Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: Love on the Menu by Ellen March

Funny and sexy, Love on the Menu by Ellen March is one wild ride.

When loner Jago Tanner requests the agency find him an assistant, he has no idea what he's getting into. Not only was he expecting a man, Riley--a woman--dresses like a trollop and curses like a sailor. She's the sexiest woman he has ever seen. She's also the most frustrating woman he's ever known.

Jago has trouble trusting his feelings for Riley. He's also not sure anyone who dresses and talks that way could still be so naive. When her brother's shady friends come to harass her, Jago is not sure what to believe. Are they really meant to be together?

What a great book! I couldn't put it down. Riley and Jago are such opposites: he's introverted and gruff  while she's outspoken and bubbly. Riley is almost comical in her behavior. Her strong sense of right and wrong, however, give her a more serious side. Jago was tough to like, but I found myself rooting for him to win Riley's heart in the end. The author also created a group of secondary characters I loved--even Riley's mixed up brother, Rob.

Love on the Menu has its share of steamy love scenes, but it's really the characters and the fabulous plot that make this book an enjoyable read. I would like to meet these characters again one day. That this happens to be a cowboy romance means I was already partial to it; but it is the great characters that made it impossible for me to walk away until I turned the last page.

Prices/Formats: $13.95 paperback
Genre: Steamy Cowboy Romance
February 14, 2015
Fanny Press


Barnes and Noble:


Ellen March's Web Site:

Ellen March's Facebook:

Ellen March's Twitter:

Ellen March's Goodreads:

Love on the Menu Goodreads:

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:
Love on the Menu blog tour site:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 23, 2015

Musing Mondays - Mar 23

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme sponsored by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What is your favorite lesson learned, or quote, from a recent book you’ve read?

I have been reading Out of Control: Why Disciplining Your Child Won't Work by Shefali Tsabary, PhD. In the opening chapter, the author outlines her philosophy that sets the foundation for the rest of the book. It really hit home for me because I feel exactly like the parents she describes: I take away privileges and find myself often yelling and being ignored, but I keep trying the same thing over and over again to get the desired results from my kids. There must be a better way.

What are you musing about this week?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book Ponderings: Point of View

I recently finished a young adult novel that I found fascinating and exciting. At the end, I discovered the third person omniscient narrator was actually telling a story from her past. I'm not a huge fan of this point of view, because being a character driven reader, I feel it doesn't allow me to get to know the characters as much as I would like. It serves its purpose: you can know everything that is going on--even those things the characters might not be aware of yet. This book was very plot driven, but after the point of view discovery it seemed the story would have been even more powerful and fulfilling if told from a third person limited or first person point of view.

My feelings on this subject definitely make our writing group interesting. Point of view is something I tend to focus on a great deal because hopping from head to head doesn't feel right. But other members disagree. They see tremendous value in using a point of view that knows all, sees all, and tells all.

Do you have a preference when you read or write?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday: The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This one is scheduled to release in May. It sounds good. I enjoy these fake boyfriend/girlfriend stories where a romance develops.

When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

Enter for a chance to win an advance copy at Goodreads.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New Release: Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner

She revolutionized fashion and built an international empire . . . all on her own terms

Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her sisters are sent to a convent orphanage after their mother's death. The nuns of the order nurture Gabrielle's exceptional sewing skills, a talent that would propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.

Burning with ambition, the petite brunette transforms herself into Coco, by day a hard-working seamstress and by night a singer in a nightclub, where her incandescence draws in a wealthy gentleman who becomes the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny.

Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, Coco's sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As her reputation spreads, her couture business explodes, taking her into rarefied circles of society and bohemian salons. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her always.

An enthralling novel about an entirely self-made woman, Mademoiselle Chanel tells the true story of Coco Chanel's extraordinary ambition, passion, and artistic vision.

Read an excerpt at

Purchase from:

Harper Collins

A former fashion executive, C. W. Gortner is a lifelong admirer of Coco Chanel. His passion for writing led him to give up fashion, and his many historical novels have been bestsellers, published in more than twenty countries. He lives in San Francisco.

Visit the author online at

Monday, March 16, 2015

Musing Mondays - Mar 16

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme sponsored by MizB of A Daily Rhythm (formerly Should Be Reading) that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: How often do you use your local library? Are you happy with their availability?

I recently finished reading Love on the Menu by Ellen March. It's been a long time since I read a book with spicy love scenes, so it was a nice change of pace. I'm a huge sucker for cowboy romances, so when I heard this book was on tour I snagged it.

The main characters were both frustrating and entertaining. I almost liked the supplementary characters better. What I feel the author did really well is keep the reader engaged by always putting Jago's and Riley's backs up against the wall; putting plenty of obstacles in their way.

Look for my review of this novel coming on March 27.

What are you musing about this week?

First Chapter Review: Admit to Mayhem by D.J. Adamson

I am reviewing the first chapter of Admit to Mayhem by D. J. Adamson for her virtual book tour.

BLURB: With a contrary attitude and an addiction for independence, Lillian Dove admits she has not been a success in life. In fact, she considers failing as one of her addictions. Yet, when she comes across a suspicious house fire with a history of arson and murder, she instinctively attempts to help someone trapped. Lillian becomes the only possible eyewitness to criminal arson, and her life begins to spiral out of control.

Lillian Dove is an endearing “everywoman” struggling with life issues, emotional complexities and a habit of doing just the opposite of what she’s told to do. These qualities in a heroine give the reader an ability to vicariously struggle along with the protagonist in this intriguing Midwest Noir mystery.

COVER: The font gives it the right vibe, but it doesn't really have a noir mystery feel to it. This cover, however, does capture the Midwest location.

FIRST CHAPTER: Lillian Dove is on her way home in the wee hours of the morning when she comes across a house engulfed in flames. She calls 911, but knows they will never get there in time to save the person she sees trapped inside.

KEEP READING: The mysterious fire, Lillian's valiant efforts to save someone trapped inside, and an ending that compels the reader to continue, definitely make this a book I will continue reading. While I am not fond of a first person narrator who talks to her audience, for now I am willing to forgo that to see how the next chapter develops. The mystery looks to be intriguing enough to keep me reading along, even if I don't care for the main character yet.

Series: Lillian Dove
Paperback: 294 pages
Publisher: Horatio Press; First Printing edition (March 10, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0990307808
ISBN-13: 978-0990307808

Purchase at Amazon!

I received a free excerpt of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

D. J. Adamson is an award-winning author. Her family roots grow deep in the Midwest and it is here she sets much of her work. She juggles her time between her own desk and teaching writing to others at two Los Angeles area colleges. Along with her husband and two Welsh Terriers, she makes her home in Southern California.

For More Information