Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Book Review: Wind Chime Point by Sherryl Woods

Title: Wind Chime Point (Ocean Breeze #2)
Author: Sherryl Woods
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

About the book: Facing a personal crisis, ambitious and driven Gabriella Castle retreats to the welcoming arms of her family. Everything she's worked for has been yanked out from under her, and she seeks the serenity of her grandmother's home on the North Carolina coast. With difficult decisions to make about her future, the last thing she wants is an unexpected love.

Wade Johnson fell for Gabi the first time he saw her. It's not the only time he's found himself in the role of knight in shining armor, but Gabi isn't looking for a rescuer. To get her to stay, Wade will need a whole lot of patience and gentle persuasion…and maybe the soothing sound of wind chimes on a summer breeze.

Purchase Links

My thoughts: WIth this book, the story starts right off and you learn all the 'stuff' that Gabi is having to deal with all at once - she has been forced out of her job - after they found out she was pregnant - and the baby daddy has decided that after five years with Gabi that this is her mistake to handle.  So Gabi does what anyone would do - goes home to heal in the arms of her family.  

The three sisters are very loyal to one another and actually very level headed despite their absentee father and deceased mother.  I think their Grandmother Cora Jane gets a lot of kudos for that. Emily is quite happy with Boone (Sand Castle Bay, Ocean Breeze #1) and would like to see her sisters happy as well.  Of course, Cora Jane had to do some meddling in the first book to get things to turn out the way she wanted them too.  So when Gabi shows up with her unexpected news, and local widower Wade Johnson has been stopping by since the hurricane just to pick up any news on Gabi, Cora Jane decides they might need some help. 

I continue to like this family and how they back each other up, no matter the circumstances.  They are not afraid to tell it like it is, but also know when to back off to give their siblings time to process.  The third book, Sea Glass Island is due out in June - Can't wait!

~I received a complimentary copy of this book from McAllister PR and Harlequin MIRA in exchange for my unbiased review.~

Publisher/Publication Date: Harlequin MIRA, April 30, 2013
ISBN:  9780778314424
400 pages

Spring Fling Giveaway Hop (May 1 - May 7)

Spring Fling Giveaway Hop is being hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Eve's Fan Garden.  It runs from May 1 - May 7.

I have been cleaning up my shelves and have a box of books to offer to one winner.  The box contains the following books: 

If you like this giveaway -  then keep an eye on this blog as I have a TON of books that I will be giving away this summer!   Enter through the rafflecopter below to enter this one!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Promo and Interview: Ice Blue by Susan Rae

Ice Blue
by Susan Rae

When lives are on the line, sometimes the wrong thing is the right thing to do. 

Born into a Chicago cop family, while her brothers get their rush from catching bad guys, paramedic Angela DeLuca gets hers from saving lives. A tough beauty with a heart perhaps too big, she champions the underdog because, as the youngest of six siblings, she often felt like one.

ICE Special Agent Troy Deavers became a cop to prove he wasn’t like his father—a southern politician who brought his family down with greed and corruption. He doesn’t suffer victims well. At first intrigued by Angela’s passion, he soon fears that the fire in Angela’s heart will be her undoing.

What happens when Troy falls in love with the lovely but infuriating Angela, the Chicago paramedic who insists on protecting a young witness and her unborn baby—a witness who could break his case wide open?

You met the DeLuca family in heartbeats, now come to know them even better in ICE blue.
--Even if you haven't read heartbeats, you can still enjoy ICE blue. Each book has it's own gritty suspense tale and is complete within itself.


Follow Along With This Tour:

April 13 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - Interview/PROMO
April 16 - Taking it One Page at a Time - Review
April 18 - Read Your Writes - Guest Post/PROMO
April 22 - Book Reviews By Dee - Guest Post/PROMO
April 23 - Gimme the Scoop Reviews - PROMO
April 25 My Cozie Corner - Review
April 26 - Beth Art From the Heart - Review
April 30 - Books and Needlepoint - Review/Interview
May 1 - My Reading Addiction - Review
May 2 - Enchanting Reads - Guest Post/PROMO
May 6 - My Devotional Thoughts - Guest Post/PROMO
May 8 - Total Book Geek - Review/Interview
May 9 - Author Ever Leigh - Review
May 10 - My Pathway to Books - Review
May 13 - Book Referees - Guest Post/PROMO
May 15 - The Canon - Review
May 16 - Texas Book Nook - Review
May 17 - Andi's Book Reviews - Interview/PROMO
May 20 - Busy Mom Book Reviews - Review
May 21 - Wormy Hole - Review/Interview
May 22 - The Must Unleashed - Review
May 23 - The World as I See It - Review
May 24 - RABT Reviews - Review

Susan took some time to answer some questions for me over the weekend.  Please enjoy the following interview:  

How do you typically write?  Do you plot it all out beforehand or do you just let the story pour out?

I am a plotter—to a point. Because I write romantic suspense, I have to have a pretty good idea of where I’m going and how the characters are going to get there.  Once I get an idea for a story and who the main characters are, I get my notebook out and start brainstorming.  Most times I already have the beginning and end in my head, so I start jotting down the other main beats of the storyline—those scenes that move the story in another direction.  At some point though, I have to just sit down and start writing.  And that’s when the magic happens—the surprises—as the characters start taking over and things happen that I never thought of originally!

How long do you think about a story before starting to write the book?

It’s funny that you ask that.  Some books are in my head for years before I start writing them.  Some I start writing and never finish (or rather, haven’t finished--yet J).  The idea for my current novel, ICE blue, came about a year after heartbeats was first published,  however it is a very involved book and although I started it shortly afterward and had one-hundred and fifty pages done, I didn’t finish it until last December.  But I think that’s a good thing.  Because I grew from both mine and my family and friends experiences during that time, the book is so much stronger for it.   

Do you have much say in the title or covers of you books?

I do!  Because I am with MUSA Publishing now, I work very closely with the art director on my covers.  In this on-line era, it is more important than ever that a book cover reflects what the story is about.  I want mine to say sophisticated romance and suspense.  I think ICE blue’s cover does this well, along with the other two covers Musa has done for me.  What do you think?
 I think Ice Blue is very fitting!  I am guessing that is the Chicago skyline in the picture as well?

Was there anything (or anyone) while growing up which helped you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Actually, when I was very young, I wanted to be a doctor—a pediatrician. But, as an avid reader, I found myself gravitating more and more to the written word. I penned my first melodrama in fifth grade, complete with hero, heroine, and dastardly villain—not so different really than the romantic suspense I write now.  In eighth grade I played the role of Jo in Little Women. By then, I felt it was type casting. When the words still don’t come so nicely onto the page, I often recite Jo’s words, “If father were here, he’d tell me to throw it in the fire!” It puts a smile on my face. Now, even though I am not a doctor, I enjoy writing one J. (Elizabeth in heartbeats and ICE blue). 

Do you have a favorite quote?

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant–
 Success in Circuit lies… ~~Emily Dickenson
When I read this little poem in college, I realized how true it was.  I try to follow Dickinson’s advice in my writing, in how I approach my characters and plots.  With romance, telling someone that “Love conquers all,” just doesn’t do it, and it isn’t always exactly true.  But creating full, well-rounded characters, making them as real as possible, putting them in difficult but believable situations and seeing how through their grit and determination they get through those situations, often overcoming desperate odds—that’s telling the truth and hopefully giving the reader something they will enjoy reading.

What does a day look like in the life of your main character?

Angela, the main character in ICE blue is a Chicago paramedic.  I had the opportunity to interview a former Chicago paramedic for the novel.  Her twenty-four hour shift was very hectic.  I am slightly amused now when I see the paramedics on the TV show Chicago Fire just hanging out at the station house with the firefighters.  My paramedic said they rarely had time to hang out.  They often squeezed twenty to twenty-three runs into a twenty-four hour shift.  That left very little down time!

What time of day do you like to write?

I “write” (actually sitting down at the computer and getting words into the draft) best between the hours of eleven a.m. and six p.m.  However, I am brainstorming and thinking about a novel almost constantly when I get close to starting a book and during the first draft.  Especially annoying are those four-thirty a.m. wakeups when I can’t get back to sleep because my hero and heroine had a fight and I’m trying to figure out how to get them back together!

What is the most you have written in one day? 

 Twenty pages, or about 5,000 words.  

What themes do you love to read or write about?  

 Love, trust, overcoming difficult situations, and murder most foul!

What is your favorite way to promote a book?   

I do a lot on-line, but I love meeting readers face to face.

If your book was made into a TV series or movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

 The hero for ICE blue is easy, Matthew McConaughey.  Sexy, suave. Can be comical, but also quite serious.  Check out this link for some eye candy! http://www.matthewmcconaughey.com/photos/193087

If you could have a superpower, what would it be? 

 Flying, definitely!

Favorite season?

 Spring.  Renewal and all that.

Favorite sport?   

Participitation?  Golf, swimming, canoeing.  Watching?  Tennis and Football.

Favorite music?   

Very eclectic.  Hard and soft rock, to blues and Broadway musicals.

Talk or text?   

Yes!  Depends on the situation.  Mostly talk.

Cat or dog?   

Dog.  You can meet Half-pint in ICE blue who is patterned off of my own dog, Nikute.

Nikute is so adorable!  I am so ready to get a puppy!

Coffee or tea?   

Tea.  I collect teapots.

I found a great teapot last summer at a garage sale - it is Eeyore!

If you could live in a literary world  - what world would that be and why?

Middle Earth.  It’d be cool to experience wizards, ents, elfs, and all, once the fighting was over!

Favorite gadget?   

Can opener.  At least after the apocalypse I could open a can.

I must say - this is a gadget I would not have thought of!

Ebooks, paperbacks or hardcovers?   

YES!  Did I mention I love to read? Anything, anywhere, anytime!

Is there anything else that you would like my readers to know?

Only that I love a good sexy romance with a gritty suspense story, and that’s what I try to give readers with my novels. A try to bring a plot with a lot of meat to it and well developed characters that will bring joy, fear, laughter, and even tears to readers while possibly raising their awareness of things outside their normal everyday life. ICE blue is billed as DeLuca Family 2, but don’t let that throw you off.  Even if you haven’t read heartbeats, the first book in the series, you can enjoy ICE blue.  Each novel has its own hero and heroine and gritty suspense storyline that is complete within the novel.

Thank you Kristi for having me and thank you, readers, for taking the time to visit with me today.  For more information on my books and my writing, please visit me at www.susanrae.com

Happy Reading!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Blitz: Soul Taker by Karen Michelle Nutt

Soul Taker
by Karen Michelle Nutt

No soul is safe…

A vampire from the Grim Sith sept is sucking the souls out of young women from the Boston area, but this sinister crime is far worse than a vampire seeking substance. He’s selling the souls to the highest bidder and it seems business is booming.

A vampire, a werewolf and a Necromancer, are a most unlikely team, but Garran, Harrison and Isabella plan on putting a kink in the dubbed Soul Taker’s plans. It’s personal now. One of their friends has fallen victim to the Soul Taker’s charms, but to stop him from hurting anyone else, their efforts may involve raising the dead.

Please enjoy this excerpt from Soul Taker:
The night awakened everything dark and foreboding, allowing them to walk among the humans. Garran MacLaurin would be considered such a creature, though with practice he learned to control his unusual appetite to destroy everything in his wake.

From the shadows, Garran watched Isabella Lucci lock her car, the beep of the alarm echoing in the hospital's carport.
She wore a tan long-sleeve shirt with jeans, which looked tailored to fit her trim figure, and designer boots. She turned to go toward the hospital entrance, but something caught her attention. Her feet stilled. Her gaze turned toward him and apprehension crossed her delicate features. She took a hesitant step in his direction, clutching her purse like a lifeline. She scanned the parking lot, searching… For what? He stood still and waited. Finally, she turned and continued inside the hospital.

He would have to be careful. Isabella hadn't seen him, but he knew without a doubt she sensed him. Rare for a human to sense the preternatural world, but then again, if Harrison was correct in his assumptions, Miss Lucci could raise the dead.
Garran waited a respected few minutes so not to run into Miss Lucci. Then he too, entered the hospital.

Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband, three fascinating children, and houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.

Her Book, Lost in the Mist of Time, was nominated for New Books Review Spotlight Best Fantasy Book of the Year Award 2006. A Twist of Fate was a nominee for Best Time Travel P.E.A.R.L. Award for 2008. Creighton Manor won Honorable Mention P.E.A.R.L. Award 2009.

Her new passion is creating book covers for Western Trail Blazers and Rebecca J. Vickery Publishing. In her spare time, she reviews books for PNR-Paranormal Romance Reviews. 

Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? (April 29, 2013)

What are you reading on Mondays is hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey - You can hook up with the Mr. Linky there with your own post - but be sure and let me know what you are reading too! 

Bathroom Book:
(Still love this one!)

The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius
by Kristine Barnett

The extraordinary memoir of a mother's love, commitment, and nurturing, which allowed her son, originally diagnosed with autism, to flourish into a universally recognized genius-and how any parent can help their child find their spark.

Today, at thirteen, Jacob is working on extending Einstein's theory of relativity, and is a paid researcher in quantum physics. Yet at three, after an autism diagnosis, Jacob was assigned to life-skills classes, his parents told to adjust their expectations. The goalpost was to be tying his own shoes at sixteen. Kristine's belief in the power of hope and the dazzling possibilities that can occur when we keep our minds open and learn to fuel a child's true potential changed everything.

Physical Book:

(I have to pick between these two)


by Joe Hill

Charlie Manx burned a man to death in his black 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith, but that’s not the worst of it. Rumor has it that he kidnapped dozens of children, taking them to a place he calls “Christmasland.” The only child ever to escape was a very lucky girl named Victoria McQueen.

Vic has a gift – she can ride her bike through the Shorter Way bridge and she’ll come out the other side wherever she needs to be, even if it’s hundreds of miles away. Vic doesn’t tell anyone about her ability; no one would understand.

When Charlie Manx finally dies after years in prison, his body disappears...after the autopsy. The police and media think someone stole it, but Vic knows the truth: Charlie Manx is on the road again...and he has her kid. And this time, Vic McQueen’s going after him...

Beautiful Disaster

by Jamie McGuire


Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.


Ice Blue
by Susan Rae

When lives are on the line, sometimes the wrong thing is the right thing to do. 

Born into a Chicago cop family, while her brothers get their rush from catching bad guys, paramedic Angela DeLuca gets hers from saving lives. A tough beauty with a heart perhaps too big, she champions the underdog because, as the youngest of six siblings, she often felt like one.

ICE Special Agent Troy Deavers became a cop to prove he wasn’t like his father—a southern politician who brought his family down with greed and corruption. He doesn’t suffer victims well. At first intrigued by Angela’s passion, he soon fears that the fire in Angela’s heart will be her undoing.

What happens when Troy falls in love with the lovely but infuriating Angela, the Chicago paramedic who insists on protecting a young witness and her unborn baby—a witness who could break his case wide open?

You met the DeLuca family in heartbeats, now come to know them even better in ICE blue.
--Even if you haven't read heartbeats, you can still enjoy ICE blue. Each book has it's own gritty suspense tale and is complete within itself.

Waiting for Reviews:

Dear Cassie
by Lisa Burstein
Evidence of Life
by Barbara taylor Sissel
Blood Money
By Doug Richardson
From the Kitchen of Half

by Maria Goodin
The Last Telegram
by Liz Trenow
Love Water Memory
by Jennie Shortridge

Read-a-thon Wrap Ups

I will start with the wrap up for the 24 hour-readathon - since the books I read during it also counted for the Spring into Horror Read-a-thon.  When I went up to bed last night, after my 2 hour cat nap, I ended up reading for about another hour - which took me almost to hour 21.  I think that is the latest that I have read.  I finished up at about 570 pages for the day and read The Last Telegram by Liz Trenow and 1/2 of Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge.

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?    I would say hour 16 as that was when I fell asleep!
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Chosen Ones and Naturals by Tiffany Truitt
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope - it is always well run with lots of high energy!
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? The form to list the books read - posts were timely every hour - mini challenges were a lot of fun!
  5. How many books did you read? 1 and 1/2
  6. What were the names of the books you read? The Last Telegram by Liz Trenow and Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? The Last Telegram
  8. Which did you enjoy least? Love Water Memory
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?  No - they did great!
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?  I will definitely participate again, but until my kids are more self sufficient, will only participate as a reader.

Okay - now for my wrap up of the Spring into Horror Readathon which started last Monday.  
I read 4 books and parts of 3 others.  
1. When Summer Comes by Brenda Novak
2. Naturals by Tiffany Truitt (this is my one 'horror'/dystopian book)
3. The Last Telegram by Liz Trenow
4. Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge
Parts of
1. The Spark by Kristin Barnett
2. (started) Wind Chime Point by Sherryl Woods
3. (finished) From the Kitchen of Half Truth by Maria Goodin

Total pages - about 1750 for the week. 

Hour 18 - I've been sleeping. . .

This will be my last post of the night.  I started Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge and after 74 pages needed to close my eyes for awhile.  I only wanted a little catnap - asked my daughter to wake me after about 20 minutes - but 2 hours later I finally shook myself awake!  So I am headed up to bed, but I am taking my book with me!  Will let you know in the morning how long I actually lasted.

Good night and Happy Reading with y'all!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hour 14 - and I finally finished a book!

Yes folks - you heard it hear first - I finally finished a book!  My quick dinner out with my husband turned into a trip to the mall to drop my son off with daughter two.  But daughter two had to return a dress TODAY, so I had to find said dress and meet her at the mall and wait while she found something to exchange it for - then my husband and I left, only to return within 10 minutes because daughter one had daughter two's debit card and she had no cash.  Then we finally made it to dinner.  So, this all leads to me finally finishing one book!   The Last Telegram by Liz Trenow - Great book BTW.

Happy Reading!

Hour 10 - Time for dinner

Well, hour 10 and still reading my first book. . .  A little disappointed by that but I have had some interruptions today that I was and wasn't expecting.  Like my husband inviting me out to dinner since daughter two is taking son to a movie when she gets off work - woo hoo!  So, we are off to dinner and then I hope to tuck in for a nice evening of reading.

I think I have read about another 80 pages since the last post.

Happy Reading!


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