September 30, 2013

Book Reviews (XV)

Book review: Along Came Pauly by Chris Redding

Book Description

A contemporary romance about a dog that brings two people together who don't want to be. She's a vegetarian veterinarian who needs cash for a no-kill shelter. He's the heir to a hot dog fortune who must give away money before he gains his inheritance. Sounds like a perfect match. It isn't.

My Review

The main characters in this story form a special trio:
Daria, a veterinarian at Happy Valley Vet Clinic, whose only social life is fundraising as she runs a no-kill shelter for animals. Like a modern Cinderella, Daria's pump falls on the stairs just as she enters the hall where a charity will take place.  

Another character enters the scene - Prince Charming, none other than Paul Gabagool Vincenzo the third who finds her shoe. Pauly tries to hide the fact that he's got filthy rich after the death of his father, and has to find a charity and donate a high sum before getting his inheritance. Running a business empire would not make him happy.  Pauly's wish is to fix classic Mustangs just like he’d been doing making money for the last ten years. He's simply 'gobsmacked', as his butler Jeevees would say, at the sight of the gorgeous redhead, that is Daria.

And another important character comes in the limelight, Spike - a black dog with the head of a lab and the body of a hound.
Daria's worries are piling up as she has to visit her new discovered father in jail. Her life gets further problematical but you'll have to read the story to find out why.

Both Daria and Paul have complications in their lives; they are both so different that few of the people around them would imagine them together. And they need each other, the reasons obviously different, while the dog tries to give them together.

An amusing read, Along Came Pauly is, in my opinion, a contemporary romance that offers several hours of delight. The dialogue and smart remarks are beyond funny. I don't think there's a message to the readers in it. Just an easy story for an enjoyable pastime.  Like in the movie Along Came Polly, in Chris Redding's story people also change their opinion and expectations of the other person.  My rating: Four Stars.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

September 23, 2013

The Life Train in the AUTUMN Station

Do you have a favorite fall memory linked to a train? What do you imagine you would see if you were riding a train in the fall? Join the authors of Wild Child publishing and Freya’s Bower as we Take an Autumn Train Ride through our blogs. 

Prizes will include

  • Four $50 gift certificates (two for Wild Child and two for Freya's Bower)
  • An awesome swag package that includes:
    • Bookmarks
    • Books
    • Wild Child T-shirt and mug
    • Wild Child and Freya's Bower bags
    • Four handmade, crochet coasters by Kit Wylde
    • An autographed copy of Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
    • A rare DVD copy of the Matheson/Furst classic "Up The Creek" (lovingly used)
    • One ebook copy of Nita Wick’s short story, The Dream (previously published as part of a Freya’s Bower anthology.)
    • Book trading cards
    • Signed Dangerous Waters poster
    • copy of "Battle for Blood: The Blood Feud"
    • the winner’s name as a character in Kissa Starling’s next sweet romance story.
    • A Yankee Candle
    • and more...

The Life Train in the AUTUMN Station
(Carmen Stefanescu)

Each and every one of us, human beings, start our travel along the, sometimes exciting, sometimes annoying or dangerous, sometimes boring, paths of existence at a station called Spring.  

Everything is lovely, inviting and tempting, carrying great expectations regarding the fulfillment of many dreams. Being the center of attention in the family, attractive toys, brightly colored, glossy story- books, the first big grade that brings praise from parents and teachers.

Summer Station follows. All is brightly lit by the sun and promising great things. We graduate, have the first job, first date, marry, have kids, enjoy the things life offers us.

The next station we reach is Autumn. We'd like to stay here as long as possible, aware that the road is coming to an end. Soon. We try to persuade the conductor not to leave the station any more even if the feelings Autumn brings are not always so joyful. 



  Autumn has turned up
  on my doorstep.
Drenched, tempestuous, frowned.
  Rusted leaves are coiled
in her dripping hair,
  a gray, foggy cape
wrapping her to the ground.
  She pierces my soul with
cold, distant eyes.
  Her breath smells of
rottenness and rain.
  Dejected, I bend my head,
       then I sigh.
My hopes she forgot
where I lived were in vain.

Romanian Version
Ma trezii cu toamna-n
pragul meu. Din nou!
Frunze ruginite
cad din parul ei.
Uda pin-la piele,
Mandra, nazuroasa.
Poarta-o haina lunga
din nori negri, grei.
Cu ochi reci si aspri
ma tintuie-n prag.
Miroase-a furtuna
Si-a frig si a zloata.
Mi-e inima trista,
Caci mult am sperat
Sa uite de mine.
Macar de-asta data!

The smoky autumn air
sneaks into my heart,
Veiled in thick, gray layers
of ominous rain.
Mourning for the summer,
that abandoned us,
I still look for sunshine,
but, I look in vain!
Gone is now the wealth
of brilliant flowers,
Greeting me at sunrise
with dew moistened eyes.
Only gold and rust
colored, fallen leaves
Muffle my lost footsteps
and disheartened cries!
Glowworms and grasshoppers
have already left.
Empty, desolated
are the swallows’ nests.
Spiders span the branches
with gossamer thread,
Draping all the garden
for the winter rest.

Romanian Version

Aer fumuriu de toamna
Invelit in ploi marunte
Imi patrunde-adanc in suflet
Plin de nori si doruri multe.
Dusa-i vara cu-al ei soare
Zadarnic strig si tot jelesc
Pomii-s goi, si  unde-s oare
Florile ce le-ndragesc ?
Micutii  licurici is tristi.
Tot pasaretul a plecat.
Paianjenii tes val cernit,
Gatind gradina de iernat

 Most of the dreams have proved illusions.  Looking back we regret some of our decisions. But there's no turning back. The raindrops on the compartment window look like tears. And, yet, we'd rather not go any further as the only station left is the Winter of our life.

Shadows of the Past

Publish date: 4th December 2012
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing 
Genre: paranormal/light romance/light horror.


Anne's relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.

The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world--one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil's vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve's soul from its torment.

Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?

The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.


"Come, we should leave at once," she said and glanced nervously over her shoulder. "Something terrible happened after you left for town. I think the Abbess found out about us. Our meeting in Uncle Ryan's cabin is no longer a secret. We have been overheard. For all I know someone spies on us even as we speak. I think the Abbess, or one of her 'friends,' is hovering somewhere nearby and listening to every word."

Andrew pulled Genevieve to his chest. "Do you regret you've come with me?"

Passion smothered Genevieve's doubt and guilt. "Never," she answered, aware of her body's response to his touch, and she succumbed to his embrace.

Calming the gnawing unease in her mind and the thought of Sister Dominica guessing she was the dough of a sinner, Genevieve repeated, "Never."

With her eyes closed and their bodies touching she became, for the very first time, simply a woman. She melted in his embrace in spite of the invisible vicious threat breathing around them. Aware they might never be alone again, she fought hard to silence the voice of conscience berating her.

"Oh, God. Please forgive me," Andrew muttered under his breath when he bowed his head to kiss her. Their lips met in a passionate first kiss.

Genevieve's spirits fell and her heart skipped a beat when, a couple of seconds later, she opened her eyes and her gaze fell on a knot strangers.

                            * * * *

            Tears welled in Anne's eyes, blurring her vision. She couldn’t explain them, or the sudden sadness seeping into her heart. This should’ve been a moment of happiness or, at least, contentment. She was with Neil again, and the outcome of their trip together should, very likely, bring their reconciliation. Why then did she seem detached from where she stood?

Anne shivered. Why the deep feeling of having seen this place, this forest before? And why the eerie sensation of being present here only in the body, while her mind was far away?

Away from the forest.

Away from Neil, the man who'd betrayed her trust and her love.

            An onrush of sensations unfamiliar to her followed. Dizziness and a malevolent feeling of unreality suffocated her.

Anne edged cautiously closer to the rim of the bare cliff. Her foot tapped the edge. It seemed solid. She stared into the darkness of the abyss at her feet. It echoed the shadows in her heart.  An unusual curiosity took hold of her. Should she step ahead? What was down there? Other human bones? Another mystery? The presence of evil, creeping up and enveloping her, became almost palpable. The vines of fog folded around her, dragging her to the depth. Her throat turned dry, and she gasped for air.

Megan's face contorted, the voice no longer pleasant. A hoarse gurgle, spluttering distorted words, "Yes, come... I'm waiting... I've been waiting for you for such a long time..." 


Author Links
Buy Link: Wild Child Publishing wildchildpublishing
Buy LinkAmazon
  Buy Link: Barnes & Noble Barnesandnoble

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