Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wonderful New Review!

In Love and War has received a wonderful 4-star review from Carol Ann at The Romance Reviews. It is intelligently written, but long and detailed, so I will only post the opening paragraph here. But if you'd like to read the full review, look for it here.

"Occasionally, a romantic novel will catch my attention because it sounds refreshingly different. Set in 1993, against the background of a troubled Ireland, with a disillusioned war correspondent as the hero and a dairy farmer as the heroine, IN LOVE AND WAR by Suzanne Barrett is one such book."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Stunning Debut Novel!

Francis DeLuca breaks everything he touches–crockery, his mother, and finally himself. Frank is dead, a ghost imprisoned in a light fixture, able to materialize only when that light is turned on. He’s been dead a quarter century, the victim of a gunshot during a robbery turned bad, and he stays in the bedroom in his own kind of purgatory.

Camellia Stafford has come home to the house she grew up in, to bury her father and to confront her feelings for Frank. For twenty years, she’s shared her room with Frank, its former tenant. Over the years, they’ve gone from grudging friendship to love. Cam has conversed, fought, pleaded with him...and loved him. And Frank has admitted loving her, but he’s dead. He can’t do anything to change that, and Cam is lonely and frustrated.

Enter neighbor Bradley Mitchum, a hot-looking advertising executive who has carried a torch for Cam since she was a teenager. Cam falls fast for Brad, a generous man with issues. As their passion develops, it causes more than a little consternation from Frank who desperately wants her himself.

Paramour is a stunning debut novel by Margaret Ethridge, and I predict a bright future for this accomplished writer.

I’m not a reader of paranormal as I usually don’t like the woo-woo parts or the unrealistic portals, but Ms. Ethridge’s realistic setting and sassy dialogue sucked me right into the story and kept me there throughout. Cam is delightful, and Brad is a jewel, but Frank stole my heart with his macho yet tender image. Each of these three characters shows growth, essential, in my opinion, for creating memorable characters. I guarantee you won’t be able to put this book down. Everything about Paramour–the setting, the dialogue, the pacing and the hot sexy scenes, and most of all three of the most interesting characters you could want to meet plus a surprise ending–will keep this story in your mind long after the final page is turned.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review of Harvest Moon by Robyn Carr

This book won't be released until 2/22/11, but I had a chance to read the ARC. It is superb!

This was my first Robyn Carr novel, but it certainly won’t be my last. I loved Harvest Moon! Great writing, wonderful characters and a meaty story to sink your teeth into, so to speak.

This newest Virgin River story features Kelly Mattock, sous chef at a post San Francisco restaurant, who receives some distressing news, awakens in the hospital and is told she must simplify her life. She retreats to her sister’s old Victorian home in Virgin River. Along the way, she stops at the local bar and meets handsome Lief Holbrook, a new Virgin River resident. Two martinis mixed with her prescription drugs knock her for a loop and Lief offers to drive her to her sister’s.

Jillian has converted her property to an organic garden. The house she shares with Colin. Both are happy to have Kelly there and anxious to help in any way they can. Widower, Lief is fascinated by Kelly, but he’s having his own difficulties parenting stepdaughter Courtney, now in her Goth mode. Still he stops by to see how she’s doing.

Once at Jillian’s Kelly takes over her sister’s kitchen and soon a mouthwatering array of soups, sauces, preserves and more pour out of the kitchen. Kelly at first feels she needs to find a job, but soon she discovers the joy in cooking in her sister’s kitchen and offering her food items to the locals. Jillian encourages her and plans for a joint venture between the two.

Meanwhile, Lief becomes more and more interested in Kelly. The feeling is mutual, however, Courtney’s problems threaten to keep them apart. Lief and Courtney visit a counselor, Lief introduces his daughter to horseback riding with Lilly, a wise Native American. Gradually, Courtney begins to change, but she remains unfriendly to Kelly. How they work it out is part of the beauty of this story.

Ms. Carr’s characters sparkle. Even the secondary characters are pure gold. Her knowledge of human nature makes Kelly’s, Lief’s and Courtney’s journeys very, very special. While this is a romance, the sex doesn’t overwhelm the wonderful story. Each character seems perfect in their role and there’s enough interest to keep the pages turning. The talented Ms. Carr deals with the various situations with compassion and realism which makes Harvest Moon a superb read.
Brava Ms. Carr, you are on my automatic read list.

Blogging today at Deanna Jewell

Today I'm blogging at Deanna Jewells Tidbits with an author interview. Here I explain a little more about the inspiration behind In Love and War, where I get my ideas, the writing process and more.

Also, I'm giving away a pair of hand-crafted sterling silver Celtic Spiral earrings to a commenter who correctly answers these questions:

1. What is the name of Meaghann's cat?
2. Meaghann's brother spends a night in jail. In which town or city is the jail located?

The winner will be chosen in a drawing on March 1st.

warrenstrandceltic spiral earringstimoleague abbey

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wonderful new review for In Love and War!

I am dancing with excitement. Got this review on Amazon for In Love and War.

"It's been a long time since a book so caught my heart that I skip doing my taxes, practicing my harp, and doing the dishes just to read another chapter. It's one of those great, old-fashioned love stories, delicious but not overdone, and very, very real, with interesting characters and lots of "sparks."

"The setting is a small village in beautiful, green Ireland, complete with unique people, church, pub, and Meaghann's dairy farm. And injured journalist Quinn Lawlor, who is heart-wrenching and gorgeous.

"This novel is a fine example of the "wish-they-still-published-books-like this" variety: unput-downable and unforgettable."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Late Harvest ON SALE!

Just want to let everyone know that Turquoise Morning Press is offering their 10 best-selling books at 20% off at All Romance Ebooks. You can buy a digital edition of Late Harvest or to see the rest of the offerings with links to purchase, go here. This sale is good for two weeks only.

And don't forget, In Love and War releases on Monday and I'll be blogging at the British Romance Fiction Blogspot where commenters will be able to win a pair of sterling silver Celtic spiral earrings crafted by me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Best Romantic Suspense Story I've Read Recently.

I just finished reading Blood Stains by multi-published author Sharon Sala and I admit to being absolutely blown away by how good this book is. It’s actually my first Sala book, though I’ve long known about her from RWA affiliation.

The story about three daughters of a Montana rancher who discover the man and woman they thought were their parents are not, and that they aren’t even related to each other, is shocking, but sets in motion a quest to discover their pasts. This is middle daughter Maria’s story, and I assume two more books will follow.

The story opens with the death of the man they considered their father. At the reading of the will, they learn he has kept their true parentage from them, but now feels they have a right to know from who, and where, they came. Maria and her sisters have grown up on the ranch, and each has a hand in its operation. Maria is the horse trainer, the pragmatist, the action gal. She learns through a diary left by her “father” that she is the daughter of a prostitute, and she is the only witness to her mother’s brutal murder. Maria has blanked out the first four years of her life and remembers nothing, but now she’s on a mission to Tulsa to find out about her past.

Homicide Detective Bodie Scott meets maria and is persuaded to open the cold case which opens a world of danger to Maria and Bodie and others from her past.

Ms. Sala does a superb job of keeping the action front and center in this highly charged story. The action is nonstop, the plot moves along at a pace designed to keep the reader turning pages. I’m impressed with the author’s attention to detail, delivery of information and plot points. All the details are presented, then tied up into a logical and thrilling conclusion. Her secondary characters create interest and come across as real people, and the villain is chillingly evil.

Sala excels at storytelling. There are no dull moments in this gripping suspense, no filler. Just great plotting and a tightly woven story. In fact, it’s one of the best romantic suspense stories I’ve read in the last two years. Kudos to Ms. Sala for an un-put-downable read. Her book releases on January 21st.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I am so excited!

In Love and War, my contemporary dramatic novel set in Ireland is now showing up on Amazon as available to order. This is truly a book of my heart and one I despaired of ever selling because New York wasn't interested in stories about the Irish political conflict.

Now, at last, it's coming out and shortly I'll be holding a copy in my hands.

It's a story I researched extensively, and which included spending many winter days in the County Waterford town of Cappoquin. Not many Americans go to Ireland during the winter, and I have to admit, we were the only ones we saw.

I'll never forget the day we drove down from Shannon to Cappoquin, stopped at a market for food supplies and looked with dismay at the selection of veggies. There were potatoes, cabbages and a few carrots...and nothing else! However, there were other delights: fresh-baked brown bread brought in by a local farm woman, the best dairy products I've ever tasted, wonderful cheeses and the best lamb you could eat.

I made lamb stew for our first night, and we warmed our toes by a real turf fire, having purchased the untreated sods at a local filling station.

In Love and War is available now in the trade paperback edition (with its gorgeous cover!), later will appear in Kindle and various e-book formats. Stay tuned for upcoming guest blog appearances and a chance to win a pair of sterling silver Celtic spiral earrings. (Made by me, of course.)