See you there soon :)
My blog has moved. Follow me on:
See you there soon :)
Chocolate… just thinking about it sends me into a state of absolute bliss. I am absolutely convinced that almost any problem can be solved with chocolate.
Say you are heartbroken, eating a ton of chocolate while crying on your best friends shoulder is sure to cure your heart in no time. Or you need a pick me up after a long and gruesome day at work (or even more realistic, after dealing with your children and all the tantrums they can hand out in one day), nothing feels better than sitting down to a quiet house, and indulging in that delicious sweet! Just imagine all the utter nonsense our ears would not have to endure if more people ate chocolate instead of sharing their two-cents worth?
Ok, so I am not so naïve that I really think any problem can be magically solved with chocolate, but chocolate can do a lot of good and sure makes the ride a whole lot better!
When I sit down to read, I love to enjoy a chocolaty snack every now and then. Obviously not daily, because I have not been blessed with the metabolism of my lucky husband, who can eat a whole tub of Ben& Jerry’s and miraculously lose weight in the process. I suspect the fat and calories he eats somehow end up being airborne and injected into my system, permanently taking residence on my hips. Anyways, I am getting side-tracked. Chocolate has this amazingly comforting quality, that seems to accompany a great book perfectly.
As I love the sweet goodness so much, I have over the years collected many great recipes. When asked to bring a dessert, most of my friends request brownies. It is almost becoming a stereotype: Mylissa’s brownies. It’s as if they might think me incapable of making anything else.
When talking to my husband about this (read Me whining about why once again I was asked to make brownies, Are they so convinced I can’t make anything else), he simply looked at me and said: You make the best brownies, that’s why. Anyone who knows my husband, knows this is a huge compliment, I remember him telling me about 3 years ago in all honesty: ”Yes I think you finally got it right.” Referring to the brownies. Taking into account I had been making them for 10 years at the time, I had the instant urge to hit him on the head in true Gibbs-NCIS style. Yes, I can get a little protective of my kitchen skills :)
Anyways, thinking about how chocolate adds such pleasure to my reading experience, I decided to share my very special, treasured recipe with all my fellow book friends. I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think. I love this recipe because it is the easiest, best I have ever come across, and I happen to almost always have all the ingredients in the house.
250 gr butter, softened to room temperature
2,5 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Add all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Mix all together until everything is nicely mixed (2-3 min).
Transfer batter (this batter is not runny, but pretty solid) into a buttered and floured baking tin/dish
Bake in a pre-heated oven on 180°C for 35-40 min, or till skewer comes out a little icky.
The secret to perfectly fudge brownies, is not to overbake them. You need to remove them from the oven before they are baked through like a cake. It is better to under bake them too much, then to overbake them.
USA Today bestselling author Ophelia London was born and raised among the redwood trees in beautiful northern California. Once she was fully educated, she decided to settle in Florida, but her car broke down in Texas and she’s lived in Dallas ever since. A cupcake and treadmill aficionado (obviously those things are connected), she spends her time watching arthouse movies and impossibly trashy TV, while living vicariously through the characters in the books she writes. Ophelia is the author of SOMEDAY MAYBE; DEFINITELY, MAYBE IN LOVE; ABBY ROAD and CROSSING ABBY ROAD; the Perfect Kisses series including: FALLING FOR HER SOLDIER, PLAYING AT LOVE, SPEAKING OF LOVE, and MAKING WAVES; the upcoming AIMEE AND THE HEARTTHROB for Entangled’s Teen Crush line, and the upcoming Sugar City series for Entangled’s Bliss line. Visit her at ophelialondon.com. But don’t call when The Vampire Diaries (or Dawson's Creek) is on.
Backstage Pass Series: https://www.facebook.com/Backstagepas...
Tumblr: http://ophelia-london.tumblr.com/ (less)
This is the second book I have read by Miss London, and once again it is a WINNER!!! I loved her take on Pride and Prejudice.
I have read quite a few modern takes on it, but this one by far hit it shot on! I enjoyed all the elements I so loved of P&P with all the fun of a modern tale.
Spring is a ton of fun, full of wit, my kind of person, a great Elizabeth. I enjoyed her getting to know Henry. The romance between these two characters was really, really good! They had real chemistry, and a great build up. I loved that the book was not rushed, so you had a real chance to connect and experience the story right along with them.
I look forward to reading more of Miss London's work, as she has won me over as a new fan!
Be sure to read Laura's debut novel. This book has all the must-haves a true contemporary needs! The love story is fun, compelling, heartwretching and finally all you hoped for. Sienna and Austin go through such a rollercoaster of emotions, you can't help but experience it right along with them, laughing along with them, crying along with them, and eventually rooting for them to make it through all that is thrown at them. This is definitely one of my favorites, and one I'll sure go back and reread!
I came across this series just as book 1 Carly's Rule released in Sept 2013. I loved the book, and was excited it was a series, as I was hoping to read more
I loved the character of Rory immensely, and wanted her to have a great HEA.
Needless to say I’m very excited Vickie will be releasing a third book which will feature Roxy and Landon’s story (Fist pump, happy dance J)
What has been an absolute bonus during my discovery of these books, is getting to know Vickie a little on a personal level. She and I became instant friends (hooray for modern technology and Facebook), and she amazes me. I have learned from her, and the challenges in her life.
It is great that authors out there take time to connect with readers / bloggers. Vickie really always takes the time for that!
Vickie King is from a small town in West Virginia. She transplanted to Florida in 1994,
and while she loves living in the sunshine state, now and then she misses watching the seasons
go through their changes. If she closes her eyes, she can still imagine herself standing on the
deck of their family home, staring out over the hills and valleys that will always be a part of her.
Vickie is previously published in short fiction with both romance and mystery for
Woman’s World Magazine. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and is
active in her local chapter, Ancient City Romance Authors (ACRA), where she is a past
Presently, Vickie is working on a third contemporary romance in The Braddocks series.
Book One, Carly’s Rule, was released in September 2013. Book Two, Dusty’s Fate was released
in May 2014.
On a personal note, Vickie has four grown children, five grandchildren, and a Chihuahua
named Bentley. She has the best family and friends anyone could have.
Book 1 and 2 in the Series
What I love about her books is that they are nice romances with that extra depth to it. The characters havdefinitely been through real struggles, and Vickie does an amazing job of portraying them. I found myself connecting to them on a personal level. I felt for Roxy being left by her husband, for Landon who loved her all those years, but never could tell her, I can’t wait to see what magical things Vickie will do to their story!
I met DelSheree Gladden a while back, whilst reading and reviewing the first book in the Someone Wicked This Way Comes Series. I immediately fell in love with her style of writing and got sucked in by the storyline. Very soon after I started reading along in the Date Shark Series, and could not believe that an author so talented in writing YA could also write such amazing contemporary romance. I loved the first book in the Date Shark Series!
Native to New Mexico, my husband and I spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Our two children love having their seventeen cousins close by again. They also love having all the neighbor kids over to play, which has made our house the unofficial summer and after school hangout spot.
When not writing, you can find me out and about with my family or sneaking a few minutes for one of my many hobbies I never seem to have time for. I love reading (obviously), though I tend to stick to indie and small press authors more than mainstream books. I don’t do nearly enough painting and drawing, but I have a passion for art and I think kids really need a creative outlet to express themselves. I also enjoy sewing, though my dreams of becoming a fashion designer never really panned out. And for my day job… I spend my time trying not to get bitten by small children in my work as a dental hygienist.
1. How long have you been writing?
I started writing as a teenager. I was mainly interested in fantasy and horses at the time, which is kind of funny to me now. The first book I actually finished wasn't about either, and it was all kinds of awful! It will never see the light of day :)
2. What is your favorite style to write?
I love writing in first person present because I feel like I can get inside my characters' heads better and show them to my readers on a deeper level. A lot of adult readers don't like first person, though, so I write the Date Shark series in third person past tense to fit in with the genre standards.
3. Do you generally plan to write 3 books in a series, or does that just automatically happen?
My mind has always seemed to work best in three part series in the past, but I've had a few series lately that just don't seem to wrap up nicely in three books. I try to let the story itself dictate how many books there needs to be. If I can't wrap everything up without rushing and info dumping, I'll add another book. I'm still on the fence about the Date Shark series and how many books it will contain.
4. Which book series do you feel the most connected to, and why?
I would probably have to say the Destroyer Series, mainly because of the many, many hours and rewrites and tears shed over that series, lol! I was determined to make that series as perfect as I possibly could and it seemed like it was never going to be ready, but the characters became so much a part of me I still miss writing about them at times.
5. What inspired you to write contemp romance after writing so many YA, or is it something you have always done?
I've been writing contemporary romance for about nine years, but I didn't have the confidence to branch out from YA until a friend of mine, Leah Brimhall, really encouraged me to put it out there. I have several other finished romance books that I'm waiting to decide what to do with. Moving into a new genre is tough, but the positive responses from readers on the Date Shark series has encouraged me to keep moving forward in contemporary romance.
6. Which character in all of your books do you find you relate to the most and why?
I think I probably relate most to Mason in the Aerling Series and the struggles he faces on a personal level. Feeling invisible and like someone's problem was something I dealt with quite a bit when I was young.
7. What are you currently working on?
As usual, more projects than I should be! I'm getting close to finishing my first new adult novel, The Ghost Host. I'm also working on Date Shark 3, which I think will be titled "The Only Shark In The Sea." I've also got a project I'm not quite ready to give details on, but it will examined the basis of what humanity really means. One of these days I'm going to find time to work on Wicked Revenge and Oracle Lost as well.
8. What are you planning to release this year?
Well, that depends on whether or not I get any real writing done! We're in the middle of moving, so I've done very little writing this year so far, but I'm hoping to have Date Shark 3, The Ghost Host, Wicked Revenge, and possibly Oracle Lost out this year. I'm debating what to do with two other contemporary romance books I have finished called Memory's Edge and Torino Dreams.
9. Any new projects you have you want to share with us?
The Ghost Host is my newest project readers will hopefully get to see this year. Echo Simmons has always had ghosts hanging about, and asking them questions on her weekly webshow helps her keeps them in line. The nightmares and screaming are a thing of the past until a rogue ghost begins tormenting her. Things only get worse when the FBI pops into her life and secrets from her past begin to surface and dredge up more problems than she can handle.
10. What is a date shark?
A Date Shark is a little different than a typical dating coach. All three of the men who take over the role in this series are licensed psychiatrists. They don't take on clients who simple want a new boyfriend. Their clients are a little more difficult to treat, many having serious social or psychological problems, but who are still in search of meaningful and lasting relationships.
11. How did you come up with this concept? What inspired the series?
The idea for this series came from working with "The Query Shark" a blog that will take author's queries and break them down in order to help fix what's wrong with them. It can be a brutal process, but helpful! And it got me thinking...what if there was someone who did the same thing for women who were struggling to find their way in the dating world?
12. What are we to expect in the third book?
The third book will follow Vance Sullivan. He's been there to help Eli and Guy through some pretty series situations, but this time, he's the one who's in need of help. This will be a highly emotional journey dealing with sensitive subjects and deep feelings of guilt, regret, and hope.
My Thougths on the Date Shark Series
The first book in this series is AMAZING!!! I loved it. I found myself relating to Leila, and rooting for her and Eli right from page 1. I loved the style, the flow, and the twists and turns this story took. This is one of my absolute favorites ever. I like to go back and reread it often, just to get that nice, warm feeling only a book such as this one can give you.
I like how both of them grow throughout the story, and how they were friends first before they became more.
This story also gives you a glimpse into the main characters of book 2 and 3, but in no way reveals the angle book 2 will take.
Book 2 is dear to me as I had the opportunity to beta-read this book. When doing such a project, you automatically get attached to it. I loved the French phrases in it, as it added to the authenticity of Guy and his roots. I think all romance junkies love the classic story of the one woman who is finally able to tame the player, but this book adds a whole new level to it. I enjoyed going on the journey with Charlotte and Guy, and seeing them face the challenges of life together.
It evoked a lot of emotions and thoughts, a sure sign to me a book is worth my time.
I look forward to the third book, and am interested to see what spin DelSheree will put on it this time round.
DelSheree is a very gifted author. Whether she is writing about an invisible Aerling, or the wicked hunger that consumes you, or the adventures of a date shark, the words flow. The story is captivating! I seem to lose all sense of time, and get pulled into the story, only coming out of it once the last word is read. Every single book I have read is amazing, and she usually sends it to me in the “rough” draft. I have never really felt the need to give any opinions other than to praise her for the great book she once again sent me. If you have not read her books, START TODAY!!!
Exerpt - Photo Booth
We listen to the monotone voice reel off instructions. Four pictures. A light will flash before each picture is taken. Etcetera. How I ended up in this position I’m not sure. We both sit, staring at our reflections on the dark plastic and, no doubt, both stuck on the same thought that crosses everyone’s mind when they’re on this seat.
“Quick,” I say, “what should we do?”
A flash of light. Picture one down. Both of our mouths were hanging open, blank stares straight ahead.
We burst into laughter and can’t stop. A second flash. Picture number two: both of us laughing.
Our gazes meet and we pull ourselves together, his eyes never veering from mine. He leans toward me, coming halfway before pausing, his eyes seeking permission. I regard him with equal parts terror and anticipation, the intimacy of the situation whispering a thrill. He closes the distance between us and glides his nose through my hair. My heart rattles around as though this is the first boy I’ve ever been close to.
“Now smile,” he whispers into my ear. Even if I should be creeped out, forget it. My cheeks burn despite myself and I feel the corners of my lips tugging upward. A flash of light signals the third picture and I am totally seduced.
I had been looking forward to this book for quite some time. Let me say that I absolutely loved Laura’s first book! What a debut novel. It was written like a Nicholas Sparks novel, filled with wonderful emotions and vivid descriptions that left me feeling the story rather than reading it. Needless to say I had high expectations. And Laura definitely met my expectations, and then some!
This story is written in 2 POV, alternating almost in each chapter between Julianna and Cody.
As you can read in the book info, Julianna’s mum has been put into prison for fraud. She committed this crime to pay for rehab for Vic, Julianna’s older brother.
Julianna is left behind trying to keep the family together. She is doing all she can to make it in school, working as a tutor, and after school in the Chocolate Shoppe. She cleans, cooks, takes care of Vic and her dad, she has too many responsibilities to deal with.
Cody is the son of an FBI agent, and a wealthy mother. He seems like the picture perfect kid, good-looking, great family, wealthy, a top-basketball player. But he has his struggles in life. He lost his brother at a young age, and is still trying to deal with all of the hurt that left in his life.
At the beginning of the book he is pulled into a drug deal that doesn’t go well, leaving him hiding and on the run from the dealers. He tries to make an escape but ends up getting run over and left in a storm with no recollection of what happened to him, including his meeting Julianna. Now he needs to try and figure out what happened to him, and all he knows is that somehow Julianna is the key to answering his many questions. Sadly she is not impressed with the guy who almost kissed her, and then disappeared for weeks, and who also happens to be the son of the FBI agent that put her mum in prison.
This book took me on a journey. It left me feeling all types of emotions. I found myself connecting with both Julianna end Cody, understanding both their fears and struggles. I could not seem to put this one down, and once I finished it, I felt changed somehow. This book has that ability. Laura’s style is so eloquent, it has a way of touching you deep inside. I look forward to sharing her books with my daughter once she is old enough to appreciate them.
About the Author
Laura Johnston lives in Utah with her husband and three children. Growing up with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. She fell in love with the young adult genre both through her experience in high school as well as her job later as a high school teacher. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, traveling, writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids.
Connect with Laura on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads.
Buy Bewteen Now & Never on Amazon.
About the Author
Michele Paige Holmes spent her childhood and youth in Arizona and northern California, often curled up with a good book instead of out enjoying the sunshine. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education, and found it an excellent major in which to indulge her love of children's literature.
Her first novel, COUNTING STARS (Covenant Communications 2007), won the 2007 Whitney Award for best romance. The sequel, a romantic suspense titled, ALL THE STARS IN HEAVEN (Covenant 2009), was a Whitney finalist, as was her first historical romance, CAPTIVE HEART (Covenant 2011). MY LUCKY STARS (Covenant 2012) completed the Stars series.
In October 2014 Michele launched the Hearthfire historical romance line with the publication of SAVING GRACE (Mirror Press 2014). The companion novel, LOVING HELEN (Mirror Press 2015) was released in February 2015. A third book about this same family, MARRYING CHRISTOPHER, will be published in summer 2015, with another historical to follow later this year.
Michele has been a member of the same critique group for over fifteen years and feels that joining a critique group is the single best thing an author can to do help improve his or her writing. She has been a member of RWA and URWA, LDStorymakers, and The League of Utah Writers. Michele enjoys both attending and teaching at conferences.
When not reading or writing romance, Michele is busy with her full time job as a wife and mother. She and her husband live in Utah with their five high maintenance children and a Shitzu that resembles a teddy bear, in a house with a wonderful view of the mountains. You can find Michele on the web at michelepaigeholmes.com and on Facebook and twitter.
I loved this book. I don’t read historical romance often, but fell in love with Miss Holmes’ style in the first book Saving Grace. It was an excellent read with enchanting characters.
In this second book we get more of the wonderful Mister Samuel Preston, and his journey to loving Helen. Helen has always seemed shy, a wallflower in comparison to her sister Grace. She has preferred to stay on the sideline, and not shine in the spotlight. She has very valid reasons to be so apprehensive around people, especially men. Grace always protected her as a child, but considering the upbringing these three children endured, there is only so much protection you can give.
This book takes you on a journey of getting to know Helen for whom she really is, the complex, caring, compassionate, fun, adventurous and funny person she really is, but rarely reveals to just anyone.
Beth, Samuel’s 3-year-old daughter immediately sees all of this in Helen, and the two form a deep bond. Beth also possesses the ability to bring out all of these qualities in Helen. It’s as if with Beth Helen lets all her guards down, and is the person she really is. It makes for a very interesting read.
Samuel goes on a journey of his own, recovering from Grace’s refusal to pretending to be besotted with Helen, to maybe, just maybe seeing what is in plain sight. He has to determine if he can truly open his heart up after losing his wife.
Then there is Christopher who plays the matchmaker, and gives us all the impression he is the happy-go-lucky kind of guy. In actuality he is a lot more cunning and clever than anyone, even his sisters give him credit for. I cannot wait to read his story, which will release later this year. I hope to do a feature of that book also.
This book is exactly what a historical romance should be. It give you the impression you are in a Jane Austin fairy tale, with all the complexities of the typical characters, a slow-paced yet exciting read, and a wonderful happily ever after!
Buy Loving Helen on Amazon
So excited this book is releasing soon. Here is a preview of what the book is about. I’ll be posting a full feature of Taylor and her new book soon!!!
I have been a huge fan of MK Harkins after reading Intentional in Feb 2014. I loved the flow of that book, and was hooked. Last summer I received a copy of Unintentional, the sequel in the series. Once again a great read, with a bit of a different feel to it.
In February this year Breaking Braydon released, a new storyline, and I must say an amazing read. The characters are well developed, the story sucks you in right from the start, and I honestly had a hard time putting this book down. I was on holiday with 3 of my very best friends, and started reading this while they took a skiing lesson. I ended up staying up late at night and finished the book while they were all asleep. I just couldn’t part with the story.
Miss Harkins has a style all of her own. Her books have a way of moving you and evoking every emotion the characters go through in the story. I found myself shedding a tear or two whilst reading this book (which is not easy for someone like me). I felt the love building between them, and the heartbreaking decisions that needed to be made.
I also appreciate that although I may have a different set of standards than the characters, Miss Harkins keeps her books completely clean. I never have to fear there will be any form of profanity or graphic details in her books. After reading the book I was sad the story was over, and found myself rereading it shortly after.
Just to give you an idea of what this book is about, here is a link to the book trailer. Be sure to check it out!