Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Sofie Darliing's New Regency And a Great Piece of Advice.

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 1 comment
Salutations, Beloved Readers. My fellow Soul Mate Publishing author, Sofie Darling is my guest blogger. I loved Sofie's first book,  Three Lessons in Seduction. She has a style that combines contemporary steamy sex sensibilities with Regency in the most delightful way. Take it away, Sofie
Thank you, Susan. 
Stop Writing the Way Others Say You  Should Write and Just Write!
Recently, I took a writing class that was going to teach me how to write better and faster. For this is what we romance writers hear in the writing world: Romance readers are voracious readers. You need to write four books a year to remain relevant in the current market.
This is particularly stressful for a slow writer like myself. I like to dive deeply into my stories, characters, and emotions, and that takes me a while.
When I finished the course, I still had no clear idea on how to write faster. However, I did come away with something even better: an epiphany.
I’ll never be a fast writer. And that’s okay.
That’s right. It’s okay to be a slow writer.
What I needed, and what the course provided me in a roundabout way, was permission to be the writer I am.
And that’s my short-and-sweet advice for you today: don’t listen to the outside noise telling you how you should be writing. That’s an external marker, and it will only make the writing experience a misery for you. Instead, listen to your gut and your heart. Settle into and be the writer you are. That’s where the joy in storytelling and writing lives.
Happy writing! Thanks, Sofie. As a fellow slow writer, I appreciate your post. The joy is in the journey. My favorite author, Susan Elizabeth Phillips is lucky to get out a book every three years. And I know yours is worth waiting for.

Tempted by The Viscount (a Shadows and Silk novel) releases tomorrow! It's available for pre-order. https://www.amazon.com/Tempted-Viscount-Shadows-Silk-Novel-ebook/dp/B07CHP5ZSD

London, April 1825
Lord Jakob Radclyffe left his past behind in the Far East. Or so he thinks until a ruthless thief surfaces in London, threatening to ruin his daughter’s reputation. With the clock ticking, Jake needs the scandalous Lady Olivia Montfort’s connections in the art world to protect his daughter’s future.
Olivia, too, has a past she’d like to escape. By purchasing her very own Mayfair townhouse, she’ll be able to start a new life independent from all men. There’s one problem: she needs a powerful man’s name to do so. The Viscount St. Alban is the perfect name.
A bargain is struck.
What Olivia doesn’t anticipate is the temptation of the viscount. The undeniable spark of awareness that races between them undermines her vow to leave love behind. Soon, she has no choice but to rid her system of Jake by surrendering to her craving for a single scorching encounter.
But is once enough? Sometimes once only stokes the flame of desire higher and hotter. And sometimes once is all the heart needs to risk all and follow a mad passion wherever it may lead.
“Am I late?” he asked in a tone that didn’t sound as concerned as his words might have suggested.
“Yes,” she replied, sounding distressingly like Lucy on a petulant day.
“My apologies,” he said on a shallow bow, even as his mouth, that talented, efficient mouth of his, maintained its familiar firm line.
“No need for apologies, my lord. In fact, your tardiness is promising evidence that you are settling into the viscountcy quite well.” She liked the way his eyes narrowed at her stern tone, a tone she couldn’t help borrowing from Mrs. Bloomquist. “It is the first rule of the nobility. Everyone can wait.”
“Then my apologies for not having made you wait longer.”
A begrudging smile found its way to her lips. “Now for the second rule of the nobility.” She allowed a beat to pass. A flash of pleasure coursed through her at the very idea that she could hold this glorious man in suspense. It wasn’t every woman who could boast that particular thrill. “Never apologize.”
He stepped forward, halving the distance between them, and took another bow. “Again, my apologies.”
His gaze pinned her in place, and, like that, the power of the moment shifted to him. Oh, how an unmanageable part of her wanted him to use it. This felt dangerously like flirting. Was she flirting?
She was. In the presence of the tease playing about his eyes and mouth, she couldn’t seem to help herself. She tried clearing her throat, hoping to clear her head in the process.
He should be more careful with that smile. It could give a woman ideas.

Sofie Darling is an award-winning author of historical romance. Her debut novel, THREE LESSONS IN SEDUCTION, won the Writers’ League of Texas’ Manuscript Contest in the Romance Category in 2016.
She spent much of her twenties raising two boys and reading every book she could get her hands on. Once she realized she simply had to write the books she loved, she finished her English degree and embarked on her writing career.
When she’s not writing heroes who make her swoon, she runs a marathon in a different state every year, visits crumbling medieval castles whenever she gets a chance, and enjoys a slightly codependent relationship with her beagle, Bosco.
Buy Link:
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Thanks for being here, Sofie. 
Tempted by The Viscount is on my TBR list. 
Happy reading everyone.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Five Stars to Catherine Ryan Hyde's Heaven Adjacent. #Giveaway

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 2 comments
Catherine Ryan Hyde's Heaven Adjacent is now available in all formats, including audio from many retailers. Here is the Goodreads link:
And, lucky me, I was given an ARC of this book in return for a fair review. And I am grateful for the opportunity to read and review it. Now I am passing on the ARC to one of you. 
Even at my age I sometimes think that death is something that happens to other people. It’s easy to do. So I sync’d with this book.
Roseanna’s best friend Alice died suddenly. Unexpectedly. Two years before the retirement Alice been looking forward to her whole working life.
That death turns Roseanna’s world upside down and sends her in search of a new life path. One that includes all the things she’d planned to enjoy someday. Peace. Solitude. Well, that part doesn’t work out. The solitude. But I love the characters that invade her life. I love who she becomes. I love her wry humor.
Catherine Ryan Hyde’s style is as cool and clear as a summer morning. I hated having to put the book down even for a second.

Here is the official blurb.
Roseanna Chaldecott spent her life as a high-powered lawyer in Manhattan. But when her best friend and law partner dies suddenly, something snaps. Unsure of her future, Roseanna heads upstate on one tank of gas and with no plans to return.
In the foothills of the Adirondacks, Roseanna discovers the perfect hideout in a ramshackle farm. Its seventy-six acres are rich with possibilities and full of surprises, including a mother and daughter squatting on the property. Although company is the last thing Roseanna wants, she reluctantly lets them stay.
Roseanna and the young girl begin sculpting junk found around the farm into zoo animals, drawing more newcomers—including her estranged son, Lance. He pleads with Roseanna to return to the city, but she’s finally discovered where she belongs. It may not provide the solitude she originally sought, but her heart has found room for much more.
Interested? Enter below for a chance to win the paperback ARC. 
I wish you all a week filled with unexpected wonderfulness.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 30 published and forthcoming books, including The Wake Up, Allie And Bea, Say Goodbye For Now, Leaving Blythe River, Ask Him Why, Worthy, The Language Of Hoofbeats, Take Me With You, When I Found You, Walk Me Home, and Don't Let Me Go
An avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, she has released her first book of photos, 365 Days Of Gratitude: Photos From A Beautiful World.
She is co-author, with fellow author and publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of How To Be A Writer In The E-Age: A Self-Help Guide.
Her novel Pay It Forward was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

RaeAnne Thayne's Latest Bestseller. Review and #Giveaway

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 6 comments

The Cottages On Silver Beach, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0777MR9TZ is already #1 in Clean and Wholesome Romance on Amazon and it doesn't even release until Tuesday, June 19.
I have a paperback ARC to give away. The Rafflecopter is at the end of this post. I use Rafflecopter because I have to email the winner and get a snail mail address. 

The Cottages On Silver Beach is the latest entry in RaeAnne’s series about a small town in Idaho nestled on the shores of beautiful Lake Haven.  

Innkeeper Megan Hamilton’s always thought the Bailey’s were the ideal family. But the eldest son, Elliot had always been a prickle point for her. And the prickle point became a burr when FBI agent Elliot refused to believe her brother Luke was innocent of murder when Luke wife disappeared seven years ago.
For seven years Megan put aside her dreams to help Luke care for his two children and tend to the Inn her grandmother entrusted to her. Now her dreams are getting a new lease on life with a planned exhibit of her photographs at a prestigious gallery in Colorado. Only guess who’s back in Haven Point and renting the cottage next to hers?
Back home was the last place “temporarily” retired FBI agent/ bestselling writer Elliot Bailey ever thought he’d be. But his sister Kat is celebrating her wedding and he needs a place to recuperate from the raid that might have cost him his job. Elliot had no idea that the woman he’d never been able to get out of his mind would be living next door. But he needs this space, far away enough from his loving inquisitive family to finish his overdue book. If only he could stop thinking about Megan.
Megan needs to concentrate all her efforts on getting ready for the fine-art photograph exhibit. But her taciturn enigmatic neighbor keeps pulling her thoughts away.
When Elliot decides to follow up on a clue to her sister-in-law, Elizabeth’s disappearance she and Elliot become involved in a tug-of-war between distrust and their magnetic attraction to one another.

RaeAnne Thayne is always good reading. And the Cottages On Silver Beach doesn't disappoint. The mystery is cleverly inserted into the romance and while there is a lovely happy-ever-after to the book, the ending also points to a follow-up book with a question I’m dying to know the answer to. This is a stand-alone book. But it's fun to read the others and know all the peripheral players. The Cottages On Silver Beach releases June 19 in all formats. The Rafflecopter for the ARC is at the end of the post.

USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne's love affair with words
started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour anything she could get her hands on: cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page, and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story. Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor. Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 40 titles. Her books have won many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews. RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com. 

Happy Reading, my friends. Here's to looking around your life and finding something wonderful.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Joanne Guidoccio In Praise of Morning Pages and Artist Dates #giveaway

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 5 comments

Joanne Guidoccio is guesting with a post mentioning  one of my personal favorite inspirations  - Julia Cameron and morning pages She's also offering a chance to win a 10.00 Amazon Gift card. Joanne writes seasoned heroines in women's fiction, fantasy, and in cozy mysteries. I read the first Gilda Greco mystery and loved it. I'm looking forward to reading more.
In Praise of Morning Pages and Artist Dates

In 1992, I picked up a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Hoping to inspire and motivate my inner writer, I spent an entire weekend devouring the book and then decided to incorporate morning pages and artist dates into my life.
That enthusiasm fizzled after only one week.

At the time, I was in the thick of my career and personal life. Busy with course preps, curriculum meetings, extra-curricular activities, and family health issues, I found myself unable to even consider adding one more activity to my schedule.

Fast forward to 2008.

I retired and started to write, following the dictates of my well-honed left brain (I’m a math teacher). Over 500 of my articles and book reviews appeared in online and print publications. Five of my novels have been traditionally published, and a sixth WIP awaits me.

In spite of this productivity, I have experienced several bouts of writer’s block during this decade of retirement.

To jumpstart my creativity during one prolonged hiatus, I decided to revisit The Artist’s Way. To my delight and surprise, I successfully incorporated Julia’s suggestions into my daily regimen and have maintained the momentum for the past two years.

I started with morning pages, “three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness.” Some days, I would go beyond three pages, other days I barely got one page done. But I didn’t fret about those details. Instead, I kept Julia’s advice in mind: “There is no wrong way to do morning pages.”

Artist dates—setting aside two hours weekly for a solo activity that adds to my creative consciousness—were more challenging. While many of Julia’s suggestions—take a long walk, visit an artist supply’s shop, go cloud watching, fly a kite—sounded easy and doable, I knew that I needed more stimulating activities.   

Hoping to find possible “Artist Date” activities, I started reading notices on bulletin boards and the Events sections of local papers. One afternoon, I noticed a brochure advertising a Fall Fibres Fair in nearby Fergus, a short thirty-minute drive away. I spent a delightful Saturday afternoon chatting with artisans and admiring the different crafts, among them, spinning, weaving, and basketry.

The following week, I spent the afternoon at Fair November, a much larger fair showcasing the traditional and modern handmade crafts of over 80 artisans.

Later in the month, I participated in a Boxed Card workshop and produced two beautiful Christmas cards that I have proudly displayed and shown off to friends.

While I didn’t follow all of Julia’s rules—not such a bad thing—I did reap the benefits of those early artist dates and gained the confidence to schedule at least one date each month. By immersing myself in new and different situations, I am able to replenish my inner well and fire up my imagination. In my morning pages, I continue to vent and experiment with ideas for articles, short stories, and future series.


While not usually a big deal, one overlooked email would haunt teacher Gilda Greco. Had she read it, former student Sarah McHenry might still be alive.

Suspecting foul play, Constable Leo Mulligan plays on Gilda’s guilt and persuades her to participate in a séance facilitated by one of Canada’s best-known psychics. Six former students also agree to participate. At first cooperative and willing, their camaraderie is short-lived as old grudges and rivalries emerge. The séance is a bust.

Determined to solve Sarah’s murder, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers shocking revelations that could put several lives—including her own—in danger. Can Gilda and the psychic solve this case before the killer strikes again?


Jim whistled. “You sure don’t like it easy. With all your millions, you’d think this crap could somehow miss landing on you. But you do seem to attract it.” He chuckled. “Might be something to address with a therapist or maybe the psychic you’ve just met.”

“I didn’t just meet Cassandra. I got to know her and her parents very well during those seven months I taught in Parry Sound. They’re good people.” I could tell by his tone that he was dismissive of Cassandra’s psychic powers. While I was also skeptical, I did feel the urge to defend her. She had been so sincere and so open. I couldn’t fathom the notion of Cassandra faking or putting on the airs of a psychic. It wasn’t in her nature to be deceitful.

“I’m sure they are,” Jim said. “But let’s face some facts here. Most psychics need to make a living. I don’t doubt this lady has some intuitive ability—as many women do—but I don’t think it’s enough to catch a murderer. The constable is grasping at straws. What did you say his name was?”

“Leo. Leo Mulligan.”

“Tall, dark-haired guy. Good-looking and a bit of a rascal.”

“He’s evolved.” I immediately regretted my response. Knowing Jim, he would pounce and tease me.

“And you’re interested,” Jim said, chuckling. “What does your boyfriend think about this cozy reunion you’re having with a more evolved constable?”


Click on the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.
Buy Links

Amazon (Canada):  https://is.gd/vR5Sxn
Amazon (United States): https://is.gd/lU0qw7
The Wild Rose Press: https://is.gd/nQ2ZjT

A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne Guidoccio