Thursday, September 7, 2017

Review: THE REAL THING by Melissa Foster!

Today we have the blog tour for THE REAL THING by Melissa Foster! Check out the blog tour and be sure to grab your copy today!

My Review: We're going to start with what I loved - which is that I am such a sucker for the fake engagement plot. I know, I know, they're usually cheesy as all get out. But they're almost always cute - and this is no exception. I love the idea of pretending to be in love, and then having to figure out if your feelings are genuine or you're just confused. I also have to say how much I loved Willow's habit of describing people as bakery items. My favorite was the woman she described as a lemon tart - basically, a little goes a long way. This is an adorable, quirky trait that, while small, added something fun and special to the story.

Now to what didn't work as well for me. I have read several books by this author, and they just always feel like they lack depth. The emotions are there, but the whole story just feels like there's not much beneath the surface. I don't know if it's because of how quickly things happen, or what. Fortunately, this doesn't detract from the fact that she writes some cute stories - so while they may not be literary greatness, they are fun. And a semi-small detail I just need to complain about because it made me angry... Zane basically blamed Willow for his man-ho'ing ways. Not cool. Just because she started dating someone months after their one night together in college does not mean he had to suddenly sleep with every woman in sight.

Cover Lovin': A very cute, eye-catching cover. 

Recommendation: No prior knowledge necessary!

Final Rating THREE POINT FIVE out of FIVE stars (3.5/5)!! A fun, cute story. Definitely recommended for contemporary romance fans!

Happy Reading!

~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

About The Real Thing:

Fall in love on the shores of Sugar Lake in the small town of Sweetwater with Willow Dalton and Zane Walker. This sassy, spirited baker is fine with heat—but is her fake fiancĂ© too hot to handle? Bakery owner Willow Dalton’s friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane’s always had a reputation as a player. He’s arrogant, and he’s definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virginity before college, but is that reason enough for her to go along with a fake engagement a decade later—even if it comes with a real diamond ring? Zane should have known better. Nothing involving Willow has ever been easy. Still, he knows her better than anyone, and becoming America’s hottest new leading man means cleaning up his reputation. An “engagement” to curvy, sass-mouthed Willow is the perfect PR move…provided no one gets hurt. Now Zane and Willow’s little white lie has turned into an irresistible recipe for sweet temptation. And soon no one will be able to tell the difference between their fake engagement and the real thing—including them.

Get Your Copy Today:

Kindle | Paperback

This book is being published by Montlake (an Amazon imprint) and won’t be available on other ebook retailers, but you can download a FREE ereader app to read it HERE (or order the paperback)


About Melissa Foster:

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance and women's fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Readers adore Melissa's fun, flirty, and sinfully sexy, award-winning big family romance collection, LOVE IN BLOOM featuring the Snow Sisters, Bradens, Remingtons, Ryders, Seaside Summer, Harborside Nights, and the Wild Boys After Dark. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented. Melissa also writes sweet and clean romance under the pen name Addison Cole. Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod. Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on social media or her personal website.   Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.


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Enter Melissa’s Giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blogs Taking Part in the Blog Tour:
September 5th
For the love of romance Review
Captain Reads A Lot Excerpt
Marie's Tempting Reads Review
FearYourEx Excerpt
Moohnshine's Corner Review
Booknerd1107 Review
A Sky Filled with Sparkling Stars Excerpt
Engaging Secrets Review
September 6th
Cuz I'm A Nerd Review
Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog Excerpt
The Red Hatter Book Blog Review
Lattes & Paperbacks Review
Sweet Red Reads Review
mammiebabbie Review
Engaging Secrets Review
Rock Out With Sweet Reads Excerpt
Friends Till The End Book Blog Excerpt
September 7th
Blissfully Bookish Besties Review
Books,Dreams,Life Excerpt
Mama She's Crazy About Books Review
Brains, Books, and Brawn Review
Novel Addiction Review
Shannon's Book Blog Review
Readaholic Excerpt
East Coast Book Chicks Review
September 8th
Naturally Nerdy Books Review
Romance Reviews and More Review
Maddy's Reading Review
Jen's Reading Obsession Review
capital nerd Excerpt
Read Your Writes Book Reviews Excerpt
Katy and Zetti's Book Ramblings Excerpt
Read-Love-Blog Review
September 9th
The bookworms obsession Review
bad boys and bedtime stories book blog Review
Dirty South Book Blog Review
Escape into a Booksite Review
Liz's Reading Life Review
Quesarasera Book Blog Excerpt
Susan’s Books I Like Excerpt
Book Break with Lisa Review
September 10th
It's All About the Romance Excerpt
Brittany's Book Blog Excerpt
once upon a romance blog Review
Miss Riki Review
Zili in the Sky Review
Deluged with Books Cafe Review
I'm A Book Shark Excerpt
Sepember 11th
Ever After Book Reviews Excerpt
Reading away the days Review
Sassy Book Lovers Review
Always a happy ever after Review
Adventures in Writing Excerpt
Book Twins Reviews Review
Jax's Book Magic Review
BJ's Book Blog Review
Wicked Babes Blog Reviews Review
My Nook, Books & More Excerpt
Amo & Sarah's Book Corner Review
IrishdaisylovesRomance Review
a geordielass honest blog on reviews Review
Lost in Lit Review
Septemeber 12th
Run & Read That Review
The Book Maven Review
G & T's Indie Café Excerpt
Swoonworthybooks Review
gata leitora Review
MI Bookshelf Review
TaSTy WordGasms Review
Pardon My Blurb Review
Alpha Book Club Review
Disclaimer: I received a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Guest post: CHRISTOPHER DRAVEN, author of HUNTED!

Today we have an awesome guest post from Christopher Draven, author of Hunted, and the upcoming Confessions!

A Male Author’s Method of adding in convincing Romantic Themes / Storylines

Without a doubt, writing romantic elements into my novels is a challenge. While I wouldn’t say I’m a complete failure in the romance department, it is the hardest stuff for me to write. It can take me an entire day to write one scene of dialogue between two ‘entangled’ characters. In comparison, the words teleport onto the screen when I’m writing an action scene or some aphoristic dialogue that drips with snarky humor.

Building romantic elements in an Urban Fantasy/Supernatural Thriller is a core component to creating three-dimensional characters. Relationships like those between Karin and Harry, and Merry and her harem of male sidhe, are not plotlines I’m eager to read. Getting to the good stuff – the action, magic, and defeating the villain – are delayed when we are forced to deal with some new lover’s spat.

However, my journey into authorhood has taught me those ups and downs are a vital component of the story. Without the ‘entanglement of feelings’ between Karin and Harry, there is no payoff in her saving him, or him saving her. If there is no connection, then the drama of the story stays stagnant – if the person being saved is always a stranger.

With the relationship moving between ups and downs, the stakes of the game change. That adds complexity and layers to the character’s motivations. The characters transform into someone worth relating to on a deeper level.

Developing this aspect of my craft has been a challenge. In writing the Jonathan Harker novels, I received positive feedback from readers about the relationship between Jonathan and Clover. The credit for this success goes to a fool-proof way of writing convincing romance themes and/or storylines. It is an approach that relies heavily on other people to help keep me in line.

Here is my approach:

•    The first step is understanding the progression in the relationship. As an author, I spend a lot of time outlining the story, what scenes are coming up, and what surprises I have for readers along the way. The relationships between your characters need to be part of that outline.

You need to take the time to figure out how the action would impact the relationship(s). This ensures your characters don’t  stagnate.

Karin loved Harry from the start, but he did a lot of things that scared her. She never left his side, but the love factor rose and fell based on her experiences with Harry.

•    When writing the scene, channel the physicality into something emotional.

In Hunted, I included a scene where Jonathan is leaning on Clover. He feels her against him, but it isn’t only her physical body that feels good. He discovers he can rely on her. He can give in and let her help him. An awareness the hero could let someone else be in charge, even if for that moment, began as physical stimulus but ended as emotional.

•    There are a lot of senses attached to romance. Remember that showing your readers is preferable to telling. By engaging more senses, you are pulling them in and painting a more romantic picture.

Touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound are the usual standby senses writers use. However, think about other options – we humans are reported to have over twenty different senses.

Try using some of these other options to spice it up:
Emotions, Time, Pressure, Heat, or Balance.

•    Finally, and this should just be a standard part of your process, ask for feedback. I’m lucky enough to have two very accomplished editors. No matter how good you are, every author needs an editor who gives tough love. Far too many writers have fallen by the sword of their own ego. If only they had asked someone for feedback before publishing.

Writing romance full-time is not in my future. It is a genre that requires a lot of study and finesse to do well. However, I do feel that any author should consider the human element when writing in Urban Fantasy/Supernatural Thriller. It’s easy to focus on saving the day, but sometimes it’s nice to add a few lines on who makes it worth saving.

Slinging Spells with Broken Ribs Isn't Easy 

Jonathan Harker, mage and life-long demon hunter, wakes to find himself tied to a chair and severely wounded. His captor, a demon in service to a summoner who wants Harker alive.

Armed with impossibly powerful magic and a gang of demon toughs, the summoner has snared Harker in a deadly trap. Nothing is ever easy, and being new in town has left Harker with few allies. However, with help from a Fortune-Teller named Clover and a self-described "Kitchen Witch" named Momma Dee, Harker fights back.

To prevail, Harker must walk unprepared into a pit of demons and black magic - and come out alive on the other side.

Get your copy from today!

Got my start as a technical manual and instructional material designer for Corporate America.

Eventually they gave me a team to manage. One day I had enough, reclaimed my soul, and left to follow my passion.



Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~