Christmas Island by Natalie Normann HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter You Like Them One More Chapter Romance Pub Date 30 Nov 2020
In the bleak midwinter…A really frosty wind is making Holly’s life absolutely miserable After all the years of hard work it took Londoner Holly Greene to become a doctor, now it could all be taken away and she only has herself to blame. She’s retreating to her brother’s rustic home on an island off the coast of Norway to lick her wounds. Only, it’s the middle of winter and icy slush plus endless darkness isn’t exactly the cheery, festive getaway she had imagined. Nearly stumbling off the edge of a cliff in the dark, Holly is saved by Frøy, a yellow-eyed cat of fearsome but fluffy proportions, and his owner – grouchy, bearded recluse, Tor. Tor has his own problems to face but the inexplicable desire to leave a bag of freshly baked gingerbread men on Holly’s doorstep is seriously getting in the way of his hermit routine. Call it kindness, call it Christmas, but Holly’s arrival means midwinter has never looked less bleak.
We could be in one of the far flung Scottish islands – but we are not, we are in Norway – on one of their far flung islands where there is a very small community, everyone knows everyone else’s business, there is nothing to do, and it is very cold, very wet and very dark most of the year. Yes, the correct type of place to hide away in total isolation and be a hermit. it is also rather windy as next stop is America and the wind comes across a cold ocean. [No point having a balcony when you go across by boat we found out after having paid extra for one!]
As with many of these remote islands, the animals, usually sheep, are of a rare breed who have learnt to survive on a very particular diet which only exists on one island. Like the Soay sheep or the Boreray sheep or the Orkney sheep which live on seaweed. Many of these are now feral or are in rare breed farms. So our heroine’s brother has a flock of his rare breed sheep – Norway has a few too – in fact there are more rare breed sheep than any other type of animal as man has spent of his energy on cross breeding them for his particular environment. the funniest looking is this one – serious coats here!
We also have a lovely cat belonging to our hermit – a Norwegian Forest cat – this is a large breed of nicely mannered cat but they are smaller than the Maine Coons but just as friendly – we now have 2 Maine Coons and this is our male:
I did think that our hermit had seriously got the Covid and the whole island had the zoom etiquette down pat.
In many ways a quite traditional romance story – beauty and the beast trope – with a nice twist with the island, winter, xmas, and cat.
Most Eligible Billionaire
Billionaires in Manhattan Series
romantic comedy, contemporary romance
OMG - the cute little dog I adopted turns out to be a billionaire Maltese! That's right, my tiny dog just inherited giant corporation! ...and the jerky CEO? Not amused.
I'm Vicky, the dog whisperer. (Not really, but that's what my elderly neighbor says whenever I walk her dog, Smuckers.)
When she dies, she surprises everybody by leaving a corporation worth billions to Smuckers...and she leaves Smuckers to me.
Suddenly I go from running my Etsy store to sitting in an elegant Wall Street boardroom with Smuckers in my lap. And my neighbor's son, Henry Locke, aka New York's most eligible bachelor, glaring across the table at me.
Rumor has it Henry's a business genius who's as talented in the bedroom as he is in the boardroom. Sure, he's gorgeous. Sex-in-a-seven-thousand dollar suit. But...
He's arrogant and infuriating. He refuses to listen to me when I insist I didn't con his mother.
Devil Days in Deadwood:
# 11 (Deadwood Humorous Mystery)
Genres: Fantasy, (Young) Adult, Mystery, Horror,
23 May 2020
“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” ~William Shakespeare
Violet Parker knows better than to play with devils. They always cheat, especially when lives are at stake. Deadwood’s charming, troublemaking, and soul-sucking devils are no different, and they’re biting at her heels.
But the clock is ticking and Violet has no choice—she must risk her life to save her treasured Aunt Zoe. With any luck, she might be able to trick the devils and beat the old terrors at their own game. If not, Deadwood could end up short one Executioner.
“Executioners don't duck, they swing.” ~Violet Parker
There are 11 books – so far – In this series plus 5 short stories, but plenty of opportunity for more stories to come. Not all the monsters have yet appeared (?) or been vanquished. Whilst the short stories fit in between some of the main books, they are not essential to the main story line – which does continue through the books. None are stand-alone and even the short stories should not be read before their place in the series as the entire story-line is closely entwined.
So, these stories have plenty of humour, lots of ghosts, some murders, romance – quite hot at times, and the Old Wild West crops up as this is Deadwood as in ‘Shoot Out in the Corral’ Deadwood. With brothels, saloons, casinos, and gold – and thus mines and all the icky things that live in old mines! Also cropping up are: myths and mythology, folk tales and horror stories, demons, devils (yes there is a distinction – depends on rank), mediums of various types, ectoplasm and poltergeists – goes with mediums? So full on with all the various nasties you can think of, plus a few more to give you the heeby jeebies at night.
I did enjoy our heroine who was so very protective of her twins, and her boyfriend ‘Doc’ was also good. After all, he put up with her and her various eccentricities and adventures and rather messy way of killing… And she has a job as a realtor – which is the second most common job in Deadwood (they call them residential advisors), so it is tough, and they seem to do a lot of work. But unlike some property companies, she seems to get a steady salary and bonuses for selling and renting, so she has always something to fall back in terms of income.
The writing style was lively, and it was difficult to get bored, and I am now waiting for the next in the series to come out. In fact, I broke one of my cardinal rules and bought 15 books! The first was free but …. That was a lot of books for me to buy as I get so many free. But I couldn’t stop reading – I read all 16 books in one week.
Now we get quite a few descriptions of meals in the stories, and yes, we are in the South Dakota mountains and it is bitterly cold and snowy quite a lot of the year, (Deadwood averages 138 inches of snow per year. The US average is 28 inches of snow per year.) but still, the meals all seem to be very high carb and fat and very low in vegetables and fruit especially for the children. Pizza appears a lot and fruit appears in pies with tinned fillings and sugary tops; there was a mention of a cabbage and some salads, but the green bean casserole (why casserole green beans?) has added fat, as well apparently, according to Campbells Soups, mushroom soup and fried onions.
And then there is sugar, more sugar, and variations of sugar in various sweet foods.
Is there a shortage of fresh/frozen vegetables? Can someone explain please?
Yes, I do realise this is a novel and it isn’t reality but it does seem to me, that there usually a reflection of truth in here somewhere, either in the local culture of the South Dakotas or the author, so I checked with the State regional foods. And the Black Hills Visitor lists the following:
1. Kolache – cakes with cream cheese filling
3. Wojapi – berry dipping sauce
4. Chislic – deep fried meat cubes
5. Buffalo meat
6. Walleye fish
7. Indian Tacos (on Fry Bread)
8. Kuchen with custard
Yup. High carb, sugar and fat…
And look out for the Purple Boots and their importance and influence…
So, I strongly recommend this if you like paranormal fun and aren’t likely to get nightmares.
Scorn of Secrets
Genres: Coming of Age, Romance, Young Adult
Publication date: April 27th 2021
I must keep it locked away—the memory of my darkest secret…. When the rising tides of my life peak, I’m left struggling with the currents of the storm. The first dilemma is my dad’s gambling debt. Mama bounces back quickly from the ramifications it causes. She proves this by getting a new man. Her Rico Suave is just the tip of the iceberg—she moves us across state to live with him and his two sons. My outgoing, older sister fits right in—she’s the total opposite of me. I am Madison Guillory, the shy, quiet type. Taught to make the best of even the worst situations, I contemplate giving my new family a chance. Living with my future stepbrothers is interesting, to say the least. They’re like night and day. I have more in common with the laid-back brother, and we become instant friends. I’m adjusting to Taylor High, and the arrogant brother is even starting to grow on me. Maybe everything will work out after all. My life finally seems to be falling into place until a dreadful night shatters my dreams. My world is flipped upside down because of the consequences I must now bear. The memories of that night lurk in the shadows to torment me. If I think of what happened, I’ll succumb to my fear. His face has scorned me. No one will believe me if I confess, not even my own sister. I hold the key to my darkest secret, desperate to keep it locked away.
Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
I was a fan of V.C Andrews as a teen. I read the Heaven, Ruby, and Dawn series and My Sweet Audrina. Those books sparked the idea for Scorn of Secrets.
How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about 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 don’t have a set time frame to think about a topic. Normally an idea springs to life and I may turn over the ideas for a day or two before I start writing an outline—sometimes it’s the same day. I usually make a detailed outline of the scenes the story is telling me. It depends on how much of the story has presented itself and the inspiration behind it on when I write it. The are no set parameters on when the inspiration hits. Once I have made a detailed outline, I may continue to write scenes for that book. Or I may work on another story until I feel the time is right to complete that story.
How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?
There is no set time frame for research. As I’m writing a story, I research what topics come up as I go along.
How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?
Thanks to Kindle Direct Publishing none of my novels have been rejected. I didn’t have to worry about the gruelling process of becoming traditional published since I as self-published.
Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?
The 1st novel I published was e-book and paperback through Kindle Direct and CreateSpace.
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?
I feel self-publishing is a great option because you don’t have to worry about submission objection, and you can get your work out there. But I do feel that you need to find promotional services like blog blitzes, tours, book giveaways, and sites to market your book to get the word out. With millions of books on the market it is very difficult for your book to be recognized without having advertising for it.
What do you read when you are ill in bed?
I do like reading in bed at night. But if I am in the mood for reading, then I will read when I’m off or after work if I get quiet time.
What is your favourite genre?
Dystopian, Sci-fi, Psychological thrillers, Urban, and Paranormal Romance are among my favourites.
If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?
V. C Andrews, Ruby Dixon, Jennifer Armentrout, Jamie McGuire, Tarryn Fisher, Emmy Chandlier, Abel Regine, Susan Trombley, Nicholas Sparks, and Stephen King.
Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?
V. C Andrews, Ruby Dixon, Jennifer Armentrout, Jamie McGuire.
In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?
Ruby Dixon is freaking hilarious.
Which of your books are you most proud of?
My latest novel, Scorn of Secrets because it’s the 1st novel I ever wrote when I was fifteen. It was 350 pages handwritten. I pulled it out in 2015, dusted off the cobwebs, and then I revamped the story keeping the bones. I’ve worked the hardest the make Scorn the best it can be. Since it is the 1st novel I’ve written and finally gotten out there, I am the proudest of this accomplishment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
B. Truly has wanted to be an author since she was fifteen years old. She is grateful to have accomplished this dream. B. Truly has very vivid dreams and a wild imagination. She likes to read, watch tons of TV shows, and movies. She’s addicted to romance and gets a thrill out of suspense and sci-fi. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romance, sci-fi, dystopian, and paranormal genres.
B. Truly likes to explore conflicted plots of romance with thrilling twists. She also loves creating impossible situations for her characters to grow from and try to overcome.
B. Truly has three wonderful children, and a husband who defines the person that she is today. She works full-time as an Ultrasound technologist in Houston, Texas.
Night Shifts With The Miami Doc
(Mills & Boon Medical)
February 18, 2021
Fast-paced days… and slow, sultry nights!
Dr. Regina’s temporary job in Miami is a chance to refocus. So, she’s unprepared for her former resident, Dr. Mateo, to be working in the same hospital. Or, for Mateo to make it clear, that he wants her…
In essence this is a standard rom com – and the doctor in question did night shifts on rotation not all the time so title is incorrect. The story twists were that she was older than him; he was once her student; and she was only in Miami for a sabbatical. Nice to read she was African American and that the potential issues of inter-racial relationships did NOT arise. Nicely written but at a semi-superficial level – you don’t get to really learn or empathise with the characters or the setting.