Case Maynard: The Interview

YAA

I’m so excited to be doing my third YAA! Chat (Review:YA = Young Adult, A = Adult, ! = Excitement, Chat = Interviews, getting behind-the-scenes with other writers).

 Today, I will be introducing you to super-talented, Case Maynard and her debut novel with Blaze Publishing: THE SURRENDERED. Tomorrow, I will post my actual review. So stay tuned! 

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<—–This is CASE! Author of young adult fiction. When not reading or writing, she can be found binge-watching Netflix or watching NCAA football (Go Noles!)

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This is the AMAZING cover for THE SURRENDERED! —–>

INTERVIEW TIME:

The “Serious” Questions

JKL: The CLIFF NOTES version of your writing journey . . . when you started, etc.

CM: I sometimes think I came out of the womb reading a book. I can’t remember a time in my life that wasn’t full of stories—humor, romance, horror, bad guys, and good. With the end of each story, I was often left feeling that “book hangover” that every reader knows about. I hated for them to end and wanted more! Sometimes I would daydream continuations to the stories, creating new plots and introducing new characters into them. And it wasn’t long before I realized that I was actually creating stories of my own. I knew then I was a writer.

JKL: What authors inspired you to write?

CM: There are so many writers who I love and who inspired me to write. When I was very young, some of my favorites were Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Francine Pascal, and Astrid Lindgren. As I became a teenager, my tastes in books changed, and I suddenly couldn’t get enough of Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Dean Koontz. Now, my absolute favorite author is Kresley Cole, but I also enjoy Monica McCarty, Sara J. Maas, Maggie Steifvater, and Marie Lu. There are really too many to name!

JKL: How do you pick your character names? (How did you pick Vera, Oliver, Cason’s names?)

CM: A lot of times my character names come from people who I actually know. For example, I have a great Aunt Vera, who is also known to my family as Aunt Vee. Another example would be Oliver’s character, who is loosely based on my son, Riley. When Riley was born, I wanted to name him Oliver, but my husband fought it. So I went with Oliver as his name this time around (and didn’t ask my husband’s opinion either lol)! Cason is actually the name that I chose for my daughter, Olivia—had she been a boy. It was a play on my own name, Case. John William, another character in The Surrendered, was based on my father, also named John William.

JKL: Are you a Plotter, Panster, or Staller (play on Facebook, Pinterest, clean, do tons of research…not much writing until the deadline is looming)?

CM: When I write, I generally just sit down and see where the words take me. I do normally have a broad idea of where I am going but don’t hold myself to any overall plot. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my- pants type of writer! On top of that, I’m the world’s biggest procrastinator, so I often wait until the last minute to get started. Sometimes those two things are not the best combination of writing traits to have, but luckily, I work best under pressure!

JKL: Did you do anything weird while researching The Surrendered?

CM:All I can say is I hope that the government is not tracking my google searches. If they are, I have likely been flagged as a suspected extremist. While researching The Surrendered, I googled lots of information on topics like killing someone with herbs, ways that the government might fail under pressure, how to break someone’s neck, and how to live only off of the land. I need a special tag for my searches that let’s others know I’m a writer and not a terrorist!

JKL: Do you have any strange writing habits (like writing in the shower or writing under the covers at night?)

CM: Not really, but I do need extreme quiet while I’m writing. If anything is happening in the background, my head can start spinning. This is unfortunate because I have teenagers at home who are rarely, if ever, silent.

JKL: Which actors do you have in mind to play your main characters?

CM: I love to do Pinterest boards that depict actors and models for my characters. Some of the ones I have chosen for characters can be found at my personal Pinterest here: https://www.pinterest.com/casemaynard/the-surrendered/ 

JKL: What’s your favorite way to get past writer’s block?

CM: When I experience writer’s block, the best thing I can do for myself is to take a break from whatever it is that I am writing. I might take several day or even longer, binge watch some Netflix, or read one of my favorite books. Sometimes, you can be too close to a work, and you just need to take a step back and return later to reevaluate.

Are you an AM, PM, or ANYTIME I CAN writer? As I said above, I have to have complete silence to write which means, in my household, that my writing is mostly done early in the morning. Unfortunately, I’m not a morning person though. I would prefer to write deep into the wee hours of the night, but those are the hours my nocturnal teenagers keep.

JKL: What is your favorite quote?

CM: Passion, only passion, can elevate the soul to greatness.

—Thomas Diderot.

JKL: What do you crave when you’re writing?

CM: Solitude? A best-selling epiphany?

JKL: When writing with ink, which color do you prefer?

CM: Up until a couple of months ago, I would have said blue, but this really sweet friend of mine sent me some purple gel pens, and I absolutely adore them. The one downside to them is that everyone at work keeps trying to steal them.

The RANDOMNESS questions

Favorite accent: The sexy Scottish burr. Oh boy am I a sucker for a Scot.

Favorite party game: It, shit, or bullshit OR Drink, drank, drunk.

Favorite dessert: Coconut cream pie

Dream job: Trophy wife? Just kidding. Writer

Weapon you’d choose for a duel: Violence from afar suits me best!

Go to Karaoke song: Crazy by Patsy Cline

Song you’d choose for The VOICE: Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran or Not a Bad Thing by Justin Timberlake

Most interesting thing you could do with 400 pounds of cheddar cheese: Carve a sculpture? Maybe of some famous Wisconsin landmark.

Funniest thing to fill a piñata with: 400 lbs of cheddar cheese?

Pet pet peeves: Oh gosh, I have so many I don’t know where to start. Fairly OCD here.

Coffee or another type of drink and how do you take it: Coffee, with cream and Splenda

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And that’s it for now! Thanks for hanging out with us! Hope you enjoyed getting to know more about Case. Stay tuned for my review of THE SURRENDERED!

The Carver: Jacob Devlin

I just finished reading THE CARVER by JACOB DEVLIN. It was extra special because I got to meet Jacob in person!

This is Jacob.

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He’s such a great guy. We had so much fun hanging out at UTOPIA—the jaawriters’ event/conference in Tennessee.

<=== We got to ride the employee elevator and get the unofficial tour of the kitchens and offices at the hotel where the conference was held. Don’t ask . . .

**Side note: He’s the one who got me hooked on FUNKO POPS!

This read was extra special because I got to be present when Jacob first saw it in print–first got to hold it! So exciting to see jajthe “inside” of published-author world. And, if that wasn’t enough for this first-time author, The Carver SOLD OUT at the conference!

* * * * 

So, my review . . . I gave THE CARVER 4 Stars. The storyline follows an epic ROAD TRIP with Enzo (the son of Pinocchio), Pietro (grown-up Peter Pan), and Rosana (the daughter of THE Alice—yes, the one who went to Wonderland) as they try to figure out what’s happening to their loved ones–who keep disappearing!

Plot: Here is the short version by way of a quote by HUA MULAN herself (p.191):

“Then let me give you the short version. Hansel is under the control of a dark queen who should have disappeared years ago. She’s trying to come back and using Hansel’s body as a vessel. But to come back in her true form, she needs to gather seven pure souls in the Cavern of Ombre . . . ”

Mood: The Carver was fun all around. There were some darker moments, but overall, I was sucked into both the fairy tale world, and our world–it was amusing experiencing our world through the eyes of the fairy tale characters that found themselves here. (I REALLY want to try Macaroni and Cheese on a stick . . . Didn’t know that existed!!)

Pace: Once I got the hang of the back and forth between the OLD WORLD PRESENT, NEW WORLD PRESENT, and OLD WORLD PAST, it was a fast read.

Characters: Jacob’s twist on the characters was reminiscent of Once Upon a Time, yet he did a wonderful job breathing freshness into the characters and adding lots of twists to the fairy tale world that we all “know.” The characters were unique, and you never knew which beloved (and not so beloved) fairy tale character would show up next.

I loved Jacob’s little snippet about The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

And I’m still chuckling about: Hook. James Hook. HA!

“You cannot win a fight without a pirate, and I’m the best there is.” -Hook p.252

Writing: Grammatically, this book was well-written.

Cons for me personally: At times the dialogue seemed a bit juvenile and forced. And the !’s were a bit over-used. And at times I was totally confused with where I was–which story line–and had to flip back to remind myself.

Level of Violence: There were several moments of evilness-in-action (loved the twists of the good being forced to do evil, but for great reasons…so intriguing!) and some great fight scenes.

My favorite fight scene being when Pietro and Enzo were forced into a joust at a Renaissance Fair! Pietro (Peter Pan) is such a sore loser!

Other Thoughts:  I think this sums up the takeaway of this story:

“ . . . I think it was a big shock when they got to the big twists, but, in the end, you have to realize that these fairy tales were also influenced very heavily by reality, and unfortunately reality sometimes includes tragedy. Even for the heroes.” -Heather McClavender AKA Violet p.231

Would I recommend this?: If you can’t get enough of fairy tales, this book is for you! Well, even if you are “eh” about fairy tales, this book is a great read! And, I must say, I think this book will be even better the second read through—now that I know what happens, and I can follow the back and forth of the story line.

The Carver ends with a TO BE CONTINUED . . .

BOOK 2 will be out next year, I will definitely be getting a copy so I can find out what happens to all the characters as they try to save their world and ours from the Ivory Queen—Avoria!

Grab your copy here . . . 

https://www.amazon.com/Carver-Order-Bell-1/dp/0997010452/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471053590&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Carver

 . . . And check out BLAZE PUBLISHING for other AMAZING novels!!

Home

 

April Wrap-Up

Another month gone . . .

Life-Happenings Summary: April was such a fun, exciting month! I went out to Amish country in Ohio with my mom and sister. Did some sight-seeing, shopping, eating at the CHEESE BARN (survived eating ghost pepper cheese…), and a little bit of research for a novel idea I’ve been working on. It’s about an Amish girl (17) . . . But that’s where the similarities between Amish fiction end. Stay tuned! Gonna be a fun one . . . hopefully!

On the 23ponmrd, I went with my partner in crime, Laurel, to the CHILLER EXPO in New Jersey. I got to see (looked around a corner at him after waiting in line for 25 minutes…) Alice Cooper and Weird Al, and got to meet the guys from CHiPs! They were all genuinely-sweet men. Really enjoyed chatting (being mauled by Ponch) with them!

Larry Wilcox = Jon Baker.

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Robert Pine (Chris Pine’s dad!) = Sgt. Getraer
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Erik Estrada = Ponch.

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Writing Summary: I’ve been busy working on a series I started during NANOWRIMO. I’m hoping to have the first draft done soon so I can get to editing!

Editing = LOVE

Exciting things coming in June: Last week I was introduced to a writers conference, UTOPIA. After some, but really not much–all the doors opened wide–finagling, I’m GOING to Nashville, Tennessee in JUNE!! It’s a long drive, but gonna be so worth it! I’m especially looking forward to meeting, and hanging out with, the wonderful staff and authors of Blaze Publishing! I’ve been able to connect with a lot of their authors through Facebook–seriously, go check out this publishing house (their new website logo is AWESOME!). Their second book comes out May 17th! Already ordered my copy! http://www.blazepub.com/

Reading Summary: I read 9 books this month. That brings my total to 28 for the year . . . only 72 to go until I reach my year goal of 100 books!

Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine: 2 STARS. This was a Snow White, Evil Queen, Huntsman twist. It pulled me in at first, but then I quickly lost interest and ended up skimming through just to get to the end. The characters were okay, nothing memorable.

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell: 3 1/2 STARS. This was a neat, unexpected twist on Peter Pan and Captain Hook.

The Duff by Kody Keplinger: 2 STARS. . . I picked up this book after watching the movie. Must say that out of the two, I enjoyed the movie a lot better–there was more of a plotline. The novel, well all they did was have sex and try to keep that fact from everyone. I did like the ending of the book (but the ending of the movie I could watch over and over, I love their playful, friend-banter…and Robbie Amell…) . . . Overall, it was a quick read . . .

Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson: 5 STARS. I absolutely LOVED this book! The characters were well-written and spunky. It had a Scarlet Pimpernel feel with a hint of Robin Hood. This was the first book I’ve read by this author, can’t wait to read more!

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey: 4 STARS. This was the second book in the series. It picked up right at the end of the last story and continued on it’s merry way. Can’t wait to pick up the next book and see what happens next for all the characters.

Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly: 5 STARS. If you’re looking for a fun, fast read, grab this one. It was a riot! The characters were quirky and well-written and I laughed out loud several times at their antics.

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn: 4 1/2 STARS. (Adult romance). I’ve read several of Deanna Raybourn’s novels, but this was definitely my favorite! A quirky heroine living in Victorian England + A murder mystery = FUN! Can’t wait to continue in this series.

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury: 4 STARS. I really enjoyed this twist on Aladdin (Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves). “Aladdin” made his wish to be a prince and marry the princess . . .  but what happens if ithe genie is female and he starts to fall for her instead? The characters were very well-written, and it had several twists and surprises along the way

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton: 4 1/2 STARS. This was a very unique and fun story. I loved the main characters and the journey they went on. Looking forward to picking up the next book in the series.

 

 

2016 Reading Goal

My reading goal for 2016 is 100 books. (Not including any of mine…seeing as I’ve already read BOUND about 3 times this month…) 🙂

My other goal is to check in here with what I’ve read, give a little blurb review, and rate it–using coffee cups!

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I might also include movies, TV shows I just discovered, and maybe one or two books from my TBR (To Be Read).

So here goes.

JANUARY 2016 READ LIST

A Season to Love by Nicole Deese 

Genre: Contemporary Romance–Adult

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This was the second book I’ve read by Nicole Deese. I loved every second of it!

(Check out my full review: https://janelleleonard.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/a-season-to-love-nicole-deese/

The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

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Genre:YA

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The Book of Ivy had a very cool premise–Girl forced to marry guy, who also happens to be the son of her families enemy–and she plans on killing him! It grabbed my attention right away, but then I kinda lost interest until the very end where it picked up again. There is a sequel that I’m planning on picking up sometime in the future.

Heat Rises by Richard Castle

book4Genre: Adult, detective

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I have been devouring the TV show Castle! I love it! And then I discovered that the Niki Heat books was a real series! Heat Rises is the third book in the series. So far, they’ve all read like an episode of the show. Wonderful!

Jilted by Carla Laureano (a Novella)

Genre: Adult, contemporary romance

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book5Jilted was a fun, super quick read. Carla Laureano is an excellent story teller. This novella was offered for FREE on her website to those who have subscribed to her newsletter. Link: http://www.carlalaureano.com/books/jilted/

Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer

Genre: YA

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book3I was a fan of the original Twilight series, so any trip back to that world was a must. I have to say that Stephenie Meyer’s writing tightened up–I could really see that she’s improving and honing her writing craft. I was intrigued and liked the idea of the major roles being switched, but she over did the switches, in my opinion. Everyone that was female is now male and vice versa. The only one I REALLY liked in a reverse role was Jacob. The character was so much better as a female. Having it all flip-flopped just didn’t work as well as I’d hoped and I was confused more times than not because I couldn’t remember who was supposed to be who . . . And, it was kinda annoying because it was the EXACT same story just with the names and genders switched. I was hoping for a little more originality. There were things that worked for a female human that just didn’t have the same effect on a human male–the car stopping, the blood fainting, the tripping . . .

TV SHOWS/MOVIES

This month I was introduced to iZombie.

The Shannara Chronicles–I was SUPER excited when I heard about this show!! The Shannara series is one of the first adult series that I remember my dad reading to me! I love the books, and this TV adaptation has been really great so far! Can’t wait to watch more!

Unleashing Mr. Darcy–A new Hallmark movie based on Pride and Prejudice. I love P&P, so of course I had to watch. This retelling had some very interesting twists along with all the things I love about the original. While not really a dog person myself, I enjoyed the story.

I FINALLY watched Paper Towns (novel by John Green).

The Finest Hours–saw it in the theater. (CHRIS PINE!) Based on a true story, this movie was very well done! Great acting and action. Although, I saw it in 3D…I was fine while watching, but as soon as the movie was over and I stood up, I had a moment of seasickness and trying to regain my land legs!

For February–MY BIRTHDAY MONTH–I’m most looking forward to reading ASLEEP by Krystal Wade! It releases on February 7th! I’ve already pre-ordered my copy–get yours on Amazon or at http://www.blazepub.com/

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My 2014 Writer/Reader Year

2014 was an interesting year. I don’t remember half of it (loooonnggg 7 months story…) But what I do remember, has impacted me greatly, growing me as a person and as a writer.

PERSONAL: In the spring, I went on an impromptu trip (as “keep me awake as I drive” companion) to Michigan with this crazy-amazing woman/mother named, Sarah who I’d kinda just met (she locked me in a hotel room for three days, where I wrote like crazy!!)..and, as they say, the rest is history! I now have a BFF who gets me and has stuck with me on this rollercoaster year! So thankful! Also this year, my SUPER Editor got engaged, and I’m a bridesmaid. Shopping with her for her dress and playing mannequin for my dress, has been so much fun! Looking forward to the wedding in July, 2015.

WRITING: I spent most of this year editing, revising, rewriting, and brainstorming BOUND. I sent out at least 100 queries and several proposals to agents (Status: Professional Waiter). My editor and I worked so hard this year–sweawordst & tears–and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished…now to find the perfect agent who agrees! 🙂

In September, I finally joined a critique group. There are 5 of us, and it has been such an encouragement to spend time with these ladies. We’re a great mix of writing talent and knowledge–it’s been so helpful! Can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us! We’ll always have SKYLARK!!

In 2013, my boys started going to a new school, and I have to pick them up every day. This put me in the path of Laurel Pardo–a VERY talented author who writes super-awesome TV scripts (Horror/mystery/paranormal—SOOOO out of my genre of quirky, witty YA fiction). Fast forward….Laurel and I are great friends, and recently partners! As I write this post, I’m in the process of adapting her scripts into a full-length novel! Stay tuned to meet Eli Toler–the cemetery Restorer!! So honored to be a part of this project!

I also worked on my other WIP’s…and got a few new plot ideas…So many ideas….:

  • Taken: “sequel” to BOUND–Main characters: Dillon Xanthis and Marisa Hale (YA Urban Fantasy)
  • Endicott: Main Characters: Endicott Keary (Cinderella’s best friend) Della Bentley (my cinderella), Daved Bentley (Cinderella’s Brother), Prince Cyril, Princess Keturah (YA fantasy/steampunk series)
  • Acacia: Main Characters: Acacia Mitchell, Samara Bethany (YA paranormal Series)
  • New Creation: Main Characters: Cayce Thornton, Marco Brooks (YA Christian Fiction)
  • Lines Crossed: Main Characters: Marianne (TBA), Chris (TBA) (Christian Adult)
  • Flip-Flop Kimmi in Tap Shoes: Main Character: Kimmi Joy Harper (Middle Grade Novel)

EXTRA BLESSINGS: In addition to all the ones above… 🙂 Through Facebook, I connected with SO many amazing people/authors who have blessed my life with advice, books (WINNER OF GIVEAWAYS!!!), friendship, and encouragement in my writing journey. This year, I also got to be a part of several editing/promotion projects! I did several book reviews and 2 YAA! CHAT interviews on my blog–hoping to do more in 2015!

I read and reviewed A Christian Writer’s Guide to The BooK Proposal by Dave Fessenden. My review was published!

Stop! Before you even write one word, read this book! Author Dave Fessenden makes the case that the proposal should come first, and that writing it can actually be enjoyable. Dave’s invaluable wisdom saves countless hours of Googling “How to write the killer book proposal.” It gives writers the how-to and examples they need to catch the editor’s eye and nail down the ever-elusive publishing deal.  –Janelle Leonard, novelist, and blogger at The Writing Life: behind the Scenes with an Author of YA fantasy

Through a dear writer friend, I connected with Oliver Dahl–got to read and help with some edit/thoughts for his novel LIES Lies(My name is in the acknowledgements!!) Check out Oliver’s website: http://www.thedreamersadventures.blogspot.com/

One of my greatest joys, is helping promote and encourage other writers toward their dreams–love seeing them accomplish something that they’ve worked so hard for.

Shout out to: ** Michelle Weidenbenner:   http://randomwritingrants.com/

**Olivia Stocum:  http://www.oliviastocum.com/

READING: I didn’t read as many books as most years, but what I did read this year definitely had an impact on who I am as a person and as a writer. Here is list of my 10 out of 10 coffee cups awards:

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YOUNG ADULTbookAG

Crash Into You & Red at Night & Dare You To Katie McGarry

Skull Creek Stakeout Eddie Jones     

Out of Easy Ruta Sepetys

bookRS    Splintered A.G Howard

Spies and Prejudice Talia Vance   

 On the Fence Kasie West

The Queen of the Tearling Erika Johansen 

ADULT

This year has been one of the BEST reading years for Adult fiction! I discovered, and fell in love with the:

Brain-tweaker, heat-felt stories: Katherine Reay

https://janelleleonard.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/lizzy-jane/

BookKRLizzy & Jane

Fellow Jane Austen (& Arrow) fanatic: Mary Jane Hathaway

https://janelleleonard.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/yaa-chat-mary-jane-hathaway/

BookMJ2 BookMJ BookMJ1

Swoon-Worthy, quirky, & fun: Nicole Deese

https://janelleleonard.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/interview-with-nicole-deese/

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Also loved this novelization of The YouTube series The Lizzy Bennet Diaries:

The Secret Diary of Lizzy Bennet Bernie Su & Kate Rorick

BookBK

NON-FICTION

BookJAHBookKIThe Jane Austen Handbook Margaret Sullivan

A Christian Writers Guide to the Book Proposal Dave Fessenden

How to Adapt Scripts Into Novels Rene Gutteridge & Cherly McKay

RE-READS

Cinder Marissa Meyer, Pride & Prejudice Jane Austen,

Emma Jane Austen,

Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets J.K. Rowling

Last but not least . . .

DISTRACTION: I discovered I-should-be-writing-but-I’m-watching-yet-another-episode TV showsarrrow

Arrow (Absolutely love Felicity and her babbling ways!)

 The Flash

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Firefly (WHY did it take me soooo long to watch this???)

Witches of East End

YOUTUBE: The Lizzy Bennet Diaries & Emma Approved

Well, that my year in a nutshell review. Thanks for journeying with me on my blog and my writing life! So appreciate ALL of you!! Here’s to 2015 and all the amazing BOOKS waiting to be read (and written).

Introducing Carla Laureano

One of the perks of living in the “writer world” is meeting other writers and getting to read their stories. This week I had the opportunity to read Carla Laureano’s debut novel FIVE DAYS IN SKYE. It was like relaxing with a cup of coffee and watching my favorite movie. Leap Year, Decoy Bride, and P.S. I Love You all rolled into one delightful banter-filled romp . . . I loved it!

And as far as my checklist for what makes a GREAT contemporary romance novel, FIVE DAYS IN SKYE pretty much nailed them all.

1. Good-looking hero with an accent. CHECK! (picture Henry Cavill with the voice of Gerard Butler…*SIGH) **James MacDonald is a world-known chef with a reputation. He may play the part of “playboy”, but James is hurting and just not ready to do “serious”…yet…

2. Strong, smart, feisty heroine who isn’t whiny, and likes shoes. CHECK. **Andrea Sullivan is a feisty, consultant. After punching the last client in the face (Woot! Woot! The man wasn’t listening to her “no touchy-touchy” policy), she’s being “banished” to Scotland to consult for a world-known chef that she knows nothing about.

» “As punishments went, Scotland was a big one.” (page 9)

» “This is a business trip. Trust me. My dream vacation involves sunshine and umbrella drinks on the beach, not rain and fog in some backwater village.” If she’d only managed to keep her temper in check, she’d be spending the next week in the tropics with the promise of a fat commission and a guaranteed promotion, not serving time in Scotland babysitting a celebrity client who suddenly wanted to dabble in the hotel business. (page 10)

» “Frankly, I don’t know the first thing about him. I’ve never seen his show, I certainly don’t cook, and I can’t fathom why anyone with a successful career in London would want to open a hotel on the Isle of Skye.” (page13)

3. Playful Banter and sparks. CHECK! CHECK! **Sparks of all kinds started flying from page one and didn’t stop.

“If you can’t find me tomorrow, I’m probably hiding out somewhere so I don’t have to leave,” she murmured.

“You won’t hear any complaints from me.” He rubbed her arms briskly. “It’s cold, and I promised you something to warm you up.”

“Is that so?” She turned to face him and raised her eyebrows.

“Chocolate, you vixen.”

“Somehow, I’m disappointed.”

“Can’t have that, can we?” He pulled her closer and proceeded to kiss her until the cold was the last thing on either of their minds. (Page 231-232)

4. Exotic location. CHECK. *Scottish Isle of Skye… I love learning about new places, feeling like I’m there. Carla does an excellent job of giving enough detail without making it read like a page from a textbook or guidebook. Now I REALLY want to go to Scotland!

5. Just enough “serious” to get me thinking, a take away thought that sticks with me even after I’ve closed the book. CHECK.

» “We’re all broken. We’re only human. Some wounds only God can mend. If we let Him.” (page 250)

6. An ending that doesn’t skip ahead to “and they lived happily ever after and just found out they’re pregnant…” CHECK. The wedding, first years of marriage, and pregnancy/baby is a whole book in and of itself! **I’m not going to tell you how it did end, but Carla did a great job with it!

**Pretty much the only thing missing from FIVE DAYS IN SKYE, are scratch-and-sniff stickers. Food was being prepared ALL. THE. TIME. My stomach growled audibly several times, which says a lot about Carla’s descriptive-sensory writing. YUM!

**Carla Laureano does an excellent job of creating characters that are relatable and likeable. I couldn’t wait to read what happened next, but I didn’t want to read too fast and get to the end . . . I look forward to reading the next book in this series. It’s about James’ brother, Ian. YEAH! That name holds a special place in my heart, seeing as it’s the name of MY good-looking hero with an accent in BOUND! 😉

For more info on Carla, check out her Facebook page and her website:

»https://www.facebook.com/CarlaLaureanoAuthor?fref=ts

»http://www.carlalaureano.com

Playlists/Soundtracks

On my list of favorite things, after writing and reading, comes music. I love music. I love singing and playing piano (for my ears only on the piano thing, usually). And, I also love to dance…Although I’m pretty sure no one wants to see that…

I need music when I’m writing. When it’s too quiet, my mind tends to wander. So I make playlists for all my WIP’s. The playlist becomes my soundtrack…so, if someday my WIP’s become movies, I’ll be all set with a list of ideas! 🙂 

Along with a super cool playlist, each of my WIP’s usually has a theme song. One song that pretty much sums up my plot. For my WIP BOUND the theme song is “That’s the Way I Loved You” by Taylor Swift. (I write YA, so of course I listen to Taylor Swift…A LOT…and I enjoy it!) I think she must have read my proposal for BOUND…seems like that song was written just for me! THANKS!

So, what about you? Do you just listen to music at random when you write, or do you make playlists/soundtracks? Or do you have to have total silence?

**If your WIP was turned into a movie, what would the theme song be?