End of Summer Book Recommendations!

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover:ugly love

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her. Never ask about the past.Don’t expect a future. They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all. Hearts get infiltrated. Promises get broken. Rules get shattered. Love gets ugly.

Ugly Love is as engrossing as this tasty back cover blurb. It will suck you in and have you turning pages faster than there are hours in the day to read. I read this one quickly, so quickly I’ll have to take some time to reread it and savor once again. It is worth your time.

In Too Deep by Tracey Alvarez:In Too Deep

She vowed never to return. To save her brother from financial ruin, Piper Harland must do the one thing she swore she’d never do—return to the tiny island hometown where Ryan “West” Westlake crushed her heart. Piper is tough, resilient and a little wild—much like the remote and beautiful Stewart Island where she grew up. As a cop who’s part of the elite New Zealand Police National Dive Squad, bringing the dead back to their families still doesn’t stop the guilt she feels over her father’s drowning death. Now nine years later she’s obligated to return to a hostile community as the outsider, and forced to work with the man who was once her best friend and first lover. She’s a risk he can’t take. West is an Island man, through and through. As owner of the local pub, he lives and breathes the local community, and sure as hell can’t imagine living anywhere else. But most of all he refuses to ever fall for a woman like his flighty mother. He lost Piper once to give her the chance to fulfil her dreams of becoming a cop. But now she’s back for an unexpected six week visit to help her brother—his best mate. Maybe West wants her a little bit, maybe he can’t resist the temptation to tease and touch her, but can he fall in love with such a flight risk? Saying goodbye for the second time might just destroy them both.

I love reunion love stories, and this one is packed with conflict and a backstory that is slowly, frustratingly revealed. With stunning New Zealand as the backdrop, how can you resist the allure of a second chance at love? 

*Blurbs and Covers from authors’ websites.

Are You Ready for Some Football Food?

If you follow this blog regularly, you know that I’m a bit of a football fan.  Okay, more than ‘a bit’.  It stands to reason that this is my favorite time of they year–those few weeks before the opening kick-off when we’re all still in the hunt for the NCAA championship or the Lombardi Trophy.  But there’s more to football than just watching the game or listening to the marching band.  There’s food.  Tailgate food, specifically.

Next week, the fourth book in my Out of Bounds series, Sleeping with the Enemy, will hit e-readers and bookshelves.  To publicize it, I created fun recipe cards that double as book marks.  The recipe we put on the back is a great football snack whether you’re tailgating or camping out in front of your big screen.  Since I can’t send you all a bookmark, here’s the next best thing:

Thanks to Su at Earthly Charms for the beautiful recipe cards.

Thanks to Su at Earthly Charms for the beautiful recipe cards.

Here’s the scoop on Sleeping with the Enemy:

Dot-com millionaire Jay McManus is discovering that owning a pro football team like the Baltimore Blaze isn’t easy. An anonymous blogger is out to destroy his reputation, and now his team is being sued by its own cheerleaders. If Jay’s not careful, he could lose big—and not just financially.

Bridgett Janik’s brother may play for the Baltimore Blaze, but she’s not thrilled to be defending Jay McManus, the man who broke her heart. It’s bad enough she has to mingle with Jay during games, but working beside her former lover may be too much for her body—and her heart—to resist.

Jay’s determined not to let Bridgett slip away from him a second time. But, as the two follow the mysterious blogger’s trail, secrets—both past and present—are revealed, and Jay and Bridgett must decide if their relationship can be something more than just sleeping with the enemy.

Get your copies here:

Apple iBooks
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Google Books
IndieBound
Kobo
Powell’s Books

Best of luck to your team this season!!

You Can’t Have It All If You Try to Do It All

Prague astronomical clockPriorities. We’ve all got them. That constant tension between what we must do and what we want to do.

On this celestial sphere we live on, we’re bound to just 24 hours in a day. This is a hard limit I’ve been fighting since college, without success.

Once again, I’ve taken on too much. Activities that seemed manageable have spiraled out of control, leaving me without enough time to write.

I need to write.

It can be difficult to admit that something you enjoy—something that’s satisfying and makes you feel like you’re contributing—is getting in the way of a higher priority goal.

When that happens, it’s time to step back and reassess.

If we want to reach our dreams, sometimes we have to do less instead of more. Less of things that distract us. Less of things that sap our energy.

Pushing ourselves by working more hours isn’t an effective solution. We need down time. Good exercise and good sleep make us more productive.

Writers cannot live by caffeine alone.

So here I am, re-evaluating my priorities and shedding activities that I wish I had time for but don’t.

And by doing that, with any luck, I’m getting a few steps closer to my dreams.

Do you try to do too much? How do you find balance? 

(Photo Copyright: olgacov / 123RF Stock Photo)

Outside of Romance

What do romance authors do when not writing romance? You mean, other than living the dream with their real life hero? (**he, he**) They chase children to and from school, soccer practice, tennis–they cook, clean, garden and write children’s books. Children’s books?

Venetta, Dianne- Show Me the Green! (RGB)

Yep. This romance author does, anyway! And what a wild ride it’s been to publication. Completely different from writing romance where I create everything until the editing process (whereby I then change everything according to my editor’s sage advice), writing a children’s book involves artists and illustrations, a proposition that is more involved than first glance. I never realized how much work it would be to transfer my vision to someone else–scene by scene, image by image–the process can be overwhelming!

And time-consuming. But like carrying a baby for nine months, once you finally deliver, it’s a great feeling. Wonderfully exhilarating! You have no idea what the future holds, yet you’re excited by the mere anticipation of come what may. Your dream has finally come to fruition. Now, you wait patiently while others receive your baby and you look forward to their thoughts. Will they love it? Hate it? Ignore it?

That part is similar to romance writing. You work long and hard on your stories, and when you push your little masterpieces out into the world, you wait with bated breath for the outcome. Will they love them? Hate them? Ignore them?

But once all is said and done, all you can do is sit back, breathe a sigh of relief and (hopefully) say, “I love them.” And I do. Much like my romance novels, I love my new children’s series. Even if no one else ever reads it, I enjoyed the process of imagination and creation, the painstaking process of editing and formatting, and finally–the delivery. I loved it all. It’s what I do. I’m a writer. And because there are many facets to my personality, I now write children’s books. **sigh** Now that I’ve had a chance to catch my breath, I’m off to the races and back to the drawing board to craft that next novel… :)

#amwriting but wish #amreading

I’m currently deep in the middle of writing my third book. Like, thirty thousand(ish) words to go and a looming deadline deep. Yoga pants and messy hair and not enough showers deep. Deeeeeep.

All that goes to say, when I sat down to write today’s blog post, I couldn’t even contemplate coming up with another 500 words. Sorry, y’all, but I got nuthin’.

But Women Unplugged is a blog about books, and raving about other people’s books is so much easier than talking about mine, so here are a few I love from brilliant fellow authors.

81L-XdfdbgLJonathan Tropper is an automatic buy for me. I don’t even bother reading the back cover, just point my mouse at the one-click shopping button. He makes me laugh, he makes me cry, he makes me wish he would write faster. I love all his books, but How to Talk to a Widower is my absolute favorite.

51CXyA2LniL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Allison Winn Scotch has such a great voice, and she writes characters I want to be BFFs with. Time of My Life is not her latest, but she smashed it out of the park — and onto the NYT list — with this one.

51jxlqIriXL

A hunky chef, a snarky writer, and a story that sticks with you long after you turn the last page. The First Husband is a charming tale about finding your soul mate, and my favorite of all of Laura Dave’s novels.

51dx30Ray5LBridget Asher has a new one coming out this fall and I can hardly wait. Her last one, Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted, is heartbreaking and hilarious, a love story within a love story, and bonus! It’s set in beautiful France.

51QCEiJYyPL

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this one. Julie Buxbaum writes so beautifully about love and loss and the secrets we hide from our families and ourselves. After You will haunt you long after The End.

If you read any of these, I hope you’ll let me know what you think!

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