Monthly Archives: March 2014

Book news: Ivy Lane: Spring: Part 1 by Cathy Bramley

Couple of days ago we found out one of our favorite authors, Cathy Bramley has signed a deal with Transworld for publishing her new work/s. We absolutely loved her debut, ‘Conditional Love’ and were over the moon to find out about such a big news! The new novel ‘Ivy Lane’ is a serialized novel told in four parts – spring, summer, autumn  and winter. The first part Spring, is already available to request on NetGalley and yessss, we got it and will be reviewing it just in time for publication. The release day is April 3rd and we’re already looking forward to next part, Summer.

 

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Blurb:

Friendship blossoms at Ivy Lane…

Tilly Parker needs a fresh start, fresh air and a fresh attitude if she is ever to leave the past behind and move on with her life. As she settles in to a new town seeking peace and solitude, taking on her own plot at Ivy Lane allotments seems like the perfect solution. But the vibrant, friendly Ivy Lane community has other ideas and endeavour to entice Tilly into seedling swaps and Easter egg hunts. Can Tilly let new friends into her life, or will she stay a wallflower for good?

 

Buy ‘Ivy Lane: Spring Part 1’ on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

Find Cathy Bramley on her site, facebook, and twitter

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Blog Tour: If You Only Knew by Zanna Mackenzie

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Crooked Cat Publishing

Published on:  February 7th 2014

Faith owns The Coffee Pot in the outdoor adventure sports mecca of Derbyshire’s Peak District. She hasn’t had a man in her life for a while, as she’s been too busy serving cakes to weary rock climbers and mountain bikers to find time for the complications of a relationship with the male of the species.

At least, that’s what she tells herself. The truth is that since she got her heart broken she’s had problems trusting men.

When she meets Zane, one of the new owners at the Carrdale Extreme Sports Centre, Faith finds herself enjoying his company even though part of her can’t help wondering why he’s so reluctant to talk about himself.

Then the past comes back to haunt her in the shape of Zane’s business partner Matt, who just happens to be the guy who broke Faith’s heart all those years ago.

With Matt out to cause trouble and Zane keeping secrets Faith’s life is about to get very complicated indeed…

 

Main buy links for book:

*Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/You-Only-Knew-Zanna-Mackenzie/dp/190984148X/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_1_GMEM

*Amazon USA

http://www.amazon.com/You-Only-Knew-Zanna-Mackenzie/dp/190984148X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1390576576&sr=8-2&keywords=zanna+mackenzie

 

Excerpt

 

This couldn’t be happening.

Zane had said his business partner was called Matt. She was sure of it. Yes, he’d definitely just introduced him as Matt. But the man standing before her wasn’t Matt.

It was Aaron.

Faith wiped her hands on a tea–towel. She wanted to speak, but couldn’t get her brain into gear enough to make her mouth form the words.

She’d thought Aaron was gone from her life.

It looked as though she was wrong.

She took a step back, wrapping her arms around herself. Suddenly she felt cold and shaky. Aaron was back? This was impossible.

Yet here he was, standing in her kitchen. She felt dizzy and light-headed.

How should she react? Should she admit they knew each other? Why had Aaron changed his name to Matt anyway? Would he prefer it if the fact they knew each other was kept quiet?

But she knew she couldn’t keep something like that from Zane.

As she debated what to say and do next, the room remained awkwardly silent. Zane was looking at her questioningly.

What should she say?

Come on, think, woman. Think.

Too late. Aaron spoke first.

“Faith, it’s amazing to see you again after all these years.”

OK. So he didn’t want to keep it a secret that they already knew each other.

“Aaron,” she managed to say. “This is a bit of a shock.”

“That’s an understatement,” Matt said, stepping forward to pull her into a hug.

“Hang on a second,” Zane said, pushing into the room. “Aaron? That’s your proper name isn’t it?” He raised enquiring eyebrows at Matt. “What’s going on? You two already know each other?”

 

About the Author

 

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Zanna Mackenzie lives on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border with her husband, 4 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.

Being a freelance writer and editor of business publications is her ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, she can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel she’s working on. She loves it when the characters in her novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot!

If You Only Knew is Zanna’s third novel; her previous books The Love Programme, and How Do You Spell Love? were both published in 2013.

Find out more about Zanna on her blog http://www.zannamackenzie.blogspot.co.uk, on Twitter via @ZannaMacKenzie or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/zanna.mackenzie

Author Links

www.zannamackenzie.blogspot.co.uk

Twitter:    https://twitter.com/ZannaMacKenzie

Facebook: www.facebook.com/zanna.mackenzie

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10703273-zanna-mackenzie

Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zanna-Mackenzie/e/B00BKY1A18/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

Our review:

Meet Faith. She runs her own business, a Café called The Coffee Pot at the outdoor adventure sports mecca of Derbyshire’s Peak District, her hometown. One day, Zane enters her life. He’s the new owner of the Carrdale Adventure Sports Centre, and the love sparkles are in the air. It had been a while since Faith’s latest serious relationship. But, she has no idea that Zane’s business partner Matt is Faith’s ex-boyfriend, and he is the reason that she doesn’t trust men. So, when Matt shows up in the Caffe, things are starting to complicate.

I loved Faith as a MC. Nice girl from the neighbourhood, easy to be friends with. Disapointed in love, she puts everything she has into career, starting her business from a scratch. She’s a hardworking young woman that knows how to stand on her own feet.

The guys in the story are gorgious. Zane is a sports trainer, handsome, good-looking guy, who loves outdoor activities. But as the story goes on, Faith discovers that he is far from Mr. Perfect. That doesn’t mean that he is a bad person, just also had a bad experience when it comes to love, just like Faith.

And there’s the triangle, Matt, or Aaron, is Zane’s business partner and best friend, but also Faith’s ex-boyfriend. He is too a sports trainer, and he looks amazing. He tries to seduce Faith again, even if he knows that she is with Zane now. He seems to be very good in telling a lie here and there.

What I really loved here, ever before stat reading, was the cover. It’s pink and the couple sitting atthe Café looks so romantic. I totally loved it. I also fell in love with the book. It’s a lovely, romantic, little bit predictable but nevertheless enjoyable story. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with all the characters, just like I did. I totally recommend it to all romance fans.

My rating: 4/5

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Guest post by Jill Knapp Zitron

Today we have the pleasure to welcome Jill Knapp Zitron to This Chick Reads. Jill is the author of ‘Chase’ which was published last year. We absolutely love the cover of ‘Chase’ and are very excited to read it. And yes, we’ll be reviewing it soon, so watch this space! Now off to you, lovely Jill.

 

Journal of Amalia Hastings

Entry date, August 6th

                   

                    I have been here in Brazil almost two months now, and I am in awe of it. Never have I seen such a blue sky or felt such warmth from both the sunshine and the people. The locals, the culture, just everything about it is so unlike New York. I’m having a great time, and not just going out and partying, but just really spending time with my cousin, Julie. She’s introduced me to a lot of amazing people (most of them even speak English!) There’s this one guy who I can tell likes me. I mean, he’s not exactly subtle about it. His name is Gabriel, and he’s gorgeous. Perfectly tanned skin, dark brown hair, and crystal blue eyes. The type of guy you’d see in a music video, or the cover of a romance novella.

But as beautiful as he is, my heart just isn’t in it to date anyone right now. I still think about Michael constantly. Nicholas, not as much. After I saw how drastically he changed, I realized I could never want him in my life again. He turned into something unrecognizable. Something pathetic. But my mind can’t help but wander to thoughts of Michael from time to time. I wonder what my summer would be like if I stayed in Manhattan and “gave it a shot” with him. But then I remember the hell he put me through, and I am sure I made the right choice coming here. I have no regrets about coming here. Except maybe about flying economy.

Still, something about being here, or maybe just being outside of New York, has awakened me. I feel different, and I can’t really put my finger on why.

I don’t know how I’ll feel when I see Michael again at NYU, but I’m sure it won’t be easy. I can’t stay here forever, and I’m not even saying I would want to. I just don’t know, if I want to go home. 

 

About Jill Knapp Zitron

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Jill Knapp-Zitron, a native New Yorker, is a former adjunct professor of Psychology at her Alma Mater Kean University. A regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Knapp-Zitron reports on entertainment, relationships and the differences between city and suburban lifestyles. She received a Masters in Psychology from the New School For Social Research in Manhattan, and taught professional figure skating for over a decade. She currently lives in the south with her two adorable doggies.
Twitter – @JL_Knapp

Book review: Honeymoon in Paris by Juliette Sobanet + INT Giveaway

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*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

I’m a HUUUGEEE fan of Juliette Sobanet and she got on my list of favorite authors immediately after I read her debut ‘Sleeping with Paris’ (back in 2011). That book was just so much fun! Naturally, I was over the moon when I got the opportunity to read the sequel and see what Charlotte is up to now.

For those who haven’t read ‘Sleeping with Paris’, fear not my friends. There’s enough information in this sequel about the MC’s past, so it can be easily read as a stand-alone. Still, I advise you to read the first part too, mostly because of it’s awesomeness.

So, lovely Charlotte is back, now she’s a year older and more mature and she’s marrying the love of her life. The wild lady who started up a blog dedicated to how to date like a man, fell madly in love, stopped blogging and decided to dedicate herself to Luc and her stepdaughter.

And she’s gonna have the honeymoon every woman dreams of, except…of meeting Luc’s ex-wife. No, that part is definitely more like a worse nightmare, and could ruin her honeymoon. Things start to get complicated when Charlotte finds out Luc has been keeping many secrets from her. They are mostly family business and things connected with his dad. But what kind of life could she expect with a man who’s starting to build their mutual life on lies?

Without wanting to spoil this book for you, I’ll just say – be prepared for lots of drama and some mystery.
Recently I read Juliette’s book ‘Dancing with Paris’ which is not part of this series, and though I enjoyed it I realized Juliette’s writing has changed quite a bit during the years. Now, don’t get me wrong, she’s still a brilliant author, but unlike her debut and first part of this series, seems Juliette started experimenting with genres. ‘Honeymoon in Paris’ has less romance and more drama, action and mystery. I’d say it’s a mixture of chick lit and cozy mystery, which really is fine with me, still I kind of wanted more romance and humor.

Some of the things were bit over the top for me, and even for a chick lit (I don’t say this in a bad way) they somehow felt way too surreal. And yes, that’s what fiction is all about – make you escape reality, however, I do value a good dose of realism in my books (or in MCs).

That said, I have to admit I enjoyed this book less than ‘Sleeping with Paris’. Still I’m glad I read it and I’m so happy to get together with Charlotte once again. Though she’s matured, she’s still the lovely, cute, up-beat Charlotte I fell in love with years ago. I loved her friends, though I must say, they do end up in loads of trouble!

Overall, this was a quick, easy and enjoyable read. If you’re a fan of chick lit with strong cozy mystery elements, I do recommend you check this book out. I’m sure I’ll be reading everything Juliette writes in the future, and am really intrigued by all these transformations she’s going through as a writer.

My rating: 3.5/5

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GIVEAWAY:

Thanks to lovely Juliette, we have an 3 e-copies of ‘Honeymoon in Paris’ to give away. The giveaway is open internationally and closes on March 31th. The winners will be contacted by e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize by responding to our e-mail. In case we don’t hear from them in 48 h, we’ll have to pick another winner. This Chick Reads is not responsible for the delivering of your prize. This giveaway is sponsored by Juliette Sobanet. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck!

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Book Blitz: Kept by Elle Field + Giveaway

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“Did she really just say that? I am fifteen again, except the reality is I am experiencing full parental horror, aged twenty-five. I want to die.” 

Life hasn’t quite worked out how Arielle Lockley imagined it would. Becoming the next Coco Chanel was always her childhood dream, but she’s spent the past four years living a dizzying whirl of glitzy parties, luxurious holidays and daily shopping sprees – all paid for by boyfriend Piers – and not doing anything to make her Coco dreams happen.

When the recession hits, it’s not just the economy that takes a tumble and Arielle finds herself living back with her parents, on bad terms with Piers, and having a CV that’s as welcome as a pair of knock-off Jimmy Choos. And maybe it’s the location, but she’s also finding unwelcome thoughts of her childhood sweetheart are popping into her head…

What’s a girl to do? Can Arielle figure out what it is she now wants to do with her life and move on, or will she be doomed to spend the rest of her life dwelling over her worst mistakes, stuck listening to her parents’ embarrassing dinner table talk each night?

About the Author

Elle Field is a twenty-something chick lit author who lives in London. She enjoys exploring and photographing Blighty’s capital, seeing far too many musicals, and eating her way around London’s culinary delights.

To find out more about Elle, please read her blog: http://www.ellefield.co.uk; follow her on Twitter: @ellefie or like her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ellefieldauthor

Links:

Elle Field’s fab and quirky debut novel Kept, published last April, made it to #1 in the Amazon.com Best Sellers (free) chart this week, as well as #1 in the Literature & Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Romance and Humorous Fiction categories . It also reached #5 in the Canadian Best Sellers chart and #13 in Australia.

This was the last time Kept will ever be free on Amazon but, to celebrate the huge demand, Kept will now be available for the next five days at the bargain price of 99p/99 cents for all those who didn’t get their free download. With an average rating of 4.5/5 on Amazon.co.uk, you need to read this book!

As a thank you to all those who help to spread the word about this, make sure you enter yourself into Elle’s giveaway  for your chance to win one of six Amazon vouchers or a signed copy of one of Elle’s books.

Kept’s sequel – Lost – will be out in summer 2014, but if you fancy reading another fabulous novel by Elle Field before then, Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not is available worldwide on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats.

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Book News: Pretty in Ink by Lindsey Palmer

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Blurb:

For years, Hers magazine has been a fixture on newsstands–relatable, reliable, and ever-so-slightly frumpy. But with sales slumping, Hers’ editor-in-chief soon finds a pink slip in her inbox. And her ruthless, blisteringly high-heeled replacement may not be finished cleaning house yet.  .  .

Leah Brenner suspects she won’t be on the payroll much longer either. A telecommuting, breast milk-pumping mom of three doesn’t mesh with her new boss Mimi’s vision of a sleeker, younger-skewing Hers. Not content with nabbing Leah’s office, Mimi’s protégée, Victoria, is itching to take over Leah’s duties too–and she’s not alone. As the summer rolls out, and staffers are asked to give up even their sexiest secrets to save the brand, everyone at Hers–the sycophantic new assistant;the photo editor who’s sleeping with her boss;the Ivy League intern with oversized aspirations–will fight to keep her career, and some shred of dignity, intact. 

Smart, perceptive, and hilarious, Lindsey Palmer’s debut delivers an all too true-to-life tale of very different women faced with high-stakes choices in a rapidly changing–yet utterly familiar–world.

“A sharp, hilarious romp through a spot-on believable women’s magazine.” –Sally Koslow, former Editor-in-Chief of McCall’s

“An essential novel.  .  .engaging, sensitive, and so much fun.  .  .I wanted to hang out with the women of Hers Magazine long after I’d turned the last page.” -Diana Spechler, author of Skinny 

‘Pretty in Ink’ is Lindsey Palmer’s debut and will be released on March 25th 2014 by Kensington Books.

Read a sneak peek of chapter 1 here

Pre-order your copy on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

Find Lindsey Palmer on her site and facebook

Book review: Take Mum Out by Fiona Gibson

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*Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*

‘Take Mum Out’ is definitely one of the best and funniest books I’ve read this year. I was immediately drawn to it by the beautiful cover and fantastic blurb. The blurb itself might seem to say quite a lot about what’s happening in this book, but trust me, it’s not just about the story, it’s about the WAY this story is told and the amount of humor.

Told from the first person (which I do enjoy a lot) it’s a story that will get you hooked from the first page. Alice is divorced, starting out a meringue business (I didn’t know meringue could be such a HIT) and has two teenagers at home. As if her life is not already crazy enough, three of her best friends, talk her into getting back on the dating scene, each one of them trying to fix her up with Mr Right. But not everything goes to plan and these dates turn into some of the most humiliating, disastrous yet hilarious moments in Alice’s life.

There are just soooo many things I loved about this book. First off, the HUMOR. It’s so effortless, so fresh, so addictive. I have no idea how Ms Gibson pulled it off, but gosh..I couldn’t stop laughing. So though you might have read similar chick lits, the humor present definitely makes this book stand out. The dates were funny, Alice is a HILARIOUS character, her relationship with her sons is wonderfully written..should I go on? I told you, there’s just so much to like about this book, in my case..probably everything. I loved everything!

Having two boys of my own, though not teenagers, I could connect with Alice and understand all the things she was going through with her sons. But what I loved the most about all of them, is the fact Alice is a normal, down-to-earth person and has brought up lovely kids. Though they are teenagers, they are normal kids, unlike so many teenagers out there full of rage and anger.

I also loved her best friends and their relationship. Even their efforts to find Mr Right for Alice were too cute and I respected them more for trying so hard to make their friend feel ‘complete’. But don’t get me wrong, Alice is not the whiny type that can’t be complete without a man..OH NO! She’s strong and seems the last thing on her mind is to find a man.

Seems I could go on and on about this book, but it all comes down to this – if you’re looking for a hilarious book you’ll devour in one sitting (or two), look no further. The only thing I’m sorry about is the fact I was interrupted on so many occasions when reading this book, having so much happening in my life right now, it took me more than 2 days to read it. But the good thing is each free minute I’d happily run back to my kindle so I could continue reading. And in my book, this is the best thing that could happen to a reader. Running back to your book and shutting out from everything around you.

I wholeheartedly recommend this to every chick lit fan, or anyone looking for a fantastic, easy to read book filled with humor.

My rating: 5/5

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Buy ‘Take Mum Out’ on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

Find Fiona Gibson on her site, facebook and twitter

Book News: Random Acts of Kindness by Lisa Verge Higgins

A new novel of women’s friendship from the author of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship and Friendship Makes the Heart Grow Fonder.

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Blurb:

With the remnants of her past rattling in the trunk of her Chevy, Jenna Elliott abandons her Seattle home determined to start life anew. Her journey compels her to the door of two friends: Claire, an ex-Buddhist nun and cancer survivor, eager to escape her overbearing family for what may be her last chance to fulfill a dream; and Nicole, a professional Life Coach who can’t even control her own teenage son. But what starts out as an impulsive road trip soon becomes an inexorable journey to their past, as the women grapple with who they were, who they are, and the strange twists that have now set them on the road to their hometown of Pine Lake. There, Jenna discovers that her random act of kindness has rippled out into the world like a stone dropped into a deep pond, coming back to rock her life—and those of her friends—in ways they never expected.

‘Random Acts of Kindness’ will be released on March 25th 2014 by Grand Central Publishing.

Pre-order ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

Book News: The Tea Chest by Josephine Moon

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Blurb:

Kate Fullerton, talented tea designer and now co-owner of The Tea Chest, could never have imagined that she’d be flying from Brisbane to London, risking her young family’s future, to save the business she loves from the woman who wants to shut it down.

Meanwhile, Leila Morton has just lost her job; and if Elizabeth Clancy had known today was the day she would appear on the nightly news, she might at least have put on some clothes. Both need to move on.

When Kate’s, Leila’s and Elizabeth’s paths cross, they throw themselves into realising Kate’s vision of the newest and most delectable tea shop in London, The Tea Chest. But with the very real possibility that The Tea Chest may fail, the three women are forced to decide what’s important to each of them.

An enchanting, witty novel about the unexpected situations life throws at us, and how love and friendship help us through. Written with heart and infused with the seductive scents of bergamot, Indian spices, lemon, rose and caramel, it’s a world you won’t want to leave.

‘The Tea Chest’ is Josephine Moon’s debut and will be released on March 31st. Take a sneak peek here.

Pre-order your copy of ‘The Tea Chest’ on amazon.co.uk or amazon.com.au

Book review: February or Forever by Juliet Madison + INT Giveaway

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*Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Being a HUGE fan of Juliet and having read and enjoyed all of her previous works, I was really excited about reading this book. It’s the second installment in the Tarrin’s Bay series and one of the 2014 books I was most excited about.

I was soooo happy to be back to Tarrin’s bay, that beautiful, magical place also known as The Town of New Beginnings. Though I enjoyed the first part, ‘January Wish’, I must admit I enjoyed this part so much more. It’s not only beautifully written, I also got to connect with the MC more.

Chrissie Burns is going through a rough period, she’s recently divorced, taking care of her little son and just moved to Tarrin’s Bay. She works as a yoga instructor in a fab and luxurious health retreat, and really loves her job. She’s beyond excited (and oh so nervous) when she finds us she’s given a special, VIP client to work with, gorgeous Drew Williams. Drew is not only a multiple Grammy award-winning artist, he’s also drop dead gorgeous. Yet, despite being so famous, he’s such a down-to-earth person everyone can talk to. Drew is living in LA but is back to his Tarrin’s Bay, where he was born and raised, for a one month visit. Now, both Chrissie and Drew haven’t been much lucky when it comes to love and relationship..but this February, anything could be possible.

I totally loved this book! I’ll admit, it took off to a slow start but once the story got deeper and more complex, I found myself flipping through the pages craving for more. The romance part is gradually built and wonderfully written, and Drew and Chrrisie are such lovable characters. Honestly, I’m not the one to drool over fictional heroes, but man..Drew really won my heart. He’s gorgeous, successful, yet such a friendly, kind, family guy. It was really nice to read about a normal celebrity for a change. Usually, authors portray them as hard to get and arrogant (well, maybe because most of the celebrities in real life are like that), but still…I really enjoyed that, the fact Drew is not full of rage, or arrogance, but is instead so respectful to everyone. Now all of THIS makes him a true romance hero for me!

Chrissie is equally lovable, she’s such a mature character (despite having some issues). She’s a great mom and really really tries hard in raising her son. So, this is not just another romance story (though, there’s a strong romance element in it), it’s actually deeper than that. It’s about love, family, fighting your fears, and believing in yourself and others.

As much as I expected an enjoyable read, I must add Juliet surprised me with this story. It exceeded all my expectations and left me craving for me. It’s a wonderful story that will leave a huge smile on your face. I definitely can’t wait to read more in this series.

My rating: 4/5

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GIVEAWAY:

Thanks to lovely Juliet, we have an e-copy of ‘February or Forever’ to give away to one lucky blog-reader. The giveaway is open internationally and closes on March 25th. The winner will be contacted by e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize by responding to our e-mail. In case we don’t hear from them in 48 h, we’ll have to pick another winner. This Chick Reads is not responsible for the delivering of your prize. This giveaway is sponsored by Juliet Madison. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck!

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