Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Review:: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Stealing Parker
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 256
Format: Kindle
Review by: Mary

After her family's scandal rocks their conservative small town, 17-year-old Parker Shelton goes overboard trying to prove that she won't turn out like her mother: a lesbian. The all-star third-baseman quits the softball team, drops 20 pounds and starts making out with guys--a lot. But hitting on the hot new assistant baseball coach might be taking it a step too far...especially when he starts flirting back.

This has been one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I knew I'd love it. I knew I'd want to crawl inside it and live there. I wasn't disappointed. Stealing Parker was so fun!! I was constantly laughing out loud.  The preface of the story is baseball. I love baseball. Parker has stopped playing softball and is now the manager of the boys baseball team at her high school. She's already friends with all the guys and there is a new coach in town. Oo la la!

We've got 3 guys to love in this book. Drew who is Parker's best friend and fellow baseball player. He's everything you'd want in a guy best friend; loyal, fun and knows his Harry Potter trivia. Corndog {Will} who is on the baseball team and rides his lawn mower to school. Last but not least Brian; he's the new baseball coach, 23 yrs old, and is hot as all get out. I really liked Brian. I did. I just felt he was a bit confused and didn't have any self control. I really liked him a lot until he started taking advantage of Parker.

I really don't want to ruin any of it for you. Not one bit so I'm just going to gush over this book some more. I read it in one sitting! Stayed up all night because I couldn't possibly turn off the light. I didn't want the book to ever end. The ending gave my heart flutters that I read it several times before I let myself actually close the book. I want to re-read it immediately! There are a lot of strong issues to deal with in this book and I think author Miranda Kenneally is sensitive to each and every one. If you're looking for a great young adult contemporary then this is it! Don't waste any more it!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Kick Butt Literary Heroines

I love a heroine that has spunk. She doesn't need to carry guns around and kill people, just someone who has integrity and stands up for what she believes in. In whatever way that is. Here is my list of kick butt heroines.

  1. Clary from The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. A demon killer? Please. Of course she is kick butt.
  2. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. A girl who kills her own food and is in a race for her life? Totally kick butt.
  3. Avry from Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder. Avry is a healer and literally takes the sickness and pain from others and she gives it to herself. Selfless much? 
  4. Tris from Divergent by Veronica Roth. She beats people up and takes a beating for her team. Totally worth it.
  5. Sarah from These is My Words by Nancy Turner. Sarah is living in the rustic Arizona territories in the late 1860's. She's killed many Indian's and saved her family from death and rape. She can even work a gun like no other man. 
  6. Alexa from The Gable Faces East by Anita Stansfield. A female jockey who puts her employer in his place and saves the station from ruin time and time again. A woman who wears breeches when it was only customary to wear dresses. 
  7. Katsa from Graceling by Kristin Cashore. She's an assassin people! Come on!
  8. Scarlet from Anew by Chelsea Fine. Scarlet is caught in the middle of a curse between two brothers. The sheer will she has astounds me.
  9. Enna from Enna Burning by Shannon Hale. Enna can manipulate the elements to her will. She can make fire do whatever she wants! She is almost scary.
  10. Addie from The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine. She is shy and scared in the beginning but she finds her true self and goes on a mission to save her dying sister. She faces a dragon! 
*I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Books Worth Treasuring + Giveaway

Did you know that The Folio Society takes classic books and prints them with only the best covers, paper and illustrations? They are keepsakes! Something you want to have on your shelf to not only show off, but enjoy. These are the kind of books that you want in your own personal library. They make perfect Christmas gifts. You even get free shipping on your first order!*

I just got Lord of the Flies by William Golding and am in serious amazement at what a gorgeous book it is. This is how books used to be published. No flimsy dust jacket or thin pages. A gorgeous hardback with a proper case to keep it safe. I've not read Lord of the Flies since high school and I can't wait to tuck into this old classic and enjoy not only the writing but that I'm reading from such a wonderful keepsake that I hope I can pass on to my children one day.

*offer excludes Limited Editions and Membership Offers
*a special thank you to The Folio Society for my copy of Lord of the Flies and British Library for sponsoring this giveaway

*********AUDIOBOOK GIVEAWAY*********
From Alfred, Lord Tennyson to Ted Hughes, this three CD compilation offers a survey of some of the greatest British poets of a century and more. 

30 poets are included, each reading from their own work, often with their own spoken introductions. The selection includes historic recordings by Tennyson and Robert Browning; poet laureates John Masefield, Cecil Day Lewis, John Betjeman and Ted Hughes; unforgettable voices, such as Edith Sitwell and Dylan Thomas; and rare recordings by Philip Larkin and Edwin Morgan. 

The majority of the recordings are taken from BBC broadcasts and are published here for the first time.

Rules and Regulations:

UK only
You must be over 13 yrs old
Enter the Rafflecopter form below
Giveaway ends: November 12, 2012

Friday, 26 October 2012

Review:: Glamorous Illusions by Lisa Bergren

Title: Glamorous Illusions
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Pages: 416
Review by: Christy

When Cora Kensington learns she is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king, her life changes forever. Even as she explores Europe with her new family, she discovers that the most valuable journey is within. The first book in the Grand Tour series takes you from the farms of Montana through England and France on an adventure of forgiveness, spiritual awakening, and self-discovery.

Christy’s Review
Have you ever read a book you just couldn’t stop thinking about after you finished? Of course you have! This book is one of those. Several of the romantic scenes are just so lovely, so perfect, so gut-droppingly, breathtakingly giddifying that I just want to reread the book over and over and over! (**Spoiler alert: Think early 1900’s farm girl finds herself in an unexpected position and ends up on a Grand Tour in France with a handsome Lord at a costume party being chased around a maze… kissing… Ahhhh!**) I cannot describe how excited I am that there will be two more books in this series. And I cannot describe how disappointed that I now have to wait for them to be released. I could have gone on reading this book forever.

Dear author, please hurry up and finish this series. I’m dying to read the rest.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Review:: The Truth About Faking by Leigh Moore

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Title: The Truth About Faking
Author: Leigh Moore
Publisher: Amazon Media
Pages: 328
Format: Kindle
Review by: Mary

Jason just wants a date with Harley.
Harley just wants a date with Trent. 
Trent's still getting over Stephanie.

When Harley and Jason decide to fake date, they uncover a school of deceptions. Trent's got a secret, but so does Jason. And the more time Harley spends secretly kissing her fake boyfriend, the further she gets from her dreams with Trent. 

Worst of all, Harley's mom is getting cozy with her hot massage therapy student, and even Harley's Reverend Dad can't fake not being bothered by it. But when the masks finally come off, can everyone handle the real truth?

Whoa. This book needs to be on your radar. No joke. I was all over it. If you liked Anna and the French Kiss or The Summer I Turned Pretty then you will like this one. I love this cover! It fits with the story line well. Plus I think the guy is hot in it. I could just stare at him all day. 

There is a creek in the neighborhood that Harley, Jason, Trent, and Shelly all end up meeting at at different times during the story. It's almost like a safe place. I found myself eager for the next time they would meet there. This is such a tangled web of a story. He likes her, she likes the other guy over there and he likes somebody else.Would they ever get with the right people?! 

Now, let me tell you about Jason. I love Jason. I want Jason. I wish I knew a guy like Jason when I was in high school. A guy not afraid to go for what he wants. Who thinks on his feet and is full of romance and fun. The witty banter between Harley and Jason had me laughing out loud. Jason is my kind of guy and I'm kind of in love with him. I found myself re-reading my favorite conversations between him and Harley when I was finished. He is a great character and I wouldn't mind more of him! {ie: that means write another story please!}

There are some serious issues present here but all handled with finesse and care. I guessed early on what was actually happening but I wasn't positive. As the story went on I was wondering if I'd be right or not. Things got a little serious and glum and I just wanted things to go back to the fun loving attitude at the start, but you can never go back from these kinds of things. Situations and circumstances change us as people and hopefully make us better. That just makes reunions all the more sweet. 

I really really loved this book. If you are in a reading rut then this book will pull you out. The Truth About Faking is a fun and easy read that's going to knock your socks off. I'm adding it to my favorites list! I know you'll love it too. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Review:: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Lost Prince
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 400
Format: Kindle {ARC}

A special Thank you to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for this book to review. 

Don't look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.That is Ethan Chase's unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he'd dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister's world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

I'm so loving this! I read the whole Iron Fey series from the get go and I really enjoyed them all. I was so excited to find out that we'd get another series! This is Ethan's story. He's Meghan's younger brother. Remember him? He was the one kidnapped by the faeries in the first book and kick started this whole thing. I absolutely love his point of view. I really find a male POV to be refreshing and so new to what is out there right now. He's got a whole thing going on about him and how he feels about the faeries as well as his sister The Iron Queen. He is a student of Kali a Filipino martial art that uses sticks, swords and knives. He wanted to learn to protect himself from the fey. I watched several youtube video's about it just I could accurately picture what Ethan was doing. It really intrigued me the further we got into the story and I just had to know.  

Ethan and his new friend Kenzie have to go into the Iron Realm to talk to Meghan about disappearing faeries. Not to mention to save their life at the moment. All sorts of things happen while they are there. Ethan knows how to deal with the fey, but Kenzie doesn't. She doesn't know she should make deals with them or make promises of any kind. She doesn't know how dangerous they are. Ethan and Kenzie get themselves into many predicaments along the way to Meghan and trying to save the fey. The world is expertly crafted and you get a really good picture at what is going on. There are so many facets to the Nevernever that I'm sure there could be a million different spin off series just from what we've seen so far. 

The story lagged in the middle a bit for me, but it was over all very entertaining. We get to see a bit of our favorite character's Meghan, Ash and Puck along the way. Oh, and Grim too. I liked this even more than The Iron Fey. I'm a sucker for Ethan! Can't wait for more of his voice. I loved it!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Not So Spooky Halloween Books

I'm not really a scary book kind of girl. I'm not all into zombie's and vampires. They just aren't my thing. I do however enjoy a good fantasy. If you're looking for a not so spooky book this Halloween then try some of my favorite fantasy novels.

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull is probably my favorite fantasy series apart from Harry Potter. It is a cross between HP and Narnia. Seriously so good!! There are creatures that go bump in the night and loads of action to keep you turning those pages. If you've been looking for a series like HP then Fablehaven is it!

 The Maze Runner by James Dashner totally has an eerie feeling to it. This dystopian series is a cross between Lord of the Flies and The Hunger Games {sort of}. You're left trying to figure out this mystery all the while leaving you breathless to stay alive. Give yourself the heebee geebee's this Halloween with The Maze Runner!

*I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday with The Broke and the Bookish

Monday, 22 October 2012

How To Stay Organized in Book Blogging

I swear by scheduling posts in advance. It is one of my most favorite things about blogging. It keeps me stress free and loving my blog after more than 3 yrs. I always told myself that if blogging ever felt like a chore then I'd stop doing it. I want blogging to stay a creative outlet and a place where I can relax.

Here are some of my tips for keeping organized in book blogging::

  1. Format posts in advance. Holy you need to be doing this. When I'm reading a book I will take a few minutes and format the post well before I write the review. It is sitting there waiting for me whenever I'm ready to write. I also format Top Ten Tuesday, The Newsstand and other posts before the time to actually write. This free's up SO much time!! 
  2. Write reviews as soon as possible after finishing a book. Because I've already formatted the post I usually go straight to my computer to write something down before all the feelings of the story leave me. I personally don't ever start a new book until I've finished writing the review. In doing this I've never actually been behind on reviews. 
  3. Update blog once per week. I usually put on a movie or audiobook and update master review lists, discussion page, goodreads, amazon, etc. It is a mundane task but it needs done regularly. This is really enjoyable for me. I'm able to make sure everything is in order before I start my next week's blogging and know that I'm never really behind on blog maintenance. While also getting caught up on TV shows and movies.
  4. Take one evening per month and write a few blog posts in advance. They might be discussions, interviews, guests posts, giveaway's etc. Whatever they are write them up. You can get them written and be free for the month! 
  5. Schedule posts in advance. I'm usually scheduled 2 weeks in advance. Right now I have enough reviews compiled and scheduled to go until mid December. Hallelujah! This means I'm stress free. I'm not worrying about posting something when I don't have the time. Often I give myself a read-a-thon to get myself on track when I'm running low on reviews. 
Now some of you may be saying, "That looks great but I'm behind now. How do I catch up?" I have a few tips to help with that too. 
  1. Don't sweat it if you need a blogging break. You're readers will still be there. There is nothing wrong with taking time for yourself. I do it often and I don't feel ashamed about it. Blogging is supposed to be fun and if it isn't for you then you should take a little break. I can usually take a break and nobody notices because I have enough posts scheduled in advanced that I don't lose a beat. 
  2. Ask a few friends/relatives to write up a review of their favorite book. Get them scheduled and take the week off. Give yourself a read-a-thon and get to work. 
  3. Take a break from posting but not blogging. This is when your blog is quiet but you are busy getting posts ready for the next week or two. You can tell your reader's you are taking a week or two off and you'll be back to blogging at a certain date. Save those posts from friends and relatives and use them to start your 1-2 week advanced scheduling. 
  4. Take one evening per week and write up some advanced posts. I can usually write up 4 Top Ten Tuesday posts easily and then I'm done for the whole month there! Winning! 
I like to keep a notepad around for ideas when they come for discussions, events, or whatever ideas I have for my blog. This way I won't forget and can get to it when I have time. I hope that even some of you will be able to relax a little bit more in blogging and know that by scheduling in advance you can really free up your time. Before you know it you'll be caught up on posts/blogging and you'll be scheduling posts in advance. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Romance Week at Night:: Seattle Steam series by Shelli Stevens

Goodreads summary
Dangerous Grounds by Shelli Stevens
Pages: 254 

I've read this book 3 times and never reviewed it. Why? Because I'm embarrassed to say I liked it. It's pretty steamy. It's Erotica OK. I don't like that word though. Makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong. Maybe I am? Well, it was free on Kindle one week and I grabbed it. Once I finished it I went directly to see if the author had written anything else. She's got a bunch! There were 2 more books in this series and so I paid for them. Read them. Loved them. 

Madison has opened a coffee shop Ooo La Latte {cute name eh?} and this is where the story begins. She see's her brother's old friend Gabe, who is now a cop, and immediately sets her sites on him. When she  comes into some trouble in her coffee shop Gabe is entrusted to keep her safe until the bandit is caught. 

Madison grew up with everything. Her family is rich but that doesn't mean that she hasn't worked hard or gotten things by herself. She's done all that. I really liked this about her. I can't relate to having lots of money but the fact that she works hard for what she wants and doesn't run to her family to pay for everything speaks volumes. Gabe has always been a hard worker. He's got dreams and he's living them the best he knows how. I love how they are thrown together. Forced to face each other and their mounting attraction for one another. 

Those steamy scenes are really hot. Made me want to shut my curtain for fear people would know what I was reading. Ha! But I gotta tell you...I liked 'em. I did. Oh the shame!! I think they actually made the book. What does that say? I have no idea but I've read it 3 times this year. If you are wanting to try something steamy for the first time I'd say start with Dangerous Grounds! I really liked it!

Note: contains explicit sex scenes. {ugh, hate to have to write that but it does. and they were good.}

Goodreads summary
Tempting Adam by Shelli Stevens
Pages: 246

This is another Steamy one! If you get embarrassed by sexy scenes this is not for you. But, I loved it. I really did. Adam is the quintessential cowboy and takes what he wants. He's also a gentleman. I loved his go get her attitude along side taking care of her bit. He's really a great male lead. He's what most of us dream up in our heads as what a "real" man is. He's great. 

Christy is super loyal. WAY more loyal than I'd ever be to be honest. I wanted to just slap her and say, "tell him already! It will be OK!" When she keeps a secret, she keeps a secret. Admirable but in this situation is almost cost her. 

I love the plot here. Christy goes to spend time with Gabe's family and that's where they fall in love. I mean, lovin' it. It's slow and steady. The steamy scenes are Be prepared! 

I really loved this book. It had all the makings of a great love story but we also got some steamy scenes to really keep us warm at night. I'll be re-reading this one again for sure!

Note: there are explicit sex scenes here. For adults only.

Goodreads summary
Seducing Allie by Shelli Stevens

I love a good camping book. Ha! I mean, this is a steamy book in the woods. There's something about nature that brings everyone back to basics. Relationships included. There aren't all the worldly distraction that take our focus off each other. It was the same with Allison and Clint. Getting her away from everyone and everything was his plan. 

There are some pretty funny things that happen in those woods and when Clint gets sick is where I think it all starts to turn. Allie knows she can't leave him there alone even if she wants to escape. Then I think she secretly didn't want to escape anymore. Taking care of him was more like it. You get to see them fall in love. Which I LOVE!

This is another steamy one. I hate saying erotica. But it is that. The sex scenes are explicit but I just think the added to the story. Call me crazy {or just plain old dirty} but I liked them. Sometimes you need to read something that packs a punch. This gave it to me. So sue me.

Note: Sex scenes are explicit. Should be for adults only.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Romance Week Guest Post:: Author Jill Shalvis + Excerpt

Contemporary Romance Author Jill Shalvis is guest posting today for Romance Week. We are so lucky! Her Lucky Harbor series is one of my favorite contemporary romances of all time. Thanks for stopping by Jill!

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Dear Reader,

Ever feel like you’re drowning?  In FOREVER AND A DAY, my hero Dr. Josh Scott is most definitely drowning.  He’s overloaded, overworked, and on the edge of burnout.  He’s got his practice, his young son, his wheelchair bound sister, and a crazy puppy.  Not to mention the weight of the world on his shoulders from taking care of everyone in his life.  He’s in so deep, saving everyone around him all the time, that he doesn’t even realize that he’s the one in need of saving.  It would never occur to him.

Enter Grace Brooks.  She’s a smart smartass, and thanks to some bad luck, pretty much starting her life over from scratch.  Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor working as Josh’s dog walker.  And then his nanny.  And then … before he even realizes it, his everything.  In truth, she’s saved him, in more ways than one.

Oh how I loved watching the sure, steady rock that is Josh crumble, only to be slowly but surely helped back together again by the sexy yet sweet Grace.  

And don’t forget to pick up the other “Chocaholic” books, LUCKY IN LOVE and AT LAST, both available wherever books and ebooks are sold.

Happy Reading!
Jill Shalvis

*******Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis Excerpt********

By noon, Josh wasn’t even halfway through his day, and he’d already been overloaded, overworked, and quite possibly teetering on the edge of burnout.  He could feel it creeping in on him in unguarded moments, like now when he was parking his car between his house and the beach to deal with Grace Brooks.

He knew who she was.  He’d seen her around.  Blue eyes, a quick smile, long, shiny blonde hair, and a willowy yet curvy body that could drive a man right out of his mind if he gave it too much thought. 

As he walked across the sand towards the water, doing his best not to give it any thought, he caught sight of her in the water.  She was facing the waves, her hands on her head in a distraught pose.  With a frown, he picked up the pace, just as something dashed towards him in his peripheral vision.

Something small.  
Something evil.

Something named Tank.  Josh scooped up the sand-covered puppy and held it away from him.  The pug wriggled intently, running in air, trying to get closer to Josh.  Finally giving up, Tank refocused his attention on the woman in the ocean.

“Oh, I see her,” Josh said.  “And what the hell have you done now?"


I absolutely LOVE these next three books in the Lucky Harbor series and can not wait for more from author Jill Shalvis. If you've not read this series you are missing out!

Romance Week:: Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis

Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis
Pages: 400

It was a bit cheesy and predictable. It didn't feel believable--in parts.It was like their every thought was about sex and the plot took a back seat. Mallory and Ty both did things I felt were out of character for them and left me with a WHAT?! feeling. 

BUT...It is cute. I really like Mallory and Ty. I like them together. I like the story and I like the town of Lucky Harbor. I want to spend more time there. If you are looking for a good contemporary romance, this is it!

"Mallory dropped her head to the steering wheel. "Look, I'm mad at you, okay? This isn't about me. I know my painful memories are relative. My life is good. I'm lucky. This isn't about how poor little Mallory has had it so hard. I'm not falling apart or anything."
He stroked a hand down her back. "Of course you're not. You're just holding the steering wheel up with your head for a minute, that's all."

At Last by Jill Shalvis
Pages: 352

I read this in a quickie! Amy and Matt felt very real. Their situations were plausible and there was much more going on than the lust factor. There was a plot! Hallelujah! I'm really into the town of Lucky Harbor and it is a character in itself. The setting is picturesque and I loved that this chapter took place in the woods/mountains. I'm a camping kind of girl and I loved that Matt was a Forest Ranger. Um, hot!

There were moments that took my breathe away and I found myself wanting to spend more time in the woods with Matt. I love when you feel connected to more than just the main characters and I certainly felt that here. I enjoyed it so much!

"He turned her ninety degrees. "To get back to the ranger station and your car, you want to go southwest," he said.

Right. She knew that, and she stalked off in the correct direction.

"Watch out for bears," Matt called after her.

Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis
Pages: 384

Forever and a Day is my favorite Lucky Harbor novel to date! There is something so real about it. Grace and Josh are more relate-able to any of the other Lucky Harbor characters I've read. They are busy. They are imperfect. They are just trying to make it through each day. Isn't that like most of us. 
I felt a connection with Grace. She's just moving at the beat of her own drum. Picking up odd jobs left and right to make ends meat. When an opportunity came up to help Dr. Scott, she took it. He needed help and she needed money. She is well qualified to do much more, but she likes filling her days with the unknown. I really like this about her.
Dr. Josh Scott is one of the most real Lucky Harbor men. He is very busy. Working long hours and trying to take care of his son and handicapped sister. He makes a lot of mistakes, but that is why I love him. He's just so real! 
Lucky Harbor is the true character here. This place is picturesque and welcoming. There is so much to like, even if you are city folk. I'd like to find my own Lucky Harbor someday and get settled. 
The romance aspect is nice. It isn't too hot to handle, but it isn't for young adults either. There is just enough to get you hot under your collar! 
I've really enjoyed the Lucky Harbor series and I'm going to have to go back to the beginning and read the first 3. I'm a new fan of Jill Shalvis and I can't wait to read more of her work!!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Romance Week Author Interview:: Kelley Vitollo

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I'd like to welcome author Kelley Vitollo to The Sweet Bookshelf! Let's get this sweet party started!

Lucky Break is your publishing debut novel. How does it feel to now be a published author? 

It's exciting to have your work out there for the world to read. Exciting and scary. I love it though. I hope my story will give someone a few hours of entertainment.

What does a typical writing day look like for you? 

I have two kids (8 and 4), so it's not always the same. I have three days a week where both kids are in school for a few hours and I always write then. I'm also able to steal hours here and there, but it's not always around the same time. Luckily, I'm fast writer :)

If you were on a desert island what 3 books would you take with you?

Lover Awakened by JR Ward, The Outlander by Diana Gabaladon and for laughs, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

Is there a particular movie version that you preferred over the book? 

Wow.... Not that I can think of. There are some I think are almost as good, but not better.

What is your most favorite gadget? 

My cell phone. I couldn't handle not having my smartphone.

What are your pet peeves? 

How much time do we have? LOL. I'm kidding. Always being late (it happens sometimes to all of us, but ALL the time is different) and rude drivers.

Where is one place you would love to visit someday? 

Scotland of course! LOL.

If you gave one of your characters in Lucky Break the opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say? 

I think it would be Sidney. She'd tell you to follow your heart and that nothing is more important than love. 

Kelley Vitollo is a pseudonym for author Nyrae Dawn, find her other titles below:
What a Boy Wants, What a Boy Needs, Freeing Carter, Measuring Up, Karma Bites
Misplaced--from Entangled Publishing

I hope you're enjoying Romance Week. I know I am! Catch up {here}.  Stop by For Love and Books for more Romance Week goodies.

Romance Week:: Lucky Break by Kelley Vitollo

Title: Lucky Break
Author: Kelley Vitollo
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Pages: 257
Format: Kindle

She’ll gamble her heart on the best friend she left behind…

One lucky break is all struggling actress Sidney Williams needs. But when living the LA life becomes too much, she heads back to the small town of Shamrock Falls for the vacation she needs to get her life on track—and immediately runs into Kade Mitchell, her former best friend and the boy next door she’s always regretted leaving behind.

Kade, the new owner of Lucky’s—once the most popular bar in Shamrock Falls—is determined to bring the place back to its former glory, and seeing Sidney again is a distraction he doesn’t need. Sure, the chemistry between them is explosive, but Kade can’t let himself fall into a fling with his best friend—not when he knows she’s soon heading back to the glitter of Tinseltown.

Now, with the possibility of her first major acting role looming, Sidney must decide if her lucky break is in Hollywood or right where she left it—in Shamrock Falls.

You know I love me a good romance. I like it even better when it is the cleaner variety. Lucky Break gave me exactly what I wanted. 

Sidney "ran away" from her hometown to become an actress. She left behind two best friends. One of which is a now a man. A man who has been in love with her for his whole life. Sidney didn't even say goodbye. I knew I was going to love this story, just by the preface. I love stories where they are friends first. I just think that is the way it should be. It feels so much more real. We get small flashbacks from the past to help us know all the experiences Sidney and Kade have gone through together. They were kept short and to the point, which I love. They added something extra to the story and made me feel closer to them. Like I knew them both just a little bit better. 

I totally fell for this story. I fell for the character's and the town. I fell for some of the not so main character's too! It was a quick read but nothing was lacking. I'm now thinking about the other character's and what their stories are. If you are looking for a clean romance to sweep you off your feet, let Lucky Break take you away. I can't wait for what's next! 

I hope you're enjoying Romance Week. I know I am! Catch up {here}.  Stop by For Love and Books for more Romance Week goodies.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Romance Week:: Top Ten Favorite Romance Novels

If you've never tried a romance novel {or are looking for something new}, might I suggest a few? These romance novels have had me thinking about them for days after I turned the last page. They've had me re-reading them a few times per year just so that I can enjoy the love story one more time. I hope you'll pick up at least one and let me know what you think. You won't be disappointed!

Feel free to tell us your favorite romance reviews in the comments below! Let's get a great list of romance recommendations going so we'll have the best of the best romance novels to enjoy!


Sunrise Point by Robyn Carr
Gables Against the Sky by Anita Stansfield
The Gable Faces East by Anita Stansfield


Your to Keep by Shannon Stacey
Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins
At Last by Jill Shalvis


The Widower's Wife by Prudence Bice
The Kissing Tree by Prudence Bice
Montana Summer by Jeanette Miller

Marian's Christmas Wish by Carla Kelly

I hope you are enjoying Romance Week so far! I know I am. Pop on over to For Love and Books for more romance week goodies.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Romance Week:: Gables Against the Sky by Anita Stansfield

Title: Gables Against the Sky
Author: Anita Stansfield
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Pages: 567
Format: Kindle

The Powerful and Moving Sequel to The Gable Faces East 

It has been nearly two decades since Alexa Byrnehouse and Jess Davies married and started a family, and their twins, Emma and Tyson, have now grown to young adulthood. The Byrnehouse-Davies family is one of the richest in Australia, known for its exceptional handling of horses and abandoned boys. Boys like Michael Hamilton, who seems born for trouble. Still, he holds a special place in Alexa’s heart-and he loves Emma helplessly, hopelessly from a distance as he works in the stables. Will their two worlds, now so far apart, ever come together? 

In prose as vivid as the blue Australian sky, author Anita Stansfield expertly fashions a powerful saga of passion, betrayal, forgiveness, and ultimate redemption. In the end, when lives and virtue are threatened, true love and commitment are put into perfect perspective-and a happy ending is guaranteed!

This is everything I hoped it would be and more. I thoroughly love a good romance novel and a period drama is even better. You know how those historical romance novels are usually pretty cheesy? Well, this one isn't! I'm not sure I would even put it in the same class as a regular historical romance.  This is way out of their league! It is totally believable and you fall for the characters immediately. The setting is very desirable. Australian outback, gorgeous rich family, horse racing, and even a home for wayward boys!

Emma is my favorite character. She is so strong and smart. Very down to earth.  I wasn't so fond of Lacey though. I knew she was going through a lot, but  after all she had been given she shouldn't have been acting like that. She really needed to get over it sooner than she did.  I fell in love with Michael and Tyson.  I wanted more Tyson actually. He needs his own story. 

The plot just kept moving.  There was always something new happening and I just fell in love with the surroundings.  Author Anita Stansfield writes as if you ARE part of the family.  I know them so well.  I know where my room is, and where my horse stays, and what we'll be having for dinner. I felt a part of their life.  She is a master writer!

I'm hooked! I'm in love!  If you are looking for a clean, historical romance then this is for you.  

"Where's she gonna ride?"
"With me of course, " Michael stated, hardening his gaze on Emma. 

Keep checking back for lots more romance on The Sweet Bookshelf! For more Romance Week stop by For Love and Books and tell her I sent you!

Romance Week: The Gable Faces East by Anita Stansfield

Title: The Gable Faces East
Author: Anita Stansfield
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Pages: 499
Format: Kindle

Jess Davies is the victim of a raging feud he doesn't understand. He must fight to survive as he struggles to accept the twisted circumstances of his birth. Meanwhile, Alexandra Byrnehouse, shattered by the events surrounding her father's death, is forced to turn to her family's oldest enemy in order to keep body and soul together. 

When Jess Davies and Alexandra Byrnehouse meet, they unwittingly take on decades of mistrust, deception, and deep betrayals of the heart. Together they are confronted with arson and murder as they discover unbelievable secrets that first bind them to each other, then tear them apart. If they are to survive, they must learn that passions cannot be chosen-and only the most perfect love can heal the deepest scars. 

The Gable Faces East is a true masterpiece of historical romance fiction-one of Anita Stansfield’s finest!

This book is so full of drama, mystery, intrigue, pain, and an undying love. I was literally gripped at every page.  When I wanted more and the author gave it to me. I love period drama's and this delivered on so many levels. The characters are very well developed. It is like you know them on every level possible. They are so well rounded. I've also fallen in love with Jess. He is a man among men! Swoon!

This book takes place in Australia on a horse ranch. Say no more! I needed to have it. It has a historical setting. Think late 1800's.Perfect! While I was reading I was falling more in love with the characters, the house, ranch, and Australia all in one. The story isn't just about the love. I mean, there is a seriously good plot here. The love story is neatly wrapped up in all its goodness around the story. It is masterfully crafted.

This is a legitimate love story. Epic really. Romance novels are pretty predictable but not this one. I was literally shocked at some points. What?! That's not supposed to happen! Got me to keep turning those pages. This proves to be THE best I've ever read! You MUST read it! I'm pretty sure it is out of print, but it is available on Kindle! So, go grab it!!! 

Note: This is a perfectly clean romance novel. I'd let teenagers read it. 

"You can't possibly train a horse in skirts," he stated with a demeaning tone, as if it fully represented a problem."
"I don't intend to," she retorted, and again his left eyebrow went up. "If you had any sense, Mr. Davies, you would concentrate more on my abilities than my apparel."

To see more Romance Week stop on by For Love and Books and tell her I sent you!

Romance Week is Here!

Romance Week is finally here!! I've always been a fan of romance in books. It is actually my most favorite part of the story. I hadn't ever read a traditional romance novel until last year though. I thought there was a stigma attached to them. I thought they were porn for women and didn't really have anything to offer. I was wrong. When I'm in a reading funk I can always grab a romance novel and slide right back into my reading groove. I love them.

I love them so much I decided to host a Romance Week! I've asked Jac @ For Love and Books to co-host with me so we have plenty of action going on at both of our blogs. So have a look!

If you've never read a romance novel or are an avid fan like myself I hope you'll enjoy what this week has to offer! We'll be busy with Reviews, Interviews, Guest Posts, Giveaway's and much more! 
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