Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Spotlight and Giveaway: Perfectly Famous

Today we are celebrating the publication of Emily Liebert's latest novel, Perfectly Famous! Melissa A gave it five stars. Check out her review. Thanks to Kathleen Carter Communications, we have one copy to give away!

Ward DeFleur has it all. She lives on a magnificent estate in idyllic Connecticut, along with her teenage daughter, Stevie, where nothing can go wrong. Until, one night, when Stevie is brutally murdered and Ward’s entire world is shattered.

Bree Bennett is a recently-divorced, former-journalist-cum-housewife, desperate to fill her days. What begins as her effort to write about Ward’s tragic story for the town newspaper turns into an unhealthy obsession with seeking her out. Unfortunately, Ward does not want to be discovered.

Even worse, Stevie’s killer is still on the loose…

In alternating perspectives between Ward and Bree, PERFECTLY FAMOUS is a pulse-racing tale brimming with explosive secrets.

“What a fun, engrossing read! Emily Liebert has such a gift for creating relatable characters who find themselves tangled up in something sinister. The ending of this book packs a huge surprise you won't see coming!”
– Sarah Pekkanen, New York Times bestselling author of You Are Not Alone

Perfectly Famous is a killer summer read! When a back-to-work journalist investigates the sudden disappearance of a famous author, suspects emerge from every corner of both women’s lives. Spot-on characters and clever plotting drive this latest thriller by Emily Liebert to a deliciously unexpected ending!”
– Wendy Walker, internationally bestselling author of The Night Before

“A twisty game of cat and mouse with a shocker of an ending. Gripping and entertaining.”
– Michele Campbell, international bestselling author of A Stranger on the Beach

Photo by Kyle Norton
USA Today bestselling author Emily Liebert was born and raised in New York City. She attended Horace Mann School and Smith College, where she graduated with a B.A. in English Language & Literature.

In 2010, Emily published her first book, Facebook Fairytales, which was a media sensation that sparked intense conversation about the positive power of Facebook. Shortly thereafter, Emily was hired by Microsoft as the spokesperson for Bing’s partnership with Facebook and appeared in 30+ television and radio spots for the brand, which garnered exceptional ratings.

Emily is the author of six novels: YOU KNEW ME WHEN (2013), WHEN WE FALL (2014), THOSE SECRETS WE KEEP (2015), and SOME WOMEN (2016), all with Penguin Random House, and PRETTY REVENGE (2019) and the forthcoming PERFECTLY FAMOUS (June 2, 2020), with Simon & Schuster.

She’s been featured often in the press, by outlets such as: Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Anderson Cooper, FOX News, Good Day New York, Oprah Radio, Martha Stewart Radio, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, InStyle, People StyleWatch, Good Housekeeping, OK!, Nylon, Woman’s World, WWD, Woman’s Day, The New York Post, The Washington Post, The New York Daily News, The Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, People.com, and The Huffington Post.

In addition to writing novels, Emily pens a travel and books column in each issue of Westport Magazine, for which she’s the Books Correspondent. She also teaches Pure Barre classes and enjoys traveling and cooking. Emily lives with her husband, Lewis, and their two sons, Jax and Hugo, in Westport, CT. 

Visit Emily online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Pinterest 

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends June 7th at midnight EST.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Book Review: The Bright Side of Going Dark

By Melissa Amster

As one of the most popular influencers on social media, Mia Bell has lived her life online for years. With her celebrity dog and gorgeous fiancé, she is planning the ultimate virtual wedding—expensive, elaborate, and entirely paid for by sponsors. But off-camera, her world is far from picture perfect. After being jilted by her fiancé and faking her nuptials to please her sponsors, Mia finally has had enough. She heaves her phone off a cliff, ready to live—and maybe find love—offline for a change.

Mia’s sudden absence doesn’t go unnoticed, especially by techie loner Paige Miller, who hacks Mia’s account and begins impersonating the internet celebrity. Paige has her reasons. Her half sister, Jessica, idolizes Mia and desperately needs something to believe in. If taking over Mia’s online persona is Paige’s only means of connecting to her sister, so be it.

Creating a like-worthy life is more fun than Paige expected. But when she grows too bold and is caught in the act, a fiasco ensues that could forever change Mia, Paige, and the people who love them. Because somewhere amid the chaos is an invaluable lesson—one that only real life can teach.
(Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

The premise of The Bright Side of Going Dark is interesting and made me want to add this novel to the top of my TBR pile. At first I thought it would be similar to Love and Miss Communication by Elyssa Friedland, but aside from someone going off the grid, it was a different story altogether.

I like that this novel focused on mental health. Just like Kelly's previous novel talks about self-care for working mothers, this novel also emphasizes the need for self-care, regardless of whether or not someone is a parent. Paige worked at a job where people were checking on her mental health all the time, as she was dealing with social media comments that could be harsh or even suicidal.

Mia and Paige were both interesting characters and I liked how they contrasted and also how they had some things in common. I really enjoyed both of their storylines and I never knew what to expect from either. This novel speaks volumes about people's reliance on social media influencers these days. Aside from the online drama, I loved the focus on dogs in this story, especially Mia's dog Mike. There were a lot of great characters and descriptions throughout.

The Bright Side was an entertaining and engaging story overall. I recommend adding it to your list of summer reads.

Movie casting suggestions:
Paige: Molly Ephraim
Mia: Justine Lupe
Jessica: Kaitlyn Dever
Tucker: Nathan Parsons
Dewey: Taylor Kitsch
Tim: Khylin Rhambo
Marla: Nancy Travis
Cary: Cary Elwes

Thanks to Lake Union for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Kelly Harms:

Friday, May 29, 2020

Book Review: Right For Me

By Sara Steven

Shelby Williams has never had a boyfriend worthy of her parents’ approval. The ones she dated were either not rich enough, not well bred enough, or just not good enough. Her luck changes when she meets Tommy Edwards. With an IQ of about a billion, a sexy smile, and a personality as sweet as the treats he bakes, he’s a guy even her parents will have to accept.

Between the pressure of graduate school and a needy ex-girlfriend, Tommy Edwards has had enough stress to last a lifetime. But when he meets Shelby, his plans to stay unattached go up in smoke. Shelby makes him laugh, and the passion she stirs in him is hotter than an oven. She’s the only girl he’s ever met who likes him for who he is rather than just for his intelligence.

When Shelby’s parents take a shine to Tommy, she blurts out that they are engaged, even though they’ve only been dating for three weeks. Tommy is furious, but before she can set everyone straight, both families go into full-blown nuptial mode, including hiring a wedding planner and shopping for a dress. Tommy and Shelby need to figure out how to tell their families the engagement was fake without ruining what’s real. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

Right for Me is the follow-up to Dorminy’s Left Hanging, a story that delves into the lives of some of the lesser known characters- we first saw Shelby as the coworker and best friend to Left Hanging’s Darla, and Tommy is the brother to Darla’s love interest, Theo. The nice thing is, both books can be read as stand-alones, but given that I’d read Left Hanging (reviewed here), it was really great to see an expansion on what happens with Shelby and Tommy, and to also reacquaint myself with everyone else, too.

Both characters are near mirror images of each other in terms of their trust level and feelings where serious relationships are concerned. Shelby has had a shaky past, while Tommy is trying to untangle himself from a complicated situation at graduate school. Given that, there are a lot of stop and go moments between the two of them, causing frustrated friction and tension. There is a serious lack of communication, given fears and insecurities, but it added a level of sincerity to this rickety relationship that isn’t quite grown yet, and it gets even harder when Shelby announces their “engagement”.

While we’re learning more about Shelby and Tommy as a couple, we’re also learning more about the two characters individually. Shelby is the all-encompassing people-pleaser, particularly where her mother is involved. And Tommy is also a people-pleaser, in the sense that he doesn’t want to let anyone down, even at his own detriment. It’s no wonder these two find one another in the trenches of trying to figure it all out and grow outside of themselves. Sprinkled in is Tommy’s penchant for baking, and I found it sweet and comical that when he needs to blow off some steam, he heads for the kitchen and bakes it out. It was a unique character trait.

While trying to get out of the engagement, they fall deeper in- but are they doing this to the benefit of everyone else, or is it becoming a real thing? That becomes the question that keeps them both up at night, while still trying to deal with outside influences that threaten to destroy the potential they might have. I really enjoyed the delicate balance. There were a few moments in the beginning of the book where I felt a little more backstory would have helped to develop the characters a little more, but I still appreciated learning more about Shelby and Tommy, and I’m glad I was reintroduced to all of the characters that make both Right for Me and Left Hanging unforgettable!

Thanks to Red Adept Publishing for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Cindy Dorminy:

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Spotlight and Giveaway: The Pink Shell Shores series

We're pleased to feature the first two novels in Kaya Quinsey Holt's new series: The Pink Shell Shores. Kaya has TWO e-book sets of both novels for a lucky reader!

Fate at the Wisteria Estate (The Pink Shell Shores Book #1)

In Pink Shell Shores, love is in the air.

Aribella "Bell" Lacroix moves to Pink Shell Shores as the new wedding and venue coordinator for the Wisteria Estate. With a high profile Valentine's Day wedding around the corner, Bell has a lot on her plate. When it comes to love, at work Bell plays a connoisseur. But, her personal life proves that it couldn't be further from the truth.

When Colt Gamay and Maggie Blazer come to the Wisteria Estate to start planning their Valentine's Day wedding, Bell is overwhelmed by Maggie's plans for the perfect wedding.

As Bell gets to know the soon-to-be-newlyweds, she learns that there's more to the 'perfect couple' than meets the eye. It becomes clear that Maggie has her eye on one man... and it isn't Colt. Bell surprises herself when she breaks the number one rule in wedding planning: do not fall for the groom.

With wedding plans in full swing and Pink Shell Shores draped in a romantic, snowy backdrop, will Bell be able to help Colt and Maggie pull off the perfect wedding? Or, will Bell find herself an unexpected romance just in time for Valentine's Day?

A Date at the Wisteria Estate
(The Pink Shell Shores Book #2)

In Pink Shell Shores, love is on everyone's mind. Especially with wedding season just around the corner.

In this second book of the Pink Shell Shores series, Aribella "Bell" Lacroix is still busy planning weddings at The Wisteria Estate. So much so, she can barely focus on her own!

While Bell's personal life is better than ever, her work life is in shambles. The new owner of The Wisteria Estate making changes left, right, and centre. Bell's life is turned upside down when the new owner declares that the Wisteria will no longer be hosting weddings.

It is up to Bell and her friends to save the Wisteria Estate (and the upcoming wedding dates). As Bell pulls up her sleeves to save the day, will she be able to save the beloved Wisteria and all of the weddings dates? And even more importantly, can she do it all while planning her own dream wedding?

Kaya Quinsey Holt is the author of four romantic comedies. She holds her undergraduate and master’s degree in psychology. Her first novel, Paris Mends Broken Hearts, was released in April 2018. Since then, her books have sold in seven countries. They have been translated into multiple languages and been formatted into audio books. Kaya’s passion for culture, travel, and psychology intertwine for books that are romantic and full of surprises. When she’s not typing away, Kaya loves chatting with friends over a glass of wine, playing with her fluffy Pomeranian Shih Tzu puppy, spending time with her family, and indulging in one too many cups of coffee. Always planning her next trip and adventure, Kaya’s favorite places are usually near a beach. She lives in Toronto with her husband.

Visit Kaya online:

Website * Twitter * Instagram

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends June 2nd at midnight EST.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Spotlight and Giveaway: Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

Jenny Colgan is a household name when it comes to chick lit. We invite you to check out her recently published novel, Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend. (And now we have that song in our heads.) Thanks to William Morrow, we have THREE copies for some lucky readers!

Sophie Chesterton is London’s “It Girl”. She knows all the right people, goes to all the right parties, and wears all the right clothes…and her rich parents pay for everything. But deep down she suspects that her best “friends”—and her posh lifestyle--are nothing but shallow fakes. Then one evening Sophie’s life takes a shocking, drastic turn, and her father decides it’s high time for the party girl to make her own way in the world.

Forced to earn a meager living as a lowly assistant to a “glamour” photographer, live in a shabby flat with four smelly boys, and eat baked beans from the can—Sophie is desperate to get her old life back, at any cost. But does a girl really need diamonds to be happy?

Full of warmth and sparkle, Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend is a surprisingly winning tale about luxury, life lessons, and the surprisingly low cost of true happiness.

Jenny Colgan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Bookshop on the Corner, Little Beach Street Bakery, and Christmas at the Cupcake Café. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.

Visit Jenny online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends June 1st at midnight EST.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Spotlight and Giveaway: Always a Bridesmaid

Today we're pleased to feature Always a Bridesmaid by Cindi Madsen. It is the second book in the Getting Hitched in Dixie series and it sounds as delicious as that cake on the cover looks! Thanks to Entangled Publishing, we have one copy to give away!

Each book in the Getting Hitched in Dixie series is STANDALONE:
Just One of the Groomsmen
Always a Bridesmaid

Violet Abrams may have been a bridesmaid no less than seven times, but her wedding day was near―she could feel it. Until her longtime boyfriend left her for someone else. That’s just fine―she has her photography and a new project redesigning her sister’s bakery to keep her happy and fulfilled. Fast-forward to the day of his wedding, though, when Violet might have accidentally, totally not on purpose, started a fire. And... Officially the worst day ever.

Firefighter Ford Maguire thought he’d seen it all. Until he’s called out because someone tried to set the local bakery on fire…with a wedding magazine? The little arsonist might be the cutest woman he’s ever seen, but he’s too career-focused to consider something serious. Still, Violet seems like a great person to help him navigate his upcoming “man of honor” duties in his best friend’s wedding.

Pretty soon, not only is Violet giving him lessons on all things weddings, she’s helping him train his latest rescue-dog recruit puppies and weaving her way seamlessly into his lone-wolf lifestyle. But forever is the last thing on Ford’s mind, and if there’s one thing a perpetual bridesmaid knows, it’s the importance of a happily ever after.

Cindi Madsen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. She loves music and dancing and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children. She and her family also take their Marvel addiction very seriously, as their one-eyed cat, Agent Fury, and their kitty named Valkyrie can attest. You can visit Cindi at her website, where you can sign up for her newsletter to get all the up-to-date information on her books.

Visit Cindi online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends May 31st at midnight EST.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Book Review: The Plus One Pact

By Sara Steven

Cara has officially run out of men. Her most recent dates have gone from bad to worse, and when her dating app informs her there is no one left in her area to choose from, she is at a dead end.

But with a summer of events ahead of her, she needs to find a solution, fast; someone to keep her company at the never-ending weddings, family gatherings and gender reveal parties that she can’t face going to alone. So when she meets handsome, confident, Millsy on a night out she may be in luck. They could not be more different in personality, but he too has a summer of events ahead and is desperate to get his family off his back about finding a ‘nice girl’. What if they made a pact to help each other out and be a plus one for the summer? Just as friends of course...? (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

The Plus One Pact was a strong reminder in not judging characters by their covers. In the beginning, we see Cara as a more introverted person, who doesn’t really like to make waves or step outside of her comfort zone. Then there’s Millsy, a man who is loud and exudes confidence, who isn’t afraid to put himself out there, regardless of the outcome. As the story progresses and the two begin to learn more about the other, there are a lot more similarities and growthful moments that happen, not only from an individual standpoint, but as friends.

The pact starts out as a means of providing support in getting through tedious family gatherings and weddings. But it’s also a starting point in a potential budding relationship that goes beyond the friend zone. There are a lot of pressures that have been put on Cara, that she should be married by now, with children and all the trimmings that come with that sort of lifestyle. Millsy feels pressure to find a new profession, that he’s not successful enough. It doesn’t help that one of his relatives could be a potential love interest for Cara, and he’s faced with trying to identify for sure on what his friendship with her really means to him. Is it just that, or something more?

The fact that Cara and Millsy help each other in so many wonderful ways, speaks volumes on bringing out the best in someone you care about, in helping them to discover more about themselves that they didn’t even know were there under the surface. Characters can change, and it’s hard to judge either of them by who they initially portray themselves to be. Ultimately, that might have been the real Cara and Millsy all along, anyway.

The premise to the story was a lot of fun. Finding a friend who will be your plus one to all of the quirky engagements in life only means making the experiences all that more bearable, and the special pizazz of these two were like a one-two punch combo to the heart. All of us could use a little more Cara and Millsy in our worlds!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links: 
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Portia MacIntosh is a bestselling romantic comedy author of 12 novels, including It's Not You, It's Them and Honeymoon For One. Previously a music journalist, Portia writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real life experiences.

Visit Portia online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter
Instagram * Bookbub

Sign up for Portia's newsletter.

Visit all the stops on the blog tour: