Book Review: The One

The One by Kiera Cass

Published by Harper Teen, Harper Collins

 

Synopsis-

THE SELECTION changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. Now, only one will claim Prince Maxon’s heart…
It’s swoon meets the Hunger Games in the final instalment of THE SELECTION trilogy!

For the four girls who remain at the palace, the friendships they’ve formed, rivalries they’ve struggled with and dangers they’ve faced have bound them to each other for the rest of their lives.

Now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown – or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the competition approaches its end and thethe one threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose – and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

 

 

Review:

I finished this book last night and I have to say it was incredible. The whole series from start to finish was one of the best I have ever read!

The book is very well written and extremely emotional. By the time I finished the book, I was crying so hard I had collect myself before turning in for the night!

American is a realistic character who actually reminds me of Bella Swan in a lot of ways. She is conflicted and torn between two men in a way that makes sense. Old flame versus new love. But she ultimately realizes what love really  is, and the responsibilities that come along with it.

I loved the love letters at the end of the book that Maxon sent to her while she was away from the palace also. So incredibly romantic.

Kiera Cass is a fantastic writer and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next!

 

5 stars

 

kieracass

Book Review: An American Girl In Italy

An American Girl In Italy- Aubrie Dionna

 

Published by HarperImpulse, HarperCollins

 

Synopsis-

An Italian paradise is the last thing she wants… but the one thing she needs!
Surely any girl would kill for the chance to tour Italy’s most famous cities for the summer? To experience the warmth of the Tuscan sun, the culinary delights of the pizzerias and caffés and to stroll along the cobbled streets of the City of Love itself…
Any girl apart from ambitious oboist Carly Davis that is! For her, the Easthampton Civic Symphony’s latest European tour is one massive inconvenience. She can’t even put her smartphone down long enough to snap a picture of the Coliseum.
Only, there’s one Italian attraction that Carly hadn’t quite expected to be a part of the tourist route…

anamericangirl

Tour guide Michelangelo is as dark and delicious as Carly’s morning espresso. And when she needs a few lessons in the language of love to land her an important gig, he’s a more than capable tutor.

But with her promising career back in Boston, can Carly really afford to lose her heart in Italy?

 

 

Review:

 

Dionne paints a perfect picture of Italy in this fresh and funny Women’s Fiction novel. Her main character, Carly, is a smart, hardworking American girl who travels to Italy on a gig with her orchestra. Carly is in desperate need of some fun! And a little romance to boot. You can tell Dionne is classically trained in music (or has done a lot of research on the matter!) because she described every moment that Carly and the others are playing so their instruments so perfectly, can can almost hear the songs as you read along.

I have this theory about the book, which I could be wrong about, but I believe that Carly’s love interest, Michelangelo,  is actually the main character. He is so well developed and well rounded, and i found myself routing more for him to be get Carly than the other way around. You know him so well by the end of the book and really want everything to work out for him! Unfortunately I can’t get too much into what goes wrong in his life without some huge spoilers but I will see the guy could use a break! (and a pretty blonde wouldn’t hurt either).

All in all I give this book 5 stars. It’s well written, funny, and romantic. Great for the beach or if you’re sitting outside. I say that because i read this book mostly in bed but the amount of Italian sunshine described in the book made me wish i was sitting on my porch instead with a glass of lemonade!

 

5 stars

Aubrie

 

Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her books have received the highest ratings from Romance Times Magazine and BTS Magazine, as well as Night Owl Reviews and Two Lips Reviews. She has guest blogged on the USA Today Happy Ever After Blog and the Dear Teen Me blog and signed books at the Boston Book Festival, Barnes and Noble, and the Romance Writers of America conference. Her books are published by HarperImpulse, Entangled Publishing, Astraea Press, Spencer Hill Press, Inkspell Publishing, and Lyrical Press. When she’s not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras.

Cover Reveal- Dangled Carat gets a make-over!

I originally reviewed Hilary’s book a few months back (http://chicklitbooks.com/book-review-dangled-carat/) when it was self-published. But the big news that she and I want to share is that her book has been picked up by BookTrope Publishing. Isn’t this cover glamorous?!? A big congratulations to you, Hilary!
Dangled-Carat-Hilary-Grossman-193x300
For every girl who wondered if she should love him or dump him…..

For every girl who listened to her heart instead of her friends advice….

For every girl who l wondered if she was wasting her time dating that guy….

meet Hilary….
She had gotten used to dating the commitment-phobic Marc, thirteen years her senior. They had a great relationship–why rush into things? She saw no need to pressure him for marriage, believing that when the time was right, he would propose. But after they had been together for four years, their friends decided to take matters into their own hands, pushing Marc to propose and making Hilary realize how much she really did want to marry the man that she loved. Unfortunately, Marc still wasn’t ready–and their friends’ meddling in the form of a faux engagement party led to a disastrous New Year’s Eve that brought their relationship to an inevitable turning point.

For anyone who has ever dated a commitment-phobe, who has found their patience wearing thin with the one they love, or who has sat around wondering if he is ever going to pop the question while trying to remain the very picture of patience and grace, Hilary’s humorous and honest story will hit home.

“Dangled Carat sparkles with humor and shines with wisdom. It is a gem of a book.” - Christina Baker Kline – New York Times Best Selling Author of Orphan Train.
 
“Fans of Sex and the City – Grossman makes a reference to Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big – will enjoy the story, but its real-girl charm should draw an even wider crowd.” - Kirkus Reviews.
 
Links for the book:
Ebook $2.99, Paperback $9.93
Hilary-Grossman-200x300
Hilary Grossman dated a guy so commitment-phobic that she was able to write a book about their relationship.  She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and shoes.  She loves to find humor in every day life.  And she likens life to a game of dodgeball – she tries to keep many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. When she isn’t writing or blogging she is the CFO of a beverage alcohol importer.  She lives on Long Island.

How did you become a writer? Guest post by Janey Fraser

JANEY FRASER

 

How  did you become a writer? It’s a question which I am often asked. The truth is that from as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to write stories.  But the problem was that it wasn’t the kind of career you could easily train for like a teacher or a scientist.

I  grew up in a place called Harrow Weald, a ‘green belt’ area about forty minutes away from London on the Metropolitan line. Despite its proximity to the capital, there were woods and fields which I would often walk through, making up tales about people and places I knew.

My school was one of the first girls’ schools in the country –  very academic -  and because I didn’t consider myself to be particularly bright, I took refuge in novels like Jane Eyre. I also longed to be one of the bubbly party set but that wasn’t to be! So I threw my angst into writing poetry.  It seemed quite natural to read English at university – the only subject I was interested in – and then to become a magazine journalist. Again, it was the only job that seemed to have any relation with my ultimate ambition  – to write a novel

But life has a habit of de-railing you! I married young and left my job on Woman’s Own to bring up my three wonderful children. At the same time, I freelanced furiously for a wide range of magazines and newspapers – mainly specialising in family features and celebrities. I was lucky enough to interview all kinds of famous people including Julie Walters and Barbara Dickson.  Sometimes  if I was desperate (childcare wasn’t easy),  I would take my children with me to these interviews . Pam Ayres was particularly kind when I brought my then two year old along.

By the time my youngest son was three, I realised  time was running out for that novel. So I wrote 100,000 words about a housewife who swapped place with a journalist. It was called Amersham Wives. I found an agent through the Writers & Artists Yearbook and thought I was made. However, although the novel had nice rejection letters, no one took me up. So, on my agent’s advice, I wrote  another noel – and another. Finally, after writing a novel a year for ten years, I got my first contract. The book was called ‘The School Run’ and the publisher was Hodder & Stoughton.  My agent suggested writing it under a pen name – Sophie King -  in case readers mistook it for a non-fiction book  (I’d already written quite a few of those by then).

My fifth Sophie King novel ‘ The Wedding Party’  was shortlisted for Love Story of the Year by the Romantic Novelists Association in 2010. That was wonderful!

Then I changed publishers to Random House and they wanted to re-launch me with a new name. So I became Janey Fraser  (‘Janey’ is actually my real name although ‘Fraser’ isn’t). It’s rather odd having a pen name. In some ways it protects your privacy but in another, it makes you feel like someone you aren’t.

My fourth Janey Fraser novel is called ‘After The Honeymoon’ and has just come out. It’s about one honeymoon destination; thee couples; and six secrets. The first half is set in gorgeous sunny Greece and the second in a small English town where the couples come to terms with the first six months of married life!

In real life,  I’ve had two honeymoons. My first marriage came to an end after twenty seven years which was very hard for all of us.  Three years later, I went onto marry a family friend who is also the Godfather to my children. It means a lot to me that he’s known them since they were babies. My first husband has re-married too. My second honeymoon was more of an extended wedding reception in a beautiful country house hotel, set in the Lake District. I didn’t want to go away after that, as I wanted to be around for my then 16-year-old son.

Writing, for me,  is a mixture of being a mum – even though the children are much older now – and having time to myself. My husband is very good at that. He never minds when I go up to my study for ‘a few minutes’ and come down several hours later…

If you want to write, I’d advise you to keep your eyes peeled for a situation that grabs you. Then think about what kind of people might find themselves in that situation and what problems they could encounter. Picture the place they’re in – use magazine pictures as a prompt –  and smell it. You might also like to look at a book I wrote called ‘How To Write Your First Novel’ by Sophie King, published by How To Books.

Good luck! If you’d like to email me, I’m at janeyfraser@gmail.com.

AFTER THE HONEYMOON by JANEY FRASER. PUBLISHED BY ARROW, RANDOM HOUSE.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/After-Honeymoon-Janey-Fraser/dp/0099580845/

JaneyFraser

Written Fireside, Part 6 (HarperImpulse)

Written Fireside is a story that the HarperImpulse team has put together for your viewing pleasure.

If you haven’t already read the first parts of this story.. here are the links and the authors information so you can get all caught up!

 

Lori Connelly – Website   Blog  Facebook  Twitter   Google Plus   Amazon Author Page   Pinterest   Goodreads   Wattpad

Her books – The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge  The Lawman of Silver Creek

 

Lisa Fox – Website  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads  Google Plus   Blog

Her book – One Kiss

 

Angela Campbell – Website   Facebook   Twitter   Blog

Her books – On the Scent   Something Wicked

 

Teresa F. Morgan –  Website  Facebook  Twitter

Her books – Plus One is a Lucky Number Co-Author – Be My Valentine

And now it’s time for part 6…

fireside

 

Kaylie carefully unfolded the paper that remind her of the kind you’d tear out of your notebook to pass a message to your friend in class. Kailey held the note up to the one, dirty window in the basement in order to get a better view of the words. But even lit up by the peering light, the hand written note made no sense to her.

 

               Kailey,

I’ve gone, I can’t take being here any longer. I hope you understand. I love you.

-          Max

 

George whimpered, as if he somehow knew that the note said. Kailey passed the letter to Sam, whose face dropped in horror as his eyes quickly scanned the paper.

“He’s gone?” Sam said, shaking his head.

Kailey looked up at him, she raised both eye brows and shook her head. “No,” she said declaratively. “That’s not Max’s handwriting.”

“Are you sure?” Sam asked just as Kailey headed for the staircase.

“Of course I’m sure,” she muttered, hitting each step with determination. “He’s my brother.”

Kailey made her way back outside and looked around. She ran her fingers through her hair as she tried to calm herself down. Someone had taken her brother. Someone wanted to make it look like he left on his own.

Or worse.

Sam materialized next to her and wrapped his strong arms around her waist. She flinched and inches away from his grasp. “I don’t have time for this.”

“Don’t have time for what?” Sam asked, looking genuinely confused.

“For you,” she spat out. “For your weird mixed signals. You were the one who cheated on me and now you’re all over me? I called you to help me find my brother, not cop a feel in the forest.”

“I told you, that was a mistake.” His eyes suddenly flashing with anger.

“Oh yeah?” she countered. “Well so was calling you today.”

Sam shook his head. “You’re crazy.”

“And you’re useless,” she narrowed her eyes. “George! Come here boy!”

George came running over to her and she tugged lightly on his leash. Kailey took a few steps forward just as Max shouted out after her.

“Where are you going?”

“I’m going to find my brother,” she said without looking back.

“Alone.”

 

To be continued…

 

Part 7 by Jane Lark

Part 8 by Zara Stoneley
Part 9 by Aimee Duffy

 

Book Review: The Selection

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Published by Harper Teen, Harper Collins

 

Synopsis-

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth.

 

10507293To be  swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

 

 
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

 

Review:

 

There were a lot of strikes against this book for me at first. Number one, the cover. Don’t get me wrong, it’s stunning. Quite possibly the most beautiful cover I have ever seen, apart from the last book in his series, The One. But I expected this to be a pedestrian novel about a girl wanting to become a princess. What I got was so much more.  This book was intriguing, full of heart, and I couldn’t put it down. I finished it in two days flat and immediately ordered the next two installments of the series. I highly recommend this book!

4 stars

 

kieracass

Guest Post: Girls Like Us Author, Charlotte Ashby

Hey everyone! Today I have Charlotte Ashby, author of Girls Like Us, talking about her career thus far, and what she has learned from all of her experiences!
A year ago, I found myself in the enviable position of not being the breadwinner for a while – 20 years later I had another gap year to fill.  Naturally I had planned all sorts of life enhancing activities like flicking through ‘get the look’ sections of women’s magazines and removing hairballs from the corners of my kitchen.
I have always loved reading and studied English at university but had no serious intention of writing a book, until that is, my best friend came up with a suggestion.  Send me one page she said, just one page and I won’t hassle you again.  Looking back, that was fiendishly cunning.  You can’t write the first page without inventing characters, scenarios, relationships and then once you’ve started, you can’t just abandon them.  You’ve got to keep going and find out what happens next.  I sent her a chapter a week and waited with baited breadth for a response, which wasn’t always flattering but she was usually right.  I was obsessed, for the next 10 months, I would find myself driving with no clue where I was, utterly absorbed and distracted by the characters and how it could all work out.
Of course it helped that I had spent 20 years in a consumer PR agency, one of the most colourful and ludicrous workplaces you could imagine.  There were graduate trainees running the marathon dressed as a pot noodle, brainstorms in sandpits, photocalls with abusive celebrities and all manner of harebrained stunts to grab the tabloid headlines. So Emily Brighouse, my hapless, slightly slutty, well meaning heroine, is only a slight exaggeration.  Because I have hopped into the offices of the Daily Sport dressed as an Easter Bunny,  I have abseiled down the side of a building for some nutty PR stunt and I too have been invited onto the Richard & Judy show to explain my offensive publicity campaign.
Nothing can describe the excitement of seeing the front cover for the first time – knickers on the chandeliers – need I say more!  Girls Like Us was described by one newspaper as a ‘heady mix between Bridget Jones and Jilly Cooper’ and the next thing I know, I’m Sun ebook of the week.  But the truth is, it was all worth it just to give my friend a laugh and every snigger I get beyond that is a massive bonus.
And what have I learnt from this strange, emotional, maddening experience?  For every publisher or agent that turns you down, there is a kind tweet or review that keeps you going. If you can just write the first page, you can write a novel.  It’s definitely OK to laugh at your own jokes and there will probably always be hairballs in the corners of my kitchen, because whether I like it or not, I will never stop writing novels.
girlslikeus
Girls Like Us on Amazon.co.uk - paperback and kindle.
For more information on Charlotte, you can follow her  on twitter @EmilyBrighouse.

 

 

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