~☆Summer Reading Event☆~ Sara Richardson

 

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Sara Richardson’s Summer Reading List

During the summer, I spend a lot of time with my kids at the pool. It’s always a great way to wear out two active boys! J While they burn all of their energy I love to set myself up in the shade and read. Here are a few of the books I’m most looking forward to this summer:

Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson – I love matchmaking stories! Throw in the twist of the main character receiving an inheritance from her ex-husband’s great aunt, and I’m hooked. Maddie is a new-to-me author and I can’t wait to dive in!

The Cottages on Silver Beach by RaeAnne Thayne RaeAnne’s books are always a one-click buy for me. Every story promises emotional depth, engaging characters, and that heartwarming charm she’s known for.

Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins – Kristan is my go-to author for all the feels wrapped up in one fabulous story. When I have one of her books in my hands, I never fail to laugh and cry and feel everything right along with the characters.

Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis  – Jill Shalvis is a master at developing relatable, three-dimensional characters. No matter what the story is about, the characters always pull me into their world and keep me engaged until the last page.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang – Everyone seems to be talking about this book! I always love a heroine who is determined to overcome challenges, and I’m fascinated with the issues this book explores. Besides that, I’m always a sucker for a good love story.

 

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True-Blue Cowboy, part of Sara Richardson’s Rocky Mountain Rider series, is available on July 31, 2018.

Book link: https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/sara-richardson/true-blue-cowboy/9781538712245/

About Sara Richardson: Sara Richardson grew up chasing adventure in Colorado’s rugged mountains. After a brief stint in the corporate writing world, she stopped ignoring the voices in her head and started writing fiction. Now she uses her experience as a mountain adventure guide to write stories that incorporate adventure with romance. Sara lives and plays in Colorado with her saint of a husband and two young sons. For more on Sara and her books, please visit sararichardson.com.

 

#ForeverSummerReading giveaway

 

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~☆Summer Reading with RC Ryan☆~

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Favorite book set at the beach?

R.C: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

 

Is there a subgenre or trope that you have never written but would like to?

R.C.: Shape-shifters. I have an amazing character in mind who would make a fabulous thriller.

 

What is your all-time favorite summer tune?

R.C.: She wore an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka dot bikini… Oh no. Now it’s going to play through my mind all day.

 

What is your best summer memory?

R.C.: Long car trips to see my relatives in Canada. There was a log cottage on a lake with a big dormitory room for the kids. We swam in a frigid lake, climbed trees, chased chipmunks. Pure kid heaven.

 

If you could choose a vacation destination for the couple in your new book, where would it be and why?

R.C.: I’d choose their honeymoon destination – all alone on Ben’s piece of land in the hills, with just mustangs and all manner of wild animals for their nearest neighbors. Heavenly.

 

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Cowboy on My Mind by R.C. Ryan will be available on June 26, 2018.

 

Buy link:

 

https://www.forever-romance.com/titles/r-c-ryan/cowboy-on-my-mind/9781538711149/

 

About R.C. Ryan: New York Times bestselling author R.C. Ryan has written more than ninety novels, both contemporary and historical. R.C. Ryan is a pseudonym of New York Times bestselling author Ruth Ryan Langan. For more information on R.C. and her books, please visit RuthLangan.com.

 

 

#ForeverSummerReading Sweepstakes

 

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~☆Review & Excerpt☆~ Hooked on You by Kate Meader

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Book details

The Chicago Rebels series, Book 4

The eBook is on sale May 7, 2018!

The mass market is on sale May 29, 2018!

Mass Market Paperback • Price: $9.99 • ISBN: 9781501168574

eBook • Price: $5.99 • ISBN: 9781501180903

Hooked On You, book cover

Book description

Violet Vasquez never met her biological father, so learning he left his beloved hockey franchise—the Chicago Rebels—to her is, well, unexpected. Flat broke and close to homeless, Violet is determined to make the most of this sudden opportunity. Except dear old dad set conditions that require she takes part in actually running the team with the half-sisters she barely knows. Working with these two strangers and overseeing a band of hockey-playing lugs is not on her agenda…until she lays eyes on the Rebels captain and knows she has to have him.

Bren St. James has been labeled a lot of things: the Puck Prince, Lord of the Ice, Hell’s Highlander…but it’s the latest tag that’s making headlines: washed-up alcoholic has-been. This season, getting his life back on track and winning the Cup are his only goals. With no time for relationships—except the fractured ones he needs to rebuild with his beautiful daughters—he’s finding it increasingly hard to ignore sexy, all-up-in-his-beard Violet Vasquez. And when he finds himself in need of a nanny just as the playoffs are starting, he’s faced with a temptation he could so easily get hooked on.

For two lost souls, there’s more on the line than just making the best of a bad situation… there might also be a shot at the biggest prize of all: love.

✫★REVIEW★✫

Calling all fans of the Las Vegas Golden Knights and their Cinderella journey to the Stanley Cup Finals…  Kate Meader’s last installment in the Chicago Rebels series, Hooked on You should be your next read.  Filled with heart, an underdog hockey team run by women that no one took seriously, and the perfect team of misfits, this book has it all; there is even a cameo by a reader favorite couple from the Fighting Dempsey’s.  I have loved this series from the beginning and reading it during Finals was absolutely perfect.

 

Kate Meader, author photo

About the author

Originally from Ireland, Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, a fire hose, or a hockey stick, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines (and heroes) who can match their men quip for quip. Visit her at KateMeader.com.

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✫★EXERPT★✫

She blew out a breath that was half growl, picked up a can of Italian wedding soup, and examined the ingredient list like she was studying for a test. Why wasn’t she taking this opportunity to get under his skin using those taunts that tripped off her tongue like sensual ninja knives?

“Have I offended you in some way, Violet?”

Keeping her chin dipped, she shook her head, but it was a shake of disbelief, not of disagreement with his question.

“Violet, look at me.”

Glittering eyes snapped to his, in them a flash of something—a visceral response to his demand—but it was gone so quickly that even the rewind called him a liar.

“Has something happened?”

“Look, St. James, you and I have never meshed, so we don’t need to pretend to get along. We just ran into each other at the store and you ‘saved’ me from the unseemly interest of a fellow shopper. ¡Maravilloso! ¡Gracias! Now you can take your steel buns and your sexy scowl off in the opposite direction.”

Color flagged her cheeks, making her olive skin glow. She was furious, and he still didn’t know why. He was also furious, and he had a better idea of the reason.

She’d changed the social contract. They’d been moseying along with her teasing and taunting and flirting, and him acting like it was the worst thing ever to happen to him. Like Violet’s attention was a fresh slice of hell, because in a way it was. She reminded him of everything he couldn’t have. She reminded him of the man he used to be. His body came alive around her, and alive was dangerous. Alive was the opposite of numb, and numb was his best defense against the demons whispering in his ear.

One drink won’t hurt. Thirst like yours can’t be quenched with anything but whiskey.

If he allowed himself to want her, it was a slippery slope to succumbing to the demons at the door. Of course he couldn’t tell her this, so instead he latched on to her words.

“Steel buns?” There was also “sexy scowl,” but he figured he’d start with the ass stuff.

She rolled her eyes, then coasted those same eyes down his body, half hidden by the grocery cart. “As if you don’t know.”

“That I have an ass you could bounce a puck off of?” He twisted to check himself out. “S’pose I do, lass.”

She burst out laughing and muttered something in Spanish.

“What’s that?”

“Not for your ears, Scot.”

One day she’d tell him. One day, he’d get it out of her, preferably while her body arched into his and his body drove into hers.

 

Thesaurus

Great advice. I know I do this when I write as well.

The Second Cycle

I find that using a thesaurus when I write is extremely helpful.  I vary in my search between a right click in my Word document, internet search, and picking up one of the three printed copies I own.  This method is helpful because my vocabulary is lacking for someone who wants writing to be a profession and I suffer from that thing where you can’t recall the word you need, even if you know it, that often results in me describing everyday objects to my husband who then has to interpret what I’m trying to say.  There’s a word for it, but I can’t recall.  I have always endeavored to push through my technical and mechanical shortcomings with writing and to make up for them in genuine passion for storytelling.

But there is a trick to using a thesaurus that started from my genuine insecurity in my own understanding, but…

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To Serial or Not to Serial…

Something I’ve noticed recently is this trend of authors releasing novels in serials. Actually, I don’t know if this is something recent or if I’m just noticing it because my reading has been more varied since I started blogging. Either way, I’m not a fan…

I’m not talking about a series like Outlander, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and (yes…sigh) Twilight and 50 Shades of Gray.  All those were full length novels that were/are part of a larger saga. Something that occurs over time. Each book is a complete story within the larger story.

I’m talking about authors who take a stand-alone novel and release it in segments. I unwittingly got caught in this trap with one of my favorite authors and I was a bit perturbed, to say the least.  

From a marketing standpoint, it’s genius! It builds suspense and anticipation. It leaves the reader hanging on, breathless for the next installment. Eager to shell out their pennies to get their fix. And then there’s the cost. Each serial is sold at $1.99 to $2.99. A three part serial ends up costing the reader $5.97 to $8.97, whereas releasing it as one full novel the price would likely be $2.99 to $3.99. Possibly a little more depending on the author. It absolutely makes sense from a monetary point of view…if you’re the publisher/author.

From a reader/customer point of view…not so much.  Why pay two to three times more for a novel when it’s released as a serial, rather than a single novel? As a consumer, I felt swindled when I paid for a serial without realizing that was what I was buying. There was no warning that said the serial ended in a cliffhanger. Don’t get me wrong, there are authors I will 1-click on principle alone, but I would hesitate if they released a novel as a serial.

As a blogger, it’s hard to provide a concise review of the story as a whole since I review each segment separately. Imagine if you had to provide a review of The Wizard of Oz, but only the black and white part before Dorothy goes to Oz. “Her dog got taken away from her by this mean woman, but she got him back. Then Dorothy ran away and got caught up in a tornado.” It tells you nothing about the overall story.

I commit to review each segment separately when I sign up for for an ARC – there is no waiting until they have all been released. But it’s limiting. I’ve tried to provide an overall review of the book after reading the final portion in instances where I’ve reviewed a novel this way. Each time I’ve struggled, though. In one case the first part was great. It left me on the edge of my seat. I was mad I had to wait for the next installment. But by the finale, I honestly felt a little let down. In another instance, the first part left me feeling rather ambivalent, there wasn’t a lot of set up to judge the book as a whole. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t leave me reeling either. Then, by the end of the book, it all came together and now I can’t wait to see where the author takes the series. 

So those are my personal feelings on the matter. It’s not a negative against authors who chose to go this route, it’s just a personal opinion. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, whether you’re a fellow blogger, a recreational reader, or an author.  

Vote For Me! – to get published

Hello everyone!  I hope you can help me. In addition to being an avid reader, I am also an aspiring romance author.

Online Book Club is hosting a contest for unpublished indie authors and I have entered.  It is based purely on number of votes, so I’m asking for your help!

Please vote for me and help me take advantage of this awesome opportunity.  You can vote for me HERE!

♥ Thank you! 

✫¨´*★Blurb★*´¨✫

Stitched Up Heart

Someone has decided Dr. Bree Marks is worth killing for.

When Bree, an Air Force veteran and physical therapist, catches her fiancé in her bed with another woman, she decides she has better things to do than feel sorry for herself. Jase Larken, ends up being something better – at least for one night. Hoping to avoid the awkward morning-after a one-night stand, Bree takes off before the sun is barely up; only to run into Jase a few weeks later when she visits a non-profit company for one of her combat veteran patients. Now Jase isn’t giving Bree a chance to run again.

Each is torn by events from their past. Bree hopes helping wounded warriors recover from their injuries can assuage the guilt she feels for the teammates she couldn’t save in combat.  Jase is wracked by guilt over his best friend’s suicide and hopes helping other veterans overcome PTSD can make things right.

The bodies of Bree’s ex-fiancé mistresses are piling up. Is someone avenging her honor or killing the competition?  Jase and Bree’s desire to help others brings them together, but will their passion for each other be enough to overcome their demons before someone’s obsession with Bree destroys any chance they have?

Stitched Up Heart portrays the reality of issues many combat veterans face while adding just the right amount of suspense & a dash of humor. I’ve drawn from my own experience & those of my battle buddies.

 

Above all, be professional

As I’ve started on this journey of writing and reviewing I have connected with several authors on Facebook. Some are long-time, successful, traditionally published authors; some are successful, independently published authors; and some are just starting out.

It’s interesting to see what approach different authors take to get the word out about their book and how they interact with their fans and, more importantly, their critics.

Books, like any other form of art (and I truly believe storytelling is an art), are subjective. What genre a reader prefers, what draws them in, and what they enjoy is completely individual and personal. Some readers are willing to give any author and/or genre a fair chance, knowing they may find a new favorite. Some readers prefer to stick with specific authors or specific genres because they know that’s what they like and they’re happy with it.

Here’s where reviewing books, and posting those reviews in public forums, can get tricky. As a reviewer, it’s important to be as objective as possible while taking part in a past-time (reading) that is completely subjective. I try to go into every story with an open mind. I don’t review books that I don’t think I will enjoy or that I know I will not be able to give an impartial review of because of my preferences (I recently declined to review a book because I knew I was not a good fit and it wouldn’t be fair to the author).

As an author, it’s important to be able to read reviews just as objectively. Most reviewers are not out to bash the author or the story. They are simply expressing their opinion of a story. News flash: not everyone is going to love your book. Even die-hard fans may not love every single book an author publishes. Yes, there are people out there that, for whatever school-yard bully reason they have, are going to give you a bad review just because they can. I don’t understand those people and I would encourage authors (especially new authors) to pay no attention to those people. But if the review contains valid points – poor formatting, bad grammar (not colloquialisms of dialect your characters may have), frequently misspelled words, gaping plot holes, etc. – then the author should make note of that feedback (because that is what it is) and try to fix it the next time around. Especially if that feedback is given in a polite and constructive manner.

I recently unfriended an author because of her lack of professionalism and mean spiritedness toward someone who left an unfavorable review on Goodreads. The reader/reviewer had issues with the grammar and spelling of the book she had purchased. Notice I said purchased, as in she paid for it, she didn’t receive an ARC of the book. The author taunted the reviewer asking her if she was an author, saying she would love to read one of her books because they must be perfect (emphasis is my own). Not only was the author’s behavior and response unprofessional, but then the author’s fans jumped on board and started bullying the reviewer as well. I was disgusted by not only the author’s behavior, but that she would encourage her fans to do the same.

Here’s the thing, if you are publishing a book that you expect someone to pay money for, it had better be perfect, or damn near to it. That means hiring a professional editor if you know grammar and formatting are not your strong suit. That also means being a professional. That means if you don’t agree with a review you ignore it, OR you contact the reviewer in private and ask them if they would like to discuss what they didn’t like. Maybe their opinion is representative of a larger body of readers who just don’t bother to leave feedback. Maybe their feedback is more honest than the friends and family who are leaving you five-star reviews but are secretly talking about how much they didn’t like your book. (I’m speculating here, I don’t know the author or her friends/family in real life.)

I have personally contacted a couple of authors whose books I really enjoyed, but the formatting was off or there were several contextual mistakes and let them know. I try not include those issues in my feedback, especially if I received an ARC because those kinds of mistakes are typically corrected prior to the book’s release. If the book was already published and/or I purchased the book I will absolutely point those errors out in my review, especially if they were so bad they distracted me from enjoying the book.

I am not a published author. I hope to be one day and you can bet I’m taking notes. I’m watching what successful authors, with a large fan base, are doing and how they are doing it. I’m making a list of editors, graphic designers, critique groups, and any/and all recommendations or advice they have to give. Because one day, I hope to be in their shoes. And I hope, when I receive bad reviews (because I will) I have the wherewithal to either ignore it, or make note of it and, if it’s something I can fix, make sure I don’t make the same mistake again.

I hope to remember that what I write will not appeal to everyone and above all, remain professional.