Review: Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer

Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer
Published: January 27, 2015
Format: copy via Edelweiss
Challenge: 2015 NetGalley/Edelweiss
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Rating: 4/5

An account executive in a Mad Men world, Anna Wyatt is at a crossroads. Recently divorced, she’s done a lot of emotional housecleaning, including a self-imposed dating sabbatical. But now that she’s turned forty, she’s struggling to figure out what her life needs. Brainstorming to win over an important new client, she discovers a self-help book—Be the Heroine, Find Your Hero—that offers her unexpected insights and leads her to a most unlikely place: a romance writers’ conference. If she can sign the Romance Cover Model of the Year Pageant winner for her campaign—and meet the author who has inspired her to take control of her life—she’ll win the account.

For Anna, taking control means taking chances, including getting to know Sasha, her pretty young colleague on the project, and indulging in a steamy elevator ride with Lincoln Mallory, a dashing financial consultant she meets in the hotel. When the conference ends, Anna and Lincoln must decide if their intense connection is strong enough to survive outside the romantic fantasy they’ve created. Yet Lincoln is only one of Anna’s dilemmas. Now that her campaign is off the ground, others in the office want to steal her success, and her alcoholic brother, Ferdie, is spiraling out of control.

To have the life she wants-to be happy without guilt, to be accepted for herself, to love and to be loved, to just be—she has to put herself first, accept her imperfections, embrace her passions, and finally be the heroine of her own story.

My Thoughts
This is my second Liza Palmer experience all I can say is it just gets better every time. Anna is my new favorite character I loved that she is flawed and in a sense a mess right now in her life. She is divorced and trudging her way through life. She is focusing mainly on her career right now trying to make a niche for herself in the man’s world of advertising. While she is focused on her work she is pushing her personal life on the back burner until she goes on a work trip and meets the mysterious Lincoln. Thinking she will let loose this one time she has a good time with him while she is there thinking nothing will happen after that. However Anna isn’t that type of girl she’s always thinking ahead and never really living in the now. I think that is why I so identified with Anna so much because I’m the same way. I love all or nothing. My problem has always that I can’t just live in the now I’m always thinking 20 steps ahead which has always been my downfall.

The other thing I loved was the surprise friendship between Anna and her new coworker Sasha. Two people who don’t really have much in common on the surface but who indeed have way more in common than they even know. I love when there is a solid female friendship because sometimes in life we don’t see that. There tends to be this “mean girls” mentality at times and I for one don’t understand why we can’t support each other instead of tearing each other down. Liza Palmer is a wonderful writer whose characters are always off or imperfect but that’s why I love and gravitate towards them. I love real life people rather than that perfect story book type, that’s what I connect with I like to see myself in them. I highly encourage everyone to read this book it’s funny, it has characters you will definitely relate to plus a little romance thrown in for good measure. 


WoW [106]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Immaculate by Katelyn Detweiler
Expected Publication: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Viking Children’s
Add to Goodreads

Mina is seventeen. A virgin. And pregnant.

Mina is top of her class, girlfriend to the most ambitious guy in school, able to reason and study her way through anything. But when she suddenly finds herself pregnant—despite having never had sex—her orderly world collapses. Almost nobody believes Mina’s claims of virginity. Her father assumes that her boyfriend is responsible; her boyfriend believes she must have cheated on him. As news of Mina’s story spreads, there are those who brand her a liar. There are those who brand her a heretic. And there are those who believe that miracles are possible—and that Mina’s unborn child could be the greatest miracle of all.

Why I Can’t Wait…
Plain and simple…I’m curious.

Feel free to link me to yours.


Review: Before I Go by Colleen Oakley

Before I Go by Colleen Oakley
Published: January 6, 2015
Publisher: Gallery Books
Format: via NetGalley
Challenges: NetGalley/Edelweiss
Rating: 5/5

Twenty-seven-year-old Daisy already beat breast cancer three years ago. How can this be happening to her again?

On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant “Cancerversary” with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it’s an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect—but not because she’s afraid for herself. She’s terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife.

With a singular determination, Daisy scouts local parks and coffee shops and online dating sites looking for Jack’s perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. As the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy’s forced to decide what’s more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husband’s happiness—or her own?

My Thoughts
This is one of those reviews where I won’t talk so much about the book but mainly about how it made me feel. This is definitely a book that plays on emotions. Not so much on sadness which it is but also through a list of them happiness, sadness hope, hopelessness and so many more.

Yes this is about Daisy and her dealing with the recurrence of cancer and her coming to terms with the fact she is dying I didn’t see it so much focusing on the big “C”. Daisy was more focused on putting in order the lives of those she would leave behind. She is a woman of list and organization and she thinks she must find someone for her husband whom she worries about the most. In theory her idea of finding someone for her husband is in a way understandable she never thought she would feel the way she does when she thinks her plan has worked. This is about communication and how one can never jump to conclusions and assume things are what they seem.

There are not enough words to truly describe what this book means and how it affected me. It’s beautifully written words had me up until 2 am because I so needed to know how it all played out. There I was in bed with tears streaming down my face…man I loved this book and I encourage everyone to get this and devour it.  It will make you laugh and it will make you cry but most importantly it will make you realize the true treasure that life is.


Blog Tour Excerpt + Giveaway: Withering Hope by Layla Hagen

Withering Hope by Layla Hagen
Published: January 19, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon / BN / iBooks / Kobo

Aimee’s wedding is supposed to turn out perfect. Her dress, her fiancé and the location—the idyllic holiday ranch in Brazil—are perfect.
But all Aimee’s plans come crashing down when the private jet that’s taking her from the U.S. to the ranch—where her fiancé awaits her—defects mid-flight and the pilot is forced to perform an emergency landing in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
With no way to reach civilisation, being rescued is Aimee and Tristan’s—the pilot—only hope. A slim one that slowly withers away, desperation taking its place. Because death wanders in the jungle under many forms: starvation, diseases. Beasts.
As Aimee and Tristan fight to find ways to survive, they grow closer. Together they discover that facing old, inner agonies carved by painful pasts takes just as much courage, if not even more, than facing the rainforest.
Despite her devotion to her fiancé, Aimee can’t hide her feelings for Tristan—the man for whom she’s slowly becoming everything. You can hide many things in the rainforest. But not lies. Or love.
Withering Hope is the story of a man who desperately needs forgiveness and the woman who brings him hope. It is a story in which hope births wings and blooms into a love that is as beautiful and intense as it is forbidden.

My name is Layla Hagen and I am a New Adult Contemporary Romance author. I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later. I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world. And I drink coffee. Lots of it, in case the photo didn’t make it obvious enough.

Author links

Giveaway Click HERE to Enter
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL) 
$20 Amazon Gift Card
(Tristan’s POV)
No rescue helicopter arrives. Not the following morning, or any morning after it. I expect Aimee to break down, but she doesn’t. It shouldn’t surprise me, though. I’ve suspected she is strong since I first met her.

Chris Moore hired me as his pilot two and a half years ago, giving me the chance for a
fresh start I so desperately needed. I was grateful to him, and even liked him. Despite his wealth and success, he was grounded and unpretentious. When I first met Aimee, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she was just as unassuming.
And so much more.

She went out of her way to be friendly, making it easy to adjust to my side job as her driver when Chris didn’t need me as a pilot. I suppose I came off as cold to her, because I only acknowledged her effort with a curt thank you. But I wasn’t used to anyone being friendly to me. Over the past years people had either shown me pity or feared me. Not Aimee. Of course, she didn’t know anything about my past—Chris kept his word and never told her.  
When first I drove Aimee to Chris’s parents’ mansion, I realized Aimee hadn’t given me any special treatment. She was genuinely friendly to everyone on the staff. They all liked to be around her.

So did I. I liked it a little too much. She had a way of growing on people without even trying. She was warm and eager to get to really know people. A bit too eager… and the secrets I carried were best left buried. So I was content with being around her, or observing her from a distance. From where it was safe. Here, where our lifeline depends on working and sticking together, where I’m prepared to do just about anything to keep her safe, it will be hard to keep that distance, but I will do my best.


Review: The Sweetheart by Angelina Mirabella

The Sweetheart by Angelina Mirabella
Published: January 20, 2015
Format: copy via publisher
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Rating: 4/5

A debut, coming-of-age novel in which a teenage girl from Philadelphia leaves her old life behind to become The Sweetheart, one of America's most infamous female wrestlers. It's 1953 and seventeen-year-old Leonie Putzkammer is cartoonishly tall and curvaceous, destined to spend the rest of her life waiting tables and living with her widowed father, Franz, in their Philadelphia row house. Until the day legendary wrestling promoter Salvatore Costantini walks into the local diner and offers her the chance of a lifetime.

Leonie sets off for Florida to train at Joe Pospisil's School for Lady Grappling. There, she transforms into Gorgeous Gwen Davies, tag-team partner of legendary Screaming Mimi Hollander, and begins a romance with the soon-to-be Junior Heavyweight Champion Spider McGee. But when life as Gorgeous Gwen leaves her wanting, she orchestrates a move that will catapult her from heel to hero: she becomes The Sweetheart, a choice that attracts the fans she desires but complicates all of her relationships with Franz, Joe, Spider, Mimi (who becomes her fiercest competitor), and even with herself.

My Thoughts
The Sweetheart caught me completely off guard…in a good way! I must admit I didn’t know if this book was my type but I vowed this year to span my literary horizon and after reading this I’m sure glad I did. While I’ve always been a fan of ‘resslin’ I honestly never really cared for women wrestling. However this story of Leonie was amusing and I loved the whole coming of age tale of a girl finding her passion and living her life. And while Leonie’s story is wonderful I also loved the supporting characters that are all wonderful in their own right. Although this books storyline is basically about wrestling it’s much more than that. It’s about friendship, love and ultimately finding who you are and whom you’re meant to be. 


WoW [105]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

             Newport by Jill Morrow
Expected Publication: July 7, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow

Spring 1921. The Great War is over, Prohibition is in full swing, the Depression still years away, and Newport, Rhode Island's glittering "summer cottages" are inhabited by the gloriously rich families who built them.

Attorney Adrian De la Noye is no stranger to Newport, having sheltered there during his misspent youth. Though he'd prefer to forget the place, he returns to revise the will of a well-heeled client. Bennett Chapman's offspring have the usual concerns about their father's much-younger fiancee. But when they learn of the old widower's firm belief that his first late wife, who "communicates" via seance, has chosen the beautiful Catherine Walsh for him, they're shocked. And for Adrian, encountering Catherine in the last place he saw her decades ago proves to be a far greater surprise.

Still, De la Noye is here to handle a will, and he fully intends to do so--just as soon as he unearths every last secret, otherworldly or not, about the Chapmans, Catherine Walsh . . . and his own very fraught history.

A skillful alchemy of social satire, dark humor, and finely drawn characters, Newport vividly brings to life the glitzy era of the 1920s.

Why I Can’t Wait…
I love everything about this read! I just feel like I’ll be transported into another time and place and I can’t wait to see what’s in store. Plus the cover is just so beautiful! Now I just have to get my hands on a copy….

Feel free to link me to yours.


Book Blitz + Giveaway: Love & Other Lies by Madeline Ash

Love & Other Lies by Madeline Ash
Published by: Destiny Romance
Publication Date: January 20, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon

Small town vet Abby Benson has fled to the country to put her shameful past behind her. She’s just beginning to find her feet again when handsome stranger, Rue Thorn, arrives in town and begins to stir things up. Rue is gorgeous, kind and thoughtful and the two share an instant attraction.  But convinced he’ll despise her if he learns about her history, Abby reluctantly keeps him at arms length. Determined to win Abby over, Rue tries to reshape himself as the sort of guy he thinks she might be interested in. And for a while it seems his act is working.  But when he finds out that Abby has been lying to him, it isn’t long before everything start to unravel. A moving story of trust, forgiveness and the power of love from the author of Uncovered by Love and The Playboy’s Dark Secret.

Madeline lives and writes in Melbourne. She is an author with Destiny Romance and Tule Publishing. Online, she calls madelineash.net home, although she does have capricious blogging tendencies so might not always have fresh tea ready for visitors. That's not to say she doesn't welcome company.She writes contemporary romance.

Author links

GIVEAWAY Click HERE to Enter

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)

  • eBook copy of Love & Other Lies
  • eBook copy of The Playboy's Dark Secret (a connected book to L&OL, as the heroes are brothers)
  • A print copy of Uncovered by Love
  • $20 voucher for the online book distributor of their choice (Amazon/iTunes/etc)


Wednesday morning, Abby checked her watch as she hurried out of the bakery, paper bag in hand, ten minutes late for work. All Rue’s fault. If he would stop being seen around town – browsing the market, enquiring about nature walks, eating lunch with a healing Spindle in tow – everyone would leave her alone. But this was the third morning in a row that she’d been sidled up to and asked whether he’d persuaded her yet.
These people seriously had no shame.
She slid the change into her wallet and glanced up to see Rue leaning against her four-wheel drive, parallel parked on Main Street. She halted, stomach hitching. He was looking away, one ankle crossed over the other, hands in the pockets of those faded denim jeans. He wore sunglasses, the burnt brown lenses and thin gold rims working with the dishevelled hair to push him into clandestine superstar territory.
He’d been detected. Curious faces peered through shop windows, and Tanya loitered on the street corner, typing on her phone with eyes set on Rue. When she noticed Abby, she gave an outrageously obvious wink.
This was going to necessitate an official change in her working hours.
Abby hadn’t seen Rue since he’d visited the vet. Two days with nothing but a light on across the street to show he was still in town. Two days to remember how darkly she could hurt people and know for absolute certain she couldn’t run the risk of hurting him too.
As she considered hightailing it, he spotted her. He pushed off the car and started towards her. His walk was smooth, assured. The possibility that he was going to ask her out again sent nerves sprinting from her heart to her toes and back again.
She would have to say no.
No to that determined stare meeting hers as he shoved his shades onto his head. No to that kind heart and beautiful body. No to everything she wanted. Just no.
When he was a few strides away, she inhaled. ‘Rue—’
‘Hold that thought,’ he murmured as he reached her, sliding a hand behind her head and bringing his mouth down to hers.
Startled, Abby dropped the bakery bag. His body came closer, hand still cradling the back of her neck, the other skimming down her waist to tug her fully against him. Heat and contact met her skin and shot deeper, raging in her chest, tangling in the base of her stomach. He slanted his head and the warmth of his mouth shifted, tongue sliding over her bottom lip, not demanding entrance, but working for it. Working, playing, teasing – whatever he was doing, he did it like no man had before.
She could smell his skin. Hear the pounding of her pulse. His thumb caressed the hollow behind her ear and the tenderness of that touch tore through her body like a scream.
Deafened by it, she opened her mouth and drew him in.
His taste was an ache against her tongue, so pure and perfect that she missed it even as he pushed deeper. She circled her arms around his middle, holding on, feeling her breasts and belly and thighs press against muscle. She felt like she could never speak again and that would be all right, if she could stay right here. No lies, no restraint, just Rue’s kiss and the truth of her body’s response.
He’d probably be okay with that.
Those wide hands slid down to grasp her hips. Holding her steady, he broke away from her mouth and kissed up and along her right cheekbone. Abby closed her eyes as his lips reached her ear, tingles breaking out down her spine.
‘I hardly know you,’ he murmured, nudging the curl of her ear with his nose. ‘So how is it that I feel like I’ll always know you?’
She didn’t speak. Didn’t dare.
‘I can feel you in my head,’ he said, forehead on her temple. ‘You make me feel like there’s something urgent I haven’t done yet, and I can’t put my finger on what it is, but every day that I get closer to leaving this place, I get more uneasy. So I need to do something about it. About you.’
His mouth found hers again and it occurred to Abby that everything Rue knew about her was real. There was a pit of things he didn’t know – but the things he did know, those were real.
She had never kissed a man who knew real things about her.
He pulled back again, tucking hair behind her ear, and her pulse tumbled. ‘You must like being the subject of gossip,’ she murmured.
His back was to the street. A sparkle lit his eyes. ‘Observers?’
‘All armed with opinions about such a lascivious public event?’
‘Over-armed, I imagine.’
‘Friday,’ he said. ‘I’ll pick you up at seven.’
‘About that—’
‘Okay, seven-thirty.’ Then, as suddenly as he’d kissed her, he lowered his sunglasses and turned away, cutting past the delighted spectators. Abby watched his retreat, breath short. Arousal kneaded at her body from the inside out, like greedy fingers reaching after him.
As far as truth went, her response to Rue was absolute. It felt whole and untainted, pounding hot through her veins. It felt honest.
‘Well,’ she said, accepting her fate. ‘Seven-thirty, then.’


Book Blitz + Giveaway: Forever Now by Elise Sax

Forever Now (Forever #1) by Elise Sax 
Release Date: November 29, 2014
Buy: Amazon

Summary from Goodreads
When Tess's mother abandons her during her senior year at high school, she must find a way to keep the secret and survive until graduation. She's surprised when Cruz, her crush and an aspiring model, moves in to help. Tess has dreams of studying in Paris, France and becoming a writer...impossible dreams without money or family. But as Tess and Cruz's relationship grows closer, Cruz will do anything to make sure Tess's dreams come true. But at what price? 

Forever Now is the first book in the Forever young adult / new adult trilogy about finding love, living dreams, and overcoming great odds. 

Forever begins now.

Teaser Quote:
Love is glorious beauty made perfect happiness in the arms of another, but it is sharper than a knife and twice as destructive in the wake of its rejection.

About the Author
Elise Sax worked as a journalist for fifteen years, mostly in Paris, France. She took a detour from journalism and became a private investigator before writing her first novel. She lives in Southern California with her two sons.
She loves to hear from her readers. Don’t hesitate to contact her at elisesax@gmail.com, and sign up for her newsletter at http://elisesax.com/mailing-list.php to get notifications of new releases and sales.

Author Links

Click HERE to enter for a $50 Amazon Gift Card

Book Blitz Organized by:


WoW [104]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

             Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
Expected Publication: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Mira

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can't get the girl out of her head.

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal or worse. But despite her family's objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow's past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she's willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

Why I Can’t Wait…
I love a good thriller and this one seems like another awesome read by Mary Kubica. Sounds like a great story line and book one I can’t wait to get my hands on!

Feel free to link me to yours.


Cover Reveal: Life Unaware by Cole Gibsen

Life Unaware by Cole Gibsen
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Regan Flay has been talking about you. 

Regan Flay is on the cusp of achieving her control-freak mother's "plan" for high school success―cheerleading, student council, the Honor Society—until her life gets turned horribly, horribly upside down. Every bitchy text. Every bitchy email. Every lie, manipulation, and insult she's ever said have been printed out and taped to all the lockers in school. 

Now Regan has gone from popular princess to total pariah. 
The only person who even speaks to her is her former best friend's hot but socially miscreant brother, Nolan Letner. Nolan thinks he knows what Regan's going through, but whatnobody knows is that Regan isn't really Little Miss Perfect. In fact, she's barely holding it together under her mom's pressure. But the consequences of Regan's fall from grace are only just beginning. Once the chain reaction starts, no one will remain untouched... 

Especially Regan Flay.

About the Author
Cole Gibsen first realized she different when, in high school, she was still reading comic books while the other girls were reading fashion magazines.

It was her love of superheroes that first inspired her to pick up a pen. Her favorite things to write about are ordinary girls who find themselves in extraordinary situations.

Author Links:

Cover Reveal Organized by: