Tag Archives: romance

Book Review: Occasional Soulmates by Kevin Brennan

I heard a great deal about Kevin Brennan’s writing talent, but had not read one of his books, yet. He offered ARCs to a few bloggers and I picked one up. I am telling you, I have really been missing something. This guy can write and write well! I am not such a fan of chicklit or romance, but this novel goes much deeper than that.

You can pick up Yesterday Road right now for the sale price of 99 cents. And while your at it, be sure to grab this one. You won’t be disappointed, I’m sure! You can get Occasional Soulmates in digital or paperback.

Book Review: Occasional Soulmates by Kevin Brennan

Dr. Sarah Phelan is creeping up on forty. Divorced and having given up on the .com method of securing a relationship, serendipity brings her a seemingly flawless specimen of a man, Dylan Cakebread. (Okay, nearly flawless.) She begins to pen her “relationship novel”.

Brennan is amazing at engaging the reader by having Sarah speak directly to us. This is a personal story that she, with her wit and charm, shares with us relating both her introspections and observations on her own behaviors, those of her new lover, and the people around her. The humor is sometimes subtle and sometimes jabs you right in the gut. There is an array of superficial and deep emotion that carries the reader along with laughter and tears as the kind and compassionate physician makes one discovery after another about herself and her soulmate…the ideal man of her dreams.

We cannot help but fall in love with the hapless doctor. We, too, can’t help but become infatuated with Dylan, until his unchecked character defects become clear. The ancillary characters are deeply developed as well. The subplots that are going on in the story are as profound as the story itself. The reader becomes fully aware that this is NOT a romance novel, but a neatly disguised examination of intrapersonal and interpersonal relations in general.

If you are looking for a read that is well-written, clever, and offers insightful and engaging appraisal of love, life and the pursuit of happiness, you will love this book. I highly recommend it.

5 Stars out of 5

Cover Reveal: Falling Back Together by Kristen Mazolla

Falling Back Together (Crashing #2)

by Kristen Hope Mazzola

ETA: May 20, 2014

Cover Artist: Cover it! Designs


“I don’t know if it’s fate, coincidence, or my curse, but I’m still breathing, and my breaths are for you.”
Mags McManus is far from a normal woman in her mid twenties. Being a war widow, a business professional, and a brokenhearted train wreck only skims the surface of the layers of who Margret McManus truly is. Waking up in a hospital bed, alone and confused, Mags once again has to pick up the pieces of her shattered heart. With her best friends by her side, Mags slowly starts to learn the answers she so desperately longs for. But is everything going to continue to spiral out of control? Or is there a light at the end of this dark, twisting tunnel where all the broken pieces can finally fall back together?
A portion of all royalties from Kristen’s Crashing Series are donated by the author to The Marcie Mazzola Foundation.
**18+ for sexual situations, cursing, and adult content.***
{{ Please note: this is the second book in the Crashing Series, and should be read after Crashing Back Down }}
Add to Goodreads


Crashing Back Down (Crashing, #1)

Also by Kristen Hope Mazzola:
Crashing Back Down (Crashing #1)
Publication: November 4th 2013
Crashing Back Down is Kristen Hope Mazzola’s debut into the literary world. It is a New Adult Novel, with hints of contemporary romance and thriller.
Mags McManus has just become a war widow in her mid-twenties. Her late husband, Randy, left for the Army right after their wedding. Instead of celebrating his homecoming and living in marital bliss with her soulmate, Mags finds herself living in constant agony. Dealing with the guilt of still living without Randy, are Randy’s best friends and parents.
Rising from the ashes of this tragedy, Mags starts to learn how to love and trust again, finally being able to find happiness. But sometimes things really are too good to be true and again Mags learns how cruel the world can be as she crashes back down.
Hi! Thanks for dropping in…
You want to know more about me? Well, let’s see…
I am just an average twenty-something following my dreams. I have a full time “day job” and by night I am author. I guess you could say that writing is like my super power (I always wanted one of those). I am the lover of wine, sushi, football and the ocean; that is when I am not wrapped up in the literary world.
Please feel free to contact me to chat about my writing, books you think I’d like or just to shoot the, well you know.




Goodreads Book Giveaway

Falling Back Together by Kristen Hope Mazzola

Falling Back Together

by Kristen Hope Mazzola

Giveaway ends July 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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Book Review: Dreams of Love: A Poetry Collection by Pamela

Pamela has written a poetry book or two. I haven’t read the second collection she wrote in collaboration with Kirsten, but I have read “Dreams of Love”.


Pamela’s debut poetry collection is themed around the many facets of love and the intimacies of dreams and longing. You can feel the emotion and tension with each carefully placed syllable. The rhythm and words will make your heart dance with the pleasure and weep with the pain to be found in loving. Some are freehand and some are set in specific styles which she explains. I appreciated all of them, but was particularly fond of “True Love” and “Dreams”. Pamela has bared her soul and exposed to us a deeply loving and caring spirit. I highly recommend this lovely little collection of poems. ~ 5 Stars

You may purchase a copy for 99 cents here on Amazon.

You can find Pamela here at Year ‘Round Thanksgiving Project.

You can find her poetry blog here at Poetry by Pamela. 

No matter how candid or honest we are, we all have an online persona that is somewhat removed from our real life existence. You read the voice in the words I write, but you cannot possibly know my deepest, darkest secrets, my character defects, my many aspirations, or my dreams. Even if I share them with you in my words, you only know what I tell you or show you.

I don’t usually review poetry collections on this blog, as I feel poetry a deeply personal expression and experience, but I made an exception.

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with this most special blogger and friend named Pamela while she was on a Florida vacation. I was shy, scared, nervous, embarrassed. With all of my insecurities, I wondered; What if she doesn’t like me? Will she think I’m fat and thus unhealthy? Should I dress up or dress down? Does she care if I am in a dress or pants? Does my hair look okay? Am I wearing too much make up? Not enough? What if I say something stupid? What if she bites? I suffer from anxiety disorder. What else can I say?

It would have probably only mattered had I shown up wearing my pajamas, or naked.

By meeting in person, I felt like I was baring my soul, somehow exposed, in a way that I am protected from online. Much like the poet does when writing. I know it sounds silly, but that’s where I was.

Long story short, she was adorable. She didn’t even bite me. Probably cared less what I looked like. We chatted over lunch. She put my anxieties to rest.  It was fascinating to see an online persona animated and alive, complete with subtle personality nuances, generosity, hugs, a smile and a twinkle in her eyes. She is charming, witty, and loving. (She talks about wine, but I was the one actually drinking it at midday.)

She is a sweetheart. It was a very nice visit, and I wished we had more time together.

Pamela and I at the Dali with our dollies.
Pamela and I at the Dali with our dollies.

Pamela B. and Kirsten A. have teamed up with another poetry collection call “Voices of Nature” which you can purchase here on Amazon.


Book Review: “Twelve Days: The Beginning” by Jade Reyner

Click here for Amazon link U.S.
Click here for Amazon link U.S.

Click here for Amazon link U.K.

Today is the last day of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the States.  Although there are horrifying statistics relative to domestic violence around the world, they can only begin to show the tip of the iceberg.  Survivors must know that there is support and hope for them. I saved this book review for today as this novel shines a bright light on the abuse which is often tucked away into a dark corner.  I applaud people willing to write on the subject.  Jade Reyner, one of our own WordPress authors, has done just that. It is not my habit to read contemporary romance, but this novel struck a chord with me as a health care provider, because it deals with so many contemporary issues that affect women’s health.   Marriage, romance, desire, love, domestic violence, loss, and hope are explored in a modern day setting.


The book is technically sound, well written and well edited.  Some of the characters are deeply developed and some are superficially shallow, and that is how people in the real world strike me socially, so the novel is most realistic.  The main character is challenged as she examines both her heart and her societal commitments.  It is a love story that involves a lot of pain and growth.

From the very beginning, it is evident that domestic violence, including marital rape, would be prominently featured. Reyner did very well throughout her story, to illustrate the excuses and cover ups that women employ to prevent discovery and deal with the shame.  The viciousness of the cycles and the honeymoon phase play a part to some degree, also adding to the realism. There is quite a bit of slapping around and throwing punches in this fast paced novel.  Reyner also does very well to demonstrate the emotional extremes of both men and women. There are a lot of twists and turns making a rather common plot interesting to me.

The romance that the main character develops, while giving her some sense of joy, increases her shame as she struggles to come to terms with what is important to her.  There are several graphic sex scenes; hot, erotic, and steamy. Interesting to me personally, were the British idioms and colloquialisms.  I would highly recommend this read for those who enjoy contemporary romance, and those who may live, or touch the life of one who lives, in the shadows of domestic violence.  The series promises to carry the reader further on this romantic journey of self discovery.  I give this book 4 stars out of 5.

Sex: Is it sexier in the light or in the dark? Seriously folks?

image obtained from photobucket.com
image obtained from photobucket.com

I have come upon a place that might warrant a sex scene.  I am not even certain if I want a sex scene in this novel.  Then again, I am thinking maybe there has to be, needs to be a sex scene.

I am a very visually oriented person.  My writing reflects that.  I love the sense of sight and the visuals of motion, but writing a sex scene is most often dominated by other senses, touch, smell, sounds, hearing.

So what do you think?  Can we have a romantic, sexy sex scene in the light, or do we need to find a more intimate, more discrete manner in the dark or with candles lit…somewhere, somehow?

The personality of the characters in this scene probably wouldn’t mind either way, but as a reader, what do you think?

And, do we really HAVE to HAVE a sex scene?

The Storm and the Darkness Cover is Here!

Second book of awesome series. Cradit has other books completed that will be coming soon if you like to follow a good series. “St Charles At Dusk”, set in New Orleans is the first book of the series.

...and then there was Sarah

With great excitement and pride, I now share with all of you the cover for the second book my House of Crimson and Clover Series: The Storm and the Darkness. The book will be available on July 15th!

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