Monday, July 27, 2015

Giveaway - Rome in Love - Anita Hughes

Summer isn't over yet! Today's giveaway is the perfect addition for your beach bag!

Rome in Love by Anita Hughes releases August 4/15 and I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader!

From the publisher, St. Martin's Griffin:

"When Amelia Tate is cast to play the Audrey Hepburn role in a remake of Roman Holiday, she feels as if all her dreams have come true. She has a handsome boyfriend, is portraying her idol in a major motion picture, and gets to live in beautiful, Italian city of Rome for the next two months. Once there, she befriends a young woman named Sophie with whom she begins to explore the city. Together, they discover all the amazing riches that Rome has to offer. But when Amelia's boyfriend breaks up with her over her acting career, her perfect world begins to crumble.

While moping in her hotel suite, Amelia discovers a stack of letters written by Audrey Hepburn that start to put her own life into perspective. Then, she meets Philip, a handsome journalist who is under the impression that she is a hotel maid, and it appears as if things are finally looking up. The problem is she can never find the right time to tell Philip her true identity. Not to mention that Philip has a few secrets of his own. Can Amelia finally have both the career and love that she's always wanted, or will she be forced to choose again?

With her sensory descriptions of the beautiful sites, decadent food, and high fashion of Rome, Hughes draws readers into this fast-paced and superbly written novel. Rome in Love will capture the hearts of readers everywhere." Read an excerpt of Rome in Love.

Credit: Sheri Geoffreys

"Anita Hughes is the author of Lake Como, Market Street, and Monarch Beach. She attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing Program, and has taught Creative Writing at The Branson School in Ross, California. Hughes lives in Dana Point, California, where she is at work on her next novel." You can connect with Anita Hughes on her website, as well as on Twitter and on Facebook.

Sound like a book you'd love to read?! Enter to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US only, no PO boxes please. Ends August 8/15.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #63

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
But you can like one cover version better than another...

US cover
UK cover
I'm really looking forward to Karin Slaughter's newest book releasing in September in the US and July in the UK. She's a fantastic crime novelist. Pretty Girls is a stand alone. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Well, both covers have a blurb from Lee Child. The UK is more explicit and definitely lets you know it's a crime novel. But this week, I think I am drawn more to the subtlety of the the locket falling in the  US cover. What cover do you prefer? Do you plan to read Pretty Girls?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is 
a regular Saturday feature at 
A Bookworm's World.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Film on Friday #38 The Longest Ride

The Longest Ride, based on the best selling novel by Nicholas Sparks, has just released on Blu-ray from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Director George Tillman Jr. does a fantastic job of bringing this love story to the screen. (And staying true to the book)

Bullrider Luke (Scott Eastwood) is 'back in the saddle' trying to return to the top of his sport after an injury, when he meets Sophia (Britt Robertson) - a college student ready to graduate and pursue her dream job in the art field. When the two meet, sparks fly - but can love overcome dreams and ambitions? What, if any, choices and sacrifices will each be willing to make?

What makes The Longest Ride such a wonderful film to watch is the parallel story set in the 1940's. Luke and Sophia rescue Ira (Alan Alda) an older man and his box of letters from a car crash. Sophia continues to meet with Ira and from her letter reading we relive the love story of Ira and his wife Ruth. (Oona Chaplin is fantastic as young Ruth. Jack Huston is young Ira) The two stories mirror each other across the generations, through good and bad, only serving to illustrate that love takes sacrifice and the path to happiness is never smooth.

Watching The Longest Ride is going to make you happy though. Who doesn't love a love story? Great sets and scenery, a perfectly cast group of actors, some tastefully done steamy scenes, lots of action in the bull ring and an ending that's just right, all add up to a sweet, satisfying movie night at home. The Longest Ride is perfect to share with that special someone in your life or maybe as a girl's night at the movies. (As one supporting character says early on "I want a cowboy." Uh huh.)

Tillman took great care with realistically portraying the bull riding. Two of the special features on the disc follow Eastwood's training as well as the real riders. Fascinating stuff. There's also some good interviews with cast members, director and Sparks as well.

The title refers to the eight seconds a rider must stay on the bull to score, but The Longest Ride is also a nod to relationships - staying the course through a bumpy ride as well. Well worth watching for this movie lover!

And in case you missed it - you have until midnight tonight to 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Over the Counter #273

What books caught my eye this week as they passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Well, I was hot and was looking for a cool drink......and the cover pictures caught my eye.

First up is Quench: Handcrafted Beverages to Satisfy Every Taste and Occasion by Ashley English.

 From the publisher, Roost Books:

"From homemade root beer to hard cider, fresh-squeezed ginger lemonade to handcrafted Irish cream, do-it-yourself beverages are gaining interest and intrigue across the culinary spectrum. Professional mixologists and amateur home cooks alike are looking for beverages to inspire and satisfy, sourced from a variety of natural and seasonal ingredients. Quench offers the solution, covering the entire beverage range with hot, cold, fermented, infused, and cured offerings. There’s something here for every palate, occasion, and need. Quench promises to help you pour a glass of whatever it is you're thirsting for."

Next up is The Land Where Lemons Grow: The Story of Italy Its Citrus Fruit by Helena Attlee.

From the publisher, Countryman Press:

"The Land Where Lemons Grow is the sweeping story of Italy’s cultural history told through the history of its citrus crops. From the early migration of citrus from the foothills of the Himalayas to Italy’s shores to the persistent role of unique crops such as bergamot (and its place in the perfume and cosmetics industries) and the vital role played by Calabria’s unique Diamante citrons in the Jewish celebration of Sukkoth, author Helena Attlee brings the fascinating history and its gustatory delights to life.

Whether the Battle of Oranges in Ivrea, the gardens of Tuscany, or the story of the Mafia and Sicily’s citrus groves, Attlee transports readers on a journey unlike any other."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A New Hope - Robyn Carr

A New Hope is the 8th entry in the Thunder Point series by best selling author Robyn Carr.

I don't read a lot of romance, but a co-worker mentioned that she had enjoyed quite a few Robyn Carr titles. I was looking for an easy, feel good read, so A New Hope seemed like a good bet.

Ginger Dysart has suffered great personal loss. Still grieving, she moves to the small town of Thunder Point, Oregon, to help out her cousin.  Carr quickly introduces us to the many residents of the town, each with their own story and personality. I must admit to feeling slightly overwhelmed in the beginning, with the sheer number of story lines and connections.

Ginger is a likable character, as are most of the players. Thunder Point is that mythical little town, where everyone knows your name (and your business) the neighbours pitch in and help is always just around the corner. Idyllic and a perfect setting.

At a local wedding, Ginger is hit on by a drunken Matt Lacoumette, who has also suffered loss. Sober, he comes by to apologize to Ginger and.....well, you can see it coming can't you? No surprise - - their relationship grows from no thanks, to friends and onward. Carr grows this relationship nicely, with more than a few truths and some thoughtful introspection along the way.

My only complaint would be the inclusion of what I viewed as somewhat gratuitous sex scenes. No, it's not me being prudish. I just thought they felt forced, or injected into the story as a prerequisite element. I was enjoying the story without these insertions.

What I did really enjoy was that caring town and its residents. Carr has included a wide variety of characters, from young to old, each with their own story. It's easy to see why readers get hooked on such series. It's lovely to imagine such a place as Thunder Point might exist.

The growing relationship between Ginger and Matt is of course a given, despite the setbacks thrown in their paths. But that's why we read romance isn't it? For that happy ever after. Readers will find that ending in A New Hope. Read an excerpt of A New Hope.

"Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost fifty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit her at her website, connect with her on Facebook, as well as on Twitter.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Hand That Feeds You - A. J. Rich

The Hand That Feeds You is a newly released psychological thriller from A.J. Rich. (A pseudonym and collaborative effort from authors Amy Hempel and Jill Clement.)

Morgan Prager comes home to her apartment to a horrific sight. Her fiancé Bennett is dead - seemingly killed by Morgan's three dogs. When she attempts to notify his family of his death, she can't find them - or any trace of the man she was to marry. Nothing he told was true. Morgan met Bennett through an online dating site and a questionnaire she created for her thesis on victim psychology. Could Morgan be the victim herself?

And of course, along with Morgan, the reader wants to know who Bennett was as well.

I was intrigued by the premise and Morgan's search for who Bennett really was. But I found myself reading as an observer, removed from the story and not as a engaged participant. I just couldn't connect with Morgan. I didn't overly like her, despite her being the protagonist.  She alternates between being self aware to downright naive. But she remained flat for me, never generating a strong response.

The inclusion of death by dog was quite different. Dogs, dog rescue, dog temperament and dog law play a large in the plot of The Hand That Feeds You. Hempel is a founding member of two dog rescue organizations and her knowledge adds much to a distinctly different whodunit plot. I learned quite a bit, but sometimes I felt like this information and storyline detracted from the main plot. I did think that the idea of someone falsely representing themselves online was excellent - and timely.

Rich does include a lot of extraneous detail - about food/drink/prices that seem like filler, as well as other odd bits, such as a description of a 'green' funeral that really don't have anything to do with the plot at all.

The whodunit is fairly obvious, despite the choices offered, but I kept reading as I wanted to confirm my suspicions and find out the fate of the dogs. I found the ending and resolution a bit rushed in the less than two pages allotted to it.

The Hand That Feeds You was just an okay read, for me, and fell short of the publisher's description of  'smart, thrilling, sexy, and emotionally riveting.' See what you think - read an excerpt of The Hand That Feeds You.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Giveaway - Sisters of Treason - Elizabeth Fremantle

Calling all historical fiction fans! I've got a great giveaway for you today. Elizabeth Fremantle's novel, Sisters of Treason, is newly released in paperback - and I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader!

From the publisher, Simon and Schuster:

"From the author of Queen’s Gambit, which People magazine called, “A must-read for Philippa Gregory fans,” a gripping historical novel about two sisters who tread as dangerously close to the crown as their tragic sister, Lady Jane Grey, executed after just nine days on the throne.

Early in Mary Tudor’s turbulent reign, Lady Catherine and Lady Mary Grey are reeling after the brutal execution of their elder seventeen-year-old sister, Lady Jane Grey, and the succession is by no means stable. In Sisters of Treason, Elizabeth Fremantle brings these young women to life in a spellbinding Tudor tale of love and politics.

Neither sister is well suited to a dangerous life at court. Flirtatious Lady Catherine, thought to be the true heir, cannot control her compulsion to love and be loved. Her sister, clever Lady Mary, has a crooked spine and a tiny stature in an age when physical perfection equates to goodness—and both girls have inherited the Tudor blood that is more curse than blessing. For either girl to marry without royal permission would be a potentially fatal political act. It is the royal portrait painter, Levina Teerlinc, who helps the girls survive these troubled times. She becomes their mentor and confidante, but when the Queen’s sister, the hot-headed Elizabeth, inherits the crown, life at court becomes increasingly treacherous for the surviving Grey sisters. Ultimately each young woman must decide how far she will go to defy her Queen, risk her life, and find the safety and love she longs for.

From “a brilliant new player in the court of royal fiction,” (People) Sisters of Treason brings to vivid life the perilous and romantic lives of two little known young women who played a major role in the complex politics of their day."

"Elizabeth Fremantle is the author of Queen's Gambit and has contributed to Vogue, Elle, Vanity Fair and The Sunday Times among other publications. She lives in London, England." Read an excerpt of Sisters of Treason. There's a reading group guide available as well as a video to help you get to know Elizabeth better. Or connect with Elizabeth on her Facebook page.

Sound like a book you'd like to read? I have one copy to giveaway. Open to continental US only, no PO boxes please. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Ends August 1/15.