Exclusive Author Guest Post – Melissa Baldwin

Today I’m excited to share an exclusive guest post written by author Melissa Baldwin. She has a new book releasing today called See You Later Broadway. Here’s the link to my review of the first book in the series See You Soon Broadway, in case you missed last week’s review post.

Distractions? What distractions? By Melissa Baldwin

I truly consider myself a master of multi-tasking. I’m proud to say I can fold laundry, put away groceries, get my daughter a snack and text all at the same time. So why couldn’t I do many different tasks and write at the same time?

Because even a master multi-tasker gets distracted!

No judging, as I will now reveal my FIVE Biggest Distractions that keep me from Writing…Drum Roll…

  1. The love of my life- my amazing, supportive husband. Of course I want to spend every second I can with him. 🙂 I try to save much of my writing for after he goes to bed. Thankfully he’s an early to bed, early to rise kind of guy.
  2. TV- I really don’t watch that much TV other than a few of my favorite shows (um, addictions?) The Bachelor, Dancing With The Stars, General Hospital, and 90210 re-runs. This is where the no judging comes in. It’s a good thing the Bachelor is only on once a year- I’m completely useless on Monday nights.
  3. Social Media- This is an obvious distraction because lets face it, who isn’t distracted by this? I’ve already checked Facebook three times while writing this post.
  4. My sweet little girl- There are many times that I want to sit down and write or an idea for my book pops into my head, but my daughter asks me to play with her or watch her do something. I have come to realize that as a mother of an only child, she’s my most important distraction so I jot down my idea, save it for later and give her my undivided attention.
  5. Working out, cleaning my house, talking to friends, answering emails—the list goes on. As a busy mother and wife there will always be distractions.

So, I guess I have more the five? Most of us women feel like we have to be the best or do everything. I have learned that it’s okay if everything isn’t perfect and that life doesn’t always go as planned. After a full day of errands, chores and family time I’m thankful for the time I have to write and bring ideas to life…as long as there are no good TV shows on of course. 🙂

 

 

Social Media Short-Link:

http://wp.me/p4F2Uk-mn5

Review – Perfect Girl

Although this novel has been sitting on my iPad for quite some time just waiting to be read, I was recently inspired to read this when I finished reading Kathryn R. Biel’s latest novel New Attitude because one of her characters is named after Michele, who is the author of this book!

Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman

My Review:

Perfect girl was a self-discovery type novel. Carol isn’t your average pushover, she does it out of the love in her heart and the desire to help those in her life. But years of being a people-pleaser has made everyone happy except for the person that matters most, herself. Watch as Carol goes on a journey to discover who she is when she’s being true to herself and what that life looks like for her.

The main theme of the novel is the idea that you shouldn’t always bend over backwards to make everyone else happy. Eventually they’ll take it for granted and leave you feeling resentment in a never-ending cycle of doing things for others. That’s not to say that you should never do anything nice for anyone else, but you should try to find a happy balance.

Another main theme of the novel is infidelity and cheating. Sometimes the person you thought they were turns out to be a smokescreen for who they truly are on the inside, and that person happens to have an ugly soul. Don’t waste time on soul-sucking lying cheating people, they’re not worth the effort and they’ll always be selfish.

The best supporting actress award of this novel goes to Zoe. Although she had a small role in this story, she was one of my favorite characters and I loved the comic relief she added throughout the story. I loved all of the ridiculous dating adventures of Carol’s best friend and literally laughed out loud at the crazy scenarios.

I loved this story and can’t wait to read more of Michele’s novels!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

I downloaded an e-book copy of this novel when it was free on Amazon for a limited time. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion.

About the Book

Title: Perfect Girl

Author: Michele Gorman

Published: October 2014

Book Blurb: Cinderella meets Falling Down in this wickedly funny tale about having it all

Carol is perfect… at least that’s what everyone thinks. In reality she’s sinking fast – her family treats her like their personal assistant and her boyfriend is so busy with work that he’s got her single-handedly running their relationship. Not that her job is any easier. As the only woman on the bank’s trading floor she spends twelve-hour days trying not to get sworn at or felt up by colleagues who put the “W” in banker.

How long can she go on pleasing everyone else before she snaps and loses it all?

With humor and empathy, Perfect Girl lays bare the balancing act that working women face in a man’s world

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

 Arielle Joy

Social Media Short-Link:

http://wp.me/p4F2Uk-mou

Review – The Christmas Cake Cafe

The Christmas Cake Cafe by Sue Watson

the-christmas-cake-cafePublished: October 14, 2016

Book Blurb: As the Prosecco chills and Bing Crosby croons, Jen Barker just knows that her long-term boyfriend is about to propose.  But instead of a diamond ring nestled in her champagne flute, Jen finds cold flat rejection.  Her once perfect life and dreams of a husband and family seem even further from reach.

A working holiday to the Swiss Alps with her younger sister Jody might not be the Christmas Jen had it mind, but it offers her the chance to recharge her batteries and recover from heartbreak.

When Jen meets handsome ski instructor Jon Zutter her hopes for a happy-ever-after seem within her grasp again. Jon is kind and gorgeous and as they bond over Sachetorte at the picturesque Cake Café, Jen thinks he might just be her perfect man. But a relationship with him comes with a catch – and there are some things even cake can’t fix.

As the snow falls and Christmas approaches, could this be the place that restores Jen Barker’s faith in love?

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

I absolutely loved this novel, because it conjured up a magical white Christmas for me. Sue Watson never fails to make me laugh, fall in love with her characters, and make me hungry for something sugary and delicious. I like that she tends to write about women in their late thirties/early forties at a point in their lives that they didn’t expect and never thought they’d be at at their age.

I loved watching Jen find herself and slowly learn what life is all about. One of the main themes of this novel is the idea that it’s never too late to be true to yourself and find someone that doesn’t try to change you. ‘I laughed, but what she’d said struck a chord. She was right –I was always trying to take photos, frame the moment, but now it was time to live in it.’ Living in the moment instead of constantly worrying about creating the perfect moment is one of the important lessons jen learns and it’s something we can all learn from. Yes, it’s fun to document fun moments with photos but life isn’t about creating the picture-perfect moment in order to be able to take a photo. It’s about finding those moments organically and embracing them while they’re happening. 

5/5 stars for this delightful Christmas confection!

I received a complimentary review copy via the author. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion.

About the Author – Sue Watson

Website | Amazon | GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

sue-watsonAuthor Bio: Sue Watson was a TV Producer with the BBC who combined motherhood and family life with a busy career. However, one day it dawned on Sue that Cosmo magazine may have been telling porkies about ‘having it all,’ and her life had become a slightly crazed juggling act.

So after much soul searching (and comfort eating) Sue abandoned her TV career, bought a pink laptop and wrote a novel. ‘Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes,’ tells the story of Stella Weston, whose life is a constant struggle with a nasty boss at work, the weighing scales and being a mum, wife and daughter.

Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire. When she’s not toiling over her latest novel, Sue bakes (and eats) cake and enjoys very large tubs of Caramel Chew Chew ice cream all to herself while watching ‘The Biggest Loser USA.’

 

Arielle Joy

Social Media Short-Link:

http://wp.me/p4F2Uk-mh1

Review – Coffee, Tea or Me

Coffee, Tea or Me by Rich Amooi

coffee-tea-or-mePublished: September 21, 2016

Book Blurb: Susie opens a tea shop next to Jack’s coffee shop and the war begins.

Jack Robbins has a booming coffee business, an eighty-year old customer who can’t keep his clothes on, and a rescue Chihuahua named Chimichanga that likes to kiss on the mouth. Life is good until the new business next door takes a bite out of his sales.

Susie McKenna has the new tea shop everyone is talking about, an over-protective brother, and a stubborn, good-looking neighbor who is trying to steal her customers.

Things really start to percolate when Jack and Susie both volunteer to help plan the downtown festival. They have to work together and soon Jack won’t be able to get by without his daily fix of Susie. But can a coffee lover and a tea devotee put their competition aside to get their happily ever after?

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

As a coffee lover, the title and subject of this novel hit home for me (as I’m sure it will with many others!). I’ve never been a tea drinker, though I know many that enjoy it. When Susie opens a Tea shop right next to Jack’s coffee shop, you know you’re in for an entertaining story. While Jack and Susie battle it out on the business front, they begin to develop a professional rivalry and working relationship. Written in the classic Amooi style, Coffee, Tea or Me is downright hilarious and will literally make you laugh out loud while you’re reading it.

I loved this story and thoroughly enjoyed the humorous dynamics written throughout the whole novel. If you’re looking for a fun, quick read, then this is the perfect book for you! Reading this story put me in the mood for a delicious cup of coffee and yummy scones!

Another fabulous romantic comedy from Rich Amooi.

5/5 Stars

I received a complimentary review copy via the author. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion.

Connect with the Author – Rich Amooi

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

Rich AmooiQuirky Romantic Comedies from a Guy’s Perspective.

Rich Amooi is a former Silicon Valley radio personality and wedding DJ who now writes romantic comedies full-time. He is happily married to a kiss monster and has a hairy golden retriever/lab mix that likes to eat carrots, tuna, and Manchego cheese imported from Spain.

He believes (Rich, not the dog) in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.

JOIN RICH’S MAILING LIST
Get updates on new releases, $0.99 deals, and exclusive content. Sign up for his newsletter here!

Arielle Joy

Social Media Short-Link:

http://wp.me/p4F2Uk-mgn

Review: Made For Me

Today I’m excited to share my review on the latest novel by Kathryn R. Biel called Made For Me.  Check out my review on the novel that leads into Made for Me, called Completions and Connections!

Made for Me by Kathryn R. Biel

made-for-mePublished: October 4, 2016

Book Blurb: Michele’s lack of focus in life hasn’t bothered her, until the day she finds herself with mounting credit card debt, unable to afford her rent, and without a job. While her meddling family questions how she can end up in this predicament, at the age of 29, and single to boot, Michele doesn’t want to admit the truth. All she wants to do is sew.

Faced with the prospect of moving back into her parents’ house, Michele throws a Hail Mary pass and applies for a TV design contest, Made for Me. In order to win the contest, Michele will have to compete with nine other contestants to design the new wardrobe for Duchess Maryn Medrovovich, who’s about to marry Prince Stephan of the United Republic of Montabago.

While in the seclusion of the show, Michele starts to realize where her focus in life should be, and what’s truly important to her. However, a dashing competitor might just cause her to lose her focus once and for all. Can Michele keep her eye on the prize while being true to herself?

Book Links: Amazon US| Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

Made for Me follows a prior novel called Completions and Connections. The main character in the first novel was Catherine. This novel focuses on Catherine’s best friend Michele. 

This novel was so much fun and I loved it! Biel’s characters are charming and likable. On a personal level, they were also quite relate-able for me. I studied fashion design in school and I used to get wrapped up in my sewing projects. I wasn’t quite as talented as the main character here, but it brought back some fun memories for me!

I read this novel while traveling to Oregon for a long weekend vacation and this novel thoroughly kept me entertained during my flight there and back.

This novel was fun, flirty and filled with comical chaos and humor. I thoroughly enjoyed Biel’s writing and I can’t wait to see what she creates in this future.

5/5 stars for a novel that felt like it was made for me!

I recieved an Advanced Review Copy free from the Author. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion. 

About the Author – Kathryn R. Biel

Website | Newsletter Sign-Up | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads

Kathryn bielTelling stories of resilient women, Kathryn Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her clients’ needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Her musings and rants can be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather. She is the author of Good Intentions (2013), Hold Her Down (2014), I’m Still Here (2014), and Jump, Jive, and Wail (2015).

~~~

Don’t forget to check out my review on Completions and Connections!

completions-and-connections

Arielle Joy

Short-link: http://wp.me/p4F2Uk-meP

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!

traciebanister-mixingitup-newrelease

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!

traciebanister-mixingitup-giveawayfinal

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 traciebanister@gmail.com 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

Short-Link: http://wp.me/p4F2Uk-meF

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

spring-flingSpring…

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

 

 

Short-link to share: http://wp.me/p4F2Uk-mdx