Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Secret Life of Daydreams

This is my first read of a novel by Lucinda Whitney. I will happily read more by this delightful author.

It's apparent she knows her stuff when it comes to Portugal. Living abroad really pays off when the author can draw on experience to paint the reader right into the setting. Her descriptions allowed me to soak in the Portuguese scenery and culture without all the language barrier and culture shock of being there.

The story is carefully crafted and solidly built. Everything unfolds in due course and at the right moment = perfect pacing. The characters are emotionally engaging and life like. Don't be surprised if you find yourself wrapped up in their problems, emotional struggles, and spiritual trials, along with their joys, heartfelt gratitude, and charity.

Get swept up in the best kind of daydream in this lovely novel.


Sometimes the dream you never planned for is the one you can't live without. 

Six years after a painful divorce, Josh Conrad is happy traveling the world as a photographer. When he arrives in Portugal, he plans to complete the assignment as quickly as possible. What he doesn't plan for is Sofia, the girl he baptized eleven years earlier on an LDS mission, and soon he's making excuses to prolong his trip.
Sofia Monteiro leads a structured life in Braga, Portugal, teaching high school by day and caring for her mother by night. After she reconnects with Josh through mutual friends, the memory of a failed relationship and her new graduate program are enough reasons to stay away from him.
As they collaborate on a project, Josh is wary of repeating his old mistakes and Sofia hesitates to spend time with an American who's only passing through.
Can two people with wounded hearts bring themselves to trust their dreams to each other?

The Secret Life of Daydreams is a clean and wholesome contemporary LDS romance set in Portugal.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The (Re)Model Marriage Cover Reveal

Title: The {Re}Model Marriage

Series: Romance Renovations

Author: Maria Hoagland

Publisher: Red Leaves Press

Genre(s): Sweet Romance, Family Life, Women's Fiction, Clean Gentle Read

Vendors: Will be available in paperback and all ebook platforms.

Release Date: March 29, 2016

Book Description:

From the outside, Kirk and Jamie appear to have a beautiful home and the perfect marriage. Inside, the aging Craftsman is falling apart, their marriage is crumbling from neglect, and Jamie Royce wants out! Kirk, on the other hand, isn’t ready to give up on either the house or their relationship.

With their divorce scheduled for the day after their daughter’s high school graduation, Jamie and Kirk have to fix the home’s problems to lift their selling price out of the basement. Working to renovate the home together, they discover secrets—in the home, in their marriage, and in the fertility clinic that helped give them their daughter—and find themselves questioning what true love really is.

About Maria Hoagland:

When Maria Hoagland is not working at her computer, she can be found combing used furniture stores, remodeling houses with her husband, or sitting on the sideline of a son's soccer game. She loves crunching leaves in the fall, stealing cookie dough from the mixing bowl, and listening to musicals on her iPod. While she appreciates the home office she shares with her husband, Maria's favorite writing places are outdoors where there is sunlight and no internet. She and her husband and their children have lived in Idaho, Missouri, Ohio, Utah, and in six Texas cities.

Maria Hoagland has several published works including The {Re}Model Marriage, Home for the Holidays, Nourish & Strengthen, Family Size, and Whitney Award finalist, Still Time. Her prize-winning poems and short stories have been published in small magazines. Maria Hoagland earned a degree in English at Brigham Young University.

Order Your Copy Now!

Connect with Maria Hoagland:

To learn more about The {Re}Model Marriage and author Maria Hoagland, find her at the following places:

Mailing List (with free ebook):

Twitter: Maria Hoagland

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Me Before You

This is my first read by Jojo Moyes.

A fellow writer said to read it for a good example of how to write romance. So, I ordered a copy and there it languished on my "to read" shelf for several months until my book club picked it. So, I read it.

If it was an example of how to fall in love very very slowly, then job well done. For a romance with a moral message it is well written and researched.

But I felt at times it was tedious. I could see the conflict regarding the ending far in advance and wanted to get to the resolution already!

The plot pivots on a timely question about life and death, choices, and living with consequences. That part of the story was well done and leaves the reader thinking about her own choices if put in Lou's or Will's shoes.

Patrick drove me up the wall. What was the point of him? I could've done without him entirely.

Plenty of side plots to keep things lively. Multiple character points of view, though most of the story is told from Will's perspective.

At the end I wasn't compelled to seek out the sequel.  There are other romances I enjoy more.

Me Before You

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our StarsMe Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Master of Time Release & Fundraiser

Lisa Rector is so excited to announce the upcoming release of her novel Master of Time (Chronicles of the Half-Emrys #3). 

The BIG NEWS is she is donating all of March's pre-order profits
and the entire month of April’s royalties to Help Jill Overcome SMA! This
includes all her novels on Amazon,
Createspace, and Kindle. Book 3 officially releases on March 31st!

For online shoppers
Books one and two are currently available on Amazon. Order during April so the royalties go to the fundraiser. 
Book 3 is available for pre-order. Order now to get yours on March 31st and support Jill!

You might not be sold on paranormal romantic fantasy. But surely a young lady in your life is. This is a new adult paranormal romantic fantasy. New adult means the main characters are ages 18–25. In her case, the immortals in her novels act these ages.

Book 1 is Reader Rated (RR) 14+ for clean
language, mild fantasy violence, on-page tender moments.
Book 2 is RR-15+ for clean language, mild fantasy
violence and torture, off page sexual intimacy, but on-page tender moments.
Book 3 is RR-16+ for mild fantasy swearing, mild
fantasy violence and torture, off page sexual intimacy, but on-page tender

Enough about Lisa's novels. She is busting at the seams over this opportunity to make a difference in a lovely little girl’s life. 

Let’s meet Jill!

A few years ago, Jillian MacKay was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, type III. SMA is a genetic condition that slowly
causes her muscles to fail. Her parents were shocked—at 18 months her only symptom was that she walked around their Victorian farmhouse bowlegged, but the doctors soon found the root cause was SMA. SMA is degenerative, which means that over time Jill will gradually rely on her wheelchair and lose the ability
to walk altogether.

Jill craves independence. She wants to be able to take her wheelchair to her doctors’ appointments, to shop, and to visit with
friends and family. She wants to shower on her own. To do this she needs the right equipment, such as an accessible shower and bathroom, and a van capable of transporting her heavy wheelchair.

Her mom stays home with Jill, takes her to doctors’, physical, and occupational therapy appointments, and also looks after Jill’s little sister. Jill used to love ballet and gymnastics but is having
trouble participating. Luckily she also loves reading, coloring, and painting at home, as well as cheering on her little sister’s accomplishments.

Jill is a brilliant girl. She’s smart and motivated. All she wants are very basic things that we all take for granted—the ability to shower on her own, get around her school, hang out with friends on the playground, and be dropped off and picked up by her mom in the van.

The family needs funds to purchase a gently used
wheelchair-accessible van.

The house also needs updates to accommodate Jill’s wheelchair. The family was able to move into a one level house that is much more wheelchair friendly, but it still needs upgrades to the bathrooms and other places. Please help make this childhood one of fun, friendship, and joy—as childhood should be!

Now to the novels!

Master of Lies

Lost to the lies. Consumed by revenge.

Unaware of her immortal heritage, Ahnalyn learns she’s a child of two worlds—a half-Emrys with the ability to wield the light and the dark power. As Ahnalyn is thrown on a
journey beyond her control, she must sift through the lies to uncover her true
self and true potential, before the darkness consumes her.
Master of Lies is the first book in the Chronicles of the Half-Emrys, a
paranormal romantic fantasy.

The Two Masters
Choose the light or choose the darkness,
but you cannot have both.

Einion is fearful of the dark power inside that could lead to his corruption. Rhianu, a ruthless Dark Emrys, stumbles into his life, challenging everything that was once always so black and white. As despairs over Einion’s heart increase his uncertainty, he is thrust on a path where he must face his worst fears to save who he truly loves.
Meanwhile Rhianu is torn between power and love, between the past and the future. Knowing betrayal, she must follow her master’s plan—no matter what her heart tells her.

The Two Masters is the second book in the Chronicles of the Half-Emrys, a paranormal romantic fantasy.

Master of Time

Time is only one enemy.

A malicious shadow trails Catrin and Meuric after they find themselves thrown back in time. Only Meuric knows the enormity of this evil that wants to claim Catrin. Meuric’s light could save her, but using it will diminish his dark power, hindering his ability to pass through the ether to their own time. Discovering the way home has just become the least of his problems . . . if there’s a way home at all.

Master of Time is the third book in the Chronicles of the Half-Emrys, a paranormal romantic fantasy.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Two Masters

The Two Masters (Chronicles of the Half-Emrys Book 2) by Lisa Rector

Choose the light or choose the darkness, but you cannot have both. 

As Einion’s coronation approaches, the doubts about his worthiness overshadow him. He is a half-emrys, a child with both light and dark energy inside. In the mortal world, he can wield both powers, but having known only the light’s purity in the immortal realm, a place where the dark energy cannot be harnessed, Einion is fearful of the power that could lead to his corruption. As the despairs over his heart increase his uncertainty, Einion is thrust on a path where he must face his worst fears to save the one he truly loves. 

Rhianu is a ruthless Dark Emrys and ruler of Morvith, a land she has subdued and conquered by the grace of her evil master. When a mission goes horribly awry, Rhianu stumbles into Einion’s life only to be challenged by her versions of good and evil. Her heart is torn between power and love, between the past and the future. Betrayal is something Rhianu is familiar with, and knowing its repercussions, she must follow through with her master’s plan no matter what the consequences or what her heart tells her. 

This novel may be enjoyed without reading Master of Lies (Chronicles of the Half-Emrys #1). 

The Two Masters on AMAZON


Lisa Rector is a master at writing high fantasy. And when I say that I'm coming at it from the perspective of one who enjoys Tolkien, Lewis, and Paolini. Yes, even romance girls can read outside their preferred genre. 

The Two Masters, with its battles, magic lore, and dragons, is really a deep soul searching journey. The characters are forced to examine the light and darkness within. The balance can be swung back and forth with their choices. And there is always a choice. There is adventure, heartbreak, romance, and struggle. I loved everyone of her characters and found them easy to relate to.  

Ms. Rector is truly master of her world. Her world building is incredible. Her ability to convey emotion is done beautifully with apt description. Her pacing impeccable. Her grammar, near flawless. 

If you enjoy high fantasy, you won't be disappointed. 

At the end of her blurb she says it can be read as a stand alone book, and it can. But I would encourage you to read the other books. You wouldn't want to miss such great writing!