Saturday, June 15, 2019

"What We Do For Love" by Anne Pfeffer

What We Do For Love
by Anne Pfeffer

What We Do For Love by Anne Pfeffer

What We Do For Love by Anne Pfeffer is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

For another book by this author, please check out my blog post on Just Pru.

Thirty-eight-year-old Nicole thinks finding love is like eating carbs. Both are bad for your system. The single mother prefers to focus on a few things that she cherishes - her sixteen-year-old son Justin, her friends, and her art.
When she convinces a major museum to show a piece of her work, and she thinks her career has finally turned a corner, her son brings home a girl, Daniela, to spend the night. Daniela's parents have thrown her out of the house: she is pregnant with Justin's child. Shattered, Nicole feels she has no choice but to take the girl in.
She finds herself falling in love with Daniela, but increasingly troubled by the behavior of the girl’s icy, tormented mom and hard-drinking, hard-fisted dad.
Nicole struggles as fear and deceit enter her formerly peaceful life. Forced to deal with people she doesn't trust or like, fearful for the future of both her son and the grandchild they're expecting, Nicole wonders if she can do what she tells Justin to do: always have faith in yourself and do the right thing.
What We Do For Love is a standalone story written by award-winning author Anne Pfeffer.

Funny how one’s life can make a U-turn.
My life made two. In a single day.
I started that day as a mere potter—yes, a person who hand-makes vases and dinner plates for a living—wearing borrowed clothes and driving to the most important interview of my life. A few hours later came U-turn number one: the board of directors of CCMLA, the Contemporary Crafts Museum of Los Angeles, offered me a place in their upcoming show!
In an instant, I had become an artist. I pondered this fact wonderingly as I drove home that afternoon. I was to provide them with a brand-new, never-before-seen mural in ceramics, an installation piece. My wall would be located at the entrance to the exhibit, the first thing you saw as you walked in. This was my chance, an incredible opportunity.
I was an artist!
It didn’t bother me that desperation clearly underlay the board’s decision. All the better when I saved the day with a great contribution to their show.
I hoped.
Flushed with success, I revved my ancient Toyota, Bernice, up to twenty-two miles per hour. We practically skipped over the potholes as we barreled our way up the Trail of Terror. This was the name my son Justin had given the rutted, one-lane road that wound its way up the side of Laurel Canyon to our house.
Of course, I was a fill-in, hired at the last minute. I’d gotten this job when Miriam Fletcher, a customer of mine who happened to be on the museum board, moaned to me that an artist had dropped out of a show scheduled to open in six weeks. “We’re in such a pickle! We don’t know what to do!” Though her crepey neck revealed a senior citizen, Miriam otherwise projected youth, running long acrylic nails through her cropped, bleached, and spiked hair, her copper earrings swinging.
My cue to pipe up. “I’m sure I could help you.”
Miriam trained her eyes upon me. She had recently ordered customized handmade pieces from me to give to her granddaughters—a miniature tea set for the youngest and a statuette of a mermaid for her older sister.
“You do such beautiful ceramics work, Nicole.”
“What you’ve seen is my commercial work, which I do through my business Clayworks. I create as an artist under my own name.” That is, I hoped to create as an artist under my own name, if I could ever get the proper start.
And now I had. I could hardly wait to tell my son the news.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“If Lorelai Gilmore of Gilmore Girls was dropped into a thriller, it might resemble this appealing novel.” ~ Kirkus Reviews
“Superbly written. Pfeffer has teamed a solid plot with great dialogue, effective narrative, and some nice romance for a well-rounded work of women’s fiction.” ~ Self-Publishing Review
“Anne Pfeffer’s latest contemporary women’s fiction, What We Do For Love, is an anxiety-ridden nail biter of a novel that has readers rapidly page-turning to find out what the consequences will be of how each character shows - and proves - love of every kind.” ~ Katherine Michael
“The well-developed characters really build up the story line and wonderfully convey the common struggles that many families must face. I would highly recommend this tale to anyone who enjoys a book that realistically conveys the strains, passions, and eccentric moments of life.” ~ cmakin17
“Her characters are always believable and relatable, and leave you feeling optimistic. I'm so tired of novels and TV shows where I can't find a single character I care about. In this book, I loved the whole-heartedness of Nicole, the main character, and really rooted for her. You will too! A must read for moms of all ages.” ~ Holly H. Brookstein

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
Nicole is used to compartmentalizing her life, putting things into boxes in her mind, to be dealt with at an appropriate time. But real life isn’t always that tidy; in fact, it has a way of being extremely messy. Just when she finally gets her opportunity to prove herself as an artist, her son’s girlfriend moves in with them. Then, her sister needs a place to live. So, a household of two suddenly becomes a household of four, and then it grows some more. Will they be able to make it work?
Nicole’s account of her present-day life is interspersed with memories of her own teenage years with her sister, her sister’s boyfriend, and her own brief romance with the man who is now her best friend. The story is a combination of romance, family drama, suspense, and psychological thriller. It highlights the lengths parents will go to for the love of their children, but it also shows what love will make us do for our husband or wife, our friends, our neighbors, and even our pets.
Some heavy moments but, don’t despair, there’s a happily-ever-after.
Warnings: sexual references, alcoholism, domestic violence, teen pregnancy, sex scene.

Some of My Favorite Lines
“I’d learned that personal information from a teenager was like rain in the desert. You waited for it, sometimes for months, and viewed every drop as a gift.”
“I had never understood the concept of multitasking. I put the parts of my life into boxes and handled one at a time. Pick up one box, attend to the matters inside, finish what you can, put the box away. Then move on to the next. And always make sure that each and every box was light enough and small enough to handle alone.”
“You never know how life’s going to go, honey. Things that seem bad turn out okay sometimes.”

About the Author
Anne Pfeffer
Hi! I grew up in the desert around Phoenix, Arizona, where I had a bay quarter horse named Dolly. If I wasn’t riding, I was holed up somewhere reading Laura Ingalls Wilder or the Oz books or, later on, Jane Eyre and The Grapes of Wrath. Horses eventually faded as an interest, but I ended up with a lifelong love of books and reading.
After college and eight years of living in cold places like Chicago and New York, I escaped back to the land of sunshine. I now live in California, one mile from the Pacific Ocean, with my dachshund Taco. I have worked in banking and as a pro bono attorney, doing adoptions and guardianships for abandoned children.
As a writer, I’d always been interested in children’s books, since they had meant so much to me as a kid. I’ve found I especially like writing books about teens and twenty-somethings, an age where you make so many decisions about who you are and how you want to spend your life.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

"Lilac in Winter" by Susan Pogorzelski

Lilac in Winter
by Susan Pogorzelski

Lilac in Winter by Susan Pogorzelski

Lilac in Winter by Susan Pogorzelski is currently on tour with Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Lilac Sophia Carpenter is sixteen years old. She’s going to be sixteen years old for the rest of her life.
Confined to her bed as her health declines, Lilac lives her life in daydreams, imagining her love story to her former best friend, Nathan Emery. But Lilac and Nathan haven’t talked since that fateful night - the night of her sister’s wedding, when her health worsened and his life unraveled and the already-fractured pieces of their friendship became irreparable.
With the comfort of her daydreams becoming more and more elusive, Lilac must decide if reality can be greater than her own imagination when there’s little time left for living.

I’m supposed to be a bridesmaid—up there with Allison’s friends from college who are named Jasmine and Belle and Ariel like this is some farcical parade of Disney princesses—but there’s a seat with my name on it between my parents in the first row of pews. In a few minutes, my dad will join us and sit on the other side of me, but now I’m acting as a buffer between my mom and Rebecca. Every so often, Rebecca will glance up from her program and smile nervously at one of us, but when she catches my mother’s eye, she’ll find the names of the wedding party just as fascinating as I do.
“Where’s Mulan?” I whisper to my mom.
“Mulan. Or Pocahontas. They’re missing the show.”
“For the love of God, Lilac, I cannot handle your nonsense today.”
Lilac. I bet I would have made a great Disney princess if I were strong enough to stand up there with them.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“Superbly written storyline filled with immense imaginative and descriptive details. This book definitely tugs at the heart strings, and captures the essence of life. I found it full of profound meaning and can personally relate to it. I highly recommend Lilac in Winter as a great read for anyone and everyone.” ~ Amazon Review
“Susan creates characters that are so real and alive and she sucks you right into her world. I cried and laughed during this book. The characters are realistic, they have flaws, they’re not perfect and shiny. Lila has a terminal illness. Her parents are divorced and her dad is remarried. Her sister got married and moved away. And her best friend Nathan is still her best friend, just not in person right now. As her body gets worse, Lila lives and loves through her dreams. Susan captures the lives of people living with a terminal illness. The person sick, and those who are caring for them. She breaks your heart, and gives you hope at the same time. The characters absolutely come alive. She had a true gift.” ~ Amazon Review
“I won this book in a giveaway and had to read it immediately and read it in one sitting. This was a really good book in getting to know who Lilac is and her story and of course Nathan. It was touching and special.” ~ Goodreads Review
“Oh my goodness. This book was beautifully written and one you just couldn't put down. I cried through it (thanks so much for the headache!) but again could not walk away from it. I just won this today and finished it today. It tells of a 16 year old girl named Lilac with a terminal illness telling her story of her relationship with her friend Nathan since they were 6 yrs old. They share a bond that even was broken for some years is strong enough to come back strong. Ms Pogorzelski sure can write a book. What a talented lady. Read it and you'll know why I say that.” ~ Goodreads Review

Guest Post by the Author
Road to Publication
I independently published my first two books, Gold in the Days of Summer and The Last Letter, when I was ill with Lyme disease. Creating my own publishing company, Brown Beagle Books, was a godsend in that it was an outlet that kept me motivated about life and fueled me forward towards wellness. While I had queried Lilac in Winter and received requested fulls and requests for revisions, my intuition told me that I wanted to continue down the independent publishing path for this third project.
Like my other books, Lilac in Winter began with a character telling me her story, but Lilac’s voice was so incredibly strong and vivid, I wrote the first draft in three weeks - which is unheard of for me. I wrote feverishly, barely stopping until it felt finished because the words themselves just kept flowing. I spent two years with these characters, putting them aside at times as I wrestled with how I wanted to share this story with the world. Finally, in the fall of 2018, it felt like time. As soon as I made the decision to switch paths and publish through my business again, everything fell perfectly into place for its production. I worked with my design team to create a cover I adore, polished the writing to ensure I was doing my characters’ story justice, and - miracle of miracles - found out that Robert Frost’s poetry had just gone into the public domain, so I was free to use his poem in my book, which to me felt pivotal. His, “I have miles to go before I sleep” were some of the first words I heard Lilac say when she introduced herself to me. Some things feel like they’re meant to be - at least on a personal level - and that’s what Lilac was for me. The writing and production unfolded so naturally; the whole process was a joy from start to finish.
My first two books were the ones I really needed to write. Lilac in Winter became the book I wanted to read. Someday, I’d love to pursue traditional publishing again, but I love the business and creating behind independent publishing and am truly thrilled with how Lilac is being presented to the world. I hope that you all enjoy the experience of reading it as much as I did writing and publishing it!

About the Author
Susan Pogorzelski
Susan Pogorzelski is the award-winning author of Gold in the Days of Summer: A Novella. Her first full-length novel, The Last Letter, is a semi-autobiographical account of her experiences living with Chronic Lyme Disease and was an Honorable Mention in the 25th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards. When she's not writing her own stories of nostalgia and the magic of everyday life, she works as a consultant, editor, and creative coach at Brown Beagle Books and is the founder of LymeBrave Foundation, Inc. She lives in South-Central Pennsylvania with her family and two dogs.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy of Lilac in Winter by Susan Pogorzelski.


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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

"Come A Little Closer" by Chrissy Brown

Come A Little Closer
(Georgia Boys Book 2)
by Chrissy Brown

Come A Little Closer (Georgia Boys Book 2)  by Chrissy Brown

Come A Little Closer is the second book in the Georgia Boys series by Chrissy Brown. Also available: Can’t Let Go (read my blog post) and Forever and Three Days.

Can’t Let Go by Chrissy BrownForever and Three Days by Chrissy Brown

This book blast and giveaway is hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions. Please be sure to visit the other participating blogs as well.

Sophie was the love of my life. Okay, we were twelve the last time I saw her but still. I've tried everything to move on - whiskey, women, weed. Nothing seemed to fill the void.
Now, ten years later, she shows up out of the blue. The problem, I'm not the boy she used to know. I have a reputation that could ruin everything. Still, I have to try. Even if nothing happens between us, having Sophie in my life as a friend is better than not having her at all.
Come A Little Closer is the second installment in the Georgia Boys series. It can be read as a standalone novel.

I blush and shake my head. “We should get started on the bedroom.”
Kevin follows behind me, fiddling with his phone. I refill the paint tray and set it on the bedroom floor. Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” starts playing. Kevin comes up behind me, puts his hands on my hips and begins to move them to the music. He presses against my back. My hands fall to my sides, and I tilt my head against his chest.
“This is not helping my walls get painted,” I whine.
“Come on, dance with me.” he pleads.
I turn around and stare into his eyes. It would be so easy to get lost in them but I can’t. I won’t. My hips stop moving, but Kevin’s still dancing. I raise the paintbrush that’s in my hand and slap him in the face with it. Slap sounds violent. It was more like I grazed him with cream colored paint while my hand slowly moved in front of his face. Kevin stops dancing. His jaw hangs open.
“Game on babe.”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“Plot flows effortlessly, it's quite quick paced so the pages just turn and turn. All in all I really enjoyed reading the story of Sophie and Kevin.” ~ Maria Loch-Bednarczyk
“This was a turbulent relationship but with a HEA. I would read more of Chrissy Brown’s work.” ~ N. Alexander
“There are two main characters, Sophie and Kevin, who alternated chapters so the reader gets to know both of them well. They are likable characters and it becomes apparent early on they will end up together. Through some twists and turns, as well as some typical male/female behavior, their relationship perseveres resulting in a happy ending. Excellent use of dialogue.” ~ P.R.
“A VERY sweet story that I thoroughly enjoyed, took me back to being a naive, but oh so passionately in love teenager.” ~ Kindle Customer
“This is the 1st book I've read written Chrissy Brown; she has done a great job at writing a good book; I will definitely be reading more of her books. The story line caught my attention at the very beginning and kept me interested throughout the entire book. I loved the chemistry between the characters.” ~ Jeanne Richardson

About the Author
Chrissy Brown
Chrissy Brown lives in Fort Myers, Florida, with her hubby, two beautiful girls, one dog who loves to cuddle and another dog who pees on everything. She enjoys going to hockey games, reading romance novels, and having “Netflix and Chill” nights.
She’s addicted to everything related to the amazing emotion of love and has been referred to as a “hopeless romantic”, which she took as a compliment. It may not have been and she’s okay with that.
Her Georgia Boys series is New Adult romance that has three novels published in 2019. She has a young adult romance standalone in the works as well as an erotic New Adult standalone started. She’s a busy writer, but she loves it.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon/B&N gift card.

Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)

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