Release Tour: Cupcakegasm by Rhiannon Jean

 

Cupcakegasm
by Rhiannon Jean
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Cover Designer:  Imagination Uncovered

Release Date: September 29, 2017

 

 

Mabel has finally made her and her late Gran’s dreams come true: she has her very own organic cupcake shop, Hazel’s Hints of Heaven. For the most part, she’s content. There’s her daily visits to Cherry’s Coffee Roasters, hanging with her two best friends, Max and Corinda, and baking her heart out. Alas, she aches for a little human contact (wink, wink). She’d even settled for one-night stands from her favorite hole in the wall bar, but, when she meets two mouth-droppingly, eye-poppingly gorgeous men, things get complicated.

There’s Gavin, the tattooed, pierced, dark haired, blue-eyed devil who reeks of sin and needs a job in a pastry kind of way. And Henry, the tall, blond, green-eyed Greek god who borders on rude and tight-assed and needs sweet treats—and fast. As Mabel gets to know each man, her heart chooses one, while her body chooses another.

When push comes to shove, with a little help from fate, Mabel finally makes the choice that satisfies her heart…and her Cupcakegasm.

 

 

 

 

Special Release Day Pricing – Only 99¢

 

 

Hailing from the Midwest, Rhiannon Jean has finally decided to listen to the voices in her head and put their stories on paper. She loves cats, cupcakes, Netflix, tequila, writing, crafting, music, singing too loudly with the car radio, dancing, shoes, tattoos and correcting people’s grammar.

 

Email:  authorrhiannonjean@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

Getting to know…Karen King

I thought life would calm down a bit in November, but it’s been even more hectic than October. It started with NaNoWriMo, add to it a crazy blizzard here in Stockholm, then a death in the family, add a few more unexpected events and you get a month that has made me want to hibernate. But now I am trying to find my bearings again. Whew.

We’re back with another instalment of Getting to know… and today we’ve got author Karen King with us. Karen writes sassy, contemporary romance just right for reading on the beach. ‘I do – or do I?’ is her first chick-lit for Accent Press and has recently been nominated for the RONA (Romantic Novel of the Year Award). She has also written several short stories for women’s magazine and had 120 children’s books published.When she isn’t writing, Karen likes travelling, watching the ‘soaps’ and reading. Give her a good book and a box of chocolates and she thinks she’s in Heaven. So let’s get to know….Karen King!

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Author Karen King

So tell me, Karen, what is your favorite part of being a writer? 

Getting a letter or email from someone who’s enjoyed reading my book. That makes my week! It’s so heartening to think that someone has not only read my book and enjoyed it, but also taken the time to write and tell me so. I really appreciate that.

I know what you mean! Sometimes fan mail can make up for all the times I’ve wanted to give up on a difficult story or character. Or when my writing day hasn’t gone as planned. What would you say is the most difficult part of being a writer and how do you deal with it?

Finding time to write down all the ideas that are whizzing around in my head. I have notebooks everywhere, failing that I’ll write on anything, receipts, serviettes, the back of my hand.

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Karen’s latest novel, I Do? …Or Do I?

I agree. Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in a day. I try to jot plot ideas down as soon as they pop into my head. Sometimes I lose the notes and have to try to remember them…well, it happens sometimes. 🙂 So tell me, with all the ideas buzzing around, are you a plotter or pantster?

A bit of both. I like to know my characters really well before I start so I’ll write character profiles for them, and then do a basic outline of the story. After that I start writing and let it flow.

It’s the same for me. Started off as a pantser, but now I am a little of both. By the way, I love the cover of I Do…Or Do I? I just want to take a minute to share with my readers the blurb: 

Local journalist Cassie is getting married to hot-shot lawyer, reliable Timothy, and his mother Sylvia, who Cassie has nicknamed ‘Monster-in-Law’, wants to plan the entire wedding. When Sylvia books the exclusive ID Images to take photographs of the extravagant do, Cassie has no idea what she’s walking into. 



The elusive JM, ID Images’ newest photographer, just so happens to be Jared, Cassie’s first love and ex-fiancé, who broke off their engagement to travel and take photos of far-reaching wonders. He’s back to pay for his next wild adventure. 



Cassie decides it’s best to pretend not to know him, but when she’s asked to write an article for her newspaper, she’s tasked with a column surrounding all things wedding related. When Cassie jokingly writes a column meant for herself depicting her situation, a co-worker submits it in place of the real article and it’s soon making headlines, with readers asking the age old question – Who Will She Choose? 

Sounds like the perfect book for this Thanksgiving weekend!  So, readers, if I Do?…Or Do I sounds like your cup of tea, make sure you pick up a copy. Get your copy here:

Amazon – Accent Press – Waterstones – Book Depository – W.H.Smith 

What’s your typical writing day like? Do you write full-time? 

I switch on the computer as soon as I’m showered and dressed, then it’s butt on chair, fingers on keyboard. I answer urgent emails, do a bit of social media then start writing. I’ll carry on writing all day, with the occasional coffee and social media breaks. Often, I’ll write for a couple of hours in the evening too. But I only get a couple of actual ‘writing days’ a week, other days I’m marking assignments (I’m a writing tutor), running courses, visiting schools and other stuff so might write in the evenings.

I write whenever I can snatch away time for it. Still working full-time, but hoping to eventually write full-time. When you write, do you imagine any particular actors or actresses as your leads? Or do you find inspiration elsewhere?

I don’t imagine actors or actresses as my leads but I do look through magazines and cut out pictures of people similar to how I imagine my heroine and hero to look. I also do a Pinterest board of work in progress and pin pictures of things related to my plot on it. For example, for ‘I do?…or do I?’ I pinned lots of wedding related pics, as well as pics of France and Venice which both feature in the story.

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Karen’s writing room – organised chaos 🙂 

Another Pinterest enthusiast! I do the same. I love Pinterest. I even have a board for my dream writing space. Right now, I do most of my writing in my messy home office/guest bedroom, while sitting on my living room couch or in cafés. What abut you? Do you have a favorite writing space?

I’m lucky enough to have my own room to write in. It’s usually very messy, but it’s organized chaos and I know exactly where everything is. If I tidy up I’ve had it, I can’t find anything for weeks.

I am with you there! Whenever I clean my writing space, I can’t find any of the things I need. But when I don’t clean it, the chaos can sometimes overwhelm me. Let’s talk reading. What are you reading now?

I’m reading The Pact by Jodi Picoult.

I read that one a few years ago and loved it. She is one of my favourite authors. Are there any subjects that are taboo for you when it comes to reading or writing?

Horror – I scare easily.

Once upon a time, I wanted to write horror. Nowadays, I prefer writing love stories. Now what about social media? Some people say we authors can’t survive without it.What’s your take on social media? Do you think it’s vital for us?

Yes, I think it is. One well known publisher told me they wouldn’t even consider a book unless the author had over 1,500 followers on Twitter. I like Social Media, it’s a great way to interact with people but it’s easy to while away hours reading the latest Facebook posts or chatting on Twitter so I try to restrict myself. Twitter is my favourite platform, then Facebook and Instagram. I’m on Google+ and Pinterest too but am not as active on them.

What was the best piece of writing advice you ever received?

It was back in the early days of my writing career when I was writing for several children’s magazines and had to come up with story ideas at very short notice, sometimes having to write one in a couple of hours. An editor told me to ‘give a character a problem and solve it’. I added ‘in an unexpected way’ to that and it’s been the basis of my stories ever since.

What advice would you give to novice writers?
Stop faffing about and get that first draft down. Then you can go back and reread, revise and rewrite. If you don’t write something you have nothing to hone.

Thanks again for joining us, Karen! Readers, make sure you follow Karen so you can keep up with the latest! Follow Karen here:

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Sales Blitz: A Matter of Trust by Q.T. Ruby


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A Matter of Trust will be only 99c for June 1-3.

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Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon CA   

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She’s stuck in a rut, stuck in life and stuck in an elevator with Hollywood’s hottest actor. And of course she’s just come from the gym.

Claire Parelli just can’t seem to catch a break, well, except for heartbreak, that is. After a lifetime of following the rules, she winds up heartbroken, unfulfilled, and hiding from life. But she can’t hide for long.

After getting stuck aboard a broken elevator with Hollywood It-Boy, Daniel Chase, they begin a secret romance that pries Claire out of her element, out of her shell, and out of her sweatpants. But when their romance accidentally goes public, Claire’s life implodes, leaving her to choose to hunker down in the safety of her sweatpants, or risk her fragile heart on a chance at life, love, and the pursuit of better clothing.

He nods. “Fair enough. So . . . when might I see you again?”

See me again?  With a cautiously optimistic smile, I say, “You’re the one flying across the country. You tell me.”

“Well, I leave for L.A. after some meetings tomorrow, and my schedule is insane this week, but I believe I have a couple of days off at some point coming up in the next couple of weeks. I forget the exact dates. Anyway, maybe we’ll see each other then?”

“But you’ll be in L.A.”

“It’s not that far by plane.”

I shake my head. “I can’t call out of work.” I won’t blow off work to take a trip. Not for a guy. I’m smarter than that.

He nods. “Maybe I’ll fly back, then.”

My heart launches into my throat. “You’d fly back to see me? You must have a million girls at your disposal on the West Coast.” I’m teasing—sort of.

“True . . . but I’m running out.”

I laugh, enjoying how quickly he can make me laugh. “Oh, so I guess it’s time to move on to the East Coast women?”

He peers down at me through his long lashes, his full lips tugged up on one side. “Or woman.”

My heart flips and flops in my throat, but I won’t let myself buy it. “ ‘Woman,’ huh?”

He rolls his eyes. “Claire, really, how many women’s bedrooms do you think I just hang around in?”

I raise a “do you really want an answer?” eyebrow.

He shakes his head and chuckles. “For your information, if I was merely here for one thing, I’d have had you undressed long ago.”

I raise my eyebrows, smiling. “You think so, huh?”

“Yes, I do. I’m just . . . too polite.”

“Too polite?” I nearly bust out laughing.

“Or maybe I’m just an idiot.”

We both burst into laughter, releasing the tension in the room, and that’s when our eyes lock, speaking the same language, craving the same thing. The atmosphere shifts once again, this time instantly growing tight and thick with heat.

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Daydream believer and homecoming queen (Monkees anyone?), Q.T. Ruby, can now add writer to her resume, which includes thinking in song lyrics. She began her writing career as a child, channeling her ideas into songs she wrote and performed for a bedroom full of Barbies and stuffed animals. She now serenades her children with her songs, like “Just Eat What’s On Your Plate” and “You Are the Cutest, but Pick Up Your Stuff.” Q.T. Ruby loves her mom’s homemade rice pudding, pizza and movie night at home with her family, and is lucky enough to teach middle school in Connecticut where she was born and raised.

Author links

Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads  Contact email   Amazon page

 

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3 reviews for Rebecca Hunter’s Stockholm Diaries series

Stockholm Diaries, Caroline (Stockholm Diaries #1)Stockholm Diaries, Caroline by Rebecca Hunter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I stumbled upon the Stockholm Diaries–Amazon recommended it to me since I’ve written two novels and a novella set in Scandinavia–and am I glad I listened to them. The Stockholm Diaries: Caroline is a great love story about a young American expat trying to figure out what she wants in life and a Swedish former NHL hockey player trying to keep his personal and public lived separate. Fate pushes the two of them together early one morning during the magical days of Swedish summer–when the sun never properly sets and you feel like almost anything could happen.

Rebecca Hunter does a great job of capturing the attraction and passion between Caroline and Niklas. I especially loved how she wrote about Caroline’s friendship with fellow expat Veronica, with whom Caroline shares all of her secrets and fears. Hunter excels at describing Stockholm and the city becomes more than just a setting. It becomes a character as well.

I loved reading the Stockholm Diaries and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

View all my reviews


Stockholm Diaries, Caroline 2Stockholm Diaries, Caroline 2 by Rebecca Hunter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading the first book in the Stockholm Diaries series, I absolutely had to read Book 2. Now we catch up with Caroline and Niklas at the tail end of their travels and real life is looming before them. For Caroline, it means finally deciding if she’ll go back to Stockholm with Niklas or stay in Detroit for a while and try to make a name for herself as a travel photographer. For Niklas, it’s about either staying in Detroit to play for the Red Wings (even though he’s not really so keen on the idea of returning to the team after allegation that he’d abused a woman when in reality it was one of his teammates who was the culprit, but it would mean he and Caroline could be together) or returning to Sweden to play for Djurgården, his former hockey team who’ve offered him a one-year contract.

Throughout the book, we see the struggle both Caroline and Niklas are having with trying to have a life together in Detroit. Her ex- is there and he’s a nasty piece of work. And being back in Detroit suddenly has Caroline feeling like she cannot be the person she wants to be. But she is afraid to take the plunge and leave the security of what she knows. Niklas, on the other hand, is willing to do whatever it takes for them to be together, but he wants to know that Caroline is all-in. And sometimes it feels like she isn’t, which plays into his insecurities.

I really like how this series shows the pitfalls of being in a multicultural relationship as well as what’s so wonderful about it. I also like how Rebecca has created an alpha male in Niklas without turning him into an asshole. I *really* hate this alpha male as jerk trend. I don’t care how good they are in bed, a jerk is a jerk. And Niklas is NOT a jerk. I also found Caroline’s fear of giving herself to Niklas completely to be believable. She has had such a sheltered life–with her parents trying to make decisions for her, then Brad taking over her life and making her set aside her dreams, so it’s understandable that she is afraid of the same thing happening with Niklas.

I missed more of Stockholm in this story, but I knew it would mostly take place in Michigan. Really enjoyed this story and it was wonderful to see Caroline and Niklas come full circle. Now I wonder if they’ll go to Mexico together, to meet her family there. 🙂

View all my reviews


Stockholm Diaries, Melanie (Stockholm Diaries, #3)Stockholm Diaries, Melanie by Rebecca Hunter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rebecca Hunter has succeeded again in capturing Stockholm summers, this time focusing her attention on the archipelago, the group of islands in the Baltic Sea to which Stockholmers love to escape from the city. This time, we focus on American Melanie, who is writing a biography of her father–a famous Swedish poet who has been a mystery to her since he left her life when she as a child–and Henrik, a very handsome Swede who happens to have his own connection to her father and an aversion to relationships.

I really loved how, despite the attraction Melanie and Henrik feel for one another almost from the very beginning of the story, they try to maintain a professional relationship (since he’s helping her with translating her father’s journals from Swedish to English). But the pull between them is just too much for either to ignore and the island isn’t really big enough to justify keeping their distance. Melanie and Henrik’s story is intriguing and very sexy–very hot scenes between the two of them and my favourite takes place in the tiny cabin of his boat. I also loved how Melanie was determined to find out why her father left her life when she was so young, even if she knew that she might not like the answers she’d find.

Another winner! So happy to have found another writer writing about Americans finding love in Scandinavia! 😀

View all my reviews

6 IR/MC love stories to read to get your heart racing for Valentine’s Day

shutterstock_152210192I’m not one of those women who usually get so worked up over Valentine’s Day. Hard to believe, right? Especially since I write romantic fiction. But I’ve never been a big fan of the commercial aspect of a day dedicated to love. It could also do with having had a high school boyfriend who’d break up with me just before Valentine’s Day and Christmas so he wouldn’t have to spend money on presents. Good thing I wised up and left him behind. But I do love reading (and writing) love stories, so I thought I’d give you some suggestions for IR/MC novels to get you in the mood for love. Are you ready?

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5: Again for the First Time by Raven St. Pierre

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What would you do if a stranger approached you and, instead of asking  you for directions, he asked you to marry him? That’s exactly what happens to Lissette when the very handsome Luke proposes to her on a very emotional afternoon when she’s just found out that her ex is now engaged and moving on with someone new.

What neither Lissette nor Luke expect is that she says yes. Suddenly she and Luke are embarking on a journey that has them married within two weeks of meeting.  Jumping into the unknown with nothing but blind faith and a burgeoning attraction for one another, their unconventional relationship leaves their friends and families wondering if they know what they’re doing. And the two must learn to get to know (and trust) one another–even when the odds are stacked against them.

It’s a quirky love story that–even with its improbable scenario–has you falling in love with Lissy and Luke and hoping their newfound love will stand the test of time. Raven St. Pierre does a great job of carrying the reader along the bumpy road of Lissy and Luke’s marriage. A great love story–sexy without being overly graphic, with two well-drawn characters whose flaws make you love them.

4: The Sweetest Taboo by Harper Miller

HarperMillercoverNow I am usually not very interested in BDSM novels, but Harper Miller has done something very interesting here by creating two characters who go into the relationship on equal footing–despite Rick being the dom and Micah being the sub. From the moment they meet in a New York City fetish club, it’s obvious that fate will pull strings and make sure these two will cross paths again.

Like I said, I don’t usually find BDSM novels very appealing, but Miller succeeds in creating two very intriguing characters in Rick and Micah. Also, she takes us into the heart of what has brought them into this world of submission and domination without making the reader lose sight of the fact that this is a love story–a very erotic love story, but a love story from beginning to end.

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3: Yours by Tia Kelly

Yours CoverIf you’re more in the mood for a quick read that’s smart, sexy and unputdownable, then this is the novella for you. A chance encounter between two people in need of a second chance at love, Yours chronicles how a one-night stand leads to something more for good girl Theresa Clarke and the very sexy, brooding Spaniard, Javier Fernandez.

After spending a very passionate night together, neither expects to see the other again, but–as is always the case with a good love story–fate decides to bring them together again. There’s off-the-chart chemistry between Theresa and Javier–and even when she tries to deny it, Theresa knows she cannot ignore the feelings she has for him. The same is true for Javier–the desire he feels for Theresa pushes him to pursue her, even when she initially says they cannot see one another or when she assumes all he wants from her is a glorified booty call. Sexy and smartly written, this is one must-read novella.

2: Addicted Allison by Noelle Black

Addicted AllisonI thought I was the only black woman writing sexy stories featuring black women and Nordic men, but Noelle Black has joined me. 😉 Her novella, Addicted Allison, is set in world of luxury hotels and the heroine, Allison, blows off steam after long work days as the creative director for a hospitality design firm by meeting men online for one reason alone–sex.

Enter Mattias, a Swede with a big personality and a love of curvy black women. Mattias is enthralled with Allison and all too soon he makes it clear he doesn’t want to share her with anyone else. Her sexy encounter with him has her questioning what she really wants…and could have her going down a very different path than she initially intended.

This is a cleverly written erotic romance that’s more than a just sexy story. It also goes into the expat experience from a black woman’s perspective and gives us an open-ended but satisfying ending that leaves room to explore more of Allison’s adventures.

1: Maybe BabyMaybe Tonight by me

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Maybe Tonight Cover for WPYes, yes, I know, this smacks of blatant self-promotion but Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight fit the bill. I’m not going to review my own books, but I will tell you that you get to read both Laney and Mad’s sides of their love story–which definitely had an unusual start seeing as they met when she looking into finding a sperm donor to be the potential father of her future children. If you haven’t read Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to get to know their stories and maybe even get hooked on their different sort of love story.

Happy reading!

Book Review: Lifted by Nia Forrester

LiftedWhen I first heard that Nia Forrester was working on Lifted and it would be the third book in the Secret series, I was ready to jump for joy–especially when I heard that this time the focus would be on Tessa, Trey’s younger, a tad bit irresponsible sister. Tessa was one of my favorite characters from Secret and the Art of Endings and I always wanted to know more about her.

This time, we find Tessa in San Francisco, avoiding the friends she’d moved there with since she has lost interest in the bakery they’d started together. Tessa’s living in a crappy apartment, waiting bar at a gay country-western bar called the Hood Range and involved with a woman called Lisa who refuses to come out of the closet. It’s fairly obvious that Tessa is dissatisfied in love and in life. With each of her therapy sessions with Dr. Young, we get a sense of a young woman who is frustrated, resentful and (though she would never admit it) afraid. She’s considering ending her relationship with Lisa because she knows they are destined to fail and whatever attraction she had for Lisa has faded with each time Tessa is forced to pretend she is just a friend. And Tessa doesn’t really see them as being in a relationship–they are just hooking up, with no real strings attached.

Enter Lisa’s younger, a tad bit irresponsible brother, Ty. While Tessa is initially forced to pretend she and Lisa are “just friends”, she finds herself drawn to Ty. There is definite chemistry between them–which Tessa tries to deny at first. She has so thoroughly defined who she is by the fact that she has always been attracted to women that what she feels for Ty unsettles her. And his being Lisa’s brother doesn’t really help things. Soon Tessa and Ty are hanging out, hiding their friendship from Lisa, spending most nights together and growing more and more attached to one another without realizing it. Only Dr. Young and Anzu, Tess’s closest friend, seem to be able to see that what’s going on between Tessa and Ty is more than just friendship and sooner or later Tessa will have to face the music.

I really loved how Nia handled the most complicated question in Lifted: how do we define ourselves? Are we defined simply by who we usually have sex with, or by who we love? This is an issue that Tessa struggles with throughout Lifted and it rings true without ever making the reader feel like Tessa is someone who should not be taken seriously. Tessa and Ty’s relationship and how it grows makes for an interesting story. And how those around them react to it, plus the secrets both keep and how they are revealed….it’s a compelling novel. You’ll find it difficult to put down.

Kudos to Nia for taking on such a charged topic and creating such a beautiful love story. The demanding reader in me wants to read more about Ty and Tessa, but the ending was so satisfying. Sometimes we don’t need to know everything. Imagining the continuation of the adventure is equally fulfilling.

My rating:

5_Star

Book Review: Chasing Athens by Marissa Tejada

Chasing Athens CoverWhat would you do if the man you loved convinced you to move to another country with him, then left you there while he was working and playing away, only to have him return and announce he doesn’t want to be married to you anymore? That’s the dilemma facing Ava Martin, a small-town girl from a college town in Upstate New York, at the beginning of Marissa Tejada‘s Chasing Athens.

When we meet Ava, she is lost, trying to figure out what went wrong in her marriage as she navigates the beauty and chaos that is modern-day Athens. The Athens Ava encounters is not the picture-perfect version on the glossy pages of a travel magazine–it is a city roiling in chaos thanks to the dire Greek economic crisis, a city of violent protests and random strikes–yet even with all of the unrest, Ava and her friends Nikos and Eleni go out in the evenings for bouzoukia, dancing and drinking into the wee hours and enjoying their lives. All three are trying to find someone–Nikos is always on the lookout for pretty exotic (for him) girls whom he tries to charm with the foreign phrases he’s learned, Eleni puts on a hard-to-get facade as she weeds out the men who don’t meet her standards and Ava tries to find away to forget Greg, the husband who has left her.

As Ava explores Athens and the Greek islands, she also begins a journey of self-discovery. Her entire life has been a series of other people setting sail for her–she has never been the captain of her own destiny. Now, with Greg out of her life and her overprotective mother across the ocean in Ithaca, New York, Ava has the chance to make her own choices and mistakes and learn from them. As she traverses the dating world with many love in translation moments,

Chasing Athens is a fantastic story of heartbreak, self-discovery and finding love again. I really loved how Marissa depicted Athens so that it came alive for the reader. I haven’t been to Athens since the late 1990s but reading Chasing Athens rekindled within me all those memories of the city, of Piraeus and the islands.  What I also loved about this novel is how real Ava’s struggle felt. She is not a two-dimensional character and her honesty and naiveté after so many years of having others dictate her life ring true. She struggles, she is frustrated, she does dumb things without becoming a character we pity. Instead, we empathize because we’ve all–at some point or another–slept with the wrong man, been embarrassed on public transportation or dealt with a catty rival who tramples on our self-confidence.

Ava’s friends are another plus for Chasing Athens. Nikos and Eleni’s spontaneity and optimism (even in the face of the looming political and economic crisis in Greece) keep Ava buoyant, especially in the early days of her separation from Greg. And their unwavering support makes me wish I had them in my life too! 🙂 And then there is the Greek George Clooney…well, I won’t give anything away, since I think you should read the book.

I also love that Marissa delves into the cultural differences Ava encounters and shows us how her horizons are expanding for every day she remains in Athens. This is an American Abroad novel that really shows us what everyday life is like for an expat as they try to learn a new language, a new culture and its unwritten rules. And as a fellow expat, I can relate to Ava’s predicaments and the worries she has while trying to live in Athens.

So if you’re looking for something to read this autumn that will instantly transport you to Athens–no passport required–and you love chick lit and romantic fiction as much as I do, then you should add Chasing Athens to your To Be Read List on Goodreads. Better yet–buy it and read it now to keep that summer feeling strong within you. You may find yourself wondering why you haven’t taken the chance and moved to Greece to have your own adventure!

Intrigued? Then find out more about Marissa Tejada and her writing by connecting with her on Twitter, FacebookGoodreads and Instagram.

My rating? 

5_Star

Interview: Getting to know Tia Kelly

A few weeks ago, I discovered indie writer Tia Kelly via another fellow writer, Nia Forrester. I’d just finished reading Nia’s novel, Mistress, which I loved, and was waiting for her next book, Wife, to come out. Then Nia shared a post on her blog about Tia Kelly and her latest novel, Taste for Love, and it sounded like it was right up my alley–and it most definitely was.

So without further ado, let’s get to know Tia Kelly!

10364484_215119008697142_832864325_nWhen did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved reading and enjoyed the creative side of story telling. I guess it’s in my bloodline and I’ve always known the passion existed.

How would you describe your writing for people who’ve never read your work before? And which book would you recommend they start with?
I am a contemporary fiction writer. My novels have elements of realism and romance, but I love to explore characters lives…. one moment at a time. I would recommend The Love Sessions to become familiar with my work.

How would you describe your writing process?
That’s a hard one. The writing process for me changes with each novel. It all depends on what my characters lead me to do and I will follow wherever they want me to go. Chances are I will play with a few ideas in my head just to get the characters talking. Then I will either just start writing or jot down a very loose outline. I hate to even call it an outline. From there, anything goes.

When did you decide you wanted to self-publish your writing?
A wonderful author suggested it a few times and I was always afraid to give it a try. One day, I uploaded Love’s Rebound just to get reader’s feedback using Amazon as a pseudo-online writing class and haven’t looked back since.

What would you say are the most important lessons you’ve learned since you began publishing your writing?
Patience. I sometimes struggle with patience in my every day life, but it’s something I am getting better with thanks to writing. I had to learn that I need to give a story time to grow before it hits the pages… patience in the process of seeing it evolve while I write it… extreme patience when I get excited to write or release the next one. Learning how to give my story time to breathe… Patience would be one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned so far.

One of the aspects of your writing that I really admire is how your characters come across as real, flawed and not necessarily perfect. How do you go about creating characters? Do they come to you fully formed, or is it a long process in creating each nuance?

Thank you. I just want to write real life, especially with love. I am an unapologetic people watcher. I observe and listen to everything. I watch mannerisms, I listen to tone, I try to get all of my senses involved so when I write those elements are translated to the characters I see playing the scenes out. Usually these characters whisper softly, hinting about what they have the potential to become. Then out of the blue they show up ready to go, literally taking me by the hand and jumping into the story with me.

A lot of writers complain about finding a good balance between “real life” and writing time. How do you manage the delicate balance?

I haven’t figured that out yet, but when I do I’ll be sure to let you know. I write all the time, especially in my head. Writing rarely takes time off and pushes it’s way into my real life.

What’s next for you now that Taste for Love is live? Have you already started working on your next book? If so, could you tell us about it?
I am working on a few things right now. The one I can talk about is the next novel in the Wilkersons in Love series. Jeremy Wilkerson is content with his life and has no desire to fall in love again in Ready for Love. This novel features Alejandra, Javier Fernandez’s sister from my novella, Yours.

Tia’s Taste for Love Playlist

Philadelphia plays a big role in your latest release, Taste for Love (which pleases me as a transplanted Philly girl). Tell us why Philadelphia ended up being the setting for Taste for Love, and what is it that is so special about Philly that non-natives just don’t understand?
Philadelphia is just a great city. Perfect location for so many other things outside of the city, too. Taste for Love ended up in Philadelphia because that’s where the entire series takes place. It’s where a few of the characters play professional sports, which is perfect since Philadelphia is such a big sports town. My next novel, Ready for Love, is about Jeremy Wilkerson and he works with renewable energy. Philadelphia plays a big part in the country’s renewable energy market, too. It’s just a great city and one of my favorite places. It just felt right to use it as the setting for a few of my novels.

What advice would you give to young writers who are just starting out?
Just keep writing and never stop. And read!

Many thanks to Tia for taking the time to answer my questions! Interested in finding out more about her writing? Check out her Amazon Author Page for a list of all her available titles. 

Review: French for Always by Fiona Valpy

The-French-For-Always-front-cover-800pxThe perfect rom-com recipe for the summer needs a few key ingredients: a beautiful location, a heroine we cheer for, a problem that seems insurmountable and, of course, the guy who turns out to be exactly the person our heroine was looking for. We want romance, we want an escape, we want to dream ourselves away and get lost as we read, and Fiona Valpy, author of The French for Love (which I reviewed last year), delivers on all points with The French for Always.

So what’s the set up? Meet Sara and Gavin–they’ve left England behind to live in the French countryside, running a boutique wedding venue. After months of renovating their dream chateau and finally getting their business going, Gavin decides this isn’t the life he wants, cheats on Sara and then buggers off. Reeling from the discovery of Gavin’s infidelity, Sara has to do everything she can to keep her business going and hold on to her dream of the home she’s never really ever had. And then…love steps in.

Intrigued? You should be! The French for Always is such a charming book and the perfect page-turner for lazy days. Sara is a great romantic heroine–she is resourceful even when faced with the possibility of losing everything she’s dreamed of, she is strong and big-hearted. By the end of the book, you feel like you’ve gained a new friend. The secondary characters will also put a smile on your face. And the descriptions of the Bordeaux countryside make me long to go to France (and I am a confirmed Italophile!) and wander among the vineyards…

I really enjoyed The French for Always! I’m already looking forward to Fiona Valpy’s next book. 🙂

Rating: 5_Star

Happy reading!

Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for an honest review.

 

Review: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Wallbanger_Cover-e1352210304296I’m always on the lookout for books that speak to me. Now, of course, I realise books are inanimate objects that won’t literally speak to me, but you know what I mean. You read the blurb, it sparks something inside you and you just know you must read that book. Well, that is exactly what happened with Alice Clayton‘s novel, Wallbanger.

I first heard about it on Facebook. I was on a book blog page (I think it was Novel Grounds) and some people were raving about it. Now, I usually avoid books people rave about because they don’t always live up to the hype. I glanced at the cover on Amazon every now and then, read the blurb, thought it sounded interesting but still didn’t buy it.

Finally two friends in the US read it and loved it and, since our taste in books is similar, I finally caved in and bought it. It took another few months before I finally read it, which I did last weekend while en route to London for the London Author Fair.

Was I disappointed? Absolutely not! Wallbanger is a fun read and the repartee between Simon and Caroline is quick, sexy and just a little silly (in a good way). And I rather liked Clive the cat. His antics made me laugh and snort a few times on my flight from Stockholm to London. 🙂

I think the only thing that didn’t work for me in Wallbanger were the text messages from her friends–since the entire novel was from Caroline’s POV, it felt a bit strange that there would suddenly be text messages between other characters and Caroline wasn’t a part of these conversations.

Still, that didn’t deter me from reading. I thought Wallbanger was nice, fluffy fun and, even though I’d figured out a few things halfway through the book, it didn’t lessen my enjoyment.

So now I’ve decided to read a few more Alice Clayton novels. That should take me through the weekend, especially since I have a cold now and feel like I need something to cheer me up. 🙂