Sunday, 17 February 2013

Listen To Your Heart by Mona Ingram

Morgan Dempsey has always wanted to work in the hotel business. Acceptance in the concierge training program of a boutique hotel chain means she’s closer than ever to her dream. But on arrival at Whistler, she learns that the position has gone to Adrian, a quiet young man from Switzerland who has a strange aversion to skiing. Morgan’s disappointment is tempered by her attraction to Rob – a ‘bad boy’ ski instructor. Will she fall under Rob’s spell, or will she and Adrian discover that they have more in common than their love of hotels?

Listen To Your Heart, follows the adventures of Morgan Dempsey and her friend Dale, in their new employment at a chic hotel in Whistler. Both young women are well versed in the hotel business, but Whistler is a place where new challenges arise, both in their personal and their working lives. The story is gentle and the setting is painted vividly by Ms Ingram.  The atmosphere and location are well described and I’d recommend reading the book with a cup of hot chocolate and some gently roasted marshmallows close to hand.

As Morgan is introduced to her new colleagues and to Whistler itself, I really felt that as a reader, I was a part of the book. The characters and their personalities were well presented and I found Ms Ingram’s style of writing to be comfortable and her descriptions well observed.

Listen To Your Heart, is a gentle and pleasant read, offering an insightful glimpse into relationships, friendships and family bonds. During the course of book, several sensitive issues were raised, which I felt were expressed and handled sympathetically by the author.

If you’re looking for a story with a super, snowy setting and sweet love entanglements to warm you in the cold winter months, and then Listen To Your Heart will be the book for you.
Honey Bee Reviews says: Put the kettle on and grab this book.
Mona Ingram was born in Ontario, Canada. Her family moved to British Columbia when she was twelve, and she can't imagine living anywhere else. In recent years she has lived in the Okanagan Valley and on Vancouver Island. In addition to reading and writing, traveling and bird watching are among Mona's favorite pastimes.

Mona's first five books were published in hard cover by Avalon Books, which was purchased by Amazon in 2012. Those books are now available under Amazon's Montlake imprint in hard cover, soft cover and e-book format, along with her many (twelve at last count) self-published novels.

Mona writes contemporary romance novels and takes great delight in creating unexpected twists and turns in her story lines. She sets her books in areas which are familiar to her, immersing the reader in the setting. One reader recently commented that "after reading Fixing Freddie, I felt as though I'd been on a trip to Vancouver".


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Barbara Morgenroth ; Days of Our Words.

Always a fan of soap operas, my dream was to work on one.  My neighbor happened to be a songwriter and he introduced me to his managers.  They got me a meeting at ABC and a deal to write a sample script for General Hospital.
Happy Dance!
Until they read the script and said I'd never work in daytime.  To ease my disappointment, I wrote a YA novel about a 17 year old girl who becomes a star on a soap.  This novel, In Real Life I'm Just Kate, now titled Just Kate, got me into daytime television and I worked in soaps for a number of years.
Having experienced both, I can now compare the two worlds of writing.If I sit down to write a novel, I'm on my own with complete autonomy to make all artistic choices without input.
In television, you have no autonomy and everyone including the guy on the corner of 66th Street and Columbus Avenue who sells Italian Ices out of a cart has input.
Life is a little dull here when I'm writing.  I'm at the computer and then for excitement I visit my neighbors.
Life in the television studio is never dull.  It's one crisis after another.  Once I had to write a scene that was going to be inserted into a show that was taped three weeks earlier and was airing in two days.
When I was the headwriter for NBC's show, The Doctors, word came from the higher ups that a character needed to be killed off.  They weren't happy with the actor, or he wasn't happy with them, I'm not quite sure was the problem was but he had to leave.  It was Alec Baldwin and I didn't want to kill him.  He's handsome, he did his job and he was always nice to me.  What more can you expect? 
I thought I would have to come up with a way to kill him.  No, I was told.  Two guns would be fired at him from different directions at the exact same moment.  You know what it looks like.  A disembodied gun coming around a door.I said to the producer
"You can't be serious.  How is the gun being aimed?"
"Just write the scene."
Okay.  You don't necessarily have to make sense in television.  In my world, you have to make sense.  I want to know why the characters behave the way they do and I want it to be in line with reality.
Is writing for television different than writing a novel?  You bet!  For years after I left television, I would catch myself writing or thinking in that soapy way.  In television, you have the time pressure which doesn't give you the luxury of thinking things through.  You grab any idea and run with it.  Now I think.  I still write fast, but I think slow.
Most writers have a choice to make between writing for speed or writing for substance.  It's the rare writer who can do both.  I know I can't.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Lights, Camera, Poltergeist by Nell Dixon

As the presenter for Ghost Uk, the leading TV show investigating paranormal activity, Fae thought she’d seen it all. Until a Valentine’s Eve live show from Scotland’s Fingelly Manor upsets both her preconceptions and her love life.

The last place any of the TV crew wants to be on Valentine’s Eve is a haunted house. However, Fae and her crew have a show to produce and a mystery to solve.  If you’ve ever watched and enjoyed the UK TV show, Most Haunted, then you’ll enjoy this short but sweet read. There are some great nods to familiar characters from the show and also an enlightening look at the production of a live TV show.
Lights, Camera, Poltergeist is a fun read, with a real touch of spookiness. I found the characters in the story very likeable and enjoyed the ghost story element, very much. There was definitely more than one shiver down my spine, as I read the book.  I felt that Ms Dixon displayed a talent for adding a great atmosphere to the story and placed the reader right at the heart of the action. If you are able, I would recommend that you read this story by candle light to enjoy the full ghostly effects.
Honey Bee Reviews says; Put the kettle on and grab this book. 

Fae snuggled down deeper into the chunky knitted roll neck of her sweater and wished she could shake off the eerie sensations. She puffed out a sigh and watched her breath condense in the air before her face. It wasn’t only the room that was chilly. The relationship between herself and John had taken on a distinctly frosty tinge lately too.
She strolled across the room to the huge diamond leaded window that would have filled the room with light if it hadn’t been shrouded in dust and some dark red velvet drapes that had seen better days. Out in the corridor the electricians and tech staff were hammering and cursing the ancient electrical wiring.
The afternoon light had already started to fade and fingers of frost were beginning to form at the corners of the window. A flicker of movement near the trees on the far side of the lawn caught her attention and she leaned forward, almost bumping her nose against the glass in her quest to see what it was.
Whatever or whoever she thought she’d seen had vanished and she relaxed back on her heels. Working as a presenter on Ghost UK had made her jumpy. Every dark corner now held the possibility of something spooky. In such a deserted spot it was unlikely that anyone would be outside in the grounds, especially in this freezing weather.
“Fae, darling, there you are!”
She turned around to see her producer, Tim, sweeping towards her. She pasted a fake smile on her lips when she saw he was accompanied by the owner of the house, Giles McGinty, Laird of Fingelly. She’d already met Giles when she’d arrived and her impressions hadn’t been favourable.
“Giles has invited us all to dinner tonight before we start filming. Isn’t that marvellous?” Tim raised his eyebrows at her.
“That’s very kind.” Fae was quick enough to pick up the signal.
Giles smiled at her, his gaze lingering just a fraction of a second too long on her bust before raising his gaze to her face. “The pleasure is all mine. I’m looking forward to getting to know you all better before the filming.”
She suppressed a shudder as his dark eyes locked on her face. “John and I will look forward to it.”
Buy the book on Amazon UK HERE

Buy the book on HERE

About Nell Dixon;

I’m Nell, and I was born and continue to live in a small area of the UK known as the Black Country. Happily married to the same man for over twenty-five years, we have three beautiful daughters, a tank of tropical fish and a cactus called Spike. During the day I work for a disabilities charity in my local community.

In my spare time I enjoy travelling with my family in our touring caravan and exploring the countryside. I have a passion for cathedral architecture and historic buildings. I also enjoy walking, gardening and art.

Ever since I can remember I’ve loved stories and books, both reading and writing them. My first poem was published by a local paper when I was thirteen, since then I’ve had several poems published and was first runner up a few years ago in a national short story competition. I’ve also had several non-fiction articles published in professional journals.

Writing romance remains my first love and I write the kinds of stories that I love to read. My publishers to date include: Myrmidon, Little Black Dress, Samhain Publishing, Moonlit Romance, By Grace, Freya's Bower, D C Thompson, and E-Scape Press. I am also proud to say that I was the winner of the RNA’s
Romance Prize in 2007 with my book Marrying Max, and Love Story of the year in 2010 with Animal Instincts.

Click HERE to visit Nell's Website

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Unspeakably Desirable; Free this Weekend

Three women, one man. What could possibly go wrong?
French pastry was the only thing Bel Miller found unspeakably desirable until she met Asher Lau. Unfortunately, she wasn't the only one who wanted him.
He’s a lawyer with a television show and a girlfriend who enjoys wrapping men up in duct tape and trussing them like a turkey. Once she catered his Thanksgiving feast, Bel figured she would never hear from Ash again. Christmas, she was sure Asher Lau and his heiress gal pal with the predilection for plumbing supplies would be out of her life. When the photos of the private sex romp go public, everyone is embarrassed but the girlfriend, now ex-girlfriend. She insists on marrying Ash as a cover story. “It was a Halloween costume!”
And then there’s that fan no one counted on. When something is unspeakably desirable, people can get really desperate.

Click HERE for your FREE copy

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Review; Tournament of Chance

Tournamnet of Chance
A hunter’s daughter becomes the spark that ignites a revolution—in time.

In the Kingdom of Destiny, King Chance decreed any female be she high or low born may earn a place at court by winning an archery competition known as the Tournament of Chance. Although no commoner has ever won before, this is Heather’s year. To prevent her from winning the tournament, however, King Chance will stop at nothing. The king does not yet realize Heather of the Jagged Peaks will be the spark that ignites a revolution — in time.

Heather’s appearance at the Tournament of Chance sparks not only a revolution, but reveals a corruption so deep, it reaches even the King. Reading the story, we see Heather revealed as a light at the end of the tunnel, for a people who have long suspected, that all is not what it seems in their Kingdom. With Heather’s determination and great sense of justice, the reader is taken on a fantasy journey, with twists and turns that I never could have imagined. 

With Heather of the Jagged Peaks, S. G. Rogers has produced a fabulous heroine. Throughout the story, Heather demonstrates great resourcefulness, which sees her surmount several, seemingly insurmountable obstacles. I loved her character and determination. For me, it was a joy to follow along on her amazing journey. Heather is realistically presented, with fears and doubts, but she possesses a great strength of character, which sees her even willing to sacrifice her own life, for those who hold the key to the happiness of the Kingdom.
I do enjoy fantasy stories and Tournament of Chance doesn’t disappoint. The story delivers in every capacity, with thrilling adventure, magic, love and truly amazing friendships; some of which are formed between the most unlikely of characters. With Tournament of Chance, the reader is swept along on a colourful exploration of enchantment and delight. If you enjoy fantasy stories with plot twists and turns, vibrant characters, shape shifting and a lead character who is believable and captivating, then Tournament of Chance is the book for you.
Find your best chair and snuggle down with this one.
About the author:
Originally from Southern California, S.G. Rogers has lived in Asheville, North Carolina and Laurel, Mississippi. She earned her first black belt in taekwondo from martial arts champion Billy Blanks. Later on, she earned black belts in taekwondo and hapkido from Master Myung Kim. Currently residing in beautiful Savannah, Georgia, S.G. Rogers writes fantasy and romantic fantasy stories. She’s owned by two hairless cats, Houdini and Nikita, and lives on an island populated by exotic birds, deer and the occasional gator. Although she’s most often drawn to speculative fiction, she’s been known to break away to write other genres. Tab is her beverage of choice, but when she imbibes, a cranberry vodka martini doesn’t go amiss.
Find out more about S.G. Rogers and her books HERE

Heather raised her bow and loosed her arrow. When the arrow found its mark, the Dragonstone shattered into crystals at last. Nothing happened for a long heartbeat. Heather and Dane locked eyes…just before a strange black bubble exploded out of the shards.
“That doesn’t look good!” Joe cried.
The Ormvalders instantly transformed into dragons and darted into the sky. Dane flew toward Heather, but the spreading darkness quickly enveloped him. Joe and Heather began to run. Gumm grabbed them both, one under each arm and bounded toward the opening in the lava tunnel. He jumped down into the hole, landing on his feet as the wave passed over. Suddenly dizzy, the troll sank to his knees, retching. Heather and Joe slipped from his grip and landed with a thud. Something reached down Heather’s throat and turned her inside out.
“I’m going to be sick,” Joe moaned.
Heather leaned against the wall of the cave, breathing deeply, until the nausea eased. Unfortunately the air was becoming increasingly permeated with fumes.
“Are you all right Joe? Gumm?” she asked finally. The troll grunted in response.
Joe pushed himself into a sitting position. “I’m better now, but it’s a little hard to breathe. You?”
Heather nodded. “That was horribly unpleasant.”
“What in blazes happened?” Joe exclaimed.

“The pent-up magic was released from the Dragonstone,” Heather replied.

Buy Tournamnet of Chance direct from the publisher  HERE

Michelle Zink Interview


Hello Readers. Welcome to our first Sunday of February. Today I'm chatting to author, Michelle Zink. Michelle  lives in New York with her four children.

Prophecy of the Sisters was her first novel, and was chosen as one of Booklist’s Top Ten Debut Novels of 2009 and as one of the Chicago Public Library’s Best Books for Young Readers.
 It has also been listed on the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age and the Lone Star Reading List.
Her next book, This Wicked Game, releases March 2013.

Represented by Steven Malk at Writer's House with Matthew Snyder at CAA for film.

To visit Michelle's website CLICK HERE

To join Michelle on Goodreads CLICK HERE

Welcome to Honey Bee Reviews, Michelle. I’d like to kick the interview off with some questions aimed at your Shadowguard series. Can you please tell those readers who aren’t in the know, just a wee teaser about the series?

The Shadowguard series is a steamy adult romance set in modern day upstate New York. It follows the Shadowguard, an elite group of warriors of angelic descent. The first three books follow each of the Montgomery heirs - Scarlet, Ivan, and Lily - as they struggle to balance the secrecy of their calling with the desire for love.

How long do the books take to write?
Each novella took me about three weeks to write. The plot was quick to develop because the world had already been built in one of my YA books, and I’d always planned a companion series centered around this plot.
How about edits?

There was quite a bit of editing with the first book, since it was my first foray into the adult romance genre, but after that things got easier!

Why do you think the Shadowguard Series has been so popular?
I like to think it’s because it has that classic mix of longing and heat that romance readers love together with a fresh take on contemporary paranormal that feels very real.
 How about the heroes in the series? Are they based on any guys you know in real life?
There are three heroes in the series - Rowen, Kane, and Ivan. And I WISH they were based on someone I knew!
I love their names. Can you tell us a few details about them; such as tastes in music and food?

 I’d say Rowen prefers hard rock and a casual dinner in a pub. 

Kane is an unapologetic romantic who likes to take his woman out to a beautiful, quiet restaurant with fine food.

You’ll have to read TEMPTATION’S FIRE when it comes out in February to get to know Ivan. ;)  

That's February 5th readers!! Not long to wait.
Oooh, they all sound pretty tempting to me J
  How about the heroines in your books? Do you ever give your heroine a few of your own traits? If so, can you tell us what they are and why you like your heroine to possess them?
All of my heroines are headstrong in their own way, which is definitely a train of mine. I’ll also give them some of my daughters traits, like Lily, who likes to bake and take care of people.
I think it’s important to represent a wide range of women, because to me, feminism isn’t about being masculine, it’s about the CHOICE to be whoever you want to be and the ability to be paid equally for your work. Even in 2013, there are women who love to cook and nurture and raise children, and there's nothing wrong with that. But there are also women who like to kick ass and take names - and there’s nothing wrong with that, either. Both kinds of woman can be smart and strong and independent, and these are the women I like to write about.
What is the most frustrating thing about being a writer and have you ever let your frustration make you give up on a writing project?
I think it varies from writer to writer. For me, it’s that I have too many ideas. I have to choose the ones that mean the most to me or the ones that I think are most timely for the market. I hate seeing ideas sitting on my hard drive, but there are only so many hours in a day.  The only thing that will make me give up on a writing project is if I really come to believe it’s not going to work. Otherwise, there’s no such thing as giving up, although I will put things aside sometimes to work on something else for a while.
 Michelle, can you share with us your most successful moment as an author?
I wouldn’t say there has been any one moment. Every day that I get to wake up and write for a living is a success in my book.
J Yes, that sounds good to me too. 
Who or what is your driving force?
Ohhh! You’re a tough one, aren’t you?! ;) Writing is so deeply personal, so very much a part of who I am, that the will to do it is just THERE. I suffer from bi-polar disorder, and while I’ve learned to manage it, my mind can be chaotic and noisy at times. I also suffer from anxiety, and while I’ve learned to control it with Buddhism, yoga, vitamins, and meditation, writing is still a sure bet to get me out of my own head long enough to calm down. I’d be a mess without it.
Michelle, I’d say that you’re the tough one J Your dedication to your craft is admirable.
Do you have a muse?
Truly, I don’t have any one muse.  
How about sharing a typical day in your life and tell the readers how you manage to combine your success as an author with your family life.

I’m a single mother, so it can be challenging, but I write pretty much every day. During the school week, I work from about 9am-noon (kids are in school), 3-5pm (I have to sneak this time in most days), and again from 7-9pm (kids are busy with homework, showers, etc, and they know this is my sacred writing time). If I need more time, it’s not uncommon for me to work again from 11pm until one or two in the morning. On the weekends, I usually get in a few hours from late morning to mid-afternoon, although one of my New Year’s resolutions is to give myself Sunday off whenever possible so I’m not working seven days a week. I’m still trying to find the right balance between work and family, but one of the keys is to be fully present in every moment - fully focused on writing when writing and fully focused on the kids when I’m with them. It’s harder than it sounds! And I’m still working on it.

Sounds to me like you’re doing a terrific job. My hat is off to you J
You’ve mentioned your children; if any of them wished to become writers, what advice would you give to them?
To write A LOT. Writing isn’t something you can do every now and then if you want to make a career out of it. It’s something that’s a part of your daily life, and doing it regularly is essential both to make you better and to produce work that gives you a shot at making a living.
You briefly touched on one of your New Year Resolutions; can you tell the readers what your other goals are for 2013?
Personal; take Sundays off, to meditate daily, to expand my yoga practice, to eat vegan Mon-Thurs (my family went vegetarian last year).
Professional; finish two projects that are currently at the 35,000 word mark (about 1/3 of the way complete).
Wow. Certainly sounds like a busy year ahead for you, Michelle.
My professional list is woefully short, mostly because there really is so little you can control in this business. You can’t control whether someone likes your work, whether it is a critical or commercial success, whether you sell all your books. All you can do is write, so that’s what I’m going to do.
How about a quick spot of trivia before you leave us?
Music or silence while you write?
Music while I draft, silence while I revise.
                                                Tea or coffee?
Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.
Hot chocolate or ice-cream?
Ice cream! Although REAL hot chocolate is hard to resist on a cold night.
What is your strength?
My will. As my mother says, I can accomplish anything through sheer force of will.
What is your weakness?
Internalizing everything. I think too hard, analyze too much. I’m learning through Buddhism that it’s better to just accept what IS without working so hard to label or define it.
Vamps or wolves?
Neither. Sorry. ;)

Best TV show?
Six Feet Under. Without a Doubt.

Worst TV show?
Any of the reality shows that highlight greed, rudeness, tackiness, mean-spiritedness, or negativity in any form.
Thanks so much for chatting with me today, Michelle. You’ve definitely tempted me with the Shadowguard series.


Temptation's Heat:

When Rowen Black is assigned to the elite unit of angelic assassins known as the Shadowguard, he thinks his biggest challenge will be overcoming his less-than-stellar reputation. But that’s before he meets his match in Scarlet Montgomery.
Beautiful, strong, and with a temper to match Rowen’s own, Scarlet is focused on the Shadowguard and her possible future as its leader. She’s become an expert at keeping her personal life separate from the Guard, all too aware that as the boss’s daughter, fellow warriors see her not as someone to be respected, but as someone to be protected.

Avoiding entanglements gets a lot harder when Rowen saunters into the room. Rowen puts the bad in "bad boy." Their connection is hot, visceral, and instantaneous.
When the pair are assigned to a joint investigation, they come face-to-face with their undeniable attraction, forcing Scarlet to consider that the connection is not only physical, but a destiny written in the halls of time.

Buy the book on Amazon HERE

Temptation's Kiss:

Lily Montgomery is perfectly happy taking care of everyone else. That is, until her friendship with Shadowguard warrior, Kane Dawson, begins to blossom into something more.
But Lily has a secret. One that will keep her from ever making her feelings known to Kane.
One of the Shadowguard’s fiercest warriors, Kane has a soft spot for Lily. A long-standing member of the Shadowguard, he can’t figure out when his feelings for Ambrose Montgomery’s youngest daughter morphed from brotherly affection into desire and an unfamiliar longing that feels a lot like love. 
Kane holds himself in check knowing that Lily deserves better. A man in a suit, dinner at six every night, rosy-cheeked children who won’t have to worry that their father might be killed by one of the Legion’s wraiths. 
But when the pair are thrown together by a set of circumstances beyond their control, they are forced to confront their growing passion and decide if love is worth the risk of baring it all.

Buy the book on Amazon HERE

 Temptation's Fire:Maggie O’ Reilly has her hands full. It’s all she can do to hold down her job at small-town newspaper and pay the nursing home bills for her deteriorating father. But a lead on a story from Ivan Montgomery might be just the thing to win her the promotion -- and raise -- she needs to secure her father’s care.

Ivan Montgomery isn’t exactly Mr. Popular. As the son of Ambrose Montgomery, head of the Shadowguard, Ivan has a reputation for being surly and confrontational. But somehow Maggie’s spirit and vulnerability make him want to be a better man.

Too bad a future between them is impossible.

As an outsider, Maggie can never know that Shadowguard Security is a front for the Alliance, a group of angelic descendants who keep mankind balanced between the forces of light and dark. And that means she can never know who -- and what -- Ivan really is.

But as the pair come closer to solving the mystery of who is framing the Shadowguard for murder, their attraction becomes impossible to deny. When a confrontation with a deadly foe forces them to face their feelings -- and their passion-- they will have to answer the question; can true love survive the ultimate secret?

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