Meet Author Julie Forester

Good Afternoon Friends and welcome. Thank you for stopping by last week for my review of Domina Alexandra‘s ‘A Night Claimed.’ Today author Julie Forester is here to talk about her new book that just debuted, ‘Marmalade Martini.’ I had the chance to read this awesome story and know you are going to love it as much as I did.

MARMALADE MARTINI – A mystery romance novel by Julie Forester

Julie Forester

THE BEGINNING
You know how life takes you on its intricate pathway of experiences and discovery? For me, one such life-changing series of events lead me to stop, take stock and reflect on a few goals and priorities in my life.
I’d seen this happen to other people, but when it happened to me, it was truly my literary epiphany!

Even before this point, and for as long as I can remember, writing was something I always did – either for pleasure through the musings of a would-be fledgling author, or professionally through my background in education.

The upshot to this preamble? Well, to cut a long story short, about five years ago, my debut novel, MARMALADE MARTINI was conceived.

MARMALADE MARTINI
Even before the title was decided, I knew exactly how the story would begin and end. An unconventional approach? Perhaps. But the fact was, I had penned my very first and final paragraphs before I had any notion of how the story would unravel.

Crucially (and fatally) I was already emotionally involved with my main character, Jamie Barker. She lived and worked in London UK, so my frequent social visits to the capital enabled me to become familiar with her world. I discovered where she drank, where she lived, where she worked and she even started to introduce me to her circle of friends. As soon as I discovered that Jamie has a story to tell, I knew that I needed to tell it for her!
Manuscript written, I ventured to dip my toes into the big wide world of fiction publication! It was the best feeling ever, when (my now) literary editor told me, ‘You know, you’ve got something

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here…’

AMELIE
As often happens in novels, the characters (both humans and other animals 😉) usually have their personalities / characteristics attributed in some way to real life. In MARMALADE MARTINI, Jamie Barker’s cat, Amelie, is one such example.

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I was amused when one blogger wrote, as part of her review: ‘She (Jamie) has an adorable rag doll cat named Amelie, which frankly, is my dream cat. And of which, I wish there more of her in the story.

Sadly, the real Amelie – our gentle, deaf, sweet-natured little old lady of 18 years, took her last breath just before Christmas last year. Loved dearly and certainly never forgotten.

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ROCK & RHUBARB – THE SEQUEL
As I wrote MARMALADE MARTINI, and the twists and turns of the narrative peeled away, I realised that a sequel was brewing! The loose ends and unanswered questions were utterly deliberate. I wanted to dangle the carrot on the stick, step back and see what the audience wanted.

Thankfully, following the success of the first book (and prompted by fantastic reviews and reader-demand) I am currently embarking on the sequel – ROCK & RHUBARB.

This time, ROCK & RHUBARB is set, not in London, but on the south coast, Brighton UK. Jamie and familiar faces are joined by new characters, where the doors to Alchemy Cocktail Bar will be opened for one last time.

Watch this space…

FUTURE WRITING?
Already, new ideas and characters are bubbling in the melting pot of my imagination. I’m really excited to see what happens next!

Intrigued? Read the reviews. Buy the novel here.

Available in Kindle and Paperback, and coming soon to Audible.

Connect with Julie

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Does this sound like a good story or what? For more on Marmalade Martini, read the review I posted on 09-Mar-19.

My Review of ‘Marmalade Martini’

Thank you, Julie, for sharing with us. Be sure to stop by next week when I’ll be presenting my review for ‘It’s All Coming Back to Me‘ by Michelle Marra.

Until Next Time,

Namaste

Lynn

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My Review for Domina Alexandra’s ‘A Night Claimed’

Hello everyone and welcome. As I promised, today I’m presenting my review for Domina Alexandra’s new book, ‘A Night Claimed.’ If you love paranormal with intense drama, you are in for a real treat. This story takes you into an unknown zone which excited me as I read.Author Photo 3

Bonnie, the protagonist, is a dedicated paramedic and has seen it all. She is tough and can take care of herself; she is a leader and doesn’t like others to own her. When it comes to her job, she is the utmost professional and takes charge of the situation. At the same time, her loving demeanor is addicting and people are comforted by her kindness. She is a strong loving woman and I admired that trait in her.

All is well until one night a good deed backfires on her. No longer is she able to take things for granted and she has to learn the hard way what it takes to live her new life and accept it. The story describes Bonnie’s transition to her new life and her desperation to hang on to her old life. She shows real emotion and resistance to this.

There are two people who helped Bonnie through her transition and who enhanced the story, Rosemary and Rikki.A Night Claimed Cover

Rosemary works at the hospital where Bonnie takes many of her patients. She is strong-willed but soft-spoken. She has an enormous amount of patience when it comes to Bonnie. She comes off as easy going and truly is interested in Bonnie’s well-being.

Rikki is a friend of Rosemary. She is direct, but not forward. She is accepting and patient, especially with Bonnie. She takes Bonnie under her wing. There is loving energy about her that draws people in, including Bonnie’s mother. Rikki is very wise and says the right thing at the right time. I really admire her gentleness towards people, yet still holding the reins. She is physically strong and exerts herself when seriously provoked.

The author doesn’t rush the story by putting in a romance scene too early. I love it when the players get to know each other first before they get intimate. The intimate scenes are very hot and tender.

The pace of the book is just right, neither too fast nor too slow. I like how the author delivers the story one step at a time. The descriptions are excellent. I felt like I was there in the scenes with Bonnie. You are going to want to carve out about five hours of your day to read this as you won’t want to put it down. I found myself wanting more as the plot thickened. I am recommending ‘A Night Claimed’ for everyone.

A Night Claimed Cover

Here is an excerpt to get you started.

*

“You shouldn’t be here, Bonnie.” 

Thanks for the warm welcome, Rosemary.

I knew I shouldn’t have come to the hospital. It was just a nightmare. But I honestly didn’t know where else I could go in the middle of the night. I did not want to be at home. The sound of the clicking hazards lurked in my eardrums.

“Here.” Rosemary handed me a napkin. “It’s late. You should be home.”

I wiped the sweat from my forehead while I studied Rosemary. She was the only one who brought me any comfort since the incident, and I couldn’t pinpoint why. Her features softened as she met my gaze – her cheekbones, her jaw, her lips. They all appeared fuller than they had only moments ago.  

“You hungry? We have pizza in the break room.” Clearly, Rosemary was going to be the one carrying the weight of this conversation. 

I grinned toothily at the question. My appetite suddenly returned. “Absolutely.” 

I left her in the room and sprinted to the breakroom, my mind only focused on one thing: pizza. It’s not a bad idea, right? But I never made it there. As soon as I crossed the threshold into the ER, the biting, iron scent of blood suffocated my nostrils. The wound on my shoulder ached, and a hunger like I’d never experienced exploded in my gut. My eyes narrowed in pursuit, searching for the source of the smell. 

A stretcher whooshed past me surrounded by a bevy of paramedics. A man drenched in blood that was pouring from deep, jagged cuts wailed and struggled against the pain. I felt my consciousness slip away and something else rose to take its place. I lunged forward – a thing, a creature of undiluted impulse, advancing for the most basic of needs. That syrupy, mineral liquid of life. The thrill of flesh tearing apart.

I never caught my prey. 

Supernaturally strong arms enveloped me. I shrieked and struggled, but the arms only drew around me more tightly. They spun me, dragged me into the breakroom, and then slammed me against the wall. They were Rosemary’s. Before I could react, she locked the door and turned to face me. Her face was no longer soft, no longer full. Rosemary’s cheekbones were sharp edges, her jaws were straight lines. 

“Bonnie,” she snarled. “Bonnie, calm down!” 

I blinked rapidly, my chest caving in with each breath I expelled. Confused, I looked to Rosemary hoping for an explanation. She pulled me into a hug, and I relaxed in her embrace. 

“Only a panic attack. We are fine,” Rosemary purred, stroking the middle of my back.

“Focus on your breathing. I’m right here.”

I only nodded.

“Stay here.” She squeezed my hand and left the room.

She didn’t need to say anything. There was no way I was going to make an appearance after that display.

While I waited for her to return, I wondered if I had actually suffered a panic attack or mental break. It was possible, given what I had endured, but it didn’t feel like it was anything so commonplace as either of those options. The longer I puzzled over the possibilities, the more I realized that this would not be explained so easily.

“Well, I’m dipping out early. We are going to take a trip.” Rosemary smiled reassuringly when she reentered the room.

“With you? Where?” I wasn’t in the mood for a trip anywhere except home. “You trust me?” Rosemary asked. 

It didn’t really sound like a question. It was a challenge.

*

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Purchase ‘A Night Claimed

Doesn’t this sound like a great book or what? What happens next will take you to another realm of your imagination. You are going to love this book, is all I’m going to say.

Be sure to stop by next week when author Julie Forester will be my guest blogger. You don’t want to miss this event so mark your calendars.

Until Next Time,

Namaste,

Lynn

 

 

Meet Author Domina Alexandra

Good Afternoon friends and welcome. Today I’m turning the reins over to Triplicity Publishing author Domina Alexandra whose book, ‘A Night Claimed‘, just debuted. Having beta read this story I can tell you it is one you’re going to want to put on your reading list. It offers a bit of paranormal, which I like.

A Night Claimed Cover

Let’s go meet Domina. She is starting out with an excerpt from her book, ‘A Night Claimed.’ Her protagonist, Bonnie, is strong, but a feisty woman.

*

Her eyes were gold when they met mine. She was gnashing at her inner bottom lip. She took a deep breath. “How do you feel?”

“I’m fine, mother.” I made no attempt to hide my sarcasm.

“You think what happened is a joke? Do you know what could have happened?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Challenging an unknown werewolf is dangerous even on the best of days but challenging one when you are a newborn wolf is just plain moronic.” She stood abruptly, and in the blink of an eye she sped from her chair to the fireplace that was four feet away. “You risked your life. Rosemary’s life!”

“I didn’t do anything wrong.” I scowled in defiance. “I never threatened—”

“Mockery. Rude remarks. Sarcasm. You were basically telling that werewolf that you didn’t take him seriously. That he is unimportant. That you are not concerned about what he can do to you.”

“I wasn’t.” I pressed my hand against the pain in my ribcage. “He butted into my conversation. He had no right—”

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“Perhaps not.” Rikki’s eyes narrowed again as she interrupted me once more. She returned to her chair in front of me. “You can’t continue to speak to others as you do to humans. You are no longer a human. And to a werewolf…if you use sarcasm or any form that can be a means to challenge them, they have a right to prove they are the stronger werewolf. Living as dominant wolves, that means something. For you…an Omega…your life is doubly at risk. You are not capable of submitting unless you truly choose. And to werewolves that is another slap in their faces.”

I shook my head…

… “Perhaps I should have died when I was attacked.”

I knew it was anger and grief speaking. Why was I feeling so overwhelmed with emotions?

“I can’t. I will not be belittled. Degraded. For anyone. Never. It is not in my nature to bow.” I wiped my tears as they fell. The frustration of this conversation broke my emotional barrier into tiny fragments.

“I am not asking you to submit to any man or woman who offends you.” Her look told me she had a but coming. “Yet, you are in a new world. You will die within the first year if you don’t understand…there is a new language you must learn. And in that, you will learn how to defend yourself from those who challenge, question, or offend you without starting a fight. You cannot avoid this.”

“I just don’t see how this is my fault. I didn’t want to fight—”

“I know you didn’t. But now…in this new world you live in, what you say, more importantly, how you speak matters. Rosemary is a submissive wolf. She was so terrified by what happened that it took me an hour to get her out from underneath the table.”

My eyes widened when I realized how stupid I had been acting. This was no longer about me anymore. I was in a whole new world whether I accepted it or not. The last thing I wanted was to die over dumb words. Dumb choices. And Rosemary. My ignorance put her in danger.

*

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As a writer, I am asked, why this story? What is my characters purpose? It’s simple and complex all at once. Bonnie can be anyone. You, me, or your best friend. Bonnie has her career as a paramedic. Has a family. Lives a normal life. And then some rogue werewolf comes and ruins it all. What was mundane to her, is now not!

Forced into a world she didn’t ask for. Finding out she’s something more.

I wanted to merge the supernatural and mundane world together. Where Bonnie is in a tug of war between her old and new life. But, it’s more than letting go of her old life. She has to let go of her way of thinking and handling situations.

Starting off in denial, Bonnie has no choice but to accept what she now is. A werewolf. And then there’s Rikki. The Alpha. Let’s not go there.

Yes, this is a romance. But, this is something more. This is a new coming of age for Bonnie. With claws and canines coming at her in all directions.

Fortunately, this story has more to offer than action and romance. A Night Claimed, means something more to me, that I hope you as readers can see. To be taken out of our element without permission. Forced to live a new life without choice. It’s up to you as readers to choose what that means for you.

I know one thing! Bonnie is not one to submit. She is not submissive nor cares to hold power. She’s stubborn and has a very smart mouth. Inquisitive and brave.

Creating Bonnie’s world was a pleasure I look forward to lingering inside on occasion. And as readers, I hope you all join me!

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Purchase ‘A Night Claimed

Thank you for joining us today. It was a pleasure seeing you all. Stay tuned for 13-Apr-19 when I’ll be presenting my review for ‘A Night Claimed.’ Be sure to stop by next week when I’ll be presenting something new.

Until next time,

Nameste

Lynn

Photos subject to copyright.

My Review of ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me’

Good afternoon Friends and welcome. Thank you for visiting last week for my ‘Marmalade Martini’ review. It is huge success. Today I’m featuring my review for Tracey Richardson‘s ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me‘. This story caught my interest since it takes place in Windsor, Ont, which is across the Detroit River separating it and Michigan, where I grew up. Let’s go meet our players.

Author photoEllie Kirkland is a twenty something woman doing the best she can. She is a sweet woman with a genuine heart who works hard for what she wants. She isn’t afraid to go after it either. I found her to be more mature and beyond her years. She refuses to be labeled and does what she feels. I really like way this character is developed. She shows a lot of guts in the story and I applaud the author for making her this way. However, she often gets distracted, which led to a not so pleasant place. She is respectful of others and never gets upset over things out of her control. She accepts them and moves on. I liked this quality in her.

Ellie’s family members are overachievers and superficial. Although they gave her lots of love growing up, they exerted ‘Tough Love’. She feels like she isn’t good enough for them. She is always looking up to her twin often feeling left in the shadows. It is obvious her moms favored her twin over her, often making condescending comments to Ellie, which was unfair. But it does add depth to the story.

Claire Melbourne is a newspaper director who is also Ellie’s boss. She has an eye for Ellie, although she is much older than she; in her eyes Ellie is eyecandy. Claire is into Motown music and grew up listening to the old tunes with her mom. Change is her enemy and she is future oriented; she prefers the status quo and predictability and is set in her ways. With certain things, she comes off as a bit possessive, but will surprise you with a few things in the story.

When with others, she listens with genuine interest. Although she doesn’t have much of a social life. Due to her rocky adolescence, she is now unable to accept compliments.  When it comes to work, she is a fearless warrior and will do what it takes to get the job done promptly.
book cover TRI love how the relationship developed between Ellie and Claire. There is some boat rocking that kept me on the edge of my seat. The drama itself will keep the reader engaged. As the story progressed, both characters grew deeper, making them dynamic.

What is cool is the protagonists really get to know each other before they hit the sheets. They go on nice dates that are special for both of them. The author paints a great picture of the Detroit skyline on one of their dates. The way she describes a kiss got me going. Be prepared, though, the romance scenes blew smoke out of my ears from all the fire. It is quite the ride.

There are many conflicts with the secondary characters that also kept me glued. They are well put together and offered great loving support for the main characters. I love how there are dogs in the story and how they had a prominent role in the plot. The reader gets some education about the canines.

The book is moderately paced and it took me about five hours to read. Some of the dialog got me rolling. It is a heartfelt story. The descriptions are excellent and the reader feels like they are in the places mentioned in the book. The reader also gets to look into their heads and learn about their dreams and wishes. This is a great touch. Be warned about some rough language in one part of the book, other than that, it is beautifully written. There is some other conflict that will tug at your emotions.

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Here is an except to get you started:

*

She couldn’t lose this dog. And if she did, she’d never hear the end of it from her parents… that she was too immature to look after a dog, that she could never see anything through, that it was so typical of her inability to handle responsibility. Piper’s disappearance was the icing on the cake that was made purely out of shit today.

“Don’t,” she called out weakly to Marissa, as in, don’t answer the door. But it was too late. Marissa was letting someone in, talking in a low voice, and Ellie’s imagination ran wild again with visions of Piper dead or injured, her heart cracking with each dreadful thought. And then came the unmistakable flurry of the click-clacking of dog nails on the tile floor. Piper? “Oh my god, is that you, girl?” The dog, damp from the light rain and smelling of grass and mud, bounded into the living room, practically bowling Ellie over. She dropped to her knees and let Piper lick her face before furiously hugging her. She was wet, a little muddy, but Ellie didn’t care. “You’ve come back! Oh, thank god. You bad, bad cat chaser, you.” She stroked Piper’s curly head and gave her the blackest stare she could summon, which really wasn’t much. “No more chasing cats for you. I’m getting you a harness. And a muzzle. And maybe a ball and chain to slow you down. But a bath is the first thing you’re getting.”

Piper’s ears drooped at the word bath. “A-hem.” It was Marissa, inclining her head toward someone in the foyer that Ellie couldn’t see. The hero who’d brought Piper home. “Oh, god,” Ellie said, jumping to her feet and dashing for the foyer, anxious to thank whomever it was. “I can’t thank you enough for returning my d—” Holy shit! It was her boss, Claire Melbourne, right here in the flesh.

*

Five Stars.

Purchase ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me

Doesn’t this sound like a great book or what? I totally enjoyed it and know you will too. Be sure to stop by next week when I’ll be presenting something new.

Until Next Time,

Nameste

Lynn

Photos subject to copyright.

My Review of ‘Marmalade Martini’

Good afternoon Everyone and a warm welcome to you. Thank you for visiting last week for my guest blog with Suzie Carr. It was a huge turnout.

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Jamie Barker is an architect who immediately caught my attention as I remembered my good days as a CAD drafter for various architectural firms. She has a caring heart and wants the best for others. I found her to be too nice to some people as if she is afraid to hurt their feelings. Jamie’s career comes first and her social life second. She isn’t close with her family and only talks to them rarely. However, she is tired of being single and wants someone in her life.  She cherishes her father and frequently reminisces about the good times she had with him. She is tough and has made her own way in the architectural world where alpha males dominate.

Kate is the other protagonist who is trying to save a failed relationship. She is quick and doesn’t put up with nonsense. She looks out for people even when she is hurting. One of her family members likes to meddle with her affairs.

Alex is Jamie’s best friend but has questionable motives. I found her to be very daring and almost to the point of being obnoxious. Her character created some really good drama for the story. I felt she was a burden to Jamie.

A secondary character is a complete sleazeball. The description of this guy is chilling and his actions concern me. He may disturb sensitive people with some of the things he says.

There is plenty of drama including backstabbing in the book which makes an interesting story. When you learn the truth about Jamie, you’ll be surprised. The reaction from the other party is priceless.

What I like about this story was that the lovers don’t jump into bed in the first part of the book. There is a lot of caring and nurturing going on before the big event happens. I enjoyed watching the friendship develop.

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I love how strong the characters are. They are not the type of women who squeal when they are in danger. These women fight back. I love how they take ownership of their lives instead of blaming any pitfalls on external stimuli. I learned some things as a result of reading this book and I thank the author for providing some words of wisdom.

The book has very good descriptions. In one scene I felt like I was in a gothic church bar. The pace is moderate and is pretty easy reading. It took me about 5 hours to read this and I would recommend one sitting. If you love London as much as I do,  you’re going to be in for a real treat. I am recommending this book for everyone who loves a good read.

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Here is an excerpt to get you started:

*

Jamie scanned the length of the street, searching for a shop doorway in which to shelter. She crossed a narrow, one-way side road. A flashing neon sign caught her eye, so she made a dash for it. Getting nearer, she was relieved to see a luminous ‘open’ sign above the door of a bar called Alchemy. Why had she never noticed this place before?

Chest still tight, Jamie stopped briefly in the dark entryway. She didn’t generally wander into bars alone – much less ones she had never been in before. The splash of running footsteps and high-pitched squeals came up from behind her. Jamie wasn’t the only one caught out by the rain.

“’Scuse us, love,” said the taller of the two women. They manoeuvred past her down a few steps and pulled open the door, wobbling on silly-inch heels.

Jamie stepped to one side. The sticky heat of the bar wafted out from inside. She leaned across the small stairwell and spontaneously grabbed for the door handle before it closed. Decision made! Following in the wake of the two women, she was immediately hit by the heady smell of candles and burnt orange peel.

She entered a dim, vault-like archway. A converted Victorian cellar, walls bare brick and floor of paving slabs and cobblestones. Antique, dark-wood tables were occupied by chattering groups of people, huddled around free-flowing candles in bottles that had left rivulets of white lava on the tables. Wall-mounted church candles continued the theme. They had dripped down the black cast – iron brackets, creating fragile stalactites of wax. 

Various bottles were lined up along glass shelves, spanning the length of the wall behind the bar. They were cleverly backlit to illuminate the range of coloured liquids like an apothecary’s hoard. Behind the shelves were mirrors, creating the illusion of opulence and spaciousness. The bar curved towards the back of the maze-like building and disappeared into the depths of three other dimly lit arches.

It was at least fifteen minutes since Jamie had escaped. Surely, by now, Alex must have noticed that she had left the pub, and be wondering where she had got to? Jamie took out her phone. Useless. The battery was flat. Three more people crashed their way through the door – wet through but laughing and immensely pleased to have found shelter. This wasn’t just a short summer shower, it seemed. Resigned to the possibility that she was going to be stuck here longer than she’d expected, Jamie decided to make the most of it. Besides, after the night she’d just had, she needed.

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Seizing the opportunity, she headed for a newly vacant barstool and reached into her jeans pocket, flinching at a stab of pain from her wrist. She pulled out a scrunched-up ten-pound note and some loose coins. If this was all the cash she had, she wouldn’t be able to afford the cab fare home, as well as a nightcap. What the hell. Home would have to wait. It would be easier to solve the problem of the lost keys later in the day when she was thinking more clearly.

Jamie leant across the bar to pick up a cocktail menu. Pushing her sodden fringe from her eyes, she skimmed down the page in search of the cheapest drinks. Drops of rain from her hair smudged the ink. Wiping the menu with her sleeve only made it worse. Now the print was only partially legible – hopeless without her reading glasses.

The bartender came to the rescue. “Here, use this to dry yourself off.” She offered Jamie the linen cloth over her shoulder. “It’s only been used to polish the glasses. It’s clean.”

“Thanks.” Jamie could feel her usually sculpted, spiked hair was now a flattened, dripping mullet. She quickly rubbed her head and handed back the cloth, catching her reflection in the glass behind the bottles. It wasn’t a pretty sight, but she didn’t want to draw attention to herself by fussing further over her hairstyle malfunction.

To preserve the illusion of composure, Jamie casually peeled off her wet jacket. For the first time, she took a proper look at her recent purchase. Bleach-splashed, augmented with chains, zips and safety pins, patched with badges and odd squares of tartan, it really was dreadful. Jamie gave it a shake and draped it over the seat of her barstool. She sat down on the makeshift cushion. Her comfort, however, was short-lived – damp started seeping into the seat of her jeans. She shifted her weight uneasily, trying to look as though she was concentrating on a replacement cocktail menu.

“Typical English weather,” the bartender smirked. She slid a bowl of peanuts in front of Jamie. “What can I get you?” She made eye contact.

Jamie held her gaze. “Surprise me,” she said, realising she hadn’t yet selected a cocktail. “It’ll have to be under a tenner, though.” She apologetically smoothed out the ten-pound note onto the counter.

“I’m guessing this is hair-of-the-dog time?”

“You wouldn’t be wrong there.”

“Well, now, let me see…” The waitress turned to scan the bottles on the shelves, giving her concoction careful consideration. She took what appeared to be a jar of marmalade from the chiller cabinet. Then the theatre of her art began.

Jamie watched her pour the contents of a bright orange bottle into a shaker full of crushed ice. She lost track after that. A skilfully trained mixologist, this woman provided the full works, and Jamie appreciated the spectacle of her juggling act.

Eventually, tasting from the end of a dipped-in straw, and approving of her creation with a nod, the bartender finally offered a lighter flame to a slither of orange peel, twisted it and dropped it in the drink. Routine complete, she stood back, waiting for Jamie’s reaction.

“I feel like I should be holding up score cards after that performance.” Jamie took a long sip. Still drinking, she gave a thumbs up. “Oh, wow, now that’s good.”

“Excellent!”

“What is it?”

The woman tapped the cocktail menu in front of Jamie. “Call it breakfast.”

Jamie read: Marmalade Martini. She liked this woman’s sense of humour. “Any toast and a mug of breakfast tea to go with that?”

The bartender turned to serve the next customer.

“What do I owe you?” Jamie picked up the ten-pound note and waved it in her direction.

The bartender glanced back. “On the house,” she replied with a smile.

A free drink? Why? Jamie watched the bartender fill the customer’s order, then take a wineglass from the rack before returning to Jamie’s section of the counter.

“It’s okay,” the woman added. “I’m the owner of this place.” She slowly polished the wineglass. “Anyhow, you look like you could do with a nightcap,” she said with a wink. “Heavy night, was it?”

“A free drink? I must really look rough if you thought I needed alcohol that badly.” Jamie noticed the smile lines around the woman’s eyes and mouth – deep and expressive. Jamie was an ‘eyes’ woman, and this woman used hers to communicate. Trying not to stare, Jamie took note of her simple, almost symmetrical, pear-shaped face. She had a strong, strikingly chiselled chin, and a slight Romanesque bump on the bridge of her nose. Her highlighted auburn hair was centre-parted and pulled back over her ears into a short ponytail, barely reaching the base of her neck. Was she wearing makeup? If so, it was expertly applied. For a fleeting moment, Jamie toyed with the possibility of there being a shared chemistry worth pursuing here.

But the woman’s attention had already turned, as a new person’s custom proved more appealing. Jamie watched, mesmerised, as the bartender held the gaze of the next guy at the bar, striking up a similarly attentive conversation with him. There was something about her; he, too, appeared taken in by her charm.

*

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Purchase ‘Marmalade Martini’

Five Stars!

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. Be sure to come by next week when I’ll be featuring something new.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

Photos subject to copyright.

Meet Author Suzie Carr

     Hello everyone and welcome. Thanks for stopping by last week for my Springtime blog. It was great to see you all. Today I’m turning the reins over to best selling author Suzie Carr, creator of The Dance and The Curvy Side of Life. She is here to talk about her new book, The Pet Boutique which is now available for sale. Come meet this amazing woman who will rock your socks off.TPB-social-final

     The Pet Boutique – a Lesfic Romance Novel by Suzie Carr

    If you love dogs, then you’ll likely understand my obsession when I wrote my newest book, The Pet Boutique. Not only did I get to spend the last seven months of my life engaged with the silly and lovable antics of a particular furry loved one, but I also learned the profound healing effect writing can have on a person’s heart.

     A Bit of Backstory on The Pet Boutique
This story started out very different than the story it eventually became. I suppose that’s a writer’s truth most times, though. Rarely does a story that’s outlined in messy scribble on a coffee-stained notepad turn out to be the end result. But, this story’s evolution goes a lot deeper than that.

     You see, the writing of this story is a story in and of itself. In early June, I began writing The Pet Boutique. The story was going to be about a married lesbian couple who grew apart after the death of their beloved dog. The story was supposed to dig into the undercurrents of a marriage, with all its complexities, comforts and safety, and figure out what really matters after years of layers shed and expose the raw, realness of life.

     Well, on paper that all sounded like an interesting story.
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     Then, my life changed dramatically on July 15 when my beloved dog, Bumblebee, passed away. That moment stole my heart, breath, and life force. I was devastated by her death and the emptiness of life without her.

     I never imagined I would lose my dog while I planned this story idea. As you can imagine, my planned story would prove painful to write. But, I tried. I wrote it, and the process gutted me. A sad story resulted, one that hurt too much to read, let alone share.

     It was that terrible. It read nothing like the story I had planned originally. It was basically me sifting through my grief and allowing it to flow into the story. Well, the result was a sad, depressing tale and a total reflection of the state of my mind, which was a state completely not in the zone for writing a lighthearted book.

     I couldn’t release that story to the world. It basically was my grieving process, all seventy-thousand words of it. I needed to get the emotions out and set them free. Writing allowed me that freedom. I wouldn’t have been able to write a fun, lovable romantic story until I got that sad one out of me first. That story will remain personal, archived as a part of my past.

       The Really Cool Moment
It was my birthday, and I remember sitting in my home office reading the first few chapters of that first draft of The Pet Boutique. My chest constricted. A sense of dread flowed in me. Panic ensued. No, I wasn’t suffering a heart attack. I was suffering writer’s fright. My beta and editorial team were expecting a story to read and critique from me in less than two months, and the one before me was too personal and sad to share. I needed a new story.

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       Bumblebee to the Rescue!
Something really cool happened immediately following my quick descent into panic mode.

     I felt Bumblebee nudge me like she was saying, OMG Momma wake up. If you’re going to put me in a book, it better be a fun book. Surely you’re not going to put anyone through reading this version, are you? I fully expect to be placed in this pet boutique story, but only if it’s fun, romantic, flirty, and a place suitable for me to hang and allow my legacy to live on.

     Let me tell you if she could talk, that’s exactly what she would say. I felt that nudge from her to archive that story and start over.

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      Moving Forward
After that very moment, I wrote what I felt in my heart:

     I’m laughing. I’m joyful. I’m clear-headed. I’m free to bask in happy things again. Today, for the first time, I’m no longer bowing my head, shameful of laughter in the sorrow of your passing. You’ve offered me your blessings. You’re nudging me, directing me to lighten up and have some fun. A gate has opened and we’re running, my dear Bumblebee. Running together, Momma with her arms wide, and you, sweet baby girl, with your tail wagging, with the wind as our companion.

      I felt like I had her blessing to move forward into something fun again. So, a new story emerged. I crafted something completely different. It’s still called The Pet Boutique, and still takes place primarily in a pet boutique, but there’s a whole new set of characters and of course the queen bee herself in all her exuberance, my Bumblebee.
      My writing had finally come back to a place of complete joy. I ventured on this writing journey with my sweet girl in spirit and created a story that would honor her. My beloved, Bumblebee, is in there in all her spirited glory as Cashmere. I took all the wonderful memories I have of her and her silly antics and placed them in this story so I’ll always be able to come back to it and fondly remember her as the lovely furbaby she was.

     It was important that I honor her life in a way that never lets her spirit end. Whenever I need a good smile or a jolt to my heart, I always have The Pet Boutique to keep me company.

       About The Pet Boutique
From the moment Lexie Tanner meets Taylor Henshaw in the dilapidated space that will one day become her aunt’s pet boutique, she knows she’s got her work cut out for her. Taylor self-identifies as a complicated woman, and there’s nothing Lexie enjoys more than a good fixer upper. But Taylor’s complications run deep, and way into her past. Surrounded by an eccentric and spirited group of family and friends, including a spunky and lovable dog named Cashmere, the two women navigate a series of obstacles that have them questioning their choices. As their journey unfolds, neither women are prepared for what happens when they start to break down the old and discover the new.

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          Grab your copy!
Available in Kindle and paperback, and coming soon to Audible!

        A Special Tribute
Bumblebee was loved by many, and this video represents the incredible love and friendship we shared. A Tribute to Bumblebee!

        Connect with Suzie
Twitter | Facebook | Youtube | Instagram

     Thank you, Suzie, for your heartwarming story. The Pet Boutique is available. For those of you who have read the book, I’m looking for discussion of the book so feel free to comment in the comments.

     Be sure to stop by next week when I’ll be presenting my review for Julie Forester‘s ‘Marmalade Martini.’

     Until Next Time,
     Lynn
     Photos subject to copyright.

Guest Blog by Author Kris Bryant

Good afternoon Friends and welcome. You are in for a real treat today. I am presenting the first of many guest blogs. Today Bold Strokes Books author Kris Bryant is here to share about her new upcoming book, ‘Listen.’

IMG_1642When I first came up with the idea for Listen, it didn’t have anything to do with anxiety. I knew I wanted to write about music, but not the typical rock star falls for a fan or has a love/hate relationship with her new manager scenario. I wanted something different. I love music. I’ve always loved it. I grew up overseas so my choices of musical genres were very limited. The internet wasn’t around so I couldn’t pull up iTunes or Spotify. We had AM radio, 8 track, and some cassette tapes (note: AM radio overseas was worthless). My dad even had a reel-to-reel but finding a particular song on a reel was impossible, so we had to listen to everything until we heard the song we wanted. Elvis, Motown, or country. Those were my options. Let’s just say I know every Elvis song and I’m your girl who can sing and dance to Mary Wells, Martha & the Vandellas, and the Supremes. We didn’t have television, so I read everything I could and listened to music. Music calms me like nothing else. It allows my mind to focus on one or two things only. If my world is crazy, my mind reaches out and finds the sounds I need to hear to feed that part of me. If I don’t have music, sounds like rainfall, a ticking clock, children laughing, the wind blowing, the swoosh of windshield wipers, and even my dog breathing in and out as she sleeps works for me.

My best friend in middle school (junior high when I was growing up) played the piano. I thought she was brilliant at it, but in reality, she was probably average. I’m completely fascinated when musicians play or create music. It never gets old. So, when I thought about the actual storyline for Listen, my best friend popped into my head and I rolled with it. What about a child prodigy who was the best at something in the world? What is the life of a prodigy like? The pressure to be the best has always been a touchy subject in society. I coached YMCA basketball and the parents were out of control. The kids wanted to have fun, but somewhere along the way, fun was forgotten and it was all about winning. I’m guilty at wanting to win, too, but not at the expense of the child physically or mentally. I was called Fun Coach because I tried hard to make it exciting and goofy, while still teaching the importance of teamwork.

IMG_1644Back to Listen. What would happen to a child prodigy if they just broke? Kids are strong, but they are still kids. Life is learned through lessons and time. My godson is a genius. I’m not making it up. He’s so smart that they don’t know how smart he really is. He goes to the University of Tennessee every winter break so they can test him. I asked my friend what it’s like having a genius child. She said he knows so much but has no life experiences to apply his knowledge. How frustrating that must be! The pressure he already faces every day – information swirling in his head with no outlet or way to process it. Pressure leads to anxiety. Anxiety can be a result of dealing with pressure. They kind of go hand-in-hand. Some people are really good at handling both, and some people can’t handle either. I’m somewhere in-between. Anxiety is a very real, very consuming disorder that affects so many people, including myself. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been on anti-anxiety medication for a few years now and it has helped me tremendously. I have a close friend who refuses medicine, but goes to therapy. There’s no right or wrong way to handle it. When I was growing up, my older sister used to call me Mother Hen because I always worried about everything. My mind went to the worse place every time. Late coming home? Missed curfew by a few minutes? Dead. Had to be. I could never shut it off. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I understood anxiety. My parents, teachers, friends all thought I was quirky, different, painfully shy, and weird. I am all of those things, but I’m not ashamed because I know the source. It’s a disorder that so many people have and I’m so quick to sympathize and recognize the signs in other people.

Listen is a love story. It is a romance. Everyone has a right to love and this journey is about a woman, Lily, who thirteen years ago when she was a child prodigy, had a complete meltdown on stage and never fully recovered. Her life as an adult is one of isolation. She struggles with anxiety every day. Interacting with people is hard and it’s not that she doesn’t want friends, it’s just that she doesn’t know how. She’s socially awkward and blurts out the wrong thing at the wrong time. But she also has so much beauty trapped inside and this story is about her opening up enough to allow love and a different life in. She has to deal with her past to move forward, to have a future. Music was a part of her past and even though she fears being on stage and performing, it’s still a major part of her life. The ending is realistic and I love it.

I’ve been known to write bubble gum floofy floof romance, and lately I’ve been stepping outside of my comfort zone and writing more heartfelt stories. My last book, Against All Odds co-written with M. Ullrich and Maggie Cummings, is about two women who fall in love after they are victims of a mass shooting. My next book, Falling, is about a woman who survives a plane crash and falls in love with the fiancee of somebody who dies in the crash.

IMG_1641I hope Listen is a success. I hope all of my books are, but Listen is important because it has so much of myself in it. Adding a personal touch makes a writer even more vulnerable. So far, the reviews have been very positive and encouraging. I hope readers enjoy Lily’s journey and understand that anxiety is very real and even if the reader doesn’t experience it, chances are, somebody in their life does.

Thank you for your visit today. ‘Listen’ is now available for purchase. Be sure to stop by next week when I’ll be presenting something new.

Purchase ‘Listen’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

Winter Passions

Good afternoon and welcome everyone. It is hard to believe that springtime will be approaching us in less than one month. Not soon enough for me. I have never been a winter person, which is why I made the big move from the midwest to the southwest to Socal. Today I want to focus on some good things in my life that mean a lot to me.

Today is a special day. It is the first day of Exhibition, aka spring training, for my beloved team – The Dodgers. Although these games don’t really count, they are fun and exciting and you get to see new prospects play.

My dream has been to go to Arizona and see a live game at Camelback Ranch which is where the Dodgers play for Spring Training. I’ve never been there. This year we’re going to be watching the games on TV instead of making the trip to AZ to see them live.

When I was visiting Florida a group of us took a road trip to Lakeland to see the Tigers play a spring training game. Although they lost, the game was really exciting.

The Official baseball season will begin at the end of March. We are planning to hit a few live games at Dodger Stadium. I would love to see them play the Giants. That is always an exciting time.

Last year we saw a few games at Dodger Stadium and it was great being there with the other fans including our biggest fan group – Pantone 294. This represents the color of blue that the Dodgers use. They are a group of people who show up at the games and display an extra large Dodger flag during the game. I really love their spirit and the energy is great.

I’m not disappointed that they didn’t win the World Series last year. I know they did the best they could and I’m proud of them for getting the National League Pennant two years in a row. Well done. I’m looking forward to an exciting pre-season. I hope they win today.
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In other news, I’m working hard on my two WIPs. Both are being beta-read. I’m so excited to finally have these two stories come alive. Then I’ll receive a lot of good feedback. I will let you know when I’m #amediting. My second story is being published this year and I’m planning to get my third sent off by year-end.

Also, I have been writing an outline for a future story that I’m planning to publish next year. It is a story of a woman who is stuck emotionally over a past relationship. A mystery unravels and the course of her life changes. A new flame enters the picture. Can she forgive her past and move on? I will be sharing tidbits of that story more as it evolves.

I’m going to make this winter season the best it can be and am focusing on the good and what good I can do in life. I live my life worry-free and stay in the moment. I am blessed with a beautiful life where can enjoy beautiful sights and nice weather. And then, of course, we have our awesome baseball team. Win or lose, they are winners. An important thing to remember is a positive attitude makes all the difference and it shows in what they do on and off the field. The same can be said for each of us.

Thank you for stopping by today. Be sure to visit next week when I’ll be presenting my guest blog with best selling author Suzie Carr, who will be discussing her new book, ‘The Pet Boutique.’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

Photos subject to copyright.

 

 

 

#FF Flashback Saturday – Meet author Louise ‘S.L.’ Gape

Good afternoon Friends and welcome. Today I’m reposting my interview with Triplicity Publishing author, Louise ‘S.L’ Gape, whose book, Nautical Delights, is doing very well. Here is an update from Louise.

“Unfortunately no books for me since early 2018, due to some personal stuff going, changing jobs and buying a new home. I started back up end of summer and as I finished one book, currently unnamed I’m working with TriPub to try and find something that suits, I was overcome with new ideas for another book. Given we all know how easy it is to lose sight of our WIPs (or maybe that’s just me, and I’m the only one with several half written books at home) I felt it prudent to park book 6 and revisit editing. With that said I’m coming to the end of writing Life’a Lessons (book 7) and hope to have both released this summer. Then I’m sure living alone will bring ample time to get back on it.”

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Good morning Everyone and welcome.  Today author Louise Gape has stopped by to chat with us.  Her new book, ‘Too Soon’ is getting very positive reviews. I invite you to stop in and meet this amazing woman and get to know her.

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 “Live life to the full. We only get one chance at it!”

Louise Gape

 What is ‘Too Soon’ about?
‘Too soon’ is about Brooke a detective from Oxford, England who is currently off work from her job as a detective following a shooting. Her life is pretty much in turmoil with the exception of her boss/girlfriend; until Maria shatters her life and tells her she’s leaving her for their best friend and insisting Brooke leaves their home.

Brooke’s best friends Kate and Jo are there to back her and get her through everything and suggest getting away for a while. Alas, Brooke ends up in A holiday park in Anglesey.

Enter Chloe, driven, dynamic, spunky and finds it impossibly hard to not poke fun of the uptight Brooke at every opportunity. Brooke’s life slowly starts to unfold, revelations of the relationship becoming clear and each weekend spent with her new friend Chloe when she comes to spend time at her holiday home.

Their bond grows, but the uncertainty of all against them lingers as to whether it’s meant to be or whether it’s simply ‘Too Soon.’ 

It’s obvious by your book cover that you love the beach, tell us more why you chose it.

Creating my front cover is almost as exciting as writing for me. I have a tendency to envisage my cover prior to choosing the title. I knew I wanted it to be very surf orientated as that was the drive I got whilst writing Too Soon.  I love the beach, the sounds of the ocean, and the surf. I love that release and escape that it brings, as with writing. It’s completely my happy place, which is unfortunately the downside of living in the U.K. But I guess it makes me appreciate it all the more when I go on vacation. 

Book Cover

Did you do any types of writing while you were in school?  Have you received any awards or recognition for your work?

No I didn’t. I was very sports focussed in school. I love Shakespeare but I never did anything like this. In fact, I only started writing less than two years ago, by way of release and it resulted in this.  Which is completely surreal and strange to me, but I’m loving it no less.

Is there anyone or anything in your life who encouraged you to write?   What did they do?

I guess not. I did my first book as a way of avoiding having to face change that was going on in my professional life.  It began as a story I’d write on the numerous occasions I was living in hotels and away from home, and ended up being 100k words.  This in turn resulted in being offered a few publishing deals. After that I realised I loved it and … yeah, I guess I’m engrossed in it. The escapism of it is what captivates me. I love that.

Does your writing include aspects about you?

Yes, I think any writer subliminally includes elements of your life but it does frustrate me when people say “oh that’s such and such a person” I feel the need to redo it.  (This could be my friends thinking they’re funny though haha) But that’s my perfectionism I guess. I actively try to refrain, although my first book The Life of Riley, was very much about my life experience as a holiday rep. Which is a big thing in Europe and not so much in the US, but I spent 7 years doing the job and lived in Spain, Greece, Egypt, Lapland, Dom Rep and Bahamas so there was a lot of infusion from those experiences; not that it was about me per se. 

Have you ever had a fantasy come true?

Well I guess it depends in what the reference of fantasy is? If you mean a fantasy dream something I wished would happen then yes, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have many. If, however, you are referring to more of a ‘romantic’ fantasy then no not really.  I guess there are times when I’ve wanted something to happen and it has but I’m a complete romantic so I’d probably never see it as a fantasy happening as I’d probably never deem it as being impacting enough. 

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  Can you elaborate on what has worked for you to generate creativity?

Can you elaborate on what has worked for you to generate creativity? I guess I hope they like my books.  It’s difficult for me as I’m very self-critical and nothing is good enough, throw into the mix the fact I’m new to this, don’t do this full time as a career and have never had any steer or direction, I can only go off what the readers think. And as I said I hope they like it and I hope I can sustain that enjoyment for them. In terms of creativity, I’m not so sure things really do just come to me and I run with it.  That can sometimes be difficult as at present I’m in the middle of writing three different, and very different novels, and dependant on what mood I’m when I sit down to write I’ll go to that book. It can sometimes get very confusing. I’m a complete home girl I’ve been and done the partying and I enjoy curling up with a glass of red, my candles and my laptop and that fires the creativity.

Where is the last place you traveled?  Can you tell us more about your adventure?

Cancun. One of my favourite places for a vacation. I’ve been every year for the last 5 years. I have a fairly stressful job so I’m very much about downloading as many books on my kindle as possible and laying in the pool with my margaritas and reading. Equally I tend to get a lot of inspiration overseas, so I managed to write 75% of Worlds Apart which is the book after Fight to the Top which will be out next month.  I love travelling whether it be a beach holiday or even just a visit to Anglesey. 

Do you follow any sports teams?  If so can you tell us a bit about your interest in them?

If so can you tell us a bit about your interest in them? I love Miami dolphins.  People often assume I’m in to football because I’m from the UK and London.  But personally, not my thing. My favourite thing is to go to Florida for Super Bowl and hit up a sports bar and watch Super Bowl with some wings and wine.  I love how embroiled everyone gets in it. I have spent a lot of time in Florida both work and pleasure and despite them never doing as well as I’d want (aside from this year) I still root for them.

Louise Gape

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to travel and I do that frequently. I go to Jamaica in April and am super excited. Outside of that my favourite things are photography and cooking.  I love just driving off and finding awesome things to photograph but I’m not a fan of greenery so the UK is wasted on me.  However, getting up at 6/7am on a Saturday morning putting the radio on and cooking/prepping some Indian or Mexican food is my total happy place.

Have you seen the now syndicated English series Absolutely Fabulous?  Who do you relate to the most, Edwina, Patsy, or Saffron?

Yes of course I’m British haha. I’d love to say Saffy the well-mannered bright one; in actuality I’m probably more likened to Eddie the ditsy, uncoordinated drunk (for clarity I’m not a drunk).

What was the last musical performance you attended?

Wicked.  I bought it for an ex-girlfriend years ago, and we split up pre, but still went… Erm Slightly awkward. 

Can you give us a shout out about your hometown (or it can be the one you reside in now)?  What is a fun and interesting attraction to visit there?

I live in a village called Stockton Heath, Cheshire and it’s awesome. My local pub the Lion is very English where we all know each other and has the best sun trap looking out onto a bowls green. The village is very Mediterranean in summer which is difficult to not be coaxed into venturing out. I love it, I love how quaint it is and calls in a lot of people especially over the weekends. 

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and why?

Negativity. It appears everywhere, relationships, family, religion, money. I mean don’t get me wrong personally I’d get trump out and Obama back in (personal opinions sorry) but if you take negativity and focus on positivity then I genuinely believe the world would be a better place… I’m a romantic novelist though I guess I could be deemed as being unrealistic

Me:  Making a gratitude list each day is very helpful in achieving positivity.

Heart in the Sun

What types of service work have you participated in.  How was your experience?

I’m ashamed to say I don’t really get involved in too much.  I spend a lot of time either at work, writing with my nieces and nephews and my partners 101-year-old gran.

Me:  Wow.  This is so sweet. You know your loved ones appreciate this.

What is next in the works for you?

My next novel Fight to the Top is out next month. Triplicity Publishing already have Worlds Apart my novel after that and I’m currently in the process of writing some other material which will all be out later in the year. Book Cover

Here is an excerpt from Too Soon:

“So, you see a poor girl upset, sad and distressed and you make fun of her? This will be an amazing six weeks?” she said smiling a little.  She felt at ease already, and was glad of that fact.  “Now, please, mystery surf woman, it’s taken me forever and a day to get here, please show me where my room is?” she said seriously.  

She watched the woman lift her eyebrow smirking.  “The good news is, that’s your palace, princess” She pointed behind her. “In front of you, therefore, you park up here and you’re good to go” she said smiling and walking off.  She shouted behind her without even turning around “and FYI, the mystery surfer’s name, is Chloe.  In case you were wondering?” she said turning and disappearing off, surfboard in hand.  Brooke watched Chloe leave, her long dark hair, wavy from the water. 

At last, you have found your home, she thought.  She parked her car up and went to unlock the door, deciding not to move a single bag until she had opened and got into the right place.  After today’s traumas, she was clearly very pessimistic.  Luckily for Brooke, she was good. It was the right place and she was home free. Walking in, Brooke was amazed by the size of it. Regardless of the fact it was sold as a static and not a tourer, which she didn’t understand, she couldn’t help but assume it would be a small room with a bed, settee, fridge and mini oven in. And a toilet and sink in the corner.  It wasn’t like that though; it was a small house, a small flat. It had a full kitchen, a full lounge and dining room, a full two bedrooms and a full bathroom.  She was completely astounded. It was lovely and so cute.  She walked to the end of the lounge and opened the blinds to reveal the patio doors.  Opening them out onto her balcony, she took in the most spectacular sea views. Brooke sighed, and for the first time in nearly two weeks she realised it was a sigh of happiness, she couldn’t believe it, this was all completely perfect she thought. 

Before you go check out SL Gape’s links:

SL Gape Twitter Page

SL Gape Facebook Page

SL Gape Amazon Page

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Thank you for visiting today. Be sure to stop by next week when I’ll be featuring a guest blog with Bold Strokes Books author Kris Bryant.

Until next time,

Lynn

My Review for Rachel Maldonado’s ‘Shelvis’

Good afternoon friends and readers and welcome. Thank you for visiting last week for my bird blog, which I had fun researching and writing. For more information, you can contact the allaboutbirds.org website.

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Today I’m featuring my review for Rachel Maldonado’s new book, ‘Shelvis‘. This is an interesting read and the romance is enticing. Let’s go meet the characters.

Shelvis aka Tammy Jones is an Elvis impersonator who works in a casino.  She loves to flirt especially with those in authority. She is used to being the star when performing. She speaks courageously most of the time, but is insecure on occasion. Tammy appears apprehensive when the very thing she loves is threatened.

Her love life has been on a halt since the passing of her mother years ago. Tammy is so into her career that she doesn’t have time. However, things change when she meets Sheila.

Sheila is a motorcycle sheriff who loves her job. She is protective and doesn’t share much about herself. She tries to act tough, but underneath, she is a sweetie. It is obvious she is looking for love, but doesn’t know when to expect it.

A secondary character needs to be mentioned, Estelle. She is Sheila’s mother. I could see a wonderful mother-daughter bond here between she and Sheila. Tammy takes a liking to her because Estelle reminds her of her own mother; she is calmed  by Estelle’s gentle spirit.  Estelle has a keen ear when it comes to the important things and is very loving and caring to both women.

I found a date Sheila takes Tammy on to be romantic, especially with the location. The story takes place at Christmastime, which is a favorite time for me and gave me a cozy feeling.

This story keeps the reader engaged. A mystery develops. You won’t believe what happens. Be on the lookout for some high drama and a sneaky character who’s causing it all.

This book is fun and took me about 5 hours to read. I would recommend reading it in one sitting. The pace is moderate, but you need to be paying attention to the plot. A few small things seemed confusing, but not enough to deter me from the story. The descriptions are well done, and I was able to visualize while reading the book. I am recommending it.
shelvis coverHere is an excerpt to get you started.

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“I didn’t mean to upset you,” said Lincoln. She began to undress right in front of Shelvis to reveal that she wasn’t wearing underwear or a bra. I didn’t have any clean underwear since my RV was towed, so I was just going to wear the clothes you gave me without any skivvies. I hope that’s okay. I’ll wash the clothes for you before I give them back.”

“I think you can keep those,” said Shelvis matter of factly. “It’s just an old polo and jeans. I have plenty of those.” Now I’m going to have to dry clean that jumpsuit that Lincoln tried on, she thought to herself.

“That’s nice of you. Thanks.” She finished changing and then sat on the chaise pulling her legs up underneath her cross-legged style. She then took out her guitar from her case and began to strum it, playing the introduction music to Jailhouse Rock. She also began to sing along. To Shelvis’s surprise, she sounded really good.

“You have a great sound quality and tone to your voice. You’d probably make a great Elvis. Maybe a street performer or an Elvis at one of the other casinos would be an awesome permanent gig for you.” Shelvis made it a point to try to steer Lincoln toward other job opportunities.

“You think so?” asked Lincoln excitedly. “I’ve never thought about settling down in any one particular place though. Like I said, I’m more of a drifter. I like to go where my heart and my music take me.”

“Well, right now it’s brought you to me, and I think you have potential.”

“If I can learn more of the songs, do you think I can try to perform here a night or two out of the week? It would really help out with getting some cash to get my RV out of the impound. Plus, I’m going to need a place to stay.”

Shelvis sighed. “I don’t normally trust strangers, and this is really against my better judgment, I’m sure. But I guess you can stay here in my dressing room until you can get your RV out of the impound.”

Lincoln was overjoyed. “No joke? Really? You really mean it?” She hopped up from where she was seated and put her hand in Tammy’s, shaking it. “Thank you. Thank you so much.”

“Yes, but try not to make a mess, stay out of Stan’s way, and as soon as you can earn enough to get the RV out, you will have to relocate. Deal?”

“Sure, sure. Sure thing. Deal. This is great. I can’t believe it. And you’ll help me with the songs, and I can learn the music. I play by ear. I don’t even need sheet music.” Lincoln was talking a mile a minute with excitement. She could hardly contain herself.

“How do you feel about a trial run tonight? I can have Stan play the music and my voice and all you have to do is mouth the words until you learn them yourself. You up for your first gig?”

Lincoln was thrilled. “Sure thing. I’ll look over the lyrics to all your songs all day today.”

Shelvis bit her lower lip in concern as she thought about the decision she had just made. She hoped it wouldn’t turn out to be a bad one. But a few days off couldn’t hurt, could it?

*

shelvis cover

Purchase ‘Shelvis

Five Stars

Thank you for stopping by today. Shevis is available and is doing very well on Amazon. I would like to open a discussion for the book so feel free to start up a conversation in the comments. Be sure to stop by next week when I’ll be featuring an interview.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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