Thursday, October 19, 2017

#BookReview - A Bella Flora Christmas by Wendy Wax

Title:  A Bella Flora Christmas
Author:  Wendy Wax
Genre:  Women's Fiction
Release Date:  November 7, 2017

About the Book:

A TEN BEACH ROAD NOVELLA
 
The ladies of Ten Beach Road are home for the holidays in this brand-new novella.

Although their lives have changed since their first desperate renovation of Bella Flora, friends Madeline, Avery, and Nicole have always been there for each other. Now they're returning to Bella Flora for Christmas—where Maddie’s daughter Kyra isn’t feeling particularly celebratory. 
 
Kyra was hoping for a peaceful holiday at Bella Flora—a last gathering before a wealthy, mystery tenant moves into the home she’s been forced to rent out. Instead, she must make a life altering decision by New Year’s -- a decision that becomes even more difficult when unexpected guests arrive at Ten Beach Road on Christmas Eve. Now Kyra, Maddie, Avery and Nikki will need to pull together to secure Bella Flora’s future, as well as their own.

Buy Links: Amazon 
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER - RELEASE DATE IS NOVEMBER 7, 2017

My Review:

I have been a big fan of the Ten Beach Road series and I thoroughly enjoy the writing style of Wendy Wax.  This book, however, was a bit of a disappointment to me.  It was more of a re-hash of all the previous books, describing each character and previous plots.  The only thing "new" was Max... the new puppy (although I did chuckle at some of the names the ladies came up with). 

There was a bit of intrigue, trying to figure out who the mysterious renter was, but we never found out.  The book just ended.  Kyra made a decision and then... it ended.

On a positive note, the cover is lovely and the first couple of chapters described some nice Christmas traditions.  And Wendy Wax does a very good job of describing the scene, making you feel like you are right there.

Disclosure:  A complimentary ARC was provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.

My Rating:

About the Author:


USA Today bestselling author Wendy Wax is heralded for her contemporary women's fiction exploring friendship, loyalty, self-discovery and the seemingly insurmountable challenges life sometimes presents. Her latest novel, SUNSHINE BEACH, brings TEN BEACH ROAD's Maddie, Avery, and Nikki back to the beach where they first met as they struggle to regain control of their renovation-turned reality TV show, Do Over. 

Born in St. Petersburg, Florida, Wendy grew up on St. Pete Beach within spitting distance of the Gulf of Mexico. Appropriately enough, Wendy attended Sunshine Elementary School where recess and art class sometimes took place on the beach, and the highlight of every school year was the annual fish broil. Not surprisingly, some of her favorite Florida beaches were destined to become settings for her bestselling fiction, including her "Ten Beach Road" novels, TEN BEACH ROAD, OCEAN BEACH, THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT, her e-novella, CHRISTMAS AT THE BEACH, and SUNSHINE BEACH. Her next Ten Beach Road novel, ONE GOOD THING, will be released in April 2017 and is available for pre-order. 

Wendy's writing has been highly praised. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says she "writes with breezy wit and keen insight into family relations." Her books have been featured in national publications such as USA Today, Ladies Home Journal and Woman's World, and at online book sites such as On a Clear Day I Can Read Forever, Luxury Reading, Book Reporter, Night Owl Reviews and Fresh Fiction. 

Wendy loves to hear from her readers! You can reach her at wendy@authorwendywax.com.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

#BookReview - Clockwise: A Young Adult Time Travel Romance (Book #1) by Elle Strauss

Title:  Clockwise:  A Young Adult Time Travel Romance (The Clockwise Series, Book #1)
Author:  Elle Strauss
Genre:  Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Time Travel
Release Date:  October 16, 2011

About the Book:

A teenage time traveler accidentally takes her secret crush back in time. Awkward.

Casey Donovan has issues: hair, height and uncontrollable trips to the 19th century! And now this --she's accidentally taken Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time. Awkward.

Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother, and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just "brotherly" protectiveness?

When they return to the present, things go back to the way they were before: Casey parked on the bottom of the rung of the social ladder and Nate perched high on the very top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her younger brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again.

Which of course, she does.

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

This was a cute, sweet, imaginative quick read that would probably appeal more to high school students. Not that I didn't enjoy the book! It was fun to read. Clockwise is Book #1 of a 6-book series.


It seems that Casey has been plagued with dizzy spells since she was around 9 years old. But these aren't normal dizzy spells. When this sensation overcomes her, she is transported back to 1861. Life is much different for a 16-year-old girl in 1861. For awhile, she pretended to be a young boy in order to get odd jobs. Then it became more difficult to conceal that she was a girl and she just had to go with it. Thankfully, she found a caring family to take her in... even though she kept popping out and back to modern times. Casey was not able to control when this "traveling" would take place.

Add in Nate, Casey's secret crush, and the accidental "travel" that happened when he was dancing with her, and things get very interesting. A bit of history at the outbreak of the Civil War, slavery, and then an accidental "travel" to 1961 with Samual, and things get even more interesting.

Elle Strauss created interesting characters and a cute, imaginative story. A bit too light for my taste, but I'm sure younger readers will love this.

My Rating:

About the Author:

Elle Strauss is the bestselling author of fun other-worldy YA: whimsical things like time-travel, fairies and merfolk (with a nice helping of romance!) She divides her time between Canada and Germany, and enjoys drinking coffee and eating chocolate in both places. 

She also writes mystery and spec/fic as Lee Strauss and sweet inspirational romance as Hope Franke Strauss.





Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#BookReview - A Strange Scottish Shore by Juliana Gray

Title:  A Strange Scottish Shore
Author:  Juliana Gray
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Time Travel
Release Date:  September 19, 2017

About the Book:

The acclaimed author of A Most Extraordinary Pursuit brings a dazzling voice and extraordinary plot twists to this captivating Scottish adventure...
 
Scotland, 1906. A mysterious object discovered inside an ancient castle calls Maximilian Haywood, the new Duke of Olympia, and his fellow researcher Emmeline Truelove north to the remote Orkney Islands. No stranger to the study of anachronisms in archeological digs, Haywood is nevertheless puzzled by the artifact: a suit of clothing that, according to family legend, once belonged to a selkie who rose from the sea and married the castle’s first laird.
 
But Haywood and Truelove soon realize they’re not the only ones interested in the selkie’s strange hide. When their mutual friend Lord Silverton vanishes in the night from an Edinburgh street, their quest takes a dangerous turn through time, which puts Haywood’s extraordinary talents—and Truelove’s courage—to their most breathtaking test yet.


Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

When I first agreed to read and review the ARC "A Strange Scottish Shore" from NetGalley, I had not realized it was Book #2 in this series.  Sorrowfully, I did not realize it until I was halfway into Chapter Two and I was totally confused as to what was happening.  Confused, but also very much intrigued.  So much so, that I immediately purchased Book #1, "A Most Extraordinary Pursuit" and delved right in.  I had one of those great "Ah ha!" moments!  As soon as I finished that book, I started again with "A Strange Scottish Shore" with renewed vigor!  And this time, I loved it!!

Juliana Gray has created the most astonishing characters ever!  Not your typical cookie-cutter characters.  No, no, no.  These are the most unique characters to ever grace the pages of a novel and I loved every one of them... except for those you need to totally dislike.  Shocking revelations come to light when Max and Emmaline discover Max's unique abilities and sends Miss Truelove six hundred years in the past to find Lord Silverton.  What all she finds will keep you thoroughly entertained in the mystery and in the romance.  Yes, Book #2 has much more romance in it!  And I loved the way the story was interwoven with mythology.  Beautifully written!  I do hope there will be more books in this series.

My Rating:

About the Author:


Juliana Gray is the pen name of New York Times bestselling author Beatriz WilliamsShe lives near the Connecticut shore with her long-suffering husband, two scheming cats, a beagle of dubious origins, and four largely unsupervised children.

A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, Beatriz spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a corporate and communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons. 






Monday, October 16, 2017

#BookBlitz & #GiveAway - The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr


The Cutting Room Floor
Dawn Klehr
Publication date: October 13th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Behind-the-scenes secrets could turn deadly for Desmond and Riley
Life in the Heights has never been easy for seventeen-year-old Riley Frost, but when she’s publicly dumped and outed at the same time, she becomes an immediate social outcast at her high school. So Riley swears off romance and throws herself into solving the shocking murder of her favorite teacher, Ms. Dunn.
Riley turns to her best friend, budding filmmaker Desmond Brandt, for help. What she doesn’t know is that Dez has been secretly directing her life, blackmailing her friends, and hoping his manipulations will make her love him. When his schemes go too far, Dez’s web of lies threatens to destroy both of their lives.


Author Bio:
Dawn Klehr is the author of the young adult thrillers: The Cutting Room Floor and If You Wrong Us.
She began her career in TV news and though she’s been on both sides of the camera, she prefers to lurk behind the lens. Mostly, she loves to get lost in stories –in film, the theater, or on the page – and is a sucker for both the sinister and the sappy. She’s currently channeling her dark side as she works on her next book.
Dawn lives in the Twin Cities with her funny husband, adorable son, and naughty dog.

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Novel Lady Interviews Keira Montclair


October is "Keira Montclair" month here at The Novel Lady!  If you are a fan of historic romance, especially historic romance set in Scotland, you will absolutely love the works of Keira Montclair!

Keira loves to hear from her readers and you can also sign up for her newsletter if you want to stay up to date on any new release.

So, here we go!






Keira, thank you so  much for agreeing to be interviewed by us here at The Novel Lady.  Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
 I have quite a varied background. I taught math for around thirteen years, worked as a registered nurse for five years, and then taught nursing and medical assisting for four years. One of my favorite jobs was as a pediatric office nurse. I love working with kids. That’s probably why I have children as prominent secondary characters in most of my books.
But writing is my favorite job of all.

What do you do when you’re not writing?  Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?
I read all the time, of course! I still take ballet classes. Dancing is in my blood. My other favorite activity is spending time with my twin granddaughters.

I had no idea about the ballet!  That's fantastic!  When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing only because I wanted to see if I could finish a novel. I was surprised at how easy it was for me. I tried to get it published, but I had so many rejections that I almost gave up. My daughter and her husband were trying to get pregnant, and they’d been through many fertility treatments, but all were unsuccessful. The next step was either in vitro fertilization or adoption. Either one would have cost them between ten and twenty thousand dollars. My daughter and I were both teachers, so neither of us had that kind of money.
One day she called me, frustrated and in tears, because she’d decided to give up. That was the summer of 2013. I decided to publish Rescued by a Highlander on my own to see if I could help her at all. I told her we would split the profits, so half would go toward in vitro costs. Two weeks after publication, the book was number one in the Scottish historical romance genre.
In December 2015, my daughter gave birth to twin girls, born through in vitro fertilization. They are the light of my life. Writing has been an incredible blessing for my entire family. I quit teaching in 2014 and have been writing full-time ever since.
Here’s a picture of the twincesses! 

Oh my!  They are just as cute as can be!  I can see why your love of children comes through in your writing.  

I know that most of your books are Scottish Historical Romance.  What spiked your interest in Scotland medieval times?
I’ve always loved reading Scottish historical romance. It was the genre I knew best, so that’s why I started there.

I love your Scottish hunks with their sense of honor and strength with a touch of tenderness, but I also noticed that you write contemporary romance as well with your Summerhill series.  Which do you prefer writing?
I enjoy both, and they each have their pros and cons. Contemporary romance is easier to write than historical because so much less research is involved. But contemporary will be outdated in a few years, whereas historical will never go out of style.
I’m most comfortable writing historical, but sometimes I need to switch it up a bit.

If you had to write your first novel all over again, go through the whole editing and publishing process from the beginning again, is there anything you would do differently?
I wish I’d found my current editor, Angela Polidoro, earlier. We didn’t start working together until my third novel. I needed her on my first novel, Rescued by a Highlander. It was a little rough to start, thus I scored some reviews that were rough. I’ve since had her edit it, and we scaled back the abuse the heroine faced before meeting the hero. It does get better reviews now, but the original reviews will be there forever.
But the oddest part is, of all my books, 80% of my readers will tell you their favorite is Rescued by a Highlander.

Are you a plotter and know what’s going to happen or are you a pantser that lets your characters lead the way?
 I’m definitely a plotter. I have the entire book plotted out before I write my first sentence.  I don’t always follow that plot, and some of the best twists and turns don’t develop until I’m actually right in the middle of the novel. That’s the fun part.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever researched for one of your books?
Probably the bedding ceremony after a wedding in Medieval Scotland. They did have them. Can you imagine having your relatives watch you in the act?
In reality, it was often a show of support for the couple’s marriage, and rarely did the witnesses stay to watch. If they did, it was usually from outside the bed curtains. However, there were many instances in history where making sure the wedding was consummated was important to the two families involved.
None of my couples took part in this tradition.

That would be so creepy!  I can't imagine my family watching!

How long does it generally take you to write a book?
It takes me about a month to write the first draft, then another month to edit and proofread it.

What is next for you?  Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?
My next contemporary novel will be released in December, the third in the Summerhill series. Next year, I plan to start a new historical series, and I will also write the second in my paranormal series, Trusting a Highlander. This one will be set in Charleston, SC, something different for me.

How can fans contact you/learn more about you?

       Twitter: https://twitter.com/KeiraMontclair

Thanks for talking to us, Keira!  This was fun!
Lovely meeting with you, Scherry!  I can't wait to meet everyone in February at the Coastal Magic event!

And of course, if your fans want to meet you in person, you and I will both be at the Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona Beach in February 2018!  Readers can find out more about that here:


Check out Keira's latest novel...

Two misfits. One great love. 

Bethia may be the former Ramsay laird’s daughter, but she fears she’ll never marry. She loves her cousins, but their beauty makes her feel plump and plain in comparison. The lads never notice her like they do the others. She’s most confident when she’s nursing the clan’s animals back to health, yet her heart desires a family of her own. Then a man rushes to the castle gates, desperate for someone to save his dog, and Bethia’s simple life changes forever.

The tragedy in Donnan’s past ruined him. For the past two years, he has shunned his adopted clan. He now lives alone, beyond the castle gates, and associates only with his beloved dogs. But when one of the dogs is injured, and beautiful Bethia is the one who treats her, he realizes there may be room in his heart to love again. Her kindness is just the salve he needs to recover from the past—if he can bring himself to share his secrets with her.

The Ramsays’ enemy, Bearchun, watches them, eager to ruin the clan once and for all. He’s certain that Bethia and Donnan might be the key to destroying them. But has he underestimated the two misfits?




Saturday, October 14, 2017

New Release! Haunting Savannah... just in time for Halloween!

If you love Halloween, the beautiful city of Savannah, Ga, ghosts, vampires, demons, and witches, you will love this collection of 8 paranormal, gothic, and romantic horror novellas.
The best part is they are ALL BRAND NEW stories!
A look inside…

Ghost in a Bottle by Lia Davis & Kerry Adrienne

Anatoli La Croix has spent the last century cursed to exist in spirit form, locked inside a glass jar. When the beautiful and magickal Ophelia purchases the jar, he discovers he’s able to escape his confinement for short periods. For the first time in a century, he has hope. Could the beautiful witch be the one to break his curse? Or will she provoke the evil spirit that imprisoned him and bring dark magick’s wrath down on them both? 

Forbidden Union by Deena Remiel

It’s Halloween in Savannah. Noah Blackman has come to Savannah, Georgia and Violet Adams’ home seeking to verify the origins of his family. Could his roots begin with a runaway slave? This trip holds many surprises for the two as their family’s pasts collide and their present charts a course for romance and lasting love. 

True Companions by Ella Jade

Maxim and Grant have been lovers for a century. Companions in the truest sense. What happens when a human woman shares their home and their bed? Can two destined souls open their hearts to a third? 

The Ultimate Act of Love by Evelyn Lederman

The last thing Kori Daniels expected to see on a ghost tour is an actual apparition. Although she can feel earth-bound spirits, she has never seen one. Already impacted by nightly amorous dreams since arriving in Savannah, her dream lover now has a face. 

The Haunting of Bellehaven by H.R. Boldwood

Self-reliant Harper McKinnon arrives in Savannah to claim her inheritance, Bellehaven Plantation—a proud antebellum estate. But the estate’s handsome caretaker, Clay Montgomery, is used to doing things his way. Fireworks fly as they are drawn ever closer, but the plantation’s ghostly secrets threaten both their love and their lives. 

The Promise by Kim Carmichael

A mistake brought a demon to her, a promise kept them bound together. It is a thin line between desire and love and good and evil when an incubus enters Leora Desmond’s life. 

Veil Break by Savannah Verte

Taken from the world he knows, to a place out of time, Holden Henry has a lot of questions when he is redeposited into his world, 150 years in the future. His Savannah isn’t the same anymore. 

A Pirate’s Mask by ML Guida

Dark secrets haunt the Pirate’s House Inn in Savannah, Georgia. 

Rosalind Gill’s stepfather is the culprit. He’s forcing her to remain silent and marry his evil partner or die. Her only hope is Phearson MacFie-a vampire pirate from another time. They must work together to not only save the innocent, but save themselves and discover true love.
Amazon
iBooks

Join the authors of Haunting Savannah boxed set in celebrating release week with an awesome giveaway!
Grand prize: Echo Dot
5 runners up prizes: $10 Amazon Gift Cards
Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter to enter!

Friday, October 13, 2017

#BookBlitz & #Giveaway - Ashes to Memories by Annie Anderson


Ashes to Memories
Annie Anderson
(Ashes to Ashes #5)
Publication date: October 13th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
What she doesn’t know just might kill her.
Nicola is having trouble settling into her new life.
Memories assault her at every turn – even in her dreams. When a friend comes to her for aid, Nicola is once again thrust into a dangerous world – a world she still cannot remember.
Kyle thought the worst was over.
Sure, his wife can’t remember their beginning, but even with a few bumps, having her is better than not. But keeping Nicola alive is a full-time job even he might not be able to fulfill – especially when his darling wife decides to jump into the fray.
It turns out the worst has only just begun.
EXCERPT:
Kyle reaches for me, lifting me from the seat and maneuvering my body under the spray while he holds me to him. I try to concentrate on the feel of his skin against mine, but a flash of red catches my eye. Even with my clothes gone, I’m still covered in blood. The steam billows as the lava hot water rinses the scarlet gore from my skin. I watch the water run red for a moment before diluting to a wispy pink and then finally running clear.
Watching it run from my skin causes something inside me to break, and I heave a breath before shattering. I feel it all over again, Talia’s broken bones, my breath lodging in my throat when all I wanted to do was scream, the dizzying realization that I might be dying, and my heart…
I feel wrong in my own skin, feel like I’m wrong. And if I am the one who is different – if I am the one who caused all this mess – how can Kyle want me this close to him? How can the rest of them? Baron and Bella wanted intel on me. They still need me for something, and even though I told them why she was hurt, I don’t think they grasp what Baron and Bella will do to anyone in their way.
Oh, god… I have to go. I have to leave. I can’t be here anymore.
“Breathe, Shortcake,” Kyle demands in my ear, and it is like he has said the magic words and my lungs begin their torturous slog of hauling air to my bloodstream.
I can’t help the shiver of fear that whips across my skin. Kyle hitches me up his body, my feet leaving the tiled shower floor to wrap around his back. He tightens his hold on me, and for a moment, I feel safe. My breath slows, and I make a concerted effort to bury my nose in his neck and inhale his scent. He is warm where I am cold, he is strong where I am weak, he fills in the gaping gaps of my soul.
My lips find the skin of his neck without prompting from my brain. I need him so much – probably more than he needs me, but I don’t care.
“I don’t think you realize that your life is precious – that the very breath in your lungs and beat of your heart is a relief to me. I don’t know what’s going on in your head, and I don’t know what happened to Talia. Honestly, when it comes to anything but you, I really don’t care. You have to start thinking before you act, Nicola.”
“I didn’t mean to…” I try to break in, but he isn’t having it at all.
“It doesn’t matter that our lives are tied together. I knew what it meant to be your husband when I bound you. Hell, I never even expected you to wake up at all, so I knew what I was getting into. But you are worth more than my life. You are more important than just me. You have saved more lives than I could ever hope to count. You’ve done more good than I could ever hope to do.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute.
“What do you mean our lives are tied, Kyle?” I ask, pulling back to look him in the eye and fight against a full-scale panic attack.
“Exactly what I said. My life is tied to your life. If your heart stops beating, my heart stops beating. When you were in the hospital, I bound you to me knowing that I didn’t want to have a life at all without you in it. It was reckless of me, but I don’t regret it,” he replies, his fervent whisper lashing my heart like a whip.
How could he risk himself that way? And for what? A wife who didn’t even remember him when she woke up? If I didn’t love him so much, I would knock some sense into this man.
“Why would you do that? My God, Kyle! People want to kill me. How could you?” I plead with him, grabbing his face, so he’s forced to look at me. The chocolate of his irises bleeds back and forth from black to brown as if he can’t decide which form he wants to take.
“I’m not living without you, Nicola,” his gruff whisper hits me as his lips brush mine.
© Copyright 2017 Annie Anderson


Author Bio:
Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she’ll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, and old man of a dog.
In her past lives, Annie has been a lifeguard, retail manager, dental lab technician, accountant, and now she writes fast-paced paranormal thrillers with some serious heat.

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