Review: Mixing It Up

Wishing a happy release week to Tracie Banister on her new novel, Mixing It Up. Check out the info on her latest novel, read my review, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a fun prize pack from Tracie!

Mixing It Up by Tracie Banister

mixingitupfinalPublished: October 2016

Book Blurb: 

Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Manhattan upper-cruster Cecily Sinclair now uses that pricey utensil to dish up fancy French fare on her cooking show, Serving Romance. When there’s an executive shake-up at the network, she’s not worried. Not much anyway. Her show’s a hit after all. Why would the new CEO want to mess with success?

The driving force behind several buzzed-about networks, Devlin Hayes is considered to be a wunderkind in the television industry. Although his plans to rebrand CuisineTV and make Serving Romance more Millennial-friendly don’t thrill Cecily, her charming, blue-eyed boss is a hard man to say “no” to and she really wants to keep her job—even if that means sharing screen time with a loathsome blast from her past.

Mercurial Italian chef Dante Marchetti a.k.a. “Il Duce” was once Cecily’s boss, and she has the PTSD to prove it. Now the owner of one of the hottest restaurants in town, Dante’s egomania knows no bounds and his constant attempts to provoke and upstage Cecily make her want to conk him on the head with a sautééé pan. She thinks they’re toxic together, but viewers love their chemistry and clamor for more.

As Cecily battles to maintain the integrity of her show, she finds herself scheming and manipulating right along with Dante and Devlin. Is she fighting a lost cause? Does she really belong on TV, or would her culinary talent be better served elsewhere? And could one of the men who makes Cecily’s blood boil ignite a passion in her for something other than food?

Book Links: Currently $1.99 on  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

Let me start off by saying that I loved Mixing It Up! The relationship between Cecily Sinclair and her co-host Dante Marchetti is hilariously entertaining. I loved the French vs. Italian cooking and the way the characters interact with one another on the show. I loved the dynamics, the chaos, and the romantic relationships mixed into the storyline. This is the perfect fun romantic comedy and I wish they would turn it into a movie!!

The characters are well-developed, thought out, and most are extremely likable and relatable. There’s also a few amusingly unlikable characters that make for an additional comic relief.  Cecily’s hottie boss Devlin adds an extra layer of flavor, while her relationship with Dante adds a good dose of spice. Reading this novel made me hungry for some delicious food and I almost wish the story came with a few recipes because some of the dishes they cook up sound like something I’d like to try in my kitchen (if only I had the talent and patience in the kitchen!). 

5/5 stars to the lovely Tracie Banister for cooking up a perfectly delectable romantic comedy!


About the Author – Tracie Banister

Author Links: Author Newsletter | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

rsz_smauthorheadshotAuthor Bio: 

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a “real” job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Mixing It Up is her fourth Chick Lit release, and in it Tracie finally got to live out her fantasy of being a Cordon Bleu-trained chef.

Enter the Giveaway!

Purchase a copy of Mixing It Up between October 19th, 2016 and October 25th, 2016 and you could win this fantastic prize pack inspired by the book’s heroine and her love of French food!


This prize pack includes:

Garnier-Thiebaut Oh, La La, Chéri French-themed 4-piece Kitchen Linens Set

(Apron, kitchen towel, pot holder, and oven mitt.)

Kate Spade Deco Dot Recipe Box with 8 tabbed dividers and 40 recipe cards

The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook by Mireille Guiliano

To enter this giveaway, simply e-mail the author at with your proof of purchase. Entries will be accepted until midnight on October 26th, 2016 when a winner will be selected via random drawing. This is an international giveaway, so anyone who buys Mixing It Up within the allotted time frame is eligible to win. Good luck!


Arielle Joy


Book Spotlight – Falling For Grace

Today I’m excited to spotlight a new release from Kate O’Keeffe called Falling For Grace. It’s the third book in the Wellywood Romantic Comedy series. It sounds like a fab, fun read, so check out the info below and go get yourself a copy. If you haven’t read the first two, I suggest grabbing a copy of those while you’re at it and starting from the beginning. P.S. Wedding Bubbles, the prequel to the series is free, so you can kick-start the series for Free on Amazon!

Falling For Grace by Kate O’Keeffe

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | iBooks | Kobo

falling-for-graceBook Blurb:   If you’re going to fall off a catwalk and into someone’s arms, you could do a lot worse than choosing handsome Sam Montgomery’s, star of the hottest sci fi show on TV. So when twenty-four year old Grace Mortimer does just that, her life is turned upside down. 

Sam is gorgeous, funny, and too sexy for words. But he’s got a girlfriend, America’s newest sweetheart, the very beautiful TV star Vanessa Hudson. With his Hollywood lifestyle he’s got to be a no-fly zone, that’s for sure. So why does he insist on being Grace’s knight in shining armor? And why can’t she stop her legs turning to jelly every time he’s around? 

Just as her new career is about to take off, a disastrous TV appearance sends her spinning—right back into Sam’s arms again, the one place she shouldn’t be. 

Escape to beautiful New Zealand in this sexy, feel-good romantic comedy. 

Kate O’Keeffe

Author Links: Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter

kate-okeeffeAuthor Bio: 

I’ve loved rom coms, romance, and chick lit since I first encountered Bridget Jones as a young, impressionable writer. It really was a match made in chick lit heaven.

I’ve been a teacher and a sales executive, but am now content as a mother and writer, madly scribbling all the ideas I’ve accumulated during my time on this planet we call home.

I live and love in beautiful New Zealand–where my novels are all set–with my wonderful family and my two very scruffy, naughty dogs.


Thank you to Chick Lit Plus for letting me be part of the fun and organizing the blog tour! Check out the blog tour page and her website for more information about upcoming book promos or if you’re interested in signing up to be one of her awesome bloggers: Chick Lit Plus 


Check out the other stops on the blog tour

falling-forOctober 17 – Polished & Bubbly – Review

October 17- Chick Lit Plus – Review

October 17 – Shannon’s Bookish Life – Review

October 18 – Up Close and Literal – Spotlight

October 18 – Books Dream Life – Review

October 19 – Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Spotlight

October 19 – Sassy Southern Book – Review

Chick Lit Plus Blog ToursOctober 20 – The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

October 20 – Living Life With Joy – Spotlight

October 20 – Spunky n Sassy – Spotlight

October 21 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review

October 21 – Book Lover in Florida – Review

Arielle Joy




New Release – A Drakenfall Christmas

Wishing a very happy release day to one of my favorite authors, Geralyn Corcillo, on her latest novel A Drakenfall Christmas! Read on to learn more about the novel and then head over to Amazon and get yourself a copy.

A Drakenfall Christmas by Geralyn Corcillo

geralyncorcillo-adrakenfallchristmas-187x300Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Blackbird Press
Release Date: October 19, 2016


Get ready for a Christmas treat, generously sprinkled with laughter and lavishly frosted with romance!

The magic of Drakenfall is in the air, spiced with cinnamon and mistletoe as Lord and Lady Mark and Maisy, along with their madcap staff, welcome Yuletide guests to their country estate-turned-resort.

In an uncharacteristic turn, unflappable house manager Glynis Ferry seems to be getting her duster ruffled every time she catches sight of Shaun Fletcher, the new head groom. Pippa Taylor, a whirling dervish of a domestic, works below stairs to make the magic of Drakenfall happen for everyone else. But will there ever be enough dazzle left over for her? There will if most worthy valet Kafi Diop has anything to say about it, as he tries to spin holiday enchantment every which way. But his best laid plans seem to go cataclysmically awry, even with Maisy helping out as his faithful sidekick.

And what about Kafi’s grandest of schemes, set to take flight at the Drakenfall Christmas Ball? He’s depending on guest Jamie Tovell, who’s depending on his long-time crush Lea Sinclair. But even if everything goes off without a hitch, will the secret Maisy’s been hiding from Mark all season pop up at the most inopportune moment to set everything asunder?

It’s a Drakenfall Christmas … topsy-turvy, but generously sprinkled with laughter and lavishly frosted with romance!

geralyncorcillo-adrakenfallchristmas-newreleaseblitzbanner-300x150Book Links: HERE | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Meet the Author – Geralyn Corcillo

Author Links: Amazon | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Website

geralyncorcillo-219x300Author Bio: 

When she was a kid growing up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo dreamed of one day becoming the superhero Dyna Girl. So, she did her best and grew up to constantly pick up litter and rescue animals. At home, she loves watching black & white movies, British mysteries, and the NY Giants. Corcillo lives in a drafty old house in Hollywood with her husband Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite.


Read my reviews on a few of Geralyn’s other novels!

all-summer-on-a-date       QueenGeralynCorcillo       catch a falling star


Geralyn Corcillo FB Header

Arielle Joy




Release Day Blitz – MISFORTUNE

Happy Release Day! MISFORTUNE, the fifth book written by Amy Saunders in the Belinda & Bennett Mystery series was released today. Haven’t started this series yet but interested in starting? The first book in the series, Cliffhanger is Free on Amazon! Read on to learn about Amy’s latest novel and then head over to Amazon and get a copy of all five to keep you entertained!

MISFORTUNE by Amy Saunders

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & NobleGoodreads | iBookstore | Kobo

misfortuneBook Blurb: Belinda & Bennett get caught in a battle of wills in an effort to help a new heiress who’s inherited from a woman she never knew. And it looks like someone wants her out of the way. After a man is killed on her property, it will take digging through an old house–and a family full of secrets–to unmask a killer, and a decades-old mystery.

Amy Saunders

Author Links: Amazon | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Website

Auamy-saundersthor Bio: Amy is a sci-fi/mystery addict with a soft spot for humor and romance. She lives in Massachusetts, and loves to bake and watch movies. Learn more about Amy and her books at




Thank you to Chick Lit Plus for letting me be part of the fun and organizing the blog tour! Check out the blog tour page and her website for more information about upcoming book promos or if you’re interested in signing up to be one of her awesome bloggers: Chick Lit Plus 

Arielle Joy




Influenster Reviews: ChapStick, TRESemme & Living Proof

Happy Monday!

Today I’m sharing my review on two products I received for free from Influenster for testing purposes and one that I purchased myself as a recommendation from Influenster.


ChapStick 100% Natural Lip Balm

First up is the ChapStick trio I received.


I received a full-sized sample of three scents; Sweet Papaya, Pink Grapefruit, and Green Tea Mint.

Chapstick VoxBox

I tend to wear a lot of lipgloss and matte liquid lipstick, so it’s important to give my lips a break every so often.Who better to turn to than the original ChapStick brand to do the trick?!

My favorite scent by far is the Sweet Papaya. It smells fantastic and feels soft and moisturizing on my lips. The Pink Grapefruit also smells wonderful and I’m not usually a grapefruit fan. The Green Tea Mint is a good one to grab after a meal in lieu of not having breath mints.

Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars

TRESemme Beauty-Full Volume Pre-Conditioner & Shampoo


I received two single-use samples of the TRESemme pre-conditioner and shampoo. I was a bit hesitant to try this, as everyone knows you’re supposed to shampoo then condition your hair. This TRESemme product’s claim is that conditioning after shampooing ends up weighing down your hair. The purpose of using the pre-conditioner before shampooing is to give you maximum volume.

After using it twice in one week, I can honestly say that I saw a small difference but nothing major. The product smells fantastic though! It almost smelled a bit like a granny smith apple but thankfully it was a subtle scent and didn’t linger. I like my shower products to be that way; smell delicious in the shower but don’t linger and fight against the scent of the other products I use once I’m out of the shower.

It was weird using a conditioner before shampooing, but the results were the same, if not better. My hair felt clean when I got out of the shower, but didn’t have the same soft silky feel that I normally have when getting out. It was also tougher to comb my wet hair than it usually is. However, it did leave my hair soft and clean and I was relatively happy with the results. Mind you, I seriously put it to the test because I used it after hitting the gym going on 3 days of having not washed my hair. Either way, this product didn’t convince me that conditioning is the thing to do before shampooing. My personal trick is that I don’t put conditioner on my roots, just below, so it doesn’t weigh down my roots or get oily.

Overall Rating: 3/5 Stars

Although the pre-conditioner and shampoo helped give me a bit of volume, I needed a little more help from the next product I’m going to tell you about…

Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast

Living Proof Volume

I purchased a small bottle of the Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast spray by recommendation of Influenster. I’m a self-proclaimed low maintenance gal when it comes to my hair and I welcome any product that makes my life easier with quick, easy results.

I was a bit hesitant to try this product because I’ve found that most products that claim to give volume don’t really work well. This product had so many fantastic raving reviews that I knew I needed to give it a chance. I have to say, I’m glad I did because this stuff actually works! After blow drying my hair straight, I followed the directions and sprayed my hair from root to tip and tousled with my fingers. I definitely saw a noticeable difference in my hair’s volume after using this product.

The best part for me (besides actually working the way it’s supposed to) is that it smells fantastic! It’s a subtle scent, but really wonderful. I’m not sure how I feel about putting a bunch of product into fresh clean hair, but if you’re going to do it and you want volume, this is the product to use!

Overall Rating: 4/5 Stars



In review, I loved the ChapSticks I got, liked the Living Proof volume spray, and thought the TRESemme was just okay. Thanks to Influenster for the free ChapStick and TRESemme samples and for the recommendation on the Living Proof volume spray!

I love getting products from Influenster because it’s so much fun to try brand-new products for FREE! Interested in becoming an Influenster to get free product sent your way? Check out the link to find out how: Become an Influenster

What products have you tried recently that you’re loving or hating? Have you tried any of the products I reviewed today? Don’t be shy, go ahead and share!

Arielle Joy




Short Story Saturday Book Review – Completions and Connections

Happy Short Story Saturday!

Today I’m sharing a short review on a holiday novella written by Kathryn R. Biel, called Completions and Connections. Kathryn’s latest novel, Made For Me, was recently released and that story follows this novella. Although it’s always more fun to read books in order, they are stand alone novels and can be read by themselves. Check back soon for my review on the new full length novel!

Completions & Connections by Kathryn R. Biel

completions-and-connectionsPublished: November 2015

Book Blurb: Christine’s list of resolutions contains many clichés. Try something new. Buy a pair of heels. Get a promotion. Fall in love.
Seems simple, especially when Christine meets Patrick, the man who could be Mr. Right. He’s got the right credentials: a job, a sense of humor, a love of all things Indiana Jones, and best of all, he’s actually taller than Christine. But busy schedules take over and get in the way of Patrick and Christine’s budding romance.
Life interferes, as it has a way of doing, and Christine wants to throw in the towel. Is the magic of the Christmas season enough to renew Christine’s faith in love?

Book Links: Amazon US| Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

This hardworking gal barely has time in her life for adventures and fun, and she certainly doesn’t have time for love… or does she?

This was a fun story about Catherine trying to get it together with Patrick. I loved Catherine’s character! She’s a big list person and I could relate to her ridiculous obsession and pride with checking things off her lists. This was a fun stand alone story that leads into a full length novel about Catherine’s best friend. 

Fun short romantic novel to get you in the Christmas spirit.

4/5 Stars

Arielle Joy


Friday Freebie – Spring Fling

Happy Friday everyone!

It’s been a bit quiet on my end lately here on the blog, as I haven’t been great about making time to sit down and schedule posts. I’m planning to change that this weekend and soon you’ll be bombarded with so many book reviews you won’t know what to read first!

Today I’m excited to tell you about a collection of seasonal stories that is currently free. Oh, and I might mention that it’s PERMANENTLY FREE! One of the stories was written by one of my favorite Australian authors Carla Caruso, so it’s sure to be a fab read. Go grab yourself a copy from Amazon right now!!

Spring Fling: Six Mini Chick Lit Tales


It’s a time of renewal and growth. A time to shake off the winter doldrums and let the sunshine in. A time to ditch the old and welcome the new. A time when things blossom and bloom — often when we least expect it.

Spring is also a time for awkward first dates, fun flirtation, bad breakups, sexy men, hilarious misunderstandings and the first flush of new love.

Fall in love this spring with six warm, funny and fabulous romantic short stories by some of Australia’s leading chick lit authors.

After all, everyone deserves a Spring Fling.


The six mini chick lit tales include:

* Social Bea by Carla Caruso
* Blazing Hearts by Samantha Bond
* Second Chances by Laura Greaves
* Schrodinger’s Catfish by Sarah Belle
* The Eternal Bloom by Vanessa Stubbs
* The Spring Clean by Belinda Williams

Spring Fling

Isn’t this photo beautiful? Posted by Carla Caruso on Instagram @CarlaCarusoAuthor

Don’t forget to download your free copy. Happy reading everyone!

Arielle Joy



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