Friday, June 23, 2017

Top 5 Ways My Fiction Was Inspired by Real Life by Jen Gilroy, Author of The Cottage at Firefly Lake + Giveaway (US/Can)

The Cottage at Firefly Lake
Jen Gilroy
from Forever // Grand Central Publishing // Hachette

Some mistakes can never be fixed and some secrets never forgiven... but some loves can never be forgotten.

Charlotte Gibbs wants nothing more than to put the past behind her, once and for all. But now that she’s back at Firefly Lake to sell her mother’s cottage, the overwhelming flood of memories reminds her of what she’s been missing. Sun-drenched days. Late-night kisses that still shake her to the core. The gentle breeze off the lake, the scent of pine in the air, and the promise of Sean’s touch on her skin... True, she got her dream job traveling the world. But at what cost?

Sean Carmichael still doesn’t know why Charlie disappeared that summer, but after eighteen years, a divorce, and a teenage son he loves more than anything in the world, he’s still not over her. All this time and her body still fits against his like a glove. She walked away once when he needed her the most. How can he convince her to stay now?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Exclusive Sneak Peek: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn + Giveaway (US/Can only)

The Alice Network
Kate Quinn
from William Morrow // HarperCollins

In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies," who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth... no matter where it leads.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The First Sentence of The Right Side by Spencer Quinn + Giveaway (US/Can)

The Right Side
Spencer Quinn
from Atria Books // Simon & Schuster

In this riveting new novel by the New York Times bestselling author of the Chet and Bernie mystery series, a deeply damaged female soldier home from the war in Afghanistan becomes obsessed with finding a missing girl, gains an unlikely ally in a stray dog, and encounters new perils beyond the combat zone.

LeAnne Hogan went to Afghanistan as a rising star in the military, and came back a much lesser person, mentally and physically. Now missing an eye and with half her face badly scarred, she can barely remember the disastrous desert operation that almost killed her. She is confused, angry, and suspects the fault is hers, even though nobody will come out and say it.

Shattered by one last blow—the sudden death of her hospital roommate, Marci—LeAnne finds herself on a fateful drive across the country, reflecting on her past and seeing no future. Her native land is now unfamiliar, recast in shadow by her one good eye, her damaged psyche, her weakened body. Arriving in the rain-soaked small town in Washington State that Marci had called home, she makes a troubling discovery: Marci’s eight-year-old daughter has vanished. When a stray dog—a powerful, dark, unreadable creature, no one’s idea of a pet—seems to adopt LeAnne, a surprising connection is formed and something shifts inside her. As she becomes obsessed with finding Marci’s daughter, LeAnne and her inscrutable canine companion are drawn into danger as dark and menacing as her last Afghan mission. This time she has a strange but loyal fellow traveler protecting her blind side.

Enthralling, suspenseful, and psychologically nuanced, The Right Side introduces one of the most unforgettable protagonists in modern fiction: isolated, broken, disillusioned—yet still seeking redemption and purpose—LeAnne takes hold of the reader and never lets go.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Characters Based on People I Know in Real Life by Nancy Mehl, Author of Dark Deception + Giveaway (US/Can)

Dark Deception (Defenders of Justice #2)
Nancy Mehl
from Bethany House // Baker Publishing

Kate O'Brien's quiet life in small-town Shelter Cove, Arkansas is shaken when her past suddenly comes roaring back to life. Four years ago, she and her twin sister were attacked by an elusive serial killer. Only Kate survived, and she's been in witness protection ever since.

When new evidence arises to suggest the convicted man wasn't the murderer, she's subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. Afraid to go back into that world, Kate only agrees if Tony DeLuca, the deputy Marshal who protected her during the original trial, escorts her to St. Louis.

Tony readily takes on the assignment; Kate's beauty and inner strength made more of an impression on him than he expected. But when Kate's safety is threatened, Tony must race against the clock to keep her alive and put this ugly case to rest before anyone else gets killed.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Unexpectedly Hers by Jamie Beck Giveaway (US only)

Unexpectedly Hers (Sterling Canyon #3)
Jamie Beck
from Montlake Romance // Amazon Publishing

By day, bashful wallflower Emma Duffy works at her family's bed-and-breakfast. By night, she secretly pens erotic romance hot enough to melt the snow in their cozy Rockies town.

But Emma's real life is about to heat up when her mother books the entire inn to a professional snowboarder, hoping the publicity will put them on the map. In a karmic twist of fate, that guest is Wyatt Lawson, the man with whom Emma had shared the secret one-night stand that became the inspiration for her novel and its dreamy hero. Worse, a film crew is documenting his comeback just as her debut is about to hit the shelves. Emma's only saving grace is that Wyatt doesn't remember her—and hopefully he never will.

When Wyatt arrives in Sterling Canyon for several weeks of intense training, the last tumble he expects to take is falling for a girl, especially one as shy as Emma. Unlike groupies with their hidden agendas, she isn't using him—or so he believes... until the film crew uncovers Emma's pen name and steamy novel.

Wyatt's comeback run can withstand a fall or two, but can his heart recover from this crash and burn?

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of Unexpectedly Hers—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
What is a hobby or activity you participate in that most people would not expect?
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. Jamie and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Most people I know in-person don't really know I blog or review books (unless they find out themselves by Googling me LOL). More generally, I guess another unexpected hobby of mine is design/craft projects! I love calligraphy, watercolors, graphite sketching, etc. but I don't really have an "artsy" personality.

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publicist—a huge thank you to the lovely folks over at PR by the Book!
Giveaway ends June 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, June 13, 2017

My Guiltiest Pleasure by Margo Catts, Author of Among the Lesser Gods + Giveaway (US/Can)

Among the Lesser Gods
Margo Catts
from Arcade Publishing (Skyhorse)

“Tragedy and blessing. Leave them alone long enough, and it gets real hard to tell them apart.”

Elena Alvarez is living a cursed life. From the deadly fire she accidentally set as a child, to her mother’s abandonment, and now to an unwanted pregnancy, she knows better than most that small actions can have terrible consequences. Driven to the high mountains surrounding Leadville, Colorado by her latest bad decision, she’s intent on putting off the future. Perhaps there she can just hide in her grandmother’s isolated cabin and wait for something—anything—to make her next choice for her.

Instead, she is confronted by reflections of her own troubles wherever she turns—the recent widower and his two children adrift in a changed world, Elena’s own mysterious family history, and the interwoven lives within the town itself. Bit by bit, Elena begins to question her understanding of cause and effect, reexamining the tragedies she’s held on to and the wounds she’s refused to let heal.

But when the children go missing, Elena’s fragile new peace is shattered. It’s only at the prospect of fresh loss and blame that she will discover the truth of the terrible burdens we take upon ourselves, the way tragedy and redemption are inevitably intertwined—and how curses can sometimes lead to blessings, however disguised.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Lawmen: Bullets and Brawn Series by Elizabeth Heiter Giveaway (Open Internationally!)

Bodyguard with a Badge (The Lawmen: Bullets and Brawn #1)
Elizabeth Heiter
from Harlequin Intrigue (Harlequin // Harper Collins)

Take the shot... or take a chance?

FBI sniper Andre Diaz saved Juliette Lawson from a deadly hostage situation. But only hours later, he receives the surprise of his life when she takes him hostage in order to escape Quantico. Now the federal agent knows just how desperate Juliette is to stay hidden from her dangerous cop ex-husband.

Putting her trust in another law enforcement officer is difficult. Yet Juliette senses Andre is definitely one of the good guys. Perhaps he truly can protect her from the secrets she's been running from—unless her deadly past catches up with them both first.
Buy the book from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Books-a-Million | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play | Publisher


She's become his whole world... and she's under fire

Ever since forensics analyst Shaye Mallory survived a police-station shootout, Detective Cole Walker has felt personally responsible for her well-being. Then another shooter takes aim at Shaye. Cole decides the only thing he can do is stay right by her side until he finds the man who wants her dead.

Cole knows that he must set aside his attraction to Shaye if he's going to do his job. But as the days—and nights—go on, it becomes harder and harder to resist his feelings. And, as danger moves ever closer to them both, Shaye realizes that her safety might cost her the life of the man she loves.
Buy the book from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Books-a-Million | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play | Publisher

Secret Agent Surrender (The Lawmen: Bullets and Brawn #3)

This undercover agent can't disguise his true desire!

Undercover DEA agent Marcos Costa is shocked to see Brenna Hartwell—his very first crush—cozying up to the brutal drug lord he's about to bust! He hasn't seen her since childhood, but he never imagined she'd turn to a life of crime. What the hunky agent doesn't know is that Brenna's working her own bust as a rookie cop undercover.

Brenna didn't think she'd ever see Marcos again, especially not on her first undercover mission! She knows she has to keep her distance... but while she and Marcos play out their daring ruse, their youthful passion reignites. One wrong move could blow their covers. Can two loners used to self-reliance trust their lives—and hearts—to each other?

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of each book in the Bullets and Brawn series—that's three winners total! Yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
What is your favorite thing about romantic suspense books?
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. Elizabeth 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 Elizabeth Heiter!
Giveaway ends June 26th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open internationally—yay! That means anyone in the world can enter, provided you have a verifiable email and postal address.
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!

Friday, June 9, 2017

The First Sentence of Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin + Giveaway (US only)

Grief Cottage
Gail Godwin
from Bloomsbury

The haunting tale of a desolate cottage, and the hair-thin junction between this life and the next, from bestselling National Book Award finalist Gail Godwin

After his mother's death, eleven-year-old Marcus is sent to live on a small South Carolina island with his great aunt, a reclusive painter with a haunted past. Aunt Charlotte, otherwise a woman of few words, points out a ruined cottage, telling Marcus she had visited it regularly after she'd moved there thirty years ago because it matched the ruin of her own life. Eventually she was inspired to take up painting so she could capture its utter desolation.

The islanders call it "Grief Cottage," because a boy and his parents disappeared from it during a hurricane fifty years before. Their bodies were never found and the cottage has stood empty ever since. During his lonely hours while Aunt Charlotte is in her studio painting and keeping her demons at bay, Marcus visits the cottage daily, building up his courage by coming ever closer, even after the ghost of the boy who died seems to reveal himself. Full of curiosity and open to the unfamiliar and uncanny given the recent upending of his life, he courts the ghost boy, never certain whether the ghost is friendly or follows some sinister agenda.

Grief Cottage is the best sort of ghost story, but it is far more than that—an investigation of grief, remorse, and the memories that haunt us. The power and beauty of this artful novel wash over the reader like the waves on a South Carolina beach.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Need You Dead by Peter James Giveaway (US only)

Need You Dead (Roy Grace #13)
Peter James

Roy Grace, creation of the CWA Diamond Dagger award winning author Peter James, faces his most mysterious case yet in Need You Dead.

Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.

When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of Need You Dead—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
What about you, as a person, is extraordinary? How do you stand out from other people?
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. Peter and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

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 June 21st 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, June 6, 2017

The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon Giveaway (US only)

The Summer House
Hannah McKinnon

When Flossy Merrill summons her children to the beloved family beach house to celebrate their father’s eightieth birthday, both cherished memories and long-kept secrets come to light in this charming and lyrical novel from the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer.

Flossy Merrill has managed to—somewhat begrudgingly—gather her three ungrateful grown children from their dysfunctional lives for a summer reunion at the family’s Rhode Island beach house. Clementine, her youngest child and a young mother of two small children, has caused Flossy the most worry after enduring a tragically life-altering year. But Samuel and his partner Evan are not far behind in their ability to alarm: their prospective adoption search has just taken a heart-wrenching turn. Only Paige, the eldest of the headstrong Merrill clan, is her usual self: arriving precisely on time with her well-adapted teens. Little does her family know that she, too, is facing personal struggles of her own.

No matter. With her family finally congregated under one seaside roof, Flossy is determined to steer her family back on course even as she prepares to reveal the fate of the summer house that everyone has thus far taken for granted: she’s selling it. The Merrill children are both shocked and outraged and each returns to memories of their childhoods at their once beloved summer house—the house where they have not only grown up, but from which they have grown away. With each lost in their respective heartaches, Clementine, Samuel, and Paige will be forced to reconsider what really matters before they all say goodbye to a house that not only defined their summers, but, ultimately, the ways in which they define themselves.

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away two print copies of The Summer House—yay!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
If you could have a summer house in any resort town, where would you want it?
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. Tess and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

On the west coast, I'd go with Carmel/Monterey (the Big Sur area in general!) and on the east coast, I'd choose Montauk.

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 June 20th 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, June 5, 2017

The End of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb Giveaway (US only)

The End of Temperance Dare
Wendy Webb
from Lake Union Books // Amazon Publishing

Haunting and atmospheric, The End of Temperance Dare is another thrilling page-turner from the author reviewers are calling the Queen of the Northern Gothic.

When Eleanor Harper becomes the director of a renowned artists’ retreat, she knows nothing of Cliffside Manor’s dark past as a tuberculosis sanatorium, a “waiting room for death.” After years of covering murder and violence as a crime reporter, Eleanor hopes that being around artists and writers in this new job will be a peaceful retreat for her as much as for them.

But from her first fog-filled moments on the manor’s grounds, Eleanor is seized by a sense of impending doom and realizes there’s more to the institution than its reputation of being a haven for creativity. After the arrival of the new fellows—including the intriguing, handsome photographer Richard Banks—she begins to suspect that her predecessor chose the group with a dangerous purpose in mind. As the chilling mysteries of Cliffside Manor unravel and the eerie sins of the past are exposed, Eleanor must fight to save the fellows—and herself—from sinister forces.

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away two print copies of The End of Temperance Dare—that's two winners total. Yay!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
Have you ever been to a haunted location? If not, what was the spookiest place you have ever visited?
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. Wendy and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publisher—a huge thank you to the lovely folks over at Lake Union!
Giveaway ends June 19th 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!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Interview with Edan Lepucki, Author of Woman No. 17 + Giveaway (US only)

I'd like to welcome Edan Lepucki to the blog today to celebrate the exciting release of Woman No. 17 from Hogarth Books, an imprint of Crown Publishing!


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

Will you please share a brief introduction with us?

Edan Lepucki is the author of the novella If You’re Not Yet Like Me and the novel California. Her new novel, Woman No. 17, was published last month by Hogarth/Crown.

California debuted at #3 on the New York Times Bestsellers List and has been the #1 bestseller on the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestsellers lists. It’s also been on the IndieBound and Publishers Weekly Bestsellers Lists. California was a fall 2014 selection of Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program. Edan and Stephen Colbert are now besties.

Edan is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her fiction and nonfiction have been published in Narrative Magazine, The New York Times, and McSweeney’s, among others. The Los Angeles Times named her a Face to Watch for 2014. She is a contributing editor to The Millions and the founder of Writing Workshops Los Angeles.


It's amazing to get to feature you today! Readers, here's a bit about the book, which just hit shelves last month:
A sinister, sexy noir about art, motherhood, and the intensity of female friendships, set in the posh hills above Los Angeles, from the New York Times bestselling author of California

High in the Hollywood Hills, writer Lady Daniels has decided to take a break from her husband. Left alone with her children, she’s going to need a hand taking care of her young son if she’s ever going to finish her memoir. In response to a Craigslist ad, S arrives, a magnetic young artist who will live in the secluded guest house out back, care for Lady’s toddler, Devin, and keep a watchful eye on her older, teenage son, Seth. S performs her day job beautifully, quickly drawing the entire family into her orbit, and becoming a confidante for Lady.

But in the heat of the summer, S’s connection to Lady’s older son takes a disturbing, and possibly destructive, turn. And as Lady and S move closer to one another, the glossy veneer of Lady’s privileged life begins to crack, threatening to expose old secrets that she has been keeping from her family. Meanwhile, S is protecting secrets of her own, about her real motivation for taking the job. S and Lady are both playing a careful game, and every move they make endangers the things they hold most dear.

Darkly comic, twisty and tense, this mesmerizing new novel defies expectation and proves Edan Lepucki to be one of the most talented and exciting voices of her generation.

Blog babes, click "Read more" to find out why Edan decided to set the book in LA, her thoughts on the dark humor she writes, as well as what her writing process is like. We're also hosting a giveaway for a finished copy of Woman No. 17, so you don't want to miss that either!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Jumping Between Worlds in Writing by Jen Klein, Author of Shuffle, Repeat + Giveaway (Open Internationally!)

Shuffle, Repeat
Jen Klein

When Harry Met Sally for YA romance readers. This opposites-attract love story is perfect for fans of Huntley Fitzpatrick, Stephanie Perkins, and Jenny Han.

June wants high school to end and real life to begin. Oliver is soaking up senior year’s glory days. They could have coasted through high school, knowing about—but not really knowing—each other.

Except that their moms have arranged for Oliver to drive June to school. Every. Single. Day.

Suddenly these two opposites are fighting about music, life... pretty much everything. But love is unpredictable. When promises—and hearts—get broken, Oliver and June must figure out what really matters. And then fight for it.