Sunday, May 19, 2019

Book Review: The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You by Amulya Malladi


I enjoyed this book so much that I had to share it with you. Be sure to preorder your copy!


The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You

Amulya Malladi


Book Description:

Set amid the world’s international airports and glamorous (and sometimes not so glamorous) hotels, the bestselling author of “The Copenhagen Affair, brings you story about what it really means for professional (but still human!) women to tackle the corporate world, scale the leadership ladder, and lean in to the lives they’ve always wanted, and truly deserve—Up in the Air meets 9 to 5 for today’s Pantsuit Nation.

Asmi knows that CPH (Copenhagen, Denmark) is the best airport to shop for clothes, and ATH (Athens, Greece) the best for shoes. The best Zara store is in BCN (Barcelona, Spain). The best airport to buy whiskey at is ARN (Stockholm, Sweden). When stopping at CDG (Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris), you must have a long layover because of those damn funiculars; and never forget that the international terminal in ORD (Chicago) has no food after ten in the evening. Airplanes, airports, and hotel lobby bars make Asmi feel just as much at home as her apartment in Laguna Beach does.

A marketing director in a biotech company, Asmi rose through the corporate ranks and never really took the time to think about couple-hood. She has good friends, a terrific sister who lives close by, and a married on-again, off-again lover in Paris she sees while she travels around the world for work.

But as Asmi reaches the big 4-0 and contemplates making some life choices; her boss announces he is retiring, and she is suddenly thrown into a corporate Hunger Games against her nemesis Scott Beauregard III to win a promotion.

Worried that her inability to commit to a real relationship with a man is a personality flaw and afraid that she’s unqualified for the job she desperately wants, Asmi must learn to lean in to have the career and life she wants and deserves, without worrying about what society expects from her.
 


Publication Date: July 1, 2019
Preorder now:



My 5-Star Review

Every woman will be able to relate to the trials and tribulations that Asmi endures in the workplace as she struggles to climb the corporate ladder in this smart, witty novel. 

 Asmi is a successful woman who holds a high-powered position in a global corporation that allows her to travel all over the world. On the flip side, she is forty, unmarried, childless, and has no immediate prospects for a permanent relationship. She worries that she may have put too much emphasis on her career and too little on her personal life, and just as she begins to question her choices, she finds herself in the middle of a corporate Hunger Games (her words) between her and a male colleague for a position she fears she isn’t even qualified for. And so, let the games begin.

In The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, author Amulya Malladi (Bestselling author of The Copenhagen Affair) draws the reader into the high-powered corporate world where Asmi works hard to walk the tightrope of being a woman in a male-dominated world. With sharp wit and intelligent dialogue, we observe Asmi in her work relationships, friendships, and with family, and see how she tries to balance it all while feeling she may not be balancing it very well. You’ll find yourself cheering Asmi on as she makes decisions that will affect her personal and professional life in her quest to find out if a woman can really have it all. A truly intelligent novel by a highly talented author.


About the Author:

Amulya Malladi is the bestselling author of seven novels, including The Copenhagen Affair. She knows her airports well because in her "spare time," she works full-time as a marketing executive for a global company. After fourteen years of mostly bad weather in Denmark, she moved to Southern California a few years ago, where she now lives with her husband and two sons. She drives an impractical convertible with the top down, even in the winter. 


Amulya loves meeting with book clubs, so please contact her at author@amulyamalladi.com if you want her to call into your meeting.

Connect with Amulya:

facebook.com/authoramulya
www.amulyamalladi.com  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Cover Reveal: Delicious Disasters by Isabella Louise Anderson

Cover Reveal 
for Author friend Isabella Louise Anderson's newest novel!

Delicious Disasters



Book Description:

When Tessa Markham’s bookstore gets bought out, she is forced to face an uncertain future. After her best friend challenges her to start baking, she accepts—even if the last time she baked wasn’t what she would call a delicious success.

After a small kitchen fire, Tessa’s life begins to change. She finds encouragement from a sexy fireman, agrees to a questionable ruse to help another business owner with a complicated situation, and needs to be there for her best friend now more than ever.

Can a delicious disaster lead to a new future and a successful baking career?



About the author:

Isabella Louise grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. Aside from writing, she focuses her time on featuring other authors on her blog, Chick Lit Goddess, along with sharing book reviews. Isabella Louise is also a member of the Romance Writers of America.
She lives in Dallas with her husband, enjoys spicy Indian and Mexican food, margaritas, and red and white wines. She loves spending time with family and friends, and cheering on the Texas Rangers. When Isabella Louise isn’t working on her next release, her attention is also on her Scentsy business, where she’s a consultant.





Contact Isabella Louise Anderson:

**Add “Delicious Disasters” to your Goodreads list:



Book Review: Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin


Hi all,

I was thrilled to get the chance to read the latest novel by Melanie Benjamin, MISTRESS OF THE RITZ. I've enjoyed her books since THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE. Here is more about this newest novel and my review.


Mistress of the Ritz


Melanie Benjamin



Book Description:

A captivating novel based on the story of the extraordinary real-life American woman who secretly worked for the French Resistance during World War II—while playing hostess to the invading Germans at the iconic Hôtel Ritz in Paris—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator's Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue.

Nothing bad can happen at the Ritz; inside its gilded walls every woman looks beautiful, every man appears witty. Favored guests like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor walk through its famous doors to be welcomed and pampered by Blanche Auzello and her husband, Claude, the hotel’s director. The Auzellos are the mistress and master of the Ritz, allowing the glamour and glitz to take their minds off their troubled marriage, and off the secrets that they keep from their guests—and each other.

Until June 1940, when the German army sweeps into Paris, setting up headquarters at the Ritz. Suddenly, with the likes of Hermann Goëring moving into suites once occupied by royalty, Blanche and Claude must navigate a terrifying new reality. One that entails even more secrets and lies. One that may destroy the tempestuous marriage between this beautiful, reckless American and her very proper Frenchman. For in order to survive—and strike a blow against their Nazi “guests”—Blanche and Claude must spin a web of deceit that ensnares everything and everyone they cherish.

But one secret is shared between Blanche and Claude alone—the secret that, in the end, threatens to imperil both of their lives, and to bring down the legendary Ritz itself.

Based on true events, Mistress of the Ritz is a taut tale of suspense wrapped up in a love story for the ages, the inspiring story of a woman and a man who discover the best in each other amid the turbulence of war.

Release Date: May 21, 2019
Historical Women’s Fiction

Preorder now:



My 5-Star Review:

A beautifully written, powerful story of two extraordinary people who risked everything in a dangerous time in history. Author Melanie Benjamin has outdone herself with this historical fiction novel about Claude and Blanche Auzello, the director of the Ritz and his American wife during the occupation of Paris in WWII. These are two intriguing characters that Benjamin has brought back to life for readers to experience what they endured throughout the war.

I’ve read several other fictional novels set in this time period and also at the Ritz, and have heard of the Auzellos, so I was thrilled to be able to read more about their lives. With glamorous background characters like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel, and Marlene Dietrich, the Ritz comes alive, only to be trampled down by high ranking German soldiers who occupied the lavish rooms during the occupation. Through the author’s prose, the reader sees Paris disintegrate over time as the horrors of war takes its toll. But the people of France do not give up as the Resistance comes alive and the Auzellos do their part to help rid their beloved Paris of the Germans.

A must read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction set during WWII.


About the Author:

Melanie Benjamin was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. An avid reader all her life--as a child, she was the proud winner, several years running, of the summer reading program at her local library--she still firmly believes that a lifetime of reading is the best education a writer can have.

While attending Indiana University--Purdue University at Indianapolis, Melanie performed in many community theater productions before meeting her husband, moving to the Chicago area and raising two sons. Writing was always beckoning, however, and soon she began writing for local magazines and newspapers before venturing into her first love, fiction.

By combining her passion for history and biography, she has found her niche writing historical fiction, concentrating on the "stories behind the stories." Her most recent novel, THE GIRLS IN THE PICTURE, tells the fascinating and timely story of the first true female partnership - and enduring friendship - in Hollywood, between the silent film star Mary Pickford and her collaborator (and first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Screenplay), Frances Marion. 
Her previous novels, THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE, and THE AVIATOR'S WIFE, were New York Times, USA Today and IndieBound best sellers. Her first novel, ALICE I HAVE BEEN, was a national bestseller; this was followed by the critically acclaimed THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MRS. TOM THUMB. Her next novel will be out in May, 2019. 

She and her family still live in the Chicago area; when she's not writing, she's gardening, taking long walks, rooting for the Cubs--

And reading, of course.



More reviews of Melanie's work:

THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE

THE GIRLS IN THE PICTURE


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Book Review: The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman

Hi all,

If you read this blog at all, you know that I'm already a fan of author Alice Hoffman. So you won't be surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel, The Story Sisters. Here is more about it and my review.


The Story Sisters
Alice Hoffman

Book Description:

Alice Hoffman’s previous novel, The Third Angel, was hailed as "an unforgettable portrait of the depth of true love" (USA Today), "stunning" (Jodi Picoult), and "spellbinding" (Miami Herald). Her new novel, The Story Sisters, charts the lives of three sisters–Elv, Claire, and Meg. Each has a fate she must meet alone: one on a country road, one in the streets of Paris, and one in the corridors of her own imagination. Inhabiting their world are a charismatic man who cannot tell the truth, a neighbor who is not who he appears to be, a clumsy boy in Paris who falls in love and stays there, a detective who finds his heart’s desire, and a demon who will not let go.

What does a mother do when one of her children goes astray? How does she save one daughter without sacrificing the others? How deep can love go, and how far can it take you? These are the questions this luminous novel asks. 

At once a coming-of-age tale, a family saga, and a love story of erotic longing, The Story Sisters sifts through the miraculous and the mundane as the girls become women and their choices haunt them, change them and, finally, redeem them. It confirms Alice Hoffman’s reputation as "a writer whose keen ear for the measure struck by the beat of the human heart is unparalleled" (The Chicago Tribune).


My 5-Star Review:

You can expect the unexpected when you read a story by Alice Hoffman. Typically, nothing is as it seems and soon you are brought into the depth of the characters’ lives and begin to see the real story within the story. This novel, The Story Sisters, is a perfect example of the amazing imagination of Alice Hoffman.

You begin with the three sisters who have a magical quality about them and you think you know what you are getting yourself into. But then the story begins to bend and weave its way from good to evil, sweet to tragedy, and before you know it, you are deep into the tragic lives of these once close sisters. As with all her books, her writing is lyrical. I feel as if I'm reading a poem instead of a story. Every line is airy and light with deep meaning. I love how she tells the tale of each sister, as if she is sitting with you, weaving a tale before your eyes. It's beautiful.

This novel will not disappoint. You will cry at the end but for a good reason. If you love novels by Alice Hoffman, you will love this one too.


Buy now on Amazon


About the Author:

Alice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952 and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1969, she attended Adelphi University, from which she received a BA, and then received a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which she attended in 1973 and 74, receiving an MA in creative writing. She currently lives in Boston and New York. 

Hoffman's first novel, Property Of, was written at the age of twenty-one, while she was studying at Stanford, and published shortly thereafter by Farrar Straus and Giroux. She credits her mentor, professor and writer Albert J. Guerard, and his wife, the writer Maclin Bocock Guerard, for helping her to publish her first short story in the magazine Fiction. Editor Ted Solotaroff then contacted her to ask if she had a novel, at which point she quickly began to write what was to become Property Of, a section of which was published in Mr. Solotaroff's magazine, American Review. 

Since that remarkable beginning, Alice Hoffman has become one of our most distinguished novelists. She has published a total of eighteen novels, two books of short fiction, and eight books for children and young adults. Her novel, Here on Earth, an Oprah Book Club choice, was a modern reworking of some of the themes of Emily Bronte's masterpiece Wuthering Heights. Practical Magic was made into a Warner film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Her novel, At Risk, which concerns a family dealing with AIDS, can be found on the reading lists of many universities, colleges and secondary schools. Her advance from Local Girls, a collection of inter-related fictions about love and loss on Long Island, was donated to help create the Hoffman (Women's Cancer) Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. Blackbird House is a book of stories centering around an old farm on Cape Cod. Hoffman's recent books include Aquamarine and Indigo, novels for pre-teens, and The New York Times bestsellers The River King, Blue Diary, The Probable Future, and The Ice Queen. Green Angel, a post-apocalyptic fairy tale about loss and love, was published by Scholastic and The Foretelling, a book about an Amazon girl in the Bronze Age, was published by Little Brown. In 2007 Little Brown published the teen novel Incantation, a story about hidden Jews during the Spanish Inquisition, which Publishers Weekly has chosen as one of the best books of the year. In January 2007, Skylight Confessions, a novel about one family's secret history, was released on the 30th anniversary of the publication of Her first novel. Her most recent novel is The Story Sisters (2009), published by Shaye Areheart Books.

Hoffman's work has been published in more than twenty translations and more than one hundred foreign editions. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Library Journal, and People Magazine. She has also worked as a screenwriter and is the author of the original screenplay "Independence Day" a film starring Kathleen Quinlan and Diane Wiest. Her short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and other magazines. Her teen novel Aquamarine was recently made into a film starring Emma Roberts.

The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews