Blog Archives

Remember the Joy

It’s finally out. The Power of Faith When Tragedy Strikes, A Father-Son Memoir by Chris & Terry Norton has been published and is out in the world! Power of Faith for stand 2

Feel that breeze? That’s my sigh of…Relief? Satisfaction? Accomplishment?

All of the above.

When I was done, I published a novella I managed to write during my ghostwriting days, and…
I cleaned out the garage, all our closets, and my office. I’m re-reading my old favorite writing books–Stein on Writing, Techniques of the Selling Writer, The Fire in Fiction–in preparation for the next book in my Kiss & Tell series. But I still felt a little aimless and a whole lot conflicted. What did I really want to tackle next?

The answer came while catching up on my favorite blog, Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s kriswrites.com, and her Business Musings series. The post titled, “Obsession, Delusion, and Writing,” is worth the read. One of her long ago blog posts provided the nudChristyHayes_Kiss&MakeUp_200ge I needed to self publish, and this one–right when I was floundering–got me back on track. I enjoy writing, I enjoy learning the craft, and I want to grow as an author, and that means I have to keep writing and learning, and remember the joy. I determine my own success.

So, I’m getting
back at it now that I’ve cleaned my house and cleared the fog from my brain. I’m not in a hurry because I’m going to remember the joy. And the holidays are right around the corner. And my boy’s a senior. And a thousand other reasons. I’m going to remember the joy in all of it. And you should to.

Advertisements

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.

#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!

More Book Reviews!

Here are more book recommendations for your summer reading enjoyment!

Broken Chords by Carrie Elks:Broken Chords

Lara knows she should feel lucky. Married to the man of her dreams, with a gorgeous new baby, she should be enjoying her happy-ever-after. But she never expected motherhood to be so difficult, or for her life to change so dramatically. Alex has it all: hot, tattooed looks, a beautiful wife, and a band that’s finally getting noticed. A lucrative offer of a US tour should be the icing on the cake. But as he leaves the country, distance isn’t the only thing that starts to pull their relationship apart. With half a world dividing them, Alex and Lara have to battle for a marriage they once took for granted.

While I’ve never been attracted to “band guys,” there are a whole lot of people out there who are (my daughter included). What I enjoyed about this book was the realistic view of marriage and the many ways having a child changes a relationship. Despite the heady topic, this was an entertaining and sexy read. I’ll read more of Carrie Elks for sure.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman:Where She Went

It’s been three years since the devastating accident … three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future—and each other. Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

I read this sequel to If I Stay after reading the first book so my daughter and I could go see the movie together. Both are enjoyable reads (and, coincidentally, feature another “band guy”), but I hated how the first book ended (and the movie)! So many unanswered questions! This book wraps up all the questions about what happened when (or if) she stayed in a fast paced plot from Adam’s point of view. I love having the man’s take on things, so this book was a winner for me. If you haven’t read If I Stay, read it first for sure, or get both books together to avoid the frustration. You won’t be sorry. 

*Blurbs and Covers from authors’ websites.

Book Review Roundup

I’ve got a busy summer (like most folks) and I thought I’d highlight some reads I’ve enjoyed over the last few months in case our WU audience needs an escape from the chaos. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Don’t Let Go by our former blogmate Sharla Lovelace.Don't Let Go

Noah Ryan and Jules Doucette spent every moment together, first as best friends and later as young lovers. The two had planned a life together—until one unspeakable decision tore them apart for good. Twenty-six years later, Jules is still carefully living the life her mother planned out for her. She’s running her mother’s store, living in her mother’s house, following her mother’s rules, and keeping the secrets her mother made her bury. Then Noah comes home and any sense of an ordered life flies out the window. Noah’s return does more than just stir up old memories—it forces Jules to see her life in a whole new way and uncovers secrets even she didn’t know were buried. Secrets that could easily destroy her world once more.

I loved this book! I laughed, I cried, and I hated to see it end. Noah and Jules were such relatable characters, and I loved the relationship Jules had with her daughter and her ex. Well done, Sharla. Well done.

The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen:The Year We Fell Down

The sport she loves is out of reach. And the boy she loves has someone else. What now? She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead. Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league. Also, he’s taken. Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands. They’re just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard. But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won’t, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness — one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who’s afraid to love her back.

I loved the complexity of the characters in this book, but what drew me was the wheelchair character. After spending the last year writing about someone in a wheelchair, I wondered if the author could do the experience justice. In my very limited experience, she did, and I applaud her for tackling the subject. The Year We Fell Down is an engrossing read by an author I plan to read more from.

*Blurbs and Covers from authors’ websites.

%d bloggers like this: