ONCE UPON A SUNSET by Tif Marcelo – Release Day Review and Giveaway

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ONCE UPON A SUNSET

by

Tif Marcelo

SYNOPSIS

OUASbookcoverDiana Gallagher-Cary is at a tipping point. As a Washington, DC, OB/GYN at a prestigious hospital, she uses her career to distract herself from her grief over her granny’s death and her breakup from her long-term boyfriend after her free-spirited mother moves in with her. But when she makes a medical decision that disparages the hospital, she is forced to go on a short sabbatical.

Never one to wallow, Diana decides to use the break to put order in her life, when her mother, Margo, stumbles upon a box of letters from her grandfather, Antonio Cruz, to her grandmother from the 1940s. The two women always believed that Antonio died in World War II, but the letters reveal otherwise. When they learn that he lived through the war, and that they have surviving relatives in the Philippines, Diana becomes determined to connect with the family that she never knew existed, though Margo refuses to face her history. But Diana pushes on, and heads on a once-in-a-lifetime trip that challenges her identity, family history, and her idea of romantic love that could change her life forever.

Buy links: 

Tif’s Website
Indiebound
Amazon
B&N
Kobo
Simon & Schuster

 

REVIEW

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This richly-layered and immensely touching tale of family, friendships, and love is another winner from Tif Marcelo. I’m honored to have been given the opportunity to read both an early draft and an advanced copy of the final version. Both solidified my respect and admiration for the author of such engaging reads as Once Upon a Sunset.

At the forefront is the complicated relationship between super-analytical Diana and her social media-savvy mother Margo. Both are still reeling from the death of Leora, the third female lead of the book whose secrets affected her descendants’ present and future in ways neither of them imagined. Their separate quests to find answers to  individual questions about identity and purpose eventually brought them closer to each other which is as satisfying an ending as any happily-ever-afters out there. That both also found romantic love in the process makes this an all-around enjoyable read.

Set in both the US and the Philippines, Once Upon a Sunset presents aspects of Filipino-American culture that only someone who belongs could articulate. There’s plenty of delicious food, a smattering of Filipino language, and a bit of intricate family setup. And then, there’s the matter-of-fact acknowledgment of the Filipino migrants’ contributions to many US historical causes, particularly to their service during World War II through the character of Antonio Cruz.  That’s something that is seldom celebrated in publishing to the point that it adds to the sense of erasure that the minority group to which both Tif and I belong to experiences. For this solid piece of representation, I give this book top marks.

PS: I read this novel in both eBook and paperback and I have to state my preference for and recommendation of the paper version. The formatting of the letters and text messages added an extra-special dimension that enhanced my enjoyment of the story.

5 stars

ABOUT TIF 

Tif Marcelo

Tif Marcelo is a veteran army nurse and holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Public Administration. She believes and writes about the strength of families, the endurance of friendship, heartfelt romances, and is inspired daily by her own military hero husband and four children. She is also the author of The Key to Happily Ever After and the Journey to the Heart series.

Follow her here:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

 

 

GIVEAWAY

Gallery Books is generously sponsoring a paperback giveaway of Once Upon a Sunset to one of my followers. All you have to do to enter is follow Tif Marcelo on BookBub and tell me in the comments that you’ve done so. Bonus entry if you also follow me. I’ll draw the winner on Tuesday, March 10 at 12 noon Central Time.

 

Tif Heartwarming Fiction

 

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

THE KEY TO HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Tif Marcelo – Happy Release Day

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THE KEY TO HAPPILY EVER AFTER

by

Tif Marcelo

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All’s fair in love and business.

The de la Rosa family and their wedding planning business have been creating happily ever afters in the Washington, DC area for years, making even the most difficult bride’s day a fairytale. But when their parents announce their retirement, the sisters—Marisol, Janelyn, and Pearl—are determined to take over the business themselves.

But the sisters quickly discover that the wedding business isn’t all rings and roses. There are brides whose moods can change at the drop of a hat; grooms who want to control every part of the process; and couples who argue until their big day. As emotions run high, the de la Rosa sisters quickly realize one thing: even when disaster strikes—whether it’s a wardrobe malfunction or a snowmageddon in the middle of a spring wedding—they’ll always have each other.

Perfect for fans of the witty and engaging novels of Amy E. Reichert and Susan Mallery, The Key to Happily Ever After is a fresh romantic comedy that celebrates the crucial and profound power of sisterhood.

Buy here: 

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/2HitZik
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LH1Dni
B&N: http://bit.ly/Key2HEABN
ibooks: https://apple.co/2wYD7En
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2WEIh3f 

 

REVIEW

tkthea flowersI hardly ever see myself represented in romantic fiction (which is why I write them myself), so I can’t help but gush whenever I read one that has someone like me as a main character.

Vanity, thy name is Maida, for when I read The Key to Happily Ever After–the latest work by Tif Marcelo–I feel like she based her heroines on me. I’m Filipino-American, a (former) wedding planner, and I lived in Alexandria. Like Marisol de la Rosa, I’m the eldest, the one who is expected to be responsible, to take care of her younger siblings, and someone who is a tad dictatorial. I’m also Jane, the middle sister, who is good with numbers and has a sweet little boy. Like Pearl, I’m resourceful, creative, I (used to) do yoga, and a little impulsive at times.

Even if I wasn’t Tif’s inspiration for her characters, I can still lay claim to these wonderful women like I never can for all the other female main characters in the hundreds of books I read and review every year. That’s what makes this book and this author special to me.

Not to say that only Filipinas can relate to these beautiful, complicated women. For surely, everyone who has ever had siblings, especially sisters, can put themselves in the shoes of the protagonists in this book. These are women who want to break free from long-held stereotypes regarding birth order, who struggle for individuality even as they remain loyal to the family, who retain unresolved issues from the past that color, if not outright dictate, their present attitudes and actions. They attempt to balance work and love amidst family drama and mostly succeed. Hey, it’s romantic fiction, after all.

Light but not fluffy, deep but not angsty, The Key to Happily Ever After is well-written, well-told, well done. I highly recommend this book to readers who value excellent storytelling  and who are open to reading books that accurately reflect the diverse world we live in today.

 

ABOUT TIF MARCELO

Tif Marcelo

Tif believes in and writes about heart-eyes romance, the strength of families, and the endurance of friendship. A veteran Army Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Public Administration, she is a craft enthusiast and food-lover. As a military spouse, she has moved nine times, and this adventure shows in some of her free-spirited characters. Tif currently lives in the DC area with her own real life military hero and four children.

Follow her here:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

 

 

ILLEGALLY YOURS by Kate Meader – Book Blitz Review and Giveaway

 

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ILLEGALLY YOURS

by Kate Meader
Laws of Attraction, #2
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Loveswept

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AVAILABLE NOW!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2T33QbR
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2RDdmWA
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2CwCwvN
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2RyxTvs
B&N: http://bit.ly/2Cwewsq
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2FMsPwe
iTunes: https://apple.co/2sz1UMP

 

add to goodreads

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

Rule #1: Never fall for your client.
Rillegally-yours-teaser-1ule #2: Never fall for your client’s fiercely protective, smoking hot sister-in-law.

I’m the kind of guy who believes that everyone deserves the best legal representation money can buy—which just so happens to be me, Lucas Wright. Give me your henpecked, your cuckolded, your irreconcilable differences yearning to break free! And if you’re the bad guy in your marriage, that’s cool too. Your green is as good as anyone’s.

Tell that to Trinity Jones. It’s my job to destroy her sister—the soon-to-be ex-wife of my a-hole of a client—and Trinity’s “big sis” instincts are dialed up to the max. I admire that. I admire her. But she won’t stop me from representing my client to the best of my ability.

Not even if my chemistry with Trinity is undeniable. Not even if we can’t keep our hands off each other. Not even if she injects life into a heart assumed to be long dead.

Because when faced with a choice between love and duty, the job will always win—or at least that’s what I thought before I met Trinity . . . and suddenly conflict of interest never felt so right.

 

REVIEW

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I read Illegally Yours to reward myself when I reached the word count goal on my upcoming novel. After crying my eyes out from writing a break-up scene, I needed the humor and the clever banter Kate Meader provided through Lucas and Trinity.

I thoroughly enjoyed Down With Love, the first book of this series, but I have a soft spot for this one as interracial romance is my jam. Add that to the fact that there’s so much about family and friendship along with romantic love in this book, I can’t help but, well, love it.

I’ve been reading Kate’s books for a couple of years now and I’ve come to expect her to deliver an engaging read. She didn’t disappoint. She never does.

Amidst the divorce proceedings of Trinity’s overly-dependent younger sister from Lucas’s douche of a client Brian, we find a slow(ish)-burn love story that skirts ethical standards (hence the title). We learn that what these two show to the world–Lucas’s loudmouth clown persona, Trinity’s dependable competence–are nothing more than masks hiding painful personal history. Neglectful parent, guilt, misplaced pride, long-held resentments, etcetera. Their slow opening up to each other matched with simmering physical attraction made their relationship work for me.

I loved the older woman-younger man scenario, the varied locations, the trivia quiz, all the pop culture references, and the fascinating side characters. Grant and Aubrey’s awesome back-and-forth in this story had me excited for their own happy-ever-after.

Illegally Yours had been a great break from writing and I must get back to it so as to add more love to the world.  Thanks, Kate, for this fantastic story. Looking forward to more of these in 2019 and beyond.

ABOUT KATE MEADER

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Originally from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Reader’s Group | Bookbub | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Profile

 

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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A Rafflecopter Giveaway

 
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Celebrating Loving Day Every Day

On June 12, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court which invalidated the state laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

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I celebrate because I’m a direct beneficiary of this decision. My husband’s American, I’m Filipino. He’s white, I’m brown. In 2005, we were able to marry legally because we could, because we were allowed. I celebrate not just on June 12, but every day. Thanks to Richard and Mildred Loving. Thanks to the US Supreme Court in 1967.

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The Lovings’ story, my own story, and the stories of more than half a million interracial couples are the inspirations for my books. I’m also encouraged by the great multicultural romances I’ve been reading recently. Surely, they too have been inspired by real-life stories of mixed-race pairings. Some of them are: Courtney Milan’s Cyclone series beginning with Trade Me (Chinese-American heroine); Alisha Rai’s upcoming Forbidden Hearts series with its first book Hate to Want You (Japanese-Hawaiian heroine); and Tif Marcelo’s North to You (Filipino-American hero), the first book of her Journey to the Heart series.

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All of these books show the love between two people, regardless of race or skin color. All of them prove that love is, indeed, color blind.

 

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Photo credits: Love is Color Blind – quotesgram.com, Loving photos – lovingday.org, book covers – Bing images, and Share the Love – RWA