12 December, 2017

A #review of Across the Ages, Book One, by Rashelle Workman




Pages -  300 
Publisher -  Polished Pen Press; 5 edition 
Published -  December 21, 2014
Sold by -  Amazon Digital Services LLC
Genre -  Time Travel Romance
Series -  Across the Ages Book 1 of 2
Language -  1/5
Sexual Content -  2/5
Narrative -  1st P







Ghosts are real. So is time travel.
Eighteen-year-old Lucy Channing discovers this reality after her dead grandmother gives her a beautiful locket. As soon as her fingers brush the cold copper, Lucy is swept out of the nineteenth century and into the twenty-first.
The first person she encounters is twenty-year-old William Godwin. He’s arrogant, exciting, and oh so handsome.
After meeting, he agrees to help Lucy find her way home. Or into the nearest mental institution. She knows he must think her daft.
But what the two uncover reveals more than ghosts and time travel. There are gods fighting to keep them apart. Disaster is around every corner. But Will and Lucy have discovered a love worth fighting for. It's stronger than time.
A love so strong it reaches...
Across the Ages.





Let me start off by saying that the author tagged this under Children's Books, and had I seen that prior to purchase, I'd have skipped this one.

Also, I wouldn't permit a child of mine to read this as it revolves around a 'romance' set in the 19th century traveling to 2015 and back.

Do not let the 300 Pages bit fool you, either.

This is a novella with a teaser chapter that follows, not a full-length novel with a fully developed story that goes anywhere or says anything of significance.

Yet another Best-Selling author, and this being a 5th Edition print, with absolutely nothing inside to prove its merit.

There were more positive reviews left at Goodreads than there were at Amazon, but most of them said the same things: cliffhanger, juvenile, underdeveloped, and shallow.

I did know it was written in first-person, which I just don't like to read, but still decided to give this one a try despite that yucky fact.

This novel is not stand-alone but a cliffhanger, which means you must purchase book two if you want to know what happens NEXT.

It also means nothing much happens in this Book One.

The girl in 19th Century England is bored, family-arranged engaged to a seemingly delightful young man she's known most of her life, but because she is bored, she just isn't 'into' him and wants something more.

Her grandmother is special to her, and when the old lady dies, she bequeaths a lot of old journals to the girl that are supposed to detail the grandmother's awesome adventures.

Which we aren't privy to discover because the girl never reads them (to herself or us).

She instead wanders out to the graveyard to visit her gran, sees some Egyptian gods and goddesses rise up from the ground, and then her gran's spirit arrives with a locket that has magic powers.

The girl touches the locket and is transported to 2015.

Not England's 2015 but New York City 2015.

And, she's in central park in her old clothes, and she sees TWO hot men playing frisbee and then having a PICNIC.

I don't know about anyone else, but that sounded so weird to me.

Two guys picnicking in Central Park.

Really?

As the day wears on, the girl gets tired and hungry, and then one of the hot guys approaches her and asks if she's okay.

Lo, and behold, this guy carries her to his 'limousine' and drives her to a man's 'mansion' whom they BOTH just happen to know!

Very cliche and predictable, very 'how convenient' to me.

The old man is her biological grandfather, and she SAYS she's overly anxious to meet him, talk with him, get to know him better, and discover a whole world of inside information about her late grandmother.

And yet none of that occurs in this book.

Instead, she drives around the big city with Rich Boy, who is only 20, mind you, yet wealthy beyond anyone's wildest dreams -- and not because of his wealthy parents -- but because he left college to go on a few artifact excursions... all by his lonesome.

He's just a wiz at this sort of thing and laughs at all of the mumbo-jumbo about curses on said relics.

Another far-fetched and unrealistic aspect of an already far-fetched and unrealistic story.

The way I see it is, if you are going to write fantasy, let THAT be the springboard for the reader's imagination and leave the 'don't push it' to the author.

When it comes to such things as age, appearance, and WILL SOMEONE FROM THE 19th CENTURY ACTUALLY SURVIVE 21st CENTURY AIR QUALITY? I think it is important for an author to have a serious inner monologue.

Don't push it.

I didn't hate this story, and aside from a lot of issues with the author's writing/GPS knowledge, it wasn't as awful an attempt as I've read from others.

Her editor over at Polished Pen Press needs to be sacked, because you'll notice some of these needed their immediate attention but were somehow overlooked, and there is no excuse for it.


  • A part of Lucy she did love Dashel.
  • and together they made it Will’s waiting limo.
  • The roof was had strange peaks
  • accompanied by a railing was made of wood
  • beyond which she guessed led other rooms.
  • never responded to Dashel that way they had to Will.
  • food was lout on a table
  • and yelled. “Go Bison.”
  • What was of the upmost importance,
  • though he hadn’t wanted them too. (most of her to's were spelled too)



I was almost curious enough to want to read book two, but then I woke up the next morning and forgot all about it, so perhaps that isn't going to happen.

Then I began to recall all of the things the author did to upset me and really decided no, I don't think I'll support this endeavor.

Why bring up the journals, the grandmother's seemingly delightful 'other side', the locket's second half, and make Egyptian spirits appear without telling us why (other than the other half of the locket needs to be found in order for one of the SPIRITS to be happy), and thrust this girl directly into the arms of a way, too young Hero if you aren't going to bother developing them or their situations?

Do you really expect some of your readers to breeze through Book One with the misguided notion that Book Two will somehow read better?

Other than possibly revealing a few of the answers, it isn't likely I will believe that the author is going to go into better, more reasonable and understandable detail if she didn't bother to do so the first time.

It all just read too swift, too convenient, and too assured for my taste.

Here are a few of the things I highlighted on my Kindle



  • “Music, please,” my father commanded.
  • Shut up, Mother. How dare you speak about Grandmother that way?”
  • As the sun set a thick mist rolled through the gravestones.
  • Her people called this method of travelling:  Britorent—to bend time. (a colon?)



This nonsense occurred too many times as well



  • She paused, glanced down at the beautiful dress.
  • She brought it to her mouth. Took a bite.
  • Will moved closer. Demonstrated.
  • Will clicked the phone, pressed a button to roll down the glass.
  • Took a drink. It was delicious.
  • He placed a coin like Lucy’s on the nail of his thumb, put his first finger near the top.



And then there was just the weird



  • Harriet was two years younger than herself,
  • putting his phone in his pocket. Will took it and put it in his back pocket.
  • he smelled like vanilla and breakfast spices.
  • She felt rumpled and her teeth were grassy.
  • married to amazing wives and perfect children.
  • frustrated she hadn’t been stealthier.
  • Hundreds of birds flew over in a large V formation. (hundreds? what an unbelievable sight that would be!)
  • She smacked them both in the arms. (always used IN instead of ON) and swatted him in the stomach.


This is just another of the types of novels that had promise, a decent plot, and with a lot of good ideas that should have made this a delightful read had any of the above-mentioned been fully and intelligently developed to the point of its becoming a real story.

The author needs more time to develop her skills and the editor needs to look for another line of work.

And please, for the love of all things READING, can we stop with the 'let's ignore punctuation and go with fragments, because it's just easier to write that way' already?

So WHAT if people 'talk' this way?

How many of you read aloud in order for this argument to be a valid point?

If an author writes lazy in dialogue moments, not too many of us will fault her, but when she chooses to write lazy just because, that is another thing entirely.

If you don't mind cliffhanger novels or any of the things I mentioned above, then you might be interested in this time-travel romance.

Here are the rest of them

_________________

BOOKS IN THE ACROSS THE AGES SERIES:
Across the Ages
The King's Paranormal Inquiries Division
Past the Ages




11 December, 2017

Bourbon Springs Series Vol. 3, Box Set by Jennifer Bramseth #review




Pages -  963 
Published -  April 28, 2017
Sold by -  Amazon Digital Services LLC
Series -  Bourbon Springs
Genre - Contemporary
Language -  2/5
Sexual Content -  4/5
Narrative -  3rd P








Welcome to the Land of Bourbon and Bluegrass… Welcome to Bourbon Springs, Kentucky…

Books 7-9 in the Bourbon Springs Series box set includes:

Bottled Bluegrass: Mack Blanton dreams of returning to Nashville to make music. Jorrie Jones is tired of practicing law in small town.  But after a chance meeting,  Mack can’t stop writing songs about Jorrie, and she realizes the attractions of small-town life in the form and voice of Mack. As they discover the simple gifts of love, will they spread their wings or choose to stay in Bourbon Springs?

Toast and Char: She’s the love of his life. She’s also the woman he left at the altar. When Prent Oakes jilted Miranda Chaplin two years ago, he was sure it was over. Except Miranda has never been able to tell him to get out of her life. The heat still burns between them—but will their love be resurrected from the ashes or will they both be left burned?

Water of Life: Widowed judge Cara Forrest guards her young son as fiercely as she does her heart. But when Drake Mercer makes a plea to be more than professional acquaintances, it is an argument she can’t resist. As Cara faces the prospect of getting a seat on a higher court, she and Drake are forced to face allegations of unethical conduct due to their relationship. The choice is theirs: to be sustained by love or pulled apart by the currents of doubt.






DEAR READER: while I am truly happy and honored that you visited me to read my review, I must warn now that if you are highly sensitive or do not like to read negative reviews, please click away.
My reviews are honest and prove points about my reasoning and not much more.
If I really love a Romance Novel, you will read why as well, and hopefully with at least a few logical reasons as to why.
Sadly, a majority of the works I read fall into the barely readable category, and this happens to be one of those instances.
I've mentioned this numerous times in older posts that the fault is difficult to pinpoint IF an author is working with a Publisher (especially a Brick & Mortar), because then the blame could lie with either the editor, the publisher, the author, or a combination of all three.
In this case, the author appears to be self-published (and best-seller) so my critique becomes that much more... critical, as I don't think the word harsh should apply.








Hate to say this, folks, but while I happen to possess all 9 books in this series, I only read one (Bottled Bluegrass) and called it quits.

Not even remotely interested in reading the rest of the stories, and here's why.

#1 - this is written by a celebrated best-selling author with Hundreds of positive reviews about the entire series at both Amazon and Goodreads and I fail to understand why.


this is at only 4% in:

“Who said you had to go alone? I’ll go with you, and I can probably get Jon to come along as well. We missed BourbonDaze and could do with a dose of crazy fair food. I haven’t had a corn dog or an elephant ear in years.” Jorrie pressed her lips together, still unsure about idea of ditching her friend and unsure whether going to see Mack—a cute guy but a little remote—was worth it. But the eager expression on Pepper’s face reminded her she was looking at Mack’s friend. A friend who wanted to help him. Jorrie wasn’t about to throw cold water on that to go the fair on Friday.


Good grief, this was a poorly-written story, and by what I felt was a teenager pawning herself off as a grown woman and attorney at law.

And, there's more.


  • a marked police or sheriff’s cruise, (or? and, it's a cruisER)
  • “They moved the concert to the grandstands,” and they neared the grandstands,
  • impressed into service as a trash can.
  • far distance (and then) far distance (and again) far distance
  • quaking from desire and the cold breezes (plural? and nothing like building up tension then abruptly crushing it with a dose of reality!)
  • why aren’t you wearing underwear?” Jorrie demanded, (he said he didn't have any clean ones, folks)
  • “He wrecked in it earlier this year,
  • sweet talk her and then get a quick bang?
  • Her touch caused him to pull his lips from her neck.
  • could come and speak to his students (followed by) see if they’d be interested in talking to the students. (and then) speaking to a bunch of at-risk summer school students (ending with) a small smattering of applause from the students.
  • she was going on that stupid blind date. (and) attributed to the stupid lawsuit; (and) That stupid boyfriend she’d mentioned (and) The stupid thing was (and) pay off that stupid debt (and) If not for the stupid money,
  • “Let’s give these guys our orders, (how many wait-staff does it take to...)
  • Jorrie rolled her lips into her mouth,


SO much more (262 highlights in total) but I'll end it there.


#2 - it was entirely too juvenile for my taste.


The author is an attorney, but she writes her attorney characters like school-age children behaving badly.

The relationship between these two (Jorrie and Mack) was cringe-worthy awkward, stiff, and lopsided.

The author's poor choice of words and phrases coincided with this romance -- a sophomoric attempt at playing adult but sounding more like bumbling teens.

She actually wrote that Jorrie's attorney friend got angry with her and 'stomped off in a huff' -- a practicing attorney with her OWN firm I might add -- which would put her at at least age 30, yes?

Do grown women practicing law behave like they're still in 8th grade?

And the inclusion of entire song lyrics threw me, yet the author mentions that she wasn't going to include the song titles for whatever reason.

This happens to be the exact opposite of what is lawful when it comes to publishing lyrics!

(I still don't know if they are her own lyrics or those of a real recording artist)

#3 - the author found a Thesaurus and fell madly in love.


Here are some of the oddball and antiquated words/phrases tossed around like confetti:


  • intuited
  • his ill-disguised longing
  • when in the thrall of
  • eschewed the opportunity
  • adrenaline produced by his rapturous reception
  • to discern her caller’s identity.
  • slowly divest her of her shirt and bra
  • “Hush,” she chastised the teen.
  • (alas, they weren’t grilling burgers and steaks that night),
  • It was that look of revulsion when presented with the failure of another.
  • on the razor’s edge of being a leer.
  • After perfunctory good-byes
  • She marveled at the combined brilliances of
  • ... as the mélange of flavors
  • the inexorable retaliation would be...
  • His hubris—where had it gotten him?
  • Jorrie accepted these gifts with alacrity,


#4 - I am not fond of Merry-go-Round rides and this felt like I was on one start to finish.


This one story out of nine went around and around and around, lasting about six weeks total but occurring in the same places, with the same people milling about, saying the same things over and over again, and with no one and nothing really going anywhere or doing anything.

I was so sick and tired of Bourbon, Kentucky, the town, its few businesses, and the two leads that I just didn't care anymore.

It felt more like I was watching a teenage 'kid' being followed by a stray cat than two grown adults falling in love.

She was an attorney who never went to work in all the time the story took place, or if she did, it wasn't mentioned or I just don't remember because I was lost trying to keep track of the boy with a guitar strapped to his back and the stray cat constantly following him around this one-horse town.

The author attempted to make me believe there was angst and intrigue just around the corner, but the build-up never amounted to anything.

I had no idea if the author wanted me interested in the budding romance or her knowledge of the Kentucky Bourbon business.


To say I just don't get it is putting it mildly.

Why all the hype and praise?

What is it about this rambling, uneducated-sounding series that has so many people falling in love (as a lot of the reviews said)?

I couldn't wait to finish this one story just to get it over with, sorry to say.

I have all 3 volumes in my possession and zero interest in reading another novel by this author, which is sad.

Seriously, who has that many friends to be able to turn this into Best-Selling work?

In case you're still interested, here are all 3 volumes in box sets.









10 December, 2017

Behind a Lady's Smile (Lost Heiresses, Book 1) by Jane Goodger #review



Print Length -  250 pages
Publisher -  Lyrical Press
Published -  August 18, 2015
Sold by -  Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Series -  Lost Heiresses, Book 1 of 3
Genre -  Historical, American West and Victorian England
Amazon -  Kindle Link
Language -  4/5
Sexual Content -  3/5
Narrative -  3rd P








It’s one thing for a girl to lose her way, quite another to lose her heart…
Genny Hayes could charm a bear away from a pot of honey. But raised in the forests of Yosemite, she’s met precious few men to practice her smiles upon. Until a marvelously handsome photographer appears in her little corner of the wilderness and she convinces him to take her clear across the country and over the seas to England, where she has a titled grandmother and grandfather waiting to claim her. On their whirlwind journey, she’ll have the chance to bedazzle and befuddle store clerks and train robbers, society matrons and big city reporters, maids and madams, but the one man she most wants to beguile seems determined to play the gentleman and leave her untouched. Until love steps in and knocks them both head over heels…






The beginning started out okay, sucking me in and helping me want to know more as the two leads bump into each other, injury occurs, and the 'bound together through guilt' trope ensues.

I thought that Genny was cute for the most part, but as the story unfolded and we learned more about her past, I began to have doubts about her mental capacity.

She was seven when her mother died and her father left Philadelphia for Wyoming, so for her to claim she has no recollection of their house, her mother, or practically anything about her childhood just sounds strange.

I still remember my first day of kindergarten, what I wore, and what my pretty teacher looked like, not to mention the oval room we used, and a lot of the artwork that decorated the walls.

I can remember what our house furnishings looked like back then, too.

Heck, I still remember what a few of my early elementary school friends look like, and I haven't seen them in decades!

Off-track...

Here's where the story fell apart for me, and yeah, it was pretty early on.

After Genny breaks her leg and Mitch Campbell uses deer hide to bind the leg, he stays with her in the cave-like shack she and her grieving father have lived in all these years.

Her father had died about 7 or 9 months earlier (bear attack... pretty gruesome) and Genny is at the point of starvation when Mitch the photographer arrives on the scene.

She timidly informs him of her birthright, being the maternal granddaughter of a Duke/Duchess back in England, and if he would kindly get her there, she'd be eternally grateful.

Mitch, being a loner with grand dreams of opening his own photography studio some day, sees dollar signs and decides it's worth it to 'squander' his (massive) life savings to get the pretty girl where she needs to be, expecting a hefty reward for his troubles.

The author knows nothing about monies or antiquated currency exchanges because my jaw dropped at the cost of the 'train tickets' from San Francisco to Kansas ($250), and Genny's new wardrobe ($20,000).

??WTF??

This was the 1800's remember.

It gave me the impression that the author Google'd these two items and went 'meh, sounds about right'.

So, from there onward, I remained just outside the story, anticipating more nonsense, and sadly, the author didn't disappoint.

Mitch cussed in front of not only Genny but strangers as well, AND his mother!

Sorry misinformed author, but despite it being a 'thing' today, there used to be a time in practically everyone's life when MANNERS, DECORUM, and RESPECT were a 'thing', and those rules were pretty much set in stone.

Sure, men used bad language back then, but NOT in mixed company and most definitely not around mom or a sweetheart.

And tossing in the fact that his mother happened to be a NYC actress turned 'madam' didn't work to make me think Mitch was in the right, either.

Mitch wasn't a gentleman in any sense of the word, and for close to 95% of the story, he continued to use crass language and ogle the hefty reward notion instead of concentrating on the woman he rescued and was slowly growing more than just lusty over.

This was a love story of his greed due to her desperation, not about two people who meet under strange circumstances, are forced to travel a great distance together, and therefore get to know one another while slowly falling in love.

The author also kept implying that Genny possessed the type of beauty that easily won hearts and made everyone do her bidding without much more effort on her part.

She couldn't remember her childhood, but she had learned how to use her feminine wiles to captivate people.

Huh.

Trouble is, the author continued to remind us of that fact but rarely employed the technique except in instances when most folks would behave kindly or thoughtfully to just about anyone... and not simply because Genny had a captivating smile.

If I had written this tale, I'd have concentrated more on Genny's being pure and good-hearted but with the added ability to charm her way in or out of any situation while REACHING her appointed goal, bonding with her estranged grandparents, and THEN forcing Mitch to get his act together, clean up, and court Genny properly.

Instead, the author chose to trope her way toward an awkward HEA by having Mitch remind Genny (again and again) that he wasn't aristocracy and her relatives wouldn't want anything to do with him; that she deserved to enter society, meet a titled Gent, and live happily ever after bathed in wealth and entitlement.

IF Mitch truly had that kind of money saved up, and IF the author had done a little research, she'd have realized that Mitch would still have TONS of cash left over after the train trips and wardrobe purchases, to flaunt in front of the Duke.

He hardly needed the assumed reward money if he possessed $5,000 of his own back in 1800's America.

The aristocracy were considered wealthy if their annual income totaled 500 pounds!

Mitch had 5 GRAND in the bank!

This would have put Mitch in the nouveau riche category, and while a majority of the British ton snubbed their noses at it, Mitch would have also behaved like a millionaire and rightly so.

($5 grand as far back as the 1940s was considered a LOT of money, so...)

Not only could he have purchased that Manhattan studio but enough photography equipment AND employees to rival Ansel Adams.

Taking Genny across country by train, buying her a wardrobe in NYC, and then steamship passage to England would have put a dent of about $100 in his savings.

I'm probably being generous, too, because he didn't purchase a trousseau or a year's worth of coming out clothing but a few dresses, under things, and some shoes.

$30 tops, or less.

If the train tickets cost $8, I'd be surprised because my thinking is $5 tops.

Back in the day, people didn't 'vacation' or 'travel' just to travel, as the author led us to believe, and rich or poor, you could afford to travel that way... just being seated in different areas of the train or ship depending on your status.

(Which is why I had a lot of trouble with Titanic; there was no way in hell those two would ever have met aboard that doomed ship since he was in steerage and she first-class. Never the twain shall meet.)

In conclusion, people (rich and poor) used trains (and ships) to get from point A to point B with the intention of remaining in point B for a long time, if not for good.


Here are a few of my Highlights


  • “That’s something to think about, and I’m sure they’re worth something,” (8%)
  • I’m going to see my grandparents, you see. (11%)
  • Genny couldn’t help notice (14%)
  • He brought up a hand self-consciously and rubbed his hand across his clean-shaven jaw. (15%)
  • Then he spun around and walked out (18%) (wee!)
  • in a gnarly situation (24%)
  • Mitch swiped a hand threw his hair, (29%)
  • best accept that England is the best place for you (56%)
  • her green eyes snapping. (57%)
  • my johnson.” (66%)
  • derogative (85%)


There are 3 books in the Lost Heiresses series, and while I did kind of bash this one, I would still recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind a lot of modern mentality being thrust upon 19th Century characters or a love story that really isn't.

I wanted to like this one so read it clean through, but the disappointment factor weighed too heavily for me to draw any honest conclusions about our Hero, Mitch.

He could have been better but wasn't.


09 December, 2017

The Accidental Mistress (Mistress Trilogy, #2) by Tracy Anne Warren #review



Pages -  370 
Publisher -  Ballantine Books
Published -  November 27, 2007
Sold by -  Random House LLC
Kindle -  Amazon Link
Series -  Mistress Trilogy
Genre -   Historical, Victorian
Language -  0/5
Sexual Content -  3/5









He will expose her masquerade, but she will expose his heart.
To escape an arranged marriage, spirited Lily Bainbridge has staged her own death, and, disguised as a boy, she fled to London and a life of freedom. Yet her plans to live masquerade as an independent widow are thwarted by an encounter with a powerful and dangerously attractive marquis who wants to make her his mistress. Lily is afraid that if she gives him her innocence, he’ll steal her heart.
Having agreed to a marriage of convenience to honor his family duty, Ethan Andarton, the Marquis of Vessey, has no intention of abandoning his rakish ways. Then fate intervenes in the guise of an impetuous young lady–a woman bold enough to scheme her way to London, who tempts him with her mystery and her sensuality. Kiss after kiss, caress after tender caress, Ethan vows to discover all of Lily’s hidden secrets. For beneath the layers of her clever ruse lies a burning passion that will ignite a tempestuous love neither of them can deny.







Well, it's been awhile since I read this, but as I browsed other reviews, it started to come back to me.

At least well enough to write this review.

As most concurred (reviews at Amazon and Goodreads) the story had such promise and started out great -- the heroine so terrified of the awful man her heartless stepfather has chosen for her that she concocts a plausible scheme to 'die' -- and once accomplished, she dresses like a 'boy' and hitches a coach to London.

It is during this journey that she meets the H (Ethan, Marquis of Vessey) and while he easily sees through her scheme, he's intrigued enough to let her carry on so that he has something to pass time waiting for the story to unfold.

Lily meets with her family attorney in London, claims she is a widow, and receives a very large inheritance set up by her long-suffering mother's father.

Lily then sets out to find a place to live and a decent wardrobe to enter 'society' in.

Now, according to a majority of the negative reviewers, this is where the story starts to fall apart, what with Ethan behaving like a cad, wanting to make Lily his mistress all the while intending to marry the woman his mother has chosen.

Being a virgin, Lily seems to string Ethan along, letting him kiss and fondle her but always backing away at the last second (blue-balls) for fear of his discovering her 'secret'.

Implausible, because back then some girls were wed to fossils likely incapable of having sex, so for her to still be pure isn't as far-fetched as we tend to want to believe.

She could have used that as an excuse and Ethan likely would have bought it.

However, Lily also knew that while she was growing fond of Ethan, that Ethan had wicked intentions and also planned to marry another.

She wasn't stupid in that regard, but I had to fault her for leading him on for so long.

Which brings me to the other flaw.

She concocted a lie to save her soul, which is believable and, in her case, commendable.

But, for her to keep up the pretense for as long as she did while also berating Ethan (and others) for telling fibs or not being forthright and honest just didn't sit well with me or a lot of the reviewers who brought it up.

Overall, the story had merit and promise, the characters were well-developed, believable, and worth reading about, and with little in the way of GPS issues.

However, the author did mention two things that weren't the least bit Victorian: blueberry muffins and marshmallows.

She also described taffy as being 'gooey', Ethan as having a 'long, athletic frame', and actually used the phrase 'shagging on the sofa'.

After which, they 'spooned'.

Whether or not and beck and call (beckon call) irritated me as well.

Someone will need to explain this to me: applied the address and the Vessey frank, because all I'm getting is Frank Vessey when I Google it.

There are two more novels of this type (Mistress Trilogy) but are not listed as being in a series at Amazon, which just means they are stand-alone.

And, yes, I would still recommend this one if you are the type who seeks complete escape when you read.

I don't believe the author missed the mark with this plot, but I will warn that the middle seemed drawn out and overly sexual with little in the way of true romance as it seemed lust turns to love with little in the way of getting-to-know-you along the way.

Just remember you chose to read ROMANCE and I think you'll overcome a lot of the issues other reviewers had with this novel.


08 December, 2017

Tweaking Recipes Equals True Love #MFRWAuthor #BlogHop




Hi, everyone!

Welcome back for another installment of the MFRW Author Blog's 52-Week Blog Challenge.

This is now Week 49 of the challenge, and today's topic is: A Favorite Recipe 

Having not grown up in a Betty Crocker type environment, although my mother did use her cookbooks from time to time, she just wasn't of a mind to allow her two daughters to help out around the house... least of all in the kitchen.

That's right, folks!

Me and my older sister were responsible for our sides of a shared bedroom and that was it.

Ma did all of the household chores because that was her way: HER way and no other way, in other words.

When I left home, I did my fair share of cooking and turned out (if you don't mind my saying so) to be a rather decent cook.

As for baking, well, the simple answer is no.

Gas or electric stove, my cookie bottoms burn, my cakes sink, don't rise, or taste 'off' in some way.

As for yum-yum's, I'll tell you that I prefer my Rice Krispie Treats with Corn Flakes instead of Rice Krispies, thank you.

Again, it's the very same recipe, just switching the key ingredient.

Here's why.

Rice Krispie Treats taste like Rice Cakes and both are bland, boring yuck in my opinion.

Switch out to Corn Flakes and suddenly you taste everything as it slowly melts in your mouth.

There is a hard/fast recipe for this online if you are interested, but my way is simple.

In a large frying pan, I melt an entire stick of butter, then I gradually add about 3/4 of a bag of regular sized marshmallows, stirring with a wooden spoon until creamy.

I then add food coloring (in this case, green) and stir over a low flame before adding about a cup of Corn Flakes (more as needed).

You turn off the heat at this point and just stir until the Corn Flakes and marshmallow mixture combine.

The tricky part (for me) is making the shapes while the mix is still hot (or very warm) because once the mix cools, it hardens and you are left with a big lump of difficult-to-chew sweetness.

I have learned over the years that too much marshmallow will produce a very hard treat, so start with the 1cup and gradually add as you stir, making sure your creamy doesn't become 'fluffy' (pancake consistency, I think).

I do love to cook, and my kids say I'm terrific at it, but the jury is still deliberating in my head about their sincerity in that regard 😽

I have my own versions of most common dishes as well, including Swedish Meatballs, Goulash, and even poached fish (I use green tea).

The one thing I kind of / sort of invented is a roasted potato dish they both say is their very favorite.

Diced potatoes (I prefer Yukon Gold), diced bell peppers (all three colors), diced onion (yellow), 1/2 a bag of frozen corn, and my spices.

I toss the potatoes in a mix of dried Italian dressing mix, salt/pepper, celery salt, and dill, coat the pan in olive oil and drizzle more over the potatoes, put it all in an oven-safe bowl and cook at 275f for 1 1/2 hours (covered).

Then I spread the mix on a baking sheet, add the veggies and a bit more olive oil, slide the sheet back into the oven, and raise it to 325f for another 1/2 hour, stirring as needed (this is just for crispness).


Fine Cooking by Scott Phillip



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Holiday Love by Liz Crowe #ReleaseBlitz




Title: Holiday Love 
Author: Liz Crowe 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Release Date: December 8, 2017 




After building her successful business from a two-bay garage hair salon to a large, destination pampering spa Renee Reese is contemplating yet another needed expansion. When she finally decides to take up Michael O’Leary’s offer of a commercial loan from his bank, her world changes forever--but not the way she thought it would. A strong woman with a head for business, gossip, friendship, and bad choices in love meets her match in a funny, sexy, poignant and surprising May-December romance.
Holiday Love: A Novella of The Love Brothers Series—a family saga full of humor, heat, and heart…not to mention beer, bourbon, and basketball!

    


 






Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.
Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”).
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury. The Liz Crowe voice brings something new and unique, both in settings and characters, that will thrill readers of romance, women’s fiction and chick lit alike.

“If you want a story that will grip your heart and bring all your emotions into play, then do not miss a Liz Crowe story.” ---International Best Selling Author Desiree Holt
"Liz Crowe is my drug of choice for unconventional romance that pushes the envelope of my comfort zone." --Best Selling Author of the Enigma Series, Ditter Kellan Liz Crowe writes intense true-to-life stories that make you feel. Whether it's anxiety, love, fear, hate, bliss, or loss woven into her plot lines, you will feel it deep down to your very soul. --Audrey Carlan, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author







Totally Bound





Totally Bound





Totally Bound





 

Totally Bound