Friday, October 31, 2014

The School Gate Survival Guide by Kerry Fisher

4.5 Star

Maia Etxeleku is a cleaner for ladies who lunch. With mops and buckets in tow, she spends her days dashing from house to house cleaning up after them, as they rush from one exhausting Pilates class to the next. 

But an unusual inheritance catapults her into the very exclusive world of Stirling Hall School - a place where no child can survive without organic apricots and no woman goes a week without a manicure. 

As Maia and her children, Bronte and Harley, try to settle into their new life, Maia is inadvertently drawn to the one man who can help her family fit in. But is his interest in her purely professional? And will it win her any favours at the school gate?



Kathryn - 4.5 Star

I love it when a book isn’t what you were expecting. (Or actually sometimes I don’t love that, but this time I did.)  I was drawn to the cover because it was nearing the end of the summer and I was trying to get my head around making lunches and labelling clothes and all that other nonsense so I picked this one up on a whim. It turns out that although it was an easy read I was drawn in by the people and situations of the main characters much more than I was expecting.

I found myself immediately rooting for Maia, her job as a cleaner for the “lunching ladies” set and the struggles of the estate she lived in made her a character that was relatable- and useless boyfriend Colin just was the icing on the cake of her complicated and hectic life.  Poor Maia sincerely hoped her windfall from a client’s passing would be a blessing but with it came so many additional problems that she struggled to balance her reality with her children’s futures. She could have lost her sense of humour but through each hurdle I grew to like her more and more. Her determination and sincerity was lovely and inspiring.

Kerry Fisher also gave us some great supporting roles though my award would have to go to Clover. Lovely, disorganised and eccentric Clover-whose genuine sympathy for Maia could be felt through the page- was also funny and brought humour to much of the novel. I also appreciated that she was given a full sub-plot of her own which meant we got to spend a lot of time with her- she made me have faith that some people are just genuinely good.

It’s a rare occurrence to find a light novel with depth explored to an extent that makes you sit back and admire a fictional character but that’s what I found in The School Gate Survival Guide. 


Thank you to Harper Collins UK for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Kerry Fisher:
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

5 Star

High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual. Struggling to sort out her growing feelings and Saskia's confusing signals, Leila confides in her old friend, Lisa, and grows closer to her fellow drama tech-crew members, especially Tomas, whose comments about his own sexuality are frank, funny, wise, and sometimes painful. Gradually, Leila begins to see that almost all her classmates are more complicated than they first appear to be, and many are keeping fascinating secrets of their own.



Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel was not my usual type of read as it apparently fell under the YA category but I had heard so many positive things about Sara Farizan that I decided I needed to read it and see what all the fuss was about. I quickly grew to love Farizan's characters and the writing so everything I had heard about her fell into place right away.

This was the story of Leila and her fears about being accepted as a lesbian, not only by her Persian family but also by her peers. It was a very emotional read as I can only imagine what a difficult situation it would be for a young person to find themselves in.

The interesting thing about this book was that even though Leila was scared of being judged, she also had her own pre-conceived notions about what gay people were like- she even wrongly believed certain girls at her school were lesbians. Ironically, these were also the most accepting of her which I felt was a nice life lesson to include in the book.

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel should be mandatory reading for all young people as it teaches us to tolerate and even embrace differences. It brings a very human and personal view to what it must feel like to be different.


Thank you to Algonquin Young Readers for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Sara Farizan:


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan

3.5 Star

Rose is about to get a taste of the sweet life

Rosie Hopkins's life is...comfortable. She has a steady nursing job, a nice apartment, and Gerard, her loyal (if a bit boring) boyfriend. And even though she might like to pursue a more rewarding career, and Gerard doesn't seem to have any plans to propose, Rosie's not complaining. Things could be worse. Right?

Life gets a bit more interesting when Rosie's mother sends her out to the country to care for her ailing great aunt Lilian, who owns an old-fashioned sweetshop. But as Rosie gets Lilian back on her feet, breathes a new life into the candy shop, and gets to know the mysterious and solitary Stephen whose family seems to own the entire town she starts to think that settling for what's comfortable might not be so great after all.



Kathryn - 3.5 Star

Sweetshop of Dreams is a lovely little tale full of sugary treats and sweet relationships and is a good book to curl up with and while away an afternoon.

My first impression of Rosie was probably what we were supposed to feel -I wanted to kick her up the backside and send her on a life changing quest away from her mundane life.  We can all get on board with a life changing story and this one showed Rosie the path to a more fulfilling life she wasn’t at all expecting.

When she’s told by her absent mother (absent because she lives in Australia- not absent in that she doesn’t get thoroughly involved in Rosie’s existence!) that she needs to take her qualifications as a nurse down to tend to her elderly great aunt in the middle of nowhere Rosie isn’t too thrilled about the sudden demand.  However, she goes along with the plan because she really can’t think of a good reason to object- which sums Rosie up completely. I liked Rosie and could understand her feeling to not want to rock the boat with her current partner- it’s just that she actually kept telling us that she was sitting on the fence with him. When the heroine freely admits to the reader that she’s a bit stuck then it’s virtually impossible to think she should stick around.  So off she goes to the countryside and meets a relative she hasn’t seen since she was a child. 

Lilian is perfect for her role in Rosie’s life. Curmudgeonly and sarcastic she makes sure Rosie opens herself up to new beginnings.  Jenny Colgan created a vivid character in Lilian who lives in a village full of personalities that came to life on the page, not one of them was out of place or unimaginative and I was pulled into the story completely.

I enjoyed Sweetshop of Dreams, and am not going to give the game away of course, but I would suspect that most won’t find a great many surprises in the plot. However, it’s the way it is delivered that will satisfy your reading needs.


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

Connect with Jenny Colgan:
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Away From The Dead by Karen Jennings

4 Star

Together the stories highlight facets of African society and in particular South Africa. Karen Jennings has a touching way of writing about the lives of the underdogs. The distinctions between the different layers in society are beautifully captured.

From Dark is a rallying call to remember that illegal mining causes the deaths of hundreds every year.  Zama-zamas (Zulu for ‘chancers’) live underground for months at a time, dying in police raids, fires, cave-ins and poor conditions.





Rebecca - 4 Star

Books of short stories are rarely something that I read, which is silly really as they probably suit my lifestyle better than novels. Post kids my days of being able to sprawl on the couch engrossed in a book for hours on end are long gone along with my ability to wear crop tops, and books that lend themselves to being read piecemeal in the brief few minutes I have between football practice and trampolining class, are probably more practical.

And I must say that Away From The Dead was perfect for this: a slim book I could whip out of my handbag, delve into for a brief few moments and feel transported into South Africa where many of the stories are set. I have been to South Africa once, and whilst this was a trip of a life time I was aware at the time that my experience was by no means typical of the day to day existence experienced by most of it's inhabitants and these stories give a voice to these people with great clarity and skill. Within a few sentences Jennings sets the scene and her characterisation is deft and feels authentic. In fact she is almost too good at this, too efficient and I found myself wanting the stories to last longer, to say and develop more. On several occasions I almost felt she was teasing me the reader, with a fantastic opening chapter to a story that never gets told.

Jennings is seriously talented and I would definitely read her next book but I just hope it's a novel...

Thank you to Holland Park Press for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Karen Jennings:



Monday, October 27, 2014

For Once In My Life by Marianne Kavanagh

5 Star

Everyone has a soul mate... but what if you never find each other?

Meet Tess. A vintage clothes–obsessive, she’s trapped in a frighteningly grown-up customer relations job she loathes. Still, she’s been dating the gorgeous accountant Dominic since university, and has a perfectly lovely flat, which she shares with her best friend, Kirsty. But if her life is so perfect, why does she tear up whenever anyone mentions her future?

Meet George. He’s a brilliant jazz musician who spends almost as much time breaking up fights between his bickering band mates as he does worrying about his ailing father and living up to his stockbroker girlfriend’s very high expectations. For a guy who has always believed in romance, the grim practicalities of twenty-something life have come as something of a shock. Seemingly always on the verge of a big break, he’s looking for something more...something special.

They just might be two halves of one perfect whole. Now, if only they could manage to cross paths...


Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star

For Once In My Life is a completely original take on love and those missed connections. I loved this story from the beginning. I had originally spotted it on an author’s Facebook page as it was what she was reading at the time and because I love what she writes, I knew that I had to give it a chance. And am I ever happy that I did!

Now that I am happily partnered up and with a family, I know that we were in many places at the same time and also that we had many friends in common so this story of missed opportunities was something I found interesting as I could easily imagine it happening to anyone, even in my very own life.

I don’t know if I agree with the concept of soulmates though I do know that people connect in special ways and I can tell that these two characters had a deep connection despite all the reasons that they might never had connected. Sometimes I found it frustrating when Tess and George would miss meeting up by some circumstance out of their control so once they finally did meet up, I had already been anticipating the moment for what felt like ages.

I absolutely loved the unique way Kavanagh described things. It was extremely enjoyable for me to read every sentence because you never knew what she would say next. For Once In My Life was funny and entertaining. It reiterated for me that sometimes it takes awhile to find the one you love and that many many things can happen along the way.

Another astonishing debut for me! 

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

Connect with Marianne Kavanagh:
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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Would You Rather... with M.L. Longworth

Please welcome M.L. Longworth, author of Murder on the Ile Sordou.


M.L. LONGWORTH :

 

M.L. LONGWORTH has lived in Aix-en-Provence since 1997. She has written about the region for The Washington Post, The Times (U.K.), The Independent (U.K.), and Bon Appetit Magazine. She is the author of a bilingual collection of essays, Une Am√©ricaine en Provence published by La Martini√®re in 2004. She divides her time between Aix and Paris, where she teaches writing at NYU's Paris campus. You can visit her website at mllongworth.com.

Connect with M.L. Longworth:
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Would You Rather... 
with M.L. Longworth 

Chips, chocolate or cheese?

Cheese. Tough call as I love salty foods, especially chips, but living in France for so long I have to say cheese. Especially chevre (goat cheese).


Bridget Jones, Becky Bloomwood or Carrie Bradshaw?

Bridget Jones. I don’t know who Becky Bloomwood is, and Carrie wasn’t my favorite Sex and the City character. Miranda was, and Samantha.


Wine, beer or vodka?

Wine. No contest.


Camping or spa vacation?

Neither. I hate camping and spas bore me to tears. I like travelling to big cities and visiting museums, walking neighborhoods, and eating the local foods.


Water or mountains?

Water, especially the Mediterranean.


Zombies or vampires?

Neither.


Dogs or cats?

Neither.


Coke or Pepsi?

Neither. YUK.


Coffee or tea?

Coffee. Illy. 


Dine out or take away?

Dine out.


High heels, sneakers or flip flops?

High heels, although I’m wearing my bright green sneakers more and more when walking in Paris.


Physical Book or ebook?

Physical book.


Paperback or Hardcover?

Paperback for the lightness factor, but I love, and buy, beautiful hardback editions of my favorite books.


Pen or pencil?

Pencil. For corrections.


Mad Men, Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad?

Downton Abbey.


Drama or comedy?

Comedy.


Twilight or Hunger Games?

NEITHER.


Lipstick, lipgloss or chapstick?

Lipstick.


Facebook or Twiter?

Facebook.


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

Plot it out first.



Murder on the Ile Sordou 

Maxime and Catherine Le Bon have spent their life savings restoring the Locanda, which lies in an archipelago of glittering islands off the coast of Marseille. To celebrate the grand opening, a motley crew of privileged guests join Verlaque and Bonnet: Marine’s best friend, the free-spirited Sylvie; a pompous fading film star and his much-younger wife and her disgruntled son; an eccentric poet; a pair of American tourists; and a querulous Parisian couple. The murder of one of the guests casts a shadow over everyone’s vacation, and Verlaque and Bonnet are once again called to investigate. But things go from bad to worse when a violent storm cuts off all communication with the mainland. Will the killer strike again?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Finding Mother by Anne Allen

3 Star

Three women. Three generations. Sacrifices for love… 
Who is she really? Nicole is about to find out as she searches for her real mother; the woman who gave her away at birth. With her marriage in tatters, she sets out from England: travelling to Spain, Jersey and Guernsey before the extraordinary story of her real family is finally revealed.

Nicole becomes an unwitting catalyst for change in the family. Two women are forced to reveal long-buried secrets. One going back as far as the Second World War. Lives are transformed as choices have to be made and the past laid to rest…


Kathryn - 3 Star

I really think the next place to visit on my list should be Guernsey or Jersey (probably both- you shouldn’t just pick one, right?) I seem to be drawn to these places intensely and appreciated the author’s descriptions when setting her scenes.  I read the book trying not to google images of these lovely islands and to concentrate on the story at hand.

Finding Mother isn’t exactly what I was expecting. I thought, from the book's synopsis, that we would be mostly following Nicole’s search for her birth parents and instead we found them almost right away and the rest of the novel unfolded after their meeting. The “action” was therefore right at the start of the book and I found the rest meandered slowly and pleasantly along much as I would imagine the pace of life on the islands would do. That’s not to say that there weren’t some interesting titbits of information leaked into the plot throughout and I enjoyed the story line- it just wasn’t what I had been expecting.

The author created some multi-layered characters and relationships however I didn’t care for all of them! Nicole was a very strange enigma for me as at first she seemed so forthright and determined to leave her philandering husband. She had quite a high powered job for which she obviously had to have her head screwed on properly but she didn’t seem to have much of the same characteristics once she stepped back on to the island where she grew up. I was also really disappointed with the links with her adoptive parents who could have been given more gumption when confronted with their daughter’s marital collapse and subsequent life changing decisions.  They faded into the background which wasn't at all realistic- Nicole even forgets to call them with updates for much of the novel.  However I really loved her birth grandmother- she was just the right mix of tough nut and soft place to fall. 

There’s a lot to enjoy about Finding Mother and I read the whole thing happily and contentedly, no great surprises but some interesting bonds were formed which made the novel a good read.


Thank you to Sarnia Press for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Anne Allen:
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

5 Star

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . . So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia’s older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it’s the youngest of the family—Hannah—who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened.


Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star

Another great read from a debut author. Everything I Never Told You had me captivated from the beginning despite being based on a story that I felt I may have heard before. The author took what could have been just an ordinary story and made it into something very unique.

This story goes back and forth between the past and present, ultimately using the stories in the past to explain the terrible thing that has happened in the present day. I found it very interesting to see how the characters evolved over time due to circumstance and found it quite astonishing to see just how much they had changed from their original feelings and desires.

The story was not a happy one by any means but one that will stick in my mind and heart for a long time to come. It is quite sad how stress and pressure can have such a devastating and lasting impact on a family. Being a mother, that fact alone was a real eye opener for me.

This book was a stand out experience for many reasons but mostly because of the extremely painful moments that were so beautifully described by this extremely talented author. I could not fathom some of the experiences they had to endure as a Chinese American family and felt like Ng was just brilliant at describing them.

Everything I Never Told You swept me along and did not disappoint and kept my heart breaking over and over with each new revelation. A definite must read of this year.

Thank you to Penguin Canada for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Celeste Ng:
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Monday, October 20, 2014

A Kind Of Mad Courage - Anthology

5 Star

Nineteen authors from around the world were given six weeks or less to produce “a story involving a mother somehow.” The result is a gorgeously eclectic collection of tales that will make you laugh, cry, and truly appreciate the “mad courage” of motherhood. 

Laura Chapman, Francine LaSala, Nikki Mahood, Heather McCoubrey, and Karen E. Martin each present unique takes on impending motherhood, while Sheryn MacMunn, kc wilder, and Julie Valerie portray the end of the journey. Samantha Stroh Bailey, Louise Wise, and Maria Schulz show the pride and peril of dealing with teenage daughters, while Elke Feuer, Diana Shafter Gliedman, and Donna Valenti demonstrate that a mother’s work is never done, even under the craziest of circumstances. Regina-Cash Clark, Wendy Janes, and Monique McDonell explore the impact on lives in which mothers go “missing,” while Carey Heywood and Jen Tucker warm your heart and tear it out, respectively.



Kathryn - 5 Star

An anthology is always intriguing because of the different writing styles but it was the simple directive given to the authors “just write a story involving a mother somehow” that possibly made A Kind Of Mad Courage most compelling.

I was expecting more tales of toddler trials and glorious newborns and was surprised by the number of stories that reflected and delved into the relationships between mothers and teens and with women and their own mother figures. I actually found myself analysing my own family’s relationships (triumphs and short-comings) while reading each author’s contribution. I’m afraid I found a few of them too hard to get through and had to go back and try again another day- those were the ones that tore at my heart so much it hurts still, just writing my review.  Others foreshadowed the upcoming teen years with own daughter and made me look at my now five year old with a new love and also some good healthy fear- I think healthy fear?

The one though that stuck with me the most was Julie Valerie’s LLL because it had everything in it- humour, depth of emotion, elements of frustration I could relate too and a bit of quirkiness with the scrabble words inter-mingled with the story. It made me want to play scrabble of course and at the same time made me think hard about a parent with dementia. I lost my dad two years ago and since that time I've been purposefully pushing all thoughts of losing my mother out of my mind. For me opening up to that eventuality was a good thing because it made me more aware of the now we still have.

I was impressed with all the short stories in this compilation and related to each one in some way. A Kind Of Mad Courage is definitely not only for those who are mothers but for everyone who has a close woman in their lives that they cherish- daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt or friend.


Thank you to the authors for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with the authors:
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Friday, October 17, 2014

Bad Bridesmaid by Portia MacIntosh

3.5 Star

‘My wedding is ruined and my marriage is going to fail. And it’s all your fault!'
LA romcom writer Mia Valentina has it all; money, success, a tanned and toned body, golden blonde hair and a string of sexy lovers. She’s almost forgotten her previous self: plain old Mia Harrison. Until a wedding invitation arrives requesting (demanding!) her presence as chief bridesmaid at her younger sister Belle’s upcoming nuptials.

Mia’s barely been back in England before she’s accidentally injured the groom, unintentionally ‘cursed’ the wedding and been caught in a compromising position with her sister’s soon to be brother-in-law!

With the wedding of the year going dangerously off the rails, Mia has no time to waste – especially with sexy fireman and best man Leo on hand to help… Will she use all of her expert romance knowledge to save the day or will she just walk away? No one ever said a bad girl had to turn good…


Kaley - 3.5 Star

You know the things you love about British chick lit novels? The setting, the language, the humour, the ridiculous circumstances? Bad Bridesmaid by Portia Macintosh has all of those things and, thankfully, they all work together to create quite the enjoyable read.

I loved that Mia writes romantic comedies. I don't think I've ever read a chick lit novel that has a chick flick writer as its heroine. I find this surprising because it's just the type of profession that lends itself well to these books. Mia's job was fun and interesting but it also provided a way for readers to learn right away that Mia is not one for love.

Speaking of love, the romance angle in this book was slightly predictable (hello, it's chick lit) but it wasn't boring. I liked that Macintosh kept me on my toes. I was never quite sure what would happen next and, though I had a feeling I knew who Mia would end up with, there were enough curveballs thrown in the mix to keep the story, and the romance, interesting.

I think what kept me from rating this book four stars was Mia's relationship with her family. I couldn't stand (let alone understand) how much they seemed to hate her. There didn't seem to be a good enough reason for all the negative feelings. I cringed every time something went wrong, not because it did (they were usually hilarious incidents), but because I knew Mia would be blamed and there was no reason for it. It just wasn't believable! I also found the ending with her family to be slightly unbelievable as well...things just didn't match up with the way her fam had been acting previously and I didn't see any real change in them by the end of the book.

Going back to Mia...I really liked her. Just as her latest movie heroine was a bit of an atypical rom com leading lady, so is Mia a different chick lit heroine. She sleeps around, she's anti-love, she doesn't have many (ok, any) close girlfriends. But her personality is what makes Bad Bridesmaid so much better. She's not bad enough to justify her family's extremely negative reaction to her (see above) but her attitude towards life is interesting to read about. Her opinions are not often shared by a chick lit heroine so it was refreshing to get a new perspective in the genre.

Bad Bridesmaid is a really funny chick lit novel. If you're looking for some entertainment for a weekend, Portia Macintosh's novel is for you!


Thank you to the author for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Portia McIntosh:
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Would You Rather with Yona Zeldis McDonough

Please welcome Yona Zeldis McDonough, You Were Meant for Me, Two of a Kind and A Wedding in Great Neck.


Yona Zeldis McDonough:


Yona Zeldis McDonough is the author of the novels Two of a Kind, A Wedding in Great Neck, Breaking the Bank, In Dahlia's Wake, and The Four Temperaments, as well as nineteen books for children. She is also the editor of two essay collections and is the Fiction Editor at Lilith magazine. Her award-winning short fiction, articles, and essays have been published in anthologies and in numerous national magazines and newspapers. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, two children and three very yappy Pomeranians.

Connect with Yona:
Website    Facebook     Twitter   Goodreads

Would You Rather... 
with Yona Zeldis McDonough

Chips, chocolate or cheese?

Without a doubt, chocolate, and the more expensive and imported, the better!


Bridget Jones, Becky Bloomwood or Carrie Bradshaw?

Becky Bloomwood, because like her, I am a shopper!


Wine, beer or vodka?

Uh…none of the above! Not an imbiber. How about an iced coffee, very light, with lots of crushed ice? 


Camping or spa vacation?

Spa all the way! Why sleep outside when we finally figured out how to come in from the cold?


Water or mountains?

Water, and specifically lakes or ponds. I like my water tranquil…


Zombies or vampires?

None of the above! Can I substitute mermaids, fairies or unicorns? Pretty please? 


Dogs or cats?

Dogs for sure.  I have two and if my husband agreed, I’d have a third. 


Coke or Pepsi?

Not a soda gal either. Make mine a lemonade, freshly squeezed and not too sweet please!


Coffee or tea?

Coffee! I like it hot, cold or any which way. 


Dine out or take away?

Dine out so someone else can clean up!


High heels, sneakers or flip flops?

How about Chanel cap-toe ballerina flats? Been coveting those for a long time now…


Physical Book or ebook?

Physical book for sure. 


Paperback or Hardcover?

Paperback for fiction but hardcover for poetry. 


Pen or pencil?

Pencil, because you can sharpen the point.  And erase. 


Mad Men, Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad?

Mad Men.  Those clothes…!


Drama or comedy?

Drama.  I like the dark notes. 


Twilight or Hunger Games?

Not feeling either of these…


Lipstick, lipgloss or chapstick?

Lipstick, bright red and creamy. I won’t stir from the house without it. 


Facebook or Twiter?

Vive Facebook! Love the interactions. 


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

Plot the novel but be prepared for the detours…that’s what keeps it fresh and exciting. 



You Were Meant For Me

What do you do when you have to give up the person you love most?

Thirty-five-year-old Miranda is not an impulsive person. She’s been at Domestic Goddess magazine for eight years, she has great friends, and she’s finally moving on after a breakup. Having a baby isn’t even on her radar—until the day she discovers an abandoned newborn on the platform of a Brooklyn subway station. Rushing the little girl to the closest police station, Miranda hopes and prays she’ll be all right and that a loving family will step forward to take her.

Yet Miranda can’t seem to get the baby off her mind and keeps coming up with excuses to go check on her, until finally a family court judge asks whether she’d like to be the baby’s foster parent—maybe even adopt her. To her own surprise, Miranda jumps at the chance. But nothing could have prepared her for the ecstasy of new-mother love—or the heartbreak she faces when the baby’s father surfaces...

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