Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cover and Synopsis Reveal (+ Giveaway!!) - That One Summer (Book 3 in the Summer Series) by CJ Duggan

I am pleased to be part of CJ's cover and synopsis reveal for Book 3 of  her wonderful Summer Series, That One Summer.


Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day …
He sure could kiss.
As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve.
So that can only mean one thing: road trip!
No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson.
She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place?
After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.
Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.
Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.



The Boys of Summer Amazon U.S link

Amazon U.K link

Amazon Canada

An Endless Summer Amazon U.S link

Amazon U.K Link

Amazon Canada



The Boys of Summer iTunes

An Endless Summer iTunes


Add The Boys of Summer on Goodreads

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cover Reveal - Pulling Me Under by Rebecca Berto

Title: Pulling Me Under
Author: Rebecca Berto
Series: Pulling Me Under #1
Age group: Adult
Genre: Women’s Fiction with crossover with Suspense
Publication date: October 2013

Paul was Katie’s rock for thirteen years, but then she watched him die.

By day, she is left with her daughter Ella’s questions about where Daddy went, and at night she's consumed with nightmares of the moment he died. It isn’t long before Katie’s mother hints that her volatile lifestyle and developing drinking habits are no way to raise a little girl.

Through it all, her and Paul’s best friend, Liam is there. Grieving the death of both husband and friend, the time they spend together seems more intimate these days, and Katie soon stumbles into taboo territory: Liam might be in love with her.

Torn between Liam’s feelings and losing Ella, one night Katie runs.

Air. Space. Thinking time. That's what she thinks she's getting when she stumbles upon that party. In the morning, in a strange bed, she can’t remember the night before.

Pulling Me Under is raw in its brutality of love and pain, with slow-building suspense to a heart-stopping conclusion.




About the Author

Rebecca Berto is an Amazon bestselling author. She is also a freelance editor.
She writes stories that are full of heart. She gets a thrill when her readers are emotional reading her stories, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She’s strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on her fiction.
Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their doggy.

You can find Rebecca at:

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blog Tour - Thirty-Two Going on Spinster by Becky Monson (competition, interview, excerpt and review)

 I had the pleasure of having Becky Monson join me on my blog today as part of her CLP Blog Tour for her wonderful chick lit novel, Thirty-Two Going On Spinster.    Please read on for her interview, excerpt and my review plus a chance to win.   Here is the Chick Lit Plus tour page.


Tell me about your latest book:
My latest (and only book so far) is Thirty-Two Going on Spinster. It’s about Julia and the rut she is stuck in… and how she gets out of it.
What inspired you to write this story?
I came up with the story a long time ago. It evolved over time to what it finally became. But it started out with a work crush I had once. That was the beginning. I did love a good work crush when I was working in an office. It made work much more enjoyable!

Tell me a little about your Works in Progress:
I’m working on a sequel to Thirty-Two Going on Spinster, which will most likely be called Thirty-Three Going on Girlfriend… Very original of me, I realize. It’s the next book in the Spinster Series, more of Julia and Jared. I’m having fun with it! I’ve also got a bunch of ideas in the works – other chick lit ideas and a YA idea for a book that came from a dream I had (how very Stephenie Meyer of me, right?).

Do you have a favourite writing snack?
Chocolate. But that is my favorite snack for anything, really.

If a movie was made about your book, who would be in your ideal cast?
Oooh, good question! Here is my ideal cast:
Julia – Drew Barrymore (Julia needs to be someone who can look a bit frumpy when not made up, but then look totally adorable with some make-up and cute clothes).
Jared – Ryan Reynolds (yummy)
Brown – Kate Hudson
Anna - Leighton Meester

Do you have a character you’ve enjoyed writing the most?
I do love writing Julia. Of course, she is a little bit of me. She is sarcastic, and I am too. She can tend to be a bit of a pessimist. I’m not really that way now, but I think I was (at least in my head) when I was single and living in that world. I do not miss it! Okay, sometimes I miss it… a little.
What do you do for fun when you’re not writing?
I have lots of hobbies. Reading, photography, graphic design, crocheting, baking. I don’t get to do many things for myself these days as my babies are still, well, babies. So most of my time is spent being their mommy. But I do love it! Well… most days.

What sort of books do you like to read?
I love Chick Lit. I love that it, for the most part, will give me a happy ending. It can be predictable, and I don’t honestly care. I enjoy that it’s predictable actually. A good dystopian novel will really take me away, but those are incredibly unpredictable. So I definitely have to be in the mood for that.

Do you have any advice for people wanting to write their own book?
Just do it! But make sure you have a clear outline and detailed back stories for your characters. Once you have back-stories, they will come to life in your mind, and the dialogue will just come to you. Oh, and another thing – make sure you have a great eye-catching cover. People judge a book by its cover. Sad, but true. So make sure you have a good one. I’ve seen a lot of truly bad covers out there.

What parts of the writing process do you love and hate the most?
I love writing dialogues. I love it when the characters have conversations in my head. This was something I made fun of when I heard other authors talk about their characters as if they were real people. I totally get it now. I still think it’s crazy, but I get it. The part I dislike is writing the outline. But it’s a must for me. Some authors can just write – but I have to have it all outlined before I can start, or I feel as if I will miss out on something. Outlining is a long and arduous process for me, but a necessary one.

Do you have a favourite Chick Lit author?
I do love Sophie Kinsella. I think she is the queen of Chick lit, honestly. She just knows how to write the type of books I want to read. I love happy endings, and she always writes them.

Shoes or handbags, which is more your guilty pleasure?
Oh gosh… can my answer be both? I go back and forth, really. I will be totally into shoes for a while, and then I will get over that and move on to handbags. Then I will find a handbag that I adore and won’t want to keep looking so my focus will then move back to shoes. Sometimes, I am totally into both at the same time. That is when my hubby has had to intervene… darn him…

Chick Lit as a genre has apparently died a few times, which we know isn’t true.  How do you see the future of Chick Lit?
It’s funny you mention that because I had my book reviewed recently and the headline for her review said “The Reappearance of Chick Lit”, and I thought really? I didn’t know it ever went away! Chick Lit is what I prefer to read the most. I want something to escape with, something I can count on to have a happy ending. I know there are more of us Chick Lit Lovers out there! I think as a whole, the future of Chick Lit looks bright. With all of these new indie authors coming out, I think we will see more and more. I’m excited!

Do you have a signature lip colour?
I must admit, lip colour and I have had our ups and downs. I was totally into that bright red that was popular in the last few years. I bought some from MAC, and I wore it all the time. Then I saw a picture of myself. Yikes. So I’ve gone back to lip gloss. There is one called Diamonds and Pearls from TIGI and it’s the best stuff. I never get more compliments then when I wear it. I usually end up kissing it off on my babies cheeks though, so it doesn’t last long for me.

Ultimate chick lit love interest?(either from an existing novel or just your ideal)
I really loved Sam Roxton from Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number. There was something about him that I just found so attractive. And there is a scene in that book that is one of the most romantic scenes I have ever read. One of my favorite books, for sure.

Thirty-Two Going On Spinster 


Julia Dorning is in a rut. She has lived in her parent's basement for ten years, been at the same mundane boring job for ten years and she has no self confidence.
When handsome hunky Jared Moody is hired in HR at her company, her life begins to change in ways she never saw coming. Is Jared the catapult to get her moving again?

Author Bio:

By day, Becky Monson is a mother to three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. In her debut novel, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc.), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful this time will last... but it probably won't.

Purchasing my book:

Other Links: (this is a bookclub I run on facebook)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


“I feel that, as a friend, I need to tell you something,” Brown says to me as we go outside to the smoking area.  It’s near the end of the day and Mr. Nguyen had a meeting, so I figured I could take a little break.
“What is it?” I say, not truly caring. I am still annoyed with her. I want to say something, but there is no point. She wouldn’t care anyway.
“Friends do not let friends go around with that,” she says pointing to my upper lip.
“What do you mean? Is there something on my lip?” I say, walking over to the door to see if I can see my reflection in the glass. I can’t see anything.
“Yes, there is something on your upper lip… hair.”
Whaaaaaaaaat? “Are you serious? I have a moustache?” My hand immediately goes up to my mouth, covering it and my upper lip. “But…. I….. how bad?” Somehow this is very fitting. A spinster with a moustache.
“Look, it’s not bad.  And we do not call it a ‘moustache’, it’s referred to as ‘upper lip hair’,” says the perfectly-put-together prom queen. “You have sort of… always had one.  But it was always blonde hair, so I never said anything.  But now, all of the sudden, there are brown hairs as well as the blonde.”
I guess right now would be a good time to die. I mean, I recently had a conversation with a good-looking man and this hasn’t happened in, well, over a decade. And I realize it wasn’t a real conversation since I couldn’t say more than three word sentences. But he was talking to me up-close and - oh my gosh, he could have seen it.  Of course he did because that is how my life goes. I am a under-a-conference-table-hiding-deaf-mute-possibly-slow-spinster… with a moustache. Next comes sagging boobs and trailer parks.


4.5 Stars

This book was very Sophie Kinsella in style but also had a Bridget Jones feel which started from the definition of spinster and developed into a continuously funny and entertaining story with a few awkward and endearing moments thrown in.    Julia, the main character was likeable and easy to relate to, as well as being a character you could really barrack for, especially with the entry of new office hottie, Jared.    A highly recommended, light, easy chick lit read.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blog Tour - Nowhere to Hide by Nina D'Angelo (Interview and Book Review)

I was excited about Nina's second book in her Stephanie Carovella series so jumped at the chance to be involved in her blog tour.   Please check out her interview, play list and my review of Nowhere to Hide. 


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1.  What inspired you to write Nowhere to Run/Hide?
Believe it or not I used to write romance – years and years ago. I never thought I’d write crime but as I got older, I became fascinated by criminology and profiling and found myself reading more thrillers. Nowhere to Run actually happened by accident. I never planned on writing the novel. I didn’t even have a plot when I started it or an idea of what it would be. I was home alone one Saturday night and was just writing. Somehow I ended up with a prologue, than a chapter and then another chapter.
Nowhere to Hide I started thinking about while I was in the process of finishing Nowhere to Run. I realized I wanted to continue the story and show how Stephanie Carovella was evolving and also show a different side to her. I thought that it would also be interesting to reveal more about her past and her parents killer. It developed from there. I’m actually already chomping at the bit to write book three, which will see Leigh Walker back and deal head on with the Jesus Christ Killer. 
2.  What books have most influenced your life most?
I grew up reading widely. The first books that really influenced me as a writer were actually Jackie Collins’ Lucky Santangelo series. I loved the style and the grit. Jackie Collins created characters that were damaged and flawed and that appealed to me.
I’ve also been influenced by Kiss the Girls by James Patterson, The Stand by Stephen King and The Mummy by Anne Rice. 
3.  What author has influenced you the most?
James Patterson, probably, has influenced me the most. He has a style I can relate to. It’s fast paced, on-the-edge-of –your-seat thrill writing. He doesn’t delve heavily into forensics. What I love about his style is that he writes about the emotional impact his killers have on the characters.

4.  What book are you reading now?
I just finished reading Amanda Grace’s The Truth about You and Me – it was different and very bittersweet. I have mixed feelings about the book.
5.  When did your desire to write start?
I have always written from a young age. I started working as a freelance music Journalist when I was 17 and spent close to 15 years working in that industry. I started playing around with fiction again in my mid twenties and wrote a few novels that I’ve never published (But I will) before I started writing Nowhere to Run. Now I could not imagine working in Journalism again because fiction is definitely my forte. I just love writing. 
6.  Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write from the heart. Write passionately and do it every day. It could be a letter or a journal or just words on a page, but do it. And read widely. Read the genre you’re writing in, read other genres. The only way to get better as a writer is to do both. It’s about practice. Get to know the industry as well –find Betas you can trust to tell you the truth about your work, find editors you know you can work with and the same goes for formatters and designers.
Believe in yourself and never stop chasing your dreams. If your heart tells you that you’re a writer and you can’t imagine a world in which you’re not writing then you probably are. 
7.  What can readers look forward to in the future?
You can expect to see more of Stephanie Carovella and Gena Evans. Deadly Secrets, which is the third book in the Stephanie Carovella series has been pushed back to next year now but it will be out there.
I also have a spin off series planned, which will introduce readers to Dominique Arlington, who you see briefly in Nowhere to Hide.
Due out in October is Damaged, which is the prequel to Nowhere to Run and a romance. For all of you who wanted to know more about Dominic and Stephanie’s lovestory, this is it. I also plan on writing another prequel about Jake Carlisle and Gena Evans.
I’ve also got a paranormal series planned in which LA is the portal to hell, a slew of crime novels planned and a romance series based on the Carlisle brothers (Yes ladies, Jake and Jesse aren’t the only Carlisle boys out there.)
So, I’m going to be busy writing!!!!
8.  Who or what inspires you?
My peers have been a huge inspiration to me. I’ve seen the struggles Jenn Sterling went through before she hit the big time with The Perfect Game. She’s an amazing writer and such a beautiful personality, and she’s awe inspiring. I’m also inspired by the likes of James Patterson, who is a master at controlling his own works – from the marketing, to the writer and editing and distribution. He makes you sure he is heavily invested every step of the way and that’s inspiring.
I’m also inspired by people in life. Every character in my novel is someone I know. I use the names of real people. From the characters I murder, to the serial killers. Take Leigh Walker for example, he’s based on an ex boyfriend. Jase Devlin and Ben Reynolds are based on my two best friends – who are names Jase and Ben. Aspects of Stephanie Carovella’s life are taken from my own experiences (obviously not the whole being stalked by a serial killer thing). Every character you read about is either someone I know or a blend of people I know. 
9.  If you could be a superhero, what would your supernatural power would you choose? 
I’d love to time travel. I love history and what better way to write about historical events or realistic events in your novel than if you’re there to experience it?
10.          Which is your favorite movie?
Seriously? You want me to name only one???? I’ll name five off the top of my head. She’s the Man, The Notebook, Psycho, Kiss the Girls and 10 things I hate about you. 
11.          What kind of music do you like?
Anything and everything. I own over 8000 CDs from my days as a music Journalist but I have to admit hard rock and country are my favorite genres.
12.          What advice would you give to someone who wants to publish a book?
Publishing a novel is not as easy as it sounds. Learn the business. Learn how to network and talk to other authors. Don’t expect success to happen overnight. Writing is fun, but there’s more to publishing a book than writing and you need to be prepared for that. It’s time consuming. It can sometimes be heartbreaking and exhausting, but ultimately it’s worth it. Research what you’re getting into and what you need to do to publish a novel. Don’t go in there blind. Get to your your audience, your readers and the bloggers. Bloggers will become your best friends. Respect them as you would other authors because the reality is you need them more than they need you. They can help make or break a career and remember they’re in the industry because they love writing and reading as much as you do.
Also realize that this industry is like every other industry. It’s tough. There are people in the industry who are bitchy and who will stomp over you given the chance, but there are also some amazing people out there too – fellow authors, bloggers, formatters and editors who give a damn and are passionate about writing as you.
Last but not least, trust your gut and love what you do.

13.          Do you have a message for my blog’s followers? 
Hi everyone. Thank you for taking the time to get to know me and visit this wonderful blog. I hope you all enjoy the interview and Nowhere to Hide and I can’t wait to share more with you later on this year and in 2014. – Nina.


Book description

Stephanie Carovella came back to Los Angeles to face her past and nearly lost her future to a serial killer.
Now she has a chance to start a new life with a new man.
But is that what she wants? While she battles Jase Devlin, the man who won't stop until they are together, she gains the attention of another serial killer.
This time it's the copycat killer; one who will stop at nothing to possess her.
Can she survive the madness of another killer? Will she give in to Jase Devlin's advances? And will she see the real threat before it's too late?
Or will Stephanie Carovella discover she has Nowhere To Hide?


Holly frantically ran down the muddy track. Feeling her feet slip and slide against the wet surface, she stumbled, crying out when she fell to her knees. Her heart beating wildly, she instinctively put her hands out in front of her, dropping them to the ground to protect her fall.
She bit back a sob, the slow and steady pace of her attacker’s footsteps drawing closer. She had to get up. She had to escape. The thought echoed through her mind, spurring her on.
Staggering to her feet again, she involuntarily placed her hand to her head. A wave of nausea hit her as she felt sticky blood on her fingers.
Pushing forward, she forced herself into a steady pace, refusing to let the throbbing of her head stop her from moving. Tremors ran through her body. Why her? Why had he attacked her? She’d been walking from the library to the university car park when he had taken her by surprise, hitting her from behind.
The force of the blow had left her reeling and she’d dizzily turned around, just in time to see the tire iron come down again. She’d managed to lift her arm up to ward off the blow, screaming in pain when his weapon connected with her wrist. When he’d raised the tire iron to hit her again, she’d lashed out, shoving him hard with her good arm. He’d stumbled backwards, and she’d used the opportunity to escape. Sprinting past him, she’d headed for the university car park, her heart racing frantically.
She could still hear him behind her. His footsteps sped up from a slow and steady pace into a fast jog. He was getting closer and closer, she panicked. He was going to get her.
Why had she taken the shortcut? When she’d left the library, she’d automatically taken the quicker route. It was a shortcut she’d taken countless times before during the day, but never at night – or at least not until tonight. Why had she been so stupid, she chastised herself. Ducking her head slightly to avoid an overgrown branch she narrowed her eyes, focusing ahead of her to the university car park, as it came into view.
Pushing her body to its limits she burst out into the opening, her breathing coming in short pants of exhaustion. She headed towards her car, jerking her handbag off her shoulder. Frantically ripping it open, she searched for her car keys, ignoring the items spilling onto the concrete.
Unable to resist, she craned her head back toward the shadowed path, relief flooding through her when she realized no one was behind her. Taking a deep breath of reassurance when she reached her car, she unsteadily unlocked the door to her yellow Volkswagen.
Quickly getting into the car, she locked the door. Fumbling with the car keys, she whimpered when they fell to the floor. With trembling fingers, she searched the car floor for her keys, breathing a sigh of relief when she located them.
Sitting back up straight, she glanced out the window, realizing he was standing in front of her car, a gun in his hand.
“Dear God, please no,” she whispered, watching helplessly as he raised the gun and aimed at her, his eyes lighting up in pleasure at the terror on her face just before he fired.

 About the Author

Nina D’Angelo is a freelance writer and photographer. After graduating from Deakin University in 2005, with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism and Public Relations, Nina briefly worked in P.R. Not satisfied with her profession, she returned to freelance writing. Since graduation from University, she has written her own TV series, produced a music show for three seasons, worked for several music magazines and her photography was published in Aqua Pulse.
Her first novel, Nowhere to Run was released February 2013. It is the first in the Stephanie Carovella series and currently available through Amazon. It will soon be available through itunes and Barnes and Noble.

Nina’s second novel, Nowhere to Hide, is due for release in August 2013. It is the second in the Stephanie Carovella series. Nina has already started working on her third and fourth novels. Her third novel, not yet titled is due out in December 2013 and the fourth novel, Deadly Secrets – the third in the Stephanie Carovella series is due out December 2013/January 2014.
To find out more about Nina D’Angelo, please see below:



4 Stars

I'm not sure I enjoyed this as much as Nowhere to Run as much of the same ground was covered but it was still an enjoyable rollercoaster ride and it was great to revisit the characters again.

The mystery of the killers (there were two), as well as the historical serial killer information was intriguing and while I tried to avoid the guessing game, having failed miserably with the first book,  I found it was easier this time around.    

The only thing I would like to see less of in future stories would be the indiscriminate adoration of Stephanie (I'm sure she's lovely but seems to be a little too irresistible), so it was rather refreshing to see the obsession by the killers to play out differently to the possessive lust of the killer in N2R.    I also hope Stephanie becomes more involved in cases that don't centre around her as I would like to see what she does in a more objective scenario. 

A fast paced read which I highly recommend to anyone who is looking for an intriguing thriller.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Blog Tour: Is This All There Is? by Patricia Mann (Guest Post, Interview, Excerpt and Review)

Every time I read the title of this book I start singing in my head the 'Is that all there is.."  part of Shut Up by The Black Eyed Peas.    While that was annoying, I loved this book and as a wife and mother, I found it  scarily relatable.  

Patricia Mann is a lovely new Facebook friend and is the best retweeter around (Thanks so much for the retweets Patricia).   I jumped on the opportunity to review her book and learn more about her.   So today Patricia has written a fun guest post, answered my questions and I'm sharing my thoughts on Is this All There Is, and an excerpt. 

Guest Post

Thanks for hosting me as a guest blogger, Leigh! I know we share a love for blogging about our families, so I thought I’d try something new. With just my sixteen-year-old son and me at home on a lazy summer day, interviewing him seemed like a fun idea. It turns out that our talk was quite revealing – about both him and me! I changed my son’s name to protect his anonymity, using Sam instead, the character in my book who’s loosely based on him at a much younger age.
Patricia: What do you think my book is about?
Sam: I think it’s about a bored woman who has sex with a student, or ex-student or whatever, because her husband is distant and working.
Patricia: What do you like about having me as your mom?
Sam: You’re nice and you’re not unreasonable or crazy.
Patricia: What do you not like about having me as your mom?
Sam: You’re overprotective a lot of the time. You don’t really let me go to parties.
Patricia: What’s good about being sixteen?
Sam: I have a car and I have freedom without any real responsibility.
Patricia: What’s not good about being sixteen?
Sam: You guys own all my stuff, so you pretty much own me.
Patricia: What do you like and not like about having a little brother?
Sam: He annoys me a lot of the time but when I get really bored, he can be entertaining.
Patricia: What kind of grandmother do you think I’ll be?
Sam: I think you’ll be a cool grandma, at least when they’re younger, probably not as relaxed as my grandparents (Patricia’s parents). But when they’re younger and all it takes to be the cool one is to give them candy, I’m sure you’ll be the cool one.
Patricia: Why are you so obsessed with your fish tank?
Sam: Because it’s a fun hobby and it’s peaceful and the fish don’t tell me to do stuff.
Patricia: What are your plans right now?
Sam: I’m going to eat, then go to the chiropractor, then go to the store, and then pick up my little brother from camp.
Patricia: What do I do that embarrasses you?
Sam: When I have friends over, you like to spy on us and see what we’re doing.
Patricia: What’s the most embarrassing thing your dad does?
Sam: Dad doesn’t really do anything that embarrassing. He makes weird inappropriate jokes sometimes with my friends but most of my friends think he’s pretty awesome.
Patricia: You seem to be our dog’s favorite person, why do you think he loves you so much?
Sam: Because I feed him every once in a while and I let him sleep in my bed.
Patricia: What kind of friends do you like to hang out with?
Sam: People who don’t borrow money and never pay you back.
Patricia: Give me an example of the teenage drama you see.
Sam: Recently, this girl I know had a party and she checked with all her neighbors to make sure they were okay with it because there was gonna be loud music and they all said yes. Then she had the party and the cops showed up and her parents almost had to pay a $1,500.00 ticket because there was drinking and stuff.
Interruption by Patricia: Wait, you weren’t at that party, were you?
Sam: No, I wouldn’t have even bothered to ask because it would have been an automatic no. Then I found out later who called the cops and it was another kid our age who dislikes the girl who threw the party. So I told her that he was the one who called the cops and she got really mad at him.
Patricia: You have a very adventurous, risk-taking personality. For example, you insisted on making the 108-story leap off the top of the Stratosphere in Vegas, which nearly gave me a heart attack. Why do you think you have no fear?
Sam: Because I’m sixteen and those things are fun and I can’t fully understand the consequences of my decisions right now because my brain isn’t fully formed yet.
Patricia: What other risky activities do you plan to engage in when you’re older?
Sam: Definitely sky diving - I think the day I turn 18.
Patricia: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Sam: A writer, a doctor, or a film editor.
Patricia: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Sam: I would like to have it shown on the record that whatever you’re reading is a censored version of what I actually said.

(My boys aren't teenagers yet, so I must admit this interview freaked me out a bit -  particularly the leaping stuff, and I agree about the parties. - LB) 


Tell me about your latest book

Beth, the main character in Is This All There Is?, appears to have it all. Her husband is reliable, she has two adorable kids, and enjoys her a part-time teaching job at the local university. But something isn’t quite right, otherwise how could she allow herself to be drawn into an affair with a sweet, sexy, young former student who showers her with attention? Torn between her loyalty to one man and her lust for another, Beth must make a choice.

 What inspired you to write this story?

When I started writing it, I wanted to explore the challenges of being an overwhelmed working wife and mother trying to find balance. That subject interested me more than any other because it was the story of my life! As the book took shape, Beth developed a mind of her own. It was her idea to have an affair with a student. I had to admit, it is one of the many unhealthy forms of escape I’ve seen women fall prey to. So I went with it.

Tell me a little about your Work in Progress

I’m so excited about the book I’m currently working on. My co-author is my mother. She’s preparing to retire from over 30 years of stellar work as a nurse, mostly in critical care. So our book is set in a hospital and each chapter will be packed with medical drama from the heartbreaking to the miraculous and everything in between, based on true stories. Our protagonist is a nurse who’s involved in a steamy secret romance with a hot ER doctor, but he doesn’t seem as ready for a commitment she is. So we’ll see where that goes.

Do you have a character you’ve enjoyed writing the most?

I’m tempted to say I enjoyed writing Beth’s character the most, because she’s like me in many ways, though not all. But trying to get into the heads of characters very different from me has been an exciting challenge. I had fun writing from the point of view of Beth’s seven-year-old son, Sam. When I was originally writing those parts, my older son was about that age so I would draw from the funny or challenging things he said. Many of his lines are taken straight out of my son’s mouth – but don’t let him know that, please, he’s a teenager now!

What sort of books do you like to read?

I love spiritual books that help me to be a better person, such as A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. I also adore chicklit written by authors who are dear friends like Samantha Stroh Bailey, Shelly Hickman, and Lori Verni-Fogarsi.

Chick Lit as a genre has apparently died a few times, which we know isn’t true.  How do you see the future of Chick Lit?

I get frustrated when I hear that because it doesn’t make any sense to me. There are so many definitions of chick lit. I see it as anything from funny to serious stories by women, about women, for women, involving the feelings and experiences women share. What could be wrong with that and how could something like that ever die?

Ultimate chick lit love interest? (either from an existing novel or just your ideal)

Realistic: Sam from Shelly Hickman’s beautiful and moving novel, Somewhere Between Black and White. He’s smart, sexy, compassionate, and wise. And I love that he’s a teacher like me!

Fantasy: Will from Renee Carlino’s awesome hit, Sweet Thing. A true rock star in the making, he’s incredibly hot and charismatic, yet he has this irresistible vulnerable, genuine side. Dangerous, but I’d go for it if I had the chance (and weren’t happily married!).


Patricia Mann is a university professor. She lives in California with her husband, their two kids, and a sweet, silly old dog.

Is This All There Is?

 Beth Thomas has the perfect life.  At thirty-five, she’s married to her college sweetheart, has two adorable kids, and teaches part time at the local university.  But when a friend persuades Beth to go dancing on a rare night out, a chance meeting with twenty one year old Dave, one of her former students, changes the course of her life.  Loud music, too much to drink, and the thrill of feeling young again lead to an unforgettable kiss that was never supposed to happen.  As she tries to put the memory behind her, Dave’s pursuit leaves Beth torn between what her mind says is right and what her heart and body crave.


             I got home a little after seven thirty, later than usual because I had pulled over to extend my phone call, but no one seemed to notice. Rick and the kids were sprawled out on the couch with the TV blaring.
            “Can you turn that thing down please?” Rick grabbed the remote and lowered the volume.
            I stepped over the winding wood train tracks that covered most of the living room floor and collapsed on the couch between the boys and gave them each a kiss on the forehead. Rick nudged Sam aside and sat next to me.
            “How was class?” Oh God, he knows, he can smell it on me. He knows I was kissing another man.
            “It was fine.”
            “Really, what was the subject?” I gave him a suspicious look.
            “I’m interested, really, you never talk about what you teach.”
            Sam noticed that Mommy and Daddy were going to talk about something they don’t usually talk about, which in his mind is always an invitation to join in.
            “Yeah, Mom, tell us what you were teaching about tonight.”
            Jack looked exhausted. I lifted him into my lap and ran my fingers along his back and arms. His sweet baby smell made me pause and inhale deeply for more. His little eyes fluttered and I wanted to lay my head down and drift off with him but I could see that Sam and Rick were waiting for my response.
            “Okay, well, you know the class I was teaching tonight is a business communication class, right?” They both nodded with enthusiasm although I was sure neither of them actually knew that.
            “So tonight, we talked about teamwork. It’s just like on your soccer team, Sammy. When people work together, they have to treat each other nicely, and take turns, and make sure they have common goals.”
            “So you mean you taught the college kids about soccer? Well duh, I could teach that class.”
            “No, it wasn’t about soccer, it was about teamwork, you know, taking other people into account when you make decisions rather than just thinking about yourself.” A sharp pain shot across the small of my back.


4.5 Stars :)

I really enjoyed this book.  The parts about mothering, feeling insecure and if there was more to life were spot on  and I could really relate to Beth, and her dissatisfaction was well written. 

I liked both the guys but have to admit I was team Rick, although he was frustrating at times so could understand Beth's annoyance.   I did like Dave but he seemed so intense and love struck that I found I wondered about his sincerity, but then the vast difference between how he and Rick both were towards Beth made it very easy to understand her actions and motivations and it all led to a very satisfying and realistic ending.