[#currentlyreading] Chapter 1

what is crystal reading

Hi everyone!!

Well, what am I reading?? I am way deep into the Andy Carpenter series by David Rosenfelt. Right now I’m reading Dog Tags . . . I believe it’s the eighth book in the series.  So . . . if you love dogs (especially Goldens), some salty, sarcastic humor (hey, works for me) and a storyline that keeps you going (here we go, falling down the rabbit hole again), I’m sure you will enjoy this series! I have gotten most of mine on my Kindle because when I’m done with one, I want to be able to go on to the next one!!

What are you #currentlyreading? Join us on Twitter and tweet yours (don’t forget to tag @ginger_mom17 so we can see it too!)

Happy Thursday!
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[Review] Rhodi’s Light – Megan Linski

rhodi's light - megan linskiI read this book in October of 2016 for a book tour through Xpresso Book Tours. The blog it toured on no longer exists but this amazing book is still worth sharing!

Flight. Hyperspeed. Clairvoyance. 

These are some of the powers gifted to the Rhodi, an ancient sect of assassins who defend Crescentia, a dystopian world with a dying hope. 

Dyliana Fairsson is one of them. After losing her parents to a suspicious accident, she and her twin brother, Devin, join the Rhodi to avoid starvation. Under the direction of her master, Dylan struggles to learn the strength of her magic . . . as well as hide the growing scars on her wrists. Can Dylan become the warrior, the hero, she’s destined to be? Or is she fated to fall from the light into the darkness? 

This book was something completely new for me. When I first started it, I thought I was reading a straight-up fantasy novel, with the intense world-building and the characters. It all seemed very fantasy-ish to me (like something out of Game of Thrones or a similar world). But then you add in cars and cell phones and it turns into this dystopian world, but still keeping many of the fantasy aspects. It’s a combination I haven’t seen before and, though I wasn’t sure it would work in the beginning, I very quickly got sucked down Linski’s rabbit hole and found myself lost in the world of Crescentia, not wanting it to end. At the same time, though, I was flying through the pages, eager to see how it eventually would end, and how it leads into the next book. The ending, I will admit, wasn’t what I was hoping would happen with the main characters but it should make for a very exciting book 2.

A lot of what I loved about this book was the characters. At first, I wasn’t fond of Dylan. She was whiny. Very whiny. Not my kind of character. But she grew out of that (thankfully!) and I loved watching the bonds form between students and masters.

I originally gave this book 4 out of 5 stars when I reviewed it on Goodreads but have since changed that. It was mostly because I was still upset with the ending (and why I now wait a day or two to review). What can I say . . . I’m an emotional reader!

– Buy the Book – 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Ginger Mom (because it will get confusing because we’re both Megans): This first question is going to be a silly one but, why twins?
Megan: I used to be obsessed with twins. When I started writing Rhodi’s Light, I really wanted to have twins as my own children, through birth or adoption. I’m a big fan of adoption, which is a huge theme of the series.

Ginger Mom: Do you have a particular place you like to write? Somewhere that makes the inspiration “flow”? Also, computer or pen and paper?
Megan: I love writing outside and in nature. Anywhere outdoors is my favorite writing place, particularly if it’s in a forest. However, I do my best writing when I’m trapped in unusual places. My best work has come from places like dingy, bleak offices, the back of classrooms or dingy bedrooms, even Burger King! I find being in these particularly normal surroundings pushes me to find the magic, even in the most mundane. I also find I write well when I’m in some sort of emotional chaos. That pushes me to find an escape and create good from wretched situations.

Computer. Pen and paper makes my hand hurt way too much. Though typing isn’t much better . . . I have to wrap my wrists and hands now with athletic tape when I write and ice my fingers at night. My old high school teacher once told me I write too much. She was right.

– Connect with Megan –
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website

That was just a teaser interview. Megan has graciously agreed to do a new interview in September when we talk about her new book Torrent (releases September 12th so don’t forget to stop back for lots of book birthday fun!).

Happy Thursday!
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[Review] Banshee at the Gate – Wendy Knight

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Half-breed banshee, Seven, likes her life. She leads souls safely to Death and she has the planet’s most awesome dad and little brother. But a cryptic message from Atlantis asking for her help changes all that. And then there’s Death, who has decided it’s time to take her brother’s soul. Now she’s racing across the world, trying to stay one step ahead of Death. 

Unfortunately, getting to Atlantis from Ireland isn’t easy, and there are evil minions determined to keep her away every time she turns around. But fighting for their lives teaches Seven one important lesson – she isn’t human, and she isn’t a banshee. She has to be both if she wants to save her brother and make it back home alive. 

I purchased this book quite awhile ago, based purely on the author’s name. And because I was already committed to reading so many other books, it sat on my Kindle shelf. As soon as I picked it up and started reading, however, it was impossible to put down!

I am a sucker for anything about Atlantis, so of course, I was eager to see where Wendy took this story. And it never disappointed. Of all the characters, my favorite ended up being tied between Akie the demon and Seven’s little brother, Haran.

I loved the sense of adventure as the characters travelled from one exciting place to the next . . . the pyramids, Rio, a volcano! And, of course, Atlantis! I loved it all! Now I am itching to read the next book in the series and see where it all leads!

Check Banshee at the Gate out on Goodreads or buy it on Amazon, if it sounds like something you’re interested! It’s a bit younger of a read, YA bordering on Middle Grade, but that didn’t bother me. The story is still adult enough to hold your attention!

Happy Review Tuesday!

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[Review] Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief – Rosie Somers [Blog Tour]

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What better way to start off a Monday morning than with a YA blog tour? And, while I will devour many different genres, YA is not only moving to the front but increasing its lead with each amazing new book I read! So let’s talk about this one!

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Most sixteen-year-olds shouldn’t know where museums keep their rarest jewels (the basement) and they really shouldn’t know that vans make the worst getaway cars. But for Marisol Flores, a life of jewel thievery is a birthright handed down from generation to generation, even if she didn’t ask for it. So when a rival thief targets Mari and her mother, Mari’s more than happy to flee to the anonymity of bustling New York City. 

Blending in is a dream come true for Mari, but keeping her former thieving ways a secret gets way more complicated when handsome Will Campbell sets his sights on her. She can’t help but like his terrible puns and charming grin . . . but when her past catches up with her, it’s not only her life – and her anonymity – that’s at stake. 

Will could be the next target.

Doesn’t this book sound amazing? As if that blurb wasn’t enough, we even have a little teaser for you!

When his tongue darts out to wet his lips, I unconsciously mirror the action, and he sucks in a deep breath in response. A little thrill shoots through me at the realization that he’s reacting to me that way because he wants to kiss me. And if I’m honest with myself, I want to kiss him. I can almost feel his lips pressing against mine. Every fiber of my being is caught in his gravitational pull, aching to be near him. 

What can I say, I’m a true romantic at heart 🙂 And that is one reason why I enjoyed this book. Even though I was hoping for a bit more jewel thievery, I loved the romance aspect of it. Will and Mari definitely made a great couple. That being said, I did want to see more of Mari’s jewel-thief life, other than just the botched heist at the beginning where Petrov (the bad guy) finds them and then the blip at the end. The real meat of the story focused on Mari and her mom hiding from Petrov in NYC, trying to have normal lives.

Of course, I loved the ending (no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) because I thought it wrapped everything up perfectly.

The pacing of this book was spot on, as well. I didn’t notice any lulls and I actually flew through it. I read this in only a couple days (with two small kids, that’s sometimes a challenge) and, especially toward the end, I had a hard time putting it down. The one thing I would like to see, however, is a companion novella that maybe shows what Mari’s life was like before New York? But that’s just my inability to let characters go. I always want more 🙂

giveaway buttonWhat do all great tours have in common? A giveaway!
Here you go – a Rafflecopter giveaway

– Buy the Book –
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

– Visit Rosie –
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Happy Monday!
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[Author Interview] Donna K. Weaver

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Guess what? We have another author interview today! I know I say this all the time but these really are so much fun to do! And all the authors we’ve had on the blog so far lately have been wonderful! So willing to talk about what inspires them 🙂

So let’s welcome our newest guest, Donna K. Weaver!

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Donna is an award-winning author, wife, mother, grandmother, Harry Potter geek, Army veteran, karate black belt, and online gamer girl. She is the author of the Safe Harbors series.

Megan: Donna, welcome to the blog! We are so happy you could join us today! Let’s get started with the interview 🙂 What made you decide to be a writer? Or was it something you always wanted to do?
Donna: I’ve always had stories going around in my head since I was very young. In high school we did fan fiction, though most of that was oral rather than written. I messed around with trying to write a short story when I was in college and didn’t get very far. Then I got busy with life and didn’t try again until 2010. I’d heard from a friend who’d done NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and I was intrigued. I’d been thinking of working on my personal history again and thought perhaps I should learn a little about writing for it. So I did my own NaNo in January 2010, just to see if I could write a full-length novel. I cranked out 80,000 words in 31 days. That book was A Change of Plans. It was much later and fourteen major rewrites before I started submitting it and found a publisher interested in purchasing the right to it.

Megan: That’s amazing! So, after that journey, do you have any authorly role models?
Donna: Outside of religious figures, I’m inspired by people who are happy and nice. I like when people work to make the world a better place.

Megan: I love asking about characters – of the ones you’ve written so far, who has been your favorite? (I know it’s like picking a favorite child lol) And any reason why?
Donna: I could easily say it’s the ones I’m writing at the moment. But the main one is probably Jori Virtanen. I knew he was broken when I wrote A Change of Plans. When I decided he needed his own story, I had a chance to really delve into what broke him. Going with him on his journey of healing in Torn Canvas brought him really near to my heart.

Megan: Okay, let’s take this a step farther and talk about your favorite book. Do you have one that was more fun to write than the others?
Donna: I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve written – or why put in the time? I eat, drink, and dream my characters. I need to care deeply about them. Research is always fun and being able to visit a location in one of my stories is exciting. And it can change the story. I was able to visit Lewistown, Montana and fell in love with the place. In Swing Vote, book three in the Safe Harbors series, I’ll be in a small town in rural Utah (since I know election laws there), and I’ll be making a trip to the Moab area for research. I know. Rough life.

Megan: Okay, are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you outline all of your books beforehand or just start writing and see where it takes you?
Donna: I used to think I was just a pantser, but I’ve come to realize that my 50,000+ word first draft is really just a detailed outline. But I have to write it like the story to get a feel for it. I guess, for me, a simple outline lacks the emotions that drive my stories.

Megan: Thanks so much, Donna! Is there anything else you would like to share with us before we go?
Donna: I’m excited that all my titles are available in audiobook. I’m a huge audiobook fan myself, so it’s a thrill.

– Connect with Donna –
Blog Amazon Author PageFacebook Twitter Pinterest YouTube Google+

What a great way to end the week 🙂 Happy Friday!
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[Audio Tour] Hooked On You – Patrice Wilton [Review]

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This riveting romance is the second book in the Paradise Cove series set in the Florida Keys. Three high-spirited sisters inherit Paradise Cove Cottages, and each story is a standalone. Taylor Holmes has a lot on her plate – running a family owned resort, planning a wedding for her sister, and now the added worry as she opens her dream cafe. Throw in a hurricane and a sexy boat captain who doesn’t take no for an answer, and this book will keep you glued to your Kindle. Romance, passion, danger, and hot, hot nights guarantee reading pleasure. 

hooked on you - patrice wilton

Oh you stubborn a**es!!

I was worried (as I am with all companion novels) that I wouldn’t like this book as much of the first. I loved Kayla and Sean so I thought I was going to be disappointed when it came to Taylor and Colt. I couldn’t have been farther from the truth!

I loved Taylor and Colt’s relationship stubbornly clashing battle of wits. They were so set on not falling in love through so much of the story that, while it was great entertainment, you also wanted to shout at them to just get on with it already! How two people could be so perfect for each other, so attracted to each other, and yet so stubborn was just beyond my comprehension!

And everything that happens in this book! My goodness! It’s one twist after another. Throw their hot and cold relationship on top and you know you have one steamy, exciting, romancey wild ride!

Favorite character this time around? Juanita, definitely. She is such a sweet, motherly character and I love how she worked her way into this one.

This is an audiobook tour so I suppose we should at least touch on the narration, right? One word – phenomenal. Where my complaint at the beginning of Paradise Cove was about the voices all being similar, that certainly wasn’t the case this time. Maybe it was because I had gotten to know them this time around but it was so easy to listen to this book. And Cynthia Vail did an amazing job yet again!

Disclaimer (same as with Paradise Cove) – This book does have a few very steamy sexual encounters but it wasn’t over the top. I suppose I would call it an 18+ novel but it wasn’t too bad. 

– Buy the Book –
Amazon (Kindle) | Audible

Want even more goodies? Stop by my review for Paradise Cove and check out the awesome music playlist we have to go along with the series! And then, stop by my interview with author Patrice Wilton and check out our special giveaway (hint: it might be an audio copy of any of the Paradise Cove books! And hint #2: it might end Friday the 11th!)

– Visit Patrice –
Facebook Twitter Website – Pinterest Goodreads

And with that, I leave you. Happy Thursday!
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[Book Blitz] The Woodlands Series – Lauren Nicolle Taylor

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“It seems so rare these days to find a dystopian with an original vein in it. The Woodlands succeeds.” -Author Pauline Creeden

“This book was fantastic! Spectacular! It had everything I look for in a book: action, adventure, and even romance!” -Reviewer Jocelyn Sanchez

Do you dare enter the Woodlands? 

As the last livable spot on Earth, it’s the only home Rosa and Joseph have ever known. But now they need to escape, or Rosa will be trapped forever in a horrific government program. A dystopian page-turner with over 750 five-star ratings on Goodreads. The Woodlands Series is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth, and The Jewel Series by Amy Ewing. 

SONY DSCAbout the Author

Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Heath Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.

She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family settled down, she turned to writing.

She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards finalist.

– Visit Lauren –
Website Goodreads Facebook Twitter

– Buy the Books –
Amazon Barnes & NobleKobo iBooks

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And guess what? There’s a giveaway, too! Follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter to win a Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box (International winner will get ebook prizes). Giveaway ends August 17th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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That’s all for now! Hopefully you’ve just found another book to add to your TBR pile! Happy Wednesday!
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[Review] Trap and Trace – Megan Carney [Blog Tour]

TrapAndTraceTourBanner-1Time for another blog tour! This book definitely jumped outside my comfort zone. It falls into a genre that I used to read a lot and, since finding YA, I haven’t visited too much.

A sabotaged CIA operation makes Navy Trent a captive. But surviving the kidnapping is just the beginning of her ordeal. The CIA will kill her if she doesn’t stay quiet. The saboteurs will kill her if she does. Navy is forced into a high-tech, high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse where only her wits – and a little bit of luck – can keep her alive. 

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I gave this book 3.5 stars out of 5 (rounding up to 4) for one reason – there were so many places in the book that it seemed like it was wrapping up. Maybe those were story arcs that were supposed to tie up and it just all went over my head. I don’t know.

That being said, did I enjoy this book? Yes! Definitely. There was a lot of technical info that really went over my head (Navy works with networks and computers so where a lot of the things she did sounded vaguely familiar just from listening to my husband talk, I didn’t really understand a lot of them). Not understanding exactly what network technique or computer part she was working with didn’t take away from the story, though.

I liked how we start out seeing the characters separate (you have Navy, Moss & Sara in one group and then Jackson and the rest of the CIA agents in another) and then, after the kidnapping, it all comes together. The only thing I was disappointed about here was that Sara and Moss just sort-of faded into the background. Once they come back to the US and start going about their lives again, you hear from them a few times, vaguely, but not much more. I understand the reasoning for them not being main characters, but I still would have liked more from them.

Would I read this one again (because that’s the real test of a good book, as we all know)? Yes, I think I would. There were definitely pieces I feel like I missed the first time around. And, like always (because I think I’m an addict), I would like to see a sequel to this one. I’d like to see where Navy, Jackson, and the others end up. Will there be a sequel? Probably not. The book wrapped up pretty well.

Guess what else we have?

giveaway buttona Rafflecopter giveaway

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– About the Author –

Megan Carney is an author, geek and amateur photographer living in the Twin Cities. She has ten years of experience in the field of computer security. Her previous short story publications include: Flighty Youth in the Raritan, ‘Modern Mayhem’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Swing By Close’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Directions’ in the Bell Tower. ‘Swing By Close’ and ‘Directions’ both won first prize in the fiction sections of that issue. The Christian Science Monitor dubbed her self-published photography book, ‘Signs of My Cities’ as having “youthful zest.”

Her non-literary creations include: a robot to clean the bathroom tub, Zim and Gir costumes, No-Dig tomato stakes, StickFriend the bear bag hanger, and a burning coal costume so she could be Katniss for a night.

Buy the book . . .
Amazon

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Have you read Trap and Trace yet? I would love to hear what you though of it! Let me know in the comments below 🙂
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[Author Interview] Katy Haye

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Today we have Katy Haye, author of Rising Tides, with us! So who is she? Let’s see what Amazon has to say about the lady behind the book . . .

Katy Haye spends as much time as possible in either her own or someone else’s imaginary worlds. She has a fearsome green tea habit, a partiality for dark chocolate brazils and a fascination with the science of storytelling.

When not lost in a good book, Katy may be found on her allotment growing veg and keeping hens in order to maximize her chances of survival in the event of a zombie apocalypse or similar catastrophe (you never know!).

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Megan: Welcome, Katy! We are so excited to have you here with us! Let’s get on with the interview, shall we? So, what is your favorite part of being an author?
Katy: I genuinely like everything about writing stories. I love that my brain is constantly filled with characters shouting to get their stories out in the world; I love drafting a new book and seeing the story unfold; I delight in the revising and editing stages where I aim to tell the story in the best way I can (now I know what the story actually is!). and while I don’t like the marketing side of things that goes with being an independent author, I love being in charge of it all, and I like learning how it all fits together to make a successful book.

Megan: Was this what you always wanted to do or was there something else you wanted to be when you grew up?
Katy: When I was about 4 years old (before I could read for myself), my mum was reading a story to me. When she finished I asked her if you had to pay a printer to turn your story, that you’d made up in your head, into a book. She explained that no, publishers paid YOU to turn your story into a book. Mind. Blown. That’s when I decided a writer was what I was going to be when I grew up. I’ve never wanted to do anything else, although I have the usual artists eclectic mix of jobs undertaken to pay the bills.

Megan: Now to the one that has been recently dubbed “my favorite question” – You’re stranded on a deserted island. You can take any 3 books with you. What do you choose?
Katy: On a desert island, I’d take Jumper by Steven Gould because it’s the book I go back and re-read most often so I’m confident I wouldn’t get bored by it. I guess I’d like a survival handbook or something by Bear Grylls to ensure I didn’t starve/dehydrate to death on the island (my ruling trait is pragmatism), and if I can bend the definition a bit, I’d have a really big notebook for my third book to ensure i could keep writing (I could use bits of charcoal from the campfire for a pencil, that’s fine), because if I couldn’t write I wouldn’t be on a desert island, I’d be in hell!

Megan: Spoken like a true author 🙂 Okay, let’s talk about your characters for a bit! Which of them was the most fun to write? Why?
Katy: I reckon I always think that the character I like best, or who’s the most fun, is the one I’m writing NOW. I’m loving writing Clara Lissing’s stories in my nearly-out steampunk series, A Clockwork War. She is so much fun, and I’m now writing the third and she has quite an arc during the series as more and more secrets and shenanigans get uncovered.

Megan: Anything else you’d like to share with us before you go?
Katy: You can read Clara’s first adventure, The Clockwork War, exclusively in Shattered Worlds (23 speculative YA/NA stories), which releases August 8th. Grab a copy on your preferred device for just .99 on Amazon. Don’t want to commit yourself without knowing you like my style? Try The Replacement Princess for free, it’s a prequel short story to The Clockwork War, and is also available in all formats. Links can be found at http://katyhaye.com/books/clockworkwar/ .

I have my copy pre-ordered already! Shattered Worlds comes out tomorrow! Yay!

Want to connect with Katy?
Facebook Twitter Website Goodreads Instagram 

Thank you again, Katy! It was so much fun having you on the blog! Happy Monday, everyone 🙂
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[Author Interview] Patrice Wilton & a Giveaway!

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Happy sunny Friday! Today we have are so excited to have Patrice Wilton joining us on the blog! Patrice is the author of the Paradise Cove series (you can find my audio review of the first book here).

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Megan: Welcome, Patrice! Thank you so much for joining us today! So, first of all, have you always known you wanted to be an author?
Patrice: Yes, from the time I was 12, I knew I wanted to write. Or at least I knew that if I had any special gift or talent at all it would be to write books and give back the joy that I get when I read. So it was my love of reading that prompted me at the age of 40 to see if writing was in my destiny! It took 15 years before I sold anything – so it wasn’t talent, just determination, or stubbornness on my part! lol.

Megan: Wow! That’s amazing! I think so many people assume writing a book happens overnight when it really does take some time. So, here’s my favorite question to ask – if you were stranded on a deserted island, what three books would you want with you?
Patrice: Oh, that’s a tough one. Couldn’t I just have my computer instead so I could write? But failing that I would take a Sandra Brown book because I think her suspense is absolutely brilliant, and a real old favorite of mine is Five Smooth Stones, which totally broke my heart in two as a young woman growing up in Canada – and let me see – something to make me laugh, it would have to be written by Kristan Higgins.

Megan: Is there a character from the Paradise Cove series you would love to meet in person? (Mine is steamy Dr. Sean *fans herself dramatically*)
Patrice: Ditto that – he’s such a tortured soul, but so kind-hearted and loving, too. I would also like to meet Kayla – I love my women in this series very much.

Megan: Any advice to aspiring authors (like me)? Or what was the best piece of advice someone gave to you?
Patrice: Don’t do it!! It’s a heartbreaking, soul destroying business. I kid you not! You have to have a thick skin and tough it out – but if it’s really something that completes you, then go for it! Even with all the rejections and hard work, and lack of revenue – lol – I still would do it all over again. My dreams of being a writer – and making people laugh and cry – have come true. Lucky me!

Megan: If you could, is there a fictional world you would love to visit/live in?
Patrice: SERENDIPITY FALLS!! Cupid is full of mischief and when he sees two stubborn people who are right for each other, but fight their attraction, he gives them a little encouraging nudge. This romantic comedy series was so much fun to write, and the readers seem to really enjoy it!

Thanks so much, Patrice, for the wonderful interview 🙂

Connect with Patrice . . .
Facebook Twitter Website 

Check out the Paradise Cove series . . .
Paradise Cove
Hooked On You
Play Right by Me

Want a little something extra? Well, you’re in luck! We have one more surprise for you . . .

giveaway buttonPatrice has graciously offered an audiobook copy of any of the Paradise Cove series to one lucky winner! How to enter? Leave a comment below answering this one question . . .

What is your favorite vacation spot?

That’s all! I know, after reading this series, mine would definitely be somewhere like Paradise Cove (with a hunky doctor, of course)! The giveaway will stay open until next Friday (August 11th) and the winner will be announced on Twitter and our Facebook page!
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