Saturday, December 20, 2014

How Much of My Actual Life Is in The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde + Giveaway! (US/Can only)

The Language of Hoofbeats
Catherine Ryan Hyde

Page Count: 342
Release Date: December 9th, 2014
Publisher: Lake Union (Amazon)
Genre: Literary, Horses, Family

From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes a story of the heartbreak and healing power of family.

New to a small town, Jackie and Paula envision a quiet life for their kids: a young adopted son and two teenage foster children, including the troubled Star. However, they quickly butt heads with their neighbor, Clementine, who disapproves of their lifestyle and is incensed when Star befriends her spirited horse, Comet. Haunted by past tragedy and unable to properly care for Comet, Clem nevertheless resents the bond Star soon shares with the horse. When Star disappears with Comet, the neighbors are thrown together—far too close together. But as the search for the pair wears on, both families must learn to put aside their animosity and confront the choices they’ve made and the scars they carry.

Plumbing the depths of regret and forgiveness, The Language of Hoofbeats explores the strange alchemy that transforms a group of people into a family.

Friday, December 19, 2014

What You Can Expect in The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak + Giveaway! (Open US/Can only)

The Heart of Christmas (Whiskey Creek #7)
Brenda Novak

Page Count: 384
Release Date: October 28th, 2014
Publisher: MIRA (Harlequin)
Genre: Contemporary, Christmas, Small Town

Just call her Christmas Eve...

Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn't have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that's what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B&B she manages, and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem... confining. 

Eve's worried that her future will simply be a reflection of her past. There's no one in the area she could even imagine as a husband—until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve's definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve's happily ever after—just when it finally seems within reach. And just when she's counting on the best Christmas of her life!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Best of 2014 Giveaway Hop (Open Internationally!)

The Best of 2014 Giveaway Hop, hosted by Bookhounds and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer, 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 Debut Author Giveaway Hop is scheduled from December 11th at 12.01 AM until December 18th at 11:59 PM (EST).

The Prizes

2014 was a huge reading year for me; I read so many titles that I gave 9 or 10 hearts to. Stay tuned for my annual list of the Modish Book Awards later this month!

For now, I'll give you a recap of my top six picks, and the winner of the giveaway will be able to choose which one to take home. There are many different genres represented here, as I'm a pretty eclectic reader, so I hope there's something for everyone. Click on each of the covers to read my (obsessive fangirly) reviews!

One lucky follower will win their choice of one of my favorite books I read in 2014.

We'll have ANOTHER winner for this amazing set of eBooks:

Both giveaways are open internationally—that's two winners total! Woohoo!!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Top 10 Baseball Facts from A League of Her Own by Karen Rock + Giveaway (Open Internationally!)

A League of Her Own
Karen Rock

Page Count: 312
Release Date: December 1st, 2014
Publisher: Heartwarming (Harlequin)
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Baseball, Rivals to Lovers

He was attractive, talented... and way off-limits.

Heather Gadway may have been a world-class college pitcher and a top university coach, but she's a rank amateur when it comes to managing the Falcons, her father's struggling minor-league team. And when it comes to managing her aggravating attraction to Garrett Wolf, their talented new pitcher. It's going to be difficult enough to make it as the first female manager in the league and prove to her overly critical father she's worthy. No distractions. No missteps. And certainly no romances with players. Everything stands between them—including their troubled pasts—even as Heather's world falls apart and Garrett's the one who's there to catch her...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Debut Author Giveaway Hop 2014 (Open internationally!)

The 2014 Debut Author Giveaway Hop, hosted by Bookhounds and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer, 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 Debut Author Giveaway Hop is scheduled from December 4th at 12.01 AM until December 11th at 11:59 PM (EST).

The Prizes

I'm excited to do something a little different from my regular hops this time!

Recently, the New York Times released their list of the top 50 fiction titles of 2014, and several of them were from debut authors that I'd love to spotlight. Click each cover to learn more!

One lucky follower will win their choice of one of the debut novels that made the NYT Notable list.

We'll have ANOTHER winner for this amazing set of eBooks:

Both giveaways are open internationally—that's two winners total! Woohoo!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Interview with Monica Murphy, Author of Owning Violet + Giveaway! (US/Can only)

I'd like to welcome the lovely Monica Murphy, to the blog today to celebrate the exciting release of Owning Violet from Bantam. You guys may know Monica from her explosive One Week Girlfriend series—what a delight to get to know her a bit today!

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

Will you please share a brief introduction with us?

New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children. She’s a workaholic who loves her job. When she’s not busy writing, she also loves to read and travel with her family. She writes new adult and contemporary romance and is published with Bantam and Avon. She also writes romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson, and is published with Samhain Publishing, Entangled Brazen, and Bliss.

It's amazing to get to feature you today, Monica! Readers, here's a bit about the book, which hits shelves today:

New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy begins a sexy new contemporary romance series—perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Emma Chase—that introduces three sisters born to wealth, raised to succeed, ready to love, destined to make waves.

I’ve moved through life doing what’s expected of me. I’m the middle daughter, the dutiful daughter. The one who braved a vicious attack and won. The one who devoted herself to her family’s cosmetics empire. The one who met an ambitious man and fell in love. We were going to run Fleur Cosmetics together, Zachary and I.

Until he got a promotion and left me in the dust. Maybe it’s for the best, between his disloyalty and his wandering eye. But another man was waiting for me. Wanting me. He too has an overwhelming thirst for success, just like Zachary—perhaps even more so. He’s also ruthless. And mysterious. I know nothing about Ryder McKay beyond that he makes me feel things I’ve never experienced before.

One stolen moment, a kiss, a touch... and I’m hooked. Ryder’s like a powerful drug and I’m an addict who doesn’t want to be cured. He tells me his intentions aren’t pure and I believe him. For once I don’t care. I’m willing to risk everything just to be with him. Including my heart. My soul.

My everything.
Buy the book from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Books-A-Million | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play | Publisher

Describe the Owning Violet in six words.

Sexy, mysterious, hot, dark, glamorous, love. :)

How did you arrive at writing NA romance?

I was flat out inspired by all of the wonderful NA out there in 2012 and decided hey, I want to write one. So I did and that became One Week Girlfriend. I decided to self publish it under a new name (I also write as Karen Erickson) because I thought, if it failed, no one would know.

To my surprise, it didn't fail. Karen got jealous, Monica took over, and the rest is history.

What was the inspiration for the book?

Owning Violet is the first book in The Fowler Sisters series. I've always wanted to write about three sisters named after flowers. I've been cleaning out my office and I found notes about those sisters from as far back as 2007! And do you get why they're named Fowler? Switch the letters around and you get... flower. (!)

I wanted to write something sexy and glamorous, set in the fashion industry (cosmetics, close enough). I wanted to create an alpha hero who was up to no good. I wanted a heroine who would slay the hero emotionally. All of those things came together and created Owning Violet.

I can't wait to read it—it's exactly my type of setup. As a huge fan of first lines, I’d love to hear the first line of Owning Violet. Could you give us a brief commentary on it?
Tonight, my life is going to change.
It's from Violet's perspective and yes indeed, her life IS going to change, but not in the way she expected it. She has things planned out. Her job, her love life... she thinks her boyfriend is going to propose to her. But she's wrong. Everything is turned on its head and she has to adjust to that.

I also started one of the last chapters in the book with that line (something I've never done before). By then she's come full circle.

Love it, absolutely love it. That line would send shivers down my spine reading it later! Are the characters from your book based off anyone you know in real life? How much else of your actual life gets written into your fiction?

An author said a long time ago that a little bit of herself appears in every character she creates and I have to agree. I think all of my characters share one of my traits. Now, I've never lived in NYC, I've never worked for a cosmetics company (though I did work at a department store, is that close? LOL), everything I write comes from my imagination.

But lines... small moments, references, even the occasional one-off character name... comes from my life. I just won't tell you exactly what. *winks*

How do you react to a negative or harsh review to your books?

Everyone has an opinion. My books won't appeal to everyone. I'm thankful for every thoughtful review that's written. I try not to react at all when I read a bad one, though some can sting, I won't lie. I certainly don't respond to bad reviews because that's just asking for trouble.

Agreed, one of my biggest pet peeves in the reviewing world is when authors ARGUE with a reader's perfectly well-formulated opinion!

Blog babes, click "Read more" to find out Monica's random favorites, what makes her book stand out from every other romance written, as well as her best personal and professional advice. We're also hosting a giveaway for a finished copy of Owning Violet, so you don't want to miss that either!

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Beauty of a Second Chance by Lori Jones Giveaway (Open Internationally!)

Growing Up Beautiful: A Novel about Three Models in Milan
Lori Jones
Twitter | Goodreads

In the summer of 1986, three young American models are shipped off to Milan to fill their portfolios with photographs. Ready to experience the charmed lifestyles depicted in fashion magazines, Star, Joanne, and Casey soon find themselves thrust into a foreign world that also includes private parties, unlimited drugs and predatory men.

Star's dream of obtaining financial security takes an unexpected turn after a fight with her new Italian agent. She quickly learns it takes more than beauty to make money in a city already crowded with pretty faces.

Joanne, seeking a reprieve from the demands of her privileged upbringing and Ivy League education, sneaks off to Europe without her parents consent. She meets a handsome photographer whose mere presence reveals a desperate longing in her heart she didn't know existed. Time is not on her side as a decision to honor family obligations or take a chance on love must be made.

Casey is a naive seventeen year old who is tired of hearing her mother's constant warnings about life. She is ready for adventure, but not prepared for the potential dangers that are part of the journey.

Together, these three learn the funny, unexpected, and sometimes ugly truth about growing up beautiful.

Sixteen years after their European adventure, ex-fashion models Star, Joanne and Casey reunite over lunch and realize they have a lot to talk about.

On Star’s wedding day, her mother-in-law drops a bomb that threatens her marriage and future security. Joanne becomes a reluctant volunteer out to protect a park against development while hesitant to lower her guard for love. Casey struggles to find a job while trying to be her daughter’s friend instead of enemy, and wonders how she can get her son’s Little League coach to play fair.

Now, older and wiser, will these three women use this second chance at friendship to help one another find success and happiness.
Buy the book from: Amazon | Createspace


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy each of Growing Up Beautiful and The Beauty of a Second Chance—that's two winners total! Even though TBoaSC is a sequel, it reads perfectly well as a standalone :)

To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
What do you think is the most common argument mother have with their daughters, and why?
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. Lori 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 Lori Jones!
Giveaway ends December 12th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open internationally—woohoo! That means anyone in the world can enter!
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!