Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Sheikh's Baby Scandal & Q&A with author Carol Marinelli

1) Where did you gather inspiration for Zazinia?
I could just see it in my mind’s eye. I like desert settings and have written a few of them but each desert and palace appears differently to me. I wanted Zazinia to have an ancient and traditional feel, in contrast to the modern and glittering Dubai, where the book is also set.

2) How do you think the setting affects the story? 
The setting is vital. The Sheikh’s Baby Scandal takes place in London, Dubai and Zazinia. The location changes reveal more facets of both characters personalities. Kedah is a very rich playboy but all that has to change when he returns to Zazinia and he reveals a more formal side. Felicia is a very independent heroine. Instead of being taken out of her comfort zone in Zazinia, she comes into her stride. I really liked that about her.

3) Is anything in your new release based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
My imagination is so vivid that I sometimes feel as if it’s real life but no, it’s all imagination. I am sadly lacking in royal sheikhs :)

4) How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It is very variable. I tend to work on two stories at the same time. Both are usually at different stages and I dip in and out of each. Near the end of writing a story though, I can only focus on one and so it gets my full attention then, until it’s complete. Generally, at that point, I get a new idea for a story and start to write it, while going back to the other story I left sitting. On average I think I work on a story for 3-4 months.

5) What is the biggest misconception about your genre?That they’re all the same. It would make my job a whole lot easier if they were J The wonderful thing about the romance genre is that there is something for everyone to enjoy—from sweeter romances to very sexy. Mine are the latter.

6) Did you hide any secrets in your books? 
No, I have heard some writers do but my muse is to disorganized for that.

7) Any tips to get through the dreaded writer’s block? Everyone handles it differently and what works through one rough patch might not work for the next. Going for a walk certainly helps me. I forget to, of course, or I tell myself I’m too busy and too behind to justify taking a couple of hours to walk. But I should remember, because it helps me a lot. I listen to a podcast or some music and then for the last half hour or so I take out my headphones and start to think about my plot.

8) How do you relax?By walking (as above), reading or writing. Sometimes writing can be stressful, but when the writing is flowing and I’m lost in the story it’s a very relaxing space to be in. I also love talking on the phone. I spend hours on it.

9) What is your favorite book and why?Bryce Courtenay’s, April Fool’s Day. It is a true story about the life of his deceased son. There are so many life-lessons within it and it is beautifully written. The book touches on many issues and Bryce did not paint himself with a perfect brush. It is honest and sad, wonderful and warm and it still makes me cry.

10) What is your current end-of-summer read? 
 I am extremely behind with my reading and am just about to dive into my TBR pile. At the top is Sarah Morgan’s Sunset in Central Park and I can’t wait to get started!

Title:  The Sheikh's Baby Scandal
Series:  One Night With Consequences
Author:  Carol Marinelli
Publication Date:  September 1st 2016 by Harlequin Presents
Length:  224pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
My Rating: ★★★
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google Play 

Back Cover Blurb:

Pregnant…by the playboy sheikh!
Playboy sheikh Kedah of Zazinia has loved every minute he's spent earning his outrageous reputation! But about to claim the throne, and with a list of prospective brides being prepared, Kedah knows he must soon accept his royal duty…

A scorching night with his poised assistant, Felicia Hamilton, seems the perfect distraction—and her cool beauty masks a desire Kedah is hungering to ignite! But even Kedah isn't prepared for the biggest scandal of all, when their one night together leaves Felicia pregnant with his baby!

My Review:

Romance and scandal abounds as readers get up close and personal with the ruling family of Zazinia.  Marinelli's world development and descriptions allow readers to picture this land and travel there alongside the characters.  The  plot had an air of formulaic construction yet the romance that develops between the characters is so real that it is an easy focal point.

The characters that we meet here are somewhat atypical to what I'd expected.  I enjoyed how they were developed and the way in which we get to know them.  Their story was easy to see and to follow.  They were a little too perfect of a fit at times, but also enjoyable to get to know.

As a whole, this was a fun, light read that I think would be great for a crisp fall afternoon curled up on the couch.

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Dark Whispers & Q&A with author Debra Webb

1) Where did you gather inspiration for Birmingham?
My father’s family is from Birmingham so I grew up visiting the Magic City. Many of my fondest childhood memories took place in Birmingham. But the most important and inspiring part of Birmingham for me is the incredible medical services there. You see, my older daughter was born with extreme health issues. The amazing folks in Birmingham saved her life. So you see, for my family Birmingham truly is the Magic City.

2) How do you think the setting affects the story?
Birmingham is a southern town at its very roots, but it’s also very progressive city—almost like the Manhattan of the South. There’s the intensity of big city living, yet the heart and warmth of small town life. For Natalie, my heroine, it’s home, family and all that entails. On the other hand for Clint, Birmingham has been a bit of a bitter sweet experience—at least until he becomes part of Jess Harris Burnett’s team.

3) Is anything in your new release based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Natalie, in some ways, is me. I suffered a life altering injury and lost a great deal of the use of my right arm and hand. It has taken six years for me to learn to use my arm and hand again. It won’t ever be the same, but I’m learning to live with what I have. It’s amazing what the human mind and body are capable of.

4) How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Oh my, that’s a tough question. Before my injury I would fly through the pages. You see, the stories have always come to me in wonderful streams of scenes. Now with my hand injury, the stories still come but they don’t get on the page so fast.

5) What is the biggest misconception about your genre?
Oh my, I really believe any misconceptions about romantic suspense are in the past. Readers know what they want and have a much better understanding in today’s world filled with knowledge what they’re getting when they pick up a Harlequin Intrigue.

6) Did you hide any secrets in your books?
There are always delicious secrets in a mystery/suspense. Sometimes it’s about the killer, but often times it’s about the hero or heroine and who they really are deep down inside. Clint has some deep and delicious secrets!

7) Any tips to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Never stop writing. Your writing muscle is like any other it needs regular exercise. Even if you’re not sure where you’re going in a story just write something! I’m always amazed at what’s hidden in my head behind any uncertainty!

8) How do you relax?
I love junking! Looking for treasures in the cast off of others. Touring homes—old and new. Enjoying my family!

9) What is your favorite book and why?
Hmm. I don’t think I can pick a favorite book. There are simply too many wonderful ones I’ve read!

10) What is your current end-of-summer read?
I am waiting for the release of Karin Slaughter’s The Kept Woman!

Title:  Dark Whisper
Series:  Faces of Evil: Private Eyes #1
Author:  Debra Webb
Publication Date: September 1st 2016 by Harlequin Intrigue
Length:  256pgs
Genre:  romantic suspense
Shelf:  review
My Rating: ★★★★
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google Play 

Back Cover Blurb:

A chilling new spin-off series from USA TODAY bestselling author Debra Webb sure to keep you up all night…

Former homicide detective Clint Hayes has his first client as a private investigator: a fragile beauty he isn't sure he can trust. An injury has left Natalie Drummond with gaps in her memory, and she sees and hears things that aren't there. But she's sure she shot an intruder in her Birmingham mansion. So where's the body, the gun, the evidence? When it's clear someone is trying to kill his vulnerable client, Clint appoints himself her protector, working overtime not to fall for her. But someone is dead set that Natalie never regains her memories—or makes new ones with Clint.

My Review:

The plot is captivating and the implications are chilling.  Those are my first thoughts when it comes to Webb's latest release.  Time and time again I found myself thinking 'could you  just imagine.'  The intimate manner in which this story was presented kept me coming back for more as I tried to unravel the unforgettable tale that Webb has woven.

The characters that she developed were interesting and approachable without being common.  I quite enjoyed the different ways in which they were developed, allowing me to get to know them through the story itself.

Once again Webb has created a fast paced, chilling read full of romance and suspense.  It is a fantastic weekend read!

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Snowfall on Haven Point and Q&A with author RaeAnne Thayne

Q: When Wyn asks Andrea to help keep an eye on Marshall after he’s injured in a hit-and-run accident, it’s not exactly love at first sight. Marshall is stubborn and a bit of a grouch, and Andrea is both intimidated and annoyed by him. Can you tease a little bit about what draws them to each other despite their initial prickliness?
A: Andie doesn’t want to like Marshall. She had been married to a man in law enforcement and had lost him too soon, then had been cruelly betrayed by another one. But even as she tells herself she wants someone who is the exact opposite of Marshall—someone predictable and nonthreatening—HE is the one who makes her feel safe and protected. As for Marshall, he never pictured himself with a family of his own. He is dedicated to his job protecting and serving the people of Lake Haven County and never imagines that he might thrive in the role of father-figure … until Andrea’s mix of strength and vulnerability steals his heart (and so do her two adorable children!).

Q: Andrea is a character who has suffered a great deal of loss and personal trauma, particularly since her police officer husband was killed in the line of duty. What are the challenges and rewards of incorporating heavier themes into a story about love and romance?
A: I tend to put my characters through some truly awful ordeals! I feel a bit guilty about that sometimes … but then I remind myself that strength of character doesn’t come to people who have never been tested by challenges. Life isn’t perfect, unfortunately, not for my characters and not for my readers. I try to show that even when people have suffered unimaginable heartache, the world doesn’t have to end. Life can still be filled with joy and beauty. When happiness is hard-earned, it tends to be more intense and more deeply appreciated, as my characters often discover.

Q: One of the subplots in this novel deals with Marshall and a surly teenage boy who lives next door with his grandparents. Can you tell us a little about that relationship and why you wanted to explore it in this book?A: I sometimes write myself into a corner with heroes or heroines who first appear as secondary characters in previous stories. When I decide to move them up to center stage, I can be faced with certain limitations I have to figure out how to write around. In RIVERBEND ROAD, I had set Marshall up as the sheriff of Lake Haven County and had him living in the nearby town of Shelter Spring. That became a bit of a problem when I decided he was the perfect hero for Andie. If I wanted to give them a chance to fall in love, I needed his orbit to collide with Andie’s on a regular basis. I had to give Marshall a strong reason to move back to Haven Point … and a possible connection to the troubled teenage boy next door definitely offered that! It also turned Marshall into something more than jus a sexy sheriff. He’s got troubles of his own, things he needs to work through in order to open his heart to Andie, and Christopher plays a big part in that.

Q: A major theme in this book is the idea of opening yourself up—for Andrea, this means opening herself up to the idea of falling in love again, and for the independent and solitary Marshall, it means learning to open himself up to the help and love of other people. What made you interested in writing about two people who are, in some ways, resistant to the idea of falling in love?
A: I absolutely adore stories when two characters fight against their feelings and go down kicking and screaming—and when both have logical, viable reasons not to want to take that risk. Andrea and Marshall definitely have strong self-protective instincts, which I think makes those moments when they finally yield and soften toward each other even more poignant.

Q: We have to ask, what’s next for you? Are you planning more Haven Point novels? If so, can you give us some hints about what’s coming up?
A: Right now I’m working on Katrina Bailey’s book, which will be out next summer. She’s quickly turning into one of my favorite heroines ever! I’ve given her a sexy geek of a hero with a mysterious past, in the midst of an extremely challenging situation. I can already tell the two of them are absolutely perfect for each other! I’m still working out what I’ll write after Kat’s book, whether I’ll stay in Haven Point, return to Hope’s Crossing, or start something new. Readers have been asking me for Aidan Caine’s book (he’s the only unmarried Caine sibling from my Hope’s Crossing series), so I’m still trying to find the perfect match for that sexy helicopter pilot.

About the author:
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. Her love affair started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour anything she could get her hands on: cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story. 

Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor. 

Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 40 titles. Her books have won many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews. 

RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.

Title:  Showfall on Haven Point
Series:  Haven Point #5
Author:  RaeAnne Thayne
Publication Date:   September 27th 2016 by HQN Books
Length:  384pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
My Rating: ★★★★★
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google Play

Back Cover Blurb:

There's no place like Haven Point for the holidays, where the snow conspires to bring two wary hearts together for a Christmas to remember
It's been two rough years since Andrea Montgomery lost her husband, and all she wants is for her children to enjoy their first Christmas in Haven Point. But then Andie's friend asks a favor—to keep an eye on her brother, Sheriff Marshall Bailey, who's recovering from a hit and run. Andie will do anything for Wyn, even park her own misgivings to check on her grouchy, wounded bear of a brother.

Marshall hates feeling defenseless and resents the protective impulses that Andie brings out in him. But when a blizzard forces them together for the holidays, something in Marshall begins to thaw. Andie's gentle nature is a salve, and her kids' excitement for the holidays makes him forget why he never wanted a family. If only he and Andie can admit what they really want—each other—their Christmas wishes might come true after all.

My Review:

Thayne brings this small town to life in a big way with her latest Haven Point novel. The novel is simultaneously emotional, comical, and romantic, leaving you with a feeling of redemption. My heart may have been on my sleeve throughout, but that didn’t stop me from laughing at the characters’ antics. The story itself is intricately and realistically crafted, providing an endlessly enjoyable tale for readers.

Thayne brings her characters’ pasts and present together in a way that creates an intimate yet shocking story for those who enjoy romance with a little bit more. Her seamless writing allows you to flow through this story and enjoy it. The main characters are such phenomenal individuals, so well developed and approachable, that you can’t help but love them. At the same time, it is their thoughts and decisions that propel this story into the realm of loveable.

Vividly picturesque descriptions bring this novel to life as Thayne's fantastic characters share their intimate tale with readers the world over. This is a fantastic tale that can be easily enjoyed by those who love the series and those who are looking to experience Thayne's work for the first time.

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Betrayed By A Kiss by Kris Rafferty

Title:  Betrayed by a Kiss
Series:  An Unlikely Hero
Author:  Kris Rafferty
Publication Date:   August 29th 2016 by Entangled: Select Suspense
Length:  226pgs
Genre:  romantic suspense
Shelf:  Netgalley
My Rating: ★★★★
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google Play 

Back Cover Blurb:

Marnie Somerville is sure Dane MacLain is just another bad guy. Her job as resident investigator at Whitman Enterprises is to track down the owners of delinquent accounts, but something about Dane’s case is off, and Marnie can’t resist a good mystery. The secret files and cover-up she finds after hacking her boss’s computer are more than she expected, and now she’s fleeing her former employer...right into Dane’s arms.

Former detective Dane MacLain has spent the last year gathering intel against Whitman Enterprises, the company he believes responsible for his wife’s death. When a beautiful and intense woman shows up with information, Dane is willing to accept all she has to offer, especially when the help comes in such a sexy package. Caught in a deadly cat and mouse chase, Dane must do everything he can to protect Marnie as they run for their lives.

My Review:

I'll admit that this is a new to me author and a novel I wasn't too sure about when I started reading.  Based on the cover and the description, this is one of those novels that could go one of 2 ways:  either be a little on the cheesy, formulaic side, or be fantastic.  But the cover definitely caught my eye, causing me to check it out, and I'm quite glad that I did.  

Rafferty's solid and exciting plot drew me in, kept me thinking, and had me coming back for more.  The suspense ran high throughout as Rafferty's vibrant and larger than life descriptions brought everything to the forefront in a manner that was impossible to ignore.  The suspense is topped with explosive chemistry between the main characters that had the pages sizzling.  And the characters were quite well developed too.  I loved the multifaceted development that Rafferty used, letting us get to know them individually, as a pair, and through each others' eyes.

This was definitely a suspenseful, emotional, exciting introduction to Rafferty's work for me.  I'll definitely be looking for more in the future.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Life She Wants & Q&A with author Robyn Carr

Q: The book opens with Emma Shay moving back home to California from New York after her financier husband is revealed to be running a massive Ponzi scheme and commits suicide. How much was the premise of this book inspired by the Bernie Madoff scandal, and what kind of research did writing this story involve?
A: I asked myself, what would it be like to be Mrs. Madoff? So of course I had to read about it – it turned out to be much more sordid and shameful in Bernie’s case than anything I had imagined. I wanted to create a character who was every bit as victimized as her late husband’s clients and that character was Emma. But the story was more about a relationship between two 35-year-old women whose friendship fell apart when they were young. The question is – how does Emma repair all the damage she suffered when she married a crook?

Q: After losing her husband and washing her hands of his sullied fortune, Emma returns home to California to rebuild her life and start over from scratch. Part of this involves reconnecting with old places and people she has not seen in over a decade. What inspired this idea of reconnection, of a prodigal returning home after a long absence?
A: I’m fascinated by relationships and one of the stickier ones we grapple with is women’s relationships with other women. There is no way to describe the heartache when best friends split up – it’s almost as bad as a divorce. I wanted a close look at that – both Emma and her former best friend, Riley, did unforgiveable things. Can they overcome it? Should they? Sometimes we pass our time with a friend and have to move on; sometimes it’s not too late. I never know how these issues will be worked out until I write about it. I have to spend some time with the characters, find out what they need, what kind of people they are, what they need.

Women behaving badly fascinates me, also. We’ve all experienced deep hurt from a friend and we all know how hard that is to overcome. How would Emma and Riley deal with their betrayal? That’s what I wanted to know.

Q: When Emma returns home, she is forced to take a job working for her former best friend, Riley, who now owns and runs a successful cleaning business. Now, Emma finds herself scrubbing and dusting the kinds of houses she used to own. It truly is a riches-to-rags scenario—almost a reverse Cinderella story (and Emma has a nasty stepmother, to boot!). Were you at all inspired by that fairytale while writing this book?
A: Oh yes, a contemporary Cinderella story (or part of a story at least) was fun. And it wasn’t reversed – Cinderella had a privileged life with her father, then her father died and her step mother reduced her to a scullery maid. I even gave her two step-sisters. Cinderella may be a fairy tale but for one thing – our families are often a mishmash of families thrown together by second and third (and more) marriages. For that matter, families born into the same bloodline don’t always work that well – just look through history! Family seems to be what you’re stuck with for survival and sometimes it’s the answer to all your needs and sometimes the worst nightmare. Cinderella was the poor relation, the scullery who was prettier than her advantaged sisters, and kinder. I loved the similarities and they worked perfectly for this story. It also worked perfectly that Emma had a chance to learn the meaning of real wealth.

Q:  The damaged friendship between Emma and Riley is one of the central relationships in this novel. After having written so many successful romantic love stories, what was different or challenging about building your story around a fraught, deeply complicated female friendship?
A: I’m accustomed to writing “girlfriend books” that, from the beginning, have a very strong bond between the women, that the friends get each other through the tough times. I wanted to know how it’s different when the bond has been broken but the tough times are present.

You’ll find out what you’re made of when you go through a relationship crisis, when you feel scared and alone.

Q: We have to ask, what’s next for you? What are you working on right now?
A: I’m at work on the second Sullivan’s Crossing novel, no title yet. It should be ready soon and out the beginning of April 2017.

About the author:
“I’m frequently asked what it is about my stories that make them so popular. I think it’s the sense of community and that combination of romance and women’s fiction,” says author Robyn Carr. “I’m naturally drawn to strong, capable female characters, and when I begin a story, I ask myself, ‘What is she up against?’ It’s very empowering to read about women like ourselves as they resolve the issues that threaten their happiness and peace of mind. It’s also empowering to watch smart women choosing and falling in love with men of honor and integrity.”
The author of more than 40 novels, Robyn reaches a wide audience with her writing. In addition to her touching novels, she’s written historical and contemporary romance, as well as a gripping thriller. “This is the best job I’m ever going to get wearing pajamas,” she says of her writing career. 

Originally from Minnesota, Robyn and her family have seen much of the country, thanks to her husband, Jim, and his career in aviation. After the two high school sweethearts married, Jim joined the air force. They’ve lived in Texas—all four corners—Alabama, Florida, California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada.

The couple moved to Henderson, Nevada, so Jim could explore a new business opportunity. “At first, being a Midwest girl at heart, I said, ‘Oh, no, not another desert!’ It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the beauty of Nevada—and the unrivaled spectacle of Las Vegas!” 

Robyn well remembers how she began her career as an author more than 25 years ago. “I was trained as a nurse but found it impossible to get work because my husband was constantly being transferred. At the time, I was reading a lot of genre fiction for the sheer entertainment value, and I thought to myself, ‘I can write this!’” 

And how was her first foray into the world of literature received? “It was universally panned. I thought I had written Gone with the Wind, but in actuality it was complete trash.” In fact, it was on her third try that Robyn finally succeeded in becoming a published author. 

Now that Robyn’s two children are grown—and finally out of the house—she has the luxury of a little free time. “Until my kids grew up, I didn’t realize that a person could have hobbies other than laundry,” she jokes. But it turns out not to be hobbies that keep Robyn busy when she isn’t writing— she has found her niche in community service. 

She has mentored a seniors’ memoir-writing group, attends book club chats in and out of state whenever possible and is working with her local library on the Carr Chat Series, a program centered on fund-raising and visiting-author events that bring writers, their books and the community together. “It is the people in my life that fill the well,” she says. “Especially the people who share my love for books and writing.”

Title:  The Life She Wants
Author:  Robyn Carr
Publication Date: Expected publication: October 1st 2016 by MIRA (first published September 27th 2016)
Length:  368pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance/women's romance
Shelf:  review
My Rating: ★★★★★
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google Play

Back Cover Blurb:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr creates an emotional and uplifting ensemble of characters in this rags-to-riches-to-rags novel about women, friendship and the complex path to happiness
In the aftermath of her financier husband's suicide, Emma Shay Compton's dream life is shattered. Richard Compton stole his clients' life savings to fund a lavish life in New York City and, although she was never involved in the business, Emma bears the burden of her husband's crimes. She is left with nothing.

Only one friend stands by her, a friend she's known since high school, who encourages her to come home to Sonoma County. But starting over isn't easy, and Sonoma is full of unhappy memories, too. And people she'd rather not face, especially Riley Kerrigan.

Riley and Emma were like sisters—until Riley betrayed Emma, ending their friendship. Emma left town, planning to never look back. Now, trying to stand on her own two feet, Emma can't escape her husband's reputation and is forced to turn to the last person she thought she'd ever ask for help—her former best friend. It's an uneasy reunion as both women face the mistakes they've made over the years. Only if they find a way to forgive each other—and themselves—can each of them find the life she wants.

My Review:

This is one of those rare novels that has left me speechless.  Carr's hard hitting, emotional tale astounded me with it's intricacies while it drew me in with the sheer realism of the lives that she created.  I'll admit that it was a little hard to get into at first, but once I was there Carr's masterful storytelling shone through.  She brought this town to life, allowing me to visit the local haunts while my heart was being pulled in every direction by the intricate tale that she wove.

I love the way that Carr engages your emotions, drawing you deep into her character's stories.  Readers become part of this small town, experiencing the highs and lows alongside the characters.  I'll admit that I definitely fell in love with Adam.  I felt for both Emma and Riley, even if I wanted to lock the pair in a room together for a while.  The entire dynamic between everyone really allowed me to get a feel for the whole picture.  

This novel may be different from what I've come to expect from Carr but it was still an absolutely fantastic read.  I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone who enjoys a little escape into a small town where the lives of the characters become part of you.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Her Lost Love by Linda Weaver Clarke

Title:  Her Lost Love
Series:  Amelia Moore Detective Agency #5
Author:  Linda Weaver Clarke
Publication Date: July 1st 2016 by Red Mountain Shadows Publishing (first published March 5th 2015)
Length:  212pgs
Genre:  mystery
Shelf:  review
My Rating: ★★★★★
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US) - B&N - Kobo - IndigoSmashwords - Audible

Back Cover Blurb:

Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. Her cases have taken her to some very interesting places and put her in some dangerous situations, but she always solves the case. With the help of her partner, Rick Bonito, the business is flourishing.

Julie Anderson feels a need to find the man she fell deeply in love with during her youth. When Julie went off to college to become a lawyer, she lost contact with her high school sweetheart. She now wants to know what became of Joey and why he stopped writing to her? This is an assignment that intrigues Amelia. The thought of finding a long-lost love seems quite romantic.

My Review:

From picturesque scenery to astoundingly vivid sequences, Clarke has it all with this one.  The plot was just fast paced enough to keep me hooked without feeling like we were rushing to the conclusion.  Clarke made me think as I was trying to puzzle out the mystery that Amelia and Rick found themselves unraveling.  Her eloquent writing made me feel as if I were adventuring alongside the characters.

Speaking of the characters, I feel as if I know them individually, as if they're true friends.  Throughout the series Clarke has continued to develop her main characters in such a manner that you can't help but know and love them.  At the same time, they never cease to surprise me.
I love Amelia and Rick in all of their comical and intricate ways.  They're so sweet together that I simply can't get enough of them.  At the same time, the mysteries that they solve go above and beyond, keeping me completely hooked on their adventures.  I definitely can't wait to see where the Amelia Moore Detective Agency ends up next!
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Monday, September 19, 2016

If I Could Do It Again by Ashley Stoyanoff

Title:  If I Could Do It Again
Author:  Ashley Stoyanoff
Publication Date:  September 26/16
Length:  232pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
My Rating: ★★★★★
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Smashwords

Back Cover Blurb:

Romance novelist Victoria Clarke seems to have it all: adoring husband, successful career, beautiful home. At least that’s what outsiders think.

In reality, her husband is emotionally abusive, and their marriage is falling apart. Victoria is miserable but suffers in silence until she encounters the charming Joshua Larson while researching a new book.

She meets him in the most unconventional way—through a prisoner pen-pal website. Though Victoria is hesitant at first, she’s drawn to this intriguing, misunderstood man. He was charged with murder for his part in a bar fight, implicated for wearing the colors of his motorcycle club. She believes him when he says it was self-defense.

The two exchange letters and then talk on the phone. Joshua gives Victoria everything she’s been missing—support, confidence, affection, and passion.

Victoria can’t help but ponder a new life, leaving her awful husband and Canada behind for her new friend in the United States. After all, Joshua will be free in four years, and she’s beginning to believe that he’s the love of her life.

If she takes a leap of faith, will Joshua turn out to be her soul mate, or is he hiding something sinister?

My Review:

Stoyanoff is definitely thinking outside the box with this one.  She had me laughing, crying, and ready to throttle the characters in turn.  The emotional high was fantastic.  She contrasts things at their lowest with the warmth that comes from those who truly care.  The seamless writing draws you in while the evocative dialogue brings the entire story to life.  And the spicy parts?  They really add to the story and the relationship between the main characters.  

This is the type of story that shows you what real friends are for.  The contrast between Joshua wanting to show Victoria the best version of herself and Richard not wanting her to see that there is a good version of herself was striking.  Throughout it all, I was floored by how genuine Joshua's character seemed.

This is one novel that definitely packs a punch.  This emotionally hard hitting novel is one that I'd highly recommend to anyone looking for a one of a kind, outside the box romance.


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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Worldwaker by Dean F. Wilson

Title:  Worldwaker
Series:  The Great Iron War #5
Author:  Dean F. Wilson
Publication Date:   August 31st 2016 by Dioscuri Press
Length:  256pgs
Genre:  steampunk dystopian
Shelf:  review
My Rating: ★★★★★
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N

Back Cover Blurb:

Every victory is its own defeat. General Rommond's efforts to amass technological superiority over the enemy has resulted in the creation of a weapon that could destroy everything, and a faction just mad enough to use it. The Armageddon Brigade has awoken from its deep slumber, and it seeks to wake the world with it. Attracting the brightest, and most unstable, of minds, this splinter group of the Resistance has become the greatest thorn in Rommond's side. The Resistance and the Regime must unite to defeat a foe that answers to neither of them. Yet their deep divisions and long-held suspicions threaten to end the Great Iron War once and for all-by ending everything.

My Review:

Wilson is a master of world creation. Every aspect is brought forward in a big way and as part of the story that the characters are living.  He writes scenes so vivid that they make you catch your breath and pray for the characters. I love the way that the history of this world really comes into play in this one as new alliances become paramount.  The feeling of inevitability that runs throughout the novel gave me chills.

The fantastically vibrant cast of characters brings this all together in such an unforgettable manner.  i love the myriad of ways that they are all developed and how returning favorites stand side by side with interesting newcomers.  The diverging paths that the characters begin to walk reallly adds to the intensity of the story.  Brooklyn really shines here as his personality and origins really come out in every action and reaction.  

This novel is fast paced, exciting, and awe inspiring.  I couldn't put it down for a second nor would I hesitate to recommend this to others (both this novel and the series as a whole).

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