Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Pregnancy, a Cover Up, and the Mob!

Thank you to Melissa Amster and the ladies at Chick Lit Central for a copy of Gucci Gucci Coo by Sue Margolis.  I am so thankful when opportunities such as this happen.  I get to share this fabulous book.  Sue Margolis is not an author that I have read before.  My readers are in for a great treat!

Synopsis:

Ruby runs a shop in the suburbs of London that sells fashionable babywear.  She runs the shop with Chanel but her cousin Stella owns part of the shop as well.  Ruby has to go for annual appointment at St. Luke’s hospital with her gynecologist.  After the appointment she meets this American doctor.   They seem to run into each other often.  Ruby finally agrees to go out with him.  She and the doctor find they have much in common. Jill works at St. Luke's Hospital in the maternity section. She  asks Ruby to speak St. Luke’s Hospital.  Her topic is about the needs of the baby after it has birthed.  Once Ruby speaks the women of the group share their dieting plans.  When a famous actress comes to the shop to do a little shopping Ruby makes a discovery about her pregnancy.  Will these discoveries help or hurt her relationship with the doctor?  Will he be able to keep his job at the hospital?

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this novel.  The characters are well developed.  They are interesting to get to know, and are entertaining.  These characters have their flaws but it also makes for a more interesting read.  The story is set in a suburb of London England.  The story is told from Ruby’s point of view.

I was not too wild about Sue Margolis’s narration of this novel.

Rating:

4.5/5


Please visit Sue on her Facebook page and her Website.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

In the Spotlight: A.M. Willard Sugary Sweets

We have the pleasure of having A.M. Willard here to share a cover reveal of her new book. Sugary Sweets: A TASTE OF LOVE VOLUME 2. Now onto her book:

Zara James never expected to fall in love, leaving the hopeless romantic lifestyle to her friends. She also never imagined she’d be expecting a baby and married to the one guy she fought so hard to keep at arm’s length. Faced with life’s challenges of insecurities, pregnancy hormones, and the pressures of being a new wife in the burbs of Atlanta, Georgia, Zara tries to master them one cupcake at a time. Well, that is until her world is turned upside down by one accident that could change everything.

Hatcher James knew his smart-mouthed wife was the only woman for him years ago. He just had to figure out the correct formula to make her fall in love with him. Putting together the perfect mixture of intimacy, spice, and frosting might just do the trick, and bring joy to both of their lives.

As Hatcher tries to come up with the right ingredients, will all the hard work end in smoke or will they conquer life’s hurdles together, one tasty treat after another?
Sugary Sweets continues the Taste of Love series as we join the gang for some comical scenes, life challenges, friendship, and most of all, love covered in sugar.

About the Author:
International Bestselling Author, A.M. Willard is a true believer of soul mates, and happy ever afters. She enjoys reading, sailing, and of course writing contemporary romance, and romantic comedy with some saucy scenes. Releasing her first novella of the One Night Series on April 12, 2014, has sent her on a new journey in life.
A.M.'s passion for writing started at a young age, but with the love and support from her husband of nineteen years pushed her to follow her dreams. Once she hit that first publish button, she hasn't looked back.
Publications available from A.M. Willard include the Chances Series, Love on the Screen, Fading Memories, Hearts in Florence, and A Taste of Love Series. She's also had an article published in the Writer's Monthly Review Magazine and accepted into the Romance Writers of America organization in May of 2015.

A.M. Willard was born and raised in the Panhandle of Florida, but resides in Savannah GA with her husband, son, two cats, one rotten dog, two goats and her six chickens. Yes, we said chickens and goats…

Please visit A.M. Willard on her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website
To purchase her book please visit Amazon.

Megan Abbott in the Spotlight: You Will Know Me

I am currently reading this novel You Will Know Me.  This novel so far has been an easy read!  I look forward to sharing it soon!  How many of you are prepared for the Olympics.  What is your favorite sport?  Is it womens' gymnastics?  Then I have a novel for you! You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott is her latest novel. She has stopped by Writer's Corner to share.

What was the inspiration for You Will Know Me?

I’ve always been interested in families of prodigies. How power operates in those families, how ambition does. Then, during the London Olympics four years ago, I saw this video of the parents of American gymnast Aly Raisman watching their daughter’s uneven bar routine and it kind of blew me away. They were so invested in it, so connected to her. They moved as she moved. They knew every beat of the performance. The footage went viral and the response to it was tricky. Some people found it funny, others found it problematic and there was some finger pointing. I think we all struggle with how invested parents should be in their children’s development, but with exceptionally talented children, all that is thrown into high relief.
I could just feel the book taking shape after that. How does that kind of intense focus on a child’s talent affect a marriage, for instance? What about siblings? And families in general fascinate me—the place of the greatest darkness and the greatest light.

You are known for writing shockingly accurate portrayals of teen angst and an uncanny ability to get inside the heads of teen girls. Why are you so drawn to this subject matter?

In some ways because teen girls are still so often dismissed or condescended to. But every woman I know is haunted in some ways by their teen years, by the choices they made then and the way they crafted their identity and developed their sense of self.
And, as a writer, it’s such rich terrain. Everything is in such high relief during those years. All the big emotions of life seem to storm through us every day. When I remember myself at that age, it was like my nerve endings were all exposed. It’s when you’re both at your most curious (and, potentially, risk-taking) and also at your most vulnerable—especially to disillusionment. And when you’re a mom, like the main character in You Will Know Me, you’re in some ways living through it all again through your daughter, which is incredibly complicated.

You Will Know Me is a bit of a departure in that it focuses more on the parents’ perspective. Why did you choose to shift gears in this way?

My last book, The Fever, had three viewpoints, one of whom was the father of two teens, and I really loved it. Exploring the gap between how parents view their teens and how teens view themselves, and vice versa. But it seemed thrillingly different in the case of You Will Know Me. Katie, the protagonist, is so close to her daughter, Devon, because of the way the family has circled itself around Devon’s extraordinary talent. And that closeness fascinates me.

At what point does your child become a stranger to you? Because all children need to break apart from you to become themselves, but is it slower to happen in the case of a prodigy? A case when the parent, like Katie, is so tied up in her daughter’s everyday life?

What research did you do into the world of uber-competitive youth gymnastics when writing You Will Know Me?

Gymnast memoirs were a huge help. I read almost every one I could get my hands on. Both the flag-waving sports ones and the tougher ones too, the exposés. The one that had the biggest impact for me was Nadia Comaneci’s Letters to a Young Gymnast, which is a brilliant book on many levels (foremost her strong voice), and is such a keen distillation of what seems a pure, fire-hardened ambition. I also talked to former gymnasts and had one of them read the manuscript.

And, I confess, watching a lot of YouTube, and diving into online chat rooms, especially those devoted to parents of gymnasts. But the book’s title comes from Nadia, who tells her reader, “I don’t know you, but you will know me.” What could be more enticing to a reader?

What did you learn about this world that surprised you?

Everything! I became very fixated on the mental control and struggles the gymnasts faced. How much it is a head game. And then the sport’s impact on girls’ developing bodies. It is not a universal experience, but for many girls it halts their adolescence in certain ways, or it threatens to, and this prospect fascinated me and worked its way into the novel. Your body is both your greatest gift and your worst enemy. Maybe we all feel that, in a way.

Have any gymnasts or parents of youth athletes read and responded to You Will Know Me yet?

I’ve had a few early gymnast readers who’ve been very supportive. In particular, they’ve responded to the parent-booster culture in the book, the way parents invest in a gym and insert themselves into gym politics. The hothouse environment that the parent viewing area can take on. Or, “gym drama,” as it’s called. Which seems to have all the hallmarks of a great reality TV show, or a Shakespearean play.

After being so close to this world while researching and writing You Will Know Me, will you view the Olympics in Rio this year through a different lens?

I love watching gymnastics and this book reflects a love of, and immense respect for, the sport and the art. But in the end, I think the book is more about family and parent love than gymnastics, so probably my eyes will be more on the families than in past years. More on what it takes for a family to help make an Olympic medalist.

You’re working on TV scripts for your novels Dare Me (for HBO) and The Fever (for TNT). What is it like to adapt your own work for the small screen?

As much as people like to say that TV is the new novel, the two are so very different. By the time you sell it, it’s changed so much from the book—the world has gotten so much larger, you’ve had to create ways to make the story possibilities expand indefinitely—you lose all vanity about your own book. Instead, it’s something entirely new. But the biggest difference is how collaborative it is. Writing a novel, until the last stretch, is utterly solitary. Writing for TV is a cacophony of voices. Sometimes noisy, but never, ever lonely!

You recently joined the writing staff of David Simon’s (“The Wire”) new HBO drama “The Deuce.” How does that work differ from writing a novel? How did your career in fiction inform your work in the writers’ room? When can we see “The Deuce?”

Different in every way. I’d say apples and oranges, but maybe it’s more like apples and a large, cunning mountain lion! As collaborative as developing your work for TV is, being on staff for a show in production is a thousand times more so. You’re there to help in every way you can to bring the showrunners’ ideas to life. I think there are so many crime novelists writing for TV now because we bring a certain facility with plotting, but in the end what’s most exciting in the writers’ room is how different everyone is, how differently we see the world, and yet how we all value the same things: character, story, meaning.

And “The Deuce,” which stars James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, will be on HBO next year. I’ve seen the pilot, and it’s incredible.

Do you have time to work on another book with all of your TV project in the works? What’s next and when from Megan Abbott?

Somehow, I do! I have a new novel in the works called Give Me Your Hand, which will come out in 2018, I think. It’s about two ambitious female scientists who share a secret from their past. Very Hitchcock-inspired, this one.

About the Author: 

 Megan Abbott is the Edgar®-winning author of the novels Queenpin, The Song Is You, Die a Little, Bury Me Deep, The End of Everything, Dare Me, and The Fever, which was chosen as one of the Best Books of the Summer by the New York Times, People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly and one of the Best Books of the Year by Amazon, National Public Radio, the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times.
Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Guardian, Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Believer and the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan and received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University. She has taught at NYU, the State University of New York and the New School University. In 2013-14, she served as the John Grisham Writer in Residence at Ole Miss.
She is also the author of a nonfiction book, The Street Was Mine: White Masculinity in Hardboiled Fiction and Film Noir, and the editor of A Hell of a Woman, an anthology of female crime fiction. She has been nominated for many awards, including three Edgar® Awards, Hammett Prize, the Shirley Jackson Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Folio Prize.

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

Please visit these fine retailers:








Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How Lucky is Grandma?

Janet Evanovich has a short little adventure with some of your favorite characters.  In her short story Plum Lucky; Stephanie must find Grandma! Where did she go?   Stephanie does not have any pressing cases; she will take the case.

Synopsis:

Stephanie's mother asks her to go find Grandma Mazur.  Where did she go?  What has she been doing?  So Stephanie starts on the trail with both Connie Lula’s help.  They track her to Atlantic City in a casino.  Grandma is playing the slots with a wad of cash by her side.   She has hired a bodyguard who keeps his eyes on the rest of the money.  Stephanie asks Grandma Mazur where she got the money? Grandma shares that it came from a bag she found on the street.  Is there more to her story?  When Diesel shows up could this spell danger for Grandma?

My Thoughts:

I liked the story but did not love it.   For me as a reader your learn what to expect from a certain author once you have read many of their novels.  As long as the reader finds it entertaining it is worth the time spent.  I loved how Janet wove some familiar characters such as Stephanie and Grandma.  I am sure that Diesel's character has not been introduced in the Lucky Charms series yet.  I found his interaction with Stephanie interesting. The plot was a little predictable.  There were few surprises.

The reader will enjoy this book!  Stay tuned for the Curious Minds series that Janet has coming out.

Rating:

3.75/5


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

Monday, August 8, 2016

Brenda Novak in the Spotlight: The Secrets She Kept

Welcome Brenda Novak to Writer's Corner!  We are excited to share her next novel in the Fairham Island series.  We feel it is one that you will want to add to your beach bags. 

The Secrets She Kept by Brenda Novak

The things that happen in families are always surprising and sometimes shocking!
The rich and powerful Josephine Lazarow, matriarch of Fairham Island, is dead. The police say it’s suicide, but Keith, her estranged son, doesn't believe it.
Keith bears scars—both physical and emotional—from his childhood, but he’s worked hard to overcome the past. After walking away from his mother and her controlling ways five years ago, he's built a new life in LA. He's also accumulated a fortune of his own. But as soon as he learns of his mother's death, he returns to Fairham. He feels he owes it to his grandfather to put the family empire together again—and he's determined to find his mother's killer.
Problem is…coming home to Fairham puts him back in contact with Nancy Dellinger, the woman he hurt so badly when he left before. And digging that deep into his mother's final days and hours entails a very real risk.
Because the person who killed her could be someone he loves…

About the author:  

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author has written more than fifty books, with more than four million copies in print. This four-time RITA® Award nominee has won many awards, including the National Readers’ Choice, the Booksellers’ Best, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Daphne, and the Holt Medallion. She also runs an annual online auction for diabetes research every May at www.brendanovak.com (her youngest son has this disease). To date she’s raised $2.7 million.

To purchase a copy visit these fine retailers.  

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

                                   Indiebound