COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS by RaeAnne Thayne – Spotlight & Giveaway

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Christmas is nearly three months away and already the delicious Holiday novels are being published for seasonal lovers. The first one we have to share with you is RaeAnne Thayne’s, COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS (Harlequin). Hearts are lighter and wishes are burning a little brighter this Christmas… 

Elizabeth Hamilton has been lost. Trapped in a tangle of postpartum depression and grief after the death of her beloved parents, she couldn’t quite see the way back to her husband and their two beautiful kids…until a car accident stole away her memories and changed her life. And when she finally remembered the sound of little Cassie’s laugh, the baby powder smell of Bridger and the feel of her husband’s hand in hers, Elizabeth worried that they’d moved on without her. That she’d missed too much. That perhaps she wasn’t the right mother for her kids or wife for Luke, no matter how much she loved them.

But now, seven years later, Luke finds her in a nearby town and brings Elizabeth back home to the family she loves, just in time for Christmas. And being reunited with Luke and her children is better than anything Elizabeth could have imagined. As they all trim the tree and bake cookies, making new holiday memories, Elizabeth and Luke are drawn ever closer. Can the hurt of the past seven years be healed over the course of one Christmas season and bring the Hamiltons the gift of a new beginning?

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#1 Publishers WeeklyNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne has written more than 60 books for HQN, Special Edition, Intimate Moments/Romantic Suspense and Bantam Loveswept. A seven-time RITA nominee, RaeAnne has received a career achievement award from Romantic Times for series romantic adventure, as well as a Pioneer of Romance award. She finds inspiration from the beautiful mountains of northern Utah, where she lives with her family.

Her books have been described as “poignant and sweet,” with “beautiful, honest storytelling (that) goes straight to the heart.”

Thanks to Little Bird Publicity we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us what your wishes for the upcoming Holidays are. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

HOW SWEET THE BITTER SOUP by Lori Qian – SPOTLIGHT & Giveaway

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Lori Qian’s memoir, HOW SWEET THE BITTER SOUP goes inside one family to find out how they are successfully and not so dealing with a family member who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It is a horrific condition which is insidiously affecting more and more families. Lori Qian shares the determination and courage she had to rise above the many limitations before her in a different country and culture.

Her mom was working as a maid. Her dad’s Alzheimer’s was in high gear. And the rent on her parents’ small Chicago apartment had just gone up. Again. But Lori was holding it all together: helping care for her dad and pay her family’s bills, figuring out how to navigate graduate school and four jobs on top of her family responsibilities, and, somehow, continuing to believe that there was more to life than this.

And there was.  An exciting job teaching at a prestigious school in China.  Although the previous month, she had turned down a job offer in Iowa—thinking it was too far away from her family—she felt completely at ease accepting the job in China. Grasping on to the fierce determination she’d had since childhood, Lori found herself in Guangzhou, China, where she fell in love with the culture and with a man from a tiny town in Hubei province.What followed was a transformative adventure—one that will inspire readers to use the bitter to make life even sweeter.

And I LOVE the book cover. Very calming.

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After living in China for more than a decade, Lori Qian relocated with her family to Alpine, Utah, ready to embrace an entirely new adventure–from a city of 15 million to a city of 15 thousand!

Lori  was the first in her family to graduate from college and thus is a strong advocate of education and its life-changing power. She has subsequently contributed as a teacher and school leader for more than 20 years.  Lori holds a BA in anthropology and philosophy, an MA in applied linguistics, and has advanced graduate training in school leadership, literacy instruction, and elementary education.

As a part of her quest for continued learning and self-improvement, at the age of 45, Lori began an entirely new career.  She has embraced her role as a Licensed Mortgage Broker, helping people secure funding for their dream of home ownership, a concept that resonates deeply with her as her family builds their own “American Dream”.

More than anything, Lori enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her husband, their 3 children, and their mini golden doodle. She loves every aspect of living the quiet, suburban American lifestyle, from yard work and neighborhood dinners to exploring beautiful hiking trails all around her.

Learning about the world is a high priority, though, and having been blessed to travel to over 20 countries, Lori and her family are looking forward to future chances to learn, explore, and serve around the world.

Qian is currently working on her second book, Fighting for Fitness, a self-help guide for making dramatic life changes, particularly in health and fitness, but in all areas of our lives as well.

http://www.loriqian.com

Thanks to Kate Rock Lit we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us about the last memoir you read, and if you haven’t read one, who would you like to read about? We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please.

A FIST OR A HEART by Kristin Eiriksdottir – SPOTLIGHT & Giveaway

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The past returns with a fury in A FIST OR A HEART for a woman coming to terms with her life in the award-winning novel by an acclaimed Icelandic author,  Kristin Eiriksdottir  – making her English-language debut.

Elín Jónsdóttir lives an isolated existence in Reykjavík, Iceland, making props and prosthetics for theatrical productions and Nordic crime flicks. In her early seventies, she has recently become fascinated with another loner, Ellen Álfsdóttir, a sensitive young playwright and illegitimate daughter of a famous writer. The girl has aroused maternal feelings in Elín, but she has also stirred discomfiting memories long packed away. Because their paths have crossed before. One doesn’t remember. The other is about to forget.

Soon they’ll discover all they have in common: difficult childhoods, trauma, and being outliers who have found space to breathe in creative expression. Yet the more Elín tries to connect with the young woman and unbox painful memories, the more tenuous her grasp on reality becomes.

Winner of the Icelandic Literary Prize, A Fist or a Heart is a gripping, artfully interwoven novel of power, secrets, and isolation by one of the most bracing and original voices of the author’s generation.

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Kristín Eiríksdóttir is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, poet, and playwright from Reykjavík, Iceland. Her original edition of A Fist or a Heart won the Icelandic Literary Prize 2017 as well as the Icelandic Women’s Literature Prize 2017. The novel took second place for the Icelandic Booksellers’ Prize and was selected as one of the best novels of 2017 by the Icelandic National Radio. Eiríksdóttir has published seven books and had three plays staged. Her short fiction has appeared in Best European Fiction 2011. A Fist or a Heart is her first novel to be translated into English.

We’re lucky to have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us the most exciting thriller you’re looking forward to reading this fall. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

THE NANNY by Gilly MacMillan- SPOTLIGHT & Signed GIVEAWAY

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WHO LOVES YOU MORE?

In Gilly MacMillan’s new novel, THE NANNY seven year old Jocelyn Holt was devastated when her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind.

Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew.

Then an unexpected visitor knocks on the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother…

In this compulsively readable tale of secrets, lies, and deception, Gilly Macmillan explores the darkest impulses and desires of the human heart. Diabolically clever, The Nanny reminds us that sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.

*****

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Gilly Macmillan is the internationally bestselling author of five novels including WHAT SHE KNEWTHE PERFECT GIRLODD CHILD OUTI KNOW YOU KNOW and THE NANNY.

A former art historian and photographer, Gilly studied at Bristol University and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She lives in Bristol, UK, with her husband and three children.

Her first novel, WHAT SHE KNEW, was a Target pick, a LibraryReads pick, an Indie Next pick, an Edgar award nominee, and an International Thriller Writers award finalist.

Gilly’s novels have appeared on the New York Times, Globe & Mail and Der Spiegel bestseller lists, been translated into over 20 languages and sold over one million copies worldwide. She’s been described as ‘one heck of a good writer’ (Wall Street Journal) and her novels have been praised as ‘nuanced, completely addictive’ (People), ‘riveting’ (Publishers Weekly), and ‘visceral, emotionally charged…heart-wrenchingly well told’ (The Daily Mail).

She is currently working on her sixth novel.

Thanks to William Morrow we have one signed copy to giveaway. Just tell us what you know about Nannies – perhaps you had one.  We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

HER SECRET SON by Hannah Mary McKinnon – Spotlight & Giveaway

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Hannah Mary McKinnon’s new novel, HER SECRET SON (MIRA) asks the question, how far would you go to protect the ones you love…when they may not be yours to protect?

When Josh’s longtime partner, Grace, dies in a tragic accident, he is left with a mess of grief—and full custody of her seven-year-old son, Logan. While not his biological father, Josh has been a dad to Logan in every way that counts, and with Grace gone, Logan needs him more than ever.

Wanting to do right by Logan, Josh begins the process of becoming his legal guardian—something that seems suddenly urgent, though Grace always brushed it off as an unnecessary formality. But now, as Josh struggles to find the paperwork associated with Logan’s birth, he begins to wonder whether there were more troubling reasons for Grace’s reluctance to make their family official.

As he digs deeper into the past of the woman he loved, Josh soon finds that there are many dark secrets to uncover, and that the truth about where Logan came from is much more sinister than he could have imagined…

HER SECRET SON is an honest portrayal of a family on the edge of falling apart and a father desperate to hold on to the son who changed his life. The characters are well developed, the plot compelling and dialogue reads true. Once you start reading, prepare yourself to sit down until the last page.

HANNAH’S WORDS:

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I was born in Manchester, UK to British & Swiss parents. A year later they moved my older sister and me to Switzerland. Rather unsurprisingly I love mountains, chocolate and cheese…or mountains of chocolate and cheese, and my sister, of course.

After completing commercial studies in Geneva, I worked as a PA for DuPont. A year later I moved to Neuchâtel and became the Purchasing Manager for a high-tech company that made motors for industrial and space applications. While working, I returned to university, studying part-time for a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. And then a friend of a friend introduced me to another friend who’d started up an IT recruitment business. Over the next fifteen years I rose through the ranks to become CEO.

Things outside of work were hardly boring. A chance encounter back in the dark ages of the Internet in 1999 led me down the aisle with Rob, my Canadian rock, five months later. Actually it was exactly ten weeks after we met face-to-face at the Saint John airport in New Brunswick, Canada – and we’re still married. True story. Our first son was born in 2003, followed by identical twin boys just sixteen months later, so I’m heavily outnumbered. In 2010 we all moved to Oakville in Ontario, Canada.

Maybe it was the failed attempt at a start-up company, or an early mid-life crisis, but one morning I decided to follow my oldest passion, started writing, and never want to look back. I write fiction for adults and dabble  in kid-lit. I may never have enough time to get all of the ideas out of my head and on paper, but I’ll do my best!

http://www.hannahmarymckinnon.com

Thanks to Kate Rocks, we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us the most memorable novel you’ve read that centers on a mother and son relationship. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please.

QUEEN FOR A DAY by Maxine Rosaler – SPOTLIGHT & Giveaway

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

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The reader knows by page one of QUEEN FOR A DAY (Delphinium) that Mimi Slavitt’s three-year-old son is autistic, but if anyone told her, she wouldn’t listen, because she doesn’t want to know―until at last Danny’s behavior becomes so strange even she can’t ignore it.

After her son’s diagnosis Mimi finds herself in a world nearly as isolating as her son’s. It is a world she shares only with mothers like herself, women chosen against their will for lives of sacrifice and martyrdom. Searching for miracles, begging for the help of heartless bureaucracies while arranging every minute of every day for children who can never be left alone, they exist in a state of perpetual crisis, normal life always just out of reach.

In chapters told from Mimi’s point of view and theirs, we meet these women, each a conflicted, complex character totally unsuited for sainthood and dreaming of the day she can just walk away. Taking its title from the 1950s reality TV show in which the contestants, housewives living lives filled with pain and suffering, competed with each other for deluxe refrigerators and sets of stainless steel silverware, Queen for a Day portrays a group of imperfect women living under enormous pressure. Author, Maxine Rosaler tells their stories in ironic, precise and vivid prose, with dark humor and insight born of first-hand experience.

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Maxine’s words:

I have been writing fiction and personal essays for a long time.  For many years, I earned a living doing freelance writing of one sort or another–journalism,  newsletters, business brochures, young adult nonfiction books, et cetera.  I also copy edited mass-market novels. My stories and essays have been published in literary quarterlies such as The Southern Review, Glimmer Train, Witness, Fifth Wednesday, Green Mountains Review and The Baltimore Review. I received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fiction Fellowship and stories of mine have been cited in editions of Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays. I am the mother of Benjamin, now twenty-six, and Samantha, twenty-nine, and I am married to Phillip Margulies, who is also a fiction writer. We all live in Washington Heights. Queen for a Day was inspired by my life as Benjy’s mother.

http://www.maxinerosaler.com

Thanks to Suzy Approved Book Tours we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us what you’re looking forward to reading this fall. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only, please.