Review: The Lake Season by Hannah McKinnon

The Lake Season by Hannah McKinnon
Expected Publication: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Atria Books
Rating: 4/5

Iris Standish has always been the responsible sister: the one who studied hard, settled down, and always made the right choices—even when they came at the expense of her passions. Meanwhile, her sister Leah dropped out of college to “find herself” by hiking through Yellowstone and switches jobs nearly as often as she switches lovers, leaving Iris to pick up the pieces in her wake.

But now Iris’s life is coming apart at the seams, and when Leah calls her back to their childhood home with a desperate cry for help, she is thrust headfirst into preparations for her sister’s wedding to a man their New Hampshire clan has never met…with her own marriage and family on the brink. Still, despite the rush of dress fittings, floral arrangements, and rehearsal dinners, Iris is learning to put herself first. And amid a backdrop of late-night swims and a soul-restoring barn renovation comes Cooper Woods, a high school crush who beckons with the promise of a new start.

While Leah faces a past that has finally caught up to her, Iris prepares to say goodbye to a future that is suddenly far from certain. As Hampstead Lake shimmers in the background, Iris must decide when to wade in cautiously and when to dive—and, ultimately, how to ferry herself to safe harbors.

My Thoughts
The Lake Season is the story of Iris whose husband tells her he wants a divorce and is seeing someone. Needing a break from everything and everyone she decides to go back home to help her younger sister prepare for her upcoming wedding. Iris has always been the good one she has always done what is asked of her so when her life is falling down around her she for once in her life does what she wants. So when she meets up with an old high school crush Cooper she decides to enjoy her time at her parents’ farm and her time with him. Over time they become close and fall in love both not knowing if it will last longer than just the summer. However not everything is fun and care free Iris is worried about her sister Leah who is dealing with problems that Iris has no idea about.

Leah was Iris’s polar opposite. She was popular, everyone loved her and she was care free yet Iris noticed something different about her sister from the get go. She was having emotional mood swings and then she also noticed how everyone seemed to handle her with kid gloves. Everyone told her it was just wedding jitters but Iris knew it was something much more than that. I won’t spoil anything but I will say it definitely wasn’t jitters. Leah’s problems were much more serious and once she tells the truth only then can she heal.

While I enjoyed both stories I loved Iris’s story the most. I just felt she came into her own. She always thought of others first but in that summer she for once put herself first and learned who she was, who she wanted to be and most importantly how she wanted the next phase of her life to be. The Lake Season is about hope, finding your true self and inner peace. Allowing yourself to take care of your needs and being truly happy. This is a must have for any beach bag this summer.


Release Week Blitz + Giveaway: 21 Stolen Kisses by Lauren Blakely

21 Stolen Kisses by Lauren Blakely
Published: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
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Buy Links:

When I first met him I resisted.
Like any forbidden love, I told myself he was a crush, and it would pass.
That was a lie. It never faded.
And I never expected he would fall for me just as hard.
There were so many reasons that should have kept us apart, least of all, the decade that separated us. Growing up in New York City, I learned early on that love is a double-edged sword.
Love broke up my parents, love took away my friends, and love -- the big, intense, never-been-like-this-before love -- landed me in therapy.
Now I'm heading to college, and it's time to give love a clean slate again. But, can I really start over when he's still in my life?
Because the one man I've always wanted, is also the only guy I absolutely can't have…
And he wants me just as fiercely.
Can I settle for anything less than the love of my life?

About Lauren
Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and she has had seven books on the New York Times Bestseller list and eleven on the USA Today Bestseller list. Like the heroine in her novel, FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her bestselling series include Caught Up in Love, Seductive Nights, No Regrets and Fighting Fire. She recently released Forbidden Nights, a standalone novel in her New York Times Bestselling Seductive Nights series that became an instant New York Times Bestseller. This summer she'll release Consumed by You, her next title in her NYT Bestselling Fighting Fire series about sexy firemen and the women they love, and Sweet Sinful Nights, the first book in her new series Sinful Nights. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.


For this release week blitz of a $25 Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or iTunes Gift Card (winner’s choice) for two winners. Please use the rafflecopter below for this giveaway!

He inhales sharply. The look in his eyes says we’re crossing into the danger zone again. It’s the only place I want to be with him. Because when we’re there, nothing between us feels dangerous. Everything feels right.
“I turn eighteen in a few more weeks,” I say, like my birthday is an open invitation for us to slam back into each other.
He nods. “I know.”
A breeze blow by and rustles his hair. A lock falls out of place. Instinct takes over. I raise my hand to reach for his hair.
But he’s faster. He grasps my wrist, and the second he does, the moment expands. It stretches and unfolds into the thing I will replay tonight and tomorrow and the next day. I stare at his hand clasped around my wrist, flashing back to all the times he held my hand, touched my wrist, and ran his fingers along my arm. I shiver as the memories collide, the past slamming into the present.
I look up from our hands to his eyes. Blazing, full of heat. Full of all that restraint from him that I know so well.


WoW [123]

This Ordinary Life by Jennifer Walkup
Expected Publication: October 1, 2015
Publisher: Luminis Books

Sometimes Hope is the Most Extraordinary Gift of All.

High-school radio host Jasmine Torres's life is full of family dysfunction, but if she can score the internship of her dreams with a New York City radio station, she knows she can turn things around.

That is, until her brother Danny’s latest seizure forces her to miss the interview, and she’s back to the endless loop of missing school for his doctor appointments, picking up the pieces of her mother’s booze-soaked life, and stressing about Danny’s future.

Then she meets Wes. He’s the perfect combination of smart, cute, and funny. He also happens to have epilepsy like her brother. Wes is living a normal life despite his medical issues, which gives Jasmine hope for Danny. But memories of her cheating ex-boyfriend keep her from going on a real date with Wes, no matter how many times he asks her.

Jasmine can’t control everything. Not who wins the internship, not her mother’s addiction, not her brother’s health--not even where her heart will lead her. She wishes she could just have an ordinary life, but maybe what she already has is pretty extraordinary after all.

Why I Can’t Wait
Anytime I can get books and music together I’m in. This sounds like a great story and one I cant wait to see what happens.

Feel free to link me to yours.


Book Blast: Girl of Mine by Taylor Dean

Taylor Dean's newest book is now available!
The book trailer:
The song that inspired me while writing GIRL OF MINE:
(Watch until the end. There's a surprise!)
A interesting tidbit about GIRL OF MINE:
My dad always worried about the cost of the electricity bill. If he walked past my bedroom and noticed that my light had been left on, he would turn it off and holler,
"That's okay, Taylor, I got your light."
It became a bit of a joke in our household. My siblings and I loved to try and catch my dad leaving on a light, just so we could say,
"That's okay, Dad, I got your light."
Now that I'm an adult with my own family, the term takes on new meaning.
The message behind it has worked its way into my new novel, Girl of Mine.
My father brought me into this world, he cared for me, and he taught me well. He gave me my "light," my life.
He nourished my "light" and helped me become the person I am today.
So, Dad, thanks for getting my light.
I'll always be grateful.
Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it's paranormal, contemporary, or suspense--you'll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up.
  100_Amazon_Paypal $100 Blast Giveaway Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/15/2015 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway


Influenster Vox Box

I thought I would do a little something different today, a tiny break from books. A while ago I join Influenster, for those of you who don’t know it’s a site where you go and link up your social media and review products. If you’re lucky you will be chosen to receive a vox box. Every few weeks there is a theme box that gets sent out and you do little tasks and review the items. I recently got my first one and I thought I would share my thoughts.
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters Cleanser
When I was in high school I use to use their products so when I got the sample I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. OMG I LOVE the cleanser. I have oily skin so I’m picky about what I use on my face but this controls the shine and it doesn’t dry it out. I will definitely be buying this for sure!

Pure Silk Moisturizing Shave Cream
This one was easy since this is the shave cream I normally use. I had never used the raspberry one before but I did like it. It’s not too strong and I like how it doesn’t dry out my skin.

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Purifying Shampoo and Conditioner
I just recently used their Way to Grow Shampoo after my mom got me some to try. While I didn’t like the Way to Grow shampoo, it got my hair so tangled it’s no wonder you have to use the conditioner after every use. So I was iffy when it came to this one but this one is WAY better. I love the scent [mint] and it left my hair so soft!

NYC Expect Last Lip Lacquer Rockaway Ruby
I’m a lip gloss girl I love it but I must admit when I see the word “lacquer” I get scared. I always think it will be sticky and messy but I was pleasantly surprised. While this isn’t the color for me, I prefer natural light colors I will definitely be getting some of these in different colors.

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs
I’m not really a body makeup person but I did test this anyways and it was ok. It did cover-up some scars I had but honestly it’s just not my thing.

JAFRA Blends
I received the full size bottle of the Violet Pomegranate, but also received samples of Blackberry Juniper Magnolia and Sea Salt Rose Petals. My favorite was the Sea Salt Rose, but I love the idea you can mix them to create your own scent. They are light and perfect for the summer.

Over all I really liked the products I got and I will be buying some in the near future. While this was my first time I really did like whole idea behind Influenster. This was definitely something fun and I would love to try it again.

"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."


Release Day Blitz: The Magnolia Affair by T.A. Foster

The Magnolia Affair by T.A. Foster
Published: May 2015

Buy Links

Audrey Kingston has the perfect life she always wanted. An adoring husband, a beautiful house, book club nights with friends. It was idyllic. It was serene. Until Paxton Tanner, candidate for state senator, moved in next door. Seduced by his undeniable charm, Audrey’s life becomes unrecognizable as she gives in to her impulses.
The affair becomes deadly, and she gets tossed into a political scandal that leads all the way to the governor’s office. When love becomes lethal, there’s only one way out.
Blitz-Wide giveaway
Click HERE to win a $10 Amazon GC
T.A. Foster Bio:
T.A. Foster grew up catching rays and waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her husband, three children and canine kiddo.
She has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University.  When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.
Connect with T.A.

TMA Excerpt
“Is it important to you that I like you?” I didn’t mean to be blunt.
“Yes.” His arm brushed mine again, but this time I wasn’t sure it was an accident.
“I’m just one little vote. You probably have the rest of the neighborhood in the bag. The book club was impressed with you.”
I thought he might be digesting my statement. “Every vote counts. Every person matters. You matter.”
We turned at the corner. I could see my driveway ahead. “You sound like an idealist.”
The center of my chest warmed when I heard the sound of his laugh. I wasn’t supposed to feel that when I heard another man laugh. I wasn’t supposed to react at all.
“I’ve been accused of worse. How about an idealist who wants his ideals to become reality?” He ventured a compromise.
I wondered if he and Sarah had conversations like these. Did he try to change her stance on issues? Did he woo her to his side of the fence with charismatic comebacks?
“Yeah. Sounds good.”
“I think I lost you for a second.”
“Sorry, I was just thinking.”
“I aimed too high with gun control, didn’t I? It’s an intense issue.” His expression changed.
“It’s not that.” I couldn’t explain what was happening. I should be able to have a mature conversation with my neighbor. We should be able to stroll on the sidewalk. I should be able to be next to him without thinking about his lips. Lips that smiled like a movie star. Something was changing and I couldn’t stop it.
There was enough light filtering through the crepe myrtles that I could see the muscles tensing in his neck. Had I said something wrong?
The flowerbed that marked the entrance to Paxton’s driveway was a few paces from where we stood. I quickened my step.
“I like talking to you. It’s nice to be able to talk without worrying about the consequences.”
My eyes flashed to his. But there were consequences. Things were happening inside me. My skin was flushed, my nerves vibrating, my pulse thumping hard against the inside of my head. He couldn’t see any of it, but I wasn’t certain he didn’t feel it.
I took a step, forgetting about the lumpy spot in front of his driveway, and almost landed on my face. Paxton gripped my arm, pulling me upward, saving me from landing facedown.
“Whoa there. You ok?”
“God, I’m sorry.” I shook off his hold. “I’m fine. I wasn’t watching where I was going. Stupid roots everywhere.” I noticed the way my arm ached from his grip. It was warm and pulsing. “Good night. Thanks for walking me home.” I wanted to run, speed past him. Run straight out of my skin.
“But, it’s dark. Let me at least drop you off at your door,” he suggested. “I wouldn’t want you to get hurt.”
I hesitated. There was a part of me hoping he would offer.
“All right. We can cut through your yard. There’s a short cut.”
“Show me.”
I followed Paxton along the driveway, noticing the lights in my house were off. This was late even for Spencer. Maybe he had gone to bed.
We passed the front porch, and I pointed to the path I used earlier that day. I could feel him behind me, taking each step I took. I grabbed one of the stiff magnolia branches and forced it to the side when I felt his hand land on top of mine.
I stopped, frozen with dread, consumed with something I hadn’t felt in years. I held onto the branch, and Paxton held onto my hand, the warmth of his palm starting to heat my skin.
His breath was heavy on my neck. It felt like waves pounding against me, each one eroding the barrier between us. I was afraid to turn around, afraid that if I looked at him I would unravel. As long as I stared at the branch, I was still in control. I couldn’t speak.
With his free hand, he pushed the hair off my neck and blew across the collar of my shirt. My knees wobbled and I gripped tighter on the branch, forcing it to keep me upright.
It was involuntary, but my head reeled back. He stepped closer. I didn’t know who I was. Hiding in the shadows while a man I barely knew touched me, like a woman who was available. A woman who was free to make choices about who touched her. I wasn’t that woman. My life was tied to Spence. Those choices weren’t mine to make, but I was making one. His was breathing freedom across my skin I didn’t know I craved.
His hand canvassed my neck, taking my throat in his palm. He ran a finger down the center, pressing lightly as he crossed my collarbone. I didn’t think I could stand there much longer as his fingertips explored my skin. The cicadas echoing around our yards drowned out the sound of my heavy breath.
I needed to stop this. But I craved it more.
I couldn’t open my eyes when he turned me toward him. If I kept them closed, it was as if I were dreaming. This was all a wine-induced dream. I could tell myself it wasn’t happening. Standing under the branches with a man only hours ago I didn’t know, but was unquestionably drawn to. Pulled in by his voice, the look in his eye, the energy around him. How he managed to be rugged, yet refined. But I knew when his mouth took mine that it was real. I could taste the wine on his tongue and the roughness of his palms as he held my face. I savored the newness of him—our lips moving wildly.
I clutched at his back. The kiss grew hungrier, our moans turning to whimpers as we snatched at the clothes between us. His teeth grazed across my throat, nipping at the soft spots tenderly then cutting in just enough to tease me.
I tensed when I felt his hand slide along my stomach and push my bra out of the way. It was too much. I tried to break away and Paxton hung his head.
“God, I’m sorry,” he whispered.
I shook my head, feeling sick. “We can’t do this. I-I didn’t want you to kiss me. You weren’t supposed to kiss me.” My fists balled at my side.

“I know. I know. It was out of line. I got carried away.” He ran his fingers through his perfect haircut. “I’m sorry. That was idiotic.”


Review: Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff

Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff
Published: April 21, 2015
Format: via BookSparks
Publisher: She Writes Press
Rating: 4/5
Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon / BN

Jennifer Sharpe is a divorced mother of two with a problem just about any working parent can relate to: her boss expects her to work as though she doesn t have children, and her children want her to care for them as though she doesn t have a boss. But when, through a fateful coincidence, a brilliant physicist comes into possession of Jennifer s phone and decides to play fairy godmother, installing a miraculous time-travel app called Wishful Thinking, Jennifer suddenly finds herself in possession of what seems like the answer to the impossible dream of having it all: an app that lets her be in more than one place at the same time. With the app, Jennifer goes quickly from zero to hero in every part of her life: she is super-worker, the last to leave her office every night; she is super-mom, the first to arrive at pickup every afternoon; and she even becomes super-girlfriend, dating a musician who thinks she has unlimited childcare and a flexible job. But Jennifer soon finds herself facing questions that adding more hours to her day can t answer. Why does she feel busier and more harried than ever? Is she aging faster than everyone around her? How can she be a good worker, mother, and partner when she can t be honest with anybody in her life? And most important, when choosing to be with your children, at work, or with your partner doesn t involve sacrifice, do those choices lose their meaning? Wishful Thinking is a modern-day fairy tale in which one woman learns to overcome the challenges and appreciate the joys of living life in real time."

My Thoughts
Wishful Thinking is a very different book than what I usually read but I actually liked it. It was just want I needed right now. It was different, funny and a breath of fresh air. Who hasn’t felt that they are being pulled in a thousand different directions and wished they could be at two places at once? Well Jennifer feels just like that and when she discovers that a time traveling app on her phone will make it possible. She becomes the person she always wanted to be she is suddenly super mom, girlfriend and the woman who has everything under control. While she feels that at the time she has everything going for her at some point something will have to give. Does she really want a life like this or eventually does she want to focus on one thing at a time and fully enjoy life as it is meant to be?
Sometimes we think we want it all but at some point we will realize that what we dreamed of isn’t what we really want. Life isn’t all about the big flashy things sometimes it’s the little everyday things that we will cherish the most in life. This book is a pure gem! So do yourself a favor and take a chance on a book that’s funny and quirky, it’s the perfect book to take to the beach or cuddled up in bed with and I promise you will be glad you did.

     About Kamy
Kamy Wicoff is the co founder of SheWrites.com, the world’s largest online community for women who write, and co founder, with publisher Brooke Warner, of She Writes Press. SheWrites.com and SheWrites Press were acquired in 2014 and are now part of the SparkPoint Studio family. Wicoff’s first book, the best-selling I Do but I Don’t: Why the Way We Marry Matters, was published by Da Capo Press in 2006. Her work has appeared in Salon.com, and has been anthologized in Why I’m Still Married: Women Write Their Hearts Out on Love, Loss, Sex, and Who Does The Dishes (Hudson Street Press, 2006), and About Face: Women Write About What They See When They Look in the Mirror (Seal Press, 2008). She serves on the board of Girls Write Now, a mentoring organization in New York City, and also formerly served on the Advisory Council for Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Wicoff lives in Brooklyn with her sons, Max and Jed.
Connect with Kamy:

Book Blitz: My Heart is Yours by Amanda Leigh

My Heart is Yours by Amanda Leigh 
Published: May 18, 2015

Summary via Goodreads
Samantha Marie Ramsden has three brothers. Craig, John and Matt. When tragedy strikes their family, Craig takes on the task of becoming his siblings legal guardian. It’s hard enough being someone’s guardian, but when you’ve only recently entered adulthood yourself it’s almost impossible to know where to draw the line between sibling and ‘parent’.

This is made even harder on him when Sam starts to get close to a long time friend, Jason. It looks like their friendship could turn into something more. An idea that Craig has never been too happy with. Spanning six years, My Heart is Yours explores family, friendship, love and much more. As well as asking the question: Would you defy family for love?

About the Author
Amanda Leigh graduated with a BA in English and Communications and a double minor in Psychology and Creative Writing. During college, she worked on the literary magazine and loved every minute of it. She adores cats and has one named Sawyer - named after one of her favorite characters in Lost. Amanda enjoys reading, writing avidly in a journal, writing poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction, cooking, listening to music, singing, swimming and art - particularly photography. Amanda is a bit of a chocoholic and is slightly obsessed with office supplies. She has many ideas for stories so keep an eye out for more work from her. 

Connect with Amanda
Blitz-wide Giveaway:
$15 GC to Amazon or BN
Click Here to Enter

Book Blitz Organized by:

Excerpt #4
Hey.She smiled seeing Jason as she walked into the living room.
“Hey.He smiled back. Sams hair was down, partially hiding her face.
They met in the middle of the room. Happy Birthday.He said.
“Thanks.She reached out to hug him. She wrapped her arms around his neck and he wrapped his around her waist. Usually, the annual hug she got for her birthday only lasted about five seconds, but this time Jason couldnt seem to let go of Sam and Sam didnt want him to. She thought about that night a year ago when John had accused her of liking Jason. Maybe he was right.
Jasons eyes were closed, but he could smell the sweet scent of Sams hair mingled with the scent of her perfume. He imagined himself kissing her, holding her in his arms for real.
They pulled away from each other, but not a lot. Her arms were still wrapped around his neck and his were still around her waist. Their faces were only about an inch apart.
“Hi.Sam whispered.
“Hi.Jason breathed back.
If, what they both were thinking was going to happen, happened, it would be Sams first kiss. Jasons too.
The moment seemed to last an eternity. They leaned in closer, their lips just barely touching, brushing against each other, then . . .
They jumped apart like two magnets repelling each other.
John eyed them a little suspiciously. Come on, its time to sing Happy Birthday.He nodded his head in the direction of the kitchen. His perfect hair swung into his eyes.
Sam looked at Jason one last time, a hint of longing in her eyes and walked away.
Jason stayed where he was. His shoulders sagged. It had almost happened, and he didnt know when hed get another chance.
“Jason, yacoming?Someone who might have been Shawn called from the kitchen.
“Yeah.He said. He walked into the kitchen and the chorus of Happy Birthdaystarted.

Dream Cast for My Heart is Yours

Sam - Bailey Buntain

Jason - Logan Lerman

Juliana - Julia Goldani Telles

Craig - Derek Theler

John - Zac Efron

Matt - Graham Philips

Sams adoptive father - Dominic Monaghan

Sams adoptive mother (Michelle) - Jennifer Aniston

Derek - Sterling Knight

Shawn - Matt Dallas

Chris - Ansel Elgort

Sams biological father - Luke Evans

Sams biological mother (Sandra) - Michelle Williams

Cop 1 - Mark Harmon

Cop 2 - Michael Weatherly

Teacher - Marion Cotillard

Playlist for My Heart is Yours
If I Aint Got You - Alicia Keys
Open Arms - Mariah Carey (originally by Journey)
You and Me - Lifehouse
Nothing Without Love - Nate Ruess
Ill Be - Edwin McCain
Iris - The GooGoo Dolls
With Eyes Wide Open - In Flames
Cant Help Falling in Love - Elvis Presley
Are You Lonesome Tonight - Elvis Presley
Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley
Youve Lost That Loving Feeling - Elvis Presley
I Want To Hold Your Hand - The Beatles

Earth Angel - The Penguins