One more week! I am currently on vacation as I type this; sitting at my sister’s house watching her Labordoodle run around looking for food scraps and my youngest nephew trying to wake up my fiancé so they can play together. I completed my workout schedule before we hopped on the plan on Friday, though I still have one more thirty minute run that I will get in today. My sister, brother-in-law, niece and oldest nephew are out at baseball tournaments, so the house is quiet and calm enough for me to get a run in today. We got our pre-race documents emailed to us last night, and Saturday will here before we know it! My next post will be my last on my 5K, and I’m sure I’ll have some pictures as well to share. Very excited to get this first one under my belt, and hopefully there will be more to come!
Below is my workout schedule for the week. Bold is my regular schedule, non-bold is my 5K training.
Monday: Run 10 minutes, walk 10 minutes, 20 minute treadmill walk/run
Tuesday: Walk 15 minutes, 60 minute elliptical, 15 minute Pilates DVD- abs
Wednesday: Run 15 minutes, walk 15 minutes, 20 minute treadmill walk/run
Thursday: Walk 15 minutes, 60 minute treadmill walk on incline, 40 minute Yoga DVD
Friday: Day Off
Saturday: Day Off
Sunday: Run 30 minutes
Chick Lit Plus is pleased to announce the Author of the Month for September is Jesi Lea Ryan, author of Four Thousand Miles and Arcadia’s Gift!
What was your reaction when you learned that you had been selected as the Debut Author of the Month for Chick Lit Plus?
I am so honored! Honestly, I am humbled and amazed every time someone I don’t know personally tells me that they bought and liked my book. Since I was a little girl, it was always my dream to be a writer. The fact that people will actually seek out my work is icing on the cake.
Why should readers get their copy of Arcadia’s Gift?
I think Arcadia’s Gift will appeal to both teen and adult readers of young adult fiction. Cady has to deal with many family issues that readers will be able to relate to. That she also has these new psychic talents just adds a measure of magic to her. If you liked reading books by L.J. Smith, Amanda Hocking and Lauren Kate, I think you will like it.
I have one eBook copy to giveaway! Enter below by leaving a comment. A winner will be chosen Thursday, October 4. Thanks to Jesi Lea Ryan for sponsoring this giveaway!
No one remembers…
One October morning in 1932, Vicente Sorolla entered the white house on the hill and was never seen again.
Now, Detective Dori Orihuela helplessly witnesses his brutal murder in her nightmares.
Settling into a 120 year-old Edwardian mansion, Dori restores her dream home while recovering from a bullet wound and waiting to go back on duty.
But then one afternoon, Vicente materializes out of Dori’s butler’s pantry and asks her to find a woman named Anna. Dori wonders if she’s not only about to lose her badge, but also her sanity.
Dori and Vicente’s unlikely friendship takes us back to the waning days of Prohibition in San Diego and the Westside barrio of National City, California. Mary Castillo’s latest novel, featuring the wild Orihuela family that first delighted readers in Names I Call My Sister, weaves romance, history and mystery into a humorous, touching and unforgettable story.
Please visit CLP Blog Tours for all the tour stops! **Everyone who leaves a comment on Mary’s tour page will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Lost in the Light before October 22 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**
Mary Castillo can remember the exact moment when her destiny to write smart, sexy stories for women began. (And no, it was not the day this photo was taken!) Her Grandma Margie gave her a copy of Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor (banned in 14 states and then when it was made into a movie starring Linda Darnell, condemned by the Hays Office, which controlled decency in movies) and said, “If you have any questions about what they’re doing in that book, just ask me!”
While Forever Amber is hardly a book for a high school freshman (frankly the heroine makes Scarlett a model of propriety and modesty in comparison), Mary was fascinated by a character that seized life with no apologies … and looked doing it.
After a few minor distractions (poor dating choices and pre-med studies), Mary committed herself to writing on February 10, 1994 and then sold her debut to Harper Collins Avon A in 2004. Hot Tamara was selected by Cosmopolitan magazine as the Red Hot Read of April 2005. The book wasn’t banned but Grandma was proud!
A lifelong professional writer, including a stint as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times Community News (second best job in the world), Mary is the proud author of three novels (Switchcraft, In Between Men and Hot Tamara) and three novellas featured in the anthologies, Orange County Noir, Names I Call My Sister and Friday Night Chicas. Her latest book, a paranormal that goes back and forth between modern day and Prohibition, Lost in the Light is now available.
Latina magazine called Mary “an author to look out for” and selected In Between Men and Names I Call My Sister for the Top 10 Summers Reads in July 2009. OC Metro magazine named Mary one of the hottest 25 people in the O.C. (the first but certainly not the last time her hotness has been publicly confirmed). She has also been profiled in Orange County Register, Coast, The Arizona Republic and San Diego Union Tribune.
Mary grew up in a haunted house in National City, CA. She cries every time she sees the movies, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Casablanca, and feels that Joan Collins is by far the preeminent TV villain (which is why Joan plays such an pivotal role in the novel, In Between Men).
A graduate of USC, Mary lives in The O.C. with her family.
Also, she may have a mild addiction to Pinterest.
Connect with Mary!
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Barnes & Noble Nook:
In Samantha’s Mailbox:
Author: Dana Page
Received: Via CLP Blog Tours
Synopsis: The safe guy or the sexy guy? The answer is always…Pass the Hot Stuff Blythe Townsend is a belle who is in desperate need of having her chimes rung. But the man she is dating would have to get his head out of his briefs – his legal briefs – long enough to notice. She is a frustrated romantic obsessed with Turner Classic Movies. She lives in the French Quarter with her dog, Lady Marmalade, and is determined not to go sour on love even though she has dated every nutcase along the Mississippi Delta. Now, she is trying her best to make it work with her deadly dull boyfriend. Blythe accepts him – boring business dinners and all. There’s always steak, but never any sizzle. There’s only so much a libido can take; and when she repeatedly spots a man around town she christens Tall, Dark and Eye Candy, she starts to feel what she’s been missing. So, what’s stopping her from tasting something a little… sweeter? She refuses to be hurt again, and this sexy New Orleans guy has all of the trappings to do just that. Blythe will have to find her inner big-shouldered broad to deal with the craziness in her life; and she has a group of hilarious, mouthy women helping her sort through the crazy. Their story is a sultry dance to Delta blues and soulful jazz that drifts the reader into the romance of New Orleans. So, sit down at the kitchen table and pour yourself a drink – we’re gonna pass the hot stuff.
Author: Melissa Brown
Received: Via CLP Blog Tours
Synopsis: Ever since Daphne Harper graduated from college, all of her friends have fallen in love, become engaged and walked down the aisle. Be it a blessing or a curse, Daphne (a hopeless romantic and perpetual single girl) catches the bouquet at every single wedding she attends. Daphne’s love life is a mess. Her first love haunts her heart and keeps her from pursuing happiness with any man who comes along. As she struggles to move on from the one who got away, Daphne wonders if she will ever break her curse and find her happily ever after.
Author: Rebecca Bloom
Received: From Rebecca Bloom
Synopsis: When college friends Kate, Nina and Zoë take holiday from their busy schedules on opposite coasts to join their former roommate, Hannah, for her wedding in Lake Tahoe, they not only bring suitcases packed with what-not-to-wear bridesmaid dresses, but baggage of a more emotional kind. Supported by a variety of eclectic characters determined to wreck havoc on their carefully organized lives, each woman is forced to come to terms with her past before she walks down the aisle. Zoë must learn how to reveal a vulnerability beneath her bravado before she can finally open her heart. Kate needs to reclaim her identity before she can regain her strut. Nina must heal her own inner child so she can provide for another. Hannah needs to release a ghost in order to recover her spirit. A bottle of booze, a host of laughs, a hankie or two worth of tears, and seventy-two hours among those who know and love them the most is the perfect recipe for four women to Eat, Drink, and Be Married.
Author: Michael Lowenthal
Received: From BookSparks PR
Synopsis: Having a baby to save a marriage—it’s the oldest of clichés. But what if the marriage at risk is a gay one, and having a baby involves a surrogate mother? Pat Faunce is a faltering romantic, a former poetry major who now writes textbooks. A decade into his relationship with Stu, an airline pilot from a fraught Jewish family, he fears he’s losing Stu to other men—and losing himself in their “no rules” arrangement. Yearning for a baby and a deeper commitment, he pressures Stu to move from Manhattan to Cape Cod, to the cottage where Pat spent boyhood summers.
As they struggle to adjust to their new life, they enlist a surrogate: Debora, a charismatic Brazilian immigrant, married to Danny, an American home rebuilder. Gradually, Pat and Debora bond, drawn together by the logistics of getting pregnant and away from their spouses. Pat gets caught between loyalties—to Stu and his family, to Debora, to his own potent desires—and wonders: is he fit to be a father?
In one of the first novels to explore the experience of gay men seeking a child through surrogacy, Michael Lowenthal writes passionately about marriages and mistakes, loyalty and betrayal, and about how our drive to create families can complicate the ones we already have. The Paternity Test is a provocative look at the new “family values.”
In Sara’s Mailbox:
Author: Ann Lee Miller
Received: Ann Lee Miller
Synopsis: Cal walked out of jail and into a second chance at winning Aly with his grandma’s beater sailboat and a reclaimed dream of sailing charters.
Aly has the business smarts, strings to a startup loan, and heart he never should have broken. He’s got squat. Unless you count enough original art to stock a monster rummage sale and an affection for weed.
But he’d only ever loved Aly. That had to count for something. Aly needed a guy who owned yard tools, tires worth rotating, and a voter’s registration card. He’d be that guy or die trying.
For anyone who’s ever struggled to measure up. And failed.
Deanna Sletten is now on tour with CLP Blog Tours and Memories
Michael DeCara came home from the Vietnam War a wounded man, both physically and emotionally. He tried putting his life back together, but found civilian life difficult after all he’d experienced in Nam. Raising his young daughter, Vanessa, by himself after his wife left, he found it difficult to commit to one job or one woman for any length of time. Then he met a young woman who made him feel good about himself again and who fell in love with Vanessa as well. But then a life-changing event occurred and he had to choose between his past and the present. He chose to leave without a word to the young woman, believing he was doing what was best for her. Now, years later, she has walked back into his life and he believes they may have a second chance at love-except she hates him and he doesn’t understand why.
Danielle Westerly fell in love when she was only eighteen and her heart was broken when he left her without a word. Her heartache was increased when she made a fateful decision that would alter her future, and she blamed him for her loss. Years later, she is single and has built up a successful career when she accidently runs into the man who was responsible for her past pain. Yet, their chemistry is undeniable. Can Dani give up her anger and let go of the pain of the past and fall in love again with the man she has hated all these years?
Dani and Michael share a journey of heartache, loss and painful memories that threaten to keep them apart. Can they break past these and finally find love again?
Goodness. To say that time has flown by would be an understatement. Ethan officially turned 4 months old on Wednesday the 26th and for once, I actually believe it. This month has been huge as far as development goes. Ethan is full of energy and curiosity and treats everyday like a brand new day. As a new parent, you hear often that the first three months are kind bland. Yes, you are on complete survival mode, trying to make it from one minute to the next, but the baby just doesn’t do as much as you once thought he would. But boy, that all changes once you hit the 3-4 month mode. Ethan has now officially found his voice (squealing and yelling for fun), his feet (which are his new best friends), his hands (which immediately shove everything right into his mouth), and he is now mobile! Yep, that’s right, the little guy is really going places these days.
In addition to all of these new developments, he just looks like a completely different kiddo. He doesn’t look brand new anymore and is slowly developing into an actual boy, not just a baby. Although I am sad to see his newborn stage slowly drift behind us, this new stage has been so much fun! He is so excited to interact with us and has quickly become the cool baby at daycare (watch out little girls, I have also told him that y’all have cooties!). Slowly but surely we are developing a routine and the nights have gotten easier (knock on wood as I type this). He usually sleeps from 7pm to 6am with one feeding around 2am. I’m definitely hoping that we are past the sleep regression we saw for most of the last month because boy, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it much longer. LOL! But, life with a baby has been amazing. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings … or the many, many days after that.
Food: Still nursing but slowly toying with the idea of introducing a few solids. We were supposed to start cereal but with the new arsenic scare, I think I am going to skip it all together.
Favorite Toys: Exersaucer (or anything that allows him to stand and play), his play mat, his monkey rattles, and his big brother’s floppy ears
Things we’ve left behind: He is completely over his bouncer, boppy and definitely starting to resist the swing.
Teeth: Still none but I think we have one in the works.
Daycare: Absolutely loves it and his teachers.
Height/Weight: Nothing official yet but we’re thinking 26 inches and around 17 lbs. Will update next week at his appointment.
When her Hollywood career goes haywire, a young woman must say good-bye to all that . . . or must she?
Raquel Azorian has worked her way from temp to executive assistant and is this close to a promotion to junior marketing exec at Belmore Corporation, the media behemoth she’s devoted herself to. She’s learned to play the Hollywood game—navigate office politics, schmooze the right people, avoid the wrong ones, and maintain a sense of decorum even in the craziest of times. All she needs is for her boss to sign her promotion memo. Instead of putting pen to paper, he suffers a very public meltdown that puts not only his professional future but also Raquel’s on the line.
Getting to the next rung on the Belmore ladder will require every ounce of focus, but that’s not going to be easy. Raquel’s mom has decided to leave her husband and move into Raquel’s apartment, and her older brother seems to be sinking deeper and deeper into depression. Raquel has to keep her job, stop her parents from divorcing, and save her brother. In the chaos of juggling so much, she finally reaches a breaking point: there’s just not enough time for everything or for everyone. She’s going to have to choose—success at work or happiness at home. But then a chance encounter at a bookstore café leads Raquel to start planning her own Hollywood ending . . . on her own terms.
I highly enjoy books that are set in LA, and Good-Bye To All That is a fun read filled with cute and quirky characters. Raquel is a smart and determined heroine, who has learned how to play the Hollywood game to get her deserved promotion. She was almost overshadowed by her mother Marlene, who moves in with her while threatening to divorce Raquel’s father, and her sister-in-law Cricket (seriously!) and her barrage of issues. Those characters and a few others bring the funny, but Candela’s writing also shows how a strong female can take control of her life. I recommend!
I received a copy of All At Sea in exchange for an honest review. This is Heather Wardell’s tenth novel – what a feat! And I’ve read all ten – what a …feat? But she is an author whose books I have highly enjoyed, and I hope she keeps them coming. All At Sea is part of the Toronto series, but these books can be read on their own, they just bring back past characters that you might get a kick out of revisiting if you’ve read the previous novels. The story focuses on Melissa and Owen, who met New Years Eve and were engaged by Valentine’s Day. The month is now March, and they are preparing to get married on a cruise ship. Melissa has her mom with her along with her best friend Wendy and Wendy’s boyfriend Mark. Not the big wedding party she once imagined, but she is fine with it. She also didn’t picture getting married in the chapel of a cruise ship, but she’s fine with it. A big thing she is not fine with – having dated both of Owen’s brothers. Melissa gets a shock when she meets Nicholas and Austin and realizes that she had a fling with Austin and something more serious with Nicolas – and then broke his heart. Owen doesn’t seem to have a problem with the awkwardness, as he’s too busy spending every waking hour in the casino. Melissa wasn’t aware of his love for gambling either, but she’s fine with it. As the cruise ship chugs along, Melissa realizes that she might be making a mistake – and that being “fine” in a marriage just might not be enough.
What a fun and unique read! Finding out you’ve dated both of your fiancé’s brothers – what a hoot! This is a book where I really liked the supporting cast- from the brothers to Wendy and Mark to Nicholas’s girlfriend and even some randoms Melissa met on the ship. The details were very spot-on throughout, and I was invested the whole way through. I have been known to be shocked at some of Wardell’s past endings, and that made me unsure what choice Melissa was going to make at the end, which I enjoyed. The suspense was killing me! All At Sea is a very cute read that also dives deep into relationships and what is takes to make a marriage work, and I highly recommend this book and more from Heather Wardell!
Emma will be on tour in December/January with her commercial women’s fiction novel The Darling Girls. I am looking for bloggers to post reviews, guest posts, interview, and excerpts. Kindle books can be provided if you would like to review the book. Please use the form below to select your preferences. Thank you!
Three women in love with the same man meet for the first time at his funeral. Can they separate the truth from the lies – and learn to trust again?
When world famous music conductor Leo Bruck dies suddenly, he leaves behind three grieving women and a mass of unanswered questions.
Did the man who juggled these simultaneous relationships while thrilling audiences around the globe, direct The Darling Girls like an orchestra?
Victoria, his partner of twenty years and mother of two of his children, regards herself as his rightful widow and keeper of his legacy. However, a series of shocking discoveries – revolving around Leo’s boyhood flight on the Kindertransport from Nazi-occupied Austria - forces her to re-examine the man she thought she knew and query the very foundation of their relationship.
Maddy, mother of Leo’s daughter Phoebe, has a high-powered job and seems independent and sorted. But events take a sinister turn when Maddy becomes involved with Victoria’s troubled teenage son, and her safe world starts to go awry.
Finally there’s Cat who, at just 24, is Leo’s youngest lover. Coping with a sick mother and battling demons from her childhood, she is finding it increasingly hard to hold it together. Will grief, anger and bitterness blind her to the possibility of ever finding happiness, career fulfilment – and even, perhaps, new love?
The Darling Girls is a moving story of love, loss, and the prevailing power of female friendship. Can these three very different women, whose lives become inextricably bound, break free from the masterful control Leo exerts – even from the grave – once and for all?
**Emma’s tour is now full. Thanks to everyone who signed up!!**
It’s a boy! One of my favorite actresses, Reese Witherspoon, welcomed son Tennessee James Toth on Thursday. People.com shared this statement from her rep: “Reese Witherspoon and husband Jim Toth welcomed Tennessee James into their family today. Both mom and baby are healthy and the entire family is thrilled.” This is Reese’s third child, but the first with new husband Jim Toth. The couple married in March 2011. I have to ask – what do you think of the name?
Photo Credit: Venturelli/WireImage