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.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cocktail Hour by Tara McTiernan


What if your friend - someone admired, envied, and fervently sought after by everyone who knew her - was really a dangerous sociopath? In her latest novel, Cocktail Hour, women's fiction author Tara McTiernan answers that question as she takes you on a wild roller coaster ride of thrilling highs and terrifying lows in this gripping novel about friendship gone horribly wrong.

Spring in glamorous uber-rich Fairfield County, Connecticut is a time of beginnings: a new diet for the approaching summer spent out on the yacht, fresh-faced interns being offered up at the office as the seasonal sacrifice to the gods of money, and corporate takeovers galore. Five women in their thirties have a brand-new friendship, too, one that's fed and watered regularly at local hotspots over cocktails. With all of their personal struggles - Lucie's new catering business is foundering due to vicious gossip, Kate's marriage is troubled due to an inability to conceive, Chelsea's series of misses in the romance department have led to frantic desperation, and Sharon's career problems are spinning out of control - the women look forward to a break and a drink and a chance to let their guards down with their friends. And letting their guards down is the last thing they should do in the kind of company they unknowingly keep with the fifth member of their cocktail-clique: Bianca Rossi, a woman who will stop at nothing to have it all.

As each woman's life is affected by this she-wolf in sheep's clothing, the truth starts to come out, but will they see it before it's too late? Or will their doubts about their own perceptions and gut feelings stop them from protecting themselves in time? Exciting, chilling, and emotionally charged, Tara McTiernan delivers a delicious page-turner that will change your view of everyone you think you know.


I loved this book. As in love-loved it. Tara McTiernan has a creative mind which results in this page turner. Each chapter is told from one character's point of view--I loved how each chapter would let me dive deeper into each character.

The plot was fun, the plot was juicy, the plot was different than other books that I have read in the past. If you are looking for a book with strong female characters this is the read for you! Perfect for your last minute beach vacation before the weather starts to cool down.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Where to buy:


Barnes & Noble


About the author:

Tara McTiernan grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut and spent most of her childhood summers on an island in the Great South Bay on Long Island, New York - both of which are the settings for her novels, Barefoot Girls and Cocktail Hour, and her short stories. She currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband, Ash. Visit the author's website at for more information including upcoming book releases and events.

I was given an e-copy of Cocktail Hour in order to read and review this book. All opinions expressed above are my own and no other compensation was given.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Finding Bliss by Dina Silver

Once upon a time I was introduced to an author by the name of Dina Silver. I fell in love with her her books after reading One Pink Line followed by Kat Fight. Some may call her writing style chick lit.

I? Say her style is kick-ass.

I had the pleasure of receiving an advanced copy of her newest (and I must add my favorite) novel Finding Bliss. 

Here is the scoop on this summer must-read:


Chloe Carlyle has always longed for the perfect family. 

Growing up with an alcoholic single mother, she has seen her share of heartbreak and disappointment, and is striving to build a new legacy for herself. After graduating from college, she takes a job working as a summer girl for the Reeds––a wealthy, accomplished family that personifies her American dream. Her summer takes an unexpected turn when the Reeds’ eldest son Tyler, the star quarterback for Notre Dame, shows up and turns her life upside down.

An ambitious young woman with a wry sense of humor, Chloe never imagined herself as the type to succumb to the looks and charms of the hometown hero, but she falls hard for Tyler, and is devastated when they part ways at the end of the summer. As she heads off to law school, Chloe tries to convince herself this was just a fling, but she can’t quite get over him. It’s not until Tyler contacts her out of the blue late one winter night that everything changes. 

After doing everything in her power to build the perfect life, Chloe soon learns that there are things beyond her control. She must draw on inner reserves of strength as her life takes unpredictable—and sometimes heartbreaking—twists and turns, and she finds herself faced with decisions she never thought she’d have to make. Poignant, heartfelt, and emotional,Finding Bliss is a reminder that you don’t have to live a fairytale life in order to have a happy ending.

My Thoughts:

As I claimed above, Finding Bliss is my new favorite Dina Silver novel. Chloe was lovable and while reading I saw myself as her. We all had the good looking guy in high school or college that we thought would never give us a second glance. It was fun to read Tyler and Chloe's journey from the beginning to the end.

There were moments in the book that broke my heart, and moments in the book that gave me butterflies. If you are looking for a book to toss in your beach bag as you head to the beach or the local pool, I highly recommend you giving Finding Bliss a chance. Between the romance and the flawless writing style of Dina Silver, you will finish the book wanting more and hoping your girlfriends read it so you can have a fun night of wine drinking and talking about the book.

I am giving Finding Bliss five out of five stars--no surprise there!

Where to Buy:

Now that you are dying to get your hands on the book, here are the details on where you can buy it.

Available now for pre-order and will be released on July 16th, 2013 through these retailers:

About Dina Silver:

A graduate of Purdue University, Dina Silver has worked as a copywriter in the advertising industry for the past fifteen years. After seeing the bulk of her professional prose on brochures and direct-mail pieces, she is delighted to have made the transition to novelist. Her debut, One Pink Line, was chosen as a 2012 Top Title by IndieReader and was also a finalist in their 2012 Discovery Awards. Silver lives in Chicago with her husband and son.

Want to connect with Dina? Find her here:

I was provided with a paperback copy of Finding Bliss in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed above are my own. No other compensation was given. A HUGE thank you to Dina Silver for this opportunity!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

And...He Has Arrived!

Meet Mason Christopher.

Mason was born on May 31st at exactly 3:15 pm.

He weighed 8 lbs 1 oz and was 21 1/4 inches long.

His Daddy?

Arrived back from deployment a mere 3 hours before Mason was born.

Talk about cutting it close, right?

Mason is perfect in every way. Great nurser. Super cuddly. Super sleeper.

I am in love. As in lovelovelove.

He has stolen my heart (which I knew he would!).

This pregnancy was the hardest out of all of them--and for that reason, I am now retiring my uterus.

Hoping now that Leo is home and Mason has arrived that I will have more time to blog--or to at least catch up on reading my favorite blogs.


Friday, May 17, 2013

What a Mother Knows by Leslie Lehr

About the Book

An unsettling, emotional and suspenseful novel of the unshakable bonds of motherhood, in which Michelle Mason not only loses her memory after a deadly car crash, but can't find her 16-year-old daughter, the one person who may know what happened that day. But the deeper Michelle digs, the more she questions the innocence of everyone, even herself. A dramatic portrayal of the fragile skin of memory, What a Mother Knows is about finding the truth that can set love free.

My Thoughts

This book gripped me within the first chapter. As a mother myself I could not fathom losing my memory and finding out that my daughter was missing--and everyone kept it a secret from me. The very people that Michelle trusted were the ones keeping the secrets away from her and the one question that I asked myself was would I be able to forgive them if I was in her shoes?

A gripping read from beginning to end, this is a perfect book to read into the night during the summer months ahead. I give it 4 out of 5 stars--and hope that you will become as engrossed as I was!

Where to Buy

About the Author

Prizewinning author and screenwriter whose new novel What A Mother Knows, is a literary thriller perfect for book clubs. Her previous novels are 66 Laps and Wife Goes On. She has written four nonfiction books, the film for "Heartless" and "Club Divorce" for Lifetime. Her essays are featured in The Honeymoon's Over, Becoming Fearless, and Mommy Wars, for which she was lauded on the Today Show. Read her work on Huffpost as well as her on her blog at where yo can find fun interactive maps and book club ideas. Say hello or on twitter @leslielehr1.

I received an advance ePub from NetGalley. All opinions expressed above are my own and no other compensation was given. A huge thank you to all that gave me the opportunity to read this book.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Transplanting Holly Oakwood by Di Jones

About the Book

Finding her lover in bed with her best friend was the worst thing ever, but leaving London for Los Angeles pushed trouble to a whole new level.

Holly Oakwood’s cosy life is shattered when her boyfriend has an affair with her best friend. Determined to mend her broken heart by throwing herself into her career, but unable to hide her contempt for her new boss, she loses her job as well.

She lands a dream job in a Consulate in LA, but that’s when her troubles really begin. She struggles to settle, loneliness begins to bite, and everyone around her is thin and shallow. She loses her confidence, makes a fool of herself once too often, and her new boss hates her. Can she salvage anything from the train wreck of her new life, or should she return to England?

What ensues is a comically entertaining series of events that catapult Holly into new friendships, the promise of romance and the realization that home is where the heart is.

My Thoughts

I have to be honest; when I saw the reviews on Goodreads I was not sure if I would like this book. As soon as I opened it to the first page? I could not put it down! I read into the wee hours of the morning and carried my Nook around everywhere that I went.

I loved Holly's character. Di Jones did a great job on making her characters really stand out and easy to remember who was who--which is a huge bonus to me. Holly was likable from the start, and I found myself rooting her on throughout the book.

Her new boss was not a person that I would find myself liking in real life. She was shallow and so self-absorbed that I could not help but hope she would get knocked down at some point.

Bottom line? Great book, easy read, and perfect for lounging around during the upcoming summer months. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars--and I hope you will decide to pick it up and give it a shot. I cannot wait to read more by Di Jones!

Where to Buy

About the Author

I was born in Liverpool, England to parents who had a strong sense of adventure and moved many times.  I’ve lived in Canada, the United States, England and New Zealand.  I’ve worked in a variety of jobs ranging from envelope stuffer to bakery assistant, librarian to trade development executive, but none of my jobs were as much fun as the one that allowed me to write and get paid for it.  That was a few years ago, and each year it’s become more and more apparent what I want to do is write full time, a dream that first occurred to me at seventeen.

I write chick lit – light hearted and humorous stories for and about women who value their families, their friendships, their careers, their independence, who have a sense of adventure, and who live and love with passion.

Like my characters, I love my family and friends, beautiful shoes, anything sparkly, the ‘occasional’ drink, parties, and a good belly laugh.  I’m addicted to shopping, chocolate, bubble bath and anything else that smells nice, and the sort of tv programmes you’d never publicly admit to watching.

I live in a lovingly renovated home overlooking Auckland’s beautiful Waitemata Harbour, with my trusted friends Bronson Boxer and Dolce Dane.  They keep me fit and exercised, scare the burglars away, sit loyally by my side throughout my late night writing sessions, and hang on my every word when I read final drafts aloud.  They truly are my biggest fans, and I theirs!

I love my life, but not so much that there’s not room to live a load of other lives, through the hearts and minds of my characters, all of whom I adore, and some of whom I’m fortunate enough to call friend.

A huge thank you to Chick Lit Plus and Di Jones for providing me an ebook in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed above are mine and no other compensation was given.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

No Matter What...

Here it is, the final day of January. I promised I would blog more.

And I obviously failed. I'm trying--baby steps, right? Trying to find time during my crazy, hectic life right now. It is hard, but I miss it. I miss pouring my thoughts out. It is a type of therapy.

So, for today's therapy I have a few things to get off of my mind and onto the screen. Maybe one day I will look back at this post and that life has a funny way of working out no matter what you may be thinking at the time.

I would like to start off with an announcement....this baby in my belly?

Totally team BLUE. We are having a boy!

And in typical baby of the family fashion, he has made sure to make me aware that he is here all of the time.

When I was 5 weeks or so I was told I was miscarrying. I was devastated. Until after many appointments and blood draws later, guess what? Little babe was there, fighting away.

Fast forward to now. I opted to have the integrated screening blood draw performed in my 2nd trimester. This test can tell you if baby may have any abnormalities, etc. Some women take it so they can prepare themselves for anything that could be going on. I thought that I would appreciate knowing if something was different with Mason.

I thought wrong.

One week ago today I received a phone call from my OB. In typical pregnant mom fashion, I was napping. I let it roll over to voicemail and called her when I woke up.

I knew right away that she was going to tell me something about the stupid blood test. I knew it. Right then and there I wished I had never, ever had the screening test done.

I call her back and she gently tells me that my screening test came back positive for Down Syndrome. My chance of Mason having Down Syndrome went to 1 in 31. Those numbers terrified me. She reassured me that the anatomy scan was perfect, there can be false positives. But that made me feel guilty to be reassured.

I love Mason no matter what differences he may have. I cried. I called my mom bawling. I kept telling her I wish I never found out, because I will love him no matter what.

I go in on Monday (Feb 4th) for more testing. The good news? I get to see my little man on the big screen--a high tech ultrasound! They will look for any markers of Down Syndrome. They will offer me an amnio, but the *tiny* risk of miscarriage just isn't worth it. I pray that they will be able to perform the materniT21 blood test that has a high accuracy rate of checking for Down Syndrome. If they don't offer it, I will be okay with it.

I have had a lot of time this past week to think of Mason and the what-ifs. He is loved tremendously no matter how he is born. The day I found out my risks I mourned for the baby that I *thought* I was having. Does that make sense? But then I realized, even if he is born with Down Syndrome, that he will be so loved and he is so, so wanted. Nothing will make me EVER think differently.

This whole ordeal has made me see life through another window. Before I feel like my vision was clouded over...that I never understood how a simple blood draw, a few words could change your life in a matter of seconds. But mine did.

Mason may not have Down Syndrome. But if he does, well, he has it for a reason--we were chosen to be his parents for a reason, to love him unconditionally, which we will.

I will update as I find out more until then, xoxo.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Green Ticket by Samantha March


College junior Alex Abrams scores her dream job at the ripe age of twenty – manager to a successful salon and spa. Thrilled to finally have a real adult job, Alex enthusiastically jumps into the world of schedules, conference calls, and getting a massage when interviewing prospective employees. What she doesn’t expect are the very grown-up issues that comes with a demanding boss. Kevin Dohlman quickly becomes Alex’s worse nightmare – covering up his affairs, dealing with his enormous ego, and trying to protect her female staff from him becomes a full-time job in its own right. Alex has also befriended Kevin’s wife and co-owner, Dani, and is trying to keep Kevin’s secrets hidden from her. The situation only worsens when Kevin starts paying Alex off to make sure she keeps her insider knowledge to herself.

While struggling to keep her wits and stay happy with her new grown-up job, Alex is juggling college courses, a new love interest, and keeping up with her close group of girlfriends. When her roommate and best friend Lila gets offered an opportunity to move to Los Angeles and sign with an agent, Alex realizes her life truly is changing, and everyone around her – including herself – is is growing up. Knowing she is faced with some hard decisions ahead, Alex struggles with keeping her job at Blissful. But does she really want to throw away what she dreamed of as a career – or will the secret-keeping for Kevin become too much to handle? The Green Ticket is a story about morals versus money, and how one young woman navigates the shaky line between the two.


The moment that I opened this book, I was in love. Samantha's writing style is incredible: easy to read, the words just flow together in a way that makes reading so much fun! I loved reading the book from Alex's point of view. Her group of friends are the rock in her life, without them I don't believe that Alex would have succeeded in following her dream to manage a spa. Suddenly Alex has landed her dream job, has found Mr. Right, and if it all seems to good to be true? It is because it is. Shady things are being discovered daily about her dream job, which makes Alex wonder if going through the dramatics is truly worth it?

I rate this book a high five out of five stars--if I could, I would give it more! I stayed up into the night reading (that is how I know that I found myself a winner) and was finished within a few days. Samantha March knows what she is doing when she writes a novel--I cannot wait to add more novels by her to my collection as they become published.

About the author

Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and celebrity related. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and her debut novel Destined to Fail. When she isn’t reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers.

Want to connect with Samantha? You can find her here:

Where to buy

Amazon: Print or eBook
Barnes and NobleeBook
Kobo: eBook
Marching Ink: Print

I received an e-book of The Green Ticket in order to facilitate the above review. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was given. A big thank you to Samantha March and Chick Lit Plus for this great opportunity!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Friends, I Have Missed You

So, yes, I have been MIA for quite some time.

Yes, I have been the world's worst blogger.

Yes, I have many, many reasons...that you may find entertaining.

Reason one? Leo has deployed. Again. He left before Thanksgiving. During all of my morning sickness. During the time that families are supposed to come together and dwell on the many thanks in their lives. I have been a busy, busy woman as you can surely imagine.

Reason two? I am sure my house has been hit with the plague. Not just one plague, but more like every plague that has crossed into Mississippi, my girls have caught. I have caught 3 out of 4 of the bugs. It's been stressful, filled with ER visits, and lots of defeated tears from me.

Reason three? This baby? In my belly? Holy tiredness. If I am not sleeping, I am dreaming of sleeping. Or wishing I was sleeping. Or counting the hours until sleep. You get the picture...

Speaking of baby--guess who finds out the sex on January 14th? This girl! So excited. Over the moon. Thinking this may be a boy (finally), but also am totally okay with another, our fourth, girl. Very excited!

So, in a nutshell, I have been pretty busy. I am trying to come up with a little blog time for myself. I miss it. I miss my friends in the blog world. I miss streaming my thoughts onto the screen.

And who know? Perhaps I may get a wild hair and start to read blogs again...xoxo