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?

tumblr_lz3e3izUBG1qalhmdo1_400

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

Again for the First Time Cover

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.

The Kiss

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

webgoodreads

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!

Summer Reads – 2014 Edition

It’s summer–though you wouldn’t know it here in Stockholm with its cloudy skies and days so chilly I am still wearing a sweater. When can I expose my toes to the elements? Is it even worth investing in a pedicure when it’s not proper sandal-wearing weather? Ah well… at least I have my summer reading to look forward to, and I’ve already started with a few books I’ve had on my To Be Read List for a while.

Me-Without-You-Kelly-RimmerMe Without You  – Kelly Rimmer

I received an ARC of Me Without You from Bookouture, who’ve quickly become one of my favorite publishers. So far, every book I’ve read from their authors has packed an emotional punch or had that smart vein of humor I appreciate. Kelly Rimmer’s Me Without You is in the “packs an emotional punch” category.

Lilah & Callum are a case of opposites attracting. Lilah is an environmental lawyer whose quirkiness and love of going barefoot initially do not attract Callum, a workaholic who has put his career before his social life. But it doesn’t take long for sparks to fly and for Callum to realize that he is hopelessly in love with Lilah. Their story starts with the perfect “meet cute” and progresses into the story of the progression of their relationship, not an easy feat for two people who say they do not want or have time for commitment. But neither is prepared for just how much they will change one another. Well, I won’t give away any details. All I can say is you must read this book. And it’s true–if you loved One Day by David Nicholls, I’m pretty sure you’ll also love Me Without You.

Heres Looking At You Cover

Here’s Looking at You – Mhairi McFarlane

I absolutely loved Mhairi McFarlane’s You Had Me at Hello, so I was jump-up-and-down excited when I heard she had a new novel out. Here’s Looking at You tells the story of two former classmates, outcast Anna Alessi and the über cool James Fraser. Back in high school, Anna had a crush on James and, when he finally paid attention to her, she had no way of knowing it would lead to her being humiliated in such a way that it continues to eat away at her self-esteem. Fast forward to their high school reunion. Anna has a job she loves but her social life is a bit of a dud and she’s ready to give up on dating. And just when she thinks she can’t possibly go on another dismal online date, James Fraser walks back into her life and he appears to be a changed man. Should she trust him? You’ll have to read the book to find out. 😉

Loved that this story was told from both Anna and James’s POV. It’s a quick read that’s funny, intelligent and romantic. I give it two thumbs up!

Love-Lies-and-Lemon-Cake-Sue-Watson

Love. Lies & Lemon Cake – Sue Watson

Another ARC I received from Bookouture and this one falls under the fun category. Love, Lies & Lemon Cake is a story about second chances at life and love. Faye always wanted a life of adventure but she had to set her dreams aside when she unexpectedly became pregnant while in college. She long to recapture the woman she used to be–and being in a job that leaves her unfulfilled and being unhappily married to a man who she can’t remember ever really loving isn’t helping matters. And then she meets Dan, a gorgeous Australian surfer who works at her local deli and just happens to be a great baker.

Faye decides to take a chance and live the sort of life she always wanted, even if it means leaving her husband so that she can recapture her sparkle and embark on a relationship with someone new. Love, Lies & Lemon Cake is a heartwarming story about the curveballs life can throw you and what happens when you stop doing what is expected of you and start doing what makes you happy.

Jojo Moyes One Plus One Cover

The One Plus One – Jojo Moyes

I’ve been a big fan of Jojo Moyes’s books ever since I read Me Before You (if you haven’t read it yet, do so NOW). I absolutely loved that book and I am sure Hollywood will sink its claws into it and absolutely ruin it, but it will never destroy my love of Me Before You. Now Jojo Moyes is back with The One Plus One, which I read while I was on vacation in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. This is another classic “opposites attract” tale with a twist.

You have Jess, a scrappy single mom who is struggling to make ends meet and help her children, quirky math whiz Tanzie and Goth stepson Nicky, survive the council estate where they live. Jess cleans houses when she isn’t waitressing at the local pub. One night she ends up helping Ed Nicholls–a man whose life looks perfect on the surface but a stupid mistake has put him on the brink of losing everything–and this chance encounter links them in a way neither expected. Heartbreaking, emotionally driven and full of wonderful character development, it’s a story that doesn’t let go. It’s not a beach read; this is a novel that you want to be able to read when no one will disturb you. Send your kids out to play, give your hubby endless errands to run and sink into this book.

Addicted Zane

Addicted – Zane

I don’t I’d ever read anything by Zane prior to beginning Addicted other than the blog she used to maintain. I’d always said I’d read one of her books but never really got around to it. Then I saw a trailer for the movie based on Addicted and it looked intriguing. A woman struggling with her addiction to sex and the threat giving in to her desires has on her marriage…and her life. Love it so far and I am only about a third of the way through the book.

My only beef at the moment has nothing to do with Zane’s writing and *everything* to do with the publisher trying to rebrand this book like it’s a Fifty Shades of Grey wannabe. C’mon, Atria, the red tie in focus? A total copy of the grey tie from Fifty Shades (one of the worst books I’ve ever read, by the way) and Addicted doesn’t need to be rebranded like an EL James rip-off when this book was published way before EL James even started writing erotica.

On My TBR List

The AffairThe Affair – Tia Kelly

From the blurb:

For every secret, there’s a lie.

In her novella The Affair, Tia Kelly takes the reader where married men aren’t supposed to go… into another woman’s bed.

 

Finding Forever

Finding Forever – Christina C. Jones

From the blurb:

After her latest ill-fated attempt to find a forever relationship of her own, Tori Kennedy is content with connecting the dots for others, bringing them together in pursuit of lifetime love. Fresh off of the demise of her marriage, she decides to take advantage of an opportunity to do something a little — okay, a lot — crazy, and heavily fueled by an overload of emotions.

Thinking that her impulsive decision and its disastrous results are behind her, Tori moves forward with her pursuit of a happily single existence, until her best friend contacts her with a request that places a constant reminder in her life : Avery.

Avery Anderson is the epitome of “the kind of guy your momma warned you about.” Handsome, successful, charming… and not at all interested in being roped into anything that resembles love. Tori ending up in his bed doesn’t surprise him at all — it’s just what he does— but his feelings afterwards? That’s another story. An ultimatum placed on him by his little sister puts him back in arm’s reach of the pretty matchmaker that he can’t get off of his mind, but she’s not taking the bait this time.

Tori just wants to be rid of him so that she can move on with her life, and it’s not Avery’s style to chase someone who doesn’t want to be caught. When both parties are content to let the spark flicker out, can love — or something like that— still lead the way to forever?

Redemption Key

Redemption Key – S.G. Redling

From the blurb:

Her narrow escape from blue-eyed assassin Tom Booker has made former data analyst Dani Britton question all of her choices—like trusting “good guys” who carry badges. On the run and haunted by the government-sanctioned massacre of her coworkers, Dani finally settles in remote Redemption Key, Florida, at a bar where strong drinks and shady deals are the norm.

The bar owner, a local operator with a past of his own, gives Dani a job, no questions asked, and soon Dani’s ability to “read” the sketchy characters doing business at the bar proves invaluable. The libations flow, and the Key’s laid-back vibe and warm waters start doing their therapeutic work. But as the mercury rises, a twisted deal starts to go down—threatening to take Dani with it. Like sharks smelling blood, players on both sides of the law circle for the kill. And when charming apex predator Booker joins the frenzy, he may turn out to be the only one on Dani’s side.

 

Happy reading! 🙂

Guest Post: Claire Duffy & Life Is Swede Day on 21 February

A few months ago, a colleague told me about a blog I had to read–and I was hooked from Day One. That blog belonged to Claire Duffy, who is our guest blogger today at Kim Talks Books.

For six months last year, I blogged as a fictional character.  The idea – inspired by Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds – was to create a fictional world that initially appeared authentic, so that people could step right in, interact with the characters, and almost become part of the story themselves.  I’ve always been fascinated with that concept: who wouldn’t want to enter a novel they’re reading, ask questions or give a character a few home truths?

When I moved to Stockholm and the story of a lonely ex pat who gets drawn into a murder mystery began to form in my brain, I knew I’d found my War of the Worlds.  It felt organic: of course Regan would blog daily about her impressions and experiences struggling to settle into her new life.  Within weeks, she had built a fantastic, loyal following, who advised and supported her through culture clashes and the language barrier, a rough patch with Anders and her struggles dealing with his apparently cold and reserved friends.

Regan’s early accounts of being an ex pat in Stockholm are extremely autobiographical: one of my friends only clicked that it was fiction when she realized how much of what happened to Regan had happened to me. I love living in Stockholm, and love Swedish people – but my first year or so was definitely a struggle against loneliness, homesickness and frustration.

I remember at times feeling that I couldn’t read people any more – often I would meet someone and diagnose that they had no interest in being friends with me, then later discover that they were just being Swedishly reserved upon first meeting. For me it was just a case of getting to know and understand a new culture, but, but it was a ripe emotional state to toss a little murder into!  When one of Anders’ close friends is murdered and he is arrested, Regan sets out to clear his name – but unable to trust her perception of the people involved, unable to understand what she hears, it’s easier said than done!

Now that the final blog has been posted, the whole project has been put together into an ebook.

 Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 06.14.02

Friday 21 February is Life is Swede day!!

The idea is to gather up all the fantastic support the blog has had over the last few months – and welcome some new friends into the fold – and see if we can get this little project that could onto the Amazon best seller list for a day*!

(*and also for the rest of all time. But you know, one step at a time 😉 )

To pull this off, we need to spread the word as much as possible to everybody in the whole world (ideally) to buy Life is Swede on Friday 21 February. Join Regan’s Army and blog, share, re-post, tweet, like, submit, pin with abandon! There’s even a Facebook group you can join and add your friends to if you really want to go wild!

Anyone who:

* tweets, shares, mentions the project on any social media will get a thank you & link of their choice on www.lifeisswedeblog.com

* hosts my guest post about the project & plan (I’ll email it on request!) or adds friends to the event Facebook group will get a thank you & blog button displayed on www.lifeisswedeblog.com, plus I’ll tweet & share to the Facebook group a link of your choice.

* blogs about the project (the story, the concept, the plan!) or reviews the book on Amazon will get the button on www.lifeisswedeblog.com, plus a thank you and link on the last page of the book itself, and will go into the draw to be name-checked as one of Regan’s blog friends in the text of the book.

These are just the thank yous I could think up myself (and though my fuzzy, cold addled brain!) – if you have any thoughts or co promotion ideas, I am all ears!! I’ll be monitoring any activity of course, but please do give me a heads up if you are getting involved so that I can be sure to thank you!!

Second Advent – Snowy Stockholm and Rune

Brunnsviken in winter. Photo: Tord Malmgren

Brunnsviken in winter. Photo: Tord Malmgren

As I write today’s post, the view outside my window is one of pale gray sky and snowy sidewalks. On Friday we had our first proper snowfall of the winter. We Stockholmers were beginning to wonder if there would be any snow before Christmas–and it was getting a bit depressing, the dullness of the winter darkness, the heavy sleep feeling that settles upon you and makes you feel perpetually tired. You need snow to break it up and remind you that Christmas is just around the corner.

Today it’s around -7C (that’s 19.4F) and it looks like we’re going to get more snow soon. It makes me think about Rune, the homeless man I often see on my way to work. Sometimes I am late in the morning because I want to make sure he has had something warm to drink or I check on him and see if he has enough warm winter clothing. Last year, I gave him some winter gloves, a hat, an old fleece jacket of Tord’s that was still in good condition but that he no longer wanted. Rune was so happy. He said he had looked for similar items at the shelter where he stays when it’s too cold to be outside but they didn’t have any that would fit him. A few days later, he looked devastated. Someone had stolen the winter gear I’d given him. “It’s what happens at the shelters,” he said. “Someone sees you have more than them, and they take it because they are angry and desperate.” I was surprised he didn’t begrudge the people who stole from him. He said he’d been homeless long enough to understand why they do it.

So how do I know Rune? Well,  I see him when I am on my way to work. He is often standing outside Åhléns City, selling Situation Stockholm, a magazine features articles about Stockholm, the situation of those in need, etc. Many homeless people in Stockholm sell it and I always buy an issue from Rune. Sometimes I buy several issues. I do it because I want to help him in his struggle to find a place to live. Rune is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. He is always more concerned about others. He is always polite, even to the people who walk past him and make rude remarks. On the day my father died, Rune saw how unhappy I was and his kind words and his compassion lifted my spirits.

You’ll know Rune if you see him. He looks exactly like Santa Claus. Or, at least, *I* think he looks like Santa Claus. You’ll recognise him as soon as you see him. So if you’re in Stockholm and you happen to see a man selling Situation Stockholm and he reminds you of all your childhood dreams of Santa, then that’s Rune–buy a Situation Stockholm from him and, if it’s cold, ask him if he’d like a hot chocolate. But don’t just buy the magazine from Rune. There are hundreds of other Situation Stockholm salespeople out there who want to find homes, who want to get off the streets and restart their lives. So buy your copies from them as well.

My goals for 2014 are: once my new novel is ready, buy advertising space in Situation Stockholm to help support this cause and donate money to Stockholms Stadsmission. I also want to be more active in helping, so I am going to figure out something I can do to make more of a difference.

I hope Rune has a warm place to sleep tonight. I worry about him when the temperatures begin to dip. Tomorrow, I will keep an eye out for him. I always do.

 

The only thing that helps at times like this is buying books

It’s been a crazy two weeks. There is a lot going on at work, which means I am exhausted physically and mentally when I come home. And this is affecting my writing time. I wake up too tired to write. I come home too tired to write. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to read other people’s work instead but I find myself falling asleep on the sofa–not because the books are boring, but because I am tired. Ah well, at least I have Matera and my vacation in the US to look forward to in the coming weeks.

Anyway, I indulged in a little retail therapy and this is what I bought:

ImageMo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Ben Greenman

I had to get this. Questlove and I come from the same town, my beloved Philadelphia. We both come from West Philly. We’re both creative–he’s a musical genius, I’m a writer. Really, it’s a wonder our paths haven’t crossed yet. 😉 But seriously, I am always drawn to books and movies set in my hometown. And since I am a Roots fan and I have always liked Questlove, I knew I needed to get a copy of his memoir. And then a few months ago, Nick Hornby was talking about Questlove’s memoir and I was even more intrigued. It wasn’t available yet and when I tried to preorder it here in Stockholm, I was met with blank stares from  bookstore staff. Of course, after I finally ordered it from Amazon UK, then every online bookstore in Sweden suddenly decided they could stock it as well. I don’t care. I have it now and the cover looks great. I’ve already sneaked a peek at a few pages and this is definitely my kind of book.

I haven’t started reading Mo’ Meta Blues yet but it is the next book on my To Read List. Maybe I will save it as something to read while I am in Philly and then give to my oldest niece as a source of inspiration. I want her to see that there is more to the world than the confines of our old neighborhood.

ImageThe other book I ended up buying is not new but I didn’t want to read it when everyone else was reading it because I really, really hate when other people see you’re reading the same book and then they feel compelled to inadvertently spoil it for you. So which book is it? Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I love a good mystery/thriller and I wanted to be able to read this without everyone else a) trying to convince me it was godhead, b) wanting to discuss it and reveal spoilers, c) wanting to talk about which Hollywood A-listers should play Nick and Amy. Luckily the Gone Girl hype in Stockholm has died down. I think everyone has found a new novel to gush about. I started reading it on Thursday and it’s as good as everyone assured me it was. I’ve decided I need to Gillian Flynn’s other novels (Dark Places and Sharp Objects) as well, so they are also on the To Read List for this autumn/winter. And what could be better to read in Stockholm–that city where the winter cloud cover is so thick you nearly forget there is a thing called the sun–than really tight mystery novels that play tricks with your mind? 🙂

So I think I am set for a few weeks. I am editing Maybe Baby again after making changes suggested by a beta reader. I’m also beta reading a friend’s novel. And I have to wait and see what the future has in store for me. If all else fails, at least I have my writing, Nanowrimo and my gorgeous husband. 🙂

Happy reading (and writing)!

Coming soon…a website for Kim the author

Not sure who created this--but thank you! :)

Not sure who created this–but thank you! 🙂

It’s May Day–a much-needed dayoff from work when I am supposed to be protesting and marching according to Swedish tradition, but really all I’ve done is take care of things I don’t normally have time to do. At least I’ve done four useful things : go to a meeting with the election team for my tenants association, take care of a load of laundry, take a walk and file my Swedish income tax. At the weekend, I’ll file my US income tax form. (One of the good things about living overseas is that we have a tax filing extension until June.)

I’m getting closer to that point where I think one of my novels will be set free to the great, wide world. And it makes me think I need to have a separate website for my books and then this blog for writing reviews. I’ll still write about writing and what I’m reading here. But anything related to the books I publish will be on the website instead. Going to fix a domain and then link the website to the blog. I’ll probably fix it so you can order the books via the website as well.

Anyway, that’s today’s post. Happy May Day! 🙂

And happy reading (and writing)!

On Pinterest, writing Maybe Baby and inspiration…

I think I’ve become addicted to Pinterest. I’ve been using it to make inspiration boards for my writing and it really helps me–especially when I am trying to imagine setting and what my characters look like. Before Pinterest, I had scrapbooks full of pictures, piles of magazines that littered my desk…it was wonderful chaos that could sometimes be distracting and become a bit of a nightmare. I am trying to bring a sense of order to my life and Pinterest, in its own little way, is helping. Well, at least it’s helping keep my desk While I’ve been working on Maybe Baby, my inspiration board just seems to get bigger and bigger. I’ve got 88 pictures pinned depicting the people who inspired my characters and the places in Copenhagen and Stockholm that feature in the novel. When I first started writing Maybe Baby back in November, I knew I wanted to play with the idea of a Dane as the love interest for my expat American heroine. I was in the middle of a dreary Swedish winter and Nanowrimo was the only thing keeping me from focusing too much on the gray winter skies. I wanted my Swedish main character, Niklas, to be like the Swedish seasons–beautiful and warm in summer, but in turns distant and emotionally unavailable.

Image

Rudi Køhnke

When I first began writing Maybe Baby, I initially had a Danish actor, Rudi Køhnke, in mind as  Mads. He had the same intensity that I thought Mads should have. But the more I thought about it, the less he felt…right. I’m not sure why he didn’t feel right but he never really became Mads in my head. Maybe he was a little too boyish-looking? Maybe he was too young? Mads is in his mid to late thirties and Rudi Køhnke looks a little too long. I started searching again for the right Mads and it took a couple of days until I realized I needed someone who looked more experienced and had a laid-back vibe. I didn’t want him to be too perfect. I wanted him to be flawed in a good way.

Image

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Eventually, I realized the person I’d been thinking about as I wrote about Mads was actually another Danish actor, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Images of him pepper My Maybe Baby board. Once I switched to thinking about him as Mads, the scenes he was in were easier to write. I guess it helps that I was seeing him everywhere–on Swedish TV, in Game of Thrones, in old episodes of New Amsterdam. I showed my Maybe Baby board to some friends who’d been reading the unedited chapters of Maybe Baby as I posted my Nanowrimo progress here on the blog. They all agreed–he was Mads. So when I finally publish this and, if some lovely day, someone wants the film rights…it’s on one condition–Nikolaj plays Mads. I can’t really picture any American or British actor playing him.

Image

Kerry Washington

American actress Kerry Washington became the inspiration for Laney. I liked her vibe. I’d seen her in a few films and liked how she could exude vulnerability and sexiness at the same time. Just before I began working on Maybe Baby, I watched Lakeview Terrace. Kerry plays Lisa Mattson, one of the main characters in the film, and she is gutsy, sometimes frustrating and not afraid to show her fear, confusion and anger. She was the perfect Laney and every picture I found of her confirmed it for me. So maybe I need another clause for the day I sell the film rights…Kerry should play Laney to Nikolaj’s Mads. Writing the first draft of Maybe Baby took a month. Revising it has so far taken me four months. I keep finding small things that could be better. I had three months of author mentorship with author Misa Ramirez via Savvy Authors, and she helped me see when I wasn’t going deep enough with my POV, when my pacing was off with too much telling instead of showing and when the backstory was taking over. (Thanks, Misa!) 🙂 I’ve got a plan, and I am trying to stick to it. I’m a bit behind schedule but I think I can catch up. 🙂 In the meantime, I’ll keep writing and, when my brain stalls, I’ll search for pictures that inspire me and pin them on my Pinterest board. And I’ll keep you posted on my progress. 🙂

My Spring 2013 reading list

Image

No blossoms yet in Stockholm, but soon!

Spring has finally arrived in Stockholm, Sweden–the air is getting warmer, the ice on Brunnsviken has finally melted, I could actually go out without a thick scarf and hat on. You know what that means–now I get to tell you what books I plan on reading (or am already reading).

So what’s on the list this time? One oldie and lots of new books. 🙂

  • The Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton. Now, I read this book a few years ago and loved it. I was feeling nostalgic and decided to read it again.
  • The Husband Diet by Nancy Barone. Nancy is one of my fellow Matera brainstormers and this is one of the books we brainstormed together. Can’t wait to finally read it. I’ve preordered it. 🙂
  • Damocles by S.G. Redling. Sheila is another Matera brainstormer and Damocles is another book we all brainstormed. I loved the plot when she told us about it. I think this is going to be another hit like her previous novel, Flowertown. Different genre, complete different story but I’m sure it won’t disappoint.
  • The Lost Daughter by Mary Williams. Williams is an African-American woman who was adopted by actress Jane Fonda. The Lost Daughter is her memoir about growing up in Oakland in the 1970s and what brought her to the camp Fonda and then-husband Tom Hayden ran. It’s also a story about self-discovery and knowing when you can go home again.
  • Leftovers by Stella Newman. I loved Newman’s Pear Shaped--even when her main character was driving me crazy with being submissive to an emotionally-unavailable man. According to the back cover blurb, Leftovers is about friendship, love and enjoying what’s left on the table. I’ve already got it on my Kindle…soon I’ll dive in. 🙂
  • Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy. Every now and then, I need a dose of paranormal, and it looks like this time it will be the werewolves of Hemlock Grove who give me my dose. 🙂
  • Lessons in French by Hillary Reyl. Set in Paris in 1989, this is a story about a woman rediscovering Paris and her past. It’s also about what happens when life begins to spiral out of control. I can’t wait to dig into this one! 😀
  • Banker’s Death: Temptation in Florence #3 by Beate Boeker. Beate’s a fellow Matera brainstormer and, as I posted earlier, I love her sense of humor and her quirky cast of characters.
  • Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Theresa Anne Fowler. Having read so much by and inspired by  F.Scott, it’s great to finally find a novel about Zelda. This one is sure to be enthralling!
  • Woman on the Run by Lisa Marie Rice. Rice is the pseudonym for one my fellow Matera Brainstormers. She writes great romantic and erotic suspense and this is one of her books which I haven’t read yet. I think I will take this one with me to Copenhagen in a few weeks! 🙂

That’s it for now. I am anxious to get working on Maybe Baby again. I’m revising Chapter 7. Five more chapters to tighten and then I will feel ready to release it. 🙂

Happy reading (and writing)! 🙂

Poetry Evening at the English Bookshop in Gamla Stan

Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 9.58.01 PMStockholmers, I only just found out about this but some of my friends from the Stockholm Writers Group will be part of a poetry evening at the English Bookshop in Gamla Stan (Lilla Nygatan 11) at 7PM.

The poets who’ll be on hand tomorrow are Ron Pavellas, Paddy Kelly, Rebecca Lynn Foreman and Daniel Sikazwe.

Unfortunately, I can’t go but I hope many of you will attend and show your support for these very talented writers!

Happy reading (and writing)!

 

Post-Nanowrimo Update: Last three chapters online

That's me! :)

That’s me! 🙂

Now that Nanowrimo is over, I can do useless things like watch TV and do laundry (actually, I managed to do both of these things while I was doing my Nanowriting). It also means I can start my Christmas Movie Bonanza–the annual event when Tord and I overload on our favorite Christmas movies like Elf, the Holiday, Surviving Christmas, the Preacher’s Wife and Love, Actually. And we drink glögg (Swedish for mulled wine).

Now, for those of you who’ve been following Laney, Mads & Niklas’s story, you can now read the last three chapters of Maybe Baby. Please remember it’s still really, really rough. And there are still plot holes–already thinking of ways to correct them. Hope you enjoy the rest of the story. It’ll  be online until the end of the month. After that, I’ll start a new page to keep you updated on the revision status of Maybe Baby and when I hope to make it available.

Also, this month, I’m trying to raise money to donate to Stockholms Stadsmision, an organization here in Stockholm that helps women and children in need, the homeless, and substance abusers who are trying to recover. If you buy a copy of  The Melanie Chronicles (ebook or print version) or Linger: a short story (Kindle-only), all the profits for the month of December will be donated to the mission.

Happy First Advent! 🙂