Review: Susan Mallery "Irresistible" (Buchanans #2)





Publisher: HQN Books

ISBN: 9780373771172
 
My Rating: 3.5/5
 

It wasn't just her homemade brownies that made Walker find Elissa irresistible . . .
When ex-marine Walker Buchanan stops to help Elissa Towers change a tire, he tells himself it's just the neighborly thing to do. And when Elissa finds herself baking him a thank-you pie, she's just returning the favor . . . right?
Both of them have sworn off dating -- Elissa's determined to protect her little girl, and that means ditching her taste for dangerous men . . . especially former marines with dark secrets. Walker knows that he's not cut out for hearth and home . . . his own crazy family made sure of that. But the sparks won't stop flying between them.
Now the two are struggling to keep their relationship "just friends," but with every kiss, their rules fly out the window . . .

(www.susanmallery.com)

 
 
My thoughts:
 
In all fairness, the book wasn't quite as good as the first book in the series, Delicious, but these words say it all:

"You didn't have to come to the hospital."
"Sure we did. You're Walker's girl."

Elissa struggles through daily life, but the love for her daughter keeps her going. One day when she needs to change tyres, she meets her neighbour Walker Buchanan.

I really liked Elissa - I liked her strength, her love for her daughter, her fault to act first and then think and I really liked when she talked non-stop when she was nervous, unfortunately, Susan Mallery didn't follow this trait throughout the book.

As for Walker - don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind a "Walker" in my life, but for the story I thought he was a bit boring and flat. The flaws he had didn't fit with his otherwise calm character I thought.

It nice follow up read in the Buchanan Series, but not the standard #1 was.

Now I wonder what Reid is up to :-)

May I introduce: Elizabeth Ellen Carter "Moonstone Obsession"



Moonstone Obsession
by
Elizabeth Ellen Carter


I've got another wonderful Australian Author as a guest today here on my blog. Elizabeth Ellen Carter's release is Moonstone Obsession, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Romance Writers Of Australia’s Emerald Awards for unpublished manuscripts.

Today, she's giving us insight into the genre "Regency".



For many people who think of the Regency period, the images that come to mind is those of Pride and Prejudice and the Industrial Revolution.

For me the interest in the Regency period goes back 100 years earlier.

The Enlightenment movement is a socio-political philosophy born at the beginning the 1700s with scientists such as Isaac Newton and social philosophers such as Kant, Rousseau and Voltaire.

Discussions in the halls of academia and fashionable salons focused on the nature of man and his relationship with the state. From there the notion of full enfranchisement for all and the beginnings of discussion of feminine equality was born - Mary Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft were highly influential.

By the end of the 18th century the theories left the realm of the hypothetical and had the opportunity to be put into practice in the formation of two new nation-states – the United States of America and la Republique de France.

The influence of both nations in culture, art, science and politics has been so profound that it is difficult to imagine today's world without them.

However, as with all high-minded socio-political movements, the theory works better than practice – mostly owing the fundamental misunderstanding of human nature.

And no more apparent was this dichotomy then in the treatises written by Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine – both were supporters of the American Revolution but they fell out over support for the French Revolution.

History and the bloody aftermath of the French Revolution's Reign of Terror would prove Burke right.

So for a writer with an interest in religion, history and politics, the Regency period is like nectar to a bee! Moonstone Obsession takes a look at the type of discussions they might have had during that time and foreshadows what happened next in European history.

Certain thinkers of the Enlightenment school were also adept at myth-making with respect to medieval history, doing much to promote it as the 'dark ages' from which people require deliverance by way of 'science and reason'. Serious scholars today have long agreed that rather than being an intellectual waste ground, the medieval period was rich in the development of science, art and philosophy.

One of the most pervasive myths of that time - so much so that many people believe it today – is that medieval people thought (and that the church taught) that the world was flat.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

And that led me on to my WIP which I'm editing at the moment - Warrior's Surrender which is set the end of the 11th century in the north English region of Northumbria in the years following the Norman Conquest.

I hope with both Moonstone Obsession and with Warrior's Surrender that readers will not only love the romance but also fall in love with the history as well.

 

Blurb:
Selina Rosewall had given up on love, but while helping her brother further his merchant fleet business, she meets Sir James Mitchell, Lord of Penventen. Their attraction is mutual, but what James wants from the relationship goes further—much further—than Selina could have expected. And she learns that in the world of the Ton, scandal and deceit are commonplace.
For Sir James Mitchell, Lord of Penventen, it’s hard to say which is more dangerous: being a spy or being considered husband material by the Ladies of the Ton. With political machinations threatening to draw England into the violent wake of the French Revolution, the last thing James expected was to fall in love with Selina Rosewall, daughter of an untitled seafaring family. But when James’ investigation stirs up a hornet’s nest, can he protect Selena from danger that threatens her very life?








Buy Moonstone Obsession here ~~Amazon ~~ Barnes and Noble ~~ All Romance Ebooks ~~ Kobo ~~

Review: Susan Mallery "Delicious" (Buchanans, #1)



Publisher: HQN Books

ISBN: 978-0373775200
 
My Rating: 4/5
 


Appetizer
Cal Buchanan needs a top-flight chef to take over his failing Seattle restaurant, The Waterfront. He can afford to hire the best in town--the only problem is that the best happens to be his ex-wife, Penny Jackson.


Entree
Penny really needs this opportunity, but she doesn't need the distraction of working with her ex. She's sworn off romance--she's even having a baby on her own. But before she knows it, the heat is on...and the attraction between her and Cal moves from a low simmer to a full boil!


Dessert
The rest should be easy as pie, but a secret from Dessert Cal's past could spoil everything. Maybe it's true that too many cooks spoil the broth--or maybe two is enough to make it irresistible.
(www.susanmallery.com)

 
 
My thoughts:
 
I'm a sucker when it comes to family ... and this one had a strong family bond and for that I loved it.
 
Cal Buchanan is supposed to get the family restaurant back into order. One of his first business deals is hiring his ex-wife Penny.  What she neglects to mention, though, is she's pregnant with an IVF baby. But he's supposed to be running "The Waterfront" for only four months anyway.
 
Over the course of the next few months we follow both their lives as the close working relationship turns in to a friendship and even more. Mallery puts both characters back into a relationship, but this time they seemed to have matured, learnt about trust and "relations". It's wonderful to read how their bond blossoms into more, despite their "secrets". Okay, I have to admit, some of Penny's "reactions" were annoying, but, hey, we're talking about a hormonal pregnant woman. Anything can happen.
 
We also get to know the rest of the Buchanan family; the sexy Reid, ex-army Walker and their little sister Dani. Despite having lost their parents and having to deal with about the worst grandmother ever, I felt a bit envious of their bond.
 
This is the first in the Buchanan series, and I've to say I look forward to reading about the rest family!
 

#RWAus has me in the Spotlight

Author Spotlight and Giveaway: Iris Blobel…



Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Iris, and congratulations on the release of ‘New Beginnings”. Can you tell us a little about your newest release?

I wrote “New Beginnings” while visiting Hobart, the beautiful capital of Tasmania. I love Tasmania and as I did the tourist bus tour in the red double-decker I wondered how it would be to move to this southern city. The book begins with two sisters sitting in an office across the road from the old post office building and that is where I came up with the idea … as I was waiting for the bus.


Continue here: RWAus Blog





 

May I introduce: Jo Grafford "Breaking Ties"

I have the pleasure to introduce you all to Jo Grafford, who is celebrating the recent release of her book "Breaking Ties".
Jo also recently moved to Germany - enough reason for me to ask her over for a little chat.


 
Q: You've only just moved from the US to Germany. Great opportunity and big change. Tell us how you came to move across the Atlantic?
Schloss Neuschwanstein
 
Hi, Iris! Thank you so much for hosting me today. We moved to Germany, compliments of the U.S. Army last summer. My husband commands a clinic here in Bavaria. It has been a completely awesome education experience for us and our kiddos. We’ve been taking classes to learn conversational German, trying out many new foods like wiener schnitzel (breaded pork chops) and spätzle (a popular side dish of pasta served in place of potatoes), and – of course - touring castles. Last week, we took a road trip to the Alps in Garmisch and from there took a bus tour to Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration behind Disney’s Cinderella castle.
(I love Spaetzle! - IB)

Q: What has been the biggest challenge so far?

Communicating with friends, fellow writers, and my publisher Astraea Press back in the States due to the time difference. We are living in the Central European Time zone, which is 6 hours later than Central Time. That means attending my own book release extravaganza online lasted till 3:30 a.m. Also, the “rush hour” for social media in the U.S. – one of the best places to network with fellow readers and writers – starts about 11:00 p.m. here. Naturally when I’m guesting on another writer’s blog, I feel obligated to stay up way past my bedtime to respond to visitor comments. Needless to say, I’ve become quite a night owl since our arrival in Germany.


Q: I miss the German cuisine. Tell us what you like/dislike so far and what it is you miss from "home".

I LOVE the famous German sausage sandwiches, all of their fabulous pork recipes, the Bavarian sweet and sour kraut, the breads and pastry bakeries that dot every corner of town, the miles of aisles of regionally produced wine selections, the best chocolate in the world, and their fresh organic open markets that run all summer long! Every week, I walk through these markets with a basket on my arm and come home with the most delicious raspberries, snow peas, carrots, and handpicked apples.

On the other hand, I greatly MISS ice cubes, free refills, weed and pest control products, and central air. Everything over here is strictly organic, so you have to come up with very creative and natural ways to rid your yard of weeds and moles and to rid your house of fruit flies and enormous spiders. Plus you have to constantly adjust blinds, curtains, and ventilation in your house throughout the day to control the temperature without the aid of an air conditioner.

Q: Last but not least, tell us a bit about your latest release and how you came up with the idea.

The story of the Lost Colonists on Roanoke has fascinated me since I was a child. I never liked the one paragraph entry in our school history textbooks that credited them with “most likely being slaughtered en mass by hostile natives.” I always imagined them as real people who lived and laughed and loved and had a whole “rest of the story” yet to be told. 

As an adult, I finally went on a quest to learn as much about these brave pioneers as I could. I read over a dozen books, pored through original ship manifests and sailing journals, and even took a trip to the Outer Banks a year ago. I got to stand on the same beach they stood on as they watched their ships sail back to England – not to return for three year with their much-needed supplies – much too late to be of any help. 

Then a very exciting event happened last October while I was still writing Breaking Ties. The British Museum released the news of a clue discovered beneath a patch on an original Lost Colony map. After many false leads and rumors throughout the last 426 years, this sketch of a fort located fifty miles inland from Roanoke Island might very well prove to be the first conclusive proof of survivors!  

As a tribute to their courage and heroism, I am dedicating a fundraiser called A Thanksgiving Wish to these First Colonists. Each copy sold in November of my debut novel, Breaking Ties, first book in the Lost Colony Series, will help fund the upcoming archaeological dig of this newly discovered fort site beneath Scotch Hall Preserve in NC.
 

I am also holding a drawing for three gift cards to Amazon and Barnes and Noble – valued at $50, $25, and $15 - to appreciate my readers.
 
Visit www.jografford.com to enter the Rafflecopter.
 Winners will be announced Thanksgiving Day.

 

Blurb:

A cursed island, a chilling conspiracy, and an unforgettable love story. The 115 colonists on Roanoke Island couldn’t GPS, skype or twitter their ultimate destination back to their families and friends in 16th Century England. But modern laser technology has finally uncovered a clue - hidden beneath a patch on an ancient map at the British museum - that leads us to their whereabouts. Considered “lost” for centuries, these brave pioneers finally reveal the rest of their story in Book One of the Lost Colony Series.

 

Rose Payne’s world is left in tatters after a disastrous betrothal, making her an easy target for recruiters to the Colonies. Using every cent she has, Rose sails for the New World and a fresh start, vowing to never again fall for a wealthy man.

Returning from a diplomatic tour in London, Chief Manteo is bewitched by the fiery-haired ship’s clerk and determined to overcome her distrust. He contrives a daring plan to win her heart – one that forces her, honor bound, to serve as a slave to his tribe – a plan he prays will protect her from a chilling conspiracy involving murder, blood money, and a betrayal of their fledgling colony so terrifying it can only be revealed in Breaking Ties. 


Author Bio:
Jo Grafford is from St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author at Astraea Press, Jo writes historical fiction to spotlight unsung heroes and unsolved mysteries. She published her first poem in junior high, edited her high school newspaper while typesetting for a local news journal, and has been writing ever since.  She holds an M.B.A. and has served as a banker, a junior college finance instructor, and a high school business teacher. She is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America and From the Heart Romance Writers RWA Chapter.  The mother of three children and the wife of a soldier, she serves as a literacy volunteer for elementary school students.

 
Buy Links & Contact Info:





Twitter: @jografford


 

Excerpts:

 PREFACE

     Sometimes murder isn’t as messy, up-close, and personal as many people imagine it to be. Sometimes it is distant and impersonal – as simple as crossing a line through a name on a sheet of paper. Or one hundred and fifteen names in our case.

 

CHAPTER ONE

Portsmouth, England, April 26, 1587

     “Yer bum’s hanging out the window!” My brother banged his empty mug on the inn table. He ran both hands through his hair, as red as my own, standing each flaming lock on end.

     My lips turned up despite the heaviness in my chest. It felt good to hear him lapse into the Gaelic brogue of our childhood. “Och, Donnen!” I reached across the table to clasp his large hands and grimaced at the stench of salmon and sweat hanging in the air. “I dinna bring ye here to quarrel. ‘Tis my first job offer in weeks.”

     I dared not share my other reason for leaving.

     “Nay, ye can stay with me till ye find a different job. Crossing the Atlantic unwed is bad enough, but these—” He shook my upraised palms, “are ink stains. Blast it all! Ye’re a clerk, not a sailor.”

     “Indeed?” Saints alive, he acted as if I was still twelve instead of nineteen. “Well, good news. I shall be accompanied by other women – whole families of people, for that matter – and ‘tis a clerk they need.”

     “Only because—“ Donnen glanced around the room and lowered his voice. “The last one left in a frightful hurry along with half the crew all in the same night.” His glare was fierce. “Rumor has it the entire fleet is bound straight for Jonah’s watery vault. I don’t suppose that came up during the bloomin’ interview?”

 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

     "You want my help." 'Twas an accusation.

     "Aye."

     His eyes darkened. "I save your life. I give gifts. I offer marriage." He closed the remaining distance between us, his eyes burning into mine.

     I stumbled back.

     "You give nothing in return," he snarled. "You only ask for more."

     "I would had I something to offer," I whispered. "But I have nothing. I am nothing."

     "Then what use are you to me?" He wheeled away.

     I sagged against the door, eyes stinging. I blinked rapidly and pressed a hand to my stomach. Nausea rolled at the thought of informing the others of my failure.

     Manteo circled the cabin like a hawk stalking its prey. 'Twas a fine room with ornately carved shelves lining one wall. Bunks were built into the next wall. A generous desk jutted from the third, overflowing with maps and navigational devices. I recognized the compass and hourglass but could not identify the other instruments. I jerked in surprise when Manteo swooped down upon me.

     "I know our location." His arms shot out and slapped the wall on either side of me, hemming me to the door. "I could swim ashore from here."

     "Then why do ye stay if ye can leave and save yourself?"

     "Governor White gave his word to deliver me home."

     "We are going to starve, Manteo. 'Tis only a matter of days now."

     "Nay. You alone starve. The others eat."

     "I have no appetite."

     "You act as one already dead."

     I straightened my back. "I accept what I cannot change."

     "And I change what I cannot accept." He shifted his weight to the wall, one arm propped over my head. He drew his fingertips down the side of my face in a feather-light caress.

     I closed my eyes against the rush of unbearable sweetness. He made me long for things forbidden. "'Tis within your power to help us. I am begging you."

     "Very well."

     My eyes flew open. "Ye will do this for us."

     "For you." His voice was silken, his features as hard as granite.

     I smiled tremulously. "I thank thee, Manteo. Chief Manteo, that is." The new title felt strange on my lips. I beheld him with a mixture of awe and pride.

     "I have yet to name my price."

     I stared, confused.

     He grunted in disgust. "You refuse me as both husband and lover, so you are left with the hiring of my services."

     I worried my lower lip between my teeth. At least he was willing to negotiate. His eyes flashed with lust as he followed my movements.

     "I will entreat the Dares for payment."

     "Nay. You are the one in my debt."

     I raised and dropped my hands helplessly.

     "You serve this company, no? You can serve my people, too."

     "Ye would hire me as clerk?" Hope leaped in my chest at the possibilities. I would not have to part from him so soon.

     "My people have no clerks." His eyes narrowed. "We have slaves."

     My breath hitched. "Ye wish to punish me, humiliate me?"

     "Nay, I only wish to marry you."

     I briefly closed my eyes against the pain. He already knew the reason for my refusal.

     "Rose."

     "Say no more. I will do it. 'Twill be punishment enough to see you so often and—“ I clamped my lips.

     Exultation flickered briefly across his face. "You would give up your freedom to save your friends?"

     "Without question."

     "Swear it," he said grimly.

     "I swear it."

     His eyes flared with emotion. He bent slowly 'til his breath stirred my lips. My eyelids fluttered closed. Heaven help me, for I had no will left to resist him.

     "Now you will eat," Manteo commanded hoarsely. He stepped back, surveying me from head to feet.

     "Eat?"

     "I have no slaves so thin and weak. Go. Collect your rations." He turned from me and bent to pore over a map on the table.

     I reached for the door handle, disbelieving at the curt dismissal.
 
     "And send for Anthony. I have need of him."
     I glared at his back. Faith, should I press my face to the floor as well? "Aye, master." I bit the words out and fled.

Snippet Sunday 17/11/2013 - More Beginnings

 
Welcome to Snippet Sunday !
 
Thanks for all your kind comments last week. I do appreciate it. 
My Snippet Sunday today is  from my soon to be released book
"More Beginnings"


Chapter One

Mia let out a mighty sigh. She had joined Zach at the front porch and sat next to him on the swing. Enjoying a cool drink, he asked her to grab a soft drink from the fridge as well. It was a warm summer day, and the air showed no sign of cooling down. A lot of people in Hobart were tired and weary of the unusual hot spell for the very southern Australian city.

With another hefty sigh, Mia raked through her long, blond hair and focused into the distance.

"Honestly, Zach, she’s a dragon. I’m sure she does that on purpose. She doesn’t like me. She thinks I’m spoilt."
 
 


Thank you all for stopping by!


If you liked the above, you can purchase one of my book here:

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New Releases by Astraea Press



These are the latest releases by Astraea Press -
Two of tem have already made it to Amazon Best Seller List.

~*~*~*~
 
Contemporary Inspirational Romance
 
Marry Me by Kristin Wallace
 
Julia Richardson is no fan of weddings. A lifetime of watching her parents treat relationships like the flavor of the month has taught her that love is for fools and faith is for naïve. She’s always put her faith in her career. Then her life is thrown into a tailspin. First, she loses her job. Then she gets a panicked call and learns her former stepsister is having a crisis with her pregnancy. The crisis has Julia returning to the small Southern town – and the family – she’s been avoiding for years. Before she knows it, Julia’s been pressed into service running her stepsister’s wedding planning business.

Julia doesn’t know a garter from a garden hose, but now she must navigate couples along the bumpy path down the aisle - despite wardrobe malfunctions, killer bees, and plenty of near disasters. In the midst of it all, Julia makes the most unexpected discovery of all…Love, with Seth Graham, the widowed local minister! Julia’s been running from love and everything spiritual for most of her life. It’s not until she finds the courage to stop running and learns to believe in the power of love, faith and family that she finds her own “I Do” moment.

BUY LINKS
 
~*~*~*~
 
Historical Romance
 
Amanda's Beau by Shirley Raye Redmond
 
The year is 1905. It is autumn in the village of Aztec in New Mexico territory. Amanda Dale is burdened with the responsibility of caring for her widowed sister—an invalid----and Ella’s two children—one a premature infant. But Amanda wants a husband and children of her own and despairs that God does not care about her plight. Schoolteacher Gil Gladney is handsome, intelligent, and God-fearing. He is drawn to Amanda, but feels he cannot propose marriage until he is able to purchase the ranch he has been saving for.
 
When Gil and his pupils discover the relics of an ancient culture among the ruins outside the village, Gil contacts an old college friend. The possibility of an archeological excavation excites the community of cash-strapped farmers, eager to earn extra money working on the site.
 
Gil is delighted when Nate Phillips comes to Aztec to take up the challenge. When a rabid skunk reels through the excavation site, threatening the lives of Amanda and her nephew Rex, Gil realizes that life is short and the possibility of true happiness can be fleeting. In the end, Amanda learns to trust God to provide the happily-ever-after ending she’s been praying for.
 
BUY LINKS
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Paranormal, YA
 
Spell Fire by Ariella Moon
 
New school. New friends. New reputation. High school sophomore Ainslie Avalon-Bennett works hard to hide her Crazy Girl past. But as long as her best friend’s disappearance remains unsolved, she can’t shake the depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder that once landed her in a mental ward.
Ainslie’s tenuous control over her life shatters when her warring parents ditch her at Christmas. While they take a cruise to “work things out,” Ainslie must spend the holiday with her aunt and uncle, owners of a struggling Mystery School and occult store. Plunged into the world of fire fortunes, dragons, entity eaters, and an ailing spell book, Ainslie is well beyond her comfort zone.
 
Then she meets Thor, a seventeen year-old dragon shaman. He spikes her pulse and calms her OCD. But will she lose him once he discovers her past? Or will Thor’s deadly secret, hidden in plain view, be their undoing?







BUY LINKS


May I introduce: Sarah Belle "Hindsight"

I have the pleasure to introduce you all to another wonderful and talented Australian author:
 
Sarah Belle

 
Today Sarah's not only telling us about her latest release "Hindsight" published by Harlequin Escape, but despite being busy with four young boys, she also took found some time answer a few of my questions ... one of them how to find time with four young kids !

Blurb:
Humour, wit, and just a touch of humility: the swinging 60s as you’ve never seen them before! 

The universe has sent Juliette a sign. She wishes it had been an email instead...  

Juliette’s career is on fire, her marriage and family are in melt-down, and a red-hot goddess wants her husband. But those are the least of her worries when she wakes up on her lounge room floor in
the year 1961.

Without any of her modern conveniences — nanny, housekeeper, surgically attached mobile phone, designer wardrobe, and intravenous lattes — Juliette is just over fifty years out of her comfort zone. But as she takes on the role of a 1961 housewife, with gritted liberated teeth, she discovers an unexpected truth: slower doesn’t mean boring, at home doesn’t mean dull, and priorities don’t mean sacrifices.

As she finds unexpected friendships, a resuscitated love life, tragedy and triumph, Juliette begins to wonder if she really wants to return home after all.



1 – What gave you the idea for the story?

It came to me one morning when I found a wedding ring on the bedside table. It wasn’t mine or my hubby's, and I thought ‘imagine if I put this on my finger and take on the life of that person’. Then it grew from there – what if I walked into my family room and everything was different – like 1961 different, but my family were the same and were unaware of the change. How would I cope as a housewife in 1961 when I am so used to all the conveniences, and modern values now? Somewhere between plotting and going with the flow the story came to life over a 2 year period.

2 - What made the 60s so special to you to choose that decade?

My older brothers were born in 1960 and 61 so between my Mum and Aunty, I had first hand accounts of what life was like for women during that period. Much of the 1961 element of Hindsight is modelled on my Mum and Dad- the vegetable garden, the home brewing of beer and mead, the dance at the Savoy Plaza, the simplicity of life and closeness of family. My mum would always tell me stories about her childhood and the 60’s and it absolutely fascinated me – it always seemed so glamorous. I loved her stories of how much of a community the neighbourhood was and that everyone would help each other out. They all celebrated and commiserated together, which is a far cry from what happens today. I don’t even know the majority of my neighbours! The 60’s was also an amazing time in history because the older generations had lived through both wars and the depression – which is my favourite time in modern history. The strength of those people was inspirational – we think we have it tough now, but imagine sending your brothers and father off to the First World War, surviving the Depression and then sending your sons off to the Second World War. It’s just unthinkable, and yet those women lived it. The character of Gran Leticia is actually based on my own Great Grandmother.

3 – You have four beautiful sons. Please tell us the secret of the perfect balance between motherhood and being writer?

Lol! I wish I could strike the perfect balance – I’m not sure there is such a thing because each day brings different challenges for both me and my boys. They are aged 4, 6, 8, and 10 so they aren’t independent yet, which adds to the workload. I just divide my time between things I can do when my kids are around, and things I can’t do when my kids are around. For example, I don’t spend my kid-free time doing laundry or housework – that’s for writing activities only. I’ve learnt to work with them fighting and arguing and wanting something every three minutes, and all that chaos probably forms part of my voice and writing style. But it’s important to stop writing (at the computer because like most writers, I am always writing or plotting in my head!), and spend time with them. They will only want to spend time with me for a few more years, before they turn into teenagers! I turn off from about 4.30 each afternoon and devote my time to being a mum – when I make the nutritious dinner that no one wants to eat, pick up discarded clothes off the floor and tell them seven times to brush their teeth!


Sarah Belle author links:




Excerpt from Hindsight.
In this scene Juliette has been in 1961 for two weeks. For the first week her kindly neighbours provided meals as she recovered from her head injury, which caused memory loss. In reality, Juliette has no memory of her 1961 life because she has time travelled backwards from modern day, where she is a career woman/mum, who has no idea of how to cook.

Sadly, for my family, the neighbours’ hospitality ran out last Saturday. We had enough leftovers to cover us for Sunday dinner, the Last Supper as it was termed in my mind. Each night dinner has been put on the table, with varying degrees of success. There was the meatloaf, which has been renamed ‘meat brick’ due to its crunchy texture and brick-like exterior, the tuna casserole that looked and tasted like ‘fish Playdoh’, the lamb chops that could double as hammers, the egg and bacon pie that had cracks akin to the San Andreas fault line, curried sausages that exploded in their skins and ended up looking like circumcised penises bobbing around in luminous yellow goo and of course, tonight’s disaster, spaghetti bolognaise.

 “Smells…. nice, Jules, new recipe?” Chris asks as he dry retches his way through the kitchen to the bathroom with Ethan and Cal.

 “Ummm, yes.”

“Mmmm, can’t wait!” But the look on his face tells a different story.

From behind the bathroom door I can hear Ethan ask, “Dad, has something died in the kitchen?”

“No mate, why?”

 “Then what’s that awful smell?”

“Shhhh, Eth,” Chris answers him quietly. “I think it’s meant to be dinner.”

“Does that mean we have to eat it?”

There is a pause before Chris says, “Yes mate. Your Mum’s working hard to make dinner and we have to remember that she has lost her memory. We need to be really understanding and patient with her, OK?”

 “Maybe she forgot how to cook? She keeps burning my toast.”

Chris sniggers. “Mine too.”

“Hey Dad, maybe she’ll forget to serve it to us?”

Review: Janet Evanovich / Lee Goldberg "The Heist"




Publisher: Bantam

ISBN: 9780345543066

My rating: 4/5

FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare is known for her fierce dedication and discipline on the job, chasing down the world’s most wanted criminals and putting them behind bars. Her boss thinks she is tenacious and ambitious; her friends think she is tough, stubborn, and maybe even a bit obsessed. And while Kate has made quite a name for herself for the past five years, the only name she’s cared about is Nicolas Fox—an international crook she wants in more ways than one.
Audacious, handsome, and dangerously charming, Nicolas Fox is a natural con man, notorious for running elaborate scams on very high-profile people. At first he did it for the money. Now he does it for the thrill. He knows that the FBI has been hot on his trail—particularly Kate O’Hare, who has been watching his every move. For Nick, there’s no greater rush than being pursued by a beautiful woman . . . even one who aims to lock him up. But just when it seems that Nicolas Fox has been captured for good, he pulls off his greatest con of all: he convinces the FBI to offer him a job, working side by side with Special Agent Kate O’Hare.

Problem is, teaming up to stop a corrupt investment banker who’s hiding on a private island in Indonesia is going to test O’Hare’s patience and Fox’s skill. Not to mention the skills of their ragtag team made up of flamboyant actors, wanted wheelmen, and Kate’s dad. High-speed chases, pirates, and Toblerone bars are all in a day’s work . . . if O’Hare and Fox don’t kill each other first.



My thoughts
 
I picked up the book because of Janet Evanovich's name.
 
BUT it isn't Stephanie Plum.
 
BUT it isn't bad.
 
Okay, the blurb says it all. There's Kate O'Hare, FBI agent with the need to proof herself all the time, and Nick Fox, charming, funny and clever conman. Kate's been on his heels for years and when she finally catches him, he makes a deal with the FBI top level.
 
Initially boring, I got interested once the story moved to the Greek island of Athos and then to Berlin. And from then on it was a constant move to different locations while the next con was cleverly executed.
 
The characters are interesting and the banter between Kate and Nick quite funny. The story is very cleverly written, scenes beautifully described in detail, and every character introduced to detail so the reader has a clear picture and wouldn't get confused with the amount of characters involved in the book.
 
Loved Jake, Kate's father! 
 

May I introduce: Kimberly Rae "Blue Ridge Setup"

 
 
It's an absolute delight to introduce you all to Kimberly Rae today.  We share a similar illness and over the last few weeks we've shared some experiences and stories - it's good to talk to someone "who knows".
 
Kimberly's recently released her latest book Blue Ridge Setup - I added it straight to my kindle, because not only did she include Addison's Disease into the story line, but the story's set in North Carolina, a place I'd love to visit one day.
 
 
Blurb:
 
Not him. Anybody but him.

When Kayla’s great-aunt Lavender, an eccentric romance novelist, invites Kayla to come live with her in the Blue Ridge Mountains for the summer, Kayla accepts. No one will know her there. No one will be disappointed in her failure.

A failure she had kept a secret until Ryan Cummings destroyed her dreams.

What Kayla does not know is that her aunt attends Ryan Cumming’s church and has decided Ryan and Kayla would make wonderful characters for her latest novel. Aunt Lavender hires Ryan to build additions to her property, making sure he will be around as long as Kayla is.

Neither Kayla nor Ryan have any desire to be set up. However, as Kayla battles feelings of worthlessness—started when health problems got her sent home from the mission field—a friendship grows and blossoms, one that may become a reflection of the perfect love, the love that casts out fear, that Kayla has always longed to know.

 What is Blue Ridge Setup about?
At its heart, Blue Ridge Setup is a fun read about a young woman getting set up who doesn’t want to get set up. Kayla Madison moves in with her eccentric romance-novelist great aunt, who is determined she and Ryan Cummings would make great characters for her next novel, if only she can get them together! Poor Ryan has no idea what he’s getting into when he agrees to do a landscaping project for the great aunt, who intends to keep coming up with jobs for him to do until her plan works! And of course I love that it’s set in the Blue Ridge mountains, in my own town in fact!
 
Is the eccentric great aunt based on someone you know?
No, but I wish she was. She’s a riot—kind of what I’d imagine Anne of Green Gables would be like as a senior citizen. =)
 
Your main character starts having health problems and that plays a big part in your story. Why did you do that?
Most novels don’t have heroines with chronic health conditions. If there is a medical crisis in a book, it gets resolved so the main character can get back to her life as a healthy, productive individual.
As nice as that is, for many it is just not a reality. I was shocked to find out that nearly 1 out of every 2 people in our country has some type of chronic illness, and 96% of those are “invisible illnesses,” meaning the phrase I and others often hear, “But you don’t look sick!” As a person with chronic illness myself, I wanted to read a book with a character who didn’t get magically better, but who learned to live well despite and through her limitations. I wanted a book that said you don’t have to be healthy to have a happy ending.

Kayla’s disease is very rare. Did you have to do a lot of research?
None at all, well, not for her anyway. I have Addison’s disease myself. I thought about giving her something different but they say you should write what you know, so…

Did you embellish a little with the health crisis to make it more dramatic?
The opposite, actually. That crisis in the book is from memory, not imagination, including the doctor asking, “Do you give permission for this surgery?”
And me responding, “What happens if I don’t?”
“You die,” he says. Cracked me up! Oh, and her joking with Ryan about the doctor saying sometimes a Central IV goes up instead of down actually happened to me, and the doctor told me he’d fix it tomorrow. Tomorrow! That was an interesting night. =) Goodness, that makes my life sounds interesting.

So did the falling-down-the-mountain-needing-a-shot incident happen to you as well?
Thankfully, no. That’s fiction. However, I have needed my husband to give me those shots on several occasions (poor man, he hates needles), once even on an airplane, which made a passing stewardess quite nervous!

Are any other parts of the story personal to you?
Like Kayla, health problems brought me home from the mission field and took away my sense of identity and significance. And it was one of the best things God ever did for me. I hated it, but I had to learn to stop looking for my worth in what I did. Now, I get to share with others that it is God who gives us worth, and it is not based at all on our level of activity or achievement.

What do you hope readers get out of Blue Ridge Setup?
First, I hope they just enjoy the story. After that, I hope it blesses readers with the reminder that God loves them deeply. If they are in a place where it feels like He has taken away their biggest dreams, they should not despair. His dreams for them are better than anything they could dream for themselves.

Where can readers get Blue Ridge Setup?
You can find it on amazon: http://goo.gl/yLD3zQ . Right now it only has a few reviews. I’d love some more!
 
 
About the Author:
 
Amazon bestselling author Kimberly Rae has lived in Bangladesh, Uganda, Kosovo and Indonesia. She has rafted the Nile River, hiked the hills at the base of Mount Everest, and eaten cow brains just to say she’d done it!
Rae has been published over 250 times and has work in 5 languages. Her articles have been published in BRIO/BRIO & Beyond, Proverbs 31 Woman magazine, Mature Years, Diabetes Health, SusieMag, Women of the Harvest, Clubhouse Jr., Keys for Kids, Insight magazine for teens, Standard, and Woman Alive, the only Christian magazine for women in the UK. She writes regularly for Union Gospel Press and Regular Baptist Press. Rae’s first published book, A Trip to Where? (ABWE Publishing) takes children on a 5-day story adventure to Bangladesh. Her series of Christian suspense/romance novels on human trafficking (Stolen Woman, Stolen Child, Stolen Future) are all Amazon bestsellers -


Rae’s Website: www.kimberlyrae.com
E-mail: info @ kimberlyrae.com
Facebook Page: Human Trafficking Stolen Woman
Twitter: @KimberlyRaeBook
Blog for Writers: www.kimberlyraewriting.blogspot.com -