Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Romancing Olive by Holly Bush


In 1891, spinster librarian, Olive Wilkins, is shocked to learn of her brother’s violent death at a saloon gaming table and her sister-in-law’s subsequent murder, traveling far from her staid life to rescue her niece and nephew, now orphans. She arrives to find the circumstances of her brother’s life deplorable and her long held beliefs of family and tradition, shaken.

Accustomed to the sophistication of Philadelphia, Olive arrives in Spencer, Ohio, a rough and tumble world she is not familiar with, facing two traumatized children. Her niece and nephew, Mary and John, have been living with a neighboring farmer, widower Jacob Butler, the father of three young children of his own and a man still in pain from the recent loss of his wife.

Real danger threatens Olive and Mary and John while Jacob and his own brood battle the day-to-day struggles for survival. Will Olive and Jacob find the strength to fight their battles alone or together? Will love conquer the bitterness of loss and broken dreams?


I loved this book! Very sweet and well written.  I read this book in about 2 days and enjoyed the storyline and characters. I don’t typically enjoy western type of books, and this reminded me of one with the setting.  However, it is really about a story of second chances, family, and starting over.  Jacob is grieving and angry over the loss of his wife, while Olive leaves the comfort of her routine life in Philadelphia to move to Ohio so that she can take the children of her deceased brother. Upon arriving, Olive slowly strips her spinster persona as Jacob slowly starts to see that beyond Olive’s exterior and slowly falls in love with who Olive is.  I enjoyed the way the story progressed and the simplicity in the story, as it covered a difficult situation: a family losing their mom and a sister losing her brother.  Overall,  I would recommend this story!

Historical Book Tours is providing a free e-book (the format of your choice) to 1 winner! 

1 winner will be selected to win, Romancing Olive, by Holly Bush.

The winner will be contacted and HBT will send an e-book copy!

Giveaway ends March 31, 2013.

Simply enter in the comment area:

your name, email, and what you liked about the synopsis to be entered in the giveaway.

*Historical Book Tours provided a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Review & Book Giveaway: True Love Way by Nancy Scrofano



Marlo Spencer relishes all things retro. Old TV shows, classic movies, and even the collectible lunch boxes to go with them. In fact, she’s quite cozy in her Malibu apartment, surrounded by her treasured knick-knacks and vintage memorabilia. It’s her best friend, Nik, who doesn’t get her fascination with all that “old junk,” as he calls it. He especially doesn’t understand why she’s so keen to get back to their hometown of Napa when her high school sweetheart, Josh, suddenly returns after twelve years in Paris and nary a single phone call, eager to reunite with her. So, when Marlo heads up north to wine country to rekindle her relationship with Josh, Nik tags along, claiming he was already planning to visit his sister, Savannah, Marlo’s gal pal. Once they reach Napa, however, dreams of a blissful reunion are shattered as old secrets and past betrayals are revealed, leaving an unsuspecting Marlo to pick up the pieces. Can she forgive and forget, or will true love find a different path to her heart?


My Review:

If you ever want to read a chick-lit book, pick this one! It has everything that makes me love chick-lit, which is a new genre for me.  I loved the charm and quirkiness of the characters, the back in time moments with I Love Lucy reruns, and even an old flame from high school.  With just a touch of romance, a whole serving of laughs, and some twists and turns, I was engrossed in the book and couldn’t put it down!!  I loved the way the story flowed, the storyline was interesting and had some real life challenges readers can relate to, and shows how love never truly dies.  This is not a heavy book, there are some unrealistic parts in the storyline, but isn’t that why we love chick-lit? It takes you away for just a moment in time and in the end, you can’t help but smile and feel good about it.  I highly recommend this book!

*This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.  No forms of compensation were given.

About the Author:

Nancy Scrofano grew up watching classic television shows, classic movies, and listening to oldies, all of which she still adores today. Nancy has a penchant for the fifties, mostly because of her favorite show, I Love Lucy. She has seen every episode countless times and will happily share the trivia she knows with anyone who will listen. Nancy worked as an editor and a journalist for her college newspaper, then went on to develop sociology textbooks for an academic publisher. She has a master’s degree in media psychology, as well as undergraduate degrees in communication, radio and television, and liberal arts. Nancy currently writes book reviews for a prestigious book review magazine. Additionally, she is the founder and managing editor of The Chick Lit Bee, a book blog that promotes and celebrates women’s fiction, and Good Humor Girl, a women’s entertainment blog. Nancy lives in southern California where she is at work on her next novel.

Connect With the Author:


Book giveaway ends October 31, 2012.

Book Giveaway: Exceeding Expectations by Lisa April Smith



It’s 1961 and Palm Beach socialite, irresistible rascal and devoted father Jack Morgan encounters genuine danger while staging his suicide to shield his beloved daughters from scandal and disgrace. Next, meet his daughter Charlotte (Charlie), an over-indulged 23 year-old struggling to cope with the loss of her beloved father, her sister’s resulting mental breakdown and the discovery that she’s now penniless. Fortunately Raul, an admiring young attorney, offers assistance to the traumatized young woman, who can joke about her inadequacies. As terrified as she is about paying for her sister’s costly treatment and her own daily survival, Charlie soon realizes that she must learn what drove her father to kill himself. With Raul’s much needed ego-bolstering, she pursues a career that makes practical use of her lanky 5’ 11” frame. Despite roadblocks and emotional upheavals, she embarks on an ocean-spanning journey that leads to a family she doesn’t know, distressing truths about her father, crimes great and small, a diabolical villain and a fireworks of surprise endings.
Excerpts from reviews of “Exceeding Expectations:” “Lisa April Smith . . . has woven an intriguingly rich tapestry of delightful well-developed characters into a perfectly balanced plot bursting with riveting mystery, crimes of the petty and the horrible sort, suspenseful twists, and romantic tension complete with love scenes that sizzle and pop.” “Set in the varied and stunning backdrops of early 1960s Palm Beach and Manhattan high society, as well as mid-1930s to early 1940s Paris . . .” Cari L. Pedstelak:
“. . . it’s the authentic details of the time-periods that make it fun to read . . .” “historical and fictitious characters work in sync as they are perfectly set in these time frames, and midst the transitory madness of WWs I and II Paris.” “ Smith’s writing isn’t over-blown with emotion and sappy romance; rather, it is sophisticated and subtle.

Product Details

  • File Size:459 KB
  • Publisher:2old2wait2young2giveup (November 29, 2011)
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services
  • Language:English
  • ASIN: B006GDK3NO
  • Click to purchase.

Author, Lisa April Smith reflects with Books in the Burbs to discuss her decision to self-publish?

I often hear from fans who start by praising my writing before politely asking the hard question, “What made you decide to self-publish?”

I am happy to explain. Some aspiring authors never find an agent willing to read their manuscripts, let alone represent them. I’ve had three. I won’t bore you with the sorry details of near-miss sales, including a full year spent doing rewrites for a senior editor at Putnam Penguin, who was fired in a downturn. My third and last agent belonged to one of the largest and most prestigious literary agencies in the world and represented a long list of famous authors. The day I received word that she loved Exceeding Expectations and my writing, and wanted to represent me, I literally danced around the room. Unfortunately, in 5 years under contract she sold nothing of mine. I don’t blame her for trying to stay afloat by concentrating all her time and energy on her A-list authors. The stories she shared, of desperate authors and long-negotiated contracts not signed at the last minute, are heartbreaking.

As readers, you probably know that publishing isn’t the business it was twenty years ago. It isn’t the business it was three years ago. It’s changing so fast the principals don’t know how to react. At one time, recently demised Borders had 1,200 stores. Consider the impact of closing 1,200 major retail outlets on publishers. It’s been attacked on all sides, not only by the Great Recession but also by the continuing growth of its major competitor, Amazon. Perhaps the greatest blow came from eBooks, coupled with the unprecedented success of self-published eBooks. In March, 2011, almost 1 out of 3 of Amazon’s 50 top selling eBooks sold for less than $3.99 – the overwhelming percentage self-published. Apparently, price matters to buyers. With the ability to read the first 30 pages free before buying, and an easy return policy, readers no longer automatically dismiss self-published authors. That movement continues growing. I didn’t need a crystal ball. April 1, 2011 I severed my contract with my agent. July 1st, 2011, I joined the eBook revolution with Dangerous Lies. Exceeding Expectations officially launchedJan. 1, 2012.

About the Author:

Author Lisa April Smith lives with her husband, He-who-wishes-to-remain-anonymous, in EternalPlayland,Florida, a delightful spot just off I-95. Ms. Smith describes Eternal Playland as: “a little piece of level heaven with occasional dampness, where the bugs are plentiful but respectful, and even the smallest strip mall contains at least one pizza place and a nail salon.”

Before discovering a passion for writing, Ms. Smith sold plumbing and heating, antiques, taught ballroom dancing, tutored, modeled, designed software and managed projects for IBMand returned to college multiple times to study anthropology, sociology and computer science, in which she holds degrees, as well as psychology, archeology, literature, history and art. Combine those widely diverse interests with a love of travel and a gift for writing page-turners and it’s easy to understand one reviewer’s unbridled praise for Exceeding Expectations, “She (Ms. Smith) has a brilliance for conveying characters, and the intellectual capacity to place them in historical settings that sparkle with glamorous detail. . . that make it fun to read . . . ” But it takes much more than lush settings, an eye for detail and a love of history to write a page-turner. Read what another reviewer said about Exceeding Expectations: “Lisa April Smith . . . has woven an intriguingly rich tapestry of delightful well-developed characters into a perfectly balanced plot bursting with riveting mystery, crimes of the petty and the horrible sort, suspenseful twists, and romantic tension complete with love scenes that sizzle and pop.”

For more about the author, her books, and upcoming projects visit her website:

Thanks to Pump Up Your Book for this interview and book giveaway!

E-Book Giveaway

The only requirement to win this book is for you to own a e-reader.

The winner will receive the book via email.

Simply fill out the form below.  One winner will be selected via

Giveaway ends April 15, 2012.

The Burb’s List Replacing Thrifty Thursdays

I will no longer be posting for Thrifty Thursdays.  There are so many sites available that list freebies on a weekly basis, and I just felt that my work was becoming a bit redundant.  Granted, I do this all on a volunteer basis and simply out of my love for reading, but why do the same thing??

So, on Thursdays, I will be posting The Burb’s List.  This was created out of my own desire to have a site that I can visit each week or after reading a book to get an idea as to some titles I may want to read next.  I love reading book reviews, but sometimes, I just want a title that I can quickly glance at to buy, borrow, or check out from the library.  These books will consist of different genres, will include a freebie book that I recommend or am interested in myself, books I have received or purchased that I cannot wait to read, and other book titles I have come across that have been placed on my TBR list.

So, if you are wanting to read a good book but don’t know where to start or just want some ideas, then The Burb’s List will be perfect for  you.

There are some freebie sites that I do recommend.  If you have an e-reader, then you will still want to download some free books, I am sure. Below are some sites that do list freebies.  If you know of any others, please let me know and I will gladly add them to this list.

Freebie Sites:

Pixel of Ink:  Books are primarily Kindles, however it will list free Nook books,too.

Barnes and Noble Community Forum:  These are for Nook users only.  However, I have found that if a Nook book  is free, then chances are it is also free at Amazon.  The books are added as they become available, so just go to the last number page and work backwards to make sure you haven’t missed any freebies.

Barnes and Noble:  For Nook users, you can simply type in the number: Zero(point)Zero—->0.0 and it will pull up any free books that are available for that moment.  I write that because there have been books available for one day and then next were full price.

E-Book Finds:  These are usually for Kindle books, but sometimes audible freebies are also listed.

The Frugal Girls:  Freebies for Kindles and Nooks are usually listed.  Sometimes, just great deals are listed.

Life Optimizer:  These are free classics. Of course, you can always visit Google Books to download them, but I do like this list too.

The Vessel Project: This is a Christian site that has a link for Free Resources.  The books listed are usually for Kindles and Nooks and are typically free.  You can sign up for their newsletter and receive updates as soon as they are listed.

And in the spirit of Freebies…I’d like to provide 2 book giveaways!

The Violets of March and Flat-Out Love

(1 giveaway per person=2 winners)

Contest Ends November 18, 2011

One Entry Per Person.

Simply fill out the comment form below.

Please Read:I believe right now, my initial information is displayed to show you what to include.  You should be able to delete it without any problem.  If you do not fill out the comment form, but instead add your information on the regular comment section, your information will be on display.  While I do prefer you using the comment form, where you input your information, I will consider both.

Information provided is for my own purposes.  No information is shared or displayed.

Thrifty Thursday-It’s Back!

I had been thinking of not continuing this feature on my blog, as I know there are plenty of blogs out there that already do this.  Who wants to keep doing what everyone else is doing???  However, I thought I’d add some interesting books I haven’t seen or been hearing great reviews on, as well as any books I have personally read that I absolutely enjoyed, too!

One of my weekly favorite things to do is to download free books on my reader.  I have quite a few books and wonder if I may actually have time to read them all considering that new freebies are listed each week.  However, I am a mood reader.  I read certain books depending on the kind of mood I am in.

Sometimes I want to read a little mystery, a feel good story, a thriller, a romance storyline, or Christian book.  If you are a bibliophile, then chances are you completely understand.  I liken my reading choices to clothes:  not everything looks great every day and you have to be in the mood to wear it.

For Kindle

For Nook

For Kindle

For Nook

For Kindle

For Nook

For Kindle

For Nook

***There is no guarantee that by the time you decide to download these books that they will still be free.  My suggestion to you is to download them as soon as you can and then you can decide when you want to read them.


The 2 books listed below are currently on sale for $2.99!! That is a really great deal considering I purchased The Lace Reader for $9.99 over the summer!

For Kindle

For Nook

For Kindle

For Nook

Happy Reading!

What’s In a Name?

I never thought I’d multi-read, but lately I have been.  I am currently reading Sweet Sanctuary on my Nook, The Violets of March in paperback, and I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings on my iphone.  This is usually because it allows me to read anywhere, anytime, when I can.  I am loving these books, but The Violets of March has really started out with a bang.  I am finding myself taking my time reading this one because I want to savor each moment with the characters….and this hasn’t happened to me in a long time with a book I’ve read.

Reviews on all 3 books, plus a few others I just finished reading, will be posted within the next couple of weeks.

In The Violets of March, there is a character that theorizes a man will stay married or divorce after so many years based on his first name.  This isn’t the whole premise of the book, but it really got me thinking about names and book titles.  I am a huge name person.  I love learning about the meaning of a name and finding out where it derived from.  I was certainly not one of those moms that picked a name because it was cute or trendy…and definitely not because I just ran out of time and ended up picking a name at the hospital.  No, I searched, processed, imagined by babies being adults with their name, and simply just wanted them to each have their perfect name.  I remember when I was pregnant with my second born that I was adamant about picking a name from a whole different pool of names.  I figured that if a name hadn’t been good enough for my first born, it certainly wasn’t going to be good enough for my second born either.

The same goes with choosing books I haven’t heard of before.  Even though I do receive books to review and see which books have become a best seller, I am still intrigued about finding that special book that is squished between best sellers and suggested book titles.  While I don’t typically judge a book by its cover, I do judge a book by its title.  A book title for me is like the first sentence of a book…it is what draws me in to continue reading it.

I have always been an independent thinker, one that thinks outside the box, doesn’t always go with the mainstream, and certainly doesn’t do anything because it’s popular.  I suppose that is why I am drawn to all kinds of people and love working with a variety of populations.  So, it’s only natural that when I am selecting a book to purchase, it’s not going to be the book that everyone is reading.

If I’m at a bookstore:

How I choose a book is quite dependent on the book title.  It’s what grabs my attention and whispers to me, “Read Me”.  If I like the book title, then I will read the synopsis in the back of the book.  I never read a book based on the reviews included in the book because what book is out there that will have a negative review on its own book???  Never.  Exactly!  It’s just more fluff and I want to know what it’s about.  When I buy an actual book, it isn’t because I am wanting to read it right then.  I usually have a stash of books at home that I will gleam through and see which book I want to read then.  However, purchasing a book is quite different.

If I am purchasing a book on my Nook:

Being a blogger, I also enjoy reading reviews of books that I haven’t heard of and those will usually peak my interest to simply purchase the book on my Nook.  I have to admit though, I have become quite the book collector of purchasing freebies.  It’s quite addicting to download free books and have them in my library to read at a later time.

Reading a Book I’ve purchased:

I am a bit strange when it comes to reading a book I already have purchased.  I view books like clothes, it’s not always the best time to read it and you have to be in the mood for it.  So, I typically have a wide range of books that include mystery, romance (chick-lit), Christian fiction, biographies, and YA.

I read The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent with my book club last year.  It was an excellent read that we all enjoyed discussing.  We were absolutely thrilled to learn that Kathleen Kent had written a prequel to it, titled The Wolves of Andover.  Now, I have to admit, the title just didn’t draw me in and certainly didn’t do justice for the storyline.  However, Kathleen has recently changed the title to The Traitor’s Wife, which is absolutely fitting and is a book I definitely would have gravitated to.  It is the perfect title for a book that I absolutely enjoyed reading and we all enjoyed discussing the book with Kathleen Kent, too!

So, what does the name of book mean to you?  How do you select a book when you are surrounded by books in a library or bookstore?  I’d love to hear from you!