Monday, September 22, 2014

Guest Blogger Brenda Whiteside on her #New novel, THE ART OF LOVE AND MURDER, from #TWRP

Thanks so much for having me today, Katie, on Read, Write, Repeat. I’m excited to have your readers learn about my latest release, The Art of Love and Murder, the first book in my Love and Murder series. I hope everyone enters the Rafflecopter drawing for a tote bag of items that relate to the book. The more you enter, the more chances you have to win. This link will direct you to all the blogs on my tour:

Before I begin a novel, a character study evolves. My favorite part of writing is building characterizations. Some of what I know about my characters never makes the book.

For instance, in The Art of Love and Murder Lacy’s adoptive parents, Arlo and Sarah, are deceased when the book begins. What you won’t find out is that Arlo and Sarah Dahl were hippies in their younger days. They settled down in Scottsdale, Arizona but did volunteer work on the reservations near Flagstaff, Arizona. During one stay up north a small plane crashed killing everyone on board including Lacy’s parents. You will read that the baby girl, Lacy, survived.

Chance Meadowlark, Lacy’s romantic interest, is a sheriff. What doesn’t come out in the book is the upcoming election has him worried. The man running against him plays dirty. Chance had enough trouble with Lacy, a pushy sometimes girlfriend and murder. I decided to leave out his election problems.
About the Book:

Lacy Dahl never questioned her past until the deaths of her adoptive parents and her husband. A husband who wasn't what he seemed. Her research uncovers secrets about the mother she never knew; secrets that dispute the identity of her father and threaten her life.
Sheriff Chance Meadowlark is still haunted by the murder of his wife and the revenge he unleashed in the name of justice. When he meets Lacy he is determined not to become involved, but their pasts may make that impossible. As they move closer to the truth, saving Lacy may be his only salvation.
Lacy begins to think the present is more important than her past...until Chance's connection to her mother and a murder spin her deeper into danger and further from love. Will the truth destroy Lacy and Chance or will it be the answer that frees them?
Excerpt from The Art of Love and Murder:
Momentarily struck dumb by his eye color, she stared back. Why hadn’t she noticed until now? Although not as light as hers or her father’s, the professor’s eyes were a startling green shade.
His hand nudged her arm. “Lacy?”
She jumped. “Oh, yes.” She slipped the tissue from the half-carved wolf. Another glance at his eyes and goose bumps riddled her arms.
He lifted the wood close to his face, using both hands as if handling a delicate hummingbird. His thumb traced the neck of the creature to the juncture of where it emerged from the wood. When he brought the piece to his nose, closing his eyes and breathing deeply, Lacy wanted to turn away from the oddly erotic gesture.
He swallowed, opened his eyes and set the wolf back on the tissue. His attention shifted to the photograph of the chest. He touched the photo, a smile on his lips. “Where is the chest?”
The chest. Like he knew it, had seen it before. “I’m having it sent. You’ve seen it before?”
He didn’t move, stared out the window as if deep in thought. “I’d like to show you something, Lacy.”
“All right.” She waited, watching his profile.
He turned and stared into her face a moment. “You’re so very lovely. A creation full of life and passion, surpassing any art form.”
His hypnotic voice floated on the classical strains drifting from the living room. She couldn’t speak. Didn’t know what to say. She’d been lifted upon a pedestal of admiration. With any other man, she might consider his words a means to a sexual end. The professor’s intentions, however, were crystal. He admired her like a work of art.

Buy Links:

About the Author:
Although I didn’t start out to write romance, I’ve found all good stories have to involve complicated human relationships. I’ve also learned, no matter a person’s age, a new discovery is right around every corner. Whether humorous or serious, straight contemporary or suspense, all my books revolve around those two facts.

Visit Brenda at
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at
She blogs about prairie life and writing at

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Celebrating National Dog Week

National Dog Week is celebrated during the last full week of September each year - this week! And yeah, it's a real thing.

First established in 1928, the idea is to celebrate responsible dog ownership as well as those cute little pups we bring into our homes and families. In my latest book, MY KIND OF CRAZY, my heroine agrees to foster a Saint Bernard puppy, adding more craziness to her life. The dog in the book is based on my own experiences with our Saint Bernard. They start out sooooo little and cute... you fall in love way before you find out just how stubborn they can be and how much havoc one dog can cause...
My Puppy at 6 weeks old
Actually, I'd never heard of National Dog Week until I received an email from Tiffany at Dropcam, a home monitoring company that sells wifi security cameras with fun features to make it easy to check on our homes while we're away - and even see what the dog is up to while we're at the office. As in are they protecting the home, or did they invite all their buddies over for a wild dog party?
(Dog Party in the mud hole! Yuck!) 

(One look at that smile and you can guess who started the mud party...)

Tiffany even forwarded a funny graphic with the different categories of Dog Personalities...

My Puppy ranges in personality, actually, from pretending to be the "Bouncer" to actually being a Social Butterfly... to her favorite Couch Potato mode. There are very few people she doesn't like - so when she gets all "Bouncer" we know something is wrong.

We never had an issue with dogs being a "Fence Hopper" or acting like a "Barking Buzzer" - well, at least not until this past year of home renovations, when the comings and goings of various construction and remodeling people got both dogs into the barking habit. But Puppy's natural state is definitely Couch Potato, and she especially likes to slide into empty beds after the kids have left for school...
What about you? Does your dog fit into one of Dropcam's categories? Do you know what your dog does when you're not at home?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Book Review: SUMMERTIME DREAM by Babette James, #TWRP

Summertime Dream, by Babette James
Published 2014 by The Wild Rose Press

About the Book (from Goodreads):
The Fourth of July is over, but for these summer lovers the fireworks have just begun.

An unexpected inheritance brings business consultant Christopher Gordon from Los Angeles to quaint Falk's Bend. He's carved time from his demanding schedule to dispose of his great-grandparents' home and explore his roots. However, disturbing family secrets and the sweet temptation of writer Margie Olsson derail his plans, challenging him to seize the elusive dream missing from his hectic life--love.

A recent brush with death shook Margie's life, but not her dreams, and she's ready to move forward. Only, standing up to her loving, over-protective family isn't easy. Helping Christopher explore the derelict mansion and unravel his grandmother's mysterious past allows a fun taste of independence. But when her experimental summer fling ignites into unexpected love, can her small town dreams work with his big city life?
Loved this sweet and sexy small town romance! Totally Recommend and Will Definitely look for more stories from Babette James!

Falk's Bend, Missouri is your typical small town where everyone knows everyone and their family history, and nothing exciting ever seems to happen. At least, that's the way Margie Olsson's life has been up until recently.

Then things started to shift. She got sick, her brother's wife suddenly left town, and Margie didn't marry her high school sweetheart. When a complete stranger shows up at the towns annual Fourth of July picnic extravaganza, she impulsively kisses him, changing everything she thinks she knows about life, love, and what a kiss should really be. And she wants more.

Christopher Gordon and his sparkling green eyes makes for one sexy hero! The scenes between Christopher and Margie range from sweet to steamy, and the secondary characters all add so much to the story. A little bit of house remodeling, a little bit of mystery and a whole lot of fun.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story from start to finish. A quick, fun read, I would recommend this as a great "beach read" to anyone who needs a little escape from their own everyday life (even if you don't have time to sit on the beach to read it!)

Buy Links for Book:
The Wild Rose Press

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review: CRIMSON FOREST by Christine Gabriel

Crimson Forest, book one in the Crimson Chronicles
by Christine Gabriel
Published August 2014 by Pandamoon Publishing

About the Book (from Goodreads):
 “Something horrible is happening in the Crimson Forest. I need you to promise me you’ll stay away from it.”

Eighteen-year-old Angelina Adams had every intention of taking that advice. She had no desire to disappear into the trees as so many hunters had done. But when her mother is brutally murdered in their home, and the attacker comes for her, she has no choice but to flee into the blood-red woodland that claimed her father’s life years before.

There she meets Nicolai, a handsome, mysterious stranger who vows to protect her from the dark forces bent on destroying her life. But can he be trusted? Is he who he says he is, or will he simply take what he wants from her and move on? Angelina soon realizes that nothing is as it seems in the Crimson Forest, a place where creatures known only to humans through myth and legend fight for love and survival. It’s a world where fairy tales thrive, nightmares become reality, and some secrets are better left undiscovered.

Crimson Forest is the first book in The Crimson Chronicles, an exciting new adult fantasy series from Christine Gabriel. Book Two is Crimson Moon

Christine Gabriel's debut New Adult novel creates a rich paranormal world deep in the woods of Wisconsin.

Angelina and her mother run an inn located in a small town on the edge of the Crimson Forest. Scary stuff happens in the woods and people routinely go missing, yet hunters flock to it for some unknown reason. Everyone has secrets, and mystery tinges every interaction, keeping the reader turning pages to figure out answers.

The book is told mainly from the first person perspective of Angelina, the main character who most of the mystery surrounds, but other chapters are told in third person from other character perspectives which I found jarring at first.

Several of the supernatural creatures are left undefined, which was a let down as it seemed like an interesting opportunity for the author to develop a new mythology. The author has a rich imagination, but her interesting take on the supernatural is never fully fleshed out for the reader to understand, leaving multiple questions unanswered. Will the second book help clear up the loose ends? Let's hope so. With her inventive mind and interesting turns of phrase, Gabriel could be an author to watch, but a firmer editing hand is needed to tighten the story.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*