Book Giveaway of "Sweet Dreams, Miss England"


Win!

I am giving away one free copy of my book "Sweet Dreams, Miss England" to one of you lucky blog readers.
It's Easy !
To enter, you must follow this blog publicly through Google Friend Connect to the right (not anonymously please). That's it! No point system, no following twitter or FB - though re-posting would be appreciated
The giveaway runs with the publishing of this post until Saturday 2 July 2011 when I'll get up and  start my laptop - Melbourne / Sydney Australia time. The contest is open to everyone!

What else would I like you to do?

Easy again. Post a comment and let me know about your favourite book and why.



The winner will be drawn the old fashioned way. I write everyone's name onto a piece of paper, place them all in a bucket and let my girl choose the winner.

Good luck and thanks for getting this event on the way - as I said, I'd appreciate a bit of re-posting!



What others had to say about SDME:

Jamie:

I just got done reading this book and I had to sit down and write this review right away! The ending is really sad in a "P.S. I Love You" sort of way. This is one of those books that I probably would NOT have picked up if I hadn't been asked to read and review it.

The story itself is about Nicky who is a young mother of two little girls and wife to an actor who doesn't even live on the same continent as her due to work commitments. Basically, Nicky is raising her two children as a "single parent." One day Nicky decides that she's going to meet two women who have created a fan page for her absentee husband and this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. But this also where a "tiny" wrinkle gets thrown Nicky's way and his name is Daniel. Daniel the PRESENT fun loving Irish man.

In the beginning it did take me a little bit to get into the story, all the extra back-story was a little distracting to me. All of the characters are a VERY unique that are possibly people that you know in real life. The overall story (minus the extra back-story) is a story that is very real and very relate able



Cheryl "Mash":

At the request from the author, a PB copy was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.
Synopsis (from back of book): 

She could still hear Daniel's grandmother saying, "Sometimes we meet people but not to share the rest of our lives with them, but merely for them to guide us onto a different path".
Set in London and Dublin we follow the life of Nicky, a young mother of two who is married to Shane, an actor whose work requires him to be in Los Angeles. When Nicky meets Daniel, a fun-loving, spontaneous man from Ireland, she realizes how much joy and passion are missing from her marriage, and consequently her life. Nicky is torn between her marriage to Shane and her love for this Irish charmer.

My Thoughts and Opinion: After finishing and digesting this book, I sit here very torn. I will try to write this review solely on the book and not the interjection of my beliefs. I will, however, say that I do not condone the main character, Nicky's, actions. I found it very hard to relate with the character Nicky because of the story line but once I took a step back and analyzed just "the book", I could see that she did have some good qualities. The author's writing style quite surprised me as a debut author. She wrote this story with a fluid, flowing and detailed account of the plot. The narrative, characters, emotions and descriptions of the settings were written in such a seasoned style that her words were conveyed with the ability to form vivid imagery. The relationships between characters profound and meaningful on many levels . I thought that this would be another typical love story and would know the ending, but, the author delivered an unexpected twist which left me with thought provoking questions. (I will not include spoilers in this review). Overall, a very well written novel from a very talented writer.

My Rating: 4




Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Nobody's Baby But Mine

Publisher: Avon

ISBN: 978-0380782345

My rating: 4/5


The Plan: Genius physics professor Dr, Jane Darlington desperately wants a baby.

The Target: Cal Bonner, the Chicago Stars' legendary quarterback, seems like the perfect choice. But his champion good looks and down-home ways are deceiving.

The Explosion: A brillant, lonely woman who dreams only of motherhood . . . A take no-prisoners tough guy who'll settle for nothing less than surrender . . . Can passion and physical attraction propel two strong-willed yet vulnerable people to a totally unexpected love?

Chicago Stars Book #3  (www.susanephillips.com)


My thougths

Am I allowed to say it? DANG - she's done it again.

I liked the story! The plot is simple and based on a somewhat far-fetched idea. The main characters are Jane - 34, not married, very cleversome physicist who doesn't want anything more than a baby she can love with all her heart. Neglected during childhood and feeling that she's an oddity because of her brains, she's looking for someone "dumb". That someone is Cal Bonner, Football player with the Chicago Stars! Cal is 36 and avoiding the subject of age like hot fire. Retirement is a no-no word around him. Though it's not his age and the retirement, yet the angst of not knowing what the "life-after-football" will bring. It scares the devil out of him. Yet, he's no "dumb" footy player as Jane soon finds out.

So through some opportunities, Jane gets "her night", falls pregnant, Cal finds out, and honourable as he is - they get married.

That's when the fun starts! We get to know Annie, Cal's grandmother, Ethan, his brother, and his parents, who over the course of the story rekindle their marriage and fall in love again. Well, let's not forget Kevin Tucker, another Football player of the Chicago Stars who's made his way to Salvation, Cal's hometown and the place he and Jane have settled for the next few months.

The characters are well developed. There's Jane in her mid-thirties, clever, witty though not the good looking stunner. And Cal, sexy, smart, stubborn comes to mind and honorable, but also commitment-phobic  - and please nobody mention retirement! Both of them together are a hoot. There arguments and conversations are well worth the lack of sleep I had in the morning after reading through most of the night! What a cracker!

And there's Annie .... nuff said. What a gem.

Go and get that one if you're in need for a good giggle or laugh.

Favourite Quote: "I married a damned cereal killer"


Cover for "Journey to Her Dreams" is ready

Okay, time for the unveiling of my new book cover!

I'm very excited about how turned out. The very talented Elaina Lee put my story perfectly into the picture. Thanks to Astraea Press and the team for trusting in the story. I will keep you posted on the release date which I hope will be sometime soon.



Suzanne Brockmann - Infamous

Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN:  978 - 0 - 345 - 52120 - 0
 
My rating:  3 /5



When history professor Alison Carter became a consultant to the film version of the Wild West legend she’d dedicated her career to researching, she couldn’t possibly know that she would not only get a front row seat to a full-blown Hollywood circus, but that she would innocently witness something that would put her life in danger. Nor did she expect that a tall stranger in a cowboy hat would turn the movie -- and her world -- completely upside down…

A.J. Gallagher didn’t crash the set in dusty Arizona to rub elbows with Hollywood’s elite. Unable to ignore ghosts from the past that refuse to stay buried, A.J. came to put an end to the false legend that has tarnished the reputation of his family. But when he confronts Alison, sparks fly. And when she becomes targeted by ruthless criminals, suddenly she and A.J. must face the intense attraction that threatens to consume them, in order to survive the danger that threatens their very lives.
(www.suzannebrockmann.com)


My thoughts
Do I have to rate this book?  Honestly, this book was boring, but I want everyone to read it, because it was just a "cute" book. So what's cute? I don't know how to explain it, but it was just the idea of "Gramps" coming back as a ghost, though initially to have his great-grandson A.J. to put an end to the false legend and negative reputation "Gramps" aka Jamie Gallagher has in current history books. But it's more than that. It's the caring attitude and the talks between both men, both with their share of history, that makes this book "nice". I loved A.J.'s character and all he had become after what had happened to him in life. I loved the "Diaries" and most of all Melody's promise to Jamie, the same promise Alison later on gave to A.J.

Apart from that - it's some damn 400-odd pages to read for just some "cuteness". The story was somewhat "far fetched" with the ghost, but there was nothing else that I would call a page turner. I had to force myself to pick up the book to read and even then only because I needed some "gramps" time. It's only in the last 30 pages that the real interesting stuff starts, but WAY too late in my opinion and even then too fast needed to re-read passages to understand the who's who of the crime.

Another thing that was a bit overbearing for me personal is all the stuff SB added into the book - there was obviously a murder, but SB was really pushing the alcohol and war issue a bit too much for me, we never found out why the father killed his own son (somewhat annoying) and I would have loved to have Tom's character developed just that touch more - especially so as he was the one "seeing" Jamie as well.

As I said it's a long 400-pages long story, but just to get to know Jamie Gallagher I very carefully say - give it a try when you have nothing else to do!



Sigrid Writing Tips

Check out Sigrid's Website here

Sometimes a sentence can be phrased in such a way that we don't know who performed the action. This is called a passive sentence. For example, "Expenses were covered for Matt’s trip to Japan." After reading that, what's the first thing that comes to your mind? Who covered the expenses? Did the school or his parents pay for his trip, or did he receive a visit from the Secret Millionaire? Let your reader know. Rephrase the sentence by saying, "Matt's trip to Japan was paid for by his scholarship and the money that he earned working at Apple.”


Most of the time we want to write active sentences; however, there are exceptions. You may want to keep the reader in the dark. "Blood was discovered on the stairway." If you're writing a thriller, you don't want the reader to know who discovered that blood until later in your book or short story.


Be aware of sentence structure and strive for active sentences.

Book Giveaway for "Sucker for a Hot Rod"



Head over to Goodreads and enter this Book Giveaway for
"Sucker for a Hot Rod" by Joselyn Vaughn.
(click the cover for more details or here)
Bryce Halloway only dates a woman once. No exceptions. It gives him the reputation of a heart-breaker, but he can handle that as long as it keeps his mother, Dinah, from trying to marry him off. Judi Montgomery and her tempting ponytail finagle their way around official dates with car problems and driving lessons. She worms her way into his heart and entices him to want more from his life. When health issues causes his father to retire, Bryce inherits the family-owned tractor repair shop. Can Judi’s love and encouragement give him the courage to break tradition and pursue his dreams of owning a custom hot rod shop?

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE

PS - for US residents only

The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award



The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award

The rules of the award are simple:

1) You link the person who sent it to you

Thanks, Monique James


2) List seven random facts about yourself


a) I LOVE THE BEACH
b) Have been in Australia now for almost 15 yrs !!!
c) Usually write my stories from back to front
d) I love all things Irish
e)I had to leave school after yr 10 cos of a "5" in English and French (sort of like an F I s'pose)
f)My favourite books are "Effie Briest" and "84 Charing Cross Road"
g) My favourite movie is "Tangled" .... mother knows best, listen to your mother .... LOL


3) Pass the award on to 10 other awesome blog buddies












James Patterson - Swimsuit

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

ISBN: 9780316018777

My rating: 3/5


The scariest and most satisfying James Patterson novel since Kiss the Girls

THE BEACH...
A breathtakingly beautiful supermodel disappears from a swimsuit photo shoot at the most glamorous hotel in Hawaii. Only hours after she goes missing, Kim McDaniels's parents receive a terrifying phone call. Fearing the worst, they board the first flight to Maui and begin the hunt for their daughter.

...WILL NEVER BE...
Ex-cop Ben Hawkins, now a reporter for the L.A. Times, gets the McDaniels assignment. The ineptitude of the local police force defies belief—Ben has to start his own investigation for Kim McDaniels to have a prayer. And for Ben to have the story of his life.

...THE SAME FOR YOU AGAIN.
All the while, the killer sets the stage for his next production. His audience expects the best—and they won't be disappointed. Swimsuit is a heart-pounding story of fear and desire, transporting you to a place where beauty and murder collide and unspeakable horrors are hidden within paradise


My thoughts

Arrrghhhh ...... what kind of ending is this ?????

Okay - if you've got the stomach for it, it's a good read, a great page turner and I would have loved to give it 4/5 if it hadn’t been for the ending. What??  I was looking for missing pages, re-reading what I had read to see whether I misunderstood something, but – nope - it was like time’s up, let’s close the story, no matter what.

It was my first Patterson book and yes, though very violent and in parts gruesome, I liked the fast-paced story line. It was a real struggle sometimes to put the book aside, I just wanted to keep reading.

I will definitely read another Patterson book and I reckon this one is well worth a read.




Astraea Press: Contests and Free Prizes!

Astraea Press: Contests and Free Prizes!: "We're one of the main sponsors for the romance portion of this exciting summer blog contest. Check it out to enter for prizes!"

Sigrid's Writing Tips

Often when I edit manuscripts, I see people use the word lightening to refer to a bolt coming out of the sky. Nope. Try again. The correct term is lightning. Lightning strikes!

Lightening means that you want to make something lighter; women lighten their hair. Maria became increasingly blonde as she got older in order to disguise her gray hair. She lightened her hair with L'Oreal.

Don't call Maria on the last Sunday night of every month, because she will be lightening her roots.


That's an easy one.

Happy writing.

sigridmac
 
Be your own Editor - by Sigrid Macdonald

Janet Evanovich - Plum Spoky

Publisher: St Martin's Press

ISBN: 978-0-312-38334-3

My rating:  3 / 5


A Between-the-Numbers Novel
Turn on all the lights and check under your bed. Things are about to get spooky in Trenton, New Jersey.

According to legend, the Jersey Devil prowls the Pine Barrens and soars above the treetops in the dark of night. As eerie as this might seem, there are things in the Barrens that are even more frightening and dangerous. And there are monkeys. Lots of monkeys.
Wulf Grimoire is a world wanderer and an opportunist who can kill without remorse and disappear like smoke. He's chosen Martin Munch, boy genius, as his new business partner, and he's chosen the Barrens as his new playground.
Munch received his doctorate degree in quantum physics when he was twenty-two. He's now twenty-four, and while his brain is large, his body hasn't made it out of the boys' department at Macy's. Anyone who says good things come in small packages hasn't met Munch. Wulf Grimoire is looking for world domination. Martin Munch would be happy if he could just get a woman naked and tied to a tree.
Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has Munch on her most-wanted list for failure to appear in court. Plum is the all-American girl stuck in an uncomfortable job, succeeding on luck and tenacity. Usually she gets her man. This time she gets a monkey. She also gets a big guy named Diesel.
Diesel pops in and out of Plum's life like birthday cake - delicious to look at and taste, not especially healthy as a steady diet, gone by the end of the week if not sooner. He's an uber bounty hunter with special skills when it comes to tracking men and pleasing women. He's after Grimoire, and now he's also after Munch. And if truth were told, he wouldn't mind setting Stephanie Plum in his crosshairs.
Diesel and Plum hunt down Munch and Grimoire, following them into the Barrens, surviving cranberry bogs, the Jersey Devil, a hair-raising experience, sand in their underwear, and, of course . . . monkeys. (www.evanovich.com)


My thoughts

I'm not really sure what to think. This was actually a more unusual Plum story because the background of the actual crime seemed to me to have some oomph. So short version is: the start was boring, then I got confused with all the side stories and then it actually got interesting - in a Plum-in-between-kinda-way.
Personally, Diesel is getting to much like Ranger so his character is not really growing on me, but he has his good moments. Morelli gets neglected in a side-plot - not sure why that was included. But there's a bit of Ranger - AND THAT I LIKE !

It's the best in-between so far I reckon though I'm still not convinced - next on the list is "Wicked" !

"Sweet Dreams, Miss England" now available as .pdf File

Hello everyone

"Sweet Dreams, Miss England" is now available as a pdf file for only A$1.

Sweet Dreams, Miss England - .pdf
AU$5.00

or on Amazon Kindle for 99c ....




What readers said about SDME:

The author's writing style quite surprised me as a debut author. She wrote this story with a fluid, flowing and detailed account of the plot. The narrative, characters, emotions and descriptions of the settings were written in such a seasoned style that her words were conveyed with the ability to form vivid imagery. The relationships between characters profound and meaningful on many levels . I thought that this would be another typical love story and would know the ending, but, the author delivered an unexpected twist which left me with thought provoking questions. (I will not include spoilers in this review). Overall, a very well written novel from a very talented writer. Cheryl 'Mash'


Great story, lovely characters .... Tami


All of the characters are a VERY unique that are possibly people that you know in real life. The overall story (minus the extra back-story) is a story that is very real and very relateable  ...... Jamie


Really enjoyed reading "Sweet Dreams Miss England." I will remember it as being one of my favourite reads of 2009 and I look forward to reading book no. 2. ..... Heather


Hi Iris, Congratulations on your first book.I have just finished it & totally enjoyed it. I certainly didn't expect the ending. Wow, what a ride! I Look forward to the next one. Great job!  .... Suzanne