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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Summer of Romance from TWCS! How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You by T. M. Franklin

How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You

by

T. M. Franklin

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How to Get Anisley Bishop to Fall in Love with You

by

T. M. Franklin

– SUMMARY –

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1.  Join the Drama Club

2.  Do Your Research

3.  Provide Something She Needs

4.  Make Her Feel Secure and Important

5.  Pay Attention!

6.  Be a Good Friend

7.  Be More Attractive

8.  Be Complimentary, But Not Obsequious

9.  Establish Rapport

10.  Be Encouraging and Supportive

11.  Give Her Space

12.  Admit When You’re Wrong and Apologize

13.  Find the Perfect Birthday Gift

14.  Tell Her How You Feel


Seventeen-year-old Oliver Wendell Holmes (Yes, his parents are just that peculiar, but his brother’s name is Sherlock, so it could have been worse) knows that he’s different. He’s quirky, awkward, and he’s okay with that. Oliver also likes making lists—meticulous procedures for achieving his goals, step-by-step. Whether it’s “How to Get an A in Chemistry” or “How to Get Accepted to MIT,” he has a process, and it’s worked for him so far. He doesn’t even care that the popular kids mock him. Oliver’s got his eye on the prize.

So when he decides it’s time to declare his feelings for Ainsley Bishop, the girl of his dreams, it’s only natural for him to make a list—a point-by-point strategy to win her heart. He knows it will take a grand gesture for her to see all he has to offer, and her approaching birthday provides the ideal opportunity for Oliver to put his plan into action.

Finding the perfect gift is a challenge Oliver meets with his usual dogged determination. He’ll need to watch her carefully for clues to pinpoint exactly what he should give her. And along the way, he might just learn that what Ainsley really needs is not quite what he expected.

– REVIEW –

Oliver Wendell Holmes has a plan.  Actually, charming young Oliver has many plans and lists in his ever-present “To Do” notebook.  The first and foremost list outlines his master plan to get the object of his affection, Ainsley Bishop, to fall in love with him.  It’s a pretty daunting task for the intelligent, slightly eccentric seventeen year old, but the methodical Oliver has confidence in his strategy and faith in his methodology — for example — Item Two of said “To Do” List:

2. Do Your Research

Preparation is the key to success, so go to those with experience for advice.  Be methodical. Now is the time to gather information, so don’t rule anything out. (p.21)

Okay. Let’s acknowledge this fact upfront: Oliver has a pretty extraordinary thought process for a teenager, and while impressive, it’s tempered with humility, generosity and a healthy dose of self-deprecating humor. You have to love this kid’s diligence and attitude.  Oliver’s not afraid to put himself out there, and he does it in the best light possible, with a sense of humor, goodwill and all in the name of love.  Oliver’s head and heart are in the right place and ultimately, he knows what’s important in life:

“Every person is important in the grand scheme of things” (p. 254)

Such solid values to emulate, young or old, Oliver has benefitted from the act of listening — a theme repeated throughout Franklin’s story.

Told in chapters that follow Oliver’s list, author T. M. Franklin takes the reader step-by-step with Oliver as he soldiers on in his quest for Ainsley’s affections.  Accompanied by his trusted friend, Viney, and supported by his loving family, as well as his wise mentor, Hank, we follow Oliver through the rocks and shoals of adolescent life and love. Our hearts squeeze in tender sympathy every time Oliver’s voice cracks when he speaks to Ainsley:

“Hi.” Of course my voice cracked.  I tried again, deeper. “Hi.” Little better. Almost manly. (p.106)

Oliver’s thought processes and inner dialogue capture the reader’s heart.  His musings are delightful, full of humorous observations and sometimes wise and sober admissions.  Our hero encounters situations that confront most young adults — issues regarding body image, self worth, bullying and raging hormones —  to mention a few.  And in addressing these issues, the author subtly weaves in examples of positive resolutions using her characters voices and actions.

Franklin wisely sets the tone for each chapter by offering truths in the form of an often humorous subtitle.  For example list Item 7, titled “Be More Attractive”, the subtitle —

You may not be Brad Pitt, but at least put forth some effort.  And while you’re at it, try to show her your lovable qualities. (p.151)

How delicious is it that the stalwart Oliver, in the name of love, allows Ainsley to cut his hair in a salon named “Curl Up and Dye”?  This story abounds with such priceless scenarios.  We suffer along with Oliver, whether at the aforementioned salon, or during a precious and tender conversation between father and son on how one woos one’s lady.  And we cheer our hero on as he, for the most part, courageously takes the high road, reinforcing Franklin’s themes of believing in one’s self, pursuing one’s dreams and the value of doing the right thing.

Make no mistake — this may be a humorous fictional story about the woes of adolescent life and love, (and it IS, at most times, laugh out loud funny) but through Oliver’s thoughts and her characters’ behaviors, T. M. Franklin has masterfully incorporated some very good advice and food for thought for her readers — be they young or old.  Beautifully crafted, even her ancillary characters are fully formed (Oliver’s younger brother, Sherlock is a gem) and they abound in wisdom offered with a gentle and often humorous touch.   A great, witty and satisfying read, gift this book to a young adult, a best friend, or to yourself — its truths are universal. How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You is pure gold.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

* I was gifted a copy of How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You from TWCS in exchange for an honest review *

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

T.M. Franklin

– BIOGRAPHY –

T.M. Franklin started out her career writing non-fiction in a television newsroom. Graduating with a B.A. in communications specializing IMG_2062in broadcast journalism and production, she worked for nine years as a major market television news producer, and garnered two regional Emmy Awards, before she resigned to be a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer. After writing and unsuccessfully querying a novel that she now admits, “is not that great,” she decided to follow the advice of one of the agents who turned her down—write some more and get better at it. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Mike, is mom to two boys, Justin and Ryan, and has an enormous black dog named Rocky who’s always lying nearby while she’s writing. Whether he’s soothed by the clicking of the computer keys or just waiting for someone to rub his belly is up for debate.

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Category: Young adult

Publication date: Jun 12, 2014

ISBN (paper): 978-1-61213-315-7

ISBN (ebook): 978-1-61213-316-4

ASIN: B00KXAQ7O0

Available at:
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Summer of Romance from TWCS! Code Red by Amy Noelle

 Code Red by Amy Noelle

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Code Red

by

Amy Noelle

– SUMMARY –

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After getting hurt in college by a gorgeous man, Nicole Magette vowed never to risk losing her heart again.

Now she lives a structured and satisfying life. Her work is easy, her friends are her family, and the only consistent men in her life are her two cats, Winchester and Huntington Peabody the Third. She doesn’t date, and she hooks up only with losers—men she has absolutely no risk of falling for. But if she finds herself in danger, she has her old failsafe in place—the Code Red.

In college, she and her four best friends came up with the system as a way to keep away the good-looking bastards that might worm their way past their carefully constructed walls. Seven years later, three of her friends have succumbed to their last Code Reds and are happily married. Now it’s just Nicole and her closest friend, Jen, who are still on their own, and Nic is just fine with that.

That is, until Joshua Daniels is transferred to Nicole’s office from New York and assigned to work with her on a special project. He’s everything she’s avoided and everything she claims she doesn’t want, so why can’t she get him out of her mind? He’s persistent, dangerously handsome, and sexy as sin. In other words, he’s her worst nightmare. She turns to her friends to help her resist Josh’s considerable charms and the inescapable draw she feels every time she gets near him. Can the Code Red save her this time, or will Josh send her perfectly balanced life into chaos?

– REVIEW –

Look out Nicole Magette! She’s falling fast for her new co-worker — so fast she’s sent out a Code Red to her girlfriends in an attempt to rally her troops for moral support lest she succumb to the absolutely charming Josh Daniels. Wait! What is a Code Red, why does Nicole need it and does it really work?

In author Amy Noelle’s debut publication, Code Red, we are introduced to Nicole and her posse  — five young female college freshman who’ve bonded over burned relationships with the wrong men.  In an attempt to avert any future disastrous relationships, a tequila-fueled plan is developed.  All one needs to do is to send out two words: Code Red.  Quoting Nicole:

“It’s a support system.  Any time one of us encounters a guy who’s dangerous, one who could tempt us and make us forget what jerks they are, we call in the others for reinforcement, who will come running and make sure we don’t give in to temptation.”(p. 20)

But what happens when the right guy comes along?  Enter aforementioned hottie, Josh Daniels.  Gorgeous, well-mannered and available, Josh is sent from the home office in New York to Nicole’s Chicago division to work specifically with her on a major project.  Sharing one office, the sparks fly immediately, but Nicole is wary.  Nicole’s philosophy is  to “hook up with guys who aren’t very good-looking. They’re grateful for the attention.” (p. 34), and apparently harmless to Nicole’s very wounded heart.  Resigned to one-night stands (“no muss — no fuss” p. 140), Nicole has spent the last eight years avoiding any sort of serious relationship, even as she sees members of her support group marry and move on with their lives. Make no  mistake – this girl has been hurt.

So, how does our heroine resist Josh Daniels? Author Noelle has written him as an absolutely delectable man, temptation personified. Nicole laments: “He was brought here to tempt me, á la Adam and Eve, and I already had my lips wrapped around the apple” (p. 130). We all swoon with her.  But Nicole is determined to hold her course.  Early on, Nicole attempts to cut him short, turning down his offer of coffee and citing her preference for the hot-chocolate from a nearby cafe. Josh disappears, only to return with said hot chocolate in hand. Again, swoon-worthy. That Nicole can’t get past her trust issues is problematic, and these lead her into some questionable behaviors and sticky situations that would test the patience of Job.  It surely tests the patience of Josh, but, as the saying goes, in the end the patient man must always win. Happily for Nicole and Josh, after a very slow burn, they both win.

Author Amy Noelle has written an enjoyable, romantic novel.  It’s a great, light summer read and showcases the author’s talent for writing witty dialogue — the give-and-take between Nicole and Josh sparks with the kind of snappy electricity that is evocative of a Tracy/Hepburn movie. And while the romance between the two major characters is the focus of the novel, it’s the relationship between Nicole and her Code Red friends that delighted this reader. The relationship between the five ladies is well-crafted, and their conversations are replete with witty dialogue that reveals the loving bond between these women.  Where Nicole’s character is dynamic and Josh’s is static, it’s the ladies that move this story along. More chick lit than steamy romance, Amy Noelle’s freshman offering is a solid four stars.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

* I was gifted a copy of Code Red from TWCS in exchange for an honest review *

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

Amy Noelle

– BIOGRAPHY –

anoelle

Amy Noelle is a thirty-something single woman with two cats, Lily and Logan. Though she contends that she is not a crazy cat lady, she freely admits to being a crazy football fan. You can find her glued to the couch every fall weekend, cheering on her Seminoles and Buccaneers.

After attending Florida State University for two years, she transferred to Northern Illinois University and graduated in 1997 with degrees in Journalism and Political Science.

She was born in the Azores Islands, Portugal, and lived as a military brat from the west coast to the east coast of the United States, though she’s found her permanent home in Tampa, Florida, for the last decade. Besides football and writing, her other loves are television, movies, the beach, thunderstorms, and her family and friends.

Category: Romance / Contemporary

Publication date: Apr 11, 2013

ISBN (paper): 978-1-61213-149-8

ISBN (ebook): 978-1-61213-150-4

Also available at:
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Review: My Wounded Soldier: Book One: Fight for Glory

My Wounded Soldier: Book One: Fight for Glory

by

Diane Munier

People read books for many reasons — to learn, to be entertained, to find comfort, to find one’s self, to escape.  It is rare that one comes across a book that satisfies so many aspects of reading, but when that book is found, it is to be treasured, to be cherished.  Such is the case with master storyteller Diane Munier’s epic work, My Wounded Solder: Part One: Fight for Glory. 

The first IMG_1828in a two part series, My Wounded Soldier: Part One: Fight for Glory is set in the American Midwest, just after the end of the Civi War.  A bloodied nation begins to mend, its citizens — soldiers and civilians alike — weary, wounded, if not by bullets then by sorrow.  It is against this backdrop that we meet Tom Tanner – an ex-soldier, back to working his family’s farm, wounded in spirit, haunted by his actions on the battlefield, a hero to all but himself.  One morning, he hears the panicked call for help by a young boy at a neighboring farm.  And upon answering that call, Tom finds another bloodied battlefield, the only survivors the young boy and his now-widowed mother, Addie Varn. And it is here that Tom begins his journey of love, self-discovery, confession and redemption.

Written in a prose that is at times breathtaking, Diane Munier takes us into the heart and mind of Tom, struggling with his inner demons as he heads out to reclaim his life, spurred on by his steadfast love for Addie.  In a time when adventure could be found around the next bend, and all a man required was a good horse and a steady aim, Munier keeps the action at an even, but rapid pace, reminiscent of a Larry McMurtry novel. Tanner’s voice is authentic, clear, purposeful  — never wavering as he awakens from the numbness of his soul:

“I realized something, and it was a hard thing, but true all the same. It’s going against my own code made me sick. More than anything I went through in the war, or even today. It’s going against my own code made me sickest of all. I was here to lead and protect, I’d always known it. And when I could not…well I wasn’t God, was I? I had to let myself by. I had to let myself live.”

My Wounded Soldier: Part One: Fight for Glory, page 195 (ARC)

Her settings, ancillary characters, are all believable. And through the words and actions of all of these characters, Munier, once again, reveals to her readers the paths to redemption, the necessity of surrender and the power of love.

The only issue this reader found with this book was its seemingly abrupt ending. It’s not a cliffhanger — there is resolution and one could say that it stands on its own — after all, Tom Tanner is not the sort of character who would shake a handful of clay to the heavens, vowing never to be hungry again.  You decide.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*I was gifted this ARC by the author for an honest review.*

Diane Munier’s My Wounded Soldier: Book One: Fight for Glory

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All across the country men are drifting home from the war. But when Tom Tanner musters out, he doesn’t plan to go home. He has been working in the brickyard in Springfield trying to save enough money to buy a rig and head west. He’s not expecting his father to show up and plead with him to return to the farm. After the horrible loss of his older brother, Tom doesn’t feel worthy of the family’s company. But his guilt won’t allow him to cause them more pain and so he goes home for one last visit. It’s hard to find normal around the folks. The work of harvest provides the perfect distraction. Once the crops are in he’ll go so far away they’ll never have to look at him again. But his plans are challenged one day. Tom is working in the field when the neighbor boy, Johnny, comes running for help. What Tom finds at the neighbor’s home is a scene right out of the war. But it’s not just about killing. The Missus Addie Varn, is ready to birth. Tom wants to run, and he will come fall, but now he must roll up his sleeves and play midwife.

To celebrate the release of MWS Book 1, those who have given a “Yes” RSVP to Diane’s Facebook event page by midnight of July 3rd will be entered in a drawing to win a copy of ‘My Wounded Soldier Book Two: Fight for Love’ which will be available for Pre-order July 4th. There will be 5 winners.

So on July 4th, celebrate with family and fireworks, start reading My Wounded Soldier Book 1, and stop by this event page to see if you’re a winner and to hear a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT! Exciting stuff is happening!

Additionally, there will be a Facebook Release Party on June 9th, hosted by Jedigirlsc and Frannie Flower. Please add the three of us as friends on Facebook to keep up with all the news.

My Wounded Soldier Buy Links

Amazon

My Wounded Soldier Bio

Diane profile picLiving comfortably in the heart of America with the people I love. I live an extroverted life, but I’m a genuine introvert. An urban kid, I spent much of my youth running in various neighborhood establishments. There I met many colorful characters and I learned to love them and be fascinated by them. My love of story comes from them. I learned to sit on a bar stool or a kitchen chair or in a pew and hear story. Hear the voices telling story. See the mouths move and the hands clutching glasses or cigarettes. See and hear the laughter. There is no greater honor than to hear someone’s story. If you feel that way about the tales I tell…what more could I ask.

My Wounded Soldier Connect

Website: www.dianemunier.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dianemunierauthor
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/dianemunier
Twitter: www.twitter.com/dianemunier

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