Thursday, June 21, 2018

RI Author Month: Interview with Marie Force and Giveaway

Welcome to the RI Author Month

Yesterday I posted the full series (to date) review of the Green Mountain and Butler Vermont series by Marie Force.  I was fortunate to have met Marie Force at the RI Author Expo last December and listen to her talk about her writing and publishing journey. She kindly agreed to an interview with me for the RI Author Month!  So please join me in thanking her for taking the time out of her very busy schedule full of new releases and the recent Gansett Island Reader Getaway!


  Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold more than 2.3 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold more than 1.2 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Green Mountain Series as well as the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force. All together, her books have sold more than 5 million copies worldwide!

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news. 



Ang: I just recently finished (at least to the latest release) the Green Mountain/ Butler Vermont series and loved the small town setting. What do you think makes Small Town Romances so appealing and popular with readers?

Marie: I think the readers respond to the sense of community in small-town romances, that feeling of belonging in a place where everyone knows your name, knows your family, remembers you as a kid. As an author, it’s fun to dig into those long-standing relationships for story. In the Green Mountain/Butler Series, there are examples of this throughout the series of people who grew up together. For example, the brother of one sister’s late husband becomes a love interest for another sister. I find those relationships very interesting to write—and read. 


Ang: You currently have 6 series in progress and a few standalone novels too.  With so many ongoing series with large casts of characters do you have any routines or rituals to get you into the mind set for writing in a particular series?

Marie: I don’t have routines or rituals beyond working every day to get words on the page. I try to do at least 2,000 words a day, seven days a week, which keeps things moving forward all the time. I rely on Excel spreadsheets to track the series details as well as frequent re-reads of past books to make sure the continuity is intact from one book to another. It’s a lot of work, no doubt, but it’s also the most fun I’ve ever had doing anything. 

That is definitely dedication to your work! I tried to create a family tree for the Abbott/Coleman clan but quickly ran out of space on the page!


Ang: Do you find any character type easiest to write? Do those witty characters just take over the page, do you have to coax the shy characters to life?

Marie: I don’t have a lot of “shy” characters in my books, especially in the series that feature big, boisterous families. My favorite character to write is Sam Holland, the heroine of the Fatal Series. She’s a DC homicide detective married to a politician, and she’s a take-no-prisoners kind of woman, who is endlessly amusing to write. I’m writing the 14th book in that series, so I’ve been writing her for more than 10 years. We’re like old friends at this point.


Ang: What is your favorite place to write? And what about favorite place to read?

Marie: I write in bed—and I read there, too! I joke about being a romance author who does her best work in bed. ;-)


Ang: Go to snack and/or beverage while writing and editing?

Marie: I’m not a big snacker, but I do love chocolate at all stages of the writing process.


Ang: Can you give us so of your favorite beach read recommendations?

Marie: Well, I hope readers are taking the Gansett Island Series to the beach, especially this summer when the mass-market paperbacks are in print for the first time. Romance is a great genre to take to the beach. One thing you can always count on from a romance is a happy ending, and who doesn’t love that?

I have definitely started downloading the audio books for any beach escapes I get this summer!


Ang: What is your favorite local place to visit?  What about your favorite place to eat?

Marie: My favorite place in Rhode Island is the deck of the National Hotel in Block Island, which is also a great place to eat!

Ang: Do you have any quirky or odd Rhode Island facts to share?

Marie:  I’m drawing a complete blank on this. I might need more coffee.

Or maybe some Coffee Milk?! Coffee Syrup added to milk was definitely one of the weirdest things I have seen since moving to Rhode Island!


Ang: Have you found there to be any advantages or disadvantages to being an author in Rhode Island as opposed to one of the bigger cities? 

Marie: The advantage is that there aren’t TONS of other books about Rhode Island, so setting my books here makes them unique in that way.

There is certainly a lot of inspiration in Rhode Island, and you really couldn't ask for a better setting!


Ang: What new releases do we have to look forward to in the second half of the year?

Marie: Aug. 14: Outrageous, Quantum Series Book 7
Oct. 9: Five Years Gone, a standalone contemporary romance
Nov. 27: Fatal Invasion, Fatal Series Book 13
Jan. 29: Duchess by Deception, Gilded Series Book 1
March 26: Fatal Reckoning, Fatal Series Book 14

That’s what I know so far, but there’s more coming.

I can't believe the pace you manage to keep, but I am happy there aren't long waits for new books from you!  I am excited to see a new series starting as well!


Thank you so much Marie for taking the time to stop by for the interview!  I hope all of you have found out a little bit more about one of our treasured authors! You can find out more about Marie Force and her books on her Goodreads Page or Website.  You can also follow her on social media on FacebookInstagramYoutube and Twitter.  You can also follower her on the newer Romance Reader/Author platform Book + Main.



Now how about a giveaway?!   I would love to share some of Marie's books with you, and I am happy to let you choose the series that would interest you most, or if you have already started reading one to continue the series.  So I will be giving away 3 Kindle Ebooks by Marie Force of your choice. 

Of course with anything else we have rules
~You must be 18 or older to enter (because of the adult content of the books)
~Enter the giveaway via the below Rafflecopter methods
 ~This is open internationally too (though will need to be able to download ebooks through Amazon.com)
~Giveaway ends midnight on the 28th, winners will be announced the next day (I will be contacting you via email after the announcement for selection)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

RI Author Month: Series Review of Green Mountain/ Butler, VT Series by Marie Force


Welcome to the RI Author Month:

I have been trying to figure out a way to share all these books I read with you but still include other non-review posts on the blog.  One method I have come up with was to share the reviews for an entire series (or pair) of books in one post.  I will do my absolute best to keep spoilers out of these posts in case you plan to read the books, but there is a slight chance that even the synopsis of a book can give away the result of the previous book. So if you don't want to know anything at all about the later books in a series that might giveaway something in the first book STOP READING NOW!



I have been dying to share this series with you guys, but have anxiously been awaiting RI Author Month to do it as Marie Force is a local author.  This is a long and on going series but is easy to read and each of the books are real page turners!  The series starts off as the Green Mountain series and then at book 7 it turns into the Butler, Vermont series due to a change in publisher.  Because this series is so long I will give you a brief synopsis of the series as a whole and then share the covers of each book with a link to my full review and then I will review the series as a whole at the end. 



Series Synopsis: The Green Mountain and Butler, Vermont series are set in a small town in Vermont and focus on the Green Mountain Country Store and the family that owns and operates the store. This large family, small town romance series contains a variety of characters from multiple generations seeking their happily ever after, or being hit over the head with it. With the wisdom and sometimes meddling of their elders (and sometimes Fred the moose), the Abbott siblings and their Coleman cousins will find joy, peace and love.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Green Mountain~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



  
Full Review                                                Full Review   


    
Full Review                                           Full Review





  
   Full Review                                           Full Review



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Butler Vermont~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


  
Full Review                                                 Full Review




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Full Series Review: I have fallen absolutely head over heels for this series. It kicks right off with Cameron, a city girl through and through hitting a moose during mud season in Vermont and of course, Will, the man who comes to her rescue. From there we meet the rest of the large family all with very different personalities, managing to keep the family values and peace while working closely at the Green Mountain Country Store and living in the small town of Butler Vermont.  I have laughed, I have cried and I have enjoyed every page I have read. It hasn't quite been 2 months since I finished the most recent book in the series and I am already missing the family and setting.  For me this is definitely a Four Paw and a Stump Wag series, and if you love small town romances, and one with a great family to grow with the series, definitely pick this one up.





Come by tomorrow for an interview with Marie Force and a giveaway!  Until then, check out the Green Mountain page on Marie Force's website, it is full of extra goodies including a much needed family tree as well as the inspiration story for the series.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

RI Author Month: Bedtime Story: Tyler's Tall Tales: Chasing the Moon by Ashley Richer

Welcome to RI Author Month:


Synopsis: "Tyler's TALL Tales 'CHASING The MOON' is the first children's book of the series Tyler's TALL Tales. Original story written by author Ashley Richer and illustrated by Ryan Maguire. The story is about a boy and pet bassett hound who go on a nighttime adventure to catch the moon."


My Review: I have had this book sitting on the shelf for a little while now and Munchkin finally decided to pick it up. It is an entertaining story that features a lot of local sites in Rhode Island. It also had a story very similar to Going on a Bear Hunt, but Tyler is sent to various places to try to catch the moon, but it always seems just a little bit too far away. We did enjoy the story and it was easy enough for Munchkin to read some of it but the illustration style did not match our preferences, it was a little too loud and busy for a good bedtime story. It was also a little difficult to recognize some of the familiar spots in RI. It would be a fun book to have as a souvenir or to take on a road trip in the area.

My Rating: While the story was entertaining and it had that familiar tone of We Are Going on a Bear Hunt, art style is not really conducive to a bedtime story, the colors are bold and bright and the illustrations are busy.  We give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.


You can find out more information about Tyler's Tall Tales on the Website.


If the art is more your style and it is a book you might enjoy you can obtain your own copy in print format from Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Monday, June 18, 2018

Monday Reading List



Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!




Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Red Racecar by Thom Ring
Dinosaur Racing by Thom Ring
Diapers, Daycare and Deadlines by Jan Cornell


 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Three Shoeboxes
Daughter of the Siren Queen
An Ember in the Ashes


Currently Reading:

Pride's Spell by Matt Wallace - print/kindle - on page 87 of 230
American Panda by Gloria Cao - Audio - 86%
Grace of Kings by Ken Liu - Multiple Formats - 6%




Pages Read/ Time Listened
287:43 Hours Listened (9:15 listened this week)
20,620 Pages Read (739 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson
To the Sky Kingdom by Tang Qi
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Dead Man's Walk by Larry McMurtry
Luck Love and Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Reflections of Yesterday by Debbie Macomber
Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
Eko by Loren Walker
Caging the Merrow by Heather Rigney
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Opel
The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
Greedy Pigs by Matt Wallace
Lustlocked by Matt Wallace
Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
The Scandalous MacKenzies by Jennifer Ashley
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
Frankenstein Alive! Alive! Trio by Steve Niles
Frankenstein, Alive! Alive! #4 by Steve Niles
Hard to Serve by Laura Kaye
Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye
Theirs to Take by Laura Kaye
Nightblade's Vengeance by Ryan Kirk
Circe by Madeline Miller
Tomorrowland by Steven Kotler
The Wolf by Leo Carew
My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris
Beyond the Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake
Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso
True North by Marie Force
The Sorting Room by Angelina Singer
Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire
Frankenstein Dreams by Michael Sims
The Belgaraid by David Eddings
The Rhode Island Short Story Club presents The Club
Death Sworn by Leah Cypess
Sherlock Holmes and the Army of Dr. Moreau by Guy Adams
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
Prince of Persia by Jordan Mencher
Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett
Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
The Marriage Arrangement by Jennifer Probst
Fight for Everything by Laura Kaye
Catching Stars by Cayla Keenan
Light as Air by Mari Carr
Furyborn by Claire Legrand
Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
Half Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Ugh! Last week was an epic fail! I did not get much reading done at all throughout all the chaos of the week. It was a very full week that was thrown off by severe allergies and asthma, and a rude awakening from a faulty fire alarm and the following visit from the fire department.  But Munchkin graduated from Kindergarten on Friday and we had quite the celebration.  The busy week was capped off with a fully packed weekend. It is almost nice to get back to the office and be nearly back to normal.

I missed a couple of posts for the RI Author month, but I will be back on track this week with a full series review, an interview with an author and a giveaway! Hope you will all stick around for that!

Here's to hoping for a good week this week!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

RI Author Month: Diapers, Daycare and Deadlines by Jan Cornell

Welcome to RI Author Month


Synopsis: "Are you a busy parent who needs help trying to 'manage it all?' Let busy mom of two, Jan Cornell teach you how to live your life in a more simple and meaningful way with her fun, practical, quick and easy hacks. There are better and more efficient ways to manage both your life as a busy parent and your household! If you are a busy parent in the midst of chaos, this book was written for you!"

My Review: What parent doesn't need quick tips and hacks?! I came across the author at the RI Author Expo last year and knew I needed to pick this book up. It is set up for those busy parents too, with just quick tips, no more than a paragraph, and categorized for quick reference. The title refers to Diapers and Daycare, but many of these are tips that can definitely be used well into pre-teens and older. Some of them were things I have heard before, and many were things I thought were just common sense but maybe not all parents think like I do, revolving around streamlining and organization. There are pictures in the book but they are all black and white and a little grainy, I would have preferred clearer pictures or possibly color. This would be a great book for new/ newer parents that don't have time to sit down and browse Pinterest for ideas to keep their life sane and the children happy. 

My Rating: This would definitely be a great book for new parents, some of these tips would have been great when Munchkin was younger, some of them are common sense and some will be great for the future.  I give this a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.


You can obtain your own copy of Diapers, Daycare and Deadlines in print format from Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

RI Author Month: Dinosaur Racing by Thom Ring

Welcome to the RI Author Month


Reviews of other books by Thom Ring:


Synopsis: "Tony Stella is bored stiff. He lives in the Golden Acres Residential Community, an "old-folks" home he calls "the waiting room to heaven." He hates it. He longs for some excitement, and he knows where he'll find it; Spring Valley Speedbowl, where he was a multi-time champion as a racecar builder and driver. He decides he'll build a new car - but a new car built the same old way as the late models he drove to his championships. But Tony knows he's too old to drive, so he signs Dale Hammond, a high school kid who's just won rookie-of-the-year honors in the track's late model division - before losing the high-buck, ultra-modern late model ride that took him to the title. Can the young gun and the old warrior team up so that Dale can avenge being dumped and Tony can avoid making bingo the most exciting thing he does all day? Can the two find a common ground between the past and the future? And what's Santa got to do with it?"


My Review: I had previously read Motocross Summer by Thom Ring and it was a great book for middle grade to YA, particularly male readers though girls will also enjoy it. I decided to pick up this one as well as Red Racecar, which while they are not technically a series, they do seem to be companion novels with similar themes. I really enjoyed Dinosaur Racing, it is such a great book for young readers, it has a great way of teaching respect for elders and history but in a fun and approachable way. It is definitely a great book for those young gear-heads, a lot of racing and vehicle terminology but not so difficult that anyone could enjoy it. It is an easy read and action packed that will keep the pages turning, and a great cast of characters that you definitely become attached to (I didn't even realize how attached I became until the end). I highly recommend this book, especially for any reluctant readers.

My Rating: This is probably my favorite of Thom Ring's books I have read, I loved the bridge between the older generation and the younger. I am giving this one a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!



You can find out more about Thom Ring and his books on his Goodreads Page or Website.


You can also obtain your own copy of Red Racecar in print or digital format from Amazon

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

RI Author Month: The Red Racecar by Thom Ring

Welcome to the RI Author Month


Reviews of other books by Thom Ring:

stop by tomorrow for more!

Synopsis: "Jimmy Pearson and his best friend Danny Houle have just graduated from high school as this

young-adult novel begins. Neither has a clue about what's next in their lives until Jimmy Pearson
spots a bright-red midget racecar for sale at an auto-repair shop in town. Jimmy hasn't laid eyes
on a racecar in years, but his dad once was one of the best dirt-track racers around before he lost
his life in a racing accident. Jimmy immediately decides that the car is the ticket to a summer of
adventure if he and Danny can come up with the money to buy it from its desperately-broke
owners.

But how will his mom feel about his racing in view of the death of his dad? And does he know
enough about going fast to compete with the current class of competitors already in the midst of
their racing season?"

My Review: I have really been enjoying Thom Ring's books, it has been great finding books for young male readers who are more interested in things that go than reading. I think this might be a great book to read first of the racing themed books he has, it is a nice introduction to a lot of the terminology and background aspects of the racing world. Jimmy & Danny are familiar enough to jump into it but we learn a lot along with them about racing and good sportsmanship as well. The other great thing is while this book is geared more toward male readers, there are also female racers so even young teen girls will enjoy this book. There is plenty of excitement, challenges and loads of adrenaline to keep the pages turning.

My Rating: Thom Ring does a great job appealing to young male readers by writing about something that really interests them.  I know this book will really appeal to Munchkin (he recently announced he is going to be a race car driver when he grows up), and the best part is that there are some great lessons included without being preachy/mom nagging.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!



You can find out more about Thom Ring and his books on his Goodreads Page or Website.


You can also obtain your own copy of Red Racecar in print or digital format from Amazon or print format from Barnes & Noble