Tag Archives: love

Bluebird by Genevieve Graham- a Review

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I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

This story starts out in Belgium in WWI. The heroine, Adele, is a nurse in an army hospital. These women were called Bluebirds because of their uniforms of light blue and white. Adele has been there for a while and has been able to keep her distance from the injured men she helps treat. The nurses are encouraged not to become personally involved with the patients and Adele works hard to not get attached..

Then a tunneler named Jeremy is brought in wounded severely and requiring a lot of care. These tunnelers were vital to the war effort and spent all their time underground setting explosives to aid their comrades who were fighting above ground.  Jerry’s brother, John is also a tunneler and saves Jerry from an explosion by the enemy and makes sure his brother is brought to the hospital. The nurse assigned to Jerry is Adele.

At first, due to his injuries, Jerry can’t talk. Adele spends time with him reading to him and chatting. They draw close, but eventually, Jerry heals and heads back to the front and they lose contact.

Both Jerry and Adele are Canadian and from the same general area of Ontario. When Jerry returns home with his brother, he tries to find Adele but is unsuccessful and fears she died in Belgium. Adele is likewise sure Jerry didn’t survive.

The story follows each of them as they rebuild their lives. This part of the book seemed to drag a bit. Honestly, a lot of the story was slow moving and it took me many days to get through that middle part.

The action eventually picked up after the two of them found their niches in the world. Adele went to work for a local doctor. Jerry and his brother entered the dangerous line of work of running illegal alcohol to the United States during prohibition. This was when the book picked up the pace.

Run-ins with a former friend turned enemy brought a sense of urgency to the plot and this reader enjoyed the new quicker pace of the tale.

It was obvious the author delved deep into research of the era, including the nursing corps of Canada in WWI, the tunnelers of that war and the prohibition era dangers to the smugglers and competitors in the business. There were a lot of intriguing parts such as the various ways the rum-runners got their liquor across the border to sell it, including all the ways they hid bottles in the automobiles. It was also interesting to learn about the way the restaurants in Canada offered free liquor if the patron ordered food as a way to get around the laws in place. This reader wasn’t familiar with Canada’s laws during prohibition, so a lot of the information was new. The author was deft at sliding in the historical details without making the story read like a history lesson.

Overall, the book was good and well-developed. Parts were slow, but I enjoyed the characters and the real history of the times being artfully inserted. I’d recommend this one. 4 stars.

Cowboy Boots on the Ground- Excerpt

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Here’s an excerpt for my December 23, 2017 romantic suspense release:

  • Excerpt:
    He wanted to help, and he probably could—if she
    could trust him…
    Olivia picked her chair up and sat. Sipping her
    coffee, she watched him a few seconds. “Okay then.
    Talk,” she finally said.
    “I was military intelligence for a number of years, so
    if it’s something where you need help in that direction,
    I’m your man. If you need someone with weapons skills,
    I’m your guy there, too.”
    “Why would you think I need that type of help?”
    “Since you got so offended when I made the
    comment about your mother’s illness, my training tells
    me there’s something else going on here than a mere fear
    by a daughter of being held back by her mother’s issues.
    Why don’t you tell me what is going on and let me see if
    there’s any way for me to assist you.”
    “Answer one question first.”
    “What’s that?”
    “Why? Why are you so gung-ho to help me? We’ve
    never really hit it off and, all of a sudden, you’re being
    kind and want to act like the Boy Scout who helps the old
    lady across the street.”
    The phone started ringing again. They let it play out.
    Rocky picked up where they left off. “I want to help you
    because I’m a nice guy, no matter what you might think,
    and I see you need it. There’s a mob outside your door
    who would eat you alive if given half a chance. You
    could call Sharon to assist you but I’m quite sure my
  • skill-set is a bit better at handling those people out there
    than hers.”
    “You’re probably right, but can you blame me for
    doubting your motives?”
    He shook his head. This was getting ridiculous.
    “You’re right. I’m done. Have a nice life.” Rocky rose
    from his seat, shoved the chair under the table, and turned
    toward the back door.
    In the moment his hand touched the knob, she said,
    “Okay. Okay. Sorry. I do need help. Please come and sit.
    I’ll tell you everything.”
    front cover (2)

New Release – Jillian Chantal

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A new Regency story from Jillian. This one has spies and adventure as well as romance.

Amazon link

Blurb:

Banished to the dower house by her stepson who believes she is after his fortune, the Dowager Duchess of Whittington lives a lonely existence during her year of mourning. Missing her husband and forbidden by the new duke to travel to London and stay in the ducal residence, twenty-two year old Hannah Otto despairs of ever getting out of the countryside.

Bored and somewhat annoyed at the restrictions placed on her, Hannah makes plans to visit a friend in London shortly before her mourning period is over.

Before Hannah has a chance to finalize those plans, her butler notifies her of a man in her courtyard. A bleeding, unconscious man slumped over the back of a fine steed. Feeling sorry for him yet glad for some excitement, Hannah has him brought inside.

But when he appears to be a French spy, she realizes the enormity of what she’s done.the-bachelor-and-the-dowanger-ebook-200x300-72dpi

A Sad Week

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In the last week, I’ve had a lot of sadness in my life. It’s weird how it comes in spurts like that. It started with the death of the man who rented office space from me. He’s been ill for a while so even though we all knew he was not doing well, it was a bit of a shock to hear that he passed away in his sleep during the day on last Friday. His family has decided to have his services in the town where he grew up instead of here where he lived for over thirty years. This saddens me as he was a big part of the community here and they are robbing us of the chance to say goodbye.

In the last day, I learned that a friend’s son was killed when a car backed over him. He was only seven. I’m utterly shattered for my friend and her family. I know how much they adored that little boy and I can’t wrap my head around such a devastating loss. I don’t know how they’re going to make it from day to day with this hole in their lives. There’s nothing I can say or do to make it better. I wish there was.

Death really puts things in perspective. I know I let things bother me and I get hurt easily but as I think about these people -both too young to go- being gone and no longer able to enjoy time with family and friends, I find myself hoping that the life I lead in the time I have left is one such that my family and friends will be as bereft as I am at the loss of these two. I endeavor to be as good a person as they both were.

Doors

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I’ve long been a fan of doors. Wherever I go, I find doors that intrigue me. Red doors on churches signified sanctuary in medieval times and I have lots of photos of red doors. Old doors with peeling paint are inspiring and beautiful to me. I love to see a door with character. Here are a few from my recent travels. Enjoy!

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From Seed to Final First Draft- in 14 Days

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I decided at the end of August to start a new novel with Venice as the setting. I’m totally a pantser when I write which is defined as not writing from a plot outline but from the seat of the pants. I usually start with protagonists’ names and not much else. Here are the notes I started with for this Venice story with no title yet. Fourteen days after I started writing, I had the first draft done. Ready now to polish and make it pretty enough to send out.

New story.

Vincente Canaletto

Charlotte Bolling

Venice. He’s a water taxi driver – they meet when he drives her from train station. She thinks he’s a lowly driver but he actually owns a fleet of them.

She’s an architect? Artist? She’s there to do research for something or paint?

He calls her Carlotta.

Yep, That’s all I had. I amaze myself sometimes when I think that from such a small seed, that a whole story can grow. This was a record first draft for me and I’m super excited about how it turned out- maybe I won’t be once I read it again! LOL!

On Sarcasm

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I "heart" Sarcasm

Romantic Heart form Love Seeds

Ahhh. Sarcasm. I love it. I like witty repartee and sarcasm can be fun – in moderation. I don't like it when it's used to hurt someone, but in a playful way, it can be interesting and flirtatious. I like to use it in my writing as characters seem more real if they have some idiosyncrasy and sarcasm can fit the bill there. So, yeah, I'd have to say I love it.

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“The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine”

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I love this song and I especially love this movie version. Whenever I talk about my love for Alan Rickman’s work, I get the old song and dance about him always playing the bad guy. Au contraire, mon amis. He’s got quite a few films under his belt where he’s a wonderful person and this is one of my particular favorites. This film, Truly, Madly, Deeply is a great flick and the role of Jamie is played by Alan to perfection. Juliet Stevenson is awesome as well.  Check out this video of Alan singing The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine, which really is a sad song but they sing it in a fun manner in this scene from the movie. AND, isn’t he handsome?

Tired but Happy

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Spent the weekend in Alabama at a wedding. My great niece. A beautiful young lady married the man of her dreams. He’s a wonderful guy and is clearly gaga over her. It made me happy to see how in love they are. I see  great things happening to them as they make a future for themselves.