A few weeks ago my dad and I sat down to talk about what our characters look like. When deciding on a look for our male lead, we got excited about him having a mustache. (I don’t know why we got so excited, but we did.) I usually write much younger characters in their early twenties, while this character is a more mature fifty, and I’d never written a character with a mustache before. My dad has a great mustache that has defined his appearance for as long as I can remember. We were excited about branding our hero in such a way—and then we did a little research. Our hero is in the military, and my dad did a little research on the rules for a serviceman’s appearance. The limitations for a mustache did NOT fit with the gorgeous mustache we had envisioned for our hero (maybe one as glorious as Tom Selleck’s) … so now, he is clean shaven. It was with a heavy heart that we said goodbye to that fabulous mustache we dreamed of, but we’ll find other ways to make him dashing!
My publisher Less Than Three Press announced this past week that they are closing their doors after 10+ years in business. They were my first publisher back in 2011, and I will always be grateful to them for taking a chance on me and giving me the encouragement I needed to pursue a career in writing. Over the past eight years I published more than twenty novellas and short stories with them. This past year or so I hadn’t released any new material as Less Than Three is a queer publisher and I was trying my hand at m/f romance, but I did have several of my stories still available on their bookstore when they announced their closing. I’m planning to release a number of these as free reads on my website and possibly on Wattpad in the coming weeks. They’re stories that I still enjoy and feel others may as well. Stay tuned for more to come on that!
by Lauren Dane
I enjoyed this story until the end. The fight they have as the climax of the book seemed to come out of nowhere for me, and I felt that the characters blew it out of proportion. I also didn’t feel particularly satisfied by the ending itself. Yes, it was more realistic than a fairytale ending, but I didn’t get a feeling of resolution.
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.
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
by Debbie Macomber
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
by Kimberly Lang
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.
by S. C. Mitchell
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!
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
By Susan Fox
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.