Saturday, January 31, 2015

#BookReview WHEN CLOUDS TOUCH by Ey Wade #romance #multicultural

When Clouds TouchWhen Clouds Touch by Ey Wade

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


You will simply love Paisley and Malachi. These two were destined to love each other and their sweet innocent way of coming together despite Paisley's health and overprotective parents just makes you love them more. Malachi is a real sweetheart and has an awesome sense of humor. He knows how to humor Paisley and her parents and lightens the moment with his big heart and cheerful outlook.

However, be sure to keep tissues for the ending. I can't tell you much emotion you'll feel at the end. The love that even through the despair and grief, hope shines through, and I feel touched by this story and will never look at clouds touching the same again.



View all my reviews

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Baseball Romance from Rachelle Ayala - PLAYING WITHOUT RULES #abused #love

Brock Carter is a slugger in the ball park and leads the league in home runs and runs batted in. But he's an adult survivor of child abuse. He returns to his hometown and discovers his ex-girlfriend has hidden a big secret from him. Can he overcome his past and gain the family he always wished for? Is love not enough?

Read my newest baseball romance, Playing Without Rules. Ebook available on Amazon only for 99c and FREE on Kindle Unlimited.


Book Description

 January 26, 2015
A ballplayer's girlfriend hides his daughter from him because she fears he's like his abusive father.

Marcia Powers wants nothing to do with ballplayer Brock Carter, especially after she told him to go away and pursue his dreams. She has more than she can handle with an elderly father, a business to run, and a four-year-old daughter posing as her baby sister.

Brock Carter's back in town to rekindle his romance with Marcia, and this time, he's not letting her run him out of town. Marcia is unable to resist Brock, but determined to keep her secret.

Brock's already lost his heart to Marcia once. Will he lose every dream, including baseball, when he discovers the real reason Marcia sent him away?

What Readers Say


“Secrets, lies, and a grand slam love that will knock you out of the park.” - Racquel Reck

“Sweet, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting story about the redemptive power of love.” - Jill Blake

“What an amazing heart-wrenching book on second chances and hidden secrets. Brought tears to my eyes and it’s about self-redemption and finding a way through it all when you don't think you can.” - Rebecca Austin

“An incredibly passionate and beautifully rendered story of a love so stubborn and determined that it conquers even the most devastating of obstacles.” - Amber McCallister

“Are you destined to follow your parents footsteps? .. Can you heal coming from a broken home? ... Does the strength of love you feel for someone have the power to change what might be already written within your blood? Read Rachelle’s Playing without Rules to find out all about Marcia and Brock's story.” - Debbie Rosa

“Wonderful, heart-tugging story of second chances, romance, mistakes, and family love.” - Chantel Rhondeau

“A heartfelt ride through tough subjects that pull at your
heartstrings!” - Corissa Palfrey

“This story is amazing. It will break your heart to help you trust someone you loved the most.” - Jessica Cassidy

“With honesty, sprinkled in with hope, Ms. Ayala shows that it’s possible for one to overcome a troubled past and have a happily ever after” - Temitope Awofeso

“The games we play as men and women to hurt one another are so true to life in this story, but when the foundation of a relationship is love, the relationship is going to prevail.” - Brandi Pletcher

“Another great work, Ms. Rachelle! It gave me that roller coaster feeling. From curious, hot and bothered, to crying a river and happiness. Two thumbs up from me!” - Edmarie Daal

“Absolutely intense and lovely from the beginning until the end. Loved it!” - Vera Neves

“A story on love gone wrong, family issues and abuse that would make you appreciate life and people you love more.” - Lindsay Medina

“Loved this deep love story of overcoming the cycle of domestic violence.” - Tiffany Kennedy


Playing Without Rules: A Baseball Romance [Kindle Edition]

Rachelle Ayala 

Kindle Price:$0.99
Kindle Unlimited:Free
Kindle UnlimitedRead this title for free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription. Learn more

#BookReview COLORADO HOPE by Charlene Whitman #western #romance #faith





Colorado Hope Blog Tour



About the Book:

1875 ~ Beset by a sudden spring storm on the Front Range, newlywed Grace Cunningham watches in horror as her husband, Monty, is swept downriver. Pregnant and despairing, she stumbles into Fort Collins and tries to make a life for herself, praying that one day the man she loves will walk into town and back into her life.

A year after Grace’s tragic loss, Monty enters the dress shop where she works—with a beautiful woman on his arm. Shocked that he has no recollection of her, Grace is determined to win back his heart. Somehow she must help him regain his memories and his buried love for her—and not just for her sake but for the sake of their infant son, Ben.

Monty, miserable in his marriage to a woman he hardly knows, is inexplicably drawn to Grace. Every time he’s near her, memories surface, but they are hazy and troubling. He’s torn between his vows and the desires of his heart, for he cannot stay away from Grace.

Grace’s hope is sparked when Monty starts recalling glimpses of his past. But when murderous outlaws come to town, she is thrust into grave danger. Monty risks his life to rescue her, only to face even greater perils in the treacherous mountains. Can she truly hang on to hope when she is about to lose all she loves?


MY REVIEW:

I could tell from the very first page that Colorado Hope was going to be a rollicking fun read. Charlene Whitman immediately puts her goody-two-shoes, freaking-adorable, lovey-dovey couple in danger. Then she cuts away to her villain, Lenora Dutton who is hilarious in her self-talk, using words like nosiree, just dandy, skeedaddle, dunderhead, and sniggering or snickering with a mouth full of snark as she plots her nefarious deeds.

You just know that their paths will cross and that Lenora's going to be an outrageously bad girl with a heart full of evil as she plots against the good, angelic Grace who happens to blond, and Lenora has dark hair. Meanwhile, confused Monty or Malcolm is acting like a dunderhead or Dudley Do Right, and even though you want Grace and Monty to get back together, you enjoy seeing the tricks Lenora plays on Monty, until it gets to be too much.

While Monty rides to the rescue, Lenora figures she'd skeedaddle off with the gold. Well, I won't spoil the ending, but this is a very entertaining Western and brings you right back to the old Western stories and movies. I can practically picture the posse riding after the outlaws.

I also love, love, loved, the minor characters, Clare, Eli, LeRoy, and Sarah. I can't wait for the novella between Clare and Eli. The other characters were well done too, from the hypocritical Quaker landlady to the meek county clerk who has a crush on Grace. Finally, love, love, love little Benjamin. What a sweetie and of course the ending when all's well and justice is served fits exactly how a Western should end.

It is faith based and entirely clean, not to mention a great adventure and a sweet love story. It features Fort Collins in the 1870s. The characters are amazing: sweet Grace, heroic Monty, and the Banks family, part Cheyenne and expert trackers and horsemen, then there's Clare, the amazing rider and roper, whose my favorite.

The romance is also sweet and heart tugging and everything ends happily with a lot of sentiment and good feelings. Can't wait to read more from this author.


For More Information


EXCERPT:
Title: Colorado Hope
Author: Charlene Whitman
Publisher: Ubiquitous Press
Pages: 412
Genre: Sweet Western Historical Romance
Format: Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON

Book Excerpt:
May 16, 1875

A fierce wind whipped Grace Ann Cunningham’s hair, yanking at the long strands and pulling them free from their pins. She squinted through the haze of the blustery day and stroked her bulging belly, trying to comfort her baby, who seemed just as agitated by the sudden storm.

Her back ached from sitting on the hard buckboard bench all these miles—much less comfortable than the plush sleeper car they’d enjoyed last week on the train from Illinois to Cheyenne.

She frowned at the dark roiling clouds that had moved in and quickly blotted out the sun.

What had been a pleasant uneventful morning was now turning into an ominous and unsettling afternoon on the open prairie.

Grace sucked in a breath as the baby again kicked her ribs in protest. Her sweet husband’s sun-browned face tightened in concern as he caught her gesture. He pulled on the reins of the two draft horses—sturdy ones they’d bought yesterday in Cheyenne. Surefooted, the seller had told them. And Monty knew his horses, so she trusted his purchase and assurance that they’d
haul them without incident to Fort Collins. But looking at her husband’s face now, seeing the subtle telltale signs indicating that he hadn’t expected this squall nor felt at ease about it, gave her pause. And her normally talkative husband had been too quiet this last hour, eyeing the sky and listening to the roar of the nearby river, as if hearing their complaints and trying to suss out
nature’s intentions.

“The baby all right, darlin’?” He scooted over on the buckboard seat to look her over, then took her hands in his.

Warmth from his gentle grip comforted her, but not as much as the love streaming from his adoring gaze.

“I think so,” she told him, then smiled as he laid his hand firmly on her belly.

Grace thanked the Lord in a silent prayer for this wonderful man who’d married her in a simple ceremony last September. All those years she’d lived with her doting aunt Eloisa in the boardinghouse back in Bloomington, she never imagined she’d be blessed with such happiness.

When Montgomery Cunningham had first stepped into the parlor to take a room before starting college at Wesleyan University, she’d been a shy, giggling girl of ten. Neither of them foresawthe love that would spark six years later when he showed up again unexpectedly, about to head west to explore and survey lands unknown.

Monty closed his eyes, his hand still on the baby in her womb. She imagined him communing with their baby, speaking to it the way he spoke to rivers, to trees, to the land he traversed by boat and on horseback and on foot. Something had happened to him when he returned from the Hayden Yellowstone Expedition. He had changed from boy to man, yes—but it was more than that. He had fallen in love with the West, and with rivers in particular. Although he’d studied geology in college with John Powell, water captured his heart, and he sought out trips that had him navigating whitewater. Nothing made his eyes sparkle more than talking about the way water moved and sang as it cascaded and carved the face of mountains and spilled into waiting valleys. Well, except the way he looked at her.

Monty may have loved rivers, but Grace knew he loved her more. So much more, for he gladly gave up his exploring to settle down and marry and start a family. Although, Grace thought moving to the new town of Fort Collins, Colorado, was adventure enough. She hoped he’d come to see it that way as well and not be into the wild.


About the Author
Charlene Whitman spent many years living on Colorado's Front Range. She grew up riding and raising horses, and loves to read, write, and hike the mountains. She attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins as an English major. She has two daughters and is married to George "Dix" Whitman, her love of thirty years. Colorado Hope is the second sweet Historical Western Romance novel in her Front Range series.
Her latest book is the sweet western historical romance, Colorado Hope.
Connect with Charlene on Facebook and Twitter.



Media Contact:

Dorothy Thompson
Pump Up Your Book
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague Island, Virginia 23336


Monday, January 26, 2015

#NewRelease A FATHER'S FIGHT by J. B. Salsbury #romance






Title: A Father's Fight
Series: Fighting #5
Author: JB Salsbury
 Release Date: January 26, 2015



Synopsis

Life changes in the span of a heartbeat—one tiny heartbeat.

Blake and Layla have lived through disappointment and regret, only finally finding relief through the powerful love they have for each other. A love they intend to fight to keep.

They’ve had to forgive each other, but can they truly move forward without facing the pain of the past?

Layla’s been avoiding the phone calls. Nine months pregnant and exhausted, she doesn’t want the complication. But she can’t run from the truth. Whoever’s calling was there eighteen years ago. Unlike her, he remembers the night that changed the course of her life, and he’s ready to confess.

Blake’s preoccupied with an email, a few simple sentences sent through cyberspace that have the capability to rob him of his sanity, his freedom, and the people he loves most in the world. When he’s called home for a mysterious reason, leaving Layla isn’t ideal, but hope for reconciliation with his father combined with his brother’s secrecy ignites a curiosity he refuses to ignore.

Putting the pain behind them is no longer an option.

To get the answers they need, they must face the past and open up old wounds that threaten to bleed them dry.








Links to Buy

AMAZON US / UK


Also Available


AMAZON US / UK



AMAZON US / UK



AMAZON US / UK 



AMAZON US / UK
iBOOKS / KOBO / B&N




Author Bio



JB Salsbury, New York Times Bestselling author of the Fighting Series, lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids. She spends the majority of her day as a domestic engineer. But while she works through her daily chores, a world of battling alphas, budding romance, and impossible obstacles claws away at her subconscious, begging to be released to the page.
 
Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. With her journalistic background, writing has always been at the forefront, and her love of romance prompted her to sink her free time into novel writing.
 
For more information on the series or just to say hello, visit JB on her website, Facebook, or Goodreads page.



Author Links



Giveaway

Friday, January 23, 2015

Beck Valley Book Tours Presents Roaring Hot, by Rachelle Ayala #giveaway #AsianMenAreHot

Thanks Sharon Martin of Beck Valley Books for Hosting the Roaring Hot! Book Tour


Read the reviews.... [and don't forget to ENTER for $25 Giftcard, paypal or Amazon] Giveaway Ends January 25, 2015
1. Monday 5th January - Souls Readers  
2. Tuesday 6th January - Miki’s Hope  
3. Wednesday 7th January - Espacularaiesa  
4. Thursday 8th January - Sanity is for those without children  
5. Friday 9th January - Life as Leels  
6. Monday 12th January - My Own Little Corner  
7. Tuesday 13th January - This is me  
8. Wednesday 14th January - A Gluten Free Mom  
9. Thursday 15th January - Kait Reviews  
10. Friday 16th January - I Create Purty Thangs  
11. Monday 19th January - Ebook Addictd  
12. Tuesday 20th January - A Bit Bookish  
13. Wednesday 21st January - Manic Mama of 3  
14. Thursday 22nd January - My Silly Little Gang  
15. Friday 23rd January - jessicacassidy.com  
16. Friday 23rd January - Marie Clara  
17. Monday 5th January - Cali Book Reviews  

Your Daily Bible Verse FREE on Amazon January 24, 2015 and on Kindle Unlimited Now

Great news! If you've been wanting a daily Bible Verse to uplift your spirits, Your Daily Bible Verse: 366 Verses Correlated by Month and Day will be FREE on Amazon January 24 for ONE DAY only. However if you miss it, it is still Free to read on Kindle Unlimited.



Book Description

 November 12, 2013
This handy guide contains a Bible Verse for each Month and Day of the Year. Starting with January 1 and Genesis 1:1 to December 31 and Mark 12:31.

Find the verse that corresponds to your birthday, anniversary of holiday.

Need a memory verse for the day? Or a life verse? The month and day correlation makes it simple and easy to associate a Bible verse for each day of the year.

Includes a simple Bible Verse memorization method.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
(31)
4.6 out of 5 stars
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How I wrote a 20,000 word Novella in 48 hours #writing #romance


Christmas Stray (A Sweet Holiday Romance) [coming soon]

Juliette Martin does not ever want to celebrate Christmas again, not when it means reliving the last one after her six-year-old son, Jeremiah, passed away on Christmas Eve.


She and husband, Gabe, find themselves snowed in at a mountain cabin with a pair of strays. Juliette desperately needs a miracle to save her marriage and restore her faith in God. Can a stray dog and orphan boy help her believe in the magic of Christmas and the power of love?


---

Hi, I'm Rachelle Ayala and I'm an addict--to writing romances. I'm the founder of a writing group called Romance In A Month where we feed our writing addiction by sharing our progress (in great detail) with our group. I don't write alone, cloistered in a tower, refusing to discuss my story while it forms. Instead, I've developed a method where I and the writers in my group update our story progress with each other every day we write.

I've found this process to speed up my writing, because to me, writing is a spectator sport, and like any athlete, when there are spectators, I give a better effort. I put in more hours, I take feedback along the way, either cheers or boos, and in the end, my story is better because I catch missteps earlier. For example, in one story, I had my heroine jump off a pier because she was distraught. My group members commented. This isn't good. Is she going to be injured or dead? Hmmm... also what does this say about her emotional stability? I realized I would go on a big rabbit trail, so the next day, she did not jump. She just had a heart to heart conversation instead of running away. Whew, disaster avoided.


Ever since I started using the Romance In A Month method, my writing has accelerated from 2 novels a year to a novella a month or a novel in two months. [While the first draft may be written in a short time, I still need to allow time for professional editing and beta reading, as well as revision and proofreading]. But my productivity has increased and I'm much happier too [and a lot less lonely in this writing adventure.]


Okay, so, I'm going to tell you how I wrote Christmas Stray in 48 hours. To do this effectively, you need to have the following goalposts or milestones in mind.



  • Hook
  • Inciting Incident
  • Lock-In or Call to Action
  • Reversal or Midpoint
  • Crisis or Dark Moment
  • Climax
You can wing all the rest of it, but if you don't know what these milestones should at least look or feel like [you don't have to know the exact details], you'll be lost meandering around writing, erasing, maybe going off on a tangent and then backtracking.


What I did was dream up almost the entire story in my mind, minus the details, and then I started writing. I knew I had to get to doorway number one (Lock-in at 25%) relatively quickly, so I made sure they were snowed in. There, no escape.



The hook was apparent on the first page. The protagonist, Juliette, gets pissed off at a Christmas tree. Wow. Who attacks a Christmas tree? I immediately show her conflicted emotions. She’s grieving for a son who died of leukemia the day before Christmas a year ago. She doubts that she can repair her marriage, but she’s willing to give it one last shot because she still loves her husband, Gabe.

The inciting incident happens in Chapter 2. They find the stray dog and the orphan boy hiding behind the woodpile. The lock-in follows immediately in Chapter 3. Their car is iced up and they can’t open the doors to get their cell phones and then the power cuts off.

The first half shows Juliette reeling in grief and not responding well to her husband’s overtures. She’s making them miserable, but for the sake of the child they have good times. They roast chestnuts, read to the child, play with the dog, but the conflict between Juliette and Gabe escalates under the surface.

The midpoint (or Reversal) is reached by Chapter 6. It is set up in Chapter 5 when Gabe has decided to separate and go for the divorce. One of my beta readers said this was the earliest ever in a story to start the waterworks.

The midpoint happens when Juliette realizes she is the cause of their problems, whereas earlier she was blaming Gabe. It’s precipitated by a mini crisis where the puppy runs off and they set off to find him. Once they find the puppy, he’s under a tree that the child declares to be the perfect Christmas tree. Uh oh. This is a recapitulation of the hook. For those of you who know music theory, a recapitulation repeats the theme of the initial exposition.

Remember the hook? Juliette does not want a Christmas tree. Suffice it to say, this sets off her withdrawal and during that time, she begins to realize that she is the one ruining everything. [This is the so-called midpoint moment when the protagonist discovers something that changes the course of the story].

From there, we have an accelerated series of attempts and backtracks as Juliette and Gabe dance around. However, there is a difference. This is the second half, where the protagonist has knowledge and is actively trying to solve her problems. Juliette is now making overtures to Gabe and he has withdrawn, having already made the decision to proceed with the divorce.

Again we have scenes with the child, tree trimming, bath time story and then another mini crisis, a fire in the garage that ends in another confrontation with her husband where he refuses her attempt at seduction. I didn’t time it, seriously, but when I went back to look just now, it was exactly at 75%, the dark moment that sets up the climax. (Chapter 9)

Once her husband rejects her underhanded way of getting him back, she has to face the truth and make real change. The rest of the story shows the protagonist single-mindedly going forward, making the changes she needs to confront her demons at the climax.

In Chapter 10, Juliette fixes Christmas Eve breakfast and the four of them enjoy a wonderful day. These are the events that lead to the climax which is Christmas morning, when the power comes back on and … Well, I’m not going to give the story away.

Discoveries are made and from there the story ends in a bittersweet manner. Juliette and Gabe are together and return home with a special gift, vowing to return every year to their Miracle Cabin. (Resolution)
My writing schedule happened like this. On Sunday night, I wrote the first chapter and part of the second chapter showing the state of the marriage. It starts with the hook, the rejection of a Christmas tree, and ends in a stalemate—Juliette goes to bed with her husband. (1800 words)

The next day, Monday, I breezed through the entire first half of the book and into part of the second half, from the inciting incident to the midpoint reversal and into part of the recovery phase. Chapters 2-7 (roughly 10200 words).

The story was still brewing in my head and every time I would go upstairs to go to sleep, I’d jot down something I thought up. On Tuesday, I went walking with my friend in the morning, obviously talking about my story, and then wrote the rest of the 8000 words, finishing in the evening, and well within 48 hours of my start for a total of 20,000 words.

Because I’m a pantser, I didn’t mark milestones where I said, this has to happen, and that has to happen. I had an inkling of the goal posts, without knowing exactly how I was going to hit it. Admittedly, I knew the first one was the power outage and iced up car. But the midpoint 50% and crisis 75% mark seemed to follow naturally. I was aware of them, but did not plan for it.

You might work differently, of course, and it’s always good to jot down what you think those milestones should be to keep yourself on track.

The key points in why this story was so easy to write in a short period of time:
  • I started with a couple who knew each other already. Second Chance romance works faster than Love at First Sight where you have to establish the basis for a couple to be attracted and then decide to pursue a relationship.
  • I created a tight lock in. What could be tighter than being snowed in or marooned together?
  • I threw in a catalyst to stir their feelings. An orphan boy and a stray dog. Tugs at the heart and helps them see the good in each other despite their conflicts.
  • The remote location and being snowed in allowed for crisis situations to drive toward important milestones. This is external conflict pushing the characters to expose their internal conflict.
  • Finally, Christmas is an emotional holiday and one where people try to create good times. It can also be a time of family confrontation. The backdrop of the holidays allowed me to push the timeline. Christmas is coming. The clock doesn’t stop.
  • In the end, my characters go back to the normal world, i.e. home, and they are changed, transformed by their experience at the remote mountain cabin.
So, this, in a nutshell, is how I wrote a 20,000 word novella in 48 hours. If you're interested in learning how to write Romances in a month or two or three, check out my book, Romance In A Month, where I go into details of using a combination of tropes (common romantic themes and plot points) and character development to successfully write and finish your romance novel or novella in a short period of time.


Learn the basics of writing a romance, characterization, plot points, motivation and goals, and how to speed up your writing by using common romance tropes and archetypes. Exercises, slides, and examples are also included to guide you in creating your own unique romance.

An appendix of romance writing resources includes:
tropes
events
roles
occupations
how to brainstorm titles
a reading list by trope

So start your romance writing journey today with this must- have resource guide to write a romance in thirty days.