Saturday, November 28, 2015

Would you rather with Anna Mitchael and Michelle Sassa

Please welcome Anna Mitchael and Michelle Sassa, authors of copygirl.

Anna Mitchael:

Anna Mitchael is a Louisiana-born author who now lives and writes on a ranch in Texas. She is the author of Copygirl, Rooster Stories and Just Don't Call Me Ma'am. For five years she has been a columnist about the country life for Wacoan magazine. Read more of her work on

Connect with Anna:
Website   Twitter   Goodreads

Michelle Sassa:
Michelle Sassa is a freelance writer who has created memorable ad campaigns for brands like Coca-Cola, Reebok and New York Road Runners. She lives with her husband and three kids by the Jersey Shore, where she is an avid soccer player, rock music aficionado, and disciple of stupid humor. CopyGirl is Michelle's first novel.

Connect with Michelle:
Website   Twitter    Goodreads

Would You Rather... 
with Anna and Michelle

Chips, chocolate or cheese?

Anna - Big ole bowl o’ queso 

Michelle - The first two, together. Salty and sweet, baby!

Bridget Jones, Becky Bloomwood or Carrie Bradshaw?

Anna- It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.”  Bridget Jones.

Michelle - A little bit of all three, rolled up into one fabulous, go-getter woman.

Wine, beer or vodka?

Anna - We have a small vineyard on the ranch so wine.

Michelle - Vodka. Tito’s, with seltzer and three lemons.

Camping or spa vacation?

Anna - Camping with my boys, spa with my friends

Michelle - Spaaaaaah! 

Water or mountains?

Anna -  Both

Michelle - Both. We like our seasons here in Jersey.

Zombies or vampires?

Anna - Neither

Michelle - Zombies. I can’t do beauty make-up, but I paint a mean zombie face.

Dogs or cats?

Anna - Dog. One Eyed. As you can probably imagine, it’s a long story

Michelle - Cats. But my daughter is allergic.

Coke or Pepsi?

Anna - Diet Coke

Michelle - Diet Coke

Coffee or tea?

Anna - Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.
 Michelle - Coffee. Through an IV.

Dine out or take away?

Anna - Cook, sigh, I live waaayyyy out in the country

Michelle - Either would be a welcome change.

High heels, sneakers or flip flops?

Anna - Flip Flops in the car, high heels when I get out

Michelle -  Flip flops. Or better yet,  bare feet. That’s why I could never go back to an office job.

Physical Book or ebook?

Anna - I want a physical book to slide into my book shelf when I’m done. (Unless it’s Rooster Stories, my new Kindle Single, then I want it in e-book!)

Michelle - Physical book

Paperback or Hardcover?

Anna - Paperbacks are so much easier to toss in your purse.

Michelle  -Paperback. On the beach. With #1 and#3.

Pen or pencil?

Anna - Pen. Red. Felt tip. I like that ‘Teacher giving you a grade’ feeling, keeps me on my toes.

Michelle - Pen

Mad Men, Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad?

Anna - #madWOmen #madWOmen #copygirl

Michelle - Mad Men, of course.

Drama or comedy?

Anna - Comedy

Michelle - Dramedy

Twilight or Hunger Games?


Michelle - Hunger Games.

Lipstick, lipgloss or chapstick?

Anna - Whatever I dig out of my mess of a makeup bag

Michelle - Burt’s Bees liptint.

Facebook or Twiter?

Anna -  Zappos

Michelle - Facebook.

Plot your entire novel or fly by the seat of your pants?

Anna - Seat of my skirt.

Michelle - Both. At the same time. That’s the beauty of being part of a writing team—one mind can freestyle while the other plots.


Kay Carlson is a talented young writer living in New York City for the first time and working alongside Ben, her good friend from ad school and secret crush. But she feels inadequate at work and in her NYC life, while her older brothers always have her parents’ attention for their successes and girls who fit the ideal “It Girl” persona—fun, flirty, and looking like fashion bloggers and real-life Pinterest pages—always seem to overshadow her. Instead of being the girl who parties every night, Kay has a creative side project: “Copygirl,” a series of short videos she makes using homemade dolls in which she skewers the vapid personalities she sees around her.  “Don’t be a Copygirl” her characters warn, a theme Kay struggles with herself as she feels the pressure in every area of her life to be like other girls—the girls who get more attention at work and from the boys.  The videos start out as an escape from her day-to-day struggles, and she sends them to her best friend Kellie overseas—until Kellie sets up a website using the videos and lets them go viral.  While the website gains international fame, Kay stays anonymous, focusing her energies on winning a big campaign for a major new client—and the affections of Ben in the process.

But Kay is much more talented than she gives herself credit for, a fact that Kellie—and other unexpected allies—notice long before she does, while people she thought she trusted are quick to switch sides. And her quiet rebellion against being like everybody else proves to be her strongest asset.

Available at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kindle Nook Kobo

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Cocktails at Le Carmen by Isabelle Andover

3.5 Star

When job cuts at Chloe Saddler’s London communications firm result in an unexpected transfer to Paris, she finds herself leaving behind her friends, family, and boyfriend Scott to start a new life in the City of Light. Getting to grips with La Vie Parisienne and keeping a long-distance relationship afloat is not made any easier by the culture shock. Committing the odd French faux pas and inadvertently indulging in a few too many flirtations with her very sexy (and very taken) boss, Jean-Luc, is just the start of it. Factor in her bridezilla of a sister’s wedding (the hottest event of the year in the Saddler family’s social calendar), an unexpected session of hot, naked yoga, a slightly psychotic stalker, and one incredible kiss at an infamous Montmartre nightspot, and Chloe can say au revoir to her old, safe London life and bonjour to the romance, splendour, and glamour of Paris.

A delightful debut that harks back to the early days of Chick Lit when heroines were flawed, funny, and forever battling for love and happiness. With quirky characters and classic comedic charm, Cocktails at Le Carmen is pure fun from page one.

Kathryn- 3.5 Star

I’m always happy to read a tale of justice and happiness. Is there anything better than the girl getting her comeuppance and finding herself with the world at her feet?  I think not.

This lovely novel was told from Chloe’s perspective- a twenty-something career woman who finds herself posted to Paris for a year contract when others around her are facing redundancy. She’s a bit unsure about leaving behind boyfriend Scott but he seems to be encouraging about it so why not?  Off she goes to Paris where things at home fall apart, of course, and she has to make a new life for herself in France- rather more permanently than she’d anticipated.

With a host of lovely friends- ones who are really actually very helpful for life crisis moments and ones who are there to pick out a great outfit Cocktails at Le Carmen moves swiftly from girl-in-love to girl-discovering- what-she-wants for herself.

The boyfriend characters are to be expected but that sort of makes the plot regardless of us being able to predict their flaws!  What I liked about the novel was the ease with which I became attached to Chloe. I quite liked her from the beginning and despite her being  blind to Scott at first and despite her letting her sister walk all over her I think she only needed a bit of confidence to be herself.
I’d actually be interested to see how Chloe’s life is in about ten years!

Thank you to Simon & Fig for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Isabelle Andover:
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Food Whore by Jessica Tom

5 Star

Food whore (n.) A person who will do anything for food. 

Fresh out of college, Tia Monroe has every intention of taking the New York City restaurant scene by storm. But after a coveted internship goes up in smoke, Tia’s suddenly just another food lover in the big city.

Yet everything changes when Michael Saltz, a legendary New York Times restaurant critic, lets Tia in on a career-ending secret: he’s lost his sense of taste. Now he wants Tia to serve as his palate, ghostwriting his reviews. In return he promises her lavish meals, a boundless cache of designer clothing, and the opportunity of a lifetime. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Tia agrees.

Within weeks, Tia’s world transforms into one of glamour and luxury: four-star dinners, sexy celebrity chefs, and an unlimited expense account at Bergdorf Goodman. Tia loves every minute of it…until she sees her words in print and Michael Saltz taking all the credit. As the veneer of extravagance wears thin and her secret identity begins to crumble, Tia is faced with what it means to truly succeed. In a city where “making it” is the ultimate goal, Tia will have to decide: how far is she willing to go for the life she craves?

Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star

As a self-proclaimed foodie, I suspected that Food Whore would be a novel that I would love. 

Written about something I love, the food industry, and set in a city I love, New York City, I immediately did fall in love with Tia Monroe and the somewhat crazy story that came to life.
Having been closely involved in the food industry in Montreal in the several past years, many of the things that happened in the book rang very true. Of course, there were elements that could only belong to my beloved NYC but that obviously had their importance in regards to the story.

I think that I loved this book so very much because I could see a younger me being like Tia and falling into some of the places she found herself. The food industry is somewhat volatile and very du jour so many of the events didn't surprise me at all. I wondered though how much had the author taken from her own life? Hopefully only the good parts but I suspect some of the difficult ones as well.

I absolutely could not put down this book and I really hope and crave that the author writes more because her style was imminently enjoyable and utterly captivating.

Thank you to William Morrow for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Jessica Tom:
Website     Facebook      Twitter     Goodreads

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Three Girls and a Baby by Rachel Schurig

3 Star

Ginny McKensie's life is spiraling out of control. 

Finished with college, she should have been planning her wedding. After all, Ginny and Josh were made for each other—everyone said so. Except the love of her life didn't agree. 

Now Ginny is back in her hometown, unwillingly single, and stuck in a dead-end job. When she discovers she's pregnant, Ginny is convinced her life is ending. Instead of planning a future with Josh, she's learning the truth about morning sickness, juggling bills, and seeing just how far designer jeans can stretch.

Her life-plan never included dating again (not even with her too-hot new boss), or being a single mother at 23. Now, with the help of her best friends, Annie and Jen, Ginny must try to re-imagine—and rebuild—a life she never wanted.

Kathryn - 3 Star

This novel was sweet and endearing and I loved it.  The main attraction for me was obviously the bond between the friends as they were so entirely committed to helping each other and making things work for Ginny.

I had a couple of quibbles with the plot line. For example the relationship with Josh was frustrating because you knew that he hadn’t been given the right information by his mother - the author tried to make this fact appear plausible but it was entirely unrealistic to me that he wouldn’t have gotten in touch again. Josh and Ginny seemed to have such a bond that I hoped he would come around before he did. 

I was sad about Ginny’s upbringing and wished her family had been explored a little bit more in the story but it made perfect sense that her attraction to Josh (and his stability) came from the feeling that she wasn’t what her parents were expecting as a child or a teenager. 

However much I wished things were different between Ginny and her parents or Josh the fact was that the novel was created based on her bond with her friends- who were delightfully involved in the arrival of the baby, helping their friend and being aunties to the new arrival.  The friendship was the focus for me and I loved them together. I felt as if I was introduced to some new friends in Three Girls and a Baby and am very tempted to seek out the next books with the same characters- I believe there are a few of them!

All opinions are our own.

Connect with Rachel Schurig:

Friday, November 20, 2015

Would you rather with Jennifer Scott

Please welcome Jennifer Scott, author of The Hundred Gifts.

Jennifer Scott:

Jennifer Scott is the national bestselling, award-winning author of Second Chance Friends, The Accidental Book Club, and The Sister Season. Her acclaimed YA novels under a pseudonym, Jennifer Brown, have been selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA Perfect Ten, and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.

Connect with Jennifer Scott:
Website    Facebook     Twitter   Goodreads

Would You Rather... 
with Jennifer Scott

Chips, chocolate or cheese?

Chocolate. Specifically, Christopher Elbow bananas foster truffles.

Bridget Jones, Becky Bloomwood or Carrie Bradshaw?

Bridget Jones.

Wine, beer or vodka?

Wine, wine, wine! Especially if its Glenora Concrete Egg Pinot Blanc, and I’m sipping it while sitting outside with my husband on a warm late summer evening overlooking the Glenora vineyard and beautiful Seneca Lake.

Camping or spa vacation?

Oh, gack—never, ever camping! I’m a spa girl.

Water or mountains?

Mountains, but only by a hair.

Zombies or vampires?

Vampires, because they can be sexy. Zombies are just kinda…decayed.

Dogs or cats?

Cats. I have two elderly long-hair cats (George and Gracie) who completely run my life.

Coke or Pepsi?

Pepsi, but only if it’s decaffeinated, and only a few times a year.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee. Dunkin Donuts coffee. Every day. All day if I could.

Dine out or take away?

If it’s just the Hub and me, dine out. If I’m dragging the kids along, take away.

High heels, sneakers or flip flops?

Sneakers—brightly colored Nikes or cool print Vans.

Physical Book or ebook?

Physical book. I’ve never owned an ebook.

Paperback or Hardcover?


Pen or pencil?

A nice, sharp pencil.

Mad Men, Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad?

Breaking Bad, hands-down. Even talking about it right now makes me want to start the series over and watch it all again.

Drama or comedy?

Drama. The more you make me cry, the better!

Twilight or Hunger Games?

Hunger Games

Lipstick, lipgloss or chapstick?

Lipgloss. But I also keep Chapstick pretty much everywhere (purse, cabinets, car, etc.) for Napoleon Dynamite-esque lip emergencies.

Facebook or Twiter?


Plot your entire novel or fly by the seat of your pants?

I am a total pantser! I love to let my characters say where the story is going!

The Hundred Gifts

With the holidays around the corner, empty-nester Bren Epperson realizes that for the first time in decades, she has no large family to cook for, no celebration to create.  To fill the void, she starts teaching a holiday cooking class, and it’s a huge success—until Virginia Mash, the old lady who lives in the upstairs apartment above the classroom, bursts into her class complaining about the interruption.  Rather than retaliate, Bren suggests that the class shower Virginia with kindness—and give her one hundred gifts.  Together, they embark on a plan to lift the old woman’s heart.  Along the way, amidst the knitting and the making and the baking, they discover that family extends far beyond blood, the best gifts can’t be bought, and that family celebrations can be reborn and new traditions established.

Available at:

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Kindle  Nook  Kobo

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Expect a Miracle by Jenny Long with Bob Der

3 Star

Jenny Long's young life tipped into chaos at age 12 with the death of her mother. By 18, she was a high school dropout, pregnant, and married to a convicted felon. But with the birth of her son Conner, Jenny vowed to end the vicious cycle and make a better life for her new family. 

Two years later, Jenny's second son, Cayden, was born with spastic cerebral palsy. Undaunted by the doctor's recommendation to place her disabled son in an assisted living facility, she made the courageous decision to raise him at home. Similarly unfazed by Cayden's disability, older brother Conner developed a loving relationship with Cayden, engaging and respecting him with a grace and determination that belied his young age. At age 7, Conner, determined to share his love of athletics with Cayden, entered the Nashville Kids Triathlon, pushing and pulling Cayden every step of the course. The two brothers crossed the finish line together, and their thrilling and emotional race captured the hearts of millions and earned both boys Sports Illustrated Kids's SportsKids of the Year award

Sabrina-Kate - 3 Star

This biographical story was not the usual type of thing I read yet I do enjoy a good true story so I agreed to try it out. I wasn't disappointed as it wasn't a very long book and the story itself was fairly interesting but I was somewhat disappointed that it wasn't more about Jenny's children, as the synopsis led me to believe.

Her story is as compelling as her children's because she has been through a lot and definitely faced down some demons and made it through hard times. The story was written in a very interesting and enjoyable way, with the beginning of each chapter setting the scene through a flashback of Jenny's life then quickly starting over with the present day. I really liked that way of writing and that each chapter was fairly short therefore giving me a good perspective on past and present and the complete picture.

Again though, the story was really mainly about Jenny and much less about her children and the race so although I enjoyed it, I feel like it was portrayed incorrectly and that is why I could not rate it higher.

Thank you to Sports Illustrated Books for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Jenny Long:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera

4.5 Star

Island of a Thousand Mirrors follows the fate of two families, one Tamil, one Sinhala as they straddle opposite sides of the long and brutal Sri Lankan civil war. Narrated by the eldest daughter of each family, the story explores how each woman negotiates war, migration, love, exile, and belonging. At its root, it s a story of a fragmented nation struggling to find its way to a new beginning.

Michelle - 4.5 Star

Island of a thousand mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera was a compelling and heart wrenching novel.   The content was heavy and serious so if you are looking for a feel good book with a happy ending, this novel is not for you.  I knew after only a few chapters that Island of a Thousand Mirrors was going to be a hard read, but it was at the same time gripping and educational.  It deals with the Sri Lankin civil war that took place between the Tamils and Sinhalas, a topic I admit, I knew very little about.  The novel focuses on two families, one Tamil and one Sinhala.  Narrated  by  the eldest daughters of each family, the novel takes us on a journey that no one wants to go on.  Nayomi Munaweeras writing is so descriptive and real it compels you to read more, even when you are not sure you want to know what happens next.  The novel takes you on a journey back in time to a country simmering with unrest and introduces us to these two families on opposite sides of the conflict, yet whose lives are so intertwined one can only imagine how things will change once the conflict becomes a full out civil war.  I felt the author did a good job of portraying both families in a similar light, making me feel empathetic towards both families equally.   I was not rooting for one family to prevail over the next.  I found myself holding on to some naive hope that perhaps these two families would be able to overcome the hatred and prejudice placed upon them simply because of their beliefs or backgrounds, while at the same time knowing that would never happen.  

As hard as this novel was to read, I think it was important.  It was heartbreaking and emotional, while at the same time educational.   It didn’t just tell a story, it taught me about a very dark period in time and I definitely finished the novel much more informed and aware then when I began.   

It tugged on my heartstrings and opened my eyes to something I had little knowledge of, while at the same time telling a beautiful story so descriptive about such interesting people, I could not put it down.    

Thank you to St.Martin's Press for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Nayomi Munaweera:
Website      Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads


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