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Braiding Roses

Braiding Roses: An outback doctor sweet romance by [Elise Stoltenbreck]

Braiding Roses, by Elise Stoltenbreck, is the story of a young doctor named Mandy who has her five-year plan all figured out and is ready to start her future. Her plans are derailed after having to do a year’s residency in the town of Manjimup working under meticulous Gareth, the head doctor.

Stoltenbreck does a great job capturing imagery through her scenes with vibrant descriptions. She brings a authenticity to her characters that had me feeling like I could walk into Manjimup hospital and ask to see Gareth.

This inspirational romance novel will appeal to readers that want an authentic Australian experience. The story is set in the Australian outback, an area that I love seeing in literature. Stoltenbreck uses Aussie dialect in the novel adding to it’s realistic nature and giving the characters real personality and depth. Care was taken by the author to allow the reader to be fully immersed in Aussie culture.

While classified as a romance novel, I think that this story is more about the building of a relationship. You will not find steamy sex scenes and pages of passion, but this book had one of the biggest build-ups between the female and male character that I’ve ever read. This impassioned book has shown me, romance is a story about love, and lust isn’t always needed.

This book is near perfection as it shows two stubborn minds falling in love instead of the typical lust-filled stories out there. This book sends an emotionally-resonant message of love. While predictable at times, it is still a fun contemporary romance story.

Braiding Roses by Elise Stoltenbreck is a sweet and clean romance story between two people that get thrown together in life due to unforeseen circumstances. This riveting novel will appeal to readers that enjoy a love story without sex and that focuses on the personalities and genuine feelings of the characters. This is also a great book for readers looking for an alluring romance story in an exotic setting.

Pages: 317 | ASIN: B09DB7TQH1

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Light Among the Shadows

Light Among the Shadows by [Jennifer Leigh Pezzano]

Lara is grieving the death of her son but feels suffocated by her failing marriage. She constantly tries to run away from confronting her own emotions and is unable to make peace with her loss. She is afraid of facing the harsh reality and questions plague her mind. But when she stops in Montana, she is offered a job by Miriam at the local cafe. Lara impulsively agrees to be a live-in help for Miriam’s brother, Peter, a blind young man who lived on a farm with his three horses and a dog. What they don’t know is how this sudden encounter would drastically change each of their lives, inspiring them to ultimately let go of their past traumas and begin life anew with Hope.

Written in a sensitive and empathetic voice, the story grabs our attention right from the beginning as Lara mindlessly speeds over the freeway towards Montana late one night, desperate to escape the stifling emptiness that grips her soul. Her grief is introduced to us in patches of flashbacks and random anxiety attacks that leave her feeling numb and drained. The trauma of losing her son to a car accident, sits heavily in her heart. The wound is still fresh and the fear of experiencing such agony once again makes her build a wall around herself. But when she meets the roguish young man, Peter, with a tragic backstory of his own, she finally discovers true love and with it, her walls come crashing down.

This book can easily make a reader cry because of the heart wrenching emotions described within it, especially the overwhelming sense of guilt that Lara feels when she is happy with Peter after a long time since losing her son. It makes her question her own right to be happy in the first place. It is wonderful to watch how the characters grow and evolve in the span of the book but the author ties off all the loose ends, creating an ending that’s almost too perfect. However, it is significant to note that the protagonist remains disabled until the very end which ensures that there is no kind of appropriation of the identity of Peter that could compromise his personality. It is also important to note that there is a conscious effort and decision behind the representation of marginal figures in this book.

What remains in our mind after reading this story are the lines quoted from Cohen, that reflects its core theme, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Light Among the Shadows is a heartwarming story about overcoming anguish and letting go of pain, and to re-embrace life with new vigor.

Pages: 274 | ASIN: B09B6HNTC5

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Discover Their Grit

Kimberly Fish
Kimberly Fish Author Interview

Comfort Foods is a emotional and riveting contemporary romance novel that finds a couple wrapped up in the whirlwind of their lives and trying to make it work. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration for this story leapt from the blue screen of Instagram. I have a twenty-six year old who followed several “influencers” and I became a bit riveted by the trajectory some of these women had taken in such a short time. I figured what goes up, must come down… and then imagined what a spectacular recovery might look like. Lacy was a character invented many years ago as part of the novella that kicked off the Comfort set of stories, and it was time to give her a full book. Characters in the Comfort set of stories flit in and out of the plots like our friends do, and Lacy was no exception. Romance, drama, humor, and second chances are major ingredients in every story.

The relationship between Lacy and Rudy was enthralling. What were some driving ideals behind the development of their relationship?

The connection between Lacy and Rudy helped me cover new territory in plotting—having characters that were both struggling in life, the distance between their communities and Rudy being a single dad, were areas I wanted to investigate and better understand since that feels so intrinsic in today’s world. Putting them into ever increasing awkward circumstances forced them both to grow and discover their grit. I like writing about people discovering what they’re capable of doing and these two characters had some big decisions to make.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

It was important to me to reveal that what we think we know about someone based on social media is often the polar opposite of truth. I’d hoped to remind readers to treat the media a little lighter and in doing so, get back to the basics of human interactions. Plus, I’d hoped to show that we’re our best selves after we’ve overcome obstacles, and that the hard stuff is worth working through.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

In Comfort Foods, readers are briefly introduced to Anna Weber, a single mom to twin girls. She’s on the fringe of the Comfort friends group because her schedule is consumed with her daughters and her work life, plus she’s hiding in plain sight and that’s exhausting. Anna is pitched some highs and lows in the plot and discovers grace that comes with second chances. Anna made some definitive choices in a time of crisis when her girls were infants, and the release from those bindings transforms her. A rare find of music brings her into unexpected proximity to a retired NFL Quarterback and they tangle at every turn. Comfort Zone is due out later this year, and will be promoted through my newsletter—subscription available at my website kimberlyfish.com —and announced through Kimberly Fish,author on Facebook.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

From the award-winning author of Comfort Plans and Comfort Songs comes a story of two rising stars blitzed by social media. Lacy Cavanaugh and, single-dad, Rudy Delgardo live a hundred miles apart but meet in the worst possible way. Working at a weekly paper and creating social media for area businesses helps Lacy connect with locals who open her mind to a perspective beyond Instagram. In launching a food-and-wine festival to support Comfort’s new event center, she discovers surprising skills bubbling over, much like the food she’s attempting to cook. Rudy, on the brink of his restaurant’s takeover, struggles to improve time management so he can create a better relationship with his daughter. Distracted by Lacy and her invitation to the festival, he’s tempted by her beauty, wit, and courage, but as a chef, he rarely gets to enjoy life outside the kitchen. Enemies, illness, and exes add unwelcome spice to the dish they’re concocting—one that will teeter with misunderstanding until the very end. Will Lacy and Rudy embrace their second chances and discover the perfect seasonings of family, resilience, and grace to create a handwritten recipe of love that will stand the test of time?

Seventy Times Seven

Seventy Times Seven, by Doralyn Moore, is the story of a young woman who leaves an abusive situation and learns the power of forgiveness. Merisela lives in Mexico with her brother, mother, and stepfather. After an encounter with her stepfather, Merisela leaves Mexico and travels to Canada, where she hopes her aunt still lives. Leaving her home is only the first step in Merisela’s journey.

The main character flees her home in Mexico, after she believes her stepfather’s sexual abuse is worsening. Merisela arrives in Canada on her aunt’s doorstep seeking help. She encounters many obstacles while figuring out how to make a life for herself. Throughout the book the point of view switches to some other minor characters, which helps to develop various character backgrounds, while still intertwining them with Merisela’s story. Merisela meets Michael and a blossoming relationship is formed that kept me engrossed in the story. Michael helps Merisela find her faith and forgiveness, which helps her obtain closure in dealing with her past.

Author Doralyn Moore discusses mature topics throughout the book, but the underlying themes woven in the pages is faith and forgiveness. Though Merisela has had many trials, she learns to accept that God has a plan and no matter how many times you have been hurt you must learn to forgive. This is an emotional story with engaging characters that really drive these points home in authentic and relatable ways.

The writing style throughout the book is light, and Moore changes the tone so that each character’s point of view is in their own voice. Although the chapters sometimes switch in the point of view, the story is told in full and the variety of voices bring great emotional depth to this contemporary romance novel and colors Merisela’s story.

The characters and voices were written so beautifully. Moore created a novel bursting with relatable characters and prudent life lessons. This book contains mature content, but it is delivered in a thoughtful way that sheds light on the dark topics while still making it easy to process. Seventy Times Seven is a poignant romance novel that will appeal to anyone looking for an emotional Christian fiction story.

Pages: 306 | ISBN: 152558409X

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Nantucket Summer

Nantucket Summer by [Gerard Shirar]

Nantucket Summer follows Greg Williamson, a seventy-one year old man, who has recently lost his wife. He decides to visit his younger sister in Clearwater Florida. While he is packing for the trip, he comes across a box filled with some items from his past and he remembers the summer he spent on Nantucket Island when he was a young man in 1946, before he started attending Purdue University. During that summer, he worked as a night watchman at a hotel where he meets a woman named Sydney MacKluskie. They fall in love, but ultimately part ways and lead different lives, until a chance encounter in a hospital. Was it Sydney that saves Greg’s life in the hospital? Greg must find out.

Author Gerard Shirar provides readers with an impassioned romance story following two intriguing characters that are easy to empathize with. I found the author’s writing style engaging and the story kept my interest all the way to the end. This sentimental novel reads very much like a real-life account, and there were times when I forgot that I was reading a fictional story. I liked the setting of the holiday atmosphere at the beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the descriptions of the quaint shops and cottages in the villages on Nantucket Island. The author has a knack for creating a scene and letting the readers live in it. The same is true for the historical time period the novel is placed in. The story always felt authentic and realistic, keeping the story grounded and focused on the emotional obstacles Greg faces. A small portion of the book takes place during Greg’s time fighting in the Korean War, and this section of the story makes a striking contrast to the carefree days Greg spent while working in Nantucket.

This is a character driven story that successfully pulls you along with emotionally charged plot developments that rely on your connection to the characters. I was not a fan of Sydney’s character when she was first introduced, but learning about the tragedy in her past helped me to understand her actions and attitude.

Nantucket Summer is a historical romance novel filled with wonderfully detailed observations and characters that you will love following.

Pages: 170 | ASIN: B0791M6Q2Y

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You Don’t Have to be Perfect

Jennifer Nolan
Jennifer Nolan Author Interview

Our Forever Crazy Love is a riveting romance novel that gives readers a peek into Vivienne’s personal and career life as she explores her relationship with her long-standing crush. What were some ideas that guided this novel’s development?

I set out to write a contemporary romance with a strong female lead, someone with a busy career and complicated personal life. The main idea in the novel’s development was to show women, especially younger women, you don’t have to be perfect or have everything figured out. Sometimes, the best things happen when we let go and release some of the control we try to hold over situations in our life.

Vivienne is an interesting character that I enjoyed watching develop. What were some themes you wanted to capture in her character?

I wanted Vivenne to be someone many modern day women could relate to. Smart, fiercely independent and a person who likes to maintain control over situations in her life. Striking a balance in our modern world between career, family, friends and romance is not always easy. The feeling of wanting or needing to be in control of our lifes and the situations in it is a struggle I think many women will understand.

The relationship between Vivienne and Danny was emotional and deep. What were some sources that inspired their relationship?

Honestly, I’m not certain there was a source. Their relationship just unfolded on it’s own. I did want to introduce a bit of complication with Danny having been married before and having a child. The second chance at love trope mixed with a friends to lovers narrative added an interesting element to the story. In the end, I think the varying elements will keep readers engaged with a good pace that mirrors real life rather well, full of emotional twists. While Our Forever Crazy Love is a contemporary romance with some open door sex scenes it’s also got some interesting women’s fiction elements. Opportunities for the reader to be emotionally drawn into the story are plentiful as they laugh out loud in one chapter and silently cry along with the characters in another.

When and where will Our Forever Crazy Love be published?

It will be available Sept. 3rd, 2020 Jacketed Hardcover books are available online wherever books are sold and you can find the digital book through amazon. Paperbacks will be out in mid-late October. The book is also being released on kindle unlimited.

Available at: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com.au

Wait till you meet Vivenne, she’s smart, funny, and determined to hook her long standing crush Danny. Tired of waiting for love she decides it’s time to take action. She’s got a plan to choreograph the romantic relationship she’s always wanted and Danny, an unsuspecting divorced father and close family friend, doesn’t see it coming. Of course, nothing goes according to Vivianne’s plan. That is until fate steps in, and launches the two into a whirlwind romance that is anything but picture perfect.
Jennifer Nolan masterfully pens this contemporary romance in a style all her own, successfully creating compelling characters with real, everyday problems resulting in an unforgettable love story.
Set among the beautiful backdrop of Savannah, Georgia, Nolan takes her audience on a roller coaster ride, from laughing out loud in one chapter to silently crying in another.
Contemporary romance readers who enjoy passion and intimacy without erotica will fall head over heels with Our Forever Crazy Love.
It’s a contemporary romance that serves up a delightful blend of chicklit and women’s fiction, with a strong female lead who many modern day women will find themselves relating to.
So, if you are ready for a love story that will keep you turning pages, go ahead and grab your copy of Jennifer Nolan’s Our Forever Crazy Love, then settle in for an emotionally charged romantic adventure.
And, fair warning about this romance novel: the F-bomb does drop once or twice.

RISKING FOREVER

RISKING FOREVER: Vol 1 (The Forever Series): New adult college romance by [GALLINA, TARA]

Ainsley Belle is the 21-year old college student who provides the first person narrative in this story. She’s a funny, sweet and innocent girl in the prime of her life. She and her best friend, Harper Gentry, are students at Ryland. Unlike most of her classmates, Ainsley wasn’t born into a wealthy family and works hard to afford her education. She is desperately seeking independence from her controlling mother. When she loses her employment and an enticing job opportunity presents itself she is more passionate than intrigued. The fact that the job comes from a handsome older classmate makes it all the more intriguing. The reader joins Ainsley as she enters in to a world much bigger than the one she’s known.

The flirtatious build-up between Sebastian and Ainsley is enticing. It’s almost a little irritating how Ainsley doesn’t realize Sebastian is coming on to her or why he might be interested. She’s clearly an attractive girl and playful. She’s written as a virgin which is a little cliche but because we experience it through her eyes it helps define it a bit more.

I love that this book is a serial novel. I haven’t read many serial novels but the idea that’s it made for people who don’t have time to sit through a full length book is very desirable to me.

This was easy to digest and flirtatious throughout. It had a youthful sexy vibe that made me feel young and flirty. I enjoyed the time the author took to organically grow the relationship between Sebastian and Ainsley, although sometimes I wanted it to move faster. I also loved the friendship between Harper and Ainsley. It was very believable and playful.

I think the author could have given us a little more grit outside of the innocent flirting between the two main characters. Maybe this will come out more in the next books in the series. I also look forward to more levels as far as the romance! In all this book was entertaining with endearing characters and an intriguing plot line. I’m definitely interested in reading more about these characters and seeing where the story goes. Serial novels have a way of drawing you in! There are some adult themes so this is better for the older set. Smooth writing helps with a somewhat slow story. Enjoyable book

Pages: 149 | ASIN: B07NQ99MGF

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Gaming and Death

Karen Glista Author Interview

Karen Glista Author Interview

Embellished is a relentlessly entertaining fantasy novel following a trio of teens as they are catapulted into a video game. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting novel?

I truly love online gaming and at one point I was thinking how awesome it would be to visit those antiquated worlds. I am also an R.N. and in my career, I have come face to face with death, more times than I care to admit. I love to write…its who I am, and on one particular day, for no credible reason, my mind which often times reverts to fantasy in lieu of reality, merged gaming and death and thus…Chronicles of Orian was born.

Bekka’s body is crippled by a disease, but in the game, she is whole again, but still has to find her voice and strength. How did you set about creating Bekka’s character?

Bekka created herself. I simply pictured a young patient in my mind and as amazing as it may be, she took a deep breath and exhaled. I saw her, but it was not just a vision…I felt her sorrow. She was commanding of attention and as strange as it may sound, I simply scribbled what was happening, her responses to the environment, her heart, her needs, her pain and above all else, her intense desire to love and be loved. She’s an incredible young woman and unto the end (book 3 in the trilogy) with only faith as her weapon she faces evilness even death, not only to forge her own destiny, but to protect those she loves. I so admire her.

What I enjoyed more than the deeply complex characters is the intricately woven plot with twists that I rarely saw coming. Did you plan the novel ahead of time or did the twists develop organically?

I do not use outlines. I simply sit at my computer…locked away from the world while the scenes play in my mind.

It seems like you had a lot of fun writing this book; did you?

I laughed and I cried but it was an incredible journey. I loved it and to be honest, I fell in love.

This is book one in the Chronicles of Orian series. Where does book 2 take readers?

Extolled, book two in the Chronicles of Orian trilogy is the continuing saga of Randar and Bekka who find themselves front and center as worlds collide, earth is ravaged by war and Orian is beleaguered by a humanoid race intent on world domination. Besieged by hated, lies, betrayal and grotesque horrors, battle lines are drawn and unexpectedly Bekka finds herself once more visited by her past…only this time her antiquated disease has an ugly twist, one that will affect not only her, but the daughter she lost so many years ago.

From the depths of blood and gore in a now seemingly doomed society, a forbidden love takes root. Audra, Bekka’s long lost daughter, now sixteen and incredibly naive, falls prey to a grotesque monster lurking behind the outrageously handsome face of a shape-shifting beast called Mardrid. Ordered to seduce her…or die, Mardrid finds himself helter-skelter for the very nearness of her warm, curvaceous body ignites such a dire and primal need to feed that maintaining his human persona is all but impossible. He quickly realizes he is playing a deadly game…one he may not win.

As secrets are revealed and truths are realized the drums of war echo throughout the land. Family turns against family, friends against friends and as the Scaff invasions and their insatiable lust for flesh intensifies, every faction in Orian is pushed to the brink of extinction. Few, if any, will survive and against all odds there will be blood…there will be sorrow…there will be gnashing of teeth.

Randar, who refuses to capitulate, gathers what’s left of the living outside of Uldrame for one last stand. With defeat, imminent and their backs to the wall, Randar gambles his life as well as those he loves on one last hope.

Can the heart of a naive young girl sway the face of death? Can Orian be saved…or is it already too late?

Author Links: Website | GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

Embellished (Chronicles of Orian Book 1)When hunky, eighteen-year-old Travis Kurth lures his sister Bekka to assist him and his friends in an online game, he has no idea that all their lives are about to change… forever. Ripped from reality by an elemental force of nature, the party of five soon wake in a beautiful, but dangerous, new world called Orian.

Bekka, who is suffering from a genetic disease, the same malady that killed their mother, finds herself in complete remission, but there’s little time to celebrate as one, then another of their party falls prey to this unforgiving land.

Rescued from death by a battalion of human soldiers under the leadership of Vallas Onisquase, Crown Prince of Adosarath, Bekka discovers that in Orian refuge comes at a steep price. The arrogant, dangerously handsome Vallas, beguiled by Bekka’s beauty, sets in motion a plan to make her his own, but the royal entourage falls under attack by a blood-thirsty humanoid faction called Vadarcs.

Abducted, Bekka finds herself deep in Vadarc territory with no chance of rescue. Leashed like an animal, abused, humiliated and placed on an auction block, she is purchased by blood and gold to become the property of Randar Ataurik, a humanoid, tusked, barbarian, Vadarc prince.

Vallas who is obsessed with his newly betrothed, demands her return but Randar, in the long held tradition of Vadarcs, has bound her by blood.

As the winds of war sweep the land, Bekka finds herself in a deadly triangle.

Embellished is the first book in an epic, paranormal romance.

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