Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: Love, Carry my Bags by C. R. Everett


Camryn Johnson’s world is turned upside down when long lost love, Reese Dahlgren, re-enters her life at a pivotal point in her already challenging marriage. She faces an excruciating predicament: choose between a broken home for her daughter or a broken life for herself. 

After her parents' divorce, Camryn first meets high school basketball star, Reese, at the Harvard Milk Day Festival bed races. Reese hides baggage of his own…until Camryn melts his heart and learns secrets entrusted only to her. Still, the weight is too much to bear. Unable to cope, Reese unwittingly backs Camryn into a corner during his air force enlistment—love him from afar, or leave him.

Enter aerospace engineering student, Glenn Conroy. Persistent and savvy, he woos Camryn during her junior year of college and wins her heart. Or does he? When Reese re-enters her life, further disrupting her tenuous marriage, Camryn turns to best friend, Megan, for advice, but refuses to believe Megan’s suggestion that she’s caught in a “simple” love triangle.

Camryn unveils hidden mysteries and secrets as she embarks on a life-changing journey of revelation and forgiveness, transcending doormat qualities inherited from her mother, and in the process finds what life's struggles are really all about.

C.R. Everett's heart-wrenching debut novel takes the reader on an emotion-packed journey that lingers long after the last page is turned.

Jennifer says:

This book revolves around a girl and her journey through her adult life and the loves of her life, the one that got away and the one she married.  I thought the author did a great job of putting a lot of content into a 492 page book.  The book starts with Camryn in high school and the author turns back the clock to the 1980s.  I loved it because I grew up in the 80’s and remember what life was like before cell phones, text messages, internet, and email.  She is the daughter of a divorced parents, her father being a preacher and her mother being a devote Christian.  Camyrn is the good girl type; she doesn’t smoke, drink, or party.  They live in a small town where the big thing to look forward to is Milk Days festival!  So yes a big dairy town.  She has a small circle of friends, one being Reece.  Her and Reece become close friends over the years and eventually decide to be boyfriend and girlfriend.  She decides to become an exchange student as spend a year in Australia where she meets her lifelong friend Megan her was from Canada.  Throughout the book, the writer takes us back to letter writing and how it was so exciting to receive an actual hand written letter from your loved ones.  This part especially since she is away from everyone. When she returns home, she falls back into place with Reece. He also is dealing with his home battles at home.  His parents also divorce and his dad is always comparing him to his older brother.  He decides though when Camryn is a way that he is going to join the military so they only have a short time together before he leaves.  They decide to stay committed as they have spent time apart and have made it work.  As time goes by the letters get fewer and fewer but Camryn decides to hold on to their love. 

Next enter the college years…  Camyrn is finally out on her own and on the first day of moving into her apartment she meets her next door neighbor, the outgoing and handsome Glenn.  Camyrn is shy and keeps to herself but Glenn is persistently asking her to come over for dinner and spend time together.  Camyrn is still very committed to Reece but has not heard from him in months so she decides he has moved on and sends a letter to him stating she has moved on.  She decides then decides to give Glenn a chance.  I have a little issue with Glenn. He doesn’t treat her the best, I almost felt like she is settling.  She doesn’t get out much, she goes to school, goes to work and that’s all her life.  Glenn is her neighbor so I feel like this was a relationship that was out of convenience and not love.  Before you know it, they are done with college and Glenn proposes to Camyrn and they marry.

The married years…  This was the most difficult of the book to read and I feel the best written.  Camyrn is so miserable in her life and starts to regret marrying Glenn. With his job they move around a lot and she never settles in anywhere.  When she finally becomes happy, his job transfers him again.  Just when she thinks she is going to file for divorce she changes her mind and ends up getting pregnant. Being a mother is the bright spot in her life.  She is still in contact with her friend Megan and then out of the blue she receives an email from Reece.  It’s been years since they had any contact and correspond by email a couple of times.  Years continue to go by with the ins and out of life.  Then one day everything changes.  Glenn finds out something that changes their lives forever…  You will have to read the book to find out!  I don’t want to give any spoilers to the ending!

They say never judge a book by the cover and I would say that holds true to this story I didn’t think the cover fit the book!  But I thought this is a wonderful touching story about a women’s journey in life and the battle of finding her happiness. I would highly recommend this book to anyone!  Especially those who were an 80’s child…  I loved reading Camyrn’s journey.  I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Author Links


C.R. Everett was born in Northern Illinois and has lived in various places over the years, currently residing in Utah. For twenty years she worked in finance, but today devotes her time to writing. She lives with her husband, two kids, Shiba Inu, and cat. When not writing, she updates her website, connects with her readers, does the mom thing, or cleans up after unruly pets. In her free time she enjoys reading, usually at the gym while on a treadmill, baking, taking walks, enjoying nature, and going to Starbucks. Mocha is her favorite.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cover Reveal: Sin at Sea by Emma Nichols


When Alysin decided to surprise her boyfriend at work with dinner, the surprise was on her. Since he was going at it with his secretary on the conference table, she packed a bag and called her BFF. Jolie and Alysin had been traveling the country, working as digital nomads for ten years ever since graduation. Taking this as a sign it was time for a new move, they decided to take a cruise, regroup, and make a plan.

Then she meets Mr. Bedroom Eyes. Following her lead, they pretend to be married so that she can rid herself of the guy who started hitting on her before the boat left the dock. Though it was supposed to be a momentary arrangement, he asks her to take it one step farther. Then another and another. The cruise promises to be memorable in every way that matters. 

Along the way, Alysin learns that she won't have to fake an orgasm if she's with someone who knows what to do, that not all men suck, but the best ones suck really well, and that sometimes what starts out as something pretend, can fast become something completely real. Will the woman who lives life with no regrets, regret that she made that stupid rule about not exchanging names and contact info?


All over the ship, the party atmosphere had taken hold.  The cruise was predominantly made up of adults, thank god.  Nothing will ruin a good time faster than a crying baby or whiny toddler.  Shoot, throw in a child with a full-blown temper tantrum and I want to put a loaded gun in my mouth.  I seem to have managed to escape any hint of maternal instincts.  I have yet to experience a biological clock scare.  I’m probably more likely to encounter biological warfare on American soil than suffer from that ailment.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll feel differently in five or ten years.  At the same time, I seriously hope not.

The aromas of the buffet on the lido deck hit me the minute I exited the elevator.  Then I remembered that if I planned to enjoy the buffets and maintain my slim size six figure then I would need to start taking the stairs.  I frowned.  Maybe I should take the mid-morning Pilates class that seemed to be offered daily, or walk the track.  I chuckled.  I don’t own a pair of sneakers.  Pilates it would be.

After loading a plate with salad, fruit, potato salad, and some nice southern fried chicken, I found a table by the windows that was vacant.  Setting the plate down on the granite, I started to pull out my chair when a man came out of nowhere and did it for me.  He wasn’t in uniform.  This wasn’t a crewmember being helpful.  Nope.  I had already attracted a new douche.  How the hell did they always seem to find me?  If this was any indication as to how the rest of the week was going to go, it was going to feel like a year.  I’m not the kind to hibernate in the cabin to avoid problems.  I find a way to make them go away.

This time would be no different.  After he helped me push in the seat, I spoke.  “Thank you.”  Then I focused on my food and started eating my salad.  Sometimes, I just can’t get enough roughage. 

“You are welcome, gorgeous.”  He smiled at me, a smile that clearly cost him more than most people make in six months.  “So, do you have a name?”

I was chewing and didn’t rush that part to answer him.  It would be good for him to wait.  He needed to be as uncomfortable as he was making me feel…or would have been making me feel if I wasn’t already worn out on men at the moment.  Leisurely, I swallowed.

“Yes.”  Then I loaded my fork with another bite and kept on eating.

Clearly, I had flustered him…not enough for him to leave me alone, mind you, but his soft underbelly was beginning to show.  It was all squishy and pink.  He laughed it off.  “What is it?”  He asked in what was probably his most seductive tone.

“You already guessed it.  Gorgeous.  It’s right there on my birth certificate.  Imagine how that could have gone had I not lived up to the hype.”  I looked at him evenly, not even cracking a smile.

Would you believe he just kept talking, like we were old friends or soon to be bedroom buddies?  That guy couldn’t have pried his way into my room with a crow bar.  Nope.  My vagina was closed to him for sure.  

Author Links:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cover Reveal: Beside Your Heart by Mary Whitney


Late one night Nicki Johnson plays with emotional fire and Googles her high school love, only to find his name splashed across the British gossip columns. Back in his native England, Adam Kincaid is successful and dating a woman from an aristocratic family like his own. With a career in politics, Nicki’s no slouch, but she knows Adam is living a world away from her life. Yet there was a time he was no farther than the next locker. Nicki will never forget their year together in high school—the year of her sister’s death, the year her mother checked out. Adam helped Nicki through suffocating grief, and she led him through a coming of age. Was it just high school, or was it something more?

Beside Your Heart Excerpt:

“No British literature. Isn’t this supposed to be an English class?” Adam asked.
“Uh.” My ancestors would’ve been proud of the jolt of American patriotism that hit me.  “There was a revolution two hundred years ago. We write our own books now.”
He leaned back in his seat with a smile. “I think I heard about that.”
“We still share the same language.”
“Sometimes I’m not too sure.”
“I bet not.” I could imagine what he thought of a Texas accent.
 He picked up the list of books again. “What about Catcher in the Rye?”
“I read it a long time ago when I was, like, eleven.” I laughed a little as I remembered how I’d first come to read it.
“Is there something funny about that?”
“Yeah. My father had suggested I read it then. The book is the classic coming-of-age story. Clearly, he wasn’t really thinking about whether or not it was appropriate for an eleven-year-old.”
“Really? Why?”
“Well, for one thing, the main character is a guy who swears a lot.”
“I suppose I swear a lot.” He cracked a sly smile. “At least compared to you Yankees.”
“Yankees? You’re in the South.” I laughed.
“What else is inappropriate about the book? Now I’m interested. It can’t only be a few swear words.”
“No, it’s not just that. It’s…” I hesitated for a moment as I realized I was about to bring up the topic of sex with Adam Kincaid. What the hell, I thought. I should be matter-of-fact about it. He had a girlfriend and would never want anything with me. I could hide I thought he was hot, so I shrugged. “Holden, the main character…he’s a little sexually frustrated.”
His eyes twinkled, and it felt as if my words hung in the air. I wanted to squirm in my seat. ‘Sexually frustrated’—like me checking out Adam Kincaid.
His proper upbringing showed again as he sidestepped the issue, yet he smirked. “That sounds like an adventurous book to be on an American high school syllabus.”
“Like I said—it’s considered an American classic.” I laughed. “I guess some things are sacred.”
“But of course.” The gleam appeared in his eye again, and he turned toward me in his seat. “Teenage sexual frustration is sort of a rite of passage, if you will.”
There went the good-English-boy manners out the window. His tone, the look in his eye, his body language—was he flirting with or taunting me? I decided the former was impossible, and if the latter, I wasn’t going to back down. With two parents who were lawyers, debate was a family routine.
“A rite of passage? More like a biological fact, isn’t it?” I asked, casually clicking my pen. I raised a brow. “Especially for guys.”
“You’re right about that,” he said with a grin.
His eyes shifted downward, and I could feel him give me a once-over. I wondered what he thought. I was no Meredith, but I had enough self-confidence to know I wasn’t butt-ugly either—even with my scars. I couldn’t tell, but he’d distracted me so much, I jumped when I heard Mrs. Anderson ask, “Your name, dear?”

Author Links:

Author Bio:

Even before she graduated from law school, Mary knew she wasn't cut out to be a real lawyer. Drawn to politics, she's spent her career as an organizer, lobbyist, and nonprofit executive. Nothing piques her interest more than a good political scandal or romance, and when she stumbled upon writing, she put the two together. A born Midwesterner, naturalized Texan, and transient resident of Washington, D.C., Mary now lives in Northern California with her two daughters and real lawyer husband.