Thursday, July 29, 2021

Summer Lovin' Recap!

 

Hi, everyone! Today is the final day of Summer Lovin' 2021, and the day in which I post the recap of the event! I had so much fun putting this event together, and I love all the interviews. The authors are all fantastic, and I so hope you'll check out their books now, if you haven't already! Now onto the list of links!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Kate Bromley!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Dylan Newton!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Uzma Jalaluddin!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Emily Sullivan!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Jessica Patrick!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Sara Desai!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Kristin Rockaway!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Kelsey Rodkey!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Suzanne Park!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Annie Rains!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Ann LaBar!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Jenny Holiday!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Debbie Rigaud!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Olivia Drake!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Kate Pembrooke!

Summer Lovin': Interview With Barb Curtis!

Isn't that wonderful?! I hope you all enjoyed the event! And I want to thank all the authors who participated, and anyone who read, commented on, tweeted about, or in anyway supported the posts! You all are absolutely fantastic! Here's to next year's event! :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Summer Lovin': Interview With Barb Curtis!


Hi, everyone! Today I am pleased to present an interview with Barb Curtis, the author of the Adult Romance series, Sapphire Springs, including the newest book, Only For You, which is out now!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

Would you please tell us a little about your book, Only for You?

Only For You is a small town contemporary romance about Emily and Tim, good friends and fellow members of the Sapphire Springs Town Council. Emily’s had a crush on Tim for years, and he’s oblivious. Tim has been recently dumped on reality TV and fans of the show have gone a little gaga over him. He devises a plan for Emily to pose as his girlfriend for a while until the unwanted attention subsides, never realizing the predicament he’s putting her in. When real feelings get tangled up in the mix, they’re both forced to look at their relationship in a new light and decide if risking their friendship is worth it.

The first book in the Sapphire Springs series, Forever with You, released last year! Would you like to tell us a little about it?

Forever With You is a blend of second chance and enemies to lovers, and the first book in my Sapphire Springs series. Leyna Milan has taken over the family restaurant only to discover that a clause in her grandfather’s will forces her to open a second location at a local vineyard operated by her first love, Jay Wynter, who she hasn’t seen since the day he broke her heart. The more they’re together, the more they realize there’s still something between them, and that sometimes first loves deserve another chance.

Random Question! What’s your favorite flower?

Orchids are definitely my favorite flower. They’re so gorgeous and there are so many varieties. I love their elegance. 

They are so pretty!

If you’re able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

I’m just wrapping up copy edits on Falling For You, book 3 and the final installment of the Sapphire Springs series. This book is tentatively scheduled for March 2022. It focuses on Leyna’s brother Rob, who is starting over after a messy divorce, changing careers, and getting on with his life. He’s been dealt a crappy hand, so he’s a little bit grumpy. He’s got his heart set on restoring a historic house in Sapphire Springs, but the sunshiny inheritor has ideas of her own. It’s an opposites attract, found family story that provides a little glimpse into the history of Sapphire Springs in a really fun way. After that I’ll be working on a romantic comedy that’s been demanding attention in my head for the last little bit. I’m really looking forward to that!

It sounds good!

What are some of your favorite Romance books? And what are some you’re looking forward to reading?

I love anything by Kristan Higgins and Abby Jimenez, and I’m currently reading Meet Cute by Helena Hunting and loving it. I’m really looking forward to reading The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang, and The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon, which are both coming out soon.

Great picks!

Thank you to Barb Curtis for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: A happily-ever-after-crafter at heart, Barb Curtis’ love for writing began with a quick-witted style column, and her background in marketing led to stints writing print and web copy, newsletters, and grant proposals. The switch to fiction came with the decision to pair her creativity with her love for words and crafting characters and settings she could truly get lost in. Barb happily lives in a bubble in rural New Brunswick with her husband, daughter, and dog. You’ll find her restoring the century-old family homestead, weeding the garden, and no doubt whistling the same song all day long.

Her debut novel FOREVER WITH YOU will be available from Forever / Grand Central November 10th, 2020.

Follow her on Twitter @barb_curtis

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Mini Review: The Highlander's Irish Bride

 Review: The Highlander's Irish Bride by Vanessa Kelly

Meet the most respectable member of the Kendrick Clan in bestselling author Vanessa Kelly's intoxicating series—and the independent woman who has stolen his heart...

Miss Kathleen Calvert may be the daughter of an Irish aristocrat, but she has no intention of acting like one. All she desires is to return to her family's estate to raise horses and manage her father's magnificent gardens. But when a scandal threatens her reputation, her parents order her to a remote Scottish estate, hoping she will finally learn to behave like a proper lady. To make matters worse, her escort is a handsome Highlander who just happens to be the most boring man in all of Scotland...

After a youth of dangerous and wild escapades, Grant Kendrick surprised his family—and himself—by becoming a successful businessman and the most respectable Kendrick brother. But does that matter, when the beautiful and free-spirited Kathleen deems him a stodgy bore? Luckily, he gets the chance to prove her wrong when their carriage is ambushed by thieves. But it will take all his ingenuity to protect the beautiful lass who has stormed her way into his heart—and to convince her that a life with him will be a love-filled adventure...

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Mini Review: This was a delightful romance! I liked Kathleen and Grant together. I loved their families, they were so fun! And the mystery was a nice addition to the book. Overall, I would definitely recommend reading this book!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Summer Lovin': Interview With Kate Pembrooke!


Hi, everyone! Today I am happy to present an interview with Kate Pembrooke, the author of the Adult Romance, Not the Kind of Earl You Marry, which is out now!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

Would you please tell us a little about your book, Not the Kind of Earl You Marry?

This book embraces my all-time favorite romance trope – fake engagement/fake relationship. It also features one of my favorite types of heroines – the bluestocking and/or wallflower. Charlotte is both of those, which is why she’s so leery of entering into a fake betrothal with William who is one of the most eligible bachelors in London. 

This book also emphasizes female friendships. Charlotte becomes involved with a group of forward-thinking, socially conscious ladies who form the nucleus of The Wednesday Afternoon Social Club, which despite its innocuous sounding name, is anything but that! 

It’s a slow burn romance with lots of banter. I hope readers enjoy it!

Not the Kind of Earl You Marry is the first in The Unconventional Ladies of Mayfair series! Would you like to share anything about the next book? 

The next book in the series is Say You’ll Be My Lady and the two main characters are Lady Serena Wynter and Mr. Charles Townshend, who were both secondary characters in Not the Kind of Earl You Marry.

This book is a little different because Charles does not have an aristocratic lineage. He’s from a solidly middle class background, while Serena, the daughter of the Earl of Huntington, comes from a prominent London family. So their different backgrounds do create an obstacle to their HEA, but that’s certainly not the only thing they must overcome before they can be together. Let me just say that each of them harbors a secret from their past that complicates things for them.

Random Question! Your bio mentions you collect cookbooks! What’s one of your favorites?  

I have an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that is literally falling apart! For years it was my go-to cookbook. Lately though with book deadlines, I’m all about quick cooking. For that, I frequently turn to Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook and The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook. Both of these are by Beth Hensperger.

I'll have to check out those last two books!

If you’re able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

Currently, I’m drafting the third book in the series (title TBD) where the main characters are Miss Phoebe Talbot (a recurring character from the first two books) and Mr. Simon Trentwell, who makes a brief appearance at the end of Say You’ll Be My Lady. She’s a bookish beauty who must marry well to rescue her family’s finances and he’s a rake trying to reform his ways. 

It’s too early in the drafting process to say much more because things may change significantly as I get further into the story. That’s just how it goes when you’re writing a first draft, or at least, when I’m writing a first draft. I’m a complete pantser who discovers the story as I write. I love the opening scene though when Simon spies Phoebe climbing out of a ground floor window. Clearly, she’s up to something and he wants to find out what! For some reason, I’ve been dying to write a heroine who climbs out of a window and so that’s how I started the book.

That opening scene sounds like fun!

What are some of your favorite Romance books? And what are some you’re looking forward to reading?  

It’s so hard to narrow it down to just a few favorites! But if I must, a few that I love are…Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase, My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway, When the Marquess Met His Match by Laura Lee Guhrke, When He Was Wicked by Tessa Dare. Some I’m looking forward to are…Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas,  It was Only a Kiss by Shannon Gilmore,  A Duke Worth Fighting For by Christina Britton, The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood, The Shaadi Set-Up by Lillie Vale.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Jessica!

Excellent picks!

Thank you to Kate Pembrooke for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Kate Pembrooke lives in the Midwest with her husband and two adorable pups. When she's not tapping away at her keyboard, she enjoys reading, puttering amongst her flowerbeds, taking beach vacations, and adding to her already extensive collection of cookbooks. She's ecstatically happy that being a writer allows her to indulge her passion for colorful pens and sticky notes.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Review: Not the Kind of Earl You Marry (The Unconventional Ladies of Mayfair #1)

Review: Not the Kind of Earl You Marry (The Unconventional Ladies of Mayfair #1) by Kate Pembrooke

Fans of Netflix's Bridgerton series will adore this stunning historical romance debut, where a wary wallflower enters a fake engagement with one of London's most eligible bachelors.

The one woman in London who doesn’t want to marry him is now his fiancée.

William Atherton, Earl of Norwood, is as shocked as the rest of London to discover his betrothal via an announcement in the morning paper. Furious at what appears to be a shrewd marriage trap, William tracks down his alleged fiancée before her plans can affect his campaign for a coveted political post. But then William realizes an engagement, however fake, may benefit them both...

Miss Charlotte Hurst may be a wallflower, but she’s no shrinking violet. She would never attempt such an underhanded scheme, especially not with a man as haughty or sought-after as Norwood. Yet his suggestion to play along with the betrothal has its merits... and the longer they pretend, the more undeniably real their feelings become. But when the true culprit behind their engagement is revealed, can their newfound happiness survive the scandal?

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: This was a delightful read! I really enjoyed reading about Charlotte and William's growing feelings for each other, and the problems I thought they were going to have, were not actually the ones they did have, so that was nice!

Characters: All the characters were wonderful, and I quite enjoyed reading about a couple of the side characters in this one, and am happy that they appear to be the leads in the next book!

The Cover: I like it! (Her dress is gorgeous!)

Overall: This was a delightful debut Historical Romance, and I eagerly anticipate reading more by this author! Overall, I would definitely recommend it!

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher.

Review: Much Ado about Nauticaling (Whit and Whiskers Mystery #1)

 Review: Much ADO about Nauticaling (Whit and Whiskers Mystery #1) by Gabby Allan

Whitney Dagner is your tour guide to a Pacific paradise that's to die for--only to find it's a place people are also willing to kill for--in Gabby Allan's Much Ado About Nauticaling, first in the Whit and Whiskers Mystery series.

After far too many years in the Los Angeles corporate world, Whitney Dagner has come home to Santa Catalina Island off the California coast to help her brother Nick run Nautically Yours, the family tourism business. Between gift shop shifts selling all manner of T-shirts and tchotchkes and keeping her feline Whiskers in fine fettle, she pilots the Sea Bounder, a glass bottom boat showing tourists the underwater sights of aquatic plants, marine life--and a murder victim?

The self-proclaimed Master of the Island, Jules Tisdale was a wealthy man with business interests throughout Catalina who was about to be honored as Person of the Year before someone strangled him with his own tie and tossed his body into the water. That someone appears to be Nick, who had a raw deal from Jules and no alibi the night of his murder. To clear her brother's name, Whit will have to investigate Jules' shady associates and not exactly grief-stricken family members--with the unwelcome help of Felix Ramirez, police diver and Whit's ex-boyfriend who's looking to rekindle their relationship.

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: This was a really good mystery! I don't want to add too much about the plot here, for fear of spoiling something. But I will write that I did NOT guess who the culprit was (I had a suspicion, but I thought it wasn't going to be that person.), so that was nice that the author was able to surprise me!

Characters: All the characters were really entertaining! From the main character, Whitney, to her family, friends, and the other residents of the island, they were all a well written cast of people!

The Cover: It's cute and bright!

Overall: I really enjoyed this cozy mystery! I liked the characters, the plot was good, and I loved the descriptions of the location. I look forward to reading the next book in this series! Overall, this is a cozy I would definitely recommend reading!

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Review: The Duke Goes Down (The Duke Hunt #1)

Review: The Duke Goes Down (The Duke Hunt #1) by Sophie Jordan


New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan begins the all new Duke Hunt series with the illegitimate son of a duke who meets his match in the daring daughter of a vicar.

The Bastard Rogue...

Peregrine Butler's privileged blue-blooded world is rocked to the core when it is revealed he was born before his parents' marriage and, therefore, is not the legal heir to the dukedom. Facing ruin, Perry must use his charm and good looks to win an heiress—all the while, ignoring his fascination with the one interfering and alluring chit who is intent on sabotaging his efforts.

The Lady Vicar...

Everyone knows Imogen Bates, the virtuous daughter of the senile vicar. She can write a sermon in a day and spot a rogue in a second, so she sees right through Perry's seductive façade. But Imogen's plan to protect the heiresses of her beloved Shropshire from the erstwhile Duke of Penning, the bane of her existence since childhood, soon turns into something altogether unacceptable for the proper lady... who suddenly finds herself longing to keep his heated glances and tempting kisses all to herself.

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: This was such an enjoyable read! Reading about Imogen's plan to keep Perry from being an acceptable choice for the heiresses of Shropshire was so funny, and seeing them fall in love was delightful. And I LOVED the epilogue!

Characters: They were all so good! From Imogen and Perry, to everyone else in the village, I liked them all! And I'm curious to read who the next books will be about, though I do have a couple of ideas...

The Cover: I like it!

Overall: I really enjoyed reading this first book in a new series, and I know I will be reading the following books! (And I really did love the epilogue and how it tied together in the end!) I would definitely recommend reading this book!

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher.

Review: When a Duke Loves a Governess

 Review: When a Duke Loves a Governess (Unlikely Duchesses #3) by Olivia Drake


A stunning new Regency from beloved author Olivia Drake, When a Duke Loves a Governess...!

Tessa James has worked and planned tirelessly to open her own millinery shop. All she needs now is a loan from the lord who sired and abandoned her. The only problem is, she doesn’t even know his name. What’s a woman to do to find him but enter the aristocratic world by becoming a governess?

Guy Whitby, the new Duke of Carlin, has returned to London after years abroad to discover that his young daughter Sophy has become a wild-child known for scaring away every governess who's crossed his doorstep. When Tessa James applies for the job, he hires her in desperation despite his misgivings that she’s too bold and beautiful–and that she might be fibbing about her qualifications.

Their blooming attraction leads them on a completely unexpected path to love that neither wants to deny. But when an old enemy threatens Guy's family, their forbidden romance goes up in flames. Can they still learn to love and trust each other as forces try to tear them apart?

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: It was so good! I went into this book expecting it to be a certain way, and it flipped so many things around in ways I didn't expect, which is a compliment! There were twists I didn't see coming, and it took turns I wasn't expecting, which was fun!

Characters: Tessa was such a great main character! I liked how she had her own dreams, completely unrelated to the aristocratic world. And Guy was a fantastic love interest! (Even when he was sticking his foot in his mouth!) I liked all the supporting characters, too. MINOR SPOILER: I hope we get a book about Will and Avis! END SPOILER

The Cover: I like it!

Overall: I went into this book expecting a fun read, but I underestimated how much I would like it! I loved this book, and I definitely want to read more books by Olivia Drake! If you're looking for a fantastic regency book, I highly recommend this one!

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Summer Lovin': Interview With Olivia Drake!


Hi, everyone! Today I am pleased to present an interview with Olivia Drake, the author of multiple Adult books, including her newest, When a Duke Loves a Governess, which releases Tuesday! She also writes under the name Barbara Dawson Smith!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

Would you please tell us a little about your book When a Duke Loves a Governess?

Tessa James is a hatmaker who dreams of opening her own millinery shop. Penniless, she hopes to finagle a loan from the lord who sired and abandoned her.  To find him, she must enter the aristocratic world by pretending to be a governess.

Guy Whitby, the Duke of Carlin, is at his wit’s end.  Upon returning to London after four years abroad, he learns that his young daughter has become a wild-child who has scared away a string of governesses.  When Tessa James applies for the job, he hires her in desperation despite his misgivings that she’s too bold and beautiful – and that she’s fibbing about her qualifications.   

As Guy and Tessa try to resist their forbidden attraction, the duke’s home is burglarized and he’s shot.  Guy thinks his aunt may be right about the family being cursed – at least until he and Tessa begin to question why the previous duke and several heirs to the title died under suspicious circumstances. 

WHEN A DUKE LOVES A GOVERNESS is the third book in the “Unlikely Duchesses” series that features feisty women who seek employment in the home of a duke. 

What was the inspiration for it?

I found it intriguing to write about a heroine who’s a member of the lower class.  Tessa is hard-working, independent, and plucky, and she’s truly a fish out of water in the opulence of the duke’s household.  She isn’t a lady, nor does she wish to become one.  Yet love can strike when we least expect it, and Tessa’s emotions throw her into a quandary.  Here’s an excerpt, after the Duke of Carlin has just asked her to marry him:

Even if he pledged his undying devotion to her, wedding Carlin had one insurmountable obstacle.  It required her to be a duchess.  She would become mistress of this grand house, the recipient of bows and curtsies, the receiver of noble visitors, the hostess of balls and dinner parties and who knew what else?  She would be pitchforked from the bottom rung of the social ladder all the way to the pinnacle.  The very thought was unnerving.

Besides, his cavalier dismissal of her dreams still smarted.  Becoming a shop owner can hardly compare to becoming a lady, he’d said.  Of course, you must give it all up.

She knew that a career of any sort was forbidden to a duchess.  The swells despised even a whiff of trade among its exalted members.  Yet all she had ever wanted was to design hats, to own her own millinery, and as the wife of a duke, she would be barred from doing so.  

Random Question! What’s your favorite dessert?

Dark chocolate for every day.  Can I pick another for special occasions?  For my birthday, a friend often bakes me her “The Elvis Cake.”  It’s a multi-layered chocolate cake frosted with a combination of Nutella/peanut butter/whipped cream.  Yum!

Ooh, this sounds good!

If you’re able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

I recently turned in a synopsis for a book about a governess who receives the unexpected inheritance of a property that borders a duke’s estate.  The prime piece of land had been promised to the duke by his great-uncle, and he’s none too pleased to see her turn it into a home for destitute women.  Add in a missing necklace once owned by Queen Marie Antoinette, and the stage is set for lots of excitement and romance.  Fingers crossed that my editor likes it!

This sounds good!

What are some of your favorite Romance books? And what are some you’re looking forward to reading?

My love of romance novels started with Victoria Holt, Jane Austen, Mary Stewart, and Georgette Heyer.  Over the years, that list of must-buy authors has expanded to include Mary Balogh, Lisa Kleypas, Sandra Brown, Deeanne Gist, Amanda Stevens, and many more.  In addition to romance, I like to read historical fiction, and just finished Bernard Cornwall’s “Saxon Chronicles,” a 13-book saga that begins with “The Last Kingdom,” which was made into a Netflix series.  Next up, I’ll be reading his book Stonehenge. 

That said, my first love will always be romance novels set in Regency England.  It’s an era that evokes the gracefulness of ladies and gentlemen whirling in a waltz, the brilliance of witty conversation, and the fun of watching a toplofty lord who finally meets his match in a spirited heroine.  And that’s exactly the kind of book that I like to write!

I hadn't heard of a couple of these authors before! *goes to look their books up*

Thank you to Olivia Drake for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Shortly after graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in journalism, Olivia Drake sold her first novel two weeks after sending it to a publisher. She now lives in Texas in a cozy cottage with a feisty cat, a loving husband, and two wonderful daughters who still come back whenever they want a home-cooked meal.

Many of you already know Olivia as Barbara Dawson Smith, author of 24 historical romance novels. She is a New York Times bestseller and winner of numerous honors, including the Golden Heart Award and the coveted Rita Award for excellence in the historical romance genre.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Summer Lovin': Interview With Debbie Rigaud!


Hi, everyone! Today I am happy to present an interview with Debbie Rigaud, the author of the multiple YA books, including Truly Madly Royally and Simone Breaks All the Rules which are both out now!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

Would you please tell us a little about your book, Simone Breaks All the Rules?

Happily. My book follows Simone, a 17-year-old high school senior who, together with fellow late bloomer friends, creates an epic senior year bucket list. Together they hope to break out of their parents’ overprotective cocoons and become the social butterflies they feel they’re meant to be.

Did you always want to write YA books?

I knew I always wanted to write for young readers, but I started my career writing articles as a staffer at Seventeen magazine and Twist. I bonded with young readers early in my magazine journalism career and then segued to writing fiction at the suggestion of my former agent who was in search of YA stories featuring black and brown girls. I haven’t looked back since!

Random Question! Do you listen to music while you write?

This question is not random to me at all, because music is a big part of setting the writing mood for me. Yes, I listen to music while I write. I have my go to playlist and I’m also known to play the same on repeat for hours if need be. Lately I’ve been all about R&B heiress Alex Isley and the otherworldly band Moonchild. Their amazing sonic energy gives me mental space. 

If you’re able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

This summer, I am very busy revising KINDRED SPIRITS, my next YA out next summer. The story features 15 year-old Cicely and takes place at Brooklyn’s annual Caribbean Carnival, the Labor Day Parade. I used to attend the Labor Day parade every year, and I wanted to share that thrill and adventure with readers. The story flirts with magical realism and challenges how we view spiritual traditions. I hope readers come along for Cicely’s fun ride!

Ooh, this sounds really good!

What are some of your favorite Romance books? And what are some you’re looking forward to reading?

I love Nicola Yoon’s THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR (Sublime!), LOVE FROM A to Z by S. K. Ali (Swoon!), THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith (Sigh!), and the self-love story in Renee Watson’s PIECING ME TOGETHER (So special!)

Great picks!

Thank you to Debbie Rigaud for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Debbie Rigaud is the author of YA rom-coms SIMONE BREAKS ALL THE RULES and TRULY MADLY ROYALLY. HOPE, her debut MG series with Alyssa Milano, was an instant NYTimes Bestseller. A total Jersey girl at heart, Debbie now lives with her husband and children in Columbus, Ohio. Find out more at debbierigaud.com.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Friday, July 23, 2021

Summer Lovin': Interview With Jenny Holiday!


Hi, everyone! Today I am pleased to present an interview with Jenny Holiday, the author of multiple Adult Romances, including the Matchmaker Bay series, which are all out now, and the upcoming Duke, Actually, which releases this October!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

Would you please tell us a little about your book, Sandcastle Beach?

Sandcastle Beach is the third and final book in the Matchmaker Bay series (but it works as a standalone), which is set in a beach town on the shores of Lake Huron in Canada. In it, we find Maya Mehta, the owner and director of the town theatre company, battling it out with Ben “Law” Lawson, the owner and bartender at Lawson’s Lager House, for an economic development grant. Maya is staging Much Ado About Nothing, and soon life begins to imitate art for the couple that claims to “hate” each other.

Duke, Actually releases this October! Would you like to share anything about it?

Yes! This is the second in a series of Christmas books I’m doing for HarperCollins. These books were born from an idle thought I had when I was watching Hallmark Christmas movies with my dad: What if I wrote a book like this that was sort of over-the-top Hallmarkey, except with the snark and heat levels dialed up? Duke, Actually is about a playboy baron in line to inherit a dukedom in my fictional Alpine country of Eldovia, and a no-nonsense English professor from New York. They are thrown together because they’re the man of honor and best woman in the Eldovian royal wedding (between the main characters from the previous book A Princess for Christmas). They strike up an unlikely friendship, and…you know the rest!

I'm really looking forward to this book!

Random Question! Your bio mentions you like to throw theme parties! What’s your favorite theme party you’ve thrown?

A friend was having a milestone birthday that coincided with a big promotion and work, and she wanted to celebrate with her closest women friends. Somehow this evolved into a Miss Havisham party. Miss Havisham was a character in Great Expectations. She was left at the altar and spent the ensuing years drifting around her house in her tattered wedding dress nursing her grudge and ruining people’s lives. I decorated with fake cobwebs and spiders, and we all dressed as hollow-eyed, jilted Victorian brides and ate blancmange and drank wine out of teacups. My friend even made a “wedding” cake, let it get stale, and topped it with a bride-and-groom topper, except the groom was decapitated and bleeding.

This sounds so fun!

If you’re able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

I’m working on my last Christmas book, out fall 2022 and as yet untitled. It’s about the starchy, change-resistant equerry to the Eldovian throne and the American management consultant who is hired to overhaul the country’s declining watch manufacturing industry.

What are some of your favorite Romance books? And what are some you’re looking forward to reading?

Two longtime favorites are M. O’Keefe’s Burn Down the Night and Alexis Hall’s How to Bang a Billionaire. Neither is anything like what I write, but both writers are at the top of their game. I’m looking forward to Olivia Dade’s All the Feels, Jackie Lau’s Donut Fall in Love, and Farah Heron’s YA romance Tahira in Bloom.

The books you're looking forward to are all on my TBR list!

Thank you to Jenny Holiday for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Jenny Holiday is a USA Today-bestselling and RITA®-nominated author whose books have been featured in The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, and National Public Radio. She grew up in Minnesota and started writing at age nine when her fourth-grade teacher gave her a notebook to fill with stories. When she’s not working on her next book, she likes to hang out with her family, watch other people sing karaoke, and throw theme parties. A member of the House of Slytherin, Jenny lives in London, Ontario, Canada.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Summer Lovin': Interview With Ann LaBar!


Hi, everyone! Today I am pleased to present an interview with Ann LaBar, the author of the YA Romance, Prom Theory, which is out now!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

Would you please tell us a little about your book, Prom Theory?

Prom Theory is about is about Iris Oxtabee, a junior in highschool who has Non Verbal Learning Disorder. Some of the symptoms of NVLD are very similar to Autism Spectrum Disorder as she is awkward socially and has a hard time reading facial expressions. The big difference, which is very true of Iris, is that NVLD people have amazing verbal skills and Iris remembers everything she reads. She is very interested in psychology and neurology as a way to figure out people. She has also read a great deal about the science of attraction.

A lot of people have asked me why I chose to write about NVLD and it’s because my oldest child is NVLD and I have a lot of experience with her and helping her navigate high school and college. Plus, I wanted to represent a little known learning disability and show that even though it some makes things difficult, it also has a few super powers. Nuerodiverse people are the ones who often change the world and think the unimagined. 

Okay, back to Prom Theory.

When the topic of Prom comes up with her two best friends, Esther and Seth, she ends up arguing that love is nothing but chemistry and she can prove it. She will get the senior track team captain to ask her to prom. What she doesn’t realize Seth has been in love with her forever and her little experiment make get her a prom date but lose her best friend.

The experiments don’t always go as planned and hilarity ensues.

Did you always want to write YA books?.

Actually no! I began as a poet. In fact, my master’s degree is in creative writing, poetry. But friends of mine started writing romance and I became interested and thought, “I could do that.” Fifteen years later of trying to write a historical adult romance. Sex scenes are harder to write than you might think! Plus they made me blush. More and more I began writing younger and younger and it occurred to me that all my best ideas worked best as a YA. The writing is so much easier now and I love it. I think I’m secretly 13 years old.

Random Question! Do you listen to music while you write?

No! I can’t have any noise. If no one else is home I don’t even turn the radio on. The quieter it is, the easier it is to escape into my imagination.

If you’re able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

I am working on Iris’ best friend’s book. Her life is basically falling apart the summer before her senior year until she meets this tree of a guy, ripped and tall, and a total pain in the ass and he (unintendedly) gets her in trouble and then fired from her pet store job. And a bunch of other stuff ☺  My working title is Iguana Love You.  I’m also revising a paranormal/fantasy I wrote awhile ago – A Girl’s Guide to Knitting and Saving the World.

I love the working titles!

What are some of your favorite Romance books? And what are some you’re looking forward to reading?

I really enjoy Eloisa James’ historical fiction, and The Bridgerton Series (of course). I really like historical romances when I read adult books. I love the Rosie Project series, the new release Glimpsed (there’s magic!), and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Everything by John Green. 

Great picks!

Thank you to Ann LaBar for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Having spent most of her life talking and listening to people who aren’t there, Ann LaBar has tried to legitimize her madness with a B.A. in Theater from Indiana University of PA and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of Alaska.

When she isn't traveling with her insanely adventurous husband, hounding her two grown children, or walking her one-eyed French bulldog, she is writing.

Ann LaBar is represented by Lisa Rodgers of JABberwocky Literary Agency. http://awfulagent.com

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Summer Lovin': Interview With Annie Rains!


Hi, everyone! Today I am pleased to present an interview with Annie Rains, the author of multiple Adult romances, including the Somerset Lake series, which includes the first book, The Summer Cottage, which is out now, and the upcoming The Christmas Village, which releases in October!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

Would you please tell us a little about your book, The Summer Cottage?

Yes, I’d love to! The Summer Cottage is book one in my new Somerset Lake series. Trisha Langly is new to town, looking for a fresh start for her and her son. She takes a job as the manager of the Somerset Cottages and bumps heads with the owner’s grandson, Jake, who is in town for the summer to convince his grandmother that it’s time to sell the cottages and move to Florida with the rest of the Fletcher family. Trisha has a past that Jake is determined to uncover in order to protect his grandmother. Uncovering Trisha’s secrets, however, could destroy the new life that Trisha is building for her and her child. The Summer Cottage was a fun book to write and I hope that readers will enjoy reading it! 

The next book in the Somerset Lake series, The Christmas Village, releases in October! Would you like to tell us a little about it?

Lucy Hannigan moved back to her hometown of Somerset Lake last Christmas to take care of her ill mother. Now her mother has passed and Lucy has inherited the large pink house in a prestigious neighborhood called The Village. Lucy also inherited her mother’s debts, which Lucy has been working to pay off all year. When one more bill collector comes knocking, Lucy decides it’s time to rent out her garage apartment. The last person she wants living on her property, however, is Deputy Miles Bruno, the man who broke off their engagement many Christmases ago. She’s desperate, however. So desperate that she lets Miles convince her to use her parents’ old holiday decorations to enter the neighborhood lawn decorating contest. The cash prize is attractive, but working so closely with Miles is a risk she’s not sure her heart can take. 

This sounds like a wonderful Christmas read!

Random Question! What’s your favorite type of weather?

I am a huge fan of rainy weather and thunderstorms. One of the first things that got my attention with my husband was that his last name was Rains. That’s how much I love the weather!

It is so nice to read during rainy weather!

If you’re able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

I just finished up writing the third full-length novel in my Somerset Lake series. It’s called The True Love Bookshop. It follows Tess Lane, the owner of Lakeside Books and her enemy #1, River Harrison. River is a private investigator and Tess needs his help to determine if her late husband was leading a double life, engaged to another woman who also had his child. These two enemies to lovers find themselves working on the case together and falling in love. After finding out about her husband’s secrets, however, Tess isn’t sure she can ever trust her heart again. 

What are some of your favorite Romance books? And what are some you’re looking forward to reading?

I love RaeAnne Thayne’s entire Haven Point series! I am also enjoying books by new-to-me authors Katherine Center and Christina Lauren. My Kindle is loaded down with books that I am looking forward to reading soon, including books by Roselle Lim, Maddie Dawson, and Sariah Wilson to name a few!

Great picks!

Thank you to Annie Rains for participating in this event! :)

Author BioUSA Today bestselling author Annie Rains lives in a small, coastal North Carolina town, full of lovable folks, scenic downtown areas, and breathtaking nature—similar to the towns she writes about in her books. Annie’s love of reading and writing grabbed hold of her at a young age and never let go. Her first book was published in 2015, and she’s been writing heartfelt, page-turning stories ever since. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s reading from her never-ending TBR stack on her bedside table, taking long walks while plotting her characters’ happy endings, and living out her own happily ever after with her husband, three children, feisty rescue cat, and mischievous dog.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Summer Lovin': Interview With Suzanne Park!


Hi, everyone! Today I am happy to present an interview with Suzanne Park, the author of multiple books, including the Adult Romance, So We Meet Again, which releases August 3rd, and the YA novel, Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous, which is out now!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

Would you please tell us a little about your book, So We Meet Again?

SO WE MEET AGAIN is a part coming-of-age story, part love story in which a young Korean American investment banker is laid off on Zoom (!!!) and moves back home to Tennessee to figure out what she wants to do next. There, she runs into her childhood rival, Daniel Choi, and starts a Korean “Meal Hacks” online cooking show. As her business grows, she discovers that Daniel’s life isn’t as perfect as it seems. If I had to summarize the novel into key themes, I’d say it’s about food, family, finding yourself and falling in love. This book comes out later in the summer, August 3rd.

You had another YA book, Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous, release in June! Would you like to tell us a little about it?

SUNNY SONG WILL NEVER BE FAMOUS is a coming-of-age story featuring a Korean-American L.A. based teen influencer Sunny Song who is sent to a digital detox farm camp in Iowa. It explores themes of social media obsession, identity, and what it means to be truly connected. It was recently reviewed by NPR, and I was floored. One of the highlights that left me beaming: “Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous was an absolute joy to read. I completely demolished it one sitting. Sunny's adventures are endlessly entertaining and full of fabulous dialogue that will keep you laughing.” 

Random Question! What’s your favorite color?

Orange. It’s so cheery!

If you’re able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

Next up I have a YA novel coming out in Fall 2022. YULE BE SORRY is a holiday-themed rom-com in which Chloe Kang, a Santa’s Village photographer and Peter Li, her nemesis at the 3D Virtual Reality North Pole experience, learn that the mall they’ve grown up in is in danger of being demolished, and they must work together to save it. 

This book sounds so good!

What are some of your favorite Romance books? And what are some you’re looking forward to reading? 

I’ve recently had the pleasure of reading a mix of adult and YA ones: THE HEART PRINCIPLE (coming out soon!), THE SOULMATE EQUATION, PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION, THE DONUT TRAP, A PHO LOVE STORY, and TAHIRA IN BLOOM (YA coming this fall!). Excited for Denise Williams’ next book THE FASTEST WAY TO FALL, Falon Ballard’s debut LEASE ON LOVE, and NEVER BEEN KISSED by Timothy Janovsky. I really hope I have more time to read when I turn in my next project!

I see books on my TBR list here!

Thank you to Suzanne Park for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Suzanne Park is a Korean-American writer who was born and raised in Tennessee.

In her former life as a stand up comedian, Suzanne was a finalist in the Oxygen Network's "Girls Behaving Badly" talent search, and appeared on BET's "Coming to the Stage." She found this to be the funniest thing in her comedy career because, well, she is not black. She was also the winner of the Seattle Sierra Mist Comedy Competition, and was a semi-finalist in NBC's "Stand Up For Diversity" showcase in San Francisco.

Suzanne graduated from Columbia University and received an MBA Degree from UCLA. She was selected for PitchWars and is represented by Brent Taylor of Triada US Literary Agency. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, female offspring, and a sneaky rat that creeps around on her back patio. In her spare time, she procrastinates. Her YA romantic comedy debut, THE PERFECT ESCAPE and her adult romcom LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT were released in 2020. 

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Monday, July 19, 2021

Summer Lovin': Interview With Kelsey Rodkey!

 

Hi, everyone! Today I am pleased to present an interview with Kelsey Rodkey, the author of the YA Romance, Last Chance Books, which is out now!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

Would you please tell us a little about your book, Last Chance Books?

Last Chance Books is about Madeline Moore, who works at her aunt's bookstore, and how she attempts to save that store from closing during her last summer before college. Making matters worse are Madeline's deadbeat mother coming back into the picture and the other bookstore that recently opened across the street from hers--and the infuriating and cute supervisor, Jasper, who works there. 

Did you always want to write YA books?

I've always wanted to write, but it wasn't until I started reading "seriously" (read: became an avid fan of YA books) that I realized I wanted to write my own YA books. YA offers the most in terms of storytelling, in my opinion. It's where you see the most diverse voices and experiences, the place where you can offer up a similar premise and get totally different results depending on who's telling the story. I think the potential in YA is just so great and vast.

Random Question! What’s your favorite color?

My favorite color is blue! It also happens to be Jasper's favorite color in Last Chance Books.

Blue is my favorite, too! :)

If you’re able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

I'm currently working on my second book with HarperTeen! I can't get into too many details, but I can say that it's really funny, with a slow-burn romance and friendship issues! In it you'll find: the 'there's only one bed' trope, banter, creative ways to getting around saying the truth, a band called 'Nope.', and more! It's my favorite thing I've ever written and it means so much to me. AND it takes place in the same universe as Last Chance Books, though, it may not be obvious. 

It sounds really good!

What are some of your favorite Romance books? And what are some you’re looking forward to reading?

Oh, wow, I could go on forever with this question. My favorites are: Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon, Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl, Love Lessons by Annette Christie, I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre, Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli, You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle, and Once Upon a Quinceanera by Monica Gomez-Hira. Some of these have already been released, but they're still sitting pretty on my bookshelf, so...I'm looking forward to reading: Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant, Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan, Seoulmates by Susan Lee, Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler, Not Here to be Liked by Michelle Quach, and People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry. 

I loved You Deserve Each Other, and a bunch of these are on my TBR list!

Thank you to Kelsey Rodkey for participating in this event! :)



Author Bio: Kelsey Rodkey is a burrito lover, banter enthusiast, and young adult author, who strives to create the stories she lacked as a teenager. She lives near the capital of Pennsylvania, which a lot of people think is Philadelphia, with her significant other and their cats. Last Chance Books is her first novel.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Summer Lovin': Interview With Kristin Rockaway!

 

Hi, everyone! Today I am pleased to present an interview with Kristin Rockaway, the author of multiple books, including the YA novel, My Epic Spring Break (Up), which is out now, and the upcoming Adult book, Life, Unscheduled, which releases in September!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

Would you please tell us a little about your book, My Epic Spring Break (Up)?

My Epic Spring Break (Up) follows Ashley, a super-focused junior in high school with big dreams of becoming a coder in Silicon Valley. Her whole life revolves around planning for college -- no parties, no dating, nothing that her prankster friend Jason would classify as "fun." But when her plans for an important tech internship go sideways, she realizes she's not as in control of her future as she thought she was, and decides to spend her Spring Break living in the moment. That involves hanging out with her long-time crush, Walker, who may be more trouble than he seems -- especially once she discovers her feelings for Jason extend beyond friendship. If you like stories about girls who code, friends who fall in love, living in Brooklyn, or Taylor Swift fandom, you might enjoy this fast, fun read.

You have another book Life, Unscheduled releasing in September! Would you like to share a little about it?

Life, Unscheduled is my next adult novel, and it shares a lot of the same themes as My Epic Spring Break (Up). The main character, Nicole, is so engrossed in her job that she doesn't have much time for anything else. When the story opens, she's gunning for a big promotion at her AI firm and basically sleeping in the office. But when her best friend, Parisa, asks her to be her maid of honor in her upcoming wedding, Nicole needs to find a way to fit all those duties into her already jampacked schedule. And when she starts falling for one of Parisa's friends, Brandon, her perfectly organized schedule dissolves into pure chaos.

It sounds great!

Random Question! What is your favorite time of day?

Mid-morning -- from about 9AM to 11AM. I've had some time to shake off the grogginess of sleep and let the caffeine from my morning coffee kick in. During the week, my son is off at school and my husband's off at work, meaning the whole house is silent and I can finally spend some time alone with my writing.

If you’re able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

I'm not sure how much I can give away! It's another adult novel, coming out in 2022, and in brief, it's about a woman who accepts a summer job as a private tutor for an ultra-wealthy family and finally gets a long-awaited chance to travel the world. She's expecting a fun adventure, but between her eccentric employer and their very strict, very good-looking bodyguard, her distaste for playing by the rules soon transforms the trip into a disaster.

What are some of your favorite Romance books? And what are some you’re looking forward to reading?

Some recent favorites are I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn, Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne, and Beach Read by Emily Henry. I'm looking forward to reading Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon and Emily Henry's next book, People We Meet On Vacation.

I LOVED I Love You So Mochi and Second First Impressions! Great picks!

Thank you to Kristin Rockaway for participating in this event! :)

Photo Credit: Holly Rone

Author Bio: Kristin Rockaway is a native New Yorker and recovering corporate software engineer. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she finally traded the city for the surf and chased her dreams out to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of code. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, browsing the aisles of her neighborhood bookstores, and trying to catch up on sleep.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Summer Lovin': Interview With Sara Desai!

 

Hi, everyone! Today I am happy to present an interview with Sara Desai, the author of the Adult Romances, The Marriage Game and The Dating Plan, which are out now, and the upcoming The Singles Table, which releases in November!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

Would you please tell us a little about your book, The Dating Plan?

The Dating Plan is about Daisy Patel, a geeky software engineer who has a run-in with her former high school crush--rebel-without-a-cause Liam Murphy--at the lowest point of her life. She needs an escape from her matchmaking family. He needs a wife to inherit the family distillery. Daisy agrees to Liam's proposal of a marriage of convenience to solve their respective problems, but only if he follows her dating plan. Sparks fly as they engage on series of fake dates and discover that they have more in common than they realized.

You have another book, The Singles Table, releasing in November! Would you like to tell us a little about it?

The Singles Table is a grumpy + sunshine story about ex-military security specialist Jay, who is pulled off course when lawyer and celebrity fan Zara Patel crashes into his life like a hurricane. Zara offers to find Jay a match if he introduces her to his celebrity clients, but they soon discover his perfect match is the one closest to home!

Random Question! What’s your favorite flower?

Peony - lush and fragrant!

They smell so nice! And they're pretty!

If you’re able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

I'm writing a new romcom series with a hint of mystery!

What are some of your favorite Romance books? 

Some of my favorite romance books are Nalini Singh's Archangel and Psy-Changeling series, Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series, anything by Kristen Ashley and books by diverse authors such as Sonali Dev, Alexa Martin, Sajni Patel, Farah Heron and Sonya Lalli.

And what are some you’re looking forward to reading?

I'm looking forward to Sonali Dev's new book, Incense and Sensibility and Alexa Martin's, Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes.

A bunch of these authors books are on my TBR list!

Thank you to Sara Desai for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Sara Desai has been a lawyer, radio DJ, marathon runner, historian, bouncer and librarian. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, kids and an assortment of forest creatures who think they are pets. Sara writes sexy romantic comedy and contemporary romance with a multicultural twist. When not laughing at her own jokes, Sara can be found eating nachos.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram