Blog Tour: Texas On My Mind by Dolores Fossen

  
Air force captain Riley McCord has come home on medical leave to find one heck of a welcome reception. Every unattached woman in Spring Hill, Texas, wants to nurse him back to health. That includes his childhood friend Claire Davidson—the only person who understands how damaged he really feels. In high school, she chose his best friend over him. According to Riley’s rules, that should make her off-limits forever. But when Claire suggests a no-strings fling, he can’t refuse.

Claire always wanted Riley—but she also craved the safety and stability he couldn’t offer. So she chose another path, only to end up crazier about him than ever. She’s even convinced herself that this time she won’t be devastated when he leaves. Yet once Riley realizes the depth of Claire’s feelings—and his own—he’ll have to make the ultimate choice: return to the job he loves or stay home for the woman who’s always lived in his heart.

I was really looking forward to taking part in this blog tour and reading Texas On My Mind. There’s something vaguely exotic to me, as a Brit, about cowboys and the Wild West and this more modern take took my fancy. It wasn’t like anything I’d read before, which meant I could enjoy it on its own merits rather than comparing it to other novels.

And I did really enjoy it. I liked the fact that, whilst it was a romance, it wasn’t without plot and the inclusion of a love triangle and the issue of PTSD meant it kept my interest. The characters were well rounded, comic is some cases, and believably flawed. It was probably a little bit more… saucy… than I usually read, but still a fun novel!

Book Spotlight: Little Miss Somebody by Christy Lynn Abram

  

Fourteen-year-old Nikki’s world is turned upside down when her mother makes an impulsive move to Missouri. Having left everything she knew behind, Nikki is left to fend for herself from her mother’s vicious cycle of abuse and abandonment while living at her grandmother’s house amidst her mother’s drug addicted siblings. Feeling unloved and more than ever like a burden, Nikki seeks to find a missing piece to the puzzle of her life- her father. Along the way, she unravels more layers of family abuse and pain causing her to feel helpless. But she won’t give up. Not yet, Not Nikki. Not until she finds what she is looking for. Will Nikki find the love she so desperately needs?

Christy Lynn Abram is re-releasing her novel Little Miss Somebody and it sounds wonderful. Based on the author’s own experiences it follows a journey of self discovery and coming of age. I’ll definitely be reading it!

Blog Tour: Hark by Justin Bog

  
A beautifully written collection of short stories from critically acclaimed Pacific Northwest writer Justin Bog, Hark explores the range of emotions surrounding the holidays. From melancholy to madness, loss and despair to hope and forgiveness, these six tales shimmer with feelings, some we’d rather stuff away, that Christmas can evoke.

Set in colorful locations around the United States, from Anacortes, Washington, to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Sun Valley, Idaho, each tale focuses on people who struggle to make good choices, learn lessons, and maybe even find peace during the holiday season.

There was something quite lovely about reading a collection of Christmas stories wholly unique to Christmas stories; they weren’t sickly sweet. Don’t get me wrong, I love the romantic, Scrooge redeeming, Wonderful Life, toy making stories that are so common this time of year. But that’s not all that Christmas is about and I think these stories keep in mind the vast number of people for whom Christmas is a complicated time.

There is a warmth in Justin Bog’s writing but, to me, it doesn’t come from a light, humourous tale but more from a desire to portray complicated relationships and feelings that are important to so many people at Christmas time. Each story is different, unique. Some are humourous, some are darker. All of them are a very lovely addition to my Christmas reading.

Blog tour: The New Mrs D by Heather Hill

  
Four days into their honeymoon in Greece, Bernice and David Dando have yet to consummate their marriage and after having accepted his almost non-existent desire for sex throughout the relationship, Bernice finally discovers the reason; he is addicted to porn. Learning that the love of her life chooses the cheap thrill of fantasy over her is devastating but then, ‘every man does it; it’s just looking, right?’ If she leaves the relationship because of virtual adultery, will she be labelled as pathological, overreacting, or even worse, frigid?

When funny, feisty, forty-something Bernice plans the adventure trip of a lifetime, she doesn’t expect to be spending it alone. But as it turns out, unintentionally contributing to a Greek fish explosion, nude karaoke and hilarious misadventures with volcanoes are exactly what she needs to stop fretting about errant husbands and really start living. But when Mr D tries to win her back, Bernice has a decision to make: is this a holiday from her humdrum life, or the start of a whole new adventure?

This was without a doubt one of the funniest books I have read all year. Which I should have known it would be. A quick glance at Heather Hill’s twitter bio tells you she’s naturally hilarious and her writing is further example of this. She has a way of adding little extra bits of information that turn a bad situation into a funny anecdote.

I fell in love with Mrs D on the very first page, and more and more throughout the book. She’s witty, a bit cynical but very quick and I thought she was absolutely brilliant. She’s one of my favourite types of characters: people getting up to mischief at a time when society tells them they should be behaving.

I really did love this book from start to finish and I can’t wait to read more of Heather’s work in future!

Be sure to check out the rest of Heather’s blog tour on Chick Lit Plus!

  

Book spotlight: Solar Weapon by DF Capps

  
When the sun is the weapon, where do you run?

A secret group has broken away from society and now demands the world bow to their power. If every nation on Earth doesn’t surrender total control, a Coronal Mass Ejection will be triggered on the sun, creating an Extinction Level Event that will incinerate the surface of the planet.

As the organization’s deadly power is demonstrated on a terrified populace, FBI agent Jake Hunter and NSA agent Honika Badger must find clues to discover and stop who is behind these attacks before it’s too late.

I love a good apocalyptic story and I’ll definitely be reading this one when I get the chance! Solar Weapon is DF Capps’ technothriller sci-fi novel that sounds likes an exciting twist on the usual end of the world story!

  

Blog Tour: Afraid of Her Shadow by Carol Maloney Scott

  

Forty something, self-proclaimed cougar, Rebecca is committed only to her cats and her career. Her veteran single girl lifestyle has been peaceful and happy – that is until she started dating age-appropriate Steve, an entomology professor with a sweet smile and demeanor to match. Who knew an insect scientist could be so appealing? 

The problem? Steve is a widower with baggage to spare. Memories of his late wife fill his home. Smiling photos and jars of bugs serve as constant reminders of Steve’s continued attachment to his dearly departed wife, Noreen, who shared his passion for creepy crawlies!

Now that Rebecca is facing her commitment phobia by moving in with Steve, she is becoming more unhinged. Behaving more like her zany friends than her level-headed self, she burns her butt at the tanning salon, crashes on energy drinks, and even loses a hamster. Throw into the mix a few delusional relatives, a sarcastic teenager, and a fluffy dog who sheds a new dog every day, and Rebecca doesn’t recognize her old self. 

And if that isn’t enough to push her over the edge, her smokin’ hot ex returns, reminding her of a simpler time with a man who carries no more baggage than a wallet. 

It’s been a while since I read a straight chick lit book (that is, one that didn’t also have a drama, mystery or thriller element to it) and I really enjoyed this one by Carol Scott Maloney!

The writing was wonderful and I’ve definitely added it to my list of examples to pull out whenever anyone dares to trash chick lit. It didn’t suffer from the overly formal, unnaturaltone of some first person narratives that I’ve come to fear and was a perfect voice throughout. Carol Scott Maloney has captured the voice of her narrator perfectly!

I really liked Rebecca, her gaggle of friends, her boyfriend Steve and even her ex, Luke, whose presence throws a spanner in the works of Rebecca’s relationship. Afraid of Her Shadow is chick lit at its best; witty, a host of loveable characters and an ability to not take itself too seriously.

Be sure to check out the rest of Carol’s tour with Chick Lit Plus!

  

November 23 – CDYess
Writes
– Excerpt
November 24 – Varietats – Review
November 25 – Book Lover in Florida
Review & Excerpt
November 27 – I
Love My Authors
– Excerpt
November 27 – A Novel Haul
– Review
December 1 – Book
Babble
– Review & Excerpt
December 2 – Chick Lit
Plus
– Excerpt
December 3- Living
Life With Joy
– Q&A & Excerpt
December 4 – Around
the World in Books
– Excerpt
December 4 – Granny
Loves to Read
– Review
December 7 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Review, Q&A & Excerpt
December 7 – Melanie Surani
Excerpt 

Blog Tour: A Wicked Old Woman by Ravinder Randhawa


I was sent a copy of Ravinder Randhawa’s new book about a week ago so that I could review it today. I was so excited by the description (taken from Amazon and edited slightly for this edition’s blurb):

In a bustling British city, decked out with NHS specs and Oxfam coat, Kulwant masquerades behind her old woman’s disguise, taking life or leaving it as she feels inclined, seeking new adventures and venturing back into her past. Divorced from her husband, disapproved of by her sons, mistrusted by their wives, Kulwant makes real contact through a jigsaw of meetings: with the Punjabi Punk who dusts her down after a carefully calculated fall, with Caroline, her gregarious friend from school days, who watched over her dizzy romance with Michael the archangel; with Maya the myopic who can’t see beyond her weeping heart, and with Rani/ Rosalind who’s just killed a man…

The first thing I have to say about is book is that reading it felt more like experiencing a poem than reading a simple story. Every word felt carefully considered and placed for maximum impact. There was no skim reading to get to the end of the page; your be missing out on a complex internal monologue.

It was very different to other books I’ve read recently, but not unpleasantly so. The characters needed little introduction and appeared fully formed somehow when I turned the page: reading this book felt like being a flu on the walk of someone’s memories and somehow Ravinder Randhawa managed to capture that hazy feeling of remembering for us to read.

I think part of that otherworldliness came from the viewpoint of an Indian character in a British city. As a white Brit living in a town with a moderately large Indian population I’m on the other side of this; I can’t even begin to pretend to understand the balance of cultures or the daily experiences of my Indian friends and neighbours living here… But I could argue that Ravinder does a wonderful job of expressing those feelings on the page.

It’s a very beautiful book, in many ways (it even feels wonderful to read. The edition Ravinder sent me is beautifully bound). And I feel it is also a very important book, existing in that overlap where cultures meet and where people tread a fine line between belonging and observing.

I’m very excited to have kicked off Ravinder’s tour, please do check out the rest to come!