Giveaway closed NOTHING TO SEE HERE by Kevin Wilson – Review & Giveaway

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NOTHING TO SEE HERE (Ecco) is one of Kevin Wilson’s best book yet. It’s pee your panties funny, but with a truly heart-warming story about family. Lillian finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with some really strange and disturbing abilities.

“How did people protect themselves? how did anyone keep this world from ruining them? I wanted to know. I wanted to know so bad.” NOTHING TO SEE HERE, pg 208

Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. But then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal and they’ve barely spoken since. Until now, when Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help.

Madison’s twin stepkids are moving in with her family and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there’s a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it’s the truth.

Thinking of her dead-end life at home, the life that has consistently disappointed her, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other—and stay cool—while also staying out of the way of Madison’s buttoned-up politician husband. Surprised by her own ingenuity yet unused to the intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her—urgently and fiercely. Couldn’t this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for?

With white-hot wit and a big, tender heart, Kevin Wilson has written his best book yet—a most unusual story of parental love.

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Kevin Wilson is the author of two collections, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth (Ecco/Harper Perennial, 2009), which received an Alex Award from the American Library Association and the Shirley Jackson Award, and Baby You’re Gonna Be Mine (Ecco, 2018), and three novels, The Family Fang (Ecco, 2011), Perfect Little World (Ecco, 2017) and Nothing to See Here (Ecco, 2019).  His fiction has appeared in PloughsharesTin HouseOne StoryA Public Space, and elsewhere, and has appeared in four volumes of the New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best anthology as well as The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012.  He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Rivendell, and the KHN Center for the Arts.  He lives in Sewanee, Tennessee, with his wife, the poet Leigh Anne Couch, and his sons, Griff and Patch, where he is an Associate Professor in the English Department at Sewanee: The University of the South.

http://www.wilsonkevin.com

We have one copy of NOTHING TO SEE HERE to giveaway. Just tell us the wackiest thing in your family. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

THIS IS NOT HOW IT ENDS by Rochelle B. Weinstein – Spotlight & Giveaway

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A love story that will break your heart and put it back together again.

Author Rochelle Weinstein has become known for her heart-felt topical family dramas … with some comedy added, too. Her sixth novel, THE IS NOT HOW IT ENDS (LakeUnionPublishing) does not disappoint. Here’s a sneak peak into a novel that won’t be published until January. Read and enjoy!

When Charlotte and Philip meet, the pair form a deep and instant connection. Soon they’re settled in the Florida Keys with plans to marry. But just as they should be getting closer, Charlotte feels Philip slipping away.

Second-guessing their love is something Charlotte never imagined, but with Philip’s excessive absences, she finds herself yearning for more. When she meets Ben, she ignores the pull, but the supportive, single dad is there for her in ways she never knew she desired. Soon, Charlotte finds herself torn between the love she thought she wanted, and the one she knows she needs.

As a hurricane passes through Islamorada, stunning revelations challenge Charlotte’s loyalties, and upend her life. Forced to reexamine the choices she’s made, and yet to make, Charlotte embarks on an emotional journey of friendship, love, and sacrifice—knowing forgiveness is a gift, and the best laid plans can change in a heartbeat.

This Is Not How It Ends asks which takes more courage? Holb

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ROCHELLE’S WORDS

I was born and raised in Miami, Florida among the chaos of three siblings: Randi, Robert, and Ron. After graduating from the University of Maryland, I moved west to Los Angeles. There I launched my career at the LA Weekly, handling advertising and promotions for film studios and record labels.

After a colorful few years, I returned to Miami as an Account Executive at the acclaimed Beber Silverstein & Partners. Later that same year, I landed my first dream job through an ad in The Miami Herald. Yes, an actual newspaper. For the next ten years, I managed the advertising, marketing, and promotions for every record label in the country at The Box Music Network. Ensconced on South Beach, our offices were the hub for musicians and record executives worldwide. Work consisted of meeting talented superstars and listening to great music. Fun, right?

Marriage and kids soon followed in the form of dream job number two, and The Box eventually moved to New York. Sometime in between raising the twins, PTA meetings, carpool, flag football, basketball, and lacrosse tournaments, writing freelance, cheering on the Dolphins and Heat, and volunteering at organizations near and dear to my heart, dream job number three took root, and I became a full-time writer.

Life has a funny way of happening this way. Doors open and close. Avenues await. One path leads to another. I thought life was fun before, but nothing is more fun than this.

http://www.wrochelleweinstein.com

THIS IS NOT HOW IT ENDS will be published January 1st. Now is the time to pre-order your copy at your favorite bookstore.

Thanks to Suzy Approved Book Tours and GetRed PR, we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us what you’re reading now and what it’s about! We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only, please

SPIRIT BABY by Nina Neilson Little – Spotlight & Giveaway

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“There’s an ancient Chinese belief that women possess two hearts. It’s said that women hold dreams of infants, lost children, and babies never-meant-to-be in their upper hearts, while babies destined to be born travel to their mother’s lower heart. My upper heart was full of lost babies and broken dreams. But the promise of a Chinese baby girl was beginning to fill my upper heart with hope.” SPIRIT BABY

Nina Little takes up through the ups and downs of trying to have a child in SPIRIT BABY. When Nina and Chris step off the plane onto Chinese soil, they are a couple in crisis. Fleeing the heartbreak of failed fertility treatments and the silence of their childless home, they arrive in Beijing just in time for the annual spring sand storms. As they travel from the historic cities of northern China to the stunning countryside of southern China, Nina finds new wonders in the world.

Part humorous travelogue, part heartfelt memoir, Spirit Baby weaves together themes of longing, loss, and learning to live again, while celebrating the healing benefits of travel. Most of all, it tells of the power of a couple’s dream for a child and celebrates the many paths to motherhood.

Life can take a toll…but that doesn’t mean the journey’s not worth taking…

Have some tissues nearby…

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NINA’S WORDS:

I live in the foothills of Colorado with my husband, twins (one girl and one boy), two large mutts, numerous koi fish, and a rather pompous bearded dragon. Thanks to my upbringing in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I love anything Latin: food, music and especially dancing. I enjoy skiing, running and am addicted to Zumba. I dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and meeting some wild elephants, taking my daughter to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower and my son to Legoland, and returning to China with my family by my side.

http://www.ninalittlebooks.com

We have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us your thoughts on Motherhood. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck!

#SpiritBaby #KateRocksBookTours #ninalittlebooks #infertility #ChineseAdoption

SPLIT-LEVEL by Sande Boritz Berger – Spotlight & Giveaway

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In author Sande Boritz Berger’s novel, Split-Level (SheWritesPress), the nation recoils from Nixon and Alex Pearl is about to commit the first major transgression of her life. But why shouldn’t she remain an officially contented, soon-to-turn- thirty wife? She’s got a lovely home in an upscale Jersey suburb, two precocious daughters, and a charming husband, Donny. But Alex can no longer deny she craves more—some infusion of passion into the cul-de-sac world she inhabits. After she receives a phone call from her babysitter’s mother reporting Donny took the teen for a midnight ride, promising he’d teach her how to drive, Alex urges they visit Marriage Mountain, the quintessential 1970s “healing couples’ sanctuary.” Though Donny accedes, he becomes obsessed with the manifesto: A Different Proposition—and its vision of how multiple couples can live together in spouse-swapping bliss. At first Alex scoffs, but soon she gives Donny much more than he bargained for. After he targets the perfect couple to collude in his fantasy, Alex discovers her desire for love escalating to new heights—along with a willingness to risk everything. Split-Level evokes a pivotal moment in the story of American matrimony, when it seemed as if an open marriage might open hearts as well.

How interesting, it’s now 2019, and the nation is recoiling from a different President. Life is truly is cyclical. I loved the premise of Sande’s novel, and found it quite provocative. I remember the 70’s. I was in high school and it was all about polyester prints, corduroy pants, vinyl and smoking pot … well, not necessarily everyone. Many of my friend’s parents were separating and checking out what was “out there.” Mine got divorced. Sande’s novel is compelling, her prose are fluid and her descriptions paint portraits. Expect an unexpected ending … the best kind!

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After nearly two decades as a scriptwriter and video producer for Fortune 500 companies, Sande Boritz Berger returned to her first passion: writing fiction and nonfiction full time. She completed an MFA in Writing and Literature at Stony Brook University where she was awarded The Deborah Hecht Memorial prize for fiction. Essays and short stories have appeared in over 20 anthologies including Aunties: “Thirty-Five Writers Celebrate Their Other Mother” by Ballantine, and “Ophelia’s Mom” by Crown. Her novel, The Sweetness, was a semi-finalist in Amazon’s yearly Breakthrough Novel Awards. Sande lives in Manhattan with her husband and has two daughters.

http://www.sandeboritzberger.com

We have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us something you think about marriage. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

MORE THAN by Diane Barnes – SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY

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“You are obese, Mrs. Moriarty.”

So begins author, Diane Barnes novel, MORE THAN. Peggy Moriarty is stunned. She knows she’s let herself go a bit, but she thinks her young, skinny doctor is exaggerating. Her husband’s death fourteen years ago left her to raise their twins, Grace, and Greg, alone. But now that they’re teenagers, doing their own things, her only hobby is watching Messages from Beyond, a show about a medium who connects the grieving with their deceased loved ones.

When the twins leave for college, they give Peggy a gift certificate for an exercise class. At first, Peggy is insulted. But once the sting wears off, she realizes if she gets in shape, she might gain the confidence she needs to go on her favorite TV show and talk to her husband one last time.

With help from her new friends at the gym and Carmen Tavarez, the mother of Grace’s boyfriend, Peggy begins to emerge from her prolonged grief and spread her wings. She may soon discover that her sum is more than a mother, a widow, and her body.

I love the cover and believe it sums up the point of the novel. Becoming something more beautiful than what you start of with. The cover itself is lovely.

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How many people get to do what they love? Since I was old enough to hold a pencil, I’ve loved writing. Today,  I’m fortunate enough to have two careers that give me the opportunity to write. By day, I write marketing copy and corporate communications for a company in the healthcare market. After hours I pen fiction.  I’m also a voracious reader and can sit for hours, preferably on a beach or by a pool, devouring good books.

I live outside of Boston with my husband. I don’t talk like a Bostonian, but some people still detect Southern California in my accent from the years I lived there. When I’m not writing or reading, I’m at the gym, running, or playing tennis, trying to burn off the ridiculous amounts of chocolate and ice cream I eat.

http://www.dianembarnes.com

We have one ecopy to giveaway. Just tell us about any weight issues you may have had. I’ve been fighting my weight all of my life. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

#MoreThan #DianeBarnes  #KateRockBookTours #WeightIssues #Overweight

** MAMA HISSA’S MICE by Saud Alsanousi – SPOTLIGHT * GIVEAWAY **

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From the author of The Bamboo Stalk and winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction comes an apocalyptic and caustically funny novel about the power of friendship in a war-torn world.

In Saud Alsanousi’s  novel, MAMA HISSA’S MICE (AmazonCrossing), growing up together in the Surra section of central Kuwait, Katkout, Fahd, and Sadiq share neither ethnic origin nor religious denomination—only friendship and a rage against the unconscionable sectarian divide turning their lives into war-zone rubble. To lay bare the ugly truths, they form the protest group Fuada’s Kids. Their righteous transgressions have made them targets of both Sunni and Shi’a extremists. They’ve also elicited the concern of Fahd’s grandmother, Mama Hissa, a story-spinning font of piety, wisdom, superstition, and dire warnings, who cautions them that should they anger God, the sky will surely fall.

Then one day, after an attack on his neighborhood leaves him injured, Katkout regains consciousness. His friends are nowhere to be found. Inundated with memories of his past, Katkout begins a search for them in a world that has become unrecognizable but not forsaken.

Snaking through decades of Kuwaiti history well into a cataclysmic twenty-first century, Mama Hissa’s Mice is a harrowing, emotional, and caustic novel of rebellion. It also speaks to the universal struggle of finding one’s identity and a reason to go on, even after the sky has fallen.

*****

saud

Saud Al-Sanousi is a Kuwaiti novelist and journalist, born in 1981. His work has appeared in a number of Kuwaiti publications, including Al-Watan newspaper and Al-Arabi, Al-Kuwait and Al-Abwab magazines. He currently writes for Al-Qabas newspaper. His first novel THE PRISONER OF MIRRORS was published in 2010 and won the fourth Laila al-Othman Prize, a prestigious award for novels and short stories by young writers. He won the first prize for his story ‘The Bonsai and the Old Man’ in the Stories on the Air competition organised in July 2011 by the Al-Arabi magazine with BBC Arabic.

He is currently writer in residence at The Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Cultural Centre and has dramatised and scripted a new version of the “Memoirs of a Sailor” musical; an epic written by poet Mohammed Al-Fayez and composed by musician Ghannam Al-Daikan. He’s at work on another play.

WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL PRIZE FOR ARABIC FICTION (known as the ‘Arabic Booker’)
WINNER OF THE STATE OF KUWAIT PRIZE
FINANCIAL TIMES RECOMMENDED SUMMER READ
WINNER OF THE 2016 SAIF GHOBASH BANIPAL PRIZE FOR ARABIC LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION
VOTED PERSON OF THE YEAR IN THE KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN 2016
Zayed Book Award 2018/19 – longlisted for novel Hamam Al Dar

Thanks to Amazon Crossing and MB Communications, we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us the latest novel you’ve read about a foreign land. We’ll announce a winner soon Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

GIVEAWAY ** JOY of COOKING ** JOY of COOKING ** JOY of COOKING ** JOY of COOKING ** GIVEAWAY

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WELCOME TO A NEW GENERATION OF JOY …

It’s been nearly 90 years since Irma Rombauer self-published the first 3,000 copies of JOY of COOKING in 1931. JOY has become the kitchen bible, with more than 20 million copies in print. This is the first revision, since Scribner’s massively successful 2006 JOY. The 2019 edition (Scribner) being published today is edited and updated by Irma’s great-grandson Jon Backer and his wife Megan Scott.

For this edition they’ve developed over 600 new recipes, tested thousands of recipes from previous editions, and updated every section of every chapter to reflect the latest ingredients and techniques available to today’s home cooks. Readers will find many new diverse vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free recipes and tips on for how to save money and time while still making homemade food.

Yum, yum!

Since it’s the fall, apple season and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, publishers are sharing the hugely successful apple dumplings recipe! They recommend you use Gravenstein, Pink Lady, Jongold or Winesap apples.

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APPLE DUMPLINGS

6 dumplings

Whisk together in a medium bowl:

1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

Cut in until well blended:

1 stick (4 ounces or 115g) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

4 ounces (115g) cold cream cheese, cut into cubes

Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap,
and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Generously butter a baking dish large enough to hold the dumplings with 1 to 2 inches between each one, such as an 11 × 7-inch rectangular dish or a 12-inch oval gratin dish.

Peel and core (leaving them whole):

6 small apples (about 4 ounces each)

Or peel, halve lengthwise, and core:

3 large apples (about 8 ounces each)

Mix with a fork in a small bowl until blended:

½ cup packed (115g) dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

Add and mix well:

4 tablespoons (2 ounces or 55g) butter, softened

Fill the whole apples with the mixture and pat any remaining mixture on top of the fruit, or, if using apple halves, fill the hollows with the mixture and reserve any remaining. Set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 18 × 12-inch rectangle about ⅛ inch thick. Cut into six 6-inch squares, then roll each square a little larger, into a 7-inch square.

Lightly brush with:

1 egg, lightly beaten

Place an apple in the middle of each square. If using apple halves, place cut side down and spread the remaining sugar mixture over the rounded tops of the apples. For each square, bring the 4 corners of the dough up around the apple and pinch the corners and edges of the dough together. Prick the top of each pastry several times with a fork. Place the dumplings in the baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. While the dumplings bake, make the syrup.

Combine in a saucepan:

1 cup (235g) water

½ cup packed (115g) light brown sugar

1 small lemon, thinly sliced and seeded

2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

Stir until the sugar is dissolved, bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Pour the boiling syrup over the dumplings when they begin to color, 10 to 15 minutes into the cooking time. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake until the apples are tender when pierced with a small knife, 30 to 35 minutes more. Baste the apples with the syrup every 10 minutes or so to form a glaze and flavor the crust. If the dumplings start to brown too quickly, loosely cover with foil.

Let cool slightly. Serve warm with:

Heavy cream or vanilla ice cream  … OMG!

*****

Keep your eyes open for another dessert recipe to welcome in 2020!

http://www.thejoykitchen.com

Thanks to Scribner/Simon & Schuster, we’re able to giveaway one copy of the new JOY of COOKING …. all 1,152 pages to one very lucky winner. Just tell us what your favorite recipe to cook is and why. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

#JoyofCooking #SimonandSchuster #Scribner #cooking #recipes #eating #kitchen #dessert #Fish #poultry #meat #breads #Pancakes #cakes #cookies #icecream