Saturday, 24 June 2017

My Monthly Book Review - Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris


As much as I enjoyed Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris, I have to be honest and say that I found some parts particularly harrowing. For anyone who has been unfortunate enough to experience domestic verbal, emotional and/or physical abuse, this book will be far from light reading.

That said, the story is extremely gripping and kept me turning the pages of any book I have read in a long time. The characters are vile at times, completely frustrating at others but, all in all, I was entirely invested in all of them. Which can only be a good thing as far as an author is concerned!

This was a selection for my book club and I am looking forward to hearing my fellow readers' views - without a doubt, Behind Closed Doors makes for some pretty good discussion.

Recommended...with a warning regarding graphic and mentally disturbing scenes.

Rachel x

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Interview and GIVEAWAY with Maggie McConnell...

1.)                

        
          What was your first job? Did you like or dislike it? Why?

My first job was as a clerk/cashier at our neighborhood drugstore. (Although I had worked as a babysitter prior to this, I don’t count that as a “job.”) I worked after school evenings and weekends, and yes, I liked it. I was 15 and it was such a grown-up thing to do, and I got to experiment with make-up and perfumes, plus, I needed the money. Funny story: One evening a thirty-ish man came in asking for prophylactics. I stared blankly. “Condoms?” he asked. Still no clue. Finally, he said “rubbers.” Ohhhh. Thinking about 15-year-old me, I still laugh.

2.)                Do you have a pet peeve? If so what is it?

Probably rudeness, especially if it’s directed at someone who can’t (or isn’t allowed to) speak up, like a supervisor to a subordinate, or restaurant customer to waitstaff.

3.)                Would you describe your style as shabby chic, timeless elegance, eclectic, country or ___­­­_?

Eclectic. My home is a ranch, so the outside is southwestern with stucco, stone, and tile. Inside is a tropical theme with bamboo and wicker chairs, and cushions with Tony Bahama prints, woven window shades, and ceiling fans that look as if I plucked them from the plantation house in Out of Africa. In the same room, there is also a huge stone fireplace taking up one wall. I have British wainscoting in several rooms, along with wallpaper, and my bedroom has a beautiful crystal chandelier. And lots of art. It may sound like a muddle, but it blends.

4.)                Tell me about your book, Spooning Daisy, and where you got your inspiration for it?

Spooning Daisy is about 30-ish chef, Daisy Moon, who must start her life over again after her fiancé of 10 years dumps her. Since her fiancé is also her boss, she loses her job as well. In a moment of desperation, she accepts a job at Wild Man Lodge in Otter

Bite, Alaska. The fun begins when the owner turns out to be someone she’d sent to the emergency room after a date gone wrong.

The inspiration came from two places. The opening scenes of Daisy at her garage sale came from personal experience when I had a garage sale prior to moving from Alaska to Arizona. The fictional village of Otter Bite is inspired by the real village of Seldovia on the shores of Kachemak Bay where, for 20 years, I had a summer home. (I was living and working in Anchorage at the time.)
  
5.)             Who is your role model? Why?

Nature is my role model, and the many animals who simply keep going in spite of man’s constant assault on their lives and habitat. I’m fortunate to live in close quarters with animals (in Alaska, as well) and to observe how they live. We all get teary-eyed at Born Free, and the majestic lion, but for true courage, nothing beats the bunny. At the bottom of the food chain, with virtually no defenses, he goes into the world at 4 weeks old.  I love the exotic animals that often capture our attention and imagination. But in our own backyards, the ordinary is extraordinary. I should be so courageous as the bunny, as tenacious as the ant, as cheerful as the chipmunk, intuitive as the horse, clever as the coyote, and as undaunted as the snake.   

6.)                How much of your book is realistic?

Hmmm. Everything happening in the story is certainly possible—I don’t think there’s a scene where a reader would say “that could never happen.” But there may be a stretch now and again in probability.  I liken Spooning Daisy to a sitcom—Modern Family, The Middle, Big Bang Theory, and Life in Pieces. The characters in these shows get into situations that I would probably not get into, yet their predicaments are plausible for the characters. So, I would say, the book is realistic relative to the characters. And certainly, the setting is realistic as it’s based on an actual location.

7.)                What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I want to continue writing romcom set in Otter Bite. I’ve just finished the second book in the series, Embracing Felicity. I also want to write more serious women’s fiction inspired by my Arizona ranch with lots of wonderful animal characters.

8.)                Share one fact about yourself that would surprise people.

     I humanely relocate rattlesnakes—although people who know me wouldn’t be surprised. I use a loop and pole to gently move rattlesnakes who occasionally settle in inconvenient places, like next to my deck slider. I’ve also moved them out of my hay barn. But generally, I just let them be. 
  
Thank you for this interview and for a few questions I’ve never been asked before. And thank you for hosting Spooning Daisy.

Spooning Daisy
by Maggie McConnell

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE:   contemporary romance (romantic comedy)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~


BLURB:

Her mango chutney is exquisite; her blueberry sauce to die for. But Chef de Cuisine Daisy Moon is a woman without a kitchen after a "bit of trouble" at her last job. Now blacklisted from Seattle to San Francisco, Daisy's sole job offer is from Wild Man Lodge in Otter Bite, Alaska, where the end of the road is just her beginning.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT


"I had apple strudel. I never have apple strudel. It's not my usual."

"You came here to tell me you had apple strudel?"

"The thing is...I liked it. For a change, I mean. Once. Not every day, of course."

"Max--"

"The truth is..." He stepped toward her. "The truth is...I feel bad about giving you such a hard time at breakfast."

"Ohhhh. This is an apology."

"No, absolutely not." Max retracted the step he'd just taken. "This is absolutely NOT an apology."

Daisy huffed. Normally, she'd take great satisfaction in Max's guilt and take equal pleasure in the banter that would surely follow. However, she was a woman on a mission, and she didn't have the time, not with Otter Bite hanging by a manila envelope. "Fine. Thank you for coming here NOT to apologize and for that apple strudel thing. And--" She momentarily softened. "--the money. But I just don't have the time for whatever this is."

Once again he stepped toward her. "You're making this extremely difficult."

"This? This what? What am I making--"

"This." The word melted into her mouth.

The two hundreds floated from her hand to the floor. Then, her arms wrapped Max's neck, his body pressed hers, and Daisy was lost in a kiss she never expected to own.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Golden Heart nominee Maggie McConnell spent her childhood overseas as the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she earned a BA in Art and an MBA while working at the local humane shelter. At 26, she packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Maggie provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes dog Molly, cat Sara, horses Quinn and Teena, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the Gray Whale, Maggie returns to Alaska.

Website: 

Facebook Author Page:

Amazon Buy Link:

Barnes & Noble Buy Link:

Kobo Buy Link:





~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

Maggie McConnell will be offering 1) Nordstrom "Daisy" vegan leather clutch, 2) Nordstrom turtle pin, or 3) Rebecca Minkoff star pendant/necklace to 3 randomly drawn winners (US only; international winners will receive a $25 Amazon/BN GC).


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Introducing Primrose Lane by Debbie Mason...





Love is the best medicine.






PRIMROSE LANE




Harmony Harbor #3


Debbie Mason


Releasing June 27, 2017


Forever



Love is the best medicine.


Olivia Davenport has finally gotten her life back together. She’s left her painful past behind,
started over in a new town, and become Harmony Harbor’s most sought-after event
planner. But her past catches up to her when Olivia learns that she’s now
guardian of her ex’s young daughter. With her world spinning, Olivia must
reconcile her old life with her new one. And she doesn’t have time for her new
next door neighbor, no matter how handsome he is.

Olivia may act like she’s got everything under control, but Dr. Finn Gallagher
knows a person in over her head when he sees one. He’d really like to be the
shoulder she leans on, but Olivia makes it clear she doesn’t want his help.
Since he’s returned to town, his waiting room has been full of single women
feigning illness. Yet the one woman he’s interested in is avoiding him. But
with a little help from some matchmaking widows and a precocious little girl,
Finn might just win Olivia over.












Debbie Mason is the USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling
author of the Christmas, Colorado series and the Harmony Harbor series. Her
books have been praised for their "likable characters, clever dialogue and
juicy plots" (RT Book Reviews). When she isn't writing or reading, Debbie
enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their three wonderful
children and son-in-law, two adorable grandbabies, and a yappy Yorkie named
Bella.




a Rafflecopter giveaway



Saturday, 17 June 2017

Interview & GIVEAWAY with Jennifer Bohnet...






1.)    What is the strangest talent you have? I can only think about one I don’t have! Everyone in my family has this strange ability of being able to stick out their tongues and curl the sides up! I find it impossible - and I’ve practised for years.
2.)    What is the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn? Oh dear - I’m going to be really boring here - I’ve never actually worn a Halloween costume myself - although I did make them for my daughter a couple of times. My son refused to ever go to a Halloween party.
3.)    Are the titles of your books important? Titles, like covers, are so important and difficult to get right. Publishers look at them from a different viewpoint to authors and sometimes there is a difference of opinion! Compromise often comes into play with both I’ve found.
4.)    If you’re struggling with a scene or difficult character, what methods help you through it? Sometimes with scenes that aren’t working I leave it, go for a walk and forget about it and when I return to it, I can write my way through. Another method I use a lot is talking to my computer via a series of questions about the problem, starting with either ‘what if?’ or ‘why?’. The answer to each question invariably leads to another question and before you know it, the muse is back.
5.)    Do you prefer dog, cats or none of the above? Love them both equally! We currently have an old collie dog and two cats.
6.)    Who’s your favourite author? Why? I have several ‘go to’ authors rather than an out and out favourite. For instance I always buy the latest Veronica Henry or Erica James without even looking at the blurb or the cover. I just love their way of writing and the stories they weave.
7.)    Do you have a pet peeve? Can’t think of one!
8.)    Do you remember your dreams when you wake up in the morning? I’m a bit of an insomniac and I rarely dream and when I do I never remember them - I wish I did!


Blurb:

One summer they’ll never forget…
Meet Sabine, desperately fighting to save her little kiosk from closure whilst turning down her friend Owen’s proposals, time and time again.
Cue Harriet, returning to Dartmouth after thirty years, haunted by the scandal that drove her away and shocked by a legacy that threatens her relationship with her journalist daughter.
Enter Rachel, the mysterious newcomer who has an unexpected chemistry with a local widower, and who sets in motion a chain of events she could never have predicted…
One thing’s for sure, as the autumn tide turns, there’ll be more than one secret laid bare!

Author Bio:

I’m English but I’ve lived in France for the past 17 years. After 11 years down on the Cote d’Azur where Richard my husband was a guardian for a villa, we moved from the Mediterranean coast to a small quirky cottage in Finistere, Brittany. A bit of a culture shock to say the least! When I’m not writing I love reading, cooking and having friends around for lunch - lunches that follow the French tradition of lasting for several hours. The Little Kiosk By The Sea is set in my absolute favourite place in England, Dartmouth South Devon, where we lived for several years before moving to France.


Website

Amazon Link UK

Amazon book page: http://goo.gl/UzPSMx

FACBOOK author page: goo.gl/6hsfZw


Jennie Bohnet Giveaway

The giveaway is UK and EUROPE only and the prize is a paperback copy of The Little Kiosk by the Sea and Rosie's Little Cafe on the Riviera. One winner.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Introducing Somebody Like You by Lynnette Austin...



The question begs to be asked. Is there anything sexier than a cowboy?



SOMEBODY LIKE YOU

Maverick Junction #1



Lynnette Austin


Forever Yours


WHEN A COWBOY MEETS AN HEIRESS…


Cash Hardeman thinks he’ll have all the time in the world to find the right
woman...until he discovers he might lose the family ranch if he’s not married
by his 30th birthday. So when Boston beauty Annelise blows into town on her
Harley, Cash can't help wondering if she's the sexy, leather-clad answer to all
his problems.

Giving her bodyguards and the paparazzi the slip, heiress Annelise Montjoy
comes to Maverick Junction on a mission to help her ailing grandfather. But
keeping her identity hidden in the small Texas town is harder than she
expected—especially around a tempting cowboy like Cash. He’s the kind of man
who makes her want to spill all her secrets. Soon Annelise starts to wonder if
she’s finally found the man who can love her for herself rather than her money.
But will the secrets they both keep ruin their plans to ride off into the
sunset together?







NEAREST THING TO HEAVEN


Maverick Junction #2


Lynnette Austin


Forever Yours





THE COWBOY AND THE CITY GIRL

Sophie London hates Texas. The longhorns freak her out and the wide-open spaces are more unnerving than a Chicago alleyway at night. But Sophie wouldn’t miss her cousin’s wedding for the world—even if it means returning to Maverick Junction . . . and to the dangerously irresistible Ty Rawlins.

A single father of rambunctious triplet boys, Ty knows trouble when he sees it—and Sophie’s got it written all over her. Yet he’s never been able to stop thinking about her, after their one brief meeting. Maybe fate is giving him a second chance. But if Ty wants Sophie to swap her stilettos for cowgirl boots, they’ll each have to face the past—together.











Lynnette Austin, recovering middle school teacher, loves long rides with the top down and the music cranked up, the Gulf of Mexico when a storm is brewing, chocolate frozen
custard, anything by Blake Shelton, Chris Young, and Thomas Rhett, and sitting
in her local coffee shop reading and enjoying an iced coffee. She and her
husband divide their time between Southwest Florida's beaches and Georgia's
Blue Ridge Mountains. Having grown up in a small town, that's where her heart
takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody...and all
their business, for better or worse. Writing for Grand Central and Sourcebooks,
she’s published twelve novels and is at work on a new series.




Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Introducing Read, Write, Love at Seaside by Addison Cole...




Start reading FREE with Read, Write, Love at Seaside


READ, WRITE, LOVE AT SEASIDE



Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #1


Addison Cole


Releasing June 14th, 2017


Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They’re sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you’ll be begging to enter their circle of friends! Start
reading FREE with Read, Write,Love at Seaside



In READ, WRITE, LOVE at SEASIDE...

Bestselling author Kurt Remington lives to write. He spends twelve hours a day
in front of his computer, rarely leaving the seclusion of his beach-front
property, where he's come to finish his latest thriller -- that is, until
free-spirited Leanna Bray nearly drowns in the ocean trying to save her dog.
Kurt's best-laid plans are shot to hell when he comes to their rescue. Kurt's
as irritated as he is intrigued by the sexy, hot mess of a woman who lives life
on a whim, forgets everything, and doesn't even know the definition of the word
organized.

Leanna's come to the Cape hoping to find a fulfilling career in the jam-making
business, and until she figures out her own life, a man is not on the menu. But
Leanna can't get the six-two, deliciously muscled and tragically neat Kurt out
of her mind. She tells herself she's just stopping by to say thank you, but the
heart-warming afternoon sparks an emotional and unexpectedly sweet ride as Kurt
and Leanna test the powers of Chemistry 101: Opposites Attract.



*Read,
Write, Love at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New
York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster's steamy romance

novel Read, Write, Love. 
The stories and characters remain the same, and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.


START READING FOR FREE!









DREAMING AT SEASIDE



Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #2


Addison Cole


Releasing June 14th, 2017



In DREAMING at SEASIDE...
Bella Abbascia has returned to Seaside Cottages in Wellfleet,
Massachusetts, as she does every summer. Only this year, Bella has more on her
mind than sunbathing and skinny-dipping with her girlfriends. She's quit her
job, put her house on the market, and sworn off relationships while she builds
a new life in her favorite place on earth. That is, until good-time Bella's
prank takes a bad turn and a handsome police officer appears on the scene.

Single father and police officer Caden Grant left Boston with
his fourteen-year-old son, Evan, after his partner was killed in the line of
duty. He hopes to find a safer life in the small resort town of Wellfleet, and
when he meets Bella during a night patrol shift, he realizes he's found the one
thing he'd never allowed himself to hope for--or even realized he was missing.

After fourteen years of focusing solely on his son, Caden
cannot resist the intense attraction he feels toward beautiful Bella, and
Bella's powerless to fight the heat of their budding romance. But starting over
proves more difficult than either of them imagined, and when Evan gets mixed up
with the wrong kids, Caden's loyalty is put to the test. Will he give up
everything to protect his son--even Bella?



Dreaming at Seaside is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling
author Melissa Foster's steamy romance novel Seaside Dreams. The stories
and characters remain the same, and convey all of the passion you expect
between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.









Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling
and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet
contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh
language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful
love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.