Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Misadventures of Me and My Uterus by Laurie WJN Review

Title: The Misadventures of Me and My Uterus
Author: Laurie WJN
Genre: Women's Health
Pages: 67
Price: $3.99 or FREE for Prime Members
Thoughts: A funny book with a strong message.

Book Synopsis:

From delivering babies to uterine biopsies, this book shares how being a woman can be tough, but laughter is always the best medicine. Topics ranging from Spring-Loaded Uterus (and other forms of birth control), Nothing says fun like a transvaginal ultrasound, and Ablation – its electric, share the personal struggle of one peri-menopausal woman through the maze of women’s health challenges. With humor and understanding, this book offers insight into the uniquely feminine perspective of women’s health care as you enter menopause. This laugh out loud memoir is relatable to any woman who has ever felt cursed by having a uterus.


This was an extremely funny, quick read that had a strong message. As women, we know and understand the extreme risks of breast cancer, but how often do we actually think about cancer that affects the uterus? It's scary, but we just don't take this type of cancer seriously. While I read this book to get a more eyeopening glimpse of menopause, I found the information on cancer to be interesting. I knew these types of cancers existed, but what shocked me was that they receive so little attention. Why are we not more focused on this type of cancer? I recommend this book to all women 30 and older. Yes, it's meant for those a bit older than that, but it's a great read that will open your eyes and force you to be more proactive in caring for your body.

Shattered (Shattered #1) by Heather D'Agostino Review

Title: Shattered
Series: Shattered, Book 1
Author: Heather D'Agostino
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 220
Price: $2.99
Thoughts: Loved this one.

Book Synopsis:

Ever wonder what it’s like to have it all? Leah Carmichael didn’t. She had the world at her fingertips in the form of a dream. Everything she could ever want was in her grasp.

At what cost are you willing to have this life? Would you give up the life you have to pursue it? Your family? Friends? What about the one who holds your heart?

What if something comes along and takes it all away? Would you survive the devastation? What happens when you realize you gave up everything you had to have it all taken away in a moment? Will it leave you broken? Or will it shatter you?


WOW. This was one of the best books I've read from Heather D'Agostino. Being a small town girl who escaped to an even smaller town, I could totally relate to the characters. I also just loved the vibe of the book. It's a fast-paced romance that makes you smile as you watch a girl who gave up everything, only to lose it, learn to live again. If you love contemporary romance, you'll love this book.

Sandman (Unknown Identities #3) by Regan Black Review

Title: Sandman
Series: Unknown Identities, Book 3
Author: Regan Black
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Pages: 96
Price: $2.99 or FREE for Prime Members
Thoughts: A great addition to the series.

Book Synopsis:

A Marine sniper has one final shot at love...

Wrongly accused of an unsanctioned kill on a secret desert mission, Matthew Horn took his only option and let a shadow agency declare him dead. In the years since, he's become a trusted operative, but now they want him to kill an innocent woman... a woman from his past.

Desperate to escape her mysterious kidnapper, Renata Vaccaro breaks free and finds herself facing what can only be the ghost of the man she loved and lost. Instead she learns Matthew is not only alive, he's there to kill her.

Matthew and Renata must unravel a web of lies to find a solution that saves her life and assures his freedom, giving them one more chance to reclaim the love they lost.


Ah, to be in love, but what happens when those feelings start to become shadowed by the fear for safety? Sandman by Regan Black is the third installment in the Unknown Identities Series and like the rest of the books, it's packs quite a punch. If you love romantic suspense and the paranormal, you really need to check out this series. I promise that you won't be disappointed.

Love Has Many Voices by Linda Wisdom Review

Title: Love Has Many Voices
Author: Linda Wisdom
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 234
Price: $3.99
Thoughts: A fun, fast-paced romance.

Book Synopsis:

Witch, princess, monster, or minstrel—Holly Sutton could speak in a million voices. A whirlwind of casual creativity, a magnet for every kid within calling range, she made a handsome living doing TV cartoon voice-overs. Her life in Thousand Oaks was ideal—except for Jonathan Lockwood, her stuffy neighbor. A banker, he might have been the model for Scrooge—if Scrooge had had hazel eyes and a body to die for. So why had Holly agreed to accompany him to San Francisco’s most elegant hotel? And why was she suddenly trying to make herself over in his image? They were worlds apart and ne’er the twain would meet…unless they could learn to speak in the voice that understood the intimate need that bound them beyond every difference—the very special voice of love.


I've read a number of Linda Wisdom's romance novels and they've all been fantastic, but I really, really enjoyed this one. It was such a fun, fast-paced romance and perfect for the rainy weather currently hitting my area. I love to read a romance where the characters are so opposite from one another. You have the cranky Jonathan Lockwood and fun, care-free Holly Sutton. The two couldn't be more opposite from one another so when feelings start to build, you can't help but sit back and enjoy the show.

Deliver Me by Kathleen Lawless Excerpt

Deliver Me by Kathleen Lawless

Raised on a small Arkansas farm, Maddie Winston craves excitement, but an escaped convict seeking shelter in her barn is more adventure than she bargained for. Determined to help the brooding stranger clear his name, Maddie impulsively joins Judson Burke on a dangerous journey to his Texas home and find herself the victim of relentless passion.

When the prison wagon transporting Judson crashed, he fled, praying for a chance to prove he is innocent of his wife's murder. Betrayed by his past desires, all Jud wants now is his freedom--until his beautiful traveling companion convinces him that love is the only thing worth fighting for.


"Maddy? Are you all right?"
"No," she said, a breathless catch in her voice.
"What's the matter? Did I hurt you?"
"No," she said even more breathlessly. And placing her hand firmly on the back of his head, she pulled his lips down to meet hers.
What on earth was she doing?
Who cared?
Jud's hot mouth on hers moved with a consuming urgency which felt marvelous - much too marvelous to pull away. Somewhere in the back of her mind she heard a whisper trying to make itself heard.
Was this the way to elicit Jud's trust?
But the message was lost, drowned out by the thrilling, almost frightening rush of excitement which flooded her insides and saturated her limbs.
She scarcely noticed the hard tile floor beneath her, insignificant in comparison to the myriad of other sensations. The delightful weight of Jud stretched atop her. The way his breath mingled with hers. The eroticism of a day's growth of whiskers brushing her skin. She was on fire - awash with feelings, hurtling out of control toward a breath-stealing, forbidden precipice.
Jud's tongue mated with hers with all the easy familiarity of an old friend, encouraging her timid exploration of the inside of his mouth. She felt him groan deep in his throat and thread his fingers through her hair, a response which galvanized her to heightened boldness as she met and matched the pressure of his kiss. Her back arched to maximize the tingling sensation as the tips of her nipples brushed his chest.
He was wearing far too many clothes. They both were. And when they drew apart, gasping for air, he inserted one leg between hers - exquisite torture. It was her turn to groan aloud, to ride a fresh outpour of simmering heat that turned her limbs to jelly.
"Easy." Jud pushed her hair back from her face with unsteady hands. "It's better when you go slow."
"Show me," she said, biting her lip against the frustration as he levered himself off of her. He unfastened his shirt. Catching her hands in his, he guided them to his exposed chest.
Her fingers curled, then slowly unfurled against this new tactile sensation, hardened muscle beneath a smattering of impossibly soft body hair.
Her mouth formed a round “O” of delight as she continued to explore him. When she heard his breath catch, her movements grew bolder and swept across his chest to his shoulders. The light glinted on the gold band adorning her fourth finger, triggering a wild streak of possessiveness. Her husband.
Her man.
With an age-old instinct her pelvis rocked forward until it collided with his. She could feel the turgid length of him, hard and hot. She heard the way he sucked in his breath when she moved invitingly against him, sharing a need, a hunger she'd never known before.
His hand shook as he slid two fingers beneath the neckline of her gown to find the soft swell of her breasts and tease the taut straining buds of her nipples. She felt a stab of fiery excitement ripple through her womb to the juncture of her thighs.
He freed her breasts from the confines of her bodice and lightly, reverently lapped at the nipples, a soft suckling that made her aware of a warm wetness between her legs. When she braced herself against him, intending to ask him to stop, his greedy lips devoured hers and she was lost.
She didn't want him to stop.
Not ever.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Normal Relationship Does Not Exist by Jessica L. Murray Excerpt

A Normal Relationship Does Not Exist by Jessica L. Murray
Paperback $13.36 or Nook for $3.99

Dealing with love as a young minority is tough and we just have to wrap our minds around the fact that normal sometimes does not exist for us. "I just want a normal relationship". I hear this way too often from females around my age group. So I ask; what is a normal relationship? For me, the word normal coincides with the word standard and I don't think there are any standards to any relationship. All relationships have their problems, big or small.


Too often, we rely on hope. I hope one day he chooses me. I hope one day he gets his act together. However, what happens when your hope runs out? What happens when you wake up five years later in the same situation hoping things will get better? This has happened to me repeatedly until I realized I was compromising my self-worth thinking that if I hoped and prayed enough he would choose me. The fact of the matter is you have to choose you. You have to decide how much you are willing to take for/from one person. Love is beautiful but it can cloud the mind and impair judgment. Desire can wreck your life and your only one irrational decision away. Know your worth. Know that you deserve more than to be lied to, cheated on and constantly betrayed. You matter. Your existence matters. Stop living for someone else and start living for yourself. Life is short and people leave this earth every day. Stop wishing and hoping and start living. Too often, we look to others to validate who we are and what we want but this is where the mistake begins. Stop it. I know we all want love but at what cost? Why are we settling when we know we deserve the best? I’ve seen people settle for someone they know they shouldn’t be with and fall head over heels. Once you fall you keep falling until one day you realize you’re in love with the wrong person and you don’t know if you should stay or go. Usually in these circumstances two things can happen

One: You recognized you wasted your time with someone you didn’t want to be with and now mad at yourself because by this time you could have found someone you truly want to be with.

Two: You realized you two are not at all compatible! But now, feelings are involved and you hope this person can change and are willing to deal with the drama because this person has “potential”.

Let’s start using our brain but never give up on love. We compromise so much in hopes of a “normal” relationship. If you really think about it normal does not exist. You create the rules. You create your own relationship but use your common sense. This is of the utmost importance.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Tasting Temptation by Charity Parkerson Review

Title: Tasting Temptation
Series: Sexy Witches
Author: Charity Parkerson
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 84
Price: $1.99
Thoughts: I laughed so hard at this one!

Book Synopsis:

Guardian Angel Gideon Black has found a new career since being granted his freedom from the Heavens. Working as a professional fighter has given Gideon a place to release his powers. However, he has another outlet in mind--Skylar Jones.

For Skylar, Gideon is a fantasy man whom she never dreamed could be a reality, but a parking lot collision will end in a very unexpected way.

Find out what happens when desire beyond definition comes to life.


OMG. I laughed so hard at this book. I've loved all the books in this series, but this one was so funny and incredibly sexy. I mean these sex scenes were HOT. If you love paranormal romance and urban fantasy, you're going to love this series. And, no, you don't have to read these in order. The books work well as stand alone books.

Anyone Here (Book #9 of the Vampire Assassin League Series) by Jackie Ivie Review

Title: Anyone Here
Series: Vampire Assassin League Series, Book 9
Author: Jackie Ivie
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 67
Price: $0.99
Thoughts: A new favorite in the series.

Book Synopsis:



Jake Walsh should be happy. Designing and marketing the VIDWAR video game while in high school gave him the perfect life – booze, parties, and women – anytime he wants. But for some reason, it’s not enough anymore. This life he’s created for himself and his frat buddies is flat. Uneventful. Unsatisfying. Dare he say it? It’s boring.


Cassandra Braun is a Victorian vampire with a vendetta. There’s nothing better than taking from a young male. Virile. In his prime. If he’s self-assured and cocky, it’s even better. The assignment to investigate Jacob Walsh’s enterprise and terminate if necessary is easy money. Until she touches him...


When Jake’s newest game, BELLUS, hits the market, he doesn’t know how closely he’s tagged the Vampire Assassin League’s operations, shedding light where no one wants it. Nor does he realize what they’ll do to prevent that. But he’s about to find out...


Just when I think I've found a favorite in this series, I discover that there's one that's even better. Anyone Here was such an awesome book. You've got this guy who doesn't care a thing about lasting relationships and a woman who is just there to complete a mission, but when the two come together, everything changes in an earth moving sort of way. If you love paranormal romance and vampires, read this!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Phantom of Riverside Park by Peggy Webb Review

Title: Phantom of Riverside Park
Author: Peggy Webb
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pages: $5.99
Price: 328
Thoughts: Captivating and moving.

Book Synopsis:

What would you do if a stranger gave you a million dollars but the strings attached might cost you your child?

Elizabeth was an unwed mother looking for a miracle. David was a wounded war hero living in the shadows. And Thomas was a grandfather praying for a silver lining. They never expected that miracles come in the most unlikely ways.

Poignant and touching with lovely dashes of humor, this story will haunt you for a long time to come.


Peggy Webb has crafted a novel that both captivates and moves you. I was pulled in from page one and found the book impossible to put down. I couldn't help but hurt right along with Elizabeth as she struggled with her life. The Phantom of Riverside Park is a powerful romantic suspense novel that I highly recommend.

Godcorp by Jessica Smith Review

Title: Godcorp
Author: Jessica Smith
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 292
Price: $0.99
Thoughts: WOW!

Book Synopsis:

Sales’ Midas Evie Stone has the world at her feet and high places to go, until the day her boyfriend is killed in a traffic accident.

Evie just knows it was not Malcolm’s time to die and sets out on a mission to rectify fate’s mistake and bring him back from the dead.

She uncovers the mysterious Godcorp organisation, but does God, the Almighty, really have a website?

Resurrecting the dead is no easy task. How much is Evie willing to sacrifice?

Her fate, and Malcolm's, rest heavily on one beautiful man - enigmatic business mogul Lucius Devlin, who wants Evie for his empire.

To reach Godcorp she will have to play the Devil, but will the Devil play fair?


Awesome, imaginative, captivating. I could go on and on about the awesomeness that is Godcorp. This book is not only incredibly unique, but you're hooked from page one. Jessica Smith has crafted a book that paranormal romance and urban fantasy fans are going to flip over! I seriously cannot say enough about this book. I've an avid reader of paranormal romance and I was blown away by this one.

Big Girls Don't Cry (The Blonde Barracuda's Sizzling Suspense Series) by Taylor Lee Review

Title: Big Girls Don't Cry
Series: The Blonde Barracuda's Sizzling Suspense Series, Book 1
Author: Taylor Lee
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 332
Price: $2.99 or FREE for Prime Members
Thoughts: Awesome!

Book Synopsis:

A girl abandoned to the streets.
A brother brutally murdered.
Can she find his killer before the killer finds her?


Wow! This romantic suspense grabs you from page one and doesn't let go. It's honestly one of the best of the genre that I've read in a long time. This is a powerful romance novel that you'll find hard to put down.

The Smartest Horse in Texas (The Traherns #2) by Nancy Radke Review

Title: The Smartest Horse in Texas
Series: The Traherns, Book 2
Author: Nancy Radke
Genre: Western Romance
Pages: 103
Price: $2.99 or FREE for Prime Members
Thoughts: A sweet, fast-paced romance.

Book Synopsis:

The cowboy finds a woman.
His stallion finds a filly.
Trouble is, the stallion belongs to his cousin, Trey.


Romance doesn't have to be filled with sex scenes to be great. Personally, I love a sweet romance that whisks you off your feet without getting down and dirty in the bedroom. The Smartest Horse in Texas by Nancy Radke is a book you can enjoy without worry of embarrassing sex scenes. It's also a fast, cozy read that's perfect for a weekend at home. If you love sweet, quick romances, I highly recommend this one.

Collide by Ashley Stambaugh Review

Title: Collide
Author: Ashley Stambaugh
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 256
Price: $3.99
Thoughts: Fresh take on the urban fantasy genre.

Book Synopsis:

Melina Rowe never thought her quiet, simple life could change to one full of fear and confusion just by accidentally bumping into someone. But after she collides with an elderly man named Walter, she starts to hear people’s thoughts and have unsettling visions.

Walter reveals himself as a guiding angel and explains to Melina that she’s a rare type of human who can absorb angel powers. But her special ability is more of a problem for her than a gift.

The powers are too strong for humans and will eventually kill Melina unless she can successfully use them to help a select individual who’s in need of guidance. Her chances are slim, though, seeing that the handful of other humans this has happened to before didn't survive.

Scared for her life, Melina desperately tries to help a young man named Lee, but his continual resistance and her struggle with the powers make it almost impossible. Her situation only grows worse when a trio of soul-snatching demons is sent by an unknown entity to take her soul and kill her.

As a determined Walter sets out to discover who sent the demons and why, Melina must defend herself from their relentless attacks all while trying to use powers she doesn’t fully understand to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. If she can’t figure out how to break through to Lee, the powers will ultimately destroy her. But if the powers don’t kill her first, the demons will.


I love urban fantasy and there are some scenarios that I can read about over and over again, but it's always nice to find a fresh story that's actually unique. Collide by Ashley Stambaugh is unlike any other book I've ever read. If you enjoy stories about angels and demons, you're in for a real treat with this one. Can't wait for book two.

The Witch, The Wolf and The Vampire, Book 2 by A.K. Michaels

The Witch, The Wolf and The Vampire, Book 2 by A.K. Michaels

Peri has finally stopped running and found safety with Gabe and Josef ... her Wolf and her Vampire. Now she is getting strong, physically and magically, and she is ecstatic with her two mates. She is not about to let anyone take that away and she surprises even herself with her power.

However, a psycho sect has been hunting her for over six years, and they are closing in. Her own father is the leader of this sect, but she is more than willing to do whatever she can to take him down. Destroy him for everything he is, everything he does, before he does to others what he did to her.

With an ancient Vampire and a powerful Wolf by her side she just can't fail ... can she?

Book 2 in The Witch, The Wolf and The Vampire Series by Ava K Michaels, another Hot Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy!

Love and War by Suzy Knight Excerpt

Love and War by Suzy Knight

Love, Duty, or Family… Which would you choose?

Love and War is a sweet romantic fantasy focusing on the lives of two princesses in the fictional kingdom of Estoria. Amelia and Sophia Montford are twins and neither are eligible to inherit the crown unless they marry. While Sophia is anxious to meet the husband their father has chosen for her, Amelia would rather become a King in her own right than become someone else’s Queen and has no real interest in marrying anyone. However when their betrothals are announced the sisters are shocked to discover that it is Amelia that will be marrying the second-born prince of a neighboring country and inheriting the throne, while Sophia is to be married to a mere Duke’s son. Things get more complicated when Amelia starts to have feelings for the bodyguard her betrothed sent to keep her safe.


The nervous princesses reached the double doors of the banquet hall. Sophia slid her arm out of Amelia’s, grabbed her hand, and squeezed it tightly. Just as suddenly as it started, the moment was over, and she reverted back to the cold and dignified princess, leaving Amelia more nervous than before.
“Stand up straight, shoulders back, chin up, and smile!” hissed Sophia at her sister. The doors opened, and a servant announced their arrival. Gracefully, Sophia glided into the room, smiling at the many people who stood for their entrance as she made her way to the high table.
Amelia swallowed hard as she took in the many faces staring from within the room. Biting her lip, she followed, trying to mimic her sister’s graceful walk, her smile more a grimace of concentration. The hall was full to capacity with visiting lords and ladies who had come to hear the king’s announcement. Amelia felt her stomach churn at the thought of embarrassing herself in front of all the visiting dignitaries.
They sat, Sophia next to the queen and Amelia next to the king, as they always did. The hall-full of people took their seats afterward. The king then stood and raised his arms. “Welcome lords, ladies, and gentlefolk to our home on this very special evening. Before we begin our meal, there is something I wish to announce.”
Around the room, people sat up straighter with anticipation. Everyone knew the girls were of age to marry. In fact, they were past the usual age for betrothal announcements. Sophia smiled indulgently, while Amelia bit her lip, hoping the man her father chose would serve the country well in these troubled times.
“As you know, my wife and I have not been blessed with a son.” The queen reached for his hand and squeezed it before she rose to stand beside him. “But we do have two beautiful daughters, who have grown into very fine women.” He gestured to the two princesses on either side of himself and his queen.
“I have called you here tonight to hear the betrothal announcement of my daughter, who will become queen and rule Estoria at her husband’s side after my death.” Amelia glanced at Sophia, her stomach churning as she waited to hear who her sister would be betrothed to. Sophia looked nervous about hearing her new husband’s name too, but she had prepared for this her whole life. Amelia turned her gaze to the king and queen, waiting for the inevitable announcement.
“I have arranged a match with the second born prince of Prestor, Prince Damon.” The room broke into excited whispers as the lords and ladies discussed all the gossip they could remember about the prince. Sophia smiled widely, but Amelia frowned. She knew of Prince Damon. He was said to be handsome and chivalrous. He would make an excellent husband. He was a few years older—twenty-four to Sophia’s eighteen. But while Prestor was a beautiful country, it was separated from Estoria by the Cantarrus Mountains. Weren’t there more suitable choices who would be able to aid Estoria in the upcoming battle? She trusted her father’s decision, but she couldn’t say she would have made the same choice. Although, if I’m honest—that’s at least half because I want the crown for myself.
The king held his hands up for silence again. “Please, everyone, join me in celebrating the betrothal of my eldest daughter, your crown princess, the beautiful Princess Amelia.” There was a roar of applause, and both Amelia and Sophia’s faces froze into identical masks of shock and horror. Amelia was dragged upward to stand beside her father. She felt like the floor had dropped away from beneath her, and she clutched at her father’s arm to support herself. The roar of the lords and ladies sounded so far away. She must have misheard. There was no way he actually meant it.
“I have two daughters, and my youngest, Sophia, has also become betrothed tonight.” The king looked over at Sophia, oblivious to the taut smile on her face. The queen reached out and helped her upright.
“Princess Sophia will wed Duke Anton of Crestori’s oldest son, the honorable Sir Graeme,” announced King Frederick, beaming at the crowd. He looked around the room, grinning as the shouts of encouragement for the princesses and blessings were called out for their marriages. “Now let us celebrate with a feast!” he boomed, and turned to help his queen and daughters back into their seats while the servants, who waited around the edges of the hall, dashed forward with plates towering with food and flagons of wine.
Amelia felt numb. What will I do? Can I marry a man I have never met? How will he react when he realizes he was conned out of a real princess for his bride and instead gained a budding ambassador? How is Sophia going to react? Questions ran through her head, too quickly for her to consider answers for any of them. She glanced over at Sophia and flinched to see her face still frozen in a false smile.
For the rest of the evening Amelia picked at her meal, smiling and nodding every time someone came forward to congratulate her. Later, when the food was cleared away, she danced with everyone who asked, though it all felt like a dream. Normally, she watched Sophia dancing, as no one was fool enough to ask her. Now, she was suddenly the most sought out woman, even though the men would surely regret risking their feet afterward.
She was so numb it was if she still sat beside her father, watching someone else get twirled around on the dance floor by various lords, dukes, and sirs. Perhaps I should always get earth-shattering news before a dance, it seems to make me less clumsy, she thought idly as she watched the room spin by.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mortal Death (Vampire Assassin League Bundle, #2) by Jackie Ivie Review

Title: Mortal Death (VAL Bundle: #2)
Series: Vampire Assassin League, Books 5 - 8
Author: Jackie Ivie
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 294
Price: $2.99
Thoughts: Loved books 7 and 8!

Book Synopsis:


Welcome to the world of Vampire Assassin League, where the contract is just the beginning. In VAL there’s no line a vampire won’t cross to secure a true mate once found. Only death can separate them….

Set Two: Mortal Death contains the following novellas:

TOGETHER TO JOIN: Garrick Wolfgar Von Holstaad is the perfect vampire hunter. Deadly. Accurate. Heartless. There is no way the woman he’s trying to kill is fated as his mate. A vampire? He’d rather die.

THIS MAN AND WOMAN: When the Vampire Assassin League gifts Jean-Pierre with a perfect Samurai sword, nobody realizes they've trafficked in stolen goods. And then a female ninja is given the mission of retrieval of the sword. And the dual begins.

FOREVER AS ONE: Terminally young, gorgeous, and ripped, Dane Morgan hides out tending bar at the SEX AND SUNBURN club. Then one day, when he least expects it, his mate walks in - wearing a wedding ring. And that brings his berserker to life.

SHOULD THERE BE: Piracy is Rafaele de Jesus y Santiago’s world. His motto. His creed. There’s no order to his eternity. No goal. No direction. He doesn’t even realize he’s lonely. Until one night, a woman calls his cell. She’s frantic. She’s weakened. She needs help. And she’s his preferred blood type.


I've loved the VAL series and this collection had some really good ones, especially books 7 and 8. I loved Dane breaking down the walls of al business woman in book 7 and I LOVED Rafaele making his mate feel whole again in more ways than one in book 8. This is a great collection for any fan of vampires and paranormal romance.

Should There Be (Vampire Assassin League #8) by Jackie Ivie Review

Title: Should There Be
Series: Vampire Assassin League, Book 8
Author: Jackie Ivie
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 70
Price: $0.99
Thoughts: Awesome read.

Book Synopsis:



Piracy is Rafaele de Jesus y Santiago’s world. His motto. His creed. All he’s known. Vampirism only expanded his wake of destruction and his booty potential. There’s no order to his eternity. No goal. No direction. He’s got all he needs with the Brethren Code: Pillage, plunder, deceit, and self-gratification. He doesn’t even realize he’s lonely. Until one night, when he least expects it…


An emergency situation. A desperate plea. Lenna Hendershott got scared enough to reach out for help – and dialed a wrong number. Just her luck, as always. Bad. She should have known. Reliance breeds weakness. Weakness guarantees pain. She’s had enough of that to last a lifetime. Now, she’s got an agenda. Plans. A vision. She’s not letting anything stop her.


The moment they meet, Rafaele’s smitten. Enthralled. Enrapt. He didn’t believe it possible. He really does have a mate - and he actually found her? It’s every member of the elite Vampire Assassin League’s dream. Now, if only he knew how to break through the barriers she’s erected to reach her heart…


I love these books from Jackie Ivie. They are so much fun to read. There's passion, romance, action, and steamy sex scenes. Yes, they are short, but these are perfect for a quick evening read and are the perfect way to relax. I especially liked this one. It had a bit of a slow start, but once it picked up, it was awesome. I loved the line, "Drop dead, knock their panties off gorgeous." And with the way the author describes Rafaele, that line is spot on. If you love paranormal romance, read this book!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Love in the Shadows: A Shadow Walker Tribe Romance by Caryn Moya Block Review

Title: Love in the Shadows
Series: Shadow-Walker Tribe Romance Series
Author: Caryn Moya Block
Genre:  Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Pages: 192
Price: $3.99
Thoughts: A great combination of genres.

Book Synopsis:

Derek “Red Hawk” Darkwood is known as the playboy of Isanti, Inc., his cover for spying for General Holland. So even though there is a new woman on his arm every night, the one he wants is Katherine Sloane, his brother’s administrative assistant. But five years ago she lost her husband in Afghanistan, and Derek knows she needs time to heal. Just as he is about to make his move and take the woman he wants, Derek kills his ex-girlfriend right in front of Katherine. Can Katherine love him, even though she knows he is a murderer?

Katherine Sloane knows that Derek saved his brother's life. She also knows that she is destined to be with Derek when the Shadow Dimension marks her as Derek's mate. So why did he disappear? And now that he's in trouble can she rescue him?


I love the combination of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Though it's not a genre I've been reading for long, the two just seem to fit together perfectly. Love in the Shadows by Caryn Moya Block is a great example of this genre combo. You've got murder, passion, action, and just enough paranormal elements to make the story really interesting.

Lady X by Claudy Conn Review

Title: Lady X
Author: Claudy Conn
Genre: Occult
Pages: 228
Price: $2.99
Thoughts: Truly captivating.

Book Synopsis:

Exerilla is a white witch.

Her father is a dark and dangerous warlock with an agenda to marry her to someone she despises. He has the power to do this before she reaches her majority, which will occur at Samhain, Halloween.

Her mother has a plan and against her daughter’s will, implements that plan, which sends Exerilla into the past, where she must remain until October 31st—months away. And magic is something she can’t use because her father could trace it to her.

Here is the problem, plans have a way of seeping from black and white into gray.


This is one of those books that sucks you in and keeps you glued to the page. Lady X is one of those stories where people aren't quiet what they seem and you'll find yourself desperate to find out what happens next. With witches, time travel, dark magic, and much more, this is one paranormal read you'll be raving about.

The Witch, The Wolf and The Vampire by A.K. Michaels Review

Title: The Witch, The Wolf and The Vampire
Author: A.K. Michaels
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Pages: 245
Price: $2.99
Thoughts: This book has some HOT action.

Book Synopsis:

Peri has been running since she was fifteen – using her magic to stay safe. 'They' can track her magic tho, so she has to use it sparingly. In Vegas, for a cash in hand job, and things turn nasty! She knows the amount of magic she would have to use to escape unscathed would bring 'them' right to her.

Before she can use the vast magic required two males appear and aid her. One a wolf, one an ancient vampire.

Josef, the vampire, and Gabe, the wolf, are more than a little interested in this skinny girl. What ensues shocks both of the strong males – this girl is more than a stray, more than a witch – it looks like she is a mate – for both of them!?

Will Peri stay? Will they keep her safe? Who, if any, of the two will she choose? Just how much power does this stripling of a girl have locked inside her?


There's damsels in distress and damsels that kick ass. Peri happens to be the later of the two and that's one of the reasons this book is so hot. Filled with action from Chapter 1, The Witch, The Wolf and the The Vampire by A.K. Michaels is a sexy, hardcore read that urban fantasy and paranormal fans are going to love. If you love your fantasy with steamy sex scenes and intense action, read this book.

Trust ME by Nora LeDuc Review

Title: Trust ME
Author: Nora LeDuc
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 203
Price: $2.99 or FREE for Prime Members
Thoughts:Gets the heart racing.

Book Synopsis:

Betrayed by the men she loved and condemned by the media as an embezzler, financial advisor Ela Danforth seeks sanctuary in the small town of Rockypoint, New Hampshire. She believes her days will return to normal, but a mysterious stalker threatens her refuge, just as a charming lawyer, Nash McCain, enters her life. Despite his help in dealing with her unknown menace, she’s determined not to let anyone get close to her again. She plans to face life with cold, hard realism. And if she puts her trust in Nash, can their relationship finally bring her peace or will it lead to more heartbreak and danger for both of them?


Great characters, great suspense, and, yes, even great romance. Nora LeDuc hits a home run with Trust ME. From chapter one, I was on the edge of my seat. LeDuc does an amazing job at building suspense that gets your heart racing. If you love romantic suspense, read this book!

Family Magic (The Hayle Coven Novels: Book One) by Patti Larsen Review

Title: Family Magic
Series: The Hayle Coven Novels: Book 1
Author: Patti Larsen
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 468
Price: FREE
Thoughts: Descriptive and exciting paranormal romance.

Book Synopsis:

Her mom's a witch.
Her dad's a demon.
And she just wants to be ordinary.

I batted at the curl of smoke drifting off the tip of my candle and tried not to sneeze. My heavy velvet cloak fell in oppressive, suffocating folds in the closed space of the ceremony chamber, the cowl trapping the annoying bits of puff I missed. I hated the way my eyes burned and teared, an almost constant distraction. Not that I didn't welcome the distraction, to be honest. Anything to take my mind from what went on around me.
Being part of a demon raising is way less exciting than it sounds.

Sydlynn Hayle's life couldn't be more complicated. Trying to please her coven, starting over in a new town, and fending off a bully cheerleader who hates her are just the beginning of her troubles. What to do when delicious football hero Brad Peters--boyfriend of her cheer nemesis--shows interest? If only the darkly yummy witch, Quaid Moromond, didn't make it so difficult for her to focus on fitting in with the normal kids. Add to that her crazy grandmother's constant escapes driving her family to the brink and Syd's between a rock and a coven site. Forced to take on power she doesn't want to protect a coven who blames her for everything, only she can save her family's magic.
If her family's distrust doesn't destroy her first.

If you love books that pull you in from page one due to their descriptive nature, you're going to love this book. I was immediately in love with how the author managed to make me feel the emotions and physical feelings of the character from the first scene. This is an awesome young adult paranormal romance that I highly recommend.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Burned, A Donovan Circus Novel by Liz Long Review

Title: Burned
Series: Donovan Circus Series, Book 2
Author: Liz Long
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 300
Price: $2.99 or FREE for Prime Members
Thoughts: Fast-paced, exciting urban fantasy.

Book Synopsis:

“Tell Sheffield that Medved is hunting him…the Bear is coming.”

Nearly a month after Lucy Sullivan saved the Donovan Circus from certain death, she discovers that Dr. Felix Hardy wasn’t the only bad guy around. When Lucy is attacked on home ground, Sheffield Donovan reveals that there are bigger foes in their world, gifted that use their powers to kill others – including her own family, as she learns from her ringmaster mentor. Medved, a Russian thug and powerful Shapeshifter, is intent on outing the gifted world and will stop at nothing to succeed.

In order to survive, Lucy and her friends must travel to another show, the Grayson Circus, for help. The uneasy alliance with owner Albert Grayson comes with potential new friends and dark secrets about their competition, including a troublemaker named Mel and an old flame of Lucy’s father. Lucy must also contend with her feelings about Keegan and Gabriel, as well as learn how to contain her rampant emotions or risk setting the entire place ablaze.

Will Lucy be able to save the Donovan Circus again? Or will Medved and his men slaughter everyone in their path on the way to gifted domination?


Exciting from page one, Burned, the second book in the Donovan Circus Series, is a must for those that love urban fantasy. A great book for young adults and adults, I found that I quite enjoyed the fast-paced action of this fantasy. I hadn't read the first book in the series, but had no trouble at all getting wrapped up in this one.

Love, Lies and Lemon Cake by Jayne Bartholomew Review

Title: Love, Lies, and Lemon Cake
Author: Jayne Bartholomew
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Pages: 243
Price: $3.90 or FREE for Prime Members
Thoughts: A romantic comedy that touches the heart.

Book Synopsis:

A lot can happen in a year.

Mark is struggling to juggle redundancy with an extremely expensive supermodel fiancée who wants a show-stopping wedding in Las Vegas.

After years on the move, Kate returns to her home village and unknowingly brings a problem from the past with her.

Penny yearns for a little more spice in her marriage to the vicar, but when she does find something that excites her, it’s not quite what she expected.

There’s sabotage in the tea room and Laura’s in a coma.

Love, Lies and Lemon Cake is a cheerful and uplifting look into village life. Go on, have a nibble…


If you love how the movie Love Actually follows several different characters and how they eventually collide, then you'll love Love, Lies, and Lemon Cake by Jayne Bartholomew. Filled with a diverse group of characters, this romantic comedy is a fast-paced read that will leave you laughing, but will also touch your heart.

The Perfect Mix: Jersey Girls Contemporary Romance Series by Charity Pineiro

The Perfect Mix: Jersey Girls Contemporary Romance Series by Charity Pineiro

Handsome contractor Rey Ramos seems to have all that any woman would want. Good looks, brains, money, and a heart of gold. But Rey also has a deep dark secret that could scare off the beautiful up-and-coming restaurant owner who has captivated him. Rey is not too eager to share the ugly reality of his past with his new client - and it would be totally foolish to fall in love with her...

Blanca Martinez is street smart and savvy. Her gut is telling her to be leery of her new contractor. He's just too good to be true and her instinct says that he hasn't always been the good guy he appears to be. In fact, there is something totally bad boy about him that warns her to be wary. As she and Rey work to renovate a rundown building into the restaurant of her dreams, Blanca slowly uncovers the truth about Rey's past and becomes more and more attracted to the man he has become...

Anora's Pride by Kathleen Lawless Excerpt

Anora's Pride by Kathleen Lawless

Anora King doesn't say she's married when she moves to a new town, but her neighbors leap to that conclusion. For Anora, struggling to raise money for her brother's operation, the deceit has its advantages, until the new marshal comes to town.

Jesse Quantrill is shocked to find himself lusting after a married woman, but Anora doesn't act married and her mixture of innocence and feisty determination is irresistible. If the two fall in love it will be the town's biggest scandal but, no matter how hard they try to stay apart, lawbreakers, riots and ructions drive them into each other's arms.


     “You best sit down.” Anora picked up the sheet, bit it between her teeth, then tore a two-inch strip from end to end. “I don’t want you passing out on me.”
     “Don’t tell me you think I’m a weakling?”
     “No. I think you lost more blood than either of us realized at the time. Hold your hand out straight.”
     He flopped down onto the cot and set the lantern on the floor next to him. As he held his injured hand toward her, palm up, she couldn’t help
but be aware of the way his long legs splayed forward, one on either side of her.
     Her mouth went dry. Her hands shook slightly as she wound the white cotton strip around and around his palm, split the end with her teeth, and  knotted it tight. “There. That ought to hold. You
should get the doc to dress it properly tomorrow.”
     “It’s fine the way you did it.”
     She shot him a wary glance. His words sounded a trifle slurred. Impossible to tell in the lamp light if his color was off. “You feeling okay?”
     “Never better.”  Inch by inch his legs slowly closed together,
trapping her between his thighs. Anora’s balance faltered and she planted her hands on his shoulders  to steady herself. He turned his head and placed a searing kiss on the inside of her bare forearm. The
heat from his lips ricocheted through her like a shooting star. Slowly she sank down in front of him, aware of every sinew of strength where his powerful legs gripped her tight.
     She swayed toward him, fingers plowing through his hair where it brushed the back of his collar. She wet her lips, parted them slightly. The wait seemed forever before he captured her mouth beneath his.
     As their lips touched, they groaned in unison. The kiss deepened. This time Anora knew to part her lips. To expect the delicious sensation of Jesse’s tongue wrapping itself around hers. Sweeping the inside of her mouth in a way that turned her bones to liquid.
     Jesse’s arms closed around her and crushed her against him. She could feel her nipples tingle as they met the hard wall of his chest. His hands roamed possessively across her back from the base of her spine to just above her shoulders, then back again, lower this time. He cupped her bottom in a shockingly delightful way, urging her hips closer
against the juncture of his legs.
     Anora felt the manly stirring of him; evidence of his arousal that swept her away on a dangerous, uncharted current of excitement.  She murmured in disappointment as his lips left hers, then sighed in pleasure as his plundering mouth found the sensitive hollow between her shoulder and neck. She arched her spine, her head lolling back as his lips wrought their magic on the sensitized skin of her neck.
     She stiffened slightly as she felt his fingers wriggle down inside the neckline of her gown beneath her underpinnings, but when he brushed
the nipple of one breast, a sensation so exquisite shot through her, she jerked taut in his arms. Her mouth formed a round O of surprise, before he once again claimed it for his own. Jockeying himself into a reclining position, he tugged her prone atop him.
     Sprawled across Jesse, Anora was frustrated anew by the layers of clothing between them. She managed to unfasten the buttons fronting his shirt and allow herself the pleasure of touching his chest.
     How his flat, masculine nipples hardened when she grazed them with her thumbnail. His breath caught as she ran her palms lingeringly through the crisp black V of hair peppering his breastbone. Daringly she edged her fingers down near his navel, dangerously close to the fastening of his pants. All the while his mouth and tongue were teaching her new and wonderful ways a man and woman kissed.
     She felt the insistent pressure as he ground his hips against hers, and she accommodatingly rolled her hips in return, a move that elicited a groan of pure masculine pleasure. He grabbed a handful of her skirt and pushed it up out of the way. His fingers snaked their way past her stocking tops, branding the bare skin at the top of her thigh.

The Requiem File by John Bartholomew Review

Title: The Requiem File
Author: John Bartholomew
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 304
Price: $3.99 or FREE for Prime Members
Thoughts: An awesome thriller.

Book Synopsis:

Lies are never free; they come with a price tag.

Valentin has already paid, and will stop at nothing to take vengeance against those that hid the truth from him.

Moore and Kate weren't supposed to learn about the lie, but now they must fight for their lives to prevent the truth from dying with them.

With time running out before the greatest threat the world has ever seen is unleashed onto a helpless population, will the truth be enough?

Read ‘The Requiem File’ to find out…


An edge of your seat thriller. John Bartholomew is an amazing author who has the ability to keep you on the edge of your seat with excellent descriptions and suspenseful scenes. I highly recommend his work to those that love thrillers. I also recommend his book Miracles Take a Little Longer which is another amazing thriller.

Monday, April 21, 2014

French Toast (The French Twist Series) by Glynis Astie Excerpt

French Toast (The French Twist Series) by Glynis Astie

Sydney Bennett is back! And her pursuit of perfection is alive and well. Naïve to the core, Sydney believed that when she finally married the man of her dreams, the hard part was over. Following a civil ceremony as a means to keep Louis from being deported, Sydney continues to plan the fairytale wedding that she had dreamed of since the age of five. Much to her chagrin, she discovers that her mother-in-law is planning what seems to be a rival wedding in France that SHE has been dreaming about for her only child since before he was born. How will poor Sydney be able to ensure two perfect weddings in the midst of Louis’ fruitless job search? Especially when her mother-in-law’s idea of perfection appears to be having Sydney embarrass herself in front of hundreds of French people that she has never met?

As if she didn’t have enough on her mind already, Sydney finds herself faced with the trials and tribulations of being a wife. Sydney had always heard that marriage was hard, but she thought that this was just a ruse that married couples portrayed in a bid to make single girls feel less desperate. But as the bills pile up and emotions run high, she realizes that there may just be some truth to this statement. And as she watches Louis’ perfection fade away before her very eyes, she begins to wonder if she made a rash decision in marrying a man that she had known for a mere six months. With all of the obstacles that Sydney and Louis will encounter, will they be raising their glasses in celebration or watching their impulsive marriage crash and burn? One thing is for certain, Sydney and Louis Durand are headed for one hell of a toast…

Meet Sydney Durand

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. She couldn’t possibly be serious. Could she? I opened my eyes, looked over at Louis and tried to smile. I can only imagine the look that registered on my face, but I highly doubt it was anything remotely positive. Louis had just finished telling me about his mother’s latest plans for our wedding. I took another deep breath and reminded myself, yet again, that I had agreed to let her plan the wedding in its entirety (with the exception of choosing my wedding dress.) Why would I agree to something so completely insane? It might have had something to do with the fact that this would be our third wedding.

That’s right, I said THIRD wedding and no, I do not have an Elizabeth Taylor complex. And I can prove it! Allow me to give you the short version. After a disastrous romantic history dating back to college, I, Sydney Bennett, was swept off of my feet by the incredible Frenchman, Louis Durand. Louis was in California on business, but following our first week together, he accepted a transfer from his company’s Paris office to the San Jose office. To the great shock of our families and friends, we became engaged a few weeks later. We began planning a beautiful wedding in Monterey for the following September, only to be thwarted by Louis’ unexpected job loss in January. In order to avoid his deportation, we were married shortly thereafter in my home town of Haverstraw, New York. So that my dreams of a beautiful wedding would not be crushed, we elected to have the originally planned event in Monterey as well. Everyone needs gorgeous wedding photos! The first wedding was definitely more practical than gorgeous.

One would think that two weddings would be more than enough for one couple in love, but due to Louis’ status as an only child with an extremely large extended family and his mother’s dream of a wedding that his whole town (population four hundred) would attend, we simply had to have one more wedding. Besides, a wedding in the beautiful French countryside sounded amazing, right? This way my family and I would have the opportunity to experience the wedding customs of Louis’ country as he and his family would experience the customs of ours at the wedding in Monterey. (The first wedding was kind of light on customs as it was predominantly a vehicle to keep Louis in the country.) My mother and siblings were thrilled at the prospect of a trip to France, while my father bemoaned the fact that he would have to set foot in traitorous territory. He is German and likes to complain. Although I was absolutely sure that he was practically drooling at the prospect of the gastronomic experiences in his future.

While three weddings did afford a certain amount of stress, in the end, I think that it helped me. My mother had planned the first wedding (in the span of one week), I was planning the second wedding (in the span of one year) and Louis’ mother was planning the third (in the span of Louis’ lifetime.) This allowed for all parties to end up with a wedding they were happy with. I must admit that the idea having three different wedding dresses is kind of fun. Hey, now! There is no need to judge! The three events are very different levels of formality. The first was an informal town hall wedding, the second would be a formal evening wedding and the third would be an afternoon wedding in the French countryside. If you really think about it, you will realize that having three wedding dresses is an absolute necessity.

Now that my seemingly ludicrous statement of three weddings has been explained, we can return to the problem at hand. Louis has just informed me that his mother, Simone, has purchased an ensemble for me to wear to the rehearsal dinner. (Honestly, this is becoming comical. This will be our THIRD rehearsal dinner.) Let me remind you that Louis’ mother has a very...particular fashion sense. All of the garments she wears are short, tight, brightly colored and/or bedazzled. Given the fact that she is sixty years old, my hat goes off to her. I hope that I have the guts to wear miniskirts into my sixties. She is my hero! Having said that, I have never been one to dress that....um...how do
I put this? Let’s just say that my taste is slightly more conservative.

Louis was practically in tears from laughing so hard as he described the dress to me. Simone had chosen a gold sequined halter mini dress with red satin roses on the straps and red satin ruffles along the bottom of the skirt. She also saw fit to purchase red satin stilettos with matching red satin roses on the toes. I resisted the urge to strangle my husband and began to pace the room. Clearly I made a serious error in judgment when I allowed Simone to make all decisions for the wedding except for my wedding dress. In my defense, I really didn’t think that her purview extended to my wardrobe choices for pre wedding events. It was becoming quite obvious that I had a lot to learn about her…

Excerpt from French Toast by Glynis Astie, Copyright 2014

French Twist (The French Twist Series) by Glynis Astie - $0.99 Goodie!

French Twist (The French Twist Series) by Glynis Astie

Sydney Bennett had spent her life in pursuit of perfection. She planned, weighed her options and made careful choices based on calculated outcomes. Through all of her efforts, she had come pretty close to perfection, if she didn’t say so herself. She had fled the cold winters in New York for sunny California, found a job that she loved and lived in the same town as her sister, and best friend, Kate. The one area of perfection that had always eluded her was her love life. No matter how hard she tried, she always ended up with a broken heart. After a particularly traumatic breakup, Sydney vowed that she was done with love.

Just as Sydney threw herself into her new plan to forget about men, a handsome Frenchman tossed all of her intentions out the window as he swept her off of her feet. Louis Durand had lived a life filled with excitement and adventure. He was impetuous, intelligent and incredibly charming. So naturally, he scared Sydney half to death. From the moment they met, Louis and Sydney’s romance progressed at warp speed. Sydney did her best not to run, but her deep rooted relationship anxiety threatened to provide an easy exit. When Louis mentioned marriage before Sydney even knew his favorite color, she was more than tempted to reach for her running shoes. Will she be able to put her fears aside to follow her heart? The one thing that Sydney will learn is that sometimes perfection comes with a twist...

Meet Sydney Bennett

Repeat the mantra, Sydney. Breathe. “Good enough is not nearly as wonderful as perfect, but it is good enough.” How often had my mother said those words to me? Countless times. She would always look at me with her warm brown eyes, smile reassuringly and squeeze my hand. During a particularly traumatic period in high school, she went as far as framing the words for me and asked me to read them (and take them to heart) at least once a day. Though I believed in the truth of these words, on this day as I had on every other day, one thought kept occurring to me. Shouldn’t your wedding day be the one day where perfection is expected?

I had tried to stay calm, but things kept going wrong and I REALLY don’t like it when things go wrong. I am definitely not a “roll with it” type of person. From a very early age, any divergence from the plan I had formulated in my head was enough to send me into a tailspin. I thought that if anything happened outside of what I had planned for, I would lose control. And losing control was not something that I enjoyed. I therefore planned for every possible scenario and worried obsessively that I had not planned enough. My father had always told me that if worrying were a sport, I would be the champion of the world.

But, I digress. Let’s get back to the problem at hand. It all began with my wedding party. In my infinite wisdom, I had asked six women to be my bridesmaids. My older sister and best friend, Kate; my sister-in-law, Zoe, and four of my closest friends. All six had gladly accepted the role, but a week before the wedding all hell broke loose. First, my friend Maya came down with mono. Who has SHE been kissing lately? I saw her every day and the identity of the infector was a complete mystery to me. Three days before the wedding, my friend Amanda got the chicken pox. I’m sorry, but who didn’t get that as a kid? The parents in the neighborhood where I grew up actually took their kids to “parties” to make sure that they had the chicken pox when they were young. Then the day before the wedding, my friend Holly broke her leg in four places and had to be immobilized for an unforeseen amount of time. She has yet to tell me exactly what she was doing when she broke her leg, but I get the feeling that it was highly embarrassing. Seriously??? THREE bridesmaids down? Was this a bad omen for anyone involved in our wedding party? Focus, Sydney. No problem; Kate and I would reformat the ceremony along with the new bridesmaid/groomsmen ratio.

Then the breathtakingly beautiful gown that I had planned to get married in was MISPLACED two days before the wedding. The fitted bodice was intricately beaded and the full tulle skirt hung perfectly. When I wore it, I felt like a princess, as every woman should on her wedding day. The hotel manager told me that he was extremely sorry that my dress had been misplaced (um….lost!) and would be happy to put in a good word for me at the costume rental shop down the street. He felt that the Juliet gown would give “an exciting period feel” to our “incredibly lackluster” wedding. I informed him, as my fiancé held my arms back that he would have a much better idea of what sorry was once I was through with him. He seemed to be completely nonplussed, leading me to assume that he had dealt with many a bride in his time. I sat in the hotel lobby in a state of shock for an hour before I was able to move. I closed my eyes and tried to slow my breathing, but my mind wouldn’t stop racing. Was this really happening to me? What had I done to deserve this? And most importantly, what in the hell was I going to wear?

As usual Kate came to the rescue. She pulled her exquisite wedding dress out of its protective cocoon and offered it to me. I felt incredibly relieved and incredibly guilty at the same time, as Kate was constantly coming to my rescue. Older and wiser was an understatement when it came to her; she was perfection personified. I both loved and hated her for it. How I could I ever live up to the standard that she had set? It felt like an impossible task. And as sweet as the offer of her dress was, if I wore it I would have the impossible task of wearing a long sleeved satin gown in the sweltering July heat. Kate’s decision to get married in December meant that I had the choice of sweating in her perfect dress or sweating in Juliet’s velvet monstrosity. I thanked my sister profusely and suggested padding the dress with lots of tissues. I took a deep breath and started to relax. Crisis averted.

Unfortunately, my relief was short lived. During the course of our rehearsal dinner, my mother and my aunt decided to have the biggest fight of their fifty-seven year relationship. My aunt began talking about her daughter’s wedding and drawing somewhat harsh comparisons to my wedding. My mother, of course, took great offense to my aunt’s statements that her daughter’s wedding was smaller, more tasteful and thankfully had far fewer “foreign” people. My aunt then pointed out that she was so glad that I had finally found someone who would marry me (even if he was a foreigner) as she thought that I was going to be an old maid. That’s right, an old maid at the ripe old age of twenty-seven! Her daughter, Cynthia, she reminded us, was married at the age of twenty-two; a far more appropriate age for women to capitalize on their childbearing years.

After a few glasses of wine, the conversation then degenerated into an argument over who chose the tiger lily china pattern first for their wedding registry, a bitter pill that my aunt has never gotten over since my mother got married six months before she did. I knew this wasn’t going to end well. That was when the shrieking and hair pulling started. My older brother, Charlie, and Kate’s perfect husband, Nick, had to separate them as any “discussions” they had which were accompanied by liquor usually ended up getting rather physical. What a great impression my family was making on my fiancé’s relatives! My father, of course, was no help at all. He sat there, taking it all in, and laughed until he cried. My fiancé assured me that passion of any kind was appreciated by his family, but I think that he was just trying to keep his bride from the edge of hysteria the night before her wedding. He stroked my hair gently and reminded me that in two days we would be on a plane to Paris. Focusing on taking a trip I have dreamt about for my entire life with the man I have dreamt about for my entire life allowed me to obtain a modicum of sanity. I should have known that it wouldn’t last long…

The next day as I was preparing to leave my hotel room, already sweating profusely in my borrowed wedding dress, I was handed a bouquet of bright green carnations. You heard me. Bright green. Not, let’s say, a shade lighter than a jaunty kelly green. We are talking BRIGHT green. My heart stopped. What happened to my orchids and roses? I chose such beautiful shades of….something, but not green! Why couldn’t I remember? I ran out to the balcony to check on the flowers at the wedding site below. They were all the same scary shade of green. The terrace looked like a really bad St. Patrick’s Day hangover. My hands began to shake and I noticed the green dye dripping onto the front of my dress. Kate was going to kill me! I closed my eyes and tried to will the panic out of my body. Could this day get any worse? Crap! My father had always told me NEVER to ask that question, because things can always get worse. I wish that I had listened…

As my mother and I approached the top of the staircase from which we would descend to the ceremony, the heel of my shoe broke. Fortunately, I did not fall and make an absolutely unforgettable trip down the aisle. Unfortunately, all those in attendance of our wedding (as well as the wedding on the lower terrace) heard me swear at this occurrence. I guess that this final detail was just the last straw for my strained wedding day psyche. The only thing that made me smile was the cackle my father let out following my outburst as he waited for my mother and me at the bottom of the stairs.

So there I was, standing at the top of the staircase with my mother, wondering if all of these occurrences were a sign. How could my wedding day be this far from perfect? Was “good enough” really good enough on your wedding day? Was it really possible for this many things to go wrong in one day? My disjointed thoughts began to spiral at a fevered pitch. Did my aunt and her daughter hatch a plan to ruin my wedding? Was Maya in on it? Why didn’t I recognize most of my wedding guests? Where had I met my foreign fiancé? I was starting to hyperventilate. Was this really the man that I was meant to marry? Why was I having trouble remembering his name or what he looked like?

As I tried to slow my heart rate, I heard a faint beeping in the distance. What in the hell was that? I started to seethe with rage as I realized that the fire alarm was going off inside the hotel lobby. In just a moment, all of the hotel guests were going to be evacuated into the middle of my wedding. I starting shaking my head. I can’t do this!!! I threw down my soggy bouquet and began to sob. My mother grabbed my arm and started shaking me, gently at first, but then more urgently. I kept trying to break her hold, but she appeared to be freakishly strong for a woman in her sixties. I could feel that something was wrong, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it…

Spotlight on Glynis Astie Author of the French Twist Series

Glynis Astie Bio

Glynis grew up as the youngest of three children in Rockland County, New York. Her mother remarried when she was six and she gained not only an amazing father, but three wonderful sisters. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern University and worked in Social Service for two years before transitioning to Human Resources. After thirteen years in Human Resources, she decided to make good on her promise to write a book. Rather than detailing the years of bizarre employee relations issues she had encountered (as this may land her in more than a bit of trouble), she elected to write the story of how she met and married her husband, Sebastien, in six short months.

It is true that the story had always been a crowd pleaser. What woman wouldn’t want to be swept off of her feet by a handsome young Frenchman? Glynis decided that it was time that a dose of reality were included to complete the picture. While she felt lucky to have met the love of her life, it was certainly not the image of perfection imagined by many. The end result, French Twist, is humorous, sweet and undeniably real. And because this novel chronicles merely the beginning of an epic love story, Glynis has just released the sequel, French Toast, and is working on the final installment in the series, French Fry.

Unfortunately, Glynis’ parents, who were so lovingly memorialized in French Twist did not live to see its production. She imagines them holed up in a coffee shop in another realm arguing about who was misrepresented more. She is sure that her father has made a list of edits…

Glynis currently lives in Westchester, New York with her incredibly romantic husband and two angelic sons. When she is not writing she is usually rushing to the gym, wracking her brain to remember third grade math to help her son with his homework, rescuing toys from certain destruction down the toilet and keeping atenuous hold on her sanity by consuming whatever chocolate is in the vicinity.

Where to Find Glynis Online:

Did you always want to be a writer?

That would be an emphatic NO! I hated writing above all else. I am still surprised that this happened. I spent thirteen years working in the Human Resources field and had no choice but to write a myriad of documents. Somehow along the way, I became good at it! Who knew that I had a book in me?

Where do you get the ideas for your books?

My first book, French Twist, is based on how I met and married my husband in six short months. I cannot tell you how many times over the years we have been asked how we met and have been told that our story would make a great movie. I decided to turn it into a book instead!

Since there was still so much more to the story, I decided to write a trilogy. French Toast picks up right where French Twist leaves off. While French Twist shows the whirlwind romance of Sydney and Louis, French Toast shows the reality of marriage to someone that you barely know. The third and final book in the trilogy, French Fry, will cover another difficult period in our lives, but I don’t want to spoil anything for you. Rest assured that no matter how difficult things were, hilarity always ensued. French Fry will definitely make you laugh.

How much of the French Twist series is actually true?

Quite a lot! Characters had to be condensed and a few minor details were changed to allow for the flow of the story, but the core plotline is absolutely true. If you visit my website at www.glynisastie.com, I will reveal a new detail as true or false each week. Feel free to email me at glynis@glynisastie.com to make a request.

OK, so if the character of Sydney Bennett is based on you, are you really that crazy?

Yes, I most certainly am. And the funniest thing about this point is that after my husband read the draft of French Twist, he turned to me and said, “Wow, you made yourself really crazy. You don’t really think like that, do you?” I had a really good chuckle after that. Obviously I hide it well, because we have been married for over twelve years and he has no idea the depth of my neurosis. At least this minor instability gives me good material for my books!

What will you write about after you finish the French Twist series?

That is an excellent question. Do you have any ideas?

What’s it like to be a self-published author?

It is has both its good and bad points. Being a self-published author allowed me to put my book out when and how I wanted to, but it meant that I had to do all of the work myself. I did not have the benefit of an agent or a professional editor, but I think that I have done pretty well with the help of my amazing family. It has been a team effort: we have all worn a lot of hats, done a lot of research and thankfully had a lot of fun along the way. I have also been lucky enough to find myself connected to an incredibly supportive group of authors who have given me invaluable advice as a stumble through my early career as an author.

Who are your favorite writers?

I have so many! When I was a child, I read every Agatha Christie novel that I could get my hands on. I love a good mystery/thriller! I have read a lot of Mary Higgins Clark, Stieg Larsson and Gillian Flynn. I also have a huge penchant for Young Adult books. I have devoured Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games series, Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, Marie Lu’s Legend series and Kiera Cass’ Selection series and I will read anything by John Green. But my true love is Chick Lit. My favorite authors are Jane Green, Sophie Kinsella, Emily Giffin, Marian Keyes and Jennifer Weiner. Ooh and I absolutely adore Jen Lancaster. She is hilarious!


Interview with A Girl and Her Kindle

When did you begin writing?

Less than two years ago! I had spent the majority of my life pursuing a career in Human Resources and became a stay-at-home mom following the birth of my second son. Once we made it through his tumultuous first year, I felt like I needed a project for myself; I needed some sort of intellectual stimulation. After a very strange dream in which I wrote a book, I began writing in the fall of 2012. Three months later, I had written a romantic comedy chronicling how I met and married my husband in the span of six months. No one was more surprised by that turn of events than I was!

What genres do you write?

I am currently a very happy writer of Chick Lit, but I am thinking of branching out into Young Adult for my next book. I have often thought about writing a book about a teenage girl with scholiosis, since I spent ten long years of my childhood in a back brace. It is a rather daunting task, since Judy Blume already penned such a great account in Deenie, but I would like to give it a try.

Who do you imagine you're telling a story to as you write?

Is it sad to say myself? My biggest focus is on comedy and if I find myself laughing as I am writing a scene, then I know that I have been successful. So far, my instincts have been spot on, since all of the scenes that I have cackled my way through have been big hits with my readers.

What's your latest book about?

I am hard at work on the third and final installment in the French Twist series, French Fry. Now that Sydney has met and married (three times!) the man of her dreams, I have the difficult task of tackling the next phase of her life. What happens after the dream weddings are over?

Which authors inspire you?

There are so many! I am not just a writer of Chick Lit, I am a huge fan of it! I LOVE Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, Jane Green, Jennifer Weiner and Jen Lancaster. Each author has given us so many stories rich with humor and intimacy, adding elements of their unique styles to keep us coming back for more. I can only hope to aspire to their degree of success one day. I am also extremely lucky to have a very large community of talented Chick Lit & Women’s Fiction writers who inspire me on a daily basis. I have been thrilled to learn from them through Facebook, Twitter and a variety of blogs. Social media is an invaluable tool!

What's your favorite book?

I can’t pick just one! I LOVE the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery and anything by Agatha Christie. Oooh! And the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ordinary People by Judith Guest and the entire Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I could go on…

Why did you choose independent publishing?

After I wrote French Twist, I wasn’t sure that I would write another book. I was amazed that I had written a book at all and I just wanted the freedom to put it out there exactly as I wanted it to be. Since that time, I have decided to keep publishing and though there is certainly a bit more work involved when you self-publish, I like the independence and flexibility that I have. It has been a very interesting road thus far. I definitely plan to stay for a while.

What one piece of advice would you offer other indie authors?

Never give up. Being an author in general is hard, but being an indie author comes with a whole other set of challenges. Be prepared to toil tirelessly on your books, blog posts, various social media outlets and developing relationships with a myriad of people. Know that it will take TIME and a lot of dedication to build a following. But the good news is that there are a ton of resources and many amazing people out there to help you. You just have to know where to look for them. And you can start with me!


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