Posts Tagged ‘romance’

The cover, plot, and setting drew me in. I received this story from Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.

Blind since birth, Abbey Morrison is confident and proficient in her world, the only world she’s ever known. Despite the family and friendships she has in the small fishing village, and her father’s unfailing love, she is still lonely.

Disfigured and scarred from war injuries, Irish immigrant Jeremy McKetcheon, finds work and solitude in self-isolation as a lighthouse keeper on a lonely island. His only companion is a loyal dog and the periodic visits of the kindly mail carrier, Morrison, from the mainland, bringing him supplies and news.

A tragedy brings Abbey to Jeremy’s isolated island. Soon, romance blooms between the two lonely hearts.

Because this is a historical novel, the author did spend a fair bit of time describing food, activities, and period details, thus creating a developed and believable setting, even if the factual timeline was off a little bit. It’s fictions and she is entitled to stretch dates a small amount for the story.

I enjoyed the language of the Irishman, Jeremy. It felt true to his heritage and made him more dimensional. Likewise with his hobby of carving wood figures. I wish Abbey had more depth to her. She seemed a little too perfect, with her only flaw in that sometimes she made a poor choice.

The pacing, however, was awkward in many places. Sometimes it felt jerky or rushed. Characters spanned large periods of time within the same paragraph, leaving a feeling of leaping forward and missing things. A smooth transition between time could have eliminated this.

The reprobates  were believable and thoroughly unlikable, which was the intention. While Abbey didn’t always behave in the wisest of ways, the evil behaviors of the bad guys certainly came across as genuine.

Abbey’s Tale is a good story. It could have been better with more development of Abbey Morrison and better pacing overall and more development between scenes.


Read Full Post »

LB_MaggiesWay_400x600      LB_MaggiesForkInTheRoad_Kindle_2400x3600

Today I am pleased to introduce author Linda Bradley. Her second women’s fiction novel, “Maggie’s Fork in the Road” of the ‘Montana Bound’ series is releasing July 6th with Soul Mate Publishing. This is the follow up to her critically acclaimed multi-award finalist, “Maggie’s Way“. Welcome, Linda. Can you share what this book is about?

Maggie Abernathy learns that pesky neighbors, John and Chloe McIntyre are moving to Montana. The only problem is…she can’t fathom living without them now that they’ve stolen her heart. While trying to digest the news and accept John’s decision to leave Michigan, Maggie ventures to Chicago with Chloe to see Chloe’s Hollywood mother in a photo shoot, where the three kindle a quirky bond making it even harder to say goodbye. With the support of Maggie’s meddling mother, best friend Judy, and a surprise visit from Montana rancher, Winston Ludlow McIntyre, Maggie begins to wonder which fork in the road leads home.

Ryan: Um, very full of twists and supporting characters. Why did you write it?
When I wrote, Maggie’s Way, Montana Bound Series: Book 1, I intended it to be a single title, but when it was time to type “The End” something inside me told me Maggie’s journey wasn’t over. One book morphed into three, each with it’s own premise. Maggie’s Fork in the Road is the second book in the series.

How long did it take?
It took me about four months to have my first draft.

That is not too bad. Where do you write?
I write at my desk in an office that I share with my husband. I write at our dining room table, in bed, on the sofa. It depends on my mood. When it’s summer, I tend to find myself of on the deck or on our porch with my dog, Maisey.

LB MaiseyShe’s a beauty!

Some days her friends from the neighborhood join us, so writing becomes a group effort.LB Group effort dogs

Are you working on anything else right now?
Yes, I am. I am working on edits for Maggie’s Montana, Montana Bound Series: Book 3 due out this fall. I’m also working on another Montana based series and a Women’s Fiction book with a thread of Spirit.

Thread of spirit? Sounds great.  Okay, here are some ice-breaking questions to get to know you better, beyond the writing hat you wear.

1.    Most recent book I’ve read: Palmetto Moon by Kim Boykin
2.    Favorite town: Positano, Italy. It’s the place I traveled to with my husband in celebration of getting married and being cancer-free.    (Hey, big congratulations!)

LB cancer free w hubs

3.    Be Invisible or x-ray vision: Invisible.
4.    Typical Day: I teach second grade full time, so it’s a lot of hustle and bustle during the school year. The summer is different. I own that and it’s a time to rejuvenate, get projects done around the house, travel, and write.
5.    Rainy Days: At home writing or hanging with my hubby and dog.
6.    Musical Instrument: I played the cello up until college. Some days I wonder if I’d be able to rekindle the connection.
7.    Foreign Language: None, fluently. I wish I did though. I took German in high school and French in college.
8.    Four people for dinner: Only four?
This is tough, but today, I’d have to go with Julianne Moore, Sam Elliot, Robert Redford, and Nicholas Sparks. Julianne Moore because I’ve had people tell me that I look like her, even ask me if I was her, although I believe she is much more elegant than I am. I have this crazy idea to write a book in which the main character, me, spends a day in her shoes. It has comedy written all over it. Sam Elliot because I’ve always been intrigued by him and if someday, one of my Montana Bound books should find its way on a big screen, he’d be a perfect Winston Ludlow McIntyre. Robert Redford, well because he’s Robert Redford. And my fourth guest would be Nicholas Sparks because I’ve read many of his books and I’m intrigued by how his writing fuels the big screen.

(Great choices, and some very good looking ones too. I’m an Elliot and Redford fan)

9.    Growing up, what did I want to be: I wanted to be an artist. I knew my main character, Maggie Abernathy needed a hobby, so I depict her painting photographs. Here’s a hand colored photo I did in college. This one was done with colored pencils. The photo was taken on Belle Isle here in Michigan. LB Belle IS MI

Ok- now how about a speed round?:

1.    Favorite Food to Cook: Chocolate Chip Cookies
2.    Favorite Animal: Maisey, my rescue dog, but I think she really rescued me. (they usually do)
3.    Favorite Color: Green
4.    Favorite Book: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
5.    Favorite Sport: Tennis
6.    Favorite Music: 70’s
7.    Favorite Song: There are too many!
8.    Favorite place to visit: Petoskey, Michigan. My grandparents lived there so we took many treks to northern Michigan. It’s the only place I can find Penuche. Penuche is a kind of maple fudge and my grandmother used to make for my siblings and me every time we visited.
9.    What makes me laugh:  A good joke or a classic rerun of Match Game.
10.    3 adjectives: Creative, Resourceful, Determined
11.    Favorite Season: Summer
12.    Strangest thing I ate: caviar
13.    Strangest thing I’ve done: Oh boy, not sure I can divulge that information.
14.    Dance or sing: Definitely not dance, but I can carry a tune on a good day.
15.    Second home: Mountain cabin for the summer and a beach home for the winter.
16.    Dessert: Anything chocolate.

17.    Whom do you admire: My dad. Here he is in Panama City, Panama on December 7, 1941. LB dad inpanama


18.    Car: Silver Malibu
19.    Favorite Art: Impressionism
20.    3 wishes: 1) Retire early 2) Make a movie 3) Beach house
21.    Favorite Vacation Spots: Montana, Italy, Ireland, the beach. LB favor vacation Ireland the beach








Wonderful, Linda, thank you for sharing such great photos. How about some parting thoughts?

1.    What 3 items would I take if I were stranded on a tropical island for a year: 1) A bag of books. 2) A friend 3) Bug spray
2.    Quote I love: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” -Ernest Hemingway
3.    Real life situation in which you stood up for someone or something: At the age of fifty-one, I’ve stood up for a lot of things, students in my classroom, and especially myself. My husband always tells me that doing the right thing doesn’t always feel good. He’s right, and I try to remember that when it’s time to pick a battle that should be addressed.

I am happy to announce that Linda’s debut novel,  book 1 “Maggie’s Way”, is a finalist in the Greater Detroit Bookseller’s Best Award 2016 and was a finalist for The Romance Reviews Readers Choice Award.  That’s pretty cool! Congratulations and not a bad start for 2016.  I’d love to share an excerpt of book 2 “Maggie’s Fork in the Road” now.

John’s news knocked the wind out of me leaving me breathless, speechless . . . paralyzed.

Breathe, I told myself.

The dim room grew foggy as my eyes searched John’s face. “Really,” I said. “Why now? And why here?” What was it about delivering bad news in a restaurant? First, Beckett, now John. For the love of God, I wondered if breaking a woman’s heart in public got them into a secret men’s club.

Letting my guard down proved one thing. Hurt was inevitable. John and Chloe’s absence would leave a hole in my heart, a gorge of sharp edges. We were more than neighbors. We’d become friends that navigated life’s ups- and-downs together. And now they were moving. I’d have new neighbors and I didn’t want new neighbors. I wanted John and Chloe. I needed John and Chloe. We bonded last summer when I dealt with breast cancer. Their craziness made mine seem normal. John and Chloe weren’t any ordinary neighbors; they were family, eccentric misfits, like myself that conformed to the beat of life while traversing the bumps in the road.

Massaging my temples, I caught my breath. The throb pierced my skull. Since John and Chloe’s arrival, there’d never been a dull moment. Mom came around more often. And Chloe’s mother, Brook. Jesus, she flitted in and left like a summer storm leaving sky-high humidity and heat that scorched everything in its path.

Broken-hearted, Chloe had wept over false promises, her bags packed, her hopes magnanimous. And God, Beckett.

My ex-husband found his footing with a new lifestyle that didn’t include me, or any other woman. I’d heard through the grapevine that he was dating and wondered if his better half was as handsome as he was.

I searched John’s face for an answer.

“I didn’t know how to tell you. I’m sorry, Maggie. I don’t belong here,” he said, lowering his voice. “I can practice medicine in Montana and my dad could really use the help.”

Montana was one hell of a long ways away. I swallowed the sting of disappointment. John’s eyes searched mine. His news left a bitter taste at the back of my throat. “You can’t leave. I love you,” I whispered.

The pressure behind my eyes burned something fierce. How was it possible that I felt so much for someone I wasn’t romantically involved with? I certainly thought about it enough and the few recent kisses we shared established a deeper connection spurring buried promises that I’d made to myself. Moving forward in the wake of waiting for perfect timing proved difficult.

The corners of John’s mouth drooped. His jaw clenched.

“I can’t believe I said that.” I stared into my half-empty glass of Merlot, my cheeks smoldered from the realization that he didn’t return my sentiments. My chin quivered as he touched my hand from across the table.

“I want to put the house up for sale when Chloe’s school year ends.”

My forced smile hurt. It was the kind that everyone knows is fake and by John’s expression, my attempt to lighten the moment had failed. He squeezed my hand. I sipped my wine trying to avoid eye contact with the waitress. Her return with the dessert tray came at the most inopportune moment. After listening politely, John asked for the check. I wrapped my shawl around my shoulders trying to hold myself together. “I’ll meet you outside,” I said, fumbling with my purse.

“I won’t be long,” he said. “Maggie—”

The leg of my chair got stuck on the carpet. I shook it loose in disgust, studying the face of a man that I thought just might be a permanent fixture in my life. His eyes sadly apologetic.

“Damn, you’re beautiful.” With a heavy sigh, he paused. “I’ll be out in a minute.

The cool spring breeze sent shivers down my spine as I exited the restaurant. I caught my breath. How could I have told John I loved him? Why now? I wrapped my arms around myself. If I could survive cancer, I’d survive this. Hearts mended. Beckett taught me that lesson the hard way, but this was John and Chloe. Our attachment was the seam that mended that wound, made it invisible.

Okay, here are Linda’s social media links to stay in contact to see what is next:

website: http://www.lindabradleyauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Linda-Bradley

twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LBradley/author

Buy links to start your own set:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Maggies-Way-Montana-Bound-Book-ebook/dp/B00ZSOX4BA?ie=UTF8&keywords=maggie%27s%20way&qid=1434509844&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

Barnes & Nobel: https://www.amazon.com/Maggies-Way-Montana-Bound-Book-ebook/dp/B00ZSOX4BA?ie=UTF8&keywords=maggie%27s%20way&qid=1434509844&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

Linda, thank you so much for stopping in today. It has been a great visit. Before you go, you did say something earlier about a giveaway. What are your giving away?

I would love to giveaway two Amazon e-books. Winners decide which of my books they want. Just leave a comment below.





Read Full Post »

In the spirit of adventure and diversity, I decided to interview McKenzie and Logan, characters in my new novel, Shimmers of Stardust, available September 10th from Soul Mate Publishing. So let’s get started.


Dr. Lynne, you are an accomplished and respected anthropologist. How did you get involved in this situation with Mr. Riley?

Call me Kenzie, please, my family all does. Well, because of my successful career, I was selected for this expedition. The physicists were working on some time travel theories, I guess, and they had ties to some high-ranking military officers who shared their vision. The physicists figured out where Logan ought to be and knew he would be key in their studies. The military figured I was one of the few who could actually find Logan.

And so you did. Then what?

I thought he was the most handsome man, and the strangest, I’d ever met! {laughs} I mean, he had this tall tale about how he’d been hanged way back. But he did have this nasty mark around his neck, so something happened to him. Then I thought the physicists were going to wet themselves when they first spotted Logan. It was like he was the dead coming to life. At first I couldn’t figure it out. Then I saw what was going on.

Which was?

Oh, those creepy doctors had some bad stuff in mind. I mean, the stuff they intended to do was beyond belief. It still gives me shivers. So I just reacted. I grabbed Logan’s arm and we just ran.

Mr. Riley, what is your impression on all this? Oh sorry….Logan.

I reckoned them jaspers were nothing but trouble. Their eyes were all loco crazy. I’d somehow survived a hanging, beats me how, then I watched how this world changed for one hundred forty years and then this beautiful angel of a woman ends up dragging me off in this contraption of hers, screaming and raising dust. It’s been some pumpkins alright.

It was my car, Logan, and you didn’t seem to mind driving Aiden’s SUV when he loaned it to us.

And you didn’t mind riding horses when we borrowed them.

Wait a minute you two. I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Kenzie, can you explain what happened next?

Sure. Aiden Conway, the officer who had recruited me to find Logan, appeared to be our only sympathizer. He loaned us his vehicle because mine stood out too much. Except, after Logan learned to drive, it was wrecked when we were discovered by some soldiers out hunting us. There was a fast chase where we tried to get away and they shot the car to stop us. It was like a really bad western except in cars. And we crashed.

My, that sounds terrifying.

It was. Can you believe they actually shot at us with real bullets? {she ignores a low chuckle from Logan}

I suppose it shows how determined they were to get you back?

Well, to get Logan back anyway. He was the key to their treasure. I was only wanted back so they could teach me a lesson.

How terrible. Logan, what are your thoughts on this?

I knew them polecats were not to be trusted, even the one Kenzie had set store by. But she’s a trusting sort by nature and I love her for that. But when the vehicle was wrecked and she ended up hurting her ankle,   I’d  do everything possible to keep us safe. By then, I knew those soldiers and crazy folks were dead serious.

And what happened? You mentioned horses a moment ago.

We borrowed some horses we got lucky and stumbled upon. Then we hightailed it into the mountains. We found some places we could hole up for a spell.

That could almost sound romantic.

Hardly! I had to sacrifice a sock just to wash dishes. You would not believe what Daniel Boone here wanted me to use. And you can’t believe how cold mountain water is for bathing. And don’t forget about having to be super paranoid about everything little thing you do. So many tiny little oversights could give our location away to the hunters.

Incredible. It certainly sounds like a trying time, but I still see how a little romance could begin in a situation like that. Surely something good came out of your time in the wilderness?

{Grabs Logan’s hand} Yes, that time we spent on the run was needed for my bad boy to come around.

What do you mean?

What Kenzie means, ma’am, is I’ve done some things before, things I’m not proud of. Even a hanging wasn’t enough to make me fully want to change. It took Kenzie and her Bible and that time we spent together for me to finally see my errors. It was Kenzie and grace that convicted me and showed me how to get clean inside. She and her Bible turned my heart around for good.

That is a very honest answer, Logan. Thank you. I’m sure it must have been difficult to accept. Now, Kenzie, you are firm in your Christian beliefs. How did that affect you in regards to Logan’s situation?

Well, I’ll be honest. It was hard. First it was hard to even accept time travel could be a real thing and not some science fiction tale. Yet everyone else believed it, had proof and even Logan has the proof on his body. But even harder for me was Logan’s list of crimes. He has not been a good man before. However, I felt preaching to him would not work so I prayed. A lot. I let God’s word work without my interference. It has been a strange experience for both of us.

That took a lot of faith and courage. And to think you were being chased for your very life as well. What an interesting time you two have had. Logan, is there anything else you would like to add?

{chuckles} I’ll allow most things here are interesting, downright strange mostly. But I was more spooked by the things I saw and the way Kenzie’s Bible made me feel than the fact soldiers were chasing us. All I can think to say is a woman’s love and God’s grace can be a dangerous combination to a man.








Read Full Post »

Time is a fickle thing. It’s an odd thing. Recently, while conducting my year end paper-purge tradition, I ran across a scrap of paper, roughly 5 inches by 7 inches. It was dated 11-29-1997. Therein I had scribbled a story idea, yet untitled. The basic premise was an outlaw hanged in the 1880’s soemtime, time travels to present day and finds both redemption and love with our heroine. I had thought it would make a great romance with Christian elements interwoven through it, plus an element of danger somehow from his past or his time travel ability.

Humm, seems like a great idea. No wonder I scribbled it down that day, many years ago. So doubtlessly I stuffed it in a file to be forgotten. Or was it?

Seems the sub conscious mind has not forgotten that November 1997 idea. In July of 2011 I had a great idea for a novel. It just hit me, like a lightning bolt. How about we hang an outlaw in the old west, and he time travels to the future where he meets a plucky heroine who helps him through the challenges of this new world. He finds forgiveness of his outlaw-ish ways and together, they find love.

“Shimmers of Stardust” is now about 1/3 completed. Seems I have not veered much from the original idea from 1997.

So that poses the questions, do our ideas and thoughts time travel?

Read Full Post »