Arden Recommends It Must’ve Been the Mistletoe by L.P. Dover (interview & giveaway included)

IMG_3924Book: It Must’ve Been the Mistletoe

Author: L.P. Dover

Genre: Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance

Basic Description: A sweet, holiday romance by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, L.P. Dover.  

Finding your soul mate is a dream Adeline Hamilton thought was just that … a dream. After several failed relationships, she realizes she’s not capable of falling in love. The only passion she’s ever had is teaching U.S. History at the local high school.

A week before Christmas, Adeline is all set for her best friend’s wedding, even though she dreads having to go to it alone. But when she’s given a Christmas wish that could change her future forever, she’s whisked away to the past, to a completely different place and time. It’s also when she meets him, William Blair, the man who steals her heart.
Arden’s Thoughts: I’m a sucker for a Hallmark movie; except the ones starring the red-headed woman. Something about how she scrunches her face no matter what character she’s portraying drives me nuts. Sorry, not sorry. My favorite is Lacey Chabert. She likes smiling. Smiling’s her favorite.
No, I’m not digressing. I’m setting the scene.
L.P. Dover has quite the writing career. Her talent astounds me because she can write so many types of stories. She’s published everything from fantasy fiction to saucy romance under her bestselling wings. So, when she approached me to read her latest book, It Must’ve Been The Mistletoe, I was curious…
She told me it was more Hallmark than Showtime, but I really wondered if a little Lifetime Movie Network would slip into her story.
Let me tell you, she nailed her goal of writing a sweet, romantic, clean Christmas romance. Her book is delicious and fun. There are twists of Christmas magic woven from start to finish. L.P. has found another audience to add to her long list of readers and I couldn’t be happier to introduce her to my book club. Check out our interview. Oh, and we’ve got something for you too… Keep reading to see what…
Arden: L.P., your plot is so interesting. Without revealing too much, how did you come up with it?
L.P.: Well … I wanted to do something different besides your every day Christmas romance. I figured adding a little bit of magic and time travel was just what it needed. I wanted to give the readers an escape into the past.

Arden: Oh, I loved escaping to the past. I found myself walking through the streets with Adeline and reliving days gone by… Are you a history junkie like Adeline?

L.P.: Oh my goodness, you have no idea. I’ve always wanted to know where I come from. When I joined Ancestry.com, I spent hours upon hours putting together my family tree. One of my relatives on my dad’s side sought me out and told me some amazing stories that my father had no clue of. It was pretty crazy.

Arden: I bet! Speaking of stories… this book is quite different from others you’ve published. Why did you take the slight turn in your writing?

L.P.: I wanted to write something clean so I could appeal to a different group of readers. Not to mention, It Must’ve Been the Mistletoe is a Christmas novel and it just wouldn’t work any other way. When I think of Christmas, I think of wholesome and sweet. I wanted my characters to enjoy each other in a fun-filled way with the snowball fights and snickerdoodles.
Arden: That’s really cool and speaks to your talent as a writer. You’ve published SO MANY books. If it’s possible to pick, what is your favorite book you have written?
L.P.: This is seriously a hard question. All of my books hold a special place in my heart. Can I maybe give you a few of my favorites and tell you why?
As of right now, It Must’ve Been the Mistletoe is my favorite. Maybe because it’s fresh on my mind, but mostly, because I love Christmas. It’s a magical story.
Meant for Me is one of my sexy romantic suspense novels. I love MMA fighting and it’s the first book where I put my male hero as an MMA fighter/undercover cop. The story is full of angst and action. I enjoyed writing it more than any other book. What really makes it special is that it’s the first book of mine to ever hit the USA Today bestsellers list. It’s the one book that’s changed my life.
Then we have, Love’s Second Chance. I based the story off of mine and my husband’s relationship. It’s OUR love story … just jazzed up a bit to make it more dramatic.
Arden: So, what’s up next for you?
L.P.: I am getting ready to start the next book in my Circle of Justice series, In the Crossfire. This series is about a group of vigilante assassins who hunt the dregs of society who escaped the justice system. Guess you can say after watching the news and seeing so many people get off easy from their crimes, I figured out a way to make them pay. I know that sounds intense, but I also add in the heavy romantic suspense. It all balances out. I get my love story and I punish a few criminals in the process.

Arden: Clearly, I know what I’m reading next. 🙂 Is there anything else you’d like my Arden’s Book Club readers to know?

L.P.: Just that I appreciate them taking the time to read this interview, and that I hope they have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
***
I hope you do too! To help make it wonderful, L.P. and I are giving away an autographed copy of It Must’ve Been the Mistletoe to a lucky Arden’s Book Club reader. Here’s how you enter:
1. Like my pages on Instagram and Facebook. (Linked)
2. Like L.P.’s Instagram and Facebook. (Linked)
3. Remark DONE in the comment section.
4. Enter by 5 p.m. EST December 16, 2017.
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WBTV Segment from September 25, 2017

 

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone  by Brené Brown

The Hundred Story Home: A Journey of Homelessness, Hope, and Healing by Kathy Izard

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

As I continue to watch so much strife unfold on social media, I want to encourage whoever is reading this to get curious, ask questions, and be okay with difference. I think we too quickly jump to conclusions about “the other” and miss an opportunity to gain a new perspective. Quite often hate covers up something much more fragile. Give some grace. Have some conversations. Fight for love.

 

 

Arden Recommends: Vacation Reading List (Giveaway Included)

I’m getting a lot of requests for suggestions of books to read while on vacation. So, I’ve compiled a list of what I’m reading this summer. I also want to know what you’re reading.

To entice you to share what you’re reading, I’m going to give away two autographed copies of books on my list IF you complete the following steps:

  1. Read through this list.
  2. Share it on your own social media networks AND add your favorite vacation read to the post.

This contest starts today and goes through Friday, July 28, 2017. I’ll announce the winners Saturday. The books you’ll win are Nemesis by Brenden Reichs or Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh. Both books are autographed by the authors!

Now, check out what I’ve loved this summer…

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Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer
Fun and easy read to be enjoyed by the pool with a fruity drink. You’ll fall in love with the protagonist and her cat. Fun fact: she’s a children’s librarian!

 

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Nemesis by Brendan Reichs
Suspenseful and mind-bending. You’ll never quite know what’s next and you won’t put down this book.

 

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Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh
A bit of intrigued and a kick-booty protagonist. You can read this one with your family during your beach trip.

 

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Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Wow. Incredible historical fiction story. Well-written. Be sure to take breaks while reading it or you may dry out your tear glands.

 

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Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Three women living through World World II; a socialite, a concentration camp captive, and the doctor at the concentration camp. You’ll find yourself shocked at the strength, and cruelty found in the character.

 

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Secret Sisters by Joy Callaway
Read along with the secrets, and ingenuity, four women use to lay the foundation for the sorority system women for generations have come to know and love.

Remember to enter to win the autographed copies of Nemesis and Flame in the Mist complete the following steps:

  • Read through this list.
  • Share it on your own social media networks AND add your favorite vacation read to the post.
  • When you share it tag Arden’s Book Club’s Facebook site.
  • Comment on this blog post that you’ve done all three.
  • As a bonus, when you comment share with this community what you’re reading now.

 

Arden Recommends: Secret Sisters by Joy Calloway

Book: Secret Sisters

Author: Joy Callaway

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Historical Fiction

IMG_1120.JPGBasic Description: Illinois, 1881: Whitsitt College sophomore Beth Carrington has two goals to fulfill by the time she graduates: obtain a medical degree, and establish a women’s fraternity, Beta Xi Beta, that will help young women like herself to connect with and support one another while attending the male-dominated Whitsitt.

Neither is an easy task. The sole female student in the physicians’ program, Beth is constantly called out by her professors and peers for having the audacity not to concentrate on a more “fitting” subject like secretarial studies. Meanwhile, secret organizations are off-limits, and simply by crowding together in a dank basement room and creating a sense of camaraderie, she and her small group of fraternity sisters risk expulsion.

Arden’s Thoughts: Okay. If you have followed me at all (which, you should be following all the time) you know I LURVE Joy’s first book, The Fifth Avenue Artist SocietyIt speaks to me in ways very few books can because I am Ginny, Fifth Avenue‘s protagonist.

I’m also a proud Kappa Delta, a member of the Beta Chi chapter out of UNC-Chapel Hill. So, reading Secret Sisters felt a bit like returning to my pledge year at Carolina. Reading Beth’s struggles with owning her space within the male dominated physician program, in which she’s constantly told she cannot perform at a male level because her menstruation cycle interferes with her ability to think, while she also embraces her femininity by falling in love, resonates soundly with me.

I could see myself back at the KD house studying for an exam while also dreaming of a boy. The beauty, and complexity, of being a woman often means chasing two or three dreams at once and not being at all willing to give up any of them.

Secret Sisters also resonates with me in the here and now.

Ladies, can we admit, it’s flipping hard being a woman? Regardless if you’re a sorority gal, you mostly likely travel with a few tribe members who make life beautiful and also doable. From your book club members who are also your back-up carpool calls, to your board room bosses who are also your happy hour buddies, we women work better when we work together.

Joy captures the building of a tribe in the captivating and beautifully written Secret Sisters. I love seeing women working together to beat the odds. We need more books showing us how to stand together. I’m proud of my friend who always writes these books and lives them out in her daily life.

Yep. You read that right. I get to be friends with Joy. Do you wanna meet this rad author in person? She’ll be hosting a book launch party July 11 at 7 p.m. at the Park Crossing Clubhouse, 10201 Park Crossing Dr, Charlotte, NC 28210 and you’re invited. See you there!