Jeggings have been trending for the past few months now, and finally around my parts of Iowa are girls starting to take notice of this new fashion craze. Jeggings, in case there are any of you that are not aware, are jeans/leggings. Think extreme skinny jeans that are worn like leggings but are made with a denim and spandex blend, making them more comfortable than regular jeans. While leggings are typically worn underneath a long shirt or dress, jeggings are worn more like jeans. I have seen girls wearing high waisted jeggings with their tops tucked into them, giving a more fashion forward look. Wearing jeggings either way seems acceptable, and often pairing with stilettos is the popular choice. Would you wear jeggings when you are out and about?
Candice and Ian’s marriage has been strained for the last eight months, ever since Ian’s parents were killed in a car accident. When Ian decides to leave for a month to do overseas work, Candice is relived she has some time alone to reflect on her marriage and whether she should stay with her husband. But when a blast from the past enters the picture, Candice can’t fight the feelings and emotions that come with her ex, Keagan. As the four weeks away from Ian stretches on, Candice gets swept away in the comfort, familiarity, and excitement that Keagan brings to her life. But is she letting Keagan distract her so she doesn’t need to address the painful reason her and Ian have grown apart? Is leaving her husband the right decision, or is there more to life and love that Candice will discover?
Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo, the debut novel from Heather Wardell, was so beautifully written, so touching and relatable that I could feel the characters jump out of the pages while reading, and skyrocketed Wardell to the top of my Favorite Authors list. Her writing flowed so effortlessly between scenes, and the emotions and vulnerability the heroine projected left me reading for hours at a time, unable to tear myself away from the characters. There is no question Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo deserves five stars, and I look forward to many more from Heather Wardell.
Author Name: Jenny Nelson
Bio: Jenny Nelson grew up in Larchmont, NY and graduated with a BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Denver. A former web editor and producer, she worked for companies such as iVillage, Vogue.com and Style.com. She lives with her husband, twin daughters and dog in Millbrook, NY and Manhattan. Georgia’s Kitchen is her first novel.
Titles: Georgia’s Kitchen
Bio Retrieved from www.jennynelsonauthor.com
In My Mailbox: Week of September 26th
Title: Haunted Honeymoon
Author: Marta Acosta
Received: From Marta Acosta
Synopsis: THERE’S MORE THAN HER HEART AT STAKE. . . .As the only human to survive vampire infection, Milagro de Los Santos has become quite a celebrity among the blood-drinking elite. Too bad the perks of her condition—increased strength, super-fast healing—don’t pay her condo fees. There are other complications too. She’s feeling guilty about her fling with enigmatic Vampire Council member Ian Ducharme, and pining for her ex-fiancé, Dr. Oswald Grant . . . the fabulous man whose kiss changed her life. It’s when Milagro—irked by Ian’s attentions to his neighbor—travels to London and enjoys a sexy flirtation of her own, that the blood really hits the fan. Suddenly, those around her are dying gruesome deaths and Milagro’s being interrogated. Who would kill to set her up as a murder suspect? Milagro just wants to turn back the clock and have another chance to make things right, but no sooner has she escaped to Oswald’s ranch than an accident obliterates her memory. Will the murderer come after her now? And will amnesia spark a romantic do-over with Oswald—or will she make all the same mistakes before she ever gets to say “I do”?
Title: Anyone for Me?
Author: Fiona Cassidy
Received: From Fiona Cassidy
Synopsis: Meet feisty fun-loving Ruby Ross – thirty four, mad red hair, mad (in general) adopted and searching for answers (most pressingly being precisely whose genes are responsible for the most unmanageable bonce in the country?). She’s impulsive, compulsive and unaware of what she’s about to unleash in her quest for the truth. Her journey will take her from the Tyrone village of Swiftstown to Belfast to the rolling hills of Donegal (where the scenery is lovely but the roads are bad and burst tyres are plenty.)
Isobel Ross is larger than life, living in a picturesque cottage in Donegal in the grounds of an old manor house which has been turned into a hotel – but why are the new owners so keen to get rid of her? She’s harbouring secrets from the past and fiercely protective of her adopted daughter. Can she stop the wilful Ruby from opening a nasty can of worms or will the hand of fate intervene and give Ruby the answers she doesn’t expect or might not want.
Throw in Ruby’s forthcoming nuptials to the lovely Luke, Frankie, her best friend and bling loving bridesmaid, a wedding planner called Gabriel who wears more make-up than the bride-to-be and a dusty box found in an attic which leaves many questions unanswered and you have a bewildered and rather ferocious Ruby asking is there….Anyone For Me?
Title: The Tapestry of Love
Author: Rosy Thornton
Received: From Rosy Thornton
Synopsis: A rural idyll: that’s what Catherine is seeking when she sells her house in England and moves to a tiny hamlet in the Cévennes mountains. With her divorce in the past and her children grown, she is free to make a new start, and her dream is to set up in business as a seamstress. But this is a harsh and lonely place when you’re no longer just here on holiday. There is French bureaucracy to contend with, not to mention the mountain weather, and the reserve of her neighbors, including the intriguing Patrick Castagnol. And that’s before the arrival of Catherine’s sister, Bryony.
Title: Blind Faith
Author: CJ Lyons
Received: From CJ Lyons
Synopsis: When her husband and son are murdered, she thought she’d lost it all. But for Sarah Durandt the nightmare is just beginning… Her search for truth leads her to a trail of lies and unearths a killer. In a race to save everything she holds dear, Sarah is forced to place her faith in the man who betrayed her…her husband.
Title: The Kiss Test
Author: Shannon McKelden
Received: From Shannon McKelden
Synopsis: Margo Gentry’s life is perfect. She loves her job as a country music DJ, and she has a great boyfriend who accepts her need to avoid marriage and tolerates her Elvis obsession – even the velvet Elvis painting in their bedroom. But then it all falls apart. The radio station changes formats and fires all the DJs. Margo’s boyfriend decides he wants kids and a house in the suburbs and kicks her to the curb. And to top it all off, her Mom is getting married — for the 11th time! — and expects Margo to be there as maid of honor. With no job and no place to live, Margo has to bunk on the couch of her best friend Chris, whose revolving bedroom door has played host to half the women in New York – at least, the ones that pass his “kiss test.” Worse, he’s insisting she attend her mother’s wedding, and is personally driving her cross-country to ensure she shows up. Forget about surviving the road trip – can their friendship survive The Kiss Test?
Title: Planning to Live
Author: Heather Wardell
Received: From Heather Wardell
Synopsis: Thirty-something Rhiannon is an obsessive planner and goal-setter, but somehow nothing she achieves ever seems good enough to her. Determined to lose forty pounds for her best friend’s August wedding, Rhiannon flees her parents’ house in a Christmas-day blizzard to avoid the temptation of all her favorite foods, but her car skids off the deserted road into a tree.
Unable to escape the car, with her leg trapped and bleeding and her cell phone out of reach, Rhiannon is at first certain she’ll be rescued and writes notes to her friends and family to pass the time. As the weather cools and her condition deteriorates, though, she recognizes the possibility that her life might be over. Interspersed with increasingly desperate escape attempts, her letters become deeper and more heart-felt as she comes to see what really matters in life.
Evelyn Dunleavy is shocked when her older brother Michael calls to tell her he is getting married. With Evie and her family living in the States while Michael lives in London, the family doesn’t even know his bride to be- who also happens to be pregnant. Michael convinces Evie to fly to London and stay there until the wedding, helping with the wedding plans and to be a supportive base for himself. Evie is forced to room with Michael’s friend Nate, but quickly gets over her dislike for rooming with a stranger when she lays eyes on the gorgeous entrepreneurial Nate. But can she really engage in a relationship with him when they live on different sides of the Pond, not to mention the fact that Michael has an extreme dislike for any of his friends dating his little sister?
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Her Brother’s Shotgun Wedding, the debut novel by Noreen Riley, is a classic contemporary blend of romance and comedy. The main character is extremely likeable and relatable, with some hilarious character flaws about her. The supporting cast, including both families involved in the wedding plus a slew of Evie’s best friends, fill up the rest of the pages with drama, attitudes, and enough wit to keep readers satisfied until the end. A Funny Thing follows the chick lit standards, but the characters, setting, and plot keep this novel unique and fast-paced. Riley showcases an excellent debut, and I wouldn’t mind if a sequel about Evie was in the works-but maybe one with a shorter title!
Author Name: Daniella Brodsky
Bio: Daniella Brodsky was born in Queens, New York, in the town of Little Neck. She now lives in Australia, in the capital city of Canberra.
In between, Brodsky’s lived in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, Las Vegas, London, Connecticut, and Washington DC. She earned a BA from New York University in Greenwich Village, where creative writing instructors first hinted she may actually have something there. She was unconvinced, but kept being drawn back. Mere blocks away, it was in 2000 that she officially told that doubting voice to shove it when her first novel, DIARY OF A WORKING GIRL was published. DIARY OF A WORKING GIRL has been adapted by Disney for the feature film BEAUTY AND THE BRIEFCASE, starring Hilary Duff, debuting on ABC Family Network April 18, 2010.
Daniella Brodsky’s subsequent novels are THE VELVET ROPE DIARIES, and PRINCESS OF PARK AVENUE (all originally published by Penguin). It was with the release of her fourth novel, FEAR OF DRIVING, that Brodsky explored new geographical territory and understood how powerful place can be in a story. When she left New York City for rural Connecticut several years ago, it was such a fertile time for her imagination—driving, seeing how pumpkins grow on vines, not in a box at the corner bodega, deciding whether it’s safe to tiptoe past twelve deer on the way to her car.
Her new home in Australia offers novel experiences galore, and she’s discovered travel to be the most nourishing food for a creative mind.
Her first young adult novel, ONE TRICK PONY (Random House), was published in hardcover in 2007. Back when she could stay out past 10:30, Brodsky was also the creator and author of THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO NEW YORK NIGHTLIFE series, as well as a freelance magazine journalist. She has been featured on Good Day New York, The WB Morning News, NPR, and in The New York Times, The New York Post, and The Hartford Courant. Her nonfiction work has been published in leading publications such as Time Out New York, The New York Post, Men’s Health, Cosmopolitan, Shape, and Self. Her next novel, VIVIAN RISING, will be published by Simon & Schuster this August. She continues to be fascinated by what makes us who we are and what we can do about it. Brodsky is working on three new novels and a non-fiction title about writing.
Titles: Never on a Sundae, The Girls Guides to New York Nightlife, Trick Pony, Princess of Park Avenue, Diary of a Working Girl, Velvet Rope Diaries, Fear of Driving, and Vivian Rising.
Bio Retrieved from www.daniellabrodsky.com
I don’t usually get many chick lit books sent my way by male authors, but the few I have, I really enjoyed them. When I read the synopsis for Waxed by Robert Rave and saw that a male author was taking on three sisters who run their own waxing salon and specialize in waxing “lady bits” I couldn’t help but be surprised. A male discussing failed relationships, cheating scandals- and bikini waxes?
From just a few pages in, I was sold. Carolina Impresario, the oldest of the three sisters and owner of Impresarios, seems to have everything under control. But her no nonsense attitude and how she unapologetically runs her salon and personal life is only a façade. When she has to choose between her boyfriend and previous lover, readers can connect with Carolina on a more personal journey, beyond money, success, and glamour. The middle sister, Anna, is the domestic one, trying to raise her three children by herself after her husband left the family. Anna struggles to get back to work at Impresarios, and takes on a job with an older client who teaches Anna more about experiencing life that she ever knew was possible. With one of her children choosing to lead an unconventional lifestyle, Anna finds in increasingly difficult to be a single parent to her three children, but doesn’t know how to act when her ex appears back in her life. And Sophia is the youngest, recently married and faithfully in love with her husband. When a gay client befriends Sophia, she learns more about love, marriage, and commitment than she bargained for.
The three sisters struggle through their personal issues, and I sped quickly through the pages trying to soak it all in. Rave does an excellent job at giving each sister her own unique voice, and though their situations are definitely out there, I felt I could relate in some way to each sister. I was invested in each one and wanted to see them succeed, and I just love novels that can make me feel a personal connection with the characters. Rave managed to do this with not only one heroine, but three. I can’t sing enough praises about Waxed, the characters were flawless, the writing smooth, and the setting of an upscale New York waxing salon brought in the comedy. Five stars!
I have to say I am a bit bummed out today. I stepped on the scale after two weeks of trying to eat better, exercise more and….I have lost no weight. Not a pound, not even a half pound. I should have measured areas such as my waist, hips, and thighs, before I started, but I haven’t noticed a difference there either. My pants don’t seem looser, and I really don’t think I’ve lost any inches.
So what’s the deal? I highly dislike eating healthy, my taste buds will just not learn to accept green vegetables, and I crave Doritos every other hour. But I tried my best, cutting way back on my chip intake, eating fruit for my snacks instead of candy bars and cheez-it’s, and having a strawberry and banana smoothie in the mornings instead of pop-tarts for breakfast. I enjoy working out, often visiting the gym three times a week, along with doing workouts at home to DVDs or workouts I rip out of Shape magazine. So why am I not seeing any results? What more do I need to do? If someone tells me I have to completely cut out Doritos, I think I will be heartbroken.
I won’t give up just quite yet. By incorporating more fruits into my diet and choosing whole grain when it comes to bread and even pasta noodles, I feel like I am being better to my body. I will keep up with my workouts even when the perky blonde trainer tells me to smile and I feel an overwhelming urge to throw my socks at her. Today, I will go out and buy that pesky measuring tape to take down my inches, then see in another two-three weeks how I did. More to come…
Author Name: Heather Wardell
Bio: Growing up, I was an avid (rabid?) reader. I am a natural speed reader, regularly clocked at about 1200 wpm (I read Harry Potter 5 in just under three hours), and always have several books on the go and many more in e-book form on my Palm handheld.
I have always made up stories in my head, but never considered becoming a writer. Instead, I intended to be a high school music teacher. I was sidetracked by my enjoyment of my psychology courses in university, and ended up with a psychology degree with a concentration in computer science.
This took me to a major Canadian bank as a software developer. I stayed there for just over four years, and then went back to school to become an elementary school teacher. After four years teaching elementary school computer science, I took up the National Novel Writing Month challenge and attempted to write a novel in a month.
I succeeded, and the first draft of “Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo” was the result. I realized I love writing. I left teaching, and I haven’t looked back since!
In my non-writing time, I read, run, swim, crochet (I am on Ravelry and would be happy to add you as a friend!), take care of my 55 gallon aquarium and my cat Sapphire, and play clarinet. Generally not all at once.
Titles: Life, Love, and Polar Bear Tattoo; Go Small or Go Home; Seven Exes Are Eight Too Many; and Planning to Live.
Bio Retrieved from www.heatherwardell.com
The Hollows, a small, secluded town just outside of New York, is a charming town where everyone knows one another and all their family business. A relatively safe and quiet area, the Hollows only holds one dreadful secret, rarely mentioned by the town’s community. When Maggie and Jones Cooper were in high school, Sarah Meyers, another high school student with a bright future, was found dead in the woods. Her body had been badly mutilated, and the town was disturbed that a callous killer could be living among them. Though someone eventually admitted to the murder of Sarah and died in prison, people were still uneasy and dissatisfied with the horrific situation.
Twenty years after Sarah’s death, another high school girl suddenly vanishes after a fight with her mother. Maggie and Jones Cooper’s son, Rick, is astonished when his girlfriend, Charlene Murray, is the one who disappears. No one knows if she ran off to New York to follow her dream of being in band, or if something terrible has happened- something like what happened to Sarah Meyers. The town bands together to try to solve the disappearance of Charlene, and while doing so, opens up all the unanswered questions of Sarah’s murder. Was the man who admitted to killing her actually not have committed the crime? Is the murderer of Sarah still in the town, and could he be responsible for Charlene?
Fragile, the contemporary thriller from Lisa Unger, is an excellent mystery that left me guessing until the end. The secrets the town holds pulls a dark cloud over everyone as they fear another murder case will come to light. The point of view switches between key players in the story, and readers will enjoy getting a small taste of different characters thoughts and ideas. Slowly and methodically, pieces of the puzzle can be put together, but my favorite part of this story was that there was no obvious killer. I don’t like when I read a mystery and the guilty is so obvious to figure out, so that aspect made me really enjoy Fragile. The way that outside characters and events are woven into the heart of the story brings this thriller full circle, and I highly recommend this latest from best-selling author Lisa Unger.