Book Review: All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:00 AM

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Betsy St. Amant combines sweets, romance, and cooking wars and ties it all up in her new book, All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes.

Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie's bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.

But when Lucas Brannen, Kat's best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself---her---is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat's senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.

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Don't miss Betsy St. Amant's latest fiction release, All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes. A "sweet" tale of two best friends and the choices they make between dreams and a possible "sure thing," St. Amant's novel is sure to satisfy your romantic-fiction craving.
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Betsy is celebrating with a fun Kindle giveaway and a Love & Cupcakes Facebook party! One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle
  • All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 18th. Winner will be announced at the "Love & Cupcakes" Author Chat Party on 9/18. Betsy will be hosting a "sweet" book chat, giving away prizes, and answering questions from readers. She will also share an exclusive sneak peek at her next book project!

So grab your copy of All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes and join Betsy on the evening of September 18th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!

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While I really thought that I would love this book, I was felt feeling a bit flat after I finished it. It's been a few days now and I haven't quite figured out why that is. The writing was great, the characters were fun and getting a little behind the scenes into shows like Cupcake Wars was really cool but something just didn't come together for me with this one. Now that I think about it, I think it had to do with the character development. Kat's family dynamic is made to be a pretty big deal but the book doesn't really focus much on the interactions between family members. There are also mentions of her past relationship but it's also not really given any sort of focus. All in all, I'm dubbing this one a "sweet story" that is worth a read, but it's not going to make my top list this year.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this book. All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.

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Book Review: Joyful

Posted by Katrina Roets at 6:00 AM

 A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray's final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.

Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm's needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.

When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious---and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth's heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.

Elizabeth wants to refuse---to stay far away from the man who hurt her---but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she's older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.

Randall, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her---or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth---or risk losing his chance at love forever.

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Oh how I hate to see a good series end. It seems like just when you feel as if you know everyone and you can't wait to see what happens in their lives, it's all over. It had been quite some time since I had read another book in this series and so, in some ways, it was like learning about everyone all over again. Like the other book, I very much enjoyed immersing myself into Sugarcreek. This book showed a side of the Amish community that I haven't seen in other books...money and the need for it. It's easy to think of the Amish world as that of a fairy tale land, but in this book, the reader gets to see that money worries touch everyone. I won't give anything away but I was so happy in the way that the author wrapped up stories that I had followed through the other books, as well as Randall and Elizabeth's story.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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Book Blast: MS Madness

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:30 AM

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Yvonne deSousa’s diagnosis of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis came with an insightful declaration from a new doctor (“MS Sucks”) and a brother’s helpful advice (“You could totally get one of those handicapped parking plates now”). What followed was a year of MS-adventures: “accidentally” kicking an officious male doctor in the crotch, becoming an undercover agent to pay for medication made from Chinese hamster ovary cells, discovering the amazing effects of legal speed, and battling her arch-nemesis, the dreaded food group-vegetables. Throughout her MS journey, Yvonne learned how to use humor to find acceptance in her diagnosis and how to smile in the face of chronic illness. Life with multiple sclerosis can be daunting, but Yvonne shares her giggles at the bizarre world she has unwittingly entered and the new perspectives it has given her on life. MS Madness! makes us realize that with a sense of humor, we can survive anything. “MS Madness! A ‘Giggle More, Cry Less’ Story of Multiple Sclerosis combines defiance with humor, the secret weapon of the sick. Laughter has carried me a greater distance than conventional medicine ever will. In the end, attitude drives well being.” -Richard M. Cohen, NY Times best-selling author of Blindsided and Strong at the Broken Places

Buy on Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback | B&N

Put MS Madness on your TBR pile

Author Bio yvonne

Yvonne deSousa has worked as a street sweeper, a shell seller, a babysitter, a candy peddler, and a guest house manager, all before the age of sixteen. Later on she worked as a waitress, sales clerk, library assistant, victim’s advocate, and at the front desk of a doctor’s office. Two years before Yvonne’s diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, a relative volunteered her to write an article for a local newspaper. Little did she know it was the beginning of a writing career. When MS threatened to turn her into a lunatic, she started writing more frequently and quickly discovered that writing about the insanity that is MS was helping to keep her sane. Her work has appeared on CapeWomenOnline.com, and in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Finding My Faith and Something On Our Minds, Volumes 1 and 2. Yvonne also writes a weekly blog on www.yvonnedesousa.com the website that uses a giggle stick to beat up on MS. Since finishing MS Madness! A “Giggle More, Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosis, she has started presenting programs designed to help others use humor to help cope with chronic illness. Yvonne enjoys writing, laughing, and resting. She lives by her personal mottos, “how you deal affects how you feel” and “my MS is not your MS and your MS is weird!” Contact her at Yvonne@yvonnedesousa.com
Find her on Twitter | Facebook | Literary Addicts | Goodreads

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Cover Reveal: Chronicles of Steele: Raven

Posted by Katrina Roets at 3:10 PM

Monday, September 15, 2014

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This is the complete Steampunk Fantasy novel - all four parts of the serial in one volume! Human life has value. The poor living in the gutter is as valuable as the rich living in a manor. The scoundrel is no less valuable than the saint. Because of this, every life a reaper takes must be redeemed. Raven has lived by this first tenet since she was trained by her father to become a reaper. But since his death, she’s been spending years redeeming the lives she’s taken. By her count, she’s even and it’s time for that life to end. If she settles down and becomes a wife, she might just feel human again. But on the way to the life she thinks she wants, the baron of New Haven asks her to complete a task which she cannot ignore… Just when Raven decides to give up on her life as an assassin, she’s pulled right back in.

Add to your Goodreads TBR PILE!

Buy episode 1 & episode 2

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Pauline CreedenPauline Creeden

Pauline Creeden is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
Follow Pauline Creeden: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Goodreads Giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Raven by Pauline Creeden

Raven

by Pauline Creeden

Giveaway ends November 14, 2014. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
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Book Review: Love's Fortune

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:00 AM

Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas's vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. When her father receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope, Rowena makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world--filled with family members she's never met, dances she's never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew. As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantynes' shipping line. Even with his help, Rowena feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way . . . to her peril?

With her signature attention to historical detail, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story of loss, love, and loyalty. Fans will cheer for this final installment of the Ballatyne saga.



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Another end to another series. Sadly, I didn't have the opportunity to review the first two books, but let me tell you, if they're anything like this gem, I wouldn't hesitate to go out and find them. Wren's story touched my heart. I cannot imagine leaving behind everything that you know to be thrust into a world that is completely foreign. Like any good story, there will be those who welcome her and those who ...well let's just say that they're not as welcoming.  Actually, forget about stories..just like life, there are always both kinds of people and it's how we handle them that tells our true character. Rowena (aka Wren) and her story kept me up reading far past my bedtime and I don't have a single regret. It was well worth a sleepy morning..and maybe a nap. ;)

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.. All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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Book Release: Sunset

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:00 AM

Sunday, September 14, 2014

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Sunset

Return to Annie Crow Knoll. . . a place where people come to restore their spirits, heal their pain and reclaim their lives. Nate Bidwell blamed his mother Annie for his parents' divorce. Buried hurts and resentments between mother and son make Nate reluctant to risk his heart when his childhood friend Beth Ann offers him her own. Instead, he allows himself to fall in love with the fragile and dependent June, and Annie's opposition to their marriage reignites years of unresolved conflict with her only child. Nate swears that he will never return to Annie Crow Knoll, his family home on the Chesapeake Bay. Instead, he opens his dream restaurant in Manhattan and tirelessly works to build his career as a chef.

When near-tragedy strikes their lives, though, Nate is forced to return to the one place he hopes may save his wife: Anne Crow Knoll. There, surrounded by the love and support of his mother, their friend Packard and Beth Ann, Nate and June face their doubts and fears about themselves, their marriage and their future. In the beauty of this Chesapeake community, they find hope and healing.  

Purchase now at

Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords

And don't miss the beginning of Annie's story in

Annie Crow Knoll: Sunrise

Available at Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and Kobo

 

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Gail Priest lives in New Jersey and summers in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay with her husband and their cockatiel. In addition to writing novels, plays and screenplays, she loves theater, reading, birding and being out in nature.
Follow Gail Priest on Facebook/Website / Literary Addicts / Twitter   Gail Priest and Hayson Publishing are giving away a paperback copy of Annie Knoll: Sunrise. Open to US residents. Fill out the form below to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway  






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Book Review: Christmas at Rose Hill Farm

Posted by Katrina Roets at 1:00 PM

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bess Riehl is preparing Rose Hill Farm for her Christmas wedding, but her groom isn't who she thought it would be. Billy Lapp is far away from his Amish roots working as a rose rustler for Penn State and wants nothing to do with Stoney Ridge, his family, or Bess. And that suits Bess just fine. Why should she think twice about a man who left without a word, without any explanation? It's time she moved on with her life, and that meant saying yes to Amos Lapp, Billy's cousin and best friend. But as Bess and Amos's wedding day draws near, her emotions tangle into a tight knot. She loves Amos. Yet she can't forget Billy.

When a "lost" rose is discovered at Rose Hill Farm, Billy is sent to track down its origins. Get in, identify the rose, and get out. That's his plan. The only catch is that he's having a hard time narrowing down the identity of the lost rose, and he can't get those tropical blue eyes of Bess Riehl out of his mind.

As the history of the lost rose is pieced together, it reminds Bess and Billy--and Amos, too--that Christmas truly is the season of miracles.

Join bestselling, award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher for an Amish Christmas to remember. Filled with heart-twisting moments amid the sweet anticipation of love, this story will charm readers into the holiday spirit

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Join best-selling, award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher for an Amish Christmas to remember. Filled with heart-twisting moments amid the sweet anticipation of love, Christmas at Rose Hill Farm will charm readers into the holiday spirit.

Suzanne is hosting a "Christmas Rose" iPad bundle giveaway and a nation-wide Christmas at Rose Hill Farm Book Club Brunch in November. Enter the giveaway below and sign up to host a brunch HERE.
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TWO grand prize winners will receive:
  • An iPad
  • A Rose-patterned iPad case
  • A Rose-patterned phone case (for any model phone)
  • A Christmas wreath
  • A set of Christmas hand-towels
  • Christmas at Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Five second place winners will receive:
  • Christmas at Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 28th. All winners will be announced September 29th at Suzanne's blog.

rosehill-brunchbuttonHost a Christmas at Rose Hill Farm Book Club Brunch! This fall Suzanne is inviting book clubs across the nation to throw a Christmas at Rose Hill Farm Book Club Brunch. Sign up here between now and September 29. If you’re selected as one of the 50 hosts, you’ll receive a copy of the book plus two other Revell titles (give them away as party prizes or door prizes or keep them for yourself), a complete party kit, and a discount code to purchase copies of Christmas at Rose Hill Farm for your book club at a discount. Suzanne is also encouraging each book club brunch to collect non-perishable items for their local community shelter. She will be making a donation to her favorite charity (helping abused women and children) for every brunch that meets their goal. Click here for more details and to SIGN UP!

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Suzanne's blog on the 29th to see if you won one of the great prizes! (Or better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

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After I was lucky enough to review one of Suzanne's other books, she said that she hoped I'd be reviewing her next one. Imagine my joy and surprise when not more than a few days later, this one became available. As y'all know, I have this soft spot for Amish fiction. I think that it calls to my desires to live a simpler, more fulfilling life. While this book didn't specifically reach that desire, it was still a well written book filled with characters that though you've never read them before, they somehow seem to be familiar to you. This is a book that you certainly don't have to wait until Christmas to read. Heck, as someone from Michigan, I'd say first snows don't always wait until December..though I'd be happy if it snowed between December 23rd and January 3rd and then it'd be done. I love snow, but man I do not love shoveling it or driving on bad roads!

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.

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