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:

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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.

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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.

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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

*

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.

*

“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

Photos subject to copyright

Wintertime Miracles

Good afternoon everyone and welcome. It is great to see you today. Thank you for stopping by last week for my review of Victoria Avilan‘s ‘The Art of Peeling an Orange.’ Stay tuned for more book reviews in the future. Today I’m sharing some recent happenings.

For what seemed like weeks was actually only six days of rain. On days like these, I like to sit in my backyard under my lanai, sipping a warm mug of coffee watching the rainfall. It is very peaceful and the rhythm of the rain has a soothing and cozy effect on me. We can sit out here for hours enjoying each moment.

Now the clouds have parted and we are enjoying sunny days. A few days ago, we were watching the backyard and noticed a few things. We have various birds visiting us each day except when it is raining. They are such a magnificent sight. One day I caught sight of two local bird scoping out our backyard. One of the was a Goldfinch and the other was a Black Phoebe. I was able to snap a picture of both birds. I did a little research on them as well.

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Our Goldfinch is in the center of the right photo standing in the grass. These small birds love to feast on our wildflowers in our backyard and will come in numbers. They also like seeds and will eat sunflower seeds out of feeders. Only on occasion or when they are feeding will they eat insects.

They like open areas and will nest in saplings. Their small nests are tightly woven so that they can hold water. They mate in late July but can be found all year around.

If you want Goldfinches to come to visit your yard, plant thistle, dandelions, and other wildflowers. They are a friendly species.

www.allaboutbirds.org

file jan 13, 07 22 15img_1428Our Black Phoebe is sitting on my black quartz rock in the picture below. Did you know they are excellent flycatchers? Unfortunately, they don’t eat mosquitoes. They love to hang out in our garden during the day waiting for their next meal. They are seen year-round in Southern California. Although they prefer to be around coastal cliffs and riverbanks, they do well in urban developments provided they are near water and mud. They will nest under building eaves or hollowed out trees.

During mating season they court and when they find a mate, they are monogamous up to five years.  They tend to have two brooding seasons a year and both birds feed their young. They don’t like to socialize outside of breeding season. They have a piercing chirpy voice.

What makes the Black Phoebe stand out from other birds is that they do this action with their tails that you can see from a distance. They are assertive avians and will distract their predators. They prefer to stay close to the ground so they can scope out branches and other places for prey. They will catch insects mid-air.

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/black-phoebe

http://www.allaboutbirds.org

In addition to the Goldfinch and the Black Phoebe, we get hummingbirds in our yard.  It is fun to watch them buzz around our plants.

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This video was taken a few years ago, but the birds still like our aloe plants when they are blooming. As you can see, the hummingbirds’ movements are quick and short like a helicopter. They often hover in the air and they make a humming sound with their wings. They are the smallest bird species known and are native to all three of the Americas. They make small, but deep nests in foliage. They love ivy on buildings. They lay eggs the size of jellybeans and their offspring is incredibly small. They are very territorial and will push predators out.

Smart birds, they can remember every flower they ever visited and this count is often over 1,000 a day. They also need the nectar for their incredibly fast metabolism.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Annas_Hummingbird

I had the opportunity to witness a Hummingbird’s nest and was amazed. The birds were the size of a sewing thimble and were so delicate looking.
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What types of birds or a miracle of nature have you seen?

Thank you for stopping by today. I would love to hear from you. If you want to say hello or share about your bird experience feel free to do so in the comments. Be sure to visit next week when I’ll be presenting my review for Rachel Maldonado‘s ‘Shelvis.’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

My Review of Samantha Jacobey’s ‘Christmas Joy’

Good afternoon friends and welcome. Today I’m presenting my review for Samantha Jacobey’s ‘Christmas Joy.’ The 4th book in the series. Candy and Gary are back for a new Christmas adventure. This time it’s a little different than the previous three Christmas’. A surprise happens at the firehouse where Gary works which will change things.

It is told from 2 points of view- Candy and Gary.

Candy is still a bit insecure around Gary’s affluent family and uses her studies to limit visitation. In this book, she has a lot of emotions over something new that comes into her life. Never been in her shoes, I can empathize with her. She shows strength while dealing with a sensitive issue. She is a perfectionist with most things. I found myself rooting for her as the story unfolded. She really wants a good Christmas this year as the past three have had unwanted drama. This year she opens her heart.

The family dynamics are interesting. They go deep, and I could clearly see the love between Candy and her son, Daks. Gary too had a strong fatherly demeanor.

Gary is his sweet gentle self. He is really good at calming his wife when she is feeling emotional. He doesn’t care what others think of him; he is his own person and goes out of his way to help others. He has a heart of gold and is very family oriented. I loved his strength in during the heart of an issue.

There is a sensitive subject in the story which caused discomfort for me. Be advised. You will see as you read along.

It is a cozy read that you can enjoy sitting in front of your fireplace. I read it in about 3 hours, so it is perfect for that snowy day. The pace is moderate. Although this is a stand-alone story, I would recommend reading the first three as they make references to events in them. I know you are going to love this read as much as I did.
Christmas Joy Cover

For my other reviews in the series, you can click the links below:

Christmas Candy Review

https://lynnlawler.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/my-review-for-samantha-jacobeys-christmas-eve/

https://lynnlawler.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/my-review-of-samantha-jacobeys-christmas-carol/

Here is an excerpt from Christmas Joy:

“Oh, Candy,” her mother squealed, unable to contain herself any longer. Fighting her way to her feet, Lanelle shuffled over, wrapping her arms around her only child. “I’m so proud of you,” she whispered against her ear, her forehead pressing against Candy’s.

“I know, mom,” Candy sighed. “I know that you all are, and I appreciate all the love and support each and every one of you has shown me. And next fall, I’ll be ready to dive back in, hopefully with some better results!”

Her confidence filling the room, the gathering cheered for her, with smiles and toast all around. Standing to tower over them, Gary wrapped both of the women in his massive arms, holding his bride against his broad chest.

“I sure do love you, kitten,” he confessed. “I’m glad you’ve decided not to give up.”

“I could never give up,” she giggled. “No matter how scary Christmas can be, I know now that I can face it. Especially now that I have found my Christmas Joy.”

Christmas Joy (Sweet Christmas Series Book 4)
 
Samantha Jacobey
 
Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance
 
Lavish Publishing
 
142 pages

 

 
Life isn’t always sweet, even for girls called Candy.
Candice Parker married Gerald Ford on Christmas Eve two years ago following a massive blizzard. The year before that her family was left homeless when a fire burned their apartments to the ground. Fortunately, fireman Gary had been on call and led the team that rescued Lanelle and Dakota from the blaze.
Last year it all came to a head when Caroline joined their household as the nanny and housekeeper when she revealed the fire had been arson. Following the discovery, a sinister plot unfolded that almost killed them all.
To say Candy is dreading the arrival of this typically happy holiday would be an understatement.
However, she does have one thing going for her this year.

 

 

Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/wCciAB

 

Sweet Christmas Series: 
 
Read as a standalone or enjoy the whole series
❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✮ ❄️ ✶
 
Christmas Candy (Sweet Christmas Series Book 1) 
 
Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/eC2V
 
❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✮ ❄️ ✶
 
Christmas Eve (Sweet Christmas Series Book 2)
 
Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/bBeZu
 
❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✮ ❄️ ✶
 
 
Christmas Carol (Sweet Christmas Series Book 3)
 
Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/JGU7Fg
 
 
❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✮ ❄️ ✶
 
 
Christmas Joy (Sweet Christmas Series Book 4)
 
Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/wCciAB
 
 
❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✮ ❄️ ✶
 
Anyone who knows me could tell you, I am a friendly kind of person, never met a stranger and take up conversations anywhere at any time. I work hard, and my mind never seems to shut down, as I wake up often in the middle of the night with ideas pouring out and demanding to be dealt with. Of course that means much of my books were written in the middle of the night.
I grew up and still live in the great state of Texas where everything is bigger, where we have warm weather and a central location. I love my state, my town, and my family, which includes my four sons, my significant other, and many friends as well.
I have thoroughly enjoyed writing the books that are currently available and hope you will enjoy reading them just as much. And of course, there will be many more stories to come.

 

I want to thank all of you for stopping by today. I am wishing you all a very happy holiday season and I will see you again in 2019. May the best come to you always.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Purchase Awakened by Fate

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Copyright 2018
Published with permission.
Photos subject to copyright.

Christmas Time

Hello Friends and welcome. Thank you for your visit two weeks ago when I posted my review of Suzie Carr‘s ‘The Curvy Side of Life.’ Since then things have been very busy for me and I didn’t realize how fast time really flies.

This is the time of the year when I’m feeling a lot of gratitude for what I have in my life. I do gratitude lists each day and I have found they keep me on track. Also, I’ve been doing daily writing on what is on my mind. This too has helped clear out things.

I am in the Christmas spirit and I listen to Chrismas music as I’m doing things around the house. We already put up our Christmas tree the day before Thanksgiving.

This year we are helping out others in need again. At church, we picked a little boy’s name off the Christmas tree and bought him gifts. It was a lot of fun buying him presents and I feel good knowing this lad is going to have a nice holiday. We got him some clothes and a toy. Also, we participated in a program to give toys to homeless children. I feel good knowing they will have something to play with while in transition.

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We are going to spend Christmas day doing something very special. A wish of mine came true and I’m elated. I will be making a nice meal, complete with my pumpkin pie, which I would like to share with you.

Pumpkin Pie filling recipe:

1 pie pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 oz applesauce
1 container medium firm tofu
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 – 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

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Prepare the pumpkin:
cut open squash and clean out the insides. You can use the seeds to bake.
put pieces face down in a dutch oven and cover
bake at 350 for 45 – 60 minutes or until soft.
Cool
If it is watery, you can strain the pumpkin.
peel the skin and put the pumpkin into a food processor and puree.
Add the rest of the filling ingredients and blend until smooth.

Pie crust:

2 cups flour
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cold vegetable oil such as grapeseed
1/2 cup + 1/2 Tbsp cold margarine
1/4 cup cold water

I usually put the cold ingredients in the freezer for about 15 minutes before using.

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Then cut in margarine.
In a separate bowl whisk oil and water. Then add to flour mixture.
Cover dough with plastic and let sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Roll dough onto parchment paper so it doesn’t stick into a large circle. Then you can place the pie pan over it and flip it over so the pie crust is inside.

Fill the pie crust with the pie filling. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 45- 60 minutes. You should be able to insert a butter knife and have it come out clean when it is done.

You can top it with whipped cream if you choose.

IMG_1378This year we are having our Christmas party a few days after Christmas so that a few family members can be there. We haven’t seen them in years so it is going to be great to catch up with them. It is harder now since the young adults have their own schedules.

This season has been very special for us and we are doing what we can to pass the Christmas spirit on. This can be something like opening a door for someone whose arms are full with purchased items. Whatever it is, it is a big help to someone else and it is important we spread the love.

I have a lot to be thankful for and appreciate all of you. It feels good sharing each week. I want to thank everyone who left comments and reblogged my blog.

Thank you for visiting. Be sure to stop by next week when I’ll be featuring the fourth installment of the Christmas Candy series from Samantha Jacobey. You can read my reviews below.

https://lynnlawler.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/my-review-for-samantha-jacobeys-christmas-eve/

https://lynnlawler.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/my-review-of-samantha-jacobeys-christmas-carol/

I want to wish you all a happy Christmas as well as a glorious holiday season this year.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

Cover PhotoPurchase Awakened by Fate

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Copyright 2018
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My Review of Anne Hagan’s ‘Loving Blue in Red States – ‘Sweetwater Texas’

Good afternoon friends and welcome. Thank you for stopping by last week for my review for Domina Alexandra’s ‘I Belong With Her.’ It was a huge turnout. This week I am featuring my review for Anne Hagan’s ‘Loving Blue in Red States – Sweetwater Texas.’ This is a story you are going to fall in love with.

This story is about a master’s student / teacher, Emmie, who has a little son and lives with her mother in Texas. She is auditing a college class where she is writing her master’s thesis. She is family oriented, but is afraid of love and is blocking a past hurt that is affecting her now in the present. She tends to wear her insecurities on her sleeve.

I liked this protagonist and loved the interaction she had with her son. He is a sweet little boy. She has a kid side to her that I just adore.

Cass is a little bit on the feisty side and could have toned down her demeaner a bit. I really didn’t care for her in the beginning because she was brash and invasive.  As the story goes on, her character grew on me and I was able to see she really does have tender feelings. She is an excellent rancher and can rope a spooked horse and then calm him down. I thought that was another nice touch to the story.

The book is easy reading and can be read in about an hour and is perfect for an afternoon get-a-way. The dynamics between the two protagonists is priceless. It was a tug of war at time, but that is what made the story so fun. That is all I’m going to say so go get the book.
Book CoverHere is an excerpt to get you started.

#

Lucius looked around the nearly empty room. He noticed Cass lingering near her seat in the front. “Something I can help you with Miss?”

“Actually, I wanted a word with Ms. Warren.”

“I see.”

Lucius turned back to Emmie. “If you want to give me those forms, I can run them by the administration office tomorrow morning when I’m back here. They’re closed right now.”

Emmie leaned toward him. “I think that’s what she wants to talk about.” She tipped her head slightly toward Cass. “I can drop them off Thursday evening when I get here, if that’s all right?”

“I guess that’s fine. Don’t forget.”

“I won’t.”

“Ladies,” Lucius said, as he turned and stepped backwards to view them both. He tipped a couple of fingers to his head as he dipped it like he was doffing an imaginary cowboy hat.

Cass watched him leave before she approached. ”Sorry to hold you up.”

“No problem. How can I help you?”

“I think Professor Fox has taken quite a liking to you.”

“Pardon?”

“Don’t get offended. It’s just something I noticed, is all. I notice things. That’s my job.”

“Then you’ve missed quite a lot. The Professor is married and I’m…I’m not in the market for dates, flings or anything else of that sort.” If she only knew, Emmie thought.

“Whatever you say,” Cass said. “I didn’t come back here to argue with you.”

“Why did you come back here?”

Cass held up the release form, face out. “This. I need just a little bit more information before I become someone’s guinea pig.”

Emmie did her best to control her temper as she addressed the brash woman. “It’s not a requirement. You’re free to skip participating and just go on your way whenever I’m…well, whenever I’m doing the things I need to do with the class for my research.”

“Not very confident in yourself, are you, Emmie?” She said her name with added emphasis.

Emmie threw her hands up. “I thought you didn’t want to argue? Look, if that’s all, I really do need to get going. I have a little bit of a drive to get home and I have work to do yet this evening.”

“Abilene?” Cass asked, as Emmie gathered her things.

“Other direction. Other side of Sweetwater, here, out a little ways.”

 #

Five Stars

Purchase Loving Blue in Red States – Sweetwater Texas

Winter Hearts CoverThank you for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed today’s book review. Anne has an announcement to make. She and twelve authors led by Amanda Radley aka A.E. Radley created a compilation of short romance holiday stories called ‘Winter Hearts.’All proceeds are going to two charities, Stonewall and the Trevor Project. You are going to want to read these stories as they will get you into the Christmas spirit. The collection is slotted to be released on November 16, 2018. Nothing beats a nice romance for this time of the year. You are going to fall in love with the authors. Come back next week when I’ll be presenting something new.

Until Next Time,

Lynn
Cover Photo

Purchase Awakened by Fate

Awakened by Fate

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Copyright 2018
Photos subject to copyright.