Thursday, December 1, 2016

Walk into Silence by Susan McBride Giveaway! (US only)

Walk into Silence (Jo Larsen #1)
Susan McBride

A woman vanishes from a Texas town. Did she simply run off, or is something darker at play?

When Patrick Dielman shows up at Detective Jo Larsen’s desk insisting that his wife, Jenny, is missing, Jo wonders if it’s a case of a bored housewife running away.

But as she digs deeper into Jenny’s life, Jo learns that Dielman keeps a stranglehold on the family finances, down to the last nickel, and that Jenny’s first marriage dissolved following the death of her young son. By all accounts—including her doctor’s—she never recovered from the loss. Between a controlling husband, a tragic past, and a callous ex-husband, Jo can’t be sure if she should suspect foul play or accept that the woman may have wanted to disappear.

For Jo, whose own demons are shadowing her every step, finding Jenny becomes more than the typical protect-and-serve.

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away two print copies of Walk into Silence—that's two winners total! Yay!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
What is an automatic dealbreaker for you when it comes to a relationship? This can be romantic relationships or friendships.
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. Susan and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Racist or sexist viewpoints are almost automatically a turnoff to me. Sometimes it isn't so obvious to detect these, and sometimes they surface very slowly after you really get to know a person which is unfortunate. But it's something I really don't tolerate when it comes to any of my acquaintances.

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publicist—a huge thank you to the lovely folks over at Wunderkind PR!
Giveaway ends December 15th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only—sorry, everyone else! Please check 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, November 28, 2016

The First Line of Secrets of Worry Dolls by Amy Impellizzeri + Giveaway (US/Can only)

Secrets of Worry Dolls 
Amy Impellizzeri

According to Mayan tradition, if you whisper your troubles to the Worry Dolls, they will do the worrying instead of you–therefore, it follows that Worry Dolls are the keepers of a great many secrets...

On the eve of the end of the world–according to the Mayan calendar–Mari Guarez Roselli’s secrets are being unraveled by her daughter, Lu.

Lu’s worry dolls are at-capacity as she tries to outrun the ghosts from her past–including loved ones stolen on 9/11–by traveling through her mother’s homeland of Guatemala, to discover the painful reasons behind her own dysfunctional childhood, and why she must trust in the magic of the legend.

Friday, November 18, 2016

7 Heart Review: Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

This is an advertisement for SheSpeaks/St. Martins Press. I received a copy of Victoria for free.

Victoria
Daisy Goodwin

Page Count: 368

Release Date: November 22nd, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publicist via publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, SheSpeaks and St. Martin's Press!)
Rating♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
Drawing on Queen Victoria’s diaries, which she first started reading when she was a student at Cambridge University, Daisy Goodwin—creator and writer of the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria and author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter—brings the young nineteenth-century monarch, who would go on to reign for 63 years, richly to life in this magnificent novel.

Early one morning, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria is roused from bed with the news that her uncle William IV has died and she is now Queen of England. The men who run the country have doubts about whether this sheltered young woman, who stands less than five feet tall, can rule the greatest nation in the world.

Despite her age, however, the young queen is no puppet. She has very definite ideas about the kind of queen she wants to be, and the first thing is to choose her name.

“I do not like the name Alexandrina,” she proclaims. “From now on I wish to be known only by my second name, Victoria.”

Next, people say she must choose a husband. Everyone keeps telling her she’s destined to marry her first cousin, Prince Albert, but Victoria found him dull and priggish when they met three years ago. She is quite happy being queen with the help of her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, who may be old enough to be her father but is the first person to take her seriously.

On June 19th, 1837, she was a teenager. On June 20th, 1837, she was a queen. Daisy Goodwin’s impeccably researched and vividly imagined new book brings readers Queen Victoria as they have never seen her before.
You bet I had to match my nails to this stunning cover.

Most know her for her long-lived, powerful rule over Great Britain, but very few know her story outside of the monarchy. Victoria is a dazzling glimpse of Queen Victoria not only during her reign; rather, it covers the four-year timespan before she ever thought to ascend throne, to her first few years in.

There's a really interesting dynamic between the struggle for power that surrounds young Alexandrina (Victoria's birth name), as well as her hard-earned path to ascension. A great player in this is Lord Melbourne, Victoria's closest friend and confidante upon King William IV's death—unusual because he was 40 years her senior—who would go on to be a hugely successful mentor in Victoria's most critical years. Goodwin portrays him as a charismatic, hard-to-figure-out character, and I loved the ambiguous but wholly intriguing relationship between him and Victoria.

Victoria is also highly empowering; I loved reading about the obstacles she faced just for being a female ruler, and how she overcame them. Who would have thought, in 1837, that such a small girl, hardly a woman at eighteen, would end up ruling the world?

While well researched, this novel isn't bogged down with facts or a timeline of events that usually makes historical fiction difficult for me. It felt like a natural story, specifically about Victoria's development in her teenage years and early adulthood. It portrays the Queen in a relatable, human light—a perspective I've never seen before, and appreciate extremely. This is a very approachable account of the more intimate details of Victoria's life; Anglican history buffs and romance lovers alike will really enjoy this.


Pros


Story flows well and the ending is satisfying // Many points of rising action and tension // Well-fleshed characters: Victoria is easy to sympathize with and Lord Melbourne is fascinating // A great historical perspective of an endearing character

Cons


Some parts are melodramatic (not that they're overly dramatic, but the characters just act really scandalized over the smallest things) // I wish the subplot with Victoria's domineering mother had been more developed in the latter half of the book

Verdict


Less of an all-encompassing biopic and more of a glimmering coming-of-age story of one of the most powerful female rulers in history, Victoria is a historical drama that paints a vivid picture of the Queen's earliest, most transformative years. Daisy Goodwin is a natural storyteller; lovers of all things British Royalty will eat this book up. Equal parts political examination and budding romance, it left me thinking: What a beautiful novel. If you're curious about Queen Victoria as a person rather than just her political roles, go pick this up immediately. Americanflag

7 hearts: Not perfect, but overall enjoyable; would recommend, but borrow a copy before you buy! (x)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Waiting Room by Leah Kaminsky Giveaway (US only)

The Waiting Room
Leah Kaminsky

Leah Kaminsky’s powerful fiction debut—a multi-generational novel perfect for fans of The Tiger’s Wife and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena—unfolds over a day in the life of a young physician in contemporary Israel, who must cope with modern threats in the shadow of her parents’ horrific wartime pasts.

A young doctor in Haifa, Israel, must come to terms with her family’s painful past—and its lingering aftermath—as the conflict between Palestine and Israel reaches its height and the threat of a terrorist attack looms over the city...

Born to two survivors in the smoky after-haze of WWII, Dina has never been able to escape her parents’ history. Tortured by memories of Bergen-Belsen, her mother leaves Dina to inherit her decades of trauma.

Dina desperately anchors herself in family—a cherished young son, a world-weary husband, and a daughter on the way—and her work as a doctor, but she is struggling to cope, burdened by both the very real anxieties of her daily life and also the shadows of her parents’ ghosts, who follow her wherever she goes. A witty, sensitive narrator, she fights to stay grounded in the here-and-now, even as the challenges of motherhood and medicine threaten to overwhelm her.

In taut, compelling prose, The Waiting Room weaves between Dina’s exterior and interior lives, straddling the present and the past—and building towards a profoundly dramatic climax that will remind readers of the fragility of human life even as it reassures them of the inescapable power of love and family.

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away
 one finished copy of The Waiting Room—yay!!


To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
What is your most memorable waiting room or doctor's office experience?
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. Leah and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

As a kid, any time I was waiting for a shot or vaccination was a pretty horrific experience. I think the most nervous I've been was at the orthodontist's, when I waiting to get my braces, though. I had been worried about it for weeks!

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publicist—a huge thank you to the lovely folks at FSB Books!
Giveaway ends November 30th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of 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, November 14, 2016

For Sale by Owner by Marlene Bateman Giveaway (US only)

For Sale by Owner
Marlene Bateman

McKenzie Forsberg is headed home. She's quit her big-city job to return to her roots in the small town of Lake Forest. Kenzi hopes to buy her childhood home from her brother, Tom, as a way of revisiting the peace and security she's been missing in her life. But soon she is shocked to discover that the house has a pending sale, and Tom won't budge from the sale—not even for his sister.

Handsome widower Jared Rawlins catches Kenzie's eye until she realizes that he's the one who is buying her house—but he can only close the deal if he sells his own house by Christmas Eve. Jared is more than a little interested in Kenzie but has second thoughts when it seems that she may be sabotaging the sale of his home.

Slippery feelings of animosity and distrust ensue, with both Jared and Kenzie denying the chemistry between them. But then an unexpected discovery about their connected past puts a new twist in the dynamic. Now, can they put their differences aside and come to terms on a relationship that could last forever?
Buy the book from: Amazon | Seagull Book | Publisher

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of For Sale by Owner—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is answer Marlene's question in the comments below:
In For Sale by Owner, Kenzie inadvertently hurts Jared’s chances of selling his house. Has there ever been a time when you’ve unintentionally done something that ended up hurting someone?
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. Marlene and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the author—a huge thank you to the lovely Marlene Bateman!
Giveaway ends November 28th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only—sorry, everyone else! Please check 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!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Love Literary Style by Karin Gillespie Giveaway (US only)

Love Literary Style
Karin Gillespie

They say opposites attract, and what could be more opposite than a stuffy literary writer falling in love with a self-published romance writer?

Meet novelist Aaron Mite. He lives in a flea-infested rented alcove, and his girlfriend Emma, a combative bookstore owner, has just dumped him. He meets Laurie Lee at a writers’ colony and mistakenly believes her to be a renowned writer of important fiction. When he discovers she’s a self-published romance author, he’s already fallen in love with her.

Aaron thinks genre fiction is an affront to the fiction-writing craft. He likes to quotes the essayist, Arthur Krystal who claims literary fiction “melts the frozen sea inside of us.” Ironically Aaron doesn’t seem to realize that, despite his lofty literary aspirations, he’s emotionally frozen, due, in part, to a childhood tragedy. The vivacious Laurie, lover of flamingo-patterned attire and all things hot pink, is the one person who might be capable of melting him.

Their relationship is initially made in literary heaven but when Aaron loses his contract with a prestigious press, and Laurie’s novel is optioned by a major film studio, the differences in their literary sensibilities and temperaments drive them apart.

In a clumsy attempt to win Laurie back, Aaron employs the tropes of romance novels. Too late. She’s already taken up with Ross, a prolific author of Nicholas Sparks-like love stories. Initially Laurie is more comfortable with the slick and superficial Ross, but circumstances force her to go deeper with her writing and confront a painful past. Maybe Aaron and Laurie have more in common than they imagined. In the tradition of The Rosie Project, Love Literary Style is a sparkling romantic comedy which pokes fun at the divide between so-called low and high brow fiction.

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of Love Literary Style—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
What is your favorite classic romance or literary novel?
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. Karin and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

While I've never been a huge fan of classics in the romance genre overall, I am quite fond of Jane Eyre

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the author—a huge thank you to the lovely Karin Gillespie!!
Giveaway ends November 22nd at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US readers only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for the 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!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Exclusive Sneak Peek: In the Blue Hour by Elizabeth Hall + Giveaway (US/Can)

In the Blue Hour
Elizabeth Hall

Elise Brooks dreams of a car accident on an icy road. Weeks later, her beloved husband, Michael, is killed in just such a crash. Now, overcome with grief and uncertainty, Elise believes his spirit may be following her in the form of a raven, trying to tell her something from beyond the grave.

Desperate to understand the signs, Elise embraces both the Native American wisdom she grew up with and the world of psychics and seers. So when a tarot-card reader suggests she take a journey to the mysterious address found in Michael’s old jacket, she embarks on a cross-country trek to follow the clues.

Accompanied by Tom Dugan, an engineer and scientist who does not believe in psychics, mediums, or the hoodoo “conjure woman” they encounter on the road, Elise navigates the rituals and omens of the spirit world in an attempt to unravel the mystery of her husband’s message.