7.26.2017

Virtual Tour: The Dress in the Window by Sofia Grant

A perfect debut novel is like a perfect dress—it’s a “must have” 
and when you “try it on” it fits perfectly. 
THE DRESS IN THE WINDOW
Sofia Grant
Releasing July 25, 2017
William Morrow


A perfect debut novel is like a perfect dress—it’s a “must have” and when you “try it on” it fits perfectly. In this richly patterned story of sisterhood, ambition, and reinvention Sofia Grant has created a story just right for fans of Vintage and The Dress Shop of Dreams.

World War II has ended and American women are shedding their old clothes for the gorgeous new styles. Voluminous layers of taffeta and tulle, wasp waists, and beautiful color—all so welcome after years of sensible styles and strict rationing. 

Jeanne Brink and her sister Peggy both had to weather every tragedy the war had to offer—Peggy now a widowed mother, Jeanne without the fiancé she’d counted on, both living with Peggy’s mother-in-law in a grim mill town.  But despite their grey pasts they long for a bright future—Jeanne by creating stunning dresses for her clients with the help of her sister Peggy’s brilliant sketches.

Together, they combine forces to create amazing fashions and a more prosperous life than they’d ever dreamed of before the war. But sisterly love can sometimes turn into sibling jealousy. Always playing second fiddle to her sister, Peggy yearns to make her own mark. But as they soon discover, the future is never without its surprises, ones that have the potential to make—or break—their dreams.

Excerpt: Peggy

It was well past time to turn out the light and get some sleep, but Peggy didn’t set the square black Conté crayon down. She took a dainty sip of the bitter, cold coffee left over from the morning—yesterday morning, to be accurate, since it was nearly one-thirty—and made a bold, broad stroke down a fresh piece of newsprint. The piece of wood she’d rigged as an easel—taken from a cabinet face from a building being torn down around the corner—shifted on the bolster on which Peggy had propped it. Too bad they didn’t know any carpenters who might make her a real easel, Peggy thought grimly. Too bad they didn’t know any useful men at all.
On her little mattress not three feet away, Tommie shifted and rolled, her rosette lips pursed. She was a restless sleeper, as she had been a restless baby—she’d
come into the world uneasy, as though she knew already that she’d be denied a father, denied the perfect charmed life that Peggy had promised her many months earlier, when she’d first made her presence known on a prodigious wave of nausea, harbinger of the difficult pregnancy to come.
No, nothing about Tommie was easy, and sharing a room with her—and yes, Peggy knew she was lucky to have a room at all, with her sister making up a bed each night in the freezing attic—was a daily torment.
Another curving black stroke of the crayon, to meet the first. In those two lines were the suggestion of the back, the shoulders, the curve of the hip. Peggy glanced at the latest issue of Vogue, open to a spread titled “The New Blouse-and-Skirt Formula,” featuring full-circle skirts nipped in tight over balloon-sleeved blouses. The first wave of outrage over Dior’s new look seemed to have abated, silenced, perhaps, by the unstoppable tide of women hungry for a bit of glamour. Peggy could sympathize. The wartime fashions, made severe and scant by textile regulations dictated by the War Production Board—had looked all right on angular, thin women like her sister. But on curvy Peggy, they looked downright ridiculous.
She sketched soft, feathery strokes to suggest a full skirt like the one in the Vogue layout. Underneath the skirt, there would be structured layers of tulle to give it shape, but her drawing would only show the fanciful outline, like a bell, with satin pumps peeping from the bottom. Peggy could wear such a skirt—if she had anywhere to go. She had retained her small waist even after Tommie’s birth, and her bosom remained high and generous. She was still making do with her corset from two years ago, but if she could afford one of the new French-waisted ones, with the tabs that could be cinched tightly.


Sofia Grant has the heart of a homemaker, the curiosity of a cat, and the keen eye of a scout. She works from an urban aerie in Oakland, California.

7.25.2017

Release Blast: Can't Stop Lovin' You by Lynnette Austin

Brawley must find a way to convince Maggie 
that their one true home is with each other.
CAN'T STOP LOVIN' YOU
Maverick Junction #3
Lynnette Austin
Forever


THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Maggie Sullivan can't wait to get out of Texas. Luckily, she just got the break she needed to make her big-city dreams a reality. But then Brawley Odell swaggers back into Maverick Junction, looking hotter than ever in his dusty cowboy boots and well-worn jeans. He's the guy she still dreams of at night. The guy who broke her heart when he left her behind.

Fed up with city life, Brawley jumps at the chance to return home and take over the local vet's practice—and get back to the smart, sassy woman he's never been able forget. He couldn't be prouder of Maggie's new wedding-dress business . . . until he realizes it may mean losing her all over again. Determined to win her back, Brawley must find a way to convince Maggie that their one true home is with each other.


NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT!!


Her sigh filled the garden. “I really do have to go. I’m a business woman, and I have to be up early.”

He nodded.

She stood. “This was nice. Thanks.”

He took both her hands in his. She swayed toward him, started to kiss his cheek.

“No.” He met her lips with his. Hunger, raw and deep, ripped through him. He tasted the same emotion on her lips, in her. One kiss led to another and another.

Breathing hard, she broke away, running her fingers through her hair to push it off her face. “I can’t do this. It was never a question of chemistry. We had that in spades.”

“We still do.” His voice was husky and ragged.

“I can’t and won’t deny that.”

“Come upstairs with me. Stay the night.” He trailed kisses along her neck, her collarbone. She shivered, and he knew she was close.

But she put her hands on his arms and pushed away. “I can’t.”

“I know I handled things badly, but how can you hold it against me so long?”

She didn’t answer. Simply turned to walk away.

He grabbed her hand and kissed it before she melted into the night, leaving him standing in the dark, wanting more. So much more.



Lynnette Austin, a recovering middle school teacher, loves long rides with the top down and the music cranked up, the Gulf of Mexico when a storm is brewing, chocolate frozen custard, anything by Blake Shelton, Chris Young, and Thomas Rhett, and sitting in her local coffee shop reading and enjoying an iced coffee. She and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida's beaches and Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains. Having grown up in a small town, that's where her heart takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody...and all their business, for better or worse. Writing for Grand Central and Sourcebooks, she’s published twelve novels and is at work on a new series.





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7.24.2017

Blog Tour: Hearts at Seaside by Addison Cole

Dive into the Newest Sweet with Heat Romance!
HEARTS AT SEASIDE
Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #3
Addison Cole
Releasing July 19, 2017


Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They're sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you'll be begging to enter their circle of friends!

Hearts at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster's steamy romance novel Seaside Hearts. The stories and characters remain the same and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

In HEARTS at SEASIDE...
Jenna Ward is vivacious, spontaneous, and confident--except when she's around the man who stole her heart years earlier, strikingly handsome, quiet, and reliable Pete Lacroux. After years of trying to get his attention and overwhelmed from dealing with her mother's new cougar lifestyle, Jenna's giving up on Peter--and is ready to explore other men.

As the eldest of five siblings, with an alcoholic father to care for, boat craftsman Pete Lacroux always does the right thing and has no time for a real relationship. He's looking forward to seeing his friend Jenna, a welcome distraction who's so sexy and painfully shy that she equally entertains and confuses him.

When Jenna picks up a hard-bodied construction worker, jealousy ignites Pete's true feelings, and he's unable to ignore the desires for Jenna he never realized he had. But Pete's not the quiet guy he appears to be, and his life is anything but conducive to a relationship. Can Jenna handle the real Pete Lacroux--the most alpha male she's ever seen--or will she crack under pressure? And can Pete reclaim the life he once had without tearing apart his family?

Excerpt

“This doesn’t feel like a first date, Jenna. It feels like you’ve been with me all my life.”
“If I’d been with you all your life, your closet would be organized.”
He glanced into his closet, which was neat and orderly, but not color coordinated, and the thought that her mind had gone there so soon made him laugh.
“You have a point.” He lowered his forehead to hers. “I’m serious, though. All these years we’ve known each other, and this. You being here with me. It feels so right.” He kissed her cheek and loved the way she closed her eyes the second his lips touched her skin, like she was savoring his touch.
“In my heart I was with you all these years; you just never noticed.”

Start the series for FREE with 
Read, Write, Love at Seaside



Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.    





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Review: The Salt House by Lisa Duffy

The Salt House by Lisa Duffy
Published: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Touchstone
Format: via publisher
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis
In the coastal town of Alden, Maine, Hope and Jack Kelly have settled down to a life of wedded bliss. They have a beautiful family, a growing lobster business, and the Salt House—the dilapidated oceanfront cottage they’re renovating into their dream home. But tragedy strikes when their young daughter doesn’t wake up from her afternoon nap, taking her last breath without making a sound.

A year later, each member of the Kelly family navigates the world on their own private island of grief. Hope spends hours staring at her daughter’s ashes, unable to let go. Jack works to the point of exhaustion in an attempt to avoid his crumbling marriage. Their daughters, Jess and Kat, struggle to come to terms with the loss of their younger sister while watching their parents fall apart.

When Jack’s old rival, Ryland Finn, threatens his fishing territory, he ignites emotions that propel the Kelly family toward circumstances that will either tear them apart—or be the path to their family’s future.

 My Thoughts
The Salt House is an emotional rollercoaster of a read that grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let go until the very end. It’s the tale of a family who tries to recover after the loss of their youngest daughter and how each one is dealing with the aftermath and are trying to move on. Told in alternating chapters by each family member we see how each one views each other and how they see how everyone is coping and dealing with the loss.

The Kelly family are holding on by a tread when an old rival Ryland comes back into town and Jack doesn’t like how Ryland and his wife are interacting, which doesn’t help his marriage which is all but in scambles. We see a marriage falling apart at the seams and a couple who doesn’t know how to grieve and take the time to save their marriage at the same time.

This was a heart wrenching, complex and intriguing read, one that gives us a glimpse into a family at their breaking point. What makes this read so wonderful is the rich layers that Lisa Duffy gives us that makes this story one that you cant put down. I haven’t been this invested in a story in a long time and I highly recommend this amazing book to anyone who wants a heartfelt read.

7.20.2017

Release: Stubborn as a Mule by Juliette Poe

       
Down in Whynot, NC, there are three things that hold true: 1) life moves just a little bit slower, 2) family means everything, and 3) you don’t mess with history.

When his family decides to sell a home that’s been part of their history for over a century, Lowe Mancinkus is madder than a hornet. To add insult to injury, the woman who purchased it is some fancy pants, city girl looking to fix it up and sell it off. Doesn’t matter that she’s sexy as hell or that just being near her gets his blood racing like never before. That home belongs to his family, or at least it did until she came to town.

Well that just won’t do, now will it?

From the moment that she laid eyes on the historical home in rural North Carolina, Melinda Rothschild knew Mainer House was something special. The perfect escape from life in New York City, Melinda signed the papers and set to work restoring the house to its natural beauty. That is until an angry Lowe showed up on her doorstep one day. With a scowl on his handsome, chiseled face. And a shotgun in his strong, muscular arms.

Is it getting hot in here?

Melinda’s about to get a lesson on life in the south, but Lowe is about to learn a lesson of his own – this city girl doesn’t back down from a fight.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo

    
The booming sound coming from downstairs causes me to sit straight up on the mattress that is placed in the middle of the master bedroom floor. I’ve yet to get a good night’s sleep because there’s a damn train that runs parallel to the town. It’s just two blocks over from the Mainer House, and it feels the need to blow its whistle around two AM each morning. This isn’t that big of a deal to most of the residents of the small town of Whynot, but to me… it chafes just a little because, well… I love my sleep. I’ve been assured by the nice lady who runs Sweet Cakes, the bakery right across the street from Mainer House, that I’ll get used to it, but I seriously doubt it. Even the noise of New York City never penetrated my sleep the way a train whistle does, and I get a totally empathetic look from her when I stagger in for some coffee and a cheese Danish each morning. I think I’ve slipped into a pattern at night where I now anticipate being woken up by that stupid train, so I’m not even able to get into good REM sleep. It’s probably why I shot straight up in bed at the banging that’s going on downstairs, although I can’t quite pinpoint from where it’s coming. A glance at the alarm clock sitting on the floor shows it’s 5:30 AM. It’s still dark outside, and I’m slightly—okay, greatly—confused. I struggle to process since it’s been almost two weeks since I came to Whynot and I’ve not had a decent night’s sleep since then. Then it penetrates… someone’s at my front door. Banging. At 5:30 AM. Immediate anger flows through my veins, heating me up from within. Without any further consternation, I know it’s Lowe Mancinkus causing all that noise. It must be him because there’s no one else in the entire world who has ever been such a thorn in my side. Flipping the blanket back, I roll off the mattress and wince as my knees hit the floor. Almost three decades of sleeping on a mattress, box spring, and a frame, and I can’t get used to being only a few inches off the floor. I’ve held off on buying any furniture for the house until the remodeling is complete. Pushing first to my hands and knees, I manage to lurch upright and stagger out of the bedroom. Down the rotund, sweeping staircase to the main floor. I don’t even bother to look out the leaded glass panels on either side of the heavy wooden door—so convinced I am that it’s Lowe on the other side—that I fling it open without an ounce of worry. “What in the holy hell are you doing?” I snarl as the breeze generated from the doorway swinging open so fast actually blows my hair back. Lowe stands there in mid-bang, fist raised high and a diabolical glitter to his eyes. His eyes lock onto mine for just a moment before they drop and casually run down the length of my frame. I look down at myself and cringe as I realize I’m still in my pajamas, which in the sweltering South consists of a cotton tank top and sleep shorts that are really short. My hand falls from the doorknob, and I cross my arms over my chest as Lowe looks back up at me. And why does he have to be so damned gorgeous? In ordinary circumstances, this man pushes all my girlie buttons. Tall, just enough muscle to be strong but not freakish, and that dark chocolate hair with bright hazel eyes that are every woman’s fantasy. I always have to remind myself he’s a nasty SOB who I wouldn’t give the time of day to… in ordinary circumstances, that is. “I’m here to start work,” he says casually as he pushes past me into the main foyer. “It’s five-freaking-thirty in the morning,” I grit out, not moving from the open doorway. I expect him to be walking right back out again. Instead, he ignores me and moves down a wide hall beside the staircase that goes to the kitchen. With a growl of frustration, I slam the door shut and then stomp off after him. “It’s completely rude to show up here at this hour.” He doesn’t respond and as I turn the corner into the kitchen, I find him rummaging through the cupboards. “Where’s the coffee?” “I don’t have any,” I snap at his backside since he hasn’t bothered to give me a second glance since he barged in. “And I don’t like you ignoring me any more than I like you barging into my house.” “Get some decent clothes on, and I wouldn’t be forced to look through your cupboards for nonexistent coffee,” he replies calmly, moving onto the next cabinet even though I’ve told him I have no coffee. In fact, I have hardly anything at all here. A mattress, pillow, sheets, and blanket in the bedroom, some orange juice in the fridge, and towels in the master bathroom. Those are the only creature comforts at this point, and they’re enough to get me through the remodeling. I’ve been eating out almost every meal and this is not a hardship as that’s pretty much what I do when I’m back home in New York. One, however, can only eat so many grits and collards, although I’ll take them over fatback and pickled pigs feet any day. “I would like to remind you…” I say in a voice that comes off far too rancid and nowhere in control. “That this is my house. I can wear whatever I like to bed, with the assumption I won’t have visitors until a decent hour.” “I’m not a visitor,” he points out, back still to me. “But because you couldn’t take a little joke and had to run crying to Judge Bowe, I now have to work for you. I also have to keep my own business running, which means I have to work early and late. You need to suck it up, buttercup. This is your life for the next few months.”          
Juliette Poe is the sweet and swoony alter ego of New York Times Best Selling author, Sawyer Bennett. A fun-loving southern girl, Juliette knows the allure of sweet tea, small towns, and long summer nights, that some of the best dates end sitting on the front porch swing, and that family is top priority. She brings love in the south to life in her debut series, Sex & Sweet Tea. When Juliette isn’t delivering the sweetest kind of romance, she’s teaching her southern belle daughter the fine art of fishing, the importance of wearing Chucks, and the endless possibilities of a vivid imagination.