Friday, May 12, 2017

LDStorymakers this week! My daughter and I are headed to Provo, Utah this week for the LDStorymakers Writer's Conference. Juggling work and school has been fun while traveling, but we are ready to begin the writing adventure tomorrow. To pass the time while traveling, I picked up Shanna Hatfield's series Grass Valley Cowboys. Living in Oregon, I love that she sets her stories nearby and references places I'm familiar with. Although Ms. Hatfield is a master of head-hopping, I still love her romances and enjoy getting to know what seems like an entire community. Every book has a theme: plan, romance, love, falling, etc. and each chapter begins with a quote based on the theme. The first book in the series: The Cowboy's Christmas Plan starts the reader off introducing the Thompson brothers. They are all fun reads. Here's the first lines of the first book:

Cadence Greer gaped at her boss in disbelief. "I don't think I heard you correctly, Neil. Would you please repeat that?"

Happy Friday!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Finally back to normal. Hope to have time to write this week. My book is calling to me...:) Here is my first line for this week. Sierra St. James is the pen name for Janette Rallison. I met her at the LDStorymaker's Writer's Conference last year and she signed my book. I love meeting authors! Her book What the Doctor Ordered was a funny, off-beat romance that I loved.

"The topic of conversation at the Baxters' dinner table was insanity."

Happy Friday everyone!

Friday, April 21, 2017

My son is married. My husband is working out of state for a couple months. My visitors have returned home and my house is now blissfully quiet. In the aftermath of the wedding, I needed a respite. I turned to my all-time favorite romance by Staci Stallings, If You Believed in Love. Available only as an e-book, that is the only thing disappointing about this book. I don't buy many hard-cover or paperback books (I have a LOT of e-books), but this is one I would buy in print if I could. It's the story of a grieving widower who has been coerced by his sister to take a college class just to get out of the house. The class he chooses to audit is English Literature at the local community college and from the beginning of the story, we are right there with him as he discovers the classics--Browing, Austen, etc.--and how the beautifully captivating and intriguing professor brings a new light to the stories we all love to love. Here's the first line:

"I do not believe I'm doing this." Jonathan Danforth strode past the knots of college students who were draped and drawn over every available step and statue.

Happy Friday!

Friday, April 7, 2017

I seem to be reading a lot of novellas right now. My son is getting married next week and I need the down time in the evenings to let go of the stress of work, school, and planning for company and food preparation for the reception. But I don't want to have a storyline carry over from one day to the next because I never know when I'll be able to get back to it. Thank goodness for authors who write shorter stories that can be read in a couple hours, but with the same quality of writing as their longer novels. Here's one from this week:

Never Ever After: Quotable Romance Book 2 by Lucy McConnell (A Cinderella story)

(the funny thing about this book is that Book 1 is coming out later this month)

"You work too hard."


Friday, March 31, 2017

Brooke St. James is one of my favorite authors. Her series The Hunt Family and The Martin Family made me feel like I had new friends in different parts of the country. Her new series Shower & Shelter Artists Collective hit me very close to home since I am also an artist. Written in first person, the reader is immediately drawn into the story. The characters are genuine and lovable. These are pure and simple romances, very little angst, with sweet, honorable leading men and women. I loved the banter, the willingness to own their feelings, but stay true to their situations, and their strength of character. A perfect example is the last line in Chapter 12 of So Much for Boundaries when the heroine, Zoe, says, "Lane Alexander was entirely too noble." Each story leaves a smile on your face and peace in your heart. The books so far are, in order:

JFK to Dublin
Not Your Average Joe
So Much for Boundaries
Suddenly Starstruck

First line from So Much for Boundaries:

"I had been going to Fran's Beauty Shop since I was a kid. I was raised by my grandparents, and my grandmother, God rest her soul, went there once a week like clockwork to get her hair shampooed and set with rollers."

I'm looking forward to the next one. This is a series you won't want to miss. Happy reading.

JFK to Dublin (Shower & Shelter Artist Collective Book 1) by [St. James, Brooke] Not Your Average Joe (Shower & Shelter Artist Collective Book 2) by [St. James, Brooke] So Much for Boundaries (Shower & Shelter Artist Collective Book 3) by [St. James, Brooke] Suddenly Starstruck (Shower & Shelter Artist Collective Book 4) by [St. James, Brooke]

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fridays are my nemesis

My weeks are full of work, school, and now preparing for my son's wedding. I always take on more than I should and that means all my personal stuff suffers. But I try to take time in the evenings to read - usually short novellas so I feel like I've accomplished something. Here's a taste of last week's from the newly released SILVER SCREEN KISSES: AN ECHO RIDGE ANTHOLOGY (BOOK 3):

"Lacey Johnson had always thought that hitting rock bottom required you to be an alcoholic or a drug addict. But no. It turned out there wre lots of ways to smack right into that piece of real estate."

My Fair Lacey by Janette Rallison

Each novella in this anthology is a parody of a classic movie with little twists. My favorites were this one and While You Were Skiing by Lucy McConnell, but they were all fun reads. Each novella was followed by a recipe from the story as well. If you're looking for a little light-weight entertainment, these are wonderful authors.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Happy Friday everyone. Sorry this is late, but I'm trying to juggle so many things right now. Not able to do much reading, but started a new anthology this week: "Love at First Laugh" Eight novellas, all with light-hearted tone; perfect for a quick escape. This week: Pepper Basham's book titled Second Impressions and here's the first line:

Birthdays were not her happy place.
Or at least they hadn't been for the last three years.

Happy reading!