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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Blog Tour: WHERE WE ARE by Kaira Rouda




From USA Today bestselling author Kaira Rouda, a collection of four of her bestselling, award-winning women's fiction stories all sharing the upscale suburban setting of Grandville, Ohio.

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.
"Reading Kaira Rouda is like getting together with one of your best friends - fun, fast, and full of great advice! Here, Home, Hope sparkles with humor and heart." --Claire Cook, bestselling author of Must Love Dogs

Once again, everything isn't what it seems in the wonderful suburb of Grandville. This is the story of three women whose lives become entangled by the choices they make and how, ultimately, one of them turns to murder to achieve her goals.
"There are few things more entertaining than stories revealing the seamy underside of suburban life." -- The US Review of Books RECOMMENDED
"An intriguing cast of characters and an untimely death set the stage for a chick-lit, murder mystery in Rouda's (Here, Home, Hope, 2011) latest novel. A light, engaging read that keeps readers guessing until the end." -- KIRKUS Reviews

Jennifer Benson is a woman who seems to have it all. Diagnosed with cancer, she enters an experimental treatment facility to tackle her disease the same way she tackled her life - head on. But while she's busy fighting for a cure, running her business, planning a party, staying connected with her kids, and trying to keep her sanity, she ignores her own intuition and warnings from others and reignites an old relationship best left behind. If you knew you might die, what choices would you make? How would it affect your marriage? How would you live each day? And how would you say no to the one who got away?
"Rouda writes with a fluent, psychologically subtle realism that cuts Jennifer’s pathos (and occasional self-pity) with humor and irony, and she surrounds her with characters—doting dad; vain, shallow mom; mensch of a gay business partner; sarcastic gal pals—who are sharply etched and entertaining. Jennifer is a winning heroine, and readers will undoubtedly root for her as she reaches for a more mature, if achingly uncertain, future. An absorbing story of a woman grasping at life in the midst of death. ~ Kirkus Reviews

Three mothers. Three sons. One day that connects them. Kaira Rouda tackles the big issues of life and death with candor and hope in this tribute to motherhood. A tragic event reawakens each woman to her own special gifts, and her love for family and friends is reborn. Three mothers. Three sons. Six lives that will be changed forever.

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Excerpt: All the Difference


Three Weeks Earlier, Friday, May 1
Ellen Anderson could see the fork in the road from her kitchen window. She watched as cars chose one route or the other. Some drivers were confused, swerving at the last minute as they made a choice. Many seemed to know exactly where they were going. Only a couple had smashed into the tree growing in the median.

Thats me, she thought. In the middle, smashing into the tree. Barren. Empty. Dead. Hungry.

It was almost time for lunch. She stared out the window past the bright green carpet of grass at the acres of farm fields rolling behind her Victorian dream home. She expected her husbands red convertible Mercedes, top down, to burst around the back corner of the house any minute.

Michaels dark brown hairthinning on topwould be tossed by the wind. He liked his hair like thatyoung, carefree. His six-foot frame folded into the front seat, and even in a small sports car, he appeared in command of the road, his home, his life, and of course, his wife. With his sunglasses on and his face locked in a grin, his music cranked, he still looked the part of the fraternity social chair he was when they met. Glasses off, he had lines at the corners of his eyes, golf squint lines, defining his thirty-eight years.

She didnt see him yet. So Ellen waited. Shed been cooking all morning. It was her hobby, really her only passion these days, and now, with the Internet, she could find recipes for anything. Everything had a recipe. Except, of course, her life. She planned, thought she had all the ingredients, but always, something was missing. Having finished cooking, she waited.

An observer may have thought that, standing there on her tiptoes, silhouetted by sunlight piercing the leaded glass panes, Ellen looked like a bird about to take flight. Her shiny black hair was pulled up in a high ponytail. Her dark skin, a tribute to her Brazilian roots, made the perfect contrast to the white countertops and yellow and white walls of the kitchen.

As with most things in the house, the countertops were built too high for her, a bow to Michaels height and ultimate say on everything, even her kitchen. After thirty-three years of feeling small, whenever Ellen wanted to feel empowered, by habit, she would stand on her toes and lean forward.
The last time she had done so was earlier that morning, as Dr. Burnhardt, her fertility specialist, murmured there was nothing else he could do and handed her an adoption brochure. He didnt seem to understand adoption wasnt an option for Michael and, therefore, wasnt for her either. Shed endured years of tests and humiliating procedures. All in vain. The dream home she and Michael had completed the year before was a family home, with four extra bedrooms and a large nanny suite.

Im so very sorry, Ellen, dear,the doctor said. Listening, Ellen fell off her toes. Her last hope was gone; she felt deflated, subhuman. Women were supposed to get pregnant and have babies. Werent they? Its supposed to be natural. Why had she worried about contraception all those years? Maybe it was the miscarriage, she thought, and shuddered.
But, you know, I had, had—”

Yes, you mentioned the miscarriage. I remember, dear. And while you were able to conceive thenI believe that was what, ten years ago, right?your body changes, and conception is harder the older a woman is. Its a mystery. I wish we could control conception like we can contraception. I am sorry, Ellen,Dr. Burnhardt said again, sounding anxious to conclude the discussion and send his pitiful patient home.
Ellen thought she was about two months pregnant when she had lost the fetus. I wonder if it was a boy or girl, and I wonder who the baby looked like. The same questions floated through her subconscious often, never dislodged by the reality of a new fetus growing inside.

She was still dreaming of the baby she would never hold when she heard the sound of gravel rumbling outside. Michael had arrived home for lunch. Theyd planned this date at home so she could fill him in on the results of her latest and final round of tests.

Ellen, what did he say?Michael asked quietly when he walked in the door behind her.
We wont be having any children, Michael. I wish I couldve kept our baby, the one we made,Ellen said, turning, tears streaming down her face.

Maybe itll still happen, Ellen. We need to get on with life. You know, maybe you should go back to work,Michael said, trying to be calm, be nice.

What about adoption, Michael, please?Ellen asked between sobs.

Ive told you my feelings on this. Im just not going to raise a kid that isnt mine.Seeing her tears, he softened his tone. It just wasnt meant to be, El. You know that. Its OK. You can start up your career, or do that garden club or whatever. Thats why I put you through school. Youll be fine. Well be fine.
Youre already fine, arent you? Where were you last night?Ellen asked, quietly. She wondered why, if he thought she was as pretty as he said, why she wasnt enough.
She turned back to the window then, as Michael grabbed the sandwich from the plate on the table and said, Have a nice day, and dont wait up. Itll be another late night at work.She heard the rumbling as his car pulled out on the gravel and then sped silently back down the winding driveway.
Ellen counted to twenty and then pushed the button to close the front gates.

Kaira Rouda is a USA Today bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary women's fiction and sexy modern romance novels that sparkle with humor and heart. Her women's fiction titles include HERE, HOME, HOPE, ALL THE DIFFERENCE and IN THE MIRROR. Her bestselling short story is titled, A MOTHER'S DAY. Kaira's work has won the Indie Excellence Award, USA Book Awards, the Reader's Choice Awards and honorable mention in the Writer's Digest International Book Awards. Her books have been widely reviewed and featured in leading magazines.

Her sexy contemporary romance series set on INDIGO ISLAND includes: WEEKEND WITH THE TYCOON, Book 1; HER FORBIDDEN LOVE, Book 2; THE TROUBLE WITH CHRISTMAS, Book 3; and THE BILLIONAIRE'S BID, Book 4. Each of these novellas can be read as a stand alone, or enjoyed as a series. Her new series is set in LAGUNA BEACH and includes: LAGUNA NIGHTS, Book 1; LAGUNA HEIGHTS, Book 2; and LAGUNA LIGHTS, Book 3 coming winter 2015. She also helped launch Melissa Foster's The Remington's Kindle World with her bestselling novella, SPOTLIGHT ON LOVE, and is part of Carly Phillips Dare to Love Kindle World with THE CELEBRITY DARE.

Her nonfiction titles, REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, and REAL YOU FOR AUTHORS: 8 Essentials for Women Writers (available for free download on her website) continue to inspire. 

She lives in Southern California with her husband and four almost-grown kids, and is at work on her next novel. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook at Kaira Rouda Books and on her website,



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