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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 15 August 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – AN INFORMAL AFFAIR by HEATHER GRAY

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – AN INFORMAL AFFAIR by HEATHER GRAY

 

Who better to share your dating woes with than your best friend? Who better to compare online dating profiles with? And the dates as a result of online dating?

 

Lia Promise’s love life has been stagnant as yesterday’s IV. With no prospects in sight, Lia takes to online sites. And ropes her bestie in for the ride.

 

But Maverick Hoyt doesn’t feel the need-for-speed, and goes along to make Lia happy. That’s what best friends do, right?

 

As they compare notes, and with one bad date after another, will they realize true love has been right in front of them all along? Will they step aside from their own methods and take a look at the hand of God—and what He just might have been up to all along?

 

 

What a fun and adorable story! Watching the friendship between Lia and Maverick, I felt like I was at the next table at the diner, overhearing (not eavesdropping, never eavesdropping) their conversations. Each week as they commiserated, I could feel the frustration mounting. I wanted to punch more than one mouthy date in the nose, and I wanted to offer my shoulder to cry on. I sensed hearts turning and love blooming—and the resistance to it. I laughed as they laughed and watched, from my table in the corner, as love settled—over one of them.

 

I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

Heather Gray loves coffee, God, her family, and laughter – not necessarily in that order! She writes approachable characters who, through the highs and lows of life, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her. Her books almost always include someone who’s infatuated with coffee, too. Some things just can’t be helped. Heather delights in creating characters who, like her, have their share of faults and foibles, characters who are flawed…but loved anyway.

 

 

 

 

http://www.heathergraywriting.com/

https://www.facebook.com/heathergraywriting/

https://twitter.com/laughdreamwrite

https://plus.google.com/+Heathergraywritingnow

https://www.instagram.com/laughdreamwrite/

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, An Informal Affair, Heather Gray, Love at First Laugh

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 8 August 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – MOWED OVER by CHRISTINA CORYELL

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – MOWED OVER by CHRISTINA CORYELL

 

 

When artist Willow Sharpe throws herself in front of the riding lawnmower to save her fairy world from being mowed over, the landscaper thinks she’s more than a little loopy.

 

Clint-doesn’t-talk-much-Kirkland is fascinated by the pixie artist woman. And yet he is drawn to her.

 

But if opposites attract, can they find common ground and let their hearts do the talking?

 

 

This is my first read by Ms. Coryell and I’m sold. The story zings with fun and the snappy dialogue bounced. As an artist, I totally relate to Willow’s reaction to her endangered fairy scape—and her incessant chatter… And with her heart as love begins to stir. I enjoyed as Willow transferred the things of her life to her fairy character—and when she created a Clint character to go in her storyline.

Ms. Coryell has written a clever story within a story, life imitating life imitating life, love on the page… on the page. Sweet and silly and fair-ily delightful.

 

I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

 

USA Today bestselling author Christina Coryell was born and raised in southwest Missouri, where she lives with her husband and children. She had plenty of people tell her that her degree in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing would be useless. They were probably right. Added to her dual major in History, she became the least likely candidate for nearly every career on the planet, save being a writer. That suits her just fine.

Christina has written from the back hatch of an SUV, in a lawn chair while at soccer practice, in the front seat of her car, with kids climbing on her, and often with extremely loud noise in the background. At least half of her books have been written during baseball games.

She believes great fiction mirrors life, and great life contains a little humor, so it’s difficult not to sprinkle a little funny business throughout her work. Oh…and character is everything.
She loves hearing from readers. You can find all the ways to connect with her at www.christinacoryell.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChristinaCoryell

https://twitter.com/c_tinacoryell

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Mowed Over, Pepper Basham, Love at First Laugh

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 1 August 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – A (nearly) NORMAL NANNY by KRISTA PHILLIPS

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – A (nearly) NORMAL NANNY by KRISTA PHILLIPS

 

 

Making plans is normal. Right?

 

Mari Jenkins had a plan. It was a good plan. She could work the plan. And a stint as a nanny fit in her plan. Sorta.

 

What did not fit in her plan was Brandon Stone. And especially not his spur-of-the-moment style.

 

But Brandon’s impulsive and guileless fun draws Mari away from her carefully scripted life. And her plans—and her hope for normal—flitter away.

 

 

Ms. Phillips weaves such a delightful tale around some not-so-delightful life issues. Mari’s need for control in a life that has been out-of-control hits close to home for this reviewer. Her conflict over letting go of some of that control, and the stirring of love. But will she cling to her plan and her drive for normal? Or will she let go and make room for some not-so-normal in her plan?

 

 

 

 

 

I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

 

Krista Phillips writes inspirational romantic comedy. She believes a sprinkle of laughter (and a wee bit of chocolate) makes everything a little better! She blogs regularly about life as a wife, mother, follower of Jesus, and mother of a child with a rare congenital heart defect at www.kristaphillips.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, A (nearly) Normal Nanny, Krista Phillips, Love at First Laugh

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 25 July 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – SECOND IMPRESSIONS by PEPPER BASHAM

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – SECOND IMPRESSIONS by PEPPER BASHAM

 

Opposites attract. But do they stick?

 

Black and white, no gray area, Ethan Keller.is quite put off by taste-the-rainbow Nora Simeon. Travel weary and utterly out of her element, she does not make a great first impression. Then again, spouting ill-tempered words at the innocent desk clerk, neither does Ethan.

 

Thrust together in a compromising situation, Nora and Ethan both back-pedal their previous foul attitudes. And maybe, just maybe even see the pleasant attributes the other has to offer.

 

As Nora becomes less of an aggravation and problem to be solved, can Ethan taste taste some rainbow in his own life? Does Ethan offer the hand-in-glove solution to Nora’s dilemma?

 

 

 

Ms. Basham has created a colorful masterpiece with her latest Britillachian story. Caught in an unthinkable—and rather compromising—situation, Ethan and Nora run the gamut of reaction and emotion, and Ms. Basham paints their story with skill.

 

 

I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

 

 

 

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader’s Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and a finalist in ACFW’s Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. In December 2016, her third historical in the Penned in Time series, The Thorn Healer – released with a 4 1/2 star review from RT and a Top Picks rating. You can get to know Pepper on her website, http://www.pepperdbasham.com, on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.

 

 

 

 

www.pepperdbasham.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pepper-D-Basham

https://twitter.com/pepperbasham

https://www.pinterest.com/pepperbasham/

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Second Impressions, Pepper Basham, Love at First Laugh

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 18 July 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – NEW RELEASE EVENT – WITH NO RESERATIONS by LAURIE TOMLINSON

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – RELEASE DAY EVENT – WITH NO RESERATIONS by LAURIE TOMLINSON

                                                                             

There can be more than comfort in food… 

What could well-known and wealthy Graham Cooper Jr. have in common with a blogger like Sloane Bradley, a woman with secrets she’s kept firmly out of the public eye? That is, besides a love of food. Sloane still can’t believe Cooper’s the chef at the restaurant she’s been assigned to promote. But she’s boiling to prove to him that her “little blog” can put his place on the map. She can also fall head over heels for the guy, who has secrets of his own, it turns out…except for one thing. She can’t get past the post-traumatic stress disorder that keeps her walled up in her home studio.

 

He’d arranged a bouquet of colored pens in a chunky ceramic mug printed with the Simone logo. Paper clips, Post-it notes and bigger notepads were lined neatly in one corner, arranged by color. A flutter of picture-perfect giddiness set loose in Sloane’s stomach. Bottles of hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes occupied the other corner.

“It’s not much, but—”

“It’s perfect.”

Their eyes held for less than a second, charged with a rushing revelation for Sloane.

Cooper had been paying attention. And, despite all the weirdness, he got her.

 

rem:   Hullo Laurie! Congratulations on your new(ish) book! (which I loved by the way!) If you could live anywhere in any time period, where would you go?

LAURIEI rather like right now! If I could transplant my life to Colorado Springs or Seattle seamlessly (and adjust for cost of living), I love those two cities!

rem:   Both beautiful locations! Where did you find this story idea?

LAURIEIt started with the idea to have a food blogger for a main character, one whose life was much different off screen than as portrayed on her website. I’m a huge fan of food bloggers and will fall for a pretty food photo (and run straight to the grocery store to make it). J

rem:   Loved how you wove the aspects of blogging and food prep into the fabric of the story. Who was the easiest character to write and why? The most difficult?

LAURIE: The story started with Sloane, but Cooper ended up taking over. He was the easiest to write, surprisingly. His father was the hardest. I kept trying to make him more of a villain than my chosen genre allowed.

rem:   He was a tough cookie, and you did that well. What do you munch on while you’re writing / researching / editing?

LAURIEWhite cheddar popcorn and an iced unsweet Arnold Palmer (lemonade + unsweet tea) for sure.

rem:   Yummm to the popcorn, not so much to the beverage… What do you do to recover once you’ve typed “THE END?”

LAURIECatch up on all the books and all the sleep and all the vegetable consumption, of course!

rem:   I like the vegetable consumption bit! Congrats again on entering the world of authors! Well done!

 

Laurie Tomlinson is an award-winning contemporary romance author living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her stories are fueled by faith, steaming mugs of tea, and her belief that life should be celebrated with cupcakes and extra sprinkles. When she’s not writing, she enjoys baking with her two little sous chefs and testing new recipes on her husband—especially if she doesn’t have to do the dishes.

Find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLaurieTomlinson or her website, www.laurietomlinson.com.

 

1 – A stick of Irish butter, cubed into tiny uniform squares. Half-cup portions of white sugar, brown sugar, glittering in the light. And the star of the show, a mixture of chocolate chips and crumbled homemade toffee that was good enough to eat with a spoon. All showcased in sherbet-colored ceramic pinch pots and bowls from the flea market.

 

2 – His words became more flavored with French as he spoke, as if saturated by the remnant of this woman in his mind.

 

3 – Cooper recognized the pain in her eyes like he was looking into a mirror. Yes, he was very

familiar with the kind of grief that sneaks up on you. With the dark, smothering bag it throws over your head and the way it pushes you into the back of a moving van.

 

4 – She scanned the room for Cooper and started when she found him looking directly at her. Whoa. She felt like a dunk-tank seat had plunged her into water.

 

5 – “À la bonne heure.” Cooper could almost hear the words Simone often told him as she poured tea into his mug. “In good time.” Had his time finally arrived?

 

6 – But some time while he was in Paris, Marian had become a different person. He’d returned stateside to a full-color version of the woman who’d been living in black-and-white when he left.

 

7 – This was an unfamiliar intersection—memories of Aaron that made her laugh?

 

8 – But Sloane was aware. Aware of a strange, comforting feeling that was a night-and-day contrast to the pain. To the numbness. Was this what peace felt like? It’d been so long that it was hard for her to recognize it when it sneaked up on her.

 

9 – “No, Cooper.” Sloane aimed a razor-sharp glare at him, but her lower lip trembled. “You don’t understand. You can’t even begin to understand.”

 

10 – …can you be free if you won’t forgive yourself?”

 

11 – That sacred juncture between past and present was a powerful departure from the vicious cycle her life had been. The hand in hers was the love that had taught her to breathe again.

 

Wow! What a story!

 

Sloane Bradley is trapped and emotionally broken by a past tragedy. She had her life in order, a very controlled order, and she likes it that way.

 

Graham Cooper Jr. ran from his past, trading one destructive habit for workaholic. But as his new restaurant nears opening, his passion for cooking sizzles—and for a certain food and promotion blogger.

 

Both determined that they’re the last thing the other needs, Sloane and Cooper resist the attraction that simmers between them. But will their pasts put a sweet future in deep freeze? Or can they discard expired emotions and stir up a new recipe for happiness?

 

 

Ms. Tomlinson’s dialogue sparkles, her writing jumps off the page pulling the reader right in. Emotions are real, and raw, and I could taste the pain and longing. I felt the taunting burn of a past that won’t leave them alone, and the anticipation of hope that maybe the tragedies have reached their expiration date. I felt the need to hang onto the familiar and the longing to taste something new. Ms. Tomlinson has a secret recipe for story telling and it makes a delightful dish.

 

 

I purchased this book on Amazon. I offer my review of my own free will, and the opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, New Release Event, With No Reservations, Laurie Tomlinson

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 11 July 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – NEW RELEASE EVENT – ACTING MARRIED by VICTORINE LIESKE

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – RELEASE DAY EVENT – ACTING MARRIED by VICTORINE LIESKE

 

                                                                            

Tara McDermott needed a job, so she took the only thing available—cleaning house for the swoon-worthy actor, and Hollywood Bad Boy, Rick Shade. When he comes up with a crazy plan to tame his wild reputation by marrying her, she reluctantly agrees so she can pay off her debts and move her daughter back to the Midwest where life is simpler. If only he wouldn’t make her heart pound every time he kisses her.

Rick’s reputation is in the toilet and it’s affecting his job. In order to get a good role, he needs to show Hollywood he’s now a family man. After enticing Tara with a large sum of money to go through with the farce, he sets out to show the public he’s in love. But Tara’s soft lips keep calling to him and soon he doesn’t know what’s pretend and what’s real.

 

Acting Married is a sweet romance.

 

She wanted to say something about Rick and his own relationship issues, but Tara stuffed the words down her throat. She didn’t want to get into another fight with him. She gazed out over the ocean and forced herself to calm down. It wasn’t a good idea to overreact. That only lead to embarrassment.

Rick sighed. “I’m sorry. I stuck my nose where it shouldn’t have been. If you don’t want to go visit your parents, I’ll call Phil back and tell him it’s off.”

“No,” she said, touching his arm. “It’s okay. Maybe we could go see them.”

He slid his arm around her and pulled her to his chest. “I won’t let him hurt you again,” he whispered, then he pressed his lips to the top of her head.

She snuggled into him, ignoring the little voice telling her not to get so close to Rick Shade. “I know,” she said, her voice barely audible. Rick would do everything in his power to protect her and Kylee.

He wrapped both arms around her and she could smell his scent. A tiny hint of cologne mixed with a smell that was unique to Rick. Her heart beat faster.

He pulled back from her. “You know, if we were really married, I’d kiss you right now.” His voice sounded raspy.

She looked up at him. “We are really married. I saw the paperwork.”

His gaze dropped to her lips. “Then I guess I have to.”

“Probably wouldn’t be right if you didn’t.”

He leaned closer, stopping only a breath away from her lips. “I hope those onions I ate earlier don’t ruin the kiss.”

“I’ll let you know if your breath is hideous by making little choking noises as we kiss.”

His lips twitched. “Thanks,” he said before he closed the gap. His soft lips teased hers, and she closed her eyes. His hand reached around her neck, pulling her closer, his thumb caressing her cheek. The kiss deepened and she lost all thought about what he’d eaten for lunch. Her skin tingled with his touch. She could easily melt into the sand and die a happy person.

“What are you doing, Mommy?” Kylee came bounding up to them, spraying sand on Tara’s legs. She reluctantly pulled back.

“Kylee! Come here!” Amanda ran up to Kylee and picked her up. “I’m sorry, she got away from me.”

Tara felt a blush creep up to her cheeks. “It’s fine.”

“Look at this!” Kylee said, holding up a seashell. Part of it had broken, revealing the intricate spiral on the inside.

Rick examined it. “That’s awesome.”

“Great find,” Tara said, putting her hand up to shield her eyes from the sun.

“Let’s go look for more treasures,” Amanda said, holding out her hand. Kylee ran to her.

Rick turned toward Tara. “Where were we?”

Unfortunately, reality had set in and the moment was gone. She shouldn’t be kissing Rick, not when their relationship had an expiration date. She needed to remember that even though the marriage certificate was real, what they had was fake.

“I was just about to tell you to keep it light on the onions next time.”

His smile vanished. “Seriously?” He cupped his hand in front of his mouth and huffed into it, then sniffed.

Guilt made her stomach clench. The look on his face made it worse. He grimaced, like he’d just had one of his most embarrassing moments. She couldn’t let him continue to think he had onion breath.

She laughed, trying to keep it light. “I’m just kidding.”

His mouth dropped open and he poked her in the side. “I’m going to get you good for that one.”

Before she knew it, he was on top of her, his knees straddling her sides, his fingers tickling under her ribs. She fell back against the sand and laughed, squirming to get away, but she couldn’t. His fingers skimmed over her skin, making her laugh so hard she could barely breathe.

“Tickle me next!” Kylee said.

Rick finally relented, climbing off her and going after Kylee. Her daughter screamed and laughed as he chased her in the sand. Anyone watching would have thought he was her father. The thought made her blink back tears.

This, too, would end.

Victorine enjoys commercial success through her writing, thanks in part to her ability to analyze and adapt to the constantly changing trends in today’s publishing environment. She self-published her first book, Not What She Seems, in April of 2010. In March of 2011, Not What She Seems began its 6 week run on The New York Times best selling eBook list. By May 2011 she had sold over 100,000 copies. Victorine’s first romantic comedy novel, Accidentally Married, hit the USA Today Best selling books list in January 2015. Victorine is a graphic designer as well, and can be hired for book cover design.

http://www.victorinelieske.com/

http://bluevalleyauthorservices.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Victorine-E.-Lieske/e/B003J4VTKO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1470423726&sr=8-1

https://www.facebook.com/victorinelieske/

 

He pulled up his social media accounts on the computer and tapped the desk with his index finger. What should he post that would hint at things to come?

 

If this were a Jane Austin movie, there’d be a lot of swooning going on. She reminded herself that putting a suit on a pig didn’t make it a man.

 

Kylee patted his arm. “The trees are tired today.”

He looked out the window. “What?”

“Theyr’re tired. See? They aren’t flapping today.”

Rick wasn’t sure what she meant. “Flapping?”

“The leaves were flapping yesterday, making wind. But they need to rest today. They worked hard yesterday.”

 

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

 

Tara McDermott thought taking a job as a maid was desperate. After her failed marriage to one aspiring actor the last thing she wanted was to be in the employ of another actor. Even if he was a big-time star.

 

Rick Shade has a reputation he needs to clean up for the press. And when his new maid spills coffee on him, he takes his agents crazy idea and runs with it. And Tara would give anything to just be the maid again.

 

Problem is, they may be pretending but the feelings are real. Problem is, neither of them realizes the other one feels the same way.

 

 

Ms. Lieske has once again taken an absurd notion and turned it into a delightful romance. Her characters have depth and conflict even as they try to run from their own feelings. They pull into their false romance, just to the brink of dropping all pretense, then like the tide, they rush away again. His story stirs conflict as it abrades against hers. Will they erode away all pretense? Or will they erode away any chance of love?

 

 

I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, New Release Event, Acting Married, Victorine Lieske

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BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 5 July 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – NEW RELEASE EVENT – COUNT ME IN BY MIKAL DAWN

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – RELEASE DAY EVENT – COUNT ME IN BY MIKAL DAWN

                                                                             

 

*This is a romantic comedy with a Christian worldview.

Allegra Spencer has been living a careful life. Her safe job as an accountant is bookended by going to church and the gym. Okay, sometimes the gym. Fine. She goes to church. And the coffee shop. She avoids risk at all cost, preferring to stay safe in her cozy condo. Until her accounting firm goes belly up and she’s out of a job.

Tyler Hawk had a glorious career as a star NFL tight end. He retired on a high note and now lives a second dream of owning his own business and leading others on extreme outdoor adventures. But he needs help with his books—and his heart. When Allegra takes the job, sparks fly.

It’s a case of safety zone versus danger zone, and in their minds, never the two shall meet.

 

“Here’s your caramel macchiato, Allegra.”

She watched as Jael slid the cup into a sleeve. Allegra wrapped her hand around it, proud of herself for taking a step outside her comfort zone from her regular Kit Kat latté. She turned…

Oomph.

“My coffee!” Did she really just yell for her coffee, more worried about it than the man she’d known was close behind her?

Something was wrong with her.

She snorted. No. She just loved her coffee. Though the man currently gripping her upper arms in his strong hands…

“I…” The words died on her lips as she peered up into lush green eyes gazing down at her. “Sorry,” she squeaked.

The man looked down at her hand, still holding tight to her latté. “No harm done. Looks like the barista put the lid on tight.”

Allegra glanced over her shoulder at Jael, who was standing behind the counter watching them with a grin on her face.

“You’re welcome.” Jael lifted a brow, tilting her head to the man.

Allegra rolled her eyes. Though if it meant the guy talking to her, she’d have to remember to slide Jael a big tip.

A very big tip.

 

MIKAL:   Thank you so much for having me, Robin!! ❤

rem:   Hullo, Mikal, I’m so happy to have you here today. If you could live anywhere in any time period, where would you go?

MIKAL:   Oh, that is such a hard question! If I knew I would be safe and it would be as romantic as Tamara Leigh makes it sound, I would so go back to the medieval period. As long as I got to be nobility, that is. If not the medieval time, then for sure the Regency period. As long as I got to be nobility. I was meant to live in a castle. I just know it.

rem:   I’m right there with ya, girlfriend. Where did you find this story idea?

MIKAL:   I was in a course and part of the assignment was to write a sentence for each part of a story. We were given a character name (which has since changed), and I thought I’d read that the character was an accountant (I’ve since gone back and can’t find that). I wrote a few sentences for the assignment and had a couple of people email me and say they’d like to read that story. And here we are!

rem:   Story ideas truly are anywhere and everywhere. Who was the easiest character to write and why? The most difficult?

MIKAL:   Oh man. The easiest character by far was Allegra. She is so much like me, it’s scary. LOL! From the coffee to the klutz. Yeah. Me. The most difficult character to write was definitely Tyler. Probably because I’m not a man, so had a hard time making sure he was a man with male thoughts, speech, and actions. I’m so thankful for excellent critique partners!

rem:   Methinks, perhaps that’s the hardest to write for all of us—characters of the opposite gender. What do you munch on while you’re writing / researching / editing?

MIKAL:   You mean, what’s beside me right at this very moment? LOL! Coffee. And strawberry Australian licorice. Oh wow, I love that stuff. I also chow down on pita chips and hummus. And red Starbursts. Not all at the same time, of course.

rem:   Yay to coffee, gick to licorice (or any kind) and yay to red Starbusts. What do you do to recover once you’ve typed “THE END?”

MIKAL:   Can I admit that I cry? Because I do. I cry. Writing is such an emotional roller coaster that it’s a relief when it’s finished. Months of research, work, dreaming, and strained wrists and fingertips culminate in another dream coming true. After that, my husband takes us all out for dinner and we celebrate mum’s return to humanity! 😊

rem:   At least until you stumble down another story hole… Mikal congrats on an amazing book! Thanks for being on the blog today!

 

Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast and proud military wife. By day she works for an international sports ministry, and by night she mutters to imaginary friends, performs sketchy Google searches, and procrastinates (like any good writer!). When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand, of course!) for wedding ideas for her characters.

Born and raised just outside of Vancouver, Canada, Mikal lived throughout the southern United States, before moving to Nebraska (and loving it!) with her husband, three kids, and one ferocious feline.

 

  • “They were oil and vinegar, chocolate and green beans…Seahawks and 49ers.”
  • “It was time for a change. The evening air carried the scent of Seattle. The faint brine from the ocean mixed with exhaust and a spring shower. Change. The city was always changing, so why not her?”
  • “Thank You, Jesus, for whomever discovered the coffee bean could be ground into such sustaining energy.”
  • Could the floor actually open up and swallow her whole? That would be preferable to standing there, facing her new employer after hitting him.
  • Back off. BACK OFF! Red lights flashed in Tyler’s mind. If the robot from Lost in Space were there, he’d be repeating, “Warning, warning. Danger” in all his theatrical glory.
  • She was wound up tighter than the Ace bandages his sports therapist had wrapped Tyler’s ankle in before games. And that had left his toes blue.
  • He wanted her to experience the confidence that pushing through fear could bring.
  • “You’re missing out on life, Allie. ‘There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God.’ Straight from the Bible, dear sister. Mic drop.”
  • Tyler grasped her hand—only to have the touch sting and exhilarate him like he’d just caught a twenty-yard driveline pass.
  • Cracks of weakness were breaking open, and he didn’t like it. Allegra tore through every wall he’d built up over the years…

 

  1. Count Me In was originally titled Catch Me until a writing contest. Two of the three judges mentioned the title wouldn’t grab them or make them pick the book up. It turned out to be for the best, because the other two books in this series have fallen into place so nicely and will look great alongside Count Me In!
  2. One day in church, I met a younger woman and I’m pretty sure my eyes popped out of my head. She looked exactly like Allegra! So much so, I almost freaked out. Once I got to know her a little, I had intended to hire a photographer and use this woman as Allegra for a cover shoot. Unfortunately, it just couldn’t work out (I put all my money into editing, so didn’t have much left over to pay for the photography shoot). It turned out well, though! I ended up designing the cover myself, and I’m thrilled with it. It’s different from most other covers, which made me nervous, but so far it’s been well-received!
  3. The Kit Kat lattés talked about in the book are, in fact, real. I make them here at home and I looooove them.
  4. If you’re involved in the Christian blogging/publishing industry, even as fans, you might recognize a few names in Count Me In. Especially the accounting firm in the last quarter of the book. 😉 (rem: yes, I did notice that)
  5. I indie-published this book, but did so by creating my own publishing company, 121 Publishing House. 121 is for Psalm 121: “I lift my eyes up to the heavens; where does my help come from?” It’s my mum’s favorite, and I wanted to honor her somehow. This felt right.
  6. Tyler Hawk, Allegra’s hero, is a former Seattle Seahawk. That would be because I’m a HUGE Seahawks fan!!
  7. When I write, it needs to be utterly silent. If my family is home, or I’m out in public at a coffeeshop, I wear ear plugs. Yes. Ear plugs. I need to drown out the noise so I can better concentrate. I get distracted waaaay too easily.
  8. I do have a writing companion: my cat, Leo, gets comfortable laying across my legs when I’m on the couch with my computer on my lap. He’s fluffy (a silver, long-haired Siberian), and by “fluffy,” I mean both in fur and weight. Ha!
  9. For research, I used YouTube quite a bit for the adventure scenes. I love using it to get a feel for the action and what (and how) things are seen, but also for the audible picture, such as what would the wind sound like when parasailing? Would I hear birds above the rush of white waters when rafting? All that fun stuff.
  10. The next book in this collection is focusing on Bo and Story. I can’t wait to share their history with you all! (rem: i KNEW it!!!)

 

OH | MY | GOODNESS!! Such a fun story!

 

When control freak Allegra Spencer meets out of control Tyler Hawk, both their safety nets begin to unravel.

 

Thread by thread and layer by layer, the fear that has snugged her safe and sound. Till that one thread snagged loose. And like any web, the harder she tries to stay safe in its embrace, the more it sloughs away.

 

Tyler Hawk, however, ripped through every safety net his parents tried to wrap him up in. He broke records, he achieved the unachievable, he proved them wrong. Over and over.

So what was he still running from?

 

 

Ms. Dawn brings two forces together—unmovable meets the unstoppable—and wraps a sweet and funny story around it. Her dialogue absolutely sparkles, and character emotions run the gamut. I wanted to kick Allegra in the shins even as I felt her fears; I wanted to knock some sense into Tyler’s hard head as he did what he thought she needed—push her out of her safety shell. My heart broke every time they danced close to the flame… and then away again.

Well done, Ms. Dawn, on a stellar debut novel. I’m looking forward to your sophomore story.

 

 

I purchased this book on Amazon. I offer my review of my own free will, and the opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, New Release Event, Count Me In, Mikal Dawn

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