Thursday, June 30, 2011

HEADING TO CHI TOWN

Hey everyone, am heading to Chicago but I still have to pick the winners of the last three books. I'll keep the post open through the weekend in case you didn't get a chance to enter yet so go back to the previous post and enter to win any one of the three great books listed! Make sure to check to see if you've won a book throughout June by checking the tops of each post - some people didn't let me know if they've won -- it could be YOU!

Also please note, if you do win a book or if you would like to contact me: My email is stephanieelliot@gmail.com with ONE T. There's another girl out there who spells her last name with two Ts and she's been getting my emails. Fortunately, she's really cool. I have also gotten her emails. In fact, she's hosting a baby shower, and I've gotten her RSVPs. Someone asked me what she could bring to the baby shower. My head was spinning with all sorts of crazy answers - I could say, "Hey, did you know she's having TWINS!?!? Bring a bunch of boy/girl balloons and pink and blue cupcakes, but shhhh, don't tell anyone yet, cuz it's a surprise!" hahahah, I would NEVER DO that, but that's how my fiction-mind works!

Speaking of fiction, my agents have my novel now, and it's in their hands, so I just have to wait patiently! I have done one round of edits for them and I'm hoping that it will be ready soon to go to a bunch of editors and that someone will love the book and want to publish it.

In the meantime, I am putting together a great list of books to do a FALL FAB BLOWOUT GIVEAWAY for you guys, so not to worry, there are plenty of books coming soon, just right around the corner! And when I get back from Chicago, I will do the grand prize drawing which will include some of the books from the June giveaway, and a mysterious batch of other books that I have no idea what they will be. Long story short - since I moved, the new owners have been getting books sent to my old house STILL! I'll be picking them up in Chicago, and whatever books are there, the grand prize winner will be receiving a bunch of them. It's up to YOU GUYS to decide again -- should I split the bunch up? It's definitely going to be around 20 books or so!

I hope you're all having a great summer and reading LOTS! Here are the books I'll be taking along to Chicago with me, and YES, some of them will be turning up in the Fall Fab Blowout Giveaway as well!

Men, Women and Children by Chad Kultgen

Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner

Always Something There to Remind Me by Beth Harbison

Long Drive Home by Will Allison (getting to this one finally and can't wait!)

Let me know what you are reading!

PeaCe uP!

~MaNiC MoMMy

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

THREE FINAL BOOKS FOR JUNE BLAST-O-BOOKS!

WINNERS FINALLY! 
(But everyone who participated this month, please read this notice!)
Missing Persons: DENISE
Skinny: MICHELLE M.
The Little Women Letters: MARGIE

Congrats winners! Please email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com NOT with TWO Ts ... there is another stephanie elliot out there who has been getting my emails. If you put Two Ts at the end of elliot you will be sending it to the WRONG Stephanie! I am STEPHANIE ELLIOT with ONE T!

Thank YOU ALL who participated! There will be a GRAND PRIZE DRAWING with lots of books to win when I return from Chicago, probably late July/early August. If you've posted at ALL during the month of June, YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO WIN! I will DRAW one name per POST for each day, and then ALL of those entries will then go into the drawing where two names will then be chosen to WIN a bunch of books and possibly a Target or B&N gift card and some other treats or stuff to go along with it! So stay tuned and keep reading MaNiC! Also, when I get back home, I will have the updated list of MANY MORE great books that will be offered up during the SEPTEMBER BLOWOUT MONTHLONG GIVEAWAY!





OK, we are officially down to the wire and I’ve got three more books to share with you. But not to worry because I’ve already got a KICKIN’ list started of new books that I’ll be bringing to you in the Fall. Because I’m leaving for Chicago in two days, I’m posting the last three books here. Enter once, and I will be choosing THREE winners for these books very soon, so you gotta be quick here. (Or maybe, just maybe I’ll let it go through the weekend and I’ll choose after the fourth of July – I’m pretty sure I can manage to choose winners while out of town, I just know I have to get this post up, because, well, have you tried to pack for five people for almost a month lately? NOT FUN!)

NOTE: Please make sure to go back and check to see if you've won a book -- there was a mistake on one of the previous books and I accidentally listed the wrong winner on one of the books. You may have won!

So, here are the LAST THREE BOOKS of June’s Blast-O-Books! Hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you. I’ll be giving you some more details on the giveaway, and will be announcing a grand prize winner with a GRAND PRIZE SURPRISE PACK of MYSTERY books when I return at the end of July. I may even choose two winners like last time!

There will also be vacation posting so please do check in through July…I'll be seeing U2, and REO Speedwagon, and seeing old friends, and having family reunions, and meeting my niece for the very first time, and watching my kids get together with their best friends they haven't seen since we moved here over a year ago, and attending the Very Late Housewarming Party at my old home (Yep,the house we used to live in!), so there will be much to blog about! ... and you can always check out my posts at SheKnows.com Real Moms Guide - I post over there every single day - mostly about women issues and parenting stuff, also some different book reviews too! If you get a chance, stop on by and leave a comment! Thanks!

So, without any further you know what, here are today's final three books! Thanks for taking the ride with me this month! It's been a lot of fun!

MISSING PERSONS by Clare O’Donohue

This one is a Kate Conway Mystery, and it seems I’m becoming a mystery fan, so if you are too, you can expect to find more mysteries here on MaNiC!

When Kate’s soon-to-be ex-husband is found dead, she’s the suspect, and while she might have wanted to kill him, she didn’t do it. While she’s in the middle of this mess, suddenly, her dead ex’s new girlfriend wants to be friends with her – ok, how weird is THAT, and what is UP with that? Pretty mysterious there, huh?

Since Kate is a Chicago (gotta love going back to my roots) Television Producer, she gets a new assignment for a TV series called Missing Persons, and she throws herself into the project, which is about the disappearance of a young woman. She’s got to get 22 minutes of footage but suddenly, she’s discovering that the case on the young woman, and her ex’s death may have something in common.

It’s fast-paced and heart-racing, and since the author has a background in television as a writer and producer, she’s got the inside scoop to make Missing Persons an authentic and exciting read!

SKINNY by Diana Spechler

When I first discovered SKINNY, I knew it was one I had to read, and share with you! It had all the elements I look for in a great book – a protagonist dealing with some inner turmoil, a bit of a YA feel with the kids in camp (love the setting), some sexy sexy, and I already knew that Diana Spechler had written a great first novel, Who By Fire (check it out too!) I was especially attracted to the fact that there was a weight issue there. I guess it’s because for my whole life I have battled with the dreaded calorie. I’ve never been to summer camp though, and in SKINNY, main character Gray heads there as a camp counselor in order to stop a sudden bingeing due to her father’s death, and also to unravel a family mystery.

Below is the blurb of the book:

In the aftermath of her Orthodox Jewish father's death, twenty-six-year-old Gray Lachmann finds herself compulsively eating. Desperate to stop bingeing, she abandons her life in New York City for a job at a southern weight-loss camp. There, caught among the warring egos of her devious co-counselor Sheena, the self-aggrandizing camp director Lewis, his attractive assistant Bennett, and a throng of combative teenage campers, she is confronted by a captivating mystery: her teenage half-sister Eden, whom Gray never knew existed. Now, while unraveling her father's lies, Gray must tackle her own self-deceptions and take control of her body and her life.

Visceral, poignant, and often wickedly funny, Diana Spechler's masterfully crafted second novel illuminates a young woman's struggle to make sense of the inextricable link between hunger and emotion, and to make peace with her demons, her body, and herself.


Here’s the book trailer of SKINNY.

The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly


I am positive I read and loved Little Women when I was a little girl, and for some reason, I think I wanted to be Jo. (Yes, I just went to Wikipedia to confirm – she was the one who wanted to write a great novel, so that is true – I wanted to be, and still do want to be, Jo!)

The Little Women Letters is a fictional take on Jo’s descendants – and I’ve yet had a chance to read it, but anyone, whether or not you’ve read Little Women, will enjoy this “compassionate and spirited tale.” And if you’ve always been a Little Women fan, then well, you will fall in absolute love with this imaginary continued tale of these women!

Here’s the premise:

Vibrant, fresh, and intelligent, The Little Women Letters explores the imagined lives of Jo March’s descendants—three sisters who are both thoroughly modern and thoroughly March. As uplifting and essential as Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Gabrielle Donnelly’s novel will speak to anyone who’s ever fought with a sister, fallen in love with a fabulous pair of shoes, or wondered what on earth life had in store for her.

With her older sister, Emma, planning a wedding and her younger sister, Sophie, preparing to launch a career on the London stage, Lulu can’t help but feel like the failure of the Atwater family. Lulu loves her sisters dearly and wants nothing but the best for them, but she finds herself stuck in a rut, working dead-end jobs with no romantic prospects in sight. When her mother asks her to find a cache of old family recipes in the attic of her childhood home, Lulu stumbles across a collection of letters written by her great-great-grandmother Josephine March. In her letters, Jo writes in detail about every aspect of her life: her older sister, Meg’s, new home and family; her younger sister Amy’s many admirers; Beth’s illness and the family’s shared grief over losing her too soon; and the butterflies she feels when she meets a handsome young German. As Lulu delves deeper into the lives and secrets of the March sisters, she finds solace and guidance, but can the words of her great-great-grandmother help Lulu find a place for herself in a world so different from the one Jo knew?

Some things, of course, remain unchanged: the stories and jokes that form a family’s history, the laughter over tea in the afternoon, the desire to do the right thing in spite of obstacles. And above all, of course, the fierce, undying, and often infuriating bond of sisterhood that links the Atwater women every bit as firmly as it did the March sisters all those years ago. Both a loving tribute to Little Women and a wonderful contemporary family story, The Little Women Letters is a heartwarming, funny, and wise novel for today.


Read an excerpt of THE LITTLE WOMEN LETTERS.

To enter to qualify for each one of these books (I will draw three separate winners from all the entries, so you’ll have three chances to win), tell me … hmmm, I was going to ask you to name your fave crime show and if you’ve been to summer camp, but then I couldn’t come up with something for the third book, like what is your favorite letter? That’s dumb, so I’m trying to think of something really clever and interesting to ask you…. Let’s see …OK!

Since I’ve been thinking a lot about my OWN manuscript (which has been edited and sent back to my agent!), let me ask you this:

If you could ASK THE EX YOU THINK ABOUT MOST one thing, what would you ask him (or her)?

Thanks for reading and being a part of June Blast-O-Books.

I also blog at SheKnows.com Real Moms Guide. Please take a look at my posts over there if you get a chance!

Don't forget to enter for any of the previous books that you may have missed. AS LONG AS A WINNER's NAME is NOT posted at the top of the blog post, then that means a winner has NOT yet been chosen so you can still enter to win that book but ONLY ONE TIME per book entry PLEASE!
If you're new here, check out the rules and other stuff for the June Blast-O-Books there under that highlighted link back there, or feel free to leave me a comment always and I'll answer it in the thread, or email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com. It is always at my discretion to change things up, and because of some regulations, I guess I must say that the books I review are given to me by either the authors or publishers or publicists, and I am never paid for my reviews, and they are my own personal reviews, and you know what, because I'm here telling you this anyway, I will also tell you that I never review a book I don't like, because you know what, why waste my time, life is too short to read a crappy book! There. There's my new mantra!



Friday, June 24, 2011

LAST NIGHT AT CHATEAU MARMONT by Lauren Weisberger & NIGHT ROAD by Kristin Hannah

Winners:
Night Road:
Colleen Turner

Last Night At Chateau Marmont:

Krystal who roasted marshmallows

Please email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com so we can get your books to you. Also please note: my email has ONE T! There happens to be another Stephanie Elliot out there but she spells her last name with TWO Ts and she's been getting some of my emails and I've been getting some of her emails! Fortunately, she's very cool so she's been sending emails to me if she gets any!







I’ve got two more books for you this weekend and I know you’re going to LOVE these! And what's interesting when I choose books to match up together on a post is sometimes I try to do it so there’s something in common, and today I didn’t think I had anything in common with the two I chose. Except now, after this post is almost all written, I realized that both of these books have the word NIGHT in the title. Crazy right? Wow.

First up is Lauren Weisberger’s Last Night at Chateau Marmont. Everyone remembers Lauren’s debut hit, The Devil Wears Prada, and with this, her fourth novel, Lauren continues to captivate with a fun beach read. Last Night at Chateau Marmont is about a wife trying to deal with the husband’s sudden launch into the land of paparazzi and all things that come along with becoming an overnight celebrity.

Brooke loved reading the dishy celebrity gossip rag Last Night. That is, until her marriage became a weekly headline.

Brooke was drawn to the soulful, enigmatic Julian Alter the very first time she heard him perform “Hallelujah” at a dark East Village dive bar. Now five years married, Brooke balances two jobs—as a nutritionist at NYU Hospital and as a consultant to an Upper East Side girls’ school, where privilege gone wrong and disordered eating run rampant—in order to help support her husband’s dream of making it in the music world.

Things are looking up when after years of playing Manhattan clubs and toiling as an A&R intern, Julian finally gets signed by Sony. Although no one’s promising that the album will ever hit the airwaves, Julian is still dedicated to logging in long hours in the recording studio. All that changes after Julian is asked to perform on the Tonight show with Jay Leno—and is catapulted to stardom, literally overnight. Amazing opportunities begin popping up almost daily—a new designer wardrobe, a tour with Maroon Five, even a Grammy performance.

At first the newfound fame is fun—who wouldn’t want to stay at the Chateau Marmont or visit the set of one of television’s hottest shows? Yet it seems that Brooke’s sweet husband—the man who can’t handle hot showers and wears socks to bed—is increasingly absent, even on those rare nights they’re home together. When rumors about Brooke and Julian swirl in the tabloid magazines, she begins to question the truth of her marriage and is forced to finally come to term with what she thinks she wants—and what she actually needs.


Read the FIRST CHAPTER HERE. Check out an interesting interview with Lauren and her editor HERE. I love the fact that Lauren’s own husband created song lyrics for her character Julian in the book!

Next up is Night Road by Kristin Hannah. I know, I know, I know – you guys are screaming that I’m FINALLY featuring a Kristin Hannah book! What took me so long!? Well it’s here now, and I promise from here on out, I’ll share all her books on MaNiC MoMMy!

Night Road is one of those books that tears at the heartstrings. It’s about family and young love, heartbreak, forgiveneness, and what it takes to bring a family back together again.

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach—are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.

Jude does everything to keep her kids on track for college and out of harm’s way. It has always been easy-- until senior year of high school. Suddenly she is at a loss. Nothing feels safe anymore; every time her kids leave the house, she worries about them.

On a hot summer’s night her worst fears come true. One decision will change the course of their lives. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive.


Vivid, universal, and emotionally complex, NIGHT ROAD raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness. It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope. This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.


Read the FIRST CHAPTER HERE.

To enter to win either one of these books tell me what you did LAST NIGHT!

I went grocery shopping and then waited for our friends from Pasadena to arrive. They used to live in Chicago too, but moved to LA in January. The funny thing is now that they live six hours away from us, we see them MORE than when they lived only 45 minutes away in Chicago! So, tell me what you did last night!

(I will draw winners' names from this batch of posts, so if you enter here, you’re qualified to win one of these books, but I’ll draw two names, so it’s possible that your name may be drawn twice)

Thanks for reading and being a part of June Blast-O-Books.
I also blog at SheKnows.com Real Moms Guide. Please take a look at my posts over there if you get a chance!
Don't forget to enter for any of the previous books that you may have missed. AS LONG AS A WINNER's NAME is NOT posted at the top of the blog post, then that means a winner has NOT yet been chosen so you can still enter to win that book but ONLY ONE TIME per book entry PLEASE!
If you're new here, check out the rules and other stuff for the June Blast-O-Books there under that highlighted link back there, or feel free to leave me a comment always and I'll answer it in the thread, or email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com. It is always at my discretion to change things up, and because of some regulations, I guess I must say that the books I review are given to me by either the authors or publishers or publicists, and I am never paid for my reviews, and they are my own personal reviews, and you know what, because I'm here telling you this anyway, I will also tell you that I never review a book I don't like, because you know what, why waste my time, life is too short to read a crappy book! There. There's my new mantra!



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MAINE by J. Courtney Sullivan & THE SILVER BOAT by Luanne Rice

WINNERS:
Maine:
Beverly Victoria


The Silver Boat:
Katie from Litchfield Beach in SC
Please email me your mailing address at stephanieelliot@gmail.com so that I can send you your book!



Please go back to the previous posts and enter to win if you have not yet had a chance to do so. As long as a highlighted winner's name has NOT been listed at the top of the previous posts, you can enter to win! TWO separate winners will win ONE book each listed here. However, you only have to post ONCE and you will have the chance to win each of the books.



It’s OFFICIALLY summer so I can officially bring out these two books which are BEACH BOOKS! The unique thing about The Silver Boat by Luanne Rice and Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan is they both take place in the family’s beachfront properties.


First up, Maine. Some of my most favorite childhood memories are from our trips to Scituate, Maine to visit extended family. I remember walking along the beach, and the craggled rocks along the shore, and racing to the dime store to get candy every afternoon with distant, distant cousins whom I loved but now cannot even remember their names. I have such vivid memories of those times and wish I had a beach house that I could take my family to every summer.

I LOVED J. Courtney’s first book Commencement, and the minute I heard she had a new one out, I had to get it. She’s one of those authors that I have come to love and crave. So, while I have not had a chance to read Maine yet, this one is coming with me on our trip to Chicago. It’s also a BIG book, which makes this one of the times I wish I owned a Kindle, but it’s also a book cover that I adore, so if I had a Kindle, I wouldn't be able to gawk and caress the cover as I have been doing! I have read the first chapter, and let me tell you, this family saga will suck you in.

Here is what Maine is about:

In her best-selling debut, Commencement, J. Courtney Sullivan explored the complicated and contradictory landscape of female friendship. Now, in her highly anticipated second novel, Sullivan takes us into even richer territory, introducing four unforgettable women who have nothing in common but the fact that, like it or not, they’re family.

For the Kellehers, Maine is a place where children run in packs, showers are taken outdoors, and old Irish songs are sung around a piano. Their beachfront property, won on a barroom bet after the war, sits on three acres of sand and pine nestled between stretches of rocky coast, with one tree bearing the initials “A.H.” At the cottage, built by Kelleher hands, cocktail hour follows morning mass, nosy grandchildren snoop in drawers, and decades-old grudges simmer beneath the surface.

As three generations of Kelleher women descend on the property one summer, each brings her own hopes and fears. Maggie is thirty-two and pregnant, waiting for the perfect moment to tell her imperfect boyfriend the news; Ann Marie, a Kelleher by marriage, is channeling her domestic frustration into a dollhouse obsession and an ill-advised crush; Kathleen, the black sheep, never wanted to set foot in the cottage again; and Alice, the matriarch at the center of it all, would trade every floorboard for a chance to undo the events of one night, long ago.

By turns wickedly funny and achingly sad, Maine unveils the sibling rivalry, alcoholism, social climbing, and Catholic guilt at the center of one family, along with the abiding, often irrational love that keeps them coming back, every summer, to Maine and to each other.


I know how much you all love to read the first chapters, so here it is. But do be warned, once you read it, you will NOT want to stop!
MAINE FIRST CHAPTER

The Silver Boat
By Luanne Rice

Next up is Luanne Rice’s The Silver Boat, another beach house family story, but this time, they all congregate on Martha’s Vineyard. I bet many of you are familiar with Luanne Rice as she is the author of 22 consecutive NYT bestsellers! I have to confess here that I have yet to read a Luanne Rice, but I am very excited to be introduced to her. So see, even I get to find out new authors through MaNiC MoMMy!

Read the First Chapter Here: THE SILVER BOAT

Here is the book’s summary:

From the beloved New York Times bestselling Luanne Rice comes a heartwarming yet heart-wrenching portrait of three far-flung sisters who come home to Martha's Vineyard one last time. Their mother's beach house is the only place any of them ever found true happiness and they need to begin the difficult process of letting go. Memories of their grandmother, mother, and their Irish father, who sailed away the year Dar turned twelve, rise up and expose the fine cracks in their family myth-especially when a cache of old letters reveals enough truth to send them back to their ancestral homeland.

Transplanted into the unfamiliar, each sister sees life, her heart, and her relationship to home in a new way. But how do they let go of a place that contains the complicated love of their imperfect family? Without the house, where will they be together?

The novel is a season on Martha's Vineyard; a mission to Ireland; a cast of friends, including one wildly off-the-grid Zen genius; passionate love in the surf; and three very different sisters with lives filled with beauty, sorrow, and deep love they'd never been quite sure they could trust. The Silver Boat is Luanne Rice at her very best, complete with her singular talent for capturing a family in all its flawed complexity.


To enter to qualify to win either of these books, please tell me about a favorite beach memory!

Thanks for reading and being a part of June Blast-O-Books.
I also blog at SheKnows.com Real Moms Guide. Please take a look at my posts over there if you get a chance!
Don't forget to enter for any of the previous books that you may have missed. AS LONG AS A WINNER's NAME is NOT posted at the top of the blog post, then that means a winner has NOT yet been chosen so you can still enter to win that book but ONLY ONE TIME per book entry PLEASE!
If you're new here, check out the rules and other stuff for the June Blast-O-Books there under that highlighted link back there, or feel free to leave me a comment always and I'll answer it in the thread, or email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com. It is always at my discretion to change things up, and because of some regulations, I guess I must say that the books I review are given to me by either the authors or publishers or publicists, and I am never paid for my reviews, and they are my own personal reviews, and you know what, because I'm here telling you this anyway, I will also tell you that I never review a book I don't like, because you know what, why waste my time, life is too short to read a crappy book! There. There's my new mantra!



Monday, June 20, 2011

THE ONE THAT I WANT by Allison Winn Scotch & THE ORPHAN SISTER by Gwendolen Gross

WINNERS:

The Orphan Sister:
Qweska8402

The One That I Want:
JDSTEC

Please email me your addresses at stephanieelliot@gmail.com so I can get your books to you! Congrats!





TWO separate winners will win ONE book each. However, you only have to post ONCE and you will have the chance to win each of the books.

Allison is one of those authors who takes the time to connect with her fans, and is also willing to help other writers. She's on Facebook and Twitter - she's very fun to follow, if you haven't connected with her online. She's had the opportunity to interview some very hot celebs, and has freelanced for years as well as written NYT bestsellers. Her latest, The One That I Want is out in paperback next week, but you can win it here THIS WEEK!

The premise:

Tilly Farmer is thirty-two years old and has the perfect life she always dreamed of: married to her high school sweetheart, working as a school guidance counselor, trying for a baby. Perfect.

But one sweltering afternoon at the local fair, everything changes. Tilly wanders into a fortune teller's tent and meets an old childhood friend, who offers her more than just a reading. "I'm giving you the gift of clarity," her friend says. "It's what I always thought you needed." And soon enough, Tilly starts seeing things: her alcoholic father relapsing, staggering out of a bar with his car keys in hand; her husband uprooting their happy, stable life, a packed U-Haul in their driveway. And even more disturbing, these visions start coming true. Suddenly Tilly's perfect life, so meticulously mapped out, seems to be crumbling around her. And as she furiously races to keep up with - and hopefully change - her destiny, she faces the question: Which life does she want? The one she's carefully nursed for decades, or the one she never considered possible?
I'm also very excited about her fourth book, which will be out early 2012 called, The Song Remains the Same! Sneak Peek HERE!

And for all you writers out there with any kind of questions at all, don't forget to check out Allison's blog, Ask Allison, where she is always available to answer your writing questions! It's a great blog, very helpful and inspiring!

The Orphan Sister
By Gwendolen Gross
The next book to give away is one that Allison personally recommends, The Orphan Sister, by Gwendolen Gross, which I am completely engrossed in right now. Allison calls it “a gorgeous portrait of life, love, loss and sisterhood.”

I read five chapters while getting my hair colored today and cannot wait until later tonight when I can escape into some quiet time to continue reading. Gwendolen has written three other books, her most recent was The Other Mother, which I also loved and devoured. Her writing is so fluid and full of imagery, and The Orphan Sister is already so suspenseful and such a page-turner.

Here is the book’s premise:

Clementine Lord is not an orphan. She just feels like one sometimes. One of triplets, a quirk of nature left her the odd one out. Odette and Olivia are identical; Clementine is a singleton. Biologically speaking, she came from her own egg. Practically speaking, she never quite left it. Then Clementine’s father—a pediatric neurologist who is an expert on children’s brains, but clueless when it comes to his own daughters—disappears, and his choices, both past and present, force the family dynamics to change at last. As the three sisters struggle to make sense of it, their mother must emerge from the greenhouse and leave the flowers that have long been the focus of her warmth and nurturing.

For Clementine, the next step means retracing the winding route that led her to this very moment: to understand her father’s betrayal, the tragedy of her first lost love, her family’s divisions, and her best friend Eli’s sudden romantic interest. Most of all, she may finally have found the voice with which to share the inside story of being the odd sister out. . . .

To enter to win either one of these awesome books, tell me if you think you can judge a book by its cover? Is there a certain book cover you love? Personally, I love both these book covers. I love the book covers where you can't tell what the character looks like. I always like to imagine for myself who the character is.

Thanks for reading and being a part of June Blast-O-Books.
I also blog at SheKnows.com Real Moms Guide. Please take a look at my posts over there if you get a chance!
Don't forget to enter for any of the previous books that you may have missed. AS LONG AS A WINNER's NAME is NOT posted at the top of the blog post, then that means a winner has NOT yet been chosen so you can still enter to win that book but ONLY ONE TIME per book entry PLEASE!
If you're new here, check out the rules and other stuff for the June Blast-O-Books there under that highlighted link back there, or feel free to leave me a comment always and I'll answer it in the thread, or email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com. It is always at my discretion to change things up, and because of some regulations, I guess I must say that the books I review are given to me by either the authors or publishers or publicists, and I am never paid for my reviews, and they are my own personal reviews, and you know what, because I'm here telling you this anyway, I will also tell you that I never review a book I don't like, because you know what, why waste my time, life is too short to read a crappy book! There. There's my new mantra!



Friday, June 17, 2011

LONG DRIVE HOME by Will Allison & PARENTS BEHAVING BADLY by Scott Gummer

WINNERS:

Parents Behaving Badly:
Gwendolen Gross
(who just happens to be the author of The Orphan Girl! I think it's so cool that she won a book!)

Long Drive Home:
Joelle who said Jim Higley was her fave male author!
Please email me your mailing addresses so we can get you your books! Congrats!

NOTE: I am posting more frequently or doubling up books because I have many to get through by the end of the month, so make SURE to check previous posts so you don't miss ANY of the fabulous books I'm featuring! If there is not a highlighted WINNER on top of the POST, then you may still ENTER to win that book!

Long Drive HomeBy Will Allison



Parents Behaving Badly


Today I’m so very excited to bring two talented MEN to MaNiC MoMMy! Am I allowed to call them DILFs????? Cuz yep, they are quite sexy in their videos, if I dare say so! You MUST check them out ladies! And they are such talented writers!

A man and his pen is not to be shunned!

Let me preface this by saying this is NOT a two-fer post – TWO separate winners will win ONE book each. However, you only have to post ONCE and you will have the chance to win each of the books. Do you get what I’m sayin? (Yes, I will draw from the same batch twice, so you could possibly win both books.)

The first book up is Parents Behaving Badly by Scott Gummer, and I am part-way through and laughing like crazy over it. Seriously, this book reads like it should be on TV or a movie. Almost like the New and Improved Bad News Bears for women who love to read a great book. Tom Perrotta, one of my favorite male authors, said this of the book: “Not just a sharp satire about Little League madness but a shrewd and sympathetic portrait of a midlife marriage.”

Here’s the blurb on the book:

When Ben and Jili Holden must move from Manhattan with their three children back to their small hometown of Palace Valley, California, they are forced to reconcile the parents they've become with the dreams they had, the choices they've made, and a sex life much more down-to-earth than the epic Ferris wheel tryst of their youth. After reluctantly stepping up to lead his son's Little League team, Ben is challenged to finally come to terms with the long shadow of his father, a legendary high school baseball coach and mentor who is beloved by generations of players, yet largely a stranger to Ben.

At the heart of the story are the universal experiences and themes of family and community, as Ben and Jili struggle to connect with their technology-addicted children and grapple with issues of marital fidelity—both at home and in the hotbed of sexual tension that is the Little League park. Among an unforgettable cast are Del, an autocratic coach who issues his own Ten Commandments; Liza, Ben's unrequited high school crush; Logan, a smart-aleck ringer whose preteen talents are eclipsed only by his ego; and Cyn, the sultry thong-wearing team mom with the serpent tattoo. Every mother and father of every boy and girl who have ever participated in youth sports can relate, and in Parents Behaving Badly Scott Gummer brilliantly skewers overzealous parents and lunatic coaches, giving the grown-ups who seek vicarious glory the send-up they so richly deserve.


Check out an excerpt HERE.

And here is Scott in a video about Parents Behaving Badly where he fesses up about where the idea for the book came about.

NEXT UP:

Long Drive Home By Will Allison



Next up is a book I have been dying to get my hands on from the moment I read about it. Long Drive Home by Will Allison is a book about what happens when an impulsive act can turn your whole life into a downward spiral. When a simple jerk of his wheel, intended to scare a reckless driver, causes the driver to die in a car accident, Glen Bauer has to face the moral consequences knowing he was the one who may have caused the death. Add some extra tension to the story – Glen’s young daughter, Sara, was in the backseat at the time. An impulsive lie to his wife, the police, and his daughter, and the game begins. Long Drive Home is going to be an emotional and psychological drama that I will have to gear up to read. You know how there are some books that you just have to prep for? For me, I actually need to allocate a quiet time and place, and enough time span to be able to sit and really get into the drama of the book. And I cannot wait to settle in for this one!

Here’s a blurb:

Life can change in an instant because of one small mistake. For Glen Bauer, all it takes is a quick jerk of the steering wheel, intended to scare a reckless driver. But the reckless driver is killed, and just like that, Glen's placid suburban existence begins to unravel. When Glen realizes no one else saw the accident, he impulsively lies about what happened--to the police, to his wife, even to his six-year-old daughter, Sara, who was in the backseat at the time of the crash. But a tenacious detective thinks Sara might have seen more than she knows, or more than her parents will let her tell. And when Glen tries to prevent the detective from interrogating Sara, he finds himself in a high-stakes cat-and-mouse game that could end in a lawsuit or prison. What he doesn't see coming is the reaction of his wife, Liz--a panicked plan that threatens to tear their family apart in the name of saving it. But what if the accident wasn't really Glen's fault? What if someone else were to blame for the turn his life has taken? It's a question Glen can't let go of. And as he struggles to understand the extent of his own guilt, he finds himself on yet another collision course, different in kind but with the potential to be equally devastating.

Here’s a great video of Will Allison talking about LONG DRIVE HOME.

An interesting side note I just discovered about both of these books: Tom Perrotta is mentioned in Long Drive Home too. No wonder I was drawn to both of these books and to these male writers! I have found two new faves!

To qualify to win one or both of these two great books, leave a comment on who is your favorite male author! Thanks!

P.S. How many of you were smart enough to catch my subtle yet intentional joke up there?

Thanks for reading and being a part of June Blast-O-Books.


Don't forget to enter for any of the previous books that you may have missed. AS LONG AS A WINNER's NAME is NOT posted at the top of the blog post, then that means a winner has NOT yet been chosen so you can still enter to win that book but ONLY ONE TIME per book entry PLEASE!

If you're new here, check out the rules and other stuff for the June Blast-O-Books there under that highlighted link back there, or feel free to leave me a comment always and I'll answer it in the thread, or email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com. It is always at my discretion to change things up, and because of some regulations, I guess I must say that the books I review are given to me by either the authors or publishers or publicists, and I am never paid for my reviews, and they are my own personal reviews, and you know what, because I'm here telling you this anyway, I will also tell you that I never review a book I don't like, because you know what, why waste my time, life is too short to read a crappy book! There. There's my new mantra!



Thursday, June 16, 2011

CHICKEN IN THE CAR AND THE CAR WON'T GO by Melisa Wells

Winner: SPepper22
Please email me your address at stephanieelliot@gmail.com to claim your book!





Before I get to today's book, I've got some update info to share. I have TWELVE more books to feature and give away for this month and there are only FOURTEEN days in June left. I'm sensing a little issue here. And I'm feeling a little anxious as well. I may be in a bit over my head for this month. But no fear, because I don't want to disappoint anyone - I've made promises to authors, and publishers, and publicists ... and to you guys too. So what I will be doing is still posting EVERY SINGLE BOOK, but they will either be posted two on a post, or very quickly, or I won't have time to be as funny (Oh, I know, HEARTBREAK!), but you'll still have a shot at finding out about great books, and you'll still have a shot at winning great books, so in the end, it's all good, right?

You just have to make sure to scroll through to see what has been posted, and please make sure to check each post to see if your name is listed as the winner of the book. I will make sure to give each book ample time to be posted so you can leave a comment. At least 3-5 days. I promise.
PLUS, I'm already compiling a list for the September/October FALL FREAKING-MAJOR BOOK GIVEAWAY so we've got that to look forward to as well, so it's all good, right?

The reason I have to be so quick with this, and can't extend into July is because our family has to leave Arizona as it's getting too hot! We will be heading back to Chicago for our first visit since moving away, and we'll be gone for three weeks. Don't try to rob us. We have a very highly secured home invasion system and there are alarms set everywhere. And random rattlesnakes will be set around the perimeter of the house to prevent intruders. And teddy bear cacti will be placed under the windows for those who attempt breakins. Those are the most deadlies of cacti. You have been WARNED!

And speaking of CHICAGO, I'm going to bring you today's book, which has one of the freakingest longest titles in the world and will come in very handy for our visit. It was written my by very good friend, Melisa (with one S) Wells, who first became my friend because she stalked me on this blog. Then she sent me a tiara. Then she followed me to Panera. Then she wanted my pink coat, which I should have given to her when I moved from Chicago. Then she donated blood with me cuz she's that cool. (And dear God, if I keep writing blogs THIS LONG, I will never get to post 14 blog book reviews by the end of this month, will I?)

So, here is the title: Chicken in the Car and the Car Won't Go: Nearly 200 Ways to Enjoy Chicagoland with Tweens and Teens. The book includes the more mature adventures for your kids, and the hidden jewels you won't necessarily find in the basic tour guides. Also, I love the fact that Melisa's son, Dylan, designed the book cover!

Whether you're planning a trip to Chicago, a lifelong resident of Chicago, or know someone in Chicago, this pocket guide book is a great book for yourself or a gift, or to have on hand when in the Windy City! I can't wait to check out a couple of interesting sites when I hit the town next month.

You can win a copy of the small book with the big title now by telling me your favorite city in the U.S! Bonus points, of course, if it's Chicago ... hahah, JUST KIDDING!


Thanks for reading and being a part of June Blast-O-Books.


Don't forget to enter for any of the previous books that you may have missed. AS LONG AS A WINNER's NAME is NOT posted at the top of the blog post, then that means a winner has NOT yet been chosen so you can still enter to win that book but ONLY ONE TIME per book entry PLEASE!

If you're new here, check out the rules and other stuff for the June Blast-O-Books there under that highlighted link back there, or feel free to leave me a comment always and I'll answer it in the thread, or email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com. It is always at my discretion to change things up, and because of some regulations, I guess I must say that the books I review are given to me by either the authors or publishers or publicists, and I am never paid for my reviews, and they are my own personal reviews, and you know what, because I'm here telling you this anyway, I will also tell you that I never review a book I don't like, because you know what, why waste my time, life is too short to read a crappy book! There. There's my new mantra!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

WHERE'S MY WAND by Eric Poole




Winner: Lizett34
Please email me your address at stephanieelliot@gmail.com so you can get your book!





What’s a Blast-O-Books Giveaway without some Memoir in the mix? We’ve got Eric Poole’s Where’s My Wand? One Boy’s Magical Triumph Over Alienation and Shag Carpeting coming your way today, and already I’m loving the first few pages because yes, I have a bit of shag carpeting in our new home. We actually call it the ‘70s Black Porn Rug for those of you who haven’t personal gyrated on it. I loathe it and cannot wait to get rid of it.

(I’ll note here, it’s not really from the ‘70s and it’s not really Porn carpet. It’s actually probably really nice, but it’s just not my style, and I don't gyrate on it. And I haven't put a black light against it either. I don't want to know what's been there before.)

Back to the book: Where’s My Wand is for any of you who have ever read and loved David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs. People magazine has said this:

Poole’s memoir of growing up gay and Baptist in the seventies would be worth reading if it were just gut-splittingly funny. But Wand is also a deeply moving account of a boy’s attempt to control his world with his own brand of magic.”

And for you Brady Bunch fans, Florence Henderson wishes she could have had Eric for a Brady Boy! I have no idea why, or what she would have done to him, but, well, I guess that would have really made for some exciting Brady Bunch episodes, don’t you all think? “Bobby, Peter! What ARE you doing with Eric’s WAND???!!!” Hahah, Yes, I continue to CRACK MYSELF UP!

Book Blurb:
From the age of eight through early adolescence, Poole sought refuge from his obsessive-compulsive mother, sadistic teachers, and sneering schoolyard thugs in the Scotchgarded basement of his family’s suburban St. Louis tract house. There, emulating his favorite TV character, Endora from Bewitched, he wrapped himself in a makeshift caftan and cast magical spells in an effort to maintain control over the rapidly shifting ground beneath his feet. But when a series of tragic events tested Eric’s longstanding belief that magic can vanquish evil, he began to question the efficacy of his incantations, embarking on a spiritual journey that led him to discover the magic that comes only from within.

TO WIN:
So, if you’re looking for a little bit of ‘70s, a little bit of closet-gayness, and a whole lotta magic, tell me something you like about the seventies. And if you WEREN’T ALIVE DURING THE SEVENTIES, GO ASK A FAMILY MEMBER! Or just tell me you’re still a baby, and make me cringe!

Really though, I was barely part of the seventies, and only 11 by the time I got out of that decade, so I’m really not that much ahead of all you young ones! But I do remember those flare jeans. Maybe it’s because they have already been around two or three times since then. OK, I’ll tell you something! I remember they had these RECORD STORES, that sold RECORDS. Like vinyl. The stores were called The Record Bar. And my sister and I had gift certificates to get a record album. I chose a K-Town one. With like Knock-Knock-Knock on Wood, and I Will Survive on the album. Kind of like a mixed tape type of record album. Totally ‘70s right?

And my sister picked up this one with a black dude on it. It was called, Off The Wall. His name was Michael Jackson. I looked at her and said, clear as day, and I regret this to this day. I said, “Stacy, I don’t know if you’re going to like that record album.” Want to know why I said that to her? My preconceived idea that the singer was black so he wasn’t going to be good! HOW HORRIBLE AND WRONG WAS I? Thank GOD she bought the album anyway! Long live Michael Jackson! So there! There is my seventies story! Tell me one of yours to enter to win Where’s My Wand by Eric Poole!

Thanks for reading and being a part of June Blast-O-Books.

I also blog at SheKnows.com Real Moms Guide.

Don't forget to enter yesterday’s book, The D Word! I will most likely be choosing all the winners for the week over the weekend so do check back then! AS LONG AS A WINNER's NAME is NOT posted at the top of the blog post, then that means a winner has NOT yet been chosen so you can still enter to win that book but ONLY ONE TIME per book entry PLEASE!

If you're new here, check out the rules and other stuff for the June Blast-O-Books there under that highlighted link back there, or feel free to leave me a comment always and I'll answer it in the thread, or email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com. It is always at my discretion to change things up, and because of some regulations, I guess I must say that the books I review are given to me by either the authors or publishers or publicists, and I am never paid for my reviews, and they are my own personal reviews, and you know what, because I'm here telling you this anyway, I will also tell you that I never review a book I don't like, because you know what, why waste my time, life is too short to read a crappy book! There. There's my new mantra!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

THE D WORD by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke



There were TWO winners drawn for this book: 
Brantly's Mom
Emily116
You both have won e-books of The D Word! Please email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com and I will let you know how you can get your copies of The D Word! 








I’m really excited to introduce you to you Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, who are the founders of CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD. If you’ve not heard of them, you’re going to LOVE them and you’ll NEED to add them to your list of favorite authors and bloggers as well! You’ll want to be at their site daily too – they are ALWAYS sharing great author info, and doing fun giveaways on their site as well. Seriously, you will LOVE these ladies.

THIS JUST IN: Liz and Lisa are hosting the The D Word Huge Ass Giveaway - Head to their site for details on how you can win an iPad 2, camcorder, signed Laura Dave books and more!

 
Not only are they terrific internet stars, they’re also authors, whose book, The D Word has just been released in e-book form, and you can WIN IT HERE! We’re giving away TWO e-book copies!

The D Word:
Jordan Daniels and Elle Ryan thought their lives would become less complicated when they walked away from their respective relationships one year ago. But instead, they find themselves vying for a relationship with the same divorced man.

As a spiritual counselor, newly single mother Jordan Daniels makes her living predicting other people’s futures. If only she could foresee her own. A year after filing for divorce from her husband, Kevin, he seems to be the one moving on effortlessly, while Jordan still can’t bring herself to fill his old underwear drawer. But it’s not until Jordan’s polar opposite, Elle steals Kevin’s heart, that Jordan becomes convinced she’ll be replaced both as a wife and a mother to her five-year-old son, Max.

When Elle met Kevin, the last thing she wanted was another relationship. Especially not with a man with baggage-she already had enough of her own. She left her fiancĂ©, Chase right before their wedding to avoid the imminent D word, something she’s convinced runs in her family like a disease. But a year later, she’s no closer to becoming less skeptical about marriage. And despite her attachment to Kevin and his son, when Elle sees just how far Jordan’s willing to go to win Kevin back, Elle starts to question if she should have left Chase in the first place.

In The D Word you’ll walk in the shoes of Jordan and Elle as they discover that sometimes you’re not that different from the person who makes you feel the most insecure.
Read the First Chapter HERE.

Here’s a guest post Liz and Lisa have written on the Top Five Reasons you Should Write with Your Best Friend!

1. There's always someone to pick up the slack. When you are too tired to meet a deadline because you've been up with the baby all night (Lisa!) or, er, had one too many glasses o' Pinot Grigio (Liz!), the other can pick up your slack and then have full license to rub it in your face later with smug satisfaction.

2. There are no words needed to tell you what you've just written sucks bigtime. Because you've known each other so long, you can tell when the other one hates what you've written just by the look on her face or, if you've been writing together for long enough, the tone of her email. Always remember that the delete button is your friend.

3. Guaranteed LOL partner because you are probably the only two people in the entire world that are still laughing at that inside joke about Halifax the horse from High School. (Long story!) OK, Liz and Lisa are going to HAVE to tell me about THIS ONE!?

4. Someone to remind you that a writing retreat is for writing! When you have a writing retreat at a posh resort in Palm Springs and one of you (Liz!) wants to go crash the reception at the wedding outside your window, the other (Lisa!) will barricade the door with her body and convince you a writing retreat is to write, not get your freakin' party on! Even when the groomsmen are really, really sizzlin' and they're playing Bust A Move by Young MC.

5. It's always nice to work with someone who knows you better than you know yourself. Whether it's deadline meltdowns, query-writing girlfights or horribly bitchy pre-caffeinated emails, your BFF knows that you're probably just having a bad day and doesn't take it personally. They know how you can get but love you anyway.(Although they may think you should really work on that caffeine addiction...)

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and write a book with your best friend already!

Xoxo, Liz & Lisa

Lisa and Liz have also written another great book called, I’ll Have Who She’s Having, so be sure to check that one out too! (You can read the first chapter of I’ll Have Who She’s Having HERE).

To win one of two e-books of The D Word, tell me what your favorite thing is to do with your best girlfriends. Mine is lunching and spending hours chatting over the good times!

And stop over at CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD to find out more about Liz and Lisa's great site and their amazing book reviews and giveaways too! You will LOVE them, I promise! And even better, when you leave a comment, tell 'em MaNiC sent ya! : ) Thanks!

Don't forget to enter yesterday’s book, A Pug's Tale! I will most likely be choosing all the winners for the week over the weekend so do check back then! AS LONG AS A WINNER's NAME is NOT posted at the top of the blog post, then that means a winner has NOT yet been chosen so you can still enter to win that book but ONLY ONE TIME per book entry PLEASE!

Thanks for reading and being a part of June Blast-O-Books.

I also blog at SheKnows.com Real Moms Guide.

If you're new here, check out the rules and other stuff for the June Blast-O-Books there under that highlighted link back there, or feel free to leave me a comment always and I'll answer it in the thread, or email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com. It is always at my discretion to change things up, and because of some regulations, I guess I must say that the books I review are given to me by either the authors or publishers or publicists, and I am never paid for my reviews, and they are my own personal reviews, and you know what, because I'm here telling you this anyway, I will also tell you that I never review a book I don't like, because you know what, why waste my time, life is too short to read a crappy book! There. There's my new mantra!

Friday, June 10, 2011

A PUG'S TALE by Allison Pace

Winner: Stefanie R. who loves a Chiweenie!
Please email me your address at stephanieelliot@gmail.com to claim your book!




I’ve always gotta bring a puppy page-turner into the mix for you guys, and this one is the long-awaited charming follow-up to Allison Pace’s Pug Hill!

But not to worry, if you haven’t had a chance to read Pug Hill, you’ll still be able to follow the story of Hope McNeill and Max! However, GET Pug Hill ANYWAY! It’s tells the beginning of the story – and then you can win A Pug’s Tale HERE!

There are pugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art!
Hope McNeill has worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for years, but this is the first time she's been able to bring along her pug, Max. (Officially at least. Previously she's had to smuggle him in inside her tote bag.)

The occasion: a special "Pug Night" party in honor of a deep-pocketed donor. Max and his friends are having a ball stalking the hors d'oeuvres and getting rambunctious, and making Hope wonder if this is also the last time she gets to bring Max to the museum.

But when a prized painting goes missing, the Met needs Hope's--and Max's--help. In her quest for the culprit, Hope searches for answers with an enigmatic detective, a larger-than-life society heiress, a lady with a shih tzu in a stroller, and her arguably intuitive canine. With luck, she'll find some inspiration on her trips to Pug Hill before the investigation starts going downhill...

Here’s a great video of Allison sharing a bit about the book, her affinity for Pugs and other dogs, and how she loves to connect with her readers: ALLISON'S VIDEO

Read the first chapter here: A PUG'S TALE FIRST CHAPTER
To win A Pug’s Tale, tell me your favorite kind of pet! It does NOT have to be a dog. For me, if we had a pet, I would choose a white little bichon frise. I am such a mean mom – my kids are constantly asking for a dog but I keep saying NO. However, I bet you the moment my youngest walks out the door for college, I will be out shopping for a little guy who looks just like this:


Don't forget to enter yesterday’s book, Got Milf! I will most likely be choosing all the winners for the week over the weekend so do check back then! AS LONG AS A WINNER's NAME is NOT posted at the top of the blog post, then that means a winner has NOT yet been chosen so you can still enter to win that book but ONLY ONE TIME per book entry PLEASE!

Thanks for reading and being a part of June Blast-O-Books.

I also blog at SheKnows.com Real Moms Guide.

If you're new here, check out the rules and other stuff for the June Blast-O-Books there under that highlighted link back there, or feel free to leave me a comment always and I'll answer it in the thread, or email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com. It is always at my discretion to change things up, and because of some regulations, I guess I must say that the books I review are given to me by either the authors or publishers or publicists, and I am never paid for my reviews, and they are my own personal reviews, and you know what, because I'm here telling you this anyway, I will also tell you that I never review a book I don't like, because you know what, why waste my time, life is too short to read a crappy book! There. There's my new mantra!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

IDENTITY: LOST by Pascal Marco

Winner: Emily who wants to go to Sienna, Italy with a tutor!
Please email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com to claim your book!



So let’s move away from Milfs and into Mystery-thrillers shall we? I have a really unique story to tell you about this next book. Earlier this week I was out with two friends from high school when a gentleman approached our table and asked if we were from Chicago. We said we were but that two of us lived here now. He mentioned he was an author.

My eyes lit up and I said, “HEY! I’m a book reviewer and writer too!”

It was Pascal Marco, author of Identity: Lost, whose debut book comes out next week. I explained to him about the June Blast-O-Books. He is from Chicago, overheard us talking, and it was serendipity, my friends, that I bring his book into your lives today! What are the odds, that an author, who also once lived in Chicago, would be dining at the same restaurant as three women from Chicago, one who just happened to be doing a month-long book promo?

Karma, I tell you! And by now I hope you know, I am all about the karma, and paying it forward!

So, I am very excited to bring Identity: Lost to you today! Obviously, I have yet to read it, but I love the fact Pascal took a true crime and created a fictional story from that event, that it has aspects of Arizona and Chicago in it, and that there are two very strong women protagonists in it as well. For those of you who love a fast-paced thriller and an edge-of-your-seat read, you’ll dive right in to Identity: Lost!

July, 1975. Twelve-year-old James Overstreet is the sole witness to a murder in Chicago's Burnham Park and musters the courage to come forward. But the Chicago police and the Cook County state's attorney office both manage to bungle the slam-dunk case and the killers go free, sending James and his family into witness relocation in Arizona.

Thirty years later, still officially living in protective custody with a new identity, can James bring forth justice when he once again confronts the killers of Manny Fleischman, the last surviving member of the infamous 1919 Chicago Black Sox team?

He can, but not without revealing a secret he's held all this time: his boyhood friend, now a high-ranking Illinois politician and a rising star on the national Democratic presidential ticket, was a member of the juvenile gang who long-ago murdered Fleischman.

One thing I was curious about when Pascal approached us at the table though – I wonder how he was so brave to approach a table full of Milfs! Hahahahah! Which reminds me, if you’ve yet to enter to win Got Milf, (as well as the other books – I haven’t chosen winners yet!) there’s still time to do so!

For those of you in AZ and Chicago, Pascal will be touring in the next couple of weeks! See his events page here. Find out more about Pascal and his debut book on his website here and watch the book trailer there as well!

To enter to win IDENTITY: LOST, leave a comment below telling me where you would want to be sent if you had to go into the Witness Protection Program! I’d want them to send me to Grand Cayman!

Thanks Pascal, for reaching out, going after your dream, and making things happen! Let Pascal’s example show us all what can happen if we step outside the box once in a while! Now all you wonderful people know about another new great book because Pascal came over and talked to a table of Milfs! (Gosh, I sure do crack myself up!)

Don't forget to enter yesterday’s book, Got Milf! I will most likely be choosing all the winners for the week over the weekend so do check back then! AS LONG AS A WINNER's NAME is NOT posted at the top of the blog post, then that means a winner has NOT yet been chosen so you can still enter to win that book but ONLY ONE TIME per book entry PLEASE!

Thanks for reading and being a part of June Blast-O-Books. I also blog at SheKnows.com Real Moms Guide.

If you're new here, check out the rules and other stuff for the June Blast-O-Books there under that highlighted link back there, or feel free to leave me a comment always and I'll answer it in the thread, or email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com. It is always at my discretion to change things up, and because of some regulations, I guess I must say that the books I review are given to me by either the authors or publishers or publicists, and I am never paid for my reviews, and they are my own personal reviews, and you know what, because I'm here telling you this anyway, I will also tell you that I never review a book I don't like, because you know what, why waste my time, life is too short to read a crappy book! There. There's my new mantra!