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Blog Tour ‘Dear Thing’ by Julie Cohen – Review + Europe & UK Giveaway

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The day is finally here! We are thrilled and so honored to be the second stop of Julie Cohen’s ‘Dear Thing’ Blog Tour. ‘Dear Thing’ is a wonderful, emotional novel and we must say we weren’t surprised to hear it’s a 2014 Richard and Judy Summer Book Club pick. Congrats Julie, well deserved! And to you our lovely blog readers, read our review and make sure you enter the fantastic giveaway (details found at the end of the post). Many thanks to Julie and Tess Henderson for the opportunity to be part of this tour and for sponsoring the great giveaway. Also, make sure you visit the other tour hosts for more great content and chances to win this amazing book!

 

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Blurb:

After years of watching her best friends Ben and Claire try for a baby, Romily offered to give them the one thing they most wanted.

But Romily wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming feelings that have taken hold of her and which threaten to ruin her friendship with Ben and Claire – and even destroy their marriage.


Now there are three friends, two mothers and only one baby, and an impossible decision to make . . .

 

 

 

 

Our review:

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

OMG what a journey! ‘Dear Thing’ can be only described as a roller coaster, swinging you up and down, throwing you from side to side, evoking all these emotions you never thought a book would get out of you.

I knew pretty much just by reading the blurb this was going to be an emotional read, but honestly, I was not prepared for this. And even now, while I am writing this review, I can’t help but have teary eyes. 

‘Dear Thing’ is definitely one of the strangest books I’ve ever read, and I don’t mean strange in a bad way. It tells the story of Claire and Ben, a loving, (almost) perfect couple who seem to have it all. Except, the most important thing in life – children. No matter how hard they try, how many IVFs they have, they seem to be out of luck. That’s until Romily, Ben’s best friend for years suggest another plan. She wants to be their surrogate, letting them have the only and most precious thing in life they seem to miss.

Of course, many things will go wrong, and there’s the topic of Romily’s ex boyfriend (the father of her 7 year old daughter, Posie) but there’s also lots of drama with the new (and very awkward position) Romily, Ben and Claire get themselves into.

As you can assume, it’s a hard book, speaking about difficult topics, about being in a position when you have to make some choices and wondering which one would be the best. It’s deep and thought provoking and raises so many serious questions. It will make you love, hate, sympathize, even cry – it will get all these feelings out of you. The emotional factor and the exquisite writing skills of Ms Cohen will literally keep you glued to its pages. I’m sure many women, even if for a moment, will relate to either Claire or Romily (if not with both), and though they may not agree with the choices these women make, they will genuinely care for them. I didn’t like Romily much at the beginning, I admit. I couldn’t understand her reasons for wanting to be a surrogate. I’ve had the chance to discuss this topic with a friend of mine a couple of years ago, and to be honest, though I would never judge anyone for wanting to go through this, I would never be able to be a surrogate. I would never be able to have my dear thing in the womb for 9 months, and unselfishly give it away. Now, some would think this is normal, others would feel it’s selfish… but we’re all different and that’s the beauty of living. Those are the questions the characters in this books ask themselves and those are the challenges they face each day.

Ben is truly a great character, loving and caring, just the type of a man any woman would fall for. He’s so supportive and his desire to become a father was truly heart breaking. But at the same time, all these characters have certain flaws, making them more believable and adding dimension to them. They experience jealousy, fear and competitiveness just like any of us. Ms Cohen really managed to describe all of the turmoil and all their emotions so well, so descriptive. 

It’s a truly unique, thought provoking story that will make you think of the most precious things in life, of all the choices you make and of the consequences. Wonderful, deep and emotional, ‘Dear Thing’ is a story that will surprise you, make you think and stay with you for a long time. I can think of million reasons why you should read this book, however can’t think of a single reason why you shouldn’t. ‘Dear Thing’, you’re precious and I love you with all my heart.

My rating: 4/5

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GIVEAWAY:

Thanks to lovely Julie and Tess, we have THREE paperbacks of ‘Dear Thing’ to give away. The giveaway is open to UK and rest of Europe and closes on May 21th. 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. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck!

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Guest post by Chineka Williams + INT giveaway

Today we have the pleasure to welcome Chineka Williams, the author of ‘Love Illusion’. We’ve been following Chineka’s updates for quite some time and were so excited to hear she published her debut in February this year. We’ll be reviewing it soon, so stay tuned. But in the mean time, read her post and make sure you enter the fantastic INT giveaway (details found bellow). Many thanks to lovely Chineka for visiting This Chick Reads and sponsoring this great giveaway.

 

 

Writing while having a personal life can be challenging, but it can be done. Both are important in a writers life and should be nurtured equally. For me the balance can get a little hectic, but through scheduling and being organized I have found a way to make it work for me.

Planning and making time for writing is half the battle. If you make time for it then you will be more likely to stick to the commitment of writing. My favorite planner to use is the Life Planner from Erin Condren.

 At the beginning of each month I sit down and write down all of the events and things that I have to do for my personal life in my planner. Then I pencil in writing time. I at least schedule an hour of writing time. Ive found that writing late at night works best for me. Nighttime is the quietest and most relaxing part of my day and I find that my words come pouring out effortlessly.

 If I schedule writing during the day I will often go to the library. It is quiet and a place where I  can think clearly. All of the writing inspiration being so close by doesnt hurt either.

 It is good to get some writing in everyday no matter how many words end up on the paper. Remember that any amount of words is more words than you had before.This will keep you in the practice of writing and keep your skills fresh.

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Blurb:

Lucy is a confident PR professional, who is fearful of her troubled ex-boyfriend Charles. He is in denial about their breakup. With issues of alcoholism and abandonment, he spirals out of control. 

Meanwhile, Lucy’s best friend Jade has found love and is about to get married. She is a loyal friend who is there for Lucy every step of the way. 

Feeling trapped, Lucy is determined to fight back against Charles, but it won’t be without complication. After great debate, she optimistically accepts a new job offer miles away. Lucy soon embarks on an uncertain journey all connected to love.

About the Author

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Chineka Williams found a love of reading and writing early on as a child. She is a graduate of North Carolina Central University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. Books and Stilettos is the blog that she maintains for all things women’s fiction and writing updates. Outside of reading, her hobbies include baking, playing the clarinet, photography, and DIY. She can always be seen with a cup of tea close by. Love Illusion is her debut novel.

GIVEAWAY:

Thanks to lovely Chineka, we have two e-books of ‘Love Illusion’ to give away. The giveaway is open internationally. 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 Chineka Williams. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck!
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Blog Tour ‘Heartbreak Cake’ by Cindy Arora – Guest Post + Giveaway

Hey guys, today we are part of another awesome tour. This time we’re touring with Cindy Arora, the author of ‘Heartbreak Cake’. This is Cindy’s debut and she’s also one of the authors of the ‘Merry & Bright’ anthology which was published last Christmas. Today, Cindy is here with her post and has an awesome giveaway for you (details to be found at the end of the post). So, make sure you visit the other stops on her blog tour, read on her post and make sure you enter the giveaway. Very soon we’ll be reviewing ‘Heartbreak Cake’ so stayed tuned! Many thanks to lovely Cindy for being our guest on the blog today!

 

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Can Your Chick Lit Heroine Be A Mistress?

By Cindy Arora

I just finished watching the first two seasons of the show Scandal (http://abc.go.com/shows/scandal), and am completely hooked. Nighttime soap operas are not typically my wheelhouse. But one of the main things I love about the show is the heroine– a strong, brilliant, fiercely independent woman who also happens to be wrapped up in a complicated, messy, passionate, multilayered relationship with a married man.

Did I mention that he’s the President of the United States? It’s a delicious mess.

Since releasing HEARTBREAK CAKE in the fall one of the more poignant questions I get asked by readers is why I chose to tell the love story of a woman detangling herself from a relationship with a married man. It’s not always a popular topic and a lot of readers don’t always want to hear the story of The Other Woman. She’s not typically the character you root for, but in the case of Indira, her story isn’t just about infidelity. It’s about renewal.

Her story is weaves the classic tale of how one bad choice can lead to a negative domino effect that touches every aspect of one’s life. In Indira’s case, it’s her love life, friends, family and ultimately –her career, which was the one place where she felt safe, stable and in control.

Yet, taking chances (as illogical as they may be) when it comes to love is what we love about our Chick Lit heroines. They are feisty, spirited and don’t always make the best choices … but they always try to figure out how they can fix it so they can grow and become a better woman and at heroine to admire.

Feminist and author ― Simone de Beauvoir once said: “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”   Which is ultimately the journey I intended for Indira in order to become a better version of herself.  She is undeniably flawed, but is ready for significant change for herself.

And like all good Chick Lit heroines, she does it with spirit, sass, her favorite pair of jeans and her best friends. Oh and chocolate cake. Always chocolate cake.

 

About the Author

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Cindy Arora was a staff writer at The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register and Sacramento Magazine. She’s been published in Saveur, Tasting Table, Orange Coast Magazine and Fodor’s. She’s also a mother, a feminist, a whiskey enthusiast, and proud to call herself a Chick Lit author. Heartbreak Cake is her debut novel. 
GIVEAWAY:
Thanks to lovely Cindy, we have one paperback of ‘Heartbreak Cake’ (US only) and one e-book (INTERNATIONAL) to give away. 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 Cindy Arora. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck!

 

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Guest post: The Dr Pepper Prophecies vs Emma by Jennifer Gilby Roberts + Giveaway

The Dr Pepper Prophecies vs Emma

The Dr Pepper Prophecies is a modern version of Jane Austen’s Emma, but then Bridget Jones’ Diary is an updated Pride & Prejudice.  So how faithful is it to the original?

The basic story of Emma is of a young woman who has set herself up as a matchmaker.  I kept to that, although in TDPP Mel’s efforts extend to the rest of her victims friends’ lives.  Mel’s chief project is Beth, who is the Harriet Smith character.  In Emma, Emma Woodhouse uses their difference in social status to influence Harriet.  In TDPP, Mel uses Beth’s natural reserve, good manners and her status as “replacement” flatmate.  Rather than having a Mr. Elton character, Mel sets Beth up on a series of blind dates – each more horrible than the last.

Will Knightley takes the role of Mr. Knightley here (yes, I did a Helen Fielding and just nicked the name).  As in Emma, Mel has known him all her life.  While Emma and Mr. K are related by marriage, Mel and Will grew up living next door to each other.  Like Mr. K, Will often has to (attempt to) restrain his over-enthusiastic friend.  The crucial thing I left out was the age difference.  Mr. Knightley is 16 years older than Emma, which would have been common at the time, but would be less acceptable to a modern audience.  Also, I didn’t want Will playing too parental a role in Mel’s life.

The subplots in TDPP, however, deviate from Emma.  Mel has a somewhat fraught relationship with her parents and sister, who always manage to make her feel second rate.  While Emma shows no interest in dating at the start of the book, Mel has had a string of lousy boyfriends.  In fact, the book starts out with her being dumped by the most recent just as he becomes her boss.

And Emma never had to try to improve her career at the same time as hindering helping her friends.  In fact, the key thing Mel and Emma have in common is that they are underemployed.  Emma is a wealthy and well-born young woman, in a time when they just didn’t work.  She has charitable and hostess duties in the neighbourhood, but nothing like enough to use up her energy.  Mel, on the other hand, has an extremely dull job inputting insurance claims.

While Emma is brimming with confidence – natural given her position – Mel lacks it in some areas of her life.  This is partly due to her family – particularly her father – who have never valued her efforts to get a good education and career.  Mel also suffers from spectacularly bad luck at times, especially in formal situations.  There’s a reason the tag line of the book is ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’  That brings the high comedy to TDPP that is missing in Emma.

What Mel and Emma definitely have in common, however, is their blindness when it comes to love.  Although they are both convinced they know best when it comes to others, they both go a ridiculously long time before they realise that their own Mr. Right is right under their noses.  It’s a good job he’s the patient type…

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To celebrate The Dr Pepper Prophecies’ one-year anniversary since publication, Jennifer Gilby Roberts is giving away one paperback and five ebook copies!  Enter on Rafflecopter.

Find out about her other great celebration offers, giveaways and extras on her blog.

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25-year-old Mel Parker has a few tiny problems:

  • Her job is terrible
  • She’s been dumped yet again
  • Her ex is now her boss
  • Her parents think she’s a loser compared to her perfect younger sister
  • All her efforts to improve her life seem doomed to failure
  • Her best friend, Will, is in grave danger of being stolen away by his evil girlfriend
  • There just isn’t enough chocolate in the world to make up for the above.

So what do you do when you’ve pretty much given up on your own life? Help others, of course!

After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

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Buy for Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk and other Amazon sites.  The paperback is also available from Barnes & Noble.

Blog Tour: Take Me Home by Daniela Sacerdoti Guest Post + INT Giveaway

We’re so honored to be tour hosts for Daniela Sacerdoti’s Blog Tour for ‘Take Me Home’. We first heard about Dani when she published her debut ‘Watch Over Me’ which became a HUGE hit! (If you don’t believe me, just check the number of reviews on amazon). It is one of the BEST and most touching books we’ve ever read. We’re beyond happy to see ‘Take Me Home’ receiving so many positive feedback already and we do hope Dani is already working on a new book. Today, Dani is here to talk about Inary, the MC in ‘Take Me Home’, but there’s also a fantastic giveaway for you (rafflecopter link found bellow). So, enjoy Dani’s post and make sure you read her books! She’s a fantastic author who’s books are NOT to be missed!

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Blurb:

Inary Monteith’s life is at a crossroads. After a stolen night with her close friend Alex, she’s just broken his heart by telling him it was all a terrible mistake. Then she has to rush home from London to the Scottish Highlands when her little sister’s illness suddenly worsens – and in returning she must confront the painful memories she has been trying so hard to escape.

Back home, things become more complicated than she could ever have imagined. There’s her sister’s illness, her hostile brother, a smug ex she never wants to see again and her conflicted feelings about Alex in London and a handsome American she meets in Glen Avich. On top of that, she mysteriously loses her voice but regains a strange gift from her childhood – a sixth sense that runs in her family. And when a voice from the past keeps repeating, ‘Take me home’, she discovers a mystery that she knows she must unlock to set herself free.

Take Me Home is a beautiful story of love, loss, discovering one’s true abilities and, above all, never forgetting who you really are.

 

Inary’s Silence

Take Me Home is the story of a young woman who, after a trauma, stops speaking altogether. Although it took me a relatively short time to write this novel – nine months – the story has been growing inside me for a long time. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of not speaking, of letting yourself be sheltered by silence.

As a teenager, I read Kilmeny of the Orchard by Lucy M. Montgomery (the author of Anne of Green Gables) about a girl who, for some mysterious reason, can’t speak, so she expresses herself through writing in a notebook she carries around her neck. I very much saw myself in Kilmeny back then, because so much of what I wanted to say could only be conveyed by writing – so I found the idea of a girl who can’t speak, but instead writes, spellbinding.

The catalyst for Inary’s silence is her sister’s death – her grief is such that her feelings can’t be expressed with words, and her overwhelming emotions somehow choke her. As she loses her voice, she finds that silence changes her from the inside. Because she now has to write everything she wants to express, she can’t blurt out things any longer – they need to be filtered by the medium of writing, they need more time and effort to be said. Therefore she begins to say less and think more, to shave off layers of herself until she gets to her core. She begins to understand herself more, and realise what she really wants and needs from life. The deepest, most secret part of her – her Sight, the ability to see the dead and listen to their stories – springs back to life after years of dormancy. As she sinks into silence, people long gone begin speaking to her, and she’s able to listen and, in turn, tell their stories through her writing.

Inary’s journey to me is a metaphor of the writing process, of the necessity of silence to focus on the stories inside our minds – but in her case it’s also a journey through grief. The trauma of her sister’s death is such that she has to work through her pain and bewilderment in a way that’s almost physical – before she can find herself again. Having had two major bereavements in my life, I found it very hard, almost heartbreaking, to let myself remember those feelings so I could describe Inary’s. However, it was certainly cathartic to write the ending… but I won’t spoil it for you!

If you have any thoughts about this post I wrote, or about Take Me Home, or if you feel like a natter, do come and find me – @danisacerdoti. Thank you for having me!

Dani

 

About the Author

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Daniela Sacerdoti is a mother and a writer. Born in Naples, but brought up in a small village in the Italian Alps, she lives near Glasgow with her husband and sons. She calls herself a thief of time – she steals time to write when everyone has gone to bed, or before they wake up. She’s a Primary teacher, but she chose to be at home with her children. She loves being with her boys, doing art with them, reading anything she can get her hands on and chatting with her girlfriends. But she also adores being on her own, free to daydream and make up stories.

You can find out more about Daniela Sacerdoti on her website.  You can also tweet (@danisacerdoti) with her and find her on Facebook.

 

GIVEAWAY:

The overall giveaway is a paperback copy of Take Me Home.  Open Internationally.
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Blog Tour: Waiting For Prince Harry by Aven Ellis Guest Post + INT giveaway

EXCITING DAY! Today we’re tour hosts for lovely Aven Ellis, the author of ‘Connectivity’ and ‘Waiting For Prince Harry’. We’ve read/reviewed and above all, LOVED, both of her books and we’re thrilled to welcome Aven on This Chick Reads today. Read on her post and make sure you enter the amazing giveaway (rafflecopter at the end of the post). Also, make sure you visit the other tour hosts for loads of more guest post, interviews and reviews. The stage is all yours Aven and thank you for being our guest today!

 

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Blurb:

Twenty-four-year-old Kylie Reed has always been a rule follower. Organized and cautious to a fault, her dreams for life are often filed away for future use—when she has a house, when she meets her future husband, when she has been at her visual display job at a chic Dallas boutique longer…Kylie always has a reason for living her life in the future, not in the present, and not living her life to the fullest and reaching her dream of becoming a fashion designer. 

The only exception to rules, of course, would be running away with Prince Harry—Kylie’s ideal man. A hot, fun ginger boy would be worth breaking all the rules for, of course.  And Kylie is sure Harry just needs the right, centering woman to settle him down.  But living in Dallas and not knowing Prince Harry make this a non-option.

Or does it?

Because when Kylie accidentally falls into the lap of a gorgeous ginger boy—yes, even more gorgeous than the real Prince Harry—all bets are off. Could this stranger be the one to show Kylie how to take a chance, to face her fears, and live in the present?  And could this stranger be the Prince Harry she has been waiting for? Kylie’s life takes some unexpected twists and turns thanks to this chance encounter, and she knows her life will never be the same because of it…

 

The Setting in Waiting for Prince Harry

 

Setting is always so important to me when writing a story. It gives readers a new place to explore, or a familiar trip to somewhere they’ve been many times through the eyes of a character instead of their own. In Waiting for Prince Harry, I take the readers to my hometown of Dallas, Texas.

Dallas is a chic, fashion-forward city in the southwest. Summers here are sultry and hot, with temperatures often over 100F in the day. So I decided to place my story here, in the steamy summertime, to allow the heat to bring another element to the story. And we visit some fabulous places, too. So let’s take a look at some of these, shall we?

 

  1. The Ritz Carlton Hotel. The Ritz is gorgeous and the perfect place for a posh Dallas wedding reception as described in the opening scene in the book.

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  1. The Rattlesnake Bar is where Kylie meets Harrison for the first time. It’s rugged sexy—just like our hockey hero!

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  1. The lobby of the Ritz Carlton is where Kylie’s indecision costs her a chance to ask Harrison for his number. This scene happened right next to this table of vases.

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  1. Kylie works at an outdoor mall in Dallas, and I modeled it after the famous Highland Park Village.

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  1. Kylie lives in Uptown,  a chic spot for shopping, dining out, and living.

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  1. Harrison and Kylie enjoy nights out in Dallas, and this is the beautiful skyline of my hometown.

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  1. Kylie attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

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  1. Southlake, Texas is the Dallas suburb where Kylie grew up.

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  1. Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant Five Sixty is a favorite of Kylie & Harrison.

Image 10. And this is where Kylie had one of her first dates with Harrison: the Dallas Arboretum.

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So I hope you enjoyed this visual trip through Dallas. And if you’ve read the book, I hope my descriptions gave you a good picture of my hometown.

About the Author

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Aven Ellis has been writing fiction since she was sixteen. She studied communications at a large Midwestern university, and after graduation, Aven worked as a reporter for a community newspaper, followed by a stint at a public relations agency.

But writing about city council meetings and restaurant franchises was not as much fun as writing for young women trying to figure out their careers and potential boyfriends. So Aven got herself a job in television that allowed her to write at night.  Connectivity is Aven’s debut novel; Waiting For Prince Harry and Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista (New Adult romantic comedy) will be published this year.

Aven lives in Dallas with her family. When she is not writing, Aven enjoys shopping, cooking, connecting with friends on social media, and watching any show that features Gordon Ramsay.

 

Author links

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/AvenEllis1

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/AvenEllis

Web site:

http://www.avenellis.com/index.html

Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/avenellis/

 

GIVEAWAY:

The overall giveaway on tour is an ecopy of Connectivity and an ecopy of Waiting for Prince Harry. Open Internationally!
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Book review: Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not by Elle Field + INT giveaway

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Meet Angelica, or Geli (as her friends call her), the writer of the famous column Hot or Not. Writing the most impressive columns and getting the boyfriend of her dreams, she seems to have it all. Until, a photo on Facebook ruins it all.

Her archenemy Tiggy is getting married.

Tiggy is also Geli’s stepsister and she has to attend the wedding. Just how on earth, the most selfish bitch got the most gorgeous and nicest man in the world?

There are things about Geli that I loved. I was so impressed with her way of doing her job. I laughed so hard at the conversation about Hilary-Obama marathon. Poor Geli, she thought it was all about two sportists running a real marathon. Well, not everyone is interested in politics. On the other hand, seeing all friends’ statuses changed into “engaged”, makes her feel jelous. Her sister is getting married, her archenemy is getting married, however she is not getting married. So what!?! She’s just twenty-five. Everyone has fears that will stay single for the rest of the life while all the others are getting married. But Geli suddenly starts to show interest for Tiggy’s boyfriend. Not Hot, at least for me. Her attitude was little bit annoying sometimes, but that made her appear only more real. Nor good or bad, just ordinary girl with feelings.

Geli’s family life is like a telenovela. Tiggy was her best friend until she lost her virginity with Geli’s boyfriend. Geli and Tiggy’s families were best friends until Tiggy’s father died and couple of months later, Geli’s father divorced her mom and married Tiggy’s mom. So the girl she hated the most became her stepsister. And she hates her.

Theo is Geli’s gorgeous boyfriend. She always admires his well-shaped body. He knows about politics and he reads her column. What’s more to ask? Is this guy real?

Tiggy always has two faces. One as a mask, the other one is real. Everything is just a play for her. She seems so nice, but than, boom, she stucks a knife in the back. The author created a reading that was fun and entertaining to read. It made me laugh so many times. Sometimes it made me feel like watching a telenovela. I liked the way it was narated and how characters were developed. Overall, I did enjoy it and will be on a watch out for Elle’s upcoming novels.

My rating: 3.5/5

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GIVEAWAY:

Thanks to lovely Elle, we have one paperback of ‘Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not’ to give away. The giveaway is open internationally and closes on April 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 Elle Field. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck!

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Kathryn Starke talks about character connections and has some books to giveaway

Today we have the pleasure to welcome Kathryn Starke to our blog. We met Kathryn on twitter and immediately clicked:) She’s the author of ‘Because of You’ which was published last November and is currently working on her new novel. She’s here to share her post with us and there’ll be a UK/US giveaway too (info found at the end of post). So read on Kathryn’s post and make sure you enter the amazing giveaway.

 

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Blurb:

Lilly never wanted to settle, not in her education, her career, and especially not in her relationships. She observes the countless number of couples in her circle of family and friends, but she has always been unsure if marriage is for her.At thirty-one, she is convinced she has finally found the man of her dreams. But on her actual wedding day, she shares a conversation with a mysterious stranger in a hotel elevator. Suddenly, she begins to question her “happily ever after.” 

An instant connection with this stranger leads her to doubt what and who she believes in. She recalls flashbacks of her courtship with fiancè Patrick and begins to wonder if she is indeed settling for the first time in her life.Lilly struggles internally with her decision and begins questioning her future. Will she marry Patrick or will she ultimately start her search for love all over again?

 

Character Connections

 

As a literacy specialist, I always encourage my students to make a connection to any book they are reading, whether it is to an event, setting, problem, or even a character.  As readers, we love to read fictional books that have both main and supporting characters that remind of us our best friend, mother, neighbor, or even ourselves in some capacity. When we relate to these make believe personas, we develop a reading relationship that lasts for the entire duration of the book. We laugh, cry, shout, and are even surprised alongside the character on their journey. These characters that resonate with us are the ones that we want to tell other readers about. Lilly is just one of these characters in my debut novel, Because of You. I invite you to read this chick lit release to find a character that reminds you of someone you know in your life and cheer for him or her as decisions are made. I read a poem recently entitled “You’re Never Alone” that explains how people are never alone when they’re reading a book because of the characters and friends they meet along the way. I hope the next character you meet in your new favorite chick lit book makes a lasting impression.

 

About Kathryn Starke 

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Kathryn Starke is an urban elementary school reading specialist, literacy consultant, and author. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Kathryn graduated from Longwood University with a BS degree in elementary education and a Master’s degree in Literacy and Culture. She has taught first, second, and third grade and served as a literacy specialist for a decade in an inner city/Title I school system in Richmond, Virginia. Kathryn travels to schools and organizations throughout the nation presenting workshops for children, parents, teachers, and administrators. She is the 2013-2014 urban literacy trainer for the VCU Ameri-Corp program.

Kathryn serves as the founder/CEO of Creative Minds publications, which exemplifies quality literacy instruction for all children. CMP publishes engaging and educational children’s literature. Kathryn presents at reading and writing conferences throughout the nation and is a keynote speaker for many nonprofit organizations and events. She is a freelance educational writer for a variety of magazines includingEducation Digest. Kathryn was named one of the 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading in 2012. She is excited to write for a different audience with the debut of her first novel, Because of You, November 14, 2013.

 

Find Kathryn

http://www.kathrynstarke.wordpress.com

http://www.facebook.com/kathrynstarke

http://www.twitter.com/kathrynstarke

http://www.pinterest.com/kathrynstarke

 

Buy ‘Because of You’ on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

 

GIVEAWAY!

 

Thanks to lovely Kathryn, we have 2 paperbacks of ‘Because of You’ to give away. The giveaway is open UK/US only and closes on April 16th. 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 Kathryn Starke. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck!

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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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