Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WWW Wednesdays November 30

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading 

To play along, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading The Grief of Others by Leah Cohen.

What did you recently finish reading?

The last WWW Wednesday I posted was on November 9th. Whew, where did that month go? 

So anyway, these are the books I have read since then. Every Last One by Anna Quindlen, A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis by Irene Woodbury, Wanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts and No Holly for Christmas by Julie N. Ford. Click on the book title links for my thoughts about each of these books.

What do you think you will be reading next?

Next, I will be reading either The Magi by Kevin M. Turner or Recession Proof by Kimberly Lin.

Happy reading everyone!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Blog Tour: No Holly for Christmas by Julie N. Ford

As Brian McAlister struggles to move past being jilted not once, but twice by the only woman he's ever loved, he's all but given up on relationships. Then, on special assignment for the DA's office, he crosses paths with ex-socialite turned social worker, Holly Cavanaugh Winter-and romance blossoms.

Widowed, practically penniless, and reduced to shopping at WalMart, Holly is dreading the approaching Holiday Season. However, her angst isn't due to her husband's untimely death the previous December 25th, but because of a secret that could reveal itself unless she can find a way to avoid the coming Christmas.

Love at first sight quickly turns frigid for Brian and Holly when Holly gets pulled into a manhunt for an accused murderer who now has his sights set on her. His case unraveling, Brian finds himself tasked with keeping Holly and her two daughters safe while bringing an assassin and the powerful man who hired him to justice.

A heart-warming story of suspense, healing, giving and receiving, No Holly for Christmas is the perfect addition to everyone's holiday reading list. ~~synopsis from Goodreads 

My thoughts about No Holly for Christmas ~~

I love reading Christmas stories this time of year. I am not sure why I just limit myself to reading them in November/December. This one would be good anytime of the year!

No Holly for Christmas is not your typical Christmas story. It is a great suspense romance. Both of the main characters start out as people I didn't like very much and then as I got to know them, I came to understand why they were the way they were.

Then the suspense part of the story took over and kept me up way too late reading, to make sure everything would be okay. Holly and Brian have to rely on each other to make sure they both stay alive. And by being dependent on each other, they learn to open up to each other and see that they really are meant to be together.

I had previously read another of Ford's books, Count Down to Love, (my thoughts about that book are here) and was so excited to read this one. I was not disappointed! A little Christmas, a little romance and a little suspense, all rolled into one - it doesn't get any better than that! Thanks Julie, for making my Christmas reading a lot more fun this year!

To learn more about the author, visit her website or blog.  

No Holly for Christmas is available on Amazon.

I received a copy of No Holly for Christmas for this 
Tristi Pinkston Book Tour in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Chick Lit Challenge 2012

I am finding myself reading a lot of chick lit books lately so I thought I would join this challenge - why not?

The rules are simple~~
  • Read and review 12 chick lit books throughout 2012. You can read more books of other genres, but you need at least 12 chick lit books to count for this challenge.
  • Two of the twelve books need to be from debut authors. The debuts should be released in 2012. There will be a feature on the Chick Lit+ blog that will highlight new releases and debuts, so suggestions can be found there.
  • Then each month, head back to Chick Lit+ and post your review. 
And super sweet - there will be prizes given!! 

For more information about this challenge and to sign up yourself, check out the sign-up page.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts

A young woman plunges from a Las Vegas sightseeing helicopter, landing in the Pirate's lagoon in front of the Treasure Island Hotel in the middle of the 8:30 Pirate Show. Almost everyone writes her off as another Vegas victim. 

But Lucky O'Toole smells a rat. She's head of Customer Relations at The Babylon, the newest, most opulent mega-casino and resort on the Strip, so she's got a lot on her plate: the Adult Film industry's annual awards banquet, a spouse-swapping convention, sex toy purveyors preying on the pocket-protector crowd attending ElectroniCon....  Still, Lucky can't resist turning over a few stones. 

When a former flame is one of the snakes she uncovers, Lucky's certain she's no longer dealing with an anonymous Sin City suicide. To top it all off, Lucky's best friend Teddie--Las Vegas' finest female impersonator--presses to take their relationship to the next level. Leave it to Lucky to attract a man who looks better in a dress than she does.

Lucky must manage the Babylon's onslaught of outrageous festivities, solve a murder, and struggle to keep her life and libido from spinning out of control... not to mention keep her balance in six inch heels. ~~synopsis from Goodreads

My thoughts on Wanna Get Lucky? ~~

I loved this book and I love the character of Lucky! She kind of reminds me of a cross between Stephanie in Evanovich's Plum series and Eve Dallas in the J.D. Robb In Death series. And I love both of those series!!

Lucky has the quirky friends and family like Stephanie but has the seriousness and 'get the job done' personality of Eve. The setting is in Vegas, with that whole lifestyle and living like no other place. I would love to visit Vegas some day so the setting was a perfect fit for me, I was able to experience Vegas without leaving my reading chair. And since Lucky is a behind-the-scenes employee, the reader is treated to a look at that aspect of Vegas.

One of the great lines that I marked was from Lucky ~~ "I didn't want to fall in love - I wanted to be in control." Hmmmm, how did that work for you, Lucky? 

The story is very well written and the author has a wonderful sense of humor that comes out in the book. (Loved the belligerent macaw that Lucky owns!) I truly did read most of this book with a smile on my face with some chuckles-out-loud. What a hoot!

I highly recommend this series - yes - it is a SERIES!!! Coonts next book, Lucky Stiff is coming out in paperback on November 29th and the 3rd in the series, So Damn Lucky, is due out in 2012. I know I will be adding them both to my TBR list!

Author Bio
Deborah Coonts, author of Lucky Stiff, says her mother tells her she was born in Texas a very long time ago, though she's not totally sure -- her mother can't be trusted. But she was definitely raised in Texas on barbeque, Mexican food and beer. She currently resides in Las Vegas, where family and friends tell her she can't get into too much trouble. Silly people. Coonts has built her own business, practiced law, flown airplanes, written a humor column for a national magazine, and survived a teenager. She is the author of Wanna Get Lucky?, the first in a series of Lucky O'Toole Vegas adventures.

For more information please visit 
and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter

I received a free copy of this book for my honest opinion. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Let this be a day to indulge in friends, 
family, good food and good books!

Happy reading everyone!!  


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

You're my #2

Okay - so this week seems to be just about 'fun' stuff. I am not getting a lot of reading or posting done cause I am getting ready to have my family+ for Thanksgiving. There will be at least 13 of us for dinner and hanging out. There is so much to do!

I saw this on The Paperback Writer blog and loved it! I just had to share! 

Hudson - Against The Grain from Dropbear on Vimeo.

Monday, November 21, 2011

11/22/63 a la Better Book Titles

Love Stephen King and can't wait to read 11/22/63 
but this is a hoot!

Thanks Better Book Titles!  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blog Tour: A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis by Irene Woodbury

This darkly funny novel describes Wendy Sinclair’s spin-crazy life in Las Vegas after she impulsively decides to not return to Houston following a bizarre girls’ weekend in 2005.

The confused, unhappy 45-year-old newlywed soon rents a ramshackle apartment in a building filled with misfits; wallows in a blur of spas, malls and buffets, and, ultimately, becomes a designer of cocktail waitress uniforms and an Ann-Margret impersonator in a casino show with Elvis.

She also hangs with some pretty colorful characters. Paula’s her bold, brassy glamazon BFF who’s looser than a Casino Royale slot. Maxine’s her saucy former-Tropicana-showgirl boss. Paige and Serena are two twenty-something blackjack dealers she shops, gambles, and clubs up a storm with. Major crushes on a hunky pilot and sexy former rock star are also part of the mix.

And then there are the phone fights with Roger, Wendy’s workaholic husband waiting impatiently in Houston. Their clashes are louder and more raucous than a hot craps table at Caesar’s! Does she go back to him, or does her midlife crisis become a midlife makeover? ~~from author's website 

My thoughts on A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis ~~

First thing I have to say - I wanna go to Vegas! This book was so much fun and Vegas sounds like it would be a blast.

Wendy goes to Vegas for a weekend with her best friend and ends up staying for a couple of years. That sounds like something we would all do, right? Not! But if we were honest with ourselves, wouldn't it be something we would like to be able to do? I know I would!

This book goes into a lot of detail about Vegas and talks about the places, the acts and the people. It's kind of like a travel guide for visitors or if someone had already been to Vegas, it would be a walk down memory lane.

Wendy becomes a very likable character in the story and I have to admire her for sticking to her guns by not going back to a situation that made her unhappy. She forged ahead and carved out a life for herself and pursued a dream. If that is a mid-life crisis, then we should all have one.

I was never really sure how the story was going to end up and what choices Wendy was going to make until the very end. It was kind of like a mystery, I had to keep reading to see how it ended. Great job on that Ms. Woodbury! 

So like I mentioned above, this book really made me want to go to Vegas - anyone want to go with me?

Visit Irene’s Website!

Find Irene on Facebook!

Follow Irene on Twitter!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Amanda Strong talks about the 'voices in her head'

Yesterday was my stop on the blog tour for With Just One Click by Amanda Strong. My thoughts on the book are here.

Thanks for joining us today, Amanda. I have heard other authors say that they 'hear voices in their head' and that is how they write their books, the characters are telling their stories.

That concept has always intrigued me. When some people hear voices, we get them medical attention, other people become writers. How do you come up with your stories?

Hearing voices in your head does sound funny and weird to many, but I do identify and understand what other authors mean. When I was younger, I didn't realize that not everyone had this type of process when they wrote something. When I grew older, it became apparent that what I felt was natural to me was not the norm for everyone else. I guess that moment is somewhat defining, because you know that you're meant to do this,

I come up with stories in different ways. With writing, with just one click, I developed three different stories with a general sentence or two of what I wanted to accomplish with each. I moved on and wrote a character list, describing who they are, what they looked like, what they stood for, etc...and then I began writing.

When I sit down at the computer, I do hear voices, but I also see the characters and the scene in my head. I can only describe it like watching a film or television show; you see the characters and hear their conversations. I begin typing and let myself fall into the characters and their lives. 

I know that might sound somewhat strange, but I believe this is just a creative process. Sometimes I will think about the stories throughout the day and think about their next step, other times I can go through the entire day and not think about the book at all. During those days, I still can sit down in front of the computer and immediately pick up where I left off with the characters without a pre-existing plan in my head.

Ideas for other projects can come out of the blue. Just recently, I was exercising on the treadmill, mulling over a possible next book and what type of story it would be, and all of a sudden, ideas just started flooding my brain. These moments sometimes give you chills or make you smile and excited, because you can begin to see new characters come to life, and you get anxious to sit down at the computer and see what is to come.

A funny or interesting anecdote to this event was I just recently shared the details of that particular story with one of my close friends, just running it by her to see what she thought. After I shared a brief synopsis, she looked at me with a blank stare. I thought she disliked the story, but instead she just shook her head a little and smiled and said, "How did you even come up with that?" She couldn't fathom how a story just pops in your head like that. I simply answered, "I really don't know." I think that goes along with "hearing voices in your head," sometimes you just can't explain it.

One thing I know for certain: writing is a part of me, it helps define who I am, and I wouldn't change that for anything.

Amanda's Blog
Amanda's Website
Amanda on Facebook
Amanda on Twitter

**Everyone who leaves a comment on Amanda's blog tour page will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card! If you purchase your copy of With Just One Click  from October 27- November 14  and send your receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, you will get five bonus entries!**

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Blog Tour and Giveaway: With Just One Click by Amanda Strong

"Reluctance was matched with a pit in my stomach; once I joined, anyone could randomly find me...did I really want to be found?" 

Chloe, a successful movie reviewer and serial dater, finds herself added as a friend by her first love. The one who left her at seventeen standing with a note in her hand as he simply walked away. Will she allow herself to open old wounds? 

Morgan, a loyal stay-at-home mom and wife, discovers one of her husband's friends is his very single and flirtatious ex-girlfriend from high school. Will obsession and jealousy tear her solid marriage apart when she hunts for the truth? 

Brynn, a lonely forty year-old living with her two distant teenage children and workaholic husband, fights temptation while revisiting the past with one of her friends. Will her deception destroy her family? 

Three lives changed forever WITH JUST ONE CLICK. Confirming a friend isn't as simple as it seems... but do these women have more in common than just Facebook? ~~ Synopsis from Goodreads 

My thoughts about With Just One Click ~~

Wow! A book with Facebook as a main character, what fun! Facebook is such a big phenomenon in our lives right now. It was very interesting to read how these 3 women embraced Facebook and how each of them used Facebook as a means to an end.

Each woman had a different reason for using Facebook and I could really relate to some of their Facebook habits or know of people that use it the way that each of these characters did. Some of us post our whole lives there while others of us just lurk to see what we can find out about other people, our 'friends'. And sometimes, like Morgan, we don't like what we find out.

If you are on Facebook at all, this book will resonate with you. And make you stop and think about how you use social media to connect or disconnect with the people in your life. 

This is a great book and it is a fast read. I really got caught up in these 3 women's lives and just had to keep going, just one more click on my e-reader, to find out where their Facebook experiences were taking them.

And ..... I was not expecting the twist at the end. I didn't see that one coming!

Great job Amanda! I will be watching for your books in the future!

Amanda's Blog
Amanda's Website
Amanda on Facebook
Amanda on Twitter

**Everyone who leaves a comment on Amanda's blog tour page will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card! If you purchase your copy of With Just One Click  from October 27- November 14  and send your receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, you will get five bonus entries!**

WWW Wednesdays November 9

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading 

To play along, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Every Last One by Anna Quindlen. 

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished reading Island Girl by Lynda Simmons, Whispers From the Heart by Heather Hummel and With Just One Click by Amanda Strong.

My thoughts on these books are here ~~

What do you think you will be reading next?

Next, I will be reading A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis by Irene Woodbury. 

Happy reading everyone!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Island Girl by Lynda Simmons

There are people who try hard to forget their problems. All Ruby wants to do is remember...

Ruby Donaldson has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease, and she'll be damned if she won't straighten out her troubled family before she no longer knows how.

Ruby spent years fighting to hold on to the home her grandmother built on Ward's Island. The only way she can ensure that her younger, mentally scarred daughter Grace can live there for the rest of her life is to convince her older daughter, Liz, to sober up and come home.

Ruby always thought she'd have a lifetime to make things right, but suddenly time is running out. She has to put her broken family back together quickly while searching for a way to deal with the inevitable- and do it with all the grit, stubbornness, and unstoppable determination that makes Ruby who she is...until she's Ruby no longer.
~~synopsis from Goodreads

My thoughts on Island Girl ~~

First, let me give a big shout out "THANK YOU!!!" to the author, Lynda Simmons and TLC Book Tours for supplying copies of this book for my book group, The Book Bags. We won copies from TLC Book Tours for everyone and read this book for our October discussion. The author was even gracious enough to sign all of our copies! Thank you!!

The Book Bags after a great discussion of Island Girl

I loved, loved, loved this book! The author writes the story from the view point of 3 characters, a mother, who has early onset Alzheimer's, and her 2 daughters. Reading a book with 3 first person character's could be a confusing task but it is not in Island Girl. Each voice is very distinct and the author did a wonderful job with the separate points of view. What an exciting and necessary way to read this story. It was really enlightening to be inside all of their heads and to know where they were coming from and what they were thinking.

After reading this book, I have to say that the synopsis does not do this book justice. There is so much more to this story than what one gets from the short blurb. There are the relationships between Ruby and her daughters, Ruby and Mark, Liz and Grace, Grace and Jocelyn - I could go on and on. There are lots of great characters in this book and it was a pleasure getting to know all of them. 

Island Girl was a huge hit with everyone in the book group. We all loved it! A good point of discussion was about some of the decisions that Ruby made because of her diagnosis.What would we do if we were in the same situation? 

Some of us did have strong feelings towards Ruby because of some of the things she did and said and with the way she treated those she loved. But that is what a great writer can do, isn't it, stir up strong emotions about her characters - both good and bad.

I typically don't re-read books - 'so many books, so little time' - but this is one that I am going to go back to again so I can revisit the island and all the wonderful people on it. What a great story!!

Lynda Simmons' website



This book comes out tomorrow!! 

Can I just tell you how excited I am?!!!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Coming Up for Air by Patti Callahan Henry

On the coast of Alabama, there is a house cloaked in mystery, a place that reveals the truth and changes lives... 

Ellie Calvin is caught in a dying marriage, and she knows this. With her beloved daughter away at college and a growing gap between her and her husband – between her reality and the woman she wants to be – she doesn’t quite seem to fit into her own life.

But everything changes after her controlling mother, Lillian, passes away. Ellie’s world turns upside down when she sees her ex-boyfriend, Hutch, at her mother’s funeral and learns that he is in charge of a documentary that involved Lillian before her death. He wants answers to questions that Ellie’s not sure she can face, until, in the painful midst of going through her mother’s things, she discovers a hidden diary – and a window onto stories buried long ago.

As Ellie and Hutch start speaking for the first time in years, Ellie’s closed heart slowly begins to open. Fighting their feelings, they set out together to dig into Lillian’s history. Using both the diary and a trip to the Summer House, a mysterious and seductive bayside home, they gamble that they can work together and not fall in love again. But in piecing together a decades-old unrequited-love story, they just might uncover the secrets in their own hearts…
~~synopsis from Goodreads
My thoughts on Coming Up for Air ~~

Hmmm - I stayed up way too late trying to finish this book. And darn it, I could not finish the last 40 pages or so. But I went back and reread, oh, the previous 10 pages or so and then moved forward and savored the ending.

I loved this book and did not want it to end. I got totally caught up in Ellie trying to figure everything out. I thought the flashbacks to the Civil Rights era were very informative and I was immersed in that time period for a short time.

In reading her mother's diary, Ellie learns that her mother was not the woman that she thought she was. She was very surprised with what she learned.

That got me thinking about how little I know about the lives of my parents before they were my parents. How sad that that part of my personal history is gone. It would have been interesting to know what my parents were like as 'real people.'

Here are some great lines that I marked in the book as I was reading ~~

"The choices we make when we're broken are sometimes the most awful of all our choices"

"But your mother wanted to make sure you weren't a wildflower in her botanical garden"

"Thought what? That if you knew that girl, you could know the woman who was your mother?"

"We all become the person we are from the person we were - if that makes sense - and I don't believe you mother was any different. Does it really matter how she became that way?" 

Authors website ~~

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WINNER: Deep Blue Secret

We have a winner, folks!! 

This was my very first giveaway to celebrate 
lil ol' me reaching 50 followers. 

And before I knew it, I had 70 followers!! 

I used to select the winner 
and the winner is .........


Simcsa, look for an email from me and 
you have 48 hours to respond. 

Congrats! I know you will enjoy the book!!

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