Friday, 15 May 2015

Cover reveal: The Blueberry Lane series - Katy Regnery

The stunning new covers for
The Blueberry Lane series
by Katy Regnery!

Breaking Up With Barrett, The English Brothers #1 
When business partners suggest that a fiancee might soften Barrett English's image over business dinners, he approaches the gardener's daughter, Emily Edwards, for the "job" of fiancee. And while love wasn't necessarily on Barrett's radar, he begins to realize that Emily always has been. But will his take-no-prisoners boardroom tactics work on the heart of the woman he loves?


Falling for Fitz, The English Brothers #2
After ten years apart, childhood sweethearts, Fitz and Daisy, are reunited when Daisy moves home to get married. Both are surprised to discover that their feelings for one another are as strong as ever, but old hurts and a new fiance stand between them. Can Fitz get Daisy to fall for him again before it's too late?


Anyone but Alex, The English Brothers #3
Alex English, a notorious playboy, reunites with his childhood friend, Jessica Winslow, after years apart. Though both attempt to embrace a friendship, their passion won't be denied. Between disapproving brothers, scheming exes, and the biggest deal of English & Sons' history, their budding romance is going to be put to the test. The question is…will it be strong enough for happily ever after?

Seduced by Stratton, The English Brothers #4
Stratton English, the hottest, youngest, most devastatingly handsome CFO in Philadelphia, has a problem: women make him nervous. Really nervous. Quirky Valeria Campanile, a PhD candidate who studies Courtship Rituals, can't seem to find herself courted. When Stratton helps Valeria with a financial problem, she is anxious to return the favor, and just might find herself being seduced by Stratton!

Wild about Weston, The English Brothers #5
When recently dumped Weston English meets recently dumped Molly McKenna at his brother Fitz's wedding, sparks fly! From the ceremony to the cocktail hour, from dinner to dancing, from toasts to photos, Molly and Weston will discover that they have more in common than they could have guessed, and that some horrible endings lead to the happiest beginnings.


Kiss Me Kate, The English Brothers #6
Kate English and Etienne Rousseau fell in love as teenagers, but their short affair ended disastrously. Thrown together as opposing counsel on an upcoming business deal, they will have to learn to work together. But, old feelings quickly resurface - is it possible to build something beautiful from the ashes of the past? 

Breaking Up With Barrett (Book 1) - FREE NOW!!
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Falling for Fitz (Book 2)
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Anyone But Alex (Book 3)
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Seduced by Stratton (Book 4)
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Wild About Weston (Book 5)
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Kiss Me Kate (Book 6)
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About the Author:

Katy Regnery, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract for a winter romance entitled By Proxy.

Now a hybrid author who publishes both independently and traditionally, Katy claims authorship of the six-book Heart of Montana series, the six-book English Brothers series, and a Kindle Worlds novella entitled “Four Weddings and a Fiasco: The Wedding Date.” Katy’s short story, “The Long Way Home” appears in the first RWA anthology, Premiere, and she has published two standalone novels, Playing for Love at Deep Haven and the Amazon bestseller, The Vixen and the Vet, which is book one in Katy’s a  m o d e r n  f a i r y t a l e collection. The Vixen and the Vet was nominated for a RITA® in 2015.

Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

Upcoming (2015) Projects

The Winslow Brothers (Books #1-4)
Never Let You go, a modern fairytale
Ginger’s Heart, a modern fairytale

Connect with Katy:

Katy LOVES connecting with her readers and answers every e-mail, message, tweet and post personally! Click below to connect with Katy!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Book review: The Seven Sisters - Lucinda Riley (#1 Maia's story)


Their future is written in the stars . . .

Maia D'Apliése and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, 'Atlantis' - a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva - having been told that their beloved father, the elusive billionaire they call Pa Salt, has died. Maia and her sisters were all adopted by him as babies and, discovering he has already been buried at sea, each of them is handed a tantalising clue to their true heritage - a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of where her story began . . .

Eighty years earlier, in the Belle Epoque of Rio, 1927, Izabela Bonifacio's father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is working on a statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to complete his vision. Izabela - passionate and longing to see the world - convinces her father to allow her to accompany him and his family to Europe before she is married. There, at Paul Landowski's studio and in the heady, vibrant cafés of Montparnasse, she meets ambitious young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and knows at once that her life will never be the same again.

In this sweeping epic tale of love and loss - the first in a unique, spellbinding series of seven books, based on the legends of the Seven Sisters star constellation - Lucinda Riley showcases her storytelling talent like never before.

My opinion.
Where to even begin. WOW. What a jewel.

Not rereading the blurb before I started reading, this story took me completely by surprise. I let Lucinda Riley and her wonderful characters take me on this breathtaking journey. After only a few pages I found myself completely immersed in these story lines and characters and I felt almost heartbroken when there were finally no more pages left for me to read. 
I don't want to give away too much about the story - 'cause really, I can only recommend just diving in before (re)reading the blurb - but I can honestly say that the character's (family) history is incredibly interesting, surprising and oh so romantic. Even though the main characters are so far apart from what I know or who I am, I felt an instant connection. It's clear that Lucinda cares a lot about her characters and that care and love really translates into her stories. I couldn't be happier to know that the sisters' stories will continue in a 7(!) book series! Not only am I dying to know what each sister's story is, I'm so excited to - hopefully - find out more about their almost magical upbringing. I can't wait to travel the world (through time) in the next 6 installments.
The Seven Sisters really has anything. Family, sacrifice, love,... I feel overwhelmed, to be honest. And I know for sure that these characters and their amazing stories will stay with me for a long time.
The Seven Sisters is a magical book, and Lucinda Riley a truly gifted writer and storyteller. I cannot recommend this enough, but I must add that the risk of getting a book hangover is very real. ;-)


[And I couldn't be happier I have this brilliant book in an absolutely gorgeous hardback edition,
with BLACK edges!!]

Friday, 8 May 2015

Book review: Just The Way You Are - Lynsey James

Dear Ava,               
How do you start writing a letter to someone, six years after breaking their heart?
Ava is unlucky in love as well as in life. The new office bitch has landed the dating column Ava wanted, and she can't remember the last time she had a second date. It's a good thing she has best friends Max and Gwen to pick up the pieces. 
Deep down, Ava knows the reason why one date never turns into two - she's in love with someone else. Someone she's never even met. 
It all started six years ago, with a letter from a secret admirer, Mr Writer…but then they suddenly stopped and Ava was heartbroken. 
Now the letters have started again and Ava knows it could mean winning back the dating column at work. This time she's determined to unmask Mr Writer...and find out once and for all if he's Mr Right or Mr Very Definitely Wrong!

My opinion.
How many times can two people who are perfect for each other screw up their chance of happiness together? Apparently, a lot.
Lynsey James has created some wonderful, easy to love characters. It's heartbreaking to watch them go through break-ups and self-doubt, because you can't help but feeling they're your close friends. You want the absolute best for them - which is why, at times, you just want to give them a good slap on the bum for being so blind!
Just The Way You Are has everything from big romantic gestures and amazing friendships to a glitzy job and a love-to-hate nemesis.
I really enjoyed reading this book and I'm already looking forward to more Lynsey James! 


Monday, 4 May 2015

Book review: Catastrophic - Dustin Stevens (Reviews By Mom)

The blurb.
College phenom running back Tyler Bentley is the ultimate success story. The son of a single mother from a wayward stretch of highway in Western Wyoming, he heads to Midwestern football powerhouse Ohio Tech and becomes a star, MVP of the Centennial Bowl, runner-up to the Heisman Trophy.

He is also the ultimate fall from grace story when a freak play occurs, leaving his knee shattered.

Seeing an opportunity, the SynTronic medical corporation convinces Tyler to use their newly-designed KnightRunner knee replacement, promising him that he'll be back on the field long before the upcoming season. Everything they promise comes true up until the product malfunctions, costing Tyler his career and his leg.

Now, leaning on the help of his one-time teacher Shane Laszlo, Tyler must take his battle from the gridiron to the courtroom. Laszlo, an Ohio Tech alum himself just a year removed from law school, has his own score to settle with SynTronic, an incident occuring years before with repercussions far greater than the loss of a limb.

Together, they will go into the biggest case Ohio has ever seen...

Review by Mom
Catastrophic is a gripping, very well constructed story. At the very beginning of the book, Dustin Stevens already gives his readers a small hint that a lot of different things will happen; events and characters which are all connected some how. I was intrigued and wanted to read on. The story had me guessing until the beautiful ending.
Catastrophic is a pleasant read, and never tedious. I definitely recommend this book.

Check out my 5 star review here


Saturday, 2 May 2015

TMI Travel Tag

Thank you so much to the lovely Simona from Sky's Book Corner for tagging me!
Click here to read her Travel Tag post!

Tuscany, Italy - 2014
1. What was the last country you visited?
It was Italy! Family holiday last year to Tuscany. It was gorgeous... and delicious!

2. How many countries have you visited?
11. 12 if you count Switzerland for driving through it on holiday. Which I don't. So 11 it is!
(The Netherlands, France, UK, Germany, Italy, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic

3.  What is your favourite place on the planet that you have been to?
That's a really, really tough one. I'm going over all of my previous trips and I really can't point out one. We've traveled to the UK a few times on family trips and those were always amazing. But so was Tuscany. Agh! No idea. I guess I still have to visit the most wonderful or favourite place on earth ;-)

Bruges, 2012
4. Favourite place in your home country?
Mmm.. Apart from my home? ;-) I visited Bruges a while ago and it was pure magic. It was a cold, quiet day with snow.. Just WOW! So that's the first thing that comes to mind.

5. If you could board any plane right now, where would you go?
I'm going to join Simona and go to New York! It's a place I really want to visit, but somehow feel like that won't happen any time soon. So if anywhere goes? Yes, NY please!

6. What’s your cup of tea – tropical island getaway, snowy ski break or city exploring trips?
City trips. I would love a relaxing beach trip as well, but I'm just not that could with heath! And although I love Winter, I can't ski!
Yorkshire, 2011

7. What are your top 3 hand-luggage must haves?
Book(s), camera, some pills to help with my motion-sickness (sexy item, I know)

8. Any travel tips to share?
Bring a map and make sure you have all your important documents (reservations,...)

9.  Most embarrassing moment abroad.
We rented bikes in Devon, England for a "little trip". The trip wasn't little. At all. It was hard. When we finally arrived back at the bike rental, the most gorgeous guy walks up to us to take over the bikes. He looked at me, laughed, and said: "wow, you look haggered!" Thanks man.

10. Biggest disappointment.
Family trip to Hungary. I can't really put my finger on it, but it was our least favourite holiday and non of us are really planning on visiting the country again. With the exception of Budapest. We were only there for a day trip and although we weren't "blown away" by it, I do feel like it's a city I would like to visit again one day.

Wales, 2012
11. Nicest surprise.
Wales! Not that my expectations were low, but something about that part of the world made me fall in love with it and I always think back on it very fondly. Definitely a place I would visit again. Although I've only seen a little part of it, so 99% will still be completely new to discover!

12. Three places at the tip of the travel bucket list.
New York. Greece. Australia.

13. Favourite food discovery.
This is nothing exotic at all, but here goes: PUB FOOD. As I mentioned before, we've already visited the UK (England & Wales) a few times on family holidays, and I just loved ordering a (veggie!) burger at a pub. The were so, so good! The fries in the little baskets, the vegetarian option: loved it.
Although most cities have very "hip" veggie restaurants, it's nice to just go somewhere with the rest of the family and being able to order something else than pasta-pesto or pizza margaritha for a change. And seriously, you Brits are doing a FAB job! I never had any trouble finding something meat&fish -free. (The one on the pic. is clearly not a veggie one)

14. Why do you travel?
To relax, and to discover new places. I love visiting different towns and villages and go into the local shops, but I most enjoy discovering the history of a place. Abbey or castle ruins, or these "open mansions" are always at the top of my to-do list on holiday.

15. What 3 things would you take on holiday/travelling if you could?
My cat, Moussa. I dread leaving him behind. That's it really! All other things like a few books or camera are with me anyway!

16. Have you picked up any phrases from travelling?
Some words:
Pivo for beer in Czech (I visited Prague 3 times)
Devon, 2009
Araf for slow in Wels (saw that on the road a lot, so we looked it up)
Je ne parle pas le français ("I don't speak French"), a sentence my mom taught me when first visiting France, before I started learning it at school (so I must have been 9 or 10).

17. What two places would you not go back to and why?
Hungary (see Q.10) and Birmingham. Just not that impressed.

18. Your dream travel companion?
I've always loved traveling with my mom, dad and brother - and now boyfriend as well. But I would love to travel with Aven & Simona!! (Just booked a trip to Berlin with the lovely Simona so 1/2 is coming true this Summer!)

19. Most surreal travel moment?
No idea.

20. Three people you would like to see do this tag
Hilary, Alba and Silke!

Reader Survey 2015

Discovering reader preferences, habits and attitudes - Announcing the 2015 Reader Survey
… by M.K. Tod

Writers and readers – a symbiotic relationship. Ideas spark writers to create stories and build worlds and characters for readers’ consumption. Readers add imagination and thought along with their backgrounds and attitudes to interpret those stories, deriving meaning and enjoyment in the process. A story is incomplete without both writer and reader.

What then do readers want? What constitutes a compelling story? How do men and women differ in their preferences? Where do readers find recommendations? What are their attitudes to pricing or their favourite reading blogs? These and other questions have been the subject of two previous reader surveys.

ANNOUNCING A 2015 READER SURVEY designed to solicit further input on reading habits, historical fiction preferences, favourite authors and, for the first time, favourite historical fiction. THE SURVEY WILL BE OPEN UNTIL MAY 14.

If you are a reader or a writer, please take the survey and share the link [] with friends and family and on your favourite social media. Robust participation across age groups, countries, and other demographics will make this year’s survey even more significant. Those who take the survey will be able to sign up to receive a summary report when it becomes available.


         HISTORICAL FICTION IS MAINSTREAM: Less than 2% of participants said they rarely or never read historical fiction.
         GENDER MAKES A DIFFERENCE: Women and men differ significantly in their reading habits and preferences and their views of historical fiction.
         AGE MAKES A DIFFERENCE: Those under 30 have different preferences for genre and time period 
and have different patterns of consumption and acquisition.
         SOCIAL MEDIA IS HAVING A BIG IMPACT ON READING: Social media and online sites play an increasingly significant role for those choosing, purchasing, and talking about fiction.
         BOOK BLOGS ARE VERY POPULAR: 1,473 participants listed one, two or three favourite blogs.
         GEOGRAPHY: Responses to questions such as the use of online tools for recommendations and purchasing and preferred setting for historical fiction varied by geography.
         PRICING: Sadly, readers are pushing for low prices. For example, 60% want e-books at $5.99 or less and 66% want paperbacks at $10.99 or less.
         ONLINE BOOK CLUBS ARE GAINING POPULARITY: 21% belong to online clubs while 15% belong to clubs meeting in a physical location
         VOLUME OF BOOKS READ MAKES A DIFFERENCE: for example, high volume readers have different expectations for book reviews, a higher interest in tracking their books, and higher usage of online tools and social media to augment their reading experience.

Participate in this year’s survey by clicking the link and please share the URL with others

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes.

Mary can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Read my review for Unravelled here.