Thursday, December 11, 2014

Merry & Bright {A Book Review}

There is something about the holiday season that makes me want to curl up on my sofa, wrapped up in a blanket, and read my heart out. Of course my life makes it nearly impossible to do that as often as I would like, so when the opportunity arises I do it without hesitation. The only thing that makes reading in the winter even better is when I am reading a Christmas book. I adore Christmas, the anticipation in the air, and the all around cheerfulness that hugs the air. 

I recently got the opportunity to read Merry & Bright thanks to Chick Lit Plus. Merry & Bright is a collection of six short stories with one theme in common; they are all about Christmas cheer! I loved this book. If I am honest, I cannot think of a single instance in my life where I read a book filled with short stories. I have no idea why I have not, but now that I have? I definitely will more often! The stories were the right length to squeeze in reading time throughout my day and before I knew it I would be done with a story. 

If you are in the mood for some happiness and a read that will warm your heart, then this is your book. I highly recommend it to all of my book loving friends and family. Read it and you will be happy that you did (even if you aren't quite in the holiday spirit, this book will lift your spirits as it did mine). 

I have to give Merry & Bright five out of five stars--I adored it (and the authors' talented writing). Gift it to yourself and read it while you are curled up next to your Christmas tree.

About the Book

Sip your eggnog, linger under the mistletoe, and make a Christmas wish. Merry & Bright brings you six tales of Christmas cheer, featuring stories of budding romances, Southern charm, lost loves, heaps of humor, and lots of pie by authors Isabella Louise Anderson, Cindy Arora, Laura Chapman, Lauren Clark, Libby Mercer, and Nancy Scrofano. From sunny Los Angeles to the Rocky Mountains to the Deep South, Merry & Bright will take you on a heartwarming adventure you’ll love to visit again and again. Wrap yourself in holiday mirth and prepare to be swept off your feet.

About the Authors

Lauren Clark

Lauren Clark writes contemporary novels sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets. She is the author of Dancing Naked in Dixie, Stay Tuned, Stardust Summer, and Pie Girls. A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local bookstores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends. Lauren is a member of the Gulf Coast Writers Association, the Mobile Writers Guild, and a regular contributor to Parents & Kids Magazine's Mississippi Gulf Coast Edition. Check out her website at

Cindy Arora

Cindy Arora was a staff writer at The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register and Sacramento Magazine. She’s been published in Saveur, Tasting Table, Orange Coast Magazine, and Fodor’s.  Her debut novel, Heartbreak Cake, was released November 2013 by Simon and Fig and her novella, “Cake Therapy”, appeared in the anthology Petit Four: Four Stories, Frosted with Love in November 2014. She’s also mama to an adorable little boy, a feminist, a whiskey enthusiast, and proud to call herself a Chick Lit author. To learn more about Cindy, please visit her website at

Nancy Scrofano

Nancy Scrofano grew up watching classic television shows, classic movies, and listening to oldies, all of which she still adores today. Nancy has a penchant for the fifties, mostly because of her favorite show, I Love Lucy. She has seen every episode countless times and will happily share the trivia she knows with anyone who will listen. Nancy worked as an editor and a journalist for her college newspaper, then went on to develop sociology textbooks for an academic publisher. She has a master’s degree in media psychology, as well as undergraduate degrees in communication, radio and television, and liberal arts. Nancy is a freelance writer and the author of True Love Way, Cupid on Deck, and American Honey.
Additionally, she is the founder and managing editor of Fictionella, a book blog that promotes and celebrates women’s fiction. Nancy lives in southern California where she is at work on her next novel. For more about Nancy, please visit her website at

Isabella Louise Anderson

Isabella Louise Anderson grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. At the young age of ten, she was reading everything from Judy Blume to Danielle Steel, so in 2010, Isabella signed up for a creative writing course, deciding it was time to turn her passion for writing and books into a career. A year later, Isabella finished writing her first book, Redefined Dreams. Her second book, The Right Design, was published in 2014. Her website, Chick Lit Goddess, features books and other Chick Lit and Romance authors, along with sharing book reviews. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. Isabella lives in Dallas with her husband and cat. If she’s not eating spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, she can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading books, often two at a time. For more about Isabella, please visit

Libby Mercer

Born and raised in the Heartland of America, Libby Mercer's adventurous spirit kicked in after graduating from high school and she's since lived in Boston, NYC and London. San Francisco is the city that she currently calls home. For several years, Libby worked in fashion—first as a journalist and then as a shopkeeper, and for a while she dabbled in design. Libby is the author of Fashioning a Romance, Unmasking Maya, and The Karmic Connection. To learn more about Libby, please visit

Laura Chapman

Laura Chapman found a way to mix her love of romance and humor as a women’s fiction blogger and author. A 2008 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Laura studied journalism, English and history. She spent four years traveling the country as a writer/photographer, and currently works in communications. Born and raised in Nebraska—in a city, not on a farm—she is a devoted fan of football, British period drama, writing in bars, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Her debut novel, Hard Hats and Doormats, was released in December 2013. For more about Laura, please visit her website

Lucie Simone (Editor of Merry & Bright)

Lucie Simone has a passion for travel, romance and all things Chick Lit. She also has a degree in Journalism and a Master of Fine Arts in Television Production. She is the author of the novels, Picture Perfect and Hollywood Ending. Her short story, “Aprez Vous,” is featured in the anthology, Petit Four: Four Stories Frosted with Love. Lucie lives, loves and writes in the City of Angeles. For more about Lucie, please visit her website at

Where to Purchase

Are you in the mood to dive headfirst and absorb Merry & Bright? You can purchase your own copy at the following places:

A huge thank you to Chick Lit Plus & the lovely authors of this book for allowing me to read and give my honest review. No other compensation was given, and I received one epub copy in order to provide my honest review.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Destination Wedding by Deanna Lynn Sletten + Amazon Giveaway

Chick Lit Plus

About the book:

Claire Martin's life is perfect, or at least she tells herself it is. She owns a successful clothing boutique, has a steady, dependable boyfriend, and a beautiful grown daughter who is about to be married. Sure, Claire's husband of twenty years left her for a younger woman four years ago, but that is all in the past. Now, Claire is looking forward to her daughter's Bahama wedding and spending a week in paradise. The only thing Claire dreads is her ex-husband and his wife will also be on the island. Claire is determined to make the best of it, though. What Claire doesn't realize is ignoring her ex-husband for the week is going to be impossible. 

James Martin's life is a mess. His wife of less than four years has made him the most miserable man on earth and now they are in the middle of a messy divorce. He's happy that he can forget her for a week as he goes off to the Bahamas to attend his lovely daughter's wedding. Jim is embarrassed to admit to his daughter and his ex-wife, Claire, that he made the biggest mistake of his life when he left her for another woman, so he makes up a story as to why his new wife didn't come along. When he and Claire are unexpectedly forced upon each other, Jim soon realizes what he's lost and he begins to wonder if he can find a way back into Claire's heart. 

What I Thought:

Destination Wedding is the definition of a fabulous summer book. The main character, Claire, is a lovable woman who is easy to fall in love with and root for at the same time. She escapes to the Bahamas where her and her ex-husband, James, are seeing their daughter marry the man of her dreams. 

With both Claire and James in relationships with other people, a series of almost disasters seem to occur one after the other. I found myself laughing and rooting for more of these unpredictable moments that seemed to bring the entire wedding party together.

Destination Wedding is an excellently written novel and I highly recommend all of my readers to dive head first into this perfect summer read. Toss it in your pool or beach bag, pour yourself an ice cold drink, and get lost with Claire and James in the Bahamas.

About the Author:

Deanna Lynn Sletten is a bestselling and award-winning author. She writes women's fiction and romance novels that dig deeply into the lives of the characters, giving the reader an in-depth look into their hearts and souls. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.

Deanna's women's fiction novel, Widow, Virgin, Whore, made the top 100 bestselling books on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble in 2014. Her romance novel, Memories, was a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review's Best Indie Books of 2012. Her novel, Sara's Promise, was a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review's Best Indie Books of 2013 and a finalist in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards.

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer. 

Buy Me:


Barnes & Noble


Connect with Deanna:


Twitter handle: @DeannaLSletten


Her blog

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was provided with an e-copy of Destination Wedding in partnership with Chick Lit Plus. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed above are my own.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Hole in the Middle by Kate Hilton


Sophie Whelan is the epitome of the modern super woman. When she operates at peak performance, she can cajole balky employees, soothe her cranky children, trouble-shoot career disasters, throw a dinner party for 10, and draft an upbeat Christmas letter—all in the same day.

But as Sophie’s 40th birthday looms, her seamless life reveals disturbing web-like fractures. Conflict with her boss, blossoming jealousy of her husband’s femme fatale business partner, and her feelings of hopeless inadequacy as a mother and daughter, are cracking the edifice of her life.

Rescue may be at hand when Lillian Parker, a wealthy widow who befriended Sophie during her university days, makes Sophie an irresistible offer. Why, then, does Sophie hesitate? The answer is the reappearance of Lillian’s nephew, Will Shannon, the great unresolved love of Sophie’s life. As she remembers the vivid drama of their college romance, Sophie confronts the choices she has made in life and in love and looks for the one answer that has always eluded her: what does she really want?

The Hole in the Middle is a heartbreaking love story, a laugh-out-loud portrayal of the twin demands of work and family, and a fresh take on the hot debate about having it all.


When I saw that this book was a review opportunity, I jumped at the chance. Being that I am in my 30's and knowing that the big 4-0 is looming in the near distance, I felt a connection to the main character, Sophie before I even had a chance to open up the book. Sophie is a lovable character and a woman that I think a lot of us can relate to. So many women today try to have it all--and I have to wonder is that even possible? If you are questioning that yourself, this book is a must-read. It's the perfect book to cozy up with a drink of choice, a snuggly blanket, and lose yourself in. Kate Hilton nailed it when she wrote this book!

I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars.

About the Author:

Kate Hilton has worked in law, higher education, public relations, fundraising and publishing.  She has an English degree from McGill University and a law degree from the University of Toronto.  She holds down a day job, volunteers for community organizations, raises two boys, cooks, collects art, reads voraciously and likes her husband.  In her free time, she writes. On good days, she thinks she might have it all.  On bad days, she wants a nap.

The Hole in the Middle is Kate’s first book.  Kate is represented by Beverley Slopen of the Beverley Slopen Literary Agency in Toronto.

You can connect with Kate Hilton here:

Buy the Book:


A huge thank you to Chick Lit Plus and Kate Hilton for the opportunity to read and review The Hole in the Middle. Any opinion expressed above is my own, and no other compensation was given. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Mourning Hours by Paula Treick DeBoard


A family's loyalty is put to the ultimate test in this haunting and unforgettable debut.

Kirsten Hammarstrom hasn't been home to her tiny corner of rural Wisconsin in years-not since the mysterious disappearance of a local teenage girl rocked the town and shattered her family. Kirsten was just nine years old when Stacy Lemke went missing, and the last person to see her alive was her boyfriend, Johnny-the high school wrestling star and Kirsten's older brother. No one knows what to believe-not even those closest to Johnny-but the event unhinges the quiet farming community and pins Kirsten's family beneath the crushing weight of suspicion. 

Now, years later, a new tragedy forces Kirsten and her siblings to return home, where they must confront the devastating event that shifted the trajectory of their lives. Tautly written and beautifully evocative, The Mourning Hours is a gripping portrayal of a family straining against extraordinary pressure, and a powerful tale of loyalty, betrayal and forgiveness.


Paula Treick DeBoard is one of the most talented authors on the market today. I could not put The Mourning Hours down; which is a big deal for me when I choose a novel over sleep. From the moment that I read the first sentence I was hooked and transported into Kirsten's world where her hero of an older brother is suspected in the disappearance of his bubbly, popular girlfriend.

I was unsure of how the book would transpire and with every turn of a page I needed to know more, more, more. The question that this book made me wonder is what would I do if my family was in the same situation as Kirsten's. Would I have faith that my son would be innocent? Or would I have even the slightest bit of doubt in his innocence?

If you are looking for a page-turning, cannot be put down book, look no further. Grab this book and lose sleep just as I did last week.

Where to buy:

Barnes & Noble

About the author:

Paula Treick DeBoard lives with her husband Will and their four-legged brood in Modesto, CA. She received a BA in English from Dordt College, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine and a practical education from countless students in her English classes over the years. The Mourning Hours is her first novel.

A huge thank you to NegGalley for the chance to read and review the above novel. All opinions expressed above are my own. I was provided with the ebook in order to read and facilitate my honest review. No other compensation was given.