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Secrets not always best kept: Book Review

The Earl With The Secret Past Book Cover The Earl With The Secret Past
Janice Preston
Fiction, Historical, Regency
HarperCollins UK, Mills and Boon, Harlequin
June 25, 2020
368

An unexpected inheritance An explosive reunion. Hardworking architect Adam Monroe’s world is shaken when he inherits an Earldom! Thrust into the ton, he bumps into widow, Kitty Fenton – his lost love. Years before, he’d refused to elope with Kitty to save her from ruin, and was heartbroken she’d married so soon after he left. Perhaps fate has given him a chance to discover the truth – after all beneath the hurt the sparks of attraction are as strong as ever…

This is another version of the historical trope with an unexpected inheritance of a title. The Earl as he becomes, was not expecting to inherit but instead to work for a living, but a death up the line – his father in fact, thrust him into the role. It turns out his mother had been lying to him all his life about who is was…
And the horror of this lack of knowledge had meant that he had paid the price in his youth for not marrying the girl he loved, as he thought himself too lowly in society for her. And of course, she then went on to marry someone else.
But now she was a widow and he had the chance to gain her back. So the trope begins. But Kitty was not the girl he remembered. In her marriage she had grown up to be a woman of strength and ideas, and marrying again was not one of these ideas. So a courtship begins. And ends as we all expect with a marriage.
Nicely written with the nice initial plot twist layering onto the trope.  

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Who has time to Date? Book Review

Nicole Book Cover Nicole
(Sewing in SoCal book 3)
Sarah Monzon
Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Humour
BooksGoSocial, Radiant Publications (29 Nov. 2020)
January 7, 2021

Who has time to date when she’s trying to raise a miniature human by herself AND save the planet from its irresponsible inhabitants? Not to mention my winning personality (snort) and my curves-have-curves figure (eyeroll) don’t exactly attract the opposite sex. Unfortunately, none of these reasons have stopped my best friends and SoCal sewing sisters from taking on the archaic role of matchmakers, and they’re not beneath a little bribery if that’s what it takes to get my cooperation. Let’s just say everyone has their weak spot, and donations to my favourite charities is mine. If I were to consider a romantic relationship, my dream guy certainly wouldn’t be immature, everything-is-a-game Dr. Drew Bauer. The man raises my body temperature faster than global warming does the Earth’s! But life seems determined to keep throwing us together, especially now that one of my SoCal sewing sisters is engaged to his best friend, in which case there can only be one of two outcomes: 1. I kill him in a fit of annoyance. 2. My common sense escapes me, and I fall in love with him. Honestly, I'm not sure which would be worse.

The story starts with the Blind Date.
You know the one.
Set up by your friends who are worried about you and you agree to go under protest – and here because they promise to make a donation to your favourite charity.
And you are curvy and your date doesn’t believe you don’t eat a lot – especially fatty fried food – and orders for you. Food you don’t want.
And he flirts with the waitress, makes derogatory remarks and implications about your shape and size and then leaves.
The story is told by both characters, Nicole and Drew, so we learn early on that he really likes her in an sort of she irritates him and he keeps thinking about her sort of way – and so the trope begins.
I liked the storyline. I liked Nicole and her values and her daughter and her mother too.
I approve of environmental concerns and definitely saving the whale and reducing plastic use. Nicely written and fun to read.

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Do you love Food? Book Review

Lindsey Love Loves Book Cover Lindsey Love Loves
LLL Book 1
Sophie Sinclair
Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Humour
Sophie Sinclair
October 8, 2020
332

Lindsey Love's career as a food critic is suddenly taking off when she's approached by Food and Travel to take her show to Europe. What could be more fun than to travel with her best friend Patrick, eat amazing food, and see the sights? What she doesn't bargain for is the surly, egotistical producer with the icy glare, dimples, and a penchant for questioning her every move. Nick Elliot, ex-Navy SEAL turned producer, finds himself suddenly thrown into a project he doesn't want to take on. Producing a snotty food critic's show over in Europe is not at the top of his agenda. She's stubborn, sassy, and he finds himself inextricably drawn to her. When things go awry abroad, Nick has to make the decision to save his own future or give up everything to protect Lindsey.Lindsey Love Love is a stand alone Romantic Comedy with a little bit of suspense.

Lindsey starts this story 8 weeks before the main events when she is living in a small apartment above a battle-axe.

Lindsey is a Food Blogger and plays on her name Lindsey Love for the name of her blog. And she is getting known in the media and TV shows are…

And the show that they want her to do next involves a Producer who doesn’t want to produce for his ‘friend’ as the last show he did for him was – well let’s just say he got naked a lot in that one!

So we have anguish, dislike, anger and lots of steam in various forms.

And a nicely written book about food. Little cafes, interesting places to go to visit in Europe, and a love story in the end.

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There’s a screen – and it isn’t tangible. Author Interview.

Smoke Screen Book Cover Smoke Screen
The Blue Trilogy, #2
K. Nilsson
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Independent
Publication date: October 29th 2020

She was a distraction. He was a mistake.
Now they’re in each others’ way.

Rookie investigator Devyn Foster knows the pain of losing family. It’s what drives her to do what she does – finding the missing and the lost and returning them to their families.

Her latest assignment is no different, finding the computer a whiz who disappeared while working on a mysterious project. Even though his case has gone cold, she won’t let his elderly parents suffer. She will find him and return him back to them.

But that was before the one-night stand that changed everything…

Private Investigator Max Carson has never let anything—or anyone—stop him from getting the job done. So when he’s hired to track down a software program that could change the world, that’s exactly what he’s going to do… until he finds himself in a dead heat with a woman who’s just as determined as he is to get the job done on her own terms.

Now Max has to deal with two problems: how to get Devyn out of the way… and out of his heart.

Fun Facts about Author

Where did you get your penchant for writing?

I grew up in a family who recounted family lore all the time.  It was a way family history was passed on from generation to generation.  Additionally, books I read in my youth, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and comics hooked me on suspense stories.  Italian novellas hooked me on romance.

Favorite Genres for reading and writing

Reading: Thrillers, mysteries, historical fiction, including regency romance, young adult, contemporary and women’s fiction

Writing preference: a combination of romance and suspense. 

Inspirations: Movies, history, and personal stories, and art history.

Favorite activity: travelling.  I’m an avid foodie who cooks and posts too much food porn, but I include my own recipes in the newsletters.

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?

The latest books are part of a series––The Blue Trilogy.  Though the genre is enemies to lovers and romantic suspense.  The two characters had a one-night stand where the man ghosted the woman as soon as the tryst ended.  He was a real cad.  Imagine the emotions when they are sitting across from each other in a conference room.  They cross paths seeking a missing person and technology theft.

What character(s) in your books are your favorite?

The female character, Grace, from The Confessional, got into my head and made me feel all the emotions, pain, shame, fear, and hope.  I wish all my characters would turn out that way.  The male character, Saint, was the worst kind of scum in the beginning of the book.  I had to dial back the depth of vile in his personality.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?

Both.  I started my first books writing my stories by the seat of my pants––hence the term panster.  However, this method caused me to backtrack and spent more time doing that than fine tuning the story.  I appreciate the need for an outline, now.  But eventually, I go off-road and capture the story as it develops in my mind.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?

Yes, I have editors.  I’ve used a content editor for the trilogy. The other type of editors reviews the manuscript line by line, pointing out inconsistencies such as timeline issues, relationships among the characters, locations or physical proximities––things like that.  It’s hard to get a manuscript perfect, but the obvious errors should be caught.  My proofreader is a magical combination of the three AND she makes sure the grammar and punctuation are correct.

What kinds of marketing [Twitter, Facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?

I promote my books mostly on Facebook, Instagram, and sometimes on Twitter.  I don’t advertise on Facebook much because I find the dashboard challenging to use.  When I think everything is set up and hit post, they’ve kicked back the ads due to issues with wording and photos showing too much skin.  Instagram has been easier for me to use for advertising. 

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?

Yes.  I can’t do both at the same time without the other suffering.  While the books are going through the first phase of editing, I devote that time to designing teasers, videos, and formulating the template for takeovers, newsletter, and giveaways.  I love using RIPL to make my own videos.  When I get the editor’s feedback, review the suggestions and get back to work.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?

Make notes on what you want to write immediately. Don’t let the brief thoughts or ideas slip away.  Write the synopsis or blurb.  It could serve as your roadmap for the book.  Read a lot of the genre in which you want to write.  Get some readers to look over your synopsis and first chapter.  Get help planning your release. 

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer –

Dogs or cats? I like both.  You better include birds.

Chocolate or vanilla? Strawberry, mint chocolate chip, Sicilian pistachio

Coffee or Tea? Coffee at home, expresso while traveling, chamomile when it’s cold

Talk or Text? I hate texting, but it’s convenient when I don’t have time to talk.

Day or Night? I’m a night owl.

What’s next for you?

Dead Heat May 2021

Satan’s Overlord (temporary title) December 2021

SPOTIFY

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST FOR SMOKE SCREEN, BOOK 2 OF THE BLUE TRILOGY

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST FOR BLUE TRILOGY BOOK 1

GALLERY OF CHARACTERS FOR SMOKE SCREEN, BLUE TRILOGY

To help you visualise:

DEVYN FOSTER, ROOKIE PRIVATE INVESITAGOR WITH A SOFT SPOT FOR MISSING PERSONS AND THEIR FAMILIES

MAX CARSON, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR WITH A JADED PAST WHO DISCARDED DEVYN AFTER A ONE NIGHT STAND

BEN ROSENBERG, FORMER MOSSAD, DEVYN’S BOSS, AND APPARENT AUTHORITY FIGURE

KAI LIN, MISSING CHINESE NATIONAL

AUTHOR BIO:

K. Nilsson’s love of reading began with the Bobbsey twins. When she ran across some Italian True Romance novellas stashed in the attic, the musty serials hooked her on adult fiction. Though black and white photos were dramatic enough to know what the stories were about, she taught herself to read in Italian and translated them to her friends.  She’s an unapologetic reviewer of books, restaurants, and vacation destinations.  An amateur photographer, K. loves taking editorial photos and documenting her travels. Her personal philosophy, sleeping is a waste of time.

Author links:

https://www.instagram.com/kimbernilsson/

https://twitter.com/kimber_nilsson

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How Clean were her Deeds? Author Interview.

Dirty Deeds: An Urban Fantasy Collection , Book Cover Dirty Deeds: An Urban Fantasy Collection ,
Devon Monk, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Faith Hunter, R.J. Blain
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: January 12th 2021

When the going gets tough, the tough get their hands dirty. Join NY Times Bestselling author Faith Hunter, USA Today Bestselling author R.J. Blain, and National Bestselling authors Diana Pharaoh Francis and Devon Monk on a wild romp where the damsels bring the distress and what can go wrong will go wrong.

Venture into a thrilling spinoff tale from the world of Jane Yellowrock; join vacationing gods in what appears to be a quiet, ordinary town; visit a supernatural hotel where the bedbugs could very well eat you; and dive into the zany, deadly world of the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series.

In this collection of all-new urban fantasy novellas and other stories, no job is too big or too small — if the price is right.

1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about?

The Ordinary Magic books began as a short story I’d written years ago. I just loved the idea of a sleepy beach town where gods put down their powers to vacation, and all manner of monsters and creatures live and work alongside humans.

For this story, SEALED WITH A TRYST, I thought a garage sale run by a trickster god might be a lot of fun to write. Turned out the garage sale is cursed, (of course) which leads to hilarity.

The little bonus short story: AT DEATH’S DOOR is meant as a gift to all my readers who love the character Than (god of death).

2.Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

I always feel a little odd answering this because really, I should say: all of them. I am made of snips and bits of everything I’ve read in my life, so it’s hard to say just one or two authors most influenced me.

Back when I started writing, I was focused on fantasy, science fiction, and horror short stories. I read anything in those genres I could get my hands on. I’d say it was probably Ann Maxwell, Patricia McKillip, Roger Zelazny, and Connie Willis who first made me sit up straight and say: “That. I wanna do that.” 

3.Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

No, but I have typed out paragraphs written by other writers. If I read a book I loved but couldn’t figure out why it worked so well for me, I’d sit and type a few pages, word for word. I used the same punctuation. I entered the same line breaks. Feeling the author’s words filtering through my fingers gave me a tactile roadmap of how that author thought through and structured their writing.

It was eye-opening. It’s still something I recommend to other writers if they’re grappling to get a  good grip on an unfamiliar tone or structure or genre.

4.Which is your favourite place to visit? Do you incorporate it into your books?

One of my favorite places to visit was my great-grandmother’s house in Lincoln City, Oregon. Lincoln City is a little beach town on the Oregon coast that has grown a bit in the last few decades to cater more to tourists. But when I was a child, it felt like a faraway land of magic.

I love the beach, the town, and my great-grandmother’s house (which a ship’s captain built by hand for his wife) so much, that I based Ordinary Oregon off the place. I even put my great-grandmother’s house in there too, as Delaney’s family’s home.

5.Has the pandemic inspired you with any new stories to write? If so, what is the story premise?

The pandemic inspired me to rewrite and publish a book I’d written just months before it hit. WAYWARD SOULS is set on Route 66, and is book #1 in my new Souls of the Road series.
It has monsters and magic, and starcrossed, lovers doing everything they can to survive.

I drove the old Route 66 with my husband a couple years ago (when this book was just a glimmer of an idea) and had an absolute blast getting lost, back on track, turned around, and lost again. I’m putting many of the places and magical bits we saw on our trip into these books.

Urban fantasy, a little romance, and a favorite road trip all in one book? Yes, please!

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