Thursday, August 4, 2011

Interview with Susan Mallery & Her Cheerleaders

Tell us about ONLY MINE.

Each book in the Fool’s Gold series is a standalone novel, meaning that you won’t get lost if you read them out of order. Fool’s Gold is a town facing a serious (and seriously funny) problem – the 2010 census revealed that the town is suffering from a man shortage. Fool’s Gold has become the punch line of countless jokes on TV talk shows, which makes the strong, independent women in town pretty darn crabby... and which attracts the attention of a sleazy TV producer.

In ONLY MINE, it’s Dakota Hendrix’s job to interview potential contestants. After she recommends two handsome young twins for the show, the twins’ gorgeous, stern older brother demands that she declare them unfit. Finn Anderson wants his brothers to return to college. Finn has raised the boys since their parents died, and he won’t consider his duty done until they graduate. While Finn does everything he can to strong-arm or coerce his brothers back to Alaska, Dakota is struggling with a problem of her own, a problem so big that it will change the course of her life.

You can read free excerpts here. You’ll find lots of freebies and fun bonus content there, too!

How did you come up with your Fool's Gold series?

I knew I wanted to create a series based on a place. In the past, I’d written series based on a family, so once I ran out of siblings, I ran out of stories. Readers kept asking me for more in every series. They loved that sense of connection, and they wanted it to go on. Debbie Macomber was the one who suggested I stop writing about families and start writing about a place. With a place, the story possibilities are infinite. (Debbie Macomber is like my Mayor Marsha – I never say no to Debbie! She’s a genius.)

The place itself needed to have a strong identity. As I was brainstorming the series, I heard a story about the then-upcoming 2010 census, about everything a town can discover about itself from census results. I wondered, “What if there was a man shortage?”

So Fool’s Gold was born… the town with the man shortage. But instead of making the women eager to get more men to town, I tweaked reader expectations and made the women strong, self-sufficient, and kind of crabby that anyone would think they need more men. They can run the town just fine without men. Which means that any men who do move to Fool’s Gold have to earn the right to live there . . . and they have to earn the hearts of the women they love. is my gift to readers who have been so loyal to me. I wanted to create an experience for readers that goes beyond the books. On, readers will find amazing bonus content such as between-the-books updates, stories and pictures from the characters’ weddings, Fool’s Gold magazines, a map of town, and funny ads from local businesses… I could keep going, but the truth is, you have to see it to get it. Fool’s Gold is the Land of Happy Endings!

What draws Dakota and Finn to each other?

At their core, Finn and Dakota both value their families more than anything. Finn thinks he wants to be done with his familial duty. He wants to get his brothers through college so he can return to his days as a carefree bachelor, but he will learn that he’s not that guy anymore. Somewhere along 
the way, he grew up. At heart, he’s a family man.

You love to write about families, such as the Hendrix triplets. Why?

I was an only child, so I love writing about the big, boisterous family that I never had. Triplets are an extension of that – three sisters who have been together since birth. Each of the triplets has her own personality, but the experiences these three women have shared throughout their lives make them as close as it’s possible to be.

You’re known for both the depth of your characters and for your humor. Do both come naturally to you?

I think men and women falling in love with each other is inherently hysterical. Who came up with that bright idea?! Men do everything they can to avoid emotion, and yet they’re irresistibly drawn to women, who overflow with emotion. When I get teary-eyed over a commercial, my husband looks at me like I’m completely nuts. There’s this constant push-pull between men and women that never really goes away, and it will always be funny to me.

Most of my storylines are not funny in and of themselves. My characters deal with some very serious issues in their lives, but their ability to find the humor says a lot about their resilience. I like people in real life who can laugh at themselves, and I like that in characters, too.

Do you plot your books before writing?

I do a lot of plotting in advance, which means I can write the story quickly, which further means that I don’t lose interest. For me, the creative rush is highest during the plotting process, and the actual writing of the book is more about getting the story down on paper. I’ve tried 
writing without a plot, and it just doesn’t work for me. I enjoy the aspect of surprise, but I dread revisions. Even when a book is thoroughly plotted, though, the characters can sometimes surprise me. I was sweetly surprised by a secondary romance in ONLY MINE.

How many more Fool’s Gold books will you write?

There will be at least seven more books after this year’s. In 2012, three delicious cowboy brothers and their younger sister will move to Fool’s Gold. And in 2013, I think I’m going to establish a bodyguard academy on the edge of town. After that, who knows? If readers clamor for more from Fool’s Gold, anything’s possible. (You can let me know you want more by writing to me at,, or

Are you working on anything new outside of Fool's Gold?

BAREFOOT SEASON, my next women’s fiction novel, will be out in April 2012 and will launch a new series set on quaint Blackberry Island. The story is about two former best friends who form a turbulent truce to save the inn they both love.

The recent Buzz has been that you have your own team of Cheerleaders for the release of Only Mine and the books to follow.  How did the idea come about?  What is their purpose?  How did you choose the squad?

Often, I hear from excited fans who discovered me because someone put one of my books in their hands and said, "You have to read this!" It moves me. And this year, it inspired me to create the Fool's Gold Varsity Cheerleading Squad. I decided to form a team of avid readers to share with the world their love of Fool's Gold, the Land of Happy Endings. (Fool's Gold is the setting of my ongoing series of romance novels. It's a quirky small town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Fool's Gold is dealing with a man shortage. This year's stories center around the Hendrix triplets. They are ONLY MINE, ONLY YOURS, and ONLY HIS.) The cheerleaders will earn lots of prizes along the way for doing what they love - talking about books - and I will dedicate a book next year to the grand prize winner.

I invited my fans to "try out" for the team by sharing three creative ideas for spreading the word about Fool's Gold. I was overwhelmed by the response! More than 500 fans tried out in the first few days, with some pretty amazing ideas. As I read through their applications, their enthusiasm brought a lump to my throat. I wish I could have accepted every one of them and had a cheerleading battalion that could take over the country. Unfortunately, I 
only had 25 advanced copies of ONLY MINE to give away. Selecting the final 25 was a daunting task. I wanted to get a good mixture of people who emphasized online ideas and those who emphasized in-person ideas, such as standing in front of a bookstore on release day, wearing a sandwich board, ringing a bell like the Salvation Army. (Yes, she got picked. Hi, Stacey!) I also wanted cheerleaders from all across the U.S., so geography played a 

I don't know if it was pure luck or my discerning genius, but I am thrilled with the cheerleaders who made the team! They've handed out bookmarks, talked to people at the bookstore, called long distance friends. And now they're doing a blog tour to tell the world how much they love Fool's Gold!

Where can readers meet the squad?
The cheerleaders are pictured on my Facebook page:!/SusanMallery?closeTheater=1. You can also join my Goodreads fan page and my goodreads group to discover other readers who love my books! (Including 
the cheerleaders!)
Will your squad answer some questions? 
They would love too!!  Readers please meet the squad…

Why did you try out for the squad?

Angela: Honestly? Because I thought it would be fun. I LOVE Susan's books... I've been a fan of hers for years. I've met some really great people through FB author pages and knew I'd enjoy meeting and working with a crew who enjoyed her books. It's hasn't really felt like a competition.... more like a group of women with similar interests. Already, I've met more people than I imagined and it's only been going on for a week!

Marilyn: Because I missed the last try out!

What is your favorite Fool’s Gold title?

Kelly: Sister of the Bride, which was part of the Summer Brides anthology. I could relate to Kate being a complete tomboy and sportswriter myself.

What's your favorite book by Susan?

Beccie: My favorite book of Susan's would have to be from her Buchanan Family series, "Sizzling".  I love Reid's character and how he falls in love with the smart and understated Lori.  I guess I see myself in Lori and that's why I love it.

Marilyn: Accidentally Yours and Sunset Bay

How did you discover Susan for the 1st time?

Stacey: I am an avid reader of the Harlequin Desire line and found Susan that way.  Her “Millionaire” series was my favorite.

Jen: My Aunt had given me a stack of books & Susan’s was included…I can’t remember the title now (of course), but it was with the ex football player & a bakery.

What made you an avid fan of Susan's books?

Heidi: Susan's writing made me an avid fan!  I love the way her writing can pull me into a story, make me feel part of a small town, and fall in love with the characters.  As I began to research her list of back-list, trying to find more to read, I found that Susan is a very fun and out-going person.  The creativity behind Fool's Gold website is brilliant and has me wanting more and more from this small community of people.  I love how Susan tries to connect with her readers through her website and blog...the videos, yummy recipes, and I love the fun stories and pictures of her dog, NIKKI.  

Jennifer: Her writing is humorous with a great story...she is a one of a kind author.

What's it like to be on the squad?

Charlotte: To be on the Varsity Cheerleading squad with the 24 other women who love Susan as I do is AWESOME, we all share a love for Susan and her novels.  We sit and wait with baited breath for the next installment.

Marilyn: Fantastic

Have you read only mine yet?  What do you think?
Angela: Yes! LOL... and I loved it!! My daughter adopted a child just this year. She has 2 children, but we nearly lost both of them with her second child. Her husband refused to let her bear any more children, so they decided to adopt. The months and months of filling out paperwork, and it happened just as suddenly for her as it did for Dakota. I really liked how strong Dakota was--she never whined or complained about the hand that Life dealt her. Finn was a hero who was easy to respect. Even though he comes off strong in the beginning, you know WHY he's the way he is. He's like the parent, but not. And so close to feeling like he could do "his" thing.

Why should readers buy this book?

Kelly: Because it will make you smile. This is the perfect escape from reality with some wonderful characters read.

Marilyn: Why not?

Any favorite quotes from the book?

Angela: "You're not funny," her mother snapped. "If you think this is humorous, you're wrong. I'm in crisis here. A really, really big crisis. I feel sick to my stomach, my head hurts, I'm retaining enough water to sink a battleship. I'm a woman on the edge. You need to respect that."

Charlotte: "Mom I'm pregnant!"  bhahahah I would have been killed but her mom embraced her and wanted to share in her love.

Be honest... What's Susan really like?

Jennifer: She is humble and an absolute doll!!

Jen: She’s amazing!  I never thought she would be as involved with our squad as she has been.  Everyone and I feel I need to keep up & stay on top of those.

Tiffany: Supportive, Caring, Giving, Friendly, Creative, and a great author! She is someone you would want as a friend in good times and bad. She really has been so kind and supportive of all of us even when it has nothing to do with her or her books! She just cares.

*New York Times* bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women and the relationships that move them. *Publisher’s Weekly* calls Susan’s prose “luscious and provocative,” and *Booklist* says, “Novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling.” While Susan appreciates the critical praise, she is most honored by the enthusiastic readers who write to tell her that her books made them laugh, made them cry, and made the world a happier place to live. Susan lives in Seattle with her husband and her tiny but intrepid toy poodle. She’s there for the coffee, not the weather. Visit Susan online at and

Monday, July 4, 2011

Winners - Dianne Miley Interviews

Thank you to all that participate in the Dianne Miley interviews. Before I announce the winners, I want to tell everyone to keep an eye out for Sunflowers for Sarita. It's going to be amazing. Ok, for the moment you've been waiting for ...... drumroll please ......

The winner for a print copy of Lilacs for Laura is ....... mamabunny13

The winner for a print copy of Roses for Rachel is ............... Anne Patrick

The winner for a print copy of Violets for Vanessa is ............ GladysMP

I will be emailing each one of you for your mailing address. Thank you for all that participated and don't forget to keep up with Dianne at

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 3: Interview with Dianne Miley

Two days down and two to go. I'm loving being able to spend the time with this series because it has a special place in my heart. Today we are concentrating on Violets for Vanessa. Although I love all the books, this one is my favorite. I don't know if it's because I started the books all out of order and read Vanessa's story first, if it's because Violets were my grandmothers favorite flower or because Dianne held a contest for this particular book and this is the one I won. What a great contest that was. We had to guess what Toby Keith song would go along with the book. I took me forever to guess that one. lol. OK, on to the interview.

Val: If you had the chance and could meet one of the hero's from your books who would it be and why?

Dianne: That’s tough because I love them all, but I do have a soft spot for Chad because he makes me laugh – and his personality is modeled after my son.

Val: Hey peeps, guess who is in Violets for Vanessa? Oh yes, the oh so yummy Chad.

Val: Myrtle, the gossiping old cranky woman, is a character that intrigues me.  I can't wait until she gets what's coming to her.  Is there a reason why karma hasn't kicked her in the butt yet?

Dianne: In Violets for Vanessa, Myrtle learns a difficult lesson. Her manipulating ways bite her in the butt, although maybe not as hard as we’d like! Her self-inflicted misery and loneliness made her a bitter old woman, but as last she learns her lesson. In Sunflowers for Sarita, we will find that Myrtle really has turned over a new leaf. Both God and the town have mercy on her, just as God forgives us when we turn from our sins and trust in Him.

Val: Wow, you were very nice to Myrtle. That's one character I would have had a lot more fun with. lol

Struggling to be free of her abusive father, Vanessa Gallagher cannot resist handsome contractor Chad James. Although she fears being controlled by another man, his kind encouragement comforts her and his kisses leave her wanting more. When Mr. Gallagher meets his doom at the bottom of a cliff, police suspect Vanessa’s mother. Will Chad help absolve her? Who will uncover the truth in an unexpected turn of events? And will Vanessa ever choose love over independence?

Dianne, thanks for taking the time out to hang out with me again. OK, readers, here is your chance to win a copy of Violets for Vanessa. Just follow through GFC and leave a comment or question for Dianne and you're entered. Don't forget to tell your friends! Here is the link to Dianne's site where you can catch up on all the books in the series and get a little inside information on what's to come.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Update on Dianne Miley Contest

In order to gain more participants in the Dianne Miley posts, I am extending the giveaway until June 30. Each comment on each Dianne Miley post will get you another entry to win that posts book. The fourth day, there will be a surprise giveaway. Hint, it's NOT a book. ;) Just keep scrolling down until you see Dianne's pretty little picture and be sure to tell your friends to enter. Good Luck!

Spring Into Summer blog hop - WINNER

CONGRATULATIONS, to Emma who was comment #21. thought your comment ROCKED! :) I have emailed you with the information you need. To everyone who did not win, not to worry, watch this blog for many giveaways to come. In fact, right now, we will be having four winners from the Dianne Miley giveaways so be sure to comment on each day's blog post. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the entire Dianne Miley blog with end on the last day of the month, June 30th at 11:59 pm, so get those questions in now, this is one series you don't want to miss! Don't forget to tell your friends.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 2: Interview and Giveaway with Dianne Miley

Welcome to day 2 of our interview with Dianne Miley. So are you loving this series yet? I know right? It's one of my faves too! Yesterday we got to know a bit about Ms. Miley's background and Book 1 in the Crystal Falls series, Lilacs for Laura. Today is on to book 2, Roses for Rachel. But first let's throw a few questions at Ms. Miley.

Val: Every author is different and I know this question is asked of authors all the time but I am dying to know, do you plan your books out or do you just go with whatever comes to mind?

Dianne: I have a basic outline, but once I begin writing, the story takes on a life of its own and I go with it.

Val: It must be nice to be able to live a whole story line in your mind. You are very talented in the character and plot development of the your stories.

Val: I love all of your characters but the one that most intrigued me was Elliot in book 2, Roses for Rachel. Why did you make him so different?

Dianne: After creating Brett, I wanted a completely different hero just to keep the series fresh and interesting.

Val: Readers, wait until you meet Elliot. It will make you look at certain men in a very different light.

Val: Tell us what you were thinking when you wrote Roses for Rachel.

Dianne: Who should the stalker be that the reader would never guess? How can I fool the reader to think this other person is the stalker? What reaction in Elliot will melt Rachel’s heart and dissolve her hesitancy toward him?

Thanks for taking the time out to answer those questions Dianne. Readers, you can find Dianne at

Young widow Rachel Santos raises her daughters alone and tries to get past the pain of losing her cheating husband. Attracted to pretty boys, she goes from one bad relationship to another. When she dumps her cheating boyfriend, someone vandalizes her house. Rachel confides in faithful Elliot Truman, but refuses to trust her heart to another man. Determined to handle her problems alone, she refuses to see him as anything but a friend.

The stalker breaks into her home, and Rachel fears for the safety of her daughters and herself. When her work is sabotaged , she loses her job and cannot pay the rent. Will she be able to support and protect her children? Who can stop this demented stalker? And will Rachel ever be convinced that some men are worth loving?

That's it for today peeps. To enter to win a print copy of Roses for Rachel, just follow through GFC and leave a question for Ms. Miley. Don't forget to go back to day one to enter for a chance to win Lilacs for Laura too. And PLEASE do not forget to leave your email address so that I may contact you if you win. Good luck!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 1: Interview and Giveaway with Dianne Miley

I have the honor today of interviewing one of my all time favorite authors who happens to have one of the best series out there in Christian fiction. First, let's get to know Dianne Miley and then we'll get to the giveaway. Let the interview begin!

I grabbed this part from Ms. Miley's site which plays a lot into her books as you will be able to tell after reading this series of interviews with her.

"I grew up in northeastern Ohio as the oldest of four children and lived there most of my life. Recently, my husband and I moved to coastal South Carolina. We love the balmy weather.

Growing up, I always loved to write. I began with poetry in second grade. During high school, I wrote for the year book and school paper. I took creative writing classes because I enjoyed making up stories. Now I flex my imagination through inspiring tales of romance and mystery. Best of all, I’ve found a way to share my faith through fictional characters in a fun romance.

At age 16, I began a romance of my own. I met Chip and we’ve been together for over 25 years now. We’re thankful for a happy marriage – complete with faith, conflict, plot, and all kinds of characters!"

Val: I know you and your husband Chip have been together for 25 years. would you mind sharing how you met?

Dianne: We met on a blind date! No kidding – I was 16 and he was 17. During the summer after 10th grade, a friend fixed me up with her boyfriend’s buddy, Chip. Although we went to different schools, we were high school sweethearts. We’ve been together ever since.

Val: Awwwwww, a real life true love story, I love those and you two are one of the reasons I still believe in love!

Val: In your first book in the Charleston series, Lilacs for Laura, what were your thoughts as you were writing this book?

Dianne: When am I going to get this right? Do I really have to make bad things happen to my lovely characters? How fun would it be I kept Jake’s killer a mystery? And finally… I can’t wait to write Rachel’s story because I written this one fifteen times!

Val: I loved Lilacs for Laura because A) I love Nascar and B) that is one hunky hero you have there in Brett.

Val: Before I get into the blurb and giveaway, can you tell us where to find you online?

Dianne: Right now you can find me at I hope to become more active with social media in the future.

Val: So there you go my faithful followers, just click that linky to get a hint as to what tomorrows interview will be about. :)

Laura James loves working in her family’s flower shop, but has to ward off advances from her brother-in-law. She distrusts men but cannot deny her attraction when she stumbles into Brett Mitchell. Drawn to one another despite their conflicting goals, Laura longs for a secure future in her Ohio hometown, while Brett yearns for adventure and an escape from his abusive father. When he lands a NASCAR job in North Carolina, Laura fears she will never see him again.

Devastated, she withdraws just when she needs help most. Her brother-in-law is murdered and all evidence points to Laura. Brett knows members of her family, as well as the town gossip share motive and opportunity. Will he return to help clear her? Who will reveal the killer in a shocking twist? And will Laura ever find security in love?

Now on to the giveaway. To enter to win a print copy of Lilacs for Laura, please follow this blog, ask Dianne a question or leave a comment on her post and don't forget to leave your email address so I have a way to contact you should you be the lucky winner. Remember this is just Day one of a 4 day interview with the entire series. Good luck and I'd like to thank Dianne for giving my readers a chance to win Lilacs for Laura. I will have the winner on June 22.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Spring Into Summer blog hop!

First, let's give it up for Coffee & Romance along with Release Notes for co-hosting this slammin' party! I'm sure you're going to find some super fun books to sizzle up your summer. This giveaway hop will run from 12:00 a.m. on June 17 through 11:59 p.m. on June 21.

OK, first the rules. Just follow me through GFC and leave a comment. It doesn't have to be an elaborate comment or anything, even just hi with your email address is fine. Which brings me to DON'T FORGET TO PUT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS so I can contact you when you win.

So here are the books I have up for grabs. You get to choose either one if you win ..... Click on the link beneath the picture for more details.

Print copy of
Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunee

Print copy of
Once More Upon a Time by T.H.E. Hill

Don't forget to stop by the rest of these ridiculously amazing sites on your way through the blog hop.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Spring into Summer Blog Hop Giveaway

Watch this blog for the super exciting Spring into Summer Blog Hop Giveaway.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lilacs for Laura by Dianne Miley

Laura James loves working in her family's flower shop, but has to ward off advances from her brother-in-law. She distrusts men but cannot deny her attraction when she stumbles into Brett Mitchell. Drawn to one another despite their conflicting goals, Laura longs for a secure future in her Ohio hometown, while Brett yearns for adventure and an escape from his abusive father. When he lands a NASCAR job in North Carolina, Laura fears she will never see him again. Devastated, she withdraws just when she needs help most. Her brother-in-law is murdered and all evidence points to Laura.
Brett knows members of her family, as well as the town gossip share motive and opportunity. Will he return to help clear her?
Who will reveal the killer in a shocking twist? And will Laura ever find security in love?

Laura James is a strong woman who is determined to do everything on her own. She feels that God hasn't been there for her so she'll just handle everything herself. Brett is at a crossroads. He needs to get out of Crystal Falls and show his father he wants nothing to do with him. The one thing making him doubt himself is Laura. He wants her, she wants to stay in Crystal Falls. Brett also feels as though God is not listening but both have deep seeded faith that helps them through.

Laura's character has to deal with some overwhelming circumstances and events that unfold in her life. Jake Santos, being one of the more prevalent. How does one go about telling their sibling that their spouse is constantly making passes at them? By trusting in God that's how. But remember, Laura is doing this all on her own so Laura decides to not tell Rachel because it would hurt her so badly. I could actually feel Laura's pain as she had to keep the secret and ultimately the separation she felt from her sister.

Being a Nascar fan, Brett's character was exciting. He's my kind of guy and I instantly fell in love with him. I laughed so hard at the gazebo scene. Laura and Brett made me so frustrated and then they turned around and made me laugh so hard I cried! The tension (both good and bad) between Laura and Brett was outstanding. I never knew what would happen next but loved that he was there for her whenever she really needed him. There is one scene that I really didn't see coming. I can't tell you what it is but will tell you that it is when he takes his job with Nascar. I thought that was PERFECT!

I am in love with this entire series. Lilacs for Laura was an action packed read that I just could not put down. Crystal Falls now feels like my home away from home and I know everyone in the little town. Some really irk me (Myrtle), some disgust me (Jake) and some just make me sigh that dreamy sigh (Brett). Ms. Miley is a favorite author and I can't wait to read Sunflowers for Sarita, book four in the series. After that, look for the Charleston series that focuses on the daughters of those in the Crystal Falls Series.

Click on the books below to take you to the page to purchase.

Lilacs for Laura Book 1
Roses for Rachel Book 2
Violets for Vanessa Book 3
Sunflowers for Sarita Book 4 (coming soon)

Roses for Rachel by Dianne Miley

Young widow Rachel Santos raises her daughters alone and tries to get past the pain of losing her cheating husband. Attracted to pretty boys, she goes from one bad relationship to another. When she dumps her cheating boyfriend, someone vandalizes her home and sabotages her job. Faithful Elliot Truman catches this demented stalker... and convinces her some men are worth loving.

I believe Roses for Rachel is my favorite of the series and mostly because of Elliot Truman. A geeky architect, Elliot's character brings to mind the old adage "let's just be friends". He's the dependable guy that Rachel turns to in a best friend but she never looks beyond friendship. He's the source of her strength and she doesn't even realize it. Meanwhile, all Elliot can think of is Rachel. It was so funny when she would ask him a question and he would try to do whatever made Rachel happy, while snapping out of a Rachel fantasy. My heart simply melted during the scenes Elliot deals with Rachel's children. To me, the way a man deals with children is what really makes him a hero.

Rachel's character is a strong woman who has her moments of weakness and feels as though God has forsaken her. The heartache of not having Elliot around is palpable but Rachel has to somehow learn her lesson. A single mom dealing with more than her share of stumbling blocks, Rachel's character is as realistic as they come. I've been where Rachel is (minus the whole dead husband thing) and found that Ms. Miley hit the nail on the head with Rachel's reactions.

I enjoyed the way Ms. Miley added other people to the potential relationship between Rachel and Elliot. Wade, the slimy salesman and Brandy, the rich young woman who would do anything Elliot wanted, were attainable but at what cost? I think these relationships were pivotal in Roses for Rachel because without them, neither Rachel or Elliot would have known how strong their love for each other was.

Roses for Rachel is a character driven story with unexpected twists and turns. At times during this book, I was left scratching my head as to whom the stalker could be. I love mystery in the stories I read and this was a phenomenal mystery. I highly recommend the entire Crystal Falls series and look forward to reading Sarita's story in Sunflowers for Sarita. After that, there is a spin off of this series called the Charleston Series which deals with the daughters in the Crystal Falls series. I just can't wait! I will own all of these books in paperback so that I may revisit them whenever I like.

Lilacs for Laura Book 1
Roses for Rachel Book 2
Violets for Vanessa Book 3
Sunflowers for Sarita (coming soon)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Violets for Vanessa by Dianne Miley

Struggling to be free of her abusive father, Vanessa Gallagher cannot resist handsome contractor Chad James. Although she fears being controlled by another man, his kind encouragement comforts her and his kisses leave her wanting more. When Mr. Gallagher meets his doom at the bottom of a cliff, police suspect Vanessa’s mother. Will Chad help absolve her? Who will uncover the truth in an unexpected turn of events? And will Vanessa ever choose love over independence?  

Without a doubt, Violets for Vanessa is an exceptional and inspirational read that I simply could not put down. This sweet romance pairs up Vanessa, a woman who feels like she can never trust a man again with Chad, a man who is determined to show Vanessa that not every man is like her father. Vanessa's character is a strong willed woman who struggles for her independence. She questions why God hasn't been there for her when she truly needed him. Chad's character is a strong man of God and is deeply rooted in his faith. The chemistry between Vanessa and Chad was off the charts and I was impressed at how Chad held himself together. Sometimes it's very difficult to stand by your convictions but because Chad loved Vanessa, he was determined to do things the right way. Ms. Miley shows us that although a person may be a Christian, it does not mean that they don't face every day problems with emotions such as anger, hopelessness, doubt and temptation. Because of this, I felt as though I bonded more with these well rounded characters.

Ms. Miley has portrayed very real characters and not shied away from controversial topics. Sexual abuse is a continuing problem in our society and through Vanessa, Ms. Miley is able to show that although it "seems" as though God was not there, he's been there all along. Darla's character dealt with domestic abuse and her reaction after Clyde is found dead was disturbing and very realistic.

Violets for Vanessa is the perfect read for anyone who is a fan of sweet romance. It has good guys, bad guys, gossips, God and an outstanding plot line. A fast paced read, this book is about lessons learned, struggling through the hard times and finding a relationship with God, all the while the story is not "too preachy". I enjoyed this book from the first page to the very last and had a hard time putting it down. I hated to see this story end. Thank goodness this book is part of the Crystal Falls series. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a series nut. The first book in the series is Lilacs for Laura, the second is Roses for Rachel and the third is Violets for Vanessa. Although each story can be read on it's own, I know you will want to read the entire Crystal Falls series. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Miley's work. A talented writer, Ms. Miley is now one of my favorites.

Buy Violets for Vanessa here
Just click here to go to Dianne Miley's website to keep up to date on all of her amazing books!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Said the Spider to the Fly by Miss Mae

You can purchase Said the Spider to the Fly HERE

What a fun and mysterious read Said the Spider to the Fly was. This was such a compelling read because I honestly did not know who the killer could be. At one point, I found myself suspecting everyone. Early on, two possibilities were presented of whom it could be but then a twist was thrown in and I was back to square one. I love it when that happens. This book opened with an action scene and it maintained a fast pace throughout the book. And just a hint, when you think you figured it out, you really didn't. I was literally gasping at the dramatic ending. Fabulous!

One thing I found intriguing was the growing romance between Mona and Preston. The attraction was always there yet it seemed a romance was just out of reach. Miss Mae sure knows how to write a romance that the reader can really get into. The added boyfriend from the past made this a sensational read. I just wanted him to go away but he always came back. And then the special abilities that Mona possessed really set this book on fire. I found myself drawn to what she was capable of. The secondary characters were quirky in their own ways and each gained something by Jerome's death, which left me wondering just who could it be? The addition of Keith's character was a brilliant move as he brought a feeling of unconditional love to the story.

I enjoy reading books by Miss Mae and it seems as though each new book I read gets a little bit stronger than the one before. She is certainly an author that I have on my "automatic read" list. If you are looking for a good clean romance/mystery then you honestly need to read Said the Spider to the Fly. It will keep you on the edge of your set and get the wheels turning in your head as to what direction the book will go in. Brilliantly written Miss Mae, my congratulations to you on another well written mystery.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


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Laura Tolomei Kristen Painter Renee Rearden Elaine Cantrell

Susanna Ives Amy Corwin Keta Diablo Suzette Stone

Suzanne Tyrpak TL Schaefer Monique Martin Kari Gregg

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Brita Addams KT Grant Winslow Eliot Ingela F. Hyatt

Jan Scarbrough Victoria Blisse Sharon Buchbinder PG Forte

Bronwyn Storm Patricia Preston Alice Gaines Cate Rowan

Ann Tracy Marr Joan Beth Erickson Tara Lain Terri Reid

L.J. McDonald Lucinda Brant Eden Baylee Hayley B. James

Jason W. Chan Pat Amsden Elle James Kayelle Allen

Beth Trissel Viviane Brentanos Morgan Rice Rita Hestand

Mahalia Levey LK Below Gale Stanley Sarah J. Bradley

Joanne Troppello Rhonda L. Print Pamela Jackson Jenny Schwartz

Mary Manners Eve Silver Jennifer Crusie T.C. Archer

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Simone Eden Lauren Fraser Annie Nicholas JoAnne Kenrick

E.D. Walker Rachel Haimowitz HP Mallory Suzanne Rock

Andrea Speed Elle Amery Nichelle Gregory Eden Bradley

Shermaine Williams Berengaria Brown Tina Donahue Taryn Kincaid

Red Haircrow Virginia Cavanaugh Hailey Edwards Elle Druskin

Rachel Brimble Frances Pauli Nancy J Cohen Tarah Scott

Em Petrova Heather Wardell Cara Marsi CJ Archer

Mary Eason Skhye Moncrief Jana Richards Jill James

Alison Chambers LoRee Peery Gail Pallotta Alison Henderson

Nicki Greenwood Alianne Donnelly Tiffany Ashley Michael Davis

Gem Sivad Stacy Juba Tory Richards Darcia Helle

LaVerne Clark Sibel Hodge Ashley Ladd Jennifer Labelle

Elaine Hopper Victoria Howard Linda Mooney

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love, Sam by Linda Rettstatt

Trish Garrity has to find a way to go on after the tragic loss of Samantha Preston, her partner of six years. Facing death, Sam writes twelve letters—one to be opened on the first of each of the twelve months following her death—intended to help Trish become more self-accepting and to guide her through grief.

Sam's plans for Trish, including a pre-paid trip to Arizona to visit a native Hopi friend of Sam's, push Trish to not only come to terms with Sam's death, but to come to terms with herself and to embrace the future.

Trish is suffering with the a deep sense of loss after Sam dies and she refuses to let go and move on with her life. Her character is exactly how I would feel after the loss of a loved one. With Sam's letters to Trish, she's forced to start living, even if to just say that she did the things Sam wanted her to do. Sam's character knew what a hard time Trish would have and in a last selfless act, wrote 12 letters. One letter for each month, in hopes that Trish would move on knowing that Sam would always be with her. Trish's character is taken on a whirlwind of self discovery. With believable characters and very real emotions, I actually found myself crying and smiling simultaneously. I was absolutely absorbed in the book and was flipping the pages just as fast as I could. With a very emotional beginning, this is a book that explores every emotion there is. There is nothing I can say that will do justice to this book. The reader will feel love, anger, loss, peace, and betrayal just to name a few. Dealing with death is always a draining experience and Love, Sam gives the reader a small glimpse into a world filled with the process of grieving.

Linda Rettstatt has done an exceptional job in bringing forth the emotions evoked in Love, Sam. I enjoyed the twist in the book. You sure won't see it coming and it gives you that Aha moment where everything makes sense. I love the writing style in this book, in particular, Ms. Rettstatt had me looking forward to reading the letters each month from Sam. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Rettsatt's work. If you are looking for a deeply emotional read that will let you escape for a while, then Love, Sam is the book for you. When you finish reading this book, it will leave you grateful for the people you have in your life. Amazing book!

Charade of Hearts by Sharon A. Donovan

Jewel of the Night Series
While scuba diving off the coast of Diamond Head with her diving partner on a quest to find a family heirloom, underwater photographer Dominique St. John witnesses his brutal murder and photographs it, ensnaring her in a deadly jewel ring. Then when the investigating officer turns out to be her partner’s identical twin, a man she knew nothing about, her life becomes a Charade of Hearts.
Welcome to the world of greed, intrigue, deception and murder. At its core is a blue diamond worth millions.

Dominique's character was very engaging and I couldn't help but fall in love with her. To a point, she was naive when it came to Roberto but she was also very determined to get a part of her mother back. In the beginning I wanted to believe that Roberto did no wrong. He was charming, sexy and driven to help Dominique find the her mother's necklace. As the story unfolds, I saw just how wrong that assumption was and just how opposite his twin, Oliver really was. I've never read a story about the main character being an underwater photographer and I found it to be a refreshing change. I love being taken places I've never been and shown occupations I've never experienced. The imagery was outstanding. My heart felt heavy when Dominique was underwater imagining all that her mother must have gone through when she died. Oliver's character was the perfect kind of hero. Sexy with issues to overcome, extremely smart, and fiercely protective of Dominique, Oliver is the good twin that is easy to fall in love with.

I love to read Sharon A. Donovan's work for two reasons. First, I know it's going to be a solid piece of work and second, with each new book, it's even better than the last. I enjoy watching an author grow in their work and Ms. Donovan is definitely perfecting her craft. Charade of Hearts is a fast paced, edge of your seat romance laced with twists and turns along the way. The action scenes throughout this book will literally find you catching your breath. Ms. Donovan has a gift when it comes to writing a very descriptive novel which pulls me in every time. I get lost in her work and look forward to each new book. As for Charade of Hearts, you don't want to miss this book. Ms. Donovan has written a tantalizing read that will keep you on your toes. If you love tropical locations, good vs. evil and a sweet romantic suspense, Charade of Hearts is the book for you.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

First Degree Innocence by Ginger Simpson

Carrie Lang’s sheltered life ends with a prison sentence for involvement in a bank robbery. Her arrest comes on the day she’s called in sick and stayed inside, so she has no explanation how an eye-witness describes her in great detail, down to the make and model of her car. A terrible mistake’s been made, and her insistence of innocence falls on deaf ears, even among her fellow inmates. A plan for retribution is brewing, and naive Carrie finds herself smack dab in the middle of an evil scheme concocted by the prison bully. A ten year sentence seems mild when she’s threatened with death for refusing to participate. Can Carrie find a way out of this horrible nightmare, or is she destined to spend her days locked in terror, isolation, and the cold gray interior of prison walls?


Carrie's character is one that readers will easily identify with. Vulnerable to a certain point, we see Carrie coming into her own and becoming a stronger person as her jail time progresses. Her character will evoke just about every emotion, especially despair, frustration and finally hope.

When Seth's character was introduced, I wasn't sure if he was a good guy or bad guy. I won't tell you which and trust me when I say, you will be flipping the pages as fast as you can to find out. The interaction between Carrie and Seth gives depth to this book and the end .... well, all I can say is my mouth was hanging open. It was a very surprising ending that you just don't want to miss.

Then we meet the prison bully, Jet. With a score to settle, she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Jet's character was exasperating. I found myself strongly disliking her and wishing she would get her due punishment. Ms. Simpson created the perfect villain in Jet, a true manipulator, while at the same time giving her some very real qualities that one minute had you liking her and the next wishing she would drop off the face of the earth.

First Degree Innocence is an extremely unique book in that it gives the reader a legitimate glimpse into the lives of the incarcerated while throwing several twists into the story. It was a riveting and highly entertaining read. Ms. Simpson writes about interesting characters and complex plot lines while at the same time drawing the reader in with each new page. This is one author who sure didn't pull any punches with First Degree Innocence and you will be immersed in Carrie's world within the first paragraph. This book starts out with a bang and continues through to the last page. First Degree Innocence is an exceptional book that will have you hooked right from the beginning. If you love to root for the underdog, look no further, you've found the perfect book.

You can buy this book here