The first Wednesday of every month is officially IWSG day. IWSG was formed by Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh. Members post about their doubts and fears, discuss struggles and triumphs, and offer words of encouragement to others who are struggling.
This month’s co-hosts:
Erika Beebe https://erikabeebe.com/
Olga Godim olgagodim.wordpress.com
Sandra Cox http://sandracox.blogspot.com/
Sarah Foster http://thefauxfountainpen.blogspot.com/
Chemist Ken http://hogwartssabbatical.blogspot.com/
January 5 question - What's the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?
I regret not getting involved in writing groups and going to conferences as soon as I started writing. It helps dispel the solitariness of writing, keeps you up-to-date on changes in the industry and offers you classes and information on how to improve your craft. AND you meet people in the process whose likes, dislikes and goals mirror your own, often developing lifelong friendships.
December reviews in no particular order.
*Disclaimer. If I run into an occasional typo, I ignore it and don’t factor it into my review.
THE TEXAN’S FAVOR by D. K. Deters
This is an adroitly composed romance set in the Old West. The characters are well-fleshed including the secondary characters and the world building pulls the reader into a historic Western setting. I admired Kat’s—the female protagonist—spirt and independence. She show’s grit and courage throughout. Abby, the little girl is a gem, as is Jake’s grandparent. Jake—the male protagonist—is strong and tough. His weakness, Kat. I loved the fact that the author mentioned Arbuckle’s Coffee. It was the premier coffee used in the Old West but this is the first time I’ve seen it referred to in a fictional novel. If you love a romance filled with a lot of romantic tension, grab your beverage of choice, kick back and enjoy the read.
CHRISTMAS WITH THE WRIGHTS: Justinia Wright Private Investigator Mysteries by C. W. Hawes
These shorts are every bit as fun as the rest of the series and perfect for the season. The stories flow smoothly and are a joy to read.
The author has created a fascinating set of characters with the Wright Private Investigator Mysteries, but especially Justinia, the piano playing, cigar smoking P.I.
Recommended for readers who like their mysteries crisp and humor dry.
LOVE ME by Jacquie Biggar
The author had me at Cassie’s letter to Santa.
LOVE ME is a heartwarming story that is perfect for the season, filled with feel-goods and love.
Grace Donovan’s life hasn’t been easy. Her husband passed and her daughter Cassie has cancer. She moves to a small town to enroll her daughter in an experimental cancer program at the local clinic. Cassie wants a puppy, but instead asks Santa for someone to take care of her mom in case something happens to her.
Kyle Roberts, the school principal, takes one look at Grace and is smitten. He offers her a job running a childcare program. Unknown to Grace, Kyle is also the benefactor of the grant she’s received to cover her share of the trials’ expenses.
As Grace fights the growing attraction between herself and Kyle, their daughters become fast friends and she discovers that miracles do indeed happen at Christmas.
THE RAVEN AND THE PIG by Lou Kemp
THE RAVEN AND THE PIG is a story of magic and high adventure under the sea and above it. Jonas Celwyn travels with Nemo, author Jules Verne, Pelaez his dark immortal brother and his pet Qing—a unique bird—along with others, to reach and work on a new flying machine, where disaster ensues.
The writing flows with smooth grace and fluid sentences that capture the imagination. Such as: “The glow of the Nautilus’ lamps illuminated the ruins, then dissipated and the inky water enveloped everything.”
AND: “From beside him, Verne’s eyes bounced like excited fireflies.”
AND: “A restless sea sloshed against the window.”
This second in the Celwyn Series will be much enjoyed by Kemp fans.
SHATTERED by C. Lee McKenzie
Dreams are shattered when a young skier, who plans to take part in the winter Olympics, is run down by a snowboarder and paralyzed. Now she must rebuild her life and make the inconceivable her norm.
The author took a difficult subject and turned a story that could have easily been depressing and difficult to read into an inspirational journey.
Very well written.
THE GIRL WHO LOVED CAYO BRADLEY by Nina Romano
Education shouldn’t be a deal breaker in a romance but it certainly causes problems for Darbee and Cayo.
This story is a steamy western romance set in New Mexico in the 1870’s. It’s chock full of historical tidbits from the foods eaten, clothes worn, utensils and accessories used, to native American customs. While Cayo and Darbee are trying to sort out their feelings and future, the author inserts flashbacks to Cayo’s time spent with the Apaches and how they shaped who he is now.
Recommended for history buffs and romance readers who like heat, tension and conflict in their stories.