Thursday, 24 January 2019

81. Tempting Fate


Welcome to a new year! How’s your 2019 going? I hope it’s been a wonderful start filled with good health and happiness that carries on throughout the year.

This month, I was fortunate enough to score an interview with debut author, Cassie Laelyn, and my review on her book follows.

GENERAL

1.     Why do you write?
I write to give the characters in my head a voice and I feel like I owe it to them to tell their story. Plus, they don’t stop talking to me until I write it all down!

2.     When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably about six months ago when I signed my first publishing contract. I’ve always considered myself kind of a writer, someone who enjoys writing stories, but up until 18 months ago, I had only ever written short stories for fun. Now, it’s my job! And that’s beyond cool . :)

3.     Do you have support from family and friends?
I’m lucky to have a wonderful supportive family encouraging me along the way. It’s taken time and a fair bit of adjusting, but I think all my family and friends now see writing as a career, not just a hobby.

4.     What are your favourite genres and authors and what draws you to them?
My all-time favourite genre is paranormal romance. I’m a sucker for a happily ever after, a Jane Austen fan from way back, and I love every moment of being swept away in a hero/heroine’s journey to find their happy ending. I don’t know what it is exactly about paranormal that I love, I’ve always been drawn to it. Maybe it’s the possibility of a world beyond our understanding existing around us or of otherworldly beings walking beside us. Maybe it’s the world building of paranormal and how a great book can make me forget reality and create lingering questions long after I’ve finished reading. Or maybe, quite possibly, it’s the fact that paranormal heroes are intense, fiercely protective and loyal, powerful and hot!

My favourite paranormal romance authors are: JR Ward, Kresley Cole, Jennifer L Armentrout, Gena Showalter and Lara Adrian… and many more! I love how they all write over-the-top flawed heroes who would do anything for the woman they love. I also love how the heroines are strong and not willing to sit on the sidelines while all the action happens around them!

5.     Where can we buy or see your works?
Unforsaken is book 1 of The Fallen Guardians (released 14 Jan 2019). You can purchase a copy at all leading e-retailers, and paperback through The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.
The Wild Rose Press - http://bit.ly/Unforsaken_TWRP

6.     Can you tell us what are you’re currently working on?
I’m currently finishing the final round of edits for Book 2 of The Fallen Guardians before I send it to my publisher. Then, I’m going to sit my butt down and write book 3!

7.     How much research do you do?
Another thing I love about writing paranormal stories is that I get to create the entire world, I just need to convince the reader that it’s real! For The Fallen Guardians series, I did some research into angelology but not too much because I wanted to create a non-biblical world for my story and the characters. Which meant I could create a new set of angels, rules and rulers. Although, I did base some of the fraction names off angel names.
I spent over twelve years living in Canberra, at the base of The Snowy Mountains, and just like I’m drawn to paranormal worlds I’m also drawn to forests! Weird, I know! But I find there’s something majestic and, dare I say unearthly, about towering trees that loom over the forest like skyscrapers… or giant protectors. Even though Summit Creek is a fictional town, it is loosely based on a few towns in The Snowy Mountains, and the landscape and imagery is true to the region.

8.     Do you have a writing routine?
A solid writing routine is my goal for 2019! I started to implement a routine towards the end of 2018 but then I bought a house, renovated, moved in and it was also school holidays! Crazy! So this year, once my two boys go back to school, I’m going to get back into a routine and STICK to it! My ideal routine would be: ‘Mum’ duties in the morning, school drop off, walk along the beach (my pre-writing walk) and smash out words until school pick up when ‘Mum’ duties recommence.

9.     Do you ever get writer’s block and if so, how do you get through it?
I started writing Book 3 in The Fallen Guardians late last year but I was having a hard time connecting with the heroine. She has a twin sister and I couldn’t get a clear read of them separately. So I put the book aside and decided to write a contemporary romance that was bubbling in the background – something totally different for me and out of my comfort zone. After I finished that, I also wrote a paranormal romance short story. Although both of those stories weren’t in my plan, I think they helped me break through whatever was blocking me with Book 3, because now I have a clear picture of where the story is heading and of all the characters.

10.  What book/s are you reading at present?
In 2018 I discovered Jennifer L Armentrout and I’m so glad I did! Her books are full of the right amount of heat, sexy times and witty comments to keep me reading way past my bed time! Currently I’m binging on her Lux series – I’m up to book 2, Onyx.

11.  What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Stay true to yourself and your story. I’m quickly discovering that self-doubt is the biggest killer in this industry, and you have to believe in yourself. Only you know your characters and only you can tell their story. Learn as much as you can about craft and the industry, and go out there and write your book!

12.  What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love binging on TV shows and when I find an awesome show, I’ve been known to watch a whole season in one night! I also love going to the beach and of course, reading, reading, reading. Both my boys ride BMX, so when it’s racing season and I’m not writing, you can usually find me at the trackside cheering them on (silently wishing they’d slow down!).

13.  What do you think makes a good story?
Relatable characters and a fast-paced story. I love lots of tension between the hero and heroine, and of course I love well-built paranormal worlds!

14.  What turns you off a story?
A slow-paced book and characters that aren’t interesting or relatable. I also don’t like really heavy or formal language with long sentences!

15.  Are you a plotter, an organic writer, or a combination of both?
I think I kinda sit in the middle. I usually build a story from the characters out. When a character comes to me, I let their story build in my head for a few days and jot random scenes down in a journal - this is when I daydream out the window or stand in the shower for way too long! When I have a good grasp of the story and all the characters, I plot out a rough outline, usually mapping the main turning points/romance beats and HEA. Then, I go ahead and write the story as it plays out in my head. I find if I spend too much time plotting the words don’t flow and if I don’t plot at all, my characters send me all over the place!

16.  Any writing rituals / superstitions?
Kind of! I don’t have any superstitions (yet!) but I do sit down to write with a diet coke and small bowl of snacks – at the moment I’m hooked on Harvest Snaps pea crisps thanks to my local writer’s group!

17.  How did you deal with rejection letters (if you had any?)
I had 2 rejections for Unforsaken from publishers that were at the top of my wish list. Yes, I was devastated (who wouldn’t be) but I tried to see the positive in both. Both publishers said they loved my voice and both requested to see future projects. So, in the end, the rejections turned out to be a boost for my confidence. Plus, I had to put my trust in the universe, after all, how could I write about Fate paving a destiny for every mortal when I didn’t believe it?

18.  Do you edit as you go or finish your writing first?
I usually try and smash out the story first and then edit during my first read through. I find that if I edit as I go, I tend to lose the momentum in the story. Because I don’t plot the entire story, I usually write a little slimmer on the first draft and layer in emotion and flesh out parts on my first read through. So, for me it makes sense to edit then rather than as I write.

19.  From where do you get your titles and character names?
I usually start with a working title that kind of fits the theme of the book, but I don’t settle on a final one until it feels right. For Unforsaken, the title didn’t come to me until after it came back from my beta readers. For Book 2, again I have a working title but I don’t LOVE it… so I’m keeping that door open until the right one pops into my head. It’s the same with characters, their names come to me as I write their story. Though, some characters take a little longer than others to name and as a result are labelled “Beefy bouncer” or “Scumbag mortal” until the final draft!

20.  When did you feel your story was ‘ready’ for the next step?
I read an article once from a successful author that said you know when it’s time to hand over your story when you start changing single words for the sake of changing them. I wish I had read that earlier! I think I held on to Unforsaken for too long and I blame that on it being my debut. By the time it had been through my beta readers (twice), an editor (before submitting to a publisher), then the copy edit, line edit and final galley (twice) with the publisher, I was well and truly sick of reading it! This didn’t include the number of self-edits I did before sending it to my betas. It’s safe to say that with Book 2, I will hand it over to the publisher much earlier!

21.  How long did it take you to learn how to step back from your story and self-edit?
I think I’m still learning this! For me, I think it comes with practice. I’ve noticed that with each story I write, I get better at stepping back and having a good look at the story – is that part really necessary? Does that add to the story/conflict/character arc? If the answer is no, it gets deleted… well, saved in the “deleted scenes” folder!

22.  Who are some of your favourite characters and why? They can be your own or in general.
I absolutely love moody, fiercely loyal and protective, sexy heroes and feisty, determined and kick-ass heroines. I find the combination sucks me in all the way and keeps me reading all night! Some that come to mind are from JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood or Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series.

23.  Do you write in other genres?
I also write paranormal suspense short stories and have recently written a full-length contemporary romance.

‘UNFORSAKEN’ QUESTIONS

24.  What inspired you to write your current story / series?
Raven’s character came to me almost seven years ago when I was sitting outside chasing the sun on a rather chilly winter’s day. I pictured Raven crouching on the rooftop of the building behind me, his majestic black wings unfurled behind his back, scanning the park below. The image was so clear it sent shivers down my spine. I even spun around to see if he was real! But back then, I wasn’t writing and hadn’t wrote a story for years.
Five years later, the image of Raven on that rooftop still plagued me, so I wrote it down… then, as though I’d opened a doorway to another world, other characters appeared and The Fallen Guardians series unfolded. With each new character came a whole other side to the story, and for some, more fractions of angels.
The series kind of unfolded organically, starting with Raven’s story and following on with the other Guardians, while their mission to return their fallen brother to the Heavens became the series arc.

25.  What drew you to the concept Fate is in control?
I’ve always believed that we get back from the universe what we put in, and that each person has a fated path. When I sat down to build The Fallen Guardian’s world, I really wanted to explore the possibility of a fated destiny verses free will. What would happen if we fought against our fated path? Would we write a new destiny or was the new destiny actually our fated path all along?

26.  What was the most challenging part about writing this series so far?
Ensuring I plant seeds for each character along the way so when it comes to their story, or their part in the series arc, it all makes sense and the reader isn’t left wondering where the heck that came from! I need to keep checking back to the series arc to make sure everything is on track and heading in the right direction. And when I sit down to semi-plot the next book, I refer to the series plot and make sure I include relevant points in the current story.

27.  What were your inspirations in creating Unforsaken and the series from a world building perspective?
The world building kind of formed organically as I wrote Unforsaken. The idea started with the imagine of Raven on the roof top and I built his backstory and the world around that image. As each character appeared, the world became clearer, including their place in it. I wanted to create something different, the idea that there wasn’t one Heaven or Hell, that angels weren’t all holy and good, and that the universe was created by a single character – Fate.

28.  Who was the most challenging character to write?
So far, the hardest character to write is Fate. She’s so many steps in front of everyone else I have to keep checking to make sure I know what she’s doing and that she hasn’t gone off on some tangent I wasn’t expecting… which happens more often than not!

Thank you so much, Dannielle for having me on your blog today!! I had a great time answering your questions and I hope readers love Unforsaken and The Fallen Guardians. Cassie x

Book Reviews

Unforsaken (The Fallen Guardians Book 1) by [ Laelyn, Cassie]

Unforsaken by Cassie Laelyn

Hidden deep in the Snowy Mountains, lives a brotherhood of immortal Guardians, banished from the Heavens.

After centuries of exile, Head Guardian Raven can taste Hell. One wrong move could destroy his soul. When Fate assigns him a female mortal to protect, his forbidden desire becomes a distraction he can't afford. Giving in to temptation risks plummeting into the fiery pits of Hell, dragging her along with him

Tayla Eason is on the run, escaping a horrific attack on her life. When she lands in the arms of the sexy, alluring man who saved her, the shadows of her past swiftly close in. But when Fate throws a twist, Tayla's forced to choose between saving Raven's soul or fleeing before the creatures strike again.

In an ultimate test of love, the two must battle against the almighty Fate. But will it be enough to save them both?

Nobody pisses off Fate, not mortals, not demons and especially not angels. A pity Raven made that discovery a little too late and was subsequently banished from the Heavens along with two of his brothers, Aric and EJ. Now Fate, cunning manipulator that she is, has just given him his first mission in centuries – protect a Chosen one, a woman who will one day make a huge difference to the world. He must protect her from the Fallen, angels who have forsaken the Heavens for darker, twisted purposes and want nothing more than to corrupt those Chosen and ruin Fate’s plans. But Fate must still be angry with him for while he knows it’s forbidden for an angel and a mortal, especially a Chosen one, to be together, what Raven feels for Tayla may threaten his very soul.

Tayla Eason’s life hasn’t been easy. Losing her parents in a terrible accident was devastating, but she always drew comfort in the knowledge they were soulmates and their love for each other and for her knew no bounds. That comfort vanished the night she was attacked by some ‘thing,’ and God only knows how she managed to escape. Perhaps she has a guardian angel after all? Then she meets two men. One who ignites passions Tayla thought no longer existed, and another she can’t help feeling she’s met somewhere before, if only she could remember where. When Tayla is attacked by more of the strange ‘things’ she’d paid a therapist a fortune to convince her didn’t exist, Raven saves her and Tayla learns this isn’t the first time he’s come to her aid. He confesses he knows who the other man is and warns her to keep away from him. But now she knows she’s in danger not only from the Fallen as Raven reluctantly reveals, so is her heart.

Ms Laelyn’s debut novel is an action packed, mysterious, saucy, thrilling ride from start to finish. The emotions felt by the main characters are deep and evocative, and in one point you might shout at the author as I did before I realised I still had several pages to go. This book is sexy, romantically indulgent and promises to captivate the reader not only in this story, but in the books to come thanks to the fleshing out (and teasing hints) of the supporting characters. I’m already looking forward to the next in the series.


A Bouquet of Love – A Serenity Press Anthology

 

Ten couples not looking for love find something unexpected when they visit Serendipity Bridal Boutique, Kate Peron’s vintage-styled salon. Love is in the air and it’s about to blow into their lives, bringing fortunate accidents of the heartfelt variety to those lucky enough to walk through Serendipity’s doors.

A man comes to Eagle Point to stop a wedding. A magazine editor finds herself in a cheesy situation. A different kind of bride takes to the catwalk. Readers will be swept away by this bouquet of stories from ten Australian authors – stories of healing and second chances, of opening hearts and minds, of souls connecting and remembering, of temptation and desire. Life and love in Eagle Point has never been more challenging … or fun!

From cupcake wielding assassins to hilarious blind date set-ups, there’s something for everyone in this delightfully romantic collection that proves there can never be too much ado about love.

This collection of ten stories will put you through so many emotions. If you’re the kind of person who cries at weddings, remembers what it’s like to have your heart broken and then find a second chance for love, have had a bridezilla in your life, had dreams of the perfect wedding featuring your perfect prince charming, (quoting sonnets, no less) since you were young, or thought true love had passed you by, this book is for you. Have tissues handy. Some of these stories go beyond tugging at your heart strings. I may still be sobbing as I type. Oh, but you’ll laugh too at some interesting situations, and some incredibly witty internal dialogue that puts a new perspective on the game of Battleship. Most importantly, no matter whether you’re young or young at heart, there’s no hiding from love.

I’m impressed at how seamlessly the stories flowed together according to the editors’ guidelines, and I can only imagine the hard work behind the scenes to make it so. One character in particular sparkles throughout all the stories, and I think you’ll find his personal story ‘delicious.’


The Late Shift by Louisa West

Aspiring author, Vanessa, loves working at Serendipity Bridal Boutique as much as she loves writing her goth horror stories. When tall, dark, and mysterious arrives at the shop during a dark and stormy evening, (well, late afternoon, but that’s not how horror works) she’s certain she’s found the perfect villain for her current story. But you’re not supposed to fall for the villain, or wonder what he looks like half naked, and especially not what he’d be like in bed. And then there’s the matter of why he’s really here in Eagle Point, because judging by his odd behaviour, Vanessa is certain it’s not as simple as being a wedding guest.


Angel in the Baking by Carolyn Wren.

Kyle’s ready for his big break and tonight’s the night. Nothing can go wrong, or so he hopes. Angelo’s as reserved as Kyle is austere, so it’s a big deal for him to put himself out there, especially since he’s donned a pair of angel wings to help advertise his bakery business – Angel Heart Bakery. Then the unthinkable happens – he crashes into tall, dark, and handsome, and all Angelo can do is let out an embarrassed ‘sorry’ and run in the opposite direction as fast as he can. But the universe has other plans because tonight Kyle is showing his first clothing collection at Serendipity Bridal Boutique and when the caterer the boutique booked cancels at the last minute, he knows exactly who to call – an earth angel who’s been heaven sent, just like his baking abilities. Now all he has to do is convince the sexy baker to let go of his nerves and take a chance on Kyle too.


The Dating Phase by Claire Boston

It was hard watching her little girl marry when Scott hadn’t been there to walk her down the aisle, and to enjoy the look of pure happiness in his beautiful daughter’s face, but Miriam managed as best she could. She knew her husband was looking down at them from the heavens and had done so for the past ten years. It had been a bittersweet occasion, but one she’d expected. What she hadn’t expected was an accidentally bruised face the day before the wedding when the man visiting Serendipity Bridal Boutique bumped into her. And she most definitely didn’t expect to be captivated by the intensity of his dark eyes and the deep warmth of his skin. And after the wedding where business turns to pleasure, Miriam can’t help but feel confused. Isn’t she too old to feel this way again? And is she really ready to date?


Grooming the Bride by Teena Raffa

After an exhaustive search, Dani and her bride-to-be sister find their way to Serendipity Bridal Boutique where, much to Dani’s relief, Hannah finds ‘the dress.’ It also gives them a chance to recover from almost being knocked down by a crazy man on the way into the store. Crazy, but utterly gorgeous. When he spies them in the coffee shop afterward, Matt reveals the reason for his agitated state. Dressing as a bride sounds like a brilliant way to raise funds for his injured sister, and because she’s an expert in event planning, Dani’s keen to help until a little blonde dynamo reminds Dani exactly why she hates two-timing men. But she’s promised to organise the event, even if standing by Matt’s side is the last place she wants to be.


Ribbons of Love by Barbara Gurney

Nell wants nothing more than to make the perfect wedding dress so she’ll look beautiful for her husband-to-be, Stan. Busy learning to sew, she carefully makes her dress while Stan is away fighting in the war, and she’s so sad she can’t afford the beads that would make her dress perfect. And she mustn’t forget him, even though everyone says she would. She’ll go through her treasured scraps of material so she can tie a yellow ribbon around... What was that TV show called again? The one that told her what to do with the ribbon? And why is she standing in front of a bridal shop? Oh, that’s right. She’s making a dress so she’ll look beautiful for Stan on their wedding day. He’s going to love it. She’ll just tie this ribbon around the shop handle so he knows she’s remembered him, and then she might wander home for a cup of tea with that nice young lady she lives with. The one who looks so much like her Stan. Now what was her name again?


Second Chance at Love by PL Harris

When her best friend breaks her leg, Bronte feels duty-bound to help by agreeing to assist famous photographer, Jasper Fleming, do a photo shoot for Serendipity Bridal Boutique. Nothing wrong with that except Jasper reminds her of the man who dumped her to marry someone else when his footy career took off in the big city. She’s not in love with Scott anymore, but the pain of his betrayal is achingly real. Living with the fallout of humiliation and small-town gossip means it will take everything Bronte possesses to be polite to a man who seems intent on rubbing weddings and perfect location shots in her face. But when city-proud Jasper realises the truth about Bronte’s reluctance to help, he discovers there’s more to Eagle Point than beautiful sunsets and small-town dreams.


Much Ado by Ilona Kruegar

Bride to be, Janeece dreams of the perfect white wedding – the dress, the flowers, and her perfect, romantic prince charming. Of course, the man she fell in love with would rather watch footy than get down on bended knee and recite love sonnets, couldn’t care less about the fancy trimmings, and thinks the whole deal is, to misquote Shakespeare, ‘Much Ado about Nothing.’ And now it seems her childhood dreams are doomed to failure. First the wedding dress she covets is sold, the flower girl is prone to tantrums, and even her own mother can’t understand what the fuss is about. Maybe her hopes for a romantic, fairy tale wedding is just a dream after all.


Sunk by Glennys Marsdon

Susannah Cassidy has focused on her career, a task made easier after the death of her husband three years ago. Her heart is a no-go zone and she likes it that way. Besides, she’s been part of the entertainment scene for so long now, no handsome model in wedding finery or wannabe starlet has a chance to retain her interest outside a business deal. Of course, that doesn’t explain the persistent rumours of a supposed love affair between herself and Julian McBlade. A star in his own right, and hotter than hell, Susannah’s been aware of him since their college days. Knowing he’s here to film at Eagle Point shouldn’t matter a damn to her. Surely, he’s ignoring the ridiculous rumours just as she is. But if that’s true, why can’t she keep her eyes off him, and why does he seem so eager to connect with her?


Head Over Heels by Bree Verity

Cara’s sister, Fiona, is a veritable bridezilla, but she’s doing her best to keep calm and deal with her little sister’s increasingly ridiculous demands. Cara’s a tomboy, through and through, so why did Fiona insist her bridesmaids were four-inch heels and expect her to be an expert at walking in them too? Bad enough she’s caught, literally, by the courier who manages to save her from an embarrassing fall whilst practising in the damned heels, while in her pyjamas, no less, but now he’s going to be her stand-in partner at the wedding too. Could things get any worse?


Fortunate Accident by Monique Mulligan

Serendipity Bridal Boutique owner, Kate Perak, knows the romantic hopes and dreams of every bride to be who walks into her store. Her reputation as an inclusive, magical miracle worker precedes her. A pity then that the only romance in her life is to live vicariously, if not a little distantly, through others. She’s no stranger to heartbreak, or the mockery her life has become since any thoughts of personal romance are met with tears. To make matters worse, her brother, Ralph, no wait, he’s going by Rafe these days, is determined to set her up on blind dates. Then Angus arrives, and she remembers what it’s like to feel love again. But does one ever truly get over a broken heart even if the man can quote her favourite line from her favourite movie all the while insisting their meeting was a fortunate act of fate.


Christmas Fever by P.L. Harris

Christmas Fever by [Harris, P.L.] 

In Whittaker Springs, Christmas is a magical time—and love is in the air. The tiny Vermont town is gearing up for the festive season ahead, but everything is not as perfect as it appears to be.

After failing to make it big in London’s West End, Tessa Quinn returns to small-town life to care for her ailing mother. If only she could avoid Blake Bryant, the one who got away.

It’s been six long years of failed romances and missed Christmases, but Tessa and Blake can’t deny the attraction between them. The past weaves into the present as hurt, betrayal, and lust sears through their minds and bodies. Will the secrets and lies that kept them apart triumph, or will they finally get the antidote for this Christmas Fever?

When Tessa Quinn returns home from London to help her ailing mother, she didn’t realise how unwell Lyndall is. She planned a brief stay to ensure she wouldn’t run into the man who broke her heart. However, her mother’s illness and her best friend’s insistence she attends the Christmas reunion, alter her plans. Now not only must she help her mother, she must also face the lies she’s told when she made her escape, and the biggest lie of all is the one she tells herself – she’s not in love with Blake anymore.

Blake Bryant seethes the moment he hears Tessa Quinn is back in town. She thought she was too good for him, leaving their little town and any thoughts of a future together for the bright lights of London’s West End and her career as an actress. As far as he’s concerned, she should have stayed there. But if that’s true, why does his heart constrict when he sees her in the arms of another? And how could the hate he’s been harbouring for the past six years fade in the wake of a single smile?

Then Lyndall reveals a secret that shatters Tessa’s and Blake’s thoughts of the past and any chance of hope for the future. A secret that her ill health has twisted and misconstrued since Tessa left behind the only man she’s ever loved.

This is a beautiful story that will tug at your heartstrings and dig deep into your emotions, not only for the relationship between the main characters but also between Tessa and her mother. The author has captured beautiful, gut wrenching moments between a child and the heartbreak of watching their parent suffer through the cruelty of Dementia. Equally, the reader experiences how easily misunderstandings and lies can devastate a relationship, yet honesty and truth can bring about a love worth fighting for.

Callie’s Dilemma by P.L. Harris

Callie's Dilemma by [Harris, P.L.] 

Callie Westwood loves everything about The Treasure Trove, an antique shop she has practically run for the past four years. The store is more than just a building to her, it’s a place where she has built her fondest memories. That all changes when the original owner and dearest friend passes away and the deed falls into the hands of the gorgeous, but cold Jaxon Carter.

Jaxon isn’t about to let another person control him the way his ex-wife did. Especially not someone as beautiful and alluring as the petite woman standing between him and selling The Treasure Trove. Jaxon has plans of his own and none of them include a chestnut beauty with the face of an angel.

When a secret, well-written will throws the two of them into a battle of resolve, Callie must decide what is more important to her: her passion or her pride? The fact that Jaxon is as stunning as he is handsome doesn’t make matters any easier in Callie’s Dilemma.

Callie’s relationship with the owner of ‘The Treasure Trove’ had always felt like that of a mother and daughter rather than a business one. Callie is devastated by Katherine’s death, but she was determined to run the antique store in her honour. All those wonderful plans turn to dust when the new owner, Jaxon Carter, arrives in the store equally determined to make sure Callie quits so he can sell the building.

Jaxon Carter will never let another woman control him. Thanks to his adulterous ex-wife, he’ll make certain ‘that woman’ never gets a hand on anything he holds precious, especially the building containing his beloved late aunt’s shop. But he never counted on the manager being so beautiful and reawakening a heart he swore would never love again. And he never thought he’d hate himself so much for trying to push her away.

Such a great story. While the reader knows the motivations behind Callie’s and Jaxon’s characters, their interactions and internal thoughts conspire to pull at the emotions whether it be anger, frustration or wonder. I loved the twist and revelation at the end. It’s easy to see why it was a finalist in Romance Writers of America 2017 ‘Fools for Love’ contest.


News

On February first, we’ll be launching the Season’s anthology, so I’ll share some pics in next month’s blog. I’ll also be sharing an interview and review from another debut author, as well as more on the books I’ve been reading. Once again, the post is a little long so I’m saving a few reviews for the next blog. :) Otherwise it’s been reading, writing, (yay- so excited about my current story) and editing as per usual.

Until next time, read more books, free your soul, and live life to the fullest. (Living that life through the pages of a good book is perfectly acceptable.) :)