Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Reviews

#Review of Island Life Sentence by Carrie Jo Howe w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @carriejohowe

Island Life Sentence

by Carrie Jo Howe

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GENRE: Adult Fiction, Humorous, Romantic comedy

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BLURB:

Peg Savage has contractually agreed to move to Key West, Florida. The smudged signatures on the damp cocktail napkin are irrefutable proof.

“An adventure…” her husband Clark says.

Peg can’t swim; she’s afraid of bridges (there are 42 of them); and she doesn’t want to leave her friends. However, after a bottle of Cabernet, a move from Chicago to the southernmost city in the United States seems like the best decision ever.

But now Clark has taken a long term job in Cuba and she’s on her own.

Neither her dog Nipper, nor the ghosts in the attic, offer up any good advice. But how hard can it be living in paradise?

Peg dives into island life but the more effort she makes, the wider her wake of catastrophes. She is tortured by a paddle board, a giant poisonous toad, the local Conservation group, and the patron saint of hurricanes. Not to mention the persistent sweat rash under her left breast.

A tropical depression descends on the island – one that can’t be cured with medication. Peg must gather her strength if she has any hope of surviving the storm.


Welcome Carrie Jo Howe! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.  Hi and thank you for hosting me! I’m a Chicago transplant to Key West, Florida. The island is the southernmost part of the United States and closer to Havana than a Target store.  My husband took a job transfer five years ago. I thought it was going to be fairly temporary, yet we’re still in Paradise. We have three grown boys and a 13 year old Vizsla. The dog is the boss of us all.

Is Island Life Sentence a single title, or part of a series? The book, is the first part of a trilogy. I’m working on the second book now.  

What were your inspirations for the story? Well, Peg is a fictional Mid-western woman who moves from Chicago to Key West. It sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Peg’s (mis)adventures are based on true stories. Yes, my dog was nearly poisoned by a deadly Bufo Toad. Yes, my house is haunted by haints (Key West ghosts). Yes, I survived a category five Hurricane named Irma.  

Please share your setting for Island Life Sentence.  Key West is a lush tropical island at the bottom of the chain of the Florida Keys.  It is aptly named “the end of the road” for its location and for the fact that it attracts some lively characters.  There’s some funky evolution going on down here–Darwinism at its finest.

When did the writing bug first bite? I think of myself as more of a storyteller.  I like to write about funny or strange events. For example, my first book, Motherhood is Not for Babies, tells about my shock at the effort it takes to raise a family.  I was surprised at how uncooperative they all were. It is therapy to write about it–makes it seem less overwhelming.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
The Florida writer, Carl Hiaasen  is an an ex-journalist who writes about Florida and all of its anomalies. Before I moved to Florida, I thought he exaggerated his humorous tales…I’ve since learned that, in reality, he’s quite factual.  My favorites of his books are Tourist Season and  Razor Girl.  

I’m a fan-girl of Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants and Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. These two friends are strong and funny. In my dream world, I’m sitting at a table with them in a restaurant and not getting arrested for stalking.

 

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?  I love my teachers at the Pilates Studio of Key West. They know their stuff and make the classes demanding but entertaining.  That’s saying a lot since the exercise program uses torture terms like, “reformer”, “straps” and “chair”. I also volunteer as a mentor for a high school student for the program Take Stock in Children.  TSIC provides college tuition for low-income, academically minded students. I’m proud to be part of such a well run and necessary organization.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?  Hmmm, let’s see…since it’s Key West, that’s tough to narrow down. Would you mind if I shared a photo of Happy Hour last Friday?  Words can’t do this justice.

Is it okay to say that while I read this book I almost peed my pants?  There are parts of this book that had me laughing out loud and often.  Other parts, I wanted to shake Peg and tell her to put on her big girl panties and suck it up.  Yes, at times, Peg came across as the Too Stupid to Live heroine but once she finally figured out stuff, her brilliance shined.

The situations that she finds herself in are at times funny and then, farfetched but they are meant to be.  She is a true “fish out of water” when it comes to living in Key West.  I’ve never been but I have been to Chicago many times, so her life back in Chicago resounded with me.  I couldn’t imagine moving from Chicago to Key West but it would be an adventure for sure.  I did like the fact that the author had the same experiences that Peg did, Clark not withstanding.

Her husband is a douche.  I could use a stronger word but I’ll keep it PG at best.  The ending of the book is definitely poetic justice but I really did want to know what Peg was going to do now.  I understand the sequel is being written and I can’t wait to read more about Peg and her dog, Nipper.

Randolph, Trudy, Bernie, Nipper, the ghosts and even the setting are perfect secondary characters.  Ms. Howe has written a great chick lit book with heart, humor, a bit of ridiculous but overall a great read.

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Excerpt Two:

“Sunshine state… my soggy ass.”

It was dark. The power and the air conditioning had gone out hours ago. Peg hugged her dog under the makeshift bed-tent, clutching him to her sweaty pajama’d breasts.

An engraved locket pinned to Nipper’s blue life vest dangled under his pirate dog collar. Hurricane rain pummeled the bedroom window – the violent wind shook the glass panes. Peg wondered about the moaning sound until she realized it was coming from her own throat.

She shrieked at the sudden crash on the metal roof. Several days of binge drinking without proper oral hygiene, or any hygiene for that matter, produced noxious vapors in the tent. Nipper’s nostrils flared as he took in the odors and licked her fluorescent orange, cheesy, tear-stained fingers.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

After raising three boys in the suburbs of Chicago, Carrie Jo Howe now lives in Key West, Florida with her husband and her dog. Her latest novel, Island Life Sentence, is a fictional account of an American Midwestern woman who feels like an alien in the “one human family” of Key West. Carrie Jo’s first book, Motherhood is NOT for Babies, received a rave review (thanks Mom), and works wonderfully as a form of contraception. Her blog Florida Keys Crime Report, tells of all the goings on in the Keys, where bank robbers get away on bicycles, and perps caught with undersized, pinched, out-of-season lobsters get more jail time than drug runners. She is currently working on the sequels to Island Life Sentence.

 

Website: www.carriejohowe.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carriejohowe/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carriejohowe

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carriejohoweauthor

Blog: https://carriejohowe.blogspot.com/

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Island-Life-Sentence-Carrie-Howe/dp/1911586521

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

Carrie Jo Howe will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Giveaways, Harlequin Spotlight, Meme, Reviews

#Review of Ava’s Prize (City by the Bay Stories #3) by Cari Lyn Webb w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @HarlequinBooks @carilynnwebb #contemporaryromance


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Ava’s Prize
(City by the Bay Stories #3)
By Cari Lynn Webb
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
November 1st 2018 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He needs a great idea

She can provide it—but at what cost?

The battle lines are drawn when army medic turned EMT Ava Andrews enters a contest devised by San Francisco entrepreneur Kyle Quinn. The first responder isn’t just competing for a tempting grand prize. She’s fighting her attraction to the self-made millionaire…and losing the war. But private and professional boundaries blur when a breach of trust threatens Ava’s future with Kyle.

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Another Heartwarming for me to read.  This is my second book from Ms. Webb and I liked it.  I did read The Charm Offensive and loved it.  However, I didn’t love this one as much.  Let me tell you why:

  1.  Kyle – I know, you should love the hero.  Unfortunately for me, I didn’t connect with him.  I liked him but I didn’t like that he used an illness to make himself a hermit.  He used it as a crutch and I don’t like it when people do that.  Everyone is different but he just used it to distance himself from everyone.
  2. Ava’s treatment of her mother at times.  Trust me, I understand Jane’s disease but I felt like Jane used it as an excuse for not going after what she really wanted.

Okay, now that is off my chest, onward to what I loved.  The secondary characters like Iris, Jane, Barbra, and Rick are brilliantly written.  Ms. Webb uses them to help Ava and Kyle realize what is in front of them but don’t even know it.  Iris could have come off like a flake but for me, she was trying to show her brother what it was to be free to do whatever truly made you happy.  Jane, as understanding as she was, made Ava look deep within herself and see that nothing can stop her from Kyle and following her dreams.  Barbra is the mentor that we all wished we had and Rick is the true friend that everyone needs.

The romance in the book is fabulous.  Talk about two people that didn’t want to fall in love but did.  And then fought it every step of the way.  It’s plausible, relatable and sweet.  The ending throws me for a loop.  I won’t give it away but I was a bit surprised about the contest and how it all played out.  Good thing, too or we wouldn’t have had the sweetest grow up moment from Kyle.  For me, he had the most to grow from and Ms. Webb achieves that in the end.

Another great book from the Heartwarming line.  Again, do yourself a favor and start reading this line.  It’s emotional, at times raw but always swoon-worthing in the end.

 

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Cari Lynn Webb lives in South Carolina with her husband, daughters and assorted four-legged family members. She’s been blessed to see the power of true love in her grandparent’s 70 year marriage and her parent’s marriage of over 50 years. She knows love isn’t always sweet and perfect, it can be challenging, complicated and risky. But she believes happily-ever-afters are worth fighting for. She loves to connect with readers. Visit her at her website.

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Tour Schedule

November 12th:
Launch
I Am A Reader
Hearts & Scribbles
Remembrancy
November 13th:
Wishful Endings
Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader
Heidi Reads…
ReadingIsMySuperPower
November 14th:
Colorimetry
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Among the Reads
Book by Book
November 15th:
E-Romance News
Harlie’s Books
Reading On The Edge
Kimber Li
November 16th:
My Devotional Thoughts
underneath the covers
Andi’s Book Reviews
November 17th:
Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive a$50 Amazon e-Gift Card & e-copy of The Rancher’s Rescue (open internationally)
1 winner will receive a San Francisco Cable Car Ornament, Signed Copy of The Rancher’s Rescue & $50 Amazon Gift Card (US only)
– Ends November 21, 2018

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Giveaways, Harlequin Spotlight, Meme, Release Week, Reviews

#Review of Heiress’s Royal Baby Bombshell (The Cattaneos’ Christmas Miracles #2) by Jennifer Faye w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @JenniferFaye34 @HarlequinBooks


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Heiress’s Royal Baby Bombshell
(The Cattaneos’ Christmas Miracles #2)
By Jennifer Faye
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 256 Pages
November 1st 2018 by Harlequin Romance

One-night miracle…

For the Crown Prince!

In this The Cattaneos’ Christmas Miracles story, rebel royal Max believes his infertility has cost him the throne — until heiress Noemi reveals she’s carrying his baby! And with his country’s future at stake, Max must claim his heir! Noemi is hesitant and fiercely protective of their unborn baby, but at his snow-covered palace can Max offer her the most precious Christmas gift ever — the chance to become a family…

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Can I admit a couple of things?  Harlie’s Books, the blog named for all things Harlequin has never reviewed a true Harlequin Romance on the blog.  *Gasp*  AND, its been at least a decade since I’ve even read a Harlequin Romance.  *hangs head in shame*  So that means that I haven’t read Ms. Faye either.  Horrible mistakes, all of them.  I pre-ordered Sebastian’s story and bought Leo’s.  Yes, I HAVE to know their stories, too.  Yes, I loved the characters that much.

I will also have to admit that anything royal is like catnip to me.  Plus, the heroine isn’t a damsel in distress.  She’s smart, even when her brother doesn’t think that she should do much, strongwilled and grieving at the same time.  Noemi has a lot going on with her and meeting Max at a party and then becoming pregnant.  But the kick is she doesn’t have a clue who Max is and how to get in touch with him.  The classic trope of accidental pregnancy but Ms. Faye makes it plausible.  And what made the characters even more relatable to me was their problems, were our problems.  Cancer, the death of your parents, infertility, and feeling betrayed by your loved ones.  So while the characters are rich and famous, they have the same feelings that we do and problems.

The romance between Max and Noemi is sweet and passionate.  Like I said, its been a while since I’ve read this line and I finally remembered that its like Desire but without the open door.  These two were smoking when they were together and I really understood Noemi’s hesitation when it came to Max.  *sigh*  She just wanted was best for the baby and herself.  She was still going through some personal things and then Max was determined to sweep her off her feet.  He finally figured out that wasn’t working and the ending was just so swoon-worthy.  Oh and the epilogue.  I chuckled.

Don’t make the same mistake that I have with this line.  I still can’t believe it’s been this long since I read it.  Not to mention, Ms. Faye.  As I said, I just fell in love with this family and I can’t wait to get my paperback copies of Leo and Sebastian’s stories.  Perfect for Christmas.

 

Freebie

Go to Jennifer’s Contact Page HERE and order your bookmark(s)!

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

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Tour Schedule

November 5th:
Launch
It’s All About the Romance
underneath the covers
November 6th:
Wishful Endings
Andi’s Book Reviews
November 7th:
Locks, Hooks and Books
E-Romance News
Reading On The Edge
Bri’s Book Nook
Colorimetry
November 8th:
Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader
Book Lover in Florida
November 9th:
Jorie Loves A Story
My Devotional Thoughts
Harlie’s Books
Rockin’ Book Reviews
November 10th:
Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will recieve a $25 Amazon Gift Card + print copy of Cinderella’s New York Christmas (The Cattaneos’ Christmas Miracles Book 1) + swag
US only
Ends November 14, 2018

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