mercredi 10 août 2022

Together we stand – A collection of short stories by Canadian authors

 

Published on July 31st, 2020

377 pages

Back cover

As the entire world is impacted by COVID-19, a group of talented Canadian authors and authors with Canadian roots have come together to bring you short stories in multiple genres, each one surrounding essential workers.Join 30 True North authors and allow yourself to be captivated from a social distance.

Authors include:Geri Glenn, C.A. King, Cameron Allie, V.J. Allison, Cassia Brightmore, AW Clarke, M. Jane Colette, Allison M. Cosgrove, Tricia Daniels, Carey Decevito, Gillian Jones, Andréa Joy, Jean Kelso, Bethany-Kris, JA Lafrance, C.J. Lazar, Sue Langford, K Logan, Leah Negron, Lorne Oliver, DD Prince, Jennifer Rose. Crystal StClair, P. Stormcrow, Kadian Tracey, Maria Vickers, J.M. Walker, Scarlett Wells, Tracy Willoughby

My review

I bought this anthology from Crystal St.Clair with two others books from here. I thought with everything that happens in the last three years, it would be an important subject to talk. I loved the idea that they don’t only talk about nurses, doctors and paramedics, but also cashiers and people who had to work with the public. I think they deserve more respect and not only because they work in front line when most of people worked from home. They are still taking lots of chances to get the virus than most of people and even before that it wasn’t an easy job.

I had a chance to read a short story from my colleague from Ottawa Romance Writers: Carey Decevito, I always enjoyed reading her stories and she still on my list of authors to follow. She wrote one about friends to lovers and it’s a theme that I like to find in that kind of stories. I gave her a star for mentioning Dawson Creek. I had the theme song in my head the whole time I was reading her part.

Most of the stories are romance and I like the fact that we don’t only meet straight couple. You will also find F-F and M-M protagonists. I was surprise by the diversity and each story brought something new at the anthology. I highly recommend it, if like me you have sometimes difficulties to concentrate because you can start with one story and come back later for the next one without losing track.   

My two favorites are the two last short stories that was about cashiers working in a grocery. The way people were acting with the protagonists reminded me bad memories when I was at their places (almost 20 years ago) and the whole time I was thinking they deserved a much better treatment.

In general, I think the authors explored the subject from the beginning at the end and event though to was mostly about relationship, some parts made me thing about how we interact and how things changed in only few months. I will never see people who work in the front line the same way.

Excerpts

Essentially broken by C.A. King

Children. She’d wanted her own before the virus reared his ugly head. Now, bringing life into a sickness-ravaged world had become a question of morality. Waiting to see if things improved in a year or two had been her answer. (p.4)

Finding love, amongst the empty shelves by Tracy Willoughby

As I headed from store to store, I witnessed the chaos of people behaving like they had been locked inside a cage and lost the ability to act civilized. It was a if a zombie apocalypse was upon us. (p.8)

Surrendering hearts by Kadian Tracey

Primose spent the night in my old room. I hadn’t had time to redecorate so the ungodly pink walls were still covered in Backstreet Boys posters and pictures from high school. (p.20)

Fighting for him by JA Lafrance

I pull up the face sleeve over my nose, put on my sunglasses and dig out the pair of rubber gloves I carry with me along with my hand sanitizer. Yes, it takes me a few minutes to get everything on, but I need to show these people that I am serious. (p.41)

Wait for me by JM Walker

" I wanted to impress you. I know we don’t know each other and it’s hard to trust anyone these days. But thank you for putting your trust in me and letting me take you out tonight. " (p.66)

Catching the lovebug by Jennifer Rose

" Wearing a mask and gloves all day suck, " Kyle explained. "Customers think the world is coming to an end. They don’t want to listen to the rules, they are hoarding as if the manufacturers will never make toilet paper again, and the selves are empty. I mean completely empty. We have no idea when or if trucks will be delivering products and with shortages, we’ve had to put restrictions on how much each customer can buy. In other words, costumers are getting ugly and we’re the bad guys. I even had a costumer take a swing at me. " (p.102)

Soaked by M. Jane Colette

Then the Darth Vader respirator, with its N95 filter. " Thanks " her friend said, hoping out of the car. "That’s the real reason I’m making you stay in the car, by the way, while I take care of Hot Nursie’s plumbing needs, " she cackled once safely outside. " Hoping straight girl has a Star Wars fetish. " (p.125)

The last bus stop by P. Stormcrow

As always, the afternoon and evening passed like a blur. Between rush hour traffic jam, the man in the suit yelling at her for not letting him on because the bus was over-full and the group of teenagers trying to sneak on without paying the fare, Dani was beginning to consider a career change. (p. 148)

The valley by Bethany-Kris

The past was a memory that had been tattooed to the back of Kisska’s mind since she walked away from it. But like tattoos on her skin, her memories of what she used to be were permanent. She pretended it wasn’t there, letting time do its job of blurring the edges of her memories and fading the scar tissue of her history into something less..tender. (p.206)

Worth the wait by Scarlett Wells

" I found this website that will send you a new book every month. They don’t tell you what it is, but based on your interests, they will pick one for you, wrap it in brown paper and string, and send it to you. Since I like romance… " (p.219)

No rest for the wicked by Carey Decevito

I fucked up. I know I did, and I’m making things worse by being short with Johana. After all, it’s not the first time we’ve slept in the same bed together. Hell, we grew up like two peas in a pod, always in each other’s business. It was your average Dawson’s Creek episode, focusing on Dawson and Joey. (p. 246)

Out of the blue by DD Prince

I haven’t dated anybody in a while. But anyone who knows me knows I’m a no-nonsense girl. Anyone who doesn’t know me probably wouldn’t get that I’m a busy girl with barely enough time to pee, never mind date. I’m always being told to live a little, that I’m too serious. (p.256)

Handcuffs & Stethoscopes: Beat of my heart by Crystal St. Clair

I assumed Dr. Jack Masan could tell from the baggage under my eyes that I desperately needed an energy boost. The type of boost I wanted required a longing touch, but he at least understood sweet caffeine. If his lips tasted as sweet as they looked, he’d be exactly what I’d order. (p.318)

Just one night by Geri Glenn

For tonight, I’m a sexy badass woman looking for an evening of freedom and excitement after months of doing nothing but be a super-parent and sleep, unable to socialize for fear of risking the health of myself, my family, Tonight, I’m burying the real me as deep as I can get her, and eager to experience what it’s like to be someone else. (p.328)

We see you too by Allison M. Cosgrove

" I know. I just wish people could spend a minute in our shoes. We are just scared as they are, but they get to stay home with they loved ones while we’re out there in the line of fire to make sure they have the things they need for their families. " (p.355)

Checking out Mr. Right by Leah Negron

" Ma’am, there is no excuse for you being so rude to this young lady. She is only doing her job. She even announced over the PA a few times while we were waiting in line that this register is for twenty items or less. If you hadn’t had your head up your ass and been on your phone cursing like a madwoman, you might have heard the announcements. " (p.362)

My interview with JA Lafrance 

mardi 9 août 2022

Seven deadly sins de Nakaba Suzuki

 

Publié chez Pika Edition en mai 2014

179 pages

4e de couverture

La princesse Elisabeth, à la recherche de mercenaires appelés les Seven deadly sins, s'évanouit dans la taverne tenue par Meliodas, un jeune homme qui parcourt le monde en compagnie de son cochon. Les Seven sont les seuls à pouvoir résister aux Chevaliers sacrés qui ont fait prisonnier le roi. Mais la princesse s'aperçoit rapidement que Meliodas n'est pas un tavernier comme les autres.

Mon avis

Je me suis procurée le premier tome de cette série qui en contient 41, car la voix de Veronica, Abby Trott est venu à l’Otakuthon. J’en ai profité pour découvrir cette série et le faire signer. Je ne m’attendais pas à ce qu’elle m’intrigue au point de vouloir m'acheter l’animé.

Le personnage que double Abby n’apparaît pas dans ce tome-ci, mais je vais sûrement la continuer en allant à la bibliothèque. L’intrigue principale est intéressante bien que je me questionne si cela vaut la peine de poursuivre jusqu’à la fin. À chaque chapitre, un nouveau péché apparaît et cela pousse le lecteur à souhaiter de terminer le volume d'un seul train. Je l’ai parcouru en chemin vers la convention et je regrettais presque de ne pas posséder la suite.

Elizabeth m’énervait un peu avec son côté princesse dans les premières pages, mais je me suis attachée à elle. Elle m’a fait rire plus d’une fois et elle se débrouille plutôt bien pour une adolescente qui n’a rien vu à l’extérieur du château. Peu de gens seraient partis à l’aventure à cet âge-là. Même chose pour le protagoniste, Meliodas, son côté pervers horripilait, mais je sens que c’est un personnage beaucoup plus complexe qu’il veut le démontrer.

C’est la mascotte Hawk qui m’a le plus surprise. Je ne m’attendais pas à ce que cela soit un cochon, j’ai trouvé l’idée originale et cela me change de mes habitudes littéraires.

Je le recommanderais si vous aimez le seigneur des anneaux. Il convient aux enfants à partir de 9 ans, mais je suggérais aux parents de le lire avant à cause de certaines blagues qui visent plus les adultes.


dimanche 7 août 2022

Interview with JA Lafrance


 Picture credit 

Biography

JA Lafrance is a Canadian-born author and poet who hopes to bring a body positive approach through her style of writing.

She started writing when she was suffering with insomnia. Her first book was published on a dare. She has fallen in love with bringing new characters and worlds to her readers.

When JA is not writing, she is working with other professionals to help promote their work and encouraging them to chase their dreams.

A lover of sports, cars and laughing, JA can often be found with a smile on her face and a joke on her lips.

Credit: Amazon.com: JA Lafrance: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

Questions

What are the differences to write a novel and write for an anthology?

Most anthologies have a maximum word can’t that you can’t go over. For example, Together We Stand Volume 2: A anthology in support of Ukraine People, had a 5000-to-30,000-word count for each story. So, you have to tell your story within those numbers. A lot of times author will either give you bare bones in a story or they will leave it as a cliffhanger. A story or novel/novella have a higher word count and is usually front to back. Most of mine range from 25,000 words to 45, 000 words sometimes in the 50, 000.

Which advices will you give to a new author?

First, when you are writing your story, write it. Don’t ask others for their opinion until you are finished writing the entire story. The more times you ask for opinions the more time your voice and the story changes.

Second, write for you. The story is an idea that you had in your head. Not one from the readers imagination. That doesn’t mean that you can’t write in a popular category, it just means it’s your story you tell it.

Third, it’s ok to self promote. See a post asking for recommendation and it matches your story drop your name. We are our biggest fans.

Fourth, Imposter Syndrome is real, but it’s a matter of taking a breath and saying “I got this.”

Which one of your books will you recommend to a new reader?

Depends on your tastes. My first book I ever wrote is The ECE & Her Billionaire (which is free across all platforms). If you start there you can progressively see how I improved my craft.

Which struggles did you met when you wrote your first novel?

When I released my first novel, I was fresh and didn’t understand the ins and out of self publishing. I had a basic cover designed by Amazon’s template design and rough editing. I learned that in order to get seen, you had to make sure that you stood out amongst the others in your category.

What do you like the most about writing?

I love when readers reach out to me and tell me what they thought of my characters. My story line or even the book in general. But, writing a story that is purely from my own thoughts, experiences, imagination and people in my life is rewarding to me.

What are your future projects?

Freya’s Revenge Book 12 in The Phoenix Force Series (Sept. 23, 22)

Cherise Twist The Phoenix Force Series

What happens in Venice. (Anthology)

Game on (Anthology)

A Billionaire’s story (Anthology)

I Saw Mommy kissing Biker Clause (Dec, 22)

Soulless Book 1 in the Babe In Total Control Series

And I plan on working on a few more books in series that I currently have already up.

Belong in the Light (80’s Hairbands and Headbangers)

Respected Hero (First Responders)


Entrevue Agnès Ruiz

 

Biographie

Née en Normandie et Québécoise d’adoption, Agnès Ruiz, est passionnée d’écriture depuis toujours. Auteure de nombreux romans, elle a fait ses débuts dans le monde littéraire avec son best-seller Ma vie assassinée, qui lui a valu une renommée internationale. Depuis, elle est l’auteure de plusieurs romans et maîtrise autant le genre historique, avec sa série Un vent de liberté, que le thriller, avec des titres comme L’ombre d’une autre vie. Elle partage son amour des mots avec son mari, Alain Ruiz, et leurs trois enfants.

Crédit pour la photo et la biographie : Tous les livres - Goélette (goelette.ca)

Questions

Quelles sont vos principales sources d’inspiration ?

La vie tout simplement. Dans la plus petite situation, aussi anodine soit-elle, se cache parfois un détail qui fait jaillir une histoire. Par exemple, en prenant le bus tandis que je regarde à l’extérieur, un ballon qui s’envole ou bien une simple discussion avec mes proches sont autant d’occasions qui peuvent m’inspirer une histoire sombre ou joyeuse.

Quels conseils donneriez-vous à un nouvel auteur ?

D’avoir du plaisir dans l’écriture avant tout. D’avoir envie de se raconter l’histoire à soi-même et enfin de tenir ferme dans la discipline de travail pour mener son projet à son terme.

Quels défis avez-vous rencontrés lors de l’écriture de votre premier roman ?

C’est lorsque j’ai décidé d’écrire à la 3e personne, alors que mon histoire d’origine était écrite à la première personne (je). Cette technique à ses forces mais aussi ses faiblesses. Dans Ma vie assassinée, cela bloquait certaines scènes. Mon personnage principal, Mady, ne pouvait pas avoir connaissance de certains événements clés de mon histoire si elle n’était pas présente. Donc, après mûre réflexion et discussion avec mon mari, j’ai opté pour une écriture de narrateur avec une vue externe pour me donner plus de liberté et apporter une plus grande dynamique à l’intrigue.

D’où vous vient l’envie d’écrire ?

Toute petite, déjà, je rêvais de devenir écrivaine ou bien inspecteur de police. Les livres ont toujours été dans mon paysage, une passion qui est toujours présente. Le Clan des sept, les Six compagnons ont accompagné mon enfance et mon imagination à tel point que je m’amusais à écrire des aventures dans ce style dans des cahiers que j’ai encore d’ailleurs.

Avez-vous fait une croisière avant d’écrire Croisière paradis ?

En effet, j’ai eu cette chance et j’ai d’ailleurs suivi l’itinéraire que j’avais fait dans Croisière Paradis. Les lieux et activités décrits dans mon roman sont ceux où je suis allé et c’était un réel plaisir de replonger dans ces souvenirs fantastiques en mêlant la fiction à la réalité.

Quels sont vos prochains projets ?

Oh là, vaste sujet. Mes dossiers sur mon ordi débordent de projets. Certains sont des balbutiements, d’autres biens entamés et d’autres en gestation.

 


mardi 2 août 2022

Poutine ou sushis ? de Claudia Lupien

 

Publié chez Andara le 27 juillet 2022

384 pages

4e de couverture

Lorsqu’Olivia, loyale employée d’une grande entreprise, apprend qu’un poste en communication est créé à l'interne, elle se sent interpellée. « C’est pour moi, ça ! » Cependant, sa patronne tient à ce que ce soit un homme qui occupe le poste. — J’ai dit non, Olivia. — Je ne comprends pas. — Tu n’as pas besoin de comprendre, tu n’as qu’à exécuter. Je te recommande donc de commencer ton repérage sans tarder.

C’est toi qui t’occupes des RH. C’est inacceptable. J’entends encore ce « clap ! » dans ma tête. Le coup de maillet du juge. Révoltée par l’attitude discriminatoire qu’on lui impose, Olivia tentera de prouver à son odieuse patronne que ce travail est fait pour elle.

Mon avis

C’est le 5e livre que je lis de cette auteure et elle réussit toujours autant à me faire rire. J’aime la touche d’humour qu’elle apporte à ses personnages sans que cela soit enfantin. Certains stéréotypes de la chicklit me déplaisent, mais je ne les retrouve pas dans ses romans. Elle m’a impressionné avec sa première œuvre et elle demeure une écrivaine que j’adore suivre.

J’apprécie qu’Olivia aille 38 ans, je rencontre rarement des personnages proches de mon âge dans ce genre littéraire. Elle vit des situations abracadabrantes, mais un peu moins exagérées que ce que je vois habituellement. Elle est déterminée et fonceuse. Elle change souvent d’emploi, mais je crois que c’est typique de notre génération. Je connais peu de gens qui restent au même endroit pendant plusieurs années.

Quant à Chris, il m’a surpris à quelques reprises et il est un protagoniste intéressant. Je n’aime pas particulièrement les avocats, mais il soutient Olivia dans ses épreuves la majorité du temps et c’est une de ses plus grandes qualités. Leur relation évolue à vitesse grand V, mais cela fait en sorte que l’histoire ne manque pas de rebondissements.  En plus, quand on approche de la quarantaine, on perd moins de temps avec le questionnement.

J’ai trouvé Valérie, la meilleure amie d’Olivia, un peu étrange. Je sais qu’elle est liée avec les péripéties que vit la protagoniste, mais je dirais que c’est elle qui m’a le plus déçue. Je vous laisse découvrir la raison en vous procurant le roman.

Pour ce qui est de l’antagoniste, je l’ai adoré. En fait, j’ai aimé la détester et cela fait changement des méchants qu’on retrouve dans la chicklit. On apprend la raison de ses agissements vers la fin et j’ai commencé à l’apprécier grâce à cela. Je vous confirme qu’elle m’ait fait grincer des dents plus d’une fois.

Vous n’avez pas besoin de lire les autres romans de l’auteure, mais si vous aimez ce genre, vous allez passer un bon moment.

Extraits

On a beau dire de moi que je suis un peu girouette, je crois plutôt que je sais emprunter un chemin différent pour avancer. (p.13)

Parler d’elle maintenant gâcherait le moment. Sache seulement que mes rapports avec cette femme sont très limités. Le décès de notre père nous a récemment forcés à nous revoir, mais le moins que l’on puisse dire, c’est que l’on ne s’entend pas sur grand-chose. Nous sommes différents. (p.131)

Je voudrais travailler de la maison. Avec des animaux qui veilleraient à me réveiller tôt, tandis que d’autres s’occuperaient de la pelouse. (p.147)

Les leaders ne peuvent tout accomplir, il faut savoir déléguer. (p.240)

Entrevue avec l'auteure 

samedi 30 juillet 2022

Interview with Renee Hewett


Biography

Renee Hewett writes spicy paranormal and sci-fi romance. She’s lived in western New York, central Texas, and Canada (prairies and central). She loves sparkles, cats, true crime, and her day job in marketing.

Credit : Renee Hewett Books - BookBub

Questions

Which challenges did you met when you wrote your first book?

The first NaNoWriMo I finished (getting a book to 50k) was challenging to get all the words in. I’ve since discovered that I like writing shorter, and that’s okay! I’ve never gotten another book to 50k!

What are the major differences between writing a short story and a novella?

My short stories tend to be around 10k words, and my novellas around 20k. My short stories don’t have a whole lot of character development and are usually just looking at one event (say, a first date between characters). My novellas usually have a bit longer timeline for the characters, so they have time to do some self-discovery and development that helps them to earn their love interest by the end.

What do you like the most about writing for another author’s world?

I tend to be an author that likes to be given a world to play in. The more settings and characters a world gives me, the more enjoyable I find it. Writing in shared worlds saves me time, because I don’t have to create all these side characters and locations myself. I can just pop my characters in there and have fun with it!

What advice will you give to a new author?

Honestly, I tell everyone to take Becca Syme’s “Write Better Faster” course. She has an entire system that is about learning about your strengths, and learning to take advice that works for you and weed out that which doesn’t. This isn’t a one size fits all industry, and embracing our differences is what enables us to succeed!

What do you like the most about romance novels?

I think human connection is one of the most important things we can experience in life, and I am drawn to romance novels (both reading and writing them) because I love when people can find love, understanding, and acceptance.

Which one of your books will you recommend to a new reader?

“Angel’s Fury” is the first book in a new series Mandy and I have started. An ancient fury finds her lost love reincarnated in a human man, but Lucifer has some schemes in place that might stop them from having a happily ever after!

What are your future projects?

I’m currently working on several books with Mandy Rosko. We’re hoping to get at least one new Amazon/Kindle Unlimited novella up each month! I’m excited about « Flame and Mist » coming out in the Crimson Moon Hideaway world on September 22! A fire fairy with a curiosity about water creatures falls for a merman while they’re staying at the resort!

Dragon Princess Treasured Love by Renee Hewett

 


Published on February 21st, 2020

88 pages

Back cover

Claire Shimmerscale, a dragon shifter and treasure hunter for the elder council, finds her mate and spies on him until she's captured in his net. Despite it not being allowed, she gives in to her passion. But when the dragon council instructs her to send him packing, she has no choice but to obey.

Dustin Springs returns to his hometown of Blue Creek to lick his wounds after being dumped by Claire and learning the truth about her kind. The dragonesses use men and dispose of them when they have no more use. But when she shows up carrying his child, can Dustin forgive her before it’s too late?

This paranormal romance novella features dragon shifters and wolf shifters. It’s book one in the Draconia Outcasts series, but can be read as a standalone. It is part of Milly Taiden’s Sassy Ever After World, and features the town of Blue Creek and several of the Wolfe pack!

My review

This is the first novella from this author and the second from this world. I enjoyed it; I just wish it was a little longer. You do not have to read the other books to understand the story, but some characters are coming back. It’s also the first book of the Draconia Outcast from the Sassy ever after series.

Usually, I am not a fan of dragons, but I thought it would be nice something new. I also recommend to read Dragon Steel from Jodi Kendrick. It's the one who motivate me to continue this series. This series have it own world and it’s perfect to forget about real life. Even if you do not like shapeshifter you might find something interesting if you are a romance reader.

My favorite character was Claire. I like when a Princess do not sit on her butt and get what she wants. The story itself did not surprise me because I read a few novels with this trope, but it what I like to find in romance. Dustin is a werewolf and Claire people did not accept him and I was curious to see how it will turn. I also liked him. He was a bit different from the other male protagonist I am used to.

If you are looking something short or try romance books from the first time, It's the perfect novel to start with. There are a few erotica scenes in it, but not enough if you do not like them. They bring something at the story.


My review of Dragon Steel 

My interview with the author 

Together we stand – A collection of short stories by Canadian authors

  Published on July 31 st , 2020 377 pages Back cover As the entire world is impacted by COVID-19, a group of talented Canadian author...