Tuesday, July 18, 2017

B.A. Paris' THE BREAKDOWN Review

4.5 stars

B.A. Paris once again takes readers on an intense mental and emotional roller coaster of a read in THE BREAKDOWN.
Cass is not only suffering from guilt over not helping the driver she saw sitting on the side of the road late that stormy night, she’s also afraid she’s developing Early Onset Dementia just like her mother.
She’s caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
As the forgetful incidents occur more often, and the guilt multiplies when she discovers the identity of the motorist, Cass pulls you deeper into her little corner of hell.
What will this do to her young marriage, her husband Matthew, the life she’s only started living after caring for her mother? Is she losing it? Could she have helped that night or would she too have been a victim? How can she live with the guilt of not having done more? Questions abound for Cass and the reader.
Before you realize it, you’re so immersed you don’t want to come up until the last page has been read. And what a doozy those last pages are. Sly, clever, cunning, subtle, however you choose to say it, that’s THE BREAKDOWN in a nutshell.
Ms. Paris has a knack of making the improbable, probable; and THE BREAKDOWN is as engrossing as BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. Ms. Paris' sophomore release has solidified her place on my auto buy list. 

Highly anticipating Ms. Paris' next book!




Friday, July 7, 2017

Cheryl Holt's new FOREVER Series and autographed copy giveaway



My new FOREVER series is coming on July 15. The titles are FOREVER YOURS, FOREVER MINE, and FOREVER AFTER. 

I will release the first three books together on July 15th. This is the first time I’ve released novels on the same day, so it’s been a huge project for me. But I’m excited for readers to have a chance to read the first three books back to back without having to wait for the next installment to be released.

My heroines are the Henley sisters. Their father was an earl, but after he died in an accident, distant relatives inherited and they were disavowed and disinherited. They’ve had to make their own way in London by working for a living. The three sisters—Abigail, Catherine, and Sarah—wish they could change their lives and regain some of the status they lost after their family’s tragedy, but it seems impossible.

If you haven’t read one of my books before (or if you have!), I like to use heroines who are imperiled by their life circumstances. I like them to be thrown into new situations and to be isolated from their families and out of options. It forces them to make frantic choices, which gives me many avenues to create a fun story. The three Henley sisters quickly find themselves in desperate situations, and (of course) my macho, alpha heroes simply exacerbate their difficulties!

In my novels, it’s always so thrilling to see how it all works out.  

The novels will be available as e-books or print books, and I hope all of you will count down the days with me. My FOREVER series coming July 15! 





FOREVER YOURS 
Abigail Henley is an earl’s daughter, raised to a life of wealth and privilege. But all was lost when her parents died in an accident and distant relatives inherited. With no prospects and her dowry squandered, she’s forced to work as a governess, caring for the children of the rich and notorious. She’s lonely, chafing at the unfairness of her situation, and wishing she could change her fate—or at least regain some of the status and position she once had.

Alex Wallace was ruined by scandal. With his being from a prominent military family, he expected to have a long and successful career in the army. Instead, he’s a scorned, dissolute, and divorced man who was forced to resign his commission and is raising two daughters who were sired by another man. He’s weary of gossip and innuendo, and he leads a reckless life, trying to prove he doesn’t care about anything.

When Abigail arrives to work for Alex and watch over his two girls, she stumbles on a family torn apart by tragedy. Can she heal the wounds that have been inflicted?

FOREVER MINE
CATHERINE HENLEY was raised as the rich, spoiled daughter of the Earl of Middlebury. But when tragedy struck and distant relatives inherited the family estate, she was cast out into the world and forced to make her own way. She works as a lady’s companion, assisting and chaperoning various young ladies who are engaged to be married. She watches as they march through the swirl of parties and balls leading up to their grand day. Always she laments the fact that she will never be a bride herself…

CHRISTOPHER WAKEFIELD spent fifteen years in the army, but with his older brother’s death, he’s inherited his family’s bankrupt estate. He resigns his commission and returns to England where he quickly realizes he must marry an heiress to save his home. He agrees to wed his rich, unpleasant cousin, but when he meets poverty-stricken Catherine, he begins to wonder how he can do his duty to his family…

He’d thought it would be simple to wed for money. After all, marriages were never contracted for fondness or affection. But with love in the balance and a fortune on the line, how can Christopher ever choose the correct path…


Cheryl's giving away 10 autographed print copies of Book #1, FOREVER YOURS, a Rafflecopter giveaway 

FOREVER AFTER 

SARAH HENLEY grew up as the rich, cosseted daughter of an earl, but when her father died and distant relatives inherited, she fell down society’s ladder. To earn a living, she’s working as a lady’s companion and, with no dowry or prospects, she’s given up hope of ever marrying. But when a dashing, dangerous rogue crosses her path, she starts to wonder if her fate might have changed…

NICHOLAS SWIFT is a gambler and wastrel who has always had to scheme and deceive others in order to get by. He’s perfected a life of pretense and trickery that lets him thrive among the snobs of High Society. When he meets beautiful, lonely Sarah, he can’t help but be intrigued, but he could never be interested in a penniless female…
Yet Sarah isn’t like any woman he’s ever met before. Can her affection for him make any difference? Can she persuade him to become the man he was always destined to be.


Cheryl Holt is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon “Top 100” bestselling author of forty-seven novels. 

She’s also a lawyer and mom, and at age 40, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She’d hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn’t sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance, where she was stunned to discover that she has an incredible knack for writing some of the world’s greatest love stories.

She is considered to be one of the masters of the romance genre, and her emotional, dramatic, and riveting stories of passion and illicit love have captivated fans around the world. She has won or been nominated for many national awards. For many years, she was hailed as “The Queen of Erotic Romance”, and she’s also revered as “The International Queen of Villains.” She is particularly proud to have been named “Best Storyteller of the Year” by the trade magazine Romantic Times BOOK Reviews. 
Cheryl lives and writes in Hollywood, California. www.cherylholt.com.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

THAT CRAZY PERFECT SOMEDAY Excerpt and chat with Michael Mazza



 The year is 2024. Climate change has altered the world’s wave patterns. Drones crisscross the sky, cars drive themselves, and surfing is a new Olympic sport. Mafuri Long, UCSD marine biology grad, champion surfer, and only female to dominate a record eighty-foot wave, still has something to prove. Having achieved Internet fame, along with sponsorship from Google and Nike, she’s intent on winning Olympic gold. But when her father, a clinically depressed former Navy captain and widower, learns that his beloved supercarrier, the USS Hillary Rodham Clinton, is to be sunk, he draws Mafuri into a powerful undertow. Conflicts compound as Mafuri’s personal life comes undone via social media, and a vicious Aussie competitor levels bogus doping charges against her. Mafuri forms an unlikely friendship with an awkward teen, a Ferrari-driving professional gamer who will prove to be her support and ballast. Authentic, brutal, and at times funny, Mafuri lays it all out in a sprightly, hot-wired voice. From San Diego to Sydney, Key West, and Manila, That Crazy Perfect Someday goes beyond the sports/surf cliché to explore the depths of sorrow and hope, yearning and family bonds, and the bootstrap power of a bold young woman climbing back into the light.
Amazon             B&N              Indiebound

Here's my  recent chat with Michael.  Just a heads up, there are a few swear words in the excerpt. 

Appreciate your taking the time to answer a few questions.
Why Mafuri, a young woman? Was she one of those characters I've heard authors speak of who talk to them constantly, refusing to calm down until their story is told?
Great question. I wrote a short story around 14 years ago about a bubbly female character and her depressed, ex-Navy captain father who commanded an aircraft carrier. I work-shopped the story, which wasnt much of a story other than a sketch of the two in a bar. The daughter wasnt developed other than her voice. The father was depressed over his wifes infidelities. The daughter did her best to console him. The story was absurd. The aircraft carrier he commanded was Streisand class. There was a boxing kangaroo, an Aussie bartender, and a fight. I loved the characters, particularly the young woman, but didnt know where to take the story until years later when I was inspired to write a story about a professional woman surfer. Then her voice popped back into my head and wouldnt stop talking. So yes, I suppose Mafuri finally said to me, Hey, dude. I am so right for the part of the main character in That Crazy Perfect Someday. So, are you going to bring me to life or make me sit in this digital file forever?”  

Was Mafuri too large for a short story or novella?
Yes. I think Mafuri needed to bust out of that short format because she had too much to say.  

“It’s not the sharks that will kill you, but the accumulated nuisances of life.” ― Michael Mazza, That Crazy Perfect Someday. Does this quote speak for you as well as the character? (It struck me because it's the little things that usually wind up grinding my hamburger.)
It’s one of my favorite lines in the book because I think there’s truth in it. Many of us—at least the lucky ones—will go through life without meeting our fate through some rare catastrophe, and certainly not a shark attack, but the death by a thousand cuts, day-to-day nonsense we all go through can wear a person down.

What, if anything are you currently reading? Have you read anything recently you'd recommend?
I recently read The Sympathizer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Viet Than Nguyen. It’s told from the unique perspective of Vietnamese sleeper agent in America after the Viet Nam War and gives light to Vietnamese refugees, what its like to lose a country and assimilate into a foreign land—insightful and heartbreaking in many ways. I cannot believe it’s a debut novel. The level of craft is masterful—so deserving of the honor. On the lighter front, I highly recommend American Born Chinese, the award-winning graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang. It’s a story of fitting in and gives voice to young Chinese Americans. What Yang captures in his illustrations, the character’s expressions, the efficiency of an entire story in every frame, is pure artistry.

 Do you have a WIP you can share anything about?  
I have two other novels in the works: One novel is in its fourth draft the other is half done. We’ll see where they go. Fingers crossed!

Thank you, 

Michael
Google “Mafuri Long.”
Click video.
And voila!
That’s me, surfing the monster of all wavesan eighty-foot beast. I’m like a tiny knife slicing through a gigantic wall of blue that’s rearing up behind me, a total H2O Everest. Scale? Picture me standing next to an eight-story building. In 2023, I became the first “chick” to win the Nike XX Big Wave Classic: one of the few women in history to surf a wave that big, the only one to do it officially. I followed Daddy’s advice before we left the dock for the open sea. “Don’t ride that horse with half your ass,” he said, sending me off with a fist bump. “Go after it, cowgirl.”
The freaky part is that the wave is a hundred miles off the San Diego coast in the middle of nowhere. The surf spot’s called the Cortes Bank, where the fish around you are the size of Volkswagens and very big things can swallow you whole. The only way out there is in a decent-size boat, and the only way to be saved after a serious wipeout is to be rescued by that decent-size boat or plucked up by a Coast Guard helicopter, which one big-wave legend experienced firsthand after a three-wave hold-down. The bank sits just under the water and can kick up epic hundred-footers. It’s one of the biggest, scariest waves in the world, and I mastered it: little five foot three sandy-haired me.
You’d usually have to wait until winter for a wave like that, but weather patterns are so crazy with the globe heating up the last few decades, it’s monumentallike, who can predict? I had no clue how ginormous the wave was. I mean, nobody anticipated itnot my surf coach, the safety team, the other surfers, or the pilots in the choppers circling abovebut a tiny voice inside and the never-ending elevator ride up confirmed it was going to be borderline cataclysmic. When the wave hit its peak, I was staring down a seventy-five-foot vertical drop, fear shrieking inside me. Ride or die, that’s what I thought. Like, seriously, flinch on a wave like that and it’s bye-bye girly-girl. I went supersonic after that, faster than I had ever gone before, my legs feeling the board’s feedback full force, completely in the zone, focused, the entire ocean an angry fist beneath me . . . Then I pulled out of the wave.
            When the video hit social, it ping-ponged around the world, out into space, and back again, sending up a collective girl-power supercheer, pretty much locking up a ton of cash in surf-sponsorships and placing me on every news feed from here to Alice Springs. Jaxthat's what people call my dadsays I have a gift. He says he noticed it the first time I stood up on a wave in Sendai, Japan, back when I was five and we were surfing together, years before that tsunami leveled the place.
The sponsorship money let me set my marine biology degree aside for a while. I couldn't find a job in the field anyway. Let me restate that: I was offered one at SeaLand San Diego straight out of UCSD, basically to put on a carnival show with a thirteenth-generation orca after her act was reintroduced, but I passed because that isn't science, and a creature like that should be ambushing seals out in the ocean and not squeaking for mackerel treats in a man-made swimming pool for some spoiled kids' amusement. So the money lets me spend my days training, and my eyes are on the big prize when the Olympics begin on August 4.
It's around 8:00 the following morning, and I'm out in the water at Mission Beach for a photo shoot, which I do on occasion for sponsors that include Google, Target, and Nike. Today it's ad posters for Nike, in partnership with Target, who will put them up in their stores or something. I really don't pay attention.
We're an hour into the shoot and Jax's episode last night still troubles me even in the bright, post-dawn sun. A photographer named PK is trailing me in the water while the hipster-kook art director in wannabe surf garb, a Parisian beret, and sunglasses watches from the shoreline and barks at us through a bullhorn.
"I need an ass shot! Ass shot, PK!" he yells for the second time. "Ass shots sell wet suits!"
"Is he serious?" I ask.
"He's serious," PK says.
I shout back to shore, "Here's your ass shot!" and follow up with a not-so-friendly hand gesture.
"That's not nice," he yelps back. Behind him, a robotic beach Zamboni combing the sand swings a wide arc and nearly takes him out. He doesn't flinch. 
"Darn," I say. "Just a little more to the right..."
PK is treading water next to me in his wet suit. The black neoprene hood and his bushy mustache make him look like a walrus. He's adjusting the f-stop on his waterproof camera above the surface.
"Between you and me, the guy's a total dick," PK says, setting the motor drive. "Most of these ad guys are."
"What a perv."
There's a loud squawk and a click from shore.
"I can't go home without an ass shot!"
"That's the third time he's said that."
Squawk!
"Ass shot!"
"Fourth," I say. "I'm done."
PK swipes his hand across his throat to say we're finished. The bullhorn crackles.
"That's good," the art director says dryly. "Real fucking nice."
PK looks at me like it's just another dick day. I watch the guy drop the horn into the sane and fire up a cigarette. It isn't enough that last night's events put me in a funky funk, but now I'll have to deal with more of the art director's nonsense when I get to shore. Not to mention the funny feeling that a whole lot of madness is yet to come.                                                                    

© 2017 Michael Mazza, with permission from Turtle Point Press

Michael Mazza is a fiction writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. His stories have appeared in Other Voices, WORDS, Blue Mesa Review, TINGE, and ZYZZYVA. He is best known as an internationally acclaimed art and creative director working in the advertising industry. Along with being named National Creative All-Star by Adweek, his work appears in the Permanent Collection of the Library of Congress. He has lectured throughout the country and abroad, most notably at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. He has attended the Iowa Summer Writers’ Workshop, the Stanford Creative Writing workshop, and the Wharton School Executive Education MBA program. That Crazy Perfect Someday is his first novel.

Connect with Michael at his website: www.mazzastory.com or on Twitter and Instagram: @mazzastory

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

IT'S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND Review


Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, despite being as different as three women can be. Kate was beautiful, wild, wealthy, and damaged. Aubrey, on financial aid, came from a broken home, and wanted more than anything to distance herself from her past. And Jenny was a striver—brilliant, ambitious, and determined to succeed. As an unlikely friendship formed, the three of them swore they would always be there for each other.

But twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge, and someone is urging her to jump.

How did it come to this?
Kate married the gorgeous party boy, Aubrey married up, and Jenny married the boy next door. But how can these three women love and hate each other? Can feelings this strong lead to murder? When one of them dies under mysterious circumstances, will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?

A suspenseful, absorbing novel that examines the complexities of friendship, It’s Always the Husband will keep readers guessing right up to its shocking conclusion. (synopsis from Amazon)


IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND brought to mind something my mother would say if she thought a friend was a bad influence, “with friends like that you don’t need enemies.”
The past never really dies, usually coming back to haunt, and often bite, as it does in IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND.  Ms. Campbell opens with someone being encouraged to jump from a bridge. Who and why we discover later, after a trip down memory lane to explain the why if not the who.
Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny meet as roommates freshman year at Carlisle College and become known as The Whipple Triplets. They vow to always be there for each other and they are, in their own pernicious way.
The character driven plot isn’t for those inclined toward action packed adventures. That being said, only one of the characters in Ms. Campbell’s debut was likeable. Yet, as disagreeable as they were I was sucked in by my curiosity regarding who was on the bridge and why.
Hats off to Ms. Campbell. IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND kept me questioning my deductions right until the bitter, satisfying end.

4.5 stars


Sunday, May 14, 2017

THE MEASURE OF THE MOON Review & Giveaway


 Lisa Preston uses her experience to brilliantly channel human drama and suspense into THE MEASURE OF THE MOON (Thomas & Mercer; April 18, 2017).  New York Times bestselling author, Lisa Scottoline calls it “a powerful follow-up to Orchids and Stone, Lisa Preston’s The Measure of the Moon is a beautifully rendered story - in fact, two stories - which weave together the certainty  of how our actions and choices affect one another with far-reaching consequences.”
When eight-year-old Greer Donner falls off his horse in the Washington wilderness, he braces himself to face the long hike home alone. But screams pierce the darkness, and he stumbles upon a dead-end road where a man is beating a woman—nearly to death. In a moment of courage, he stops the assault, but he’s left to face the man, who turns his wrath into an ominous threat: if the boy ever reveals what he has seen, his family will pay the ultimate price. The secret Greer now carries begins his emotional unraveling.
Meanwhile, in Seattle, Gillian Trett is a photographer with a troubled marriage and a childhood she’s trying to forget. Domestic tension mounts when her husband’s stepsister arrives. Desperate for a distraction, and a way to advance her career, Gillian throws herself into uncovering the history behind an old man’s Holocaust photo of boys in a forest. The mysterious children and the truth behind the scene haunt her—she can’t let go of the image, or of her own shadowed past.
Then a horrifying revelation entangles Gillian’s path with young Greer’s. The boy and the woman, separated by a generation and a hundred miles, each confront the terrible power of harbored secrets—not only to eclipse the truth but also to illuminate the dark, unknown dimensions of their loved ones and themselves.

My thoughts....3 stars

THE MEASURE OF THE MOON starts off strong but devolves into convoluted (and for me unnecessary) subplots with an almost bewildering array of characters.
It feels as if  multiple book plots have been crammed into one. Greer and his tale are all but lost in the other characters and their stories. It borders on being too busy to enjoy what the book is supposed to be about. My interest was rekindled about midway through, waxing and waning to the end.  There’s a good story there, unfortunately you have to wade through the clutter to get to it.



How do you feel about "busy" books. Some people prefer them. Let me know in the comments below (don't forget your email for contact if you win) and you'll be entered to win.

Visit Lisa

Thursday, April 20, 2017

What y'all been doing?

It's been busy in this corner of the world. Work is busy. Oldest & HRH are living w/ us temporarily....Downsized a bit early maybe? We're making it work.
Along w/ all that I've been sewing & crocheting. Here's a few of the things I've made recently. This giraffe blankie was for a friends 1st grand & I've about finished Elena's. She's my newest grand, born Tuesday. 
This matelasse afghan was sent to a friend for Christmas.


& these are the latest additions to HRH's wardrobe...


Might get a table at the craft sale this year.  What y'all been up to? Do tell....

Sunday, April 9, 2017

LONDON CALLING Review


 In the years following World War II, former Secret Service employee Mirabelle Bevan has found a refuge in the quiet coastal town of Brighton. But she can’t seem to resist an attraction to danger and a thirst for justice . . .

1952: Eighteen-year-old debutante Rose Bellamy Gore was last seen outside a Soho jazz club in the company of a saxophone player named Lindon Claremont. Now her mysterious disappearance is front-page news in the London tabloids.

When Lindon turns up the next day in Brighton, desperately seeking help, Mirabelle counsels him to cooperate with the authorities. After the local police take the musician into custody and ship him off to Scotland Yard, Mirabelle and her best friend, Vesta Churchill, hop a train to London in search of the truth.

As they scour smoky jazz clubs searching for clues to the deb’s disappearance, they descend into a sinister underworld where the price of admission can be one’s life. Mirabelle will need to draw on her espionage skills to improvise her way out of a disappearing act of her own . . .(synopsis from Amazon)

3.5 stars
Mirabelle Bevan and Vesta Churchill are an unlikely investigative duo in England the years after WWII. It’s 1952, the war is over, Mirabelle’s lover has been dead for 3 years, she’s taken over McGuigan and McGuigan Debt Recovery, and hired Vesta as her assistant.

In the war, Mirabelle worked in intelligence. What she didn’t glean from her position was taught to her by her lover, Jack. This mini education has borne fruit in Mirabelle and Vesta’s adventures so far.

Jazz is taking England’s youth and youthful minded by storm. The clubs that feature the music are described as dives and the musicians aren’t thought much better of than the venues they play.

Lindon Claremont, sax player and childhood friend of Vesta, turns up at the Brighton office on the run from London. Rose Bellamy Gore has been kidnapped and the police suspect Lindon. After hearing of Vesta’s previous crime solving, he comes to her seeking help.

LONDON CALLING takes Mirabelle and Vesta away from Brighton to London. From the tony neighborhood of Belgravia to the slums of the East End, they seek Rose and answers about the who and why of her disappearance.

Mirabelle and Vesta, despite the odds and danger, are determined to get justice for all involved, one way or another. For Vesta, this one’s personal.

Mirabelle, always dignified and elegant; Vesta, bright, lively, and highly observant. These two are perfect foils. They manage to keep their cool and their class, not always easy.

Their “cases” are always deep and twisted, keeping readers guessing.

The addition of a new character and a spaniel pup show promise.

The era has never been an especial favorite, but I’m becoming quite fond of it when Mirabelle and Vesta inhabit it.

Looking forward to book 3.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Jill Mansell's MEET ME AT BEACHCOMBER BAY excerpt w/ giveaway!

Title: Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay
Author: Jill Mansell
Pub Date: May 2, 2017

International bestseller Jill Mansell weaves a heartwarming tale of love, family and friendship in her latest novel

1. A brief encounter that could have become so much more…if only everything were different
2. Step-sisters, bitter rivals in every area except one—by unbreakable pact neither will ever steal a man from the other
3. A love triangle that starts out as a mess of secrets and mix-ups, and only gets worse from there

Plus!
Friendship, family ties, crossed wires and self-discovery, second chances and first impressions

Welcome to Jill Mansell’s blustery seaside world. Once you step inside, you’ll never want to leave!

With over 10 million copies sold, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Mansell writes irresistible and funny, poignant and romantic tales for women in the tradition of Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella and Jojo Moyes. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.


GIVEAWAY a Rafflecopter giveaway
Jill Mansell book bundle and a British summer tumbler

EXCERPT
Will you be my boyfriend?”
Ronan looked at Clemency. To be honest, they weren’t the words he’d been expecting to hear. “Excuse me?”
Paula and Gavin had gone home; it was just the two of them in the office. Clemency was sitting on her desk with her bare legs swinging, because she’d just painted her toenails with scarlet polish and was encouraging them to dry.
OK, not my real boyfriend.” She waved her hand dismissively. “But, you know, if you could bear to fake it for a week or two, I’d really owe you one. And it’s not as if you’re seeing anyone at the moment, so it wouldn’t be putting you out.”
Ronan frowned. “What’s brought this on? Is someone pestering you?”
No, just driving me nuts.” Rubbing her face, Clemency said, “Seriously, Belle’s doing my head in. She’s so smug, I just can’t bear it any more. It’s all ‘Oh look, here’s me with my perfect gorgeous boyfriend and then there’s poor you with nobody at all.’ She won’t stop showing off about it and making out I’m some sad, lonely spinster. I swear to God, it feels like we’re fifteen again and all I want to do is stuff her head down the loo or wait until she’s asleep and chop off all her hair.”
Did you ever stuff her head down the loo when you were fifteen?”
Well, no, but the urge was pretty strong. And now it’s back. But I know I’m not allowed to actually do it, so I thought maybe it’s easier to just get myself a boyfriend instead.”
And you’ve chosen me to be the one. Can I hazard a guess why?”
Because if I pick someone boring and average looking, that’ll just make her more smug. And because she’s always had a thing about you, which means…OK, she’s got Sam now, but she’ll still be a little bit jealous.”
And?” Ronan prompted when she paused and waggled her toes. He knew Clemency too well, could read her like a book.
Well, I did kind of happen to mention to Sam that you and I were seeing each other.”
Ah.”
I didn’t mean to,” Clemency protested. “But like I said, Belle has been really unbearable, and I said it on the spur of the moment. It just popped out.”
Oh dear.” Ronan nodded sympathetically. “So you’re going to look pretty silly if I say no now.”
I am. I will. I’ll look like one of those desperate old spinsters who fantasize about men they know they’ll never have a chance with. Word will get out and I’ll be the laughing stock of St. Carys.”
The whole of Cornwall, probably.”
So will you do it?”
Not sure. What’s in it for me?”
Wild sex, obviously.” Clemency raised an eyebrow at him. “That was a joke.”
Thank goodness for that. I don’t have sex with desperate old spinsters.”
OK, so are you going to be my fake boyfriend, or do I have to find someone else?”
As she had undoubtedly known he would, Ronan said, “Go on then, we’ll give it a whirl. Might be fun.”
And it’ll definitely annoy my sister.” Clemency did a triumphant fist bump. “Thanks.”
Ronan shrugged. “Hey, it’s not as if anyone’s going to be surprised, is it?” For the last two years, as long as they’d been colleagues, people had been asking when he and Clemency were going to get together. It was a standing joke among their friends. They were the perfect match, was the general consensus, and everyone wondered why it hadn’t happened yet.
Well, that’s true enough. We’d better tell your mum, though. It wouldn’t be fair to let her get her hopes up—you know she’s always wanted us to get together.” Clemency had been tentatively prodding the nail polish on her toes. “Yay, all dry. We can go now.” Jumping down from the desk, she slid her feet into silver flip-flops. “We’ll start tomorrow, OK? Try not to go out and fall in love with someone else tonight.” She waved her keys at him. “Just remember, I’m your girlfriend now.”
What was she like? Amused, Ronan said, “How could I forget?”

Sunday, March 26, 2017

SINGLE MALT MURDER Review

Abigail Logan never expected to inherit a whisky distillery in the Scottish Highlands. But in the first novel of an engaging new series blending fine spirits with chilling mystery, Abi finds that there are secrets lurking in the misty glens that some will go to any lengths to protect . . . even murder. (synopsis from Amazon)

4 Stars
In no shape, form or fashion is it evident that SINGLE MALT MURDER is Melinda Mullet’s first book. A setting that makes you wish you could live there, a solid well-constructed mystery, complex characters, and the chance to learn about a topic that isn’t one you encounter every day.

Abi and Grant both start off on the prickly side but warm up nicely. Their attraction simmers in the background, never dominating. Personally speaking, that’s a good thing.

Balfour, the Haven, and Abby Glen all made me long to hop a plan and relocate.

Abby Glen is a distillery for single malt whisky, and as such there are details about the process and a few historical tidbits. Interesting, but if you’ll have to discover the difference between whiskey and whisky on your own.

Whoduunit and why kept me on my mental toes and kudos to those who figure out every detail. I certainly didn’t, but that’s half the fun, isn’t it?

Ms. Mullet has set the bar high for her follow up. If SINGLE MALT MURDER is anything to judge by, she should meet the challenge handily.
Looking forward to my next trip to Balfour.


Friday, March 17, 2017

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE AIRPORT





Melly Woodruff has the worst luck with men. Every time another relationship fails, she jumps on a flight to visit a friend and take her mind off her lack of love. On another broken-hearted trip, a fellow passenger gets out of hand and Wes Truitt, the on-board air marshal steps in. It doesn’t take Melly long to remember they’d met before. Because what happens in the airport doesn’t always stay at the airport…


Amazon





My thoughts
3.5 Stars
Is a sweet “was that first encounter really that special” romance. Wes and Melly met on a flight and connected. Melly waited for a call from Wes, one that never came. Two years and another failed relationship for Melly later their paths cross again on, you guessed it, an airplane.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE AIRPORT is a quick romantic read incorporating several aspects of modern culture from air marshals on flights to social media and viral videos. Wes, Melly, and their romance are believable and sweet without being twee.