I’ve loved books since I was a child. Even when others made fun of me for being a bookworm, I continued to carry books with me wherever I went. They were my escape from doldrums, from other people’s ignorance and cruelty, they entertained me during long train rides or bus rides to Virginia, they took me to places far more exotic than my actual destinations and allowed me to experience things beyond my wildest imagination.

No summer (no season, really) is complete without books. I love checking out which books make it to the New York Times summer reading list. And while the list is never really as diverse as I’d like it to be, this year stood out in particular for being completely white. Well, Janet Maslin has her taste in books. I have mine. So here goes…

There is no specific order to my list, so don’t spend too much time wondering if number 1 is better than number 5 The order is only based on when it popped into my head. 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 11.02.455. Kilt Tease by Melissa Blue

The latest instalment in Melissa Blue’s Under the Kilt series, Kilt Tease, is now available. I loved the first three books (especially book 3 – Kilted for Pleasure, featuring Victoria and Callan). I just started reading Kilt Tease and it doesn’t disappoint. This time the focus is on ex-rugby player Quentin and American Katherine Campbell (but don’t call her “Kitten”). It’s a story of opposites attracting and what happens when you open yourself to love. My kind of story. And who can resist a story that features a sexy Sottish rugby player? 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 10.38.484. That Girl from Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson 

I went through a period where I wasn’t so keen on Dorothy Koomson’s novels, and then suddenly I fell in love with her writing. I’m not sure which book did the trick, but I do love her “heart fiction” (as she calls her books). Like her last few books, That Girl from Nowhere is more mystery than love story or relationship story. I like how Koomson’s characters are always so wonderfully flawed. That Girl from Nowhere focuses on Clemency, a black woman who was adopted by a white family, who by chance comes into contact with her birth family. I won’t give away any further details, but you should definitely add this book to your Beach Read List.

Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 15.29.403. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians has been on my TBR list since last summer. The more I read about this super-rich Chinese families in Singapore and what happens when the heir to one such family brings home his American-born Chinese girlfriend. I’ve only taken sneak peeks at a few chapters and I’m already hooked, so I know this will be one of my favourite books this summer. I love satirical novels and haven’t read a really good one in a long time.

Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 15.51.092. Loving Day by Mat Johnson

Back in the day, Mat Johnson was the guy nearly everyone I knew had a crush on. We both grew up in Philadelphia and had some of the same friends who hung out on South Street at the weekends and went to the same parties in Center City, University City and Germantown/Mount Airy. Mat’s gone from being the comic book/graphic novel-loving shy guy all my girlfriends were in love with to a critically-acclaimed author. His latest novel, Loving Day, takes on pertinent questions of race as his narrator, Warren Duffy, returns to the US after the breakup of his marriage to a Welsh woman. Duffy inherits a half-renovated mansion in Philadelphia and finds himself confronting ghosts of sorts–both real and imagined. Another book that I’ve only read snippets of, but that I think will be a phenomenal summer read.

Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 16.11.391. Chasing Moments by Tia Kelly

Any book by Tia Kelly is automatically on my 1-click list. Ever since I heard that Chasing Moments was on its way and available for pre-order, I placed my order. And while it’s not scheduled to be released until late August, I will wait patiently for its arrival. So what’s it about? A confirmed party girl whose fame precedes her, who is famous simply for being famous, and who wakes up one morning unable to remember what happened the night before. Now she must try to piece together memories of her life as she rediscovers who she is and what it all means. I seriously cannot wait to dip into this book. August can’t get here soon enough. 🙂

Now this is a short list. I am on vacation now and far too lazy to write more today. There will most definitely be a part two to this list.

 

Maybe Forever Teaser #4

Maybe Forever…a snippet…

I wasn’t sure how long I sat on the sofa, waiting…my face stripped of all the makeup, my dress draped across a chair in the bedroom. I would never wear it again. Now it felt jinxed. I’d changed into a pair of shorts and a tank top. My stomach grumbled, reminding me that I’d not had dinner. I should have been hungry…but the roiling sensation in my belly didn’t make me want to eat. It was too hot. My skin felt clammy, sticky. I hadn’t smoked in over a year but now I wished I could have a cigarette. I longed for the illicit pull of the tobacco. I longed to forget.

How could he forget? How could I be so easy to forget? He used to remember everything. Every little detail of my life, memorizing it like it held some hidden meaning. He used to tell me he wanted to know everything about me. He’d remember things I’d forgotten. Now it felt like he’d forgotten all the important bits. Maybe he didn’t want to remember.

30 Days30 StoriesEarlier today, while sitting in a meeting at work, I started thinking about my 30 Days, 30 Stories challenge and how it would be great to have all the stories in one place where people can read them. I’ve been sharing them on my Facebook author page and on Goodreads, now I’m sharing it on Wattpad as a compiled book–and, yes, it’s free.

Are the stories perfectly edited? Nope, and they probably never will be until I decide to use them in some future project. But if you want to read them on your phone or your tablet as a proper e-book, you can read them for free by using this link, http://embed.wattpad.com/story/32495751.

Or, if you’re already a member on Wattpad, add it to your library. I’ll be updating until the end of the month. One of the stories, “Drive”, is the first chapter of a novella I’m working on about Jesper, Niklas’s teenage son from Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight. You’ll see it later this spring. I’ve got to finish a couple of other projects first. 🙂

30 daysI thought I’d share with you one of the stories I’ve written for the 30 Days, 30 Stories Writing Challenge. It’s from a novella I am working on that is set in the same fictional Vermont town as Snowbound. Yes, Mia & Jake are in the novella. No, they are not the main characters. This one will focus on another couple, Asha & Nick. If you want to follow the rest of the stories, head over to my Facebook author page. At the end of the month, I’ll add a section here on the blog where you’ll be able to read all of the stories.

Story #8: Dance


Asha extended her left leg and then tested her pointe shoe. It was pliable enough now that she’d warmed it a bit. She rose up en pointe, keeping her upper body perfectly balanced and still, then raised her arms, imagining they were feathery wings as she moved across the floor.
Careful, she reminded herself. It’s been months since you’ve done this.
Yes, her muscles were a little stiff, but she could still do a perfect jeté and relevé. And to feel her body moving again without the pinching soreness or the ache of healing fractures, oh…what freedom. She tested her battements, moving from adagio to allegro and then drifting to the floor in the most graceful of bows.

“That was beautiful.”

She raised her head enough to see Mia Wilkinson standing in the door. She applauded as Asha stood and curtsied for her. “Just wanted to test the old gams, see if they could still do it.”

“You’ve still got it,” she said. “And you’re still so tiny.”

“No, I’m not.” Asha walked over to her, a little self-conscious at being caught out dancing. It was so silly. Dancing was her life. It had always been. She reached for her wrap sweater. “At least it doesn’t hurt anymore.”

Asha shrugged on her sweater and then pressed the stop button on the stereo. She tied the stays on her sweater. The dance studio was chilly even with the old steam radiators hissing at full blast. She’d have to talk to Horace about it. The little girls she’d taught this morning were covered in goosebumps by the end of their ballet lesson.

“I still remember when you and I used to take lessons together with Madame Vivienne.” Mia grinned. “You were always so much better at it. Even then.”

“I practiced,” Asha reminded her old friend, “while you mooned over Owen Cudahy.”

“Well, yeah, you were in pursuit of dance, I was in pursuit of love.” Mia linked arms with Asha. “And now I’m in pursuit of lunch. Aunty Mo’s?”

Asha’s stomach growled in reply. She didn’t remember when she’d last eaten. Had she even had breakfast? “Aunty Mo’s—just like old times.”

 

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in last’s week’s cover survey. The majority of you (52%) preferred Cover 1. A little over thirty percent preferred Cover 2 and the rest didn’t like either cover and wanted another hottie. I think I will go in the direction of Cover 1 but look for another image. 🙂

Now, my Facebook author page hit the 900 fan mark last night and to celebrate it I posted a teaser from Maybe Baby. I decided to share the teaser here as well! Hope you like it! 🙂

Maybe Baby Teaser Jan 10 2014I’ll keep you posted on the actual release date for Maybe Baby. I initially planned a February release but it might take another month or two, depending on how busy things get at the office.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Happy reading (and writing)!