STEPDOG a novel by Nicole Galland & GIVEAWAY

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What’s the difference between puppy love and dogged devotion?

Not too much, if you’re a dog lover like me! When I received my copy of STEPDOG (William Morrow) by Nicole Galland I knew I was going to love this book! Look at the cover! Could that darling puppy holding his leash asking to be taken out for a walk be any cuter? I don’t think so. So, here’s the scoop.

Sara Renault fires Rory O’Connor from his part-time job at a Boston art museum, and in response, Rory, an Irishman, actor, musician, former party-boy leans over and kisses her. Then she kisses him back. Now they’re a couple.

Rory’s visa is about to run out on the cusp of his big Hollywood break, so Sara insists he marry her to get his green card. Well, in just a couple of weeks, they’ve gone from being friendly co-workers to a live-in couple, and it seems to be working out except for Cody, Sara’s beloved dog from her troubled previous relationship. What Rory perceives as Sara’s over-attachment to her dog, is the only thing they fight about.

When Rory scores both his green card and the lead role in a TV pilot, he, Sara and Cody get ready to move to Los Angeles. But just before moving day, Cody is dognapped, and it’s Rory’s fault.

Sara is beyond upset at losing her precious Cody, and angry at Rory for his stupidity. Desperate to get back into Sara’s good graces, Rory tracks Cody and the maniac dognapper to North Carolina. Can Rory rescue Cody and convince Sara that they all belong together as a family?

I really enjoyed STEPDOG, Nicole’s humor and whimsical writing style, but as a dog lover, I was curious by how Sara let Rory get away with bossing Cody around. Our dogs are our children and I wouldn’t let Rory raise his voice to Cody or tell him what to do. Some people might find my reaction harsh, but I found Rory’s tone quite telling about his erratic behavior later in the novel.

Bottom line: We LOVE our four-legged children. Don’t mess with them.

About Nicole Galland27588

Nicole Galland’s five previous novels are The Fool’s Tale; Revenge of the Rose; Crossed; I, Iago, and Godiva. She writes a cheeky etiquette column for the Martha’s Vineyard Times. She is married to actor Billy Meleady and owns Leuco, a dog of splendid qualities.

Find out more about Nicole at her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter

Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

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Thank you TLC Book Tours for including us on this book tour and for providing a copy of this novel for an honest review. Lucky us we have one copy to give away. Leave a comment telling us your favorite pet dog story and we’ll pick a winner Friday! Good luck.

Feel free to check out http://www.cindyroesel.com for more of my reviews and new about my novel, “Viewer Discretion Advised.”

Every time we review a book about a dog, I like to show my shih Tzu, SASSY.

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THE GODFORSAKEN DAUGHTER by Christina McKenna & A GIVEAWAY!

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In the very early 80s, my father married an Irish woman with six kids. She was seriously Irish, first generation from Athenry, County Galway. When they moved in, almost everything was replaced in the color green, Mondays were corned beef and cabbage and all they, and soon we, talked about were The Troubles. Picking up Christina McKenna’s, THE GODFORSAKEN DAUGHTER  got my Irish up a bit. I remember learning to make traditional Irish soda bread, attempting to cross stitch and throwing up after sneaking Irish whiskey, which I was much too young to drink. Back to 2015, I don’t know about you, but Monday, I had a lovely St. Patrick’s Day!

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THE GODFORSAKEN DAUGHTER is set in the 1980s Ireland. Ruby Clare loves her father and looks forward to working with him out in the farm fields every day. But he dies, leaving behind the 63-acre farm, Ruby, her mother and nasty twin sisters. First thing her mother does is forbid Ruby to work outside on the farm and turns her into her private servant. Her sisters live in Belfast but come home to Tailorstown on weekends to add a special sisterly brand of torture to Ruby’s already dismal existence. The only bit of joy she has is in the form of Jamie McCloone, a lonely bachelor farmer she knows.

Dr. Henry Shelvin is a psychiatrist in Belfast. His wife, Constance goes missing one night and he proceeds to spend all his time looking for her. It’s destroying him, but this is also a time of unrest in Belfast. There’s a civil war waging between the Protestant IRA and the Catholics and he is told to “lay low” to stop looking for her, but nothing more. He leaves Belfast for Tailorstown and finds peace working with small town patients while never losing hope he’ll find his wife.

The two stories come together in a somewhat awkward way. In some ways, they seemed as if they were two different novels. As I was reading, I found myself  invested in Ruby’s story that I couldn’t stop until the end and was satisfied with the resolution of how everything turned out. THE GODFORSAKEN DAUGHTER somehow feels like a step back in time, with McKenna’s lyrical portraits of the countryside. It’s a story of family, love and faith. This is the third novel in Christina McKenna’s, Tailorstown Series.

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Christina McKennaAbout Christina McKenna

Christina McKenna grew up on a farm near the village of Draperstown in Northern Ireland. She attended the Belfast College of Art, where she obtained an honors degree in fine art and studied English in postgraduate studies at the University of Ulster. In 1986, she left Northern Ireland to work abroad. She has lived, worked, and painted pictures in Spain, Turkey, Italy, Ecuador, and Mexico.

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Thanks to TLC Book Tours for providing a copy of THE GODFORSAKEN DAUGHTER for an honest review. Check out http://www.christina-mckenna.com for all things CHRISTINA.

We’re giving away a copy of THE GODFORSAKEN DAUGHTER. Just leave a comment on this blog. Staying in the spirit of the “Luck of the Irish,” do you have anything that you consider lucky? For instance, I was given a Montblanc pen the first time I anchored the news and I always used it.

We’ll pick a winner Tuesday! Good Luck!