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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bonjour Kale by Kristen Beddard (Review, Author Interview and Giveaway)


A thoroughly charming memoir of one woman's expat life in Paris and her quest to bring kale to France. This was one of my favorite reads this year. Read my review and interview with the author. And be sure to enter the giveaway to win a copy!

Book Details:

Title: Bonjour Kale: A Memoir of Paris, Love, and Recipes
Author: Kristen Beddard
Category: Adult Non-fiction; 352 pages
Genre: Memoir, Recipes
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release date: May 6, 2016 
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

A memoir of love, life, and recipes from the woman who brought kale to the City of Light. The story of how one expat woman left her beloved behind when she moved to France - her beloved kale, that is. Unable to find le chou kale anywhere upon moving to the City of Light with her new husband, and despite not really speaking French, Kristen Beddard launched a crusade to single-handedly bring kale to the country of croissants and cheese. Infused with Kristen’s recipes and some from French chefs, big and small (including Michelin star chef Alain Passard) Bonjour Kale is more than just a leafy-green. It is a humorous, heartfelt memoir of how Kristen finds herself in a new home and how she, kale, and France collide. 

Buy the book: 


My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Kristen Beddard's memoir and for several reasons too. I'm choosy about the memoirs I read, and was immediately attracted to this one. It's about a young woman and her adventures with food, love and Paris. It's about the expat life, and how she had to adapt to being a newlywed in a foreign country. It reminded me of my parents's immigrant situation when they were young and moved to Canada from Italy. It's also about Kristen's love of the leafy green vegetable kale and how she pursued a passionate project to make kale available in France.

Kristen is a great writer, capturing my interest with her humor and descriptions of her life in New York, the Parisian streets, markets and way of life, interspersed with French words and expressions which I understood. I loved how she included the history of kale, how it became popular and how she reintroduced it in France. Here in Quebec, kale is called chou frisé and is easily found everywhere.

I also enjoyed the recipes and was happy that Kristen included tips on how to use kale. I have made kale chips several times, but they never came out as good as when I tried Kristen's recipe. And the key to a good kale salad? You have to massage the dressing into the kale so it marinates the leaves. It's true that this makes the salad tastier. Ever since reading this book, I've made more use of kale instead of just using it daily in my smoothies.  And oh, Kristen's descriptions of food and meals at the restaurants interspersed throughout the book made my mouth water.

Best of all, I enjoyed Kristen's journey in pursuing something she was passionate about. She left her home and job in America to follow her husband to a country where she did not speak the language. She reinvented herself after going through times of doubt, vulnerability, and self-reflection. She was courageous and accomplished something worthwhile, something that had great meaning in her life and that taught her important things about herself and those around her, including the people and culture of France.

Her passion and enthusiasm for kale helped her make friends with others who came to understand her quest -- farmers and chefs. My dad, a gentleman farmer and lover of verdura who owns a large garden plot, started growing kale a few years ago after he learned the nutritious value of kale. Farmers are great people to know. They love the land and growing food is their life in more ways than one. I enjoyed reading about Kristen's interaction with them.

If you love memoirs set in France, like stories about the expat life, are a foodie or love to cook, then you will love Bonjour Kale. It's heartwarming, inspiring, fun to read and it's a clean read. It's one of the best books I've read this year.

To read more reviews, please visit Kristen Beddard's page on France Book Tours.

Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher and France Book Tours for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.


The Kale Project:

I just love this video because it summarizes what Kristen did to bring kale to France. And it's an inspiration to do what you are passionate about!





My Interview with Kristen Beddard:


LCR: Welcome to Library of Clean Reads, Kristen! How would you describe your book in 20 words or less?

KB: Bonjour Kale is a book about finding yourself again in a foreign place, a second coming of age and having a deeper understanding over the meaning of home. 

LCR: The first thing that struck me about your memoir is that it blends healthy recipes with your personal journey as an expat in France. Did you intentionally set out to write it this way or did that evolve as you began writing it?

KB: The book always was going to be a food memoir with recipes and I really enjoyed tying together personal stories with food memories.

LCR: I admire people who set out to write their memoirs and so intimately share their lives with the world. What was the hardest thing about writing this memoir? The easiest?

KB: The hardest was sitting alone with myself and writing about myself everyday (the most important part of writing is showing up every single day)! The easiest or at least most fun part was working and reworking the outline.

LCR: I was amazed at all you did to bring kale to France. Tell us a little about The Kale Project.

KB: The Kale Project was an initiative to reintroduce kale to Paris by working with local French farmers to grow it and chefs to cook with it. I also did a lot of tastings at events. Sometimes I felt like a pro bono PR person for the vegetable!

LCR: What is your best advice for someone moving to a foreign country?

KB: Learn the language. It will help in every possible way.

LCR: What do you hope your memoir will do for your readers?

KB: I hope it helps people going through a life transition whether that is moving to a new city or country, starting a new job, leaving a job to be a stay at home parent, etc. I hope it inspires people to follow a passion project that maybe they have been thinking about for a long time.

LCR: If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

KB: I love this question but it is difficult to answer. I think I would like to go back to 1920s New York and experience the Jazz Age. Perhaps Fitzgerald romanticized it too much but (if you had money), it looked like a fun and fabulous time.

LCR: Favorite dessert?

KB: I prefer savory over sweet but love chocolate covered pretzels.

LCR:  A favorite book you've read that you'd like to share?

KB: One of my all time favorite books is A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. And I recently finished a lovely fiction read called Fake Plastic Love that I can't stop thinking about.

LCR: Your next project?

KB: Aside from taking care of my 2.5 year old daughter full time, I am working on my nutrition certificate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. And I hope to write another book again one day but we'll see.

LCR: Thank you so much, Kristen, for chatting with me.

About the Author:


Kristen Beddard is the American author of Bonjour Kale: A Memoir of Paris, Love and Recipes and a contributing author to We Love Kale. She is the founder of The Kale Project, a blog and successful initiative that reintroduced kale to France and was featured in The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Self Magazine and more. She has a certificate in Culinary Nutrition from the Natural Gourmet Institute and is currently working on a new book Roots, Shoots and Stalks about food waste and cooking with the whole vegetable. She resides in New York City with her husband and daughter. 

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook ~ Instagram

Follow Sourcebooks on Twitter  and Facebook


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Ends Aug 6 / 2 winners




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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Unexpected Gift of Joseph Bridgeman by Nick Jones (Review)


This book is one of the best time travel novels I've read and reminded me a little of The Time Traveler's Wife, except this book made me laugh. And I mean laugh-out-loud belly laugh. I'd find myself bursting into spontaneous laughter at some of the scenes. It's been a long time since any book did that for me.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Unexpected Gift of Joseph Bridgeman: A Time Travel Adventure (The Downstream Diaries Book 1)
Author: Nick Jones
Category: Adult Fiction, 456 pages
Genre: Time Travel
Publisher: Createspace
Release date: May 2, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (for language, lots of f-words)


Book Description:

Meet Joseph Bridgeman, a reclusive insomniac with a weakness for ‘The Beatles’ on vinyl and a constant headache. When his annoying accountant suggests hypnotherapy might help him sleep, Joseph accidentally discovers he can time-travel and things get a little complicated.

With the help of Vinny, a local record shop owner, Mark, his old school friend, and Alexia Finch, his hypno-time-travel guru, Joe sets out to change the course of his life. He needs to get back to 1992, the year his world fell apart, the year that Amy, his sister, went missing. The only problem (apart from his clothes disappearing) is that the further back he goes the less time he gets to stay there. Can Joe master his new-found gift before time catches up with him?



My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I'm always looking for good time travel stories and this novel intrigued me from the book cover to the back cover blurb. I began reading it not knowing what to expect and began smiling as I dug into it. I love discovering Indie gems and this book turned out to be one. It's one of the best time travel novels I've read and reminded me a little of The Time Traveler's Wife, except this book made me laugh. And I mean laugh-out-loud belly laugh. I'd find myself bursting into spontaneous laughter at some of the scenes. It's been a long time since any book did that for me.

This is not the sci-fi kind of time travel. Joseph, is a regular guy. He's become a reclusive, having lost his business, living without purpose and affected by traumatic events in his past. The reader feels for him and the author slowly builds his character as we begin to piece together how Joseph got to the sad state he's in. When Joseph accidentally discovers he can time travel, he now tries to adjust to this new gift and the possibility that he can now travel back in time to find his little sister who disappeared at the fair when they were children.

This was not only a fun book to read but I found that the author created a brilliant plot with complex characters and emotional situations. Joseph is an anti-hero who has to overcome emotional barriers to take action in his life. He lives with guilt and remorse and this has nearly destroyed his life. He has to get past his reclusive lonely state and enlist the help of others. The author peels back the layers of his life through flashbacks. I loved the cultural references to the 90s interspersed through the book.

I couldn't help but like Joseph and the other characters too. The scenes between him and his sister were so endearing and touching. The author skillfully blends action, intrigue, time travel and comedy to bring us a unique and original story. I couldn't put this book down and read snippets of it every free moment I had! It was unpredictable, funny, sad, romantic and utterly satisfying to read. The only thing I would have preferred would be less f-words and bad language.

If you love time travel or just a very good story that propels you all the way to a great finish, pick this one up. It's one of the best books I've read this year.

Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.


About the Author:


Nick Jones was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England in 1972. His debut novel ‘The Whisper of Stars’ was released in April 2014. He can usually be found in his garden studio, working on his latest mind-bending idea, surrounded by notes and scribbling on a large white board. He loves movies, kindness, gin and vinyl.

Connect with the author: Website

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? July 24 Edition


Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

I had a busy week and was away this weekend with my family. Just got in and am posting this late...hope you're all enjoying good summer days.


Mailbox Monday Edition


Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.


My mailbox!
For review:
This one has such an original premise. And I'm itching to read a good historical fiction novel.



Both these books are on tour with iRead Book Tours. I love that they are thrillers set in Canada, Europe and the Middle East.


Got on NetGalley:

I just discovered a new author who writes dual timeline novels set in Italy!


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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.



What I read and/or featured last week:


The Shield (The Finder Series Book 1) by C.J. Bentley (Review)


Reading Now:

Not sure what to read next! I have a slew of books to read in between my review copies and have yet to choose one.



Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.

Hope you all have a great reading week.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Shield (The Finder Series Book 1) by C.J. Bentley (Review)



This is time travel and historical fiction at its best.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Shield (The Finder Series Book 1) by C.J. Bentley
Category: Middle Grade Fiction
Genre: Time travel / Historical fiction
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Content Rating: G


Book Description:

People lose their belongings. That is a fact of life. It can happen by accident, but sometimes it can happen when you put them in a very safe place and forget where that safe place is. Not many people are good at finding them again. A young, gutsy girl with a kind heart, who's searching for her own identity growing up in the 1960's, just happens to be very good at finding things. Can she be the one to help return whatever is lost – anywhere and at any time – to its original owner? With the help of a beautiful, yet mysterious wise woman and a chivalrous knight she does just that. She finds and returns his shield, lost in battle, which unbeknown to her holds a secret that is important to his King, the safety of the Kingdom and the life of the daughter of his best friend. The Shield is the first story in The Finder Series, taking our heroine on extraordinary journeys back in time. Her first adventure takes place in Medieval England in 1340 where she meets King Edward 111, his wife Philippa and their son, who will later become the Black Prince.

Buy the Book:



My Review:
Reviewed by Sandra Olshaski

This is an excellent middle-grade fiction featuring time travel and historical fiction, my two personal favourites.

A girl "10 years and 4 months old" is narrating. Sometimes she's known as Rebecca, sometimes Peggy, or Eleanor, depending on her whimsy of the week. She's feisty, forthright, a leader of her group of friends and apparently, a person who finds things. The author writes as a 10-year-old very successfully!

On a beautiful English summer day in 1962, our heroine finds a wooden shield in a "beck" or creek. (I didn’t know what a beck is so checked it in Webster's. It's a British word first used in the 14th century – how appropriate.) The shield is old and Rebecca/Peggy/Eleanor wants to examine it more closely at home in the family garage. While doing so, a knight in armour, speaking old English, suddenly appears. This knight, Sir Kay, is aware that he is in a different time – "I know we are in the wrong time for me, but the right time for you…..I was waiting for you…..My Lady!" The knight and our heroine seamlessly travel from the 1960's back to 1340 and so the exciting adventure escalates. The shield (Sir Kay's) and what it contains are important to the security of the realm. She becomes friends with 10-year-old Edward, the future Black Prince.

The author evokes 14th century England by the use of language, clothes, tapestries, the rushes on the floors and the ancient weaponry. Rebecca/Peggy/Eleanor finds herself dressed in the style of medieval times in "a long, pale blue wool dress....with gold buttons and braiding."

The scenario is creative, the action fast paced and well written. This is Book 1 so more time travel and historical fiction is in store for readers - something to anticipate!

I highly recommend this MG book for young teens and adults alike. You won't be disappointed.

Disclosure: Thanks to Rachel Gilbey from Authoright Marketing & Publicity for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.


About the Author:


Originally heralding from the North of England, C.J Bentley has travelled extensively and enjoyed living in a variety of countries across the world from Dubai to Doha, Qatar and now the countryside in the South of France. A background in teaching and childcare she has always enjoyed creating adventure short stories. However, it was when she became a grandma and with her grandchildren growing up that she discovered that books seemed to contain only stories of vampires, zombies and farts that she decided seriously to take matters into her own hands and put pen to paper which today she calls The Finder Series.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter  




Monday, July 17, 2017

Self-Publishing 101: The Hard Lessons to Know Before You Publish


In the many years that I've been book blogging I have come across several bloggers that tell me they are writing a book. I've also worked with and currently work with many self-published authors. Some do it very well and I love discovering these Indie gems, while others could do better. I thought this article on the basics of self-publishing would be interesting to any of my readers that are contemplating this route.

Self-Publishing 101: The Hard Lessons to Know Before You Publish

Self-publishing has given people the ability to publish their own work. These people might have been rejected by traditional publishing houses for any number of reasons. The work did not fit what the company published, the company had already published too many that were similar that year, or they might not have liked it. Self-publishing gives people the opportunity to have their work out there, to legitimize their hard work, and to even have full rights to their own novel.

Publishing through a publishing house has many benefits, from professional and financial support from your submission to the final print. Publishing houses edit, format, design a cover, and print your novel. They will then put your novel into bookstores; they put money into advertising. They do the heavy-lifting of post-writing for you. They can also take away a lot of your power. When you are self-publishing, you need to do this work for yourself.

Start with a Great Book Cover
The old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” is both sound and also unrealistic. There are so many books to choose from – Google estimates there are more than 129million books, and more are being published each year. If you want readers, you will have to stand out. Use a bookcover maker to create a beautiful cover for your novel. The more eye-catching the cover is, the more likely someone will choose to read your novel’s blurb.

Have a Captivating Description
The next thing you need to do is make sure your novel’s description is captivating. You must hook your reader in again and again to convince them to stay and read all the way through. Make them pick up your novel with a beautiful book cover, and convince them to read your novel with a compelling description. Several drafts will be needed.

Online Marketing
The secret to anyone’s success is marketing. As a self-publisher, you will need to take the reins and create a unified marketing campaign that will not only attract new readers to your novel; it will also grow and nurture a community. You want fans. You want people who love your writing and who love you as an author. You want to have a growing group of readers who will be there for your next book. You need to promoteyourself, and your book, without sounding like spam.

  1. Have a Website
Having a website is a wonderful way to bring everything about you (or your book) into one place. You can include Q&As, excerpts, news, and more. Have your website be your home base where you draw readers in and direct them to your novel.

  1. Be on Social Media
There are billions of users of social media out there. Build a following on social media to direct potential readers to your site, and to grow your fan base.

  1. Interact!
This one is the most crucial – you will want to interact with people you meet, both online and offline. Build a community of fellow writers, nurture your relationship with your readers, and you will have a support system that helps you and follows you for years to come.


The last thing to know is that self-publishing is hard work. You need to take on the jobs of several people, and you need to do them well. Once your book makes it, however, you’ll be so much happier with having full control, rather than relinquishing creative power to a publishing house. 

 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? July 17 Edition


Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Feels like summer is in full swing now here in Montreal. I'm spending time with my family, with friends and with my books. My whole den, including my office is still deep in renovation though, and it looks like it will be awhile before it's all finished. But the hot weather and the shining sun makes me forget everything else. :-)


Mailbox Monday Edition


Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.


My mailbox!
For review:

Met the author at Book Expo. She's Canadian and her book will be on tour with iRead Book Tours in August. 


Gifted to me by blogger friend Martha:

I was touched when Martha who blogs at Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf gifted me this boxed set of time travel books! Thank you for your kind gesture Martha!


A win from Savvy, Verse and Wit:

I was thrilled to win this at Savvy, Verse and Wit. The setting is the summer of 1978. Thanks to Serena and the author!


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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.



What I read and/or featured last week:


Can't put this one down... First time I read Marie Lu and now I want to read all her books.




Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.

Hope you all have a great reading week.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Real Murder by Lauren Carr (Review & Giveaway)



Lauren Carr's Audiobook-a-palooza Blog Tour is still on! To celebrate the release of Lauren Carr's mysteries in audiobook format, we have 14 books from her three series on tour. Today, I am posting my review of Real Murder, her second book in the Lovers in Crime series. I reviewed the first book Dead on Ice last month and the third book Killer in the Band earlier this year. See why I liked it so much and don't forget to enter the giveaway to win $100 Amazon gift card!

Book Details:

Title: Real Murder: A Lovers in Crime Mystery
Written by: Lauren Carr
Narrated by: Mike Alger
Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:01-10-17
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Content Rating: PG-13 (for murder scenes, some sexual content, not explicit, some profanity but no f-words)

Book Description:

When Homicide Detective Cameron Gates befriends Dolly, the little old lady who lives across the street, she is warned not to get lured into helping the elderly woman by investigating the unsolved murder of one of her girls. "She's senile," Cameron is warned. "It's not a real murder."

Such is not the case. After Dolly is brutally murdered, Cameron discovers that the sweet blue-haired lady's "girl" was a call girl who had been killed in a mysterious double homicide.

Meanwhile, Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton is looking for answers to the murder of a childhood friend, a sheriff deputy whose cruiser is found at the bottom of a lake. The deputy had disappeared almost 20 years ago while privately investigating the murder of a local prostitute.

It doesn't take long for the Lovers in Crime to put their cases together to reveal a long-kept secret that some believe is worth killing to keep undercover. 



Buy the Book:


My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

After reading Dead on Ice, the first book in the Lovers in Crime series, I was eager to dig into this second book in the series, Real Murder. And Lauren Carr did it again! I liked this one even better than Dead on Ice. Like her other books, this one has so many layers that all come together in the end. There are several murders being investigated and as a reader you're pulled in, your mind trying to figure out the connection and the clues that will lead to the killer(s).

Once again, lovers Joshua and Cameron are on the same case. Cameron is a strong kickass woman, but she is also vulnerable and feminine. This made her so likable. She and Joshua are now married in this book, and I loved how Carr infuses marital bliss and second marriage issues into her stories. It makes her characters believable even as the action never stops. Best of all, I'm now familiar with most, if not all, of Carr's characters from her various series and their distinct personalities are consistent every time I meet up with them in her books.

As is Carr's trademark, interspersed with the murder mystery is romance, some great pet humor (a Great Dane dog and Irving the skunk cat) and a colorful cast of shady characters. The theme of small town secrets is strong again in this book. In this one, we come to find out that the sweet old woman who lives on the same street and used to babysit Joshua as a boy was once a "madam" of a high-end bordello! Carr's books are clean but she doesn't shy away from realistic and sordid situations that make her mysteries good.

I both listened to parts of the audio version of the book and read parts of it on my Kindle. I enjoyed Mike Alger's narration. He was engaging and great for the men's voices but I sometimes could not distinguish the female ones as quickly. My auditory skills are not quite as advanced as my reading, where I can quickly read through a page without missing a beat. Because this was a mystery with many characters, I preferred reading the cast of characters that Lauren Carr includes at the beginning of her books, and the prologue too. I didn't want to miss even one clue! That is what is so much fun about Carr's books. She keeps the reader engaged throughout in trying to catch the killer!

I've already read the third book in this series, Killer in the Band. All three books in this series were good, but I liked this one the best. I look forward to Carr's next awesome mystery!


To read more reviews of Lauren Carr's audiobooks, please visit her page on iRead Book Tours.

Books I read by Lauren Carr:

Mac Faraday Mystery:
Three Days to Forever
Cancelled Vows
Candidate for Murder

Lovers in Crime:
Dead on Ice
Real Murder
Killer in the Band

Thorny Rose Mystery:
Kill and Run
A Fine Year for Murder

Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not told how to rate or review this product.

Meet the Author:



Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband and three dogs (including the real Gnarly’s klutzy nephew Sterling) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.


Connect with Lauren: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


Meet the Narrator:




A broadcast veteran of over 30 years, Mike Alger is best known as the award-winning Chief Meteorologist for KTVN-TV in Reno, NV. He is also a successful author, having penned the Mystery-Thriller novel "Snow Storm," and is the narrator of the audiobook of the same name.




Enter the Giveaway!
Ends July 22

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Savoring the Seasons (Chilton Crosse Book 4) by Traci Borum (Review)


This is a charming, contemporary love story set in a quintessential English village.

Book Details:

Book Title: Savoring the Seasons (Chilton Crosse Book 4) by Traci Borum
Category: Women's Fiction, 321 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing , LLC
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Julia Bentley spent her fortieth birthday doing what she always does, baking treats for the customers in her Cotswold bakery and taking care of her elderly father. She doesn’t realize how stagnant her life has become until a younger man, Tristan Hannigan, moves to the village and shows interest in her. As Julia becomes closer to Tristan, he begins to season her mundane days and to challenge how she views the world.

The relationship is threatened when Julia’s doubts and insecurities overwhelm her, and the secret she’s afraid to reveal creates a wedge between them. Will Julia choose the easy route, slipping back into her daily routine and living without love? Or will she find the courage to follow her heart and accept the love she deserves?

Buy the Book:


My Review
Reviewed by Sandra Olshaski

This is a gentle love story. Almost-forty, Julia, runs the village bakery and is a caretaker for her father. Enter handsome, kind, twenty-nine-year-old Tristan who seems to be interested in her.

The story takes place in a quintessentially English village, Chilton Crosse. The author is a Texan, but quite convincingly evokes life in a British village. I like the development of the camaraderie between the people.

The two main characters, Julia and Tristan, are complex and believable, each with their respective baggage. But, sensible, dutiful Julia is slowly falling in love with Tristan – "she would happily place herself under Tristan's delicious spell." Doubts and secrets, however, threaten to keep them apart.

Although the pace is slow-moving as one would expect of life in a village, it deals with real issues – overcoming fears, taking charge of one's life, taking a chance on love. Grab a big mug of tea, imagine yourself in the English countryside and savor this lovely, clean romance.

Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

About the Author:

 Traci Borum is a writing teacher and native Texan. She's also an avid reader of women's fiction, most especially Rosamunde Pilcher novels. Since the age of 12, she's written poetry, short stories, magazine articles, and novels.

Traci also adores all things British and is completely addicted to Masterpiece Theater---must be all those dreamy accents! Aside from having big dreams of getting a book published, it's the little things that make her the happiest: deep talks with friends, a strong cup of hot chocolate, a hearty game of fetch with her Corgi, and puffy white Texas clouds always reminding her to "look up, slow down, enjoy your life."

Visit Traci's official website and sign up for her newsletter here:
http://www.traciborum.com/p/newsletter.html




GIVEAWAY: Dancing in the Rain by Lucy Appadoo



Love books set in Italy? Here's a chance to win a signed copy of Dancing in the Rain by Lucy Appadoo. This latest release is part of the Italian Family series and can be read as a stand alone.

Book Description:

Fifteen-year old Valeria Allegro works diligently on the family farm in Italy, where she is torn between her duty to her family and her desire to find freedom from her strict, domineering father. She finds solace in Dario, a young student who provides a blissful escape—until a neighbour’s son, Gregorio, decides he wants her for himself.

This raises an alarm for her father, which leads to family conflict and aggression. When Dario is threatened and her family is plagued by a series of suspicious accidents, Valeria is desperate to keep her loved ones safe. Can she end the turmoil and escape the firmly built trap to find the freedom she craves?

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Aug 20

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Seven Threads: A Book of Short Stories by Jason Atkinson (Book Spotlight & Giveaway)


Today I'm happy to be kicking off the tour for Jason Atkinson's latest release, a collection of short stories. Enter to win a copy below!

Book Details:

Book Title: Seven Threads: A Book of Short Stories
Author: Jason Atkinson
​Category: Adult Fiction, 151 pages
Genre: Thriller and Suspense
Publisher: Mascot Books
Release date: July 4 , 2017
Tour dates: July 10 to 28, 2017
Content Rating: PG

Book Description:

In this collection of seven short stories from Jason Atkinson, follow a man accused of murder, a runaway girl on a train, a scientist at the heart of a government conspiracy, and more! Full of twists and turns, Seven Threads offers a selection of fast-paced stories full of heart and excitement.
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Buy the Book:




Meet the Author:



Jason Atkinson lives in the Midwest with his wife and son. With a love of writing, this is his 3rd book, but first book in the fiction category. Short stories are easy to digest, and yet, this book still provides all the joys for the long haul reader. Jason write for everyone in mind when creating this piece and hopes you will enjoy it as much as he did when writing it.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Aug 5


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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? July 10 Edition


Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

I've had a busy work week this past week. With my teen kids staying up late, my bedtime hour has shifted to a late hour too. My mind wants to shift to vacation mode and it's so hard to get up in the mornings!


Mailbox Monday Edition


Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.


My mailbox!
For review:

This is a coloring book for those with Alzheimer's and the people who love them. Having worked with seniors with Alzheimer's in a day center, I am very interested in this one.

Got these two books free on Kindle this week:

You guessed it. It's another time travel book...


Historical fiction set in Ireland. It's been a while since I read a book with this setting.

A gift from the author:

I assisted the author with the Italian translation of certain phrases in his book and he gifted me a copy. I already read Drawn, the first book, and I look forward to reading this sequel.

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.



What I read and/or featured last week:


So far I'm loving this one. It's got a great protagonist and I love his voice.



Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.

Hope you all have a great reading week.

Love audiobooks?

Wrote a Book Set in Italy?

 
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