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Book Discovery Tour by Book Unleashed

 

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BOOK DISCOVERY TOUR
Hosted by Book Unleashed
February 15 – 19, 2018
Featuring an exciting lineup of books for your reading pleasure.
Check them out today.
And be sure to JOIN THE TOUR GIVEAWAY below too. It’s FREE!
Wicked Dance
WICKED DANCE
Olivia Boothe|Chronicles of a Dancing Heart Book 1|Contemporary Romance
She never imagined her heart could ever dance again
Former dance student Sara Hart had aspired to grace the stage on Broadway, but a reckless decision forced her to renounce that dream. Years later, while struggling with an ungratifying job and an even more unsatisfying love life, she literally stumbles upon a dangerously sexy stranger who sends her heart—and her body—into hyperdrive. His touch makes her feel alive again and sparks a desire to rebuild her dance career. But Sara is still haunted by the demons of her past. One dark lie could cost her everything.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 

Finding Purpose
FINDING PURPOSE
Tiffani Lynn|Colorado Veterans Book 1|Erotic Romance
Second Chance at Life. Second Chance at Love.
Once upon a time, when Quincy Hannigan needed saving, he was there to hold her hand. Years have passed since she was that weak, broken girl; instead, a strong, intelligent woman stands in her place. She’s making the world a better place one arrest at a time and has everything she’s always wanted—except Judson Rivers.
Purchase Links: Amazon | iBooks
 
Click on any of the book covers below for more detailed info on each title.
Old Fashioned with a Twist

An infant’s abduction reveals long held secrets that will affect an entire family.
Amazon
Tempting Their Best Friend

Tempting Their Best Friend has never been so sweet…or delicious.
Amazon
Special Promo: Up to 15% OFF on selected books. Click here for more info
I Got Your Back, Hailey

Our hearts can be kidnapped in the strangest ways.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Special Promo Price: 99 cents until Feb 19
Midnight's Edge: The Secrets of Sleepy Meadows

The title, Midnight’s Edge, comes from the time of night where the veil between the living and the dead disappears and, for a brief moment in time, the dead can return to the mortal world and live again.
Amazon
Special Promo Price: 99 cents on Kindle (Regular Price: $2.99)

Giveaway

WIN $20 GIFT CARD AND MORE
Book Discovery Tour Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
1. $20 Amazon Gift Card
2. $15 Amazon Gift Card from Olivia Boothe
3. Finding Heart by Tiffani Lynn (eBook)
4. Old Fashioned with a Twist by Rebecca Marks (eBook)
5. I’ve Also Got Your Front, Hailey by June Kramin (Print)
Contest runs from February 15 – 21, 2018.

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Book Blitz: Touch of Ice by Mary Auclair

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TOUCH OF ICE
Mary Auclair
Touch of Ice
Series: Dawn of Dragons Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction Romance
Publisher: Eclipse Press
Publication Date: January 18, 2018
He is as cold as ice. She is the salvation that will melt his heart.
When Endora is faced with her daughter’s terminal illness, she takes the only chance she’s got. She braves the potential risks and signs a mating contract with the Delradon Draekon Lords, intent on using the payment to buy the aliens’ cure to save her daughter’s life.
Lord Aldric Darragon rules over his land with an iron fist until one day the only woman who is genetically compatible with him agrees to his offer of mating. As his all-consuming passion for Endora explodes, an ancient threat looms heavy over humans and Delradons alike. With the lives of everyone he cares about hanging in the balance, Aldric has to fight the demons of his past if he wants to defeat the enemies of the present.
 
“A spectacularly entertaining read! I highly recommend this read to anyone looking to get away for a few hours of adventure, romance, intrigue, steamy sex and did I mention the dragons.”
– Paranormal Romance Lovers
“Really glad I took a risk on this new author. This is a beautiful love story, the relationship dynamics will draw you in immediately, the story line and imagery makes it a page turner. “
– Kindle customer

Purchase Links

Touch of Ice Teaser

Book Excerpt

Snow fell with an unrelenting fury, blanketing the early evening with the smell of things cold and pure. Aldric watched as the air filled with the large snowflakes, lost in his thoughts.
Under his palm, Rhyl’s scales shivered with withheld excitement. The beast wanted to take to the skies at least as much as Aldric did. Soaring in the middle of a snowstorm was the only luxury Aldric awarded himself, the only time he allowed his own personal pleasure to come before his responsibilities as High Lord of Katanie. As long as the flight lasted, there was only the sky, him, Rhyl, and the connection between man and dragon that ran deeper than a cellular level.
Only he always had to come back.
The sound of a door opening made him turn and he stifled a growl of annoyance at the sight of Dalgo. His old friend’s face was set in familiar grim lines, and he walked briskly toward Rhyl and himself. Aldric was tempted to ignore his friend’s presence and fly away on his dragon, but as his gaze locked with Dalgo’s silver eyes, eyes he shared with every Draekon, something in them made him stay. It looked like it could be important enough to postpone his flight.
“Don’t tell me we had another disturbance on the northern border? I thought those thieves had been properly scared away.”
“What I have to tell you has nothing to do with some low-life human thieves.” Dalgo stopped walking and stared straight at Aldric. He never bothered with the proper greetings when they were alone. “But before I tell you, you have to promise to listen to everything I have to say before you make your decision.”
“What is it, then?” Aldric turned to face the large opening in the mountainside that was the dragon’s landing and departing strip. The open sky called to him, and his mood worsened at the knowledge he wouldn’t get to enjoy the freedom of the flight. When Dalgo didn’t answer, he turned back to stare at his friend. Dalgo’s eyes were determined but his mouth was closed. He seemed to be at a loss for words, something that never happened to Aldric’s usually loquacious captain of the guards.
Dalgo took a deep breath, then squared his shoulders.
“She came forward this afternoon at the Human Liaison Office in Helbon.”
“Who?” Aldric frowned, not bothering to hide his irritation. What woman could be worth wasting a perfect snowstorm like this?
“Her. Your match.”
Comprehension dawned and Aldric suddenly wished there were chairs to sit on near the landing strips. A flash of a young woman, laughing and flipping long, dark hair came to his mind. He was surprised at how vivid his memory was, how well he remembered her face. Those large, dark velvet brown eyes, those full lips stretched in an easy smile, that luscious body with a woman’s full curves. He remembered everything about her.
“Endora.” Aldric tasted her name on his lips. He hadn’t allowed himself to speak that name in a decade. “She accepted the offer?”

About Mary Auclair

Mary Auclair

Mary grew up in the quiet peace of a small rural village in the heart of Quebec, Canada.
She spent her childhood chasing butterflies and catching frogs, playing in the mud and generally being as unladylike as she could. Her love of science led her to complete a mechanical engineering degree at the Ecole Polytechnique of Montreal, where she met the love of her life.
Years later, as she enjoyed the role of full time mom to her two wonderful children, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer.
She now write as much as her busy schedule allows to bring to life her inner world, filled with exotic planets, mysterious creatures and off course, hot, alpha heroes and the women who melt their hearts.
When she’s not writing, she can be found in the garden, walking her dogs or playing with fire in her kitchen as a part time hit-or-miss chef.
She loves to hear from her readers, so don’t be shy and drop her a line!
 
Official website: http://www.maryauclair.com
Connect with Mary Auclair on social media:

Giveaway

WIN $15 GIFT CARD + EBOOK
Touch of Ice Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
$15 Amazon Gift Card + Touch of Ice (eBook)
Contest runs from February 16 – 22, 2018.

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Book Blitz: 50 Hours by Loree Lough

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50 HOURS
Bestselling Author Loree Lough
50 Hours
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press
Publication Date: June 30, 2017
A broken man, a dying woman, a friendship that knows no bounds.
50 Hours follows FRANCO ALLESSI, a broken, lonely man who wants nothing more than to outrun the ghosts of his past. After two grueling years of trying to numb the pain of his wife’s death with cheap whiskey, he’s convicted of drunk driving. When the judge sentences him to 50 hours of community service. He chooses Savannah Falls Hospice for no reason other than it’s walking distance from his run-down house trailer.
On his first day at the hospice, Franco meets AUBREY BREWER, a woman whose time on earth is quickly ticking to a stop. Their unusual relationship teaches powerful, life-changing lessons about friendship, acceptance, and the importance of appreciating that precious treasure called Life.
 
“This is the kind of book that wins Pulitzer Prizes.”
– Catherine Lanigan, Author of Romancing the Stone
“50 Hours is a moving story about love, loss, friendship, and last chances. It’s a reminder that our lives are precious stories, no matter how long or short. This is a must-read for all of us who have been touched by cancer – victims, caregivers, family, and friends. This poignant and touching tale will inspire hope in the midst of even the darkest hours.”
– Cerella Sechrist, author of the popular Findlay Roads series from Harlequin
“You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… 50 Hours is an unforgettable tale of healing, redemption, and the cost of true love.”
– Rachel Muller, author of bestselling World War II series, Love & War and Phillip’s War
Loree Lough’s books are always an absolute pleasure to read, and 50 Hours is one of her best yet! Its messages of love and compassion will linger with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
– Kate James, award-winning author of Sanctuary Cove, Silver Linings, and The Truth About Hope

Excerpt

Agnes squeezed Aubrey’s hand. “I’m sure the couple who bought your house appreciate the hours you put into your beautiful yard. Especially the hydrangeas.”
“Michael hated them, especially when the petals began to drop in the fall.” She didn’t like talking about her ex, and yet she said, “He thought they looked like trash, littering the lawn, but I loved the way they looked, nestled between the blades of grass . . . ”
“Why don’t I drive you over there so you can see them? I’m sure the new owners won’t mind.”
Aubrey had no desire to see someone else’s car parked in her driveway, another woman’s curtains in the multi-paned windows . . . more evidence of all that cancer had taken from her.
She shook the image from her mind. “Do you have plans this afternoon, or can you stay for lunch?”
“I’d like nothing better. Unless they’re serving that tasteless, rubbery chicken again.”
“I know, right? The stuff is better suited for a clown act.” She pretended to bop her mother’s head with a rubber hen.
Giggling like schoolgirls, they startled a blue jay from its roost in a nearby shrub and, as it took flight, azalea petals rained to the ground.
“That’s Bobbitt, my new boyfriend. He sits in the tree outside my room, squawking. Guess he got bored with that and decided to become a stalker and follow me around the grounds.”
Agnes clucked her tongue again. “Well, be sure to keep your windows closed. Birds are riddled with parasites, you know, some small enough to flit right through the screens.”
Aubrey stifled a smirk. “Yes, Mama.” Warm, sweet moments like these were rare these days, and she committed this one to memory. Was her mother doing the same?
“You know,” Agnes said, looking up at the old mansion, “I’ve always admired the architecture of this place.”
It would be hard not to appreciate the regal beauty of the 1840s estate house and its surrounding acreage. Overcup oaks stood on either side of it, like silent and stately sentries. An arbor of magnolias shaded the winding drive that brought visitors from the road to the grand entrance, and mighty marble pillars supported the curved portico that gleamed in the noonday sun. How it had escaped Yankee cannonballs was anyone’s guess, but thanks to the care of a fastidious maintenance crew, every brick and stone had remained intact.
“It’s quite a sight to behold, don’t you think?”
Aubrey sighed, more deeply this time. “Yes, I imagine it’s as good a place as any to die.”

About Loree Lough

Loree Lough

Bestselling author LOREE LOUGH once sang for her supper, performing across the U.S. and Canada. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two, but mostly, she writes novels that have earned hundreds of industry and “Readers’ Choice” awards, 4- and 5-star reviews, and 7 book-to-movie options. Her 115th book, 50 Hours, is her most personal to date. More recently released, The Man She Knew and Bringing Rosie Home, books #1 and #2 in her “By Way of the Lighthouse” series from Harlequin Heartwarming. Next up, #3, The Redemption of Lillie Rourke. Stay tuned for more in 2019 and beyond…
 
Official website: http://www.loreelough.com
Social Media Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Giveaway

WIN ONE OF TWO COPIES OF 50 HOURS (EBOOK)
50 Hours Giveaway Graphic
Contest runs from February 14 – 20, 2018.

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Book Discovery Tour Hosted by Book Unleashed

Valentine's Day Book Discovery Tour Graphic
BOOK DISCOVERY TOUR
Hosted by Book Unleashed
February 8 – 12, 2018
Featuring an exciting lineup of books for your reading pleasure.
Check them out today. 
And be sure to JOIN THE TOUR GIVEAWAY below too. It’s FREE!
*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links*
The Siege: A Novel
THE SIEGE: A NOVEL
Marilyn Baron | Mainstream Women’s Fiction, Romantic Thriller, Historical
Artist Theia Constas goes on a journey of self-discovery to Italy and Greece, where she finds love and realizes her passion through a link to her grandparents’ hidden past.
When her hotel in Florence, Italy, is besieged by terrorists, she finds herself thrust together with Wade Bingham in his honeymoon suite. Immediately attracted to each other, Wade conducts a siege of his own to win Theia’s heart.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 

Turn to Her
TURN TO HER
Lynn Kellan | The Brothers Series Book 2 | Contemporary Romance
Ivan Antonov is determined to dismantle The Women’s Grid and anything else that spews man-hate all over campus. When his quest spins out of control, it targets Tia Garcia, the gorgeous psychology intern who lives next door. Her counseling program for women might lose funding, because the administration is feeling the pressure to eliminate every non-inclusive program on campus. Now Ivan must figure out how to protect her from the campaign he started. He also has to protect himself, because he’s falling hard for Tia – the one woman on campus who’s smart enough to figure out his darkest secret.
 
Click on any of the book covers below for more detailed info on each title.
Bear's Edge

Will Shayla give Grant the Mystery Man a chance?
Amazon | Loose Id
Legacy of Evil

One battle, one outcome. Who will win? Good or evil?
Amazon
Ruthless

He was a nomad, a ruthless killer, but he was her addiction, and she was his!
Amazon
Hot Deadly Desire

Is her lover the serial killer she’s hunting?
Amazon
Special Promo: 99 cents until Feb 12
(Regular Price: $3.49)
Secrets to Becoming a Wiser, More Confident and Happier You

DISCOVER: How to draw more meaning and a level of spirituality into your life, right where you are, and in spite of your busy schedule.
Amazon
Get it FREE for a limited time: From Feb 11 – 13, 2018 only
Tempting the Domme

It takes a strong man to win the heart of an even stronger woman
Amazon | iBooks
Special Pre-Order Promotion: 99 cents until Feb 14
(Regular Price: $3.99 from Feb 15)
My Gentleman Thief

She was digging for happiness… when he stole her heart.
Amazon | iBooks
Special Promo: 99 cents until Feb 17
(Regular Price: $2.99)
When a Duke Pursues a Lady

An innocent woman. A loyal agent to the Crown. A path of deception that tests the bonds of love.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Giveaway

WIN $20 GIFT CARD AND MORE
Valentine's Day Book Discovery Tour Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
1. $20 Amazon Gift Card
2. $5 Amazon Gift Card from Sharon Buchbinder
3. Hot Deadly Desire by Judy H. (signed copy)
4. The Alibi by Marilyn Baron (ebook)
5. When a Duke Pursues a Lady by Tabetha Waite (ebook)
6. Wolf’s Challenge (Stranger Creatures #1) by Christina Lynn Lambert (ebook)
7. Phantom Riders MC – Hawk by Tory Richards (ebook)
8. Choice of book from Golden Angel’s Backlist (ebook)
Contest runs from February 8 – 14, 2018.

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Book Review: Modern Loss by Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner

I still really miss my older brother. When he passed away, it was during a huge time of upheaval in my life. My husband and I were trying to buy a new house as the townhouse we were renting wasn’t working out. We had just welcomed our now 2-year old into the world, and I was working on launching a new business. I was also still adjusting to having just moved to Kansas from California six months before. To say I wasn’t prepared for the depth of grief over the loss of my older brother would be a huge understatement. That’s why when I was offered the opportunity to review Modern Loss by Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner, I jumped at the opportunity. I figured that the book could help my still-grieving heart. 

The book offers a frank look at loss, at triggers, at what happens to intimacy, at the raw feelings. For me, it was really hard to read – even 2 years and some change after my loss. I probably have a lot of stuffed down feelings and issues, and honestly, it’s still really hard for me to talk about – in just the ways that sudden losses are.  If you too are dealing with loss, this is a really honest and great look at grief in all of its forms. 

About Modern Loss

• Hardcover: 384 pages
• Publisher: Harper Wave (January 23, 2018)

Inspired by the website that the New York Times hailed as “redefining mourning,” this book is a fresh and irreverent examination into navigating grief and resilience in the age of social media, offering comfort and community for coping with the mess of loss through candid original essays from a variety of voices, accompanied by gorgeous two-color illustrations and wry infographics.

At a time when we mourn public figures and national tragedies with hashtags, where intimate posts about loss go viral and we receive automated birthday reminders for dead friends, it’s clear we are navigating new terrain without a road map.

Let’s face it: most of us have always had a difficult time talking about death and sharing our grief. We’re awkward and uncertain; we avoid, ignore, or even deny feelings of sadness; we offer platitudes; we send sympathy bouquets whittled out of fruit.

Enter Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner, who can help us do better. Each having lost parents as young adults, they co-founded Modern Loss, responding to a need to change the dialogue around the messy experience of grief. Now, in this wise and often funny book, they offer the insights of the Modern Loss community to help us cry, laugh, grieve, identify, and—above all—empathize.

Soffer and Birkner, along with forty guest contributors including Lucy Kalanithi, singer Amanda Palmer, and CNN’s Brian Stelter, reveal their own stories on a wide range of topics including triggers, sex, secrets, and inheritance. Accompanied by beautiful hand-drawn illustrations and witty “how to” cartoons, each contribution provides a unique perspective on loss as well as a remarkable life-affirming message.

Brutally honest and inspiring, Modern Loss invites us to talk intimately and humorously about grief, helping us confront the humanity (and mortality) we all share. Beginners welcome.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Elaina Mortali

About Rebecca Soffer

Rebecca Soffer is the cofounder and CEO of Modern Loss. A former producer for the Peabody Award-winning Colbert Report, Rebecca is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of loss and resilience. She is a Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism alumna and contributes regularly to books, magazines, and other media. Rebecca lives in New York City and the Berkshires with her husband and two children.

Photo by Stephanie Girard

About Gabrielle Birkner

Gabrielle Birkner is the co-founder and executive editor of Modern Loss. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and writes regularly for national newspapers and magazines. A journalist and digital content strategist, she has served as managing editor at JTA, director of digital media at the Forward, and features editor at The New York Sun. Gabrielle lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

Book Review: The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

There are a lot of people out there who use “OCD” to explain a need for a neat space, to have things “just so” or to need to do things in a certain way – when they do not actually have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. OCD, in its diagnosed form, means that your brain can kind of be a jerk. It means that sometimes you will repeat a thought over and over – particularly an anxious thought – until you have to do some sort of action in order to make the thought stop. I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 27, and it’s very likely, given that I have a child who suffers from it, that I had it as a child as well. OCD is not fun. It is looking around and feeling extreme anxiety because things are in disarray but not doing anything about it because you do not have time to make it perfect should you start to act. It is watching your 4-year old child melt down because she cannot get her bow hold just right in a violin lesson, so now she doesn’t want to try. OCD is a total jerk.

The Promise Between Us, by Barbara Claypole White, is a novel centered on a mother and daughter who have OCD. Katie Mack leaves her family because she’s stricken by an intrusive thought that scares her. This thought is that she would harm her newborn daughter, Maisie. While this is a common fear for those struggling with postpartum anxiety and depression, Katie doesn’t know that until later when she starts to learn about OCD and how it’s affected her. 

White’s depiction of the struggle with this genetic brain difference has been done really well. The book is beautifully written, and it keeps the reader turning the pages. It was really moving, and I was brought to tears in several parts. It’s highly recommended. 

About The Promise Between Us

Paperback
Publisher:
Lake Union Publishing (January 16, 2018)

From the bestselling author of The Perfect Son comes a hopeful tale of redemption, renewal, and the promise of love.

Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?

To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

Purchase Links

Amazon *affiliate link*| Barnes & Noble

About Barbara Claypole White

Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White creates hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina where she lives with her beloved OCD family. Her novels include The Unfinished Garden, The In-Between Hour, The Perfect Son, andEchoes of Family. The Promise Between Us, a story of redemption, sacrifice, and OCD, has a publication date of January 16th, 2018. She is also an OCD Advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity. To connect with Barbara, please visit www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com, or follow her on Facebook. She’s always on Facebook.

Book Review: The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World by Kristin Rockaway

love Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series. So, when I was asked if I’d like to review Kristin Rockaway’s The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World, I said “yes.” I love the way the author uses her writing skills to create a really fun voice for her main character, Sophie. This book isn’t just fun – it’s a welcome “quick read” (always really important when you’re juggling a reading hobby with three kids ages four and under). While I’d liked to have read a bit more background descriptions in a book that involved world travel, I found this novel sexy and fun, and a welcome read. I recommend this book to those who enjoyed Shopaholic and Sister, and for those who enjoy the Chick Lit genre and want to shake things up a little bit with a novel you can read in an afternoon or two. It’s definitely a good one to have on hand for those rainy days that are coming our way in the next few months.

About The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World

• Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: Center Street (June 6, 2017)

Fans of Sophie Kinsella and The Devil Wears Prada will love this smart, sexy debut novel of wanderlust.

Objectively, Sophie is a success: she’s got a coveted job at a top consulting firm, a Manhattan apartment, and a passport full of stamps. It isn’t quite what she dreamed of when she was a teenager dog-earing pages in exotic travel guides, but it’s secure. Then her best friend bails just hours after they arrive in Hong Kong for a girls’ trip, and Sophie falls for Carson, a free spirited, globetrotting American artist. He begs her to join him on his haphazard journey, but she chooses responsibility and her five-year plan.

Back in New York, that plan feels less and less appealing. As Sophie recalls the dreams she’s suppressed, the brief international jaunts she sneaks in between business trips no longer feel like enough. Carson isn’t ready to let her go either, but as they try to figure out their relationship, Sophie realizes she may have to pursue her passions with or without him.

Praise

“With its spirited yet credible plot and vividly intricate charactersthis debut novel shines.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“…a fun, sexy debut perfect for readers who love exotic settings and a great love story. For those wishing to indulge their wanderlust, or who have dreams too big for tidy little boxes, this is an incredibly satisfying read.” — Karma Brown, bestselling author of Come Away With Me

“…brilliantly navigates one woman’s quest to let go of what is practical to pursue her passion and surrender to her inner dreamer.” — Kerry Lonsdale, bestselling author of Everything We Keep

“Can a novel be smart and loads of fun? Kristin Rockaway’s debut is proof that it’s possible. Warm, witty, and completely delightful, this book had my inner escapist itching to hop on the next flight out of town.” — Camille Pagán, bestselling author of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

“Kristin Rockaway is a wise and fresh new voice in women’s fiction and this book was a delight from start to finish.”  — Anita Hughes, author of Christmas in Paris

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Kristin Rockaway

Kristin Rockaway is a native New Yorker with an insatiable case of wanderlust. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she finally traded the city for the surf and chased her dreams out to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of software. Her debut novel, The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World, was released from Hachette Book Group in June 2017. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, browsing the aisles of her neighborhood bookstores, and planning her next big vacation.

Find out more about Kristin at her website, and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Plonk Wine Subscription Review

Plonk Wine Club is a monthly subscription service that provides customers with several different options for monthly wine boxes. I recently received the November mixed box to try and review. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised.

Disclaimer: I received a one-box gift of Plonk Wine Box from my partners at Shareasale. This post contains affiliate links, which means should you click on one and make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the purchase price, at no additional cost to you.

What is Plonk Wine Club?

Plonk Wine Club is one of the many subscription clubs out there that allows customers to procure a selection of new wines every month. Wines included in the Plonk subscription are artisanal, small-batch, and sustainably grown boutique wines from around the world. There are several options for your monthly subscription club – and each club allows you to select 2, 4, or 12 wines per shipment. Club options include:

  • Mixed Wine Club
  • Red Wine Club
  • White Wine Club
  • Cabernet Wine Club
  • Pinot Noir Wine Club
  • Sauvignon Blanc Wine Club

Pricing starts around $49.99 a month for those who select the two bottle mixed club (and pay for a year’s subscription in advance). Shipping is free, and a signature from someone over 21 is required for delivery. 

The Wines I Received

I received two wines – Maison Plantevin Côtes du Rhône 2016 (no longer available) and Domaine de L’Espigouette Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2016.  The description of the Maison Plantevin  Côtes du Rhône 2016 reads:

Côtes du Rhône wines are reliable, juicy, and guzzle-worthy, but rarely do you come across a Côtes du Rhône that stops you in your tracks. Well, this organically grown bottling from Maison Plantevin, which is comprised of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, is an entirely different story. Intensely aromatic and expressive, this wine is alive with fresh lilacs, bright raspberry fruit, and vivid acidity. Brought up in stainless steel, this is a perfect versatile, crow-pleasing food wine.

The Domaine de L’Esigouette Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2016’s description is:

This exceptional Côtes du Rhône Blanc is made of 70% Viognier and 30% Grenache Blanc and is surprisingly bright, clean and light-weight in style, which is not typical of Rhône whites, which can oftentimes com across flabby and heavy. Instead, this boutique bottling is floral, nervy, and vivacious, showing tangy apricot, bold white peach, and gorgeous honeysuckle notes.

In addition to providing cards with information about each wine, they have suggested food-pairing recipes. We did not make one of the suggested pairing recipes, though I am sure that they are wonderful. Every month, subscribers can go to the website and find what’s in their box, and a list of three suggested recipes to accompany their wine. 

The Maison Plantevin

I liked this wine more than did Wining Husband. He found it a bit too rough. The nose promised butter and notes of kalamata olives. Upon swirling and tasting, there was definitely a strong olive theme – I found there to be notes of olive oil, Kalamata and green olives. There were notes of black pepper, paprika, sage and time, and unlike my husband, I found it to be very smooth. I actually wound up using the last of this wine in my favorite cranberry sauce recipe – and it came out amazing! (I used it in place of the white wine vinegar).

The Domaine L’Esigouette

Both of us really enjoyed this wine. It had honey and apple on the nose, very in-keeping with the description of it. It also had notes of hay and sour apple. This wine was very crisp. It almost behaved like a full-bodied Chardonnay – butter, oak, and spice were all there on my palate after drinking it.

The Verdict

I enjoyed the opportunity to try a couple of new wines. If we weren’t skipping out on subscription services this year as part of a budget challenge, we might be inclined to subscribe to this one! 

 

 

 

Happy New Year!!!!!

Happy New Year from Wining Wife®! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that you’re ready for all the things that 2018 will bring. I’m looking forward to writing more about life as I know it in the coming year.  Here’s a quick recap of where I’m at.

  • We added baby 4 to our family in May. I wound up with preeclampsia; luckily they caught it early enough to where it never became severe – and I was far enough along to where we could induce and Miss Ladybug is super-healthy and the happiest little gal. 
  • We also sent our oldest off to college. He’s loving it there. I had a harder time adjusting than I’d thought I would. I wrote about it for Raising World Children.  In addition to a 19 year old and an 8 month old, we have a 4 year old and a 2 year old. It gets pretty wild up in here! (What better reason to try new wines is there?)
  • Last year, I lost over 60 pounds and 22.5″ after starting to run again as part of a great running club.  I’ve signed up for a 12k in March and a half marathon in October, and I’m really looking forward to those races. I’m aiming to do a race each month.  I’m also thinking about adding hot yoga and boxing to my workout routine. 
  • I suffered from postpartum depression hitting pretty hard again at the end of the year – I’m glad I was running as it helps out a lot with the depression and anxiety. I also started using a team of planners, which is helping me to feel on top of everything that needs to get done. 
  • I started writing for a couple startups I’m really excited about. 
  • During NaNoWriMo, I completed just over 33,000 words of a novel, Dances With Crazy, that I’m hoping to finish over the next month.
  • I took a break from my handmade business so I had time to let go of  some things as I adjusted to being a mom of four, with a newborn and one who flew the nest. 

My word of the year for 2017 was “reclaim.” I wanted to take a moment and start to re-gather myself after having 3 kids in 4 years. I think I’ve done a good job toward that goal with starting to run again and working with Wining Husband to get our personal library set up and start making personal changes to our house we bought in 2016.  I also signed up for some beauty box subscriptions, and so I was able to rebuild the makeup wardrobe that my 4 year old destroyed when she was being a curious 2 1/2 year old. 

My word of the year for 2018 is “conquer.” This is the year I will conquer my fears. I will conquer my goals. I will be the best me I can be and really forge ahead. 

What are you looking forward to in 2018? Have you chosen a word of the year?

Five of My Favorite Cookie Recipes for #NationalCookieDay

Who doesn’t love cookies? I know I do. That’s why I’m sharing not one, but five of my favorite recipes for baking cookies in honor of #NationalCookieDay. I love making cookies during the holiday season, and what better day to do so? 

White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Macadamia Nut Cookies

These cookies are delicious and festive. The first time I made the white chocolate, cranberry, and macadamia nut cookies, I was editing the newsletter for Chico Natural Foods. The cookies had won their holiday cookie competition – and with very good reason. They are sweet without being too sweet. Make lots of them, because they wind up being gobbled up quickly.

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

I made these a few years back, and at my New Years Eve party, my friend’s daughter could not get enough of these. In addition to having no flour, these cookies also have no butter and no oil. These flourless chocolate cookies do have a lot of sugar in them so I save them as very special treats – like the holidays.

“Good Luck” Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Maybe it’s superstition, maybe it really is “magic,” but every time I’ve made these cookies, something wonderful has happened. I just thought about it, and it’s been a little while since I’ve made them, so I think I’m definitely due. Good luck isn’t the only reason to make these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, though. They are delicious, addictive, and fun to make – with or without following the ritual directions.

The Perfect Sugar Cookie Recipe

What’s Christmas time without sugar cookies cut and decorated with frosting and sprinkles? If you know me at all, then you know I get keyed up very easily when things don’t go my way in the kitchen. I’ve tried some sugar cookie recipes where the cookies burn easily or where they’re very difficult to transfer from the counter to the pan without tearing them. This sugar cookie recipe avoids both of these problems, making it perfect for using when children are involved in the creative cookie-making process.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip

Finally, these would go great with an older port you have sitting around if you want a supremely decadent dessert. You don’t have to have any wine, though, to enjoy these fantastic cookies – and these are my all time favorite. Believe me, you’re going to love the flavors of these chocolate peanut butter chip cookies

Please! Share your favorite cookie recipes in the comments. I need ideas for fun cookies to make with my kiddos for us to give as gifts to neighbors and friends!

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