Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Covered Up with Christy Effinger

Christy Effinger
Back to school favorite:  pens or notebooks?


Notebooks! I love a blank notebook. There are few things that make me want to write more than the sight of empty pages waiting to be filled.


Hiking or jumping in a pile of leaves?


Hiking. I enjoy a long walk in the woods, especially in fall when the leaves are brilliant and the squirrels are fat and sassy.


Halloween or Thanksgiving?


I love both, but Thanksgiving is my favorite. It’s such a peaceful holiday, and it ushers in one of the brightest and happiest times of year, the Christmas season.


Hot buttered rum or hot chocolate?


Hot buttered rum. I’ve only had it once, but there’s something quaint and cozy about it that seems just right for a cool autumn evening. Hmm, now you’ve inspired me. I think I’ll attempt to make hot buttered rum at home. Sounds like a good blog post. I’ll be sure to take pictures.



Whose book (besides one of yours) are you most looking forward to reading?


Smolder on a Slow Burn by Lynda J. Cox. Lynda and I went to grad school together. She had her first novel published by The Wild Rose Press. I knew she was a good writer and I admired her work, so I added TWRP to my query list. I’m glad I did, because they accepted my first novel, too. Smolder on a Slow Burn is Lynda’s second book and I need to go order it right now. Thanks for reminding me.   



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

IN YOUR DREAMS by Kristan Higgins

The Blue Heron Series
September 30th, 2014
Contemporary Romance
Paperback ARC
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by Publicist
3.5 Hearts


Emmaline Neal is in a pickle. Her ex-fiance is getting hitched and she doesn’t want to go to the wedding alone. Enter Jack Holland, a reluctant hero who wants to go away while the media dies down. Helping Emmaline seemed the best of both worlds- help Emmaline and he gets to leave Manningsport. Two birds, one stone and all that. What neither anticipates is that sparks will fly and when they wind up in bed together, well let’s just say it wasn’t all about red wine and chocolate cake. Now both are trying to not have a repeat of that night but sometimes the heart knows what it wants and for Emmaline, Jack is the man her body and heart longs for. But can Jack convince her that he will cherish her heart?

I got to admit, I never read author Kristan Higgins books before but after IN YOUR DREAMS, I now need to read the first books in the Blue Heron series. The characters are diverse and well written, fairly leaping off the pages and into your room. The storyline flows nicely with no hiccups and I loved the way this author delves into the characters lives with eager abandon. She really lets the characters shine in this new book. I loved meeting everyone and seeing who was what. There were a few moments that had me confused since I haven’t read the first three books in the Blue Heron series but overall, the author does a good job in catching the reader up with everyone from those books.

Meet Emmaline Neal. Her heart broken by her ex-fiance, she is determined to not fall in love again. She just never anticipated Jack Holland to steal it when she wasn’t looking.  I loved Emmaline a lot. She captured my attention right off the bat and you couldn’t help but feel for her as she tried to find a weekend date to her ex’s wedding. Jack Holland is a man I want to meet. He is sexy as sin, has a heart of gold and is really a softie behind that gruff exterior. Jack was one of those characters that you sighed over the moment he crosses onto the page. His and Emmaline’s scenes were just perfection together and I loved the dynamics they had together and with the rest of the characters. All the characters are well written, flawed in some way like all humans are but the author is able to draw out those hidden vulnerabilities to the reader and I got to admit, Ms. Higgans delivers some of the best characters around. Flawed, imperfect and downright enjoyable. I couldn’t get enough of these characters.

If you enjoy character driven stories like I do then you won’t want to miss Kristan Higgins’ Blue Heron series. It is full of captivating characters, engrossing stories and more. Kristan Higgins offers strong stories, snappy dialogue and conflict that can be both tender and engrossing. This is an author who knows her world perfectly and you’ll adore the story right from the moment you open the book and begin reading. Now this reader has to find the first three books so I can meet up with some secondary characters in this new book and see how their stories went. Run-don’t walk-to grab IN YOUR DREAMS and the other Blue heron books then settle in for a weekend of perfect reading pleasure. Kristan Higgans has a new reader now and I am eager to see where she goes with the series.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

A Chat With Kristan Higgins

Love Romances and More Q&A with Kristan Higgins
Thanks for having me, Love Romances!

What started your interest in writing?

Reading! But then the more I read (and I’m talking about as a teenager here), the more I wished the author had done something different. You know…like why weren’t Scarlett and Rhett living happily ever after? Why did Cathy marry Linton when she clearly loved Heathcliff? So I started making up “better” endings (forgive me!)…at least, endings that felt happier. Or, if a writer had written a perfectly wonderful book, I’d get mad that it was over, and think up more scenes for these characters I loved so much.

What is In Your Dreams about?

In Your Dreams is a story about the right people who get together for maybe the wrong reasons. Jack Holland is haunted after a car accident in which he saves four boys…but one isn’t doing so well. Emmaline Neal is still smarting from being dumped by her fiancĂ©. They both see something in each other, but neither is in the best place for a relationship at the moment. What I love about the book is that it deals with things like accepting our limitations, but also acknowledging our greatness. And chocolate. And wine. And cute puppies.

How long did it take you to get your rough draft finished for In Your Dreams?

Oh, I’d say about four months Another two to outline and revise, so from idea to sending it to my editor, six months altogether.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

 I’m always writing! I get a rash if I’m not working on something. But I love doing stuff with my kids (I excel at embarrassing them in public, and also getting them to laugh so hard we’re asked to leave restaurants). McIrish, my sainted husband, and I like to do things like take long drives, ride bikes and eat cheeseburgers. I love to bake and watch baseball (I’m secretly married to Derek Jeter). And I value friendship a lot, too; I make it a point to see my friends and spend time with them, because life would be very stark without friends, I think.

Are any of your characters like you? Do you base any characters on people you know?

Yes to both! All my characters have bits of me in there, because I don’t think I could write them otherwise. But they’re not based on me, if that makes any sense. There are just little raindrops of me sprinkled throughout the characters. And while I do occasionally use an acquaintance or relative to base a character on, by the end of the first draft, they’ve morphed into someone else. 

If a reader hasn't read any of your books before, which one should they start with?

Obviously, I like them all, so that’s a tough question. I’m looking at a poster of THE BEST MAN right now, so I’ll go with that one.

What genres do you write in?

I write romantic comedy/small town contemporary and have an upcoming women’s fiction novel coming out next spring.

Is there anything you will never write about?

Terrorism, I think. Kidnapping, rape, animal abuse. I don’t think I could write about someone who’s lost a child, because that’s just too painful for me to put myself into that mother’s head.

Do you have a favorite quote from your book(s)?

Again, I have quite a few. It’s a mother’s prerogative. For today, it’s from IN YOUR DREAMS, the first line of Chapter 1: Nothing kicked off Emmaline Neal’s weekend like using a Taser. 

 Is there anything you would tell aspiring writers?

Believe in yourself. Work hard. Be ruthless. Don’t give up. Even Nora Roberts was once an unpublished author.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Covered Up with KyAnn Waters


Back to school favorite:  pens or notebooks? Notebooks!


I love fun spiral notebooks. I have them in my purse, in the door storage of the car, in drawers in the kitchen and a stash stacked in my office supplies. I’m never without a little notebook. I have a few beautiful notebooks of handmade paper. I almost hate to write in them because the paper is so beautiful.


Hiking or jumping in a pile of leaves?


I love hiking. I live on the bench of the Wasatch Mountains in northern Utah. I’m about a 3 minute walk to the trailhead. Contrary to this beauty out my front door is the incredible amount of fallen leaves that litter my yard every October. We usually have at least 50 black yard bags full of mulched leaves by the time we are done with fall clean-up. Piles of leaves just looks like yard work to me.


Halloween or Thanksgiving?


Thanksgiving! I love to eat. LoL. I love candy too, but Thanksgiving is in the midst of my favorite time of year. I love crisp mornings and sunny afternoons. I love when there is a hint of snow in the air.


Hot buttered rum or hot chocolate?


I wish I could tolerate alcohol, but alas, I’d have to be a hot chocolate girl. But actually, I prefer hot tea. I have quite the collection of flavors to choose from. Right now, cinnamon apple is my favorite. I’ll get something pumpkin in October, by Christmas, I’ll be sipping on peppermint tea. Celestial Seasonings makes a fun Candy Cane flavor.



Who's book (besides one of yours) are you most looking forward to reading?


I’m looking forward to hot holiday stories. I love a naughty historical and am always browsing for a new author. I love a recommendation so if someone has a hot holiday story they loved, let me know.
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

HOUSE CALL by Jane Davitt

Publisher: Torquere Press
Date published: 6/25/14
ISBN: 978-1-61040-762-5
MM, contemporary
Reviewed by Helen
Obtained via publisher
Rating: 4

Dr. Paul Jackson has moved to the country to assist a very busy older practitioner. He’s getting a feel for the job and coming to know the regular patients, but refuses to let anyone know he’s gay because he doesn’t think people in a small country town will accept a gay doctor.

Steve Parker has returned to town to care for his dying grandfather, who has refused to go to hospital. Steve is shattered at how close to the end his beloved grandfather is. It’s another shock to his system when he realizes he knows Paul as well.

This is a very well written story. Ms. Davitt draws the reader in with compelling descriptions and strong emotions. There is an incredible amount of depth in the story. Layers of conversations, levels of history and the past between the various characters, plus the usual complications, blessings and curses of small-town life.
Even the weather is like an extra character throughout the book. There are some excellent lines where the author gives deep characterization so aptly in just a few words. One I really likes was, “It looked like stubborn and stupid ran in his family”. Simple, yet profound and absolutely pertinent.

The second person intrusions annoyed me. I know it’s a British habit, and the author was born there, but these characters are American and it didn’t seem right for them. Nevertheless, this is still a very good read full of deeply overflowing emotions and characters that are very real and appealing.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

THEN CAME YOU by Jill Shalvis

An Animal Magnetism Novel, Book Five
July 1st, 2014
Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by Publisher
3.5 Hearts


For veterinary intern Emily Stevens, her plan once she was done with Vet School was to be in L.A. but somehow she ends up in Sunshine, Idaho. Counting the days down till she can leave Sunshine far behind, Emily’s got plans and nothing will screw it up. Until Wyatt Stone enters her life one night and then her plans just fall to the wayside. She never anticipated her one night stand a few months before would be her supervisor or that he would capture her heart without her even looking. Can Emily leave her plans in the dust and let Wyatt sweep her off her feet or will she leave Sunshine and a broken heart when her year is up at the Vet Clinic?

Jill Shalvis is a wonderful storyteller who delivers humor and romance with one sweeping keystroke in her books. I have read a few of this author’s books and found them highly enjoyable and perfect for summer beach reading or for a lazy rainy afternoon. The storyline is fast paced, characters are intriguing and well written and the romance delivers. I really enjoyed how Emily and Wyatt talk to one another. These two main characters actually like one another and the sparks flew fast and furious between them. I loved their scenes together as well as with other characters in the book. You know an author cares about their characters when they let them take center stage and shine in a book.

Meet Emily. She is determined to get back on track with her master plan for her life. She adjusted that said plan when instead of L.A. she ends up in Susnhine, Idaho instead. She can work with that and counts the days down until she can shake the dust off amid the glitz and glamour of L.A. I really enjoyed Emily. She was focused, loved animals and came across as a driven young woman. She just never anticipated her supervisor being her hot and sexy one night stand months before at a convention in Reno. Wyatt was sinfully sexy and came across as having a heart of gold. I was drawn to him just as much as Emily was! All the characters were multi-dimensional, enjoyable and kept me reaching for the next page.

Author Jill Shalvis’s latest in her Animal Magnetism series is heartfelt, hot and just downright adorable at times. This was a testament to this author’s storytelling and she hits it out of the ballpark with THEN CAME YOU. For readers just finding this series and author to long time readers of the author’s books, you will enjoy this one immensely and the book is a stand alone title in the series so you won’t have any problem jumping into the series with this book. I can’t wait to see what else this author has in store for her Animal Magnetism series in the future.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement