Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Review of I Do...Again by Nancy Fraser

  


"I Do...Again" is a short story by Nancy Fraser that is featured in the multi-author anthology Last Chance Beach: Summer's End. I had the opportunity to review this short story and am sharing my thoughts with you today. You can also read an excerpt and then buy the anthology for just 99 cents! I can't wait to check out the other stories inside it. Be sure to follow the tour for even more and of course, best of luck entering the giveaway at the end!


LAST CHANCE BEACH is the island paradise where dreams go to live again and wishes may come true. It’s Summer’s End on the island, and the cottages, condos, hotels, and bungalows are filled to capacity.

There’s still plenty of time to find summer fun and summer love, new romances and second chances; hot alpha males and heartwarming heroes, beach bunnies, dudes, and romance popping up when you least expect it.

Throw a log on the beach bonfire tonight and celebrate LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End, a special collection of 14 short stories from bestselling authors—all new, never published before—that will thrill the hopeful romantic in you. Some stories are sweet; some are sizzling hot. All will touch your heart and make you want to book a vacation to LAST CHANCE BEACH!

Hot August Night by Joan Reeves, NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Can a chef and a hot dog loving cop resist desire when they’re forced to share the same overbooked beach cottage?

Something New by Liz Flaherty, USA Today Bestselling Author
Their lives are all planned out--until they're not.

I Do…Again by Nancy Fraser, Amazon Top 100 Author
Thirty-five years earlier, Lily Abbott and Mitch Colby exchanged wedding vows in a quaint ceremony attended by a small crowd consisting of four Micronauts, a one-eyed pet rock, two special-edition Barbies, and an assortment of stuffed animals. Officiated by Stretch Armstrong, it was the social event of their 8th summer.

Lily never forgot the childhood ceremony. Or the fact her best friend and first love had left her behind and relocated to Boston to pursue an expensive education. Now a divorcee, with college-bound twin daughters, Lily’s moved on and put the foolishness of first crushes and the childish dream of true love behind her.

At eighteen, Mitch had never wanted the expensive education his father mapped out for him. He’d have been perfectly happy to stay in Summerville, marry the love of his life, and settle down. However, when push came to shove, he’d not wanted to upset his ailing mother, and had left everything...and everyone...that he’d wanted behind.

The 25th reunion of the graduating class of Summerville High has brought Lily and Mitch back together at The Sands, a seaside resort on Last Chance Beach. Will one weekend together be enough? Or, is there a possibility for more?


The Man in Gull Cottage by Caroline Clemmons, Amazon Top 100 Author
Will the solution to her dilemma drive them apart or into one another's arms?

That One Summer by Maddie James, Amazon Top 100 Author
He's the one who got away. She's the one who couldn't commit.

Romancing the Spouse by Jan Scarbrough, Amazon Bestselling Author
Can she turn back the clock to save her marriage?

Blue Sky Summer by Kathleen Lawless, Amazon Bestselling Author
Of all the beaches on the coast, who does she see again? Him!

Hangover Husband by Bonnie Edwards, Amazon Bestselling Author
What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there.

One Last Shot by Marcia King-Gamble, National Bestselling Author
She can run, but can she hide? Will love still find her?

Secondhand Hearts by Kathryn Hills, Award Winning Author
Life takes you down many winding paths. Will theirs lead to love on Last Chance Beach?

Paradise Perfume by Connie Vines, Award Winning Author
Fragrance and love cannot be hidden.

Dreams of the Past by Laura Hunsaker, Award Winning Author
Can dreams of the future erase her nightmares of the past?

Beach Kisses & Sunset Wishes by Nora LeDuc
She wants someone interested in a fling. He wants someone interested in a ring.

Can't Buy Me Love by Hannah Rowan
Things aren't always what they seem.



Read an excerpt from "I Do...Again"
The soles of her sandals skittering across the wet surface, Lily Abbott landed on the weather-worn dock with a loud thump, her backside slapping against the damp slats in the same way a fish flops around on the ground after being pulled from the lake.

So much for a graceful entry.

She glanced from side-to-side, wondering if any of her former classmates had seen her awkward faux pas. Gracie Potts and Shep Warren stood off to the side, more engrossed in each other than those around them. Ellie Cabot was stoking the campfire, poking at it with angry jabs and then letting loose a string of curse words when the embers jabbed back.

At least half of the varsity football team were huddled around two well-stocked coolers, chugging beers and laughing about past victories.

Off in the distance, laughter, mixed with strains of Meatloaf’s I’d Do Anything for Love, floated across the warm night air from the hotel’s patio. Nostalgic music from their senior year...as if time could be turned back, memories either revived or erased.


(affiliate link)


**My thoughts**
I've been reading a lot of second chance romances lately, so that was part of the reason this story caught my eye. And then it also takes place during their 25th high school reunion. Mine was supposed to be this year, until COVID, so that appealed to me. Of course, I have no interest in trying to rekindle anything with anyone I dated during those days!

Lily and Mitch had grown up together, were best friends, and were madly in love with each other, but then life happened. Neither one forgot about the other. And when you have that kind of a past together, you just know that you're going to be able to pick up almost where you left off. And honestly, the time likely wasn't right the first time around, so you know this time is going to work.

I usually prefer stories like this to be in a longer novel format, but this one worked well just the way it was. I enjoyed reading it and it did make me a little nostalgic for the past. 

I'm looking forward to reading other stories in this collection!




Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for four publishers. She has published thirty-one books in full-length, novella, and short format.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

Media:

Website: www.nancyfraser.ca 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfraserauthor @nfraserauthor 

Facebook: http://facebook.com/nancyfraserauthor 

Bookbub: http://bookbub.com/profile/nancy-fraser 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7206382.Nancy_Fraser



Nancy Fraser will be awarding $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Bridge Home (Back to Bluestone River #3) by Virginia McCullough Book Tour Grand Finale

 

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops, you'll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

. . . Even more than A FAMILY FOR JASON and THE CHRISTMAS KISS, A BRIDGE HOME is a multigenerational story about the longing for home, family, and love that will last. Maybe at its heart, Amy and Eric’s story is about the power of believing in ourselves and each other. Be sure to enter the drawing!

—Virginia


Amy smiled and exhaled. She’d been holding her breath and didn’t even know it. “I trust you, Eric. My reluctance to open up is about me.” She let out a nervous snicker. “Who wants to talk about their failures?”

He didn’t respond in words, but gave her an understanding look.


"Everything was percolating so well in this installment - from how the community was rallying together to discuss their future plans for development and to how Amy needed to find her footing in her choices to return to Bluestone River. Even Eric was at a crossroads in his life wherein he needed to sort through what was motivating him and the choices he needed to be making. . . This is a story about choices and owning them once they are made as everyone needs a boost of confidence at different junctions of their lives. . . . What keeps you rooted in the series is the familiar way in which McCullough makes you feel like you've gone home yourself - Back to Bluestone River!"


“So smart to wear sunglasses on this bright, sunny day,” Amy said, taking a final picture of Eric and Cassie looking triumphant standing with the snow lady between them. She sent a couple of her best photos to Eric’s phone. “Her crossed legs and shoes make her very special, Cassie.”

“I love her,” Cassie exclaimed, clapping her hands and jumping up and down. “She’s Miss Sparkle, the best snow lady ever.”

Remembrancy - Review

". . . the romance is engaging. What really makes this series enjoyable is the way the town is coming together to re-energize their home and bring visitors in. From the covered bridge to the charity bike ride to the Fourth of July parade, something is always being cooked up, and you can’t help but feel the excitement and energy."


"Virginia McCullough wraps up her Back To Bluestone River series with A Bridge Home: A Clean Romance. This book is part of the Heartwarming collection from Harlequin. If you are a fan of books one and two, you will not be disappointed with book three. . . . I found the story charming, witty, entertaining and compelling enough to have substance without being heavy. It's the right balance of serious and humorous together with likeable characters that make A Bridge Home an excellent read. And, it's a clean story, which are hard to find these days. Romance readers will enjoy this book!"


"This is a familiar scenario of life in a small town. Many of the youth are anxious to leave, yet often, it is the place they return to. . . . This is a wonderful small town story with typical small town dilemmas. It is a relaxing drama with a few "twists"."


"I love this series. Full of make you televised stories. There is plenty of heart and feels. At times this book will hit you in the heart and get a little teary. . . . I loved Eric and Amy. Eric finally gets his chance, but he has to be patient and weather the little storms that come their way."


“That’s me and Miss Sparkle at the Snowball Fair,” Cassie said. “Remember, we got the Special Mention ribbon and we had burgers and fries.”

“Oh, I do recall that day. As a matter of fact, I have the same picture on my fridge.”

“Really?”

“Yes, really. And I also remember you and your mom feeding an apple to one of the horses.”

Splashes of Joy - Review

"This small town was special in the way they pulled together to save their heritage. A town I would love to live in. . . . . There is so much more going on in this story and author Virginia McCullough does an amazing job of weaving it all together to make A Bridge Home the Heartwarming story it is. If you enjoy a good clean Romance, I am sure you will love this one. And check out the other books in this series by Virginia McCullough. They are the same Heartwarming romance as this one is."


She took a deep breath. Yikes, she was overreacting. Her past with Scott had triggered this anger and was bleeding into her exchange with Eric. She forced a smile. “Let’s just say my feelings about the bridge are about what, in my opinion, is good for the town.” She pointed toward the wooden mess. “I admit I have a certain emotional attachment to it. But I’m beginning to understand why some people in town don’t feel the same way.”

“Well, that’s good.” His blue eyes softened. “I do have a fondness for some old things,” he said, smiling now. “I care enough to invest my savings into rehabbing a worn-out eyesore of a house.”
 

"A Bridge Home is another great installment in this series. You will be invested in the town’s bridge, in the town itself, and in the characters who take center stage this time around. McCullough seamlessly weaves in witty dialogue, emotional dimension, and swoony romance, making this a book you won’t easily put down until you’ve turned the last page."

Pause for Tales - Review

"This is a gentle love story of second chances of the sort. Amy letting go of past mistakes and Eric finally, maybe getting the chance with Amy he has always wanted. Throw in a little family drama and you have yourself a heartfelt read."

Hallie Reads - Review

"A Bridge Home is another sweet addition to Virginia McCullough’s Back to Bluestone River series! . . . Naturally, living in a small town gives Eric and Amy plenty of opportunities to explore their feelings and the possibilities of their relationship. I so enjoyed getting to know them as they did so, in addition to revisiting the charming town. A Bridge Home proves to be a delightful read for anyone in need of some contemporary romance!"


"What a heartwarming, sweet romance story. This is the third book in the series. I have not read the other two books, but I did not have any issues following along. . . . I love how the author has touched on divorced kid issues. I am a product of a divorced family. My two younger boys are a product of a divorced family. I love how the story builds from this meeting.

This story contains well written characters, a original storyline and flows nicely."


"Clean, wholesome, sweet read that tugs at the heartstrings and makes you want to get up and hug everyone! Messages of compromise, adjusting, and learning to trust are apparent; and McCullough creates a beautiful story that is realistic while being uplifting. . . . Those who’ve read the previous two novels and fans of the author will likely want to read this. Anyone who enjoys clean, wholesome, and a story with a beautiful ending will enjoy it as well."

Rincón de Joss - Excerpt

For the few minutes Cassie dabbed at her eyes Amy thought about how she wanted to respond. If the boys were being that mean, and she had a feeling the story was true, she had to choose her words even more carefully. She refused to make her daughter feel bad about reacting to anyone taunting Lottie, but she couldn’t allow her to shove other kids.

“I believe you, honey, about the boys being mean, but you can’t go around pushing people,” Amy said, exasperated. “No matter what.”

“I know.”


"This is the third book in this series, and I have been enjoying every single one of them. While it is a part of the series, it is very easily read as a standalone book. . . I really enjoyed this story. It was a perfect escape while sitting on the deck on a lovely summer morning with a latte in hand. I really hope there is more to this series, because you can be sure I will be picking it up as well!"


"Virginia McCullough’s A Bridge Home is a charming contemporary romance written with such warmth and heart that once readers start reading it, they will find themselves completely and utterly hooked. Tender, emotional, intense but uplifting and heart-warming, A Bridge Home is a delightful romantic read with an honorable hero, a kind-hearted and intelligent heroine and a beautifully rendered small town readers would just love to move to. . . a small-town romance that is hard to resist."


Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post...


A Bridge Home
(Back to Bluestone River #3)
By Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
August 1, 2020 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Will a new beginning…

Lead to forever?


What good is a home without a family? School principal Eric Wells finally has the house he’s always wanted, but a painful childhood makes him question his ability to be a father. So when his high school crush Amy Morgan returns to Bluestone River with her troubled daughter, he’s surprised to find he wants to be there for both of them. Will Amy finally give him a chance?

(Affiliate links included.)

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to Amazon affiliate links.)

About the Author


Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia McCullough has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.


Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card and a $25 Etsy eGift Card
Open internationally for those who are eligible
Ends August 12, 2020

Grab Our Button!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Melanie: A Tale of Wonder by Ed Benjamin

  


In this story, a 60-year-old hitchhiker gets hit by a car in Wichita Falls, Texas in July 1995. After receiving treatment in the local hospital, he decides to enter a talent contest to help out a ten-year-old girl, Melanie, when he learns her father is dying. What happens next has the town and the media buzzing.


Book Links:

(affiliate link included)


One reviewer says, "Ed never fails to make you feel good when reading one of his books. This one was no exception."


Ed Benjamin retired from the United States Air Force in 1990 where he served as an aircraft maintenance supervisor.

He currently works part-time as a proposal writer helping companies obtain business with federal, state and local governments.

He also writes short stories; some of which he offers for sale via digital download. He is currently working on a full length novel featuring Harry Miles.

For more information, visit Ed's website at http://EdBenjaminBooks.com

He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/colbenjamin




I was compensated via Twitter for sharing this post. I only share those books that I feel will be of interest to my readers.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Review of A Bridge Home by Virginia McCullough

 

On Tour with Prism Book Tours


Welcome to the book tour for A Bridge Home by Virginia McCullough. This is the third book in her Back to Bluestone River series that I have been greatly enjoying. Read on for my full book review and check out the tour for even more!


A Bridge Home
(Back to Bluestone River #3)
By Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
August 1, 2020 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Will a new beginning…

Lead to forever?


What good is a home without a family? School principal Eric Wells finally has the house he’s always wanted, but a painful childhood makes him question his ability to be a father. So when his high school crush Amy Morgan returns to Bluestone River with her troubled daughter, he’s surprised to find he wants to be there for both of them. Will Amy finally give him a chance?


(Affiliate links included.)


**My thoughts**
This is the third book in this series, and I have been enjoying every single one of them. While it is a part of the series, it is very easily read as a standalone book. Characters from the previous books do make an appearance, but their backstory is not essential to this one. But you will want to definitely go back and read their stories anyway.

This series is definitely one about second chances. As people are returning to the town of Bluestone River, they are seeking to touch home base to start their lives over again after having a great deal of difficulty in life after they left. For these two characters, their lives growing up were difficult, thanks to poor relationships with their parents, but being home is so very important. Eric's father was basically worthless and Amy's parents abandoned her with her grandparents before perishing in an accident. They both have a desire to help the next generation in their lives not have to suffer the same way that they did, and while facilitating this to happen, find some healing in their own lives.

Eric and Amy actually were friends back in high school. Eric had a huge crush on her, but Amy only had eyes for Scott, the man she ended up marrying and divorcing after having their daughter. Eric has just moved back to be the school principal and finds himself encountering Amy more frequently while navigating issues that Amy's daughter Cassie is having at school. I really like Eric and how he handles children who are having problems. I felt a sort of kinship with him, because that was one of my specialties when I was teaching.

Amy is so sweet and so caring, yet protective of her heart, and especially protective of her daughter's heart. She is also very smart and business savvy and is able to make a splash in this small town. She also has an innate desire to help others, particularly Kyra and her foster daughter Lottie, with whom Amy has a special understanding of the roller coaster of feelings.

Amy and Eric are just a natural fit with each other. They really do want the same things in life and I enjoyed watching their bond grow.

And then there is the whole substory about the town's beloved covered bridge being damaged in a storm and the debate about what to do with it and how do you balance maintaining the essence of the small town while also trying to survive and have some progress. I am partial to covered bridges because they were one of my father's favorite things to visit and paint. And I am also sensitive to that balance of preserving a way of life while also making some progress. It will be interesting to keep watching this town work through this and develop if the series continues.

The only weird thing for me with this book was Amy's ex Scott. He wasn't much a part of Cassie's life, and then suddenly started coming around a lot more. I was expecting there to be more going on with him as the story unfolded. It felt like his presence was a bit of an afterthought and then he kind of disappeared. And this one did resolve a little faster than I expected, almost as if the word count limit was imminent and it had to end.

Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this story. It was a perfect escape while sitting on the deck on a lovely summer morning with a latte in hand. I really hope there is more to this series, because you can be sure I will be picking it up as well!

Thank you to the publisher, author, and to Prism Book Tours for providing me with a requested review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Other Books in the Series

(Linked to Amazon affiliate links.)




About the Author


Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia McCullough has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.


Tour Schedule


Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card and a $25 Etsy eGift Card
Open internationally for those who are eligible
Ends August 12, 2020


Grab Our Button!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy by Patricia V. Davis



Welcome to the Secret Spice Cafe! Author Patricia V. Davis is here today to share her trilogy with us plus answer 13 special questions. The number 13 is very important! You can follow the tour to learn even more. Please feel free to ask the author more questions along the way. Enter the giveaway for a $25 gift card! And stay tuned, because I'll be reviewing the first book, Cooking for Ghosts, in a couple of weeks!


Do hearts broken long ago forever leave a tangible trace?

A Vegas cocktail waitress. An Indian herbalist. A British chemistry professor. An Italian-American widow. Four unique women with one thing in common: each is haunted by a tragedy from her past.

Cynthia, Rohini, Jane, and Angela meet on a food blogging site and bond over recipes. They decide on impulse to open The Secret Spice, an elegant café on the magnificent ocean liner, the RMS Queen Mary, currently a floating hotel in Long Beach, California. Rich in history and tales of supernatural occurrences, the ship hides her own dark secrets.

The women are surrounded by ghosts long before they step aboard, but once they do, nothing is quite what it seems. Not the people they meet, not their brooding chef's mystic recipes, and not the Queen Mary herself. Yet the spirits they encounter help them discover that there's always a chance to live, as long as one is alive.

An Official Pulpwood Queens Book Club Selection, and read by Ann Marie Gideon, COOKING FOR GHOSTS is an unforgettable tale of love, redemption, and divine female power.


(affiliate links)



Do hearts broken long ago forever leave a tangible trace?

A Vegas cocktail waitress. An Indian herbalist. A British chemistry professor. An Italian-American widow. Four unique women with one thing in common: each is haunted by a tragedy from her past.

Cynthia, Rohini, Jane, and Angela meet on a food blogging site and bond over recipes. They decide on impulse to open The Secret Spice, an elegant café on the magnificent ocean liner, the RMS Queen Mary, currently a floating hotel in Long Beach, California. Rich in history and tales of supernatural occurrences, the ship hides her own dark secrets.

The women are surrounded by ghosts long before they step aboard, but once they do, nothing is quite what it seems. Not the people they meet, not their brooding chef's mystic recipes, and not the Queen Mary herself. Yet the spirits they encounter help them discover that there's always a chance to live, as long as one is alive.

An Official Pulpwood Queens Book Club Selection, and read by Ann Marie Gideon, COOKING FOR GHOSTS is an unforgettable tale of love, redemption, and divine female power.






Dare to Believe in Your Power...

A long-lost grandmother. A stay-at-home mom. A comic book fan. A five-year-old girl with a star-shaped birthmark. And nine more.

The cast is bigger, the stakes are higher. When Sarita's grandmother, a Vodou priestess, foresees a terrible evil, Cynthia, Jane, Angela, and Rohini reunite on a heart-rending mission to save all that's precious to them, including the iconic ship, the RMS Queen Mary. They cannot do it alone--the priestess tells them there must be thirteen on the night of the thirteenth moon. in this life-or-death pursuit. Yet, can she be trusted?

Spiced with history and the supernatural, Demons, Well-Seasoned takes us from 1930s Glasgow, to New Orleans and Harlem in the 1950s, to present day southern California, and back again, on a metaphysical voyage that is both exhilarating and poignant. But before you embark upon this final sail with the denizens of The Secret Spice, be warned: expect to lose sleep, and keep tissues at hand. These valiant characters might just stay with you long after their story comes to a close.

Don't miss Cooking for Ghosts, and Spells & Oregano, Books I and II in The Secret Spice Café Trilogy. The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy is an Official Pulpwood Queens Book Club Selection


Read an excerpt:
The rain was beastly. It blackened the sky. Like a serpent, it sprang from the pavements, coiled around potholes, and slithered along the road’s perimeters. But when it hit the car windows, it fell like tears, the tears of the inconsolable, the tears the Queen hid in her heart.

They were almost there. The most arduous part of the journey, the five-hour train ride from Ballater, was over. They were only six miles from Clydebank, thereabouts, and that was a mercy. She was exhausted already, and apprehensive about speaking in public for the first time. Not to a small gathering, moreover. She’d been told to expect an audience of two hundred thousand at least. That number had her clenching her gloved hand in her lap. Nerves and worry crawled and bumped around inside her in the same way the black Daimler limousine crawled and bumped over the drenched cobblestones and grooved steel tram tracks of Glasgow Road.

Her role was to maintain an air of serenity and confidence, so she kept her jitters to herself. It would be unthinkable to her to voice them aloud, which was just as well, as no one else shared her mood.

Certainly not today. Despite the wet gloom saturating the shoes and clothing of the endless thread of men, women, and children who stood four and five deep on both sides of the streets, their expressions were jubilant as they waved to the Royal motorcade going by. And George, sitting beside her, waved back proudly. As he should do. As he deserved to do.

He’d saved them all.





******************************************

13 Questions for Patricia V. Davis
(Including a question about the Number “13”)


1. Why do some spirits appear as corporeal while others are translucent? 

The opacity issue is addressed in the dialogue. In the world of the three novels, the spirits who died aboard the Queen Mary can appear as they did in life. Gina’s the only spirit who has trouble staying ‘solid’ if you will, because technically, she has no business haunting the ship, as she didn’t die aboard. 

2. Makes sense. But, in Spells and Oregano, there was one character in particular who looked really scary. Why? (No spoilers here.) 

What happens to that character in Cooking for Ghosts brings so many elements of the plot forward, but she has such a sad experience, that it just broke my heart to leave it that way, even though she was only a very minor character. So she returns as a powerhouse.

3. Would you say that Gina lied when she said that Sarita was in danger?

I’d say Gina knew that Luca needed to be aboard that ship. 

4. The women suspect the perpetrator, but dismiss their concerns. Why? 

The women tamp down on that thought because that’s what we women do all the time. We’re so afraid of making a fuss, of making others feel uncomfortable. We’ve been trained that way. Women have been killed in real life because they didn’t want to speak up about someone they perceived as a threat. 

5. In Cooking for Ghosts, Jane argues with the others about hiring Cristiano, and walks off when she loses that argument. In Spells and Oregano, Cristiano argues with the others about hiring Luca, and walks off when he loses that argument. Just a coincidence?

I’m glad you noticed. I wrote it that way deliberately. I wanted there to be that comparison. I thought it was a fun way to introduce the ‘guy stuff’ going on with Cris that wasn’t present in the first novel, wherein he was mostly the Byronic hero. 

6. In Demons, Well-Seasoned, your descriptions of Haitian Vodou (Voodoo) are very different than what we see in shows like American Horror Story.

Hollywood makes a mockery of it. I went to New Orleans to interview two practitioners. It’s so sad that many people don’t know that there’s so much beauty and history to Vodou.

7. Why is the heading for Chapter 13 in all three novels in the series the only one not written out? 

It’s because the ghosts reveal themselves in that chapter. Also, the number “13” is a significant one in the ship’s history, as we discover. That’s why I told you to come up with thirteen questions.

8. Fun. I didn’t know that was why, and it was hard to come up with just thirteen. Here’s the next: What’s the significance of the seagulls?

In Spells and Oregano, Sarita mentions that seagulls “mate for life.” When I found myself writing about Cris and Rohini walking along the shore as they uncovered some hidden problems in their marriage, I put two seagulls in the background as a metaphor. 

9. Nice. What’s the most interesting research you did for this series?

Talking to ship aficionados was fun. They’re so passionate about their subject. Talking to a Vodou priestess, to David Copperfield, was amazing. But I think the most unique research for the series was asking an acquaintance who was staying aboard the Queen Mary to time how long it took to fill up the bathtub in her suite with her in it. 

10. Was talking like a magician one of the things you spoke with David Copperfield about? 

David and I spoke primarily about the time-consuming, vital, and grueling details of creating a successful performance. But as far as the silly things Santi and Luca say during their act — that was all derived from Francis C. Hill’s 1910 resource book for magicians, A Half Hour of Magic.

11. Was David Copperfield your inspiration for Luca and Santi? 

Apart from their striking looks and their success, no. The inspiration for them comes from a different source, which will remain anonymous. In many ways, Luca and Santi could be the same person, except that their life experiences, their individual talents, their unique perceptions of certain events, brought out different things in each brother. Even their names have similar meaning: Luca means “light” and Santi means “saint.” 

12. You love to give your characters names with significant meaning. In your Author’s Notes you make mention of some. Any you left out that you’d like to share? 

Let’s see — ‘Dr. Menville’ was named after Bruce Willis’s character in Death Becomes Her. Angela’s ‘Uncle Nunzio’ is named after an old friend’s cheating ex-boyfriend. It was gratifying naming him and visualizing him down there at the bottom of the ocean “swimming with the fishes.”

13. Ah … that’s scary, but okay. So, which character are you most like?

I think I share traits with all, but if I had to choose only one, I’m most like Gina. She’s short, Sicilian, and hot-tempered, so a no-brainer. 

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Fun Quiz: Which Cooking for Ghosts Character Are You Most Like? Take the test at the link and find out: https://www.gotoquiz.com/which_cooking_for_ghosts_character_are_you_mo



PATRICIA V. DAVIS's debut novel series, THE SECRET SPICE CAFE, is comprised of three books: COOKING FOR GHOSTS (2016) SPELLS AND OREGANO (2017) and DEMONS, WELL-SEASONED. (2019) The audio books will be released in 2020 by Tantor Media, and narrated by Ann Marie Gideon. Patricia lives with her husband, who is both a poker player and a rice farmer, so she divides her time between southern Nevada and northern California. Say hello to Patricia at her author website: www.TheSecretSpice.com


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorpatriciavdavis/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patriciaVdavis

TikTok: @patriciavdavis

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_V._Davis


The author is giving away a $25 Amazon/BN gift card. Follow the tour for more chances to win! 

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Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Blind Date Rescue (Disaster City Search & Rescue) by Jo Grafford



When a tropical storm serves up a second chance at love for a once-burnt-twice-shy kind of guy...

Champion surfer Ford Anderson is a classic shy guy. He’s far more comfortable riding the next big wave than he is braving the perils of dating. So when his best friend and self-proclaimed wingman tries to wheedle him into going on a blind date, he turns him down flat. A mere few hours later, a news alert identifies his would-be dinner date as the woman stranded on a sinking yacht.

Though he’s certified to handle water rescues, Ford can’t help feeling guilty, knowing the lovely marine biologist would be safely enjoying a meal on dry land if he’d asked her out like he was supposed to. With a storm brewing and the water turning treacherous, there aren’t many surfers who can handle the kinds of waves blowing in. In fact, he knows only one surfer skilled enough to handle the mission — him.

Looks like Ford will be getting to meet his brilliant and beautiful blind date, after all!


Available on Amazon
(affiliate link)





Jo is an Amazon bestselling author of sweet and inspirational romance stories with humor, heart, and happily-ever-afters.

Readers can connect with her in Cuppa Jo Readers on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/CuppaJoReaders and Bookbub at https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jo-grafford. To join her New Release Email List, visit JoGrafford.com.







I was compensated via Fiverr for sharing this post. I only share those books that I feel will be of interest to my readers.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Review of The Baby Contract (Four Irish Brothers Winery) by Nan Reinhardt



The Four Irish Brothers Winery series is a fun one! And you can read each book as a standalone. I've read a couple of them and need to go back to make sure I finish all of them. Today, we are talking about the fourth book in the series, The Baby Contract, and I have my review below. There's also an excerpt from the book and a great giveaway at the end. Be sure to follow the tour to maximize on all of the fun!


She wants a baby…he wants a family

Firefighter and paramedic Tierney Ashton has always been a bold adventurer, but at thirty-four she longs to embark on a new adventure—motherhood. But who will be the father? Although financially challenging, a sperm bank appears to be her best option. That is, until she shares her dream with her long-time pal, Brendan Flaherty.

Government analyst and world traveler Brendan Flaherty returns home to River’s Edge to help out at his family’s thriving winery and his brother’s new community theater. He also plans to finally achieve his lifelong goal of writing a novel. But when Tierney shares her wish, Bren offers to be her baby daddy—with one condition. Marriage.

It seems like a perfect contract, but will love get in the way?


Read an excerpt:
This could work.

She wasn’t involved with anyone and neither was he. Fact was, his job kept him so busy with late nights and travel and meetings all over the world, it had been hard to maintain much of a romantic relationship with anyone in DC. Since he’d been home, he’d dated a little, but that spark he’d waited for all his life had yet to materialize.

However, he truly meant what he’d said to Tierney. “Why?” he repeated with a bit more force. “Why is it any crazier than picking a father for your baby off a website?”

Tierney’s eyes narrowed. “You would do that? Go to Nell’s with me, collect a... a sample, and let her inseminate me? Just like that?”

Brendan nearly had to pick his jaw up off the table. That’s what she thinks I'm suggesting? How could she have known him for her whole life and believe for one moment that he’d simply give her his... his... Oh, good Lord. And then what? Walk away? He ran one hand over his face “Of course not!”

She sat up straighter. “Then what, Bren? Because, honestly, right now, that’s all I’m looking for.”

“Well, we... I... I-I can’t do that.” He was floundering, which frustrated him because he rarely floundered. He made presentations regularly to large groups of highly placed government officials all over the world. He could explain the intricacies of diplomacy, answer questions, and meet-and-greet in seven different languages. Now, he was stuttering in front of a woman he’d known since they were both kids. Who knew the most awkward moment of his life would be with Tee? Go figure.

Dammit.



**My thoughts**
I've only read one other book in this series, the one that comes just before this one, and I know I really need to go back and get the first two now. I love these characters! Tierney was the feisty friend that I know I would want in my inner circle. And Brendan was kind of the elusive quiet one that we didn't really know yet. You just know that they are going to be perfect for each other, even though they don't yet realize it and Brendan thinks he is just doing Tierney a favor.

And of course, we get to check in with the other characters from the series and see how they are doing. I love getting the updates. And you really do not need to have read the other books in the series to understand what is happening in this one. But as I always say with a well-done standalone series like this one, you'll want to go back and read the others because the characters are great. I could definitely do with finding a group of people like this. The winery is an added bonus. 

I had moments of laughing out loud and even shed a few tears. This one was easily devoured in an afternoon poolside.

Thank you to Goddess Fish and the author for fulfilling my review request. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today-bestselling author of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. Nan has been a copyeditor and proofreader for over 25 years, and currently works on romantic fiction titles for a variety of clients, including Avon Books, St. Martin’s Press, HarperCollins, Kensington Books, Tule Publishing, and Entangled Publishing, as well as for many indie authors.

Although she loves her life as an editor, writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. She can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t writing—she wrote her first romance novel at the age of ten, a love story between the most sophisticated person she knew at the time, her older sister (who was in high school and had a driver’s license!), and a member of Herman’s Hermits. If you remember who they are, you are Nan’s audience! Her latest series, the Four Irish Brothers Winery series is available from Tule Publishing and all book retailers. Books 1 through 3 are currently available; Book 4 releases July 16, 2020 and is available for preorder.

Visit Nan’s website at www.nanreinhardt.com, where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully…mostly. Nan also blogs every third Tuesday at Word Wranglers, sharing the spotlight with five other romance authors, is a frequent contributor the RWA Contemporary Romance blog, and she contributes to the Romance University blog where she writes as Editor Nan.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authornanreinhardt

Twitter: @NanReinhardt

Talk to Nan at: nan@nanreinhardt.com


Nan Reinhardt will be awarding a set of 6 handmade wineglass charms and a $10 Starbucks gift card. (USA only) to 5 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

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