Friday, July 14, 2017

This week, I discovered new (to me) author, Christene Houston, and thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in her series Snowflake Falls Romance, Cookie Girl Christmas and When Fireflies Sing. Great reads with engaging characters and some pretty funny scenes. Here's the first line from Cookie Girl Christmas:

"Call out the Coast Guard, I think we're out of buttercream."


Friday, June 30, 2017

I've been reading a lot of anthologies lately. I like reading stories by different authors, usually along some kind of theme. Occasionally, I find a new author in a group that really peaks my interest and I end up with several of their individual novels added to my collection. That happened with the anthology "Man of My Dreams." In this group you'll find the novel Jett (Descended) by Dana Pratola. It's a contemporary romance with a supernatural element - not scary, more like superheros. I'm not usually a fan of such stories, but this one captured my attention and I truly loved the characters. It didn't hurt that the heroine was an artist. I liked it so much, I bought all three of the rest of the series. Can't wait to read them this coming week. So here's the first paragraph (because one line isn't enough) of the first book of this series by Dana Pratola:

"The light was no match for him. He could become one with any shadow or light, keeping his presence secret for as long as he wished, causing a man to believe his mind was playing tricks. Or he could be the last thing that man saw before he met his Maker. There were prices to be paid for his rare gift--consequences--but none dissuaded him from his mission."

Friday, May 12, 2017

LDStorymakers this week! My daughter and I are headed to Provo, Utah this week for the LDStorymakers Writer's Conference. Juggling work and school has been fun while traveling, but we are ready to begin the writing adventure tomorrow. To pass the time while traveling, I picked up Shanna Hatfield's series Grass Valley Cowboys. Living in Oregon, I love that she sets her stories nearby and references places I'm familiar with. Although Ms. Hatfield is a master of head-hopping, I still love her romances and enjoy getting to know what seems like an entire community. Every book has a theme: plan, romance, love, falling, etc. and each chapter begins with a quote based on the theme. The first book in the series: The Cowboy's Christmas Plan starts the reader off introducing the Thompson brothers. They are all fun reads. Here's the first lines of the first book:

Cadence Greer gaped at her boss in disbelief. "I don't think I heard you correctly, Neil. Would you please repeat that?"

Happy Friday!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Finally back to normal. Hope to have time to write this week. My book is calling to me...:) Here is my first line for this week. Sierra St. James is the pen name for Janette Rallison. I met her at the LDStorymaker's Writer's Conference last year and she signed my book. I love meeting authors! Her book What the Doctor Ordered was a funny, off-beat romance that I loved.

"The topic of conversation at the Baxters' dinner table was insanity."

Happy Friday everyone!

Friday, April 21, 2017

My son is married. My husband is working out of state for a couple months. My visitors have returned home and my house is now blissfully quiet. In the aftermath of the wedding, I needed a respite. I turned to my all-time favorite romance by Staci Stallings, If You Believed in Love. Available only as an e-book, that is the only thing disappointing about this book. I don't buy many hard-cover or paperback books (I have a LOT of e-books), but this is one I would buy in print if I could. It's the story of a grieving widower who has been coerced by his sister to take a college class just to get out of the house. The class he chooses to audit is English Literature at the local community college and from the beginning of the story, we are right there with him as he discovers the classics--Browing, Austen, etc.--and how the beautifully captivating and intriguing professor brings a new light to the stories we all love to love. Here's the first line:

"I do not believe I'm doing this." Jonathan Danforth strode past the knots of college students who were draped and drawn over every available step and statue.

Happy Friday!

Friday, April 7, 2017

I seem to be reading a lot of novellas right now. My son is getting married next week and I need the down time in the evenings to let go of the stress of work, school, and planning for company and food preparation for the reception. But I don't want to have a storyline carry over from one day to the next because I never know when I'll be able to get back to it. Thank goodness for authors who write shorter stories that can be read in a couple hours, but with the same quality of writing as their longer novels. Here's one from this week:

Never Ever After: Quotable Romance Book 2 by Lucy McConnell (A Cinderella story)

(the funny thing about this book is that Book 1 is coming out later this month)

"You work too hard."


Friday, March 31, 2017

Brooke St. James is one of my favorite authors. Her series The Hunt Family and The Martin Family made me feel like I had new friends in different parts of the country. Her new series Shower & Shelter Artists Collective hit me very close to home since I am also an artist. Written in first person, the reader is immediately drawn into the story. The characters are genuine and lovable. These are pure and simple romances, very little angst, with sweet, honorable leading men and women. I loved the banter, the willingness to own their feelings, but stay true to their situations, and their strength of character. A perfect example is the last line in Chapter 12 of So Much for Boundaries when the heroine, Zoe, says, "Lane Alexander was entirely too noble." Each story leaves a smile on your face and peace in your heart. The books so far are, in order:

JFK to Dublin
Not Your Average Joe
So Much for Boundaries
Suddenly Starstruck

First line from So Much for Boundaries:

"I had been going to Fran's Beauty Shop since I was a kid. I was raised by my grandparents, and my grandmother, God rest her soul, went there once a week like clockwork to get her hair shampooed and set with rollers."

I'm looking forward to the next one. This is a series you won't want to miss. Happy reading.

JFK to Dublin (Shower & Shelter Artist Collective Book 1) by [St. James, Brooke] Not Your Average Joe (Shower & Shelter Artist Collective Book 2) by [St. James, Brooke] So Much for Boundaries (Shower & Shelter Artist Collective Book 3) by [St. James, Brooke] Suddenly Starstruck (Shower & Shelter Artist Collective Book 4) by [St. James, Brooke]