The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd released January 2016; the prequel, The Missing Files of Charlotte Dodd came out last November.
Like the pretty new covers? Thanks Sue Traynor!
And now it’s time for the sequel – The Best Worst First Date Ever!
Pre-sale begins tomorrow!! Until then, here’s a guest post from back in 2016, from my blog tour for The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd!
Or maybe a secret agent. Nothing too dangerous of course. I am a forty-something mother and I like to think my kids still need me around! But have you ever wondered … wanted … fantasized a bit about having a little more excitement in your life? A little danger? Have you thought about what it would be like to jump out of a plane onto the roof of a building, sneak in, have to fight your way through the bad guys with such awesome moves that you manage this with your hair still in place and not a bruise on your body to rescue your man or someone equally deserving?
I have to admit, I have had such daydreams.
And that’s why I wrote The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd.
I’m not a violent person in any means. I’m an average, baseball mom of three. I’m an author. And one of the more enjoyable aspects of being a writer is that you get to imagine your characters (yourself!) in all sorts of situations.
I first came up with the idea for The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd years ago. I had finished writing my first novel (then titled Baby! Baby? Baby?!, now Unexpecting), a chick lit novel about a woman who wants to have a baby, and was debating what my next book would be. At this time, I had been quite taken with the Jennifer Garner show Alias. Watching the show – along with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, another of my favourites – really strengthened my little secret agent/super hero fantasy. I loved the idea of a strong, confident, independent woman being able to take control of any situation.
There were a few moments in those two television shows that inspired The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd. Sydney Bristow sucking the air from a submerged car tire keep from drowning. A car doing a 360 turn during a car chase. And Buffy’s signature fight move – rolling back onto the shoulders and flipping to her feet. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to do things like that?
And that’s when I came up with the character of Charlotte Dodd. She was part Sydney Bristow, part Buffy with a little Jason Bourne thrown in.
She would be an agent with a super-secret government organization. She was recruited at a very young age and from a family of spies. Her grandfather was the co-creator of the National Intelligence and Information Agency, a super secret government organization that catapulted Canada to the forefront of worldwide espionage. (I know, I know – Canada? Fiction, remember?!)
I came up with other characters – Charlotte’s brothers and their roles in the NIIA, fellow agents Benjy and Payton. I came up with a bit of a love triangle with Ham and Luke. I devised the fight scene where she first meets Benjy, who reminded Charlotte of Neil Patrick Harris. You can tell how long ago I first came up with the story because the early reversions mention Neil Patrick Harris’ childhood character, Doogie Howser!
And that’s where the story stalled. But never forgotten, never far from my thoughts. I had all these characters – I had Charlotte – and they needed something to do.
Over the years, Charlotte has stayed with me but the story has gone through a lot of changes. I wrote at least five versions of Charlotte, trunking each one. Charlotte lost her memory, got it back. One memorable version had Charlotte as part vampire, which made her an excellent vampire hunter!
And then last year, after my third book was published – Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder – I pulled Charlotte out again. I had found critique partners and I needed to give them something to critique! This time, Charlotte was still a spy but had no memory of her time as a secret agent. I took few parts of my original story and started again.
I think this is the best revision of Charlotte I could have come up with. She’s a character that I fell in love with, one who wouldn’t leave me alone. It’s been over ten years since I first came up with the idea of Charlotte and so finally publishing the story was a very happy moment. It was great to finally finish what I started so long ago, and let my daydreams of the life of a secret agent run wild!
But Charlotte wasn’t enough for me. I’m ready for my next mission. I’m working on a sequel!
For the full post, check out Connect with Chick Lit Club
I haven’t posted in a long time!
But that will be changing because I have a new book coming out that I will want to share with you!!
Check back on Friday for more info and details on how to pre-order. Plus – want to be a beta reader for me??!!
First, let me get back into the swing of things with a WWW Wednesday – it’s a long one!
. Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly of what I read this summer.
Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions about what you’re reading in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.
What would you do to keep your son safe? The zoo is taken over by armed gunmen and a mother must keep her son alive.
Amazing read!! Gripping, suspenseful and terrifying for mothers.
Great. engrossing read and by the end, I was having problems putting it down.
Interesting read, but the writing didn’t grab me. Good twist at the end though.
I love books about the Russian czar and his family. A secret love affair between Grand Duchess Tatiana and a military officer, that resonated in present day? Got me. But no – great story, but the writing…
Maybe I’m just being too picky, but when I was reading this, I could hear my writing partners in my head – show, don’t tell! And Gill Paul told the story, not showing me anything. Maybe it’s because I know better (not to sound arrogant or anything) but it was a disappointment for me. This should have been a much better book than it was.
Another disappointment. Halfway through the book, I had my breakup letter to Phillippa Gregory ready to send. The first third of the book, the Lady Jane Grey bit, was positively painful to get through. I’ve read about the girl who was queen for 9 days and she’s never been portrayed like this! Self-righteous, arrogant and completely unlikable, Gregory’s depiction of Jane almost made me stop reading. Again, I love reading about the Tudor’s and while Gregory isn’t the most accurate of historical fiction writers, she can spin a good yarn. But this? I hope this is the last one she writes on the scandalous family because she’s just phoning it in. At least the last third of the book, about the youngest Grey sister kept my attention with her heartbreaking story.
Easy, breezy beach read about twin sisters and the uber summer destination towns of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
Heartbreaking story about the survivors of the St. Louis, the ship that left Hamburg full of Jewish families trying to get away from Hitler’s Germany, only to be turned away by Cuba, US and Canada.
Laugh out loud funny in parts, great, believable characters but the ending collapses into a pile of sodden tissues.
I was intrigued by this YA series when it was first released, but now…bored now. The characters are tired and repetitive, and have lost the place they had in my heart. Whether there’s another book or not, I think I’m finished with Victoria Aveyard’s series. 🙁
To be honest, I got this one because of the author, even though it’s a vastly different book than what she writes. Cora Carmack is a NA author, with college-aged girls finding themselves and lots of spicy bits – Roar is YA fantasy. A little different. But good. I’ll keep going with it.
I was so jealous when my daughter got the DC origin stories for the 9-12 age set but now I can have them too! I’ve never read Leigh Bardugo but I’m going to give her a try after this. Can’t wait until Sarah J. Maas comes out with her story on Catwoman!!
Cute and sweet. I was able to get an advanced copy of Kate Okeeffe’s second foray into the Cozy Cottage Cafe series and enjoyed it immensely!
I keep coming back to this series, so that must say something!
Just got a box from Indigo dropped off at the door so I’ll have to see what’s inside!
I decided to become an independent author because I like having control over every aspect of my books. My mother says I’m a bit of a control freak, and maybe she’s a little right. I’ve gone the agent route and I’ve done the publisher thing and this is what works for me. Thanks to Three Birds Press, I can publish when I want, decide on the price and have the last say in covers and marketing – three things that traditional authors often have no control over.
But having great power comes great responsibility.
And it isn’t always fun!
Like deciding to change the cover on one of my most beloved books.
No, it’s not the first time I I’ve made a big switch. Both Unexpecting and Coming Home got a new look because I changed publishers. And Absinthe needed a fresh look because as must as I loved the shot of absinthe, it really didn’t highlight the story’s fun side.
I found myself with the same problem for The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd and the prequel. I refer to my series as action chick lit. A fun and feisty heroine trying to sort her life out during an action-packed 24 hours, full of car chases, fight scenes, and secret missions.
Because Charlotte really belongs in that genre, I thought it was time for a change.
Changing a cover is scary! How do I know what’s supposed to work? How do I know it’s going to sell better than the original?
And that’s the bottom line – is the new cover going to attract more people, more people that will buy it?
I really have no idea. But I’m the boss here, so my decision is the final one.
Thanks to Sue Traynor for creating such pretty covers and Donna Chaput for helping me put them together!
Hope it works. What do you think?
I call myself an author of Chick Lit books but there may be some out there who don’t exactly understand what that is.
When I publish my books, there are several categories I can choose to put them in before I hit the magic button to publish.
I think my novels are best classified as Chick Lit, so we’ll start with that. Chick Lit is often defined as books about “stilettos and sexy careers”; women who meet a man who they are destined to fall in love with, no matter how messed up their lives are.
That may be the case, but Chick Lit has so much more to offer.
The characters come in every shape and size and are usually flawed in some way. But no one wants to read about the perfect heroine who has everything going for her, do they? Chick Lit stories tell the tale of personal growth of a woman; there’s no need for a happy ending (HEA) but by the end page, their lives are better than they were at the beginning.
Romance isn’t mandatory, but when it’s included, sex often follows. But unlike romance novels, the love story isn’t the central focus. And the heat factor can be anywhere from chaste kisses to serious sexy time.
Chick Lit are stories that appeal to women – mainly because they all have one thing in common; the protagonists are women. And it’s good that they have that one thing in common, because chick lit reads range from light and fluffy romance to laugh out loud comedy and gritty tales of heartbreak.
I’ve actually been hesitant to call my books Chick Lit because of the negative stereotypes that have plagued the genre. The origin of the genre was undoubtedly Bridget Jones’ Diary, but after the massive success of the book, the market quickly became over-saturated with authors trying to push their own version of a messed up woman with as many issues as shoes onto a public who was becoming increasingly tired of the British singleton.
Thankfully, these days chick lit novels are more varied and better written.
Of course, there are badly written books in every genre, including the Holy Grail of the written word, literary fiction! Chick Lit, with its proclivity for fast-paced, informal and fun pages that often tells rather than shows, has always been quick to find criticisms, often from a public who has never even read a chick lit book!
What it boils down to, is Chick Lit books are about women. They are fresh and fun and always contemporary – the hottest careers, latest fashions (and yes, shoes) and the men often mirror the latest A actors. They have a rap for being frivolous, and irreverent, but should leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling for the characters.
The genre may not be for everyone, but you should definitely try it out before you criticize.
And keep reading. Keep reading anything!
(But remember my books are good!)
Hello! It’s that wonderful #fridayfeeling again!
If you are in the UK like me, you’ll be lucky to have an amazing hot weekend! Swimsuits out of the closet, and drinks and barbecue to relax!
So… it’s time for our #15funfacts, and this week we have Holly Kerr
Holly is the author of 5 ½ novels (the ½ is a novella). She is a small town girl who followed her hubby to the big city of Toronto. (Actually, she drove him home, because he didn’t have a car) They have 3 kids, 4 fish and a bearded dragon, and enjoy happy hour cocktails on their front porch.
She writes chick lit (Unexpecting, Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder and Coming Home); action chick lit (The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd, and prequel, The Missing Files of Charlotte Dodd) and kid lit for her kids (The Dragon Under the Mountain). Right now, she’s juggling sequels for Unexpecting, Charlotte and Dragon.
Holly’s latest novel is Coming Home, a book about sisters and small towns, two things she knows about.
Loving your sisters is easy. Liking them is the hard part.
Inspired by Holly’s often tumultuous relationship with own her sister, Coming Home is the story of Brenna, who ran out of town as quick as her eighteen-year old legs could carry her, and hasn’t been back since. When her life across the country implodes, she has nowhere to go but home to her sisters. Brenna’s return is the last thing youngest sister Cat wants, since she now has Brenna’s ex warming her bed at night. It seems neither Cat nor Brenna has grown out of the sibling rivalry phase.
>>> See all Holly’s books on Amazon <<<<
1. I don’t like a lot of chocolate. No chocolate cake, ice cream or even chocolate martinis. My only weakness is Cadbury Almond bars. Give me a bag of potato chips any day. Actually, don’t because I’ll eat the whole bag without sharing with you!
2. I do like wine, though. Quite a lot.
3. On my personal FB page, I often post pics of my Friday Night Martini. These have inspired more than a few of my friends and relatives to begin their own Friday Martini Night!
4. I like to call myself ‘mother of dragon’ because my son has a bearded dragon for a pet. His name – at least we think it’s a he! – is Spyro.
5. My eldest daughter’s middle name is Riese – named after Riesling, the wine I was drinking the night she was conceived. (Is that TMI? 🙂 )
6. Just so you don’t think all I do is drink, the number one thing on my bucket list to run a marathon. I’ve come close, if you call running a half marathon close. I’ve actually run 3 half marathons, so that means I’ve done a whole one, right?!
7. I really don’t like ants. And I really don’t like it when they come in my house.
8. I like to cook. My mother-in-law says I make the best lasagna, so that’s saying something, isn’t it?
9. I coach my daughter’s baseball team. I used to coach my son’s team but stopped when the boys grew taller than me. My dad used to coach me, so it must run in the family
10. I like to garden. My neighbours often stop by and ask for my advice on what to plant.
11. I have a front yard library, thanks to my dad!
12. My knowledge of Star Wars trivia can rival that of any 12-year old boy. (Very helpful when coaching said 12 year old boys!) Also, can compete with that of many man-child’s.
13. I grew up on a farm in a small village in Southern Ontario, Canada. I live in Toronto now. I guess the country girl vibe is why neighbours ask for gardening advice!
14. I’m a HUGE Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. Actually, a huge Joss Whedon fan. So happy he’s getting the attention he deserves.
15. I’m the mom of 3 amazingly awesome kids
So, which of the #15funfacts about Holly surprised you the most? Have you got any more questions for her? Comment below.
Would you like to win one of Holly’s books?
Well, as usual, our featured author will give one of her books to a lucky reader!
All you need to do is to enter below ~ winner will be announced next Friday, in the next #15funfacts post. Subscribe here so you don’t miss out!
Head over to visit Dani at This Chick Writes to enter the draw for one of my books!
It’s another long one!
Do you remember that WWW Wednesday post where I was disppointed in most of the books I’d been reading? Well, this isn’t one of those posts!! I’ve read awesome books and you should read them too!
Plus – the Wonder Woman movie? It’s as good as you hope it is!
Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions about what you’re reading in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.
1947.In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her “little problem” taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.
1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the “Queen of Spies”, who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose.
Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn’t heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth …no matter where it leads.
I’m 2 chapters in and so far it’s living up to the hype. I hope it keeps it up.
Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.
But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?
Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest.
I admit, I didn’t even read the back blurb of this book. I was ordering a book for S from Indigo and needed something more to get the free shipping, saw a new Christina Lauren book and 2 days later it’s in my house. I’ve already started The Alice Network and while I’m very excited about that, I thought a little spice would be nice between WW2 reads.
Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resistor murdered in the failed July, 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.
First, Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naïve Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resistor’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.
As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war—each with their own unique share of challenges.
This was good -really good. This will be passed around. Second only to The Nightengale for WW2 novels, and I loved that book.
Computer genius Maisy Potter crosses an ocean to take her dream holiday at the English country estate-turned-resort, Drakenfall … where the winsome Mark Prebys works below stairs. With him, Maisy discovers a carefree happiness she’s never known. But will the troubles dogging her from back home, a secret whispered behind parlour curtains, and misunderstandings to beat the band extinguish the magic they think they’ve found in each other? And if not, what happens when Maisy’s enchanting holiday ends?
This was adorably sweet! I need more of Maisy and Mark, please!
I’m making a point to read more of my author ‘friends’. Love Geralyn’s writing and wait to pick up another one of her novels.
Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….
Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.
I grew up on a farm, in the country and lemme tell you, my farmers weren’t anything like these guys!!! Please, Ms. Clayton – more sexy farmers please!!
Micah Sloane knows almost everything there is to know about Risa Clay, including the vicious betrayal she endured years ago and the distrust she’s harbored ever since. The only way for the Elite Ops agent to uncover an assassin—and banish the ghosts of his own dark past—is to use Risa as bait. But nothing has prepared him for her disarming blend of innocence and sensuality, or for his overwhelming need to protect her…
Risa has spent six years rebuilding her life. And now, to save it, she must pose as Micah’s lover and draw a killer into the open. It’s a risky plan—especially with a man as powerfully seductive as Micah. But, as their charade becomes reality, Risa realizes the greatest danger may lie in losing her heart forever…
This is my first Lora Leigh book and considering this one was the second in a series, with lots of characters from another series, I really liked it. I’ll read her again.
Blurb – Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
Sigh. This was really, really good but I’m sad it’s over. I’ll re-reading the series again – soon. One thing – this series is categorized as YA. The sex scenes are more R than YA. Okay for me, but I’m not letting my daughter or her friends read this quite yet!
My last visit to my bookshelves both frightened and excited me – there are so many books I have to read! I have no idea what’s next.
I don’t know about you, but my favorite time to read is during the summer. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge reader and I love to escape real life with an amazing novel. But to me, there is just something special and magical about reading while being outdoors. I especially love lounging on the beach or by a pool with a great read. Hopefully, I am not the only one!
It’s been a very long time since I organized a massive book giveaway. So just in time for summer, I have an amazing one for you!!! To help fill your Kindle and beach bags this summer with amazing read my author friends and I have fifty-four awesome books up for grabs. AND it gets better….
We are also giving away $150 worth of Amazon gift cards in increments of $25.
And here are the books…. Good luck and happy reading
Beach read bundle #1 – print copies of PLAN CEE by Hilary Grossman, WEDDING GIRL by Stacey Ballis, SEE YOU LATER BROADWAY by Melissa Baldwin, and THE WEDDING HOAX by Heather Thurmeier (US only)
PLAN CEE – Hilary Grossman – 1 autographed print
Would you abandon your present for a second chance at your past?
Cecelia Reynolds has spent most of her life trying to forget the commitment-phobic man who broke her heart. It wasn’t easy, but eventually she did it, or so she thought…
As Cecelia and her husband gather for a friend’s wedding, her perfect world is thrown into complete turmoil. Even though it’s been twenty years since she last laid eyes on Keith Emerson, all it takes is one glance for her to feel emotions she thought were long gone. When Keith ends up officiating the ceremony, she quickly realizes his message of love is directed at her, not the happy couple. But can she believe him?
We live our entire lives thinking we know ourselves. But do we ever really?
As secrets and lies cause Cecelia’s world to spin completely out of control, she is forced to seek advice from the most unlikely ally. In the process, she must confront the demons of her past and the events that shaped her into the woman she is now. Will she finally learn the real meaning of love, friendship, and family?
While this book is a sequel to Plan Bea, it also reads as a standalone.
WEDDING GIRL – Stacey Ballis – print
Top pastry chef Sophie Bernstein and her sommelier fiancé were set to have Chicago’s culinary wedding of the year…until the groom eloped with someone else in a very public debacle, leaving Sophie splashed across the tabloids—fifty grand in debt on her dream wedding and one-hundred percent screwed on her dream life. The icing on the cake was when she lost her job and her home…
Laying low, Sophie moves in with her grandmother, Bubbles. That way, she can keep Bubbles and her sweater-wearing pug company and nurse her broken heart. But when Sophie gets a part-time job at the old-fashioned neighborhood bakery, she finds herself up to her elbows in dough and reluctantly giving a wedding cake customer advice on everything from gift bags to guest accommodations. Before she knows it, she’s an online wedding planner. It’s not mousse and macarons, but it pays the bills. But with the arrival of unexpected personal and professional twists, Sophie wonders if she’s really moving forward—or starting over from scratch…
SEE YOU LATER BROADWAY – Melissa Baldwin – 1 autographed print
Maris Forrester’s exciting new life is not everything she was hoping it would be. Although she’s happy in her new career, she’s plagued with the feeling that something is still missing. Imagine her surprise when an old friend presents her with an unbelievable opportunity that could change everything. This new career sounds almost too good to be true, including the upcoming trip to London. She quickly learns that even the most perfect scenarios have their drawbacks, and when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is . . .
In addition to making a life-changing career choice, Maris realizes she has other decisions to make—whom to love and where to find happiness. What if neither is what she thought they should be?
THE WEDDING HOAX – Heather Thurmeier – 1 autographed print
Wedding dress designer Daisy Willows always imagined marrying the man of her dreams. The fantasy did not include a fake engagement or a fake wedding. Or that her ex, Cole Benton, would be the groom. But as her mom’s medical bills pile up, Daisy can’t refuse the help of a well-known bridal show expo owner…or his plan for the fake wedding of the century.
Meet the groom…
Cole Benton’s bridal magazine is on the verge of capsizing, taking Cole’s dream of an outdoor lifestyle magazine with it. So Cole agrees to the publicity stunt and becomes “engaged” to Daisy. But despite their searing-hot chemistry—both in public and in private—not everyone is buying the charade. And now the only way to save their skins and prove that their big white wedding isn’t a big white lie is to say “I do…”
Beach read bundle #2 – eBooks of PLAN BEA by Hilary Grossman, TWIN PIQUES by Tracie Banister, BLOGGER GIRL by Meredith Schorr, and ONE LAST FIRST DATE by Kate O’Keefe
PLAN BEA– Hilary Grossman – 1 eBook
On the outside, Annabel O’Conner has it all – the perfect husband, two adorable children, an amazing job, and a mother from hell! Just when she gives up trying to regain her overbearing mother’s love, an unexpected call turns her world around and makes Annabel question everything she believes about her life.
Could falling in love give a cold, stubborn, and selfish woman a second chance to open her heart back up to her family?
Beatrice Buchanan has spent more years than she can remember distancing herself from everyone close to her. She barely has a relationship with her grandchildren. The only time she manages to have a one way conversation with her daughter is during her weekly fifteen-minute commute to the nail salon. When Bea meets Walter on a cruise she realizes there may be more to life than designer clothes, killer handbags, and impressing the ladies at her posh country club.
As the mother and daughter duo team up to plan “Long Island’s wedding of the year” they confront the secrets and lies that have defined them. This humorous emotionally honest women’s contemporary fiction novel will tug at your heartstrings and the twist ending will shock you!
TWIN PIQUES– Tracie Banister – 1 ebook
How she can read the hearts and minds of animals has always been a mystery to Willa, and her rotten luck with men is equally baffling. Although she’s been looking for “The One” for what feels like forever (A teenage marriage to a French mime and dating a guy named Spider seemed like good ideas at the time!), optimistic Willa refuses to give up on love. When she meets Brody, the handsome rose expert hired to save her grandmother’s garden, she’s instantly smitten, but why does he keep sending her mixed signals? Does he return her feelings, or is their attraction all in her fanciful head?
Unlike her twin, Sloane has zero interest in romance. Her passion is her job, where she uses her gift for numbers to take down slimy embezzlers and asset-hiding spouses. When she’s assigned two high profile cases, Sloane feels confident the promotion she’s been angling for is within her grasp. But will her plan to climb the corporate ladder be thwarted by difficult clients, her co-worker-with-benefits, or – most surprisingly of all – her own sister? And how’s she supposed to stay focused on the drama at work when her childhood friend, Gav, moves in next door and the spark between them becomes impossible to ignore?
To get what they both want, can Willa and Sloane band together and rely on each other’s strengths? Or will their differences drive them apart once and for all?
BLOGGER GIRL– Meredith Schorr – 1 eBook
A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, book blogger Kim Long has worked tirelessly to squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in Manhattan. But while she finds no passion in the day job, she finds plenty in the handsome associate down the hall. At least until her high school nemesis, mean girl Hannah Marshak, bursts back into town. Not only does she flash onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads (and pages), but Kim’s afraid she’s turning the head of her handsome colleague as well.
Adding salt to her wounded heart, Hannah’s book has popped into Kim’s inbox, along with a request for review. With a mere click of her mouse, Kim can deliver a nasty one-star review to thousands of followers. She would rather toss her favorite designer shoes in a trash heap than help promote Hannah’s career. But does she become a mean girl herself or put on her big-girl panties and be professional in spite of the past?
With everyone around her moving on and up, Kim begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her offline life. But is Hannah really the problem, or will her success be the push Kim needs to unearth a dream she’s kept hidden for years?
ONE LAST FIRST DATE– Kate O’Keefe – 1 eBook
Cassie Dunhill is sick of dating. It’s been ten years and it’s time, time to find The One. It’s either that or buy a fetching habit and veil and abandon the whole thing. But Cassie believes in love, and she’s not ready to give up yet.
Cassie and her best friends make a pact that the next date they go on will be their One Last First Date. The pressure is on to find Mr. Right, and Cassie’s the first to find him: Parker Hamilton. He’s good-looking, smart, cultured—and a doctor. Despite his obvious credentials, Cassie’s not taking any chances. She’s vetted Parker so thoroughly she could offer some pointers to the CIA. Needless to say, he passes with flying colors.
Things get complicated when Will Jordan, her irritating work colleague, muscles in on her dream job and her love life. Will is a typical guy, complete with nicknames for everyone, even Cassie. His good looks and relaxed, easy nature can be distracting. But Cassie can do without that kind of distraction right now, no matter how good Will looks with his shirt off.
In the end, is there only One Last First Date?
Beach read bundle #3 – eBooks of DANGLED CARAT by Hilary Grossman, KIM VS THE MEAN GIRL by Meredith Schorr, MIXING IT UP by Tracie Banister, and DON’T MEAN A THING by Renee Conoulty
DANGLED CARAT– Hilary Grossman – 1 ebook
When twenty-seven year old, Hilary, meets perfect on paper, Marc, she thinks she has finally found the man of her dreams. He’s everything she is looking for – handsome, successful, funny, and has a gorgeous home on the beach. Marc immediately sweeps Hilary off her feet. She is positive her single days of dating duds are over and her happy ever after is right around the corner….
Well, when something seems too good to be true it usually is!
Hilary quickly finds out Marc has one big problem – he is beyond afraid of commitment! She is willing to take things slow, but after four long years, some days their relationship seems to be going in reverse…
Tired of waiting for Marc to come to his senses, while on vacation, the couple’s friends decide to take matters into their own hands and throw a surprise “engagement” party. Will this be the kick Marc needs to pop the question or will their meddling destroy the couple?
In this chick-lit memoir, Hilary Grossman digs deep as she explores the good, the bad, and the frustrating of dating and relationships. Dangled Carat is the perfect light-hearted, laugh-out-loud, relatable book for every girl who wondered if she should love him or dump him.
KIM VS THE MEAN GIRL– Meredith Schorr – 1 eBook
High school sophomore, Kim Long, is no stranger to the “mean girl” antics of Queen Bee Hannah Marshak. When Hannah steals Kim’s diary and in front of the entire class reads personal (not to mention humiliating) entries Kim wrote about her crush, Jonathan, Kim vows to enact revenge.
Kim and her loyal best friend, Bridget, come up with the perfect plan to put the evil Hannah in her place once and for all. But will their scheming have the desired effect of getting even, or will Hannah emerge more celebrated by her peers than ever?
Kim vs. the Mean Girl can be read as a young adult standalone novel, set in 2000, but is also a prequel to the popular Blogger Girl adult romantic comedy series. Told in the dual perspectives of teenage Kim and Hannah, fans of the series will get an inside look into Kim’s early passion for reading, writing (and Jonathan), and find out why Hannah is so darn mean.
MIXING IT UP– Tracie Banister – 1 ebook
Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Manhattan upper-cruster Cecily Sinclair now uses that pricey utensil to dish up fancy French fare on her cooking show, Serving Romance. When there’s an executive shake-up at the network, she’s not worried. Not much anyway. Her show’s a hit after all. Why would the new CEO want to mess with success?
The driving force behind several buzzed-about networks, Devlin Hayes is considered to be a wunderkind in the television industry. Although his plans to rebrand CuisineTV and make Serving Romance more Millennial-friendly don’t thrill Cecily, her charming, blue-eyed boss is a hard man to say “no” to and she really wants to keep her job—even if that means sharing screen time with a loathsome blast from her past.
Mercurial Italian chef Dante Marchetti a.k.a. “Il Duce” was once Cecily’s boss, and she has the PTSD to prove it. Now the owner of one of the hottest restaurants in town, Dante’s egomania knows no bounds and his constant attempts to provoke and upstage Cecily make her want to conk him on the head with a sauté pan. She thinks they’re toxic together, but viewers love their chemistry and clamor for more.
As Cecily battles to maintain the integrity of her show, she finds herself scheming and manipulating right along with Dante and Devlin. Is she fighting a lost cause? Does she really belong on TV, or would her culinary talent be better served elsewhere? And could one of the men who makes Cecily’s blood boil ignite a passion in her for something other than food?
DON’T MEAN A THING – Renee Conoulty – 1 eBook
Thirty-year-old introvert, Macie Harman, has finally found a career she is passionate about, and after months of training, she’s begun her new job in the Royal Australian Air Force. Leaving behind her family, friends, and the life she knew, Macie has travelled to the other side of the country where the only person she knows is Rachael, the extroverted girl she went through basic training with. Everywhere Macie goes, Rachael is there too.
While looking for a way to widen her circle of friends in her new town, Macie discovers a local swing dancing class. The jazz music captures her heart, and Matt, the sexy swing dancer, sweeps her off her feet. Matt has claimed the tropical Northern Territory as home and has no plans to leave. He loves his teaching career with its predictable routine and has a great bunch of friends. All he wants now is the right girl to make his house a home.
Military life is tougher than Macie expected, and not everyone can deal with the inevitable separations and last minute changes. Is this exciting but unpredictable life something Macie wants to fight for, or could she give it up and put down roots with Matt?
Beach read bundle #4 – Autographed copies of the SPINSTER SERIES by Becky Monson (US only)
With the arrival of Jared Moody, the new hire at work, Julia’s mundane life is suddenly turned upside down. Her instant (and totally ridiculous) crush on the new guy causes Julia to finally make some long-overdue changes, in hopes to find a life that includes more than baking and hanging out with Charlie.
But when the biggest and most unexpected change comes, will the new and improved Julia be able to overcome it? Or will she go back to her spinster ways?
Julia Dorning thought she would die a lonely spinster. That was until nine months ago, when her world was turned upside down. Now she’s got a dream career as a bakery owner, and a relationship with handsome Jared Moody—a life she never thought possible.
Just as she’s starting to feel comfortable in her new life, Julia is invited to battle it out on national television making cupcakes. An amazing opportunity, if she can muster up the confidence to do it, that is. Then, out of the blue, Jared goes and throws a rather large wrench in their relationship causing Julia to have to make some big decisions. With her two trusted confidants off in wedding la la land, Julia is on her own to figure everything out.
Left to her own devices, will Julia be able to work things out for herself? Or will she make a disaster of it all?
Julia Dorning is about to lose it. Between her over-the-top wedding that her sister, Anna, took upon herself to create, and the under-staffed popular bakery that she runs, she can barely find time to breathe.
All Julia ever wanted was a quaint wedding on the beach with family and friends. But now Julia has to contend with not only her sister’s plans, but those of her future mother-in-law, as well. Not wanting to step on anyone’s toes, especially her mother-in-law’s, Julia just goes along with it.
She can only take so much, though, and when her newest employee, Kate, makes things harder at the bakery, Julia has to find a way to simplify her life.
Can she do it or will she end up a basket case?
Beach read bundle #5 – TWO CHANCES TO WIN print copies of HIDING OUT IN HOLLYWOOD by Jennifer Farwell, SECRETS OF THE SUBURBS by Alisa Schindler, SEVEN WEEKS TO FOREVER by Jennifer Farwell, and MURDER ACROSS THE STREET by Alisa Schindler (US only)
HIDING OUT IN HOLLYWOOD– Jennifer Farwell – 2 autographed prints
After her very public romance with superstar singer Cory Sampson nearly cost Emily Watts her career, she’s determined to never make tabloid headlines again. So when her new yoga classmate, Raine Kingston, wants to see Emily outside of class, she isn’t sure what to do. Raine is funny, madly attractive, and he’s one of the most charming men Emily has ever met. He’s also a sought-after actor who tops Hollywood’s A-list, and Emily knows being seen with him will destroy the privacy she’s worked so hard to get back.
She can’t deny their connection, though, and Raine is willing to spend time together in places they won’t be seen. Just when Emily is on top of the world with her new romance, her past finds its way back into the tabloids, thanks to a music partnership between Cory and indie band guitarist Jesse Cinder, someone Emily counts among her enemies. With all eyes back on her, it gets harder to keep her dates with Raine a secret, and Emily is forced to choose: stay with Raine, who makes her the happiest she’s ever been, and have her life back in the headlines, or give up the best relationship she’s ever had to keep the privacy and normal life she craves.
SECRETS OF THE SUBURBS – Alisa Schindler – 2 autographed prints
Secrets of the Suburbs is the story of Lindsey, a 42 year-old suburban mom who seems to have it all – doctor husband, two great kids, satisfying part-time work; all the spin classes, shopping and lunches she can fit into her busy schedule.
But when a drunken moment with her friend’s husband opens up a well of desire, excitement and emotion that she didn’t even know existed, it throws her perfectly perfect life into turmoil. Because as Lindsey opens her heart and body to this forbidden passion; her eyes open as well, and she is forced to take a closer look at her life, her marriage and herself.
Already her friends are starting to whisper, her husband is growing suspicious and there is a Secrets of the Shore Facebook page that just may be talking about her.
Will Lindsey stay in her safe, pretty world with her seemingly perfect husband who just might have secrets of his own, or will she break every rule and follow her heart?
Whatever she decides, she’d better figure it out fast because in small town suburbia nothing stays secret for very long.
SEVEN WEEKS TO FOREVER – Jennifer Farwell – 2 autographed prints
Cassidy Jordan won’t open her heart to anyone, and with good reason. She’s a second-timer, returned from the afterlife after a devastating romance caused her death. On the eve of her eighteenth birthday, all that stands between her and eternity is finding Riley Davis and helping him get his life on track. But nobody told her helping Riley would mean dating him.
When Cassidy realizes she’s falling for Riley, she’s faced with a choice: give him the life he’s meant for and leave this life when it’s time, or give up eternity for the true love she’s never had, knowing Riley will die the same way she did in her first life and that her entire existence could end at any time.
MURDER ACROSS THE STREET– Alisa Schindler – 2 autographed prints
Could a murderer be living across the street from Molly Davis? Could her neighbor, the same civilized, middle-aged man wearing peach Izods and waving amicably while getting his mail have actually killed his wife? Or could, as her husband and friends seem to think, she be dreaming up the whole sordid affair? Could she once again be creating some drama in her tedious, suburban mom life?
But she wasn’t imagining the sketchy phone call she overheard and she wasn’t imagining the blood she saw staining the sidewalk. So maybe she shouldn’t have taken her baby and followed him, and maybe she shouldn’t be snooping around his house, but once Molly’s nose gets a scent it goes straight to her head. And her nose smelled murder.
With her three kids in tow, a mean batch of cookies in her arsenal and her husband pulling out the last hairs on his head, Molly embarks on a fact-finding adventure to find out if there’s a crazy man loose in the suburbs or if she’s just the crazy one.
BLUE MIDNIGHT– Tess Thompson – 2 ebooks
Finn Lanigan kissed a young Blythe Heywood one last time under a star-scattered Idaho sky. “If you change your mind, here’s this.”
It was the last kiss that ever weakened her knees, the last sky she noticed for over a dozen years. Then she left, returning to her fiancé, the wedding she’d committed to, and the secure life she’d yearned for since she was a little girl.
Thirteen years later, her husband leaves Blythe for his young associate. Devastated, she’s unable to imagine the next chapter of her life as she packs her family’s belongings. With only the name of the small town where he once lived and the memory of their last kiss, Blythe heads across the Pacific Northwest in search of Finn.
What she finds in the foothills of Blue Mountain challenges everything she thought she knew. She never expected the changes that face her, but it is her destiny…and destinies cannot be denied.
The first book of the Blue Mountain Series, laced with Thompson’s lovable but complex characters, “Blue Midnight” is a mature love story about second chances, family, and the complexities of trust and vulnerability after betrayal.
KNOWING AMELIA– Jen Atkinson – 2 eBooks
OLIVIA BENSON’S life was on target, great boyfriend, respectable major, loving parents. She didn’t have time for the unknown, but when Olivia’s estranged grandmother dies, leaving her an unexpected inheritance- the unknown is all she can think about. Olivia will never forget the last time she saw Grandma Amelia-all those years ago, crying next to the open floorboards for someone Olivia had never heard of before. Olivia never did tattle on her-but now it would seem as if Amelia wanted her secrets found, and she knew exactly who could find them. Living in her grandmother’s tiny town and old house, Olivia begins her search. Rendezvous’ residents can’t keep their eyes off her, the new girl. And living next door to Logan-her alluring neighbor, is making her forget everything and everyone she left behind.
HAUNTING ME – Nikki LeClair – 2 eBooks
Phoebe Mercer has what most people envy; a wonderful boyfriend, fantastic friends and a job in the city’s top law firm. Getting engaged is just the honey in her tea! Then she gets run over by a hot dog cart, wakes up with a concussion and the ability to see ghosts. Well, one ghost. A loud, obnoxious woman who claims to have been murdered for her vast fortune.
Soon, Phoebe is solving a mystery that not only threatens her relationships, but her career as well. As she begins to battle feelings for the ghost’s handsome nephew, she realizes quite a few people in her life are not as they seem. Slowly, Phoebe uncovers the secrets and lies around her, learning that in order to solve this mystery and be free of the ghost, she must lie herself. The only catch? The secrets Phoebe has kept from the people in her life could ruin everything for her, and her ghostly companion, in the end.
PROSECCO & PAPARAZZI– Celia Kennedy – 1 ebook
Charlotte and her four closest friends ring in the New Year on a ski vacation in the swanky, celebrity-packed French Alps. Seeing celebrities and actually hanging out with them are two very different things, as Charlotte quickly discovers.
One night of innocent drinking, gambling, and chatting with mega movie star Des Bannerman leaves Charlotte with a checkbox on her bucket list…and a restraining order.
Reality returns with a vengeance back in New York, and Charlotte’s friends must help her deal with the fallout from tabloids, Bond Girls, and a ruthlessly demanding bosses.
Somewhere along the way, Charlotte finds that the answers to life’s biggest questions have nothing to do with headlines and everything to do with the heart.
Prosecco and Paparazzi is the first book in The Passport Series and will charm readers who are fans of romantic comedies (both on and off the screen).
Beach read bundle #7 – autographed copy of THE FRENCH TWIST SERIES by Glynis Astie (4 books)
Sydney Bennett had spent her life in pursuit of perfection. She planned, weighed her options and made careful choices based on calculated outcomes. Through all of her efforts, she had come pretty close to perfection, if she didn’t say so herself. She had fled the cold winters in New York for sunny California, found a job that she loved and lived in the same town as her sister, and best friend, Kate. The one area of perfection that had always eluded her was her love life. No matter how hard she tried, she always ended up with a broken heart. After a particularly traumatic breakup, Sydney vowed that she was done with love.
Just as Sydney threw herself into her new plan to forget about men, a handsome Frenchman tossed all of her intentions out the window as he swept her off of her feet. Louis Durand had lived a life filled with excitement and adventure. He was impetuous, intelligent and incredibly charming. So naturally, he scared Sydney half to death. From the moment they met, Louis and Sydney’s romance progressed at warp speed. Sydney did her best not to run, but her deep rooted relationship anxiety threatened to provide an easy exit. When Louis mentioned marriage before Sydney even knew his favorite color, she was more than tempted to reach for her running shoes. Will she be able to put her fears aside to follow her heart? The one thing that Sydney will learn is that sometimes perfection comes with a twist…
Sydney Bennett is back! And her pursuit of perfection is alive and well. Naïve to the core, Sydney believed that when she finally married the man of her dreams, the hard part was over. Following a civil ceremony as a means to keep Louis from being deported, Sydney continues to plan the fairytale wedding that she had dreamed of since the age of five. Much to her chagrin, she discovers that her mother-in-law is planning what seems to be a rival wedding in France that SHE has been dreaming about for her only child since before he was born. How will poor Sydney be able to ensure two perfect weddings in the midst of Louis’ fruitless job search? Especially when her mother-in-law’s idea of perfection appears to be having Sydney embarrass herself in front of hundreds of French people that she has never met?
As if she didn’t have enough on her mind already, Sydney finds herself faced with the trials and tribulations of being a wife. Sydney had always heard that marriage was hard, but she thought that this was just a ruse that married couples portrayed in a bid to make single girls feel less desperate. But as the bills pile up and emotions run high, she realizes that there may just be some truth to this statement. And as she watches Louis’ perfection fade away before her very eyes, she begins to wonder if she made a rash decision in marrying a man that she had known for a mere six months.
With all of the obstacles that Sydney and Louis will encounter, will they be raising their glasses in celebration or watching their impulsive marriage crash and burn? One thing is for certain, Sydney and Louis Durand are headed for one hell of a toast…
Sydney Durand had finally achieved the perfect life she had always wanted. After a whirlwind romance with a charming Frenchman, she endured the three weddings it required to satisfy the members of the newly formed Bennett-Durand clan. All she had left to do was stroll into the sunset with Louis to enjoy their long-awaited happily ever after.
But everything changed when the stick turned blue. Suddenly, Sydney finds herself facing the daunting task of becoming a mother before she has even returned home from her honeymoon. Keeping a tenacious hold on her hard-won happiness, Sydney is determined not to give up without a fight – no matter what or who is thrown in her path…and that includes an overbearing mother-in-law, a know-it-all father and her own anxiety about having a baby.
Will she finally be able to tame her neuroses for the sake of her unborn child? Or will her hormone-induced panic cause a meltdown of epic proportions? One thing is clear: Sydney and Louis’ nerves are going to fry…
As the wife of a gorgeous and romantic Frenchman and the mother of the most angelic boy ever, Sydney is living a life of sheer perfection. She’s gone through quite a bit to achieve this charmed life, and now nothing is going to bring her down. Or so she thinks.
Just when Sydney’s happiness is at its height, an unexpected event throws her life into chaos, threatening her happily ever after. With her tight-knit family in danger of falling apart, she suddenly finds herself longing for the days of dating disasters and unsolicited (and embarrassing!) advice from her wise-cracking father. At least those humiliations would be easier to take than the devastation now enveloping her heart.
Will she be able to find the strength her parents have always fought to instill in her, or will she spiral into the void of her always-lurking anxiety? Sydney’s challenge is to survive…or roast…
Beach read bundle #8 – TWO CHANCES TO WIN eBooks BATTER UP by Robin Neely, BROKEN PLACES by Rachel Thompson, ELLEN THE HARPIST by Dianne Michaels, and BAD REDHEAD MEDIA 30 DAY BOOK MARKETING CHALLENGE by Rachel Thompson
BATTER UP– Robin Neeley – 2 eBooks
Investigative reporter Jason Levine just found himself as the man candy for a bachelorette party in Las Vegas. Roped into attending the Vegas nuptials, was he hearing things when the groom shares that the only reason he’s getting married is because a small town baker conjured up the name of his soul mate in her cake batter?
Sparks fly when Jason tries to expose Emma as a fraud, but reality and logic go out the window as he begins to fall under her spell.
BROKEN PLACES – Rachel Thompson – 2 eBooks
The sequel to Rachel’s first nonfiction book, Broken Pieces, Rachel bares her soul in essays, poems and prose, addressing life’s most difficult topics with honesty. As you follow one woman’s journey through the dark and into the light, you will find yourself forever changed.
ELLEN THE HARPIST – by Dianne Michaels – 2 ebooks
Ellen Blum is pretty good at convincing herself she is an adult. Despite her difficulties, she’s proud of the cred she has earned serenading brides down the aisle with her harp. Doesn’t being 27 and paying her rent on time prove she’s a grown-up?
Not so much, according to her personal chorus of critics. And as she dodges the barbs and petty crimes of her bosses and copes with a family crisis, she feels more like a child than ever. She has her heart set on silencing her critics and teaching them — and maybe herself — a new tune. But becoming more than the person described on her business card is even trickier than moving her harp.
BAD REDHEAD MEDIA 30 DAY BOOK MARKETING CHALLENGE – by Rachel Thompson – 2 ebooks
Then this is the book for you!
Over the course of one month, Rachel provides you daily challenges containing a wealth of information, and easy to follow assignments to help energize your book sales. If you haven’t released your book yet, this book will help you set the stage necessary to build the strongest foundation possible for success.
Beach read bundle #9 – print copies of THEN COMES LOVE by Lindsay Detwiler, THE OLD CAPE HOLLYWOOD SECRET by Barbara Eppich, BACK TO THE BEACH by Denise Stout, and SEE YOU SOON BROADWAY by Melissa Baldwin (US only)
THEN COMES LOVE– Lindsay Detwiler – 1 autographed print
Three generations of women,
Three second loves,
All with a dose of chaos mixed in.
Sometimes in life, changes can be good…
After losing her husband, her five cats, and her home, Charlotte Noel hates feeling dependent. As Charlotte tries to find her identity in this
new stage of life, she comes to realize that drama never ends, dance aerobics can be a war zone, and love is always a possibility.
You never know when a midlife crisis is going to strike…
Charlotte’s daughter, Annie, is going through struggles of her own. Recently divorced, she is feeling frumpy and worn-out. Run ragged, Annie mourns her youth and wonders where her life is headed, all while hoping she can help her daughter Amelia get it together.
Settling down can be overrated, especially when you’re falling for a rock star look-alike…
THE OLD CAPE HOLLYWOOD SECRET– Barbara Eppich – 1 autographed print
In 1947, Maggie Foster and her cousin, Gertie, leave Cape Cod for Hollywoodland in search of glamour and fame. One girl returns home and the other disappears. Present-day Nancy Caldwell travels to Hollywood, where she discovers the paths of Maggie and Gertie.
In “The Old Cape Hollywood Secret,” a novel of historical suspense, Nancy’s curiosity gets her into trouble again. Along the way, a missing ring and a pearl-studded pouch are mixed in with the search. Using alternating chapters, across seventy years, the tragic stories of two young girls unfold and a murderous secret is uncovered.
BACK TO THE BEACH (From Anthology THOSE SUMMER NIGHTS)– Denise Stout – 1 autographed print
Darby McKinnon, preschool teacher, escapes to a beach rental to refresh her life. Running into a former boyfriend creates the distraction she needs. Alex Markham, workaholic owner of a cyber security firm, takes his job too seriously until an unexpected stay at the beach makes him pause. Their chance encounter begins with nostalgia, but kisses ignite into possibilities of the heart.
Summer fling or a second chance at forever? Almost losing each other when the past and present collide, both realize love requires determination to stay together when obstacles seemingly get in the way.
SEE YOU SOON BROADWAY– Melissa Baldwin – 1 autographed print
Maris Forrester has a wonderful life with an amazing boyfriend and a fulfilling job. She’s happy and content . . . or so she thinks. Maris has always had huge dreams of being on Broadway. Ever since her very first performance as a child, she has envisioned herself on the stage under the shining lights. Now she has to decide whether she should to give up her wonderful life to chase those dreams.
When her parents announce they are moving, she comes across a long-lost family treasure. She doesn’t realize that this treasure may hold the key to her future and to all her dreams coming true.
And if that wasn’t sign enough, a mysterious stranger throws another wrench in the mix at a dazzling rooftop party benefiting the Arts. These could be signs of things to come.
But will she remain content in her perfect world, or will she step into the unknown world she has always dreamed of?
Amelia is the wild child of the family. Working three jobs, because she just hasn’t figured out what she wants in life, she realizes happiness isn’t always settling down with a steady, dependable man; sometimes it’s about following your true passion and living on the edge.
No matter what age you are, life and love can be crazy…
Beach read bundle #10 – autographed copies of THE GOLDEN AGE OF CHARLI SERIES by Jena C. Henry (3 book set – US only)
GOLDEN AGE OF CHARLI – RSVP
Charlotte McAntic spent her thirties, forties, and even fifties in peace and harmony aligning her marriage, mortgage, careers and children. As she stumbles into a new phase of life—also known as the Golden Years—Charli cannot help but wonder where the gold and her husband, Pud, are hiding.
Pud is happily cruising down the retirement path that, for him, leads straight to the golf course. While Charli spends her days at home cleaning out closets and the basement, she yearns to gaze deeply into Pud’s blue eyes and remember all the reasons why she fell in love with him 30 years ago. Unfortunately, the only thing Pud is eying is the next fairway. Knowing there is more to savor in retirement than silver-hair shampoos, senior discounts, and hernia surgery, Charli embarks on a quest to do whatever it takes to spend retirement in the embrace of the man she loves. But is it too late for happily ever after?
In this humorous novel, a high-energy wife and her solid guy must learn to adjust to a new chapter in their lives and find their way back into each other’s hearts after their retirement begins with a jolt.
When Charli and her husband, Pud, enter retirement, Charli mistakenly believes that paradise is just around the corner. Unfortunately, instead of spending their days soaking in matching hot tubs and admiring each other’s wrinkles, Pud lives on the links and Charli cleans out the basement. Still, they press on, eventually becoming closer while bonding with young relatives through a love of fine dining. Now the couple faces new and weighty challenges.
Charli and Pud’s days are filled with more excitement than AARP discounts and Lawrence Welk reruns—and more calories than they ever imagined. Realizing they are out of shape and slipping mentally, Charli and Pud check their BMIs and immediately decide they need to change their ways.
With a goal of becoming healthy sooner than later, the couple embarks on a roller-coaster ride through calorie counting, label reading, and laborious exercising. But when Pud begins making mysterious phone calls and acting strangely, Charli cannot help but wonder if more problems are lurking around the corner.The Golden Age of Charli continues the delightful tale of the energetic, friendly, and positive McAntics as they cruise through their retirement years and discover the consequences of too much of a good thing.
Empty nesters Charli McAnctic and her husband, Pud, have settled into their golden years. Although their early days of retirement were filled with disillusion and despair, they are now ready to relax and swing upon a star. Put continues to golf most days and Charli still organizes her closets and rearranges her collectibles, but now they are a solid team? Or are they?
Charli and Pud are no strangers to the art of creating fun. These days they spend their time sharing gourmet meals with the nieces and nephew, attending Cleveland Cavalier basketball games, and rekindling their romance. But when a series of calamities suddenly rock their world, they each meet a new friend, leading Charli to work if she and Pud are heading in the right direction.
In the third book of this delightful series, an empty nester is left to recalculate her path to happiness after she and her husband discover that their golden years are full of more surprises.
Beach read bundle #11 – print copies of WITHOUT YOU by Lindsay Detwiler, CHARMED BY CHARLIE by Amanda Uhl, and IMPERFECT CHEMISTRY by Mary Frame (US only)
WITHOUT YOU– Lindsay Detwiler – 1 autographed print
She’s smart, beautiful, confident, and married to Camden Landsen, who happens to be drop dead sexy and just as successful. But after five long years, all the success in the world hasn’t brought the romantic spark back into her marriage. Jenna fears it never will.
When life gives you lemons, open a bakery and name it Vi’s…
Violet Streiff made the exact mistake her mother warned against—she fell in love with Liam Coffman, a charming finance major. When he left her heartbroken to further his career, Violet drowned her sorrows by opening a bakery, and now relies on Bob, her eighteen-pound cat, for warmth at night instead of a sexy man.
To find love, sometimes you first have to discover yourself…
When Jenna’s job offers an extended trip to New York, she packs her bags and takes a two-month vacation from life. The chance of her marriage surviving looks grim, until the surprise of a lifetime throws a wrench in her plans to stay in the Big Apple for good.
You can bend the rules—but sooner or later they’ll break…
When Violet meets a gloomy but totally drool-worthy guy named Camden in her shop, she’s sure her luck has changed. There’s no denying the chemistry, but he’s married, and that’s a major problem. Violet isn’t a homewrecker. Still, staying away from Camden proves nearly impossible. That is, until his wife comes home.
Double the chance to find love in the most unexpected places—or double the chance for disaster.
CHARMED BY CHARLIE – Amanda Uhl – 1 autographed print
PAINT, PROMOTIONS & PERFECTION
Creative genius Charlie Solanger has it all: good looks, money, intelligence, charm. And when he swoops in to save Reynolds Paint Company with a brilliant marketing campaign, he has all the ladies in the office vying for his attention. Everyone except math whiz Valerie Wilson.
Val’s not happy Charlie stole her promotion. Worse, his brand of flirtatious charm is reminiscent of her cheating ex-fiancé. So, how come she can’t get him out of her head? The more she challenges him, the more interested—and interesting—he becomes. What secrets is Charlie hiding, and who or what is behind the sudden mysterious drain on their company’s funds? The only way to find out is to join forces. Then it will be a battle of wills…and a triumph of hearts.
IMPERFECT CHEMISTRY – Mary Frame – 1 print
Lucy London puts the word genius to shame. Having obtained her PhD in microbiology by the age of twenty, she’s amassed a wealth of knowledge, but one subject still eludes her—people. The pendulum of passions experienced by those around her confuses and intrigues her, so when she’s offered a grant to study emotion as a pathogen, she jumps on the opportunity.
Enter Jensen Walker, Lucy’s neighbor and the one person she finds appealing. Jensen’s life is the stuff of campus legend, messy, emotional, and complicated. Basically, the perfect starting point for Lucy’s study. When her tenaciousness wears him down and he consents to help her, sparks fly. To her surprise, Lucy finds herself battling with her own emotions, as foreign as they are intense. With the clock ticking on her deadline, Lucy must decide what’s more important: analyzing her passions…or giving in to them?
Beach read bundle #12 – 5 CHANCES TO WIN eBooks of CARDS FROM KHLOE’S FLOWER SHOP by Isabella Louise Anderson, THE SINKING CHEF by Sylvia Ashby, and VISITING LILLY by Toni Allen
CARDS FROM KHLOE’S FLOWER SHOP – Isabella Louise Anderson – 5 ebooks
As the owner of a successful florist shop, Khloe Harper trusts her instincts. She has a strong bond with her family and friends, but after being betrayed by her last love, she’s kept herself at arms’ length from romance. When dashing entertainment attorney Derek Thomas walks into her store, Khloe’s interest is piqued. What at first seems like a business relationship quickly turns into romance, and Derek slowly plucks away the petals she’s been hiding behind. Just as Khloe lets down her guard, she discovers that Derek may not be worthy of her love after all.
Frumpy Connie Albright has a faux fascination with an imaginary man named Walt, thinking that by sending herself flowers from him she’ll feel less out-of-place with the “mean girls” she works with. When she comes face to face with her possible prince charming and thinking she might have a happy ending, when a truth is revealed, she wonders if she’ll ever have a Cinderella story.
A recently widowed senior, Gabby Lewis, isn’t ready to give up on love—which means releasing herself from survivor’s guilt and taking a chance on finding happiness and companionship again. After signing up for an online dating site for senior citizens, much to her surprise, she’s matched with Harry, an energetic and loving man, who quickly eases himself into her heart. Will Gabby take the leap of falling in love again, knowing it’s possible to have two loves of her life?
As each woman’s story develops through flowers and cards sent from Khloe’s shop during the Fall months, they begin to learn that love can only truly blossom when you trust your heart.
THE SINKING CHEF – Sylvia Ashby – 5 eBooks
In Belsize Park, London, Ashley works hard on her daily YouTube channel “The Sinking Chef”. It’s filmed right in her kitchen, so she doesn’t go out much.
James is a gruff British TV director, turned publisher, who Ashley had a crush on ages ago. She has moved on but when he calls with an offer to take her out to lunch she doesn’t say no. It’s only lunch – what can go wrong?
The day Ashley meets James for lunch and he promises her a book deal, she makes the worse decision in her life – to hide the book deal from her boyfriend, Giacomo. As things progress Ashley’s secrets mount up and other things in her life unravel. Is there a connection? And how is she going to get out of this without losing Giacomo and the life she loves?
Set in the heart of fast-paced London, The Sinking Chef is a charming story of love, recipes, secrets, and the determination to do thinks right by those you love most in your life.
VISITING LILLY – Toni Allen – 5 eBooks
Detective Inspector Jake Talbot is intrigued, and this little puzzle might serve to distract him from sorrows of a Christmas past. Soon he is entangled with Frankie, an odd young man who claims to have met Lilly in her youth. Talbot dismisses the notion of time travel, but then discovers the Ministry of Defense has been monitoring Frankie since his friend disappeared ten years previously. Forced to work with the MOD, Talbot unearths family secrets and betrayals. The families act ruthlessly to prevent him from discovering the facts, colluding to ruin him.
If Frankie is innocent, Talbot won’t let him be victimized. An uneasy understanding grows between them as they follow the evidence, for only the truth will allow Frankie to visit Lilly.
Beach read bundle #13 – eBooks of DEFINING HER by Samantha March, VENUS RISING by Celia Kennedy, MARGARITAS & MURDER by CeCe Osgood, and FALLING FOR YOU by Heather Thurmeier
DEFINING HER – Samantha March – 2 ebooks
Nellie Hawthorne is a woman who has it all. A devoted husband, her own business, a wealthy lifestyle. But the Nellie she is now is much different from her past. A past filled with abuse, addiction, and men. Nellie’s carefully constructed new life is suddenly in jeopardy when a blast from the past emerges in her small town and her overbearing mother-in-law starts pushing for grandchildren and questions start being asked. A budding new friendship presents itself at an opportune time, and a once friendless Nellie finds herself growing closer to Prue Doherty.
Prue Doherty is the quintessential good girl. Always making the right decisions, always playing it safe. Until she meets a man that could change all of that. Still reeling from a devastating breakup and betrayal that had her fleeing from Chicago and settling into suburb life with her mom close by, Prue finds herself in a damaging funk. But everything changes when she befriends Nellie Hawthorne.
Nellie is trying to escape her past. Prue wants that perfect future. While both women strive to change their lives, they continue to cling to the past. But what defines us? Who we were then . . . or who we are trying to be now? Lies, manipulation, and deceit are woven throughout the pages of this edgy women’s fiction novel, with an ending you won’t see coming.
VENUS RISING – Celia Kennedy – 1 ebook
When Dr. Jared Harrison, an extremely handsome, world-renowned Middle East journalist, accepts a teaching position at an elite Massachusetts college, he wonders if he can settle down and rebuild his family after all the horrors he has seen. When he meets the dazzling, brilliant art history professor Akshaya Bertrand, an exotic and highly private beauty, the challenge seems worth undertaking. While many have tried and failed to capture Akshaya’s attention, Jared is determined to slip past her armor and into her life.
When Jared finds himself once again traumatized by the tragedies imprinted on his psyche, an exciting joint book project he has landed for him and Akshaya is put in jeopardy. Can he release his demons and help her release her own, so they can take advantage of the unique opportunity to travel through India for research, combining Akshaya’s passion for art with Jared’s war correspondent resources in order to, together, create a dynamic, loving future?
MARGARITAS & MURDER – CeCe Osgood – 1 ebook
LOVE A FUN, TWISTY COZY MYSTERY? An old friend is found dangling in a tree with a dead man in her apartment. Did she kill him? That’s the question bedeviling apprentice P.I. Sunny Truly. Witty, earnest and stubborn, Sunny goes undercover as a glam-girl to ferret out suspects at the Texas nightclub where her friend worked. With the aid of her wisecracking boss and a handsome police detective, she uncovers a terrible secret with deadly consequences. Now Sunny might the next victim.
Fans of Janet Evanovich, Stephanie Bond, Julie Smith will be tickled by this feisty sleuth and fast-paced mystery in this twisty whodunit.
FALLING FOR YOUHeather Thurmeier – 1 eBook
Newly single Cassidy Quinn is thrilled to be a contestant on the new reality dating show The One. But her excitement turns to horror when the gorgeous bachelor turns out to be her ex-boyfriend. Seeing Brad again makes Cassidy realize she might not be as “over him” as she thought–and then she meets hunky cameraman Evan Burke.
After watching his brother lose his wife in a tragic accident, Evan vows never to fall in love. But following Cassidy around as her personal cameraman makes him question his decision, and resisting her gets harder with every sunbathing, bikini-wearing day.
Cassidy and Evan begin a forbidden affair while her ex-boyfriend tries to win her heart back one groping, awkward moment at a time. If Cassidy can manage to stop falling off horses (literally); stop falling onto her ex-boyfriend, the bachelor (yes, literally); and stop falling in love with backstage playboy Evan; she might still make it through the show without becoming a tabloid sensation.
But soon Cassidy must choose between the ex who broke her heart and the cameraman who might never love her back. For Cassidy, this reality show just got real.
Beach read bundle #14 – TWO CHANCES TO WIN a print or eBook bundle of UNDECEIVED by Karen Cox, BESIDE THE MUSIC by BJ Knapp, RADICAL NEW ME by PK Herozo, and COMING HOME by Holly Kerr (print US only)
UNDECEIVED – Karen Cox – 1 print 1 ebook
…if I endeavor to undeceive people as to the rest of his conduct, who will believe me? —Pride and Prejudice (Chapter 40)
During the last gasp of the Cold War, Elizabeth Bennet, a young, forthright counterintelligence officer, embarks on an exciting assignment that would make her late father, a fallen CIA operative, proud. She transfers to Europe to investigate the legendary and elusive William Darcy, an officer in line for the coveted Soviet station chief position who’s suspected of being a double agent.
William Darcy appears to lead a charmed existence, but now he finds himself fighting for his career and against his growing feelings for the young woman he doesn’t know is watching his every move.
Elizabeth wants to throw the book at him, but the facts don’t match her preconceptions. Is Darcy being set up?
Are there darker forces at work? Or is William Darcy a skilled double agent after all? Nothing is as it seems, however, and the closer Elizabeth gets to the truth about Darcy, the more she spirals into danger. Undeceived, the new novel by award-winning author
Karen M. Cox is part romance, part spy game suspense— a compelling variation on Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s classic tale.
BESIDE THE MUSIC – BJ Knapp – 1 ebook, 1 print
Can mailing a fan letter change a life? Brenda Dunkirk didn’t think so. She also didn’t think 80s metal star Keith Kutter would have actually read her letter. Watching him stand in the rain on her patio and compose a new song is something she never imagined.
Brenda thinks she’s the luckiest woman in the world when Keith’s band, Hydra, and their entourage declares her home as their base camp while recording their comeback album. She fantasizes about late night lyric writing sessions at her kitchen table and being the first one to hear all the new songs. She is confident that with her help the band will get back on top where they belong. Swept up in the glamour of being the rock and roll muse, Brenda risks her already faltering marriage. Tim, her husband, walks out on her and Hydra’s chaos, and to make matters worse her boss is threatening to fire her if she doesn’t get her act together at work. The band will not leave until the album is done–it could be another month or it could be another year.
Ultimately Brenda must choose between the secure contentment of her marriage or the allure of rock and roll. She must decide: is it possible to be one man’s wife and another man’s muse?
RADICAL NEW ME– PK Herezo – 1 print 1 ebook
That’s what Calliope Crown’s old high school classmates want to know–thanks to the notoriously unflattering snapshot from gym class that went viral her junior year.
Now it’s five years later and Calliope’s gone from fat to fit in a year-long transformation with a world-renowned self-help guru. She’s on her way to forgetting the past and becoming the self-confident, successful woman she’s always wanted. Until that snapshot emerges again–just in time for her Five Year Reunion–and Calliope questions whether she’s learned anything at all. Her credit card bills say beg to differ with the cost of her guru’s bills, which leaves Calliope stuck working at her snooty aunt’s (AKA Cruella Cupcakes) upscale bakery all summer. There Calliope will put herself to the transformation test while sharing the challenge of her high-calorie abstinence online as an anonymous masked avenger, in comical, but truthful vlog snippets.
With her new friends and followers cheering her, Calliope will need to decide if delivering a dramatic comeback online is worth the risk of making a fool of herself all over again.
What would you do?
COMING HOME – Holly Kerr – 1 autographed print /also ebook)
After her cheating husband destroys her career, Brenna has nowhere to go but home.
Home means her four sisters in the tiny Northern Ontario town with no Starbucks and well-meaning townsfolk who know her every move. Every mistake.
And Brenna is making more than a few mistakes. From falling asleep at the local bar to hooking up with her niece’s boyfriend, Brenna’s life is giving the town a lot to talk about.
Her sister Cat wants nothing to do with her. Content living in the family home with the ghost of their mother, Cat’s left a trail of broken hearts and failed marriages on the road to Brenna’s ex, Seamus Todd. Brenna’s return brings back old insecurities and unanswered questions for Cat.
Sibling rivalries, old grudges and a least one knock-out, drag-down kitchen fight ensue as Brenna and Cat are forced to live under the same roof.
And to make it worse, Brenna’s not the only one coming home.
Beach read bundle #15 – 5 CHANCES TO WIN eBooks of SAVED BY THE CELEBUTANTE by Kirsty McManus, LOVE AND PIZZA.IT by Daniela Pesconi-Arthur, and JEEP TOUR by Gail Olmsted
SAVED BY THE CELEBUTANTE– Kirsty McManus – 5 eBooks
When Chrissie Lambert discovers an earth-shattering secret about her husband Corey, she wonders if life will ever be the same again. At thirty-five, Chrissie had been ready to start a family, but now she must put her dreams on hold.
In order to cope, Chrissie throws herself into her job as publicist to Kahlua, a celebutante famous for having triplets with a volatile actor. Yet with Corey acting increasingly erratic, Chrissie’s personal life starts to interfere with her career.
After a potentially fatal mistake involving a movie audition, Chrissie heads off to track down director Peter Carson at a festival in the middle of the Nevada desert.
There, she must battle the elements, navigate through a minefield of colorful characters and avoid falling for the mysterious Matt, who seems to have issues of his own.
Will Chrissie be able to save Kahlua’s career – and find her own happily ever after?
LOVE AND PIZZA.IT – Daniela Pesconi-Arthur – 5 eBooks
Carolina had only one thing in mind: to show everyone that she wasn’t a little girl anymore. That she could do well on her own. That she was a person with her own dreams and opinions and who knew what she wanted to do with her life.
Well, at least she was willing to find out.
An unexpected job interview via Skype and a job offer in Napoli help just graduated Dr Carolina decide to embark on the craziest adventure of her life.
In Brazil, her parents can’t understand what they’ve done wrong.
In Napoli, there is her English teaching job… and one of the most handsome (and richest) men she’s ever met ~ one of her students.
In Napoli, there is also Margherita pizza… and the sweetest man she’s ever met ~ her local pizzaiolo.
Carolina will find out that choosing a pizza topping isn’t the most difficult thing to do, after all…
JEEP TOUR – Gail Olmsted – 5 ebooks
Jackie Sullivan decides it’s time for a fresh start, after her marriage falls apart and she loses her job. Meeting a sexy tour guide inspires her to build a new life for herself among the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. But Jackie is looking for more than just romance. Fueled by an unflagging sense of humor and lots of caffeine, she sets out on a journey of self-discovery and she plans to get it right this time. Jackie’s had her happy, now she wants her ever after!