Are You a Book-a-holic? That’s right.

pile of books My hair’s a mess and I’m still in my robe at 4:30 in the afternoon. I have dark circles under my eyes and around my arm pits. I’m surrounded by a guilty mountain of discarded candy wrappers and a pill-inducing Mount Everest pile of …

books.

That’s right– I’m a book-a-holic.

Lest you think my affliction is limited to the luscious inky smell of the print version of the seductive objects, not exactly.

I have two kindles, an iPad, an iPad mini and a Nook reader. I’m seriously considering buying a KOBO reader, but I would need to stop reading long enough to get my credit card, type in all that delivery information to order the thing.

That’s right–

It’s a serious affliction. And I love it.

Books are like my air. I breathe to read—wait—no—that’s not right. I live to read and I read to breathe. No. That’s not right either…

Whatever. You get the picture. It’s in a book.

That’s right–

I’m seriously crazy—about books.

The thing is—no one knows about my affliction. I hide it.

If someone’s comes over, I’ll dress. Comb my hair. Hide my book in my blouse.

If I go out, I read on my phone. Pretend I’m texting. I wear a hat and a long coat with deep book-filled pockets. It gets hot in the summer, but whatever. I keep my secret.

No one knows I chain read.

That’s right–

My basement is filled with old books and I built an addition to the garage out back to store them. I’m running out of GBs on my hard drive and I’ve taken to the cloud where I have a commercial storage package.

If Amazon had a VIP high roller club, I’d be a platinum member.

That’s right–

Amazon knows my name.

What are you reading?

That’s right–

I want to know what book you’re reading. Tell me. There could be a prize bribe not a thing reply to you…

Or, that’s right–a book.

A shiny new one: THE BIG PUCK – a grumpy single dad saved by the nanny hockey rom-com book-a-holic

Love a Beach Read? Romance, adventure, and fun by Rachelle Ayala #RachelleAyala @mimisgang1 #mgtab

Summer is prime beach reading season, and women’s beach reads are a genre all their own. The perfect beach read for women combines several key elements that make it compelling, entertaining, and ideal for reading on vacation.

A beach read should be light and fun. Women often choose easy page-turners with a generous dose of humor when lounging by the ocean or poolside. Plots are fast-paced and focus more on fun, witty banter between characters rather than complex world-building. Compelling characters and addictive drama are a must, but the overall tone should be feel-good rather than heavy.

The setting plays a huge role in immersing readers in summer vibes. Beach reads usually transport us to sunny, tropical locales like a Hawaiian resort, Caribbean island, small coastal town, or European vacation hot spot. The glittering blue ocean, flowy sundresses, icy cocktails, and warm sand between toes create the ultimate escapist backdrop for temporary getaways between the pages.

Travel and adventure are common themes, as beach reads allow us to live vicariously through characters while we relax and recharge. Following a heroine as she checks items off her wanderlust bucket list or reinvents herself in an exotic new environment provides exciting yet comfortable literary journeys from the security of our beach chair.

Of course, romance is a must for any successful women’s beach read. Flirty banter, meet-cutes over piña coladas, and passionate affairs under the moonlight satisfy readers’ summer cravings for fantasy and fun. Scandalous love triangles, fake engagement plots, and romances between seemingly mismatched characters provide playful and irresistible romantic tension.

The best beach reads for women combine all these elements into page-turning books you can’t put down until you find out what happens. The stories whisk you away to an imaginary getaway full of summer fun without having to leave your lounge chair. With the sound of crashing waves in the background, these entertaining tales make for blissful beach reading any woman will enjoy.

These are all the reasons why I love reading and writing beach reads. I get to travel to fun and exotic locations, create adventurous situations and of course, add in a hunky hero, matchmaking locals and animal friends, and we get an irresistible romance to spice up the soothing sounds of the surf.

My latest beach read, Where Love Blossoms, provides the perfect escape if you’re looking to relax with a side of sweet romance. Maya Chance finds herself instantly attracted to the dashing and somewhat mysterious Luke Hastings. The fictional island of Ile d’Amour is the perfect setting with its tropical scenery, quirky locals with an eye for matchmaking, tall tales of its pirate heritage, and natural beauty. Add a pet monkey who’s endearing but mischievous, a wise innkeeper, an observant bartender, and a taxi driver full of stories and tales, and you get a heartwarming romance with plenty of humor and fun.

Where Love Blossoms by Rachelle Ayala (99c or KindleUnlimited)

Release Day!

The Puck Bunny – a hockey rom-com by Stephanie Queen

PLUS A BONUS HOCKEY ROMANCE!

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from the Some Girls Like It Cold series

What made me so self-conscious?

It was my name. Not Sara–my last name–Bellagamba. (I knew you’d understand.)

When I was young I couldn’t say it right and when I tried, the kids made fun of me.

Handy Hint: explaining the meaning of your name–Bellagamba means beautiful leg in Italian–to a bunch of five-year-olds won’t stop their teasing. In fact, I think it’s like some kind of trigger for escalation.

And I’m pretty sure if I didn’t run, they would have stoned me for being crazy. (only slightly exaggerating)

Fast forward

to my current post college career and nothing much has changed. I’m still self conscious and still have a tendency to say ridiculous things at inopportune moments.

Except now I’m working for the Boston Brawlers NHL organization, my dream job–because I’m a massive hockey fan and a particular fan of one player–Quinn James.

The Brawlers just signed him and I almost passed out with excitement over the unexpected news.

I won’t lie–I want him. (Yes, that way.) Bad.

Fat chance of that happening

Even if I weren’t so self conscious, I’m not in his league. He dates starlets and models and was last seen with a princess on his arm…

Quinn

Why did I sign a deal with the Boston Brawlers?

I was a f**ing NHL super star in L.A.. My life was perfectly scripted with fame, fortune and all kinds of women throwing themselves at me.

But a hushed up incident with a certain princess caused me to miss seeing my dad on his death bed. Now my family is pissed at me. And I need to deal with them–and the loss of my dad.

So I signed with the Brawlers, moved from L.A. to come back east and return to my roots.

Between hockey and dealing with the need to square things with my family and get real about relationships, I have plenty to concentrate on.

So why do I find Sara, the awkward little puck bunny and big f-ing distraction, so irresistible?

Why do I let Sara Bellagamba of all people, sidetrack me from what’s most important in my life, family and hockey?

The Puck Bunny, a Boston Brawlers Hockey Spin-off, is the first in the Some Girls Like It Cold Series, a funny and poignant romp where the awkward girl gets her dream guy against all the odds, scoring big for her team which includes every secret Puck Bunny everywhere. And the dream guy gets the deeply satisfying life with the dream girl he never knew he desperately wanted. HEA Ending! (duh!)

(Warning: language and sex for a mature audience.)

GET IT NOW WITH A BONUS!

*********Early Bird Bonus!*********

When you buy it or read on Kindle Unlimited, you get a link to a FREE BONUS BOOK, Hockey Heartthrob by Kat Obie.

You need to get the book by 3/31, because after that, the bonus disappears.

In the meantime, check out the blurb for Hockey Heartthrob. ⬇️⬇️⬇️

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Hockey Heartthrob

Second chances don’t happen every day. I was too focused on trying to break through with my hockey career to really make a move on Nastia Schmetinova when we were at the U together. Imagine my surprise when I learned that she was going to ref our Saint Patrick’s Day game.

I couldn’t make the same mistake twice. I had to give it a shot.

Hopefully I didn’t wait too long to make a move and I won’t sacrifice team unity by following my heart. But I can’t ignore my feelings for her.

Hockey Heartthrob is a second chance romance filled with sexy hockey players who give it their all when it comes to romance. Grab the fifth novella in the Loving the Puckers Series which makes you go “Awww.”

*****READ NOW*****

Book or Movie, which do you prefer #writingcommunity #inspiration #mgtab

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

I came up with this post after watching an excellent short series on Amazon Prime last night- Daisy Jones & the Six.

Based on the New York Times best-selling novel, Daisy Jones & the Six follows the story of a 1970s band fronted by two feuding yet charismatic lead singers, Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne. Set to the soundtrack of original music, this is the story of how this iconic band imploded at the height of its powers.

Starring Riley KeoughSam ClaflinCamila Morrone

I’ve seen many reviews on the novel created by Taylor Jenkins Reid and wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the interview format the story is done in, though all the bloggers raved about the story.

Then I saw the series on Prime and decided to give it a shot, Wow! This is a stark portrayal of seventies rock & roll where sex, drugs, and music is the name of the game. But more than that, it’s a deep dive into two damaged (or broken, as Billy tells Daisy) souls and a desperate attempt to outpace the demons of their past.

Watching the movie made me want to read the book, but I worry now that I have a firm vision of the characters, will the novel live up to the series?

NATIONAL AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE 2019 GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD FOR HISTORICAL FICTION
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE

Another series I’ve gotten into is Will Trent. It’s on Tuesday evenings on a variety of channels and is must-watch TV.

From Rotten Tomatoes

Based on Karin Slaughter’s bestselling books, the series follows Special Agent Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. As a child, Trent was abandoned and was forced to endure a harsh coming-of-age in Atlanta’s overwhelmed foster care system. Now that he is in a position to make a difference, Trent is determined to use his unique point of view to make sure no one is abandoned like he was. His personal motivation and background contribute to Will Trent having the highest clearance rate in the GBI.

Starring: Ramón RodríguezErika ChristensenIantha RichardsonJake McLaughlinSonja Sohn

Once again, I’ve watched the series before reading the books and now question whether I want to take a chance on changing/ruining my experience by picking up the novels.

Have you had the same issue with stories you’ve watched or read?

To finish this post, I have to mention a couple of examples where the novel definitely won out over the movies.

First is Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. While the story left me questioning everything I thought I knew about religion, the movie lacked the depth and breadth to accomplish the brilliance of that plotline, though the character portrayal is excellent. Maybe if it had been longer?

A murder in Paris’ Louvre Museum and cryptic clues in some of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery. For 2,000 years a secret society closely guards information that — should it come to light — could rock the very foundations of Christianity.

Top cast ; Tom Hanks · Robert Langdon ; Audrey Tautou · Sophie Neveu ; Jean Reno · Captain Bezu Fache ; Ian McKellen · Sir Leigh Teabing ; Paul Bettany · Silas.

#1 Worldwide Bestseller—More Than 81 Million Copies Sold

And finally, a childhood favorite that still makes me cry: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.

From Wikipedia

It was composed in the last years of her life, during which she was bedridden and seriously ill.[1] The novel became an immediate best-seller, with Sewell dying just five months after its publication, but having lived long enough to see her only novel become a success. With fifty million copies sold, Black Beauty is one of the best-selling books of all time.

As a young horse, Black Beauty is well-loved and happy. But when his owner is forced to sell him, his life changes drastically. He has many new owners–some of them cruel and some of them kind. All he needs is someone to love him again…
Whether pulling an elegant carriage or a ramshackle cab, Black Beauty tries to live as best he can. This is his amazing story, told as only he could tell it.

“If they strain me up tight, why, let ’em look out! I can’t bear it, and I won’t.”
― Anna Sewell , Black Beauty

What do you think, movies or novels? As long as we are inspired by what we see and read, I don’t think there is a right or wrong to this question.