Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Christmas in Cockleberry Bay Nicola May 5* #Review @NicolaMay1 @EyeAndLightning @rararesources #festive #BlogTour #BookReview #CICB

 

Meet old and new characters in the Bay for Christmas fun and frolics.

With both the Corner Shop and Cockleberry Café in safe hands, Rosa turns her attention to Ned’s Gift, the charity set up in memory of the great-grandfather whose legacy turned her life around.

Over at the Ship Hotel, Lucas has his work cut out with his devious new girlfriend and the mystery poisoning of an anonymous hotel inspector. Will the hotel still get its 3-star Seaside Rosette?

Will Mary find true love at last? Can Titch cope with the demands of the shop and being heavily pregnant. And can Rosa, with a baby of her own, pull off the Cockleberry Bay Charity Christmas Concert in time?

Christmas in Cockleberry Bay is a festive delight for fans of Rosa and her cheeky mini dachshund Hot, delivering a feast of unpredictable events and surprises.

Amazon UK Amazon Eye Books -Paperback

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

My Thoughts…

Christmas in Cockleberry what could be nicer? It’s fun to return to Cockleberry Bay and its community at this festive time of year. Whilst this festive book is a complete story, the series is so special if you can read them all.

The story is full of vivid imagery, making the characters, events and setting easy to imagine. There are lots of characters and stories, so you need to concentrate, but it’s realistic and vibrant, and the dynamics are relatable to anyone who lives in a small community. For series regulars, there are updates on their favourite characters’ lives, and for new readers, there’s lots of festive fun, humour and intrigue.

This series would work well on television, it makes such good use of sensory imagery, with larger than life, memorable characters. It’s easy to see why this series is so popular, especially in such an uncertain world. It’s the perfect escapist read, definitely a festive book worth reading.

NIcola May

Nicola May is a rom-com superstar. She is the author of eleven romantic comedies, all of which have appeared in the Kindle bestseller charts. Two of them won awards at the Festival of Romance, and another was named ebook of the week in The SunThe Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay became the best-selling Kindle book in the UK, across all genres, in January 2019, and was Amazon’s third-bestselling novel in that year.

She lives near Ascot racecourse with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Harper’s Highland Fling by Lizzie Lamb 4*#Review @lizzie_lamb @lovebooksgroup #HarpersHighlandFling #lovebookstours #Romance #BookTour #BookReview

After a gruelling academic year, headteacher Harper MacDonald is looking forward to a summer holiday trekking in Nepal. However, her plans are scuppered when wayward niece, Ariel, leaves a note announcing that’s she’s running away with a boy called Pen. The only clue to their whereabouts is a footnote: I’ll Be in Scotland. Cue a case of mistaken identity when Harper confronts the boy’s father – Rocco Penhaligon and accuses him of cradle snatching her niece and ruining her future. At loggerheads, Harper and Rocco set off in hot pursuit of the teenagers, but the canny youngsters are always one step ahead. And, in a neat twist, it is the adults who end up in trouble, not the savvy teenagers. Fasten your seatbelt for the road trip of your life! It’s going to be a bumpy ride!  

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a well-written romance with two likeable relatable characters and a cross country adventure to find their missing teenagers. The characters are believably flawed, and the chemistry between them builds realistically. The dialogue is clever and often humorous. The road trip setting works well bringing the protagonists up close and personal in an authentic way. The author brings people and places alive using vivid imagery, giving the story authenticity and depth.

A humorous, romantic adventure with an unlikely couple whose emotional journey mirrors the miles they travel between Cornwall and Scotland.

With Scottish, Irish, and Brazilian blood in her veins, it’s hardly surprising that Lizzie Lamb is a writer. She even wrote extra scenes for the films she watched as a child and acted out in the playground with her friends. She is ashamed to admit that she kept all the good lines for herself. Luckily, she saves them for her readers these days. Lizzie’s love of writing went on hold while she pursued a successful teaching career, finishing up as a Deputy Headteacher of a large primary school. Since deciding to leave the profession to realise her dream of becoming a published novelist, Lizzie hasn’t looked back. She wrote Tall, Dark and Kilted – which echoes her love of her homeland in every page, not to mention heroes in kilts – and published it. Lizzie loves the quickfire interchange between the hero and heroine – like in old black and white Hollywood movies – and hope this comes over in her writing.  

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Romance

A Painter in Penang Clare Flynn 4*#Review @clarefly @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours #Comingof Age #HistFic #1948 #BookTour #BookReview #APainterinPenang

Sixteen-year-old Jasmine Barrington hates everything about living in Kenya and longs to return to the island of Penang in British colonial Malaya where she was born. Expulsion from her Nairobi convent school offers a welcome escape – the chance to stay with her parents’ friends, Mary and Reggie Hyde-Underwood on their Penang rubber estate. But this is 1948 and communist insurgents are embarking on a reign of terror in what becomes the Malayan Emergency. Jasmine unearths a shocking secret as her own life is put in danger. Throughout the turmoil, her one constant is her passion for painting.

From the international best-selling and award-winning author of The Pearl of Penang, this is a dramatic coming of age story, set against the backdrop of a tropical paradise torn apart by civil war.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an historical coming of age story set against a turbulent political background in Penang in 1948. Jasmine returns to Penang to stay with friends of her stepmother at the age of sixteen and finds herself amidst a political struggle for power and a personal battle to become the woman she aspires to.

The setting is beautifully portrayed and immerses the reader in the culture and historical context. The uncertainty and menace of Penang at this time draws you into Jasmine’s world as she comes of age. This is the third book in the series but the first one I’ve read. Like all historical sagas, there is merit in reading the series in order, but there is sufficient character development detail to make this an enjoyable standalone read.

Relatable and vivid characters add to the story’s authenticity and Jasmine’s character development, and maturity reflects the place and time.

This is an informative and intriguing story that makes you want to investigate the earlier books in the series.

Clare Flynn



Author Bio-Historical novelist Clare Flynn is a former global marketing director and business owner. She now lives in Eastbourne on the south coast of England and most of her time these days is spent writing her novels – when she’s not gazing out of her windows at the sea.Clare is the author of eleven novels and a short story collection. Her books deal with displacement – her characters are wrenched away from their comfortable existences and forced to face new challenges – often in outposts of an empire which largely disappeared after WW2.

Prisoner From Penang, was published on 17th April 2020. It is set in South East Asia during the Japanese occupation in World War Two.

Clare’s novels often feature places she knows well and she does extensive research to build the period and geographic flavour of her books.

A Greater World – 1920s Australia; Kurinji Flowers – pre-Independence India; Letters from a Patchwork Quilt – nineteenth century industrial England and the USA; The Green Ribbons – the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century in rural England, The Chalky Sea – World War II England (and Canada) and its sequels The Alien Corn and The Frozen River – post WW2 Canada. She has also published a collection of short stories – both historical and contemporary, A Fine Pair of Shoes and Other Stories.

Fluent in Italian, she loves spending time in Italy. In her spare time she likes to quilt, paint and travel as often and as widely as possible. She is an active member of the Historical Novel Society, the Romantic Novelists Association, The Society of Authors, NINC and the Alliance of Independent Authors.Get a free copy of Clare’s exclusive short story collection, A Fine Pair of Shoes, at www.clareflynn.co.uk.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Romance

Stolen Kiss With Her Billionaire Boss Susan Meier 5*#Review @susanmeier1 #ChristmasAtTheHarringtonParkHotel @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonTrueLove @rararesources #Romance #Festive #BookReview #BlogTour

Christmas has arrived…

And she’s spending it with her boss! New Yorker Erin is intrigued when Hugo Harrington asks for her help on a hotel renovation in London, just weeks before Christmas! But Erin soon discovers how personal this project is to her brooding boss. Watching him wrestle with the memories of his past uncovers a side to Hugo she’s never seen. And then a stolen snowbound kiss changes everything…

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

My Thoughts…

The third book in the Christmas at the Harrington Park Hotel series features older brother Hugo and event planner Erin, a widow with a lovely son. I read and enjoyed the first book in the series, and this is equally enjoyable.

The setting is festive and glamorous, London at its festive best and the romance is sparkling. Both Erin and Hugo have trust issues as their relationship turns from professional to personal they help each other unravel the emotional wasteland of their lives.

The romance is passionate, and although they deny their emotional connection, it’s there from the start. The conflicts are internal and external, but no Christmas story, is complete without a happy ending is it?

This is an emotional festive story with a glamorous festive setting.

Susan Meier

Susan Meier is a lover of a great story and a fabulous turn of phrase. What better home for her than Mills and Boon where stories touch the heart? She found her bliss when Harlequin published her first book and hasn’t looked back. A mom of three and wife to the best guy on the planet, she loves reading almost as much as writing, and thanks the heavens for the internet and YouTube which have made research so much fun.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Spotlight, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Just for Christmas Emily Harvale #BlogBlitz @emilyharvale @rararesources #Romance #Christmas #Uplit #heartwarming #JustForChristmas

Could this be true love? Or is it just for Christmas?

Finding an abandoned dog beside the road isn’t the Christmas surprise interior designer, Molly Ford is hoping for. But when the local vet can’t find a space for the bedraggled dog, Molly makes a rash decision.

The problem is, she’s spending Christmas with her brother, Terence, and his girlfriend is allergic to dogs, so the bundle of wet fur, which Molly has named Miracle, might not be the only one needing a home this Christmas.

And Miracle causes chaos wherever he puts his paws. He pees on the Christmas tree, shreds the Christmas presents and eats the honeyed ham. That’s just the first night.

When Terence’s best friend, Chance offers Molly and Miracle a place to stay for Christmas, Molly is ecstatic. She doesn’t mind at all when he informs her there are strings attached. She’d rather like a festive fling with gorgeous Chance.

Now Molly’s in for another surprise. Chance is about to pop the question. Except it’s not to Molly. In fact, he needs her help to get the dilapidated cottage he’s bought, all clean and sparkly in time for his girlfriend’s impending arrival on New Year’s Eve.

But as Molly and Chance grow closer, spending time together beneath the stars in a winter wonderland and enjoying the Christmas festivities, they realise they have feelings for each other.

Could this be true love? Or is it just for Christmas?

Emily Harvale

Emily writes novels, novellas and short stories about friendship, family and falling in love. She loves a happy ending but knows that life doesn’t always go to plan. Her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily loves to connect with her readers and has a readers’ group in which many have become good friends. To catch up with Emily, find out about the group, or connect with her on social media, go to her website at www.emilyharvale.com.

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now writes full-time. She’s a member of the SoA, an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. When not writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both. Emily has two mischievous rescue cats that like to sprawl across her keyboard, regardless of whether Emily is typing on it, or not.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Family Drama, Noir, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Bright Lies A.A. Abbot 4* #Review @AAAbbottStories #thriller #CrimeFiction #Domestic #Noir #Betrayal #Lies #noircrime #psychological #suspense #BrightLies @RandomTTours

She’s learned too much, too young. Can she break free?

Emily’s dreams come true when her mother marries wealthy painter, David. Thanks to him, Emily’s artistic talents shine. Then he starts teaching her things a 14-year-old shouldn’t know. While Emily breaks free, she’s forced to sleep in a rat-infested alley.

Bad boy Jack has turned his life around. Working as a DJ with ambitions to open a club, he rescues Emily from the streets when he sees a woman in trouble. He doesn’t know she’s still only 15 – and trapped in a dark web of secrets and lies.

David must find Emily and silence her. As he closes in, Jack faces the hardest choice of all. If he saves Emily, he’ll kiss goodbye to his future…

What would you sacrifice for love?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a disturbing, intense psychological suspense, an insightful and sensitive exploration of domestic and child abuse and the resultant damage. The subject matter is difficult to read. Emily and Jack’s vulnerability and the perversions of David and his ilk are well-written without the need for an overly graphic description. This exploration of a contemporary issue is relatable and sinister because it parallels reality.

The characters are defined, and flawed some are easy to empathise because of their vulnerability. Others are despicable and easy to hate.

Although this more suspense than a thriller, the writing style and structure keep the momentum and make this a page-turner. The pacy plot keeps the reader on edge, the undercurrents of menace apparent and intensify as the story progresses.

This is noir crime creating a gritty, vice-ridden world that you want the protagonists to escape.

A.A.Abbott

British crime thriller writer A.A. Abbott (also known as Helen Blenkinsop) loves to escape with an exciting and emotional read, and that’s what she aims to write too. Based in Bristol, she’s also lived and worked in London and Birmingham. All three cities feature in her pacy suspense thrillers. Her latest psychological thriller, ‘Bright Lies’, begins in North Somerset with a posh art exhibition in Bath. Young Emily meets the man who will change her life and cause her to run away to a squat in Birmingham, work in a nightclub and get further entangled in a web of lies.

To write ‘Bright Lies’, Helen has had advice from thirty beta readers on subjects as varied as police procedure, drug abuse, grooming, art, music, DJing and clubbing. She’s grateful to them and to her editor, Katharine D’Souza, for making huge improvements to the story.

Helen’s earlier 5 book Trail series is a lighter read focused on a vodka business. Snow Mountain is a premium vodka made in the former Soviet Union, and its owners have blood on their hands. The saga follows the fortunes of two families running the business and what happens when they fall out with each other and with a London gangster. Glamorous heroine Kat is the girl readers love to hate at the beginning of the series, but by the last book, she has won them over. Book research for the series included prison life, hotel research and vodka. Helen especially enjoyed a tour and tasting with the helpful folk at the Chase Distillery in Herefordshire.

Like 10% of us, many of Helen’s family are dyslexic. While she is not, she wants her books to be enjoyed by readers with dyslexia and visual impairment too. She publishes her thrillers in a Large Print dyslexia-friendly edition as well as the standard paperback and Kindle versions. (You can also adjust the font on your Kindle to suit your needs.) Audiobooks are definitely on the cards – watch this space!

Helen likes speaking to book groups, business networks and social circles, and reading thrillers and short stories at live fiction events and on Zoom. If you’re a book blogger, litfest organiser, reviewer or simply adore books, she’d love to hear from you.

Helen is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors, Bristol Fiction Writers’ Group, and Birmingham’s New Street Authors.

Find out more and get a free e-book of short stories at https://aaabbott.co.uk

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance

Return to Virgin River Robyn Carr 5*#Review @RCarrWriter @MillsandBoon #BlogTour #BookReview #NetFlix #Romance #SmallTown #StartingOver #Loss #Grief #Friendship #ReturnToVirginRiver #Author #MillsandBoonInsiders #paperback

Struggling with grief after the death of her mother, successful author Kaylee Sloan needs a distraction, to come to terms with life and meet her looming deadline.

With Christmas approaching, Kaylee rents a cabin in Virgin River. She knows the isolation will help her writing and as she drives north through the mountains she immediately feels inspired. Until she arrives at a building that has just gone up in flames. Devastated, she heads to Jack’s Bar to plan her next steps. The local bar is the heart of the town and once she crosses the threshold, she’s surprised to be embraced by people who are more than willing to help a stranger in need.

Welcomed by those in Virgin River, Kaylee starts to see her life in a new light. And as she becomes more involved in the town and the people in it, especially local artist and dog trainer Landry Moore, Kaylee realises she may have found her peace. As Christmas approaches, Kaylee’s dread turns to wonder. Because there’s no better place to mend a broken heart than Virgin River.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Kaylee returns to Virgin River to finish her latest novel and survive Christmas without her mum. An unexpected event forces her to accept the communities help and leads her life, in an unforeseen direction.

The story is relatable with easy to empathise characters in most cases. The animal characters add a heartwarming dimension, and the romance is slow-burning with conflict and a satisfying conclusion. Bereavement and moving on after loss are explored in this story positively and sensitively. Whilst Christmas is not the predominant theme in this book there is a festive twist, as the inhabitants give Kaylee new Christmas memories and show her the true meaning of Christmas.

This is a character-driven story focusing on Kaylee and Landry who both have life-changing emotional journeys to make when they meet. The cast of characters will be familiar to those who follow the series but to new readers, they soon become friends too.

If you enjoy small-town romance with a realistic edge and supportive community, this is a series worth reading.

Read my review of Virgin River

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy

A Christmas Wedding At The Castle Eliza J. Scott 4*#Review #LifeontheMoors @ElizaJScott1 @rararesources #RomCom #Festive #Weddings #Castle #YorkshireMoors #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs

Do you believe in fate? Livvie Weatherill does…

This time last year, if anyone had told Livvie Weatherill she’d have fallen in love and would be making plans for her Christmas wedding to Zander Gillespie, she would have laughed in their face. If they’d gone on to say they’d be planning to have their wedding at the imposing Danskelfe Castle, she’d have laughed even louder!

But it would seem fate had plans for her…

Since moving to the pretty moorland village of Lytell Stangdale Livvie is happier than she’s ever been. She’s living with Zander and she’s working at her dream job as a wedding dress designer at Romantique with her friends, Kitty and Violet. It’s fair to say, she’s enjoying immersing herself in village life, from romantic walks in the countryside, to meeting friends at the quaint Sunne Inne. And she can’t think of anything better than rounding off the day cosying up with Zander.

Life is sweet.

Her blossoming friendship with Freda Easton, the endearing but reclusive elderly lady who lives down the lane, has taken everyone by surprise. But Freda has a secret and, in a turn of events no one could predict, she finds herself grateful for Livvie’s fierce loyalty, cementing their friendship further.

Just when things seem to be running smoothly, a face from the past arrives on the doorstep casting a shadow over Livvie’s wedding plans. Adding to the drama, an icy blast of Arctic air brings heavy snowfall to the village, covering the moors in a thick blanket of snow.

Is their love strong enough to withstand the challenges thrown at them? Will they get their magical Christmas wedding?

Join Livvie and Zander – and all the usual characters – for a sparkling Christmas full of love and laughter in Lytell Stangdale.

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This is my first encounter with the villagers of Lytell Stangdale, and they certainly made me welcome. Great friendships, community-spirited and gossipy villagers, and an invitation to a romantic wedding at a castle.

The romance, and wedding planning and festive touches make this an easy and enjoyable read, but reality kicks in with a mystery to solve and conflict between the engaged couple. There’s a wonderfully portrayed labrador, adding to the story’s heartwarming quality.

If you haven’t read the others in the series do because I felt that I was missing out.

Eliza is proud to be a member of the RNA. She lives in a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden, fighting a losing battle against the weeds.

When she’s not reading or gardening, Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Her biggest weakness is ginger biscuits dunked in tea.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heartwarming romance stories with relatable female characters. She enjoys exploring the dynamics of female friendship, with a key feature of her books being how women pull together and support one another when things get tough.

Eliza’s novels will always have happy endings.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Childrens Books

Hector’s Perfect Cake Lily Clarke 4*#Review @lilyclarkex @rararesources #ChildrensBooks #kidlit #PictureBook #Perfection #Cake #BookReview #Blogblitz #MondayBlogs #HectorsPerfectCake

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Etsy Website Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a brightly illustrated picture book about a Badger baking a cake for his grandma and trying to make it perfect. As he searches for an elusive ingredient, his stress levels escalate. This is a charming book that tells children that perfection is not always possible, and trying your best is the important thing.

The text is simple, with a few longer words to test older children. The illustrations reflect the story well and will engage younger children in the story. It’s a lovely book to read to younger children and for older kids to read themselves.

Lily Clarke

Lily Clarke is the author and illustrator of Hector’s Perfect Cake. 
She studied Physics at the University of York and now works as an innovation consultant in Cambridge. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, she runs a small business called Lily in Space Designs, where she sells a range of illustrated products inspired by books and nature. Her favourite animals are badgers, birds and bats, (although she also loves animals that don’t begin with the letter B!). 
Hector’s Perfect Cake is Lily’s first book, inspired by her own experiences of dealing with perfectionism. 

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Medical Romance

The Heart of Doctor Steele Colette Dixon 5*#Review @CDixonBooks @crimsonfoxpub @rararesources #histfic #HistoricalRomance #MedicalRomance #BlogTour #BookReview #TheHeartofDoctorSteele

Are the rumors about him true? She intends to find out. 

The mysterious Dr. Steele has taken up residence next door, and scandalous rumors about him are spreading through Margaret Landeau’s small Massachusetts town. Rumors of women he’s ill-used and exploited for his experimental surgeries. Never one to believe gossip, Margaret arms herself with a basket of baked goods and ventures to discover the truth from the man himself.

John Steele has lost everything. His parents, his aunt, too many women he intended to save, and his good name. All he has left is his aunt’s home in a far-flung village and a library he’s stocked with whiskey. He has nothing to offer anyone. Especially not the bold woman next door whose passion for healing reminds him of the man he once was.

But when a dangerously ill girl arrives on his doorstep, pleading for help, Margaret is thrust into his world. She will learn who the real Dr. John Steele truly is, and soon, not even his dark past can stop her from fighting for the brilliant doctor she now loves. But he must deny his crushing desire for her—loving a man like him can only cast a shadow over her own bright future.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is such an absorbing story full of historical medical details, the emergence of female emancipation and a misunderstood and scandalous hero. This story explores society’s prejudices against the pioneers of medicine who dared to try something different to help their patients.

John Steele flees to his deceased aunt’s house amid a scandal that threatens to ruin his medical career and has devastated him emotionally. He is the subject of gossip, but Margaret likes to make her own decisions and what she finds is a complex, driven man whose motives are predominately good.

The chemistry between them is sizzling even though Margaret is naive and John anxious for her reputation. The romance is full of conflicts, both external and internal, but worth the angst.

The characters are believably flawed and easy to empathise, the historical and medical detail is fascinating, and the plot is original and riveting.

Colette Dixon

Colette Dixon writes steamy stories with heart and humor about slightly tortured people who learn how love can heal. For more years than she cares to admit, she worked in a hospital while dreaming up love story plots. A farm girl who landed in Chicago, she loves to eat (food made by others), drink tea, and sun herself at every chance she can get to survive the Midwest winter.

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