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Author Archives: Dee

About Dee

I'm one of those people that no matter how many books I have, I can't turn down a sale or a trip to the bookstore. There are no limits to what I'll read and I hope you enjoy my reviews.

Featured Author Friday – Rosalind James

featured author friday

Welcome to the second installment in Featured Author Friday. Today, I’m happy to feature Rosalind James. I’ve been reading Rosalind’s stuff for nearly three years after helping to do a cover reveal for one of her books on my blog. Her cover art caught my eye because of how simple and gorgeous it is, as well as how unique her voice was at the time. Her first series (Escape to New Zealand) was based around the All Black Rugby Team (just google them doing the Haka – a Maori traditional dance – prior to their games). She has since written another series featuring siblings based in California and her newest series will be published by Montlake Romance (one of the Amazon imprints) later on this year. On top of that, the audiobook of her first New Zealand book was just nominated for an Audie in the Romance category (for best romance audiobook of the year). I hope you like her stuff as much as I do!

RosalindInterview with Rosalind

Dee: I LOVE the titles of your books – how did you come up with them?
Rosalind: I love ironic titles. At first, my first book, JUST THIS ONCE (Escape to New Zealand) was going to be called “Rescue Me” (because Hannah keeps telling Drew she doesn’t need to be rescued), but then Rachel Gibson published a new book called…yep, “Rescue Me.” And since I’d written a sports romance and that’s what she’s known for, that ws a clear no-go zone. I had written a second book, and I knew it was going to be called JUST GOOD FRIENDS, and I thought, hey, wouldn’t it be cool if they all had “Just” titles—and were all ironic? So that’s where that one came from. And the series title, “Escape to New Zealand”—that one, I’m really proud of. My first two books were about women who escaped their lives and started over in New Zealand, and I felt like that was what the country had done for me. Beyond that, I just…don’t know. I figure it out when I’m most of the way done with the book, because the title has to fit the “feel” and mood of the book. Except NOTHING PERSONAL. I came up with that long before I even started writing. It came from that “The Godfather” thing: “It’s not personal, it’s business.” It’s a book about a business relationship, a somewhat insulting situation that’s foisted on the hero, that’s supposed to be “nothing personal.” Needless to say, it gets very personal! (Including in the conference room. Probably the steamiest scene I’ve ever written.)

Dee: How do you manage to divide your time between writing and all the other stuff you have to do to find readers and let people know about your books?
Rosalind: Man, that’s the $64,000 question! It can be hard sometimes. I got lucky early on with a free offer one week in that resulted in 2,000 books sold my first month, and another free offer four months in (plus a shout-out from the fabulous DEE—really. It gave me a big boost) that took me to the next level, with 20,000 books sold that month. And then I think word of mouth did a lot of marketing for me, so I wasn’t in the position of having to try to build from scratch. Nowadays, I admit that I don’t do as much marketing as some authors—or as much as I should, but once I’m writing a book, I just want to be doing that. I have an assistant who schedules promotions for me, thank goodness. Other than that–I generally have a really broad idea of where I want to be strategically, and then I try to follow the 80/20 rule: do the 20% of things that will give me the 80% of results. I enjoy interacting with readers on Facebook and so forth, and I’ll admit to a bias toward doing things I enjoy. But I’ve never chased Goodreads groups, spent time trying to connect with bloggers I don’t know, or the like—the really time-intensive stuff, mostly because I’m shy and hate the idea of poking around at somebody who isn’t interested. Shudder

Dee: If you weren’t writing romance, what would you write?
Rosalind: Well, I’ve started writing real-deal romantic suspense, and I’m loving that (I’ve written a couple of books with mystery/suspense elements, and now I’ve got a brand-new romantic suspense series for Montlake Romance), so perhaps thrillers? Not women’s fiction, even though I think I have quite a few readers who enjoy that genre most–I love the happy ending too much! What I love about romance is that it can deal with all kinds of love: not just lovers, but husbands and wives, parents and children, sisters and brothers, friends, even love of place and of country, which is something I write quite a bit about. It also catches people at those pivotal moments in their lives when they are making the big decisions—it’s a way to write about both two individuals’ and a couple’s journey. I love writing from the man’s point of view as well as the woman’s, too, and romance is the place where you can most easily do that. And I love to write sex, but I can’t do it until my couple is in love and knows each other well—which leaves out erotica, darn it. I guess we’d say I’m stuck!

Dee: Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Rosalind: Oh, lots of stuff is real life. My first book, JUST THIS ONCE, is pretty well autobiographical. (They say “write what you know,” so…) Some people have said that Hannah is “annoying.” I never realized how annoying I am, apparently! Some people have also said that my first hero, Drew, is too good to be true, and I laugh, because I took so much of Drew straight from my husband. (Who sadly is NOT the captain of the All Blacks, however.) The opening scene, where Hannah almost drowns in a rip, is based on something that happened to me in New Zealand. My new series (Paradise, Idaho) as well as my book WELCOME TO PARADISE, are set in the Idaho town where I grew up. And everyplace I talk about in the New Zealand series is someplace I visited. It’s so much fun to write about my characters doing some of the fun things I’ve done. Emotionally, too: many of the emotional situations are either situations I’ve been in, or are heavily influenced by something I went through myself. It has to resonate with me to resonate with readers, I think. Plus, I’ve always said I don’t have that much imagination, and it’s true. You know how authors are always saying they have hundreds of ideas stuffed in a file? I’ve had 14 ideas. Well, 16. The 14 books I’ve written so far, and the next two coming up!

Dee: Dog or Cat?
Rosalind: Dog all the way. (Don’t hate me, cat people! I’m allergic.) I used to foster Labrador Retrievers, and now I just have one: the one I couldn’t give up. His name is Charlie, and he’s my writing partner and a total goof. He’s 11 years old and 85 pounds of lovable fun.

Find Rosalind on Social Media
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Buy Links for Rosalind’s Books
Escape from New Zealand
Just For You (Escape to New Zealand)
Just This Once (Escape to New Zealand Book 1) (Currently Free)
Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand Book 2)
Just For Now (Escape to New Zealand Book 3)
Just for Fun (Escape to New Zealand Book 4)
Just My Luck (Escape to New Zealand Book 5)
Just Not Mine (Escape to New Zealand Book 6)
Just Once More (Escape to New Zealand Book 7)
Escape To New Zealand Boxed Set (Books 1-3)
Sweet Talk Boxed Set (Ten NEW Contemporary Romances by Bestselling Authors to Benefit Diabetes Research plus BONUS Novel) (Currently Available for Pre-Order – Release Date – May 1, 2015)

The Kincaids
Welcome to Paradise (The Kincaids Book 1)
Nothing Personal (The Kincaids Book 2)
Asking for Trouble (The Kincaids Book 3)

Paradise, Idaho
Carry Me Home (Paradise, Idaho) (Currently Available for Pre-Order – Release Date – June 16, 2015)

And because it wouldn’t be an interview without a giveaway – I’m gifting one lucky commenter an ebook choice of one of Rosalind’s books (must be able to accept gifts from Amazon). Please make sure you leave your email address in the comments. The giveaway will close next Friday (the 24th of April)

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2015 in Featured Author Friday

 

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Audiobook Review – Pleasure of a Dark Prince – Kresley Cole

Audies nominee paranormal

pleasure dark princePleasure of a Dark Prince
Author: Kresley Cole
Series: #9 in the Immortals After Dark series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Narrator: Robert Petkoff
Run Time: 12hrs and 12minutes
Narration Rating ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Description:
A DANGEROUS BEAUTY…
Lucia the Huntress: as mysterious as she is exquisite, she harbors secrets that threaten to destroy her — and those she loves.
AN UNCONTROLLABLE NEED…
Garreth MacRieve, Prince of the Lykae: the brutal Highland warrior who burns to finally claim this maddeningly sensual creature as his own.
THAT LEAD TO A PLEASURE SO WICKED….
From the shadows, Garreth has long watched over Lucia. Now, the only way to keep the proud huntress safe from harm is to convince her to accept him as her guardian. To do this, Garreth will ruthlessly exploit Lucia’s greatest weakness — her wanton desire for him.

Review:
I’ll admit that I was glad to see this book nominated for an Audie in the Paranormal category because I have been slowly working my way through the series in the last few months – although listening to this installment meant that I had to jump a couple of books in the series (from #6 to this one), but the good thing is that while I was missing a little bit of the back story, it wasn’t enough to detract from my listening pleasure. The heroine in Pleasure of a Dark Prince is Lucia, who has been a constant feature in previous books – so even though I did skip a couple, I was well-versed in who she was and some of her antics in the past. The same with Garreth – while I don’t remember specifically meeting him previously, the MacRieve family had been present in several of the previous books and he had been mentioned.

Pleasure of the Dark Prince was pretty much a roller coaster ride from the get-go – the last few that I have listened to seem to be much more quest based – i.e. a quest to find a weapon or a person, than just a straight paranormal romance. Don’t get me wrong, I love this and it makes for something different, but at times, I find that the quest and the characters desire to complete it, sometimes overshadows the romance. In this case, Lucia was kind of like that – I saw the passion between her and MacReive – but at the same time, she drove me batshit crazy because she did some dumb shit in order to fulfill her mission. But since it was an idiotic move that had originally caused her to end up in trouble, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised…

As usual, the hotness level between the two main characters was bordering being off the charts and I felt the need to fan myself in a few places. Not sure if it was the narration by the fabulous Robert Petkoff or the combo of the writing and narration (either way, do yourself a favor and listen to one of his narrations – I dare you to disagree). I will say though that while the romance between Lucia and Garreth was hot, it was the zany cast of other characters who I have come to appreciate – especially Nix – in fact, I think one of my twitter posts while listening was something about getting my Nix Fix.

When it comes to audiobook listening, there are a few narrators that I will pick up book description unseen because I have had such a good experience with them previously. Robert Pekhoff is one of them – his narration has the ability to make my knees go weak in places (which is potentially bad when you are listening while on the treadmill). He also has the ability to make all the characters sound unique in their own way, which is impressive when you consider that this is book 9 in a series and each book has a variety of different characters and many of them appear in other books. I have no idea how he manages to keep them all straight.

Pleasure of a Dark Prince was a solid installment into Cole’s Immortals After Dark series and Pekhoff continues his narration prowess. I can’t wait to go back and listen to the books I just skipped and continue the series. Its going to be hard picking a winner in the Paranormal category, because they are all solid so far. Pleasure of a Dark Prince got 4 stars for both story and narration.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in Audies, Audiobook Review

 

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Dishing with Dee….the Birthday Cake Book

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As I was sitting here this morning, I really had no idea what I was going to write – or rather, I have a lot of ideas of what I want to write, but actually sitting down and getting them on paper is a bit harder. So I was scrolling through my facebook feed (which always seems to be great inspiration for topics) and came across one celebrating the 35th birthday of the Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book.

aww birthday cake bookGrowing up in Australia, I remember my mom having a copy of this and every year as our birthday’s got closer and closer, we would start going through the book, trying to figure out what cake we wanted that year…That being said, the liklihood of getting the cake varying depending on mom and dad’s schedules for a given year. And I will admit that my favorite childhood cake, didn’t even come from that book, but was rather one with She-Ra on it (any kids fro mthe 80’s remember her) that my dad made for my 8th (I think) birthday…meaning, I remember the cake, but not what year it was made – lol.

AWW castle cake There are some awesome cakes in the book and looking through the list of top 13 that kids wanted, I totally agree with all of them. And yes, the castle was the one I always wanted, but I have a feeling if I tried to make it, it would end up looking not so castle-ish…lol. There is some debate about the train (which is featured on the cover) and should it be the most popular – but I totally stand by the castle (and then second for me would have been the piano – that came in at number 9 on the list).

What say you guys – of the ones in the link – which is your favorite?

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in Dishing with Dee

 

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TBR Tuesday – 14 April 15

TBR TuesdayOk, I’ll admit it, I don’t have anything today to put up for TBR Tuesday…as is Murphy’s Law, all the books you request from the library come in at once, so I have been reading lots of those in the last week. But I do have several TBR Tuesday books in progress – a romance from I bought in 2010 and an audiobook that I purchased back in 2012, so there will be more stuff coming in the future.

How about you – did you have a better week that me in tackling your goals?

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2015 in TBR Tuesday

 

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Dishing with Dee….Geoduck – how do you say that?

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geoducks are for lvoers Ok, I thought this one was just kind of funny and wanted to talk about it ;) Today when I logged onto my Amazon account, one of the books that showed up in my recommendations was “Geoducks Are For Lovers” by Daisy Prescott. It was kind of funny because a friend of mine was just mentioning on Facebook how much she had enjoyed the Daisy Prescott book that she had just finished (yes, Jamie, I’m looking at you). So to see a book by her pop up in my recommendations – it must have been fate.

geoduck But talking about how do you say certain words with the first word in the title, Geoduck…now, if I wasn’t such a sucker for cooking shows on TV (I mean, hello, Gordon Ramsey, Michael Symon, Curtis Stone etc)…I would have been like geo-duck and wondered how you pronouced the word? Its actually says gooey-duck and its a clam that has very phallic visual impressions…(as seen here…) – so in general, the title geoduck (which I would actually like to try) is for lovers, just made me laugh – mostly from the double entre of what one actually is (I don’t know the author, but I have a feeling, it could have been on purpose)…I will say, thankfully, that the cover of the book is much more appealing that the clam itself…haha!

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2015 in Dishing with Dee

 

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Dishing with Dee…my not quite 10 miler Cherry Blossom 10 miler

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Yesterday (Sunday) marked one of my first races of the season and by races, I mean, one where I went in feeling mostly trained for it and not worried if I was truely going to survive. It should be noted that I did do a half-marathon a month and a bit ago with my friend Jen, but none of us were really trained for it and in true fashion, we walked more than we ran – hehe! Anyways, yesterday morning, at some time that most people would call cruel and unusual punishment (meaning 4:30am) my alarm went off because I had to get moving, get into the city via the metro and be ready for when the race started at 7:30.

mismatched socksBut before any of that could happen, I needed to take the obligatory mis-matched socks photo – don’t ask me why I do it, but its like a tradition (I mean, in general, my socks never match, but they don’t match on purpose on race days). Then I did my typical stress and panic because nothing was ready – you would think after all my years of racing, that I would actually learn to prep early…haha! But I got myself into the city and didn’t leave anything behind (or nothing that I absolutely needed to race with). And took advantage of the opportunity to meet up with a bunch of people from a veteran’s group that I am part of. I love doing races with them because of the vibe that they bring – unfortunately, because I live outside of the city, I don’t get to hang out with them as often as I would like.

rwb eagles

But as murphy’s law goes, things are never going to be perfect – as we were lining up in our corrals with 15000 of our nearest and dearest friends – over the annoucing system, I heard in passing that the course had had to be shortened slightly in one section – although I missed what it was for – all I heard was that somewhere between miles 4 and 6, there course was going to be 1/4 to 1/2 a mile short. It wasn’t until after the race, that I found out there had been a motorcycle vs. pedestrian accident on one of the roads. While there was no update on either person, I hope that they are both ok. Then we were off. My goal for the race was to take it easy, walk as needed, and just enjoy the day (because in all honesty this was the best day in recent months for running outside – it wasn’t too hot or too cold, just right). When all was said and done, I finished the 9.5 mile (my nearly 10 mile, 10 miler) in 1:45 (so about an 11:15 min mile which I was quite happy with. I was tired enough at the end to know that I had a good pace, but not enough that I felt like I was going to pass out. Now time to continue the triathlon training – first race of the season is in T-27 days.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2015 in Dishing with Dee

 

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Dishing with Dee….what did I sign myself up for?

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A week or so ago, a facebook friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) proposed the idea of doing a 21 day no junk food challenge and like an idiot, I said, sure why not…well, fast forward 6 days and the challenge starts today (Friday, April 10th). The challenge is pretty simple when you look at it on paper. No Junk Food – for the purpose of this challenge that means – no donuts, no chips (ok, well, I can deal with those two)…no ice cream (now things are starting to get a bit iffy)…no soda (err…oh crap) and no chocolate (holy shit, I may be screwed!). Thankfully, you will notice, that alcohol isn’t on that list, although it is pretty much empty carbs when I drink it – so while i’m not going to give it up, I am going to try and limit myself to one drink a week.

21 day no junk food

I realized with triathlon training in full swing and race season about to start (less than a month until my first race), that I really need to kick it into gear and attempt to do something about the 10lbs that I gained post Ironman when I did my own personal sloth impression and didn’t work out for three months/kept eating like I was burning 2000 calories a day working out…

So, I’m going to go ahead and apologize to everyone in advance for anything I may say or do – either written (here/facebook/twitter/goodreads) or say for the next 3 weeks…but please help me and leave me some words of encouragement or if you have a cool healthy recipe you think I should try (because I love cooking).

**For the purpose of this challenge (as directed by the challenge head honcho) – chocolate is defined as candy bars/easter eggs/stuff like that – chocolate milk post workout has been deemed acceptable because it has recovery benefits and dark chocolate (greater than 75%) is also allowed.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2015 in Dishing with Dee

 

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