Monday, June 29, 2015

Hot Summertime TBR Book: The Funeral Singer by Linda Budzinski

I'll confess, I have always had more than my fair share of curiosity about death and dying. When one of the cable channels launched a reality show revolving around a funeral home, I totally watched as long as I could before my husband insisted on changing the channel! Ironically, when the same thing happens in today's Hot Summertime TBR pick, the funeral director in that story says, "Absolutely not!"

But he didn't say we couldn't read the story, to which I said, "Sign me up!"

The Funeral Singer by fellow Swoon Romance author, Linda Budzinski, is my final TBR mention for June. Here's more about it:

Being a funeral singer was a dead-end job until it led her to him ...

Seventeen-year-old Melanie Martin has witnessed her share of lame eulogies and uninspired epitaphs while singing part-time at her dad's funeral home. She's determined to be more than a funeral singer, more than just someone's "beloved wife" or "loving mother."

When Mel's impromptu rendition of "Amazing Grace" at a local rock star's graveside service goes viral on YouTube, she becomes an Internet sensation, gains thousands of fans and followers, and snags a hot rock star boyfriend--Zed Logan, bass player for The Grime.

But instant fame isn’t easy—and neither is love. Especially when Mel realizes she’s falling for another guy—one who may just want her heart more than her voice …

Now that doesn't sound morbid at all, does it? Linda gives us rock stars, viral videos and at its core, a sweet love story between young adults. Ticked a lot of my boxes, including my hope for whatever tidbits about the funeral business Linda might also weave in. Read her bio below. She knows the biz. Definitely a must read for me.

You too can nab yourself a copy at Amazon (or other online booksellers) where it's also only 99 cents at the moment.

About the author...

Linda Acorn Budzinski decided in the second grade that she wanted to be a "Paperback Writer," just like in the Beatles song. She majored in journalism in college and now works in marketing and communications. She spent 18 years at a trade association in the funeral service industry, where she discovered that funeral directors are some of the bravest and most compassionate people on earth.

Linda lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, Joe, and their Chihuahua, Demitria. She has two step-daughters, Eris and Sarah. THE FUNERAL SINGER is her debut novel. She is represented by Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger Inc.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Life in the No Dating Zone by Patricia B. Tighe...This Week's TBR Pile Pick!

My boss and my company's headquarters are in Boston and, living on the west coast, I find myself on transcontinental flights several times a year. Young Adult books, especially contemporary stories, are a go-to staple for my Kindle.

Today I wanted to give a shout out to one I recently purchased--Life in the No-Dating Zone by fellow Swoon Romance author, Patricia B. Tighe:

Here's what it's all about:

After surviving her parents' relationship drama when her older sister elopes, Claire Gardner vows not to date during high school. Now, three years later, Claire is thrust into new relationship drama--her two best friends have boyfriends. Which means Claire is spending more and more time alone. And she's more than a little peeved.

Enter Gray Langley. His year-long crush on Claire's friend Lindsey has made him desperate enough to ask Claire for help. Hesitant at first, Claire agrees--anything to get rid of Lindsey's current evil boyfriend. But as Claire and Gray plot together, an attraction develops, and now she must decide if being with Gray is worth the pain that will come from confronting her parents with the reasons for her vow.

I chose this book because I love a good conspiracy that you just know is going to backfire gloriously. The other reason I chose Patricia's book is because I like the plot-line of the perpetual third wheel girlfriend trying to come to terms with her predicament while preserving her friendships. It's especially bittersweet in a high school setting.

Sounds like a great summer read to enjoy from the safe vantage point of your lounge chair, right?

You too can nab yourself a copy at Amazon.

About the author...

Patricia B. Tighe, the mother of two grown sons, lives in El Paso, Texas, with her husband and two dogs. Her love of the written word caused her to get a journalism degree from Texas A&M University in 1980 and an MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2008. When not writing or reading, she can be found walking the dogs or yelling at the TV during an NFL game. She's also a fan of British TV shows. Top Gear, anyone?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Taking Charge of My TBR Pile One Book at a Time -- Kissing Frogs by Alisha Sevigny

Anyone who likes to read typically has a stockpile of books queued or stacked up, hidden away (so no one can quite gauge just how much of a collector mindset most readers have) or parading around with pride on a Goodreads shelf or within an ereader. You just can't help it!

I usually have every intention of reading a book I purchased but unfortunately my rate of acquisition outstrips my reading speed.

This summer, I moved a select few--all contemporary young adult novels from Georgia McBride Media Group imprints--to the top of my list.

First up is Kissing Frogs by Alisha Sevigny:

Isn't that an amazing cover? I want those shoes too!

What's it about?
Popular party girl and high school senior Jessica Scott has a secret: she used to be a nerd — a big one; a goody two-shoes, grade-skipping, all-state spelling bee champ. But she lost the braces, put on some contacts, and applied all her academic genius to studying and imitating the social elite. Now she rules the school from the upper echelon of the high school realm. With her cool new friends and hottest-guy-in-school boyfriend, life’s a beach — and that’s where she’s headed for Spring Break. That is, until her teacher breaks the bad news that she’s failing Biology — and her only chance to make up the grade is to throw away the culminating trip of her hard-earned popularity and join the Conservation Club in Panama to save the Golden Frog.

Unable to let go of her faded college dreams, Jess finds herself in a foreign country with a new social crew, and one handsome face that stands out as a blast from the past, threatening to ruin her queen bee reputation. Travis Henley may have grown up, but he still likes to play childish games and as payment for retrieving Jess’ lost ring from the bottom of a jungle pool, he wants three dates. While Jess does battle with spiders, snakes, wildfires and smart mean girls, she desperately tries to hang on to the last vestiges of her popular existence like the Golden Frog from its webbed toe. But as she starts to care about something more than tanning and texting – a species on the verge of disappearing forever – she may realize the worth of her inner nerd, and the one frog in particular that could be her prince in disguise.

Set in the lush and tropical El Valle de Anton, this modern fairytale re-imagining of “The Frog Prince” is toe-curling contemporary romance with an environmentalist heartbeat, in the tradition of Stephanie Perkins.

Sounds fun, right? Exotic setting? Check. A frog who may really be a prince in disguise? Check. And did someone say Stephanie Perkins? Oh yes. A must read for me.

And... it's only 99 cents right now at Amazon!

About the author...

Alisha Sevigny holds a degree in Sociology and Professional Writing from the University of Victoria, is a film school graduate, former literary agent and current Social Media and Communications Director. A shameless romantic, Alisha and her husband have travelled the world together. On a recent trip to Panama Alisha fell in love with the country, culture, and their national emblem, the Golden Frog. She was inspired to write her first Young Adult novel, Kissing Frogs. Born and raised in Kitimat, British Columbia, Alisha has always had a strong connection to the environment and conservationist spirit. She now lives in Toronto with her family.

P.S. If you're wondering how to pronounce Alisha's last name, look no further than her Twitter handle for a clue: @alisha7e

According to a text analyzer of Don't Ask, Don't Tell...

I write like
J. D. Salinger

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