Blog Tour – Excerpt Reveal for The Summer of Sunshine and Margot by Susan Mallery

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cover-summer-sunshine-margot - Copy

aboutbook

Expected Publication: June 11th 2019 by HQN Books

Genre(s): Women’s Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Format: Hardcover, 368 pages

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Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

synopsis

The Baxter sisters come from a long line of women with disastrous luck in love. But this summer, Sunshine and Margot will turn disasters into destiny…

As an etiquette coach, Margot teaches her clients to fit in. But she’s never faced a client like Bianca, an aging movie star who gained fame—and notoriety—through a campaign of shock and awe. Schooling Bianca on the fine art of behaving like a proper diplomat’s wife requires intensive lessons, forcing Margot to move into the monastery turned mansion owned by the actress’s intensely private son. Like his incredible home, Alec’s stony exterior hides secret depths Margot would love to explore. But will he trust her enough to let her in?

Sunshine has always been the good-time sister, abandoning jobs to chase after guys who used her, then threw her away. No more. She refuses to be “that girl” again. This time, she’ll finish college, dedicate herself to her job as a nanny, and she 100 percent will not screw up her life again by falling for the wrong guy. Especially not the tempting single dad who also happens to be her boss.

Master storyteller Susan Mallery weaves threads of family drama, humor, romance and a wish-you-were-there setting into one of the most satisfying books of the year!

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Chapter 1

SOCIAL INTERACTIONS FELL INTO TWO CATEGORIES—EASY or awkward. Easy was knowing what to say and do, and how to act. Easy was witty small talk or an elegant compliment. Awkward social interactions, on the other hand, were things like sneezing in your host’s face or stepping on the cat or spilling red wine on a white carpet. Or any carpet, for that matter. Margot Baxter prided herself on knowing how to make any situation fall into the easy category. Professionally, of course. In her professional life, she totally kicked butt. Personally—not so much. If she was being completely honest, she would have to admit that on most days her personal life fell firmly in the awkward category, which was why she never mixed business and pleasure and rarely bothered with pleasure at all. If it wasn’t going to go well, why waste the time?

But work was different. Work was where the magic happened and she was the one behind the curtain, moving all the levers. Not in a bad way, she added silently. It was just that she was about empowering her clients—helping them realize it was all about confidence, and sometimes finding confidence re- quired a little help.

She turned onto the street where her nav system directed her, then blinked twice as she stared at the huge double gates stretching across a freeway-wide driveway. She’d been told the private residence had originally been a monastery built in the 1800s, but she hadn’t expected it to be so huge. She’d been thinking more “extra-big house with a guest cottage and maybe a small orchard.” What she faced instead was a three-story, Spanish- style former church/monastery with two turrets, acres of gardens and an actual parking lot for at least a dozen cars.

“Who are these people?” she asked out loud, even though she already knew the answer. Before interviewing a potential client, she always did her research. Overdid it, some would say, a criticism she could live with. Margot liked being thorough. And on time. And tidy. And, according to some, annoying.

Margot pressed the call button on the electronic pad mounted perpendicular to the gate and waited until a surprisingly clear voice said, “May I help you?”

“I’m Margot Baxter. I have an appointment with Mr. Alec Mcnicol.”

“Yes, Ms. Baxter. He’s expecting you.”

The gates opened smoothly and Margot drove through onto the compound. She parked in one of the marked spots, then took a moment to breathe and collect her thoughts.

She could do this, she told herself. She was good at her job. She liked helping people. Everything was going to be fine. She was a professional, she was trained and she was calm. Calm-ish, she added silently, then reached for the glasses she’d put on the seat next to her briefcase.

Margot stepped out of her car and smoothed the front of her slightly too-big jacket. The outfit—gray suit, sensible pumps, minimal makeup—was designed to make her appear professional and competent. The glasses, while unnecessary, did a lot to add gravitas to her appearance. She was thirty-one, but in shorts and a concert T-shirt, she could pass for nineteen. Even more depressing, in said shorts and T-shirt, she looked ditzy and incompetent and just a little bit dumb, and that didn’t reassure anyone.

She walked up the stone path to the enormous front door. Although she knew nothing about Spanish architecture, she wanted to trace the heavy carved wood doors where angels watched over Christ as he carried the cross toward a hill. Yup, the big-as-a-stadium building really had once been a monastery and apparently the monks had been sincere in their worship.

Before she could get her fill of the amazing craftsmanship, the doors opened, and a tall, broad-shouldered, dark-haired man nodded at her.

“Ms. Baxter? I’m Alec Mcnicol. It’s nice to meet you.”

“Thank you.”

She stepped inside, and they shook hands. She had a brief impression of two-story ceilings and intricate stained-glass windows before Alec was leading her down a hallway into a large office lined with bookshelves and framed maps of lands long forgotten.

She did her best not to gawk at her surroundings. While she was used to working with the rich and famous, this was different. The books made her want to inhale deeply to capture their musty smell and the maps had her itching to trace a path along the Silk Road.

She’d taken a step to do just that when her host cleared his throat.

She glanced at him and smiled. “Sorry. Your office is incredible. The maps are hand drawn?”

He looked slightly startled, his eyebrows coming together in an attractive frown. “They are.”

She looked at them one last time. If she got the job, she would have to ask permission to study the framed drawings. She reluctantly pulled her attention away from the distractions around her and took a seat across from him at the wide desk.

When he was settled, he said, “As I explained on the phone, you’re here to help my mother.”

“Yes, Mr.—”

“Please call me Alec.”

She nodded. “I’m Margot, and yes, I understand she will be my client.”

“Excellent. She and I decided it would be easier if I conducted the preliminary interview to see if you and she are suited.”

“Of course.”

Margot relaxed. Hiring someone like her was often stressful. Her services were only required when something had gone very wrong in a person’s life. Or if the potential client was anticipating something going wrong. Or was overwhelmed. Very few people looked around at their happiest moment and thought, Hey, I should find someone to teach me social etiquette and how not to be odd/uncomfortable/weird or just plain nervous. There was always a trigger that made a client realize he or she needed Margot’s services and it rarely grew out of an uplifting event.

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abouttheauthor

susanmallerySUSAN MALLERY is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations,” and readers seem to agree—40 million copies of her books have sold worldwide. Her warm, humorous stories make the world a happier place to live.

Susan grew up in California and now lives in Seattle with her husband. She’s passionate about animal welfare, especially that of the two ragdoll cats and adorable poodle who think of her as mom.

authorlinks

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Excerpt Tour

Tuesday, May 28th: Sincerely Karen Jo

Wednesday, May 29th: Palmer’s Page Turners

Wednesday, May 29th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Thursday, May 30th: Jathan & Heather

Friday, May 31st: Books and Spoons

Saturday, June 1st: The Lit Bitch

Monday, June 3rd: Audio Killed the Bookmark

Tuesday, June 4th: Bewitched Bookworms

Wednesday, June 5th: Reading Reality

Thursday, June 6th: Romantic Reads and Such

Friday, June 7th: Broken Teepee

Monday, June 10th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy

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sincerelykjologo

 

Blog Tour – Chemistry Lessons by Meredith Goldstein Review + Giveaway

CHEMISTRY LESSONS

Hello bookish friends and welcome to my Blog Tour Stop for Chemistry Lesson by Meredith Goldstein hosted by Rock Star Book Tours. Today, I have my review to share with you and a giveaway at the end.

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aboutthebook2
Pub. Date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 256

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From advice columnist Meredith Goldstein, a dazzling, romantic, and emotionally resonant YA debut about a teen science whiz in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who tries to crack the chemical equation for lasting love and instead wreaks havoc on herself and the boys in her life.
For seventeen-year-old Maya, the equation for happiness is simple: a dream internship at MIT + two new science nerd friends + a perfect boyfriend = one amazing summer. Then Whit dumps her out of the blue. Maya is miserable until she discovers that her scientist mother, before she died, was conducting research on manipulating pheromones to enhance human attraction. If Maya can finish her mother’s work, maybe she can get Whit back. But when her experiment creates chaos in her love life, she realizes that maybe love and loss can’t be understood using the scientific method. Can she learn to trust the unmeasurables of love and attraction instead?

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Cute and Charming YA Contemporary

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Chemistry Lesson by Meredith Goldstein is a lighthearted and charmingly fun novel with a unique scientific twist on love and attraction. It’s quite endearing, adorably amusing, and sweet. I had a good time reading this book and would definitely recommend it.

The premise of this book was really intriguing and fun and I really did like this book, but I didn’t completely fall in love with the story like I expected. Plot wise, some parts were slow and there just wasn’t enough excitement for me in the beginning. Having said that, it does get better and there were fun scenes that I loved and the storyline itself was well-written and easy to follow that I was able to finish this in less than 24 hours. The pacing was also pretty good and while some moments were a bit predictable, I enjoyed all the deliciously fun surprises along the way. The romance wasn’t super swoony or anything, but a few cute moments certainly made me smile. Maya’s relationship with her father was also heartwarmingly sweet and I really enjoyed all their scenes together. The ending was great and I loved how it just brought the whole story together and left me feeling happy.

Maya was a great lead and I really liked her a lot. She was smart, passionate and incredibly determined. However, I wasn’t really in favor of her trying to get her ex-boyfriend back and being a little bit inconsiderate about other people’s feelings while she conducted the experiment. I didn’t always agree with her choices and found her frustrating at times, but she’s also someone teenage me can easily relate to… and honestly, I’ve probably been her at one point or another.

I thought the supporting characters were realistic enough that any reader can most likely relate to one of them. They were annoying at times, but they acted their age and had a sense of genuine realness that made them really likable. However, no one really stood out to me except maybe Bryan. I thought his friendship with Maya was absolutely endearing. Not to mention he’s sweet, funny, and just an awesome best friend. Kyle wasn’t so bad either and he was quite adorable and charming at times, but I just didn’t swoon over him like crazy. Maybe I’m still hung over my other book boyfriends that Kyle just didn’t personally meet my standards right now. Totally not the book’s fault, so I’m sure others will find him cute and swoon-worthy.

Overall, this book was a very light, fun and cute read. It wasn’t spectacularly mind-blowing or anything, but it had a nice mixture of light drama, heartbreak, great friendships, self-discovery, and first loves. It’s charming in its own way and definitely a perfect summer YA contemporary read! Oh and I really enjoyed the “whiff walks.”

I picked up a physical advance reader copy of this book from HMH during Yallwest this year and I also voluntarily signed up to review this book and be part of a Blog Tour hosted by Rock Star Book Tours. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

authorbio2
MeredithMeredith Goldstein is an advice columnist and entertainment reporter for The Boston Globe. Her first novel “The Singles,” was released by Penguin/Plume on April 24, 2012.

In March of 2016, Grand Central Publishing acquired a memoir based on her column, Love Letters. It is scheduled to be released by Spring of 2018.

Meredith was born in New Jersey, raised in Maryland, went to Syracuse University, and now lives in Roxbury, Massachusetts with a carnival-size cotton candy machine that she bought for herself on her 30th birthday.

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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3 winners will receive a finished copy of CHEMISTRY LESSONS, US Only.

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6/18/2018- The Heart of a Book Blogger– Review

6/19/2018- Sincerely Karen Jo– Review

6/20/2018- Novel Novice– Guest Post

6/21/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

6/22/2018- Riddle’s Reviews– Review

6/25/2018- Book Briefs– Review

6/26/2018- BookHounds YA– Interview

6/27/2018- Dani Reviews Things– Review

6/28/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

6/29/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt


Hope you enjoyed reading this post and don’t forget to join the giveaway! Have a lovely day everyone!

sincerelykarenjoendsign