Falling For You

One of the things I like the most about writing novels is that I’m always learning things about the craft. With every book I write, I get closer to portraying women and their love stories the way I hope I can. In talking to my publisher at Rose and Star Press, we came to the conclusion that The Makeover Challenge wasn’t a fitting title for the novel. It tells readers that the most important thing about the book is the reality TV series the characters participate in; but that’s not even close to the truth. The most important thing is how Charlie and Francesca fall in love and, together, overcome the things holding them back.

So it’s with pleasure that I introduce the re-release: Falling For You.

fallingforyou

Who expects to fall in love on reality TV?

Certainly not Miss Charlie Vega, a burnt-out designer in desperate need of inspiration. Neither does Francesca Davies, a rock-climbing internet celebrity with an overbearing family. The two of them audition to compete on a hit reality TV series for very different reasons, but when they get paired up as a team, the road to victory gets a lot more complicated.

They have almost zero in common, but their fiery chemistry is immediate and intense. With their complicated baggage, neither is exactly ready for love, but they’re certainly not averse to some steamy encounters…that are bound to get them into hot water.

Could they even make a real relationship work on a show that’s actually nothing like reality?

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Marian Reviews Stuff – Falling for Lucky by Giselle Fox

I really, really enjoyed this novel by Giselle Fox. I’ve read two of her other novels (the standalone ones) and I liked them a lot, but this one was just

Falling for LuckyFalling for Lucky by Giselle Fox

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve really liked the other books of Giselle Fox’s that I’ve read, but this one was just phenomenal. I started out thinking the series of events that kick off the story were a little too unbelievable, but soon I realized that that was the point. There’s a thread of luck and fate and weird coincidences that runs through the whole novel. It was very appealing and everything came back around and was tied up nicely at the end, which is something I really like in a story.

The setting was utterly gorgeous; Giselle Fox must really love Italy  🙂 I could practically feel the hot weather and taste the food and smell the gardens, and it was just very satisfying. The romance between Juliet and Leoni is beautiful, well-paced, and free from drama. The only thing that brought me out of the story occasionally were some really weird euphemisms during the sex scenes (“center seam” for the vulva? Seriously?? O_o I guess I sew too much clothing for that to sound sexy…) but otherwise, the writing was very good. And the end was so, so romantic. It was a real happy ending to daydream about.

Prairie Heart is in the Top 10 Most-Read Books in Jae’s Lesbian Book Bingo!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I found out something super exciting today  You may have seen me talking about how I participated in Jae’s Lesbian Book Bingo last year. My novel Prairie Heart was included in the “friends to lovers” category as a recommended read and as a giveaway. I just found out that Prairie Heart was among the top 10 most-read books in its category! The “friends to lovers” category had 135 books in it, so I’m really, really proud and grateful that so many people chose PRAIRIE HEART to read. It’s one of my absolute favorites (and my wife’s favorite!) 

I hope anyone who participated in Lesbian Book Bingo had a great time reading tons of lesfic! I’m working hard on SAVING SERENA and I have some teasers to share with you soon 

A teaser from Saving Serena

Hi everyone! The book I’m currently working on has the tentative title Saving Serena, and it’s the story of a corporate celebrity and the woman hired to protect her from a stalker.

As a rising star in the design business, Serena is used to having her own way…but Ash, the ex-military bodyguard assigned to her, refuses to let her go on walking blithely into unsafe situations. They clash constantly. Serena can’t stand that Ash’s strong beauty drive her nuts, and Ash refuses to believe that she’s starting to have feelings for a client. Things with Serena’s stalker are getting worse and worse, though. That’s where this part comes in.

“This can’t be happening,” Serena said roughly. “We were all… I was so sure we were all overreacting. All these precautions were ‘just to be safe.’ And he was some loser with nothing better to do than send hate-mail to a celebrity. But seeing all this, it just becomes clear. He’s—” She kept walking in circles, holding her arms closer and closer to her chest like she could draw inside herself. “He’s crazy. He might do…anything.”

I intercepted her path and she stopped short, looking up at me. Panic was tugging at the edges of her expression, trying to take over. I put my hands on her shoulders and gripped them gently.

“I promise,” I said, looking into her eyes and speaking with slow, firm certainty. “I promise I won’t let anything happen to you.” I was silent for a moment as I held her gaze, and I hoped with my entire being that she believed me. It was a truth I felt deep in my bones, so deep that it was intrinsic, irrefutable, like saying that water is wet or that the sun is hot.

And then, like a broken marionette, she melted into me.

 

Look for Saving Serena in February! It’s been really exciting to write, and I think it’s my most romantic yet ❤

Marian Reviews Stuff – Wind and Sea by C.L. Ryder

I just finished Wind and Sea by C.L. Ryder, and it was a very sweet beach romance. Here’s my review! There are spoilers in the second half, so I’ll put a couple of lines in case you want to avoid that.

Wind and SeaWind and Sea by C.L. Ryder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There were a lot of good things about this book! I really liked the setting and how the writing made me feel immersed in the beach culture of Orange County. The characters were fun, particularly Cammy’s little sister Abby. There was a sweet theme of destiny that ran through the story: Cammy’s dream led her to Lei and little details were woven together to show that Cammy and Lei were meant for each other. I thought that was pretty romantic. There were also some parts where I really couldn’t put the book down, which is unusual for me.

**Spoilers Below**

The only thing I didn’t like was the whole concussion/coma thing. Lei told Cammy she was absolutely straight, and then Lei hits her head on a rock while scuba diving, has to be put into an artificial coma, and when she wakes up…she tells Cammy she’s now attracted to women.

If Lei had woken up from her coma and the accident made her realize that she’d fallen in love with Cammy, that would’ve been fine and totally understandable. But it was treated like fact that a concussion and coma could change someone so that they were no longer straight. Especially since Lei’s parents, who were very conservative, immediately asked the doctor to “turn her back.” It made it sound like being queer is something you can change by surgery or injury, and it scares me that people might think that.

Over all, though, I enjoyed Wind and Sea. It was sweet and I liked being immersed in the beachy setting.

View all my reviews

Marian Reviews Stuff

Hello friends! I’ve started to be more active on my Goodreads account, and I thought I’d repost my reviews of books I’ve read lately here. So here are the most recent three I’ve done!

Galaxies and OceansGalaxies and Oceans by N.R. Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was honestly one of the best romances I’ve ever read. It was full of high emotion, compelling and well-rounded characters, beautiful scenery… Everything I want in a novel. I have a special place in my heart for seaside communities, having grown up in one (although in Maine in the U.S. and not in Australia) and I loved the attention N.R. Walker gave to the setting. Also, Aubrey and Patrick’s relationship was so warm and soft and safe, and it constantly had me going “Augh, they are so CUTE together!”

I’m not sure it’s worth mentioning, but one of the characters has panic attacks, and they’re very skillfully described. So if you’re like me and essentially watching someone have a panic attack makes you start to have one, just know this in advance. Utterly worth it, at any rate.

The Haunting of Hill HouseThe Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was one of the weirdest, most interesting books I’ve ever read. I started out skeptical, because through the first chapters I felt like it was putting the establishment of the characters’ personalities over the plot. But as it went on, I was caught up in the bizarre and pretty horrifying atmosphere of Hill House. It wasn’t that I was looking for answers about what was going on in the house–I didn’t expect to get any–but I DID always want to know what would happen next. I guess that means I was more interested in the writing and action than in any explanation or resolution? Either way, it was definitely an experience.

Sunscreen & CoconutsSunscreen & Coconuts by Eliza Lentzski

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’d give this a 3.5. The writing was good and the tropical atmosphere was really evocative, but I just couldn’t get myself to sympathize with the main character. I did really appreciate the way the narration was so immersed in Mercy’s super-cautious outlook, though. It took good advantage of first person in doing that, but at the same time it put me off because I just wasn’t very interested in Mercy herself. I honestly didn’t find the arc of the romance very romantic. In the end, I think this was a well-written and well-constructed novel about characters and a relationship who just weren’t my type.

The Makeover Challenge has been getting some really great reviews! I’m super happy, because it’s one of my all-time favorite novels I’ve written ❤ If you’ve read it, would you consider leaving an honest review on Amazon (linked above)? It doesn’t have to be long or anything. All reviews support authors and help us reach our audiences!

I’m hard at work on my next book, which is tentatively titled Saving Serena. It’s going to be action-packed 🙂 I’ve written a couple of mystery-themed romances before, specifically my paranormal romance Hereafter and my very first novel, Heart of Glasswhich reached the #1 spot on Amazon’s Best Sellers in Lesbian Romance. I’m super excited about adding another to my list!

Winters tend to be kind of hard for me, so I’m working on learning to love the snow and coziness that we can find when the earth starts to hibernate. I hope you’ll all have a peaceful, love-filled holiday season ❤