Heaven Scent – Entered in 2017 Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Virginia Alison

A highly unique romance novel, Virginia Alison’s Heaven Scent is sure to stir readers in one way or another. Sexy Texas cowboy, Evan falls for blonde, blue-eyed author, Ginny. Their steamy love affair and out-of-this-world attraction for one another drives the two of them to extreme measures to not only find one another but to have a chance at a life-time of love. The two experience surprises and shocks from start to finish.

Though based in modern-day Texas, Heaven Scent kicks off in a confusing way, which may lead readers to believe it is in a time in the past. The confusion continues for a chapter or two before it becomes more clear. Often times, the story has gaps that add another layer of confusion to the mix. More depth to the supporting characters could’ve been beneficial. Alison does display a quick temper in Evan and a some levels of reckless abandon as well as strength in Ginny -all of this done through their actions and words. There are numerous instances of grammatical errors and occasionally missed words, but Ginny and Evan’s sexy scenes may override those potentially annoying mistakes.

Heaven Scent is the first book in a trilogy of steamy romance novels, and with the way this story ends it will certainly leave readers wondering what will happen next. They’ll be anxiously awaiting to learn more about the other characters that Viriginia Alison may bring forward. There is no question that Heaven Scent is hot and sexy almost from the very beginning. Alison created two headstrong and inviting characters in this steamy romance while weaving in a sprinkling of the paranormal. This fascinating blending of love, romance, sex and hint of the metaphysical encourages readers to keep turning pages until the very end -an ending they absolutely won’t expect.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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A Tear for Eternity.com – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Virginia Alison

Virginia Alison’s A Tear For Eternity.com is a comedic, romantic novel surrounding an attractive female erotic author in her fifties. Divorced and single, Mia has, for the past six years, participated in a romantic and sexual relationship -all online with Kip, a man she’s never met. In between trying to tidy up her yard that her grumpy older neighbor nags her about and writing her next chapter, she allows her mind to wonder through fantasies, toys with her online relationship and occasionally engages in face-to-face dating and pleasurable experiences. Her ultimate dream is to meet Kip in person, but whether or not that will ever come to fruition seems to hang tauntingly in the ether just as their chat box messages.

A Tear For Eternity.com is not a typical romance novel. On a number of levels that’s a positive, but there are drawbacks, too. Alison mentions a large cast of characters as she runs through some of Mia’s memories of her online and offline escapades with the male persuasion. Yet, none of these characters are fleshed out. There was potential in the neighbor’s adult grandson, but he turned out to just be a super sexy diversion and readers are left to wonder who he really is. Clearly, the whole of the story focuses primarily on Mia, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, some readers may enjoy knowing more about the other characters.

With snippets of steamy sex scenes, those who enjoy erotic stories that aren’t over-the-top will most likely enjoy Virginia Alison’s A Tear For Eternity.com. She offers a number of those steamy scenes mixed in with her almost poetic writing style. Women, especially those in their middle years, will enjoy settling in with Mia and exploring her somewhat lonely, but sexy tale. As the question of what will happen between Mia and Kip hangs in the balance Virginia Alison gives readers a choice and a chance to control the character’s. In the end, it’s up to the reader. Therefore, Alison’s A Tear For Eternity.com will entertain until the very end.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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[Author Interview] Michelle Dare | Where I End

Featured Authors Talk About It

Author Interview

Michelle Dare

ATAI: Tell us a little about you.

Michelle: I’m a wife and mom of two amazing children. I have a five-month-old German Shepherd puppy. My hands are definitely full. I live in eastern Pennsylvania, but I absolutely hate winter and snow. I write whenever I can and love it.

ATAI: How long have you been writing?

Michelle: A little over three years. I’ll have my three year publishing anniversary in October.

ATAI: What was your most recent release?

Michelle: My most recent release is titled Where I End. It’s a story that will pull at your heart, have tears in your eyes, but will leave you smiling at the end. Where I End is a new adult, stand alone romance.

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ATAI: What do you love most about writing?

Michelle: The freedom of it, especially being an indie author. I can write whatever I want, whenever I want. There are no limits and no rules. It’s amazing and also very therapeutic.

ATAI: What do you find most challenging?

Michelle: Finding new readers. I’m always trying new ways to reach more readers and introduce them to my work.

ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?

Michelle: They can come from something as simple as a picture or a song. I also have very vivid dreams that I get a lot of ideas from.

ATAI: What is your writing process?

Michelle: I write and write fast when I get in the groove. I write on an AlphaSmart and it makes all the difference in the world. From there, I transfer it to my computer. I have notebooks, post-its, and a dry erase board that I use. Personally, I like getting the entire book down before going back and reading through any of it and self-editing the story. Once the words are all written, then the fun starts. Or torture. However you look at it lol.

ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?

Michelle: Always. I let them guide me. I’m the middle person between them and the book. Okay, maybe I’m a little more. I do argue with them and love them.

ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?

Michelle: I couldn’t pick a favorite. I love all my books for different reasons. Each one holds a piece me in it.

ATAI: What are you working on next?

Michelle: I’m currently writing Where I Am, which is about my hero’s best friend from Where I End. It’s a story of love lost and found. It will also be standalone.

ATAI: Where can people find you online?

Michelle: Newsletter Sign-Up: http://eepurl.com/bt14zX
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormichelledare
Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/daresdivas/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/michelle_dare
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/michelle_dare/
Website: https://www.michelledare.com/

ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.

Michelle: Thank you for having me and taking the time to post about me on your page!


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[Author Interview] Victoria Renteria | Redemption

Featured Authors Talk About It

Author Interview

Victoria Renteria

ATAI: Tell us a little about you.

Victoria: Hello, all! (Waves) I’m Victoria Renteria, thank you so much for having me today. Hmmm, what to say, what to say . . . Well, I live in the sunny state of Florida and I absolutely adore it here. I love the sunshine and having access to the beach year-round. It’s pretty much vacation weather all the time. I often find myself working from there as much as I can. I’m addicted to all things cherry. I have probably about a gazillion tattoos. And I love green tea. Oh, and as my husband loves to say: I’m pint sized. I’m all of about five foot three inches tall. My husband and all his Army buddies like to get a good laugh at my expense. Until I put on my biker boots and go for a ride. Did I mention my dad is a biker? No? That tends to scare most men off. Lol.

ATAI: How long have you been writing?

Victoria: Wow, such a fantastic question. I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. I started penning my stories in a journal my great grandmother gave me as a child. From there I ventured into poetry. I published my first work as a Poet when I was nineteen. I’ve always loved the thrill of a good story. Find an author that can weave a world full of mischief and mayhem that you can truly sink your teeth into is a blissful escape from the everyday stressors life can bring.

ATAI: What was your most recent release?

Victoria: Eek! I am so glad you asked me this question. Redemption is my newest release. It’s a continuation, or a spin-off if you will of The Betrayed Series. It portrays two of the characters that you meet in The Betrayed Series and it tells you a haunting tale of how they came to be where they are. Their road to redemption is paved with misfortune and unhappiness. This story is close to my heart for so many reasons, it touches on some incredibly sensitive topics that others shy away from, but, it also shows you that through it all, the power of love can help us to break the chains of darkness that bind us to our past.

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ATAI: What do you love most about writing?

Victoria: Writing is my sanctuary. To be honest, I love the whole process of weaving a story from beginning to end. Creating a world that a reader can become so emotionally invested in that they can’t tell where the book ends and the real world begins.

ATAI: What do you find most challenging?

Victoria: The most challenging part of being a writer is knowing when to turn it all off. There are times that I become so invested in my work that I literally forget about everything around me. Working from home, I’m afforded that ability. However, when you have a teenager who plays baseball 24/7 and a husband who is constantly deployed, it tends to be more challenging than not.

ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?

Victoria: Goodness, I pretty much find that life itself inspires me. Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes. Nothing is excluded in my world. Sometimes it comes in the form of a song, or a word, or even a game that I play with my son. Conversations or even a person passing me on the street. I’ve even had inspiration strike in the shower. Yep, you read that correctly, in the shower! Life is funny that way. I can take anything I see and turn it into a fantastic new world for readers to dive into.

ATAI: What is your writing process?

Victoria: Chaos. Crying. Rocking in a corner and pulling my hair out. Okay, maybe not in that order but they’re all part of the process. Generally, most writers will tell you that they sit down and sketch out an outline of the book chapter by chapter and know exactly where it’s going before they write it. My process is different. I know the storyline, I know the beginning, I know the end and the major points. However, all the juicy bits and the good stuff that happens in the middle I don’t know. Because characters tend to write the story themselves. So, I roughly sketch out an outline and then I allow the story to just develop on its own. Honestly, the story is constantly evolving as I write it.

ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?

Victoria: Absolutely. Every single character has their own voice and directs which way the story goes. A good writer will always tell you we are just the instrument to which our characters speak through.

ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?

Victoria: Wow, hitting me with the difficult ones. It is so difficult to pick one favorite part of my books. I really do love them all. I’d say if I can only choose one I would have to choose a section of Royal Blood. I love chapter ten where Kylee really steps it up and becomes the badass that we’ve always known she was. Her actions in this chapter just make me beam with pride. Then to top it all off the emotionally intense sexual encounter in the hallway with Alex is just icing on the cake. It kind of throws you for a loop.

ATAI: What are you working on next?

Victoria:Victoria: Eek! I am so excited to talk about Beyond The Pain. This is a Suspense/Thriller that I’ve been working on and it is incredible! I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve screamed. Seriously, this book has me on edge. It’s about Colton Monroe a man who was born with the extraordinary ability to bend time. He’s always been an outcast from society so when the police department asks him to help on a missing person’s case he is really thrown for a loop. This story has everything from supernatural to suspense, angst, you name it and it’s there!

ATAI: Where can people find you online?

Victoria: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaRenteriaAuthor/
Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/962652627143951/
Website: www.victoriarenteria.com
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/authorvrenteria
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14428394.Victoria_Renteria
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/author_victoria_renteria
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/22w7g6wrnw5ljfksfl6gg6r2y or search for Victoria Renteria
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2iFVE3M

ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.

Victoria: Thank you so much for having me on today! Feel free to stalk me or join my reader group. I really hope to hear from some of you soon ☺


*NOTE: ATAI does not edit the responses of the authors.

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Murder Is Just the Beginning – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Carol Kravetz

Carol Kravetz’s Murder Is Just the Beginning kicks off with a mystery man trying to discover whether or not a fourth murder has been committed. Four detectives are brought into the story right away though -two young men and two young women. The women, Cathy and Krista hail from Ireland and are brought into the department via a government approved project in Massachusetts to hire and train detectives at a younger age than normal. The four characters end up in romantic relationships with one another as they work the murder cases that started off the story.

Murder Is Just the Beginning might be a fun read if readers are looking for mostly a romance novel. It is far from a true murder mystery as it is nearly half-way through the book before any real action around the case begins to take shape and even then the mystery in the plot is thin. The first chapter ended with a captivating cliffhanger, but subsequent chapters more often than not finished with a sentence or two that felt forced or more like an after thought in an effort to get readers to continue to the next chapter.

However, Murder Is Just the Beginning is quite an enjoyable read if a reader is looking for romance with a hint of intrigue sprinkled in. Carol Kravetz brings a depth to the male characters that is atypical of men -at least in how they speak and talk to one another, but this style is a fantasy that women often dream of -getting men to reveal their deepest feelings easily. By sharing two separate romantic relationships, Carol Kravetz offers a unique story of love in Murder Is Just the Beginning with a crime sub story to add more color and flavor to the tale.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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[Author Interview] Tina Ruiz | Under the Nail Polish

Featured Authors Talk About It

Author Interview


Tina Griffith

ATAI: How long have you been writing?

Tina: I began writing sentences in Grade 1. I had my first article printed in the newspaper in Grade 10. I sold my first children’s story when my kids were little, and I now write romance novels. I guess we can safely say that I’ve been writing for 45 years.

ATAI: What was your most recent release?

Tina: Under the Nail Polish

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ATAI: What do you love most about writing?

Tina: Creating a scene, a love story, and making people fall in love with my characters, and the book.

ATAI: What do you find most challenging?

Tina: Coming up with a title, and names for the characters.

ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?

Tina: Everyday life. My grandbabies, seeing people in the malls, or watching older people holding hands and smiling at each other. I take what I see and create a story around it.

ATAI: What is your writing process?

Tina: I don’t actually have a process for writing. I write when I can, when I can, and keep away from my computer when I can’t. I sometimes write a book from page one to the end, and at other times, I write ‘scenes’ and graph them together when I think I have all the pieces.

ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?

Tina: Oh my gosh, yes. I’ve experienced it twice in my life, where it’s my fingers on the keyboard, but I am not typing out the words. In ‘A Second Later…’, my fingers typed out 13 pages, but it wasn’t me who wrote that part of the book. It was fascinating, like an out of body experience.

ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?

Tina: My biggest thrill is when I write ‘The End’ after the first draft. Why? Because then I get to read the story from beginning to end for the very first time.

ATAI: What are you working on next?

Tina: I’ve got 101 pages done, on the greatest romance story ever written. It’s going to be bigger than ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. I want to give you goose bumps, and make you cry from sadness and joy. I want you to love these characters and wish for them to end up together at the end, and I want you to remember this book as the best romance book you’ve ever read in your life.

ATAI: Where can people find you online?

Tina: I have a facebook account for myself, and for my books – ‘tinagriffithromancenovelist’.


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Escape Clause – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Mary Billiter

Mary Billiter’s second book in the Resort Romances series, Escape Clause, is a sweet romance with hints of spiciness. Kelsey Donigan is a single mom, estranged from her own parents. Oliver -Ollie to his friends- Carlyle is an heir to his family’s resort and his mother’s land. They meet during a PR event involving the two of them play acting as lighthouse keepers. They feel an instant attraction, but Ollie’s identical twin brother is so focused on himself and lining his pockets that he throws a monkey wrench into the works. Both, Ollie and Kelsey, eventually come to realize there is more to their situations than meets the eye, but whether or not they can solve the mysteries and find love at the same time remains to be seen.

Escape Clause takes off with a very slow start. Billiter brings the two main characters together in a seemingly unlikely way. Their behavior throughout their first few hours together is not very believable. Yet, it makes for a nice fantasy. The pace and more interesting mystery of the plot begins to come into play about half-way through the story. If readers are willing to settle in for a sweet and playfully flirtatious first half, they’ll need to be prepared to shift gears for the challenges between brothers and the deeper mystery that Ollie and Kelsey will face. Mary Billiter’s Escape Clause is a longer romance novel allowing for plenty of room for humor and mystery to work it’s way into the story. Humorous and sweet, while sexy and mysterious, Escape Clause is a worth-while and enjoyable read.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Voyage of the Soul – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

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Brett A. Reif

Brett A. Reif’s Voyage of the Soul is the tale of an unlikely romance between a Frenchman, Jacque, and an Englishwoman, Elizabeth. Having met under difficult circumstances, Jacque and Elizabeth already endure controversy, strife, and forbidden love. Then, when they flee to the American colonies, their lives seem to change for the better – but not for long. The Revolutionary War erupts around them, threatening all that they both hold dear.

Although it has an interesting premise, much of Voyage of the Soul’s execution and plot development leaves much to be desired. This book is in dire need of a solid edit, as there are constant and consistent instances of tense/verb disagreement, switching between tenses, misspelled words, and incorrect punctuation. Much of this serves as only a hefty distraction from what would otherwise be an intriguing novel. Also, Voyage of the Soul’s choppy plot development and whiplash-inducing skips between plot points and character perspectives don’t benefit it, either.

Voyage of the Soul does have several redeeming qualities, though, one of which being its multi-layered story. Although it is a romance novel on the surface, there are also layers of other genres that make the book seem more intricate and lifelike, in a way. Also, the characters are complex and detailed, making them believable both as fictional characters and as real human beings. The plot itself is interesting and has a great deal of promise, although it could still benefit greatly from a thorough edit. Brett A. Reif’s Voyage of the Soul certainly has room for improvement, but is still an incredibly detailed, intricate, fascinatingly different romance novel.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Broken Branches – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

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Brenda M. Spalding

A highly intriguing story, Broken Branches is the first book in The Green Lady Inn series. Megan, an art gallery owner in New York, is shocked and deeply saddened by her grandmother’s unexpected death. She rushes to Salem to take care of the details, but she’s not prepared to handle the danger that faces her. Her grandmother, Corey Elizabeth Bishop, had secrets that were about to blow Megan’s mind. In the midst of uncovering the truth, the big city girl discovers love alongside family heirlooms worth far more than simply money. Just who were Megan’s ancestors and who does that make her now? Author, Brenda M. Spalding, wove together a beautiful tapestry of love, murder, mystery and secret treasure within the pages of Broken Branches.

Though the cover of Broken Branches leaves something to be desired, Brenda Spalding’s story is enthralling. Readers will feel the need to keep turning pages because they’re aren’t any obvious giveaways within Broken Branches. Spalding skillfully keeps readers wondering who is after the family treasure and how it is all connected to Halloween and Salem. She brings in a fast-paced romance -maybe a little too fast- that is an important piece of the story, but it doesn’t overshadow the mystery of “the green” within Broken Branches. Magic, history, trust, friendship and love abound in Brenda M. Spalding’s Broken Branches without causing readers to leave the lights on at night and without needing to skip past overly sensual scenes. Broken Branches is a wonderful book to curl up with, enjoy a cup of tea and follow along as Spalding takes her characters and readers on a fascinating journey.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Everything She Needed – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

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Christina Butrum

Christina Butrum’s Everything She Needed (A Cedar Valley Novel) is charming love story that will warm the hearts of romance readers everywhere. The wholesome story of love and everyday life between Rachel, Adam, Ava (Rachel’s daughter) and Tyler (Adam’s son) flows beautifully from the first page to the last. Butrum brings in a bit of controversy and worry when Ava’s biological father suddenly wants to see her after never spending time with her previously, and Adam must deal with his brother, Conner’s, semi-estrangement from the family. Yet, Everything She Ever Needed almost always has a soft-hearted feeling of love about it. It’s a beautiful, sweet story that readers can relate to.

Exceptionally well-written, Everything She Needed (A Cedar Valley Novel), is different from so many of the novels in the romance genre today. Christina Butrum doesn’t succumb to the Fifty Shades of Grey mentality that so many have. Instead, she stays true to writing clean and wholesome romance, with sexy hints of desire and passion mixed in. With only subtle hints to being a Christian romance, this is an endearing story that will appeal to those who wish for love stories that create a spark while not actually setting the pages aflame. Butrum gives readers insight into her characters skillfully without be overly descriptive. With a small town feel, readers will fall in love with Rachel, Adam and their family and friends. At the same time, Butrum skillfully sets readers up to keep an eye out for future books that will involve other characters within Everything She Needed. A warm and cozy romance, Christina Butrum’s Everything She Needed is a story readers will enjoy curling up with in their favorite reading spot to melt away their troubles as they are embraced by Adam and Rachel’s love.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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