Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Modern Love by Beau North (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Modern Love by author Beau North!







Author Guest Post

The Evolution of a Story

By Beau North



Thanks Jersey Girl Book Reviews for hosting me today! Modern Love is my first venture into contemporary romance, a story that is very personal to me. I started writing this story just after the death of David Bowie, as the title might indicate, as a way of processing what it’s like to lose someone you’ve never met that nevertheless touched your life in a very real way. I intended it to be a very short and fun romance, heavy on the humor and pop culture references. I never meant for it to be anything deep or meaningful.

But the story had other ideas. The more I wrote, the more fleshed-out the characters became for me. Alice had always been a bartender in my mind, but then—to my surprise—she became a recovering addict. The ex-girlfriend was originally written as an ex-boyfriend, but that never felt right either, and so the terrible Jamie came to be.

I watched the words hit him, sink in. His eyes went wide, a second later his brows drew down. He shook his head, taking on a more neutral expression.

“So you like…”

“People. I like people. I’ve had boyfriends, girlfriends, everything in between.” - Modern Love, Chapter 6

Maybe one of the biggest surprises for me came when Will transformed from how I’d originally written him, an almost-middle-aged guy of Italian descent to a half-Indian man in his early 30’s. I remember making this change, feeling that click, the satisfying feeling of just having solved a puzzle. Will became something different from what I’d originally intended. He was still self-assured, but he now carried a new awareness of himself, a feeling of otherness that set him apart from the crowd.

“Al, I grew up the brown-skinned son of an Irish Midwesterner, in a big Irish family that I never quite fit into. It gave me some insecurities.” - Modern Love, Chapter 43

It was frightening, trying to tell this story without being exploitative of bisexuality, addiction, or people of color. Allie and Will’s struggles were not my own. I had no experience with them, but I wanted readers to connect regardless. I researched exhaustively, I talked to everyone who would speak to me, who would share their experiences so that I might have a deeper understanding of the characters that were taking shape in my mind and on the page.

“It was bliss, it was rapture, sickly sweet like circus peanuts until they’d stopped doing the job, until I’d needed more and more to reach that feeling. That feeling of a balloon tethered by the thinnest of strings, bob-bobbing in the breeze.” - Modern Love, Chapter 9

I hope that readers will like the finished product. I hope they will find something in Alice or Will, in any of the characters and their lives that makes the reader think “this is my life. This was written for me.”

Because it was.




Book Review




Modern Love by Beau North
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Format: eBook - 192 pages
               Kindle - 1971 KB
               Nook - 396 KB
ISBN: 978-0692894798
ASIN: B072J4TXQR
BNID: 2940154445334
Genre: Contemporary Romance



Buy The Book:


Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.


Book Description:

"Love at first sight wasn't meant for millennials," thinks Alice Aberdeen: art student, recovering addict, David Bowie enthusiast. Alice is among the recently dumped and only wants to keep her nose to the grindstone until she finishes her degree. Her sister has other ideas and sets her up with new-in-town Will Murphy--tall, dark, and aloof. To say it wasn't an instant attraction is an understatement: He finds her abrasive, with her sharp tongue and don't-screw-with-me attitude. She thinks he's excessively reserved, too damn serious. But the more time Alice spends with Will, the more their slow burn begins to thaw her heart. A man of two worlds, half-Irish, half-Indian, Will feels at home with Alice. He soon realizes her tough shell is hiding extensive scar tissue--from her addiction and recovery to her spectacularly bad ex-girlfriend to the loss of her mother. Modern Love isn't a story about love at first sight but learning to love yourself before being able to see the one you love.


Book Excerpt:



It was night by the time we got to the hotel near the hospital. The moon hung low and bone-bright in the winter sky, giving Will an otherworldly look, illuminating his eyes and casting his face in silver light.

He parked the Jeep and switched it off, looking at me expectantly. “You ready?”

We could have driven back to the farmhouse, but it was forty minutes away and I wanted to be closer to the hospital. Everyone had rooms at this hotel. When Deb asked if I wanted to stay with her and the twins in their room, I shook my head and told her I’d get my own room. I needed different company just then. A tremendous pressure had been building in me since we’d left Minnesota earlier that day. The need to release, to allow my control to slip in some way, was overwhelming. And who better to help me than Will Murphy?

Of course, I couldn’t bring my idiot self to say this. I couldn’t move across my seat, just a little, just enough to signal my wishes. He climbed out of the car, unaware of my turmoil. With a huff of frustration, I grabbed my backpack and followed him out of the car, across the parking lot, chalky from de-icing, and into the lobby, where I was immediately assaulted with the smell of chocolate chip cookies. Will asked the clerk, who had the kind of droopy features that always reminded me of a basset hound, for a couple of rooms. I put my hand on his arm.

“We’ll take one room, please.”

He looked down at me, surprised. “Are...are you sure?”

Was I sure? Sure as death and taxes. “Definitely.”

A hesitant sort of happiness slipped into his smile, making me strangely embarrassed and aware of what I was proposing. There was no doubt in either of us what I meant by asking for one room, and in that moment, it was like disrobing in a room full of strangers.

The clerk, clearly bored with our loaded glances, never took his eyes from his computer screen, only meeting our eyes when he handed over the plastic keycards to our room. We found the elevator and got in, Will punching the button for the third floor. When the doors closed, I stepped closer to him, resting my body against his. One of his long-fingered hands found its way onto my hip, traveling up under my coat and layers of t-shirts, stopping just above the top of my jeans. I shivered at the contact, wondering how his cold hands could make me feel so warm. He dipped his head so that his cheek rested against my neck. His breath shuddered in my ear, and I waited to feel him kiss my neck. He didn’t kiss me, only brushed his lips down my neck, back and forth. It was a torment, but a delicious one.

The chime of the elevator told us we’d reached our floor, and I bit back a frustrated scream. Will removed his hand from my waist and cupped the back of my neck, fingers kneading gently as we walked to our room. It took him a few tries with the keycard before the light flashed green and the door clicked open. It hit me that his hand had been trembling. It took me back to that moment in my bedroom months ago. Had I always affected him this way? The possibility made me feel strangely powerful. I moved, he followed. Action and reaction, the curious geometry of lovers.

I tossed my bag on the floor and sat on the edge of the bed, trying to calm my thundering heart. He stood in front of me, his long fingers grazing the line of my cheekbone. At last, after the painful, almost oppressive silence, he spoke:

“What does this mean?”

I turned my face into his hand, kissing the small mound of flesh under his thumb, the divine bit that palm readers called the Mount of Venus. My lips parted enough to taste that part of him, firm and sweet as ripe fruit. He made a sound deep in the back of his throat and I once again felt a surge of my own power, that I could create such a sound in him by simply surrendering to my own desires.

“Does it have to mean anything?” I spoke into his hand.

He sighed softly, fingers curling around my chin, tilting my face towards his. “Yeah, Al. It does.”

 The words hovered in the air between us, shapeless and unspoken, waiting to be given form.

“Allie, I—”

I pulled him down to me, pressing my lips to his, cutting off the words before they could fully be uttered. It was too much, too confusing, too painful with everything else that was happening. I felt his breath quicken as his lips parted. There was the momentary shock of sensation, the fullness of his lips, the soft heat of his mouth, the pulse-quickening feeling of his hand cupping the back of my head, his fingers buried in my hair.

I reached for his shirt, eager to feel his skin against mine. He pulled away for a second and asked me in a shaky voice if I was sure.

“I’m sure,” I said, kissing the spot on his neck just under his ear, where the vital smell of him was most potent. A strangely, heavy feeling stole into my arms and legs, and I realized that, for the first time in years, I felt intoxicated.



My Book Review:


Modern Love is an intriguing contemporary romance story that follows the unexpected relationship of Alice Aberdeen and Will Murphy.

From the day that Alice and Will meet, there is a strong connection and mutual attraction between them. Alice's personal baggage and tough exterior makes their relationship develop slowly, but Will is determined to beak down Alice's wall and teach her how to find her true self in order to allow love and happiness in her life. 

Author Beau North weaves a wonderful tale full of pain, angst, drama, humor, and tender romantic moments that easily draws the reader into Alice and Will's story. The slow building development of their relationship makes this compelling story worth the read, as their connection is put to the test by serious personal issues in their lives. You can't help but feel for Alice as she struggles with her past emotional baggage, and cheer her on as she embarks on a personal journey of self-discovery with Will's help. 

Modern Love has an intriguing cast of characters who are realistic, flawed, and easy to relate to; witty dialogue and engaging interactions; and a powerful storyline that will take you on a hauntingly beautiful journey where you will experience the full gamut of emotions.

If you are looking for a hopeful and heartwarming love story that follows the unexpected journey of two people who learn to let go of their pasts and open themselves up to a healing and loving relationship, then Modern Love is the story for you!


RATING: 5 STARS 




About The Author




Beau North is a native southerner who now calls Portland, Oregon home with her husband and two cats. She attended the University of South Carolina where she began a lifelong obsession with English Literature. In her spare time, Beau is the brains behind Rhymes With Nerdy, an internet collective focused on pop culture.


Author Website
Amazon Author Page
Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Instagram
Goodreads




Virtual Book Tour




Tour Schedule:

July 10 – Brianna Remus Books – Review
July 11 – Chick Lit Goddess – Guest Post & Excerpt
July 11 – Book Lover in Florida – Excerpt
July 12 – Living Life With Joy – Review &  Guest Post
July 13 – SNS Promotions and Reviews – Excerpt
July 17 – Jersey Girl BookReviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
July 17 – Chick Lit Plus – Review




Monday, July 3, 2017

Crossing The Street by Molly D. Campbell (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Providence Book Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the book tour event for Crossing The Street by author Molly D. Campbell!







Book Review



Crossing The Street by Molly D. Campbell
Publisher: The Story Plant
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Format: Paperback - 290 pages
               Kindle - 1626 KB
ISBN: 978-1611882483
ASIN: B06XH34GLC
BNID:  978-1611882483
Genre: Women's Fiction


Buy The Book:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound
Kobo
Goodreads



Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Providence Book Promotions.



Book Description:

This wasn’t the way Beck Throckmorton had planned it. She wasn’t expecting to find herself in her thirties writing erotica and making flat whites for a living while she stewed over that fact that her ex had wound up with her sister. She never saw herself living in a small suburban Ohio town with an octogenarian neighbor best friend. And she definitely wouldn’t have imagined the eight-year-old great-granddaughter of that friend turning her world upside down.

As summer comes around, Beck’s life is unsettled in every way. And that’s before the crazy stuff starts: the sister taunting her with her pregnancy, the infuriatingly perfect boyfriend, the multiple trips to the emergency room. The needy, wise-beyond-her-years little girl finding places in her heart that Beck didn’t even know existed.

Beck has found herself at an emotional intersection she never anticipated. And now it’s time to cross the street.

Crossing The Street is a funny, touching novel that brims life’s complexities. Filled with characters both distinctive and welcomingly familiar, it is a story that will entertain and enlighten.


Book Excerpt:



My life isn’t exactly bright and shiny. My name is Rebecca Throckmorton. I live in a small town, and I muddle along as best I can. Four scenes from my world:

Scene one: I am at the grocery store. Aimlessly wandering down the produce aisle, looking at the grocery list, as usual, in my mother’s elegant hand. What the hell is a rutabaga, and why do we need one? Suddenly, I see my father, who is long gone from our family—divorce. He is wearing a gold golf shirt, his khaki slacks, crisp and unwrinkled. His hair from the back is a bit silvery, as I am sure it would be after being away from our family for all these years. My heart lurches—He’s back! He came back! I abandon my cart and nearly bowl over a woman studying kiwis, knocking the one in her hand to the ground. I don’t even stop to apologize, because my dad. I come up behind him, breathe in his cologne—yup, Eau de Sauvage. I reach out to touch his shoulder, and he turns around. I gasp. The man is definitely not Dexter Throckmorton. Instead of a Roman nose, this guy has a schnozz. There is awful hair growing out of his nostrils. His eyes are not velvety and black, like my father’s—they are a watery gray and clouded with cataracts. He hears me gasp and asks, “Do I know you?” I abandon the rutabaga and rush out of the store, grocery list still crushed between my fingers.

Scene two: My sister’s wedding. I am wearing a sleeveless, misty green satin dress with two small lines of silver sequins along the bodice. The misty green is reflected in my coloring and makes me look slightly vomitous. I feel about to vomit, since my sister Diana is marrying my former boyfriend, Bryan Dallas, who stands at the end of the aisle, beaming, his horn rims polished so highly I worry that he might start a fire with their refractions into the balcony. As D comes down the aisle on my mother’s arm (see divorce, above), my mother looking for all the world like an aging Audrey Hepburn in a slender tube of taupe silk, I look down at my bouquet and stifle the impulse to hurl it in my sister’s smug, highly-made-up-with-false-eyelashes-and-dewy-lip-gloss face.

Scene three: Me and my girlfriend, Ella Bowers. I sit with her in front of the TV. We like to watch really old reruns of Lawrence Welk that I found for her on the Family Network. Ella pats down her soft, fluffy lavender white hair, and every time Myron Floren comes on comments how much her mother “just loved that man and his accordion.” I nod and agree, because I don’t intend to hurt her feelings—Ella is eighty-three, and I don’t want her to get riled up and have a stroke. I notice my cut glass tumbler of iced tea is empty, and I offer to go into the kitchen of her cozy bungalow and get us each some more.

Scene four: My day job and what really pays the bills. I get home from my part-time job at Starbucks at four. I stretch, try to do the downward facing dog, and fail, as usual, about three quarters of the way down. My cat, Simpson, ambles over for a purr, and then I go and pee, change into sweats, and sit down at my computer, where I pound out a scene in which four orgasms occur within the space of twenty minutes between Travis and Crystal, who are extremely talented genitally. My latest book, Boys on the Beach, is under contract and due at my publisher in two months. When I think about this, sweat pools into the cups of my bra, because I am behind schedule, and erotica pays the bills, not venti lattes.

There you have it.


My Book Review:

Crossing The Street is a compelling women's fiction story that easily draws the reader into the drama and emotions that come with the complexity of life, the dynamics of relationships, learning to confront one's past, and the ability to make new life choices.

Set in the small town of Framington, Ohio, the reader can't help but get drawn into Rebecca's story as she faces the complexities in her life, and finds herself at a crossroad that will lead her on a personal journey of self-discovery.

Author Molly D. Campbell weaves an intriguing women's fiction story that will easily keep the reader engaged and turning the pages. Rebecca's story has a great mixture of humor, drama, angst, heartbreak, and crazy trials and tribulations, but her journey of personal discovery is realistic and compelling, it is the kind of story that anyone can relate to, and you can't help but cheer Rebecca on as she finds her way and is able to cross the next "street" in her life.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I enjoyed following Rebecca's endearing and often times humorous relationships with her two best friends, Gail Boatwright, a single real estate agent, and Ella Bowers, an eighty-three year old widow, who is taking care of her grandson's eight year old daughter Bob (Roberta) while he is deployed in the Middle East. The best part is when Rebecca befriends little Bob, and she discovers that this wise beyond the years little girl has worked her way into her heart!

Crossing The Street is a delightful women's fiction story of personal self-discovery, and learning to survive life's challenges and twists and turns, in order to move forward and find happiness in one's life.


RATING: 5 STARS 








About The Author



Molly D. Campbell
is a two-time Erma Bombeck Writing Award winner and the author of one previous novel, Keep the Ends Loose. Molly blogs athttp://mollydcampbell.com. Also an artist, Molly’s work can be found at http://www.cafepress.com/notexactlypicasso. Molly lives in Dayton with her accordionist husband and four cats.


Author Website
Amazon Author Page
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads




Contest Giveaway


This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for Molly D. Campbell and The Story Plant.

There will be 1 winner of 1 Amazon.com Gift Card AND 3 winners of 1 eBook copy of KEEP THE ENDS LOOSE by Molly D. Campbell.

The giveaway begins on May 1st and runs through July 8th, 2017.

This giveaway is for US residents only. Void where prohibited by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Book Tour



Tour Participants:

5/08 Review/ Interview @ Rockin Book Reviews - GIVEAWAY

5/09 Interview @ Writers and Authors

5/09 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

5/10 Review @ CMash Reads

5/10 Showcase @ Books, Dreams, Life

5/11 Review @ The Book Divas Reads

5/12 Review @ Books Direct

5/13 Showcase @ A Bookworms Journal

5/15 Showcase @ The Bookworm Lodge

5/17 Review @ Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

5/22 Radio Interview w/Fran Lewis

5/23 Interview @ Books Chatter

5/26 Showcase @ Hott Books

5/28 Showcase @ Writers and Authors

6/01 Review @ Beths Book-Nook Blog

6/01 Special Feature @ b00k r3vi3ws

6/07 Review/Guest post @ Brooke Blogs

6/08 Special Feature @ b00k r3vi3ws

6/09 Review @ just reviews

6/15 Special Feature @ b00k r3vi3ws

6/22 Special Feature @ b00k r3vi3ws

6/29 Special Feature @ b00k r3vi3ws

7/3 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Maybe This Time by Claire Yezbak Fadden (Book Blitz)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the book blitz event for Maybe This Time by author Claire Yezbak Fadden!







About The Book



Maybe This Time by Claire Yezbak Fadden
Book 2: Begin Again Series
Publisher: Brightwood Books
Publication Date: May 17, 2017
Format: eBook - 135 pages
               Kindle - 351 KB
ASIN: B072FK1KF8
Genre: Women's Fiction


Buy The Book:
Amazon - Free on Kindle Unlimited
Goodreads


Buy The Series: 
Book 1: A Corner Of Her Heart
Book 2: Maybe This Time
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo
Smashwords
Goodreads



Book Description;

Architect Kate Jameson has sworn off men. That is until she meets Eric, the handsome son of her current client. Fresh out of a messy relationship with a co-worker, Kate’s not ready to trust her judgement where men are concerned. She dodges Eric’s advances, but can’t deny the attraction growing between them. Everything–especially his soul-searing brown eyes–makes her want to throw caution to the wind and try again. At her sister’s prodding, Kate finally agrees to date Eric, surprised at the joy he brings into her life. But when their budding romance is threatened, Kate is forced to make hard decisions and fight for her true happiness.

Undercover CIA agent Eric Wiley has survived enough loss in his life to ever want to risk being hurt again. He has long since given up on true love. Still, he’s drawn to Kate in a way he can’t rationalize. Avoiding her isn’t working and for the first time in a relationship, he wants to be truthful about his past and his career. Before their romance can bloom, however, Kate goes missing. Recognizing the danger, Eric stops at nothing to rescue the woman who has captured his heart.



Book Excerpt:


Kate walked faster, but Colleen stopped. “There’s a guy back there waving at you. Kinda nice looking. Now he’s coming our way.” Colleen smiled as though inviting him to come closer.

“Don’t encourage him,” Kate said.

“Too late. Here he is.” Colleen made a sweeping motion as though she were a hostess on a game show introducing today’s prizes.

Oh God, his eyes are browner than I remember.

“Kate, I’m glad I caught you,” Eric said. “Sorry I missed you on the phone. I got back into town early.”

“I see that,” Kate muttered, her icy tone coating each word. Not going through this drama again. Crazy guy. Multiple girlfriends. Bad endings.

“I’m Eric Wiley,” he said, offering his hand for Colleen to shake before returning his attention to Kate.

“So maybe we can set up that coffee date. There’s a great little place a couple of doors down.”

“I know. Colleen and I just had coffee there.”

“And scones,” Colleen chimed in, handing Kate her bag of leftovers. “I’ve got to get going. I have class in thirty minutes.”

“Teacher or student?” Eric asked.

“Yoga instructor.”

“Nice. Maybe I can take your class sometime. It’s not that sweaty yoga, is it?”

“No, it’s more of a flow class. Kate can tell you all about it.” Colleen tapped Kate on the shoulder. “I’ll see you later,” she said before scurrying toward the yoga studio.

“I like your friend,” Eric said gesturing to Colleen’s back.

“She’s pretty terrific. We met in her class. Used to be a cop.” Kate wanted to run away, but her feet grounded into the earth as though an alien force rooted them in place. All the small talk didn’t comfort her. Minutes before this guy was kissing another woman, and now he was flirting with her. Was there no end to his nerve?

“Now that’s really switching career paths,” Eric said. “I consider doing that sometimes.”

“And leave the family business for what? I don’t see that happening.” You’re such a privileged mama’s boy, Kate wanted to say, but didn’t. Truth was during their earlier interactions, Eric didn’t strike her as someone who life had been easy on. It was obvious his parents leaned on his judgment. Eric presented himself as a self-made man, working for what success came his way. Still, he was hiding something she couldn’t quite put her finger on.

Granted with business-owner parents, his path may have been smoother than many. Even if your folks set you up, you’re the one who has to walk that path. Kate knew lots of privileged folks who took the benefits they were born into and managed to drink, gamble or in some other way squander their advantage, as though opportunity was an all-you-can-eat buffet. Made a bad choice, no problem. Just get a clean plate and try again. The sports pages and movie magazines were filled with celebrity examples. A couple of Kate’s sorority sisters were still trying to find themselves. That’s what they claimed at the last reunion.

“You’d be surprised. I can tell you more about my future plans over a hot mocha.”

Kate readjusted her purse strap and leaned away. “Thanks for the invite, but I need to get to work. We’re already brainstorming the next complex. Proposal is due in two weeks.”

“Yeah, I know. We talked about your innovative ideas. I thought they were great. You’re great.” Eric licked his lips and stepped closer. “Seems to me like we connected, at least a little bit, but if you’re not interested, just say so. You don’t have to go through not answering my calls and giving me the brush off. Just be honest. It will save us both a lot of time.”

Kate shoved her paper pastry bag in her coat pocket and crossed her arms. “Honesty? Is that the most important value to you, because I believe in always telling the truth. I always tell the truth.”

“And you’re suggesting I don't?” Eric’s nostrils flared with anger, causing Kate to step back. “We are standing in the street arguing about I don’t know what. Do you want to have a cup of coffee with me or not? It’s just that simple.”

“Not until you answer a question first.” Kate straightened to her full five-foot-six height. “Who were you kissing a moment ago?”

“Kissing? What are you talking about?”

“Near the cab. The woman who kissed you. Who is she? You’re an only child, so I know that wasn’t your sister. A cousin, maybe?” Kate huffed.

Eric’s eyes widened.

Is this how he stalls for time, cooking up a lie, Kate thought. This should be really good. She waited, even tapped the toe of her boot a time or two. “Well?”

“Like I said on my call, business ended early. I grabbed a cab with a coworker. End of story.”



“Not quite. Here comes your coworker, and she looks ticked.”





About The Author



When she’s not playing with her granddaughter, Pennsylvania native Claire Yezbak Fadden is writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her books feature strong women who overcome life’s challenges, always putting their families first. 

Claire loves butterflies, ladybugs and holds a special affinity for carousel horses – quite possibly the result of watching “Mary Poppins” 13 times as a young girl. 

Claire loves to cheer on the San Diego State Aztecs, her alma mater, and is a big fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers and Penguins. The mother of three, she lives in Orange County, California with her husband, Nick and two spoiled dogs, Bandit and Jersey Girl. 

Claire’s work as an award-winning journalist, humor columnist and editor has appeared in 100 publications across the United States, Canada and Australia. 

Maybe This Time is a continuation of her Begin Again series, starting with her debut novel, A Corner of Her Heart.


Author Website
Amazon Author Page
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads




Book Blitz Event



Event Schedule:

Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Ali's Bookshelf
T's Stuff
Lovely LoveDay
Rainy Day Reviews
Romantic Reads and Such
Living Life With Joy
Chick Lit Goddess
Book Lover in Florida
Chick Lit Plus




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

He Takes The Cake by J. Lynn Rowan (Book Blast / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the book blast event for He Takes The Cake by author J. Lynn Rowan!








About The Book



He Takes The Cake by J. Lynn Rowan
Book 4: A Sweet Somethings Series
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication Date: June 21, 2017
Format: eBook - 137 pages
               Kindle - 1023 KB
ASIN: B071JSQC3J
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Buy The Book:
Amazon
Goodreads


Buy The Series: A Sweet Somethings Series
Book 1: Better Than Chocolate
Book 2: When In Rome
Book 3: The One I'm With
Book 4: He Takes The Cake 
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Goodreads



Book Description:


Life is good for Tess Gardiner: Her Savannah, Georgia, bakery and cafe is thriving. She’s earned Master Pastry Chef status from the American Culinary Federation. And she’s attending a regional culinary convention in Charleston, where she’s been invited to sit on a small business panel discussion. The opportunity to tout her success will, hopefully, lead to bigger and better things in her professional life. As for her personal life? The relative contentedness she’s enjoyed for years receives a sudden jolt when she comes face to face with Tyler Brinks, the ex-boyfriend she summarily dismissed from her life eight years ago.

Tyler’s success as a highly-trained chef has launched him into the stratosphere. He already owns one ridiculously successful restaurant, and he’s aggressively working on plans for a second. But he’s never quite gotten over Tess, and he’s never really been sure what actually went wrong between them. So when a pastry and baking competition is announced for the week following the culinary convention in Charleston, Ty jumps at the chance to tempt Tess with the challenge of being his partner, giving him the perfect opportunity to remind her how good they once were together.


As the competition heats up in the kitchen, it soon becomes clear to Tess that Ty has more than cream puffs and cupcakes on his mind. And she can’t deny that her feelings for Ty never truly cooled, but have been simmering all these years, despite the way their relationship ended. Now Ty’s attention has her wondering—is this just the path to final closure? Or could this be a second chance at true love?


Book Excerpt:


“Before we go in there, I have something for you,” Ty says, reaching out but stopping just short of actually touching me.

I stare at his extended hand for a second, then flick my gaze up to his eyes. “Okay.”

Smiling, Ty crosses to a chair on the other side of the kitchen, where he’d draped his chef’s jacket so it would be out of the way. He grabs it and shrugs into it, but then picks up something from the seat of the chair. Folded fabric, the same bright white as his chef’s jacket.

My breath catches in my throat. “Is that . . .?”

“I picked it up for you on my way home yesterday.” He shakes out another chef’s jacket, cut and tailored for a woman’s build. “Hope I guessed the size right.”

I take the chef’s jacket, holding it by the shoulders and studying every seam, stitch, and button. “It’s gorgeous, Ty. Thank you!”

He shrugs in that nonchalant way of his, but his eyes twinkle with joy at my pleasure. “I figured we ought to match. And it’s a gift. Whether or not we continue to round two or beyond, it’s yours to keep.”

“You didn’t need to do this,” I murmur, lowering the garment. “I already owe you for the entry fee, and—”

“I would’ve had to pay the entry fee whether you were working with me or not, so forget it.”

Ty fastens the buttons on his jacket. Then he takes mine back and circles around me, holding the chef’s jacket open so I can slide my arms in. The starched fabric crinkles a little, coaxing a giggle from me.

But the feel of Ty’s hands on my shoulders, the sense of them reaching around to fasten the buttons, makes me freeze. When he notices, he pauses, too. Then his hands drop away, and he clears his throat as he turns and grabs the handle of the serving cart.

“We should get this down to the judges.” His voice sounds choked.

Nodding, I finish with my buttons and follow him out.







About The Author





J. Lynn Rowan started writing stories as a small child, usually starring her favorite cartoon characters. Most of her work through middle and high school was filled with typical teenage angst and melodrama, and usually mirrored the books she loved to read. But eventually she found her own author’s voice and decided to seriously pursue a writing career.

Historical fiction remains J. Lynn’s “first love”, but she has enjoyed the journey to becoming an author of romance and chick lit. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Central New York Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society. She is also a teacher who tries to instill a love of learning, reading, and writing in her students.

When she’s not writing, J. Lynn enjoys travelling, gardening poorly but enthusiastically, studying various topics in American history for her own expertise, and channeling Julia Child every time she steps into the kitchen.

A native of Oswego, NY, she now lives in Charlotte, NC, with her own Romantic Hero of a husband and their little rainbow, affectionately known as Babycakes..


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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Iced by Avery Daniels (Book Blast / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the book blast event for Iced by author Avery Daniels!







About The Book



Iced by Avery Daniels
Book 1: A Resort to Murder Mystery Series
Publisher: Blazing Sword Publishing, Ltd
Publication Date: PB - May 24, 2017 / eBook - May 31, 2017
Format: Paperback - 284 pages
               Kindle - 1179 KB
ISBN: 978-0999031803
ASIN: B071LFD6JV
BNID: 978-0999031803
Genre: Amateur Sleuth / Cozy Mystery



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Book Description:

Julienne has her ideal job as an event planner at a prestigious resort. During a luncheon event she coordinated, a renowned celebrity pastor is killed next to the buffet. All eyes turn to her as the suspect. If she wants to stay out of jail or even keep her job, Julienne needs all the help she can get to solve the crime.

She has her work cut out for her with a vengeful high school rival now reporter, the public demanding she be fired, plus family who know what’s best for her, and a boyfriend who doesn’t understand her. She turns to friends and a new ally to uncover who wanted to put the pastor on ice.

Julienne goes undercover and investigates a local swingers group as she follows the trail of clues before they go cold. Can she gather enough suspects and motives to convince the police to her widen their investigation? Can she do it before the killer sets his murderous sights on her? Will her personal life ever be as simple as unveiling a murderer?



Book Excerpt:


Today everything in my life changed.
I’m the events coordinator and membership manager, in training that is, at a five star resort in Colorado. Some days, like today, it feels like I was sacrificed to some sadistic little idol somewhere. Coordination of conferences and meetings of all sizes in the resort’s convention center facility was part of my training. But this particular event, a Leadership Luncheon that brought together the town’s community leaders to network, was a challenge from the first minutes this morning.
"Julienne, this event must be executed with precision and perfection." Those are the favorite words of my boss, Chad. This particular event is a daylong exercise in patience.
Every job has its great parts and it’s not so great. Today encompassed one of the more unpleasant aspects of my job. Occasionally, okay usually, the hardest part of my job is the customer relations and today was particularly difficult. Some customers just can’t be satisfied and some events are riddled with issues.
We were only serving a modest seventy-five attendees, but I had already been assailed with special requests and numerous complaints. Picky doesn’t begin to cover it.
“How hard would it be to setup for a video presentation with a large screen and surround sound?”
“There are windows. It’s too distracting, people will be watching the hotel guests walking around.”
“Can we change the setup of room C from an L configuration to a U shape? But only for that one session, then move it back.”
“Can we get the Lobster for the buffet flown in that morning? Scallops are out….Can we have the scallops after all?”
“Music piped in during the breaks?”
“No music piped in at all.”
“Red tablecloths with white napkins.”
“Royal blue tablecloths with white napkins.”
“White tablecloths with yellow napkins.”
“Candles on mirrors for lunch centerpieces.”
“Fresh flowers for centerpieces.”
The changes continued even after the event started.
The Convention Center, with its classic European décor had a small lobby area with a few potted trees and plants on column stands. The rest extended down a hallway with two large areas on each side that could be divided into smaller rooms via partitions that extend from the walls as needed. The space could be up to eight small rooms, four on each side, or any combination from one to four rooms per side of the hallway.
The hallway was wide with several half-circle console tables including marble tops holding large dried floral arrangements and a few elegant chairs. The walls displayed large paintings of the Italian countryside and vineyards with carved gold gilt frames.
I was in a partitioned room overseeing the set up of the lunch buffet. The Italian Renaissance architecture was accentuated with interior details and décor that created a European elegance, all lit with the warm glow of a massive amber glass chandelier.
The room was a rectangle with the entrance from the hallway to one end and the door to the catering staging area at the opposite end. The buffet table was along the wall next to the staging door so wait staff could easy restock food items. The six-person round tables covered in rich golden linens were scattered strategically throughout the room to allow easy traffic flow. The thick carpet felt plush and cloud-like under foot.
I was surveying the buffet table with a critical eye. The five foot long ice sculpture of a swordfish occupied the center of the table and looked as though it was caught in mid leap, frolicking in a wave and ready to dive back into an unseen ocean. My stomach growled as the succulent smells of seafood teased my nose. The attendees would be returning to this room for their lunch and keynote speaker shortly.
"Brad, where are the crab leg metal crackers and little forks? Can you grab a few dozen and bring them right away?" Brad, slim and serious, had joined the team only two months ago and was picking up extra hours at every opportunity. He had asked to work this event as soon as I blocked out the time on the schedule. This would give him a good paycheck. He was lanky and took off with an easy loping stride to the staging area through the back door.
The door to the staging area had barely closed when I felt a hand grab hold of my derriere with an iron hard grip.
"This is more like it honey. I haven't had any fun today."
I whirled around and stumbled back. "Don’t touch the staff. That includes me Pastor Tom." I practically shouted. Pastor Tom Drake was well known around town, and getting national attention lately with his mega church. He was included in the luncheon due to his influence, but he was just Pastor Tom since he was a local guy who started his church and radio ministry from his garage.
I had contended with bad behavior before, but never this grabby. I think I was going to have a bruise left from his vicious hand.
"You’re not being very fri…friendly." I noticed his eyes were droopy and then I caught a whiff of the scotch he must have gotten at the Gilded Hornet pub next to the convention center building.
I decided to alert security we needed a person to monitor the rest of the event and turned to go. His iron hand grabbed hold of my arm and yanked me to him. Without a thought I took my knee to his groin and enjoyed watching his mouth form an "O" as his breath whooshed out. I broke free and backed away. I wasn’t turning my back on him again.
"I will see you fired for that you bitch." He whispered with a jagged voice.
He couldn’t do that, at least I was pretty sure he couldn’t. I guess I’d find out. I rubbed my still smarting arm where he grabbed it. Brad would be back or the event participants would start to wander in so he couldn’t do much more, but I didn’t want to stay and find out. I backed out the door to the hallway toward the lobby and took my cell phone from my pants pocket.
"Hey Ron, we have a person under the influence at the luncheon in Convention Center. Can you spare someone for the afternoon?"
"I’ll make sure somebody’s there immediately Julienne. How bad is this guy?"
"Well, I’ll probably have a black-and-blue handprint on my arm and …my backside." I took a deep breath.
"Son of a … I’ll be right there. You stay away from him." Like I would go near that Neanderthal again, pastor or not.
The other participants were starting to exit the smaller break out session rooms and meander to the banquet room and bathrooms. The noise level began to creep upward from multiple conversations competing to be heard.
There was a loud crash of metal from the banquet room and a participant jerked open the door and froze in place. "Oh sh…" The participant’s mouth gaped and his eyes were large circles.
I ran over to the open door and saw Pastor Tom impaled through the chest with the sharp end of the Swordfish ice sculpture, from his back right through to the front. His head was forward against his chest. Blood, running down the swordfish tip that jutted from his chest, dripping to the carpet. Drip, drip, drip in a macabre but surreal scene.

***
Excerpt from Iced by Avery Daniels. Copyright © 2017 by Avery Daniels. Reproduced with permission from Avery Daniels. All rights reserved.





About The Author




Avery Daniels was born and raised in Colorado, graduated from college with a degree in business administration and has worked in fortune 500 companies and Department of Defense her entire life. Her most eventful job was apartment management for 352 units. She still resides in Colorado with two brother black cats as her spirited companions. She volunteers for a cat shelter, enjoys scrap booking and card making, photography, and painting in watercolor and acrylic. She inherited a love for reading from her mother and grandmother and grew up talking about books at the dinner table.


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Contest Giveaway


This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Avery Daniels. There will be 1 winner of a $15 Amazon.com GiftCard and 5 winners of one (1) eBook copy of Iced by Avery Daniels. The giveaway begins on June 18 and runs through June 26, 2017.


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