Sunday, February 25, 2018

Interview, Review & Giveaway: The Sometimes Sisters by Carolyn Brown

I've been a long-time fan of Carolyn Brown, so I'm thrilled to have her on the blog today to answer a few questions about her latest, The Sometimes Sisters (totally loved!) and a few other pressing questions this romance junkie had for her.  The lovely people of Montlake Romance provided a giveaway of The Sometimes Sisters as part of this post, so don't forget to scroll down and fill in the rafflecopter for a chance to win! 

The Sometimes Sisters by Carolyn Brown
Publication Date: February 27th 2018 by Montlake Romance
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

About the book:

When they were growing up, Dana, Harper, and Tawny thought of themselves as “sometimes sisters.” They connected only during the summer month they’d all spend at their grandmother’s rustic lakeside resort in north Texas. But secrets started building, and ten years have passed since they’ve all been together—in fact, they’ve rarely spoken, and it broke their grandmother’s heart.

Now she’s gone, leaving Annie’s Place to her granddaughters—twelve cabins, a small house, a café, a convenience store, and a lot of family memories. It’s where Dana, Harper, and Tawny once shared so many good times. They’ve returned, sharing only hidden regrets, a guarded mistrust, and haunting guilt. But now, in this healing summer place, the secrets that once drove them apart could bring them back together—especially when they discover that their grandmother may have been hiding something, too…

To overcome the past and find future happiness, these “sometimes sisters” have one more chance to realize they are always family.
Carolyn Brown: Exclusive Interview:

First of all, I want to say thank you for visiting Waves of Fiction! I’m a huge fan of your romances!  Your stories touch my heart, make me laugh, and keep me entertained until the last page!

Thank you for that compliment. And thank you so much for inviting me to Waves of Fiction today. It’s such a pleasure to be here.

Q: Can you tell us a little about The Sometimes Sisters, and what motivated you to write their story?

It all started when the sisters showed up in my head and wanted me to write their stories. I had two sisters. Like Dana, I had a father who rejected his first family. One sister I never met. We shared different mothers. The other one was a part of that first family, and we were best friends and confidantes until the day she passed away. So the what ifs came into play. What if we’d met as adults? What if Joy hadn’t died in a car accident before I ever met her? What if Patti hadn’t passed away suddenly? What if we’d been thrown together as adults and had to overcome all the past?

Q: You’ve written several colorful female characters, like Agnes and Violet from your Cadillac, Texas series or Mavis and Naomi from your Burnt Boot, Texas series. These women alternately had me laughing myself silly and shaking my head. What inspired you to write these women and their battles? 

Those women simply popped into my head and I couldn’t get them out. They were my inspiration. Agnes was only supposed to be a minor character, the crazy old aunt who lived across the street from the café, but she almost stole the show. After reading The Wedding Pearls, (that book has a couple of sassy elderly women also—Frankie and Ivy) my daughter called me late one night. She was still sniffling from the The Wedding Pearls ending and informed me that if I ever wrote another Cadillac story and Agnes died, she wouldn’t talk to me for a month.

Q: Will we see any fierce rivalry like that in The Sometimes Sisters?

Not so much as Agnes and Violet or Mavis and Naomi. Like sisters, they do have their jealous moments, but that stays “in the family”. Let anyone come in and threaten one of them, and the other two are there to support and protect.

Q: The Sometimes Sisters sounds more like Women’s Fiction from the book description, so I’m curious if there’ll be any romance?

It’s definitely Women’s Fiction. Dana, Harper and Tawny have a journey to make so they can lose the emotional baggage that’s weighing them down. It’s a story of friendship—but I’m not sure that I could write a book without a little bit of romance. After all, love heals and these sisters have a lot of hurts that need to be taken care of. So yes, there is romance mixed in with the friendship.

Q: Do you base any of your fictional characters on real life people?  Have you written any characters based on yourself?

Real life people always sneak into my books, whether I know them or not. For example, Mr. B and I were out on a research trip and stopped for ice cream. A young cowboy, wearing dirty jeans, boots and spurs, a sweaty cowboy hat and a faded pearl snap shirt—oh, and a belt buckle with a long horn bull on the front—waited in line ahead of us. He became my next hero. Sometimes it’s something as simple as an attitude that I see in someone. The attitude shows up in a character that doesn’t look like that person, but sure tosses her head to the side like the lady I worked with at one time. Writers are people watchers so beware!  

Q: You’ve been writing for quite sometime now, what is your favorite thing about writing?

Freedom and flexibility. My office is in my house and I can work in pajama pants and oversized t-shirts. I’m basically a hermit so this lifestyle suits me.  So I’m free from all the entanglements of a job that takes me outside: business clothes, makeup, fixing hair and alarm clocks. I do wear shoes on Sunday, but some weeks that’s the only day. I’m very disciplined so I write for several hours every day, but my schedule is flexible. I don’t have to schedule time off with a boss when I want to go to a writer’s conference or the yearly family reunion.

Q: What is your least favorite thing about writing?

Fear. So far I’ve never been without the voices in my head. But sometimes I fear that they’ll stop giving me ideas. I have a plaque on my wall that says, “I know the voices in my head aren’t real, but they have really great ideas.” I hope that those voices stay with me forever.

Q: What advice would you impart to aspiring writers?

Write! Don’t Whine! Do you realize that both words start with a W and end with an E and they each have five letters? Why waste your time whining when you could be writing? Writing accomplishes something, even if it’s only 500 words a day. That means someday you will have a manuscript to offer somewhere. Set a goal, set your mind and sit down in the chair and write.

Thank you again for letting me stop by Waves of Fiction to talk about The Sometimes Sisters.

My pleasure, Carolyn!  I love these answers, and I can't wait for what you have in store for us next! 

Now here are my thoughts on The Sometimes Sisters:

My Thoughts:
I just loved this story so much! I shed tears, both sad and happy, The Sometimes Sisters brought out all the feels!

Dana, Harper, and Tawny are the “Sometimes Sisters” who had gathered for a month during each summer at their Granny Annie’s lakeside resort.  Dana is the oldest, a bastard child of their father he refused to acknowledge, but Granny Annie wouldn’t stand for her son’s behavior and accepted her as the true granddaughter she is.  Harper and Tawny were the legitimate daughters, but didn’t mean they weren’t abandoned by a parent too.  These girls only got along sometimes, and there’s been a lot of years since that’s happened.  Each one of the sisters has a sad tale and a sort of a chip on their shoulders, but they’ll need to get over it to work together after their Granny’s death.  It’s Granny Annie’s dying wish to make it so, and Uncle Zed has been tasked to transforming these women to the “always sisters” instead of “sometimes sisters”.

At the death of their Granny, all three sisters gather at the Lakeside Resort, to mourn her passing and take over running the place with Uncle Zed, Granny Annie’s best friend, and their as-good-as grandpa. We gradually discover why each need this place to call home as the story progresses.  I loved watching these women heal and draw close, while their Granny whispers encouragement or snap-out-of-it statements in their heads.  I had to laugh at some of her sayings! Uncle Zed is quite the peacemaker, too, and I just loved him to pieces!  My heart broke for his loss at the beginning of the story, but I was glad he got to stick around and witness these sisters putting aside their differences and becoming a real, solid family. 

The setting is exactly the kind of place I’d love to spend the summer, a beautiful lakeside resort with old-fashioned cabins, a little snack, bait and tackle store, and a café serving all the good home-cooked favorites! This place sounded like a dream escape to me!

This is more of a women’s fiction story, but there are romances for each of the girls, including Brooke, Dana’s daughter.  Even though they were side stories and not the complete focus, each of them was sweet and lovely, and a welcome addition!  There’s also a back story, a touching one, about Granny Annie and Uncle Zed that I suspected, and then was revealed in the end.  Like I said, tears, both happy and sad were shed with this heartwarming, lovely story!

4.5 Suns

About the author:
Carolyn Brown is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a RITA finalist. Her books include romantic women’s fiction, historical romance, contemporary romance, cowboy romance, and country music mass-market paperbacks. She and her husband live in the small town of Davis, Oklahoma, where everyone knows what everyone else is doing—and reads the local newspaper on Wednesdays to see who got caught. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. When she’s not writing, Carolyn likes to sit in her gorgeous backyard with her two cats, Chester Fat Boy and Boots Randolph Terminator Outlaw, and watch them protect their territory from all kinds of wicked varmints like crickets, locusts, and spiders. Visit her online at

Connect with Carolyn Brown:

The lovely people of Montlake Romance have generously provided a copy of The Sometimes Sisters to one lucky reader!  Please fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Review: The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz

Publication Date: February 13th 2018 by Mira Books
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the Book:

They called themselves “the lucky ones.” They were seven children either orphaned or abandoned by their parents and chosen by legendary philanthropist and brain surgeon Dr. Vincent Capello to live in The Dragon, his almost magical beach house on the Oregon Coast. Allison was the youngest of the lucky ones living an idyllic life with her newfound family…until the night she almost died, and was then whisked away from the house and her adopted family forever.

Now, thirteen years later, Allison receives a letter from Roland, Dr. Capello’s oldest son, warning her that their father is ill and in his final days. Allison determines she must go home again and confront the ghosts of her past. She's determined to find out what really happened that fateful night--was it an accident or, as she's always suspected, did one of her beloved family members try to kill her?

But digging into the past can reveal horrific truths, and when Allison pieces together the story of her life, she'll learns the terrible secret at the heart of the family she once loved but never really knew.

A vivid and suspenseful tale of family, grief, love—and the dark secrets that bind everything together—Tiffany Reisz’s latest is enthralling to the final page.

My Thoughts:
Allison felt lucky when Dr. Vincent Capello rescued her from the foster home nightmare she was in at the age of seven.  Living in a big beautiful home right on the Oregon Coast with a built family of brothers and sisters felt like a dream come true. Until that dream came crashing down when she was pushed, or fell down the stairs and woke up in the hospital.  Her elderly aunt came and whisked her away and she hadn’t seen or heard from her “family” for thirteen years until her foster brother, Roland, writes to tell her Dr. Capello is dying.  She knows she must go back and find the answers to questions that’ve haunted her for years.  Did one of her “family” actually push her down the stairs, and if so, why? 

When Allison first comes onto the page, I was so very put out for her after discovering the details of her relationship with Cooper McQueen, a character from The Bourbon Thief.  I quite liked him in that book, but here I wanted to strangle the man!  At any rate, his appearance is short-lived, and I wasn’t so mad at him by the end.  Still…grr!!!

But never mind McQueen, because Roland is the guy you want to sit up and take notice of, anyhow.  The minute Roland and Allison reunite after thirteen years it’s like they never separated.  They had a fast, and natural connection (if you can call a romance between an ex-foster brother and sister natural, lol); so very electric and passionate.  

Deacon and Thora, her other brother and sister fell right back into Allison’s life and she into theirs, and once again it feels like a big happy family, no matter there’s a prevailing sadness over Dr. Capello’s nearing death.  But as Allison stays it’s quickly apparent there are a lot of secrets and lies and uncovering them could be very dangerous. And it is dangerous, because Allison can’t let the search for the truth go.

It wasn’t hard to piece together a lot of the mystery right off the bat, but some of it was a surprise and the whole story was captivating even with knowing what was going on.  Usually, once I start reading one of Ms. Reisz’s stories I can hardly put it down, and that was certainly the case with The Lucky Ones.  There was a lot of moral gray areas here, where you could see both sides of the story, understand why a person would take the actions that they did, but at the same time you couldn’t help but think of the violations those actions incurred, and some of the consequences were truly horrible. 

Once again Tiffany Reisz weaves and atmospheric tale of love, betrayal, and mystery with the Oregon Coast and its broody weather there to provide an even more haunting quality to the tale.  Loved the setting; it and the house almost felt like secondary characters here.  The Lucky Ones is the kind of story that’ll linger in your mind long after you finish the last page.

4 Suns

Friday, February 2, 2018

Review: Howl For It by Shelly Laurenston & Cynthia Eden

Publication Date: January 30th 2018 by Kensington Books
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

They hunger for your pleasure. They growl for your touch. And in these sizzling stories by New York Times bestselling author Shelly Laurenston and Cynthia Eden, these sexy wolf shapeshifters are lust at first bite. . .

Like A Wolf With A Bone by Shelly Laurenston

Quiet little Darla Lewis couldn't be happier when the most-feared member of the South's rowdiest pack kidnaps her. A girl gets real tired of being overprotected by her own shifter family, and there's nothing like an oh-so-big bad wolf to start a pack feud, unleash her instincts--and have her surrender however and whenever she wants. . .

Wed Or Dead by Cynthia Eden

Gage Ryder knew his human bride had a wild side. But spending their honeymoon night on the run from hunters out to finish him and his pack is sure not the kind of fun he was looking forward to. No problem--Gage will do whatever it takes to lay bare Kayla's secrets and find the truth. If he can keep from being captured by his own seductive game. 

My Thoughts:
Howl For It was two paranormal shifter romances in one book, each novella length. I originally picked up the book because I’m a big fan of Cynthia Eden’s romantic suspense novels, but I’d never tried her fantasy books. After reading Wed or Dead, I’m definitely trying more of her paranormal books, because it was fantastic!  I’ve never read Shelly Laurenston’s stories, so I was pleasantly surprised by her story! It had me cracking up and it was pretty hot!

3.5 Stars Like a Wolf With a Bone-Shelly Laurenston

Egbert Ray Smith, Eggie for short, is on break from the Marine Corps and back home with his family, the Smith Pack.  As usual there’s family drama with his brothers and their mates it seems the Smith boys have married the Lewis sisters and they’re always fighting over something.  Waiting outside while they hash things out inside, Eggie spies the youngest sister, Darla Mae outside as well, shaking her head over the drama playing out between the mates inside.  Eggie is immediately smitten and follows Darla Mae out into the forest where he witnesses a few male figures hunting her.  Apparently, Darla Mae has brought trouble back with her from San Francisco, and Eggie makes it his mission to keep her safe. 

As I said, Like a Wolf With a Bone had me cracking up.  The antics between the families were funny, just their names alone had me laughing: the Lewis sisters all had Mae as their middle name: Janie Mae, Roberta Mae, Janette Mae and so forth, and all were married/mated to the Smith brothers all with Ray as their middle names: Nicky Ray, Bubba Ray, Frankie Ray. You get the picture. At any rate it was fun seeing the Eggie and Darla Mae get to know each other, falling a little harder with every minute while settling in to his home and town, battling family and danger in the process. Their romance was hot!  Definitely want to read more from Ms. Laurenston.

4.5 Stars-Wed or Dead by Cynthia Eden

Cynthia Eden’s romantic suspense is always a thrill ride, and I can now say the same about her paranormal stories.  Kayla and Gage are on opposite sides, Kayla is a hunter of all paranormal entities, and Gage is a wolf-shifter, a powerful Alpha of his pack; so, you wouldn’t think they’d be getting married, yet as the story opens that’s exactly what’s playing out.

Oh, the chemistry between Kayla and Gage was sizzling! There’s obviously some mistrust between them when they each had secrets, but there was never a question that these two weren’t meant to be together.  Their secrets come out pretty much from the start and they each must deal with betrayals from each of their groups.  It was non-stop action, and when there wasn’t danger to deal with Kayla and Gage couldn’t keep their hands off each other!  Loved the story and the paranormal world set up, but I’m not sure if this book is part of another series Cynthia Eden writes. I see a potential for more stories here, and I’d like to read more!