Monday, February 27, 2012

Special guest post by author, Dina Silver

One Pink Line promises to touch you. Dares to make you count your blessings. And guarantees to make you smile. Inspired by a true story, this debut novel is a poignant, humorous look at how the choices we make can alter so many lives, and how doing the right thing and living honestly, can bring unexpected happiness. Despite what your mother may say.

Sydney Shephard and Ethan Reynolds are high-school sweethearts with a bond stronger than super glue. But as heart wrenching and painful as it may be, they’re forced to be apart and attend different colleges. The two soul mates pledge to remain faithful and committed to each other no matter what.

They manage to carry out their promise until senior year, when an unexpected pregnancy turns Sydney’s life upside down. Not knowing how Ethan will react, or if her family will ever forgive her, she decides to keep the baby.

Fast-forward ten years. Grace is Sydney’s daughter. And this grammar school student has led a pretty typical childhood in suburban Chicago. But during one of her fifth grade sex education classes, she’s shocked by what she learns…and not simply the typical shock that a dated sex-ed slide show can imprint on a young mind. Instead, Grace is left with serious questions about who she really is.

Can Grace handle risking everything to find the truth? And can she make peace with the secrets that got her to where she is? Either way, there’s no going back. One Pink Line is told from the point of view of both strong, selfless Sydney; and Grace, the child she gave up so much for. And while the book is pure fiction, the people who inspired this amazing love story are very real.


Author Bio:

A graduate of Purdue University, Dina Silver has spent the past fifteen years feeding her red wine habit by working as a copywriter in the advertising industry. After seeing the bulk of her professional prose on brochures and direct mail pieces, she is delighted to have made the transition to novelist. She currently lives with her husband and son in suburban Chicago, where she is working on her next book. Inspired by a true story, One Pink Line is Dina’s debut novel.

Connect with Dina!

Twitter: @DinaSilver

Giveaway: Favorable Conditions by Kathleen Kole

When Samantha at Chick Lit Plus blog tours asked me if I wanted to participate in some blog tours she was setting up, I said definitely. What a great way to read works that I may have never read before. And I have met some pretty cool people. One of those is the lovely and talented, Kathleen Kole. I have participated in two blog tours for Kathleen already, "Breaking Even" and "Dollars to Donuts". Kathleen has released her third novel, "Favorable Conditions", which I will be reviewing the end of March. But in the meantime, Kathleen has agreed to a giveaway, my first for my Book Nook blog!

A little about Favorable Conditions:

Can you imagine being forty-five, your last child has moved on to college and the time is ripe for you to blaze a new trail into your future? Pat Keegan can. Well, except for the tiny detail that all her preconceived notions about how that future was going to shape up are completely out the window.

Pat was under the impression that once her child rearing years were complete she and her husband would walk hand in hand toward a rose colored future. Fat chance. Before their daughter had even been accepted by a College, he was blathering about needing space to rediscover himself and made quick strides to the nearest exit.

Suddenly, Pat is divorced, rattling around her large house and asking the empty rooms, “What now?” She knows she has to carve out new dreams - after all, forty-five is a far cry from the end of the line - But how?

Join Pat as she jumps feet first back into the world outside her door, takes on a new business venture, is pursued by a much younger man and has to muddle her way through more emotions than she knew she had - all to finally attain her goal of rediscovering who she is and what she wants from the next phase of her life.

Kathleen did a little q&a with me over the weekend as well, which will show you what a fun lady she is!

What inspired you to write Favorable Conditions and is there any part of you in Pat Keegan?

Pat's story came to me soon after my last dog passed away. It truly just arrived in my thoughts and, upon reflection, I feel her story of change and new beginnings resonated with me and my life at that time. As for any connection between myself and Pat, I would have to say that we both have a weakness for animals and also share a let's get to it/can do attitude.

You have a really busy writing schedule. What do you do for relaxation? (Other than fabulous mimosa Sundays, that is!)

Ha! Yes, I do appreciate Mimosa Sunday! Otherwise, as a former jazz dancer, I do love to crank up the tunes and dance; or take the dog for a walk; read; as well as relax in front of the TV with my husband and son (gotta love The Big Bang Theory!)

Is there a genre you haven't written in that you would love to tackle?

I think it would be a lovely experience to write children's fiction. Unfortunately, an illustrator I am not. So, taking that into consideration, I'll just continue to enjoy that genre by buying it for the small children in my friend's lives.

If you weren't a writer you would be a...(I vote for herbalist! You know cures for everything!)

Haha! You're not far off with Herbalist. I did seriously consider, when my son was a toddler, training to be a Homeopath. I even went so far as to take some introductory courses. However, at the time, my life was just too busy to further that pursuit as a formal career; thus, I satisfied that healing desire by continuing my "education" in my own time. (Hence the reason I have so much natural healing info under my belt!)

What does a typical writing day in your life entail?

You know, I don't truly think I have a typical day. I seem to be a famine or feast sort of writer. When I'm not writing (taking a break), I'm away from my computer completely. When I am writing, I'm there every chance I have and feeling pained when I have to go and do other life related things. It seems to be working fine. I get the job done, the books written and life hasn't come crashing down around my ears.

If you could get your hand on one fictional character and write something, who would it be?

Oh dear, this is a difficult one. I have loved/appreciated so many characters, I don't think I'd be comfortable writing their "voices". I'll choose the easy way out and pick one of my own. Thomas MacLeod. I truly enjoyed writing this Scotsman and I assure you I'll be writing for him again in future.

What is your guilty pleasure song?

A good question! As I said, I have over a decade of jazz dancing under my belt, so I'm rather taken with music. That being said, I don't think I have one guilty pleasure song. My husband teases me and says my guilty pleasure song is whatever is playing in the moment and I'd have to say, more often that not, he's probably spot on. Music, for me, is all about self expression, so if it has a good beat and I can dance to it I'd probably give it an 8. (Oh, wait... I think I just channeled American Bandstand...)

If you could sit down with one author, past or present, who would it be and what would you want to discuss?

I think I'd really enjoy sitting down with Fannie Flagg. I love her writing and I think it would be fun to find out her inspirations for creating such interesting characters.

Thank you, Kathleen! I have two paperback copies of "Favorable Conditions" up for grabs. All you have to do is leave a comment below (make sure you include an email address if I don't know how to reach you already) and on March 12th, we will draw two random winners!

Good luck!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Review: One Pink Line by Dina Silver

Can the love of a lifetime be forever changed by one pink line? Dina Silver’s tender, absorbing novel, One Pink Line, is the warmhearted, wry story of love, loss and family, as seen through the prism of one singular, spirited young couple who find themselves in a predicament that changes the course of their lives, and those closest to them. With heart, humor and compassion, this debut work of women’s fiction is certain to stir anyone who relishes a good laugh, can stand a good cry, and, above all believes in the redemptive power of love. This unique, contemporary story gives readers a dual perspective. Sydney Shephard, a sweet-tempered, strong-natured college senior is young, in love with an exceptional man, and unexpectedly pregnant. Faced with a child she never planned for, she is forced to relay this news to her neurotic mother, relinquish her youth, and risk losing the love of her life. Then there’s Grace, a daughter, who believed she was a product of this great love, grows to realize her existence is not what she assumed, and is left with profound and puzzling questions about who she really is. Spanning generations and every imaginable emotion, One Pink Line reveals how two points of view can be dramatically at odds, and perhaps ultimately reconciled. Simultaneously deeply felt and lighthearted, One Pink Line deftly mines how the choices we make are able to alter so many lives, and how doing the right thing and living honestly can bring unexpected, hard-won happiness. It’s a must-read for anyone who craves a great love story, absorbing characters, and plenty of laughs along the way.

This book packed quite the punch to the heart with such an emotionally charged story. As it bounced back and forth between the story of Sydney and Grace, I ran the gauntlet of emotions. Sydney and Ethan were such a sweet high school couple, who unfortunately hit rough patches when they went to college and had distance separating them. The unexpected pregnancy, with someone other than Ethan, destroyed the high school love that they had, but out of it came a much deeper relationship.

My heart broke for Grace as she struggled to come to the understanding that the life she thought was real was missing one tiny truth - her father was not her real father. As she struggled to understand why this important fact was kept from her, Sydney's past story continued to run parallel to the present. Dina Silver wrote such a beautiful story of true love and understanding full of characters that you will fall in love with as well.

Click on the below banner to enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card and tune in tomorrow for a lovely guest post from the author herself.

Review: Blame It On The Fame by Tracie Banister

Just in time for the Oscar awards, it is time for a review of "Blame It On The Fame" by Tracie Banister.

A power-trippin’ bitch, a has-been, a skanky ex-model, a press-shy indie queen, and a British stage actress no one knows – that’s how the Best Actress hopefuls in this year’s too-close-to-call Oscar race cattily describe each other. Which of them will win the much-coveted gold statue and what price will they be forced to pay as they travel the red carpeted-path to Hollywood glory?

Amidst all the press-schmoozing and angsting over which designer gown to wear, these Oscar contenders feud, commiserate, and face a succession of personal crises – scandalous secrets come to light, marriages implode, accidents land two nominees in the hospital while another receives news that could derail her career, all culminating on Tinsel Town’s biggest night when anything can happen, and does.

Tracie Banister delivers one of the best books I have read in a while with her fabulous tale of five women and their rocky road to the Academy Awards. Full of fresh new characters thrust into intriguing situations, this book was hard to put down once you started reading it.

Diva antics abound as you get an inside peek at the life of a celebrity. Has-Been actress, Laurel Hastings, thrust back in the spotlight with her nomination suffers humilation as her marriage and privacy explode in public. Ex-Model, Anaya Reynolds, lives the fast life with plenty of sex, drugs, and alcohol. Second generation actress, Jordan Schaeffer, deals with a meddling mother intent on ruling her daughter's life even if Jordan is content as an Indie darling. Fame hungry Danielle Jamison paints the perfect picture for the public of a loving family but her claws are out when the cameras are off. British stage actress, Philippa Sutcliffe, is dealing with lingering feelings for her one time flame,a bad boy co-star. The back-stories are woven expertly in with the current story so you feel that you know these five women by the end of the book.

This is the debut novel for Tracie Banister and is an excellent start to a very promising career. Five stars without a doubt and a book that needs to be on your must read list.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: Mad About The Boy by Suzan Battah

Julia Mendoza is driven by the success of her business. Since her husband Carlos passed away at such a young age, her business By Design is her number one priority. In her late twenties she works too hard and doesn’t take time out for fun. Annoyance with a pesky ex-friend has her begging one of the local surfer’s with a cheeky smile in the grocery store to pretend he’s her boyfriend. Suddenly, life takes a sudden detour from her business plan; much to the delight of her boisterous Latin American family. Christophe Augustine is groomed to take over his father’s successful chain of luxurious hotels. With a wealthy French-American background, Chris has been given privileges that not many have. He works hard, plays harder but seeks approval and recognition above all else. Family is a top priority for him as he fights for custody of his young brother. His parent’s divorce has not diminished his faith in romance. When a gorgeous Latino woman changes one boring morning into an interesting game of role play, though reluctant to help at first, he soon realizes she’s not like the string of other women he’s known. A romantic first date ending dramatically doesn’t stop Chris from wanting to know Julia more. And for Julia, she’s all for a bit of fun but when things get too serious she’s running the other way. Too alike, in some ways and complete opposites, in other ways, Julia and Chris fumble through fun moments, annoying confrontations, passionate times and heartbreaking revelations. Love has no boundaries when soul-mates meet but when one is ready to love and the other one isn’t….

This was an interesting read for me. The character of Julia is deeply scarred by the loss of her husband and very skittish. I went back and forth on how I felt for her. While I sympathized with her and the situations that happened, I also wanted to reach into the Kindle and shake her. I loved the character of Chris. He fell hard a little too fast, but it was evident in the lifestyle he lived things happened fast.

There was a conflict on both sides, misunderstandings that had to be worked through, and Julia learning that she could love someone as deeply as she loved Carlos and to stop worrying that she was going to lose them as well. Suzan Battah told a heartfelt story of a woman learning to open her heart up again, filling it with gripping twists and a strong supporting cast of characters. This was a fantastically woven love story of two people that were meant to be together.


Suzan Battah is a proud Australian born author who has loved to write since her teenage years. In 2011 she published her first novel a contemporary multicultural romance - Mad About the Boy. In her spare time she weaves magical tales to entertain. Suzan writes YA Fiction - Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance, Regency Romance and Contemporary Romance. Other fun things you can find her doing is training at the gym and Latin/Ballroom dancing. Suzan is afraid of heights, loves most things that are sweet, has no clue about fashion and one day hopes to speak Spanish fluently. Her second novel a YA Urban Fantasy Adventure - BaSatai: Outside In will be released on the 14th of April 2012.

Connect with Suzan:


Buy the Book!


Available Online and in Bookstores in Paperback and Ebook

Available at Itunes, Barns and Noble, Sony Reader

Click on the banner below and leave a comment for your chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: Thank You For Flying Air Zoe by Erik Atwell

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fasten Seat Belt sign has been turned on, but feel free to ignore it, because sometimes life is best lived on its dizzy edges. Your cruising altitude today will be sky high, and you will be flying at staggering speeds as you travel alongside Zoe Tisdale, former Valley Girl and rock star turned bored butter saleswoman. On the heels of a brush with mortality, Zoe concludes that she's been letting time pass her by. Realizing she needs to awaken her life's tired refrains, Zoe vows to recapture the one chapter of her life that truly mattered to her - her days as drummer for The Flip-Flops, a spirited, sassy all-girl garage band that almost hit the big time back in 1987. But reuniting the band won't be easy. The girls who were once the whiz kid guitarist, the prom queen bass player, and the hippie lead singer grew up and became women who are now a reclusive dog trainer, a wealthy socialite, and a sociopathic environmentalist. Will Zoe bring the band back together and give The Flip-Flops a second chance at stardom? Is it possible to fully reclaim the urgent energy of youth? As you follow this wild flight path, please know that your destination could be anywhere at all, complimentary oxygen is provided upon request, and baggage flies free. We hope you enjoy the ride, and Thank You For Flying Air Zoe.

Hey, Erik, Congratulations! You wrote a fun, rocking chick-lit novel that was an absolute delight to read. Zoe, Lauren, Ginger, and Melinda were four kickass chicks that came to life in the pages of this debut novel. My nerves were rattled in the first few pages as the rocky "are we about to crash" flight ensued, reminding me again why I need to be medicated in order to fly. (Hello, motion sickness!) As Zoe had the epiphany to get the ol' high school band back together, I laughed as she was clearly having a mid-life crisis.

The characters were all quirky and had some major personality flaws that made you want to in turn throttle them and hug them. Mixed with vivid description of the places and people surrounding them, this was a book that I had a great time reading and rooting for The Flip-Flops to play the legendary Whiskey-A-Go-Go. (Oh and I have a need to bust out some Go-Go's music at this time as well and sing along to "We Got The Beat".)

This is a definite 5 star book!


Erik Atwell started his writing career in grammar school, when a one page history class assignment ballooned into a forty page fictional account of a politically controversial silversmith in Boston circa 1776. From there, he wrote short stories while living in New Hampshire, screenplays upon moving to Los Angeles, then finally novels when he ultimately landed in Seattle. He now lives in Seattle with his rock star wife and his six-month-old son, whose only musical claim to fame thus far is sleeping through an entire Go-Go's concert. But in his defense, he was three weeks old, and the stage was a quarter-mile away. "Thank You For Flying Air Zoe" is his first novel, and he hopes to write a second novel before the little guy treks off to college.

Erik's website

Erik's Facebook

Erik on Twitter

By the book here:
Amazon paperback

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble paperback and Nook

Click on the banner below for a chance to win a $10 gift card from Amazon! Good luck!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Review: Year Of The Chick by Romi Moondi

An awkward family homecoming at Christmas.

A humiliating public weigh-in, with two judging parents as the audience.

The announcement of a deadline for arranged marriage doom.

And that's just the first two chapters.

In "Year of the Chick," Romi Narindra must find love before her parents find her a husband. This is a difficult task in a world where self-consciousness is at an all-time high, and dating experience at an all-time low.

Severely lacking in seductive skills and uninspired by her corporate job, Romi turns to what she loves, by writing about her quest to find love on her brand new blog.

From whiskey-breath scum bags to uni-brow creeps and everything in between, Romi and her wingmen come up empty time after time. Just when giving up seems like the thing to do, she meets a fellow writer unexpectedly.

On the Internet.

So will it be arranged marriage doom, or an Internet affair that's not as creepy as "To Catch a Predator"?

Time will tell in the "year of the chick," a twelve-month quest to find love....tick-tock.

What a fun book to start off the new year with. Romi Moondi has such a unique voice about her and her tale of finding a man or being married off by the parents kept me entertained the whole way through.

Romi and her sister had that love-hate relationship that siblings excel at having and I laughed as the two of them exchanged "loving greetings". I loved the friends in Romi's life...even when they had squabbles, they stayed true to each other. The co-workers determined to help Romi find her man so she wouldn't be forced into marriage were the kind of co-workers that I wished I had. The best friend that kept it real. And, of course, we have to talk about James, the internet crush. I went back and forth with my feelings for him. I was intrigued, then suspicious. He felt too good to be true and then it felt Romi was reading a little too much into him and his intentions. Luckily he redeemed himself. Romi overreacted and had moments of selfish actions, but you rooted for her the entire time.

This was such a fun book and I'm going to anxiously await the sequel to come out. (When is that again, Romi?)

Interact with Romi here:

Romi's Author Page on Facebook

Romi on Twitter

Brief bio:
I am Canadian, and here are some strange personal facts:

-I wore denim-top-to-bottom in high school (there is a direct inverse relationship between how much denim I wore and how few tongues were launched down my throat at school dances...or anywhere in high school at all).
-I'm continually baffled by that Malaysian baby whose father let him smoke two packs of cigarettes a day. That baby had so many fat rolls, and I thought cigarettes were supposed to be slimming.
-I always hated those insufferable couples who would cuddle and make out on the subway...until I became half of one. But now I'm back to being none of one so I hate them again.

Buy the book!

Click the below link to be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Guest Post: Inspiration & Sleep-Deprivation by Romi Moondi

Romi Moondi stopped by on her blog tour to chat about inspiration and the all too frequent for everyone, sleep deprivation. Thank you so much, Romi, for such a fun post!

Inspiration and Sleep-Deprivation

Hi Michelle, thanks for the guest post opportunity! It's especially fun to write it when I'm so well-rested. YES, I am writing this post as a fully-rested human in the midst of several vacation days.

For ninety-five percent of the time though, this human and "well-rested" do not go together AT ALL.

It's the story of a full-time corporate rat with dreams of being a successful author, and it's frickin' tiring!

It's not just writers; it could be musicians, book bloggers, painters, bakers, it could be anyone at all with a passion outside the "nine-to-five."

We all have that one thing in common, that drive to do something different, even if it's only possible on evenings and weekends.

What's wrong with us?

I guess that's a different question for a psychiatric-themed blog, but in this case, that insane and sometimes ill-advised drive is the reason why I've published two books.

This post reminds me of last month, when I was enjoying a bottle of wine with one of my best friends on her birthday. She said that watching me embark on this publishing journey has made her look into her own life, and wonder why she doesn't have a crazy passion too. First I laughed in her face, then I told her that all of this was only the end result, and everything before it had often felt scary and lonely and uncertain. I described the many Saturday nights I'd been sequestered in my room madly writing, when I knew that she and others like her were out having a blast. I told her how terrifying it was, to wonder if I was wasting my time and my sleep-deprived youth, for something that may never, ever, ever be successful.

She looked at me with horror and drank more wine.

There's an obvious upside to the sacrifice, and that's the satisfaction of each additional stranger that tells me they loved my book. That's what it's all about: writing what I love, and impacting others with those words, in some small way at least. I love that feeling so much, that I will spend 2012 writing and releasing book 2 in the "Year of the Chick" series, even with a full-time job, three-hour-a-day commute, and an urge to go to the gym so I can keep fitting into my clothes.

I will do it all, because…at the end of the day…there is anti-aging under-eye cream.

And coffee.

Cheers, and I hope you'll enjoy "Year of the Chick," a humorous quest to find love and avoid arranged marriage (not based on real life at all…*cough*).



Romi's Author Page on Facebook

Romi on Twitter

Brief bio:
I am Canadian, and here are some strange personal facts:

-I wore denim-top-to-bottom in high school (there is a direct inverse relationship between how much denim I wore and how few tongues were launched down my throat at school dances...or anywhere in high school at all).
-I'm continually baffled by that Malaysian baby whose father let him smoke two packs of cigarettes a day. That baby had so many fat rolls, and I thought cigarettes were supposed to be slimming.
-I always hated those insufferable couples who would cuddle and make out on the subway...until I became half of one. But now I'm back to being none of one so I hate them again.

Buy the book!

Click the below link to be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card.