May I introduce: Suzi Love "Scenting Scandal" ( incl a #freebie )

Scenting Scandal

by Suzi Love

What a delight to have Australian author Suzi Love as a guest today. On her blog she describes herself "I live in the northern state of Queensland, known for sunshine and golden beaches. I’ve also lived in outback Australia and in two South Pacific countries. And been lucky enough to travel through lots of other countries, inspired the exotic settings for my books."

So what inspires her to write historical romances?

I've always been fascinated with history. I love museums and love discovering all the weird bits about eras, the clothing, houses, customs, and inventions. And my second love is romance, so when I started writing I instinctively blended the two and started creating historical romances full of characters based on the true life people I'd read so much about.   

No secret, Keanu Reeves is the man inspiring you for your erotica stories. What makes him stand out for you compared to other men? 
I've actually met him twice - far too briefly...sigh... and he is a very kind and polite man, not to mention even more gorgeous in person than on screen.  But I also admire him for  his incredible generosity to friends, family, and the cast and crew he works with on sets, and though he hides his charitable efforts, he freely donates his time, his name, and his earnings.   

You once described the outback as “The outback is a mixture of gulf wetlands and waterholes, red desert and sand dunes, pockets of lush grasslands, and enormous cattle stations”. What was it like to live in such an environment?
You'll probably regret asking me about the outback, because I tend to rave on for hours about the landscapes and the different lifestyles in the Australian bush. Living in the outback can be lonely as your neighbors may be hours drive away, and that's when the roads aren't flooded.  Yet if you have a problem, your neighbors will rush to your side and offer help. They'll stand beside you to fight bushfires, cook cakes for your cotton pickers or shearers, and hand you a box of tissues after you wave goodbye to your kids when they head off to boarding school on the train. 

A lot of the time living in the bush means red dust, heat, flies, and far too much hard work. But after rain, the plains become an expanse of lush green grass, the cattle look fat and healthy, and smiling farmers share a beer at the local pub and celebrate life in the bush. It's a life of highs and lows, but the scenery is always changing and always beautiful and outback people are the best in the world.        


Tell us about your current project. 
My current project is a book full of historic images about Easter and called, strangely enough, Easter in Images. (Grin) There are lots of gorgeous old Easter postcards, Faberge eggs from Russia, and paintings and etchings with religious significance for Easter. And the best news? Easter in Images is about to have free days so I hope everyone downloads a copy.   


Lady Laura Jamison has a gift and she’s not afraid to use it. She’s after a husband, but not just any husband. She wants a man who meets her logical and scientific criteria. Her extraordinary olfactory senses lead her to Richard, the Earl of Winchester. He might not know it-yet-but he’s her perfect match.

Richard has no time for family friend, Laura, the mad scientist. He’s been pursued by many a female, but never on the premise that one sniff can decide your soul mate. Besides, he wants to marry a sweet and docile  woman, a socially acceptable young lady, the exact opposite of Laura.

But when he’s tasked with stopping fraudulent trading in Britain’s railways shares, he finds he needs Laura’s help. As they work to expose the culprit, Richard begins to think Laura may be on to something, because when he’s with her, passion and desire explode with one look, one touch, one kiss…

Scenting Scandal is the second in the Scandalous Siblings Series of historical romances set early in the Victorian Era.

I'm Suzi Love, an Australian author of historical romances set mainly in the late Regency and early Victorian eras, and ranging from sexy to erotic. With a bit of Australia thrown in.

I now live in a sunny part of Australia after spending many years in developing countries in the South Pacific. My greatest loves are traveling, anywhere and everywhere, meeting crazy characters, and visiting the Australian outback. I adore history, especially the many-layered society of the late Regency to early Victorian eras.

My titled heroes and heroines live a privileged life in and around London, but my stories also dig deeper into the grittier and seamier levels of British life. I love heroes and heroines who challenge traditional manners, morals, and occupations, either through necessity or desire.

I hope my romances bring history alive for you and that you have fun alongside my roguish heroes and feisty heroines.

Tag Line- Making history fun, one year at a time


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Purchase Links:

Amazon Australia

And check out Suzi's
which is FREE for the next few days!


 “Uh, uh,” he said, wagging a finger. “You misunderstand the reasons for my happier expression. Unlike you, I’m looking forward to the next three months and the chance to study your fiscal strategies. I’d like to compare my investing skills to those of your astute sister’s.”

His mouth widened into a roguish grin. “I’m also flattered by your scrutiny of my anatomy and amused by your blush, especially after your studies into animal reproduction.”

Her free hand flew to her cheek and her heavy reticule knocked her arm. “I never blush.” To have him observe her ogle him was embarrassing and gave her another reason to be irritated by his company, petty though her reasons might be. She tugged, but her hand was imprisoned under his. With her nose raised a fraction, she said, “For the sake of propriety, I was ensuring your garments were intact. You’ve a reputation for disappearing into dark corners and re-emerging with your clothing askew. As though hasty hands ripped your garments from your body.”

“Tut, tut, my pet. Has jealousy driven you to spying?”

“Jealousy? Over the class of females you consort with? I was reassuring myself your clothing was intact for the sake of my elderly aunt. The entire congregation watched that woman, the Countess, beckon you to the back of the church. Heaven knows what you were doing while the bride and groom were signing the register.”

Winchester chuckled, long and low. “I doubt even my sullied reputation could support the story that I dragged the Countess into a shadowy niche for a quick tumble. At least, not with my sisters watching me like hawks.” He dipped his head closer. “I may excel at dispensing pleasure, but I like more than a few minutes to enjoy a rendezvous.”

She forced herself to stand motionless, to not react to his latest coarse taunt. “I’ve no interest,” she said, between calming breaths, “in knowing any details of how you entertain–”

Louder noises erupted from the street.

“Oh, dear. Their carriage is slowing again,” her Aunt Aggie announced from her loftier position. “Becca’s quite likely to have drawn up another list of instructions for you, Laura.”

Laura moaned. “I hope not. She’s already left enough lists to paper my bedroom walls.”

Lottie, the optimist, said, “Perhaps they simply forgot something vital in their packing.”

Sherwyn’s younger brother jogged past. “I’ll see what’s delaying them.”

As they watched Brian lope down the road, Laura took advantage of Winchester’s distraction to tug her arm free. “It’s your fault they’ve stopped.”

He growled and threw up his hands. “How can the coach stopping be my fault?”

“You were supposed to use your notorious powers of persuasion for something besides seduction.” She poked his chest. “To convince Becca you held uttermost confidence in my ability to manage in her absence.”

“As of an hour ago, we became related by marriage. And despite what you think of me or how I live my life, I take familial duties seriously. If we do discover a new stock syndicate is being formed by Lady Hetherington, I’m far better qualified to deal with her than you are.”

“And as I’ve informed my siblings, I’m quite capable of organizing our affairs. Without the meddling of a condescending—”

“Laura,” Aunt Aggie said. “Remember your surroundings.” Her hissed reprimand echoed down the steps. “Refrain from such disrespect. The Earl’s offer is extremely kind. Apologize, and accept his assistance. With grace.”

Winchester smirked and made a great show of bending closer, to better hear her apology.

“I’d rather be boiled in oil than—” Gloved fingers pressed against her lips.

From the steps above, Laura heard Aunt Aggie clucking, her favorite way of expressing her disappointment in the behavior of her great nieces.

“I wouldn’t continue, if I were you.” The Earl leaned in and spoke in a whisper. “Brian is arguing with the honeymoon couple. Most likely convincing them all is well. Urging them to continue their journey. And your sister, who’s as stubborn as you—”

She nipped the closest finger to her teeth.

He yanked back his hand, and with his head bowed muttered, “Bloody hell.” Then the dreadful man met her gaze and gave a slow grin. “Sorry.” He held out his finger. “Russian leather. No blood. Better luck next time.”

Clamping her mouth shut, Laura faced the road, raised her hand and waved. “The coachman is rousing the horses again. Everyone,” she said, forcing another smile into her stiff cheeks, “keep waving.” Even to her own ears, her voice sounded strident and strained. Over her shoulder, she spoke to Winchester in her most commanding tone. “There’ll not be a next time for us. As soon as they’re out of our sight, you’ll remove yourself from my presence.” 

His sigh whispered across the nape of her neck, lifted the fine hairs there, and sent a small shiver across her shoulders. For an idle moment, she savored the warm brush of air and imagined the same heat caressing other areas of bared flesh.

“... in the short term, my promise stands. Until Sherwyn returns, the smooth running of the Jamison household is my responsibility.”

She shook her head and reeled in her wayward thoughts.

“No need,” she said, unclenching her jaw and showing her teeth in a false but placating smile. “I’d be most distressed, kind sir, if you put yourself out on my account. Becca left me a list of instructions as long as my arm on which shares to buy and sell, and how to deliver my orders to our Stock Exchange agents. To excel at my duties, I need only follow each and every step. Rather like climbing a ladder.”

“People have been known to tumble from ladders. Land in the wrong place.”

She narrowed her gaze at him. “Very true. But for all I know, aligning myself with you may land me in deep water. How do I know you’re trustworthy? You could be copying those scoundrels Becca had imprisoned. Snaking into our household to steal our secrets.”

She’d tried to appear apprehensive, but when his jaw went slack with shock, she couldn’t stop help but chuckled.

He waggled a finger. “You, pixie, are provoking me. Deliberately.”

“Do, please, stop calling me such a childish name. If you haven’t noticed, I became a woman several years ago.”

His gaze flicked over her body, scorched where it touched and left her tingling in its wake. “Trust me, Laura, I’d noticed.”




Tuesday Tales - Picture Prompt


Welcome back to TT.

Time to move on ... let me introduce you all to Markus, our third friend in the Sports Series.
Markus is a goalkeeper with a soccer club in Melbourne. Sarah is his best friend since kindergarten days - best friends? Or more?
Today's prompt is a picture.

Enjoy - and feel free to leave a comment. And don't forget to click the link below to go back to the main Tuesday Tale site for more stories by very talented authors.

Markus gently pulled her a little bit closer. “I’m not saying any such thing.”

“I deserve it, though.”

He choked back a chuckle. “No you don’t. The only person deserving something is Timmy. And that’s a big fist connecting with his face.”

Sarah laughed, but regretted it straight away. “Oh my god, Marky. Don’t make me laugh. I’ve got the worst hangover ever.”

He chuckled. “How about I take you home? I’m sure this wedding party is near its end and will survive without you.”

“Promise me a hot chocolate?”

His body shook slightly as he held back his laughter. She assumed he was thinking of their holidays in the Swiss Alps as well.

A few years earlier, Markus had played for an English soccer club and invited her for a holiday in Switzerland. They’d spent a week in a wooden farm house just outside a small village, between massive snow-capped mountains. Wherever she'd looked were ski slopes or fields with cattle. It’d been divine. And after a long day outside, they’d sat down by the fire and drunk hot chocolate.

“C’mon princess. I make you some hot chocolate as well.”

She stood and saw Oliver come over. “Please don’t tell him,” she whispered.

“What’s up?” Oliver asked.

“Saz drowned her sorrow in some red last night after finding out Timmy cheated on her,” Markus explained.

Sarah slapped him against his chest. “I asked you not to say anything,” she said through gritted teeth.

Markus cocked an eyebrow. “I thought you meant the chocolate.”

Oliver laughed and pulled Sarah into a hug. “I told you—”

“Don’t say it,” she mumbled against his chest.

“—hot chocolate is not good for hangovers. You should try—”

Sarah placed a finger on his lips. “Just tell the happy couple congratulations and I catch up with them when they get back from their honeymoon.”



Click her to read more Tuesday Tales


Snippet Sunday - My current WIP 20/04/2014


The story so far is, Sadie, born and raised in Australia, found her grandma's diary after her mother's passing. Intrigued by the diary and her mother's German background, she's on her way to Germany to meet her family over there. 

The ice tea tastes good and I’m enjoying the cold drink more than I would’ve thought. All I did during the last flight was throwing water down my throat, but this… this is… this has taste to it. I order another one.

“Didn’t you get anything to drink during the flight?”

Nodding, I reply. “I did, but I can’t stand plain water.”

Tobias takes a sip of his coffee and then looks at me. It’s the look I’ve got used to over the last, wow, I’ve known him for about four hours now. Quickest date ever. Anyway, he looks at me and I’m glad I’m sitting down, because otherwise, my legs would probably not hold me.

“So Sadie. What makes you go to Frankfurt?”

The waitress comes with my ice tea and I take a sip first before I nonchalantly reply, “Grandma’s diary.”

Thank you all for your support and kind comments.
 I do appreciate each single one of them!


May I introduce: Hellen May "Und wieder Carmel" #German

"Und wieder Carmel"

by Hellen May

For those of you who speak German, I'd like to recommend this book to you all.
Hellen and I have been friend for years,  ... even across the distance of half a world away.

It's a great book, I loved it from the very first draft I read to the finished book. - And I'm sure so will you!

1 - Wie bist du auf die Idee gekommen, einen Roman zu schreiben?

Schon als Kind habe ich mir gern Geschichten ausgedacht und sie dann meiner Schwester erzählt. Später begann ich Tagebuch zu schreiben und dann die Ideen, die ich ständig im Kopf hatte in ein Notizbuch zu schreiben. Als wir 2006 in der kleinen kalifornischen Küstenstadt Carmel Halt machten, war ich so fasziniert von diesem Ort, dass ich sofort ein Bild vor mir sah, wie ein deutsches Mädchen erst im Schüleraustausch in die USA kommt und dann Jahre später wieder zurückkehrt. 2013 habe ich dann meinen 1. Roman „Und wieder Carmel“ veröffentlicht.  

2 - Wo/ Wie findest du deine Inspirationen?

Überall. Es muss nicht immer eine weit entfernte Stadt sein, es kann auch einfach nur eine Situation oder ein Mensch sein. Beim Einkaufen oder beim Autofahren möglicherweise, egal wo, wenn mir etwas gefällt, schreibe ich es auf.

3 - Hast du eine Gewohnheit, die du ausübst, wenn du an einem Punkt in der Geschichte nicht weiterkommst, um den Kopf frei zu bekommen?

Ich sehe unglaublich gern fern, Serien, Filme auch Dokus ... das lenkt mich ab und bringt mich gleichzeitig zum Nachdenken. Bei gutem Wetter, und ich spreche hier von 20°C und Sonnenschein, fahre ich gern Motorrad. Am liebsten auf der Rennstrecke, da gibt es keinen Gegenverkehr

4 - Was machst du, wenn du nicht gerade schreibst?

Ich habe einen Vollzeitjob, der mich sehr fordert. Mein Tag wird begleitet von Zahlen, Analysen, Meetings, E-Mails u.v.m. Danach verbringe ich so viel Zeit, wie möglich mit meiner Familie und unseren Hunden. 



Anna macht sich auf den Weg von Hamburg nach Carmel und ist sich nicht sicher, ob es wirklich eine gute Idee ist, diese Reise in ihre Vergangenheit zu unternehmen. Rita-Sue, die ihr bei ihrem ersten Aufenthalt in der kalifornischen Küstenstadt vor zwölf Jahren das Leben auf der High-School so schwer gemacht hatte, hat sie überraschend zu ihrer Hochzeit eingeladen. Dort wird sie nicht nur mit der aufregenden Zeit ihres einjährigen Aufenthalts in Carmel konfrontiert, sie begegnet auch ihrer ersten großen Liebe Alex wieder. Wird sie endlich mit ihrer Vergangenheit abschließen können oder werden sich vielleicht sogar neue Türen in die Zukunft öffnen?



Hellen May ist mein Pseudonym und "Und wieder Carmel" ist mein Erstlingswerk unter diesem Namen. 1970 geboren, entdeckte ich schon früh meine Leidenschaft für das Schreiben, indem ich meine täglichen Erlebnisse niederschrieb. Heutzutage arbeite ich tagsüber in einem Büro, jongliere mit Zahlen und Formeln und abends und am Wochenende schreibe ich.
Meine Inspirationen hole ich mir im Alltag und auf meinen Reisen, wie im August 2006, als ich nach Kalifornien flog und das erste Mal Carmel by the Sea besuchte. Fasziniert von der traumhaften Küstenstadt kam mir die Idee zu "Und wieder Carmel".
Mit meiner Familie lebe ich am Rand von Hamburg, fahre gern Motorrad um den Kopf frei zu bekommen und sehe gern fern. 


Purchase Links:



1.      Kapitel

Ich sitze im Flugzeug nach Monterey, Kalifornien und bin mir immer noch nicht sicher, ob ich das Richtige tue. Warum? Weil ich auf dem Weg zu einer Hochzeit bin. Eigentlich nichts Ungewöhnliches, aber diese Hochzeit findet in Carmel statt, einem ganz wundervollen Städtchen an der kalifornischen Küste. Auch das ist nichts Bedenkliches, denn ich kenne Carmel, da ich dort als Siebzehnjährige ein Jahr im Schüleraustausch verbracht hatte. Ein turbulentes Jahr muss ich dazu sagen. In diesem einen Jahr ist mehr passiert, als in den neunundzwanzig Jahren meines gesamten bisherigen Lebens was zwar prägend war, aber auch nicht der Punkt ist, der mich beunruhigt.
Das, was mich beunruhigt, ist die Tatsache, dass mich Rita-Sue Hudgenson eingeladen hat.
Es ist eine wirklich hübsche Einladung, sehr geschmackvoll, muss ich zugeben.
Im offiziellen Teil steht: Wir laden Dich recht herzlich zu unserer Hochzeit am 8. August um 12.00 Uhr in Carmel ein.
Dazu hatte sie einen persönlichen handgeschriebenen Brief beigelegt. Darin stand: Liebe Anna, ich weiß, es ist schon eine Ewigkeit her und ich hoffe, Du erinnerst Dich an mich. Ein wirklich entscheidender Schritt in meinem Leben steht mir bevor und ich möchte, dass Du an diesem Tag dabei bist. Flugtickets liegen dem Brief bei und es wird jemand am Flughafen stehen, um Dich abzuholen.
Ich bitte Dich aus tiefstem Herzen, komm zu meiner Hochzeit, es ist mir persönlich sehr, sehr wichtig.
Deine Rita-Sue
Merkwürdig dachte ich damals, sie hat vergessen zu erwähnen, wen sie zu ehelichen gedenkt. Das machte mich stutzig. Wenn es irgendjemand ist, den ich nicht kenne, hätte sie es reinschreiben können. Demzufolge nahm ich an, dass es jemand ist, den ich sehr gut kenne. Also rief ich vom Büro aus an, um mich zu vergewissern. Ein komisches Gefühl nach so vielen Jahren wieder in Carmel anzurufen. Ich war plötzlich sehr aufgeregt, als ich es am anderen Ende klingeln hörte.
„Hudgenson?“, vernahm ich eine weibliche Stimme, die im ersten Moment keine Erinnerungen in mir weckte.
„Hallo. Mein Name ist Anna Wallenstein, ich würde gern Rita-Sue Hudgenson sprechen.“
„Oh mein Gott, Anna, … krrri…“ rauschte es und ich verstand nichts mehr. „Ich krrr dran, Rita-Sue. Schön deine krrrr zu hören. Ist die krrr ung angekommen?“, rief sie aufgeregt.
„Ja, ist angekommen, vielen Dank.“
„Ich kann dich ganz schlecht verstehen“, rief ich laut in den Hörer.
„Die Verkrrrung ist sehr krrr“, antwortete Rita-Sue. „Kommst du zur Hochkrrr?“
 „Ich plane noch.“
„Bitte krrr, es würde mich sehr glücklkrrr machen und krr Zukünftigen auch.“
„Wen? Auf der Einladung steht nicht, wen du heiratest.“
„Deshalb rufst krrr an, nicht wahr?“
„Ich wollte es nicht in die Einkrrr schreiben, ich hoffte, du krrrst anrufen.“
„Ok, wer ist es Rita-Sue?“, langsam wurde ich nervös.
„Krrx Walker“, höre ich es durch den Hörer rauschen. „Ich hoffe, krrr kein Problem für dich.“ Ihre Stimme klang aufrichtig. Alex Walker dachte ich, sie will Alex Walker heiraten. Ich schluckte ein paar Mal.
„Anna?“, fragte Rita-Sue.
„Ja, ich bin noch dran.“
„Brauchst du krrrr Bedenkzeit?“
„Ich habe noch eine Frage?“
„Warum soll ich kommen?“
„Weil du ein sehr krrr ger Mensch in meinem krrrrrrrrrrrrr bist und ich diesen Schritt krrrrrrrrr nicht ohne dich machen will. Das hat nichts krrrr Alex krrrr. Du hast krrr Leben gerettet.“
Ich erinnerte mich und sagte: „Ok, ich versuche es.“
„Super krrr freu krrr.“
„Wir sollten auflegen, die Verbindung ist schrecklich.“
„Ja, ja krrr. Bis bald.“
„Bis bald. Liebe Grüße an alle.“
„Werde ich ausrkrrrr.“
Ich legte auf und wählte augenblicklich den Firmenanschluss meiner besten Freundin Claire, die im gleichen Unternehmen nur auf einem anderen Stockwerk arbeitete. Claire und ich haben uns in der ersten Klasse kennengelernt und sind bis heute unzertrennlich. Sie war damals ebenfalls ein Jahr in den USA. Wir waren zusammen dort hingeflogen, nur dass sie ihr Jahr in Monterey verbrachte und ich in Carmel.
„Claire ich bin’s, kannst du in den Besprechungsraum im 2. Stock kommen?“
„Klar. Was ist los?“
„Ich habe gerade mit Rita-Sue gesprochen.“
„Bin sofort da.“
Ich hatte Claire schon an dem Tag von der Einladung erzählt, als sie eingetroffen war und daher wusste sie, worum es ging.
Wenige Sekunden nach meinem Anruf betrat Claire den fensterlosen Besprechungsraum. „Und?“, fragte sie keuchend, weil sie vermutlich den Weg hierher gerannt war.
„Sie heiratet Alex.“
„Echt jetzt? Und sie lädt dich dazu ein. Warum?“
„Weil ich ihr das Leben gerettet habe.“
„Ok, das ist ein Argument. Und wirst du hinfliegen?“
„Ja“, sage ich fest entschlossen. „Ein letztes Mal. Kommst du mit?“
„Du weißt doch, ich fliege in der Zeit mit meiner Mutter nach Schottland. Sie killt mich, wenn ich das jetzt abblase. Aber ich werde via Handy immer bei dir sein, versprochen.“
„Ok. Dann flieg ich allein.“
„Nimm Chris mit, vielleicht schafft er es, da mal einen Schritt weiter zu gehen.“ Claire grinste schelmisch. Christopher Scharp, ein Kollege aus der IT-Abteilung, war ein wirklich hübscher Mann, groß, schlank, sportliche Figur, dunkle Haare und braune Augen. Claire versicherte mir, dass er seit seinem ersten Tag mit mir flirtete. Ich hatte das erst Monate später mitbekommen, als er versuchte die Fehlermeldung auf meinem Rechner zu beheben. Da erzählte er mir auch, dass er frisch von der Uni kam und zarte dreiundzwanzig Jahre alt war.
„Chris?“, fragte ich irritiert.
„Lieber nicht. Der Arme denkt dann, dass du ihn als Begleitung mitnimmst, stattdessen ist er nur ein Alibifreund, damit du neben diese Rita-Sue nicht alleine stehen musst, während sie mit deinem Ex zum Altar schreitet.“
„Claire, das ist nicht sehr hilfreich.“
„Tschuldige, meine Fantasie geht grad wieder mit mir durch. Ok. Anderes Thema, lass uns mal überlegen, was du alles mitnehmen musst?“
„Es sind noch vier Wochen bis dahin.“
„Die sind schneller um, als es dir lieb ist. Also, du brauchst ein traumhaftes Kleid, eins, wo selbst die Braut neidisch wird. Dazu passende Schuhe und besser noch ein Reservekleid oder zwei. Man weiß ja nie.“ Claire grinste wieder schelmisch und ich wusste genau, woran sie dachte.
„Bräutigam ausspannen ist nicht, Claire.“
„Wer weiß, wer weiß.“

Snippet Sunday - My current WIP 13/04/2014


The story so far is, Sadie, born and raised in Australia, found her grandma's diary after her mother's passing. Intrigued by the diary and her mother's German background, she's on her way to Germany to meet her family over there. 

In one smooth move I have my backpack in front of me and dig into the front pocket. We glance over the flight details and find out we’re on the same flight to Frankfurt. When I look up to Tobias, he’s already looking around towards a big flight schedule board.

“Terminal 3, Gate B6,” he says.

I follow his gaze and it takes me at least another minute or two to confirm what he’s just said.

“Don’t trust me?” he asks me with a chuckle.

Heat rises up into my cheeks. “I do, but I am woman,” I reply.

His chuckle turns into one of those really nice laughter and I smile as well.
“C’mon cupcake. Let’s get this drink for you.”


Thank you all for your support and kind comments.
 I do appreciate each single one of them!


Review: Lee Child "Nothing to Lose"

Publisher: Bantam Press

ISBN: 9780593057032

My rating: 4/5 

Two lonely towns in Colorado: Hope and Despair. Between them, twelve miles of empty road. Jack Reacher never turns back. It's not in his nature. All he wants is a cup of coffee. What he gets is big trouble. So in Lee Child’s electrifying new novel, Reacher—a man with no fear, no illusions, and nothing to lose—goes to war against a town that not only wants him gone, it wants him dead.

It wasn’t the welcome Reacher expected. He was just passing through, minding his own business. But within minutes of his arrival a deputy is in the hospital and Reacher is back in Hope, setting up a base of operations against Despair, where a huge, seething walled-off industrial site does something nobody is supposed to see . . . where a small plane takes off every night and returns seven hours later . . . where a garrison of well-trained and well-armed military cops—the kind of soldiers Reacher once commanded—waits and watches . . . where above all two young men have disappeared and two frightened young women wait and hope for their return.

Joining forces with a beautiful cop who runs Hope with a cool hand, Reacher goes up against Despair—against the deputies who try to break him and the rich man who tries to scare him—and starts to crack open the secrets, starts to expose the terrifying connection to a distant war that’s killing Americans by the thousand.

Now, between a town and the man who owns it, between Reacher and his conscience, something has to give. And Reacher never gives an inch.

My thoughts

Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary defines "page turner" as a book so exciting or gripping that one is compelled to read it very rapidly.

And I did!

I have to admit, though, I didn't quite get the whole story, but I got the gist of it.

The part I liked was that IMHO the raw emotions displayed by Reacher. Although I'm not a big fan of authors bringing in their personal opinion into their stories, Lee Child did really well creating a thought-provoking balance of displaying the cost of war. Reacher seems to have "matured" and although still stubborn in many ways, I like this new development.

Bottom line - it was a page turner!

May I introduce: Ashley Stambaugh "Collide"


by Ashley Stambaugh



Melina Rowe never thought her quiet, simple life could change to one full of fear and confusion just by accidentally bumping into someone. But after she collides with an elderly man named Walter, she starts to hear people’s thoughts and have unsettling visions.

Walter reveals himself as a guiding angel and explains to Melina that she’s a rare type of human who can absorb angel powers. But her special ability is more of a problem for her than a gift.

The powers are too strong for humans and will eventually kill Melina unless she can successfully use them to help a select individual who’s in need of guidance. Her chances are slim, though, seeing that the handful of other humans this has happened to before didn't survive.

Scared for her life, Melina desperately tries to help a young man named Lee, but his continual resistance and her struggle with the powers make it almost impossible. Her situation only grows worse when a trio of soul-snatching demons is sent by an unknown entity to take her soul and kill her.

As a determined Walter sets out to discover who sent the demons and why, Melina must defend herself from their relentless attacks all while trying to use powers she doesn’t fully understand to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. If she can’t figure out how to break through to Lee, the powers will ultimately destroy her. But if the powers don’t kill her first, the demons will.



Ashley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings created some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern region of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.

Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memories with their two rambunctious boys and their comical black Pug. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.

When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing. 


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 Chapter One

Melina Rowe peered out of her bedroom window and wrinkled her nose. It was late October, so she knew it was cold outside, but it also appeared to be windy. These weather conditions weren’t her favorite, but she was determined to continue with her morning runs until snow prevented her from doing otherwise. She pulled her long brown hair up into a ponytail, slid a fleece headband on over her ears, and zipped up her coat before heading out her apartment door and down the stairwell to her bookstore below. The store didn’t open for another hour, so she had plenty of time. She took a quick look around and then turned to exit through the back.

Starting off in a slight jog, she followed her normal path toward the park, taking in the city in its early morning state as she went. Traffic was light, and there was only a handful of people out and about. The sky was a dull gray, and brown, dried up leaves swirled and danced around her, giving the city an even gloomier feeling. She hoped the blustery wind didn’t mean rain was on its way.

After only a few short blocks, the wrought iron gates that surrounded the park appeared alongside her. She picked up her pace and rounded a corner to her right, making her way toward the entrance, when she came upon an elderly man walking from the opposite direction. They met each other so suddenly that neither of them had a chance to move out of the way. Melina collided with the man, and it was in that moment that it happened.

As soon as their bodies made contact, she felt a powerful surge of energy pass through her and then a bright white light exploded between them, knocking them both away from each other. Melina, who had been knocked to the ground, pushed herself up to her feet, wondering what had just happened. The sensation that went through her body was like nothing she had ever felt before. It was very sharp and intense, like an electric shock, but at the same time it was soothing and warm. The feeling still lingered in her body as she finally looked over at the man.

After catching his balance, he looked over at her, and she noticed his expression of confusion and shock. His mouth opened as if to say something, but nothing came out. He stared at her for a moment and then finally he spoke to her.

“You,” he muttered.

“Excuse me?” she asked, returning his confused look.

“You’re one of them.”