Today's guest: Kaira Rouda Why we love her: She writes from the heart! We love that.

Her latest: Here, Home, Hope and All the Difference

The scoop on Here Home Hope: Kelly Johnson becomes restless in her thirty-ninth year. An appetite for more forces her to take stock of her middling middle-American existence and her neighbors' seemingly perfect lives. Her marriage to a successful attorney has settled into a comfortable routine, and being the mother of two adorable sons has been rewarding. But Kelly's own passions lie wasted. She eyes with envy the lives of her two best friends, Kathryn and Charlotte, both beautiful, successful businesswomen who seem to have it all. Kelly takes charge of her life, devising a midlife makeover plan.

From page one, Kelly's witty reflections, self-deprecating humor, and clever tactics in executing that plan--she places Post-it notes all over her house and car--will have readers laughing out loud. The next instant, however, they might rant right along with Kelly as her commitment to a sullen, anorexic teenager left on her doorstep tries her patience or as she deflects the boozy advances of a divorced neighbor. Readers will need to keep the tissue box handy, too, as Kelly repairs the damage she inflicted on a high school friend; realizes how deeply her husband, Patrick, understands and loves her; and ultimately grows into a woman empowered by her own blend of home and career.

Award-winning Here, Home, Hope will surely appeal to readers of chick lit and other women's fiction titles who are ready to transition into something new in their own life.

The scoop on All the Difference: From the bestselling author of HERE, HOME, HOPE, comes a novel of suspense and choices, with a nod to the best of Susan Isaacs's tales of suburban murder. Once again, everything isn't what it seems in the suburb of Grandville. ALL THE DIFFERENCE is the story of three Grandville women whose lives become entangled by the choices they make and how, ultimately, one of them turns to murder to achieve her goals. Roommates Laura and Angie couldn't be more different. Laura is a local celebrity, the television anchor who is motivated to move out of small-time media markets and on to the big time, no matter the cost. Meanwhile, Angie, a luckless waitress, spends her time waiting for Mr. Right to save her from temporary jobs and a life spent making bad choices. On the other side of town, Ellen abandons her life as a successful fundraiser for that of an isolated housewife in the country estate she shares with her husband, whose affairs become increasingly hard to ignore. When the city’s gossip columnist, Maddie, and restaurant reviewer, Dixon, become involved in the story, the unlikely duo stir up more than they intended. With her signature mix of compassion and wit, Kaira Rouda once again takes readers on an entertaining journey into the heart of women’s lives in suburbia, this time with a dose of suspense.

Our thoughts: Both of these highly entertaining books are only .99 from now through December 31st. It's a no-brainer!

Giveaway:Two copies of Here, Home, Hope and two copies of All the Difference. Just leave a comment and be entered to win. We'll randomly select the winners on Sunday, December 16 after 3pm PST.

Fun fact: Another GIVEAWAY ALERT!! Are you feeling Naughty or Nice? Doesn’t matter, with this giveaway, you could win a prize to make both sides happy!

To have a little fun with the holidays, Kaira “asked” a leading lady from each of her two novels what she would pick for a Holiday giveaway prize.  Kelly, the protagonist of HERE, HOME, HOPE, is represented by the “Nice” gifts.  Ellen, one of the stars of ALL THE DIFFERENCE, made the special “Naughty” selections. To win this amazing prize, please visit Kaira’s Facebook author page or her website’s blog and sign up. The giveaway is open to US and Canada residents. Good luck!

Wait, there’s more!

As a special holiday gift for everyone, HERE, HOME, HOPE and ALL THE DIFFERENCE are 99 cents for your eReader now through December 31st so if you haven’t had a chance to read both of Kaira’s novels, now you can!

Where you can read more about Kaira: Facebook, Twitter and her website


Thank you so much Liz and Lisa! I was thrilled to be asked to write about my five favorite things about the holidays! I’m a proudly expressive Christmas celebrator, and I look forward to this month with the glee of a child. Why? Well, I’ll try to keep it to five reasons:

1. Cards. I love to receive Christmas/Holiday cards. It fills me with such happiness when the mail arrives and in it I see festive return labels, red ink addresses and funky, fun-sized envelopes. Every year, since my first child was born and continuing to today (actually last weekend), we make it a family tradition to take photos and come up with themes. Now that the kids are 21, 19, 18 and 16, it’s tougher to be original. We’ve pumped out 20 years of fairly clever, heartfelt cards, if I do say so myself. This year I considered doing Six Shades of Gray….but the kids weren’t too sure about that. (Nothing naughty, simply all six of us wearing different shades of gray!) Instead, I’m working on a different theme and hope to have them in the mail soon. I also hope, even though we’ve moved several times in the past few years, that I’ll be blessed by a burgeoning mailbox!

2. Decorations. I counted 27 green and red plastic tubs in our storage unit just before my husband and I began to cart them out to our car to take home. This year, I’m using about a third of our stash to decorate. When we lived in the Midwest, we had a bigger house. That’s just how it is. Ohio house = 27-tubs to decorate. California house = 9 tubs. My favorite element of the decorations is the Christmas tree itself, and of the ornaments adorning it, my favorites are the ones the kids made through the years. I love opening the ornament boxes and pulling out memories. It’s such a magical feeling. I try to get the tree decorated early, so I can bask in the glow of its lights and memories all December.

3. Good cheer. People are happier. Truly. Ok, not people are miserable at hot, overcrowded malls, but aside from that, the holidays make folks merry and bright. There are more toasts, more parties, more sparkles on women’s dresses and in their eyes. Sure, we’re all extra busy and more exhausted, but somehow, that doesn’t negate the smiles and wishes of “Happy Holidays”. What could be better? Remind yourself if you’re in a grumpy mood to fake it until you feel it. And if you see a grump headed your way, give him a smile. My favorite saying: A smile confuses an approaching frown. It works!

4. Lights. We are so lucky to live in Laguna Beach, a resort town that goes all out to celebrate the season. Santa’s Beach House opens in the village the first Friday of December and a big party celebrates his arrival. Stores and restaurants stay open late and the happy energy is tangible. I love the bee lights decorating almost every tree and store front. The entire village looks like a postcard of the perfect Christmas town, minus the snow, thank goodness!

5. Time together with our family’s traditions. The best thing about the holidays is the luxury of time with my family. We have such a blast – playing board games, sharing meals, opening gifts, telling stories, hugging, teasing each other. Well, you know. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

I know you have your own list of favorite things about the holidays! Remember, even with the bustle, to stop and appreciate the moments.  In the end, those special memories are truly the gift of the season.

Thanks, Kaira!

xoxo, Liz & Lisa