Saturday, September 20, 2014

And Let the Competition Begin…



Thank you to Zondervan Thomas Nelson and Litfuse for a copy of this fabulous novel.  I received this novel in exchange for an honest review.  This is Betsy St. Amant’s debut with All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes.  What could possibly be better than a little romance and some baking?

Synopsis: 

Kat Varland and Lucas Brennan have been good friends for a long time.  She is a baker at her aunt’s cupcake shop.  You would think she would be ecstatic to be doing something she loves.  The only problem is the shop requires a chocolate, strawberry or vanilla menu and no deviations.  So Kat likes to experiment at home with Lucas.  She also does not get a lot of respect from her family.  Can Lucas change all of this by signing Kat up for Cupcake Combat a reality television show?   Will he get the desired results from actually being on the show? What will Kat learn about herself through this experience?

My Thoughts: 

I had to stay up late to see how this novel ended.  Was it worth the wait yes!  I stayed up to see how Kat would fare in each round.  I would not have had a satisfying rest otherwise.  What initially appealed to me about this novel is a little romance with a little baking, and a great competition.   The author has a great plot twist she uses a reality television competition to extract the true feelings of her characters Kat and Lucas.   


Many of the questions that Kat asks herself in this novel I have asked myself on occasion.   The only part that wasn’t my favorite but added to the story was the constant hesitancy between Lucas and Kat.  I could very much identify with her character because I have a similar background.

This read is fun, fun, fun!  Did I say it was fun and enjoyable!  I think I am ready to bake some cupcakes who would like to join me?

Rating: 

5/5

Please visit Betsy on her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website.

To purchase a copy of   go to this page. 

Please visit Betsy on the rest of her tour. 



Friday, September 19, 2014

Kindle Fire HDX Giveaway

September $229 Giveaway

229 giveaway   It’s time for September’s $229 Kindle Giveaway Hosted by I Am A Reader. We are giving away 2 great prizes both valued at $229. Winner’s choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash!   The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to those share this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter.  

Win a Kindle Fire HDX 7", Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
Each of these bloggers/authors paid to help sponsor this giveaway.   Sponsor List I Am A Reader Feed Your Reader A & E Kirk, Author Inspired Kathy Lori's Reading Corner Talia Jager, Author Mother Daughter Book Reviews Krysten Lindsay Hager Every Free Chance Books Romance Under Fire I Love to Read and Review Books :) Christine's Blog Elizabeth Isaacs Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton Pauline Creeden, Author Author - Cindy A Christiansen Mama Monkey Craftology MoreThanaReview My Devotional Thoughts Author Suzy Turner Jenn @ Bookreviewsandgiveaways Too-Clever Danielle @ Coffee and Characters Author D.E. Haggerty C Family of 6 Bella Street Weird Romance Bonnie Blythe's Pure Romance Sid Frost YA Author Fabio Bueno Read for your future Jennifer Laurens Author Laurie Here - Contemporary Fiction and MORE Reviews from a Bookworm Helen Smith (author) Author Deb Atwood Author Claudia Burgoa Start Publishing Elizabeth Isaacs True North Publishing Whiskey Creek Press Deanna Lynn Sletten, Author Luthando Coeur Bette Lee Crosby Against Idleness & Mischief (BOOKTUBE) BookBunnyPR Victoria Allred
Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here: http://www.iamareader.com/category/kindle-giveaway-sign-ups   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). Ends 9/30/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway Copyright © 2014 I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, All rights reserved. You are receiving this email because your requested a notification when I open a hop blast or tour. Our mailing address is: I Am A Reader, Not A Writer 1244 SIlk Tree Cir. St George, Ut 84790 Add us to your address book unsubscribe from this list update subscription preferences Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp Click here to Reply or Forward AdNeed a Mattress Bozeman? Superior quality & free delivery Sleep happy in Bozeman, MT www.bobcatmattress.com 0.63 GB (4%) of 15 GB used Manage ©2014 Google - Terms & Privacy Powered by Last account activity: 58 minutes ago Details Inspired Kathy's profile photo Inspired Kathy Show details Map this 1244 SIlk Tree Cir St George, Ut 84790 Ads Best Legal Thriller 2014 "Hiaasen's Wit, Grisham's Savvy." Shamus Award Nominee on Sale Now! www.amazon.com/bestsellers ISBN for Books and eBooks $34.99 Delivered in minutes online 30 Day Money-Back Guarantee www.isbnagency.com

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Do You Know How Many Wives Ernest Hemingway had?



So how many wives did Ernest Hemingway have?  The answer he had four wives.   The Paris Wife by Paula McLain discusses the first wife Hadley Hemingway.  What was she like?  Why did the author want to cover her?

Synopsis: 

Elizabeth (Hadley) Richardson Hemingway went to Chicago to have fun with friends. She went to a party and met a gentleman that is none other than Ernest Hemingway.  They can’t get enough of one another.  The next day she leaves for St. Louis and Ernest promises to write her.  Their correspondences lead to marriage and a move to Paris France.  Ernest struggles with his writing career.  He eventually writes The Sun Also Rises.  Where does Hadley fit in?  Will they eventually find happiness with a long life?

My Thoughts: 

I liked The Paris Wife!  My favorite class in high school was my American Literature class.  My favorite teacher was Ms. Etheridge she taught me to appreciate the classics.  I never read The Sun Also Rises but I loved A Farewell to Arms. So just getting to know the character of Hadley Hemingway was very interesting to me.

The plot of this novel follows the beginning of the relationship between Ernest and Hadley.  It chronicles their time together in Paris.  Also the interesting characters they met along the way.   Such as the Fitzgeralds and the Murphys, when they are in Paris. 
Only an English teacher could write a story about the life of Hemingway and his first wife.  She captured what one would hope to be the essence of Hadley Richardson Hemingway.

All in all an interesting read! 

Rating:

4/5

Please visit Paula McLain on her Facebook page.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

An interview with Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and Sarah Sundin Authors of Where Treetops Glisten



Three of the most beloved Christian authors of World War II- era fiction have come together to gift their readers with the new Christmas release, Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook Press/September 16, 2014/ISBN: 978-1601426482/$14.99).

Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin invite readers to turn back the clock to days gone by as they listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow and get to know the Turner family. Each of the three siblings is forging his or her own path in his or her own love story filled with the wonder of Christmas. Hailing from the heart of America in Lafayette, Indiana, these characters will never be the same as the reality of Americas involvement in World War II hits incredibly close to home.

Q: How did the three of you decide to collaborate on a collection of novellas together?

Cara: I’d written in a couple of novella collections and loved the collaborative aspects. Writing is often solitary, but when you’re working on a collection with other writers, you have fun opportunities to work together. I asked Sarah and Tricia if they’d like to work together because I love their World War II stories, and I love their hearts. I also thought this was a sneaky way to get to know them better. It’s so fun now to have a book we’ve written together!

Tricia: The coolest thing about Cara approaching me is that I highly respect both Cara and Sarah for their writing abilities and their love of World War II. There aren’t many people I know who enjoy both of these passions, just as I do, and it was easy to say YES!

Sarah: When Cara invited me to participate, I was thrilled. We all liked the idea of using one family’s experience over the course of the war to tie the stories together.

Q: What themes run through each of the stories in Where Treetops Glisten to tie the book together?

Sarah: In all three of the stories, someone is overcoming grief or loss, and someone is dealing with regrets of the past. Strong themes of healing and reconciliation and hope run through each story. Giving is also a crucial element, which is appropriate for Christmas stories!

Tricia: I also love the use of Christmas songs from that era. The title, Where Treetops Glisten, may be very familiar to readers. Also each novella is named after a popular Christmas tune from those years!

Q: How did the three of you work together to make sure there was continuity between the three novellas?

Sarah: We started in the brainstorming phase, throwing out character and family ideas and making them mesh. Since I’m the nerdy chart-maker of the trio, I made a timeline and a character chart we could use for reference to keep details straight. Also, we bounced ideas off each other throughout the writing process: “Who would Abigail have in her wedding party?” “Does this sound like something Pete would do?” “What would Merry be feeling at this time?” We shared our rough drafts to make sure the details and personalities rang true. The collaboration was challenging since our stories are more tightly connected than in most novella collections, but it was a lot of fun.

Cara: Sarah is the spreadsheet queen. Seriously! After our conference call, Sarah had character and timeline spreadsheets ready for us. We stayed in contact and used those spreadsheets to keep the details straight.

Tricia: There were also many e-mails that flew back and forth with questions like, “What year was Pete born again?” and “What was so-and-so doing in 1943?” It was fun figuring out this family and these characters together. And then once we figured out the information, Sarah put it in her spreadsheet!

Q: Each one of the three siblings in the books has to chart his or her own path. How is the love of their family a support system for them, even as they make their own life decisions?

Sarah: Pete’s always seen himself as the black sheep of the Turner family—but as a much-loved black sheep. His family was there for him during his wild youth, and they’re there for him when he returns from his combat tour drained of hope and joy. They offer wisdom and humor and encouragement.

Cara: Abigail has keenly felt the shortness and unpredictability of life. Because of it, she’s afraid to chase her dreams or really dare to dream. Her family provides the support and stability to try even when life is something she can’t safely manage.

Tricia: Meredith (Merry) is the wanderer. She is the one who moved to Florida to attend nursing school as soon as she graduated from high school. She’s the baby of the family, and she’s always tried to prove herself. Yet as the years go by, and as Merry finds herself serving as a nurse in Netherlands, she realizes the place she wants to be the most is home—back with the family she loves.

Q: The three novellas are all titled after a Christmas song that became popular during World War II. Can you share a little of the history behind the songs and how they became a part of the book?

Sarah: Since so many great Christmas songs debuted during World War II (“White Christmas” in 1942, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in 1943, and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” in 1944), I’ve often thought those songs would be a fun way to connect a novella collection, so I suggested it to Cara and Tricia, and they liked it too.

Cara: I loved the idea of using the Christmas carols to connect the stories. So many of those songs are a big part of Christmas even today! But we still had to figure out the rest. Christmas carols alone wouldn’t be enough for three stories to come to life. Once we were all on board, we had a conference call to figure out the rest.

Tricia: I used my song title, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” as an inspiration for my character, too. I have a friend named Merry who was born on Christmas…so I used that for my novella! Meredith is nicknamed Merry, and her name plays into the story; that song makes its way into the novella, too!

Q: World War II was a tumultuous, uncertain time. Why pick that era as the backdrop for a Christmas story?

Tricia: I love World War II, and I always loved chatting with Sarah and Cara about World War II. Our purpose is to remind readers of the importance of family, of home, and of togetherness. Even in a time of war we can remain strong because of the love of God and the love of those we serve.

Sarah: Because World War II was so tumultuous, I think Christmas became more important. In the Christmas songs of the era, you hear a wistful nostalgia for white Christmases, for home, for mistletoe kisses, for merriness, for a time when your troubles would be out of sight. The holiday reminded people of home and hearth— exactly what they were fighting for.

Q: What sparked your interest in this particular historical time period?

Cara: I love the way this particular generation came together in a big way to fight a world size problem. Everybody made sacrifices of even the most basic ‘needs’ like coffee and sugar. And everyone did it. If you talk to members of this generation today, they still insist they didn’t do anything special yet I think it was heroic.

Tricia: I first became interested in World War II while traveling in Europe with two friends. We went to Mauthausen concentration camp, and I was overwhelmed with the stories. I ended up interviewing more than 100 World War II veterans, and then I started writing World War II novels. It’s been a passion of mine ever since I stepped in that concentration camp. I’ve written other genres, but deep in my heart I’m thankful to be back writing about World War II!