Friday, September 27, 2013

And the winner is .....

I'm considering this giveaway to be closed.  I didn't hear from either winner and am not going to keep Jill hanging while waiting for someone to get in touch. Just a reminder (and yes, I'm guilty too) when you enter a giveaway, be sure to stop back to see if you're the winner.

NEW WINNER: Because I haven't heard from Lola, I've pulled a new winner and it's KimH.  Kim, please email me at with your book of choice from Jill's previous releases in the Lucky Harbor series, print or ebook choice, and depending on which you choose, your email address or your mailing address so I can pass them on to Jill.

Lola!  Drop me an email at with your book of choice from Jill's previous releases in the Lucky Harbor series, print or ebook choice, and depending on which you choose, your email address or your mailing address so I can pass them on to Jill. If I don't hear from Lola by Monday, I'll draw another name.
Thanks to everyone who commented and special thanks to Jill for allowing me to read and review ALWAYS ON MY MIND and for the giveaway!
I hope everyone has a terrific weekend!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ALWAYS ON MY MIND, the latest from Jill Shalvis

Did you all hear any loud noises today? I’m pretty sure I heard a collective sigh as Jill Shalvis readers started reading ALWAYS ON MY MIND. I was fortunate enough to get an early copy of the book (thanks, Jill!), and I can pretty much guarantee that those readers will not be disappointed!

There’s nothing like the real thing.

After dropping out of pastry school and messing up her big break on a reality cooking show, Leah Sullivan needs to accomplish something in her life. But when she returns home to Lucky Harbor, she finds herself distracted by her best friend, Jack Harper. In an effort to cheer up Jack’s ailing mother, Dee, Leah tells a little fib – that she and Jack are more than just friends. Soon pretending to be hot-and-heavy with this hunky firefighter feels too real to handle…

No-strings attachments suit Jack just fine – perfect for keeping the risk of heartbreak away. But as Jack and Leah break every one of their “just friends” rules, he longs to turn their pretend relationship into something permanent. Do best friends know too much about each other to risk falling in love? Or will Jack and Leah discover something new about each other in a little town called Lucky Harbor?

My review:

ALWAYS ON MY MIND is typical Shalvis in that it has a ridiculously hot alpha male, a beautiful, quirky, totally capable female, and the requisite undeniable attraction between the two. What sets this apart, in my opinion, is the weight that both are carrying on their shoulders and the lengths they are willing to go to trying to prove that they’re just fine.

Leah had a cold, sometimes violent, childhood and could always rely on her Gram for gentle hugs and positive support. When Gram has knee surgery, Leah comes home to Lucky Harbor to run her bakery while she’s recovering. Between dropping out of culinary school and appearing as a contestant on a cooking show, Leah has had her share of stress and welcomes returning to the calm of her hometown. Except for the fact that Jack is still there. Jack was also a constant in her childhood and offered his shoulder on more than one occasion when Leah would sneak out of her room and into Jack’s to escape her father’s wrath. Unable to share the results of the cooking contest until the final episode has aired, everyone in Lucky Harbor is constantly asking Leah if she was the winner. All bets are on her. It’s too bad she doesn’t have the confidence in herself that everyone else does.

Jack can’t believe that Leah is back in Lucky Harbor. He’s now a firefighter, just like his father who died a hero while fighting a fire. His father’s heroic death weighs heavy on Jack and he’s always taking risks, just like his father did. Jack’s mother is battling breast cancer and when she’s down because of chemo's side effects and the fact that Jack is still all alone, Leah takes heart and tells her that she and Jack are seeing each other. This thrills Dee and starts the entire town talking. Jack isn’t immediately very happy with Leah but when he sees how the little lie has brightened his mother and her outlook, he can’t deny that they should let it go just a bit longer. Little does he know that Leah would worm her way back into his heart (or maybe she never left?) and he has some decisions to make.

Jill Shalvis always tosses an abundance of humor into her books and the biggest source of humor in ALWAYS ON MY MIND is Jack’s dog, Kevin. Kevin is smart and goofy, just like most dogs, but he weighs in at one fifty, making him impossible to ignore. Characters and settings from previous books make an appearance and it’s nice to see how the others we’ve come to know and love are doing. I give ALWAYS ON MY MIND my highest recommendation.

To celebrate the release of ALWAYS ON MY MIND, Jill is offering one reader here a copy (print or ebook, winner’s choice) of any of the previous books in the Lucky Harbor series. Leave a comment if you’re interested and you’ll be entered. If you want to talk about Jill’s work, her fun daily blog, characters, covers, etc., please do!  Every time I read one of Jill’s books, I have new favorite characters. The winning reader will be chosen on Friday, September 27th. Be sure to check back and see if you’re the winner – good luck!!
Thanks Jill, for allowing me to read and review ALWAYS ON MY MIND!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Winners, just a little late - so sorry!

Hey ladies, my apologies for being so late in naming the winners of Laura Florand's SNOW-KISSED.  I'm so excited for everyone to read this lovely story and would love for you to stop back and let us know your thoughts!
The winners are pretty much everyone who commented, with the exception of Sharlane, who has already read SNOW-KISSED (smart lady!), and Traveler who asked for the print version. Because of the obvious price difference and shipping expenses, I (typically) only offer Kindle or Nook versions.
Sooo, if Chris M, Maryellen P, Laurie G and Quilt Lady will email me at and give me the address you use for Kindle or Nook books (and which of the two you prefer), I will get your books ordered right away.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by and for your patience!
My plan is to post reviews (w/giveaways, of course!) for Jill Shalvis's ALWAYS ON MY MIND and Lori Foster's GETTING ROWDY in the next day or two, so be sure to stop back.
In the meantime, get your hands on as many of Laura Florand's books as you can! Special thanks to Laura for allowing me to read and review this wonderful book for her.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

SNOW-KISSED, the latest from Laura Florand

Author Laura Florand has a new book, SNOW-KISSED, and it's a breathtakingly beautiful, almost hauntingly, romantic story.

Romantic Times calls Laura Florand's writing "sensuous and sumptuous", awarding her their Seal of Excellence, and NPR says it's "explosive, sensual . . . and utterly sweet".
Now the internationally bestselling author of The Chocolate Thief takes us to a snow-kissed Christmas cabin for this heart-wrenching tale of love, loss, forgiveness--and hope.
Once they had been the happiest couple in the world. Once serious, restrained Kurt had fallen hard for a laughing, easy-going woman who filled their lives with joy.
But when loss struck them, Kai went down under the avalanche of grief. She threw their marriage away, and she left him, fleeing the world for this cabin high in the mountains.
Now, as the two find themselves snowbound over Christmas, Kurt has to convince his wife that while she may have lost everything else, she never lost him. Now he has to show her the true strength of one man's love.
My review:
SNOW-KISSED is a novella, but its emotional impact is staggering, almost a tangible thing. Kurt and Kai have suffered multiple tragic losses over the years of their marriage, and that one final loss was simply too much for Kai and she chooses to walk away.
Most men would choose to simply move on, but Kurt takes his marriage vows seriously and will wait however long he has to in order to get Kai back. This may sound bold and cavalier, but the wait is practically crushing for him.
Kai has taken up residency in a secluded, wooded cabin property belonging to Kurt's mother. When a secretly arranged meeting leaves the couple stranded in a violent snowstorm, there's an abundance of time for them to attempt reconciliation.
I have found that Ms. Florand never fails to deliver a richly intimate, gut-wrenching story with each and every book. This is storytelling at its most basic form, borrowing from raw, human emotion to weave a satisfyingly hopeful story. I feel certain that I'm not the only one who is very quickly becoming one of her biggest reader fans. If I had talents worthy of putting pen to paper for, this is the very kind of author I would want to be.

I've decided to do a giveaway to celebrate this beautiful story, and will gift five Kindle or Nook versions of SNOW-KISSED to readers here.  If you're interested, simply indicate so in the comments.  I'll choose the five winners on Sunday, Sept. 22nd.  Send a friend over who mentions your name and you'll each get your names in the draw an extra time.  Good luck!!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Where has the year, summer, August gone?

Anyone else feeling like 2013 has been whizzing by?  I can't believe we're into September already.  Don't get me wrong, I love fall, but I'm just not quite ready for it. There are so many fall events that we enjoy that we'll be busy most weekends for a while.  Anyone else like to decorate for fall? Have you started already?  I haven't, but likely will in the next couple of weeks. What fall festivals do you go to?

Next up review-wise is Laura Florand's SNOW-KISSED, a beautiful love story in novella form.  It is sooo good and I'll be chatting it up soon!

Talk to me!