Writing a Book with My Dad: The Adventure Begins

Last Friday, my dad and I sat down and put pen (or rather, pencil) to paper as we started writing a book together. For the past few years, he’s bounced story ideas off me, and this year, we decided to finally do it. Earlier this year, we had decided on which idea to pursue, and on Friday night, we got started.

First, we sat there. Watched some TV. The cat sat on our notebook. My dad asked the cat to write the book for us, and the ice was broken.

More or less.

Then we stared at an empty notebook page. I said, “I’ve never written a book with anyone before.” My dad said, “I’ve never written a book at all – but I have read one.” So we’ve got that going for us, and it actually made me feel pretty good about things.

Finally, we got down to business. My dad, it turns out, is a lover of backstory. Lots of backstory. Timelines of backstory. We spent the evening backtracking our hero’s family, all the way to his grandfather’s military service. We talked about the different military branches his father might have served in and debated the merits of different officer positions he may have been promoted to.

All in all, a good first night, I think. We’ll see what next week brings.

All I Want | 4 Stars

Talk about a girl who can give it as good as she gets it! Tessa and Luke fight like cats and dogs, and while I was sometimes taken aback by how forward they both were in their bickering, I quite enjoyed how evenly matched the two of them were. I never once felt like one was being “mean” to the other, or dishing out more than the other would return to them. I also enjoyed how open both of them were about sex—particularly sex they’d had with other people. I thought it was refreshing to have two characters who had no qualms about seeing other people when they weren’t together, and again, they were evenly matched. Tessa isn’t saving herself for Luke while he’s sleeping his way around town, and vice versa. I think that’s the best way to describe these two: evenly matched. And speaking of sex—woah! These two are hot hot hot!

A Good Yarn | 4 Stars

A Good Yarn
by Debbie Macomber
4 Stars

I read this book during my breaks at work, and it was so hard to put it down when break time was over!

I loved the interweaving stories, especially the multiple generations of women involved. The story had a little something for everyone, no matter what age or stage of life you’re in, which I thought was very clever. My only complaint was the “fairy godmother” type resolution at the end that made me wonder if the characters would have been able to make it on their own. Still, a very enjoyable read that was hard to tear myself away from!

The Taming of a Wild Child | 4 Stars

The Taming of a Wild Child
by Kimberly Lang
4 Stars

For a story featuring a passionate fling between two young people, this story is surprisingly sweet. The family dynamic between the heroine and her parents and sister is just lovely and very believable. There were times when I had a little difficulty swallowing the restrictions her place in society was putting on her, but then again, I think many readers would, and that’s what makes us feel for the heroine as she is being stifled. While thrilling and forbidden, the love affair between the characters is held behind closed doors – I would have been floored if the author had chosen to keep the bedroom doors open so to speak and let the reader into these scenes. As it was, the story was sweet, fun, and fresh, and it was definitely enjoyable to read.

Phaze | 5 Stars

Phaze
by S. C. Mitchell
4 Stars

I LOVED this book! The flirtatious tension between the two main characters is absolutely delicious, and the author has a real way of making the secondary characters come alive. There was plenty of action and romance, as well as a fun amount of comic relief to keep things from getting too dark and heavy, even in these life and death situations.

As always with this author, my favorite part of reading his work is just how knowledgeable he is about science and technology. It makes everything seem completely plausible and I never question what he says. Another great book!

Happy Holidays!

I just want to take a moment to wish everyone a safe and Happy Holidays! For those of you who have procrastinated on getting your gifts ready or who are so excited to give someone a gift this holiday season that they can hardly contain themselves, we’re in the home stretch! As I write this, I just finished my last homemade gift of the season, and I have just a few gifts to wrap this afternoon. Then the Christmas party season starts tomorrow, with Christmas Eve at my in-laws, followed by my boyfriend and I having our own Christmas Eve together. Then Christmas Day I’ll be at my mom’s bright and early (my sisters will text me at least once to make sure I haven’t ignored my alarm and that I’m on schedule to arrive by 7), followed by Christmas at my Grandma’s with the aunts, uncles, and cousins. I’m excited for a great holiday season, and I hope you are too!

P.S. It’s snowing a few snowflakes right now, which seems promising to me!

Holiday in Your Heart | 4 Stars

Holiday In Your Heart
By Susan Fox
4 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Susan Fox has a unique and brilliant way of seamlessly melding sexy relationships with the homey comfort of living in a small town. Holiday In Your heart encompassed both of these traits beautifully – something I’ve never seen done before. I haven’t come across a small town family-based romance before where the physical romance jumped off the page, but there it was. Beautifully done. Watching the characters learn, grow, and compromise their relationship was fun. I haven’t read the other Caribou Crossing books, but fans of the series will enjoy seeing the post happily-ever-afters of their favorite characters.

My only complaint (and the reason I didn’t give the story 5 stars) came at the very end. I felt that the hero, who had been very set in his opinion of a certain issue he and the heroine disagreed on, had a complete change of heart and took the heroine’s side without a big incident to change his mind or an obvious progression to get him to that point. I needed a bit more to make it believable, but other than that aspect, it was a delightful read.

The Christmas Rescue | 3 Stars

The Christmas Rescue
By Laura Scott
3 stars

I had mixed feelings when I picked up this book. First, the heroine’s name is Kayla and she lives in Wisconsin. So do I, so I thought this might be interesting, kind of like reading a book about myself. On the other hand, it sounds like a crime-thriller, which is not my cup of tea. Still, it was a gift, so I thought I’d give it a go.

It was an interesting read. The thriller plot was well paced, a little information being revealed at a time so that I felt like I was investigating right alongside the characters. The ending of the romance fell just a little flat for me. The heroine got over her (very justifiable) fears very quickly, because she realized that was what God wanted. I agree, once you know what God wants for you, things fall into place, but her realization happened out of the blue. Nothing really triggered it. The ending didn’t work for me, but the rest of the story was an interesting read, especially if you enjoy watching someone come to faith.

Where I Belong | 5 Stars

Where I Belong
by J. Daniels
5 Stars

Hot, hot, hot read! Our characters jump into bed in the opening scene, and I was hooked from the start. It was great to watch their relationship build into something more. Also, enemies to lovers? Love that. The hero and heroine grew up together (her BFF’s older brother – another win for lovers of tropes!), and he was a total jerk to her. I found it very believable how they slowly overcome their past together; they didn’t just fall in love and “get over it” overnight.

Clear your schedule when you pick up this book—I couldn’t put it down until I finished.

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished | 5 Stars

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished
by Sarah MacLean
5 Stars

I was just a bit skeptical of the premise on this one (the heroine faked her death and blamed it on the hero, sending him into a life of exile) and was wondering just how the characters would overcome such a terrible action on the heroine’s part–one that she hasn’t rectified in over a decade. But I needn’t have worried. Sarah not only redeemed the heroine, but did it in her traditional fashion: with spunk, charm, and wit. Not to mention plenty of love/hate interactions between our characters! I never doubted they would get together in the end (it’s a romance, after all), but there were moments where I was on the edge of my seat, asking, “How are they coming to come back from THIS? How can their love overcome THAT?” A delightful read that I’m sure others will enjoy as much as I did!