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Review for Beach House No. 9


A few months ago Christie Ridgway gave an awesome class at Romance Writers of America. The class was about letting the characters write the plot. I loved the content and, as with any exemplary class, it has stuck with me. One gift Ms. Ridgway gave us, besides so much of her wisdom, was her latest contemporary romance Beach House No. 9. I’ve read a couple of her books and enjoyed them all, but this book is outstanding, stupendous, amazing. I loved this book.

The characters in this book really do write the story. Our heroine is an intellectual who is paired with a reporter who is supposed to be writing his memoirs, but is in denial of the atrocities he witnessed during his embed year in Afghanistan.  The hurt of those memories is too painful for him to revisit, he put the project on hold. I loved the way Christie wrote Griffin and the things he observed about Jane. He sees her as prim and proper. Her shoes always bring a mental response. There are bows or little heels, her clothes trim or ruffled. All of it feminine, but she is always the librarian. Her mouth makes him think things, though.

And she finds him undeniably handsome and virile. The first kiss he gives her makes me shiver just thinking about it. The chemistry between these two is so wonderful! Even before that first kiss in Chapter 2.

She calls him ‘chili-dog’ and he calls her ‘honey-pie’. Endearments designed to push the other away, but in truth, they bring them closer together.

Griffin spends months avoiding work on his book while Jane devises ways to get him to at least look at it. In the middle of it all Jane, a repressed, tender-hearted woman, can’t keep herself from falling for this hard-shelled man. At the same time Griffin can’t stave off Jane’s genuine nature and they finally get together. The love scenes are steamy and the pre-love scenes are hot and make you read to get to the love scenes.

As their relationship progresses, they both learn each other’s weaknesses and flaws. She doesn’t know how to swim. She was always the last considered in her family and he puts her first. He can’t sleep and he always pushes people away.

Jane grows on Griffin, the man who doesn’t want anyone to get close. She realizes all his attempts to keep people away is only a ploy to keep his heart from hurting. And… she falls in love with him.  Jane gets Griffin to start on the book, but it pulls out his demons and leads to mother of all black moments.

I am not giving anything away… the black moment is so intense and goes on and on and all the weaknesses of these two flawed people are made right. The twists it takes will be a wild ride.

There is subplot that will keep your heart pumping too.

You have to read this book. It will make you smile and your heart sing.

Nena

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Happy New Year!


Whew! It took me long enough to get here with this post for the new year.

This is the first chance I’ve taken away from all my other New Year’s commitments. Blogging is a priority, but I have to say, the taxes and house take precedence over this wonderful little blog. All the tax info is entered into spreadsheets awaiting the arrival of the W-2’s. The best part of the New Year… I just had a week’s vacation and spent it organizing the kitchen.

After eight years I finally decided to get rid of some furniture and do what is so appropriately called “minimizing”. My daughter was over joyed at the decision, one she has pestered me about for the past couple years. I am so proud of the results. The encouragement of so much order makes me hopeful the following months of my writing will reflect that sort of dedication to organization.

This year I have a 100k contemporary set in a small town of the Midwest I want to finish before the end of July. Then edit it by September or October. I have to rework Maggie’s Find to put her back on the market and I have 3 shorter stories to re-edit and shop them around. For me, this is a full load.

Unfortunately, this bend on neatness and organization does not extend to my desk area. I ran out of steam before I made it to the office area (only inches from where I stopped, mind you). And working one extra day on my first week back to work will give me absolutely no time to give it any attention.  I’ll have to fit it in the next couple of weeks. Lordy, I hope that works.

This would be a dream office for me.

I want to wish all my writer friends a very prosperous and full New Year. I pray you make all your goals and that your families stay healthy and happy and may goodness and peace smile on you. I know you have resolutions, but don’t let a little slip discourage you. We are all trying to juggle fifty things at once. We must allow ourselves some leeway.

Have an awesome New Year!!

Nena

ORA Weta Nichols Writing Contest


Just wanted to announce “Maggie’s Find” was awarded second place in the Weta Nichols Writing Contest in the Contemporary division.

I wanted to express my appreciation to the lovely ladies who hosted this contest and to Lucienne Diver and Cori Deyoe for judging the final round.

I also wanted to tell the wonderful organizers of the Ozarks Romance Authors chapter what a delightful and enlightening conference they put on. All the efforts showed through. Thank you for everything. I learned heaps and met some more incredible people.

I also got to see our old haunts in Springfield. Having moved away eight years ago, we found our favorite restaurant and Andy’s Custard remain timeless. Thank goodness for small wonders.

Nena

A Review! And She Liked It


This is a sultry, sensual quickie that will make your nerves sizzle and your insides come alive.

Book Length: Quickie
Book Type: eBook

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing

ISBN: 9781419938580
MSRP/List Price: $2.99
Our Cover Price: $2.49

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

A six-foot-plus mountain of sexiness is trying to seduce Janie and doing a damn good job of it. Just one problem…her husband is watching the whole thing.

To her surprise, Edward has no problem with his wife being seduced. In fact, he’s encouraging it. They share a deep love, but the mindless lust that drove them as a new couple has been missing for a while. And Paul is just the man to bring heat back into their marriage. Edward knows if Janie is brave enough to allow Paul to join them, she just might like it.

Janie’s husband broadens their sexual pleasure and intensifies their deep emotional bond by adding another man to the mix. Who would have thought to come up with a threesome like this? None other than Voirey Linger. It is titillating and tantalizing, frivolous and fun and oh so sexy. The best part, for me at least because I am a romantic at heart, is the love relationship between the married couple. Adding a sexy Australian to their romp intensifies everything, heightening the sexual tension and leaving everyone gratified and sated.

And She Liked It is beautifully written. The apprehension in Janie is palpable and her husband’s permission to explore gives her a freedom she isn’t really sure she wants to indulge in. Will it change the way she feels about her husband? When she finally gives in to her desires, both she and her husband are satisfied beyond measure.

You have to give this a quick read and decide for yourself.

Nena

Welcome Babette James!


I am so proud to introduce you to a friend of mine.

Babette James writes contemporary and fantasy romance and loves reading nail-biting tales with a satisfying happily ever after. When not dreaming up stories, she enjoys playing with new bread recipes and dabbling with paints. A teacher, she loves encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. Her class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! She lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and three extremely spoiled cats.

 

Babette writes beautiful sensual romances and her first book releases April 4,  2012. I am so proud for her.

Her book is Clear as Day.  

Blurb:

What’s a girl to do when her summer lover wants forever?

Haunted by dark memories of her parents’ volatile marriage, artist Kay Browning keeps her heart locked behind a free-spirit facade and contents herself with the comfortable affair she has every summer with easygoing photographer Nate Quinn.

The only trouble with her plan? This summer Nate’s come to Lake Mohave to claim the lover he can’t let go. He’s done with the endless traveling and settling for temporary homes and temporary loves. Kay’s always been more than just a vacation fling, and now he must convince this woman, who sees love as a course to certain heartbreak, to take that leap of faith and learn how safe love with the right man can be.

I love these two characters, Nate and Kay and I love their story. Where did the inspiration for the story come from?

When I was young, my family took camping trips every summer to Lake Havasu or Lake Mohave and I loved those scenic desert places. Later, when I was in college, remembering those trips, I wrote a short story as an exercise featuring that setting, and that little story was born that would eventually grow into Clear As Day. I enjoyed exploring how Kay was the one resistant to commitment and how sweet and certain Nate was in his love for her.

Who is your favorite author and how do they influence your writing?

I have many favorite authors, so it’s impossible to choose just one, but among my favorites are: J.R.R. Tolkien, Inez Kelley, Toni Blake, and Eloisa James. I love them all for their story-telling and vivid description.

 I just want to know the process involved in getting Clear as Day written and published. Can you give us an idea of what was involved?

Clear As Day began its life as a short story written from Kay’s first person point of view. I never quite found a place for it in its short story form, but it was that story of the heart I loved too much to give up on, and seeing it come to life as a full-length novel has been an awesome experience. In January of 2010, I took the story out once more, thinking to expand it into a small novella for a publisher’s call. The resulting novella, now in Kay’s third person viewpoint, was rejected, but I received the nicest letter from the editor who took the time to tell me what she liked about the story and what she believed would improve the story. I took her comments and ran with them. The biggest change and challenge was adding in Nate’s viewpoint, and once I did that, the story just blossomed into the novel length it is now. I thank our lovely Ratters for all the advice and support they gave to help it become a better story. There were more bumps and rejections in the road to publication, but I kept working to improve the story, kept smoothing and polishing, and I didn’t give up, despite the doubts the rejections caused.  I submitted to The Wild Rose Press because of how happy other authors were I knew there and because they published both eBook and print. I really wanted print for my first book. The day I received that email from TWRP saying they wanted Clear As Day was amazing. The Wild Rose Press has been great to work with. I have a gorgeous cover and the whole process from acceptance to galleys went incredibly smoothly. Now, with the 4 ½ star review from Romantic Times and being able to hold my book in my hands, I am so glad I never gave up on my story.

I would love to know how you started writing romances.

I’ve been writing all my life, and romance has played a part in all my stories, even in those childhood days, when I used to act out epic fantasy tales with my dolls (my Barbies had swords and knew how to use them). I’d scribble out bits of those stories in spiral-bound notebooks and on backs of school papers—which, I’m sure, were a horrible mishmash of influences from Star Trek, Edgar Rice Burroughs and J.R.R. Tolkien, with some Phyllis Whitney and Mary Stewart thrown in to make things interesting for the hero and heroine. I discovered Harlequin and Silhouette romances in college, ate those up, and moved on to other romances, but I kept my writing focus on straight fantasy and paranormal, and it wasn’t until 2004 that I wrote my first full draft of romance novel. I fell in love with writing romance and have focused on that ever since.

I an so grateful for you sharing your story and a small l bit of your life with us. I love to hear about your beginnings. Your persistence in getting the story written well is inspiring.

Thank you Babette for spending time with us today. I posted the Amazon link for Clear as DayDon’t hesitate to check it out. It is an awesome read. So tender and emotional. I loved it. It is just the sort of book I love to read.

Nena

A Dirty Bit


This is a delightfully sexy, whitty, hot and refreshingly short read. Ms. Reed captures the raw intensity of lovers separated over a long period of time. If you want to feel your cheeks heat and your toes curl this is a read for you. The heels will do it every time.

Here is the link.

KJ has a few different stories out. Check out her website. http://www.authorkjreed.com/

Just a quickie post. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Nena

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillps


At the mention of Susan Elizabeth Phillips at our local RWA meeting, I asked my friend who she is. Being relatively new to the romance world, this is a name with which I am unfamiliar. All the ladies chimed in what a fabulous author she is. At that I vowed to read one of her books. Which I did.

I set my teeth into Natural Born Charmer and couldn’t put the thing down. SEP writes the most charming dialog. Her characters have spunk and a life all their own. I absolutely loved reading this book.

NATURAL BORN CHARMER
Chicago Stars Series Book #7

(William Morrow, February 2007)/Avon, May 2008)
Hardcover: ISBN-10: 0060734574
ISBN-13: 978-0060734572
Mass Market Paperback: ISBN-10: 0060734582
ISBN-13: 978-0060734589
Large Print: ISBN-10: 0061233056
ISBN-13: 978-0061233050

Ms. Phillips has created a world where the heroine has her imperfections making her all that more endearing. I love the way she interacts with the studly hero. She keeps him on his toes where he can take nothing for granted. I love the journey Ms. Phillips takes us on with the main characters as well as the secondary ones. Their lives are masterfully interwoven and emotions so beautifully displayed in all instances. I look for that sort of thing when I read a book. I enjoy the experience of the roller coaster and the resolve of the conflict.

Blue Bailey is a wanderer and on a mission to murder her ex when along happens a greek god in an expensive car. She ends up sticking with him, much against her better judgement, having discovered all her funds have been liquidated. Blue isn’t a mooch, but what choice does a girl have?

Dean Robillard is a star football player on a cross-country trip in the mood for something different in his life. When he finds Blue in a beaver suit walking the road, he’s pretty sure he’s found it.

Throw in painting portraits and a Tennessee farm-house with a gypsy wagon along with a few unexpected family members and you have a real adventure.

Of course this is presented in beautifully written prose. This book, though not a new release is well worth the hunt through the library or a used bookstore.

So that is my take on it. Hope this inspires you to delve into something new.

Nena