Sunday, 11 October 2015

It's that #SYTYCW15 time of year again. Top Picks


Every year I try and second guess which of the entries will make it all the way to the top. This year, because of the Wattpad experience, I decided to use only the #Top55. I simply didn't have the time to go trawling through the zillions of entries that latched onto the contest.

Unlike last year, I'm one of the semi-finalists so I could be considered to have a vested interest. But being strong minded, I do not include my fabulous entry in the Top Picks. You can take that as read.

I read every first chapter of the #Top55 semi-finalists and did venture further on some stories. I mention this in the summary attached to each title if applicable.

My criteria is very simple. I think the book deserves to be in print and I want to read it. I've also kept in mind whether the book meets the criteria of the imprint.

The choices may not be the ones you would make but that is the beauty and the peril of the publishing industry. There are books for every taste and every taste may vary. Most of them I have only read the first chapter so I have no idea if they live up to the promise.

The overall quality of the chapters is very high as you would expect, being hand picked by the Harlequin Editors.

These are my Top Ten Picks in Alphabetical Order


A Soldier’s Princess – Romantic Suspense

This is a crazy mix of princess and bodyguard and potential destruction of the universe as we know it. Or at least a portion of it. This is a reunion romance and we get a good look at Alana and Gage and their past in this chapter.

Catch the Fallen Star - Superromance

Jonah is a recovering addict, placed in a small town under a false name so his mega stardom doesn’t bring down the paparazzi. Andi has moved into the house next door with her daughter after an ugly marriage breakdown. I’ve read the full story so I know how it turns out. The hero and heroine are well drawn.

Finding Home – Special Edition

Andie has had the responsibility of her family ever since the tragic death of her parents when her youngest brother was still at school. Her specialist Christmas shop is vital for the family finances because her other brother is still building up his veterinary practice. Connor has history with Andie back when she was a high school senior so his return to sell her building out from under her is adding insult to injury. This is another story I’ve read right to the end. At times it felt like almost too much was happening but it fits the SE line well.


 Love Like a Man – Blaze

This has a strong chick lit feel at the beginning with the Heroine Claire and her two BFFs.  Claire is a career woman but thought she had found her ideal man until he didn’t want to settle down (and promptly married a school teacher). I couldn’t help think of When Harry Met Sally. Now she’s going to forget settling and just date for fun. Gabe is a building contractor doing renovations in her office building and they meet. All his mates are married and settling down so he’s looking to settle. This could be fun.

Love on the Nile – Carina Press

My first thought was of course the Agatha Christie mystery “Death on the Nile” but once I read the blurb it was more like a taste of vintage romance. Good times.
Natasha with her youngish brother Nicky are joining their Aunt Lucy for a holiday in Egypt. She is disconcerted when they arrive to find their Aunt has organised a cruise down the Nile with an enigmatic archaeologist named Kyle. What’s not to like?


One Taste of You – Romantic Suspense

Zoe is our heroine in this chapter. She’s reeling from a put down from her ex that she is sexless and unappealing. You see where we are going here. Her best friends dress her up and send her out on the town to slay all the men. Which works fine, until she spots Zeke. Zeke is an undercover cop and he’s out to trap prostitutes tonight. He’s normally homicide but he’s on loan to vice. You see where we are going here. The next meeting is going to be a doozy.

Out of Focus – Superromance

This is listed as a superromance but it also has a little suspense in it. Eva is in a witness protection program with her children. She’s made a new life as a creative photographer with a small gallery. Her life becomes complicated when her assistant wants to promote the gallery through social media and the assistant's Journalist brother comes to the island. Marshall needs a good story to get a promotion and Eva could be it. I’ve read this right to the end.


Reunion romance. Bing. Music teacher Angela is desperate to fulfil her promise to take the school’s Jazz Ensemble to an event in Madrid. The school is against it, seeing anything not sport connected or academic as a waste of money. Her one chance is Daniel, her first love who is now a wealthy celebrity chef and who donates to the school regularly. Only trouble is, she ran away without confronting him when she saw him lip-locked with his ex-girlfriend fifteen years ago.

Tethered by Twins – Presents

Ah…Presents. Secret babies...blackmail…marriage of convenience. All the good stuff. Of course we don’t get that in the first chapter…that came in the pitch. Rose has come onto Drew’s yacht to tell him a secret but he is in a drunken stupor. Not a man she wants anything to do with even if he is mourning the recent death of his wife. The one he said he was engaged to when he was dumping Rose four years ago. Oh the angst.


Reunion romance. This is my catnip. Ava and Davi have history. Three years ago he dumped her but now she needs help and he’s the only man apart from her estranged father she can turn to. In return, he takes over her life and passport. This is looking like an angsty read.


Yes, I couldn't resist putting a few more in. Hey if the SYTYCW15 Top 50 can jump to 55 who am I to stick to numbers?



This is a reunion story. Tawny, the heroine, left Alex the hero, taking their daughter. We don’t know what triggered her leaving but we learn something of her troubled background which could be significant. Alex makes an appearance and we get a little view of where he is at. Tawny is very sick and that forces a confrontation she's been avoiding.

Chasing Mr Crown – Superromance

Unusually, this story has multiple viewpoints, not just the Hero and Heroine. This is the story of Natalie and Dash who meet just as Natalie is leaving for a new job across the Atlantic. They make a connection, but Natalie doesn’t quite trust it and at the end of the chapter we aren’t quite sure what will happen. This is another story I’ve read right through. It was a bit nerve wracking at times once Natalie’s sister enters the scene.

Dating the Undead – Nocturne

This is actually a cute and flirty chapter for a nocturne. It’s told in first person which kind of suits the chick lit feel. The heroine is Silver and she meets a cute and intriguing guy when she gets thrown out of a party. He has unusual speed and seems able to read her mind. Only his eyes are sparkly…sort of. This world view includes Vampires as a regular part of society.

It’s Only Temporary – Superromance

Classic Boss and Secretary trope. Penny is an appealing heroine, temping while she has med school on hold. There is a reason for it but we don’t find out in this chapter. Hero David is the usual, too good looking womanizer. All the same he comes across well. Banter is clever and the rapport is believable. Chapter ends on a nice juicy hook.

Mr Wrong – Kimani

I was a little confused at first with this story. I made the mistake of reading the comments and this author apparently writes Justin Bieber fan fiction. However, the hero is NOT Justin Bieber though there is a secondary character that could be modelled on him. The heroine, Madison, is an image consultant, and she’s just been handed the job of white washing the Rap scene’s biggest bad boy ready to take over his estranged father’s entertainment company. Madison is an interesting character with a strong back story. We haven’t met the hero in person yet, but he looks like one hell of a challenge.

The Shape of Us – Nocturne

First person POV. Jessica is a shifter mage in a small community. She’s alienated from the pack but when the female Alpha’s son comes into hospital with something odd preventing his natural shifter healing abilities, she’s drawn back into the circle. We get to meet Ian, an ex who still has a powerful effect on the heroine. And from the description, maybe on any woman in a five mile radius.


Another classic presents with revenge, a stolen jewel, and sizzling attraction. Lady Georgina remembers Idriss well. He was her playmate 20 years ago before he and his mother were sent away from her uncle’s castle. Now she needs to find a jewel left to her by her uncle and supposedly in the hands of the Sheikh, Idriss. In her role as party planner, she has the opportunity to go to the castle and search for the jewel. And not fall for Idriss. Hehe.


I think Ryan really says everything about what I want to wish for ALL the contestants, not just the ones featured here.





And of course that includes my own entry.  Known as #spymistress on Social Media this is the story of Trauma surgeon Gabe and Anna, a Russian spy.


To see my stunning book trailer with an earworm that will make you wish for Anna to put you out of your misery Click here

And to double your suffering I have made a second trailer. Click Here.





It's that #SYTYCW15 time of year again - part 3

Here are the summaries of the rest of the first chapters for the #Top55

In the next day or so I'll put together a list of my favourite top picks. I have to say it's likely to be difficult.


If at First – Romance

A first person POV romance. This one stars Henry Cavill as the hero. At least that’s the image that popped into my head from the description. It’s certainly not gonna hurt. That was pretty much all we got of the hero. I’m making an assumption here. Any guy who gives the heroine a black eye in the first chapter is bound to be significant. Tabitha, the heroine, is just home to small town land from college to help out her dad and take stock of her finances.

It’s Only Temporary – Superromance

Classic Boss and Secretary trope. Penny is an appealing heroine, temping while she has med school on hold. There is a reason for it but we don’t find out in this chapter. Hero David is the usual, too good looking womanizer. All the same he comes across well. Banter is clever and the rapport is believable. Chapter ends on a nice juicy hook.

Letting Go – Carina Press

LGBQT – First Person POV New Adult.
It was hard to tell from just the first chapter but I think this may be a best friends to lovers trope. Jace, the hero, is still grieving after the death of his first love nearly two years ago. His friend Ben suggests an internet dating site. It’s clear that Ben is suffering from unrequited love but Jace assumes it’s the douchebag ex. This is part of an ongoing series on Wattpad and mention is made of character appearing in previous stories.

Love Like a Man – Blaze

This has a strong chick lit feel at the beginning with the Heroine Claire and her two BFFs.  Claire is a career woman but thought she had found her ideal man until he didn’t want to settle down (and promptly married a school teacher). I couldn’t help think of When Harry Met Sally. Now she’s going to forget settling and just date for fun. Gabe is a building contractor doing renovations in her office building and they meet. All his mates are married and settling down so he’s looking to settle. This could be fun.

Love on the Nile – Carina Press

My first thought was of course the Agatha Christie mystery “Death on the Nile” but once I read the blurb it was more like a taste of vintage romance. Good times.
Natasha with her youngish brother Nicky are joining their Aunt Lucy for a holiday in Egypt. She is disconcerted when they arrive to find their Aunt has organised a cruise down the Nile with an enigmatic archaeologist named Kyle. What’s not to like?

Mr Wrong – Kimani

I was a little confused at first with this story. I made the mistake of reading the comments and this author apparently writes Justin Bieber fan fiction. However, the hero is NOT Justin Bieber though there is a secondary character that could be modelled on him. The heroine, Madison, is an image consultant, and she’s just been handed the job of white washing the Rap scene’s biggest bad boy ready to take over his estranged father’s entertainment company. Madison is an interesting character with a strong back story. We haven’t met the hero in person yet, but he looks like one hell of a challenge.

One Taste of You – Romantic Suspense

Zoe is our heroine in this chapter. She’s reeling from a put down from her ex that she is sexless and unappealing. You see where we are going here. Her best friends dress her up and send her out on the town to slay all the men. Which works fine, until she spots Zeke. Zeke is an undercover cop and he’s out to trap prostitutes tonight. He’s normally homicide but he’s on loan to vice. You see where we are going here. The next meeting is going to be a doozy.

Out of Focus – Superromance

This is listed as a superromance but it also has a little suspense in it. Eva is in a witness protection program with her children. She’s made a new life as a creative photographer with a small gallery. Her life becomes complicated when her assistant wants to promote the gallery through social media and the assistants Journalist brother comes to the island. Marshall needs a good story to get a promotion and Eva could be it. I’ve read this right to the end.

Princely – Romance

First person POV. New Adult. Eleanor is a princess, brought up to duty and all that entails. She is about to embark on her college years somewhere in Northern Island. I think. She has to deal with the interest of the paparazzi though a deal was struck (similar to that of the English royals) to leave her alone once the initial flurry is over. The other students have to be dealt with and she is helped unexpectedly by a young man, by name Sawyer. Our hero.

Protecting the Cowboys Baby – Special Edition

This an angsty read from the first word. Alana left Hayden twelve months ago believing he betrayed her, divorcing him. Now she’s back with a film crew to do a movie about the old west. The history between these two is painful and it seems Alana might be hiding another painful secret from Hayden. The close interest of her film director is likely to continue misunderstandings between them.

Rebound – Blaze

Maxine is six months in from a breakup with a cheating ex when her sister drags her out to a club for some R&R. Preferably of the smexy kind. It turns into a disaster when she runs into a brick wall with a charming French accent and a nice technique in kissing. Her vintage Dior dress, and her evening are ruined. Maybe the evening can be salvaged.


So…it wasn’t a nocturne that took a wrong turning. Claudia is a ghost writer and is starting employment with a growing company run by Daniel to help them start a blog. The company is all natury and environmentally sound. There is an instant attraction between them but Daniel shuts it down so for a Blaze, it starts off pretty tame. The characters are interesting though and I skipped into chapter two to get a little more of a feel for them.


Reunion romance. Bing. Music teacher Angela is desperate to fulfil her promise to take the school’s Jazz Ensemble to an event in Madrid. The school is against it, seeing anything not sport connected or academic as a waste of money. Her one chance is Daniel, her first love who is now a wealthy celebrity chef and who donates to the school regularly. Only trouble is, she ran away without confronting him when she saw him lip-locked with his ex-girlfriend fifteen years ago.


Alexandria is a shy wallflower who spends her time writing mystery novels. She lives with her sister and her sister’s new husband who has just inherited a dukedom through the sudden and mysterious deaths of three heirs over a short period. Her brother in law is a strange and secretive man and is determined to marry Alexandria off to “get her off his hands”. Little does our heroine know that she is about to be plunged into an adventure with a mystery man going by the name of Grey who resembles the heroes of her fantasy world all to closely.

Summer Fling – Carina Press

This looks like a sweet New Adult college romance. Lance is filling in time after graduating before heading home to work and Abby is still at college. The meet cute is cute and both characters are appealing. I like that Lance is a typical guy but also a gentleman. Abby is less defined.

Tethered by Twins – Presents

Ah…Presents. Secret babies...blackmail…marriage of convenience. All the good stuff. Of course we don’t get that in the first chapter…that came in the pitch. Rose has come onto Drew’s yacht to tell him a secret but he is in a drunken stupor. Not a man she wants anything to do with even if he is mourning the recent death of his wife. The one he said he was engaged to when he was dumping Rose four years ago. Oh the angst.

That Sweet Deal – Blaze

We don’t get to see the hero in chapter one. The heroine is busy realising her boyfriend is pretty useless in just about every department. This is demonstrated by her total involvement in planning chicken salad while he enjoys himself. The advantage of this is the revelation that she isn’t there for any of the right reasons. Hopefully we meet the hero in the next chapter once she takes up residence far away from the ex.

The Assassin’s Shadow – Intrigue but maybe not

This looks like a Nocturne at first. Then I realised the heroine, Elaine, is high school age. She discovered at a young age that her body regenerates after injury, from a paper cut to a head wound from a fall. It’s a fairly slow start with a lot of information. The most interesting thing apart from her unusual powers is that she appears to be stalked by three college aged people.

The Cop’s Doc – Superromance

The heroine, Jocelyne is a doctor on the run. We don’t know why but when she’s pulled up for speeding she expects to be arrested. When another car does a hit and run on the cop’s partner and the police cruiser, she uses her medical expertise to save his life and then flees the scene. The hero, Seth, is left wondering but determined to find her as she is a witness.

The Emperor’s Arrow – Carina Press

Evony is a warrior woman from an island province. Along with women from the other provinces rules by Emperor Galen, she has been summoned to the palace for a fantasy version of The Bachelor. There is some world building that slows the early part of the chapter but it picks up by the end.

The Shape of Us – Nocturne

First person POV. Jessica is a shifter mage in a small community. She’s alienated from the pack but when the female Alpha’s son comes into hospital with something odd preventing his natural shifter healing abilities, she’s drawn back into the circle. We get to meet Ian, an ex who still has a powerful effect on the heroine. And from the description, maybe on any woman in a five mile radius.


Another classic presents with revenge, a stolen jewel, and sizzling attraction. Lady Georgina remembers Idriss well. He was her playmate 20 years ago before he and his mother were sent away from her uncle’s castle. Now she needs to find a jewel left to her by her uncle and supposedly in the hands of the Sheikh, Idriss. In her role as party planner, she has the opportunity to go to the castle and search for the jewel. And not fall for Idriss. Hehe.


This story is still a little rough but it has a lot going for it. After one night together nearly ten years ago, Maggie gave birth to Matt’s son. Now he’s back home from the war, trying to put together his life after injury and PTSD messed it up. Running in Maggie and her son was unexpected and the boys resemblance to himself obvious.


This is full of bonnie Highlanders and a canny heroine. Yes it is full of brogue but quite legible. The prologue tells how five boys from different families were fostered by the clan leader to keep the peace. Now grown, Darach is the hero of this story but the others are present also. They start by stealing things from the Fraser’s, a deadly enemy and this includes one young woman. Caitlin. Our heroine.

Throw Your Heart Over – Heartwarming

The heroine Chris has had a tough few years and needs a part time job while she recovers. The job working as an accountant for a well-known show jumping champion is ideal. It’s a slow start at first but once Handsome Hanson, the hero, appears on the stage, things warm up.

Tidal Patterns – Heartwarming

Mark and Lizzie, standing by the sea, K.I.S.S.I.N.G.  Except they are about to go head to head over a job that Lizzie desperately needs and he isn’t really sure he wants. Lizzie is a people person and we see this in her first interactions with a Seniors Tap dancing group. Mark is an Accountant. Nice setup for conflict.

Tuscany – Romance

Tuscany. The name breaths romance. A pity that the hot Italian hero is so suspicious…or delicious. Lana has inherited a farm from her Italian grandmother and has a year to find out if this is what she wants in life. Romeo, the hero, is the manager of the farm and lives there with his grandparents. There is a secret journal given Lana by her grandmother to help explain everything and apparently there will be some mystery later in the book. I had a few problems with head hopping in this chapter but the story kept me interested.

Watermelon Wishes – Heartwarming

Evey is starting a new life at Watermelon Cove, buying an old house to turn into a Bed and Breakfast. Only trouble is that the nephew of the deceased owner is determined to keep it in the family. The story starts a little slow with the heroine leaving her old life and the classic driving to the destination and thinking over things. The introduction of the hero steps things up nicely by the end of the chapter with the promise of some good conflict.


Reunion romance. This is my catnip. Ava and Davi have history. Three years ago he dumped her but now she needs help and he’s the only man apart from her estranged father she can turn to. In return, he takes over her life and passport. This is looking like an angsty read.

Working the Boss – Romance


Blake is the new boss of the hotel were Callie and her brother work. The rumour mill says he will be cutting staff and Callie’s position is at risk. Unfortunately Cali met Blake in the lift during a blackout before she knew who he was. That initial attraction was totally not allowable under the circumstances.

And because this is my blog I get to promote my own entry out of order. Known as #spymistress on Social Media this is the story of Trauma surgeon Gabe and Anna, a Russian spy.


To see my stunning book trailer with an earworm that will make you wish for Anna to put you out of your misery Click here

And to double your suffering I have made a second trailer. Click Here.



Saturday, 10 October 2015

It's that SYTYCW15 time of year again. Part 2

I've read a further 16 chapters so I present them to you here. Some of the imprints like Nocturne and the Suspense lines I don't usually read so if I'm not enthused that is no reflection on the actual story.

Once again the names should link to the story.

Bleeding Hearts - Suspense


This is a first person thriller. The heroine Camryn is attacked by someone who turns out to be a serial killer. Her apartment neighbour Isaac is a police officer and the hero. There is a lot of action in the first chapter. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a big fan of first person though I know it’s very popular at the moment. This didn’t quite work for me but if you like first person and are big on thrillers I think you might find it gripping. The heroine is pro-active and the hero at first glance looks yummy.

By Grace – Heartwarming


This starts out looking like a fairly classic romance. Grace has been estranged from her brother-in-law Duval since the death of her sister five years ago. It’s complicated by the fact that Grace was in love with him before he met and married her sister. Now he is marrying again and Grace is invited. There is a lot of angsty history here. Not clear at this point how it’s going to pan out. The blurb mentions Duval’s brother Adrian who will play an important role but we don’t meet him in this chapter.

Callie:An Enchantress Novel – Nocturne


This is a pretty dark beginning. The heroine Callie and her sister Adie have a traumatic past. There is a hint in the prologue that it might be about to catch up to them again. The heroine is 20 so around the New Adult age group.  This one could work for you if you like vampires and dark backstories.

Catch the Fallen Star - Superromance


Jonah is a recovering addict, placed in a small town under a false name so his mega stardom doesn’t bring down the paparazzi. Andi has moved into the house next door with her daughter after an ugly marriage breakdown. I’ve read the full story so I know how it turns out. The hero and heroine are well drawn.

Chasing Mr Crown – Superromance


Unusually, this story has multiple viewpoints, not just the Hero and Heroine. This is the story of Natalie and Dash who meet just as Natalie is leaving for a new job across the Atlantic. They make a connection, but Natalie doesn’t quite trust it and at the end of the chapter we aren’t quite sure what will happen. This is another story I’ve read right through. It was a bit nerve wracking at times once Natalie’s sister enters the scene.


Chekowski’s Redemption – Presents


This is interesting. Heroine Jocelyn has a little package from a one night stand with a sweet Russian immigrant named Chekowski. Only when she bumps into him at her Uncle’s house it turns out he is a very Canadian Matthew Brody.  Not a good start. This didn’t have a strong Presents feel but the premise is promising.

Crazy Enough – Carina Press


This is a suspense style story with a crazy journalist and a military hero. Corkie (a nickname that made me raise my brows but it could be an Aussi thing. In other countries it’s probably quite common). Anyway, she’s on the track of a mysterious bad guy who is supposed to be dead and ends up witnessing a major bust up between rival cartels. Alex turns up and things don’t go too well at their first meeting. Especially for Alex.

Dating the Undead – Nocturne


This actually a cute and flirty chapter for a nocturne. It’s told in first person which kind of suits the chick lit feel. The heroine is Silver and she meets a cute and intriguing guy when she gets thrown out of a party. He has unusual speed and seems able to read her mind. Only his eyes are sparkly…sort of. This world view includes Vampires as a regular part of society.

Drawn to Darkness – Intrigue


Criminal investigator Dante and Crime reporter Sydney. Nice pairing. This is a bit noire-ish with a fairly detailed crime scene and a potential for a little more gruesome to come. A political complication should work well to get both Dante and Sydney on edge. We get to see both of the protagonists in their natural element and some character development.

Dreams – Harlequin Romance


The old caught in a snowstorm proximity trope. It never gets old. Never really happens in my part of the world so it has the advantage of distance.  Stevie and Mick are the only people in the universe stupid enough to be out in a blizzard. Stevie pays the price by ending almost in a ditch. Mick is the grumpy guy who rescues her. Then they get to the motel…

Duality – Nocturne


This is very much a fantasy setting with Mila and her blind guardian Anna living isolated in the woods. Mila has a gift for growing things and powers she needs to practice. Someone will come to kill her and she needs to be prepared. This is another young heroine and the hero is not a mortal man. We get to meet him as well as the heroine.

Finding Home – Special Edition


Andie has had the responsibility of her family ever since the tragic death of her parents when her youngest brother was still at school. Her specialist Christmas shop is vital for the family finances because her other brother is still building up his veterinary practice. Connor has history with Andie back when she was a high school senior so his return to sell her building out from under her is adding insult to injury. This is another story I’ve read right to the end. At times it felt like almost too much was happening but it fits the SE line well.

Heart on Fire – Blaze


This could be a steamy one. Erin lost her husband four years ago so bumping (literally) into a blond hotty with practiced charm is a little unnerving. Cam is in his old home town on a temporary basis, helping out with the mountain rescue team. The attraction between them is obvious, but it’s not clear whether Erin is ready to move on or whether Cam is ready to settle down.

Hearts for Sail – Special Edition


This is kind of a reunion romance but we only get to meet Blake and Alex separately in this chapter. I didn’t much like Blake at this point as the only insight into his character is his jaded opinion about women as he dumps one unceremoniously on the phone. Alex is more appealing and hopefully once they start to interact, Blake will soften a little. They are both keen sailors so we might see some close proximity on the water later on.

High-Stakes Sabotage – Love Inspired Suspense


This was a very short chapter. Only two pages. But a lot happens and we do get to meet the hero. The heroine, Dani, is transporting a vanload of kids to a reservation when they go off the road. They are rescued by Gideon and his dog Lou who live in a cabin nearby. I did skip over to the next chapter just to see what happens. It was a bit of a time jump but it did dive straight into more action. I don’t read LI Suspense so this might be a usual thing. I would have expected more interaction between hero and heroine to give us a better feel for how they interact before flinging the next big conflict at us.

His Discarded Bride – Presents



At first glance this is looking like a traditional Presents with Leilani, a flustered heroine who is far from glamorous, and Renato, an Italian hero used to getting everything he wants. Surprisingly he chooses to forgo his jet for economy class so he can size up the heroine. Traditionally he should have organised the heroine to be bumped up to business or first class but I guess the close confines of economy will test the limits of their endurance. Some of the backstory and jumping back and forth in time was confusing.


And because this is my blog I get to promote my own entry out of order. Known as #spymistress on Social Media this is the story of Trauma surgeon Gabe and Anna, a Russian spy.


To see my stunning book trailer with an earworm that will make you wish for Anna to put you out of your misery Click here

And to double your suffering I have made a second trailer. Click Here.



Friday, 9 October 2015

It's that SYTYCW15 time of year

Hi world.

I haven't blogged in a long time. It hasn't been a priority for me with all the other things happening on the family front in particular.

But I have to blog for SYTYCW15. It's a tradition.

This year has been organised very differently to past years. The stories have all been posted to Wattpad and now the top 55 first chapters have been chosen. I plan to read all the first chapters of the 55 top entries (apart from mine because I already know the ending). As I read them I'll post a little comment about them.

Tonight I'm posting the first eight. I'm reading strictly in alphabetical order so there is no bias in the choice or order. The title should link to the story.

Once I finish posting, I'll do a final post with my Top Pick selections.

Top 55 - First Eight in Alphabetical List


A Killer Among Us - Intrigue

This is a small town police procedural with rookie cop Colby as the heroine and fellow Officer Tom Vitali as the hero. This is an action packed first chapter. Only problem I had was the large number of people we meet in the course of the events.


The wedding planner and the chef. Sounds like a match made in heaven. Bella and Wyatt start off with a strong physical attraction. This is a good setup and the heat level looks like exploding in the next chapter.

A Soldier’s Princess – Romantic Suspense

This is a crazy mix of princess and bodyguard and potential destruction of the universe as we know it. Or at least a portion of it. This is a reunion romance and we get a good look at Alana and Gage and their past in this chapter.

After the Harvest – CarinaPress

This reminded me a little of the vintage romances I love to read. Heavy on heroine introspection and a very clear picture of the obstacles she is facing. The hero hasn’t appeared by the end of the chapter so I can’t comment on him.

Amish Under Fire – Love Inspired Suspense

This starts off with some high stakes drama and shows the heroine in a very pro-active light. I was a little surprised considering the blurb suggests she is Amish. The hero Derek appears early and we get some insight into him as well. The blurb made me think of The Witness starring Harrison Ford from 1985.

An Unsuitable Match – Historical

A proposed match between Jeanne, a dispossessed Comtesse, in the aftermath of the revolution and Gabriel, a man with a disreputable father. The first chapter introduces the heroine’s perilous position and the hero’s motivation for the marriage. The first meeting does not bode well at first.  I was a little confused at her knowledge of his father but that could be resolved later.


This is a reunion story. Tawny, the heroine, left Alex the hero, taking their daughter. We don’t know what triggered her leaving but we learn something of her troubled background which could be significant. Alex makes an appearance and we get a little view of where he is at.

Before Sunday - Superromance


This is a first person narrative. I’m not usually a fan but this reads easily. The heroine is at college and 21 so more New Adult in age. I’m not sure exactly the direction it’s going. There are two guys in the story, best friend Xavier and Jackson who appears out of nowhere. There is a magic cupcake but it’s kind of cute. 


And because this is my blog I get to promote my own entry out of order. Known as #spymistress on Social Media this is the story of Trauma surgeon Gabe and Anna, a Russian spy.


To see my stunning book trailer with an earworm that will make you wish for Anna to put you out of your misery Click here



Wednesday, 1 October 2014

SYTYCW 2014

It's closing day for the SYTYCW14 competition and I promised I would put up my top picks of what I've read so far. Most of these were read in the first few days so don't include later entries. And when it all comes down to it...it's a matter of personal taste.

Bear in mind I have read less than 100 chapters so I could be missing dozens of fabulous entries. I have also read less of imprints I don't usually read so there will be big holes in my choices.


My top picks consist of entries that have three things.

1. I like the story

2. I think the writing is of a high standard

3. The story is something I believe might appeal to the editors.

Please note: ..I...I...I...It's all subjective. (see graphic above)


So how did I do? 50% of my top ten made it into the Top 25 plus 2 of my recommended reads. I hadn't read 11 of the top 25 chapters. So of the 14 Top 25 chapters I had read, I picked 7. Additionally, one of my top picks was requested but withdrew due to time constraints. Just realised another of my top ten had to withdraw so I suppose if you don't count them it was 40% but if you do it's 60%.

Final List of Top 25 Picks

Leah MaserWanting the Detective
Tanya M. BurnstadRemembrance
Alison FrenchHer Italian Man
Amanda CinelliResisting the Sicilian Playboy
Traci DouglassAbout That Night…
Chase EwingLove for Sale
R. Lynn DewittSophie’s Hart
T.R. McClureA Perfect Match
Katherine DaneAgent of Desire
Autumn ShelleyFire and Iron
Carolyn HectorMistletoe Mischief
Ison HillImpulse
Karin BaineBelfast Belle
Amy JaneLearning To Love Again
Shelley IñónWhen the Bus Stopped
Thérèse MarieA Foundation of Love
Jeannie HallViolation of Innocence
Analiesa AdamsIn Desperate Search of Peace
Katie MeyerParadise Found
Sam(antha) BurnsSaving Greene Farm
Janet Lee NyeMan Maid
Laura BrownPerfect Together
Narelle BuxtonChanging Her Baby Plan
Darby KarchutStone’s Heart
Megan B ZehringThe Prodigal

Top 25 Picks So Far with Imprints

Paradise Found - Katie Meyer - (Special Edition) 
Belfast Belle - Karin Baine - (Medical)
Man Maid - Jan L Nye -  (Superrromance)
Perfect Together - Laura Brown -(Superromance)
About That Night - Traci Douglass - (Blaze)
Sophie's Hart - Gina DeWitt - (Heartwarming)
Mistletoe Mischief - Carolyn Hector - (Kimani)
Resisting the Sicilian Playboy - Amanda Cinelli - (Presents)
Violation of Innocence - Jeannie Hall - (Suspense)
Agent of Desire - Katherine Dane - (Historical)
Wanting The Detective - Leah Maser - (Intrigue) 
Faking It - Taryn Leigh Taylor - (Blaze) Withdrawn
Fire And Iron - Autumn Shelley - (Historical)
Twist of Fate - Susanah Loccarno - (American) Withdrawn
The Prodigal - Megan B Zehring - (Love Inspired)
Stone's Heart - Darby Karchut - (Love Inspired)
In Desperate Search of Peace - Analiesa Adams (Romantic Suspense)
Her Italian Man - Alison French - (Presents)
Saving Greene Farm - Samantha Burns - (Special Edition)
Impulse - Ison Hill - (Kimani)
Remembrance - Tanya M Burnstad - (Intrigue)
When the Bus Stopped - Shelly Inon - (Romance)
A Foundation of Love - Thérèse Marie - (Romance)
Changing Her Baby Plan - Narelle Buxton - (Superromance)
Love for Sale - Chase Ewing - (Desire)
A Perfect Match - T R McClure - (Heartwarming)
Learning to Love Again - Amy Jane - (Medical)










.


In no particular order - My top picks so far.



Presents

At His Disposal - Danielle Doolittle


Savage Pride - Maggie Jones - Requested


The Rinaldo Heir - Dora Bramden


Resisting the Sicilian Playboy - Amanda Cinelli - SYTYCW Top 25

Blaze



Faking It - Taryn Leigh Taylor - SYTYCW Top 25 - Withdrawn


Medical



SuperRomance

Man Maid - Janet Lee Nye - SYTYCW Top 25


Special Edition









































But wait...there's more.

I'm putting a list of recommended reads here without links. These are ones I would have liked to put in my tops but felt they needed a little something extra.

Presents


Proof of Love
Kate Francis

Playboy Sheikh, Forbidden Heir - Requested through slush
Emily Keeler

His Gilded Trap
Calida Ally

Paying the Sheikh's Price
Sue Child

Traitor in the Sheikh's Bed
Ros Clarke


And this is my hero...Pascal...who belongs in this section in my opinion.

Blaze

Strip for Me
Jem Lowe
Discreet Pleasures
Megan Ryder

Over Easy
Casey Wyatt

Homegrown Rockstar
Heather Hopkins

At Her Service
Mia Sosa

Romance

Beauty & the Recluse
Ellie Gray

Falling Deep
Tasha Taylor
Just because I love this.


Desire

Love for Sale - SYTYCW Top 25
Chase Ewing

Medical

Emergency:Two Blue Lines
Catherine Coles

Special Edition


How Not to be a Tabloid Cover Story
CA Speakman

Wake Me Up Inside
Gina Hagedorn

Intrigue


Hunted by the Past
Jayne Evans

Love Inspired

Love Thy Enemy
Erica D Hearns

American

The Cowgirl's Lost Love
Sophia Sasson

Historical



Fire and Iron - SYTYCW Top 25
Autumn Shelley

SuperRomance


Love at First Flight
Maria Michaels


And just a couple of ones that I'm not sure if they are quite right for the line but they made me laugh...in a good way.

Blaze

Seducing the Senator
Elle Marlow

Intrigue


Birthday Disaster
TN Payne