Saturday, July 4, 2015

Giveaway - Redemption Bay - RaeAnne Thayne

Summertime is the perfect time for romantic escapist reading. I've got a great giveaway today for those of you looking to stock up your beach bag!

Redemption Bay, from author RaeAnne Thayne is newly released.

From the publisher, HQN Books:

 "New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne brings you back to Haven Point—a place made for second chances…

McKenzie Shaw would do anything for her hometown of Haven Point. It may be small, but it's never let her down…unlike gorgeous, infuriating Ben Kilpatrick. He was her childhood hero until he closed his family's factory, leaving the town's economy in shambles. Now his tech firm is considering opening a local facility. For Haven Point's sake, McKenzie has to grit her teeth and play nice.

What could a town filled with painful memories ever offer Ben? Yet seeing the town through the eyes of McKenzie—its fiery young mayor—he suddenly has his answer. If only he can resolve the animosity crackling between them, Ben may have found the place where he can build ties and find healing…a place where love arrives when it's least expected." Redemption Bay explores healing hearts, healing bodies, healing families, healing a town and finding love when it's least expected. Read an excerpt of Redemption Bay.

"New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including four RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews magazine. RaeAnne loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website." You can also connect with RaeAnne Thayne on Twitter as well as on Facebook.

And every book needs a bookmark! Along with a copy of Redemption Bay, the lucky winner will receive a special bookmark made by RaeAnne herself! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US only, no PO boxes please. Ends July 18/15.

Friday, July 3, 2015

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #60

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
 But you can like one cover version better than another...

US cover
Here you go Reacher Creatures! The latest Reacher book from Lee Child releases in September 2015. The US cover for Make Me is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Hmm, well the US cover is definitely dramatic and eye catching. The UK cover is subtler with a lone man at a remote crossroads. I'm 50/50 this week, but will go with the UK. Which cover do you prefer? Do you plan to read Make Me? You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular Saturday feature at A Book Worm's World.
(That is indeed appearing on Friday this week due to another commitment tomorrow!)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Over the Counter #270

What books caught my eye this week as they passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Some memoirs from late bloomers this week....

First up is Unabrow: Misadventures of a Late Bloomer by Una LaMarche.

From the publisher, Plume Books:

"In between highbrow and lowbrow, there’s Unabrow. "Take the cast of ‘Bridesmaids,’ add a dash of pre-pubescent Eugene Levy, and you have the humor stylings of Una LaMarche."-- Ann Imig, founder of Listen to Your Mother.

As a girl, Una LaMarche was as smart as she was awkward. She was blessed with a precocious intellect, a love of all things pop culture, and eyebrows bushier than Frida Kahlo’s. Adversity made her stronger...and funnier. In Unabrow, Una shares the cringe-inducing lessons she’s learned from a life as a late bloomer, including the seven deadly sins of DIY bangs, how not to make your own jorts, and how to handle pregnancy, plucking, and the rites of passage during which your own body is your worst frenemy.

For readers who loved Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and for fans of Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, and Amy Schumer, Unabrow is the book June Cleaver would have written if she spent more time
drinking and less time vacuuming."

Next up is Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney.

From Grand Central Publishing:

"I've been single for my entire life. Not one boyfriend. Not one short-term dating situation. Not one person with whom I regularly hung out and kissed on the face."

So begins Katie Heaney's memoir of her years spent looking for love, but never quite finding it. By age 25, equipped with a college degree, a load of friends, and a happy family life, she still has never had a boyfriend...and she's barely even been on a second date.

Throughout this laugh-out-loud funny book, you will meet Katie's loyal group of girlfriends, including flirtatious and outgoing Rylee, the wild child to Katie's shrinking violet, as well as a whole roster of Katie's ill-fated crushes. And you will get to know Katie herself -- a smart, modern heroine relaying truths about everything from the subtleties of a Facebook message exchange to the fact that "Everybody who works in a coffee shop is at least a little bit hot."

Funny, relatable, and inspiring, this is a memoir for anyone who has ever struggled to find love, but has also had a lot of fun in the process."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The 9th Canadian Book Challenge

Happy Canada Day everyone!

And along with celebrating Canada's Birthday - it's time to start The 9th Canadian Book Challenge! This year's theme is music - hence the guitar. This challenge is hosted by John of The Book Mine Set.

What is the Canadian Book Challenge? It's an online reading challenge in which participants from Canada and around the world aim to read and review 13 or more Canadian books in a one year span: Canada Day to Canada Day. Reviews must be posted online and participants are asked to share links to their reviews with other participants.

This will be my 7th year participating. (And I've met the challenge every year!) It's a wonderful way to sample the great writing Canada has to offer and discover new authors. Interested in joining? Further details and sign up info can be found here. I'll be using this post to track my progress.

Guest Post with Judith Fertig - The Cake Therapist

I'm so pleased to welcome Judith Fertig, author of The Cake Therapist, to A Bookworm's World today. Judith has written a great piece on Tasting in Technicolor.......lots of food for thought....  :0)   Oh, and did I mention I have great giveaway running until July 11/15 - enter to win a copy of The Cake Therapist and Bake Happy!

“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats,” wrote Iris Murdoch, the English novelist featured in the Kate Winslet film “Iris.”

Whether the small treat is a reward for doing something difficult, a small celebration, something to keep you company while you read, or a way to deal with old hungers that must be fed, it helps if you put a little thought into it.

Mindlessly munching that pallid, overly sweet sugar cookie that you grabbed at the grocery store won’t do. You will eat on and on and on, searching for the flavor and color that just isn’t there. In the end, your supposed treat will make you feel just the slightest bit unsettled, annoyed, or disappointed. Or you will eat another, and another, thinking This time I will find that flavor! I will find that color!

Our unspoken desire is for flavor and color. And when they combine, the effects can be magical.

In my debut novel The Cake Therapist, pastry chef Neely Davis returns to her hometown to open a bakery after her New York life melts down like buttercream frosting on a hot day. Neely hopes to use her special gift—she “reads” people as flavors, which eventually lead to their stories—to create signature desserts that feed their souls.

Neely says, “Flavor was the way people like me made sense of the world.”

“We knew that there was a flavor that explained you—even to yourself. A flavor whose truth you recognized when you tasted it. A flavor that answered the questions you didn’t know you had.”

We’re all trying to figure out the flavor that explains us, even to ourselves. And the color in our lives that goes with it. And we keep trying.

Neely features two complementary flavors/colors every month at her bakery. She knows the subliminal power of color and flavor to move us through life—dark chocolate and coffee to provide the push we need to get a new year started, the quirky romance of raspberry and blood orange for February, the fresh breeze combination of lemon yellow and vivid blueberry in March.

We all know that color can make a cupcake or a cookie more appealing. But color and flavor have more surprising links, as I found when I was working on my new cookbook Bake Happy (Running Press, 2015) at the same time.

Drinking hot chocolate from an orange mug (or enjoying an individual chocolate soufflé in an orange ramekin) makes it taste richer, darker, more mysterious. Eating a lemon yellow tart on a turquoise plate makes the pastry taste more lemon-y. Serving a dessert on a round white plate will make it taster 10 percent sweeter. We tend to eat less of a dessert if it is served on a plate in a contrasting color. And this I definitely know: Reading the novel The Cake Therapist and the cookbook Bake Happy together will help you taste in Technicolor. Read an excerpt of The Cake Therapist.

"Cookbook author Judith Fertig grew up in the Midwest, went to La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris and The Iowa Writers' Workshop, and now lives in Kansas City. Described by Saveur Magazine as a “heartland cookbook icon,” Fertig writes cookbooks that reflect her love of bread, baking, barbecue, and the fabulous foods of the Heartland. Fertig’s food and lifestyle writing has appeared in more than a dozen publications, including Bon Appetit, Saveur and The New York Times. The Cake Therapist is her fiction debut." You can connect with Judith Fertig on her website or on Facebook, as well as on Twitter and on Pinterest.

A conversation with Jane Green - Summer Secrets

Author Jane Green was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about her new novel Summer Secrets. (And if you haven't already entered - I have two great Jane Green giveaways happening.  Enter here for a Jane Green Summer Secrets Beach Bag giveaway- ends July 4/15 and here for a copy of Summer Secrets - ends July 11/15!)

Summer Secrets is set partly in London and partly in Nantucket. Why did you choose these settings? I can’t ever get too far from my London roots. It’s hard for me to write about it now, it has changed so much since I moved away fifteen years ago, but I grew up there, and I love that nostalgic jolt I get when I delve into my memories for my characters. And Nantucket is the most magical place on earth – if I could set every book there, I would.

In Summer Secrets, Cat confronts a secret in her family’s past. Was this plotline inspired by any personal experiences? My husband has a cousin who recently discovered, in his 50s, that the man he thought was his father wasn’t his father. Coincidentally, I have cousins who don’t know they are related to me — the result of an illicit affair one of my uncles had years ago. I am fascinated by the secrets people keep, and the impact those have on our lives.

Summer Secrets is your 17th book. All of your novels have been bestsellers. Once you hit the
New York Times bestseller list, is there more pressure on you to continue to write books that hit the list? The pressure grows and grows...will you make the list, will you be higher than last time, is your career on the upswing or is this the moment it all comes crashing down and everyone realizes you're actually a load of rubbish. I had tremendous, and instant, success with my early books, and later had a period when things were quieter. It was a humbling and valuable lesson. Now I tend to focus less on how well the book does, and more on creating the best possible book I can create. If I know I've done that, then I'm happy.

How and when do you write? Please describe your writing routine, rituals, and traditions. I write in the mornings, taking myself off to a small writer's room in town where I sequester myself for three or four hours. I need frequent large cups of coffee and spare batteries for the huge noise-cancelling headphones I wear, listening to either classical or ambient music. I buy a new notebook dedicated to each new book Large, thin enough to slip into my computer case, the very first page always contains notes on the story, before moving on to characters. All my thoughts and notes go into the book, always in longhand, before being typed up on the computer. And it’s usually pink.

Before you became a women’s fiction favorite, you were a journalist. Do you miss the 9-5 routine? The only thing I miss is going to work every day with my best friends. I worked on the women's desk of the Daily Express and we were such a tight knit group, going to work was actually my favorite part of the day.

What have you read lately that you’ve loved? I was lucky enough to read I Take You by Eliza Kennedy as an advance copy, and it had me crying with laughter in a way I hadn’t since Bridget Jones’s Diary. Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin is another I was lucky enough to read early, and another I plan to revisit, savoring the stories of hoity toity women on the Upper East Side of New York.

Any other books you are looking forward to reading this summer? Laura Dave is not only one of my favorite writers, but one of my favorite people. Her latest, Eight Hundred Grapes, is first on my list. Jamie Attenberg’s The Middlesteins was a wonderful, poignant book. So I can’t wait to dive into Saint Mazie. And what can I say? Who won’t be reading Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event this summer?

What can you tell us about the next Jane Green novel? And how long will we have to wait for it? With any luck I’ll be finished in August of this year. It’s called The Hemlock Sisters (although that could change), and it’s about three estranged sisters who reunite when their mother announces she is ill.

Thanks for stopping by Jane!! Read an excerpt of Summer Secrets.

The Book of Speculation - Erika Swyler

 Erika Swyler's new release - The Book of Speculation is on my summer reading list.

St. Martin's Press is running a great giveaway for a hand bound, aged version of Swyler's manuscript that the author created herself. It's meant to look like the mysterious old book from her story. The giveaway runs to July 24th, The Drowning Day in the book.

Read an excerpt of The Book of Speculation.

You can find out more about the giveaway at www.bookofspeculation.com and enter the giveaway here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Where are the reviews you ask?

Well....Gramma's been on vacation spending some time with this little guy.

And books were shelved - 'cause the real stories are so much better.....

Reviews to resume soon.....

Monday, June 29, 2015

Giveaway - The Drummond Girls - Mardi Jo Link

I've got a great giveaway for you today - one you're going to want to share with your friends....

The Drummond Girls: A Story of Fierce Friendship Beyond Time and Chance by Mardi Jo Link releases July 14/15. I'm looking forward to reading this one! 

And if you are too, I have FIVE copies to giveaway!

From Grand Central Publishing:

"An inspiring and heartfelt memoir about the friendship between eight women forged over two decades. The eight Drummond Girls first met in 1991 at Peegeo's Food and Spirits in northern Michigan where, at the time, they were all waitresses, bartenders, or regular customers. When one of them got engaged, they celebrated with a trip to Drummond Island--their first trip together to the remote 36-mile chunk of rock, dive bars, dirt roads, and beautiful forests--and it's where they became bonded forever. They've made this voyage every year since then as a way to retain a piece of their wild youth, despite the taming influence of marriage, motherhood, and management. This year, their focus is Beverly, oldest of the Drummond Girls at 65, whose memory is beginning to lapse. Undaunted, the other women intend to help Beverly remember all they've shared -- every campfire, every late night talk, every secret confided." Read an excerpt of The Drummond Girls



"Mardi Jo Link has worked as a police and general assignment reporter, magazine editor, and freelance writer. She is a Heartland bestselling author of the critically acclaimed memoir Bootstrapper--which won the Great Lakes, Great Reads Booksellers' Choice Award and the Michigan Notable Book Award--as well as When Evil Came to Good Hart and Isadore's Secret." (I loved her memoir Bootstrapper!) You can connect with Mardi Jo on Facebook as well as on Twitter.

Sounds great doesn't it!? Watch for my review! And, if you too, would like to read The Drummond Girls, enter for the chance to win one of FIVE copies up for grabs using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends July 18/15.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Celebrate Canada Day - with some great Canadian authors!

Canada Day is just around the corner......and what better way to celebrate than with a great Canadian read!

Six great East Coast authors - including:
Genevieve Graham
Julianne MacLean
Pamela Callow
Cathryn Fox
Donna Alward and
Kelly Boyce

- and six great books to be won!And a few extra surprises! You can enter here! Open to US and Canada!