Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Book Review: A Novel Obsession by Jeff Joseph

Hi all,

Author Jeff Joseph was kind enough to offer to send me a copy of his novel A Novel Obsession for an honest review. I did enjoy this unique story very much and would like to share with you more about his book and my own review.

A Novel Obsession
Jeff Joseph 

Book Description:

What could be more peaceful than a small town nestled in the plush and picturesque Appalachian foothills along the Ohio River? Seemingly nothing unless you actually live in such a place and experience the incestuous nature of the meddling, gossip, and desire that can fester there.

Abby Lane has cornered the market on virtue in her small town, yet there are forces that want to take that innocence away from her. Unfortunately, the depths of deception, often undetected by the pure of heart can be harmful to the unsuspecting soul.

As an English teacher, dreamer and hopeless idealist Abby immerses herself in romantic fiction to fill the void in her reality. There is one author in particular who speaks directly to her heart and she foolishly makes him the model lover by whom all suitors are to be judged. When others try to bridge that gap, idyllic small town America becomes a mysterious place to be.

A Novel Obsession is a great mix of Mystery, Suspense, Intrigue, and romance. It will answer the question:

Is it possible for two people to fall in love having never met?


A Novel Obsession is available on Amazon Kindle and in Paperback 


My 5 Star Review:

Abby Lane is an incurable romantic who dreams of one day meeting the perfect man. She believes that romance doesn't have to wane in a relationship, and wants a man who will romance her from the first day to the last, throughout their lives. Secretly, she has a crush on bestselling romance novelist Daniel Shepperd, because she believes he is the only man who could truly understand her feelings about romance and true love. Unfortunately, her best friend, Julie, thinks that Abby lives with her head in the clouds and is always trying to set her up with men. What Abby doesn't realize is that there can be many layers to people, and sometimes, those with the most layers can be dangerous.

A Novel Obsession is a unique story with complicated characters who keep you guessing. A mixture of romance, suspense, and mystery, this novel has many layers that keep the story interesting and intriguing. I enjoyed this novel very much and I look forward to future novels by Jeff Joseph.


About Jeff Joseph:
In spite of being a husband and father, I have always been a daydreamer. I was that guy in high school algebra with the far away expression on his face, and no I wasn't thinking about how to apply mathematics to save the world. I was thinking about the girl of my dreams and how I would make her mine. True love and the inherent difficulty in finding it are what I daydream about the most, and to me writing a book is merely daydreaming and capturing your thoughts in print. It makes them more real and provides the opportunity for others to share in them as well. And so I hope you will.


Connect with Jeff Joseph:

Twitter @author_jeff

I hope you will check out Jeff's novel. It is the first in a series, and I am sure you will enjoy it.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Book Review: Swimming Upstream by Ruth Mancini

Hi all,

I came upon Ruth Mancini's novel when it was offered free on Amazon. I am so happy I downloaded it. Ruth is a talented author with a fresh voice, and I enjoyed her debut novel thoroughly. Here is a description of Swimming Upstream and my five star review.


Swimming Upstream
Ruth Mancini

Book Description:

"I once read that the end of a relationship is like being involved in a road traffic accident. Which is quite fitting really, given what happened.”

Lizzie has begun to achieve all the things she thought she had ever wanted, but realises instead that she is far from happy. Then she steps out into the path of an oncoming car, and her life begins to unravel, setting off a life-changing chain of events.

Lizzie leaves her boyfriend and her home and moves to London to pursue her career. There, she attempts to overcome the legacy of her past and find out how to be happy alone. In doing so, she reconnects with two old friends, Zara and Catherine. Each friend, however, harbours a secret that is slowly revealed to Lizzie until Lizzie’s life takes another shocking twist and the friendship of all three women is threatened.

Swimming Upstream is a thoughtful but often humorous book about life and surviving its knocks. Set in the early 1990s in Cambridge and London, it is also a story of friendship, love and divided loyalties – and the moral choices that Lizzie ultimately faces, when the chips are down.

Buy Swimming Upstream on Amazon Kindle or in Paperback

My 5 Star Book Review:

Lizzie Taylor is at a crossroads in her life. She has been in a relationship with Larson for several years, and she finds that she wants more from the relationship while Larson believes it is fine the way it is. Lizzie is also feeling stagnant in her career, feeling her qualifications and abilities are not being utilized to their fullest. After being hit by a car, Lizzie begins to examine her life and finds it lacking. So she sets out on a new course, finds two old friends, and is soon involved in much more than she anticipated.

Swimming Upstream is a story of a woman trying to find her place in life. She examines her present and her past, trying to make sense of where she's been and where she is headed. Author Ruth Mancini does an excellent job of immersing the reader into Lizzie's life from the very beginning. Her experiences are ones that many women can relate to, dealing with relationships, career choices, and friendships. The characters are vivid and intense – you feel as if you know them personally. And even though there are a wide variety of characters in this story, they are each unique and easily identifiable.  

I enjoyed this novel very much. The writing is smooth and vividly descriptive. I would liken Ms. Mancini's writing style to that of author Elizabeth Buchan, whose writing I genuinely enjoy. I look forward to reading more by Ruth Mancini.

About the Author:

Ruth Mancini

I was born in South London and educated in Cambridge and London where I gained a bachelors degree in French and Spanish and a post-graduate diploma in Law. For several years I worked in the publishing industry before leaving my job, my relationship with my long-term partner, and my home to travel and also to write the first draft of Swimming Upstream. I then put my writing career on hold for several years while I retrained as a lawyer. I have always had an interest in civil liberties and have cared strongly about injustice as well as loving books and wanting to write.

I now live in Oxfordshire with my husband and our two children. I still practice as a lawyer and juggle that with writing and raising the children. My first child was born in 2002 with a severe learning disability, which means that he is also physically disabled (the two often go hand in hand) so it’s been tough! I’ve written about this - and about friendships, relationships and surviving life’s challenges generally - on my blog page if you’d like to know more.

I am an avid reader as well as a writer and author. My favourite books are women's fiction novels and I write in a similar style to the authors I enjoy: Elizabeth Gilbert ("Eat, Pray, Love"), Nick Hornby ("High Fidelity" and "How to Be Good"), Blake Morrison ("The Last Weekend") and David Nicholls ("One Day"). I also loved "I Don't know How She Does it" by Allison Pearson and "A Thousand Acres" by Jane Smiley (two very different books!). My favourite book of all time is "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.

Swimming Upstream is my debut novel. It has just been released and currently has 4.5 out of 5 stars over 26 reviews on Amazon UK.

I have plans for a second novel which I hope to begin writing in the next few months. So, watch this space!

Ruth Mancini, February 2013


Connect with Ruth:



Friday, March 15, 2013

Lucky In Love Blog Hop

Hi all,

The blog hop is now over. Thank you to all who participated. It was a fun hop! To see who won the Grand Prizes, click here.
Congrats to Kirsty for winning this blog's $10 Amazon Gift card!

Welcome to the Lucky In Love Blog Hop where you can visit over 300 blogs and enter to win amazing prizes at each of them. In addition to that, we have two wonderful Grand Prizes. All you have to do to enter to win the Grand Prizes is leave a comment here and be sure to include your email address in case you win. You can enter at as many blogs as you visit - so that means you can enter to win the Grand Prizes over 300 times! Good luck.

Are You Lucky in Love?

Love finds us in the strangest ways. Some of us find it right away while others may not find the perfect partner until they are older. Or maybe you've been in love several times before finding Mr. Right. But when you do, it's magic! You know when you meet your one true love because you can't imagine living your life without him. So what do you think? Is it luck that brings you to your true love, fate, or destiny? Or do people just find each other through trial and error?

Fate Plays a Hand in SARA'S PROMISE

In my latest romance novel, William Grafton feels lucky to have found his soul mate once in life, but after she dies tragically, he wonders if love will ever find him again. When he meets Annie, he believes it is luck. But soon he learns that fate and destiny may have played a hand in sending him a new love.

Sara's Promise is available on Amazon Kindle and in Paperback.


For my giveaway for the Lucky In Love Blog Hop, I am giving you a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card. All you have to do is leave a comment below to enter. Be sure to add your email address in the comment so I can contact you if you win. The giveaway will start on March 15th and end at midnight on the 18th. I will notify the winner after noon on the 19th. Good luck and thanks for dropping by.


We have Two grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 300 times! All grand prizes except the Swag Pack are International. (Swag Pack costs too much in postage to offer outside the U.S.).

1st Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

2nd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!
Be sure to visit the other blogs listed below and enter to win their giveaways as well!

Friday, March 8, 2013


Hi all,

I was so excited today to wake up to find that my romance novel SARA'S PROMISE has been included in USA TODAY'S Happily Ever After blog. IndieReader submitted my novel to this blog after having reviewed Sara's Promise on their site. What a wonderful way to start out my morning! Check out the USA TODAY article here.

I've been so lucky at how well Sara's Promise has done over the past two weeks. I had free days for Sara's Promise the last two days of February, and during that time it hit #6 on the top 100 Kindle eBooks list. After my free days, the sales and borrows have been extraordinary. Many new wonderful reviews have also been left on Amazon for Sara's Promise. Thank you to everyone who has purchased my book and left reviews. It is so nice to hear when readers enjoy my novel.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Book Review: Mill People by Alle Wells

Hi all,

I am a big fan of author Alle Wells. She writes superb historical fiction novels with intriguing characters and realistic settings. Alle's latest novel, Mill People was recently released, so I had to read it. Below is a description of this new novel of hers and my five star review.

Mill People
Alle Wells

Book Description:

Jesse Finney's story captures the life of a Southern mill town from the late 1800s to the mid-twentieth century. The mill town disappears, but the love of family and community lives on in Jesse's heart and this story.

Buy on Amazon Kindle $0.99

My 5 Star Review:

"We are mill people." This is the Finney family motto and they have all worked at the cotton mill for generations in the small southern town of Whispering Falls. When young Jesse Finney turns sixteen in 1975, she also follows the family tradition of going to work at the mill.

Mill People shares fascinating insights into one family's life surviving generations in a small town due to the prosperity of the mill. Author Alle Wells creates realistic and interesting characters that portray a convincing view of life in a small southern town. From the time period after WWII to the late 1970s, many people in small town America depended upon the mills and factories to provide good paying jobs. By the 1980s, many of these jobs faded away as big business moved out of country for cheaper labor. Alle reflects how this affected the mill families in this small town and the resilience of Americans to find a way to go on when everything else falls down around them.

I love how Alle writes, bringing you back in time and making you feel as if you are really there. I highly recommend Mill People to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Be sure to read my review of Alle's other novels:

Leaving Serenity

Railroad Man

Lame Excuses


Friday, March 1, 2013

Book Review: A Stairway To Danger by Ben Woodard

Hi all,

Author Ben Woodard writes novels for the middle-grade through young adult audience that are packed with action and adventure. I recently read one of his Shakertown Adventure novels, A Stairway to Danger, and I want to share this novel with you along with my 5 star review. A note to parents: This novel is geared toward an older audience (ages 15 & up) due to language and violence.

A Stairway To Danger
Ben Woodard

Book Description:

It’s 1923 and Tom and Will, two small town boys, discover the body of a local deputy. Was the death an accident? The boys don’t think so and become immersed in a harrowing mystery. A huge assailant with a single gold tooth attempts to kill them. With their friends, they battle the toothless giant and a shadowy group.
Will Tom’s “crazy” book ideas save them or get them killed? And where does the stairway to danger lead?

My 5 Star Review:

A Stairway to Danger is an intriguing novel filled with action and adventure from beginning to end. Tom and Will, two cousins living in a small town in the 1920s, become involved in a mystery when they find the body of the local deputy. Soon, they are investigating a mysterious barge on the river and becoming entangled in a dangerous adventure.

I found this novel to be reminiscent of the Hardy Boy series, except it is geared toward an older audience. The characters are well-thought out and realistic and the author gives the reader a good sense of the time period. Ben Woodard is an excellent writer who knows how to plot and plan a great adventure story.    

Buy A Stairway To Danger on Amazon Kindle $2.99

About the Author:

A spellbinding storyteller of high adventure, Ben has walked the Great Wall of China, hiked in Tibet, and climbed to 18,000 feet on Mt. Everest. And recently learned to surf in Hawaii. Ben is active in SCBWI and a member of a local children's writing critique group. He is a former Marketing Manager for a major corporation and ran his own marketing consulting business. He started writing children's stories in 2008 and has written picture books, middle grade and young adult. Stories of adventure and wonder. Stories that inspire and educate, and, most of all, entertain. Ben lives in Kentucky with his wife Lynda.

Connect with Ben:


Twitter: @Benswoodard


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