Kiss and ’Telle? by Nadine C. Keels

Kiss and ’Telle?
A Novella
(Contemporary Romance)

“This book has so many uplifting and funny moments!” ~The Adventures of a Traveler’s Wife
“…a fun and enchanting read focused on the theme of longtime friendship and love.” ~RAIN’N’BOOKS

If only this type of thing were as easy as it looks in chick flicks.

Ever since her college days, Chantelle has had growing feelings for Dennis, a swaggering and smart geek-at-heart who’s got romance coming out of his ears. At least, he talks as if he’s mastered the art of dating, but how would Chantelle know if it’s true? She’s never gotten to experience Dennis as anything more than a close friend.

But wait! A huge opportunity comes along that could impact both their personal and professional lives. This may lead to the perfect time for Chantelle to tell Dennis what he means to her.

It may also be time for some of Chantelle’s own words about love to come back to bite her.

Oops.

This contemporary romance features characters who first appeared in Hope Unashamed, the sequel to Love Unfeigned. Enjoy a bonus excerpt at the end of the story.

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Pick up a copy of Kiss and ’Telle?

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Amazon Paperback

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The Samurai’s Honor by Walt Mussell

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

The Samurai’s Honor by Walt Mussell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

As Sen heads toward young womanhood, she may no longer be able to get away with indulging her curiosity through eavesdropping and spying. This becomes strikingly apparent when she and her older sister witness a violent crime they should never have seen in The Samurai’s Honor by author Walt Mussell.

Even if I hadn’t already been into this historical ChristFic series, my “fascinated with samurai-related Japanese history” self might not have been able to resist this novella’s book cover. The suggestion of artistry, honor, and danger presented by the sword, juxtaposed with delicate cherry blossoms, set against the faint background of Japanese architecture. Gorgeous!

I didn’t really start to get into this short prequel until about halfway through. But having already enjoyed the novel that comes after it, I was interested in seeing where this would lead. It turns out to be quite a fitting and appropriately layered precursor to Sen’s continuing story, and the ending has me intrigued all over again—almost as if I hadn’t read the following book already.

I’m keeping my eyes open for more in The Heart of the Samurai series.

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Here’s my review of The Samurai’s Heart.

 

The Morning After by Raelee May Carpenter

I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received an advance reading copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

The Morning After by Raelee May Carpenter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description: Grace Rises, Book One

Matt Kelly, actor/comedian and Brisbane, Australia native, was raised the only child of a single mum but traveled halfway around the world to make it big in Hollywood. Molly Cooper, Michigan-born freelance journalist, comes from money but generally struggles to make ends meet somewhere even close to the middle. In spite of their differences, the two have been close friends ever since their respective careers crossed their lives’ paths several years ago.

But this is The Morning After their Big Mistake. Now they are forced to reevaluate everything—not just in their relationship, but in their lives.

My endorsement: It would be easy to fill a novel like this with platitudinous lessons and one-dimensional “good” people and “bad” people. But instead, Raelee May Carpenter brings natural, believable characters to the page in a nuanced story that’s authentic and redemptive.

(The book inspired me to create a little fan art, which isn’t something that happens every day.)

 

Nicole by Sarah Monzon

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley for an honest review.

Nicole by Sarah Monzon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

As a divorced mom busy raising a daughter on one hand and trying to save Planet Earth on the other, Nicole hasn’t got time for dating. But her sewing-sisters circle insists on playing matchmakers, even if Drew, a doctor who annoys Nicole out of her skull, isn’t exactly what the sisters have in mind in Nicole by author Sarah Monzon.

Admittedly, I can only do a few contemporary romances a year nowadays. I tend to burn out on some of the unsurprising elements that show up in a lot of them, so I have to be selective. The expressive, vibrant, and thoroughly fun illustrated cover on this ChristFic romantic comedy, with a bespectacled and stylish heroine I heard is a plus-size gal, convinced me to give this read a go.

Now, while the switch from the serious to the more frivolous comes off as rather insensitive at one point in the story, I appreciate that this author doesn’t avoid addressing serious issues even in a story that’s on the lighter side overall.

Nicole and Drew are interesting characters with contrasting sides to them. And to be frank, I especially like how this romance doesn’t take the “jumping to huge conclusions and overreacting” route to contrive a dramatic climax.

This read is sure to please fans of sweet contemporary romance.

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Nicole is Book Three in the Sewing in SoCal series.

 

Do You *Enjoy* Being a Writer?

On social media, a reader recently asked a bunch of us authors which book was our favorite to write and why. I answered that my favorite book to write is the one I’m writing at the time.

Later in the discussion, the reader mentioned authors talking about “how much fun they had writing a particular book,” and it gave me pause.

“Fun.” Hmm…

If you were to ask the serious, abundantly gifted painter in one of my all-time favorite books, My Name is Asher Lev, if painting is fun for him, I’m 100% sure he wouldn’t start describing any rollicking good times he’s had at his easel. And in the sequel, The Gift of Asher Lev, when Asher’s father asks if art makes Asher happy:

“Does it satisfy you to do those things? Does it make you happy?”
“I’ve never known of a serious artist who was happy. Except maybe Rubens.”
“Then why do you do it, Asher?”
“I don’t know. I do it.”

Now, I don’t subscribe to an idea that all great artists and writers have to be grave or melancholy individuals, or that art can’t be satisfying to anyone who’s serious about creating it, but still.

Fun.

I had to admit that the soul-deep fulfillment of writing doesn’t exactly translate to “fun” for me. I mean, sometimes it does, but not always. And not always in the moment.

YES, I absolutely enjoy being a writer overall, but many times (especially in critical times) when I’m working to finish a book, there’s a crucial sense of urgency to it.

I have to write this.
I have to complete it.
I have to get this story out there.
Somebody must need it.

I was in the midst of a ten-year-long stretch of maltreatment when I got the idea for Eubeltic Descent, the first book in my Eubeltic Realm series. But I couldn’t write that story while I was still trapped in the cage I was in. Even once I escaped that situation, it took another four years of pain and growing before I was ready to write the book. When I finally got to that place, my time pounding it out at my computer was a heavy time. I felt the weight of the work.

Hey, sometimes even in the beginning stages, while I’m scribbling out initial notes… I hadn’t even officially started writing Embracing the Outcast yet, the second book in my Crowns Legacy series. But writing about something that sensitive and close to my heart, something I’d never read about in Christian Fiction before… Just getting to know the characters better in my head and planning some of their dialogue had me weeping before I even started the actual manuscript.

And, no. It wasn’t a “tears of joy” kind of weeping.

Now, a couple of the contemporary romances I’ve written, Kiss and ’Telle? and The “She” Stands Alone—yeah! Pretty fun thrills I had while writing those. And when I was finally able to write The Movement of Crowns after imagining it since my teens, it was an utter pleasure.

Even so, the sheerest pleasure of writing for me comes afterward, when I get to take a little time to be my book-loving self and simply read the book I wrote and published.

Ahhhh.

Oh, that pleasure may include laughing, sighing, crying, throwing the book down, picking it up and hugging it—whatever the case may be. Other emotional and demonstrative bookish types know the deal.

But still. 😀

For any other dedicated writers out there, would you say that writing is fun for you?