Monday, September 29, 2014

Low Tide Bikini by Lyla Dune - Review

Low Tide Bikini
(A Pleasure Island Romance)
by Lyla Dune
Published: December 2013
by Composesum Publishing

This sexy, funny, beach romance has plenty of sizzle and giggle. It will make you laugh and sigh, with its zany characters, ostrich farm, talented musicians, snarky down-on-her-luck heroine, and a hunky British hero who's a gentleman on the streets and a freak in the sheets.

Sam Carlisle is the double bass player in the all girl jazz ensemble, Bikini Quartet. When she breaks down on the drawbridge, a panty-melting-muscle-man, who she later discovers is her new landlord, comes to her rescue.

Brock Knight is a retired rugby player from Wales. He's eager to get away from the paparazzi that hound him day and night. When he moves into his new beach house on Pleasure Island, North Carolina before Sam has a chance to relocate, he learns the proper way to shag.

Will he convince Sam to stay, or will she convince him she's gay?

Mature/Explicit content alert - Readers should be 18 years of age or older. 

My review:
Funny and sexy. Sam has just found out that the house in which she is a house-sitter has just been sold. She has no other place to go, this has been her home for 5 years, and she has no money. As soon as the news is sprung on her, the sexy new owner shows up. Brock tells her she can still stay on in the house to give her time to get a new place, but Sam is still understandably upset. She is physically attracted to Brock but knows it isn't a good idea to have any kind of a relationship with him, so she tries to convince him she is a lesbian.

You can't help but enjoy a romance novel which includes a drunk conversation with an ostrich, Naughty Naked Seniors, and misunderstandings over "shagging." I thought Low Tide Bikini had the perfect combination of quirkiness, humor, friendship, and sexiness. I really enjoyed Low Tide Bikini, and I would recommend it. If the rest of the series is as good as this one, Lyla Dune has become one of my new favorite contemporary romance authors.

I downloaded this during a free promotion on Amazon. I was not required to write a review.

About the author:
Lyla Dune  has taught and performed music for over twenty years. Like most band directors, she can play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on a wide variety of instruments, including tuba. Her primary instruments are clarinet, saxophone, flute, and piano.

Songwriting has been in Lyla’s blood since she was a young girl. She still enjoys writing songs. Songwriting led her to poetry, and she has published over a hundred poems. She has also published many short stories and flash fiction pieces in a multitude of genres.

Writing can be creative and cathartic, which is why Lyla fell in love with it, but she learned that writing from that dark place inside her heart made for a lot of sad days. Even though publishers kept begging for more of that sticky dark stuff. she changed directions and decided to fill her days writing happily ever afters. Now, she smiles and sings and enjoys each moment spent with her characters and hopes her readers will find as much joy between the pages of her books as she’s experienced penning the words.

Find out more at

Spotlight: Hot Rebel by Lynn Raye Harris - $50 Gift Card & Signed Books Giveaway

Title: Hot Rebel
Author: Lynn Raye Harris
Release Date: September 29, 2014
Genre: Romantic Suspense 

A rebel on the run…

Victoria Royal is a traitor. Or so the U.S. government believes. Victoria was once a promising sniper in the Army, but now she’s gone rogue—worse, she’s just landed in the middle of a Hostile Operations Team mission in the desert and blasted it all to hell. 

Nick “Brandy” Brandon doesn’t expect to run into Victoria when he’s bugging out from a mission gone wrong. It’s been more than three years since she disappeared from the sniper course they were in together, and he’s finally stopped thinking about her killer curves and smart mouth.

But now she’s back—and she’s far more dangerous than Nick ever believed possible… Is she really a traitor? Or is there something more at stake? He has to decide fast—because time’s running out and too many lives hang in the balance…


Driven by some emotion she couldn’t name, Victoria turned and walked back over to Nick. He was frowning at her when she reached up and pulled his head down. She pressed her lips to his cheek, felt the roughness of his stubble and breathed the smell of him—sand, spice, and cool water—deep into her lungs.

“Thanks for saving me,” she said, her lips close to his ear.

She started to step away, but he caught her close and turned his head, his lips meeting hers. The contact was shocking—and delicious in a way she hadn’t anticipated. She’d been kissed before, but this… this was better than any of those kisses had been.

His mouth was soft and hard against hers, his hands firm on her hips as he held her against him. The kiss was hot and tame all at once. Simultaneously the most arousing and most chaste kiss she’d ever had. He didn’t force her mouth open, didn’t thrust his tongue between her lips—he just kissed her hard and thoroughly before setting her away from him and taking a step backward.

And, God, she wanted his tongue so badly now. Wanted to feel it sliding against her own, stroking her senses higher.

But the kiss was over and he was looking at her, his jaw firm and a hard look in his eyes.

“You’re welcome,” he said, and it took her a moment to remember that she’d thanked him for saving her.

“I… I have to go.” Her cheeks flamed as she said it because he knew she had to leave as well as she did. The car was running, and she’d left the door open. She took a step backward, and then another.

Then she turned and got inside the car, determined not to look at him again. But she failed because she looked up, her gaze clashing with his right as she closed the door. And she didn’t look away as they drove off. Nick didn’t move from the spot she’d left him standing in.

It was only when the car turned and he was out of sight that she remembered how to breathe.

About the author:
USA Today bestselling author Lynn Raye Harris burst onto the scene when she won a writing contest held by Harlequin. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former military husband and two crazy cats. Lynn writes about hot military heroes, sizzling international billionaires, and the women who dare to tame them. Her books have been called "exceptional and emotional," "intense," and "sizzling." To date, Lynn's books have sold over 2 million copies worldwide.

Find out more at


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Toxic Staple by Anne Sarkisian - Review

Toxic Staple: How Gluten May Be Wrecking Your Health - And What You Can Do About It! 
by Anne Sarkisian
Published: September 2013 
by Max Health Press

Sick and tired of being Sick and Tired? Gluten may be the culprit. TOXIC STAPLE exposes how the devastating effects of gluten reach far beyond celiac disease. Over 300 symptoms and maladies are linked to this insidious protein, from allergies, arthritis, asthma, autoimmune disease, cancer, depression, fatigue, gut or memory issues, migraines, osteoporosis, reflux. . . to zits. 

Misdiagnosed / Undiagnosed Read Toxic Staple and you will - 
Learn to recognize how gluten could be affecting your health 
Discover the revolutionary health benefits of a gluten-free lifestyle
Find hope in the inspirational stories of real people - substantiated by nearly 600 scientific studies from around the world 
Get the scoop on cutting-edge and traditional tests 
Become empowered to change your health and life 

"Toxic Staple is a exceptional book that integrates the vast amount of research on the gluten-related epidemic! It is a must-read, a gift for health-care professionals or anyone looking to improve his or her health." -- Marie-Nathalie Beaudoin, PhD" 

My review:
This book is amazingly comprehensive and includes tons of medical data as well as personal stories. The author is not trying to say that every medical condition is caused by gluten every time; however, this book does point out how many medical conditions can have a connection to either celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.

As someone who diagnosed my then 9 year old son, I really understand the importance of this book. We had just switched him back to his old doctor (even though that meant a very long drive since we had moved) because his doctor could not figure out what was wrong with him. We were blessed that his old doctor was at least willing to consider it and did the test. Thankfully, the test did positively show celiac disease. If the test had come back that he didn't have it (as many people's tests do even though eating gluten-free makes them feel better), I would have just thought I was wrong, and he would probably still be a very sick little boy to this day.

Take your health into your own hands. Read this book if you even suspect you have a problem with gluten, if you have any chronic conditions, or if you just feel lousy all the time for no reason. No, gluten may not be the problem every time, but it very well could be. This book is a must read.

Copy was provided for an honest review.  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Butter by Erin Jade Lange - Throwback Thursday Review

A "Throwback Thursday Review" is either a book I read way back when but didn't write a review for whatever reason (usually, probably forgot ... oops...) or it is a review on a book I got but then didn't get around to reading until now (again, usually, probably just forgot).

Today's review is Butter by Erin Jade Lange. This is another book that I read way back in September 2012 and can't figure out why I didn't write a review then because I did enjoy it. Like before, I probably just forgot.

Butter by Erin Jade Lange
Published: September 2012

A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans?

With a deft hand, E.J. Lange allows readers to identify with both the bullies and the bullied in this all-consuming look at one teen's battle with himself.

My review:
An obese, teenaged boy called Butter makes a cry for help by creating a website claiming that he will eat himself to death and do it live online. It isn't really presented as a "cry for help," but that is what it boils down to. Butter doesn't really want to eat himself to death. However, when it seems like everyone at school is so excited about his claim and looking forward to the big event, Butter feels that there is nothing to do but go through with it. 

Butter is a great emotional story that explores one young boy's feelings about being obese, why he eats so much, other people's attitudes toward him, and his loneliness and desperation. I did think everything may have been tied up a little too easily and smoothly in the end, but overall, this was a book that I really enjoyed and would recommend.

Copy was provided for review.

About the author:
Erin writes facts by day and fiction by night. As a journalist, she is inspired by current events and real-world issues and uses her writing to explore how those issues impact teenagers.

She is an only child, so she spent a lot of time entertaining herself as a kid. This required her to rely heavily on her own imagination, which is probably why she became a writer.

Erin grew up in the cornfields of northern Illinois, along the Mississippi River in one of the few places it flows east to west. She now lives in the sunshine of Arizona and will forever be torn between her love of rivers and her love of the desert.

Find out more at

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sing Me Back Home by Eve Gaddy - Review

Sing Me Back Home
by Eve Gaddy
Expected publication: September 22, 2014 by Tule Publishing

Dr. Jack Gallagher, one of Marietta, Montana's most eligible bachelors, hasn't been serious about a woman since his wife died five years ago. He's been content to date occasionally, practice medicine and raise his teenage daughter.

Then happily divorced former fashion model, Maya Parrish, moves back to Marietta, with her own teenaged daughter in tow forcing Jack to rethink his casual dates only rule. Maya, Jack's high school girlfriend and almost fiancée, may have broken his heart the night of their high school graduation, but the moment Jack and Maya meet again, all the sizzle and sparks, and then some, come rushing back.

Maya is ready to give love a second try. Jack isn't sure he can take that chance again. He knows how quickly happiness can be ripped away, leaving heartbreak in its place. Can a mad, passionate affair last or will it burn itself out as quickly as it began?

Goodreads * Amazon (not yet available)

My review:
I just could not get into Sing Me Back Home, unfortunately. The underlying story is an interesting one. Maya and Jack were a couple as teenagers, but Maya broke his heart. They both went their separate ways, got married, each had a kid. Now Maya is moving back to her hometown and the spark between her and Jack is still there. I wanted to love this novel, I really did.

One of my problems with Sing Me Back Home is that I could not relate to Maya. She was just too perfect. She is a former fashion model and now owns a successful online agency. She is divorced but seems to have no issues with her former husband. Plus, he has now moved overseas with his new wife, so Maya has the freedom to relocate wherever she wants. Yes, she is a single mom raising a teenager, but we see no problems related to that in this book because apparently Carmen is the perfect teenager. And now for Jack. Yes, he lost his wife in a tragic accident, but other than that, he also seems to have a perfect life. He is a doctor with lots of loyal patients, and he also has a toe-the-line teenager, Gina. Of course, Carmen and Gina become best friends after a brief bit of initial strife.

There is an instant spark when Maya and Jack reunite. Maybe more so with Jack. He knows right away that he wants to pick up where they left off, and they basically do. They begin dating shortly after Maya returns to town and things progress from there.

Sing Me Back Home is a nice, easy read if you are just looking for a sweet kind of falling-back-in-love story. In my opinion, there just wasn't enough conflict to capture my attention for long. I also wished it had been developed more because some portions felt like I was reading a summary that had been placed in a first draft for someone to come back to later. It is quite possible this was the case, as I did read an ARC, but I would hope that a novel has been developed beyond the first draft before ARCs are released. If I had not committed to reviewing this, I would have marked is as DNF and not even reviewed it. It just wasn't for me.

Copy was provided for an honest review.

About the author:

Eve Gaddy's writing career began when she was in search of the perfect job and a friend challenged her to write a novel. Naturally, she thought of romance, since that is one of her favorite things to read. Once she began it was love at first type and she's been writing ever since.

Eve is the award-winning, best-selling author of more than seventeen novels. Her books have won and been nominated for awards from Romantic Times, Golden Quill, Bookseller's Best, Holt Medallion, Texas Gold, Daphne Du Maurier and more. She was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Innovative Series romance as well as winning the 2008 Romantic Times Career Achievement award for Series Storyteller of the year.

While a confirmed native Texan, Eve loves the mountains of Colorado. She loves spring in east Texas, especially when the azaleas are in bloom. She also enjoys books and needlework and is currently working on needlepoint Christmas stockings. She adores animals, especially dogs. Eve enjoys cooking except when she is in the throes of creating, and has been known to tell her husband that is what peanut butter and jelly was created for.

Find out more at

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis - "Throwback Thursday Review"

A "Throwback Thursday Review" is either a book I read way back when but didn't write a review for whatever reason (usually, probably forgot ... oops...) or it is a review on a book I got but then didn't get around to reading until now (again, usually, probably just forgot).

Up first is Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis. I could have sworn I reviewed this book when I first read it in July 2012, but for some reason, I didn't. (See above about my tendency of forgetting...)

Forever and a Day
Lucky Harbor #6
by Jill Shalvis
Published 2012 by Forever, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing


Grace never thought she’d be starting her life over from scratch. Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor, working as a dog walker for overwhelmed ER doctor Josh Scott. But the day his nanny fails to show up, Grace goes from caring for Josh’s loveable mutt to caring for his rambunctious kids. Soon Grace is playing house with the sexy single dad…

With so many people depending on him, Josh has no time for anything outside of his clinic and family–until Grace arrives in town. Now this brainy blonde is turning his life inside out and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “good bedside manner.” Josh and Grace don’t know if what they have can last. But in a town like Lucky Harbor, a lifetime of love starts with just one day…

My review:
Grace is getting a little desperate for money. After a new job didn't pan out because she refused to perform special favors, Grace got in her car and ended up in Lucky Harbor. She is performing a variety of odd jobs, such as modeling for an art class and making deliveries. When hot Dr. Josh Scott accidentally dials her number after seeing a flyer for a dog walker, she takes the job because she needs the money. This soon leads to her being a temporary nanny for Josh's son when his suddenly quits. The whole time, her plans are to find a prestigious job that her parents will be proud of and leave lucky harbor. She doesn't want to pursue a relationship with a way-too-busy doctor, but she has made a pact with her two best friends, Amy and Mallory, to have a little fun, and Dr. Scott is too hot to resist.

I have read several Lucky Harbor novels, and I am never disappointed. Forever and a Day (along with all the other Lucky Harbor novels I have read) has the perfect amount of humor, friendships, spiciness and heat. Jill Shalvis has a gift for creating perfectly rounded heroines that readers can relate to, and her "alpha man" heroes are just the right combination of sexiness, confidence, caring, and flaws.

I would recommend Forever and a Day (as well as the other Lucky Harbor novels) to anyone who is looking for a great contemporary romance.

*Recommended only for 18+.

A copy was provided, but I was not required to write a review.

About the author:
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental.

Visit Jill's website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Find out more at  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fractured Lines by Jen McLaughlin - Cover Reveal & Complete Set Giveaway

FL Amazon

Today we are revealing the cover for FRACTURED LINES by Jen McLaughlin. This is the highly-anticipated adult standalone novel that is part of the New York Times Bestselling OUT OF LINE series. The book will be released on Tuesday, October 14th.


The lines we once crossed so easily have widened and torn us apart… Once upon a time I thought Finn and I would live happily ever after, but real life doesn't always have a happy ending. He's testing my trust, and I'm losing faith in the man I thought I'd spend the rest of my life with, and there’s nothing I do can stop it. He’s the one I trusted to keep me safe, but now he’s the source of my greatest pain… Forgiveness is fragile, and some fractures never fully heal... One mistake—a slip in a moment of weakness—might cost me everything I've worked so hard for. The thing about trust is that it's a lot easier to lose than it is to build. Just as I'm about to give up and surrender to the demons from my past, an unexpected threat reminds me what I'm best at: protecting the woman I love. Whether or not she wants me, I will fight for Carrie and our daughter, and I will keep them safe—no matter the cost. Even if I have to put my life and my heart on the line.


FRACTURED LINES is now up for pre-order on amazon! If you purchase the book before its release day it will be just .99 cents! This is for pre-orders only! Grab it while it's on sale.

Amazon Pre-order Link:



Add FRACTURED LINES to Goodreads and help release the first pages of the book!

- Once the book gets 500 adds, Jen will release the first 5 pages.

- Once the book gets 1000 adds, Jen will release the first 10 pages.




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JenM Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy New Adult books. Under her pen name Diane Alberts, she is a multi-published, bestselling author of Contemporary Romance with Entangled Publishing. Her first release as Jen McLaughlin, Out of Line, released September 6 2013, and hit the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal lists. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and a cat. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name. Website: Facebook Fan Page: Twitter: Goodreads:

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Will Write for Shoes by Cathy Yardley - Review

Will Write for Shoes:
How to Write a Chick Lit Novel
by Cathy Yardley
Originally published: 2006

* What is Chick Lit exactly?
* How do I write a Chick Lit novel?
* What are the steps I need to take to get published? 

Once dismissed as a fad by the popular press and literary community, the women's fiction genre called Chick Lit is now one of the hottest growing markets for new writers. In Will Write for Shoes, veteran Chick Lit and romance author Cathy Yardley addresses the common questions (and misconceptions) about the genre. 

Based on years of teaching about commercial women's fiction, this definitive guide provides invaluable tips and step-by-step methods for writing and selling a successful Chick Lit novel. Features include: 
* The history of Chick Lit
* A blueprint for writing a Chick Lit novel
* New trends in the genre
* Tips and tools for breaking into the market
* FAQs and miscellanea 

A directory of agents and publishers who acquire Chick Lit, sample submission materials, and online resources make this fun and comprehensive manual a must-have for all women who want to write a Chick Lit novel.  

My review:
Will Write for Shoes is a great resource for anyone who is considering writing chick lit (but it can also be useful for writers of any genre). Ms. Yardley has a humorous style to present a wealth of information about everything from what is and what is not chick lit, how to develop your chick lit story, and how to market and sell your chick lit novel. She doesn't sugarcoat anything, but it is perhaps tied up with a pink bow in a pair of stilettos, with titles such as "Warning: Period of Time When Your Life Will Necessarily Suck: Revisions" and "Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes... The Crapshoot That is Selling Your Novel." 

Keep in mind that this was written about 8 years ago, so some of the information on publishers and agents may be outdated, but it is still a great guide for a new chick lit writer.

(Ms. Yardley sent me a signed copy of this book years ago after I "met" her on an online forum for work-at-home moms when I mentioned that I was interested in writing. This was years before I became a book review blogger. After a recent move, I uncovered this while unpacking, read it again, and knew it deserved a review.)

A copy was gifted, but I was not required to write a review. 

About the author:
A few random facts about me:
I am a fiction addict.

I love J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts, Jim Butcher, J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood, Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter, Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, Stephen King, Jennifer Crusie, Marian Keyes, J.K. Rowling, and a slew of other authors.

I have been known to stay up all night to finish a new novel. I don't so much read as devour.

I am an out of the closet foodie.

People who follow me on Facebook can attest: I am a foodie-blog whore. Love Smitten Kitchen. Adore Pioneer Woman Cooks. Bake my own bread on a weekly basis (because the recipe is so frickin' easy, a chimp could do it -- and it tastes phenomenal. I am a walking infomercial for this bread. ) Total Top Chef freak.

I am a geekgirl.

I love the San Diego Comic-con, or "The Con" as they call it.

I was part of the SCA -- The Society for Creative Anachronism -- and briefly sponsored my own mini army. I learned to speak some Japanese from anime.
I have a near encyclopedic knowledge of character actors and obscure movies. I have been called to settle bar bets.

I have a more-flirtatious-than-appropriate relationship with Excel spreadsheets. When I used to work at a day job, if I wore lipstick they assumed I was going on an interview. To this day, an entire marketing department lives in fear of my memory.

I love being an author.

Love writing. Love promoting. Love everything about it. And I love hearing from readers. Email me, anytime, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Find out more at

Laying Low in Paradise by Kristy K. James - Review

Laying Low in Paradise
by Kristy K. James
Published: January 2014

Laura Keane and her son have been spending summers at their chalet on Bois Blanc Island since her husband was killed in the war. She never let anyone else in after the chaplain delivered the sad news four years ago, so it’s just the two of them, and she wouldn’t change that for the world.

Cameron Rafferty and his friends were keeping secrets. Dangerous secrets, and they’d hoped the little island paradise would be a safe place to hide out. The plan to keep a low profile quickly unravels when an accident changes everything. Cameron soon finds himself becoming more involved with the Keane family than he’d intended -and wishing for things he shouldn’t.

My short and sweet review:
Sweet, clean romance with an unexpected twist. Cameron and his friends are hiding on the island for reasons you are never going to guess. Seriously, I never suspected that would be the plot twist. The only negative I would say about Laying Low in Paradise is that it could have been a little more developed in the middle. However, that didn't detract from my enjoyment of this book. I think it is refreshing that, although both Laura and Cameron already have children, there is no sex in this book, as both of them believe in waiting until marriage.

You will enjoy this book if you like clean romance and if you appreciate a good read that gives you a little something more than the usual plot line. 

I downloaded this while it was free on Amazon. I was not required to write a review.

About the author:
Kristy K. James' first goal in life was to work in law enforcement, until the night she called the police to check out a scary noise in her yard. Realizing that she might someday have to investigate scary noises in yards just as dark as hers if she continued on that path, she turned to her other favorite love...writing. Since then her days have been filled with being a mom and reluctant zookeeper (7 pets), creating stories, and looking for trouble in her kitchen. 

Find out more at  



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