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Frosty story: Author explains her writing

Chasing Frost Book Cover 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.  

  • 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.

  • 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 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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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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Islands and Weddings

Vampires’ Last Dance:
Witch Island Brides #1
Deanna Chase
paranormal, vampire, romance, humour
Bayou Moon Press, LLC
(5 April 2018)

Introducing Love Spells - Get your Laugh Out Loud Paranormal here!

She’s a witch who carries a family curse, destined to never get her happily ever after. Felicia Patterson has come to terms with the fact that she’ll never get to be with her one true love… whoever he happens to be. But when the sexiest vampire she’s ever seen walks onto Witch Island, she can’t help her fluttering heart.

He’s a vampire who’s been burned before, destined to never love again. Christoph Parks has sworn off relationships. In the century that he’s walked the earth, he’s only known heartbreak and disappointment. But one smile from the island’s sassy florist has his icy heart melting. And now that the pair have been thrown together to save their loved ones’ wedding from imploding, can they also overcome a brutal curse, find a way to trust, and finally get the love that they deserve?

Set on an island full of supernaturals and a wedding destination. Our heroine, Felicia, is a florist and a witch, who provides flowers for not only the weddings but sometimes also the brides’ pre-marriage celebration called a bachelorette here – and this can well take place in a very raunchy nightclub where the strippers are either vampires or wolves! Either way, they have really good bodies and plenty of pizzazz and not afraid to show what they have! Our hero is the Best Man to the wedding around which this story is set, and he is a vampire – Christoph.

So, this is a cute, funny, vampy story starting with the dildo flower bouquet for the pre-wedding party, and carrying on in the like vein. Food that has spells on it (to make you high without drugs), food with spells on it counter the high or hangover potions, curses, and adventures.

Nicely written as a shortish story and a good start to a series.

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Off to the seaside! Book Review.

Meet Me at Pebble Beach Book Cover Meet Me at Pebble Beach
Bella Osborne
Fiction, Women's fiction
HarperCollins UK, Avon
May 28, 2020
416

Meet Me at Pebble Beach was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package. Regan is holding a winning lottery ticket. Goodbye to the boyfriend who never had her back, and so long to the job she can’t stand! Except it’s all a bit too good to be true… When Regan gets pranked, she finds herself jobless, homeless and boyfriendless in one fell swoop. Luckily her friendly seaside community provides a beacon of hope, proving to Regan that sometimes you really can rely on the kindness of others – and one local in particular, a handsome fireman called Charlie, helps Regan realise that this could be her chance for a fresh start. Armed with a list of ways to change her life, Regan decides it’s time to step out of her comfort zone. Because – as Charlie knows all too well – life is for living . . . A feel-good summer read, perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Veronica Henry and Cressida McLaughlin.

This was an interesting story in that i thought it could have been better. The concept was good but the proof of concept needed improvement.

There was more opportunity for humour than was used, and the starting chapters were rather dull and lacking in originality. The later chapters improved but her final solution was not, for me, fully realised and believable. an almost story. I am giving it 3 stars because for some people it will appeal.

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