Saturday, May 18, 2013

Are You Ready For a Walk Down the Aisle?



Jessica Gordon has donated an eBook copy of this for the program on May 18th at Stonecrest Library.  Thank you for sending the copy.   Thank you for letting me share
this novel.

Synopsis:

Shoshana (Sho) is engaged to the man of her dreams Drew Walsh.  Sho comes from modest surroundings while Drew comes from a wealthy family.  Sho is not really thrilled about meeting her future sister in laws.  As Sho spends time with them she gradually starts to adjust to the family when she meets her future brother in law Mark.  Sho has to meet him for work but ends up spending time with him when Drew is not around too.  Who will She choose Drew or Mark?  How will she change as she becomes accustomed to the wealth?

My Thoughts:
Overall I enjoyed this novel especially since I am familiar with where this novel is set.  I also loved that this novel is about a wedding but in a different since.   The novel is not a how to on planning a wedding but what happens when you have to become part of someone else’s family?  What sacrifices or affect you or others?

This novel is my first by Jessica Gordon.   She lives and writes about the Washington D.C. area.   This novel is like a Cinderella story, where the Cinderella who just isn’t sure about her Prince.  There were times with the character of Sho I wanted her to stand up for herself more or for Drew to wake up and pay attention to his finance.  I am very curious what Drew’s position is in his job?  The author is very sketchy about the details.

Rating:

4/5

Please visit Jessica on her Facebook page, website, and twitte.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Heather Shares a Package for Giveaway

Heather is giving away a set of her novels to a lucky participant at the Stonecrest Event on May 18th.  Want to know what you have a chance of winning?  

My first novel, "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo", is available for free download from my web site (http://www.heatherwardell.com/polarbear.shtml) and most retailers, and I am thrilled to be giving away five sets of my next EIGHT Toronto-series novels to International Chick Lit Month participants. I thought I'd share with you a little something that five of those books and one upcoming one taught me about writing and life.

"Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo" - Writing is supposed to be fun.

When I began this book in 2005, I had no idea that someday I would be a full-time writer with twelve self-published novels and three more on the way. I had no plans for the book itself, either, so every day after work I sat down with my laptop and started typing to see what happened next. My husband was away on a six-week business trip, so my main character's was too, and I just let my imagination wander and watched where it went. I loved every second of it.

I plan my books now, and I am definitely working instead of just playing, but I still try to remember how much fun it was to watch the words appear on the screen and I do my best to keep that same sense of fun and freedom as I work.

"Go Small or Go Home" - Trust your instincts.

This is the book that got me the closest to getting a literary agent. The two who were interested, though, weren't quite sold. One wanted me to add a number of sex scenes, and the other wasn't sure what she didn't like but knew the book needed something different for her to take me on.
I almost added those sex scenes, but the mere thought of it felt wrong to me. I didn't do it, and I self-published the book instead, and I am so glad that I didn't give in. Advice is great, but don't value someone else's opinion over your own. If it doesn't feel right for your book, or your life, then it's not.

"Planning to Live" - Dig deep.

This is the hardest writing I've ever done, a first-person present-tense story of a woman trapped and bleeding in her car in a blizzard. So much of Rhiannon's mental processes and attitudes reflect my own, at the time, and that made it even harder.
I did it, though, working deeply into my own beliefs about myself and work and life, and not only did it make the book stronger it also made me stronger and helped me find some healthier beliefs. Not everyone loves this book but those that do REALLY love it and I think it's because I didn't hold anything back.

"Stir Until Thoroughly Confused" - It's okay to choose a new path.

Up to this point I had been trying with each book to get a literary agent. I'd query at least a hundred, wait months for their responses, and once all hope was gone I self-published the book.
This time, though, as I began to prepare the query letters I realized I no longer wanted what I'd thought I did. My books were selling slowly at that point, but they were selling, and I loved the direct relationship I had with my readers. I could ask them for feedback on covers and titles and actually USE that feedback in a way that I wouldn't be able to do with a traditional publishing contract.
So, I let go of my original plan and chose the path of self-publishing first. It felt strange at first, giving up, but now I know I did the right thing. I am a perfectionist and a bit of a control freak and being 100% in charge of my own work is the best thing that could ever have happened to me.

"Blank Slate Kate" - Not everything has to be planned.

I said above that I plan out my novels, and I generally do know the basic plot from the beginning to the end before I start writing. In this book, though, my amnesic main character Kate didn't know who she was and why she'd lost her memory, and I felt strongly that I'd write a better book if I wrote to the point where I had to decide what had happened and THEN made that decision. I felt that knowing Kate better would help me to find the perfect solution to her mystery.
It was scary, writing along not knowing how it would end, but since Kate also didn't know how it would end it helped me identify with her. When I reached the decision point, an afternoon of brainstorming brought me what I still feel is the best wrap-up for the book.
I haven't stopped planning my books, since for me it does feel more comfortable to write if I know where I'm headed, but this one taught me that it's okay to not have every last detail laid out.
"Jasper" (tentatively titled "Everybody's Got a Story" and on track to be released in July) - Don't hide from something that matters to you: go after it!

This book is the story of Alexa and how she overcomes her abduction and assault by her boyfriend. It's much darker than my usual topics, and so when I came up with the idea of following Alexa through her now-ex-boyfriend's trial and her attempts to rebuild her life I said, "No way." I said it frequently in my head and occasionally out loud. I did not want to go there. It wasn't for me.
But I couldn't stop thinking about it. I could see what he'd done to her and what she would need to do to get through it, and though I didn't want to I could hear her voice. The story simply wouldn't let me go.
And so I wrote it. And it may be the best work I've ever done. It wasn't easy, but I love it, and I also love that I didn't refuse to answer the story's call. It might not be 'my usual story', but it wanted me to tell it and I'm so glad I did.

Thanks for reading! I'd love it if you'd do two things: pick up your free copy of "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo" (it's approaching 400,000 downloads and I'd love to see it hit that milestone), and leave a comment of one thing that you've learned from reading or writing as your entry to win one of the sets of eight novels.
 
by Heather Wardell

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Passion for the Market



Anita Hughes has a delicious treat in her next novel Market Street.  She weaves a tale
of true desires and betrayal.

Synopsis:

Cassie is the heiress of the famous department store in San Francisco Fentons.  Her husband Aidan is a professor at UC-Berkley in the Economics department.  One day while in Fenton’s she makes a discovery about her husband.   An event that sends her to her best friend Alexis’s home to recover.   There Cassie is asked to confront her future with her husband?  Career? And life?  How will her experiences help her choose her path?  

My Thoughts:

 The second novel is even better than the first.  Ms. Hughes novel reminds me of the author Judith Krantz and her style of writing.   The plot is a journey for the main character Cassie.  I loved the question that was asked by different characters in the novel.  “What is your passion?”  What do you like to do?  Is this not a question that we all ask and wonder what the answer is for us?

 The main character has a wealthy background.  Does it make the story more interesting?  For me it gives me a place and a character that is a little out of my norm.  Also a way to dream of what might be one day. 

Only thing I didn’t love is this is the second novel where divorce has become part of theme of the story.   It was not the main focus.  I definitely look forward to future novels by this author.

Rating:

4.25/5

Should you like win a copy of this novel drop by Stonecrest library on May 18th for the program.

Please visit Anita on her Facebook page, website, and twitter.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Can You Hide All Your Secrets?



In this novel we visit the more romantic side of Alexandrea Weis.  Have you ever kept a secret of a secret act?  How well could you keep the secret?

Synopsis:

Kara visits the St. Charles hotel for a meeting.   This meeting is with Scott Ellsworth a notorious womanizer.  A meeting that she might regret later, or will she?   Kara wants to feel young and in control.  She is a wife to Cal Barton and the mother of Simone.   Her relationship with her husband is not a good one.  Scott persues her at every day at her job and home.  Will Kara find everything she is looking for with Scott?  Will there be a future?

My Thoughts:

This novel is not what I thought it was.  When you think of a one night stand you think of an affair that lasts one night.  One character persues the relationship more than the other character. The ultimate question then is will they get together?  Well the plot is a little more complicated in an interesting way.   The end is not what I thought it would be.

The story is good.  I thought the characters are well thought out.  The most interesting aspect  to me is the plot.   Another great story sat in New Orleans. 

Alexandrea represents the French influence in this International Chick Lit Month.   If you would like to win a copy of this book please come for the program at Stonecrest  Library on May 18th.

Rating:

4/5
Please visit Alexandrea on her Facebook page, twitter, and her website.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Want to Dance the Acadian Waltz?



The Alexandrea has donated a copy of the Acadian Waltz for the giveaway at Stonecrest Library on the 18th of May.
 
Synopsis:

Nora has reached her thirtieth birthday and now her mother feels it is time to settle down and marry.  She grudgingly agrees to the many blind dates set by her mother and step father.   None of them seem to be really worth  the effort.  One night after a particularly bad date, Nora is in the emergency room after her date had a bad reaction to the food.  She meets a doctor John Blessing.  They start to see one another.  Her mother couldn’t be happier, but is he truly a blessing in disguise?  Enter a man from Nora’s past Jean Marc Gaspard.  He reminds Nora of the past but what will she choose for her future?

My Thoughts:

This novel is more of a romance novel.   I did enjoy it!  I agonized over the decisions that Nora makes throughout the novel.  The novel is beautifully crafted in plot.  Who doesn’t have a mother who means well but causes more harm than good?  I appreciate the way the author shows the turmoil that Nora goes through as she comes to her decision.

This novel shows more of the history of New Orleans.  The Gaspard family is Cajun in origin and descended from a famous pirate.  I love learning more about the history of a place that I don’t know much about.

The setting of New Orleans is not written about often.    Alexandrea’s writing is worth checking out as she shares the area that she knows well.
Rating: 
4.25/5
Alexandrea would love to share your thoughts on Facebook, her website, and twitter.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Samantha March Has a Present for Everyone



Thank you Samantha March and Marching Ink. For sending me a copy of The Green Ticket.   Samantha is a true friend and I would like to introduce her once again to you for her second novel.  This novel is also being given away at Stonecrest Library on May 18th.

Synopsis:
 
You go to college, and then you’re about finished; ready for that first job.   Alex is about finished with college.  She feels that she has found the perfect job.  A spa in  her town is hiring for a manager.  Alex doesn’t think she stands a chance but lands the job as the manager.  The job seems perfect, but  something is not right.   Employees take her into their confidence. Will Alex find the courage to confront her superiors with the knowledge?   She has friends on the side Carmen, Hannah, Emma, and Lila.   What could make life better?

My Thoughts:

The second book is a great read!   I found the author showed tremendous growth in her writing.  I found the characters believable.   The antagonist in this story is extremely believable.   Most of the characters are very sweet, and very positive.  Setting seems familiar since it once again describes Iowa which the author knows best.  I wonder if she would be willing to branch out in her next novel.   I also feel it is great that this author use a setting not often used by other authors.

What was your first job like after college?  Was it at all what you expected?

Rating:

4/5

Please visit Samantha on her website or Facebook.
You can pick up The Green Ticket: 

Amazon: Print or eBook

Barnes and Noble: eBook

Kobo: eBook

Marching Ink: Print