Missed me?

Have you missed reading my blog posts?

I have been quite busy lately.  

Life, family, elderly parents, and work have kept me off the blog.  In the little time I have had, I have managed to complete my first (hoping to self-publish) book.  

I am currently exploring ways to accomplish self-publishing.  Honestly, it is confusing!  Any advice, would be greatly appreciated.

I also need a cover.  If any of you reading this post can recommend a cover artist, send me their contact information. Please.

I am excited and nervous but, look forward to bringing #Staged to readers.

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

I promise be back online more often with more book reviews, interviews and fun posts.  

Stay tuned for my first five star review of 2018, The Man in the Black Suit by Sylvain Reynard   later this week.  

 

Happy New Year!

 

~Susi

 

 

 

Review: Robert Winthrop Chanler: Discovering the Fantastic #art #Vizcaya @VizcayaMuseum

Robert Winthrop Chanler: Discovering the Fantastic

robert winthrop chanler

In collaboration with Miami’s Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a rediscovery of a lost figure of American modernism—the early-twentieth-century American painter born into the Astor family, whose imagination and patrician clientele provide a fascinating artistic and biographical saga.

American modernism is populated with a cast of extraordinary characters, but few were as exuberant as Robert Winthrop Chanler, who made his artistic reputation with exotic and brilliantly colored lacquered screens and architectural interiors whose compositions feature fantastical avian, jungle, and aquatic creatures, many overlaid with iridescent metallic finishes. Chanler painted what entertained and interested him, while attracting wealthy Gilded Age patrons and earning popular and critical acclaim at numerous exhibitions—including the 1905 Salon d’Automne, the show featuring paintings by “les fauves,” with Henri Matisse as their leader; and the legendary “International Exhibition of Modern Art” in New York City, popularly known as the 1913 Armory Show. But, despite such a prolific career and a fascinating body of work, Chanler quickly became an obscure figure after his death in 1930.

Robert Winthrop Chanler: Discovering the Fantastic is the first comprehensive examination in more than eighty years of an artist who straddled the divide between fine and decorative art, defined notions of originality and authorship during the birth of American modernism, and posthumously challenges twenty-first century preservationists through his idiosyncratic techniques and unorthodox material choices.

Co-published with Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, which preserves Chanler’s fantastic undersea mural on the swimming pool grotto ceiling of the historic estate, the book includes essays that explore major commissions and conservation issues, all illustrated with new color photography, as well as a chronology and exhibition history, making this the definitive study on an indelible American modernist.


My Review

One of my favorite places to visit is Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.  Vizcaya is truly a hidden treasure in Coconut Grove.  Today, this gorgeous estate is a museum that houses an incredible collection of art as well as one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever walked through.  This iconic estate also has an incredible pool grotto.  The ceiling of this grotto was recently restored to bring back the original and spectacular mural artwork created by artist Robert Winthrop Chanler.

Years of wear and tear had taken its toll on this mural but careful and extensive restorations have recently made it another impressive stop to enjoy and admire when visiting this museum.

I recently visited Vizcaya and was greeted with a copy of the book Robert Winthrop Chanler: Discovering the Fantastic for a review.

I was hoping to review it sooner but my busy teacher end-of-the-year schedule made it nearly impossible.  Now, after a more quiet and relaxed couple of days of summer vacation, I have had the time to really read and enjoy the content of this gorgeous book.  The book examines the artwork of Robert Winthrop Chanler over many years.  His unique and original style is truly one to admire and enjoy as you browse and carefully admire the pictures.  His artwork features brilliant colors that sparkle and have an almost magical iridescence.  His work is quite spectacular.  The book brings his accomplishments as an artist to life and is a fantastic addition to my bookshelves.

If you are an art collector, art lover, or simply enthusiastic about beauty, then this book is for you. Consider purchasing it for your own collection.

I gave this book 5 stars!

Thank you to Alex Serna  from Vizcaya  for the book.

http://vizcaya.org/home.asp

 

Blogiversary – Giveaway – Raven’s Innocence by Nicky D. White @NickyD_White

One Year anniversary banner 2

Giveaway!  Enter to Win!

Enter to Win an eBook of Raven’s Innocence by N.D. White

raven's innocence new cover

Raven Pierce vowed to escape the hot and humid climate of Missouri and never look back. After completing her graduate program, she drags her sun-loving, winter-hating best friend to start a new life in Minnesota with its cold crisp air and blankets of snow. Raven’s main focus is her new career and truly establishing her own identity. The last thing she intends to do as she is building a new life is to fall in love. As her luck would have it, one evening a minor accident sends Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Handsome to her rescue. What starts out as the perfect relationship begins to turn challenging when tragedy strikes and pulls her grief-stricken boyfriend into a dark and unpredictable frame of mind. Raven finds herself fighting for love in an unfamiliar, confusing, and sometimes dark terrain.


 

You can read my Review of this book here.giveawayGiveaway Rules

Leave a comment on this post and you are entered to win One eBook of Raven’s Innocence by N.D. White.

The winner will be selected via random.org.  No purchase necessary to enter.

This giveaway will end on Wednesday 12/17 at noon.

One winner will be notified via email.

Good luck.

Thank you Nicky for being part of my blogiversary.  ~Susi


 Buy Links

AMAZON Kindle

AMAZON Paperback


About the Author: N.D. White

nicky d whie

Born:  Small town in Missouri

Gender: Female

a2dea-bloodwhitebutton-websitesmall

Website: http://nickydwhite.com

a34a9-twitterbuttonTwitter: @nickyd_white

79cc1-facebookbutton

 Facebook Page:  www.facebook.com/ndwhiteauthor  

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Nicky grew up in a small town in the Midwest, where she still resides.  She has her Masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.  She works part of the time in Kansas City and the other part in her hometown.  Juggling between family, work, and writing, she stays very busy; never a dull moment.  Writing has always been a passion and talent of hers.  Her mother was also a writer, but of poetry.  Nicky has written her fair share of poems, but the idea of writing a novel is what truly pulled at her heart strings.  She started writing Raven’s Innocence last fall, which is going to be released in the next week. She will then diligently start writing her next book, Raven’s Undoing.

Guest Review – Ella Reviews Rush Too Far by Abbi Glines @AbbiGlines

Ella Reviews Rush Too Far by Abbi Glines

rush too far cover

 

Fallen Too Far was Blaire’s story. Now it’s time for Rush to share his side.

Everyone in Rosemary Beach thinks they know how Rush Finlay and Blaire Wynn fell in love. But Rush is back to tell his side of the story…

Rush has earned every bit of his bad-boy reputation. The three-story beach house, luxury car, and line of girls begging for time between his sheets are the envy of every guy in Rosemary Beach, and Rush handles it all with the laid-back cool of a rock star’s son. All he needs are his best friend, Grant, and his sister, Nan.

Until Blaire Wynn drives into town in her beat-up pickup truck with a pistol under her seat. The Alabama farm girl instantly captures Rush’s attention once he discovers that the angelic beauty is his new stepsister, but he vows to keep his distance. Even if she needs his help. Even if he craves her.

Because Rush knows why Blaire is all alone in the world, forced to ask for help from the father who abandoned her three years ago. And he knows if he gets too close it will destroy Nan, who has a secret connection to Blaire.

He has every reason in the world to stay away from her. Find out why he doesn’t.

 

Ella’s Review

 

Of the many series I’ve read, one of my favorites is Abbi Glines’ Rosemary Beach series, of which the first three books focus on the love story between Blaire and Rush.  The first book in the series, Fallen Too Far, was told entirely from Blaire’s POV, while the next two alternated between Rush and Blaire’s perspectives.

 

When I found out Fallen Too Far would soon have a companion novel, Rush Too Far, told entirely from Rush’s POV, I was beyond excited, but also hoped I wouldn’t be disappointed.  I hoped it wouldn’t just retell the story, but also offer insight into Rush’s thought process and help me understand what had been going on behind the scenes, when Blaire wasn’t present.

 

Well, I’m happy to report that I absolutely loved Rush Too Far!  Reading the story from Rush’s perspective explained so much of what he’d done when he and Blaire first met, including things that, initially, had made me wonder about his true intentions and the type of person he was.  The more I understood his family history, and particularly his relationship with his sister, Nan, the more I sympathized with him.  I watched as he struggled to reconcile the lies he’d been told, his entire life, with what, he was learning, was the truth about Blaire and her family.  Many of his actions, which had seemed cruel or insensitive when I’d read Fallen Too Far, suddenly made sense, and helped me see that Rush’s heart had always been in the right place, despite how things may have looked when originally told from Blaire’s POV.

 

This book actually made me love Rush even more, and helped me better appreciate his and Blaire’s story on the whole.  Naturally, I couldn’t help myself, and wound up rereading the entire Rosemary Beach series yet again!

I highly recommend this book, and give Rush Too Far a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.

 

*Please note that the prologue in Rush Too Far makes reference to events from the second and third books, so I would recommend reading those prior to Rush Too Far.*

 

Be sure to check out the other books in this series.

fallen too far cover 1

 

neve too far 2

 

forever too far 3

 

About the Author

Abbi Glines

Since publishing her first novel Breathe in May of 2011, Abbi has also released The New York Times bestselling Seabreeze Series which includes Breathe, Because of Low, While It Lasts, Just For Now and Sometimes It Last, The Existence Trilogy that includes the USA Today Bestseller Ceaseless. New York Times and USA TODAY bestsellers The Vincent Boys and The Vincent Brothers. Last but not least her most popular series to date, Rosemary Beach which includes The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers Fallen Too Far, Never Too Far, Forever Too Far, Twisted Perfection and Simple Perfection. Her newest book scheduled to be released on December 17th, 2013 is Misbehaving (Seabreeze).

When Abbi isn’t locked away in her office typing away she is hauling her kids to and from their many social activities. You could say her second job is the Glines Kids personal chauffeur. It’s a rather illustrious job.

Follow Abbi Glines on Social Media:

a34a9-twitterbuttonhttps://twitter.com/AbbiGlines

 

 

42d87-waxcreative-goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4872191.Abbi_Glines?from_search=true

 

 

79cc1-facebookbuttonhttps://www.facebook.com/abbiglinesauthor

 

 

http://www.abbiglines.com/

 

Thank you Ella for your guest review!

Mwah…

~Susi

 

 

 

Of Happiness – Review and Excerpt by Olivia Luck @authorluck

of happiness cover

Synopsis

“Now that I have you, I’m never letting you go.”

Edith Neff relocated to Chicago to capture her own piece of happiness. Now bombarded with more change than she knows how to manage, Eddie struggles to pick of the pieces of her torn heart and decimated friendship.

Standing in the middle of a sidewalk while her (ex?) boyfriend Harris Grant pleads for forgiveness, Eddie’s at a loss what to do next. So when her estranged father provides a lifeline – she has no option than to take his offer.

But Harris won’t let Eddie go without a fight. He’ll use whatever tactics necessary to win back his girl. While Eddie and Harris find their way back together, darkness lurks, unwilling to relent on destroying their relationship. Permanently.

Note: Of Happiness is the sequel to In Pursuit. Content intended for readers 18+.


 

My Review 

First of all, thank you Olivia for not making me wait too long to get to the conclusion of the love story of Edith and Harris.  They became one of my favorite book couples instantly.  When I finished In Pursuit, I was literally biting my nails and full of angst.  Cliffhangers will do that to me.

Of Happiness picked up right where In Pursuit ended.  There was no guessing and the well written story flowed naturally.  I loved how you addressed and intertwined the themes of love, friendship and family.  You answered all those lingering questions about Harris and Edith’s relationship. Claire, Cooper, Jared and Edith’s father all get their balance of story time as well.  Sean and Luke continue to be my favorite friends and I loved how their supporting roles in the story were so significant to Edith and Harris.

Just as in your debut, Of Happiness continued with the witty and fun writing style I came to enjoy so much.  Again, your use of alliterations always made me smile.

There were moments of angst, love and many revelations along the way.  Perfectly blended, you kept me on edge and interested throughout the book.

Your love scenes were ultra romantic and had just the right amount of steamy.  The chemistry between Harris and Edith is definitely strong.

I recommend this book along with its debut prequel.  The two books make up a beautiful love story from the very start to finish.

of happiness pic quote for review

 

I gave this book 4 Stars!

I look forward to reading more of Olivia’s writing soon!

I received and ARC from the author.

 


 

 Excerpt

 

An inexplicable shiver rolls through my shoulders. The low murmur of my friends and the other patrons at Rusty’s falls away.  

Harris.

He’s the only person who elicits this type of bodily response. I remain rigid and unmoving except for my sweaty palms which I place on my thighs.

“Luke, my man! How are you?” A strong hand slaps Luke’s shoulder.

“Matt, hey.” His worried expression eases into a cheerful one when he shakes hands with a man wearing a large, black boot cast. Next to Matt is the beautiful, caramel-haired woman, Jane, who was with Harris in his convertible.

And then it’s him.

Harris’ masculine scent surrounds me. He braces his arms on the back of my chair, overwhelming me with his physical presence. I’m swirling in a sea of Harris, unable to resist his pull. He dips closer and then his lips brush oh so gently against my flushed cheek. The intimate contact sends my heart into overdrive.

“Hello, Edith,” he murmurs against my skin before pulling away.

I nearly swoon against the wood chair. Damn.

 

Buy links:

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble

Goodreads

 


 

About the Author

olivia luck image

 

Olivia Luck lives in the middle of America with her loving husband and her obsession with writing. She wrote her first romance novel at age eight. When she’s not reading, editing, or writing, you can find her in the kitchen learning to cook. Olivia loves to travel and spend time with her family.

 

Get in touch with Olivia, she adores emails: olivialuckauthor@gmail.com

https://www.goodreads.com/authorluck

https://www.facebook.com/OliviaLuckAuthor
http://twitter.com/authorluck

http://olivialuckauthor.wordpress.com/

Whisper to Me by Christina Lee Blog Tour and Giveaway @Christina_Lee04

 

Whisper to Me Blog Tour Banner

 

whisper to me cover 2

Hot and consuming, this is a New Adult romance about a wayward musician and the one girl who keeps him grounded…

At college, Rachel has a reputation for being a sarcastic flirt with a thing for ripped athletes. No one at college knows her heart was ripped to shreds by her high school boyfriend, who’d driven them both off the side of the road on a borrowed motorcycle. And then subsequently abandoned her. No one really knows Rachel Mattson at all, with one exception…
Ever since he helped nurse his sister’s feisty best friend back to health, pierced bass player Kai Nakos has been head over heels in love. But the supposed bad boy can’t risk letting Rachel know the truth—especially now that the two of them are back in their hometown for the summer, together for the first time since the months following that horrible night. Never mind that Rachel’s ex is also back, groveling for her forgiveness.

Shaken by her ex’s return, Rachel finds herself turning to the one guy she knows she can trust. Now that Kai has had a taste of Rachel, he’s willing to do anything just to have her touch him again, even hiding his true feelings. After all, she only wants a temporary fling. Until it becomes something more. But perhaps it had been more all along.

 

My Review

 

Dear Christina,

I decided to write my review in the form of a letter to you.   I want to start off with these words.  “Kai is smoking hot!”  Seriously!    I am so glad that I went on to NetGalley and discovered your book.  I had never read any of your books until Whisper to Me.   I picked it out because I noticed that it could be read as a stand alone.  Well, you have a new fan.  I truly admire and enjoy your writing.  This story, my introduction to your writing was an amazing read.  I am now working my way back to the first two books because I loved your characters and want more of their stories.

As a fan of New Adult books, Whisper to Me  has now made it to the top of my faves list.  Your well written characters have found a place in my heart.  They are easy to relate to and easy to love.  From the moment I met Rachel, I instantly liked her.  She seemed real, friendly, and proved to be a pretty tough girl.  Her traumatic experience may have left her scarred but it also made her find love.

Then, I met Kai.  Swoon…… He is the epitome of hot!  What woman doesn’t love a sexy musician with piercings?  Oh… the piercings.   He was easy to love from the very beginning of the book.  His tender caregiver side makes him so perfect too.  Did I mention I love his “dirty talk?”  Oh, he can whisper into my ear any time.

I loved the way you created characters with such a significant similarity.  This similarity helped make them all the more compatible.  Their chemistry once reunited is totally undeniable. Their connection emotionally made their physical connection more intense.

Like I said, I had not read the previous books but this book was so well written and gave me enough background on the characters that I was able to follow and understand the story/plot with ease.

I am a true romantic.  I am also a fan of stories where the boy next door falls in love with his longtime friend.  Written in both Rachel and Kai’s POV allowed me to get into their heads and understand their emotions and their own internal struggles.  Thanks for making them such fantastic characters.

Finally, I cannot forget the sex, well, after all, Kai…. need I say more.  This dirty talker made his way into my heart.  You did an amazing job writing and bringing their intense sexual chemistry to life.

This is one of the books that truly made me smile when I got to the point where I understood the title.

As I mentioned before, you have a new fan.  I look forward to reading more of your writing.

I gave this book 5 sexy stars!

Sincerely,

~Susi

Reading and Writing Between The Wines Blog

 

kai review pic with words

 

 

Christina Lee Author Photo

Author Bio:

 

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys. She’s addicted to lip gloss, salted caramel everything, and believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

 

 

Connect with Christina:

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Goodreads

 

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway :

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Buy Links:

 

Kindle

Nook

Kobo

iBooks

Inked Armor by Helena Hunting – Blog Tour – Review – Giveaway @HelenaHunting

inked armor cover

Summary 
In this follow-up to Clipped Wings, the emotional love story continues between Hayden and Tenley; two young people who desperately want to love and be loved but are afraid to completely let go of their pasts.In the wake of losing Tenley Page, tattooist Hayden Stryker’s tumultuous past is haunting him. Plagued by nightmares about the murder of his parents, Hayden reaches out again to Tenley. Having run from the man she doesn’t believe she deserves, Tenley finally lays her guilt to rest. Despite their intense physical attraction, Hayden and Tenley struggle to repair their fragile emotional connection. As Hayden gets closer to the truth, he must find a way to reconcile his guilt over his parents’ death in order to keep the woman who finally cracked his armor, and found her way into his heart.
My Review  (Some spoilers)
There’s a new book boyfriend in my life along with a new favorite series.  I met him when I first read Cupcakes and Ink. My interest flourished with Clipped Wings,  and I totally fell head over heals over him when I read Inked Armor.  Do you know who this amazing book boyfriend is?  Hayden Stryker is his name.  Let me just say that I am totally confident that you will fall in love with him and this amazing book too.
Inked Armor is the continuation of the story of Hayden and Tenley.  After the cliffhanger ending in Clipped Wings, we find Hayden struggling over the loss of Tenley. Their separation has been difficult for both of them.  While their time away was arduous, it almost seemed necessary for them.  Tenley finds strength and closure and returns.  Tenley’s initial return turns out to be quite the experience for her. Let’s just say Tenley proves to be a tough kitten after all.
Once reunited, their relationship takes some time to grow.  During this process, they both find healing through each other.  Their unquenchable love is evident throughout the entire story. While Hayden has his own demons, his past to deal with, Tenley blossoms.  Her character, the once timid girl opens up and enjoys her new friends/family who always demonstrate support for her.  These supporting characters, Chris, Sarah, Lisa, Jamie, Aunt Cassie and Nate take on new roles in this book and demonstrate true love and friendship to both Tenley and Hayden.  I enjoyed them all so much  more in this story.
Hayden’s past, his parents death looms over him.  The fact that he is so Type A, OCD, makes dealing with the unknown even more severe for him. Discovering the truth about his parents murder brings closure to his internal struggle. Tenley was by his side the entire time and helped make this journey to healing possible.
There were many parts of this book that I truly loved.  Hayden, the uber sexy tattooed and pierced man shows his love for Tenley in different ways.  I guess my favorite declaration of love was during Christmas.  Christmas was not easy for either one of them but Hayden, for the first time in seven years, made it a memorable day for both.  His gifts for Tenley, made me love him more.  It wasn’t the gifts but the significance of each one that had me wiping my eyes.  Happy tears were spilled over this couple.
Hayden still loves cupcakes and their presence in the story adds to the many reasons why I adore this book.
Tenley also offers Hayden her own gifts throughout.  Once again, she shows a more relaxed and playful demeanor in this book and I am so glad to see that positive change in her character.
Because this story is told from both Hayden and Tenley’s point of view, experiencing the events along with them, inside of their heads, and understanding their thoughts is quite powerful. The story becomes so real and I know I felt the same emotions along with the characters.  (On a personal note, I recall my stepdaughter asking me about what I was reading.  She said I was totally immersed in this book.  And, I was.)  This series totally consumed me.
The love scenes in this book are hot!  Wow, Helena. The hood of a car….   Hayden and Tenley are so perfect for each other.  These characters have undeniable chemistry.
This series taught me new things too.  I turned to Google (never Wikipedia)  to discover and learn about some piercings. I had to get the full understanding 😉  This new knowledge about tattoos and piercings has made me look at them in a different way now.
There are so many things I want to say about this series but I will not because I really don’t want to spoil the amazing adventure that awaits the reader as they meet Hayden and Tenley.
I am always recommending and talking about books with my friends and colleagues.  This series, has been my most talked about.  Helena Hunting has done a fascinating job with this her well written characters and fantastic story.  I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about Inked Armor.  I look forward to reading more of her amazing writing in the future.hayden 3
I love Hayden.  He has a special place in my book boyfriend world.
I gave this book 5++++ stars!
My Favorite Lines
“I missed you so much. I’m sorry I was gone so long. I won’t do it again, I promise.”
“I never wanted anyone  but you.”
“I love cupcakes, and, uh…she makes the best cupcakes ever, so I figure it’s fitting, yeah?”
“Hayden, you are everything I could ever want. You are the place I want to be.”
“You have all of me. I am only yours.”
“Just so you know, I’ve wanted to do you in that chair ever since I put that cupcake on you. So be prepared for me to follow through on that as soon as I have the chance.”
5 stars
I received and ARC in exchange for an honest review

giveaway

Here’s your chance to win a print copy of Inked Armor.  Leave a comment on this post. One winner will be selected by random.org
Contest runs through Sunday night.  The winner will be notified via email. (no purchase necessary to win.)
Good Luck!
Buy Links

 Cupcakes & Ink

Kobo Inked Armor
Kobo Cracks in the Armor


Helena’s Social Media
Bio
Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s putting her English degree to good use by writing popular fiction. She is the author of Clipped Wings, her debut novel, and Inked Armor.