Monday, November 12, 2012

Blog Tour - Feasted On: Romance in the Rain by Charlotte Russell, Marianne Stillings, Dawn Kravagna, Clare Tisdale, Sherri Shaw, & Kristine Cayne | Interview, Review, & Giveaway

Today I'm turning my blog over to Charlotte Russell, Marianne Stillings, Dawn Kravagna, Clare Tisdale, Sherri Shaw, & Kristine Cayne, who I interviewed about their latest anthology "Romance in the Rain!!"

ALSO -- Be sure to check out Rafflecopters at the bottom of this post to be able to sign up for this blog stop's GIVEAWAYs!! [Blog Tour will run from October 22 - November 22, 2012]

My Q&A with Charlotte Russell, Marianne Stillings, Dawn Kravagna, Clare Tisdale, Sherri Shaw, & Kristine Cayne :

Jess : What was the one book you all remember thoroughly enjoying while growing up?

Charlotte : I was a bookaholic when I was a kid and I wasn’t too keen on rereading books, so there wasn’t one book that I went back to again and again. However, I absolutely adored the Trixie Belden series. It had everything I love in a book—mystery, adventure, and romance.

Marianne : Though I had three or four Little Golden Books on my shelf, "Black Beauty" was my very first novel. Santa brought it to me for Christmas when I was 10. I read it and re-read it and then read it again, year after year. I read it so many times, the pages fell out and the cover dropped off. I had to use a rubber band to keep it together. I slept with it under my pillow so I could read after bedtime by the light of a fading sun. I have always loved horses but the book informed me that not all people viewed them as I did. Many considered horses not as beautiful companions to be treated with great love and care, but as a piece of equipment to be used up, discarded, and replaced. Often neglected, occasionally the victims of cruelty (I still can't get through Ginger's death without sobbing), until very recently, horses were the Ram pick-ups of their day. In 1877, Anna Sewell felt compelled to make people aware of how thoughtlessly these wonderful animals were being treated—it worked. "Black Beauty"—for so many reasons, I will always cherish that book.

Dawn : My favorite will be unusual, particularly due to the failure of the recent movie adaptation, but mine was "John Carter of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I enjoyed his writing style and the unusual creativity of the story written in the early part of the 20th century; not so uncommon after the movie "Star Wars," but he was certainly ahead of his time with the novel. I loved reading science fiction growing up, particularly by classic authors, such as Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. What particularly appealed to me was the positive attitude of John Carter: No matter how bad the situation became, he believed he could overcome it. His favorite saying was, "I still live," and as long as he lived, he never gave up. That "never give up" attitude really inspired me and I often recalled his proclamation during times of discouragement I encounted in the future. His attitude also inspired my character, Griselda Portentsky, in my first novel, "Cattle Capers: Search For The MooMoo Pearl": She doesn't believe in luck but in hard work combined with a positive attitude.

Clare : My favorite was "Casilda of the Rising Moon," by Elizabeth Borton de Treviño (it’s now out of print but still widely available second-hand). Set in the days of knights and chivalry, it tells the story of a Toledan princess who gives up her palace, her family, and the man who loves her in order to become a hermit and—posthumously—a saint. It’s a romantic and inspiring book for young girls and I must have read it at least six times.

Sherri : When I was little, my grandmother gave us a book called "The Real Mother Goose Book." My sisters outgrew it, but I kept it for years, flipping through the pages, and memorizing my favorite stories. I can still recite several of them, the most fun being "The Old Lady and the Pig."

Kristine : Like Clare, I was a bookaholic. My father enrolled me in the DoubleDay Book Club and I begged my parents to by me mountains of books each month from Scholastics. The series that most stated my desire for big books and intriguing stories was the Nancy Drew Mystery series. By the sixth grade, I managed to collect the entire set of books published up to that time. Needless to say, I’m still a series addict :)

Jess : Tell us about your anthology "Romance in the Rain."

Charlotte : The idea emerged over time. The only thing we knew from the start was that all the stories would have a connection to Seattle. As plots and characters started evolving it seemed liked a fun idea to make the characters all related, descended from my couple James and Mattie, whose story is set in the mid 19th century.

Marianne : "ROMANCE IN THE RAIN" is comprised of six novellas written by the Rainy Day Writers using a Seattle family as its central theme. My contribution, "FINAL APPROACH," is set in 1942 (during WWII) and tells the story of Captain Joe Caldwell and Lt. Charlie Thompson. Charlie is a young war widow and WAFS pilot (Women's AirForce Ferrying Squadron); Joe is a former Army pilot who's been grounded due to injury. When Charlie's best friend, Edie, dies during a routine night flight, Joe and Charlie join forces to discover the truth behind her death. Sherri Shaw gave me the idea for the story, and I'm so grateful she did! Thanks, Sherri!

Dawn : I'm really excited about our first anthology. Everyone in our group is an excellent writer and I always enjoy hearing the ladies read their newest writing project. I've been in writing groups where I've hoped one member didn't show up, because listening to them read their writing was near agony and an exercise in patience. We've got a great mix of writing styles and I believe every reader will find at least one story that will resonate with them personally.

Clare : Participating in the anthology has been a great experience for me. I’m so proud to be part of the Rainy Day Writers critique group. There’s a great level of trust and cooperation involved in putting an anthology of this nature together—where all the stories link to one another—and I love how supportive we all are of each other.

Sherri : Our group has been together for a long time, and we thought it would be fun if we wrote an anthology. Since we all live in the Pacific Northwest, we decided to use our beautiful region as the backdrop for our stories. Beginning with the first settlers, and progressing to modern day, each story is independent of the other, but with a common thread, the Caldwell family.

Kristine : I think everyone has pretty much answered that question, but what the anthology represents to me is the coming together of six women—six friends and authors—who worked together to create a magical set of stories spanning almost two centuries. We each pitched into create the cover, the website, the ebook file itself, and now we are collaborating on promotion. It’s a fabulous testimony to the power of friendship.

Jess : Ms. Shaw -- What is the most romantic thing one of your characters (and it doesn’t need to be the main characters), from "What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect?," said or did?

Sherri : When Sam and Ivy are walking through Seattle Center late at night, a man with a gun accosts them. Sam steps in front of her, shielding her from the threat of the gun. Despite the seriousness of the situation, Ivy is touched by the protective gesture.

Jess : Ms. Russell -- Please describe your heroine, from "Splendor in the Moss," in one to two sentences.

Charlotte : If she wasn’t so shy, Mattie Jensen would tell you that she never knows the right thing to say, especially around the hero, James. Nevertheless, he brings out her inner strength and helps her remember how to laugh.

Jess : Ms. Kravagna -- What sparked the idea for your most recent novella, "Love Phantom?"

Dawn : Since this is my first romance I drew upon my personal experiences when I was a Drama major (for a year) at the University of Washington. However, one major error many novice writers make is basing their stories too closely on reality, because that constricts the story too much. For instance, when a writer sticks to reality, then they are not considering the best way to present the scene for maximum dramatic impact. I made this error in the first draft and my writing group was honest enough to advise me to rewrite the story. I am a big fan of the "Save The Cat" screenwriting books and in my rewrite created a "save the cat" moment in the first scene which did not occur in my real life experience but made for a better scene and a more positive introduction to the character.

I don't want to give too much of the plot away by saying more; however, the characters are imaginary.

Since I've been planning to do a "Phantom of the Opera" spoof, my original idea was to utilize the Showboat Theater as the main setting, since it was rumored to be haunted. However, the story grew beyond the ghost story and I abandoned it. I do think the title is still apt.

Jess : Ms. Cayne -- Is there one particular scene in "Aftershocks" that you’re dying for readers to read? Can you tell us anything about it?

Kristine : Like most suspense stories, the climactic scene is one that I think will have readers white-knuckling their e-readers. However, there is an earlier scene where Erica has to don some firefighter equipment and squeeze her way through a collapsed building. Since Erica has no training and doesn’t know what she’s doing, a female firefighter who works for Jamie, coaches her via radio, and uses the opportunity to give Erica an earful that has her reconsidering her relationship with her estranged husband. The scene is a testimony to the extent a woman will go to in order to save her family.

Jess : Ms. Stillings -- If you had to describe Charlie & Joe (from "Final Approach") in one word, what would it be?

Marianne : If you mean as a couple, the word would be: True
If you mean each of them independently, the word for Charlie would be: Genuine
As for Joe: Resolute

Jess : Ms. Tisdale -- If "Shelter from the Storm" was to be made into a film, who do you see playing the main characters and why?

Clare : Maya is independent, bohemian and edgy, but she also has a tender side she only shows to those she trusts. I could see her being played by Jennifer Lawrence ("The Hunger Games"). As for sweet, sexy JD, I’d like to see Ashton Kutcher in that role.

Jess : Ms. Cayne -- How many books have you written? Which is your favorite and why?

Kristine : I’ve written two full-length romantic suspense novels, one contemporary short story, one romantic suspense short story, and this romantic suspense novella. I’m loving the firefighter theme and I can’t wait for you all to read the follow-up to Jamie and Erica’s story, "Under His Command." If I limit myself to my existing books, "Deadly Addiction" would be my favorite. I learned so much writing this book, which is set on an Iroquois reserve in Canada. Remi Whitedeer is a half-native man torn between his loyalty to his tribe and family, and his (forbidden) love to a white female police officer who wants to enforce her own department’s version of law and order.

Jess : Ms. Russell -- Which usually comes first for you, the character(s) story or the idea for the novel?

Charlotte : The characters are usually in my head first and I almost always name them right away. Then, from somewhere, I get a vague plot idea and I start thinking how that character would get into that situation and how he/she would react to the situation and the other main character and pretty soon I’ve started a new story. I usually know the beginning and end but not what happens in the middle. And while I know the essentials of my characters, they always surprise me with new details as we journey through the story.

Jess : Ms. Stillings -- Which of your characters would you most & least like to invite to dinner, from which book and why?

Marianne : Most: J. Soldier McKennitt, the detective hero from my first novel, "The Damsel in This Dress." Why? Because you never forget your first ;)

Least: Loretta Tremaine, the heroine's mother from "The Damsel in This Dress." I based Betsy's mom on my own mother – who was both critical to me and critical of me. And there you have it.

Jess : Ms. Tisdale -- What was one of the most surprising things you learned when creating your books?

Clare : I learned that if I come up with the basic structure of a book, my characters will take it from there. I just need to give them free reign to be themselves.

Jess : Ms. Shaw – Do you have a favorite chapter, part, or type of character to write about? If so, why?

Sherri : I like to write about female characters that project confidence, but are slightly goofy, and don’t take themselves too seriously all the time. I originally conceptualized "What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect?," as a romantic comedy screenplay. Ivy, of course, would be played by Sandra Bullock, because if you’re going to dream, you might as well dream big.

Jess : Ms. Kravagna -- Do you have any other projects in the works? If so, can you share a little of your current work with us?

Dawn : I love to write comedy and am a cartoonist. Missing the zany comedy of the Bugs Bunny cartoons that I grew up with, I created my own anthropomorphic cartoon world, a series called "Cattle Capers(tm)". The first novel is "Cattle Capers: Search For The MooMoo Pearl." It's a comedy mystery based on cartoon animals, rather than actual critters, which gives me a lot of latitude in plot and characterization. It's been a big hit with Boomers who also loved the old cartoons. I illustrate the stories myself. The challenge is, since there are no humans, to be sure that I avoid humanoid terms such as fireman or gentleman.

I am nearly completed with the first draft of my second novel, "Cattle Capers: The Cheep Brigade Terror" which has an anti-cult theme, but I have a lot of pictures to draw before I can issue the e-book. I like to set the manuscript aside to clear my brain while I work on the illustrations, then return to editing.

Since I have a lot of plot ideas that are not suitable for a full-lenth novel, I've been writing short stories on the side which feature secondary characters from my first novel. I just completed writing my first Cattle Capers(tm) trilogy and, after completing the cartoons that will accompany the third story and the cover, I will be publishing the e-book for the Christmas season. I'm excited that e-book reader technology has advanced to the point where my cartoons can now be viewed in full color.

I also have several novels that I'm plotting most of which are comic mysteries and, being an animal lover, feature animals in some form or another. Come to think of it, "Love Phantom" is a rare story for me: no animal characters.

Jess : What do you normally eat for breakfast, or do you skip it and get straight to work?

Charlotte : Coffee and a breakfast bar of some kind. Occasionally cereal or a bagel.

Marianne : I usually eat something, but it wouldn't be considered a traditional breakfast. Most often, it's a cup of coffee (I usually only have one cup a day, maybe two if the mood strikes, and whatever is in the fridge or freezer that I don't have to cook. My husband and I will occasionally go out on a weekend for breakfast or brunch and I'll have something more "normal." As a morning person, whether I eat something or not, I generally am working within a half hour of getting up.

Dawn : The basic dietary mistake people make is skipping breakfast. I will always eat something, a breakfast bar during the weekday due to having to get up earlier than my natural sleep cycle to drive to my day job, and, with more time on the weekend, eat a bowl of cereal with fresh fruit mixed in. I also drink a natural greens and fruit-based concoction and top it off at work with a cup of coffee.

I used to stress when I felt too tired to write, but when if I made myself sit down and type something, it always felt forced and tepid. I realized it was healthier to be nice to myself and write when I had the energy to do so. My attitude is more positive and the writing more energetic as a result.

Clare : I like to have a big breakfast, and I like to mix it up. Sometimes it’s granola with a banana, other times it’s eggs and toast. I have been known to eat leftover pizza for breakfast!

Sherri : When I am being good, I like to eat a slice of peanut butter toast and some melon at my desk at work. If I have to go out in the field, I grab a McDonald’s Wild Berry Smoothie and a sausage burrito.

Kristine : I work from home, so the first thing I do when I get up is have a glass of water and turn on the computer. While I’m checking my email and what’s going on with my Facebook and Twitter friends, I make coffee. I usually forget to go get a cup until an hour or so has past. By then I’m starving. I have my coffee with a breakfast bar. If I’m really hungry, I’ll have some cereal with fruit.

Jess : Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or your slippers on, and when realizing it, just said screw it?

Charlotte : I have had my shirt on backward before (in fact, this morning but I realized it early) in public but I have to say that I can only say “screw it” until I get to a place where I can switch it around. I’m not one to let that go.

Marianne : No backwards shirts or slippers, but I have gone to work with two shoes that were from different pairs. They were of similar color and style, but they were definitely different. Nothing I could do; I was at work by the time I noticed it. A more obvious faux pas was wearing two different earrings one day. You see, in the morning, in the Northwest, it's dark when you get up and get dressed. As a result, one is often still half-asleep and wardrobe malfunctions are common. That's my excuse anyway, and I'm sticking to it.

Dawn : Sure. There's the stain I didn't see when I dressed in the dim light of a dreary Seattle morning and the mismatched socks. The oddest things I've done was to wear two different shoes or two totally different earrings, since I rise and dress for work much earlier than my natural biorhythm. One day I wore a large blue dangling triangle in one ear and a small, red button in the other. No one said anything so I didn't discover the discrepancy till I went into the bathroom. When I returned to my desk and asked my coworkers why they didn't say anything, they replied, "We thought it was just you and was intentional." I'm still not sure what to think about that...

Clare : One time I was inside writing all day, and it was cold and rainy out, and I put on two old frayed wool cardigans, one over the other. Then my daughter came home from school and I had to drive her over to a friend’s house, and I forgot to change. The look of distaste her friend’s mom gave me would have been comical if I hadn’t been so embarrassed!

Sherri : A couple of years ago, when I was waiting tables, I felt off balance all day. It wasn’t until I sat down after my shift that I realized I was wearing two different shoes. Of course the reason I was off kilter was because one had a higher heel than the other.

Kristine : Absolutely. I wear slippers at home because I’m always cold, even in the middle of summer. And because I’m often busy writing my books or blog posts, I tend to forget when it’s time to take one of my kids to their sports practice. So, more often than I care to admit, I run out of the house keys in hand, slippers on feet. It’s okay as long as I don’t have to get out of the car :)

About these Authors -- the RAINY DAY WRITERS :

Writing fiction is difficult and lonely and more often than not, the "normal" people in your life don't understand the writing process and can't fathom why you are possessed and obsessed with finding the perfect word or phrase that says exactly what you want to say right where you want to say it. Only other writers comprehend and accept that kind of torment.

To fill this need to surround herself with like-minded obsessive-compulsive self-doubting lunatics, in 2005, Marianne Stillings, who writes Romantic Suspense, established what came to be known as The Rainy Day Writers.

There were only two requirements for joining the group: You must be serious about writing and getting published, and any criticisms of co-members' work be honest, gentle, and kind.

Over the years, the membership has changed; some people moved on, others joined. The group we have now has been stable and constant since 2009. The Rainy Day Writers are a family.

Charlotte Russell joined the group in 2006 at the suggestion of a former member. Charlotte writes Historical Romance.

Dawn Kravagna became a member in the spring of 2007 because of a writers' list where Marianne had posted looking for new members. Dawn writes Comedy and Mystery.

In the Autumn of 2007, Sherri Shaw found her way to the group because she and Marianne happened to sit at the same table at the Emerald City Writer's Conference that year. Sherri writes Historical Romance and Paranormal Historical Romance.

Clare Tisdale joined in 2008 as the result of an email Marianne posted on the Greater Seattle Chapter Romance Writer's list seeking new members. Clare writes Contemporary Romance.

Kristine Cayne found the group in 2009 because she won Marianne's raffle basket at the Emerald City Writer's Conference that year. The basket included an offer to critique the winner's manuscript—an evaluation that resulted in an invitation to join. Kristine writes Romantic Suspense.

For more information on "Romance in the Rain" and the Rainy Day Writers, visit them at

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Kindle Edition - File Size: 1217 KB | Expected Release Date: October 11, 2012 | Publisher: Self-Published | Obtained: Romantic Maidens Book Tours

"Romance in the Rain" [A Seattle Anthology] by Charlotte Russell, Marianne Stillings, Dawn Kravagna, Clare Tisdale, Sherri Shaw, & Kristine Cayne

Authors' Book Description : From the pioneer days of Seattle through the smoke-filled clouds of WWII and into the present, "Romance in The Rain" takes readers on a journey with four generations of the strong-willed and passionate Caldwell family. The anthology of six novellas is a collaboration of the Seattle-based Rainy Day Writers group.

"Splendor in the Moss" [A Seattle Anthology, Novella 1] by Charlotte Russell

My Story Summary : Set in 1853 -- About four years ago James came to America from England to make a name for himself and out of the shadows of his family. However, since moving here James still hasn't found a place he feels comfortable enough to make his home. His most recent local is a small settlement in the new found Seattle, but it's seeming like a mossy wet hell and he is definitely ready to move on to somewhere new.

That is until he meets Mathilda (Mattie), a widow who has suffered a lot of loss within a short time period and isn't happy about living in Seattle either. Nevertheless, will they be able to find a home and happiness with each other or will old hurts get in the way of a promising future?

My Story Review : 3.5 out of 5 stars. This is a story about two people finding what they've always been looking for within another person. I loved the subtle (and not so subtle at times) romance between Mattie and James. Also, getting to see how they overcome their pasts. It's all really sweet.

Nevertheless, I didn't like how the ending just dropped off in what I think was in the middle of a good scene. If there was just a bit more to the story, I think I could have liked it a lot better.

Story Teaser :
He made as if to stand, but James waved him back.
Tilford remained seated, but his black eyebrows rose. “My word, sir! What has happened to you?”
James perched on the other stool and yanked off his ruined boot. “Nothing much. Went hunting, caught a woman instead of a deer, saved her life, let coyotes chomp on my boots rather than my feet, took the woman home, offered to fulfill her dearest wish, was refused in a most ungracious manner. And for God’s sake, stop calling me sir.” ~ within Chapter 4
For more information on this book and/or any other books by Charlotte, then please check out her website. To find out more about this anthology then click here.

"Final Approach" [A Seattle Anthology, Novella 2] & [Flight Risk Series, Novella 1] by Marianne Stillings

My Story Summary : Set in 1942 -- during World War II -- We follow Captain Joseph Caldwell (previously a homicide detective) as he learns how to assist the war efforts from behind a desk (not much to his liking) for the first time. However, not long after arriving at his new station he finds himself trying to solve a possible murder case of one of the station’s female pilots. In doing so, he meets and becomes close to Lt. Charlene Thompson (Charlie)--a female pilot and instructor--who was the best friend of the murdered pilot and is still dealing with previous tragedies of her own. Will their budding friendship grow into something more or will they hold themselves back because of what they've already went through? In the meantime, will they be able to find out what really happened to Charlie's friend before someone else gets hurt?

My Story Review : 4.5 out of 5 stars! This is a prequel to Ms. Stillings newest series coming out called Flight Risk, and I think it's a great start! I enjoyed the mystery, intrigue, setting, and getting to know Joe & Charlie throughout this novella. Also, I hope that they are mentioned within the coming series as it progresses because I want to read more about them. For being such a short story, I think it definitely builds you up for what could come next!

Story Teaser :
He wanted to kiss her. And not just because he lusted after her, but because her take on the situation was exactly right. She got it. She understood the distance that must be kept between an event and the conclusions one reached based solely on evidence. She was a natural detective, and if he wasn’t careful, he was going to fall head over heels for her—and then where would he be? ~ within Chapter 5
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Marianne, then please check out her website. To find out more about this anthology then click here.

"Love Phantom" [A Seattle Anthology, Novella 3] by Dawn Kravagna

My Story Summary : Set in 1983 -- Kara is a shy Drama major hoping to get out of her shell (be more like her feisty Grandma Caldwell who was a World War II pilot) and find a hot guy to date. She has her eye on the hot teacher's assistant, Gerald, but with his mixed signals, she can't be sure if he's interested or not. However, there is also Ellis, a sweet and kind of cute, undergrad Drama major like her who seems interested in her but she can never be sure of her feelings for him. Will she be able to get the courage to get out of her shell and into a relationship with either of the guys or will she find that it's easier be the shy girl?

My Story Review : 3 out of 5 stars, this is a story about a girl learning to come into her own and finding about what she really wants in life and love. It was an okay story. I liked Ellis a lot and I wish Kara gave him more credit at the beginning of the story then she did. However, I wasn't a fan of Kara's wish-washyness at the start of the story or how her anxieties seemed to run her life for the majority of it. Nevetheless, I enjoy come into her own towards the end of the story.

Story Teaser :
During our fifteen minutes of excoriation, Gerald sat behind them on a parlor chair, peering up at the stage lamps and scratching at the stubble on his chin as if in deep thought. Perhaps he was wondering whether Lisa and I had set the lamps at the correct angles? Then, just as we were dismissed and I was about to leave, his gaze zeroed in on me and he smiled.
I shyly smiled back, my face reddening once again. What was I, a tomato? ~ within Scene 3
For more information on this book and/or any other books by Dawn, then please check out her website. To find out more about this anthology then click here.

"Shelter From The Storm" [A Seattle Anthology, Novella 4] by Clare Tisdale

My Story Summary : Set in 2011 -- James Douglas (JD) moves back to Seattle after being away for a few years and hopes to stay with a friend who offered him his couch a while back, if he ever made it home. However, when he arrives at his friend's place he finds that his friend no longer lives there but his friend's attractive ex-girlfriend (Maya), who kindly enough lets him stay with her until he can get his feet under him again. During their time together, they become very close. So close that JD believes that they could possible grow into something more but Maya has been keeping a secret that could tear them apart once it comes out. Will they be able to weather the storm brewing from Maya's secret? Or will it actually tear them apart for good?

My Story Review : 3.5 out of 5 stars, this is about a guy who is trying to settle back into a life that'll work for him while thinking he might be falling in love. I could not get enough of JD! He is sweet, charming, creative, and a hard worker. My only issue with the story is Maya because of her aloofness. I mean I understand her reasoning, and if she didn't act the way she did there wouldn't have been much of a story, yet I didn't like it and it made me not like her.

Author's Story Extras : New Anthology Book Release!

Story Teaser :
She pounced on a donut-shaped hole with raised edges and demonstrated the technique with her own shovel, plunging it straight down, rocking it back and forth in the heavy sand, and finally bringing up a large, smooth clam with an oval shell decorated with brown concentric rings. Its neck poked out on one side like a fat white tongue. “Bingo,” she said, shaking it off and dropping it into her bucket.
JD glanced into her bucket and counted nine razor clams, compared to his paltry three. “You’re showing me up. A snip of a girl like you. It’s embarrassing.”
She slapped him on the arm, her green eyes dancing. “You must be off your game today. First one to get to fifteen clams wins.”~ within Chapter 4
For more information on this book and/or any other books by Clare, then please check out her website. To find out more about this anthology then click here.

"What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect?" [A Seattle Anthology, Novella 5] by Sherri Shaw

My Story Summary : Set in 2012 -- While at the Pike Street Market Ivy contemplates finding "Mr. Perfect" while getting produce for her restaurant. A vendor overhears her contemplation and gives her a necklace saying it'll help her find her own "Mr. Perfect." However, when "Mr. Perfect" (aka Sam Rockney a quarterback for the Seattle Pioneers) arrives at her restaurant everything seems a bit too good to be true. Will she find Sam's actually hiding something or is he really just perfect for her?

My Story Review : 4 out of 5 stars, it's about a girl who's trying not to let her past mistakes rule her life while finding her own "Mr. Perfect" in the process. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Ivy and Sam's relationship grow throughout the story! It's a sweet romance you can't help but want to read. Plus, for those of you who enjoy reading about supernatural instances this one doesn't have a lot but it has enough to please!

Story Teaser :
“Chef, we need you out in the dining room.”
“Now?” Ivy fought a wave of panic. “My sous chef isn’t—”
“I’m sorry, but we need to keep on schedule if you want to open for lunch on time,” the chipper assistant said.
“Not a problem,” Sam said, moving beside Ivy. “I’ll start this.”
“Don’t you have an appointment this morning?” she asked, torn between guilt and obligation.
“Now what kind of a boyfriend would I be if I abandoned you in a moment of crisis?”
“A pretty crappy one, I suppose.” ~ within Chapter 5
For more information on this book and/or any other books by Sherri, then please check her out on the Goodreads' website. To find out more about this anthology then click here.

"Aftershocks" [A Seattle Anthology, Novella 6] & [Six Alarm Sexy Series, Novella 1] by Kristine Cayne

My Story Summary : Set in 2014 -- Now five years after they got married Erica and Jamie are going through a divorce that is if Jamie will ever sign the papers. They both are desperately still in love with each other but they have grown apart and they don't know how to bridge the gap between them anymore. That is until an earthquake throws them together and it'll take them both to pitch in and save their young daughter's life. If they can earn each other's trust again, maybe they can get their marriage work again, and a whole lot more as long as they can make it through the aftershock of it all.

My Story Review : 5 out of 5 stars -- Hot, spicy, and exciting is how this prequel to Ms. Cayne's upcoming series Six Alarm Sexy is!! I loved this story; the sparks between Erica and Jamie are combustible! As well as the endearing quality of reading about a couple, who want to stay together but just don't know how and it takes a drastic tragedy to shake them up. I can't wait to see where these two go in "Under His Command," book 1 of the Six Alarm Sexy Series!

Author's Series Extras : Help Me Name My New Firefighter Series! | New Firefighter Series Title - Vote For Your Favorites! | Kristine Cayne's New Firefighter Series - Title Poll Results | Kristine Cayne's New Firefighter Series - Title Poll Results | Cover Reveal - Under His Command by Kristine Cayne

Story Teaser :
“Careful, Dani,” Jamie warned. “We don’t want this pile of crap coming down on you.”
“I always am, LJ. You know that.” Dani laughed and the sound made Erica grit her teeth. She could just imagine what else the woman was always careful about. She pushed away from Jamie’s side, sick at the thought that the woman her husband was sleeping with was saving her daughter’s life. Unfortunately, when she stepped back she tripped and fell smack against Hollywood. An arm as hard as iron snapped around her waist, pulling her firmly against the man’s granite-like chest. ~ within Chapter 4
For more information on this book and/or any other books by Kristine, then please check out her website. To find out more about this anthology then click here.

My Book Review : For the full book I give it 3.92 out of 5 stars! Each one of these stories were intriguing in their own way and I loved reading about this family! I will say that I'm curious as to how the two authors that are expanding on their stories will take their characters.

I would recommend this anthology to anyone who enjoys contemporary romances, thriller/mystery romances, historical romances, and/or slightly supernatural romances! =0)

Authors' Anthology Extras : We’re going on a blog tour! | Romance in the Rain: A Seattle Anthology - Released Today! | Romance in the Rain - Happy Release Day!! | Novella published! | Opening day of Romance in the Rain blog tour! | Launch Day!

For more information on this Anthology, then please check out the website.

Book Excerpts :

"Splendor in the Moss" [A Seattle Anthology, Novella 1] by Charlotte Russell
After telling the dog to stay, he steered her away from the Jensens’ cabin, towards the woods to the south. “Thank you.”
“For what?”
“Giving me the time of day. You were gone for such a long while, I wasn’t certain you’d come back.”
“I had to fight my better judgment.”
James laughed. He couldn’t put on airs around Mattie if he tried. ~ within Chapter 7

"Final Approach" [A Seattle Anthology, Novella 2] & [Flight Risk Series, Novella 1] by Marianne Stillings
"You were there." Caldwell's voice was quiet as though he were speaking to a timid child. He took a step toward her. "You saw it, didn't you. Didn't you, Charlie?" Another step. And another. Suddenly, he was standing before her and she was standing, too, and his arms came around her as she pressed her head against his strong shoulder and for the first time in a year, she felt safe. Safe enough to relive the agony—and let it go. Safe enough to let someone be strong—so she could be weak. Safe enough—to cry.
And so she did. ~ within Chapter 3

"Shelter From The Storm" [A Seattle Anthology, Novella 4] by Clare Tisdale
A shadow crossed the window, and JD looked up in time to see a seagull fly by. Beyond the downtown high rises, the waters of the Puget Sound lay brooding, glazed by morning mist. Much as JD hated starting over again, he realized that if he had to, he'd rather do it here than anywhere else. Seattle was his home; he belonged here. Maya and her beach house had helped confirm that for him. ~ within Chapter 2

"What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect?" [A Seattle Anthology, Novella 5] by Sherri Shaw
"Somehow I can’t picture you as a nerd.” You’re too perfect, Ivy silently added, fingering the amulet at her throat.
It hummed under her fingertips as the vendor’s words skated across her mind, If you truly want to find the perfect man, and restore your faith in true love, then this necklace will be your good luck talisman.” She dropped her hand, shaking off the crazy notion. It was merely a coincidence that she wished to meet the man of her dreams and Sam showed up. The necklace had nothing to do with it.
Right? ~ within Chapter 2

"Aftershocks" [A Seattle Anthology, Novella 6] & [Six Alarm Sexy Series, Novella 1] by Kristine Cayne
Adrenaline surging through her system, Erica hung onto the doorjamb as the quake rocked the old courthouse. The building swayed and groaned, windows rattled and shattered as the earth continued to tremble. Cracks raced across the ceiling and plaster dust showered down, covering everything in a thin white film. She’d lived in Seattle all her life but had never experienced a quake as powerful as this one.
And her daughter was all alone. ~ within Chapter 2

Giveaways!! :

All giveaway ends November 22, 2012 at midnight. Make sure to only enter the giveaway you are eligible for.

Giveaway for US residents only.

Grand Prize :
  • 1 autographed copy of "Deadly
    " + SWAG
  • 1 autographed copy of "Deadly Addiction" + SWAG
  • An autographed copy of "The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever" by Julia Quinn
  • "Blood Trinity" by Julia Quinn and Dianna Love
  • 1 e-book copy of "Falling Angel" by Clare Tisdale
  • 1 handmade shell necklace by Clare Tisdale
  • A handmade afghan crocheted by Marianne Stillings
  • 1 autographed copy of "AROUSING SUSPICIONS"
  • 1 autographed copy of "SATISFACTION"
  • 1 autographed copy of "KILLER CHARMS"
  • 1 bag of truffles from Seattle Chocolates
  • 3 chocolate bars from Seattle Chocolates
  • $15 Starbucks gift card
  • 1 autographed copy of "Cattle Capers: Search For The MooMoo Pearl" by Dawn Kravagna

Prize #5 :

Prize #6 :

Prize #7 :

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway for both US and International residents.

Prize #1 :

Prize #2 :

Prize #3 :

Prize #4 :

Prize #8 - 10 :
  • 1 e-book copy of "Deadly Addiction" by Kristine Cayne
  • $10 Amazon or B&N gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway for both US and International residents.

Prize #11 :
  • 1 free ebook cover design by Sherri Shaw with up to a $20 royalty free background

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find Charlotte Russell :

Find Marianne Stillings :

Find Dawn Kravagna :

Find Clare Tisdale :

Find Sherri Shaw :

Find Kristine Cayne :


  1. Thank you so much for the tremendous post! I loved your review and all the little extras you added like the excerpts and photos. Best of luck to everyone who participates in the giveaways!

    1. You're welcome!! I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for commenting!

  2. thanks for a beautiful post and for participating in this tour :D

  3. Jess: Thank you so very much for your absolutely fabulous spotlight on our anthology. We had a lot of fun writing it and hope your readers will enjoy the stories. Your reviews are wonderful and very kind and supportive. Again, thank you for an awesome promotion.

    Marianne Stillings

    1. YOU'RE WELCOME!! I try to promote all the books I review as good as I can no matter my actual views on them. =0)

  4. Wow! Thank you for shining such a huge light on our anthology. We appreciate all the time you took and by the way, your interview questions were fantastic. Thanks, too, for the review. We hope everyone enjoys it as much as you did.

    1. *hahaa* You're welcome!! I'm glad you enjoyed my interview questions ... I surely liked everyone's responses. =0)

  5. Jess, Thank you so much for hosting the Seattle Rainy Day Writers on your awesome blog, and for the great reviews. I especially loved the pictures you included (Chef Ivy is a dead ringer for Sandra Bullock). They gave a fun, clever visual element to the interview.

    1. You're welcome!! I loved how you answered that question actually ... plus it gave me another opportunity to display another character's "looks." *hehee* And I apologize for not linking your website and linking your Goodreads acct instead. It's just that every time I tried to get into or (which is what is on the Rainy Day Writers Blog) it wouldn't load instead saying "Server not found" -- therefore if you have anything else you'd like me to link to just let me know and I'll change it for you. =0)

  6. Thanks for putting together a great blog and for taking the time to read and comment on our stories - I loved the pictures, too!

    1. You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it!! Thanks for stopping by!!

  7. Hi, Jess. Been out of the country or would've thanked you sooner for taking the time and effort to feature our book project. I've signed up for your blog and look forward to reading your future posts.


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