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by Claire MacKintosh!

October 2016—Cove Pick #191

Chosen by Winning Cove Member: Lynette in GA!


★ Book Review ★ LIFE AFTER COFFEE by Virginia Franken + Guest Post!

by Virginia Franken
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Paperback: 267 pages


Last week, high-powered coffee buyer Amy O’Hara was trekking through the Ethiopian cloud forest on the verge of a discovery that could save the coffee bean from extinction. This week, she’s unexpectedly fired.

Suddenly Amy’s days are no longer filled with meetings and upscale tastings, but with put-together PTA moms, puke-ridden playdates, and dirty dishes. Her husband has locked himself in the garage in order to write the Great American Screenplay, while both kids are steaming mad at her because she insists on dressing them like normal people and won’t give up sending them to school with healthy lunches.

It’s becoming clear that Amy may just be the world’s most incompetent mother, and she’s beginning to wonder if the only thing she’s good for is bringing home the bacon. When salvation appears in the form of a movie-mogul ex-boyfriend who wants to employ her husband and rekindle their relationship, Amy starts to find she’s sorely tempted…

One thing is certain: whatever happens, she’s going to need a lot more caffeine.


“I laughed, I cried, I wanted to shake Amy and then I wanted to hug her. So clever, so witty and so real. What a debut!” —Georgina Dent, Goodreads Reviewer


Life After Coffee!

Amy is the primary bread winner as a coffee buyer who spends weeks, and sometimes months, away from her husband and two children, ages three and five. 
She has never really taken care of her children, and even though she loves them, she really doesn't know them; her marriage is also a little strained.
Then Amy loses her job and there are very little positions like hers around. Her husband Peter decides to rekindle his career as a screenplay writer. He is a talented writer but difficult to work with. He asks Amy to get in touch with her ex-boyfriend who runs a successful production company and he signs Peter on.

At the same time Amy has to learn how to be a full-time mother! She has no clue how to handle her children and makes many faux pas. This is a bit comical, that she has no maternal instincts.

So now Amy is playing house, Peter is working, and Amy has her ex-boyfriend chasing after her—all while she is also trying to find another job.

There are a great many things going on is this book and it's entertaining! In the end, does Amy work out her life? Is she able to maintain her family? You'll just have to read this book to find out if she does it!

I was given this book by the author for review. I would read another book by her.



Casting Call for Life After Coffee

by Virginia Franken

If any author ever tells you they’ve never imagined their book becoming a film, you’d better jump quickly to the side before their rapidly growing nose pokes yer eye out. Very few authors ever get their novel made into a movie but still, they can’t stop us from dreaming? Right!

So just in case Hollywood comes a-calling, I thought I’d better get my dream cast all lined up in advance.

Let’s start with our heroine, Amy. The breadwinning, gritty mom who loves her job almost as much as she loves her kids - but who’s been known to make one or two low-percentage choices. Reece Witherspoon’s done a few films recently playing heroines who are messy and flawed, yet brave. I’m thinking “Strayed.” She’s also very well-suited to playing women made of strong, strong stuff – think, “Walk the Line.” But of course our beloved Reece also has the comedy chops to pull off Amy’s goofy, sassy style with complete grace. We will never forget her as Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde.” Plus, we all love Reece!

Next up, Amy’s husband, Peter, the struggling screenwriter/stay-at-home Dad who’s happy to don The Apron and fry up the bacon that Amy just bought home. We need someone smart, gorgeous, kind-hearted with a bit of an edge. A complex dude who’s up for a bit of a brooding and who also looks great with a big ole’ beard. I present to you Jay Duplass of “Transparent.”

And how about Jasmine? Amy’s beautiful, but judgmental and slightly terrifying nemesis. It’s got to be Lake Bell. I’m sure she’s a sweetie pie in real life, but this one looks like she’d be very comfortable wearing The Meany Pants when needed. Plus, did you ever see her telling off Alec Baldwin in “It’s Complicated?” Girl can throw it down.

For Matt Colburn, Amy’s super-successful ex, let’s line up Jesse Spencer. Matt’s a bit delicious, totally arrogant, super charismatic. The kind of guy who could easily lead a devoted wife-and-mother astray... I think Jesse would nail it. He’s already melted our hearts in “Chicago Fire” and “House,” but I think we’re all more than ready to see Jesse on the big screen.

And of course, this casting list wouldn’t be complete without a Gen-X style shout out to Jay and Silent Bob. Jay Jones and Bob McLeod interview Amy for a new job (spoiler alert: forces beyond her control mean that the interview falls apart in the worst way possible). Jay Jones is tall and blond and Bob’s a little “on the dumpy side,” but even so these two clueless dudes have no idea what she’s talking about when she brings up their doppelgangers Jay and Silent Bob.

About the Author

Virginia Franken was born and raised in the United Kingdom. She graduated from the University of Roehampton in London with a degree in dance, and worked on cruise liners as a professional dancer before changing tracks to pursue a career in publishing.

Franken currently lives in suburban Los Angeles with two kids, a dog, an overweight goldfish, and one bearded dude, in a house that’s just a little too small to fit everyone in comfortably. She gets most of her writing done when she should be sleeping.

This is her first novel.

THE LIAR by Nora Roberts ✆ Cove Podcast: Episode 70


This month's episode features Cove members Millenia and Roberta discussing the September 2016 Cove pick, THE LIAR by Nora Roberts—Cove Pick #190!

✘✘✘ Have you read THE LIAR? Do you agree or disagree with our thoughts? Comment below and let us know what you think!

*Spoilers abound. Podcast is for those who've read the book.

For Download:

★ Guest Post ★ by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen — Bestselling Author of THE THINGS WE WISH WERE TRUE!

We're so excited to welcome bestselling author Marybeth Mayhew Whalen as a guest poster on our site today! 

She's sharing her take on a dream cast should her hit novel, The Things We Wish Were True, make it to the big screen! What do you think of this cast? Would you go see it? 

And don't miss our review of the book posted here

by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
Publication Date: September 1, 2016
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Paperback: 288 pages


In an idyllic small-town neighborhood, a near tragedy triggers a series of dark revelations.

From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighborhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house.

Up and down the streets, neighbors quietly bear the weight of their own pasts—until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbors’ intertwined lives begins to unravel.

During the course of a sweltering summer, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the neighbors learn that it’s impossible to really know those closest to us. But is it impossible to love and forgive them?


“With skill and compassion, Marybeth Whalen digs beneath the surface of a quiet suburban neighborhood to reveal its darker secret side. Full of unexpected twists and sympathetic, relatable characters, The Things We Wish Were True is both surprising and heartwarming and it’s sure to have you examining your own peaceful neighborhood with new eyes.” —Diane Chamberlain, USA Today bestselling author of Pretending to Dance



Casting Call: 

The Things We Wish Were True! 

by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

For this particular story, I’ve got six main characters, all with speaking roles, as it were. All with storylines and personalities and agendas. So to cast them all as real live people exactly as they existed in my head? That’s not easy. So after much thought, here’s the closest I can get to a casting call for my novel:

Cailey: Alyvia Alyn Lind

Bryte: Ellie Kemper

Jencey: Maggie Lawson

Everett: Zach Gilford

Zell: Patricia Heaton

Lance: Chris Pratt

About the Author

Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of five previous novels and speaks to women’s groups around the United States. She is the cofounder of the popular women’s fiction site She Reads and is active in a local writers’ group.

Marybeth and her husband, Curt, have been married for twenty-four years and are the parents of six children, ranging from young adult to elementary age. The family lives in North Carolina.

Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words. She is always at work on her next novel.

★ Blog Tour ★ EMBRACE ME (A Chasing Fire Novella) by Ann Marie Walker & Amy K. Rogers + Giveaway!

A Chasing Fire Novella (#3.5)
Ann Marie Walker & Amy K. Rogers
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Berkley Intermix


Hudson Chase and Alessandra Sinclair's heartracing romance continues in this hot, new novella in the Chasing Fire series.

Return to the dangerous and seductive romance that got pulses racing in the Chasing Fire trilogy...

It took ten years for Hudson Chase and Alessandra Sinclair to find their happily ever after, and they’re not about to let anything get in their way...

Nothing could stop the passion between Allie and Hudson—not time or distance. Not even tragedy, betrayal, and blackmail. But now they’re facing a new challenge: wedding planning. And while Allie’s social status demands she put on the event of the century, her well-intentioned family and friends have her doubting her walk down the aisle...

Hudson knows tensions are pushing Allie to the brink, but he’s not letting her throw everything away over some flowers and cake. He has plans for his new bride, and unlike their last adventure, he's determined that this time there will be no unwelcome surprises. But for all his determination and control, there’s one element Hudson Chase has never been able to predict—and she has some adventurous ideas of her own...

Praise for the Chasing Fire trilogy

"Exceptional...Seriously sexy and sinfully steamy. Can't wait for more from this writing duo!" —New York Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me

"Walker and Rogers strike the perfect balance between blistering physical desire and heartfelt connections..." —RT Book Review

Hudson spun to face her and within seconds Allie was in his arms, the hard planes of his body crushing her against the alley’s brick wall. Both hands framed her face as Hudson sealed his mouth over hers. His tongue pushed passed her lips, taking her in a lush, deep kiss she felt echo to her very core. Allie’s hands found their way into his hair, her fingers twisting through the dark waves, trying in vain to hold him to her when he broke their kiss.

     His face hovered mere inches from hers. “You’ve been a bad girl tonight,” he rasped.

     Just those few, roughly spoken words had her heart racing with excitement. Hudson was in control and she wouldn't have it any other way. In the boardroom she stood her ground, going toe to toe with her stubborn husband on a wide range of issues. But in the bedroom he was her dominant lover and although there was a time she would have never considered such behavior a turn on, there was no denying the effect it had on her. There was a freedom in surrendering herself to him, a liberating sense of self unlike anything she’d ever experienced. With Hudson she was able to let go of her inhibitions and explore the wanton lust only he could evoke.

     A soft moan escaped her lips as he ran his tongue up the column of her throat. She hadn’t expected him to show up at her bachelorette party and had certainly never imagined him dragging her out of the club cave-man style. But there he was, touching her, kissing her, and all she could think about was how badly she wanted him.

     “Did you enjoy having those men rubbing themselves all over you?” The hard ridge of his erection pressed against her though the soft fabric of her skirt. Behind them a muffled bass beat a hypnotic rhythm through the club’s darkened windows. It pounded through them, urging her to grind her body against him.

     “It’s only you Hudson. It’s always been only you.”

     “You can prove it to me when we get home.” He stepped back, leaving her warm and wanting, to reveal their limo idling behind him. He reached for the handle and gave the door a hard yank. “After you.”

     Allie slid across the leather bench with Hudson close behind. Before he had even settled onto the seat she was in his lap. “We don't have to wait until we get home.”

Order Now!

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Though thousands of miles apart, Ann Marie Walker and Amy K. Rogers are in constant contact, plotting story lines and chatting about their love of alpha males, lemon drop martinis and British supermodel, David Gandy. You can find them on twitter as @AnnMarie_Walker and @Amy_KRogers

Amy K. Rogers

Ann Marie Walker

Start the Chasing Fire Series Now!

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | GooglePlay

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | GooglePlay