossible to put down // Emotionally, powerfully reflective of the human heart and propensity to dream // Trippy, dreamlike perspectives are so well constructed

Cons


Slow start // Didn't like how Beth Moon's letters are actually displayed. They seem much too private and were disappointing solely because it seems impossible to write them the way I imagined them

Love

There was no snapping branches or movements between us then. Only a sense of seeing that went beyond what anyone might perceive with eyes.

He's uglier than sin, you know.

I doubted I would believe that even if I weren't living life on periphery and bound for a further edge, if I could see Hobbs's dragon-camouflage skin with all its details. Liking him felt more honest than anything I'd experienced before, too, maybe because of its quick-form, raw-wound beginning and lack of clarity, its sheer instinct, and the fact neither of us had turned yet to run in the other direction.

"You don't scare me, Hobbs."

"Said the girl who stared at the sun."

Verdict


An intricate, intimate portrait of one young woman's quest to carry out her deceased mother's unfulfilled dream—as well as her older sister's determination to put an end to it—The Moon Sisters is a gorgeously crafted and expressive examination of the importance of sticking together as a family, maintaining fair perspective, and the harmful but necessary means of self-preservation. Offering endless discussion on topics such as the true difference between blindness and sight, the role and impact of mothers, and the dangers of the foolish fire that is hope, this would make a terrific book-club read. Therese Walsh skillfully weaves a complicated story with even more complicated roots in this glorious second novel; I love and recommend it wholeheartedly Americanflag

9 hearts: Loved it! This book has a spot on my favorites shelf (x)

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away one finished print copy of The Moon Sisters—yay!! To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
What's something you're determined to do or experience before you die?

Don't forget to include your email address or Twitter username in your comment so I know who to contact when I choose a winner. Don't make me track you down!!!! No email = No entry!
My serious answer: I know this is way way way too early for me to be thinking about, but I don't want to die before starting my own family. The loving husband, the two-point-five children, the rowdy dog, the white picket fence—all that average stuff ;)
My less serious answer: Write (and publish!) a novel.

What about you?

Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Therese and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher—a huge thank you to TLC and Random House!
Giveaway ends April 22nd at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only—sorry, international readers! Check out my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide—there are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sweet Callahan Homecoming by Tina Leonard: Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway! (International)

Brought to you by the fabulous Goddess Fish Promotions...

Sweet Callahan Homecoming (Callahan Cowboys #15)
Tina Leonard

Will Ashlyn Callahan finally find her magic? The last Callahan rides in the exciting conclusion to the bestselling series, The Callahan Cowboys.

Four Babies—and Her Whole Family—to Protect

Ashlyn Callahan has always known that her fate can only bring danger to those she loves. That's why she flees Rancho Diablo—and the ornery cowboy she loves—to hide out in Texas Hill Country. But all hell breaks loose when Xavier Phillips finds her... and her four newborn babies.

Xav finally tracks down his warrior woman—only to discover she's the mother of two perfect little boys and two perfect little girls. And he's the father! Now Ash has to marry him. With the future of Ash's entire clan at stake, Xav is ready to lay his life on the line to safeguard the family legacy. Not to mention create a homecoming—and a wedding!—worthy of his Chacon Callahan bride.