Fabulous Friday – My Week in Pictures

It’s Friday! This can only be a good thing. This week has been on the wrong side of crazily busy, but hopefully I’ll have the weekend to catch up on everything I need to, ready to start Monday with a blank slate. Today, rather than regale you with written descriptions of what I’ve done this week, I thought I’d let the pictures do the talking.

 

Monday

crazy office

Yep, just another day at the office. Except a bit more exciting.

 

Tuesday

Steam Train

A 5:30 am train to Bristol. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite as pretty as this one, but a girl can dream.

 

Wednesday

editing

Yep, you’ve guessed it, I’m editing.

 

Thursday

housework rules

This is what my husband thinks I do. The reality is similar but without the smile. Or the apron.

 

Friday

reading nook

Managed to grab a bit of time to indulge my favourite habit. Now I just need to find a bookshelf like this

What I’ve been reading this week…

All of the books I read were on special offer this week. Two of them were free via Bookbub alerts (If you don’t subscribe already, you can go here. It’s a great way of finding out special offers in your favourite genres. The other two – Number Thirteen by Bella Jewel and Love Lines by S. Walden – were less than $1.99 when I bought them, and in my opinion they both knocked it out of the park. 

Highlander's Hopenumber thirteenJust this onceLove Lines

 

 

 

Well, that’s pretty much my week in pictures. I hope you all have a great weekend.

Carrie Pink

 

 

Romance Weekly #LoveChatWrite – 25th March

Romance Weekly ChatDo you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

This weeks questions are brought to you by Nina Mason

1.  How does your writing impact your inner life?buffering

I’m so glad nobody can see inside my head! I’m constantly thinking things through, wondering about characters, picturing scenes, imagining the emotions they are all going through. I get inspiration at the strangest of times; maybe driving on the motorway or watching my kids learn to swim. Unfortunately, this can also mean I’m not as responsive as I should be, and when asked a question it can take me up to a minute to reply. My husband says I’m ‘buffering’ which is a great word for it. I’ll answer eventually, but don’t hold your breath!

2.  How do you hope your books affect your readers?

cryingI hope that I send them on a journey that’s worth going on. My stories tend to be emotional, occasionally a little angsty, and I want them to feel all those emotions right along with the characters. When somebody tells me that my stories made them cry, I count that as a good day’s work. This is probably because I LOVE stories that make me cry. I like being a weepy mess, barely able to breathe as I stand right next to a character, feeling their emotions. So that’s what I try and write. Whether I’m successful or not is a different matter!

3.  Has anyone ever told you your book changed their life? If so, how?

Not yet, but maybe one day! I have had messages from readers telling me that they really enjoyed the story, and that it kept them up all night, which is definitely what I’m aiming for when I’m writing. If I can keep you awake and turning the pages, then I’m a happy writer.

 Thanks to Nina for setting some thought-provoking questions! And now to read more Romance Weekly Blog Hop go to http://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com/ and read Leslie Hachtel’s answers!

 

Romance Weekly #LoveChatWrite – 18th March

Romance Weekly ChatDo you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

This weeks questions are brought to you by Ronnie Allen

1.  Who is your favorite author other than yourself in your genre and why?

There are so many authors that I adore, it is extremely difficult to narrow it down to one. But if I really had to choose then my favourite author would be Cara McKenna. cara mckenna She writes smart erotica—sexy stories with depth. A little dark, a little funny, always emotional. She also writes red-hot romance under the name Meg Maguire. Her wonderful publishers are Ellora’s Cave, Harlequin Blaze, Loose-Id, Penguin / Intermix, Samhain, and Signet Eclipse. She loves writing sexy, character-driven stories about strong-willed men and women who keep each other on their toes, and bring one another to their knees.

2.  What is your favorite book by them and why?

My very favourite story by Cara is Willing Victim.

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It was the first book of hers that I read, and it is close to my heart. It was one of the first dark erotic romance books that I ever read, and I loved the way she crafted the story. The hero and heroine are ordinary, working class folks, but you find yourself drawn to them, wanting to know more, and ultimately rooting for their relationship. Reading this book taught me that when crafting a fine story, characterization is king.

3.  What about their style inspires your writing?

One of my favourite blogs to follow is Wonkomance. Cara is one of the contributors to this fantastic writing blog, and I love reading her tips for crafting an interesting and engaging story. For example, in this post, CREATING DYNAMIC HEROES, she writes about the 28/40 method; how to balance the traits of a hero so that he is interesting enough to have a journey you want to follow. Posts like these always make me want to write better stories, which can only be a good thing!

 I hope you enjoyed reading these questions; I had a lot of fun writing the answers. Thanks to Ronnie for setting them! And now to read more Romance Weekly Blog Hop go to http://www.brendamargriet.com/blog.html and read Brenda Margriet’s answers!

 

Book Review – Cursed be the Wicked by J.R. Richardson

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Cooper Shaw lives his life under a pen name and enjoys the anonymity it provides during his journeys across the globe as a seasoned writer for a travel magazine. When his job lands him in his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts to cover the famous Festival of the Dead, he soon realizes that he can’t stay invisible forever as he faces ghosts from a past he’s been trying to forget ever since he left.

The city holds nothing but bad memories for Coop until he meets a quirky young woman with an old soul and curious insights by the name of Finnley Pierce. While she acts as his tour guide through a town he thought he knew, Finn helps him unearth the truth of his childhood and might even begin to open up his heart.

By unraveling the mystery of his father’s murder, Coop may finally accept who he is, where he came from, and perhaps even realize what he wants for his future.

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When I was a child I loved reading stories about journeys. In Lord of the Rings I was Frodo’s constant companion, and I clung onto Lucy Penvensie’s coat tails when she made her epic journey through Narnia in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Luckily for me, some things never change, and when I picked up Cursed be the Wicked by J. R. Richardson, I was delighted that it took me on such an enjoyable and exciting ride.

Ostensibly a paranormal romance, Cursed is the story of Cooper Shaw, a travel writer who floats from assignment to assignment. He seems to live an easy, yet solitary life, but all isn’t as it seems. In the first part of the story we learn that Coop escaped from his childhood home in Salem, Massachusetts under a dark cloud of suspicion. Let down by both his parents, he walked away and never looked back, severing any ties he might have had. When circumstances compel him to return to Salem, his plan is to stay for as short a time as possible, finishing up his article and cleaning up a personal issue at the same time.

But then he meets Finn. A quirky receptionist in the B&B he is staying in, she soon turns out to be more than she appears, and before he knows it, Coop has a companion to help him through his painful days in his childhood town. What follows is a journey into his past, where he has to reconcile his memories with the truth he’s now being told.

To classify this book as a simple love story would be doing it a disservice. In fact, it’s a tale of personal growth, of confronting demons, both perceived and real. It is a story of redemption and love. The characters are so beautifully drawn that by the end of the book I not only felt like I knew them, but wanted to stay with them, even as the story drew to an end. In addition to this, the story line was well plotted and gripping enough to keep me reading on my sofa on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Needless to say, I finished the book in less than a day.

Cursed be the Wicked deserves five beautifully written, well-plotted stars.

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amazon buy

Romance Weekly #LOVECHATWRITE – 11th March

Romance Weekly Chat

Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

This weeks questions are brought to you by J.J. Devine.

1.  When someone finds out you’re an author, how do you handle the statement, “I have a story you should write.”?
whisper

I don’t think anybody has really suggested that to me. I have had conversations with beta readers and friends that help to shape a story in my mind; in fact I sometimes find these conversations invaluable in the story-writing process. But nobody has ever come up to me and told me that have a great story for me to write. If they did … well it would definitely depend on the story. If it fired up my imagination, I’d definitely be all ears. I take inspiration from so many different sources, having somebody mention something that happened to them would be more than welcome!

2. Do you write what you read?

Yes! I love romance novels of all kinds. Historical, contemporary, paranormal, suspense – you name it and I’ve probably read it. What I do try to avoid, however, is reading anything that is too close in composition to any work-in-progress I have. That’s because I find myself unconsciously absorbing the author’s writing style, and that can deviate my story at a point I don’t want it to.

I can’t imagine not reading romantic novels. I currently get through two or three a week (I’m a voracious reader) and when I’m on holiday I can easily get through eight or more. So my request to all you romantic writers out there is please keep up the good work – I can never get enough!

3. People often mistake the lifestyle of a writer as glamorous, give us the scoop, what about your lifestyle would shock your readers?

I have to say I thought it would be glamorous, too. I imagined I would be a modern-day version of Daphne Du Maurier, sweeping in and out of rooms wearing long, swishy skirts, and overlooking a troubled Cornish sea as I typed on a manual typewriter. The rather more mundane reality is that I have to fit writing in between every day life. Somehow I manager to squeeze daphneit between going to work, looking after the children, trying to get to the gym and spending time with friends and family (most of whom don’t know I’m a writer.) So I fit in stolen moments when I can. Tapping on my iPad before I go to sleep, for example, or correcting first drafts while watching swimming lessons. When I get a whole, free day to myself, I don’t find I use my time any better. In fact, I sometimes think my writing is better for being time-limited. It gives me the opportunity to think through the plot, characters and word use while I’m doing other things, rather than rushing on.


 I hope you enjoyed reading these questions–I really enjoyed thinking through the answers. Thanks to J.J. for setting them! And now to read more Romance Weekly Blog Hop go to http://kimhandysides.com/ and read Kim’s answers!

 

Book Review and Giveaway – My Mr Manny by Jennifer Garcia

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MyMr Manny Cover (Jennifer Garcia) (3)

 

Mia Balducci misses her childhood days and yearns for the big, Italian family that she left behind in small town Massachusetts. At the tender age of sixteen, Mia moves with her bachelor father to Los Angeles, but no matter how many years pass, it never becomes home to her. The years spent living with her father aren’t easy, especially since she can’t stop thinking about what she once had. Her enrollment in the University of Southern California promises to bring exciting changes to her life, but Mia winds up with big problems instead. When she runs into an old friend from her old hometown of Winthrop, she gets swept up in nostalgia, and she soon loses herself in a quickly-progressing romance. When the fantasy falls apart, she is left to raise her precious little girl, Lucia, on her own. The demands of Mia’s work schedule and Lucia’s needs increase, and their lives become increasingly hectic. It is soon clear to Mia that she needs help. Luckily, her life-saving cousin saves the day and brings the mother and daughter a male nanny – their new “manny.”

After losing his high-pressure job on Wall Street, Dominic Roberts wants to follow his dreams to have a family. He’s already one fiancée down, and there are no likely prospects for another. In order to find the family he so desperately wants, he finds himself getting into the manny business. Since he is fully qualified to provide child care and is eager to leave New York City behind, his sister-in-law is able to land him a job in California working for his first client – the beautiful and intriguing Mia Balducci.

Will Lucia like the new man in her mother’s life? Will Mia? And will this new trio discover the happily ever after they all so desperately seek?

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When I first picked up this book I thought it would be a lightweight, fluffy story about a professional woman and her male au-pair, but nothing could be further from the truth. Although there is lightness in the writing–and the promised HEA–My Mr Manny also explores the pain of a marriage breakup, the fears of moving on, and the fierce attachment that a mother feels toward her child.

The book starts with a scene from Mia’s childhood; a golden time when children could run around the block until nightfall. The scene establishes the importance of her extended family, which is particularly poignant when, at age sixteen, she moves across the country to LA to live with her father. When she reconnects with one of her childhood friends at a college football match, you’d be forgiven to think Mia’s found her HEA. But this is only a small way into the story, and we know from the summary that she has many hurdles to face before she can finally be happy.

As Mia goes through the pain of divorce, we get to feel all her emotions; her fear of the future, hurt for her child and anger at the husband who has rejected them. All this is further confused when she is introduced to her cousin’s brother–a man looking for a change in career–and interviews him for the position of her Manny (a male nanny of course!)

Dominic is hot. We know that from the start because Mia makes herself look a complete fool in front of him. But he’s also kind enough to ignore her fawning, and before long he’s offered the job. What follows is a story of love. Not just between Dominic and Mia, but between her daughter, Lucia, and the two of them as well. Love me, love my child could be Mia’s motto, and it’s clear to see that Dominic does exactly that.

What I loved about the story was the hope that was woven throughout the text. We could have forgiven Mia for feeling angry and bitter after everything she’d faced, after all, who hasn’t wanted to give up when trying to work a full time job and raise a child single-handed? But she doesn’t do that, she strives to give Lucia a happy childhood, and more importantly is willing to accept help where it’s offered. That kind of strength is what attracts Dominic to her, and lights the bright flame that burns between them.

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About the Author

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Author Bio:

Jennifer Garcia’s lifelong love for reading and writing was put aside for many years while she made her way in the world and nurtured her young family. Originally from Boston, she currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. Even though she is older, and life never seems to settle, she’s finding her way while attending college full-time in pursuit of a B.A. in English Literature. She also runs a business, and is still caring for her family. Believing she can do it all, with the help of her family, she worked on her first novel during the late hours of the night while balancing the rest of her life during the day. Her hard work paid off, as her first novel, My Mr. Manny, was released August 2013 and her first novella, In My Mother’s Footsteps, was released July 2013.

Find Jennifer on:

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goodreadsgiveaway

Jennifer Garcia is running a Goodreads Book Giveaway from March 2nd to March 8th, 2014.

Enter for a chance to win a signed book, My Mr. Manny

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Mr. Manny by Jennifer Garcia

My Mr. Manny

by Jennifer Garcia

Giveaway ends March 08, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

For more information please go to Jennifer’s Blog.