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                                        Romance for the Ages

 

Catherine Castle is visiting today. Her newest book, a sweet romantic comedy entitled A Groom for Mama, released September 2017 from Soul Mate Publishing. And isn’t this cover just too cute? I think so. And Catherine has included her list of the top ten signs you might be headed for a really bad date. It’s included at the bottom of the page.  So, with no further adieu, welcome, Catherine!

                                               About “A Groom for Mama”:

My new release, A Groom for Mama, is a sweet romantic comedy, with a touch of drama.  The book has a number of bad dates the heroine endures as an agreement with her mother, who wants her to find a husband.

* * *

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.

Excerpt:

Allison snapped her suitcase shut and shoved it under the bed. “I don’t want to talk about the one who got away, or any other man, Mama. They grab your heart and break it—just like Daddy did to you . . . to us.”

“Not all men are like your daddy,” Mama said. “There are good ones out there, too.”

“Not in my experience.” Allison gave her mother a hug. “I don’t want to talk about it anymore, okay?”

Mama’s silence told her she hadn’t heard the last of this subject. Her mother’s stomach growled, easing the way to a subject change.

Laughing, she asked, “Are you hungry, because I’m starving. Come on, I’ll fix you some lunch. How does your favorite—tuna salad—sound?”

“Lunch,” Mama echoed. “Oh, I forgot to tell you—Jack’s bringing something over.” The doorbell rang and Mama smiled sweetly. “You’d better run and answer the door, dear. I’m not taking the stairs too good, what with my arthritis and—”

Allison cut her off. “Please don’t say it, Mama.”

With a nod, Mama said, “Hurry then, before whoever it is thinks we’re not coming.”

“Do you need me to return and help you downstairs?”

“No thank you, dear. I can manage.”

Allison didn’t doubt that for a minute. Her already-stubborn mother grew more stubborn every day, if that was possible.

It’s just the situation. I won’t lose my temper when we’re both so stressed, she promised herself. Time is too precious to waste on arguing.

Bounding down the stairwell as the bell rang, she shouted, “I’m coming! I’m coming. Keep your pants on!” She threw the deadbolt off and jerked open the door.

Jack Somerset stood in front of her, his chin perched on top of a stack of Chinese take-out cartons. Shoving down her tingling gut reaction, she commanded her heart to stop jumping like an over excited puppy.

Except for a few more laugh wrinkles around his eyes, Jack hadn’t changed a bit since college. His brown hair still dipped over his forehead in a shaggy mane. A lopsided smile spread across his face when he saw her. He winked at her, his green eyes twinkling.

“Well, if it isn’t the bride-to-be. Nice to see you again, Allison.” He jiggled the cartons balanced in his arms. “I brought Chinese. I remember it was your favorite. Moo shu pork, right?” He pushed past her and headed toward the kitchen, apparently as well acquainted with her childhood home as she.

Grabbing her head between her hands, she squeezed her temples.

Chinese. Of all the things he could have brought, he brought Chinese.

She’d broken it off with him in a Chinese restaurant . . . over moo shu pork. Very loudly and very violently. The pork and the pot of hot tea had landed in Jack’s lap when he tried to keep her from leaving the table. Did his choice of entrees mean Jack hadn’t forgotten the incident? She hadn’t, and she’d been unable to eat that particular Chinese dish since.

Trailing behind him into the kitchen, she said, “You can put the boxes on the table.”

He obliged then started taking plates out of the cabinets.

A frisson of annoyance crept up her spine at the familiarity he showed in her mother’s kitchen. “Why don’t you just make yourself at home?”

“I will.” He shot a boyish grin at her. “Been doing it for some time now.” He set three plates on the table then turned and dug into the silverware drawer.

Stunned, she watched as he laid the silverware out on the table just the way Mama liked them—the knife, fork, and spoon lined up on the right-hand side of the plate. He hadn’t been joking when he said he been making himself at home.

What in heaven’s name had her old flame been doing in her absence? Courting Mama?

                            Want to read more? I sure do. Check out the book on Amazon.
Connect with Catherine!

Catherine’s website: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com
Catherine’s blog: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com/blog/
Catherine’s Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/catherinecastle
Catherine’s Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085414.Catherine_Castle
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCCastle    @AuthorCCastle
Facebook: http://facebook.com/catherinecastleauthor

 

 Group blogs where you can find Catherine:
Stitches Thru Time: http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/
SMP authors blog site:   http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/
Book Links:
A Groom for Mama: www.amzn.com/dp/B074SZSGB1The Nun and the Narc: Amazon http://amzn.com/B00CHU9DH2
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-nun-and-the-narc-catherine-castle/1116942061?ean=978161935296
                                            About Catherine Castle:
Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

 

Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2014 EPIC finalist, and the winner of the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award and the 2014 RONE Award. Her most recent release, A Groom for Mama, is a sweet romantic comedy from Soul Mate Publishing.  Both books are available on Amazon.

     Bonus: Ten Signs You Might Be Headed for a Disastrous Date List:

(My apologies to Catherine. She gave me her list with the countdown in chronological order. My system automatically renumbered them upwards and will not play nice with Catherine’s system.)

Considering the context of the book’s humor, I thought it might be fun to do a countdown of ten signs that you might be headed for a disastrous date.  Here’s my list:

  1. You can smell him before you see him, and the odor is not his aftershave.
  2. When he arrives, he turns his empty pockets inside out.
  3. He has more holes in his shirt than you have in your designer jeans.
  4. He looks nothing like his dating site profile picture.
  5. The flower he presents to you looks suspiciously like the prize-winning rose from your front yard flowerbed.
  6. He greets you with the words, “Can you hurry up? The meter’s running.”
  7. His online profile lists him as a world-renowned chef, yet he pulls in at the Golden Arches to take you to dinner.
  8. If you don’t end up at the Golden Arches, when the waiter offers up a $17 bottle of artesian water for your drinking pleasure, your date asks, “Do you have tap water?”
  9. He orders the cheapest thing on the menu and says, “Bring two plates. We’re going to share.

And the number one sign you’re headed for a disastrous date . . .

  1. He goes to the bathroom after dessert and never returns, leaving you with the check for dinner and a taxi cab bill to get home.
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Heaven is hell without her.

The Soul Mate Tree series has been quite a wonderful project, with talented authors adding a new story each month. I have had the pleasure this year of reading many of them and hosting a few of the writers here on the blog. This month I am happy to have author L.D. Rose visit. Her contribution is called “Sweet Sacrifice”. Welcome, Linda! Can you tell us what “Sweet Sacrifice” is about?

Former Navy SEAL Sebastian “Bash” Lockard died in Afghanistan after leaping on a grenade to save his comrades. Little did he know his act of heroism would grant him a ticket into Heaven’s elite army as one of the few and powerful Archangels. Struggling with his new existence, Bash still retains his human memories, leaving behind a wife he loves with all of his heart. Although he’s forbidden to see her, he can’t resist her lure, or the mortal desires he harbors for her.

As a young widow and nurse, Irene Lockard still mourns her husband two years after his untimely death. His absence is everywhere, and when her best friend weds, she hits an emotional rock bottom. As if summoned from the skies above, Sebastian appears before her, and they share an unforgettable night. But when he once again vanishes, she wonders if she’s truly gone mad with grief.

The only way Sebastian can remain with Irene is if he makes the ultimate sacrifice. But will she overcome her fear of losing him again to another war?

And here is a short snippet of it:

Bash’s gaze caught on a couple on the dance floor, the sight of her sinking into him like hooks and bringing him to a standstill.

With her dark curls springing over her shoulders, she spun across the hardwood, her pale gray dress flowing around her. Much like in his recent vision of her, she tipped her head back and laughed, beautiful, stunning, her smile as bright as the yellow calla lilies tucked in her hair. She swayed with a man in dress whites, a Marine, another fucking soldier she didn’t belong with. And as the rain of realization became a downpour of comprehension, he remembered the engagement, where Claude proposed to Lucille—at their wedding—right before Bash left for another tour of Afghanistan.

“Bash?” Gabriel stepped in front of him, blocking his view, pale eyes narrowed.

Bash’s hand slammed into Gabriel’s chest, pushing him away as he lurched forward. Gabriel reacted faster, though, snatching his arm and wrenching him back at least four feet. Bash lunged again and the Arc’s hand fisted in his white button-down shirt.

“Don’t,” Gabriel growled, all humor draining from his angular face and setting his expression in stone. “Do not.”

Bash’s heart punched at the angel’s fist, every fiber of his being burning with the urge to run to her, to wrap his arms around her and feel her body against his one more time. Envy, rage, longing, and sadness blasted through him in a toxic tornado of emotion ready to whip this place into oblivion.

He nearly ground his molars into pulp. “Let. Me. Go.”

“You are dead, Sebastian. You’re no longer part of this world. All you’ll do is bring her pain, bring yourself pain. Don’t do this.” Twin streams of air whistled from the Arc’s nostrils as he shook his head. “I should’ve never brought you here.”

Bring him pain? More pain than he’d already endured? No.

No.

 Oh, I like that! And I love that name, Sebastian. Where can we get a copy, L.D.?

List of Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074KJTJT8/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074KJTJT8/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B074KJTJT8/

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/d/B074KJTJT8/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35912787-sweet-sacrifice

Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.com/writerldrose/sweet-sacrifice/

Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/12150626565/playlist/4nG0R3mLB36hP2osulBBJp

To learn more about L.D.Rose, check this out:

L.D. Rose is a neurotic physician by day, crazed writer by night, and all around wannabe superhero. She writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but she’s been known to delve into horror, sci-fi, and medical suspense on occasion. L.D. Rose is a PAN member of the RWA, FF&P, NEC-RWA and CoLoNY. She currently lives in Rhode Island with her studly hubby, her hyperactive boxer, and her two devious cats.

Sign up for her newsletter for the latest on the Senary, sneak peeks, giveaways, and other fun stuff: http://eepurl.com/bKvuXD. You’ll receive a free horror short story with sign-up!

You can also join her reader group on FB for more shenanigans. 😉 DEVOUR THE NIGHT: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1544747369161573/

Where else to find her:

Website: www.writerldrose.com

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/ldrose

Facebook: www.facebook.com/writerldrose

Author page: www.facebook.com/ldroseauthorpage

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ld_rose

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/ldrose

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/writerldrose

Tumblr: www.writerdoc.tumblr.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ld_rose/

BookBub: www.bookbub.com/authors/l-d-rose

And just in case you weren’t already hooked, here is a longer snippet of “Sweet Sacrifice”:

Her eyes snapped open, her vision blanketed by huge white feathers, before a giant wing shoved her back. Her arms flailed as she fell hard on her tailbone, the impact rattling up her spine and clacking her jaw shut.

Pain and awareness ripped into her, the veil of fantasy torn from her eyes as she gawked at the rail in front of her.

She was outside. In the dark. Ready to jump from her hotel balcony.

Her sharp intake of air scraped her ears, her heart kicking against her ribcage as she covered her gaping mouth with her hand. Holy shit. Did I sleepwalk? Was she really about to plummet to her death from fourteen stories high?

And did a huge bird just save her life?

Backpedaling across the concrete, the air cool against her thighs now that she’d nearly torn her dress in half, she hit the glass of the sliding balcony doors. Reaching up with a shaking hand, she clutched the handle and pulled herself haphazardly to her feet, yanking the door open and stumbling inside. She slammed it shut behind her, the glass rattling from the force of the blow as she flipped the lock closed. Retreating farther, she toppled onto the bed, staring at the night outside with growing horror.

She recounted her steps from when she’d arrived at the hotel. The elevator, the housekeeper, entering the room, sitting, crying, falling asleep, the river, the blood, the panic, the tree—

The tree.

Climbing the tree, touching its leaves, remembering . . .

A loud thump hit the balcony outside, muted by the thick glass. Her bleary eyes shot to the figure standing on the ledge and she released a cross between a sob and a shriek, then stifled her mouth with a hand.

Tall, bare-chested, his suit jacket and shirt bunched in his fist as he tossed them aside. Tattoos covered his arms, shoulders, and the base of his neck. Closer now, she discerned the pattern of inked wings, pale muscles rippling, lines and cuts he’d never worn before. His dark hair fell a little longer on top, disheveled from the wind, his face still carved with gorgeous edges, but thinner, wearier. His eyes were black holes, endless, consuming. Infinite.

Sebastian.

His knuckles rapped on the glass, the sound sending a terrified jolt into her nervous system. His eyes bore into hers, cutting through the darkness.

“Reen. Open the door.”

Reen. Her nickname rumbled from his lips, his voice still that resonant timbre she adored. God, some nights she’d pleaded to hear that sound again, just to listen to him speak one last time.

This had to be another dream. He had to be a dream. She was hallucinating.

Christ, had Phillipe spiked her drink?

“Reen.” He grasped the handle, tugged on it, his inked bicep contracting. “I know you see me.”

She couldn’t move, nailed to the bed with fear, paralyzed by disbelief. He pressed both palms flat on the glass, big hands with callused fingers, hands that had memorized every part of her body. He broke eye contact, dipping his head as he murmured, “Please, baby. Let me in.”

As if his plea granted her motor skills, Irene was suddenly on her feet, hurrying across the carpet toward him. She struggled to control her shaking hands, trembles reverberating through her entire body. It took her three tries to flip the latch, and then she backed away, recoiling, afraid of this man who looked so much like her dead lover.

He pulled the slider open in a smooth, fluid movement, the cool ocean breeze escaping into the airless hotel. Setting his sights on her, he stepped over the threshold, his presence filling the room, overwhelming her entirely. When her back hit the main door, the opportunity to flee opened up wide, but she stilled as his scent wafted into her nostrils, a blend of sandalwood and her husband.

Sebastian. Her Sebastian.

The slider closed behind him, the finality of the sound echoing through her bones, and she couldn’t run.

Not from him. Never from him.

An almost strangled sigh escaped him and he swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat. A gut-wrenching pain glittered in his dark eyes while he drank her in, his gaze skittering over her from head to toe, as if reacquainting himself with his broken disaster of a wife.

Finally, he approached her in the dark, closing the distance between them, and she pressed harder against the door. If he held her, if he so much as touched her, she would be lost to him, squandering any semblance of sanity she’d managed to retain in these awful years without him.

Blistering tears flowed freely down her cheeks as he halted mere inches away, so close, so goddamn close his warmth radiated off his bare chest. He lifted a hand and she flinched, stopping him as if she’d slapped him. The pained expression on his face yanked a wretched sob from her throat, and she just couldn’t believe it, couldn’t believe he stood right there in front of her.

The medal, the flag, the decorated casket, the salute . . . had it all been a lie?

His finger brushed her cheek, tentative, soft, waiting for her to strike. When she didn’t, he cupped her face in his hand, his skin still rough and callused, wiping away her tears with his thumb. She leaned into his touch, unable to resist his warmth, and he framed her face with his free hand, staring into her eyes with a need so raw it stole what little breath she had left in her burning lungs.

“My God.” He whispered the words, as if he didn’t have the strength to give them voice. “I’ve missed you.”

.

 

This is a well done romance with plenty of twists and turns. I am not sure whether Ms. Gilmore is personally knowledgeable about London’s social scenery or if she researched it thoroughly. Either way, the London scenes were most believable. The story spans three countries:, England, USA, and Mexico.

Taylor Fairchild’s dad persuades her to take a vacation from their music insider business, and fly to London, England. Begrudgingly, she complies. While there, she discovers a rock band called Fury. She is convinced they could become hot in America and she starts the pursuit to suggest they create a demo recording for her.

Once she and lead singer, Craig Phillips, join up, the chemistry is undeniable. They spend a large amount of time together. However, Craig and another Fury band member have a secret side-job: being the drop men for a underworld drug kingpin.

Taylor, Craig and the Fury band go to Los Angeles, and indeed they become the next big rock group. Craig thinks he’s left his undesirable side job behind him, in the past where it belongs. He focuses his attention on building his dream with the band, and creating a serious relationship with Taylor.

It all goes smooth for a while, until Craig’s past returns to haunt him. His kid brother, Shaun, disappears, and Craig is summoned to Mexico to get him. There, Craig’s past and present collide, caught in the clutches of a vile, heartless drug lord.

Meanwhile, Taylor grows tired of waiting to hear from Craig, and launches her own investigation to find him. She tracks him to Mexico and soon finds herself caught in the dangerous and mysterious web of his past as well.

With thoroughly despicable bad guys and sizzling chemistry between Taylor and Craig, and plenty of unexpected plot twists; I can only say one thing for Diane Gilmore’s “Perilous Pursuit”: Well done!

Source: A Writer’s Garden with Author Ryan Jo Summers

National Dog Day

Wow, a whole nation-wide day dedicated to our best furry friends. What a pure stroke of genius someone had when they created this day. I could not let today slide away without paying homage to some of my beloved canine buddies over the years.

My most recent is Ty. He came to live with me March of 2015. He is about eight years old, though no one is exactly sure. Ty is part of a group of collies who were rescued from a hoarding situation in Tennessee. When I adopted Ty, he had severe (read Massive) PTSD and behavioral issues. He was not house trained, leash trained, obedience trained, or anything trained. He freaked out over anything and nothing. He spent two years living in a tiny corner of the kitchen (his “cave of comfort”) because he was too terrified to come out. Lately, he has progressed to the bedroom now. I am hopeful in the next year or two he might start exploring the rest of the house.

Actually, I kept a blog and journal marking Ty’s journey and this year I released it as a self-published novel through Kindle Direct, called ‘Ty’s Journey’. It’s in a paperback and an e-book version and readers so far have enjoyed his progress and the many photos.

Two pics of Scrapper, around age 8 or 9 yrs

 

This adorable baby is Scrapper. My (at the time) hubby wanted a small dog. After some research he found this darling at a breeder’s near Detroit, MI. We made the long trek to get her. She was a 6-month old puppy. She imprinted on me and for eighteen years, she was my baby girl. When hubby and I called it quits, it was known by all that Scrapper was staying with me. It broke my heart to send her over the Rainbow Bridge in Feb. 2014. She was two months shy of reaching her nineteenth birthday.

Scrapper, age 18, 2013

 

The Blue Merle below is Ruffian, AKA Heritage Ruffian by Kintor, CGC. I bought him as a pup with the intent to show him. The sable and white lying down is Kip, CGC. The CGC behind their names stand for Canine Good Citizen, a certification they both earned for obedience. Ruffian was close to earning his CD, another obedience title. Kip was a street-wise stray from Grand Rapids, MI that I inherited for eight years. Thought they came to me at different times, in different ways, and for different reasons, they were my best friends. This photo was taken at Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. I had a chance in 2003 to take them to a place called Sunnybank, and pay homage to the author who got me interested in collies while I was still a child.

Ruffian and Kip, at Sunnybank, 2003

This is Raven, AKA Afterhours Shining Heritage. She was bought as a show prospect puppy, and loved to show. I cut my teeth as a handler beside Raven. Ultimately I ended up placing her with a family with kids who wanted to run and play as much as Raven did. Actually, Ruffian and Raven grew up together, just a few months apart. We referred to them as Big Brother and Little Sister.

Raven, as a six-month-old

This is Galya. I got her as a young adult and enjoyed many wonderful years with her sweet, devoted collie personality. She was everything you could ask for in a collie, loved to “mother” the new babies, and lived a nice long life. I lost her Labor Day weekend, 2001.

Shayna, AKA Afterhours Star of Heritage, was bought as a show prospect puppy. She had it all, and she knew it. Shayna loved to be the Belle of the Ball, all eyes on her. She had to strut her stuff, and make sure everyone knew Shayna was in the house. She was a real ham, a lady, a star, and a bit of a drama queen.

Riley James is a puppy that I bred. His name was Heritage Touched by Twilight. I tried showing him some, and he did great as a youngster. When he matured, he stayed on the petite side, too dainty for a male, so that ended his show career. Instead, I neutered him and kept him as a house pet, until I lost him at the too-young age of eleven.

As you can tell, I adore the collie breed, and papillions. So Happy National Dog Day. Hug your pooch if you have one. If you don’t, I’d like to encourage you to spend this weekend and go to your local animal shelter or humane society. Donate either your time, your money, your talents, or your home and help a dog in need in one way or another. Shelters and rescues always need help in so many ways. Just show up. They will be very appreciative. And so will the dogs you help. Until they all have a loving home to call their own.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go walk Ty.

 

I heard on the radio this morning that today is National Garage Sale Day. In addition to stirring up some memories, it also got me to thinking how writing–and its twin sister Promoting–are a lot like garage sales.

Actually, it can be garage sales, yard sales, rummage sales, any of the terms one uses to advertise what they are holding. Much like genres, they give us the first clue into what we can expect.

When I was a girl my mother and I spent many Saturday mornings from Memorial Day through Labor Day going “garage salin'” She lived for those months, those weekend mornings, to voyage into new and familiar neighborhoods. To scour for treasures; usually ones we never knew we needed.  We felt like modern-day pirates And I still have some of those items, many years later.

My mother has since passed on and I will probably never have time for proper garage salin’ like we used to do. Yet each time I pass a sign proclaiming garage sale, rummage sale, neighborhood sale, or yard sale, I still get a tug at the memories. And recently, the signs have got me to thinking how all those different sales resemble our writing and promotional efforts.

Branding– Whether we use a cardboard sign and black marker or we invest in a solid sign that’s easy to read, with clear directions and dates, we’re giving prospective buyers an initial impression of our set up. Branding for writing is rooted in consistency. Using similar fonts, designs, colors, and patterns on all our social media sites and covers if possible clues the reader into what kind of book you write. Dripping blood for horror or flower petals for romance, with short, catchy tag lines are as “first impression’ as the garage sale sigh on the corner. My mother would pass  up a sale if the sign looked like it had been tossed together with scraps from behind the garage. Likewise, inconstant branding can confuse readers with what genre you write.

Image– Is the yard mowed? Are the items for sale clean and well-arranged? If we made it past the initial sign and reached the driveway, here came my mother’s Test # 2. No one likes digging through mislabeled boxes or getting grass stains from kneeling in 4 inch high grass or worse, grease stains on the driveway. Likewise, how does our website treat visitors? Presentation is everything. Busy, crowded media sites are as bad as mismatched boxes on an overgrown lawn or  broken, dirty merchandise. It’s not going to impress anyone, most likely no one will buy anything, and it’s doubtful they will come back.

Location– Mom used to study the classified, mapping out her strategy like a general in battle.  She knew which neighborhoods to hit, and the best times to do so. Likewise, where are you? With so many media choices, it’s impossible to be everywhere. It’s usually recommended to pick a few that are manageable for your schedule and skill level, and stick with those. I would add this as well: mix it up. Do social med, do a personal blog or website. Join writer’s sites where you can keep a page.  (Like Goodreads, The Romance Reviews, or Amazon to name a few) Be accessible across as many sorts of locations as you can comfortably manage. Employ devices like Hootsuite to keep your content posted in a timely and fresh manner.

Timing– No one wants to show up at a garage sale, only to find the ad came out today, but the sale was yesterday. Bummer. What about when our own promotion starts running behind? Do you have a new release? Cover to showcase? Giveaway to share? Stunning review or award to brag about? Mom used to hit the best sales early in the morning wrap things up by lunchtime. Her thought was that by lunch, everything was picked over. The same applies to our schedules when it comes to launches. For writers, it’s good to have a pre-order option up while building interest in a new release. The pre-order sales count toward the release day sales ranking. People love getting a new hit while it’s hot and fresh, like cookies from the oven. Everyone wants to be first to the sale and first to read the next big best seller. Timing is about letting them know what you have, and when.

Groups–If there was a multi-family or neighborhood block rummage, mom would light up like she hit the jackpot.  I imagine her mind raced with the endless possibilities of what treasures she might find from all those pooled households. For writers, it means networking with groups. Join writer’s groups or online communities, mingle with people who share your genre or at least your passion in writing.  Where many are assembled is great wealth, whether it be excess household goods or combined experiences in writing, promo, marketing, and connections. Think of it like a jackpot.

Variety– If the sale just had baby stuff or just tools or just furniture, mom passed them by. She wanted variety. She might be in the market for those things too,  but she wanted more options to make her stop the car. In the writing realm, that might equate with offering loads of news, but also sharing personal photos, the story behind the story or cute pet pics. Share sample or deleted chapters or a short story or poem unrelated to your newest release. Got a new or favorite recipe? Share it! Just attended a cool writer’s retreat? Talk about it! Just remodeled your kitchen/garden/house? Show a couple of photos!  Learn a new craft? Pictures! You get the idea. Let people see who you are beyond the cover of your book. Buy the way, what was the inspiration behind that cover anyway?

In what other ways can you see similarities between garage sales and the work a writer does?

This was received through Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.

 

The entire story was told in first person, mostly through Candace’s POV. A portion of the book was devoted to Jack’s first person POV. This is book 1 in the ‘I Want Morrison’ series, so called because each book tells the story on one Morrison sibling. This is Jack’s story, the eldest Morrison child.

 

Candance Gleason…Candie to her dad and Jack…has finally achieved her dream. She is a new lawyer at a top firm, ready to work her way up the corporate ladder.  Just when she thinks she has it all figured out, she is assigned to…Jack Morrison.

Activist, devilishly handsome, reckless, he is the bane of his family’s empire. And a major thorn to Candance. Except now she is hired to keep him out of jail, trouble, and the media spotlight. Not an easy task for someone who delights in thumbing his nose at anything and anyone who gets in his way. Someone who seemingly lives to taunt and tease.

One the surface, this looks like a case of rich kid rebellion. It goes much deeper. Jack’s arrogance is actually a driving passion to make positive changes in other’s lives. Underprivileged people’s lives. He is not above using his privileges to aid in his quest, to help those less fortunate, those being beleaguered by his own ‘type of people’.

Ms. Harris does a fantastic job of creating Jack, a multi-layered character who has so much good to offer if one can see past what seems like obvious character flaws. What I did not care for, and what keeps my rating a little lower, is the constant use of the character’s names in dialogue. While I personally like the name Jack, and see the need to identify who is speaking to whom, I do not care to see their names each and every time they are spoken to. There are better literary tools to identify who is being talked to. This is truly a case of “less is more”.  IMHO.

Next, initially I found the whole premise of a family–specifically a wealthy, driven, family like the Morrison’s, hiring their newest firm lawyer to “babysit” their grown son a bit farfetched. If they waited, and gave him enough rope, he would surely hang himself, get jailed for a lengthy stay, and it would put an end to the activist activities that plague the family. It would be must cheaper, quicker, and easier than wasting a babysitter to keep him leashed. For that reason alone, I nearly stopped reading.

However, I am glad I kept on. The story goes much deeper than that summary. The Morrison family does not want Jack in jail, or in any trouble. To avoid spoilers, let me just say when I kept reading, and got to know the family, and Jack’s motivations, better, the loyalty and bonds between them–and the sibling rivalry–between them all became clear.

Lastly, the chemistry between Candace and Jack felt real. Their dialogue–sans the repetitive name usage–was witty and fun. The shift from irritation to attraction was gradual enough to make it believable. Candace’s move from realizing all her dreams to inheriting a pain in the butt to falling for him once she witnesses his motivations make her real as well. The pacing is great. Candace and Jack’s opposite personalities make a great mesh.

Overall, I enjoyed this book 1 in the I Want Morrison series. It is a stand alone book with no cliffhangers.