Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The Single Girl's To-Do List by Lindsey Kelk

"Waiting On Wednesday"(WOW) is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases eagerly anticipated. This is my third week joining the 100 plus book bloggers who participate in the weekly meme and I am very excited to be a part of it. I hope to hear from you and your own WOW so that I can add some more books to my TBR shelf.

“I heart” Lindsey Kelk!! I absolutely adore her writing, her character Angela from the I Heart series and her Twitter posts, which range from bubbly and sweet to entirely funny and random. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out that she has another book out in 2011, taking a little break from her I Heart series. The Single Girl’s To-Do List sounds like a hilarious new chick lit novel that centers on one young woman’s most recent break-up and the tasks her friends set her up with to help her get over it.

I love lists. In the book aptly titled, To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us, author Sasha Cagen uncovers the hidden meaning behind those thousands upon thousands of little sticky notes and agendas we leave for ourselves all over the place. Check out their My Space page for a fun look at what your own lists might reveal about you!

The Single Girl’s To-Do List
by Lindsey Kelk
 (Author of the “I Heart…” series)

A hilarious and romantic standalone novel from the bestselling author of the I Heart series Rachel Summers lives every area of her life according to a to-do list and so far, she is ticking most things off. She has a job she loves (make-up artist to the stars), the perfect boyfriend, a cozy London flat and a fantastic circle of friends. All that remains on her life to-do list is to get married, have a baby and live happily ever after. Simple. Well, not quite! Suddenly, Rachel's perfect boyfriend wants to take a break. She's convinced it's just cold feet but when the break turns into a split, her best friends Emelie and Matthew step in and come up with the ultimate heartbreak cure -- the single girl's to-do list, the top ten things Rachel must see and do to kick-start her fabulous, new single life. But nothing can prepare her for the adventures that unfold as the to-do list takes them all over town and even abroad, and proves to all three that love is out there if you're willing to take a chance!

For more information on Lindsey Kelk, her latest books and happenings, visit her web site at:

The Single Girl’s To-Do List will be released on June 9, 2011.

 I Cannot Wait!  What are you Waiting on this Wednesday???

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

50th Follower Book Giveaway Winner: Announced

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in my 50th follower book giveaway. The winner was chosen from the entries on the original post’s comments (see link below) via

I’m so pleased to announce:

She will have her pick from one of 5 Classic Chick Lit books, which are all among my personal favorites.

4 Blondes by Candace Bushnell
Angels by Marian Keyes
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

 I hope you like your new book!! And thank you again to everyone who continues to follow my blog.

 I hope to have many more fun and exciting book giveaways in the future…hey, it’s not that far off from 100…..maybe a giveaway for a 2011 novel for a centennial follower contest…what do you think?!?!!?

For synopses of the books offered in this giveaway for the winner or anyone to read or just view their covers, please visit the original post:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

In My Mailbox – Weekend Edition #3 – March Madness

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It originated in November 2008 as a way to share with other readers and bloggers what books were received, bought, won, etc each week and has evolved ever since. It still informs readers each Sunday of the books Kristi obtained over the course of the week only now the books are creatively shared via her web vlog.
To learn more details about IMM, its history and how to participate, please visit Kristi at The Story Siren:

For my weekly version of In My Mailbox, I’ve decided to do a recap of all the books that have come into my home and my hands – some via snail Mail, the Internet, Book Store, Library, Raffles, Giveaways, Authors and Publishing Houses. I read paperback books; borrow hardcover novels; scroll through e-books with my ereader, The Novel, and I listen to audio books. As you can imagine, I might not get to all the books that come into my possession each week, so be on the lookout for their reviews on my blog and if there is one (or two) in particular that you want to learn more about, read a review or find where you can obtain your own copy, please contact me at cgraceh at gmail dot com and I will do my best to respond to your request in a timely fashion.

I missed the last few week’s of recap of books brought, bought and borrowed but boy do I have some good books for you this week to make up for it. The sales went up again at Borders as they are about to close their doors but I stood strong and stayed home; but that didn’t stop me from checking out one of my favorite discount stores in Boston, Building 19 (b); I “rented” a few books from the library (L) to assist me in my writing endeavors and I finally got off the waitlist for a few good audio books on my local library’s Overdrive Media Web site (A).

So here we go…Lip Gloss and Literature Presents….the books that made it into my mailbox this week:

My first venture into the dystopian world….

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (A)

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

Great title and a cover too hard to resist….

Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie (A)

Lucy Savage is not having a good week. Her cheating husband, Bradley, lobbed the final insult when he stood her up in divorce court. A dye job gone wrong has left her hair green. And someone is trying to kill her. To top it off, sexy cop Zack Warren is certain the very same man Lucy is trying to wash right out of her hair is the same Bradley he wants to arrest for embezzlement. When someone shoots at her and then her car blows up, Zack decides she needs twenty-four-hour police protection. Next thing Lucy knows, Zack has moved in to her big Victorian house, making them both sleepless . . . and not just from things that go bump in the night!

Dreaming of summer and reminding me of Judy Blume’s Summer Sisters…hoping it’s just as good!...
Beachcombers by Nancy Thayer (A)
Beautifully written, powerfully felt, full of both abundant joy and heart-wrenching sorrow, Beachcombers is an extraordinary novel that centers on the bittersweet reunion of three captivating, very different sisters on Nantucket over one gorgeous, exhilarating summer. Abbie Fox hasn’t seen her father or two younger sisters in almost two years, during which she’s jetted around the world and experienced life, if not love. But now Lily, the baby of the family, is sending Abbie urgent emails begging her to return home to Nantucket. Their middle sister, Emma, has taken to her bed, emotionally devastated after the loss of her high-powered stockbroker’s job and a shockingly unexpected break-up with her fiancé. Also, Lily is deeply worried that Marina, the beautiful, enigmatic woman renting their guesthouse, has set her sights on the sisters’ widowed father, Jim. The Fox girls closed ranks years ago after the haunting, untimely death of their mother, but seeing their dad move on with his life forces each of them to take stock. Over the course of the summer, the sisters’ lives grow as turbulent as the unpredictable currents encircling Nantucket. When Abbie encounters an incredibly appealing married man, she breaks her own rules in the name of love, fearing all the while that she’ll regret it. Meanwhile, type-A Emma learns a new definition of success, and strong-minded Lily must reconcile her dreams with reality. Even Marina, who has come to Nantucket to forget heartbreak and betrayal, faces an astonishing turn of events that will find her torn between fate and freedom. At summer’s end, these unforgettable women will face profound choices—and undergo personal transformations that will surprise even themselves.

An eagerly anticipated 2011 release…in stereo…

I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson (A)
From the author of the best seller I Don’t Know How She Does It, a follow-up that promises to be one of the most widely read and talked-about novels of the season. 1974, Wales. Thirteen-year-old Petra and her best friend, Sharon, are in love with David Cassidy and obsessed with The Ultimate David Cassidy Quiz, a contest whose winners will be flown to America to meet their teen idol. 1998, London. Petra is pushing forty and on the brink of divorce. While cleaning out her mother’s closet, she finds a dusty letter—a letter her mother had intercepted—declaring her the winner of the contest she and Sharon had labored over with such agony and bliss. Twenty-four years later, twenty pounds heavier, the girls reunite for an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas to meet their teen idol at last, middle age—theirs and his—be damned. Poignant, hilarious, joyful, profoundly moving and uplifting, I Think I Love You captures what girls learn about love through the universal experience of worshipping a teen dream. It will resonate with readers everywhere.

After making her mark in chick lit, this author turned to YA/Teen fiction....

The Booster by Jennifer Solow (b)

Jillian Siegel is living the quintessential Manhattan life: great clothes, fabulous boyfriend, a job at the hottest ad agency in town. But what nobody knows is that this twenty-nine year-old hides a dark secret - one that involves stuffing her oversize Gucci handbag with high-priced designer clothes and leaving the store without paying. There was once a time when Jillian didn't need to shop (much less steal) to feel whole. But that was long ago - when she spent hours amusing herself in the enchanted world of her uncle's elegant Upper East Side department store, and her mother's prolonged absences were easily forgotten with a new camel-hair coat or a fresh pair of Mary Janes. But then one day it was all gone - pulled right out from under her. Now, years later, her "perfect" life is loosely held together with half milligrams of Ativan and stolen cashmere scarves - and it's only a matter of time until everything crumbles. Packed with vibrant characters, bristling dialogue, and rich detail, The Booster is a uniquely stylish, deftly woven story about discovering one's true self in the most unexpected places.

I just love when I can find an old Red Dress Ink novel…I still miss that imprint…

My Fake Wedding by Mina Ford (b)

Katie's given up on love . . .so she'll be the perfect bride. When Katie Simpson discovers her boyfriend boffing "Fishpants Fraser," she vows to eat toenail clippings before getting involved again. Life as "the ginger spinster of Pelham Parish" will be lonely, but bearable as long as she shags lots of strangers and hangs tight with her friends. Unfortunately, Katie has the unerring ability to hit on the only gay man at the party (not again!). And her pals are somewhat preoccupied. Mover-and-shaker Janice has started scoping funerals for doddering sugar daddies. George, Katie's gorgeous, flamingly gay best friend (yes, she's tried it), is madly in love with an Aussie heartbreaker (struck out there, too) who needs some speedy nuptials to stay in the country. What better opportunity to plan a fake wedding more elaborate than a ten-tier cake? However, love hasn't given up on Katie. Just when the girl who eats like a cow, wears clompy shoes and is unacquainted with her own hairbrush starts trying on white dresses, romance comes from the unlikeliest -- and straight and male -- source. Will Katie let the man she loves ruin her wedding day?

As an aspiring chick lit writer, I thought what better book to read (and own) than a collection of essays on the major influences in some of my favorite authors’ lives….

Everything I Learned About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume Edited by Jennifer O’Connell

For millions of American girls growing up, Judy Blume's awkward, self-conscious characters became surrogates, allies, and comforters in their silent struggles. The 24 essays of Everything I Needed to Know about Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume honor an unconventional mentor who has entertained readers even as she teaches them. The topics touched here are as wide and deep as Blume's fiction: divorce, bullying, peer pressure, menstruation, weight issues, sibling rivalry, and racism. The contributors include Meg Cabot, Beth Kendrick, Julie Kenner, and Cara Lockwood.

All week in my writing practices I’ve been curious, is it better to start a book with plot or character….What do you think?...

Creating Characters: How to Build Story People by Dwayne V. Swain (L)
Along with a clever plot, well-drawn characters make us want to continue reading a novel or finish watching a movie. In Creating Characters, Dwight V. Swain shows how writers can invent interesting characters and improve them so that they move a story along. "The core of character," he says in chapter 1, "lies in each individual story person's ability to care about something; to feel implicitly or explicitly, that something is important." Building on that foundation-the capacity to care-Swain takes the would-be writer step-by-step through the fundamentals of "finding characters who turn you on"; labeling them so readers will recognize them within the story; fleshing them out with realistic "tags, traits, and relationships"; giving them motivations and goals; and bringing them to life with emotions. Additional chapters on giving a character a background, developing offbeat characters and heroes, writing dialogue, and much else make this basic but thought-provoking how-to a valuable tool for both the novice and the seasoned writer.

Building Fiction: How to develop Plot and Structure by Jesse Lee Kercheval (L)

No one looks at structure like Jesse Lee Kercheval. She builds a work of fiction just as an architect would design a house—with an eye for details and how all parts of a story or novel interconnect. Even with the most dynamic language, images, and characters, no piece of fiction will work without a strong infrastructure. Kercheval shows how to build that structure using such tools as point of view, characterization, pacing, and flashbacks. Building Fiction will help you envision the landscape of your fiction and build great stories there.

And that wraps up my week of book shopping, borrowing, downloading and bargaining…what’s in your mailbox???

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Fever Steals: Chick Lit Book Giveaways Across the Web

Last weekend marked the first day of Spring, however, I don't know about where you are, but it's still pretty cold where I am so I thought I could provide some of my own kind of "sunny" cheer by spreading the word on some great book giveaways across the Net. Previous response on the Fab Friday Freebies post was so well received, I thought I’d continue in the spirit of sharing a good book with everyone.

 See below for some of the giveaways I scoped out this week! and Pass it On to a friend!

Enjoy and Good Luck!

So Much Closer by Susan Colasanti
When Brooke's crush, Scott, moves from their suburban town to New York City, she decides to follow him there. Living with her formerly estranged dad and adapting to a new school are challenging, and things go from bad to worse when Brooke learns that Scott already has a girlfriend. But as she builds her new life, Brooke begins to discover a side of herself she never knew existed. And as she finds out, in the city that never sleeps, love can appear around any corner...
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Provided by Goodreads; 1 Copy; Ends March 25, 2011 – TONIGHT!

Lip Gloss & Literature’s Classic Chick Lit International Giveaway -
Angels by Marian Keyes
Maggie has always been the white sheep of the Walsh family. Unlike her comically dysfunctional sisters, Rachel (heroine of Rachel's Holiday) and Claire (heroine of Watermelon), she married a decent man who adored her and found herself a solid career. Where Rachel was reckless and Claire dramatic, Maggie settled early for safety. Or so she believed until she discovers that her husband is having an affair and her boss is going to fire her. Suddenly, her perfectly organized life has become a perfect mess.
Devastated, she decides the only thing to do is to run for the shelter of her best friend, Emily, who lives in Los Angeles. There, with the help of sunshine and long days at the beach, she will lick her wounds and decide where life will take her next.But from the moment she lands in the City of Angels, things are not quite what she expected. Overnight, she's mixing with movie stars, even pitching film scripts to studios. Most unexpectedly of all, she finds that just because her marriage is over, it doesn't mean her life is. In the end neither the City of Angels nor Maggie Walsh will ever be the same again.
Released May 31, 2004
Provided by Lip Gloss & Literature; Choose 1 of 5 Books; Ends March 27, 2011

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
In Summer Sisters, her third novel for adults, the author again explores the ramifications of love--and lust--on two friends. Initially, the differences between Caitlin Somers and Victoria Leonard (or "Vix," as Caitlin christens her) draw them together: privileged Caitlin is wild and outspoken, beautiful but emotionally fragile, while working-class Vix is shy, reserved, and plain in comparison. After Caitlin selects Vix to accompany her to her father's home in Martha's Vineyard for the summer, the two become inextricably connected as "summer sisters."
On the Vineyard, Vix and Caitlin first find love, then sex--and lots of it. Yet Blume soon moves beyond hot fun in the summer sun, tracing the romantic and familial travails of the two from pre-adolescence to adulthood. Solid Vix evolves into Victoria, an equally solid, Harvard-educated, Manhattan public-relations exec. Unpredictable Caitlin opts out of college and travels to Europe, where she has a string of short-lived affairs with a series of intriguing (in every sense of the word) foreigners. It is only after she returns to the Vineyard that Caitlin does the unthinkable, forever changing both her friendship with Vix and their lives. Blume once again proves herself a master of the female psyche, and Summer Sisters is likely to entertain both her postadolescent and more mature readers.
Released July 25, 2006
Provided by Lip Gloss & Literature; Choose 1 of 5 Books; Ends March 27, 2011

4 Blondes by Candace Bushnell
Candace Bushnell made her reputation as the creator of the HBO special Sex and the City, based on her book of the same name (based in turn on her eros-intensive New York Observer column). In Four Blondes, she returns with a quartet of novellas on her favorite subject--the mating habits of wealthy sex-, status-, and media-obsessed New Yorkers. These are people for whom a million or two does not make one rich, and who consider Louis Vuitton and Prada bare necessities. Janey Wilcox, for example, is a former model who each summer chooses a house in the Hamptons--or, rather, picks up a wealthy man with a pricey rental. With one movie in her past, her "lukewarm celebrity was established and she figured out pretty quickly that it could get her things and keep on getting them, as long as she maintained her standards." Yet even Janey eventually realizes that what she's getting isn't exactly what she wants. Cecelia, on the other hand, has gotten the ultimate prize: a royal husband. Still, she finds herself descending into paranoia as the Manhattan media circus reports her every flaw. Then there's Winnie Diekes, a high-powered magazine columnist whose marriage flounders as she pushes her unambitious husband to write the book that will make him--and her--famous.
Finally, in the most clearly autobiographical story, a writer gives up on the commitment-impaired men of New York and goes to London to find a husband. There she trolls for the typical Englishman--"a guy who had sex with his socks on, possessed a microscopic willy, and came in two minutes." Bushnell is famous for this sort of sexual brashness, and the book is full of her sharp wit, both in and out of the boudoir. She also clearly enjoys her characters and their misadventures, with one exception: the politically correct Winnie, with her distaste for alcohol, night life, and casual sex, inspires an odd sort of authorial contempt. Otherwise, though, Bushnell's ironic takes on the sexual foibles of the rich and famous are mordant, mischievous fun.
Released September 30, 2000
Provided by Lip Gloss & Literature; Choose 1 of 5 Books; Ends March 27, 2011

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
A delightfully dishy novel about the all-time most impossible boss in the history of impossible bosses.
Andrea Sachs, a small-town girl fresh out of college, lands the job “a million girls would die for.” Hired as the assistant to Miranda Priestly, the high-profile, fabulously successful editor of Runway magazine, Andrea finds herself in an office that shouts Prada! Armani! Versace! at every turn, a world populated by impossibly thin, heart-wrenchingly stylish women and beautiful men clad in fine-ribbed turtlenecks and tight leather pants that show off their lifelong dedication to the gym. With breathtaking ease, Miranda can turn each and every one of these hip sophisticates into a scared, whimpering child.
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA gives a rich and hilarious new meaning to complaints about “The Boss from Hell.” Narrated in Andrea’s smart, refreshingly disarming voice, it traces a deep, dark, devilish view of life at the top only hinted at in gossip columns and over Cosmopolitans at the trendiest cocktail parties. From sending the latest, not-yet-in-stores Harry Potter to Miranda’s children in Paris by private jet, to locating an unnamed antique store where Miranda had at some point admired a vintage dresser, to serving lattes to Miranda at precisely the piping hot temperature she prefers, Andrea is sorely tested each and every day—and often late into the night with orders barked over the phone. She puts up with it all by keeping her eyes on the prize: a recommendation from Miranda that will get Andrea a top job at any magazine of her choosing. As things escalate from the merely unacceptable to the downright outrageous, however, Andrea begins to realize that the job a million girls would die for may just kill her. And even if she survives, she has to decide whether or not the job is worth the price of her soul.
Released May 30, 2006
Provided by Lip Gloss & Literature; Choose 1 of 5 Books; Ends March 27, 2011

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Rebecca Bloomwood just hit rock bottom. But she's never looked better....
Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London's trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season's must-haves. The only trouble is that she can't actually afford it—not any of it.
Her job writing at Successful Savings not only bores her to tears, it doesn't pay much at all. And lately Becky's been chased by dismal letters from Visa and the Endwich Bank—letters with large red sums she can't bear to read—and they're getting ever harder to ignore.
She tries cutting back; she even tries making more money. But none of her efforts succeeds. Becky's only consolation is to buy herself something ... just a little something....
Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life—and the lives of those around her—forever.
Sophie Kinsella has brilliantly tapped into our collective consumer conscience to deliver a novel of our times—and a heroine who grows stronger every time she weakens. Becky Bloomwood's hilarious schemes to pay back her debts are as endearing as they are desperate. Her "confessions" are the perfect pick-me-up when life is hanging in the (bank) balance.
Released January 27, 2008
Provided by Lip Gloss & Literature; Choose 1 of 5 Books; Ends March 27, 2011

Princess for Hire (Princess For Hire #1) by Lindsey Leavitt
When an immaculately dressed woman steps out of an iridescent bubble and asks you if you'd like to become a substitute princess, do you a) run b) faint c) say Yes! For Desi Bascomb, who's been longing for a bit of glamour in her Idaho life, the choice is a definite C--that is, once she can stop pinching herself. As her new agent Meredith explains, Desi has a rare magical ability: when she applies the ancient Egyptian formula "Royal Rouge," she can transform temporarily into the exact lookalike of any princess who needs her subbing services. Dream come true, right? Well, Desi soon discovers that subbing involves a lot more than wearing a tiara and waving at cameras. Like, what do you do when a bullying older sister puts you on a heinous crash diet? Or when the tribal villagers gather to watch you perform a ceremonial dance you don't know? Or when a princess's conflicted sweetheart shows up to break things off--and you know she would want you to change his mind? In this hilarious, winning debut, one girl's dream of glamour transforms into something bigger: the desire to make a positive impact. And an impact Desi makes, one royal fiasco at a time.
Released March 16, 2010
Provided by Goodreads; 1 SIGNED Copy; Ends March 29, 2011

The Frog Prince by Jane Porter
Once upon a time, a lovely maiden from Fresno married the man of her dreams. After the honeymoon, she waited for the “happily ever after” part…until her Prince Charming turned out to be a toad.
Now Holly Bishop is about to write a new chapter in her life. She moves to San Francisco to become an event planner—only to find she is dealing with a gorgeous fairy godmother for a boss and corporate witches wicked enough to sabotage her future. Not to mention the egomaniacal frogs Holly finds lurking at the bottom of the dating pool. With no one to save her, will Holly slay the dragons herself and stand on her own for the very first time? Will the man behind the mask at her costume ball make her believe in love again? And will she risk giving up her dreams to become the heroine of her own story?
Released May 18, 2005
Provided by The Author; 1 Copy; Ends March 30, 2011

The American Heiress: A Novel by Daisy Goodwin
Beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, the wealthiest debutante in America, is spirited away from the glamour and comfort of her Park Avenue mansion and suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, mistress of Lulworth Castle, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. As Cora is soon to discover, nothing in this strange new world is quite as it seems. Her handsome new husband is withdrawn and secretive; the English social scene is stuffed with pitfalls and traps; and there are increasingly dangerous forces at work, people who wish she'd never met Ivo in the first place. THE AMERICAN HEIRESS is a dazzling debut novel from Daisy Goodwin, whose brilliant new voice is reminiscent of Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Kate Morton
Release Date: June 21, 2011
100 Copies; Ends March 30, 2011

Helen of Pasadena by Lian Dolan
Helen Fairchild is leading a privileged Pasadena existence: married to a pillar of the community; raising a water polo-playing son destined for the most select high school; volunteering on the most fashionable committees. It only bothers her a tiny bit that she has never quite fit in with the proper crowd, never finished that graduate degree in Classics, and never had that second baby. But the rigid rules of society in Pasadena appeal to Helen, the daughter of Oregon fiber artists, even if she’ll never be on the inside.
And then along comes a Rose Parade float, killing her philandering husband and leaving Helen broke, out of her “forever” house and in desperate need of a fresh start.
Enter Patrick O’Neill, excavator of Troy and wearer of nubby sweaters. A job as his research assistant is the lifeline Helen needs. Ancient mysteries to solve! Charity events to plan! School admissions officers to charm! If only Helen wasn’t so distracted by her incredibly attractive boss, she might be able to pull off this new life.
Helen’s world widens to include a Hollywood star, a gossip columnist, an old college nemesis, a high-powered Neutron Mom, an unforgiving school headmistress and, of course, the intriguing Patrick O’Neill. While uncovering secrets about ancient Troy alongside her archaeologist boss, Helen discovers something much more: a new sense of self and a new love.
Released November 1, 2010
Provided by Goodreads; 10 Copies; Ends March 31, 2011

One Set of Books (2) by Kathy Cano-Murillo
Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing
Scarlet doesn't do things like other people. Unfortunately, this leads to some misunderstandings, like when her manager at the fabric store mistakes her measuring methods for assault. But while she may not be as wealthy as her siblings, or as respected as her grandmothers-strict seamstresses whose criticism left Scarlet permanently pattern-phobic-she will be soon. She's been offered a position with Johnny "Scissors" Tijeras, the hottest young designer in New York. To raise money for her move, Scarlet opens an after-hours sewing school in a local record shop, attracting a surprising mix of students. Future freeform garment makers include a high-strung office manager whose marriage counselor thinks she needs to learn to break some rules, and an elderly seamstress with a secret past. But as friendships grow, the lines between teacher and student blur, proving there is no single pattern for happiness-it is always a custom fit.
Released March 8, 2011
Waking Up in the Land of Glitter
Struggling domestic-goddess-in-training Ofy is determined to turn heads at this year's International CraftOlympics. To do that, she'll need the help of her best friend, Star. Considering herself a serious artist, Star is hesitant, but finally agrees to help as a way to end her own creative slump. Truthfully she thinks Ofy is a little loca about the whole craft thing - and about her idol: Local TV personality, Crafty Chloe. Star doesn't trust the bottle-blonde, even after she becomes part of their crafting team. As the competition heats up, Star will learn Chloe's dirty little secret, why crafting means so much to Ofy, and that beauty, art, and creativity can take many more forms than a canvas hanging in a gallery.
Released March 1, 2010
Provided by Bookin With Bingo; 1 Copy (2 Books); Ends March 31, 2011 @ 6:00pm

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
Filled with stunning parallels to today's world, The Postmistress is a sweeping novel about the loss of innocence of two extraordinary women-and of two countries torn apart by war.
On the eve of the United States's entrance into World War II in 1940, Iris James, the postmistress of Franklin, a small town on Cape Cod, does the unthinkable: She doesn't deliver a letter. In London, American radio gal Frankie Bard is working with Edward R. Murrow, reporting on the Blitz. One night in a bomb shelter, she meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver when she returns from Germany and France, where she is to record the stories of war refugees desperately trying to escape.
The residents of Franklin think the war can't touch them- but as Frankie's radio broadcasts air, some know that the war is indeed coming. And when Frankie arrives at their doorstep, the two stories collide in a way no one could have foreseen. The Postmistress is an unforgettable tale of the secrets we must bear, or bury. It is about what happens to love during wartime, when those we cherish leave. And how every story-of love or war-is about looking left when we should have been looking right.
Released February 9, 2010
Provided by the TLC Blog Tour at Life in Review; 1 Copy; Ends March 31, 2011

Faking It by Elisa Lorello
After breaking off her engagement, thirty-something Andi Cutrone yields New England to her ex and flees home to Long Island. There, she devotes her time to teaching in the writing program at Brooklyn University and making a fresh start. Then she meets Devin, a male escort whose client list seems to include at least half of the accomplished women she knows. He is handsome, charismatic, and absolutely out of her league, but she can’t deny he has a certain…something. And so Andi makes him a proposition: if he will teach her to be a better lover, she will teach him to be a writer. He agrees, and together they embark upon an intense partnership that proves to be every bit as instructive as it is arousing. For in the midst of lessons in rhetorical theory and foreplay, Andi and Devin delve into deeper questions about truth, beauty, and self, stripping away the emotional walls each has built up. Smart, witty, and introspective, Faking It is an engrossing novel about two people discovering their authentic selves.
Released March 15, 2011
Provided by Book Obsessed; 1 Copy + Flowers; Ends March 31, 2011

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
Meet Rachel White, a young attorney living and working in Manhattan.  Rachel has always been the consummate good girl--until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend Darcy throws her a party.  That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy's fiancé.  Although she wakes up determined to put the one-night fling behind her, Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for the one guy she should run from.  In her wildest dreams (or worst nightmare?) this is the last thing on earth Rachel could ever have imagined happening.  As the September wedding date nears, Rachel knows she had to make a choice.  In doing so, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren't always neat, and sometimes you have to risk all to win true happiness.
Released June 1, 2004
Provided by Reflections of a Bookaholic; 1 Copy; Ends April 9, 2011

Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell (The Carrie Diaries #2)
Meet teenage Carrie Bradshaw as she hits the bright lights, big city of New York for the very first time! Find out how Carrie transforms from country girl to super-cool fashionista in the second explosive CARRIE DIARIES novel from the globally bestselling author of SEX AND THE CITY. Summer is a magical time in New York City and Carrie is in love with all of it -- the crazy characters in her neighborhood, the vintage-clothing boutiques, the wild parties and the glamorous man who has swept her off her feet. Best of all, she's finally in a real writing class, taking her first steps toward fulfilling her dream. This sequel to THE CARRIE DIARIES brings surprising revelations as Carrie learns to navigate her way around the Big Apple, going from being a country "sparrow" -- as Samantha Jones dubs her -- to the person she always wanted to be. But as it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile her past with her future, Carrie realizes that making it in New York is much more complicated than she ever imagined. With her signature wit and sparkling humor, Candace Bushnell reveals the irresistible story of how Carrie met Samantha and Miranda, and what turned a small-town girl into one of the New York City's most unforgettable.
Release Date: August 8, 2011
Provided by Goodreads; 10 Copies; Ends: April 16, 2011

I Love the 80s by Megan Crane
Jenna Jenkins was getting married to her long-term boyfriend, Adam, and she was sure her life was all coming together. Until Adam left her for a twenty-three-year-old yoga instructor. To ease the pain, Jenna threw herself into her teenage memories of the late, great Tommy Seer, killed when his car crashed off a bridge in 1987, when she was just twelve, and focusing on the man who has been - and always will be - the true love of her life, however worrying that may seem to her best friend, Aimee. One day, working late, or thinking about Tommy at her office after dark, a freak accident sends Jenna back to 1987. It's a few short months before Tommy will die and Jenna's job is apparently working as his assistant. But Tommy is not the guy she imagined. He's mean and rude and obnoxious. But he is still deliciously good-looking. When Tommy takes her into his confidence, she starts to see the real him beneath the image and finds herself more in love than ever. He suspects someone is trying to kill him - and she knows it won't be long before they succeed. Why is she here? Is she meant to save his life? But how can she without revealing the bizarre, unbelievable truth?
Released March 17, 2011
Provided by Chick Lit is NOT Dead; 5 Copies; Ends April 24, 2011 @ 6:00pm

Born Under a Lucky Moon by Dana Precious
Born Under a Lucky Moon is the tale of two very important (but distant) years in the lives of Jeannie Thompson and her (embarrassing, crazy) colorful family members to whom "things" just seem to happen. From the Great Lakes of Michigan to Los Angeles and back again, it is a story of surprise marriages, a renegade granny, a sprinkler system cursed by the gods, and myriad other factors Jeannie blames for her full-tilt, out-of-control existence. But it's also about good surprises—like an unexpected proposal that might just open Jeannie's eyes to her real place among the people she loves most in the world . . . the same ones she ran far away from to begin with.
Released February 1, 2011
Provided by A Bookworm’s World; 2 Copies; Ends April 30, 2011 @ 6:00pm

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Special Guest: Author Interview & Book Review with Beth Orsoff - How I Learned to Love the Walrus

Q. After you finished the Bar exam, you mentioned you went out and purchased a book on how to write a novel; what (or who) influenced you to change careers altogether from being an entertainment lawyer to a writer? Do you ever miss being an entertainment lawyer?

Beth Orsoff: I don’t miss being an entertainment lawyer because I still am one!  Although now I only work part-time.  I think I wanted to be a writer long before I purchased that first “How to” book.  I just didn’t have the courage to try.  For me, that’s been one of the most valuable parts of becoming a lawyer.  My legal career has allowed me to earn a living while learning my craft as a writer, and it’s what gave me the confidence to try my hand at writing.  Maybe it’s because after you’ve survived the California Bar Exam, you feel like you can do anything! 

Q. Where do you draw inspiration from for your novels?

Beth Orsoff: It’s different for each book.  For the first book, “Romantically Challenged,” it was the experience I and many of my friends were having in the dating world.  Dating in your thirties is much different than dating in your twenties.  There’s much more of an element of “I’m looking for Mr. Right,” as opposed to “I’m looking for Mr. Right Now.”

For the second book, “Honeymoon for One,” it came from a dream I had about a woman whose fiancé dumps her the night before their wedding and she decides to go on the honeymoon alone. 

For the third book, “How I Learned to Love the Walrus,” it came from a newspaper article I’d read about a scientific vessel that discovered three abandoned walrus pups in the Arctic Ocean.  That story became a fictionalized scene in the book, and is the reason I wrote the book.  
Q. Who is your favorite character and why? From one of your own novels? What about in one of someone else’s novels?

Beth Orsoff: From my own novels, it’s “Ethan” from “How I Learned to Love the Walrus” because he says exactly what he thinks, is not at all political, and truly doesn’t care about other people’s judgments of him.
I think my all-time favorite fictional character has to be “Scarlett” from “Gone with the Wind.”  I admit I watched the movie before I read the book, which is rare for me.  I almost always read the book first.  And what’s even stranger is the first time I watched the movie (as a freshman in college) I absolutely hated it.  I thought the film was melodramatic, that “Scarlett” was a spoiled brat, and for the life of me I couldn’t understand why millions of people loved this story.  Then I watched the movie again five years later and adored it.  I’m not exactly sure what caused my change in attitude (although I suspect having to fend for myself in the working world was part of it), but from that point forward I viewed “Scarlett” as a heroine for the ages.  Was she the nicest person in the world?  No.  Was she conniving at times?  Yes.  But she took care of her friends and family, even her arch rival Melanie, and she always found a way not only to survive, but to prosper.  Back then women didn’t have a lot of options.  “Scarlett” was ahead of her time.  

Q. Chick lit is still considered, by many, to be a controversial term. Do you mind being called a chick lit author? What made you decide to write books in the contemporary women’s fiction/chick lit genre?

Beth Orsoff: I don’t mind being called a chick lit author because I don’t view the term as derogatory (even though others sometimes use it for that purpose).  Chick lit is merely a sub-genre of commercial fiction; and the purpose of commercial fiction is to entertain. 

These days most people have hectic lives—jobs, families, and a lot of stress and responsibilities.  I’m one of those people.  When I sit down with a book at the end of a long day I don’t want to be challenged, I want to be entertained.  I want to forget about my own life and get wrapped up in someone else’s.  And I want to know that no matter what obstacles the protagonist faces, she will triumph in the end.  I hope that’s the sort of experience I provide for my own readers.  If so, then I’ve done my job.  I find no shame in that.

It wasn’t a conscious decision to write women’s fiction/chick lit, it’s just where my voice and my stories naturally fit.  

 Q. What are some of your favorite books? Authors? Genres?

Beth Orsoff: About half of the books I read are women’s fiction/chick lit, and the other half are a smattering of all other genres including mysteries, thrillers, humor, and the occasional literary novel.  In my own genre, I’m a big fan of Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin.  Outside of women’s fiction, I love David Sedaris and Nicky Hornby.  

Q. What are your interests/hobbies outside of writing?

Beth Orsoff: I’m a huge movie fan and a TV-aholic.  But I don’t watch reality television.  There’s too much really good scripted television (e.g., “30 Rock,” “House,” and “Breaking Bad” just to name a few) and too few hours in the day. 

Q. What advice do you have for wannabe writers out there?
Beth Orsoff: Take the time to learn your craft.  Just because with current technology you can publish your first draft, doesn’t mean you should publish your first draft. 

Q. What is something that most people wouldn't necessarily know about you?

Beth Orsoff: I love Elmo.  (Yeah, the red guy from Sesame Street.)
And now my review of…

How I Learned to Love the Walrus (An Arctic Romantic Comedy) by Beth Orsoff

Meet Sydney Green, whose days as a publicist to the stars in LA may be numbered if she can’t turn things around for at least one of her clients.  Never one to give in to the pressure, Sydney makes an elaborate proposal to save both her dying career and a dying population of walruses all in one feel swoop – that is so long as her boss and hunky movie star (and secret boyfriend), Blake McKinley, all cooperate. As the saying goes, Sydney learns the saying “nothing worth having comes easy” all too well as she is met with much resistance on her month long trip to Alaska. Never mind the cold, wet weather or the midnight sun, but no one told her that she’d be sleeping in a tent, taking sea showers, sharing in the cooking and cleaning and sacrificing all access to electricity – in other words, no blow drying her hair, no charging her satellite cell phone or laptop, and no laundry! If that wasn’t bad enough, her writer for the “Save the Walrus” film’s script has just quit, the expedition’s leader, Jill, expects her to volunteer during her “free time”, Jill’s six year-old son keeps bugging Sydney to role-play the Star Wars battle between Luke and Darth Vader with him and the group’s lead scientist keeps arguing with Sydney at every chance; but it will all be worth it when Blake finally shows up, right?

A fun story with vivacious characters, engaging plot lines and unique settings, Beth Orsoff’s How I Learned to Love the Walrus tackles themes of self-exploration, honesty, preservation and humanity. That may seem like a serious laundry list of topics but Beth Orsoff’s talented writing enables readers to think about the reality of life and our environment while filling page after page with much romantic humor. In such a way, readers are both entertained and enlightened and extremely satisfied. I mean, who ever thought that reading about a dying breed of mammals in the Arctic would be an exciting topic of interest for a chick lit novel? Clearly, Beth Orsoff is ahead of the rest of us as she successfully created a story about a twenty-something woman who finds true meaning in her life while counting walruses on an expedition at sea. How I Learned to Love the Walrus is the third book written by entertainment lawyer, Beth Orsoff.