Nose in a Book Reviews: Mountain Charm – Blog Tour

Today, I’m privileged to be a part of Sydney Logan’s Blog Tour for her new book Mountain Charm.

Why don’t we see what Sydney had to say about her writing of emotional scenes.

When you are getting into a scene, do you laugh and cry with your characters?  Was there a scene in the book that you remember making you emotional either happy or sad?

I do laugh and cry with my characters. For me, it’s impossible not to. I get so wrapped up in the moment, whether it’s a funny scene or if it’s one that really breaks my heart.

There are two scenes that really made me emotional in Mountain Charm. It was just a small mention, but when Dylan held Angelina’s mom’s hair when she was sick after receiving chemo really broke my heart. And, of course, when they gathered in the doctor’s office to hear Celia’s diagnosis. Those two scenes really made me reach for the Kleenex.

I don’t write a lot of comedy (not sure why), but one of my favorite scenes in the book is when Angelina shows Dylan a certain family heirloom and chases him off her porch. Even my husband laughed out loud! Those Appalachian magic wands are serious business.

Thanks for having me on your blog.

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Curious about her new book?  

Check out the synopsis and my review of the book below. 

“True love and sweet whispers, till death do us part;
Send someone to love my Appalachian heart.”

At the age of thirteen, Angelina Clark followed in the footsteps of her ancestors by casting an Appalachian love spell, which promised she would blossom into a beautiful and gifted woman who would find her true love. A young Angelina had been thrilled to participate in the sacred ritual, but through the years, her father’s untimely death and her mother’s failing health have shaken Angelina’s magical faith to its core. As her twenty-first birthday approaches, she refuses to practice her supernatural gifts and no longer believes in the love charm.

That is, until Dylan Thomas arrives on her front porch.

Dylan, a Nashville writer, travels to the mountain town of Maple Ridge to unearth the family’s supernatural secrets. While her clairvoyant mother is convinced that Dylan is her daughter’s soul mate, Angelina refuses to see the nosy reporter as anything more than a nuisance.
Despite their constant bickering, sparks fly.

Dylan admits he feels strangely drawn to Angelina and is in no hurry to leave Maple Ridge or publish his magazine article. Fearful that his emotions are being influenced by the spell, a stubborn Angelina struggles to fight her own budding attraction to the reporter.

The two inevitably grow closer just as her mother’s health begins to deteriorate, and Angelina is faced with the possibility of selling the family’s music shop to pay the mounting medical expenses. Desperate to help the woman he loves, Dylan explores his own family tree and finds support from an unlikely source. Can he finally prove his love is real—spell or no spell?

A story filled with love, friendship, family, and just a hint of Appalachian magic, Mountain Charm will leave you spellbound.

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Mountain CharmMountain Charm by Sydney Logan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4star

Genre:  Romance

Thanks to The Writers Coffee Shop for giving me an ARC of this book for an honest review.

Sydney Logan delivers another sweet and romantic tale set in the Smokey Mountains.

The story begins as we meet Angelina on the night of her thirteenth birthday, sitting before a candle and whispering an age old spell to meet her soul mate on her 21st birthday. This tradition is one that has been passed down for generations.

We next meet up with Angelina in the present day, on her twenty-first birthday. Instead of the hopeful and optimistic teen, we see Angelina as the grown woman who’s been hurt by love before. She’s also angry with the world for her father’s untimely demise along with her mother’s cancer diagnosis. She’s jaded, disheartened and the last thing she thinks she needs is for the silly love spell she cast years before to come true. She’s frustrated, thinking if magic couldn’t save her father or keep her mother healthy, what was its use?

While working in her music shop, a tall dark and handsome stranger walks in. Her friend Maddie has always envied Angelina and her family’s magical backgrounds, so when Angelina takes no interest in Dylan Thomas, she can’t understand why on her birthday she wouldn’t want to see the spell work.

Dylan, the swoony stranger has been sent to Maple Ridge on assignment to write an article about the mythical magic and witches that have been whispered about for years. He immediately takes an interest in Angelina and feels drawn to her inexplicably.

The book goes back and forth through Angelina’s belief that Dylan’s feelings can’t be real but rather a conjuring of the spell ‘making him’ fall for her. The story is sweetly spun and I really enjoyed the premise and well written prose. My only real negative comment about the story is that Dylan, similar to her hero in Lessons Learned, feel a bit too perfect. Granted Dylan does have a bit of a temper, but aside from that, he was so supportive and loving, even during times when Angelina might not have deserved it. I guess while I appreciate how complex Angelina was and the growth of her character through the story, I would have liked Dylan to have a bit more range as well.

All in all, a satisfying read that was engaging and difficult to put down. Well done.

Buy it here!

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About the Author

Sydney Logan is an Amazon bestselling author and holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. With the 2012 release of her first novel, Lessons Learned, she made the transition from bookworm to author. Sydney has a very unhealthy obsession with music, and her iPod is filled with everything from Johnny Cash to Eminem. She is also the author of two short stories: “Mistletoe Magic,” available exclusively on Amazon Kindle, and “Stupid Cupid,” which is featured in the Romantic Interludes compilation. When she isn’t reading or writing, she enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her front porch at her home in East Tennessee with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.

Visit Sydney’s website at www.sydneylogan.com.

Click here to buy your copy of Mountain Charm

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Nose in a Book Reviews: Over the Edge by Suzanne Carroll

Over the EdgeOver the Edge by Suzanne Carroll

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 star program biotechnology calendar

Genre: Fluffy Romance

Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

First – I LOVED this book. I can’t really put my finger exactly on what made it so special, but I couldn’t put it down and when it was over, I had this huge smile on my face.

The story is about Zoe Harper, a woman who is about to get married but can’t shake the feeling that her life is spiraling out of control. With an overbearing and controlling mother-in-law, and a mama’s boy fiance, she finally decides enough is enough.

When she finally breaks off her engagement in a public argument on the street with her mother-in-law brought in via conference call, she decides to take her life back into her own hands. With suggestions from her friends, family and a self-help guru, she begins to make plans to do all the things she never really knew she wanted to do with the hope of finding her true self. This all proves well and good until she meets Angus Creed, the tough as nails owner of the company she works at. They strike up a friendship and Angus asks Zoe for help.

Angus is supposed to be the leading man at an upcoming charity ball where he is to supply a graceful and elegant first dance with the ball’s organizer. It is a privilege to be asked, but Angus can’t dance to save his life. Zoe steps in to help and the pair find they might have more feelings for eachother than they had anticipated.

I have to say the story was a wonderful mix of push and pull. It kept me completely entertained the entire way through, enough so I couldn’t put it down.

I also want to commend Suzanne Carroll for allowing her heroine to handle her own problems in her own way. I kept waiting for Angus to swoop in and save her from her ex fiance’s mother and while he offered, she didn’t take him up on it, and she handled it perfectly well on her own. Usually authors make their heroines weak. It was so refreshing not to have a damsel in distress for once. Great strong female character is always a win in my book.
Well done!

This was a really fun, flirty and fluffy sort of read. If you’re looking for a quick beach read that will leave you with a huge smile on your face, check out Suzanne Carroll’s Over the Edge.

View all my reviews

Nose in a Book Reviews: Plotting to Win

Plotting to WinPlotting to Win by Tara Chevrestt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three-star-rating

Genre: Romance

Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Plotting to Win tells the tale of a group of hopeful authors competing in a reality show where the winner will get a one hundred thousand dollar publishing contract for The Next Bestseller.

Meet Felicity James and Victor Guzman, two of the seven competitors vying for the big prize. Victor and Felicity have on and off screen chemistry that brings big ratings for the show. They each have their own reasons for competing in the show, yet because it is still a competition and only one person can win, their relationship is filled with secrets and insecurities.

The story was fun and fast moving. I enjoyed all the various characters in the story along with the reality show premise. I thought it was imaginative and while doubtful a show about writing would do well on American television, I enjoyed the various challenges and imagery of the reality show. The relationship aspect of the story fell a bit flat for me. It felt rushed and a bit forced. All in all, an interesting premise with an average execution.

View all my reviews

Nose in a Book Reviews: The Story Guy – Blog Tour & Giveaway!

Today, Nose in a Book Reviews is participating in The Story Guy Blog Tour.

We have a guest post and giveaway at the end, so check it out!

First up, a little blurb of this lovely novella.

In this eBook original novella, Mary Ann Rivers introduces a soulful and sexy tale of courage, sacrifice, and love.

I will meet you on Wednesdays at noon in Celebration Park. Kissing only.

Carrie West is happy with her life . . . isn’t she? But when she sees this provocative online ad, the thirtysomething librarian can’t help but be tempted. After all, the photo of the anonymous poster is far too attractive to ignore. And when Wednesday finally arrives, it brings a first kiss that’s hotter than any she’s ever imagined. Brian Newburgh is an attorney, but there’s more to his life . . . that he won’t share with Carrie. Determined to have more than just Wednesdays, Carrie embarks on a quest to learn Brian’s story, certain that he will be worth the cost. But is she ready to gamble her heart on a man who just might be The One . . . even though she has no idea how their love story will end?

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My swoony review is up next.

The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 star program biotechnology calendar

Genre: Romance / Novella

Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of this fantastic book in return for an honest review.

I loved this book. I read it in one sitting and just loved Mary Ann Rivers’ writing style.

The story is about lonely librarian, Carrie West. She loves her job, but is frustrated by her lackluster love life. One insomnia filled night she stumbles across an ad for a Wednesday only date at a park. The only stipulation is that they will kiss for the entire time, and if either person stops coming on Wednesdays then the ‘relationship’ is over. No fuss, no muss. Drawn in by the handsome profile photo of the mystery man, she responds, hoping it might be the spark she needs to liven up her life.

When Wednesday finally arrives she meets Brian at the park and within moments they are kissing with wild abandon. Carrie has never felt such a kiss in all of her life and after another Wednesday date decides she needs more from her weekday kisser. This of course breaks all the rules Brian has set up to keep women out of his busy life. Carrie doesn’t understand and he refuses to let her in until one day Brian’s secret unexpectedly comes out.

I LOVED how lost Carrie was. Mary Ann really did a fantastic job with her characterizations. I know Carrie, shit, I WAS Carrie in my mid-20s. So lost and eager for love. I had a couple of Story guys in my past, and it is true, I remember my time with them fondly.

I thought Brian’s burden was palpable. My heart broke for him and the weight of the world that was so firmly placed on his shoulders at a young age.

An incredible read. Can’t wait to read more from Rivers.

View all my reviews

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Lastly, a little guest post by the amazing, Mary Ann Rivers! 

How has anonymity on the Web changed the search for romance?

 I’m not certain that the internet is genuinely anonymous, at this point, and to approach it that way is an exercise in frustration. I think of it as a public space, Iike a city, and just like a city you can sometimes get lost in it, feel alone, but you’re never truly anonymous. When Brian uses the city’s internet personals to reach out, he believes he can maintain his anonymity by putting extreme limits on his human interaction with Carrie. He does just enough to make her feel safe—gives her a clear picture, meets her in the wide open public, will tell her where he works—but withholds what he believes will keep him safe—how he spends his time outside of the single hour, once a week that he will give her.

The internet is like that. We use it and reveal no more than what makes us feel safe—whether those revelations are in dating profiles, tweets, status updates, or blogs—and then we withhold everything else. I think this is true in face-to-face human interactions, as well, it’s just that as people, we take advantage of what IS lost on the internet—body language, for example. Carrie intuits that Brian is holding in and hiding a great deal by the way he moves his body, by his closed-off body language, and this motivates her to get behind his walls. If their relationship had stayed virtual—say in emails or cybering—she might not have gotten as close.

Carrie muses a lot about things like dating sites and why they’re unsatisfying, why it is she might be drawn to the kind of arrangement Brian advertises for. She’s looking for human connection, and she’s at a point in her life where she’s willing to let go of control to get it. And if the engaging with the internet has some advantage, it may be control—at least for a little while.

Do you want to get your hands on a copy of this novella?  

Click on the link below to be entered to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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THE STORY GUY on Goodreads
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About Mary Ann Rivers
Mary Ann Rivers was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals and leading creative-writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a nurse practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients. Now she writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line. Mary Ann Rivers lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son.
Connect with Mary Ann:  Website  |  Twitter |  Facebook

Top Ten Tuesday – belated post – Best Books of 2013

I have been away from the Top Ten Tuesday posts for about 3 weeks and missed one that I was really looking forward to.

As a busy working mom & wife, I don’t get to see too many movies, so I didn’t think I could really adequately contribute to today’s conversation.  So instead, if you’ll grant me leniency for going back a few topics, to post my favorite books I’ve read in 2013.

Stack of books

Thanks to the Broke and the Bookish blog for hosting these.

Top Ten Books I’ve Read in 2013

Young Adult

The Sea of Tranquility

The Sea of TranquilityThis book was phenomenal.  Highly recommend.

It’s heartbreaking and romantic all rolled into one.

If You Find Me

If You Find MeAnother difficult but amazing read.

Makes you value your family all the more after you read this.

Dare You To

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)

The second in this series by Katie McGarry and it is amazing.

Check both this one and Pushing the Limits out.

The Testing

The Testing (The Testing, #1)

This is a dystopian Y/A book and while some say it’s similar to Hunger Games, I found it to be a fascinating and unique read.

New Adult

Me Before You

Me Before You

This is a snot-sobbingly amazing read.  It will break your heart in the best possible way.

Romance

How to Misbehave

How to Misbehave (Camelot, #1)

This is one of the fantastic books in Ruthie Knox’s Camelot series.

Over the Edge

Over the EdgeThis is a super fun, fluffy fantastic read.

If you’re looking for a good beach read, this one is for you.

The Story Guy

The Story Guy (Novella)This is a lovely, romantic debut novella.

Along Came Trouble

Along Came Trouble (Camelot, #2)

This is the second book in the Camelot series by Ruthie Knox.  You should check all four out.  They are fantastic!

Erotica

After Hours

After HoursMan, oh man. If you are looking for a steamy, sexy hot book, check out this one by Cara McKenna.  It’ll make you sweat!

Thanks for indulging me and my belated post.

Until next time,

Michela

Nose in a Book Reviews: The Virginity Mission

The Virginity MissionThe Virginity Mission by Cate Ellink

My rating: 2 1/2 of 5 stars

2 and a half stars

Genre: New Adult / Romance

Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The simplistic premise of the story is, virginal Mac meets hunky army sergeant, Jason when she is chosen to be a part of a six week scientific expedition into the Australian wilderness. Of course fraternisation isn’t allowed between the scientists and the military, but gosh darn it, they’re going to do it anyways.

Their connection is (of course) instantaneous and Mac spends the entire book trying to figure out a way to lose her virginity with the hunky man she has only met for 5 seconds.

I found Mac not quite fully developed. It felt like Ellink wasn’t sure what type of MC she wanted. Mac waffled between completely naive and a harlot. Her character confused me. Then there was Jason. He was sweet, handsome and completely conflicted, but a worthy hero.

All in all, the story was okay, the characterizations were a bit off for me, but for someone else they might connect with Mac more than I did. Just a ho-hum sort of read for me.

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Nose in a Book Reviews: Tempted by Two

Tempted by TwoTempted by Two by Portia Da Costa

My rating: 2 1/2 of 5 stars

2 and a half stars

Genre: LGBT / Menage Erotica

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to like this one more than I actually did. Reading the premise, seeing the cover, I was excited to read it.

Then, somehow it went a bit awry. The story is about executive Katie Warren who goes to the English Countryside to get away and do a little soul searching. She also knows that famous artist Marcus Dane is having a show there and decides to attend. While daydreaming over one of Marcus’ more erotic paintings, she is ends up meeting the artist himself. He sees the longing in her eyes and decides to see if she’s really as turned on as he thinks.

She willingly goes, thinking this might be the chance of a lifetime to be with the handsome artist, but when Marcus’ partner Owen joins the picture, she begins to fret about if she’s really in over her head.

The story moves along quickly and of course, they all fall in love. My main issue with the story is Katie’s internal musings. I’m not sure if I’ve just grown picky after reading so many books, but internal thoughts are a bit of a pet peeve of mine now. A few, are fine, but when it is interspersed every other paragraph, it gets old. Especially when it is a wishy-washy character like Katie.

I will say, I liked Marcus and Owen’s relationship and interaction. It was the time with Katie that felt forced.

All in all, an average read for me. Could have been a really hot and steamy read, but with all Katie’s thoughts, it just really pulled me completely out of the mood.

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