Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Book Spotlight: Searching for Irene

Marlene Bateman



What happened to Irene?

When Anna Coughlin, a modern 1920’s woman, travels to the secluded hills of Virginia to work for wealthy Lawrence Richardson, she discovers that the previous secretary, Irene, has mysteriously disappeared. Upon arriving at the castle-like mansion, Anna finds that Lawrence’s handsome, but antagonistic son, Tyler, wants nothing more than to have her gone. And he isn’t the only one—

Caught up in a maze of intrigue in a tormented and troubled household, Anna sets out to find the truth behind Irene’s disappearance. She is helped—and often hindered—by the temperamental Tyler Richardson, who—despite her best intentions—begins to steal her heart.

But even as Anna begins to uncover dark secrets, she must continue to hide a significant one of her own. Then, her life is threatened, and Anna is left to wonder if she’ll be able to unravel the mystery before she disappears as mysteriously as the unfortunate Irene—

Author Bio:

Marlene Bateman grew up in Sandy, Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they live in North Salt Lake, Utah with their two dogs and four cats. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on Fire Island. She has written three other mysteries; Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House, as well as the romance, For Sale by Owner.

Links:
Marlene's website; www.marlenebateman.info
Seagull Book; https://goo.gl/GaN5vO

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Spotlight: Two Together

Reina M Williams



Can a scarred veteran and a caring young woman uncover love with the help of some unlikely fairy godpeople? Find out in this sweet modern-day fairy tale from Amazon bestselling author Reina M. Williams.

After the accidental death of her stepfather, Eva Bellarmine goes into hiding with a man known only as “Beast.” At his family’s vacation home in the Sierra mountains, they have to wait until it’s safe for Eva to return home. But as their feelings for each other grow, so too does the danger they’ll have to confront. Can they work together, or will their reluctance to love tear them apart forever?

Author Bio:

Reina M. Williams writes sweet romance with a touch of sass, from Austenesque series to contemporary twists on fairy tales. She loves period dramas, baking, and reading. Reina's interest in history began when she visited Colonial Williamsburg as a girl. She has a B.A. in History and did graduate study in English Literature. A California native, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her two sons.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Author Interview: Paul Lonardo



Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)

I was raised in a small state, and in small town, where family is everything. I was born and grew up in Rhode Island, where I live now with my wife and nine year old son. It’s a region of the country where people tend not to wonder too far away from their families, and if they do it is usually not for very long. Around here, you can always come home again. I ventured out to California when I was 19, wanting to pursue a career path in film and screen writing. I enrolled in a film school in Hollywood. It was quite an adventure, and an opportunity to learn about life as much as filmmaking. I returned home after a semester to focus on writing, for the screen as well as other forms. When I left again, it was also for California, although this time I found myself in Palm Springs. I had gotten degree in Mortuary Science and wanted to work and learn the trade outside of Rhode Island.  I returned to Rhode Island once more, wanting to be around my family and to start my own family. There was someone special back home that I left and was fortunate to find again, eventually marrying and having a son. No matter what else I might do, writing continues to be a big part of my life. Writing…And family.

What is your favorite genre to write?

That question is not as easy to answer as I thought. I can honestly say that I enjoying writing no matter what genre or form. I’ve been writing practically my entire life. Early on, I began telling stories in the medium of film as a teenager, making movies with my friends around the neighborhood. After attending a film school in California, I wanted to pursue the craft of screenwriting, and began writing scripts. Gradually, I turned to other forms of writing, including short fiction, typically in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. My first novel was in that vein. Certainly, I had an early interest in the paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy and horror genres. Literary influences ranged for me, but I always tended to gravitate more toward the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, as well as H.P. Lovecraft. By chance, I began doing a lot of ghostwriting and collaborative nonfiction. As much as I enjoy creating my own characters and stories, I’ve found that the truth really is stranger than fiction, and have been fortunate to work on a number of very interesting and inspired projects with people who needed assistance telling their own amazing stories. At first, I thought perhaps that writing romance was something of an experimental phase for me, but it may be something I continue. I’ve found that I really enjoy writing these stories, particularly Soul Awakening because it contains elements of some of the other genres I really like.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

I find being open to change is a form of freedom, and there is something to be said for writing in different genres and different forms. So diversity in my writing is something that I find most rewarding. I feel fortunate to be able to learn something new about an interesting person or a topic with virtually every book project.

There is also a kind of energy I feel when I get into a story when its starts to develop seemingly on its own, unbidden. Sometimes I feel as if I have to keep up with it so it doesn’t get away from me. You can’t stop until it does, or until you catch up with it, hopefully by the end of the story. It is very invigorating. At the same time, once you get to that point, and you catch up with it, you may have used so much energy in the process that no amount of coffee is going to offset that. Exhaustion sets in then. And that’s a good thing, too, because rest is really important.

Why do you choose to write clean/ sweet romance?  Do you write steamy romance as well?

I really think it is my nature, more than anything else. While there is certainly a duality at work in me, as there is an all of us, the approach to writing romance, and the preference an individual has for the type of romantic fiction they read may be something that is ultimately inherent.
My first romance, Reunion of Souls, published in 2015, was also a clean, while last summer’s release, Enchanted Desire was an erotic romance. So I have done both. Now Soul Awakening, which is probably most representative of who I am. I am very much an introvert. It’s probably one of the reasons why I turned to story-telling early in life, and became a writer. If I was any other way, I may not have found refuge in writing. Furthermore, I believe that being introverted allows me to express myself through my characters in ways that I could never imagine in real life. Writing provides an outlet for so many expressions, feelings and desires that are inhibited or restrained in some way. You hear about certain performers, actors and musicians, who are reserved and shy until they get on stage or in front of a camera. I think there are many writers who are the same way, me being one of them

How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published?

Soul Awakening is my third romance title to be released over the past two years. All have been published by different romance publishers, and all in the novella range in terms of their length. I have ten other books, mostly nonfiction titles that are in print, a handful of them collaborative efforts that were self-published. So to date, the number of titles available is a good baker’s dozen. They do vary in genre, from true crime to sports, romance to horror. Over the years, I have written many short stories that have not been published, as well as other full length books in various stages of completion that, like the short stories, may one day be salvaged. You never know. I do, however, have a completed manuscript, a nonfiction, collaborative book project, which I believe will find a publishing home sometime in the near future.

If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be?   
Innocent
Conflicted
Devoted
Passionate
Strong-willed


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Book Spotlight: Soul Awakening

Paul Lonardo


As a small Texas town mourns the tragic death of its high school football star, Alecia is struggling to adjust to life without the boy she has dated since sixth grade and thought she would be with forever.

When Braden comes to her as an apparition, she finds herself falling for Riley, Braden’s best friend and teammate. Has Braden returned to spy on her, or for some other reason?

Alecia’s not sure, but she soon realizes she must find a way to accept Braden’s death and welcome love back into her life, or risk losing everything.

The Power of Secret Love changes everything…

Author Bio:

Paul Lonardo is a freelance writer and author. He has had both fiction and non-fiction book published, including titles that have been excerpted in Reader’s Digest and reviewed in Publisher’s Weekly.

Soul Awakening is his third romance novella. Reunion of Souls was published by Liquid Silver Press in 2105, and last summer Wild Rose Press released Enchanted Desire.
From the Ashes, a collaborative book written with a Gina Russo, is a true story of her survival from the deadly 2003 Station Nightclub fire in Rhode Island which claimed the lives of 100 people, became the basis of a 2013 documentary web series, The Station, which Paul produced.
Paul has been interviewed as part of several documentaries, including NBCUniveral’s I Survived a Serial Killer, featuring the true crime story depicted in the book Caught in the Act, A Courageous Family’s Fight to Save their Daughter from a Serial Killer.


Links: 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Author Interview: FE Greene

FE Greene
author, The Never List/Love Across Londons


Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)

Currently I live in a part of Texas where the south meets the southwest. For a time I lived in England, an experience which greatly influences everything I write. I still visit the UK regularly and have a community of friends there whom I consider to be like family. I haven’t felt like a tourist in years (even if I still look like one).

At this point in my life, I’m counting the days until I can return to England permanently. My dream job is to write full time while taking folks on guided tours of my favorite, out-of- the-way UK places which most Americans never get to enjoy.



What is your favorite genre to write?

I consider myself to be a cross-genre author who writes a blend of romance and fantasy. In every one of my books, there’s always some sort of love story, and there will be a supernatural or whimsical element like time travel or invisible castles or love-at- first-sight fireworks. Readers seeking gritty realism ripped from today’s headlines will likely be dissatisfied.

What is one silly fact about you?

My friends in England call me “The Mad Texan” – not because I’m angry, mind you, but because I’m in such a ridiculously good mood whenever I’m across the Pond. Compared to the Brits, who really do keep calm and carry on, I suppose I can seem a bit zany. Or perhaps it’s because I’ve given them a lift in my rental car, and they’ve had to endure my driving. (Shifting gears with the left hand never ceases to be a challenge.)

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? Do you write steamy romance as well?

Writing clean romance isn’t a conscious choice on my part. I write the books I feel inspired to write, and I write what I love to read. As a reader, I gravitate toward novels which explore magical connections and emotional intimacy more than physical consummation. I enjoy characters who instantly like each other but must wade through a variety of challenges which arise from, or in spite of, their love at first sight.

What other things do you have planned with your writing for the next year or so?

I’m halfway through writing the third book in the Love Across Londons series. I recently finished a nonfiction book for young writers which is currently in the hands of my editor. After that, I’ll turn my attention to my contemporary romance series. I’m also planning to pull a completed fantasy series out of mothballs and get it ready for publication next summer.

Where do your ideas come from?

All my novels begin with the Where. Locations provide my inspiration, and once I’ve settled on a place, the rest of my prewriting flows from there. Decisions about characters and plot are shaped by what I learn or know about places like London, Stratford-upon- Avon, South Carolina, or San Antonio.

What are the elements of a great romance for you?

As a writer and a reader, characters make or break a story for me. I connect with protagonists who are likable but not perfect. How a story’s heroes treat one another is also very important. I enjoy novels where the protagonists have an additional mystery to unravel or a conflict to resolve. For me, the narrative needs to do more than just answer the question, “Will they or won’t they get together?” (Because let’s face it - they will.  It’s a romance!)

Please share about your book.

The Never List is the first book in my time-travel romance series (Love Across Londons). It began as a love letter to London, a city which enchants and fascinates me no matter how often I visit. I’m a huge aficionado of time-travel stories, so I selected that genre as a platform to explore London across several centuries.

In addition to taking readers on a whirlwind tour of two very different Londons, The Never List asks larger questions about what we believe and how we grieve. Where do we find our families? Can loss keep us from daring to love? The Never List focuses on Tori’s emotional journey as she deals with her parents’ deaths. The second book in the series, The Best-Left Questions, focuses on Charles’ strained relationship with his secretive father.

What are your hero and heroine of the story like?

Charles Stratford is a London journalist raised during the early Victorian era. A crusader for the less fortunate, he is hardworking, humble, and levelheaded in a crisis. Charles discovers an ancient pendant and a set of clues which lead him through a doorway into Victoria’s bookshop. The novel’s early chapters show Charles reacting and adapting to 21 st -century London (one of my favorite aspects of time-travel fiction). He is unswervingly devoted to the notion of returning home – until he falls in love with Victoria.

American expat Victoria Smith runs a bookshop in central London. Raised in the Southern U.S., Tori (as herfriends call her) is an enterprising go-getter who is still recovering from the tragic loss of her parents. After thestartling arrival of an 19 th -century gent in her storeroom, she agrees to help him find a way back to 1854.

Despite a few harrowing setbacks, she sticks with the plan – until she falls in love with Charles.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

To experience that delicious sensation of detaching from life for a while.

Social Media Links:

Website - www.fegreene.com
Facebook - FE Greene
Twitter - @FE_Greene
Goodreads - F.E. Greene

Saturday, July 8, 2017

SMT: Winter's Rising

Shannyn Leah
Time Travel Romance

Brea was born a Second, a lowly class of people in the Lexcon society. But she also bore the birthmark that destined her to marry a Gatekeeper, the “superheroes” of their world. Some called her destiny a great privilege. She called it doomed to a cage with no key.

Gatekeepers were born and raised to ensure time remained untainted and unchanged, but Brea saw them as overlords who looked down on her kind… on Seconds.

Forced to marry Gatekeeper Jax Winters, Brea vows not to complete the ritual bonding with him until she can talk with council about how Seconds are treated. She plans to use her newfound status to help the plight of those born like her.

But she never dreams of the twist her life will take, moving her into a higher position than she’d ever dreamed. Will she and Jax always be at odds, or will their hearts bond together as their souls already have? Will Brea change the future of Lexcon, or will she be forever doomed to live life in the dark?



Friday, July 7, 2017

#78 in Top 100 Romance Book Blogs


Hey wonderful readers!  It isn't very often I write a post that isn't about a book or an author.  Today, I wanted to share some fun news.  I was recently told that thanks to all of you wonderful readers, Clean Romance Reviews has made it onto Feedspot's list of Top 100 Romance Book Blogs!  That's an awesome step for clean romance - as this list included any and all kinds of romance.

Pretty sweet, eh?  Good job readers, and good job authors for writing such great books that we can all enjoy without blushing!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Book Spotlight: Taming Mr Jerkface

Taming Mr Jerkface
Nia Arthurs


Melody Reyes is on her first public relations assignment overseas. She’s living life the only way she knows how, with one foot in the Kingdom and the other in the world. One divinely inspired encounter knocks her flat to the ground, literally. Melody finds herself swept off her feet by a hunky, Asian guy who is her opposite in nearly every way.

She’s a quirky girl from the Caribbean in the big city for the first time. He’s a smooth, no-nonsense businessman helplessly drawn to her sincerity and weirdness. She blurts exactly what she’s thinking and he keeps his cards close to the chest. He’s close to perfect but not quite.
Can this lively Belizean beauty tame the Jerkface?

Author Bio:
I live in a country where the beaches are always picturesque, the Mayan ruins are always intriguing, and the Blue Hole is just minutes away. Yet I prefer sticking close to home, reading a good novel and then picking up my laptop and trying to write one.

I enjoy penning stories that span across ethnicities, nationalities and skin tones. I am also a firm believer in happily ever afters. The world is full of grim realities. Sometimes we all need a little reminder that things can work out in the end.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Author Interview: Lisa Norato

Lisa Norato
author, Love in a Victorian


Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)

I am a life-long New Englander from a close-knit Italian family in Rhode Island. Although, I have traveled a bit throughout the U.S. and Canada, I’m homebody at heart. I enjoy my recliner and sweet little Yorkie-poo lap dog, where we live in a small, historic neighborhood of diverse houses styles and churches dating as far back as the eighteenth century.

Most writers are readers. What are some of the books you have on your nightstand and/or on your "must read" list?

That’s definitely me. I’m a reader. I love the variety of reading many different types of books and discovering new authors. I read romance mostly, of course, but also enjoy suspense, non-fiction, biographies, Christian fiction and non-fiction, historical fiction and classics. Whenever I come across a book that captures my interest, I add it to my must-read list (which is always growing, by the way). At the moment that list includes an upcoming Daniel Steel novel called The Right Time, Into the Water by Paula Hawkins, The Tales of Wandering Prophet by Hubie Synn, When Angels Cry by MaryLu Tyndall, The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen, and an upcoming Amish Christmas anthology with a story from a good writer friend of mine, Lisa Jones Baker.

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? Do you write steamy romance as well?

Clean romance allows me to write romances where the characters don’t recognize they’ve met their sole mate until they slowly begin to really get to know each other. They spend time together and enjoy each other’s company without expectations. Clean romance focuses on the journey of falling in love as opposed to a relationship motivated by physical attraction. Passion can fade with time and familiarity, but loving and respecting a person for who they truly are endures. It’s the basis for true love. My current release, Love in a Victorian, is a clean romance, but I have also written Christian historical romance and time travel.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

It’s hard to say just how much of my own personality and life experiences goes into each book I write, but I would say a fair amount. In a way I have walked in the shoes of each character I create, to feel what they feel.

To do that I will often draw on my own reality and view of the world, the experiences of those close to me, of others I’ve observed and/or learned about. This is especially true in my newest release, Love in a Victorian. It’s a clean and wholesome contemporary romance set in fictional Elm’s Corner, Rhode Island, but which was inspired by my own community. The story is sprinkled with true local history, my own childhood reminiscences, and some Rhode Island trivia. I’ve even taken the liberty of borrowing the first names of some family and friends.

What are the elements of a great romance for you?

For me, it’s characters that come alive on the page and an intriguing setting that makes me feel I am experiencing the story right there with them.

Please share about your book .

Love in a Victorian is a clean and wholesome contemporary romance set in a small New England town.

Every house has a story. . . .

Historical restoration contractor Jamie Kearly thought she’d found her happily-ever- after house, until she lost the sale at the last minute to a higher offer.  Attorney Richard Damien has purchased his grandmother’s Victorian, because growing up in the historic village of Elm’s Corner was the only time he’s ever felt a sense of belonging. When he hires J. Kearly Restoration, he doesn’t realize the contractor comes with a bossy lady foreman, but Jamie’s dad has sprained his ankle, leaving Jamie to take charge of the project. Now she has no choice but to transform her dream house into Rick’s perfect home.

Soon Rick will learn it takes more than four walls to make a Victorian a home. And as for Jamie—well, it’s going to take more than a hammer to nail down this confirmed bachelor.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

Love in a Victorian is a romance novel, but it is also a love story about family and home, about the memories and love that make a house a home—even if that home is just you and your cat. I’ve put my heart into creating that experience for the reader with this story.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Book Spotlight: Healing Seas

Christina Lorenzen
Historical Romance

In just a matter of days, Addie Mayfield’s life is upended. Through an arrangement her father makes, she sets sail on the RMS Titanic as governess to the two young Fairchild children. When tragedy strikes, she finds herself rescued alongside strangers on the RMS Carpathia, headed for New York City. Far from home, she is taken in by the O’Reilly family to wait for her family to send for her. With no money for her passage home, she’s brought to the small hamlet of Montauk to become a caretaker for a great aunt she has never met.

Captain Frank Shea is a man without a ship. Removed from duty as captain of the RMS Morrow, he’s come to Montauk to recover from a leg injury. More painful than the injury is his fall from grace after spending his entire life at sea. The ocean was his home and he has never needed anyone. Now faced with an uncertain future, he’s desperate for a way back to the sea. Until he meets Addie Mayfield, a woman who is just as lost as he is.

Can these two people find hope for the future after all they’ve lost? Can an unexpected love heal two broken souls?

Author Bio:
Christina started writing as a young teen, jotting stories in wire ring composition notebooks. Her first typewriter made it faster to get all those

stories out of her head and down on paper. Her love of writing has sustained her through a myriad of jobs that included hairdresser, legal secretary, waitress and door-­to-‑door saleswoman.

Luckily for her, writing proved to be successful and a lot less walking than going door to door. Healing Seas, her first historical romance, is Christina's fifth book. She is also the author of A Husband for Danna, its sequel, A Wife for Humphrey, Snow Globe Reunion and Harvest Blessings. She is busy working on a modern retelling of the classic tale, Rapunzel. When she isn't writing or reading, she can be found walking her
dog, talking to her herd of cats and spending time with her family.

To find out about Christina's upcoming releases, visit her website at http://christinalorenzen.com/.
Subscribe to Christina's newsletter and be entered automatically each month to win a $5 Amazon gift card at http://christinalorenzen.com/connect-with-christina

Other Links:
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