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Don’t Chase

Chasing Frost
West Side series #5
Isabel Jolie
romance, suspense, thriller, female sleuth
BooksGoSocia
19 Jan 2021
three star - Don't Chase

Be careful who you chase...  From the moment we meet, I'm a goner. Her slender fingers slip into mine and hot damn. Sydney Frost is all-natural with an alluring chilly demeanor. A challenge. I'm in lust and in too deep by the time I discover the truth. She's an undercover agent with the FBI, and I'm her prime suspect.  She's an undercover agent with a simple task: get close to the suspect. My job is simple. Go in, find the information the FBI needs, and get out before my cover is blown. I never counted on one very important thing, though. Him. Chase Maitlin is not my type. He’s cocky and overly confident. Too bad he’s also smart, funny, and ridiculously sexy. Can a romance built on lies ever lead to happily ever after? Chase and Sadie are about to find out… Chasing Frost, the fifth book in the West Side series, is a steamy, enemies-to-lovers, sometimes funny, sometimes suspenseful, contemporary romance featuring a smart, dedicated heroine and the sexy bad boy who steals her heart. The standalone series of contemporary romance novels can be read in any order.

This an FBI thriller/suspense story.
Whilst I quite liked the storyline I was not so enthused by the characters and their descriptions. I thought that Chase came out as a better described character than Sophie. But overall, neither character came across sharply.
My overall impression of the writing was that it was rather ‘doughy’ in style – sticky and and bit soft. needed to be sharpened up.

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Frosty story: Author explains her writing

Chasing - Frosty story: Author explains her writing Chasing Frost
(West Side, #5)
Isabel Jolie
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: January 2021

He’s not exactly who he appears to be. But then again, neither is she… Chase I’ve never felt as out of my league as I did when I met Sydney Frost. Not in the years I’ve spent starting successful companies or since. Working for a prestigious firm gives me status and power, and I’m already a master at charming my way through a crowd—or into the bedroom. One new office colleague should be a piece of cake to win over. Ms. Frost, however, is giving my efforts a chilly reception. Time to remind her that I’m not afraid to live up to my name, either… “Sydney” On the surface, it looks like I have it all: a new, influential job, a nice salary, and the hottest young executive in the company falling over himself to introduce me to the best New York City has to offer. It’s all a lie. My name is Sadie Keating, not Sydney Frost, and I’m an undercover agent for the FBI on a case that could make or break my career. Chase Maitlin, my sexy and persistent would-be suitor, is the prime suspect in a major cross-agency investigation. I’m the rookie desperately trying not to fall for him. Chasing Frost, the fifth book in the West Side series, is a steamy, enemies-to-lovers, sometimes funny, sometimes suspenseful, contemporary romance featuring a smart, dedicated heroine and the sexy bad boy who steals her heart. All of the contemporary romance novels in the West Side Series are standalone and can be read in any order.  

ChasingFrostTourBanner - Frosty story: Author explains her writing
  • Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? 
  • Chase, the hero in Chasing Frost, is the fun friend in the prior books. On the outset, he seems to have a big ego, but actually a lot of the tough bravado covers a degree of insecurity. When I thought about who he’d fall for, I decided a woman who could kick his ass literally, as well as possibly figuratively, might be just the challenge he needed. That’s how I came up with the idea of having him fall for an FBI agent.
    • What appealed to you about it?
    • I like FBI romance as a genre, but I especially like strong heroines.
    • Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
    • In their own ways, at the start of the relationship, both Chase and Sadie are pretending to be someone they’re not.
  • How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it?
  • I’m not quite sure, but ideas percolate for quite some time. I don’t measure it.

Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I do have stacks of notebooks and when I complete a notebook, I’ll go through and “file” pages under categories such as ‘Ideas’, or “Names I like”, etc. Only this past Christmas my husband gave me a device called a Remarkable. It’s an electronic notebook (for lack of a better word), but you can file pages by topic. I was skeptical, but I think it might replace my paper notebooks. My favorite feature is the ability to read articles on the web and send it to my remarkable for filing. It’s much easier than bookmarking (and hoping I can find it later) or printing (ie killing trees – and hoping I can find it later).

  • How long does it take to research a topic before you write?
  • When I plot out my calendar for the year, I allow one month for research and outlining. But, I tend to have ideas well before the scheduled month and research long before the allotted month.
    • And for this book? I researched for several months, but I can’t say for certain how long.
  • What resources do you use?
  • In general and for the last book that you wrote? The internet, obviously, is a great resource. I also like nonfiction books. For this book, I found an author, Jerri Williams, who is a retired FBI agent. I read her book, FBI Myths and Misconceptions, and I also listened to a ton of the episodes on her podcast with other FBI agents, as well as some others she recommended to me by phone.
  • Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

Publishing is a business. I’ve never been traditionally published, but it seems to me any author a publisher selects is a risk. An author who already has proven himself/herself, and has a subscriber base to market, represents a lower risk. So, if I were a publisher, I’d look for authors who have already shown readers like their work and will buy it. If I were a publisher in this competitive environment, I would look to minimize my risk.

Therefore, it seems to me, self-publishing to start would be a benefit. I’ve heard of people taking years to find an agent and/or publisher. YEARS. When I hear that, I think of all the books they could have published in that time, all the readers they could have gained, all the things they could have learned to improve their craft and marketing skills…and to me, it feels like wasted time.  All that time writing letters to agents and tracking responses, in my mind, could be better spent increasing one’s value as a writer.

  • Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

I published my first book one year ago, and writing (for me) absolutely does not provide enough income to live off of.

I’m pretty sure some author, somewhere, wrote that if you’re writing to become rich, you’ve chosen the wrong field. Maybe I just dreamed that, but right now that feels true. I think for the vast majority of authors, it takes potentially a few years with multiple releases before sales can cover expenses. This is my second year of publishing, so I expect I still have a ways to go before I’m living off the income.

  • What do you read when you are ill in bed?
  • Romance! I recently binged Bridgerton, and if I were sick tomorrow, I’d binge read that whole series.
  • What is your favourite genre?
  • Romance. Always has been. I do read a lot of nonfiction, but it’s never as enjoyable, and its always (for me) been something I choose to read for business purposes.
  • If you could recommend a living author – who would it be?
  • Jewel E. Ann. I love the variety in her work. A dead author? Maya Angelou.
  • In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?
  • Jana Aston
  • What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?
  • Trash. I’ve moved far too many times to be a pack rat. The floppy disks it might have survived on were dumped long ago…back whenever computers that accepted floppy disks died out.
  • Do you have any pets?
  • Yes
    • If so, what are they?
    • A labradoodle and a cat.
    • And what are they called?
    • Roxie and Figgy.
    • Do they help you write? Eg our cats like to sit on my desk/computer and play with my mouse. 

Roxie is almost always next to me, no matter where I am in the house. Since I work from home, you could say she helps me write. Sometimes she interrupts me for a scratch or to go outside. Figgy hates Roxie, in a claws-out kind of way, and therefore he never comes around.

frost1 1024x768 - Frosty story: Author explains her writing
frost2 1024x768 - Frosty story: Author explains her writing
  • What is the funniest thing they have done while you are writing?
  • I live on a lake, and one day Roxie was roaming our backyard while I was writing. A mother goose and her babies came up on the beach. Roxie charged forward, and the goose rose up from the water’s edge, wings spread out, expanding to easily three times her size. Roxie did a one-eighty, tucked her tail and ran back up to me for protection.

About the Author:

Isabel - Frosty story: Author explains her writing

Isabel Jolie, or Izzy to her friends, is an Amazon bestselling indie author with an unquenchable thirst for a good, sexy love story. Izzy’s heart pumps faster for stories with strong heroines, down-to-earth realism, and an unexpected twist.

When she’s not writing or reading, she can often be found with a glass of wine in hand relaxing with her husband, daughters, and good friends lakeside.

Izzy fills her Instagram feed with funnies, inspirational “brain candy”, and anything that meshes with her mood of the day.

https://isabeljoliebooks.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19801964.Isabel_Jolie

https://www.facebook.com/isabeljoliebooks

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Shade in the Light:

shade - Shade in the Light: Thrall
Blood Trails #8
Jennifer Blackstream
urban fantasy, paranormal romance
Skeleton Key Publishing
(22 Sept. 2020)
four star - Shade in the Light:

Village witch turned PI Shade Renard receives her latest case from a most unlikely source in this pulse-pounding installment of USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Blackstream’s latest urban fantasy series.

The dream sorceress who once tried to kill Shade is after her again—

To hire her.

An evil being from the astral plane is building an empire in the physical world. One of his victims sought sanctuary with Arianne—and was turned away. When that same poor soul is murdered, a shocking revelation exposes personal stakes for Cleveland’s most powerful sorceress.

Now Arianne wants Shade’s help to hunt down the killer—and the thralls who serve him. But Arianne isn’t the only danger from Shade’s short, but eventful career as a PI that’s making a reappearance.

Shade soon finds herself playing deadly games of cat and mouse with enemies old and new. To make matters even more complicated, she must also navigate awkward alliances with a persistent masochistic goblin and a tempting, but off-limits alpha werewolf.

Being a village witch was simple. Being a private investigator? Not so much

Review of the series of books about the witch Mother Renard or Shade as she prefers to be known…

Shade is, or was, the mentee /trainee of Baba Yaga or Mother Hazel as she now prefers to be known.

Shade does not know how long she has lived with her mentor, but during that time she has learnt at least 7 languages, and has acquired in depth knowledge of a number of topics equivalent to at least 5 PhDs. She has barely aged and helped Mother Hazel with many village witch activities such as healing, birthing, and childcare, but has not practised her magic a great deal, rather spending her time with learning new knowledge.

As this series begins, Shade has completed, she believes, her apprenticeship with Mother Hazel and has been given a village to look after.

Shade wants to become a Private Investigator not just a village /hedge witch, even if the village is more like a small town, and finds herself meeting a very influential vampire as her first official client.

She also joins up with an FBI agent- Andy- and finds herself with a fey admirer who continuously tries to seduce her. not to mention an Alpha werewolf.

Shade is an interesting character. Especially as her abilities develop more than she expects all the time and yet she manages to get (into and) out of trouble with effort and capabilities that stretch her and make her better at her work. One problem with her solutions, as she starts to find out, is that although she may have ‘solved’ the case, the impact of her solutions live on and not necessarily to the good. This is a philosophical conundrum. If you do nothing then something bad happens – but what if your interference also causes something bad to happen (later) ?

The stories hold your attention and have an overlay of humor especially see the bumbag Shade carries and the various fey creatures and their delight in stationery and honey. There are always new Otherworld characters and creatures and the author has a creative imagination and/or done a lot of research.. The vampiric world is evident in more than one fey too. And don’t think that all ‘fairies’ or sidhe (pronounced Shee, just so you know when reading the books) are nice – see the water horses / kelpies and the goblins are just.. well. If you want a compendium of types of faery or sidhe then Faeriepedia has a list with descriptions. A good place to start your research,

 I read the complete series as an 8 book binge (last one just out) and each book developed the characters as their circumstances became more complex. Look out for the appearance of a rhino in Andy’s living-room!

I came across book 1 – Deadline in a book comprising 9 stories called After Midnight, published by Dark Valentine Press, 18 Sep 2019, 2508 pages. The book also contains full-length stories by:

  • Christine Pope
  • Kat Parrish
  • C. govkel
  • Nicole R Taylor
  • Kasey Mackenzie
  • SM Reine
  • Pippa Da Costa
  • Yasmine Galenorn
  • Colleen Gleason.

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A Female Guard?

High Heels and Handguns
Kate Howard #1
Lisa Heartman
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Publication date: February 7th 2020
four star - A Female Guard?

For Kate Howard, former Army Special Forces Sergeant, life as a one-woman personal protection detail comes with challenges. Wearing civilian camouflage while guarding high-profile clients is a dangerous game of rock, paper, hollow point.

After an explosive and deadly end to her client’s reelection fundraiser, which left his young son in critical condition, Kate must accept help from an unwanted source: the soldier she loved and left in Afghanistan, bloody, broken, and barely alive.

Special Forces Officer Paxton Banks, Kate’s former captain—now an FBI agent—is assigned to investigate the attempt on her client’s life. After ten years, old emotions and new threats whip Kate’s world into complicated chaos. But when other elected officials are threatened, Kate and Paxton must tamp down their fiery feelings to catch a madman hell-bent on revenge.

So if you were a female personal body guard, would you want to be tottering around in 5 inch heels? 6 inch? [never figured out how anyone walked anywhere in those] Even if they were designer heels gifted to you?

image 3 - A Female Guard?

How can you run and catch the bad guys? Can you find a way to have an ankle holster? And look really smart and professional and NOT like a beefy bodyguard but like a personal assistant?

image 4 - A Female Guard?

And then you find that the FBI get involved and an ex-boyfriend comes on the scene. So how were you going to prove yourself in your chosen career?

I liked the heroine and her desire to be a kick ass female and thought the storyline was reasonably well undertaken and written. I look forward to seeing how Kate develops in future books.

highHeels - A Female Guard?

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Up the ladder and down again..

snakes - Up the ladder and down again.. Snakes and Ladders
Ziba McKenzie 1-3 (2019)
Victoria Selman
crime, murder, serial killers, psychological suspense
Thomas & Mercer
(21 Nov. 2019)
five star - Up the ladder and down again..

Psycho meets The Silence of the Lambs

One killer on the loose. Another setting the rules. A profiler caught in the middle.

A serial killer is terrorising London, removing a body part from each victim and leaving in its place a single pink rose.

Dr Vernon Sange, a multiple murderer awaiting extradition, seems to know the culprit’s identity—but he’ll only talk to profiler Ziba MacKenzie, the woman responsible for putting him away. Though there’s something he wants in return from her. And time is running out.

With one killer whispering in her ear and another running rings around the police, Ziba must play a game in which only her opponent knows the rules, and the forfeit is death.

I re-read books 1 and 2 to get me up to speed for 3 as I had read them some time ago and loved them again. Now in Snakes and Ladders, Ziba, our damaged profiler references the Mind Hunter the TV series and the book that these stories are based on – and which I have been watching – and of course, the very current scandal with MPs and the supposed ring of paedophiles which has been in court and the person claiming the ring sentenced. But when book 2 was written we did not know that he had made it all up. And now of course we can all watch the series The Making of a Murderer which explains some of the reasons that some people kill. Multiple factors come into play from brain abnormalities born with or damage through fights etc; social environment eg growing up in an area rife with gangs; the ease of obtaining weapons and so on. And Ziba gives lectures at Quantico about this topic.

So this story and the previous ones, are based on real events and real insights into profiling and how murderers are made and act. And this gives them the grittiness needed and the author’s ability to take these and make a compelling story from them.

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