Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Clip-it


For the past couple months, we have been fixing up our new house, moving, and fixing it up more. In fact we have a long way to go. But I have been trying to write when I get a free moment. However, as a result, I am not blogging or networking much. There's just not enough time in my day. But I have been working on things. So I thought you might like to hear from me and get a sample of something I'm working on. I hope you enjoy it!



Morgyn placed a glass of something in front of her, causing her to lift her head from the table. Steam rose form it like smoke, producing a combined smell of cinnamon and garlic. Her nose scrunched and her eyes watered.
“No, thank you.” She turned her head and laid it back on her arms.
“Drink. It will help you feel better.” He pushed the offensive drink in her face again.
She sat up. “I’m not drinking that.”
“It’s not as bad as it smells.”
She quirked a delicate eyebrow up in a daring fashion, and he had the decency to duck his head.
“It will help you feel better,” he mumbled, and turned to rummage through the glass bottles on his bookshelf. “Just plug your nose and down it.”
She contemplated the glass, like a may grow arms and attack her. Shaking herself of such a ridiculous thought, she threw her shoulders back and slowly extended her hand until it clasped around the cup. If felt surprisingly light for a full glass of something so vial.
Before the offensive odor could affect her, she plugged her nose with her free hand and swiftly drank the contents. The liquid slid over her throat like warm silk. When she placed the glass back on the table, gasping, she released her nose with surprise as only the lingering taste of cinnamon remained in her mouth.
Slowly, her body relaxed enough that she could analyze the situation.
“Why was Rettick killed?” Though she spoke the question out loud, she didn’t expect an answer. “He has always been so dominating in fights. I never thought anything could bring him down.”
“Did the Commander give any indication that Rettick had been ill?”
She shook her head. “He must have been surprised when he opened the carriage door.”
“But if he opened the door, surely the conveyance would have been stopped. And if they were in the forest, he would have been suspicious and opened the door with great care. He would not have been surprised if a bandit stood waiting for him on the other side.”
“You’re right. He would have put up a fight.”
“Rettick may have been attacked, but I doubt he was attacked in the manner the Commander stated.”
“But Cornelius said he was rendered unconscious.”
“But he also said he saw his son attacked.”
In an instant, something Cornelius said while she listened outside the door to his office struck her. “Something I overheard him tell Vidal was that someone would be fine and learn his own insignificance. Could they have been speaking of Rettick?”
Morgyn shrugged, a strange twinkle in his eye.
“I’m going to look for him.”
“Who? Rettick?”
“He may still be alive.” She marched to the door.
Morgyn stopped her. “He won’t be where they were attacked. His body, dead or alive, will have been moved.”
“Yes, but there will be tracks to follow. I will find him. I have to find him. I am the only one who knows he’s still alive.”
Morgan lifted an eyebrow, much as she had earlier. “Besides the Commander and his brother.”
She threw him a silencing glare. “I am his only ally.”

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

An Interview with Samantha Chandler


Samantha Chandler has a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the University of Miami. She is the Design Director for an architectural firm in Miami therefore, she writes her first romance novel...of course.

Rachel: Did you enjoy reading as a child?
Samantha: I have always read, and if I wasn’t reading I was drawing as a child. When I grew, my favorite class was English, and my favorite place to be was my design studio in school. I read everything from Shakespeare to Existentialism. I had amazing teachers that made us read out loud in class and discuss the passages. How I hated to be called on to read! All in all though, these stories in school were my first book-cations.
Rachel: When did you first start to think of yourself as a writer?
Samantha: I started thinking about writing when I read all of Judith McNaught’s novels and felt...okay...now what? I fell in love with every one of her characters. I decided that I would write my own story because I had to wait for her next book and sometimes.... I have a problem with waiting.
Rachel: I have problems, too! What surprised you about being a writer?
Samantha: I surprised myself when my writing was instinctive. It has never been a task, and it has never stressed me out
Rachel: What inspires you to write?
Samantha: What inspires me is reading. When you read a truly good romance novel, there is a moment that you get that “falling in love” feeling; it is well worth your investment of time. I wish I could bottle the feeling and sell it.... I would make millions. So my quest is to make the reader fall in love with a character, a place, a gesture. If I can make you sigh...I’m happy.
Rachel: Do you try to write daily, and if so, do you set a goal of a certain number of words?
Samantha: Oh dear. I sit at the computer and write, and I never look at the word count. It’s like seeing a movie that’s playing in my mind. It’s time to get up when my back starts to bother me or when I feel like I need inspiration. The term “freshen up” was really meant for writers.
Rachel: So true. What gets in your way of writing?
Samantha: Life, composed of but not limited to: a man named Lester, two sons; 16 and 20 years old, an American bull dog, work, and of course laundry and groceries…. I won’t continue because you know where this is going...like I’ve told my friends the extra day of the week after Sunday is Someday.
Rachel: How do you get past it?
Samantha: I think best and write my best in the morning when everyone is asleep, even the dog.
Rachel: What makes you CRAZY about writing?
Samantha: Conceptually what drives me CRAZY is the fact that I would love the story to be an original...an angle left unexplored. This is difficult....I’m still on that quest. When I am actually writing, what drives me CRAZY are the quotation marks and the He said/She said. Uh!!
Rachel: How long does it take you to complete a book?
Samantha: DUTY was a few years because I never really thought I would publish it, and I would come back to it every now and then. I kept the heroine on her way to London for at least 4 month one time. I will keep better time on Remind Me Forever my next romance.
Rachel: Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Samantha: I love the settings, fashion, architecture - anything that involves design. I also like strong women that can hold their own but still realize that love is not a weakness. I marvel at how poorly we communicate with each other and how the truth can be interpreted in many shades of gray when it is truly black or white. Somewhere in that gray, there is a story.
Rachel: Yes. I often find it fascinating that the exact same situation can be interpreted many different ways. It’s very intriguing to me. What is your favorite writing food?
Samantha: Anything that crunches or Starbucks coffee...Bold, a little half/half and splenda
Rachel: Who do you hope reads your work?
Samantha: Everyone. Women that love romance and men that need to understand that women love romance!
Rachel: What is the best complement you have ever received from a fan?
Samantha: One lady wrote me and said that I had allowed her to escape. That was great because every now and then all of us need to escape.
Rachel: What are you working on now?
Samantha: Remind Me Forever, the story of Pierce and Laura. In this novel I want to introduce the OMG Society and establish an origin to Facebook...lol My first observation of the OMG Society: “A man always has a perfect plan, a woman’s plan is to make every man perfect.” Actually that pretty much sums it up, I think.
Thanks for stopping by, Samantha. If you’d like to know more about Samantha Chandler, visit her website.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Dedicated Undeniably to You


Today's review is Dedicated Undeniably to You by Samantha Chandler.

Back Cover:
Fate has plans for Lord Christopher Jared, the future Duke of Darenth. Although he proclaims that the notions of love and marriage are truly lost on him, the time is drawing near when his resolve will be put to the test. He will soon learn that the contractual obligation to marry as established by his father will not be what changes his life. What will alter his world will be the force of his own heart that has willingly underestimated the power of falling in love happily ever after.

My Take:
This was a fun story. I enjoyed the journey the characters took in this story. Of course, I love a good romance, and this was nice and clean. The characters were fun to follow and this is one that had me thinking about it after I turned the last page.

Join me again for an interview with Samantha.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Royal Elf of Abalon by Anna Del C Dye

About the book:
A Royal Elf of Abalon is the latest by author Anna Del C Dye. It is the story of a young girl, Amaria, raised by her mother, the cruel queen Amathis. Amathis jealously hordes her daughters love and attention. When the kingdom is attacked by orks, Amaria is sent to safety. While there, she begins to discover the depth of her mother's cruelty. Upon returning to the kingdom, she meets one of the elves who came to protect the kingdom, Kurzan. Kurzan and Amaria quickly fall in love, though it is a forbidden love.

The story follows Amaria's journey from innocent young princess to wise and loving queen. Amaria quickly becomes a strong, admirable woman who must prove her worthiness to rule. Amaria learns who she can trust, and whose advice to take to heart as she learns to rule. As time goes on, and Amaria tries to discover a way to be with her love, secrets are revealed which may throw Amaria's kingdom into an uproar.

A Royal Elf of Abalon is a wonderful, epic fantasy with a strong heroine who has much to be admired about her. The story sweeps you in, and every time you think you know what is going to happen, Dye takes the story in a new direction to keep you guessing. Amaria and Kurzan's story is heartbreaking and wonderful all at the same time. There are many secondary characters who are equally enthralling. You'll find yourself caught up in their stories as much as Amaria's. Dye's great story is full of all the things that make a book great: forbidden love, intrigue, secrets, wars, elves, orks . . . there is more than enough to grab any readers interest and hold it until the end.
~Cindy Bennett author of the “Geek Girl”


I haven't gotten to read this one yet, so I won't give you my take on it! However, I did have the privilege of interviewing Anna!

Rachel: Hi Anna! Thanks for being in my blog this week.
Anna: It is my pleasure to be here. I love to meet new people.
Rachel: So, tell us what’s happening with you?
Anna: My life has been quite busy lately. I am getting ready for the “Renaissance Faire & Fantasy Festival” which will take three of my weekends in May. I take my books and have fun being a princess for three weeks. I really love it.
Rachel: That does sound fun. Tell us about your upcoming release.
Anna: After the great success of “The Curse of the Elfs,” I’ll release: “A Royal Elf in Abalon” this May.
Rachel: That’s great news! Where can we find this book?
Anna: Amazon, B&N, and my website will all have the links to buy it.
Rachel: What inspired you to write this book?
Anna: Amathis, the queen in the story. She is a selfish, demanding, and cruel woman. She forced me to write it.
Rachel: The mean ol’ thing! (secretly smiling) What fantasy bug bit you and got you started writing these mystical tales?
Anna: It was a great masterful bug and it bit me hard a few years ago—The name of the bug J. R. R. Tolkien. I love Lord of the Rings and that is my inspiration for my Elf Series.
 Rachel: Intriguing. I have recently become very interested in fantasy books! Especially ones with a little romance! So tell us what is this book about?
Anna: A princess of a mankind kingdom, who is so sheltered by her mother that she makes some unsafe choices growing up. They will change her life and that of her kingdom as she faces challenges that she isn’t prepared for. It also tells of a young Elf who feels an unsafe fascination about the nearby mankind kingdom. Against his elders’ wishes, he ventures there, finding heartaches, betrayal, and murder.
Rachel: Now I want to read this tale! Tell us what’s the first rule in building a fantasy world?
Anna: To stay true to the rules. If you say beings in that world don’t do something, don’t have them doing it later without explaining what changed so that now they can do what you said they couldn’t.
Rachel: That’s sometimes really hard to do. Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters wanted to go in another direction? What did you do in such a situation?
Anna: Your characters are the most important parts of your book. So, if they want to go left you go left, even if you wanted to go right. If you don’t, it will be quite hard to make them change and your tale will feel forced. I want my tales to go smoothly, so I don’t fight the characters, they know better than me. 
Rachel: Sometimes people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. Tell us what’s the most unglamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?
Anna: Change dirty diapers and keep my little Alexis happy. She didn’t feel to good. I love taking care of her though.
Rachel: What's your favorite music?
Anna: Romantic, hands down. The Platters, The Stylistics, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis. Soft rock. Lots of oldies. More recent artists: Il Divo, Julio Iglesias, Celine Dion, etc.
Rachel: What other fantasy tale are you weaving for us?
Anna: I am ready to finished The Flying Elf, which will be my Elf book for next year.
Rachel: Thanks so much for sharing with us, Anna.
Anna: Thank you for inviting me to come. I had a wonderful time visiting with you.
Rachel: If you’d like to find out more about Anna please visit: http://www.annadelc.com, and to read reviews of Anna’s books visit her online or at Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday Romance

I watched The Proposal again the other night! I had forgotten how funny it is! If you haven't seen it and love Sandra Bullock or Ryan Reynalds, they are a great match for this movie! Gotta love it!



In case you are curious, I'm hoping to have another Wednesday Romance coming up in a week or two!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Secondhand Charm, by Julie Berry

Today's review is Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry.


Brief Summary:
In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy's charms--no more than trinkets when worn by others--are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason's apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the young king's carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all...


My Take:
I don't always like YA books, maybe because I'm starting to feel old since my oldest daughter is nearing her teen years. Anyway, I remembered enjoying The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry, so I thought I'd give this a try.


I am thrilled to report that I loved Secondhand Charm! I'm not sure why. I don't like snakes at all, but I was drawn into the book from the first page. (I'm working on figuring out how to do that with my own writing as well, so this was good for me to recognize.)


Evie is a young girl who wants to learn about being a doctor. Due to the kindness of the king, she travels to the capital to attend the university. On her way, she discovers that the things she'd always believed about herself are not true. Everything changes in the time it takes for the ship she's traveling on to sink. She puts her education on hold in order to learn more about her background. Through everything, there is a certain boy who keeps coming to her aide. Though he has his own struggles, the romance that blossoms between them is sweet and intense. As together they save the kingdom, they must both decide what they truly want.


Since I love romances, (not that this is considered a romance, but there is a nice little bit of it in here,) I have been trying to dissect the romance in this novel. It is simple and sweet, yet the book is not focused on it. Still, I think it is the not knowing what will happen is part of what spurred me on.

If you are looking for a fun, fast read, you will surely enjoy this book!