Monday, May 25, 2015

Boxed Romance Deal!

If you haven't read Christmas in Snow Valley, now is your chance to buy it May 24th through the 31st for only $.99.
Buy Christmas in Snow ValleyAmazon

Read my review HERE.

#1 Bestselling Authors of Christmas in Snow Valley, have teamed up again with six wonderful summer novellas that are sure to make your summer sweet and sassy!

Summer in Snow Valley is available for pre-order for only $.99. Release date is June 1st and the $.99 special will last until June 6th. 

Buy Summer in Snow Valley

I'll be posting my review of this boxed set next week!

Catching Caytie by Amazon Top Seller Cindy Roland Anderson

On the night Caytie Holbrook intends to break up with her cheating boyfriend, he blindsides her by announcing their engagement at a dinner party. When Caytie discovers her father is in on the scheme, she runs away from her home in Beverly Hills to hide out at her uncle’s ranch in Snow Valley, Montana. While Snow Valley is a beautiful place, Caytie only plans to stay until her twenty-fifth birthday when she’ll inherit a trust fund her grandmother left her, allowing her to pursue her dream to move to Italy. That is until she meets Jace McAllister, an incredibly sexy—although somewhat grumpy—cowboy who threatens to disrupt her plans.

Tin Foil Tiaras by Amazon Top Seller Jeanette Lewis

Cameron Elliott has come to Snow Valley to coach Annalisa Drake in the Miss Snow Valley pageant, and prove to her demanding boss that she deserves a place at the prestigious Westbrooke Agency. But Annalisa’s handsome and protective big brother, Kyle, is determined to keep his sister from becoming a reluctant beauty queen. As Cameron tries to win Kyle over, Kyle insists some things are more valuable than a title and as crazy as it sounds, Cameron might just believe him.
A Touch of Love by Amazon Top Seller Cami Checketts

Annie Stirland has endured a lifetime of teasing, embarrassment, and isolation due to her speech impediment. When irresistible cowboy, Luke Wilson, seems to be falling for her, she’s certain he’s too good to be true. A tragedy involving his ex-girlfriend proves she’s right. What man can resist sheltering someone they once loved? Annie knows she should walk away, but Luke isn’t ready to give her up.

First Love by Amazon Top Seller Taylor Hart 

Janet Snow doesn’t expect to get caught in a full-blown make out session at her brother’s wedding. Especially not with Michael Hamilton, the boy she’d written off ten years ago. Even though they both agree to no complications, Janet's not sure they can stick to it given their past. After a trip to the hot springs, a helicopter ride, and a proposal, even the most cautious single mother would start to wonder if true love really is just about the timing. Now Janet has to make a choice—play it safe or trust that her first love could also be her last. 

Romancing Rebecca by Amazon Top Seller, Kimberley Montpetit

Rebecca Dash loved spending her teen summers swooning over Jane Austen and helping her aunt at the Starry Skies Bed & Breakfast in Snow Valley. But as a recent college grad, she’d rather write sappy romance novels than go out with guys that make her a nervous wreck. When a team of fire-fighters set up camp on the lawns of the B&B and Captain Wade catches her eye, Becca soon learns that there’s more to a happily-ever-after than a flirty fireman with muscles the size of the Montana hills.

Love in Light and Shadow by Amazon Top Seller Lucy McConnell

Mercedes O'Shay has sworn off gorgeous men because they have a tendency to break her heart. When she meets her new neighbor, Chet Bauer, she immediately puts him in the Do Not Date category based on his well-defined muscles and stunning blue eyes. But the more Mercedes learns about the cowboy who reads classics and forges iron, the more she realizes the heart doesn't see in black and white; it sees light and shadows.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lightfingers by Hari Patience

From Goodreads:
When a High Lord tells you to do something, you do it. Even if it’s finding one missing human in a city of 8 million people, not all of which are as human as they seem. Talk about a needle in a haystack.

Leni Lightfingers isn’t your typical fairy. She works as a human statue, doesn't have wings, and would rather drink beer than sip flower syrup. She’s barely 5 feet tall, her magicks don’t work on sound and, oh yeah, she got kicked out of Fayre ten years ago, and swore never to go back.

So why is she High Lord Apdeth’s first choice for tracking down a missing human girl? She doesn't have a clue, but if she doesn’t find out who (or what) took the girl, the High Lord will have her head. And it won’t be staying attached to her body for long.

My Take:
I started this book quite a while ago. It's one that I backed on Kickstarter because the idea sounded interesting. Generally I don't pick up a lot of faerie books, but this one had a modern twist to it.

It took a while for me to settle into the world. Set in London, Leni moves back and forth from the human realm to things with a faerie twist. For the first 50% of the book it was easy to put down and walk away. I read a couple other books in the interim. I've tried to figure out why that was. Here's what I came up with:

  • typos--random words that were left behind from edits
  • some repetition
  • too much time spent letting us get to know the characters
  • too much time building the world instead of just dumping me into it. I didn't need everything explained.
  • I'm not a big fan of books where the character talks to me the reader

However, the little things that bugged me were not enough to make me give up. The story and mystery were there. I needed to know how things would play out. Half way through the story picked up with forward momentum. More action, intrigue. I started to see what was at stake. Plus I was fascinated by the whole idea of stories and belief having power to become reality.

In the end it was a solid read. I give it a 3.75 because of the slow start. 

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

Monday, May 18, 2015

Difficult Things Make Us Stronger

Well, some how we all survived! It was a day of conflicting emotions to say the least. I know I thought I was ready for my oldest daughter to graduate, but as I stood there watching the graduates walk into the arena it hit me.

My first baby was closing the door on one stage of her life and entering a new one.

Did I do enough? Was she prepared?

It's much easier to think of all the ways I might have failed her. I'd rather take the blame if things don't go as smoothly as she'd like. However, in the end I have to accept that she has her agency to choose her path in life.

I hope and pray she finds a path that will be fulfilling and joyful for her.

Many may never know how difficult it was for my daughter to walk across that stage. She hates crowds. She hates attention. She struggles with OCD and anxiety and this was a disaster waiting to happen.

She had to dig deep to find the strength to survive her own graduation. I hope one day she will understand the lesson we were trying to teach her as parents by making her attend the ceremonies.

Life isn't always easy. It's often scary. Sometimes the fear can paralyze us, but if we get up and try, we really can accomplish anything we set our minds to. The trick is in trying every day and never giving in to those things that make us want to hide.

Kiah, I'm proud of you!

After graduation we went out for lunch, then out to a beautiful spot in a nearby town. This memorial chapel is one of our favorite spots and Kiah agreed to take some senior picture with George. Yes, she named her viola. :) 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Goal Reached!

I set the goal to finish the revision of SEARCH FOR KNOWLEDGE this month. Since there were about 60 odd pages of random first person chapters and several missing scenes at the end, I thought it would take all month.

Yesterday I reached

And I did something I wouldn't normally do. I immediately queried my publisher.

Part of me thinks/knows I should have waited for my beta readers to get back to me. But the truth is I've been trying to get feedback on this story for six months. People are busy. Life is hard. Not everyone can sit down and read my book for me and give me advice.

The other part of me is ready to move forward with this series. It's been two years for crying out loud! This part won out thanks to several emails with my publisher. Karen let me vent my concerns and then encouraged me to just send it in. She said if nothing else, the acquisitions editor could at least give me a direction on what I need to work on to get it ready for them to accept.

So, no matter what happens in the next month or two, I've finally taken a much needed step forward.

It feels good!

While I wait I'll be drafting book three in the series. I learned my lesson. I will not lose the current momentum.

What are your goals? How are you doing on them? 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

From Goodreads:
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

My take:
I've started several books in the last two months and not finished them. It wasn't necessarily because they were bad, I just set several deadlines for my own writing. If the book didn't suck me in I easily slipped back into my own world.

It's been quite a while since I read the first book in this series--Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I enjoyed that book, but it took a while for me to settle into the writing and world. That could be why I waited so long to read the next book. I was afraid of picking up another book I wouldn't feel the need to finish.

However, I was easily back in Rigg's world from page one. The story picked up right where we left off and the action and tension didn't stop. Now that I've finished, I can barely wait until the third book comes out in September. I'm also starting to feel like Rigg's skill in world building and the ability to make me care for the characters is right up there with JK Rowling, but in his own peculiar way.

Jacob's peculiar skills are growing, as are his feelings for Emma. For the first time, he's living an adventure, doing something extraordinary. Somehow our little band of peculiar's have managed to make it to the mainland and stay alive.

I loved the twists and turns, the choices, the consequences, the moments when the least likely one gets to be hero. The whole time they're wandering London I kept wondering, where's Jacob's grandfather? They never meet up with him in this book, but the writer in me keeps waiting for it. I mean, we are moving through time loops that should overlap with an earlier version of his grandfather's life.

All in all, I loved the writing, loved the path the story is taking and I can't wait to see where we go next. I give the second book in the series a solid 5.

My rating scale for book reviews

1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure
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