Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review: Somewhere Only We Know – Erin Lawless

18040689Poppy - Blurb

Boy meets girl…

Alex Bradley can’t help but feel that life is rather passing him by. And not just life – promotions, invitations, romance; the girl he loves only has eyes for his flatmate and his 9-5 job as the Immigration department skivvy is slowly numbing his soul. Until he meets Nadia.

Girl meets boy…

Nadia Osipova is running out of time. With no money, no lawyer and a totally fictitious boyfriend, she’s got one last summer and one last appeal before the British government deport her back to Russia.

Girl gets deported?

It’s going to be a bumpy ride, one she’s dragging her new friend Alex along for. As Nadia races through a list of all her favourite London adventures, for what may be the last time, Alex can’t help but start to see the city, and his life, through Nadia’s eyes.

From hazy summer days on the Common and heady nights in Soho’s basement bars, to twilight walks along the Southbank, will Alex realise what he’s got before it’s too late?

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Somewhere Only We KnowI was looking forward to reading ‘Somewhere Only We Know’. Its vivid characters, well researched setting and original take on girl meets boy, met all my expectations.

Nadia and Alex are complex, believable characters, Yin and Yang drawn together in a serendipitous way, they gradually discover what’s been missing in their lives.

Nadia is likeable and despite her looming problems, reaches out to Alex shows him how to enjoy life. Alex is hiding secrets that may damage their fledgling relationship. Their London and south coast adventures are entertaining, realistic and make their growing attraction inevitable to everyone, including the reader, but not themselves.

The supporting cast are equally vibrant and showcase the main characters, without upstaging them. I would like to see what happens to Caro, Holly and Rory in another book, perhaps?

This is a story of young, sometimes emotionally immature adults. The romance is gentle and illuminates rather than dominates the story.

A great holiday read.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Somewhere Only We Know by Erin Lawless

Somewhere Only We Know by Erin Lawless

Erin Lawless

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5* Review The Dress – Eve Devon – Magical Weddings

MagicalWeddings-SetCover4721790_origPoppy - BlurbTwo couples, 400 years apart. From a masquerade ball in Venice 1615 to a wedding in England 2015, can a dress laced with magic weave its spell through the fabric of time?

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Like the beautiful lace dress featured; this story is an intricate weave of contemporary, historical and paranormal. Four hundred years, separates the characters but they share more than similar names. Both stories are interesting with vivid imagery drawn together by a shared magical theme. The romance is sweet and the plot captivating, making this a fairytale read.

Posted in Inspiration, My Dogs

Hello Summer

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Oriental Poppies in my garden. (June 2015)
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Romantic Red Roses

It’s so lovely to  find a few minutes  to spend on my blog. Overwhelmed with house renovations and requests for book reviews. I haven’t had time to share my thoughts on anything else with you.

As Summer has finally made an appearance this week in Pleasley, I thought  I would share some recent photos.

DSCN9765 (3)
Oriental Poppy

 After much planning and deliberation we have started our renovations, hopefully  they will all be completed before my little grandchild arrives in October.

 Living in a new house meant nothing,  thankfully needed doing before. Now I spend more time painting than writing, which is a shame but  it’s worth it. 🙂

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Buttercups on the trail

Jazz my lovely dog celebrated his birthday last Sunday, he is now 11 and still full of fun.

Jazz is now 11
Jazz is now 11

 As I finish writing this  it has started raining …. so much for Summer then. 😉

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Posted in Book Review

5* Review: Guernsey Retreat – Anne Allen (The Guernsey Novels #3)

22841810Poppy - BlurbTwo violent deaths. Separated by time, but with a fatal connection…

A man loses his father. A young woman loses her mother. Both in tragic circumstances that lead, when they meet, to surprising revelations from the past.
Louisa needs to find the father she has never known, to warn him of possible danger – for them both. Her search takes her from England to Guernsey. Malcolm’s journey is more tortuous: conceived in Guernsey, he travels to Canada as a baby with his bereaved mother. Many years later he arrives in India, and from here he is led back to Guernsey to open a health centre at La Folie. This was his father’s home, where Malcolm was conceived, but never lived and where his father was killed at the start of the Second World War.
At the heart of the two deaths lie stolen jewels. Valuable enough to kill for. Twice.
Finding her father brings Louisa more than she bargains for, and her life is transformed, while Malcolm learns that life is, after all, for sharing…

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Flowers - My Review

Guernsey RetreatThis third book in ‘The Guernsey Novels series is as atmospheric, as the previous two stories. There are two deaths; one historical and one present-day, which force a meeting between Louisa and Malcolm, altering both their lives. The characters are interesting and believable, the setting a delight.

The author’s knowledge of Guernsey and the other Channel Islands gives the story another compelling dimension. This is a must read.
The historical events and their significance are weaved seamlessly into the contemporary plot. There is a welcome return of some characters from ‘Dangerous Waters’ and Finding Mother in cameo roles, which enrich the story.

The plot is easy to follow and provides a perfect foil for the characters to develop, grow and interact. There is intrigue and menace and a myriad of emotions as Louisa balances what she has lost and found and Malcolm tries to make amends for a youthful, foolish mistake. A sweet romance lightens the angst.

I liked the friendship between Louisa and Charlotte and look forward to reading Charlotte’s tale next.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Guernsey Retreat by Anne Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Guernsey Retreat by Anne  Allen

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5* Review : Hiraeth Phoenix – Hiraeth

25155889Blurb - FlowerHow often do things end in life and you wish for just one more conversation, one chance to say what you needed to say, ask what has been burning in your heart, and hear the other side of what it was really like, who you really were? Poetry, prose and essays take you through the journey of Hiraeth and Phoenix. They choose to give each other the gift of the other side of the story and what follows is a dialogue that cuts to the core of the reality they created and called their own.

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Flowers - My Review

Hiraeth PhoenixWhen a marriage ends, it stirs up a multitude of emotions, not only in the couple but also their families and friends. ‘Hiraeth Phoenix’, explores these emotions from Phoenix’s and Hiraeth’s perspective. Written in poetry and prose, this is a poignant, yet easy to read story. It is like reading diary; the observations and emotions are honest and intimate.

Packed with emotion, this short read is hard to put down, it draws you in and lets you relive Hiraeth’s and Phoenix’s love story, through their eyes.
Accusations, complacency and desperation give way to acceptance, forgiveness and hope. The author cleverly uses poetry to reinforce the messages implicit in the previous chapters of prose.

This story is original and realistic and worth reading.

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Hiraeth Phoenix by Hiraeth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Hiraeth Phoenix by Hiraeth

Hiraeth

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Her Wedding Wager – Leigh Michaels – Magical Weddings

WeddingWager-cover webPoppy - BlurbUnless Celia can marry a titled gentleman before Lady Stone’s house party ends, she’ll end up in an arranged marriage with her distant cousin Simon. It’s Simon who’s wagered she can’t win the most important bet of her life, so why is he the only one who can hold her attention?
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Flowers - My Review
This story epitomises Regency England. Celia, the intelligent heroine who can’t see what is under her nose. Simon, the dashing, if slightly cynical hero, a tableau of demure ladies seeking wealth and title pursued by well heeled gentleman seeking dowry and the perfect society wife. There is intrigue and deception; it seems some will go to any lengths to achieve their goal. A scandalous wager between our hero and heroine adds spice to the house party,  which has a lovely happy ending.

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Leigh shares with us, Magical Weddings’ beginnings…

As a writing teacher, I’ve always been fascinated at the results when I give a writing prompt to a group of authors. There are as many different directions and interpretations – and stories – as there are writers in the group, and the creativity always astounds me.
So when the idea of Magical Weddings was proposed, I knew it was going to be a winner. Each story in this collection of 15 enchanting happily-ever-afters involves something magical, either real or metaphorical, and a wedding. But all 15 are dramatically different.

In this boxed set there is something for everyone – from historical to contemporary and from witches and ghosts to the enchantment of eyes meeting across a crowded room.

Whether real or only in the hearts of the bride and groom, the magic of weddings is undeniable, and irresistible – as these 15 enchanting happily-ever-afters by bestselling and award-winning authors prove. From sweet to spicy, the romances bundled into Magical Weddings cross time and unite hearts, cast spells of laughter, battle wedding jitters and fight back tears, while weaving love’s hopeful magic throughout 1400 pages.

Apart from Leigh Michaels’ Her Wedding Wager, you can enjoy stories from:

The Last Wedding at Drayhome (Breens Mist Witches) by Aileen Harkwood, author of paranormal and fantasy romance. Never underestimate the power of a witch and warlock in love who have nothing left to lose.

The Dress by Eve Devon. Two couples, 400 years apart. From a masquerade ball in Venice 1615 to a wedding in England 2015, can a dress laced with magic weave its spell through the fabric of time?

Second Chance Bride by Raine English, USA Today bestselling and Award-winning author. She thinks she’s marrying the man of her dreams, until a telepathic rescue dog leads her to someone else… Will this bride-to-be say “I do” to the wrong man?

Two Hearts Surrendered by Tamara Ferguson, Bestselling and Award-winning author. After years of fighting their feelings, Kelly and Luke share a night of passion at her sister’s wedding. But will one night of enchantment be strong enough magic for Luke to surrender his heart to the woman he loves – once this military hero returns home as a disheartened wounded warrior?

Something Borrowed, Something Blue by Lynda Haviland. She has a wedding to crash–until love gets in the way!

Heart of the Secret (Witches of Lane County) by Jody A. Kessler, Bestselling and Award-winning author of new adult paranormal romance. A 500 year-old curse, a witch who will do anything to marry her one true love, and the heart of a secret that will either divide them or bring them together…forever.

The Jealous Love of a Scoundrel by Jane Lark, National bestselling author of Regency historical and new adult romance. How do you fight a calling that comes from your soul?

A Wedding Across the Winds of Time by Bess McBride, National bestselling author of time travel romance. Darius and Molly found each other Across the Winds of Time. Now, it’s time for their wedding!

Kiss This by L.L. Muir, National bestselling and Award-winning author. You never expect the florist to catch the bouquet…

Caution is a Virtue by Jennifer Gilby Roberts, author of Regency romance and women’s fiction. How much is too much to risk for love?

Loving Lindy by Jan Romes. In order to become the bank’s new Vice President, Gunther Justin has to be “settled.” With Lindy McPherson posing as his fiancé everything is set to go off without a hitch–until real feelings get in the way.

With this Kiss by Heather Thurmeier. Can a simple kiss under the Bridge of Sighs wield enough magic to reunite former lovers, or will what happens in Vegas simply stay in Vegas?

Real Magic by Elsa Winckler. She’s the bridesmaid, he’s a best man. Will the magical evening stay just that or will it turn out to be real after all?

The Wedding Guests (A Tassamara Short Story) by Sarah Wynde. When unexpected guests attend Akira and Zane’s wedding, lives will change forever. But for better or for worse?

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

Real Magic – Elsa Winckler- Inspiration – Magical Weddings

I really like the inspiration behind ‘Real Magic’ by Elsa Winckler, another charming story from the Magical Wedding series.

Real magic cover
Poppy - BlurbAs a sous chef in a busy restaurant, Carly’s days are full. Her free time is taken up by baking cakes for those less fortunate and spending time with friends and family – she is not looking for love.
And then on her way to her cousin’s wedding an angry, gorgeous man with one blue and one brown eye nearly runs her over in the street. And she remembers a previous wedding twenty-two years ago when the family psychic predicted that she would one day marry a man with one eye the colour of the sky and one the colour of chocolate.
When the man who almost ran her over turns out to be the best man the evening becomes surreal. Carly knows, though, that whatever she is feeling isn’t real. She has already lost her one shoe, by tomorrow her Prince Charming will be gone, she’ll be back in her kitchen and the magic will have disappeared.

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So what’s the inspiration behind Elsa’s Cinderella fairy-tale?

‘I live in South Africa, a beautiful country with so many possibilities and so many wonderful, creative people in it.  I read an article about someone who, instead of complaining, tries to do her little bit to improve the lives of those less fortunate. And what she can do, is to bake. So each day she bakes a cake, goes out to those less fortunate and gives them a cake, because, as she says in her blog – everyone deserves cake made with love!
And of course, this had me thinking – what if …

She’s a bridesmaid, he’s a best man. Will the magical evening stay just that or will it turn out to be real after all? Carley has already lost her one shoe, by tomorrow her Prince Charming will be gone, she’ll be back in her kitchen and the magic will have disappeared. Or not?

Flowers - My Review

  This story is truly magical right from the start. A chance meeting makes Carley remember something from her past and Brett is similarly affected. Serendipity makes them meet up at Carley’s cousin’s wedding and the real magic begins to weave its spell. Like a modern day Cinderella fairy tale, the story unfolds and there is a romantic happy ending, what more could you ask for? It seems Carley’s good deeds, baking cakes for those who cannot afford them makes her the perfect candidate for a fairy tale wedding of her own.

MagicalWeddings-SetCover

Posted in Book Review, New Books

The Last Wedding at Drayhome – Aileen Harkwood – 5 Magical Wedding Destinations Fit for a Romance Novel

Here’s another Magical Weddings’ story, this time from Aileen Harkwood.
DrayhomeCover2

‘Never underestimate the power of a witch and warlock in love who have nothing left to lose’

Flowers - Buy LinksIf you love ghosts, witches, time travel–anything paranormal–military romance, historical romance, or romantic comedy, don’t miss this engaging boxed set!

From sweet to spicy, the romances bundled into this set cross time and unite hearts, cast spells of laughter, battle wedding jitters and fight back tears, while weaving love’s hopeful magic throughout 1400 pages.

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Here are Aileen’s thoughts on the perfect setting for a romantic wedding:

 5 Magical Wedding Destinations Fit for a Romance Novel

by Aileen Harkwood

Many a bride fantasizes about holding a destination wedding, typically involving a tropical beach, a lush vineyard in the south of France, or the ever popular Las Vegas. Destination weddings pose challenges, however, in terms of costs and the difficulties of getting everyone in the right place at the right time. Provence might beckon, but in the end, many couples eventually opt for the more practical local wedding spot, forced to leave daydreams behind.

Not so in RL. In RL, anything is possible. Whether you envision a snowy hot tub ceremony at the most exclusive resort in Aspen, getting married with 300 of your closest friends in the grand ballroom at the Waldorf-Astoria, or zip-lining to the altar through the jungles of Costa Rica, in RL it’s all doable.

I refer not to Real Life, of course, but to Romance Life, the world inhabited by the heroes and heroines of your favorite romance novels. I love writing romance precisely because I’m allowed to dream up the impossible, the impractical, the magical. With that in mind, here are five insanely over-the-top locations in terms of sheer romance. I would absolutely choose any of these enchanted wedding destinations for my characters.

Image Credit :via Wikimedia Commons
Image Credit :via Wikimedia Commons

Château de Marqueyssac This 17th century estate perched atop a cliff overlooking France’s Dordogne Valley is romance personified. Almost too whimsical to be believed, its sculpted gardens, originally planted in the 1860s by Julien de Cervel, outdo any fairytale setting the producers at Once Upon a Time could dream up.

Bonus Almost Love Scene Points: A giddy chase through winding topiaries leads to passionate kisses hidden among the boxwoods.

2.IsleofSkyIsle of Sky, ScotlandJust the name alone is enough to bewitch the romantics among us. From its rugged, windswept coasts to its “fairy pools” and quaint country manors where intimate weddings might find a home, this would be a nuptials to remember.

Bonus Hero Points: Your groom, and every other male in the wedding party, in a kilt.

Image Credit:
Image Credit: “© SoulAD | Fotolia.”

Wisteria Flower Passage, Kawachi Fuji Garden, JapanApproximately 150 wisteria vines in a variety of colors create a tunnel of love like no other in the world. If your romance heroine could actually secure this venue (seriously doubtful), a May wedding would be best, when the tunnel is in full bloom.

Bonus Savings for Frugal Heroine – Flowers? We’ve got you covered.

The Champagne Suite, The New York Palace Hotel At $25,000 per night, and featuring a 2-story view of Midtown Manhattan, this sinfully extravagant locale is appointed with polished marble-vaulted-crystal-glistening everything and comes with its very own “champagne cave.” Though the booking page lists the suite as suitable for 6 guests, an entire wedding party would easily fit in its 5,000 square-foot sumptuousness.

Bonus sex scene inspiration – Hero and heroine could spend three sensual chapters exploring the gargantuan bathroom and still not find their way out.

Frégate Island, Seychelles Who wouldn’t want to have their own “palatial teak villa” on their own private island to serve as backdrop for the ultimate destination wedding? Okay, so there are actually 17 palatials on the beach, but each has their own private pool, dining pavilion and butler. Considering the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were rumored to have spent their honeymoon here, magic comes standard.

Bonus reverse-Roman Holiday plot twist – Could your hero, the butler, be a royal in disguise?

While it may not be the Seychelles or the Palace Hotel, you’ll find a bespelled destination in The Last Wedding at Drayhome, my contribution to Magical Weddings: 15 Enchanting Romances. The venue for the wedding in this novella is Drayhome, a great estate in Breens Mist, Oregon with a mind of its own, cared for by the witch and warlock who struggle to save it from ruin.

Poppy - Author Bioharkwood200x300Aileen Harkwood is a Readers’ Crown finalist who lives in the Southern Rockies. The Last Wedding at Drayhome is the prequel to two concurrent series of fantasy romances, Spell Touched: Breens Mist Witches, Book 1, and Wedding Spell, first in the Breens Mist Weddings series, due out in September 2015. She’s passionate about green chile and the mysteries hiding in antique photographs.

Flowers - My ReviewA witch, a warlock and a house with attitude makes ‘the Last Wedding at Drayhome’, full of magic, deception and paranormal events. Ax’s and Colleen’s interactions are always filled with passion, whether it is anger or desire and they bring this fantasy to life. The other witches in the story are colourful and The Priest is certainly not the benevolent warlock his name suggests. The house is a notable character in the story. This novella is perfect for those of us who love battles of good versus evil and the power of the elements. The Wedding is full of mystery and surprises and has a lovely romantic ending.

I am intrigued to read other stories in the forthcoming series’.

Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review : finding Reese – (SAFELIGHT Series) – Imy Santiago

FindingReesePoppy - Blurb

Hope Breeds Life…

Sometimes destiny and fate have a weird way of reminding us of our inescapable vulnerability, but more importantly our inexorable humanity. Life is fleeting, and what little time we have left in this world, we must make do with what we have, and cherish those whom we love by our side.

Fresh back from the Jackson Reese Press Tour, sports journalist Catalina Pardo rushes back to British Columbia after receiving unexpected and distressing news. With the help of award winning photographer Stryder Martynus, Catalina is determined to prevent the news of tragedy and heartbreak from governing her life again.

Together they will embark on a new journey of introspection to overcome the ghosts and raw emotions of their pasts−on a long and unpredictable road full of complicated circumstances−to find healing, hope and salvation.

The smallest of gifts−like a friendship bracelet−have the power to save your life, and unlike fairy tales, happy endings are seldom guaranteed…

*Adult Contemporary Romance with Mature Content−Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.*.Flowers - Buy Links

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Flowers - My Reviewfinding Reese. (SAFELIGHT, #2)

The easy to read writing style makes you forget you have spent an entire novel, in three people’s heads, sharing their dreams and deepest emotions. It’s only when you stop reading and feel emotionally drained, you realise how realistic and beautifully written this story is.

Complex characters are believable and underscore the story’s message of friendship and love. There is laughter, companionship, love and poignant sadness and a multitude of other feelings all seen through the eyes of Catalina, Jackson and Stryder. All three characters have outgoing almost celebrity roles, yet there true personalities hide loss, fear and addictive behaviour from the world.

The vocabulary is contemporary but the friendship, romance and sensuality, timeless. Perfectly paced, there is enough action to hold the interest, without detracting from the characters’ introspection, which is the story’s mainstay.

The love scenes between Catalina and Stryder are sensual but retain the romance and enhance the couple’s deepening feelings for each other. Jackson Reese remains an enigma. I look forward to seeing his character in love.

‘finding Reese’, is an excellent sequel to ‘chasing Reese’. More reflective than the action packed first story in the series, it shows the depth of the characters’ feelings and how being part of a family helps them develop and heal.

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

finding Reese. by Imy Santiago

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


finding Reese. (SAFELIGHT, #2) by Imy Santiago

Imy Santiago

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‘finding Reese’ – (Safelight Series) – Author Interview -Imy Santiago

Today I have author, Imy Santiago on my blog. ‘finding Reese’ the second book in the Safelight series is out now.

Join the adventure.

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Blog Tour: finding Reese.


FindingReese

finding Reese. a SAFELIGHT novel vol.2

Adult Contemporary Romance with Mature Content

Writer: Imy Santiago

Date of Publication: May 26, 2015

Cover Design by CoverMe, Darling

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About finding Reese.

Hope Breeds Life…

Sometimes destiny and fate have a weird way of reminding us of our inescapable vulnerability, but more importantly our inexorable humanity. Life is fleeting, and what little time we have left in this world, we must make do with what we have, and cherish those whom we love by our side.

Fresh back from the Jackson Reese Press Tour, sports journalist Catalina Pardo rushes back to British Columbia after receiving unexpected and distressing news. With the help of award winning photographer Stryder Martynus, Catalina is determined to prevent the news of tragedy and heartbreak from governing her life again.

Together they will embark on a new journey of introspection to overcome the ghosts and raw emotions of their pasts−on a long and unpredictable road full of complicated circumstances−to find healing, hope and salvation.

The smallest of gifts−like a friendship bracelet−have the power to save your life, and unlike fairy tales, happy endings are seldom guaranteed…

*Adult Contemporary Romance with Mature Content−Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.*


Excerpt from finding Reese.

It’s such a peaceful feeling, trekking down the mountain−hearing the sounds of your board scraping against the snow, the light spray of powder landing all over your goggles and going up your nose. These are the little things that mean so much to me when I’m riding. I enjoy the silence as I become one with nature. It fills my soul with feelings I can’t even begin to describe.

But there’s something off about this line in particular. There’s an eerie feeling I simply can’t shake off. Maybe I’m just over-thinking things, or Rob’s resistance this morning somehow shook all of my confidence away, but a part of me feels this could be it.

A loud crack on the side of the mountain straightens my spine, followed by a shrill scream from Chris. Looking behind him, I see a cloud of snow and ice barreling down the mountain. The ground shakes as nature reclaims its territory. I let out a guttural roar to warn Rem, and he looks back at the monster behind us. I can’t see his eyes, but I can tell he’s scared by the way he’s flailing his arms trying to figure out how to outrun it.

I journey over, trying to find a safe spot to land, and hopefully escape the avalanche. A garbled cry for help comes from behind me, and I turn my neck just in time to see Chris sucked into the claws of the avalanche. “NO!” I scream, horrified.

I’ve lost all sense of place and time, but my body seems to be taking me to safety as my board zigzags down to the west side of the mountain. I’ve been able to avoid avalanches in the past, but this time around, I’m not so lucky. It takes another second before the avalanche sucks me under.

My body is tossed around like a rag doll until I’m buried beneath the snow. It’s packed in around me tightly; I can’t move my legs or arms, and as the snow settles, it feels like I’m encased in a pool of hardened cement. It’s becoming harder to breathe with each passing second as my body relays to my brain my death is imminent.

My mind replays memories of my life before me like a movie, and bitter frustrated tears stream down my face crystallizing quickly as the freezing cold sweeps over me. I’ve always feared dying like this, trapped in the place I love the most, in the snow. My thoughts are of my family, especially mom and Jupiter. My tears quickly become painful sobs as the contractions of my cries tighten the snow pack around me. Catalina… My best friend and confidante−the news of my death will crush her.

I wrestle against the hardened blanket of snow and ice to move my arms, and after a few seconds of unwavering persistence, my arms come free. My hands desperately push the snow away from my chest, trying to get hold of the radio. With shaky fingers I press the call button.

“Base, this is Jax. Do you copy? I’m trapped, but I’m okay. Can anyone hear me?” Taking small measured breaths, I wait for a reply, but all I get is static interference. “Base, this is Jax. I’m on the western quadrant of the mountain. I’m alive. Can anyone hear me?” Once again, static feedback rings in the small pocket of snow surrounding me.

No, no. This can’t be happening. My body shakes violently as the freezing cold goes through all of my layers. I’m finding it hard to breathe, and if no one comes soon, I’ll be dead from hypothermia.

I’m so cold I can’t feel my limbs, and the more breaths I take, the more exhausted I become. My life as I know it hangs by a thread. Exhausted, I close my eyes and say a prayer. I ask God to have mercy on my soul. While I’m not the most spiritual of men, I think He’s always had my back. All the stupid shit I’ve done, all the risks I’ve taken, and always rising from them all.

The clock is ticking. I need to dig myself out somehow and go home. I refuse to let this be my end. Catalina−the bracelet−look for me, please!

“Base, please. This is Jackson Reese. I’m alive. Someone come and get me. Please,” I cry into the radio, praying someone answers. I’ll keep trying until my dying breath. This is not how I was destined to die. Not here and not like this.

Closing my eyes, I rest. What happens next is all in God’s hands.

©2015 Imy Santiago – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Teaser Gallery: finding Reese.

Teaser 1 Teaser 2 Teaser 3 Teaser 5 Teaser 811161339_10155562458745145_1709487540864765216_n


Author Interview

‘chasing Reese.’, was your debut release in January of this year, Have the last few months lived up to your expectations?

Yes and no. The past few months have been very daunting, mainly due to writing two books simultaneously: finding Reese.−the sequel to chasing Reese., and We Met on a Train. Because I was so engrossed with Catalina, Stryder, and Jackson, I shelved Evan Pryce−main character in We Met on a Train−to focus on completing finding Reese. There are many readers who have yet to discover the SAFELIGHT series. I look forward to gaining new readership when they do.
I have learned to roll with the punches, and it would make me a terrible liar if I didn’t admit I faced a lot of adversity after chasing Reese. released. The most valuable lesson I have learned since launching chasing Reese. is that sometimes you have to take a step back in order to disengage yourself from negative situations, and people. At some point it adversely affected my creative process, so I had to dig deep and teach myself, with the help of some very supportive readers, to not allow negativity to take control of my creativity. I worked out my frustrations while penning finding Reese. I truly believe my experiences helped me become a better writer.

There are three main characters in ‘chasing Reese.’, yet it isn’t a love triangle, what was your inspiration for this first story in the ‘safelight series’?

I believe I am the type of woman who believes in not sharing passionate, romantic love with more than one person. Why three characters? Why do their lives intertwine with each other’s?
The answer is simple. I wanted to write about love in all of its splendour; from the honeymoon phase, to heartbreak. Love has so many facets; it can be passionate and romantic, filial, or friendly among many others. No two people can love the same way, or with the same intensity.
Back when I was in college, I was an arts and humanities major. Two of my favorite courses were Philosophy and Logic. I’ve always wanted to challenge societal conventions, and back then I knew I wanted to write a thesis of what I think love is based on my personal experiences. Love can make or break a person, and that’s why I challenged myself to portray limitless love between three people. When you break down the SAFELIGHT series to its most basic form, it is basically a thesis about love−real, and honest-to-God love.

Is Jackson, the focus of your next novel, ‘finding Reese.’, as the title suggests? Any clues as to what we can expect?

Many have asked me in private messages why the SAFELIGHT novels have Jackson’s surname in the title. The answer is simple. If not for Jackson Reese Catalina Pardo and Stryder Martynus would’ve never had a chance to fall in love. I don’t want to spoil it for new readers, but those who have read chasing Reese. are aware of Jackson’s nickname…Without him, Catalina’s and Stryder’s story would be hard to convey in a real, and relatable way. Jackson is the glue that keeps all the pieces of this intricate story together, and without him, there is no SAFELIGHT series.
The way chasing Reese. ended has brought forth a single question: Where is Jackson Reese? Is he alive? I’m pleased to announce that answer is quickly given within the first two chapters of finding Reese. There is another journey to endure; one that is not easily experienced. Jackson plays a larger role in finding Reese. You will see him in a deeper and raw dimension than in chasing Reese. While all of the character’s integrity remains untouched, I’ve explored a different story-line; one that is fresh and showcases a raw vulnerability that readers will enjoy.

Do you enjoy the social media aspect of being an author? What’s your favourite social media platform?

Let’s go back fifteen years before the dawn of social media. I ask myself, how did authors and writers do it, and become successful without having a universal platform to showcase their work? No matter how you slice it and dice it, the only way these authors made it was by writing a great book. They didn’t have the tools we have available today.
Having said that, social media is a great tool to share your work with the world. Deep down, many writers in my position dream of their books being traditionally published. And while that much is true, social media plays an important role in helping independent writers, like me, to reach unexplored markets and gain new readership.
For most of us, Facebook and Twitter are probably the most helpful social media platforms to get our word out. I’ve explored Google+ and tsu, and after observing social media skills from the likes of Colleen Hoover, and Mr. Reynard himself, I’ve come to terms with the fact that the broader you market yourself, the better your exposure is.
My favorite social media platform is Facebook; that is where the majority of my readers and followers are. Social media marketing requires a lot of effort and time; sometimes it takes away from my writing, but my readers and followers appreciate updates and tidbits about my writing journey, and love when I interact with them. The truth is I love interacting with my followers.

Your first book. ‘chasing Reese.’ is an interesting mix of realistic, contemporary dialogue and breathtaking description, which parts are easier to write and why?

I’m often commended for having snappy dialogue, and descriptive writing in my books. That is because deep down I am a frustrated screenwriter. *laughs* I’ve been writing since I was seven. I wrote my first screenplay when I was thirteen, and never stopped. Yet, I never felt like I was good enough to publish. After reading Gabriel’s Inferno, I acknowledged it was time to give it a try. And I’m glad I did. It took me almost two years to gather the courage to write SAFELIGHT. That screenplay was then rewritten five times before it became what we all know today as chasing Reese.
If I can’t see the scene, hear it, or feel it, then it’s harder to visualize a story as a reader. I think both snappy dialogue and breathtaking descriptions are necessary to help readers understand not only what the characters are saying, but it helps to make the connection between what’s going on inside their mind and what they’re expressing, thus depicting a better scene.
It has been close to six months since I read your review of chasing Reese. It has become one of my most treasured reviews. When I’m struggling, or feel like giving up, I always go back and read your review, and those left by others. I made it my mission to dissect each review in search of ways to improve and grow as a writer. I applied those changes in finding Reese.
For me it is easier to write about heartbreak rather than sex. I am thirty four, and I still find it incredibly awkward to write a detailed sex scene in a manner that is not overly explicit, or clinical. The sex scenes in my books are not there for the shock value, or for effect. Sex is a beautiful thing that two people in love can always share. I like to explore the beauty of two bodies in a manner that is both tasteful and memorable.

Do you have a writing process that you can share with us?

I wish I could say I’m structured like most writers out there, but I’m not. I’m extremely disorganized. I don’t have a routine, or follow steps on a list… Hell, I don’t even own a desk to write on! *laughs* I hope that gives you an idea of what I am trying to say. Sometimes I write on my phone, but ninety five percent of my writing is accomplished on my iPad (my friends think I’m nutty to prefer a tablet over a laptop).
When inspiration strikes, I usually write dialogue first based on the conversations going on inside my head (I’m not crazy, I promise!). Afterwards, I weave the dialogue into the scenes I see playing out in my mind. Like I mentioned earlier, if I can’t see it or feel it clearly, I scrap what I have, and start again. Once I’m satisfied with the descriptive writing of a scene, then I move on to the next.

What time of day do you do most writing, or does it vary?

To be honest, I don’t have a writing preference. Sometimes I write early in the morning, and other days in the evening. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I write whenever I can. Some days I can write 11,000 words, and other days 300 words, but the point is to always keep plugging away.

I love having my dogs with me when I’m writing. Do you have any animal writing companions?

Unfortunately I don’t have a pet of my own. There is a house dog, but he is rather old, and incredibly senile. If I’m writing during the daytime, my three year old daughter usually sits beside me or on my lap while I write and/or promote. Occasionally, my fiancé will sit next to me while I’m plugging away, but the majority of the time I undergo the process alone.

Do you enjoy reading other authors’ work, what are you reading at the moment?

Before I became a published writer I always loved to read. My passion for reading renewed itself after reading the Gabriel Series by Sylvain Reynard, whom I discovered after a conversation between him and E.L. James on Twitter. I read Fifty Shades of Grey and I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t until I read Gabriel’s Inferno that I felt inspired give writing another go.
I am currently reading Shattered Lies by Theresa Sederholt. It is the third and final novel in The Unraveled Series by this author. I’m enjoying this series immensely.

What’s next for Imy Santiago?

I have a few projects down the pipeline. My next release will be We Met on a Train. You can read the prologue at the end of finding Reese. Evan’s story (main character in We Met on a Train) is quite compelling, and it is definitely not a fluffy book. It is adult romance with mature content, but it comes with a trigger warning due to sensitive subject matter. I haven’t set a release date for it, but expect it to be available in the fall of 2015.
Once We Met on a Train is published, I will start the groundwork for saving Reese., which for now, is the final installment of the SAFELIGHT series. For 2016 I have planned another standalone ‘Words in Isolation’, and a coming-of-age novella ‘Sonnets of Pain’; both are in the concept development phase. And last, but not least, I will be translating both chasing Reese. and finding Reese. to Spanish.
2016 will be an incredibly busy, yet rewarding year.

Thank You Imy. Look out for my review soon…

For those who  haven’t read ‘chasing Reese’  – a few details…


Catch up with The SAFELIGHT Series!

REVEAL - Full Wrap

chasing Reese. a SAFELIGHT novel vol.1

Adult Contemporary Romance with Mature Content

Writer: Imy Santiago

Date of Publication: January 5, 2015

Cover Design by CoverMe, Darling

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Buy links: chasing Reese.

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About Imy Santiago

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I love to read stories about loss, heartache and redemption so it didn’t shock me when I ended up writing stories of my own revolving around those themes. I write with my heart, using my life experiences and emotions to dictate the tone and path in which my fictional characters embark. I believe in the power of friendship and to always have hope because life is always full of pleasant surprises. If you were to ask me if I consider myself an author, I would tell you no, I am not. I’m just a girl who loves to write a good story that makes you consider life choices and the darkness that envelopes a broken heart. My stories are about loss, friendship, hope and love.

I hope to continue writing more books in the not so distant future. It could be said that writing keeps me sane and brings a smile to my face. When I’m not writing Adult Contemporary Romance novels, I’m enjoying a quiet life with my family on Long Island New York.

For full bio, please visit my website.

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