Guest Post by Author T.A. Williams

Today I’m thrilled to share an exclusive guest post from author T.A. Williams where he reflects on his canine obsession. Whether or not you’ve read his novels, you’ll know just by looking at the covers of his books that his women’s fiction stories all include dogs [see the below image for visual proof!] Read on for a fun guest post from the author, and check back tomorrow for my review of his latest novel, What Happens at the Beach…

T.A. Williams Covers

So is this the last appearance of a Labrador?

TA (Trevor) Williams reflects on his canine obsession

What Happens at the Beach… is to be the last (or maybe the penultimate) in the What Happens… series. This book has a great canine character in it, in the form of Barney the black Labrador. Those of you familiar with my work will know that a black Lab is pretty much my trademark. But is that about to come to an end? My editor at Harper Collins believes it might be time to ditch the dog when I branch out into another series. I’m prepared to give it a go, but I’m not convinced.

As an author, I find that the dogs in my books actually serve a practical purpose. A page full of text can look intimidating, maybe potentially boring. Insert some dialogue and it breaks the whole thing up. When you’ve got a character all alone, it’s hard to insert dialogue unless you go for a phone call or have the poor soul talking to him or herself. That’s where the dog comes in. Tell me honestly, all you dog owners out there that you never speak to your dog. I don’t believe you. I’m not just talking about “sit, stay, good dog”, but actual chat. I used to do it all the time with dear old Merlin. Men are often described as poor listeners. You could never say that about a Lab. They listen, maintain eye contact and, apart from an unfortunate habit of interrupting the conversation to lick his genitals, Merlin proved to be an outstanding sounding block.

All right, they aren’t too hot at the responding part of a conversation, but my dogs could always be counted on to stretch out a friendly paw or offer a lick of the hand (depending where the dog’s tongue had just been, this often resulted in a trip to a wash basin, but I digress). So, as a writer, I find the dog a valuable tool.

My next book is set in Venice and, as such, offers less scope for a canine companion than in some of my other books. Dante the Tuscan dog and Barney in What Happens at the Beach… both have whole hillsides to roam around in. Venice has very little in the way of green space and, although a dog is the ultimate status symbol there, indicating to all and sundry that the owner is a local, not one of the millions of tourists who descend upon the city each year, there aren’t many about. Venice doesn’t really lend itself to dogs.

So, brace yourselves, the next book is going to be dog-free although I might just slip in a cameo appearance by a woofer or two for old time’s sake. I will be interested to get the feedback of the readers but, for now, I do hope you enjoy Barney the dog, the latest reincarnation of good old Merlin.

~~~

To all my T.A. Williams fans out there, are you ready for a novel without his signature dog? I’m on the fence, but either way, I’m sure his next novel will be wonderful regardless of the lack of a lovable four-legged character.

About the Author – T.A. Williams

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

TAWilliamsAuthor Bio: Firstly, my name isn’t T A. It’s Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…

I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.

I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.

I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.

~~~

Thank you to Karan Eleni PR Tours for organizing this guest post for Living Life With Joy!

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Review – Lilliana Jones and the Temple of Groom

Lilliana Jones and the Temple of Groom

Divorced Not Dead Workshop Artwork pdfAuthor: Rich Amooi

Published: May 12, 2016

Book Blurb: When her best friend stages a love-life intervention with a psychic at a Chinese restaurant, Lilly Jones suddenly finds herself flying to Rome in search of her future husband. The only thing separating Lilly from true love is the fear of flying, lactose intolerance, a scandal with the Pope, and the sexy Italian she meets on the plane.

My Review

Although Lilliana Jones has an open door policy at her HR job at a high- tech company, she has no room for spontaneity in her own life. When her best friend stages a love intervention, Lilly is in for a rocky and laugh-out-loud funny ride. Lilly’s luck – or lack thereof – when she steers off course throughout the novel is absolutely hilarious. My sides hurt from laughing hard when Lilly goes from one unfortunate situation to the next.

I loved the story of Lilly and Marco! This novel had me laughing the whole way through. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, extremely funny read. Filled with romance, chaos, a few wrong turns and tons of laughs, this romantic comedy will have you turning the pages to find out more.

One of the main themes of the novel was that learning to let a little spontaneity in your life can lead to fun new experiences. Planning is great, but sometimes straying from the scheduled course isn’t always a bad thing.

Needless to say, this was a classic Amooi romantic comedy and I loved every minute of it.

Words to describe this novel : spontaneous, humorous, chaotic, romantic, fun, adventure

5/5 stars

I received a complimentary Advanced Review Copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Book Links: Currently $3.99 on Amazon | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Connect with the Author – Rich Amooi

Author Links: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Amazon | Goodreads

Rich AmooiQuirky Romantic Comedies from a Guy’s Perspective.

Rich Amooi is a former Silicon Valley radio personality and wedding DJ who now writes romantic comedies full-time. He is happily married to a kiss monster and has a hairy golden retriever/lab mix that likes to eat carrots, tuna, and Manchego cheese imported from Spain.

He believes (Rich, not the dog) in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.

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Review – Dating for Decades

Dating for Decades

Dating for DecadesAuthor: Tracy Krimmer

Published: 2016

Book Blurb: IT guru Cassie Noble can depend on networks and servers. It’s the people in her life that always let her down. With her fortieth birthday looming, she’d love to find a way to trust and commit to someone.

Eager to work out her problems methodically, Cassie reaches out to her support group. Electrician Keith manages to infiltrate their all-female ranks, infuriating her with his flippant jokes and his all-too laid back attitude. The other women all find him hilarious and she can’t see why. She takes this seriously and he’s doing anything but.

When Cassie needs Keith’s help on a project at her day job, she’s dreading having to work closely with him, however much his hazel eyes make her stop dead in her tracks. As days turn to weeks, he starts to break down her hard exterior. She’s seeing new possibilities. She’s seeing the future…a life that is joyful and bright. A life that includes Keith.

But when a letter from her mother drags her back to the world where Cassie has no control, she shuts down. Can her support group yank her back from that place where hope is lost? And can the man who once drove her crazy be the one who finally doesn’t let her down?

My Review

Cassie is a strong, independent woman that’s on the brink of turning 40. She has no intention of ever getting married or having children – a direct result of her mother’s crippling drug addiction that tarnished Cassie’s entire childhood experience. She bands together with a few women at various stages in their lives to create a support network and they all have one thing in common; man problems. When a man decides he wants to join their group, life gets a bit interesting for Cassie on a personal and professional level.

Dating for Decades was a wonderful heart-felt story that dealt with real-life issues. Filled with a few broken adults, a less-than stellar childhood, and a group of women that do their best to help one another get past the bad things in their lives. One of the main topics in this story is forgiveness. Forgiveness is freeing and you shouldn’t wait until it’s too late to tell people how you feel. Although this story was quite entertaining and filled with clever humor, it was also heart-felt and real, and gave me all the feels. I found myself tearing up throughout the second half of the story, and cheering Cassie on the whole way through.

It’s interesting to think how much of an impact one’s past has on their perspective in life and love. Some things in life are learned, some things are taught, and some things are a defense mechanism in response to one’s personal experience. Cassie constantly pushes men away because she never wants to let anyone get too close. Eventually the walls one puts up to protect themselves from getting hurt can be broken down by people who do so with unconditional love and care. Through our shared experiences, we live life and embrace love.

5/5 for another fabulous story from Tracy krimmer. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

I received a complimentary Advanced Review Copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Book Links: Currently $0.99 on Amazon | Amazon UK | Goodreads

 

Connect with the Author – Tracy Krimmer

Author Links: Website | Newsletter Sign-Up | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads

21BeJcsR3rL._UX250_Author Bio: Tracy’s love of writing began at nine years old. She wrote stories about aliens at school, machines that did homework for you, and penguins. Now she pens books and short stories about romance. She loves to read a great book, whether it be romance or science fiction, or any genre in between, or pop popcorn and catch up on her favorite TV shows or movies. She’s been known to crush a candy or two as well. Her first romance novel, Pieces of it All, released in May 2014 followed in December with Caching In, a romance mixed with the hobby of geocaching. She also has written several short stories.

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Rebecca Raisin – Book Excerpt

Today I’m excited to share an excerpt of the latest release from Rebecca Raisin. I’m currently in the middle of reading this one and loving it so much! (Check back in next week for my review!)

The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Raisin

RebeccaRaisin-LittleAntiqueShop Published: June 30, 2016

Book Blurb: 

Anouk LaRue used to be a romantic, but since she had her heart well and truly broken her love life has dissolved into nothing more than daydreams of the perfect man. Retreating to her extraordinary Little Antique Shop has always been a way to escape, because who could feel alone in a shop bursting with memories and beautiful objects…

Until Tristan Black bursts into an auction and throws her ordered world into a spin.

Following your heart is a little like getting lost in Paris – sometimes confusing and always exciting! Except learning to trust her instincts is not something Anouk is ready to do when it comes to romance, but the city of love has other ideas…

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads | iTunes | Barnes & Noble

Excerpt

The most rewarding part of my job was seeing a customer’s eyes light up when they took delivery, their hands finding their face, mouths hanging open, and the still of the moment, as if time stopped as two worlds collided.

Past and present. Then and now.

Using the hutch, I knew that Marie would have an epiphany, an idea that hauled her from the well of writer’s block; was it her subconscious, or was it Anaïs, giving her a ghostly hand up when the words wouldn’t flow?

You would have been surprised how many customers called me with shy voices and told me stories about their antique, and how they were visited by ghosts – the former owners checking in. As if every now and then, they traveled back from their fluffy perch in heaven to check their beloved antique was still being cared for.

It was especially true for antiques used by artistic people. They found it that much harder to let go and move to the next place. A violin from the early 1800s was heard during the night, the soft lament of the strings ringing out as the new owner was roused from sleep and followed the sound, catching the curtain shiver once or twice, even though the windows were locked tight, and the door bolted.

Or a typewriter, once used by some robust, whisky-fueled writer, would suddenly come to life, its keys clacking in the dark of midnight. It was just a brief visit to touch base with the precious medium that made their art immortal. The clink of a glass to whisky bottle heard, a goodbye, before silence enveloped the room once more.

Even I’d had a visit. I had an old clock, once owned by a fifties’ French actress who was notorious for arriving late on set, and then staying up all hours with whatever beau took her fancy. When I first took the grandfather clock home, it would tick tock louder at the witching hour, as if it was greeting her, and I wondered if I sprinted to the living room if I’d catch her curvaceous shadow caught in moonlight as she revisited the one thing that always beat her in her life – time. She died tragically, young and beautiful, and in the afterlife chased the thing that had evaded her.

Ghosts visiting their prized possessions? It was all sorts of crazy, and I’d be dubious myself, if I hadn’t seen it firsthand. I wondered if Anaïs would be there in spirit today, whispering to me through the ages…

Stay Connected with the Author

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

RebeccaRaisinAuthor Bio: 

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.

Come and say hello to Rebecca on her Facebook page or Twitter.

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Summer is by far my favorite time of the year. When I hear the word Summer I think about beautiful sunny days filled with delicious warmth and yummy tropical drinks. Regardless if you work full-time, or have the Summer off, Summertime is the best! One of my favorite things that happens during the Summer is… The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!!! If you love shopping as much as I do, I’m sure you’re somewhat aware of the Nordstrom Sale. Every year towards the end of July, Nordstrom brings in brand-new products and prices them on sale for about a third off the regular price for a limited time. If you’re going to shop at Nordstrom, and they have items you want, this is THE time to shop!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

The main thing I look forward to during the Anniversay Sale are the special beauty products. They always bring in large sized products at fantastic prices. There are certain products they generally carry each year during Anniversary and I was happy to find that my go-to products were included again this year. I purchased the Clarins SPF 50 duo (Sale $62, retail value $84), which is my go-to every day moisturizer with SPF. I wear this on top of my regular moisturizer which happens to be the Clinique Moisture Surge, which also was on sale (Sale $96, retail value $199).

My other beauty product purchases included the Lorac eyeshadow and blush palette (Sale $18, practically free!), a pair of anti-aging gloves from Iluminage (Sale $33, retail value $45) and the essential greens booster trio from 8G (Sale $25, retail value $37.50).

You can’t shop the sale without being distracted by the clothing and accessories…am I right?! I purchased 2 pairs of leggings; Plaid Hue Trouser Leggings (Sale $26.90, retail value $40), Black Hue Seamed Skimmer Leggings (Sale $26.90, retail value $40), 1 pair of cozy socks;Treasure & Bond Knit Over the Knee Socks (Sale $9.90, retail value $16), 2 scarves; Shiraleah ‘Anya’ Plaid Scarf (Sale $24.90, retail value listing removed – product sold out), BP Stripe Pattern Scarf (Sale $18.90, retail value $29), and 3 tops; Lush V-Neck Crepe Blouses (Sale $27.90, retail value $42).

In addition to the beauty and clothing purchases, I also treated myself to a bit of new lingerie, which I decided not to share for privacy reasons. I do recommend checking out the wonderful selection available in the lingerie department that’s on sale before everything goes back up to regular price!

As you can see, I spent a good deal of money during the sale, but I also saved a lot and got a ton of great product while doing so. I’ve already used most of my new beauty products, and I can’t wait to cut the tickets and wear my new clothes!

 

Are you a Nordstrom Anniversay Sale shopper?

What purchases did you make this year?

Arielle Joy

 

 

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Beyond Dead – Interview & Giveaway

Beyond Dead by Jordaina Sydney Robinson

beyond dead Published: March 2016

Book Blurb: Dead less than twenty-four hours, with a job that doesn’t pay, a fashion disaster for a uniform and more afterlife rules than she can shake a stick at, Bridget Sway thinks it’s as bad as it can get. And then she finds a dead ghost stuffed in her locker.

Since the police are desperate to arrest her for murder, Bridget’s new best friend convinces her the only way to save herself from an eternity in prison is to solve the murder themselves.

With a handsome parole officer watching her every move, an outlaw ghost befriending her and two persistent mediums demanding her attention, solving the murder is not quite as easy as it sounds. And when “murder” turns into “murders” Bridget needs to solve the case … before she becomes the next dead body stuffed in her locker.

jordaina sydneyBook Links: AmazonUS | Amazon UK | Kobo | iBooks | Nook

About the Author

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Author Bio: Jordaina Sydney Robinson grew up and, despite many adventures further afield, still lives in the North West of England. For fun she buys notebooks, gets walked by her husky puppy and sings really loudly and really badly whilst driving her trusty old Seat, Roger. If you want to find out just how bad her singing is then you can visit her official website at www.JordainaSydneyRobinson.com and ask her.

Q & A with Jordaina

1. What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

There are a couple of things. The first is that there is always a silver lining to every situation no matter how dire things may initially seem as long as you know how to look. For example, you break your leg – boo! But you get six weeks off work – yay! That’s a very simplified example, I know, but you get the idea. The second thing is that it’s important to not hide or compromise who you are. I wanted Bridget to be really strong and independent but also flawed so people would be able to relate to her. She can be materialistic and occasionally dismissive of people but those are the things that make her real and she embraces that’s who she is. I think that’s the most attractive quality a person can have – to be confident enough in themselves to be who they are, faults and all. Ultimately, the book is a cosy mystery so neither of these themes are hammered home, they just play out in the background. Above all, the thing I’d most like people to take away is that they had a fun time whilst they were reading.

2. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Writing! Just sitting down at a desk (or a picnic bench in the summer) with cup of tea and letting my imagination create whatever it wants. Also working in my pyjamas is a nice bonus.

3. Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes. Always. For as long as I can remember I’ve been writing something, whether it was dodgy poetry, short stories or full length novels. When I was younger I flirted with a few other career ideas but I never really abandoned writing.

4. What inspired you to start writing and what continues to inspire you?

I’ve always loved stories. I love that you can pick up a book and become completely immersed in that world and leave the real world (and all the bills that need paying, washing the needs doing) behind for a while. I keep writing for the same reason I keep reading and that’s because I want to know how the stories end. Also, I get to live vicariously through my characters which is fun!

5. Do you write with a plan or do you write and see where the story takes you?

I plan but I plan loosely. It’s a “broad strokes” plan that takes up less than a page. Even then I use it as a guide rather than a concrete diagram of how everything will play out. Usually for NaNoWriMo I don’t plan anything at all and just write pretty much whatever comes and let the plot unfold as we go. It can be pretty disjointed when you try to read it back but I mainly do it for fun and exploring a different genre than anything else.

6. What are the challenges of writing a series? Did you plan the series out before writing or did the books come together as a series once you’d begun writing the first one?

Bridget was always going to be a series. As a reader they’re my preference so it makes sense that it’s the same when I’m writing. I think the biggest challenge of any series is that you have to let the characters and storylines grow and evolve without losing the basic elements of what your readers fell in love with in the first book. It can be a fine line and I’ve read more series that do it badly than those who do it well.

7. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? 

I once worked in a factory sorting white hangers from black hangers. I lasted a day. And I only lasted that long because it was out of town and the only way there and back was a company bus. If I could have gotten myself home I’ve have been out of there after ten minutes!

8. What would you be doing if you weren’t an author?

I wanted to be an actor for a while until I realised that tv shows/films were filmed out of sequence and that to make Superman “fly” they attached a harness and filmed him swinging around indoors in front of a green screen. That said, I think I only wanted to be an actor because it was another way of telling stories. I don’t really know what I would be doing – there are far too many careers for me to choose from (astronaut, scientist, archeologist, cruise ship singer) but I lack the dedication to do any of them which I think is one of the many reasons I love writing because I sort of get to do them all.

9. What is your favorite inspirational phrase or quote? 

“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.” It’s a quote from G. K. Chesterton. It’s something that really resonates with me because it’s all about perspective which links back into the whole “silver lining” theme  in the series as well.

~~~

Giveaway: Enter to win ebooks of Beyond Dead & Deader Still!
http://goo.gl/forms/cWDXBp1dCXSJuhI13

Check out the other stops on the virtual tour:

Beyond Dead (1)July 18 – Chick Lit Plus – Review

July 19 – Living Life With Joy – Q&A

July 20- Shannon’s Bookish Life – Review

July 21 – Chick Lit Goddess – Excerpt

July 22 – Authors and Readers Book Corner – Excerpt

July 22 – Fiction Dreams – Excerpt

clp button (8)July 25 – The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

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The Devil’s Own Chloe – Excerpt & Giveaway

I’m excited to tell you about a fun romance that’s currently free for a limited time called The Devil’s Own Chloe by Alix Nichols. Read on for an excerpt of the novel to learn more about it and then go get yourself a free copy while you can! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $10 amazon gift card and 3 romance bestsellers!!

The Devil’s Own Chloe by Alix Nichols

the devils own khloePublished: May 1, 2016

Book Blurb:

The Devil’s Own Chloe is a feel-good romance that tackles some big issues and delivers a shy-guy hero you won’t want to forget!

Young Parisian architect Chloe Germain hires childhood friend Hugo Bonnet as a builder. Lethally toxic to loved ones, Chloe keeps them at arm’s length to protect them.

Or so she thinks.

Patient and strong, Hugo prides himself on being able to fix anything. Trouble is, he’s never tried repairing a chasm in someone’s soul before.

Will his love save Chloe or will fixing her leave him broken?

Book Links: Amazon | Amazon UK | Goodreads Free for a limited time on Amazon July 16-18

Connect with the Author

Author Links: Amazon | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Twitter

alix nicholsAuthor Bio:

Alix Nichols is an unapologetic caffeine addict and a longtime fan of Mr. Darcy, especially in his Colin Firth incarnation. She is a Kindle Scout and Dante Rossetti Award winning author of critically acclaimed romantic comedies. At the age of six, she released her first rom com. It featured highly creative spelling on a dozen pages stitched together and bound in velvet paper. Decades later, she still loves the romance genre. Her spelling has improved (somewhat), and her books have made Amazon bestseller lists, climbing as high as #1. She lives in France with her family and their almost-human dog. **For exclusive content, giveaways and special offers, including a bonus book, subscribe to the monthly newsletter on her author website: http://www.alixnichols.com.**

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway here! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other stops on the virtual tour:

The Devil's Own (1)July 16

Living Life With Joy
Shannon’s Bookish Life
The Book Junkie Reads
The Silver Dagger Scriptorium 

July 17

Chick Lit Goddess
Chick Lit Plus

Julclp button (8)y 18

Alina Melinda Reads
Granny Loves To Read
Up Close and Literal 

 

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