Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Wilde Times by Savannah Young (Book Review)

In association with Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host a book review for Wilde Times by Author Savannah Young!

Wilde Times by Savannah Young
Book 4: Old Town Country Romance Series
Publisher: Short on Time Books
Publication Date: October 5, 2014
Format: Paperback - 174 pages
              Kindle - 1826 KB
              Nook - 364 KB
ISBN: 978-1502554093
BNID: 2940046223088
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BUY THE BOOK: A Wilde Night 

BUY THE SERIES: Old Town Country Romance Series
Book 1: Wilde Riders
Book 2: The Wilde One
Book 3: A Wilde Night
Book 4: Wilde Times

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book review event hosted by Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

Wilde Times is the fourth and final novel in the spicy contemporary romance series about four sexy brothers, their small-town bar and their local country band.

In high school, Jake Wilde was the star football player, who led his team to win the state championship. Now ten years later he’s the manger of his family’s bar, Haymakers, but the residents of rural Old Town still talk about his glory days in high school.

Harley Davis was always the girl-next-door…literally. Her family was neighbors with the Wilde family and the Wilde boys treated her like the little sister they never had. But Harley spent her adolescence dreaming that she’d one day be Jake Wilde’s girl.

She never anticipated that she’d be one of the many girls Jake sleeps with. It breaks Harley’s heart a little bit more every time Jake hooks up with someone other than her, which happens on a regular basis.

How much longer will Harley believe that having even a small piece of Jake is better than having no Jake at all?

My Book Review:

Welcome back to rural Old Town, NJ, home of loud trucks, cold beer, country music, and the hot Wilde brothers!

In each book of the Old Town Country Romance series, Author Savannah Young weaves an entertaining romantic tale that tells the story of each of the four Wilde brothers: Cooper, Jake, Tucker, and Hunter.

In Wilde Times, Author Savannah Young once again calls upon her NJ roots as the reader is transported back to the small rural town of Old Town, NJ, where this time the fourth and final book in the series focus is on Jake, the oldest Wilde brother and Harley's story. Told in the first person narrative, the reader follows Jake and Harley as their passionate romance unfolds like a classic country song.

Jake Wilde is your classic small town country boy, he was the most popular guy and star quarterback in high school, now ten years later he is the manager of Haymakers, the Wilde family owned bar. He's popular with the ladies, a player, man-whore, and only interested in one-night stands ... except deep down he's really in love with girl-next-door Harley Davis, but he thinks she could better than with him.

Harley Davis is the Wilde brothers girl-next-door neighbor. She has been in love with Jake since she was a kid, and even though she was a straight A student in high school and could have her pick of attending several Ivy League colleges, she chose to stay in Old Town and waitress at Haymakers so she could be close to Jake. Harley has a hard-as-nails and sassy image, she shows no outward emotions, even when she is falling apart inside. Harley and Jake have been hooking up for the last year, he was her first and only guy, and seeing him with other girls tears her apart, but having a piece of Jake is better than not having him at all, and she secretly hopes that one day he'll fall in love with her.

When Jake takes his player activity one step too far with Harley's arch nemesis, Regina Masters, in an effort to make Harley move on with her life, life in Old Town gets turned upside down and emotions run deep ... but can Jake and Harley find each other before it's too late?

I absolutely loved reading Jake and Harley's passionate romantic story. You can't help but get drawn into their lives, and embrace the beauty of how their complicated relationship develops from a friends-with-benefits to an undeniable love that was there all along. With drama, humor, and romance, Jake and Harley's connection is electric, but can they open their eyes and have a future together?

Jake and Harley's story is about two people who learn to let go of their doubts, insecurities, and fears in order to find the courage to open up their hearts to love. Not only are Jake and Harley perfect for each other, they simply complete each other! While I did love each of the Wilde brothers' stories, I have to admit that Jake and Harley's story was my favorite, and I loved how the author concludes the series, it is simply swoon worthy!

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the story picks up where book three ended and it easily continues in a smooth flow. The brotherly bond, support, and antics of the other three charming Wilde brothers and their girlfriends, is once again interwoven in the storyline like it was in the other books in the series. Even tough this is the fourth and final book in the series, it can be a stand alone read as the author does interweave the other Wilde brothers' backstories within this storyline. But do yourself a favor and read the books in sequential order so that you can fully appreciate each of the sexy Wilde brothers individual stories, you won't be disappointed!

Wilde Times is an emotional and romantic tale that has a fun cast of characters, witty and humorous banter, drama, and a sweet and spicy romance set to a country theme.


About The Author

Romance novelist Savannah Young grew up in rural northwest New Jersey in a place very similar to the fictional Old Town, which is featured in her books. When she's not at her computer creating spicy stories, Savannah is traveling to exotic locales or spending time with her husband and their bloodhounds.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Curve My Song by Sarah Gai (Book Blast / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Curve My Song by Author Sarah Gai!

Curve My Song by Sarah Gai
Book 1: The Curvies Series
Publisher: MoshPit Publishing
Publication Date: May 9, 2014
Format: Paperback - 152 pages
             Kindle - 1205 KB
             Nook - 267 KB
ISBN: 978-0992504625
BNID: 2940045940207
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Curve My Song 

BUY THE SERIES: The Curvies Series
Book 1: Curve My Song
Book 2: Curve My Attitude

Book Description:

Follow the amazing plus size trio, The Curvies, as they find love, drama, tears, laughs and a song to match every situation. Bree Carson loves her life, friends and little town, but something is missing. Taylor Cole returns home after ten years and old flames reignite. Can he break through Bree’s walls? This book is the first in a three novella set following the lives of three curvy best friends: Bree, Elise and Skyla. The first book follows Bree and her life as she fumbles her way through letting down walls and letting love in. This novella has a lot of laughs and a little drama and introduces the readers to the rest of the characters leading into the second book, which builds up suspense for the third and final installment. These novellas will appeal to plus size or curvy women everywhere, especially those who enjoy books in the BBW (big, beautiful women), chicklit and women’s fiction genres. It’s just one of those reads that busy women of today can enjoy while they relate to the curvy ladies who aren’t super models but representative of your average everyday beauty.

Book Excerpt:

“Chapter One ~ Bree

“Okay, okay,” I grumble, reaching my arm out, blindly trying to locate my phone, my head still nestled beneath the covers, with no intention of surfacing any time soon.

Whoever is trying to call me better have a damn good reason for doing so. I’m enjoying my sleep in, knowing I don’t have to start work until seven o’clock tonight. The phone ringing is beginning to drive me insane.

‘Ah ha!’ I finally find it hidden amongst last night’s clothes haphazardly thrown on the floor. Pulling my hand back under the covers, I answer the phone. “What?” I grumble.

“Bree, tell me you’re not still in bed?”

“Of course I’m still in bed, it’s still morning,” I snap at Elise. I’m not a morning person, never have been. It takes at least two cups of coffee to get me going and, of all people, Elise should know that. Especially if she wants me to be a little nicer right now.

“No, honey, it’s one o’clock, and would you like me to remind you that it’s Friday?”

“Of course I know it’s Friday, I’m singing at Skyla’s tonight. Now, let me get back to sleep.” She’s still on the other end of the phone, but there’s only silence, and I know she’s waiting for something. But what?

Then it hits me.” *

Excerpt From: Sarah Gai. “Curve My Song.” iBooks. From: Sarah Gai. “Curve My Song.” iBooks.

Book Trailer

About The Author

Sarah Gai is the author of The Curvies series. Living in Victoria Australia. As a devoted wife and mother of three, when Sarah is not writing she will be found reading in a quiet corner somewhere or out for coffee with her own real life Curvies. Being a busy mum she was always trying to find a quick and fun read to squeeze in and that is when the idea for the three novella set sparked into her mind. Wanting to write for all the women out there who want a good short read about strong friendships, romance and body positive, love the skin you're in kind of fiction.


Contest Giveaway

Win A $25 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

Author Sarah Gai will award a $25 Amazon or B&N GC to one randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The tour dates can be found here: 

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Virtual Book Blast

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I want to wish everyone a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving! Be thankful for all your blessings and for those loved ones in your life. Love a little more, be happy, content and never take people or anything for granted, because you never know what tomorrow will bring!

~ Kathleen, Jersey Girl Book Reviews

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Next Breath by Laurel Osterkamp (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with CBB Book Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for The Next Breath by Author Laurel Osterkamp!

Author Guest Post

The Story of How I Didn’t Write The Fault in Our Stars 

So yeah, I read The Fault in Our Stars, and I loved it. I laughed, I cried, and I asked myself over and over, “How can I write a book this good?” Of course, this question led to an unfortunate answer. I am not John Green, and thus do not have his sense of humor, his philosophy of life, his life experience, nor his unique perspective. So I can’t write a book like he wrote, but I decided I could write a book about life, loss, and love, only through my own personal lens.

I believe that being alive qualifies me to write a book about life, and I’m in love with my husband and my children, so that area is covered too. But loss? I’ve actually been pretty lucky. Of course, there have been tough times and depressing periods, when it seemed there was no way past whatever obstacle I faced. I can also remember being a teenager, having that raw feeling of wanting everything, all at once. I believed nothing was impossible and my number one fear was that my “real life” would never begin. I recalled that while I wrote The Next Breath, and I pictured being young but knowing my days were numbered. I imagined falling in love for the first time, with a beautiful boy who had lungs that failed him.

Robin, my main character in The Next Breath is very healthy and exceedingly strong. Her strength is both her biggest burden and her greatest asset. She doesn’t always realize this as she loves and stays with Jed, who is sick. Years later, Robin must use her strength as she finally confronts the demons that came with losing him.

But there are lots of novels with characters like Robin, right? So I asked myself, “How do I make this story unique?” First, I decided to use humor whenever I could. Jed reminds Robin that “Comedy is tragedy, plus timing,” and I couldn’t agree more. Whether she’s going for her morning run, competing with her siblings in a one-armed game of pool, getting breakup hair, or simply ruminating on her life, Robin is always finding humor in her situation.

Another way I decided to make The Next Breath unique was by drawing from my own experiences. I majored in theater in college, and I spent years acting and performing. It was fun to remember that time of my life, but writing “Jed’s” play was tough; it had to be profound, emotional, and well-written. It had to be a satisfying way to complete Robin’s character arc. Oh, and it had to make sense. But I knew if I could achieve all that, I would have written a book like no other. It would be a book that I could be proud was uniquely my own.

Finally, I did a lot of research. Jed had cystic fibrosis. I wanted to describe his disease accurately, so I read a lot of personal accounts of what it’s like to have CF. Eva Markvoort’s blog, 65_Red Roses, was especially compelling and descriptive. She was so tough, honest, and loving. She was committed to living life fully, for however long she had. And, she was generous enough to describe her life so vividly, that I, along with many others, felt like I knew her just by reading her blog.

I tried to give Jed some of her fortitude, wisdom, and kindness. I felt like a better person for having “known” Eva Markvoort through her writing, and I aimed to make Robin a better person for having known Jed.

So that’s the story of how I didn’t write The Fault is in Our Stars, but how I did grow and learn while I wrote The Next Breath. And that, if nothing else, makes me happy.

About The Author

Laurel Osterkamp becomes very attached to her characters, and it’s hard for her to stop writing about them. The Holdout, November Surprise, Blue State, Campaign Promises, American Angst and The Next Breath all feature the Bricker family, as their stories continue. (But you can read any of these books in any order.)

You can find Laurel on Twitter but she needs to work on sending clever tweets. A better idea is to follow her blog at

Laurel teaches in Minneapolis, MN, where she tries to stay warm, spend time with her two nearly perfect children and husband, and find the time to write. Her other novels are Following My Toes and Starring in the Movie of My Life. Visit her at


Book Review

The Next Breath by Laurel Osterkamp
Publisher: PMI Books
Publication Date: September 11, 2014
Format: eBook - 313 pages
             Kindle - 877 KB
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: The Next Breath

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by CBB Book Promotions.

Book Description:

"I kiss him, choosing love over honesty, which is a choice nobody should ever have to make…"

Robin loves sweet, responsible Nick, with his penchant for Beethoven and Ben Folds Five. But she also still loves her college boyfriend Jed, an irreverent playwright plagued with cystic fibrosis. Now Robin is struggling to reveal her secrets and confront her past, as she finally performs in the play that Jed wrote for her, eleven years ago. Will Robin have the strength to keep her promise and stay true to her heart?

Alternating between present-day scenes, college flashbacks, and segments from Jed’s play, this tear-jerking yet uplifting tale illustrates how life is finite but love is infinite, and the road to recovery begins with the next breath.

My Book Review:

The Next Breath is a wonderful story about love, loss, struggling with the past, acceptance, and learning to move forward.

Author Laurel Osterkamp weaves an engaging tale set in West Des Moines, Iowa, and told in the first person narrative by Robin Bricker, who takes the reader on an emotional journey that alternates from the past to the present, as she struggles with the memories of a traumatic past relationship that prevents her from moving forward with her current relationship.

The reader was first introduced to Robin in The Holdout, where she competed on a Survival style reality tv show. While on the show's jury, Robin meets Nick Davies and a romantic relationship develops. Now back home in West Des Moines, Robin is a fashion designer who owns a second-hand thrift shop, and is a local theater company actress on the side. Robin struggles with personal demons from her past that is hindering her from taking the next step with Nick. Her struggles come from her long held feelings for her ex-college boyfriend and playwright, Jed Reardon, whose play "The Next Breath," was one that he wrote for her, and she is now preparing to perform. Robin takes the reader along for the ride as her emotional story unfolds in an alternating timeline of her past relationship with Jed while in college back in 2000, and a decade later in the present time of 2013, where she is in a relationship with Nick. The haunting memories of her relationship with Jed has made Robin insecure and afraid to commit to Nick, and as the story delves into Robin's past, it becomes clear why it has such a heartbreaking hold on her.

The Next Breath has a nice mixture of humor and emotions, you can't help but embrace Robin's journey as she tries to sort out her feelings, put her past to rest, and move forward with her life. It is only when Robin learns to take the next breath and let go of the man that she once loved, that she can fully embrace the man that she now loves. This is a wonderful story of love, loss, acceptance, and renewal.


Contest Giveaway

Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card

Giveaway Ends December 3, 2014

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Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

A Thousand Words, A Million Books – Review
A Tiffyfits Reading Corner – Guest Post
Gin’s Book Notes - Guest Post

SBM Book Obsession – Guest Post
Bitches n Prose- Review

Alice Marvels- Interview

If These Books Could Talk- Review

Paperrdolls- Review

Fiction Dreams – Author Interview
Word Forward- Author Interview
Candace’s Book Blog – Review

Curling Up With a Good Book- Author Interview
Maureen’s Books- Review
Book Lovers Life- Spotlight

Shelf Life- Review
Jersey Girl Book Reviews- Review & Guest Post

Her Book Thoughts- Review
Bookhounds – Interview
I’d So Rather Be Reading- Interview

Spiced Latte Reads- Review
Nick’s Book Blog- Guest Post

Monday, November 24, 2014

Winter Wolf by RJ Blain (Virtual Book Blast / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Pump Up Your Book, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book blast event for Winter Wolf by Author RJ Blain!

Winter Wolf

Winter Wolf  by RJ Blain
Book 2: Witch & Wolf Series
Publisher: Pen & Page Publishing
Publication Date: November 24, 2014
Format: eBook - 361 pages
                Kindle - 3168 KB
                Nook - 574 KB
ISBN: 978-1-928148-00-5
BNID: 2940046267792
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Thriller / Supernatural Suspense

BUY THE BOOK: Winter Wolf

BUY THE SERIES: Witch & Wolf
Book 1: Inquisitor
Book 2: Winter Wolf 

Book Description:
The Hunted Wizard
When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.
The savage murder of a bookstore employee throws Nicole into the middle of Inquisition business, like it or not. Driven by her inability to save the young man’s life, she decides to hunt the killer on her own. Using forbidden magic to investigate the past, she learns that the murderer is in fact a disease that could kill the entire werewolf race.

Forced to choose between saving lives and preserving her own, Nicole embraces the magic that sent her into exile. Without werewolves, the power of the Inquisition would dwindle, and she could live without being hunted.
Nicole’s only hope for success lies in the hands of the werewolves she hates and the Inquisition she fears, but finding someone to trust is only the beginning of her problems. There are those who want to ensure that the werewolves go extinct and that the Inquisition falls.

But, if she fails to find a cure, her family—including her twin sister—will perish…

Book Excerpt: 
Almost everyone in the store had a phone. Dormant devices, from reading lights to mobile chargers, littered the tables. One woman, browsing books nearby, had four battery-powered devices in her purse. One was a phone, and like mine, it hungered. Its need was strong; its battery waned to the point of failure.
If I wanted, I could charge it for her.
No one would notice if I did. Maybe the woman would wonder how her phone hadn’t died before she got home. It only had a few minutes left. It’d take me all of ten seconds to fix it for her. If I did, I wouldn’t be so aware of it. But to do so, I’d have to touch her—or her phone. Some things I could manipulate without having a direct conduit, but cell phone batteries were tricky, greedy things.
I cringed a little, setting the thriller book down. I picked up the next nearest title. I flipped it over, not reading the text on the back. Did I dare? Out of the corner of my eye, I watched the woman browsing through the books. All it would take was a few seconds. I could charge it without her noticing.
That was one thing I was actually good at.
I put the novel I held down and wandered to the same table, careful not to look at her. Book by book, I investigated the titles, circling to where she stood.
“You’re Nicole Thomas, aren’t you? The actress. You’re her.” My quarry appraised me with a pleased expression.
People normally recognized the mainliners, people with beautiful faces and voices to match, people who didn’t avoid crowds.
In short, people other than me.
I met her gaze, abandoning my perusal of novels. “I am,” I replied, wincing a little at the sandpaper-rough quality of my voice. At least I hadn’t been reduced to a whisper—yet. My fatal flaw was my rough, grating voice. Chronic laryngitis did that to a person. It ruined careers, as it had mine, though I hadn’t quite given up on being an actress. I’d already lost the ability to sing.
I wasn’t going to let a stupid disease take everything away from me.
The woman smiled, not seeming to mind talking to someone who sounded more like a zombie than a human. “You’re taller than I expected. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
She thrust out her hand.
We shook.
I left her phone alone.
“They keep putting me next to giants,” I quipped. It was true. When I did manage to get on the silver screen, I worked alongside actors easily a foot-and-a-half taller than me. “It’s a pleasure to meet you too.” I matched her smile. She didn’t tell me her name, and I didn’t ask for it.
It took all of my will not to fiddle with her phone. All it would take was a murmured word and a thought, and it’d be done. It would have been easy to charge the battery when our hands had been clasped together, but I hadn’t dared.
If, sometime later, she noticed her phone had magically been charged—literally—she might remember me. She knew my name.
And in true cowardice, I couldn’t bring myself to help her. If she connected the strange behavior of her phone with me, she might tell someone. If she did, I’d be as good as dead—or worse. I had dabbled in the occult, and the occult had dabbled back, and there were those who didn’t like when that happened.
The last thing I needed was them finding me.

About The Author

RJ Blain

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband. She is currently on a quest for a new warrior fish.
In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

Favorite Books & Series (In no particular order):
Anne McCaffrey's Pern
Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar & Gryphon Series
Jim Butcher's Codex Alera & The Dresden Files
Brandon Sanderson's Elantris
Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega, Dragon Bones, & The Mercy Thompson series
Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time

Contest Giveaway

Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.
  • This giveaway begins September 3 and ends on November 25, 2014.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on November 26, 2014.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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Virtual Book Blast 

Book Blast Event Schedule
November 24, 2014

Laurahonest Reads
The Great Reads
The ReviewNotes
Mythical Books
Lilac Reviews
My Life, Loves & Passion
Book Reviews Etc
Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews
Jersey Girl Book Reviews
The Writer's Life
As The Page Turns
Beyond The Books
The Book Rack
Literary Speaking
The Literary Nook
The Story Behind The Book
Read My First Chapter

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Vineyard by Michael Hurley (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for The Vineyard by Author Michael Hurley!

Author Guest Post

Balancing Life And Writing
By: Michael Hurley

When I saw this topic suggested as a blog post for The Vineyard tour, I had to laugh. The truth is, I really don’t know how you balance life and writing. I seem to be completely consumed by one or the other at any given time.

When I was in my thirties, I gave up a lucrative law practice in Texas to move to the small town of New Bern, North Carolina. My second child had just been born, and both were under two years old. I wanted a simpler life. I loved sailing, so I had the wild hare to become a sailboat charter captain. Within a few weeks it became clear we would starve if I didn’t go back to the practice of law, which I begrudgingly did.

The practice of law—specifically trial law—is a jealous mistress. You’re like a parachute packer, and your clients are parachute jumpers. A parachute packer never gets to have a bad day or to decide he’s just too tired or too sick or too whatever to do his job, because the parachute must open, no matter what. And so, although I had wanted to write fiction from the time I was in my thirties, there really didn’t seem to be any time between my work and the demands of a young family, not to mention getting out and having a little fun now and then, to get serious about finishing a novel.

There was a young pharmaceutical sales rep who came to town, in 1992, named Nicholas Sparks. He and his wife Cathy were about in the same boat as my wife and me—struggling to make ends meet and trying to carve out time to spend with young children and each other. I remember Nick telling me over lunch that he planned to write a novel someday. I’m sure I smiled and wished him luck, but I never dreamed he’d actually do it. After all, who has the time? He was eventually transferred to a new territory in South Carolina for his job, and I lost track of him until one day, a banner headline appeared in our local newspaper, announcing Nick’s unprecedented $1 million advance from Warner Books for The Notebook. Nick had found the time to write his novel, and it changed his life. The rest is history.

I knew from that day forward that while I’d never come even close to Nick’s phenomenal success, my cheap excuses for not finishing my own novel-in-progress were just that—excuses. You just have to commit to the fact that you’re going to finish this thing, come hell or high water, and stick with it every day, every week, every month until you do. I have an enormous problem with this, and I will sometimes leave a novel alone for months at a time. However, I notice that as I get farther along in the writing and the story begins to suck me in, the world around me starts to disappear. Whereas in the early going I might have struggled to write a thousand words in a day, now I’m reeling off five thousand words in an afternoon. You’re going to neglect a few things when that happens, and your life may slide out of balance for a while, but once the book is done and you hold it in your hands, there is a real feeling of accomplishment. That’s when I take some time off to savor the satisfaction of it all and pull my life back into a more balanced orbit before moving on to the next book.

About The Author

Michael Hurley and his wife Susan live near Charleston, South Carolina. Born and raised in Baltimore, Michael holds a degree in English from the University of Maryland and law from St. Louis University.

The Prodigal, Michael’s debut novel from Ragbagger Press, received the Somerset Prize for mainstream fiction and numerous accolades in the trade press, including Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, ForeWord Reviews, BookTrib, Chanticleer Reviews, and IndieReader. It is currently in development for a feature film by producer Diane Sillan Isaacs. Michael’s second novel, The Vineyard, is due to be released by Ragbagger Press on November 25, 2014.

Michael’s first book, Letters from the Woods, is a collection of wilderness-themed essays published by Ragbagger Press in 2005. It was shortlisted for Book of the Year by ForeWord magazine. In 2009, Michael embarked on a two-year, 2,200 mile solo sailing voyage that ended with the loss of his 32-foot sloop, the Gypsy Moon, in the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti in 2012. That voyage and the experiences that inspired him to set sail became the subject of his memoir, Once Upon A Gypsy Moon, published in 2013 by Hachette Book Group.

When he is not writing, Michael enjoys reading and relaxing with Susan on the porch of their rambling, one-hundred-year-old house. His fondest pastimes are ocean sailing, playing piano and classical guitar, cooking, and keeping up with an energetic Irish terrier, Frodo Baggins.


Book Review

The Vineyard by Michael Hurley
Publisher: Ragbagger Press
Publication Date: November 25, 2014
Format: Paperback - 384 pages
             Kindle - 540 KB
ISBN: 978-0976127567
Genre: Literary Fiction 

BUY THE BOOK: The Vineyard

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Book Description:

Ten years after college, three very different women reunite for a summer on Martha’s Vineyard. As they come to grips with various challenges in their lives, an encounter with a reclusive fisherman threatens to change everything they believe about their world—and each other.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter 10

Despite the tumultuous beginning of the season and the clouds in Dory’s future, June in Edgartown was as bright as ever, and the three friends took advantage of every minute of it. There were walks down Main Street on sunny afternoons carrying giant, round mounds of mint-chocolate-chip ice cream, teetering three-high and dribbling down onto sticky fingers before it was licked gone. There were steamed little neck clams with butter sauce and fresh horseradish, served with gin and tonics on the porch of The Crew House, overlooking the harbor, and the good-looking, Italian waiter who worked there. It became Turner’s mission to see how many times she could get him to use the word “Tanqueray” in a sentence, because she liked the way he said it. There were lazy hours lying on the beach by the lighthouse and meandering hunts for the perfect cockleshell, and double-dog dares to go skinny-dipping after dark that always descended into fully-clothed refusals, recriminations, and false accusations of prudery—the truth, however, being that none of them was eager to expose great white bellies bursting with clams and Tanqueray and mint-chocolate-chip ice cream.

© 2014 by M. C. Hurley. All rights reserved.

My Book Review:

The Vineyard is a riveting multi-layered tale about the bonds of friendship; deep secrets; troubled personal lives and relationships; faith, hope and healing.

College friends Dory Delano, Charlotte Harris, and Turner Graham reunite for the summer on Martha's Vineyard ten years after their college graduation. Each of the women have lived very different lifestyles; have dealt with personal challenges, trials, and tribulations; yet have maintained a strong bond of friendship. Their bond of friendship will be tested when an encounter with a reclusive fisherman threatens to forever change the way they view their life and the world around them.

Dory Delano is a member of one of the most established and wealthy families on Martha’s Vineyard. She has lived a life of privilege, but she desperately wants a life filled with love and passion. Dory's encounter with the reclusive fisherman and his prophesy that she has breast cancer will change her life forever.

Charlotte Harris is a lost soul after the loss of her child Madeleine, and then the demise of her marriage. She comes to Martha’s Vineyard with the express intent to end her life. The first night on the island, Charlotte leaves Dory’s home to commit suicide, but fate brings the fisherman who intervenes and miraculously saves Charlotte from dying. As her story unfolds, Charlotte's suffering is massive, but the encounter with the fisherman helps her to survive against all odds.
Turner Graham is at loose ends in her life. She has dreamed of becoming a writer and has a blog with a handful of followers. But Turner's blogging gets out of hand when she blogs about the events of Charlotte's attempted suicide and the“miracle” that kept her alive. And if that doesn't cause enough of a stir, Turner's exaggerated blog posts goes viral, and demands from the public to know more about the reclusive fisherman causes more turmoil in her life.

Author Michael Hurley weaves an intriguing tale that easily draws the reader into the story. As the three college friends come together on Martha's Vineyard, their bonds of friendship and lives are intertwined as they deal with their private turmoils. Each of these wounded women's lives will forever be altered and transformed when they encounter the reclusive fisherman, a mysterious and prophetic man who knows personal things about each of them, things that no one else could ever have known. The author does a wonderful job of delving into the complexity of the three women's lives and intertwines it with the mystery of the reclusive fisherman. This is a gripping story that will captivate the reader as the story unfolds with richly detailed description into the lives of the three women and the fisherman, and intriguing twists and turns that will keep the reader turning the pages until the pivotal and life changing conclusion.

The Vineyard is a compelling and thought provoking story about the strong connection of friendship and the complexities of life experiences and choices, and the ability to have faith and find a way to overcome, survive, heal, and move forward.


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