I just wanted to post this morning and thank the wonderful authors; Amanda Strong, Laura Dave, Susan McBride, Gwendolen Gross, and Sarah Jio for helping me put this giveaway together. I also wanted to thank all of you for coming to my blog and letting me know how much you enjoy my reviews and the giveaways. As I was compiling all the comments from all the books in the giveaway, it was exciting to see so many names show up week after week! Thank-you! I still haven't heard back from a couple of my giveaway weekly winners, so I will use random.org next week to pick new winners for those two books. I wish I could send you all out books, but I am excited to be able to give a great collection of books to one lucky winner.
The winner of the HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN GIVEAWAY is...
Here is my list of top five books I reviewed this year! If you have entered for any or all of these books over the last five weeks, you are entered for the grand prize giveaway! The grand prize is all five books! I will be picking a grand prize winner in the morning. You want one more chance to get your name in or in again?? Enter below with your email address! This giveaway closes 12/22 at midnight EST US only. Sorry. I will announce the winner on 12/23! Because it is so close to Christmas the winner will need to make sure to email me with their address by 12/30/11 if I don't hear from them I will choose another winner! Best of luck to everyone! I have loved having the opportunity to share all these great books with you and want to thank all of these wonderful authors for making this giveaway possible!!!
Sitting around the campfire when I was a little girl hearing ghost stories, I remember the feeling of dread as I reached the bedroom and would jump into bed and hope nothing scary would reach from underneath my bed and grab hold of me! I’ll be honest, the first night I started reading Ghost on Black Mountain made me take off to bed feeling like that little girl again!
Ann Hite spins the web of Nellie Pritchard’s life. The story begins during the depression-era in North Carolina. Nellie is just a young girl serving food in a food line at the local church when she meets the handsome Hobbs Pritchard who changes the course of her life. Everyone around Nellie told her to get away far away from Hobbs, but Nellie was in love and believed he was a good man. Shortly after arriving on Black Mountain the ghosts began to show up, one wanted her to leave and one had other plans for her. Life on Black Mountain wasn’t what Nellie thought it would be. She begins digging around the attic and learns more about who Hobbs really is and then the beatings start. Nellie soon realizes she may not be able to escape him.
A moment in time takes hold of Nellie--the mountain ghosts take their revenge! A past refusing to be forgotten like a noose around her neck. Submerge yourself into Ghost on Black Mountain, but remember, "Once a person leaves the mountain, they never come back, not really. They're lost forever" (Back Cover).
The book is broken up into six parts; each part is about five different women. Each story is an extension of Black Mountain giving us greater insight into who Nellie was.
I absolutely loved Ghost on Black Mountain. It wasn’t really scary, but has a dark eerie vibe during the whole book. I was completely engrossed the more I read the more captivated I became. I wanted to find out how all of this would come together and end. This was such a great book! I can’t wait to see what Ann Hite writes next! An absolute recommend!
I love when a book really grabs me the way this one did! I’m even more excited when I love a book and have an opportunity to give a copy away! If you are ready to, “Pull up a rocker and gaze into the hill at sundown. Old-time story telling unfolds in this dark, twisted tale where hardscrabble lives, murderous secrets, and ghosts intersect on a mysterious mountain”—Beth Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt then comment below and make sure to leave your email address for your chance to win!
I have one copy to giveaway. The giveaway will close Dec 30, 2011 at midnight EST. The giveaway is US/Canada residents only!
How the giveaway works. You will be able to enter for your chance to win a copy of this week's book plus by entering you are also entered into the grand prize giveaway for all five books. For every week you comment you get an additional entry for the grand prize giveaway. So if you comment on all five books, you get your name listed five times into the drawing for the grand prize. Good-luck!
So what is book #1???
The Violets of March by Sarah Jio
I am an avid reader. I love to read. I love to read all sorts of genres. I have been asked over the years, “what is your favorite book,” well I don’t have one. There are just too many good ones out there. But from now on I have an answer. I will from now on answer, “The Violets of March by Sarah Jio.”
Emily Wilson had it all. Married to a GQ handsome hubby, bestselling author her life was picture perfect. Suddenly, it was all over. Her husband leaves her for another woman and her best-seller writing career is going know where because she has writers block. Where can she go? She decides to go back to one of her favorite places in the world, Bainbridge Island, where she spent her summers growing up visiting her Aunt Bee.
There to deal with the loss of her marriage and hopefully to find some inspiration for a new book, what she finds instead is an Island full of secrets and two love interests. Love interest number one is Greg, an old high school boyfriend and the other good looking local artist, Jack. While figuring out her own love life, she stumbles onto an old diary dated from 1943. As Emily begins reading the story of diary, she finds her own life to have parallels to the author, Ester’s, life. Emily begins to realize the sort of love she wants and deserves. Feeling so close to Ester, she realizes she must solve the mystery, but the more Emily learns the more questions arise.
I have a very messy house right now, because I could hardly put this book down. I read it in one day and that is not an easy feat in my home. When I read the journal entries (which are more of a story within a story) I felt transported to another era. I was completely engaged in the story and lost track of time. The descriptions are very well written. I could smell the salty air and I could feel Emily’s frustration. The entire time I was trying to figure out the puzzle of the story and I could not figure it out. I wanted the mystery solved, but at the same time I didn’t want the story to end.
This book has goosebump moments and brought me to tears! I LOVED this book! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading!
This is Jio’s debut novel. I cannot wait to see what she writes next. And this is a book I will read again and I almost never do that!
I absolutely recommend The Violets of March! Make sure to comment below with your email address for your chance to win a copy of Sarah's book. The Holiday Countdown Giveaway is for US residents only. Sorry!
****This giveaway will close on December 21 midnight EST. I will announce the winner and notify them by email. You will only have 48 hours to claim your prize. By commenting below you will also be entered for your chance to win all 5 books in the Holiday Countdown Giveaway.****
MAKE SURE TO LEAVE EMAIL SO I CAN LET YOU KNOW IF YOU WIN!!!
How the giveaway will work. Over the next five weeks I will count up from 5 listing my top 5 choices for books that I believe would make great gifts. You will be able to enter for your chance to win a copy of that week's book plus by entering you are also entered into the grand prize giveaway for all five books. For every week you comment you get an additional entry for the grand prize giveaway. So if you comment on all five books, you get your name listed five times into the drawing for the grand prize. Good-luck!
Narrowing down all the books I read to a list of five was no easy feat. I wanted five books I enjoyed and books I felt would be great gifts to give or receive.
So what is book #2?
THE ORPHAN SISTER by Gwendolen Gross
My review from earlier this year:
Finding the path to one’s own identity is a story in and of itself, but to be one of three brings about a number of additional complexities. Gwendolen Gross writes a multifaceted story of Clementine Lords’ journey in finding her own path. Clementine is a singleton who was born a triplet with identical twin sister’s Odette and Olivia. She is one with them and yet she is different and not the same as them. She is the odd sister out.
When Clementine’s father goes missing she is pressed to deal with her long standing family issues. A father she loved, hated, wanted his approval, rebelled against, didn’t trust and longed to trust. A mother she felt who hide herself away in her husband’s shadow not fully living up to the strong, smart, independent woman Clementine believed she could be. Her identical twin sisters, who she longed to be one with and at the same time wanted to be different than. While dealing with these numerous family emotions, she is also dealing with finding peace and moving on after losing her ‘other half’.
As Clementine moves forward in finding out where her father went, she has flashbacks of her childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. These flashbacks allow the reader to gain a deeper and greater understanding to the complexity of Clementine. She has a deep need for acceptance and wants to know she is just as much a part of the family as the rest of the ‘flock’. Clementine learns you become your own woman when you no longer look for acceptance from others, but from yourself and to not let other peoples’ lives dominate ours.
Truthfully, the only thing in regard to The Orphan Sister I didn’t like was I didn’t have someone to talk to about it! I’m so glad I can share some of my book love with you! Gwendolen Gross is an amazingly smart writer! She writes beautifully! The book is in a constant state of movement diving into the complexities of family. Even though I’m very different than Clementine I could really relate to her desire to feel safe and accepted. Her relationship with her father (though different) made me reflect on my own relationship with mine. I’d love to go on and on discussing the end of the book, but I do not want to spoil the story for any of you.
I absolutely recommend The Orphan Sister and if you are in a book club this is a must read! Make sure to comment below with your email address for your chance to win a copy of Gwendolen's book. The Holiday Countdown Giveaway is for US residents only. Sorry!
****This giveaway will close on December 16 midnight EST. I will announce the winner and notify them on Saturday. The winner will have 48hours to respond with their address or a new winner will be chosen. By commenting below you will also be entered for your chance to win all 5 books in the Holiday Countdown Giveaway.****
Adoption. It’s about making a family. Chosen by Chandra Hoffman is a rollercoaster ride of the people behind those faces on adoption brochures. Social Worker, Chloe Pitner at Chosen Child Adoption Agency loves her job…well most of it. She believes in what she is doing. It’s about bringing the right people together. She has a great reputation on the adoption messaging boards and a photo book of happily ever after stories.
Chosen is a story about four couples whose lives are intertwined. Two babies born--lives forever changed. One couple relishing in finally having their dream baby; another couple has to wait and see and a young couple not sure what the right choice is. Chandra Hoffman examines the what if you get everything you always wanted and found out it wasn’t. When a baby goes missing it pushes everyone to question what they really want.
Paul and Eva finally have their dream child, but parenthood isn’t as pretty as they thought it would be. Eva struggles with postpartum depression and Paul throws himself into building his business to be the biggest in the state.
John and Francie have suffered years of disappointment while trying to have a child. When they finally have one in reach will he be lost to them forever? Can their marriage withstand the dramatic change in who they are?
Jason and Penny have nothing but criminal records and a baby to offer. Jason loves Penny and wants to give her the life he believes she deserves at any cost.
Reading along I found my heart beating faster and at other times with tears running down my face. Due to the content of the story you would think it would be so easy to love some characters and hate others, but truthfully I didn’t. All the characters were really well developed. Even though Chloe is the main thread in the novel, Hoffman gives her readers access to almost all the characters private thoughts and motivations.
I would add there is some adult language and themes, but I truthfully believe it added to the raw and grittiness of the story. I absolutely recommend Chosen! Once you start reading you won't want to stop till the very last page! Chandra Hoffman is an author to watch! Make sure to follow the link below and order a copy!
Congratulations to Susan! Winner of Holiday Countdown Book #4 The First Husband by Laura Dave
How the giveaway will work. Each Monday over the next five weeks I will count up from 5 listing my top 5 choices for books that I believe would make great gifts. Each Monday you will be able to enter for your chance to win a copy of that week's book plus by entering you are also entered into the grand prize giveaway for all five books. For every week you comment you get an additional entry for the grand prize giveaway. So if you comment on all five books, you get your name listed five times into the drawing for the grand prize. Good-luck!
Narrowing down all the books I read to a list of five was no easy feat. I wanted five books I enjoyed and books I felt would be a great gift to give or receive for a large number of people.
So what is book #3?
Little Black Dress by Susan McBride
My review from earlier this year:
Every woman deserves to have the perfect little black dress. McBrides’ newest release is about a magical black dress, which enhances the figure of any and every woman’s body who slips it on. But the magic of this special black dress doesn’t stop there. Sisters Evelyn and Annabelle couldn’t be any more different, but when they each slip on the magical black dress from the gypsy shop they both get a glimpse of their future.
Antonia Ashton gets word her mother, Evie, has had a stroke and is in the hospital in a coma. Leaving her successful wedding coordinator business and boyfriend Greg behind in St. Louis she returns home to Blue Hills. Having not been back since her father’s death two years earlier she begins to see how her mother’s life was beginning to spiral out of control. As she begins digging into her mother’s affairs she unearths questions about her mother’s past and finds a mysterious little black dress at the heart of it all.
The novel shifts chapters between Evie and her daughter, Antonia. Evie’s stories are first person accounts from the past leading the reader to the present, while Antonia’s story is what is currently going on and in third person. I loved going back and forth getting to know Evie in a way her daughter, Toni doesn’t know her, while at the same time getting to see Toni realizing some her own mistakes and seeing her mother in a new light.
I wasn’t sure about the whole idea of a future seeing black dress, but it worked! This is a story about how three women respond when getting a glimpse, how it can change everything in a moment. More than that it’s a story of family and sisters and the love they have for one another. It was heartwarming and beautifully written. I’d love to go on and on about this book, but I don’t want to say too much and ruin the story!
This was one of my favorite books I’ve read this summer. I am definitely recommending you go and buy a copy!
Make sure to comment below with your email address for your chance to win a copy of Susan’s book. The Holiday Countdown Giveaway is for US residents only. Sorry!
****This giveaway will close on December 11 midnight EST. I will announce the winner and notify them on Monday. The winner will have 48hours to respond with their address or a new winner will be chosen. By commenting below you will also be entered for your chance to win all 5 books in the Holiday Countdown Giveaway.****
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The books we review on this site (A NOVEL REVIEW) are sent to us by publishers, authors or downloaded from Netgalley. This is a very common practice. We never take payments for these reviews and all the reviews on this site are our own thoughts and feelings and are not influenced.