Friday, November 27, 2015

Thirty Days to Thirty by Courtney Psak

I liked this book. I liked the concept for the thirty days to thirty. The characters were relatable and the interaction was entertaining. I really liked the flow of events and the variety of the characters was well written. Highly recommend. Given this book for honest review.

What if you were on the cusp of marrying the guy of your dreams and reaching that career goal you set for yourself, only for all of it to be taken away in one fell swoop? 
What if this all happened a month before you turned 30? 
This is the story of Jill Stevens, who after moving back home, finds a list she made in high school of thirty things she wanted to accomplish before her thirtieth birthday. 
With a month left and hardly anything crossed off her list, she teams up with old friends to accomplish as much as she can before the big 3-0. Along the way, she discovers her true self and realizes it’s not about the material successes in life but the journey. 

November 17 – Chick Lit Plus – Review

November 19 – Book Groupies – Novel Spotlight

November 19 – Chick Lit Goddess – Q&A & Excerpt

November 19 – Change the Word – Q&A

November 24 – Love Chick Lit – Review & Excerpt

November 25 – Queen of All She Reads – Excerpt

November 27 – Authors and Readers Book Corner – Excerpt

November 27 – Granny Loves to Read – Review & Excerpt

December 1 – Annabel and Alice – Review

December 1- The Write Review – Excerpt

December 2 – Wendi Nunnery – Review

December 2 – A British Bookworm – Excerpt

December 3- The Write Review – Excerpt

December 4 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Q&A & Excerpt

December 4 – The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

December 7 – Reecas Pieces – Review & Excerpt

Author Bio:

Courtney Psak is a New Jersey native who grew up with a passion for reading and writing.
After traveling the world, she settled into New York City where she earned her Masters in Publishing.
She is a member of the National Writers Association and the Women's Fiction Writers Association.
She currently resides in Hoboken with her husband.
She spends her weekends seeking adventure through hiking, skiing and traveling.

Purchase Links below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thirty Days to Thirty (Excerpt) by Courtney Psak

Excerpt 4
“That wasn’t so bad, right?” he says to me once we’ve gotten off the ride and are now walking towards the exit.
I stare at him while holding a bunch of paper towels to my mouth. When I got off the coaster, everyone jumped like I was a zombie about to attack them. One mother even ran away with her kid. The snot-nosed teenager pulled a bunch of paper towels out from behind his stand.
“Happens to one in every five people,” he says, not really caring.
“Come on, you were having fun until you cracked your face.”
I can’t help but smile a bit, even though it hurts. “I have to admit, that was a lot of fun.” I laugh, trying to smooth my hair out. “Oh my gosh, what a thrill. I’m still shaking.”
“Oh, this I gotta see,” he says, stopping me in front of a shed.
“What’s this?”
“Oh, they take your pictures on every roller coaster and you can choose to buy it or not.”
“They take pictures of you?” I say. “That has to be the cruelest thing I’ve ever heard of.”
“Oh, nice.” He starts laughing. I scan through the photos on the monitors until I find us. Chris is making a goofy face and smiling while I have my mouth as wide open as it can go, and full of blood. Seriously, you can see my tonsils in this picture. Then I see my eyes are popping out of my skull.
“Oh my gosh, this is horrible,” I say, putting my head down afraid someone might recognize me.
“I’d like to purchase that, please,” he says, pulling out his wallet from his back pocket.
“Why would you do this to me?” I ask him while tugging on his arm.
“Because it’s too good,” he says, putting the money down and taking the picture from the man. He opens up the folder one more time to show me before closing it again. I make a face of disgust.
“I appreciate your sympathy,” I tell him.
“For you,” he says, handing the photo to me.
“Why did you get this for me?” I ask, confused. I figured my bitching made it clear I never wanted to see this again.
“Because it’s a memory of your first ever roller coaster. It’s a very important feat.”
“Sure.” I laugh, looking at it again.
“Don’t you feel just a little more confident now?” he says, putting his arm around me again.
“You know something, I do,” I tell him. “Hell, I’m even going to go as far as posting this on my blog tonight.”
“I will see that you do,” he says. “So are you tired now?”
“Exhausted, actually, this day really took it out of me. Not to mention my gums are bleeding.”
“Well, you did what you came here to do. Now let’s go home.”
We say our good-byes to Liz and Tim who are trying to get their kids to willingly leave the park and head towards Chris’s car.
“So I know this sounds strange,” I say, buckling my seat belt. “But I still feel like I don’t know you all that well.”
“Really?” he says, surprised as he starts the car and we drive away.
“I know that seems stupid. I mean, I know your childhood, I know what you do now, but it’s like there is this big ten-year gap that I don’t really know anything about.”
“Well, when you put it that way, I guess I could say the same for you,” he says. “What do you want to know?”
I want to ask why he’s still living at home, but something keeps me from asking that, at least right away. “Is your favorite color still red?” I start with.
He laughs for a second. “That’s what concerns you with this ten-year gap? That my favorite color has changed?”
“I don’t know,” I laugh.
“Well, you’re right. My favorite color is now yellow. And the minute I came to that realization, I have to say something, my whole life changed. It’s like my life flashed before me and I realized that if I didn’t change my favorite color my whole life was doomed.”
I burst out laughing and he does as well. “Okay, your turn. You can ask me.”
“Hmm,” he thinks for a second. “I pretty much know a lot more than you think, because you really spilled your guts to me that first night,” he laughs.
I roll my eyes.
“I guess, um,” he starts to think again. I notice that his face turns serious.
“Why did we break up in the first place?” he says, looking at me.
I feel my face get hot and I shift in my seat. “I don’t know, we were kids really, we didn’t know what we wanted,” I start. “I guess it was mainly because our lives were going in separate directions, you know, off to different colleges …” I trail off.
“Really? It didn’t have to do with me being a slacker?”
“I’d say more of me being a workaholic.”
He smiles as if I’m saying that to be nice, but to me it was the truth. The rest of the ride is pretty silent.
“All right, well, here we are,” he says pulling up to my driveway. “Thanks for inviting me,” he says.
“Thanks for coming,” I reply. “I would’ve never ridden that scary thing without you.” I give him a quick pat on the knee and jump out the car. I panicked since I don’t know how to react with him, especially when we are saying our good-byes. Normally I would kiss him on the cheek, but I was nervous he’d view that wrong. When I get inside, I shake my head at myself.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Dream On, Amber by Emma Shevah

I enjoyed this book. The story was good and the characters were fun. The growth that Amber has was well done. Middle school is trying but starting a new school just makes it harder. Amber using her imagination to get through some tough times.  Receive ARC from publisher for honest review.

Dream On, Amber
By Emma Shevah
October 6, 2015; Hardcover ISBN 9781492622505
Book Info:
Title: Dream On, Amber
Author: Emma Shevah
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publishers: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Praise for Dream On, Amber:
“By turns playful and poignant, in both style and substance, this coming-of-age novel will hook readers from the first page to the last.”—School Library Journal, STARRED review
“Amber’s effervescent and opinionated narration captivates from the start, making it easy to root for her as she strives to conquer the “beast” of her worries and thrive at home and at school.”—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
“Shevah tenderly captures the void of growing up without a father yet manages to create a feisty, funny heroine… A gutsy girl in a laugh-out-loud book that navigates tough issues with finesse.” –Kirkus, STARRED review
“[This] novel is a charmer...While its humor and illustrations lend it Wimpy Kid appeal, its emotional depth makes it stand out from the pack. Molto bene!”- Booklist, STARRED review
My name is Ambra Alessandra Leola Kimiko Miyamoto. But call me Amber. I have no idea why my parents gave me all those hideous names but they must have wanted to ruin my life, and you know what? They did an amazing job.
As a half-Japanese, half-Italian girl with a ridiculous name, Amber’s not feeling molto bene (very good) about making friends at her new school.
But the hardest thing about being Amber is that a part of her is missing. Her dad.  He left when she was little and he isn’t coming back. Not for her first day of middle school and not for her little sister’s birthday. So Amber will have to dream up a way for the Miyamoto sisters to make it on their own.
Buy Links:
Books A Million-

About the Author:
Emma Shevah is half-Irish and half-Thai born and raised in London. She has lived in Australia, Japan, India (her first child was born in the Himalayas) and Jerusalem before moving back to the UK. Emma has busked as a fire-juggler, been a restaurant manager, a copy writer, an English teacher, and is now a blogger and author.

Social Networking Links:

Excerpt from Dream On, Amber
Bella came in wearing her matching pink nightdress, pink dressing gown, and pink slippers with Hello Kitty all over them. I just don’t get why people like Hello Kitty. I know it’s Japanese and supposed to be kawaii (cute) and everything, so maybe I should like it, but it’s just a picture of a cartoon cat’s head. I mean, seriously, what’s the big deal?
Bella’s hands were behind her back like she was hiding something. She looked much happier than she did when we got home from the party. She moved her arms to the front and handed me a sealed envelope.
“What’s this?” I asked, putting my sharpener down.
“Can you mail it for me tomorrow?”
I looked at the front of the envelope. There was nothing written on it.
“But it’s blank, Bella.”
“Who’s it for?”
“None of your beeswax, Mrs. Nosy Pants.”
“Um…okay. So you…you want me to put it in the mailbox?”
“Yes, Amber. Duuuh. That’s what mailing means.”
“But how is the mailman going to know who to give it to if it has no name on it?”
“Oh,” she said, frowning.
She lay down on her belly on the floor and with her red crayon from the dollar store (well, she wasn’t borrowing any of mine), she wrote on the front of the envelope: TO MY DAD.
I looked at her. 
“Shush,” she said. “Just mail it for me.”
“But there’s no address on it—”
“The mailman will know where he lives. He knows where everyone lives.”
“He won’t know where Dad lives. Nobody knows where Dad lives. Not even Mum.”
“Didn’t I say ‘shush’? I’m sure I said ‘shush.’ Just mail it for me. Pleeease, Amber.”
I sighed. What was I supposed to tell her? She was too little. She didn’t get it. So I took it and put it on my desk, just to make her happy.
I know I shouldn’t have done it and it’s probably against the law and everything but when she went out of my room, I opened it.
It said:

Dier Dad,
My nam is Bella and Im your dorta. My bithday party is on Sunday 16 Speptmbr and I rely want you too come. And I neid you to play with me in the park and posh me on the swing. Please come home
love, Bella
P.S. Please buy me a perpel Swatch wach and Sparkle Girl Julerry Makar for my bithday.
I didn’t know what to do. Obviously, I wasn’t going to mail it without an address on it. So instead, I put it in my secret place. If you pull the bottom drawer of my dresser all the way out, there’s a space under it on the floor where I put my most sacred things. I had a coin that I found in Hyde Park that I’m sure is Roman or Viking and one day I’m going to sell it and get mega rich. I had a few other cool things in there too. Some of them are embarrassing, like key-rings I made out of lanyard strings when I was, like, seven and valentine cards my mum sent me. Stuff you can’t exactly throw out but really don’t want anyone to see. The letter wasn’t one of my sacred things but where else was I going to put it?
I also had a picture of my dad holding me when I was a baby that I sneaked out of Nonna’s album. Obviously, we have a whole bunch of photos of him in that album, but I wanted one for myself. One of him with me. Just to prove to myself that he did actually exist and hold me once, and he even looked proud. I don’t look at that photo much because it makes me angry. I know it doesn’t make sense to keep it, but there you go. Not everything makes sense. If it did, he would never have left in the first place.
There was another knock on my door, so I quickly closed the drawer.
“Hang on… Okay, you can come in now.”
Bella stuck her head in. 
“When do you think he’ll get it?” she asked.
“Well, they have to find him first. It’s not easy, you know. It takes teams of detectives months to find missing people.”
She walked in to my room and said, “Oh,” and did that thing where she points her toes inward and puts one foot over the other, like her toes are hugging.
“Do you think he’ll get it before my birthday?”
“I don’t know, Bella. I don’t think so. But if by some weird miracle he did get it before then, I’m sure he’d come to your party.”
Bella unhugged her toes and put her hands on her hips. “Amber?”
“How do you know I want Dad to come to my party?”
“Well, it’s kind of obvious, Bella. You did ask if he’d get it before your birthday.”
“Oh,” she said, frowning. “Hmm. Well, okay.” And she skipped back to her room.
The letter wasn’t my biggest problem at that point. I was so worried about starting my new school in the morning that I couldn’t get to sleep for ages. When you can’t sleep, your mind starts going a bit doolally. Well, mine does anyway. I start thinking all kinds of crazy things. And eventually the problem with Bella and her letter worked its way into my churning brain.
It was kind of mean and everything but there were times I really wished Bella wasn’t my sister. But knowing there was a huge hole where our dad was supposed to be wasn’t much fun either. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that maybe, just maybe, I could do something about it. I could save Bella from years of torture with one quick solution. 
It seemed straightforward enough. 
I decided to pretend to be my dad and write back to her, you know, to make her feel better.
And that was it. 
The most ingenious idea I’ve ever had lit up my mind like a firework.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Best Kept Secret by Wendi Nunnery

Intense book! Great story and characters. I wasn't expecting where this story went. High school but really not what I expected the story would be. Touched on several complex subjects teens face......bullying, suicide, young love, rebellion. Highly recommend. Received book for honest review.


In high school, everyone has their secrets. Even well-brought-up Emma Fraser.

Emma’s sophomore year started out all wrong. First, her best friend Andy confessed to losing his virginity in the back seat of a car, leaving Emma all alone in the V-Club. Then the rest of her friends got weird and, suddenly, Emma found herself feeling like a stranger. Now, struggling to find her new place, Emma wonders if things could get any worse.

When Deegan Burke, a rich, gorgeous senior, asks Emma to be his date for the prom, Emma thinks her luck has begun to change. But rather than being able to celebrate, her whole world starts to unravel. And when secrets that once seemed so innocent start to take a very dangerous turn, Emma discovers that friends are friend no matter what…and some secrets aren’t worth keeping. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Without You by Lindsay Detwiler- Cover Reveal

On the surface, Jenna Landsen has it all…
She’s smart, beautiful, confident, and married to Camden Landsen, who happens to be drop dead sexy and just as successful. But after five long years, all the success in the world hasn’t brought the romantic spark back into her marriage. Jenna fears it never will.
When life gives you lemons, open a bakery and name it Vi’s…

Violet Streiff made the exact mistake her mother warned against—she fell in love with Liam Coffman, a charming finance major. When he left her heartbroken to further his career, Violet drowned her sorrows by opening a bakery, and now relies on Bob, her eighteen-pound cat, for warmth at night instead of a sexy man.

To find love, sometimes you first have to discover yourself…

When Jenna’s job offers an extended trip to New York, she packs her bags and takes a two-month vacation from life. The chance of her marriage surviving looks grim, until the surprise of a lifetime throws a wrench in her plans to stay in the Big Apple for good.

You can bend the rules—but sooner or later they’ll break…

When Violet meets a gloomy but totally drool-worthy guy named Camden in her shop, she’s sure her luck has changed. There’s no denying the chemistry, but he’s married, and that’s a major problem. Violet isn’t a homewrecker. Still, staying away from Camden proves nearly impossible. That is, until his wife comes home.

Two women.
Two men.
Double the chance to find love in the most
unexpected places—or double the chance for disaster.
I am a high school English teacher, an author, and a fan of anything pink. I am truly the English teacher cliché; I love cats, reading, Shakespeare, and Poe. I currently live in my hometown with my husband Chad; our cats Arya, Amelia, Alice, Bob, and Marjorie; and our Mastiff Henry.

As the author of two novels, Voice of Innocence and Without You, I have many inspirations in my life as a writer. My parents instilled in me a value for education and reading from the time I could talk. One of my earliest memories is sitting with my parents as they taught me to sound out words. My husband has also inspired me to pursue my dream of writing. I met Chad in an art class when we were only twelve. He has shown me that love is real, is enduring, and is our most important ally in this sometimes harsh world. He has supported me through this entire process, believing in my writing even before I believed in it myself.

My hope is that by becoming a published author, I can inspire some of my students and other aspiring writers to pursue their own passions. I want them to see that any dream can be attained, and publishing a novel isn't out of the realm of possibility.

Voice of Innocence

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Boy Who Spoke to God by Randa Handler

Good story and great illustrations. All people should read this book. Conflicts with different beliefs find a simple, common ground. In today's world this is sorely needed. Received copy from Netgalley for review.


Unable to agree on their ideas about God and religious celebrations, four different ethnic tribes—Greeks, Chinese, Zulus, and Mayans—who live together harmoniously most of the year, combining aspects of each of their cultures to make their kingdom strong and prosperous, suddenly become divisive when religious holidays approach. During such times, they cannot agree on the timing or manner of religious traditions, and they each have their own god who looks and dresses as they do.

When Niko, a young Greek boy, has several dreams of God, each tribe interprets the various details of his dreams according to its own view of God, further emphasizing the tribes’ differences in beliefs. Subsequently, Niko is shunned for having created even more disharmony and for lying to the tribes, or so they think, as no one believes he dreamed of God.

To clear up all the confusion and arrive at the truth, Niko begs God to manifest in one final dream. This time, God shows him that the tribes’ beliefs are actually different expressions of the same god. Niko concludes that God is like colorless and formless iridescent light and the beliefs of all tribes about their gods are correct, as these gods are like colors of the rainbow that derive from white light.

Are You Sleeping Little One? By Hans-Christian Schmidt and Cynthia Vance

Good story and illustrations. Kids will love!


Introduce young children to how baby animals sleep with this whimsical board book. With lyrical bedtime rhymes, it describes the sleeping habits of over a dozen animals, including species both common and rare, from ducklings to sloths, bats to giraffes! Its gentle rhymes and sweet, soothing pictures are the perfect way for little ones to end the day.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

66 Laps by Leslie Lehr

I enjoyed this book. I liked the flow of the story and how the characters develop. The concept of 66 laps was very inventive. I liked the conflict and ways that Audrey grows and reacts to events in her life. It makes you think about how we all react or think about change and changes in life. Highly recommend this book. Received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.


When a ‘friend’ points out Audrey’s first gray hair, she slaps her. The sound echoes, plaguing her with insecurity as she adjusts to being home with a new baby. Then her husband mentors a younger woman at work in the back lots of Hollywood - and Audrey fears the worst. Heartbroken, Audrey sets in motion a chain of events that she cannot control. She swims laps in her backyard pool, trying to make sense of her life. But all the while she is missing the point, swimming in circles. As the tragedy unfolds, she gives up all hope. Ultimately, she finds that only love endures…and dives back in.

I Wish For You by Camilla Isley

I really liked this book. The concept was fun and entertaining. The interaction with Ally and Arthur was intense at times and playful at others. Fun read and totally had me from the beginning. Highly recommend. Received copy for honest review!


If all your wishes could suddenly come true, what would you do?
A year ago when the love of her life dumped her for no apparent reason, Ally thought she had hit rock bottom. But now that she has seen him with another woman, and one she knows only too well, her life seems to have reached a whole new level of low.
Yet, when she stumbles across an ancient object infused with magical powers and a stranger with a dark past appears out of nowhere promising to grant all her wishes, she finds herself hoping again.
Suddenly Ally’s life is turned upside down; she has a mystery to solve, a rival to beat, a millenarian curse to break, and well, she wants to have some fun playing with her new “gifts”…
But can she wish her way to happily ever after? 

Fey by C.S Feldman

I enjoyed this little fantasy story. I liked the flow and the characters. It was an adventure that kept building intensity until the end. It had everything you want in a few chapters a villain, a good guy, a sidekick helper, mystery. I was given a copy by author for honest review. Highly recommend.


Nessa Donnelly never expected to see her estranged and eccentric father again, but a phone call summons her back to her hometown and to the hospital in which the elder Donnelly lies in a comatose state for which his doctors have no explanation. Bit by bit, long-buried family secrets emerge, and Nessa begins to realize that those secrets were kept hidden from her for a reason. She also realizes that there is something in the woods behind her father’s house that he never told her about, something that can’t be explained. And she is also not as alone in his house as she thought she was…

Friday, November 13, 2015

Lowcountry Bordello by Susan M. Boyer

The Charleston streets are dressed for the holidays in sophisticated Southern style: topiaries adorned with red ribbons, garland entwined with white lights, and poinsettias potted in gold planters. The high class bordello in a stately historic home is certainly no exception. When Private Investigator Liz Talbot’s dear friend Olivia swears she saw a dead body in the parlor of this bordello, one Olivia accidentally co-owns, Liz promptly comes to her aid.
With her wedding back home on Stella Maris less than a week away, Liz must juggle one elderly madam, two ex and future in-laws, three ghosts in the bordello, four giddy bridesmaids, five lovely courtesans, six suspicious patrons…and a partridge in a pear tree as she tries to keep her bridesmaid out of jail and live to walk down the aisle.
Related subjects include: women sleuths, private investigator mystery series, murder mysteries, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), book club recommendations, Southern fiction, Southern humor, Southern living.
November 9 – Caroline Fardig – Excerpt

November 10 – Chick Lit Goddess – Q&A & Excerpt

November 10 – Change the Word – Q&A & Excerpt

November 11 – Celia Kennedy – Review & Excerpt

November 12 – Fiction Zeal - Review

November 12 – Chick Lit Club Connect - Excerpt

November 13 – Granny Loves To Read – Review & Excerpt

November 16 – Nails and Tales – Review & Q&A

November 16 – The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

November 16 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review

November 17 – Queen of All She Reads – Review & Excerpt

November 18 – Hello Precious Bliss – Review & Excerpt

November 23 – The Book Sirens – Review

November 25 – Fiction Dreams – Excerpt

November 27 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

November 30 – Polished & Bubbly – Q& A& Excerpt

November 30 – Create With Joy - Review

Author Bio:

Susan M. Boyer is the author of the USA TODAY bestselling Liz Talbot mystery series. Her debut novel, Lowcountry Boil, won the 2012 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and garnered several other award nominations, including the Macavity. Lowcountry Boneyard, the third Liz Talbot mystery, was a Spring 2015 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Okra Pick. Lowcountry Bordello, the fourth book in the series, was released November 3, 2015. Susan loves beaches, Southern food, and small towns where everyone knows everyone, and everyone has crazy relatives. You’ll find all of the above in her novels.
Susan lives in Greenville, SC, with her husband and an inordinate number of houseplants.