Thursday Thoughts with Award-winning author Christine Nolfi @christinenolfi

thursday thoughtsWelcome to TOW bi-monthly feature Thursday’s Thoughts. On the second and fourth Thursday of each month, I share the thoughts of a featured author in the form of answers to questions I posed to them.

One of February’s featured authors is Christine Nolfi.

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How long have you been writing?

First let me say, thank you for inviting me to post on The Opinionated Woman’s Musings blog. I’ve been walking around on happy feet since Booklist said my February 28th release “…has such a charming small-town vibe and endearing characters that readers will find themselves falling in love with quirky Sweet Lake and hoping for a series.”

Ok, back to the question. I can’t recall a time in childhood when I wasn’t writing stories. After college, I owned a small PR firm, and took on writing tasks for companies in northeast Ohio. Once my four adopted children were all in elementary school, I began writing novels fulltime.

If you’ve read the Liberty Series, you know I love writing stand-alone stories without cliffhangers, and with characters reappearing in later books. Creating a fictional town packed with eccentric, heartwarming people that readers will enjoy visiting time and again—is there anything more exciting? For me, there isn’t.

If you could be an animal, which would it be and why?

Years ago, I had reading by a medium who said mine was the spirit of the Great Black Wolf. It seemed a bizarre comment at the time. As I drove home, it dawned that I’ve always owned at least one dog. I was also born in the Chinese year of the dog, so it seems the choice has been made on my behalf.

What is your advice to someone new to writing?

Find a critique group of serious writers, with at least one published author in the group. Writing is a solitary occupation, and it helps to find the members of your tribe. If you’re not sure where to find a critique group, check with your local chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America) or MWA (Mystery Writers of America).

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I’m the last woman alive who will freely admit she enjoys cleaning her house. For reasons unknown, great ideas for the next novel pop into my head while quietly ironing or mopping a floor. I also love to work out at the gym, cooking, gardening—and reading, of course!

Please tell us about your February release.

sweet-lake

In Sweet Lake, Linnie Wayfair battles to wrest control of the family’s inn, a historic Ohio landmark, from her flamboyant, filmmaker brother. During the tussle for control, she inadvertently sparks a romance with his attorney. Not that she thinks romance is a great idea: the tourist town of Sweet Lake, Ohio is dying. If she doesn’t turn the Wayfair Inn around, her beloved hometown will be all but shuttered.

She has help along the way from her two closest friends, Jada and Cat. She’s also aided by a group of older women in town who refuse to see the inn shut down. The Sweet Lake Sirens intervene on Linnie’s behalf in hilarious, and often poignant ways.

I don’t want to give all the fun away. Let me leave you with this quote from Kirkus Reviews: “The theme that ‘any event capable of breaking a woman could break her open instead, to reveal her true beauty and power’ reveals itself in surprising ways. In this uplifting and charming story, each room of the inn is filled with friendship, forgiveness, and love.”

Interested in learning more about award-winning author Christine Nolfi? She provides readers with heartwarming and inspiring fiction. Her debut Treasure Me is a Next Generation Indie Awards finalist. The Midwest Book Review lists the books in the Liberty Series as “highly recommended” and her novels have enjoyed bestseller status. Look for her 2017 series, Sweet Lake. Join her mailing list at http://eepurl.com/AcuEH and chat with her on Twitter at @christinenolfi.

Christine’s website: http://christinenolfi.com

Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4811669.Christine_Nolfi

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/christinenolfi

Christine on Twitter: https://twitter.com/christinenolfi

Link to Sweet Lake on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Lake-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B01IH81XUM/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1484075291&sr=8-1&keywords=sweet+lake

Link to The Comfort of Secrets on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N4N00OR/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Link to the Liberty Series on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Liberty-5-Book/dp/B014Z0T9D4/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1484075616&sr=8-7&keywords=the+liberty+series+by+christine+nolfi

Dare to Dream by CA Harms #amreading #romance @charms0814

DARE TO DREAM by CA Harms
SERIES: A Carolina Beach Novel
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED
RELEASE DATE: February 14th 2017


After the sudden death of his wife two years ago, Darren Griffin has finally found peace. He has a good life, good job, two daughters he’d do anything for, and a beautiful home on the beach.

Greer Monroe is grieving the loss of her father. It’s the final rung on the broken ladder that’s become her life—crappy job, no friends, and a cheating ex-boyfriend. At the insistence of her aunt, Greer decides to spend some time at her family’s beach house.

When the glee-filled sound of children’s laughter dances through the breeze, Greer finds herself smiling again. The neighbor girls are carefree, depicting a life Greer has only dreamed about. Husband, children, happiness—a family. And their father, Darren, he’s everything a woman could ever want.

But it is, of course, only a dream.

She can’t stay at Carolina Beach, no matter how much she adores Darren and his daughters. She has responsibilities at home, a mother who needs her. Where there’s love, there’s heartbreak, and she can’t go through that again. And she sure as hell won’t do that to those little girls.

But Darren isn’t letting her go that easily. It’s been so long since he’s felt this way for anyone. Greer is his missing piece, a piece he never thought he’d find.

Saying goodbye is hard, but sometimes starting over is even harder.

Only when they dare to dream again, will they ever dare to love.
Darren’s POV 


 

“Are they both asleep?” Greer asked as I stepped out onto the deck and handed her a glass of wine. 

 


 

“Yes,” I said. “They both slowly gave in after they talked about you for at least ten minutes.” 

 

She smiled as she lifted the glass to her mouth. I couldn’t help but watch closely as it came in contact with her plump, full lips, distracting me from my thoughts. The way she tipped the glass and the way her throat bobbed when she swallowed was so sexy. 

 

“I had a great time; they’re both amazing,” she assured me as she lowered her glass and brought it to rest on the deck railing. 

 

I was lost for a moment watching her profile as she looked out toward the water in the distance. She appeared so at peace, so settled. It was a feeling I wasn’t familiar with. Instead I found myself wanting to do whatever it took to keep her. 

 

I stepped closer and my movements caused her to look up. Without any further delay, fearing if I didn’t do it now, I wouldn’t make the move, I lifted my hand and skimmed my palm over her cheek as I slid it farther into her hair. 

 

“I don’t think I told you that you’re amazing,” I whispered as I moved my body even closer to hers, feeling her chest pressed firmly to mine. 

 

“You did, but I sort of like hearing it,” she confessed as her eyes shifted from mine to my mouth, then back again to meet my gaze. 

 

There was a silent pause just before I moved in, finally closing that last amount of distance between us. Her lips pressed to mine, and I hooked my arm around her waist and held her as close as I possibly could. A gentle brush of my tongue caused her lips to part, and I moved in, taking full advantage. That was the kind of guy I was, demanding, greedy. I just hadn’t been him for so long. But Greer ignited a need inside me that had been hidden someplace down deep. 

 

It felt extraordinary to be a man with needs and wants and to act on them again. It was freeing and natural, and I knew in that moment that had I allowed my desires to go as far as my mind was screaming for them to go, I would have had her backed up against the house and panting my name in seconds. 

 

But I had to move slowly, not only for her but for me. Because Greer, I could already tell, could be very addicting. 

 

I pulled back from the kiss and rested my forehead against hers, and for a moment we both just remained connected, breathing as evenly as possible. My pulse raced and my body hummed from just one kiss. My lips tingled, begging for more. 

 


 

She slid her hand beneath the back of my shirt, and the connection ignited my need again as I took her mouth once more. This time, I devoured her lips. The desire to stop was now long gone, replaced by deep hunger. 

 


 

“Darren,” she panted against my mouth as she dug her fingers into my back. 

 


 

“I know,” I said, though I wasn’t sure why. Maybe I was telling her I felt it too, or maybe I was agreeing that this was just too much. 

 


 

I was torn between stopping this before it went further and taking what I needed. 

 


 

“Daddy.” 

 


 

My daughter’s voice broke us apart, and I backed away from Greer as if an ice-cold glass of water had been dumped over me. 

 


 

Greer fumbled to right herself and knocked her wineglass onto the floor in the process. The look on her face gave me all the confirmation I needed that the moment we’d shared was now over.

 

A little about me. Let’s see where to start.

I love HEA stories, as long as they come packing a little heat. I need some excitement, some angst, and moments that make me fan my face are always good too. I am an Illinois girl, born and raised. Simple and true, it honestly doesn’t take much to make me happy. I love the little things; they truly mean the most. I may have a slight addiction to my new Keurig—oh my, that thing is a godsend. And so fast too. I have two children who truly are my very best friends, and their faces never fail to put a smile on my face. I have been married to my husband for sixteen years, and even though at times I want to beat him with a stick, I would never change the years we have had. We have learned and fallen, only to pick each other up, dust off the ache, and help each other make it right.

I am one of those authors that adore my fans. I love to hear from you. After all, it is because of each one of you that I continue to write. I look forward to your feedback.

Be sure to follow me to stay up-to-date on all my upcoming releases.


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Cover Reveal: Deathstalkers MC Boxset by Alexis Noelle #mcromance @_alexisnoelle_


Title: Deathstalkers MC Books 1-3
Author: Alexis Noelle
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: March 13, 2017 

 

How hot can you handle it?
They are bikers.
They are rough, rugged, and raunchy.
The men of the Deathstalker MC Club are also loyal to the core. They stand by their club without question or fear, and when it comes to their women, there’s no holding them back.
They love fiercely and ferociously.
These men play for keeps, getting what they want when they want it.
No excuses.
No exceptions.
No turning back.
So hop on and take a ride on the wild side–if you dare.

 

 

Alexis Noelle lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with her husband, and three kids. On top a writing career, she is a full-time student and a full-time mom. She loves spending time with her kids, although she has to hide the computer from them when she is writing! She love being active and being outdoors, especially if it involves any kind of shopping.
She has always been passionate about writing. She loves to read romance books and feels like being able to lose yourself in a book is one of the more exciting aspects. The books she loves to read and write will be ones that make you feel for the characters. Ashley believes that you should have an opinion on every character in a book whether you love them, hate them, or think they are up to something.She also believes that the most important critic is your reader, so she loves to hear from the readers. She want her fans to be open & talk to her about what they want for the characters in the story, and what they would like to see happen.

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Fae Spark #review #amreading

Fae Spark 

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Synopsis
Eero is a fae man that is ready to choose his companion to have his children. In this world, fae choose human women to bear their children. This is an enviable position for most women because having a fae child means that they will be taken care of and be able to live in luxury the rest of their lives. Fae men usually choose their consort based on looks alone, but Eero also wants someone who he believes will genuinely love and care for their children.
Liana is a human woman and the chosen consort of Eero. She does not want to be chosen by any fae to be a consort. Mainly she believes that she is not the skin tone or body shape that could attract any fae man.

Opinion
The story started really strong and I was drawn into the world that the author created. But (and you know I am about to let the other shoe drop now) Liana was a tremendously stubborn woman. It was draining.

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She signed the contract to accept Eero and be his consort, but then she spends the majority of the book resisting him. She knew she thought he was attractive, but she acted like she had to fight the impulse at every turn.

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I could tell that she had low self-esteem because she did not believe that someone who looked like her could attract someone who looked like him. There were some mentions of her skin tone and body size as if she had a complex because of her looks. Eero thought they belonged together, but I felt that she did not deserve him.

Do not get me wrong, I am all for the big brown girl to get the hunky hotty.

However, in this case, it was infuriating to me that she would repeatedly be overly negative to him when he was trying to get her to understand why he thought there was a connection. How much disses can one guy take? If she could only get it through her thick head that he was not with her just to have a baby!

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TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
If the story had stopped after the first few chapters, I would have said unequivocally BUY. But with the rest of the story, you might find it as tiresome as I did. I kept reading because I was hoping it would get better. There were some interesting side plot lines that peaked my interest, but I am not sure it was enough to make up for Liana’s bad attitude.

Book details
Series: Mates of the Fae
Publisher: Hard Candies Publishing; 2 edition (May 5, 2016)
Publication Date: May 5, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

 

The Secret Life of Bees #bestseller #historicalnovel #fiction #bookclubpick

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

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Synopsis
Lily is searching for answers about her mother who died in a tragic accident when she was a toddler. Following a violent incident with her nanny Rosaleen and some racist men in their town, Lily and Rosaleen travel Tiburon, South Carolina. This town might be a clue to helping Lily find out who her mother really was.

The family that they stay with are 3 black beekeeper sisters. Here, they find shelter and Lily is able to search for the answers that she has had her whole life.

Opinion
The writing and imagery was good, but I could not fully enjoy the coming-of-age story because I was on edge hoping that these black women would not be lynched for having the humanity to be hospitable to a white girl. Given that racists at that time committed some very violent acts with impunity, I was not sure which way the author was taking the story.

In the beginning chapters, Rosaleen was put in the hospital because of a confrontation. I have two thoughts on that whole incident as well because I feel that was the catalyst for the Lily moving and taking Rosaleen with her.

  1. There is NO WAY that a black woman at that time would do what Rosaleen did, knowing full well that those men would try to kill her.
  2. If a black woman of that era had done what Rosaleen did and if the sheriff allowed them to beat her while in jail, I doubt that they would have taken her to the hospital. They would have beaten her to death.

I read this book because it was picked by a member of my book club. I hesitate to read books from this time period because usually the issue of the racial discord is glossed over in such a way that tries to make it seem like things were not really all that bad. Essentially, the white people were privileged to do whatever they pleased, and for the most part, they did not question the division and inequality of races. It was accepted as that is how society was and there was no need to change it (which is still a problem BTW). The black people were wise enough to counsel and support the white person in their care, while being content with their lot in life to be subservient.

Therein lies one of the main reasons I have issue with people saying that they wished they could be back in the “good old days”.

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But that is a post for another time…

All things considered, if you want to pretend that the ugliness of racial prejudice did not happen, the story is a heartwarming tale. If you or someone you know was negatively affected by the racially motivated domestic terrorism in the South during the 50s and 60s, you might be bitter like I was.

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
I say BORROW, but there is a large population of readers that say BUY.

Book Details
Print Length: 333 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0143124323
Publisher: Penguin Books; 1st edition (January 28, 2003)
Publication Date: January 28, 2003
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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