Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Surprised Me

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

It’s Tuesday again!  This week is all about surprises.  For my list, I’ve included books, in no particular order, that surprised me in a variety of ways.  Some of the books listed I expected to like, but didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I would, and some I didn’t think I would like but ended up loving.  I’ve also included a few books that had a surprisingly powerful impact on me, or an unexpected ending.

Signs of the Zodiac Series by Vicki Pettersson-I really enjoy books that fall into the paranormal category, but this series left me with surprisingly conflicted emotions.  I think the premise of the series is unique, and the take on good and evil is complex.  However, I had a love/hate relationship with the main character, and I had issues with how some traumatic situations were handled.  Complicated feelings aside, I still feel the series was worth reading.

Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead-I really expected to like this series.  I enjoy books about vampires, and friend recommended it to me.  However, I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.  I was intrigued by the world Ms. Mead created, but Rose isn’t my favorite character, and I was never a fan of her romance with Dmitri.  I’m glad I read the series, but it will never be a favorite.  I enjoyed the spin off series, Bloodlines, much more.

The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins-I’m not a fan of dystopian, and I was very hesitant to read this series, especially because there was a lot of hype surrounding it.  A very good friend convinced me to read it, and I’m glad they did.  I loved it.  Once I started reading the series, I couldn’t put it down!

Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders-I enjoy history, but I’ve never read much non-fiction.  I decided to read this after a friend recommended it to me.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!  It isn’t a book I raced through, but I enjoyed picking it up and reading a chapter or two at a time.  I enjoyed it so much I’ve read a couple of similar books since and have several more in my tbr.

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice-I know I’ve included this book in several of my lists, but it is belongs on this one too.  When I first experienced this book, I’d never read any books with vampires.  However, I was pulled into this tale and have enjoyed vampire novels ever since.

blur, book stack, books

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling-This is another series I put off reading for a very long time.  I tend to drag my feet when it comes to reading books with a lot of hype surrounding them, and I don’t like feeling pressured into reading a book.  I’m glad I read it because the entire series is wonderful.

The Lady or the Tiger by Frank R. Stockton-I will always remember the way I felt when I first read this story.  I was so surprised and intrigued by how Mr. Stockton left the ending!

The Crucible by Arthur Miller-I read this years ago in school and have read it a couple times since then, but I’ll always remember being surprised by how strong my reaction to the story was.  Such a powerful story!

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner-It has been a very long time since I read this story, but it is certainly memorable.  It is such a tragic and creepy tale, and of course the ending is quite shocking.

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson-Another short story with a surprising ending!

What do you think?  Were any of these books/series surprising to you?  Did you enjoy them?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Couples

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s topic is Love Freebie as we celebrate Valentine’s Day!   I’ve listed ten (okay eleven) great couples, in no particular order, from some of my favorite books/series.

Mercy Thompson and Adam Hauptman-Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs-Mercy and Adam are awesome, and I’ve truly enjoyed watching their relationship grow and change throughout this series.

Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen-I couldn’t have a list of favorite couples without them.

Margaret Hale and John Thornton-North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell-The road to their happy ending isn’t easy, but it is very satisfying.

Sydney Sage and Adrian Ivashkov-Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead-Sydney and Adrian have very different personalities, but they just click when they are together.

Jo March and Professor Friedrich Bhaer-Little Women by Louisa May Alcott-It has been far too long since I read this book, but I’ll always remember being touched by their romance.

Silhouettes of Couple Kissing Against Sunset

Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester-Jane Eyre By Charlotte Bronte-These two formidable personalities are an excellent match.

Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth-Persuasion by Jane Austen-Persuasion isn’t as popular as Pride and Prejudice, but Anne and Fredrick’s romance is quite touching.

Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman-Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris-Sookie certainly has an attractive assortment of men vying for her affection, but Eric was always my favorite.

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark-The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins-These two balance each other perfectly.

Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy-Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding-I found a copy of this book and the sequel at my local, used bookstore, and they are hilarious!  Bridget and Mark make a great couple.

Father Tim Kavanagh and Cynthia Coppersmith-Mitford Years series by Jan Karon-This series isn’t something I’d usually pick up, but the first nine books were given to me, and I really enjoyed them.  Tim and Cynthia are so sweet!

What do you think?  If you made a list of favorite couples, would any of these be on it?  Who is your favorite couple?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my TBR List the Longest

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

My tbr list is ridiculously long.  No matter how much I read, there are always more books to add to it.  I’m also a mood reader.  I pick up and read the book I’m interested in at the moment, not the book that has been on my list the longest.  Unfortunately, this means that some books have been languishing on my tbr list for quite some time.  Here are ten that have been around for a while.

The Complete Illuminated Books by William Blake-I almost feel like putting this book on my list is cheating a bit because I have read some of the poems in this book, but not enough for me to feel like I can count it as being read.  Of the poems I’ve read, I particularly like “A Poison Tree”.

The Best of James Whitcomb Riley by James Whitcomb Riley-He is my grandma’s favorite poet, which is why I picked up this book, but I have yet to read it.

The Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson-Another book of poetry I want to read.

The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction by Henry James-I really enjoy short stories, but have yet to get into this book.

Favorite Folktales from Around the World by Jane Yolen-I love folktales, but haven’t found the time to dig into this collection.

arm, desk, hand

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis-This book sounds fascinating, and I really hope to get to it soon.

The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K Le Guin-I love A Wizard of Earthsea, and I really need to read the rest of the series.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay-I watched and enjoyed the show (except for the ending).  I’d like to read the books at some point.

Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur-I really need to start this series.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins-I need to find time to read this lengthy novel.

Have you read any of these?  If so, what did you think?  Do you have a plan for working through your tbr list or are you a mood reader like me?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Can’t Believe I Read

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Happy Tuesday!  This week is all about books I can’t believe I read.  For my list, I decided to pick books that are a departure from what I normally read, or that I read at a strange time in my life.

The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King-I don’t typically read horror, so I’d never read any of Stephen King’s books.  However, my husband is a big fan and was determined to find a Stephen King book I would read.  While it will never be a favorite, I have to admit I did enjoy it at the time.

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom-I had to read this for a class in college.  I thought it was okay but not something I would consider reading on my own.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens-I really love classics, so it wouldn’t be strange for me to pick something like this up today.  However, I read this book when I was a freshman in high school on my own for fun.  Most of my friends considered it strange reading material.  It has been years since I picked it up, so I’m not as clear on details as I’d like to be.  However, I did enjoy it immensely, and I’d like to revisit it.

Seinlanguage by Jerry Seinfeld-I enjoyed Seinfeld if I happened to catch it on tv, but it was never a favorite show.  I have no idea why I picked up this book.  I guess I was just looking for something fun to pass the time with?

Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection by Bill Watterson-I’d never read a collection of comic strips, and decided to pick this one up.  I loved it!

blur, book, girl


Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice-I’ve read many vampire books, but when I first picked this up years ago, I’d never read anything remotely paranormal so it was quite a strange pick for me at the time.   I loved it and have been completely hooked on vampires ever since.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte-Again, I love classics, so this normally wouldn’t be a strange book for me.  However, I read this right after having my first child.  I was frazzled, new mom but I came across a copy of this in my local bookstore and decided to read it.  I loved it, but I can’t believe I picked it up at such a crazy time in my life.

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin-This is not a title I ever expected to see on my bookshelf, but I have two kids who thoroughly enjoy this story and the sequel, Dragons Love Tacos 2.  I highly recommend both.

I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll-Again, not something I ever pictured myself reading, but I can thank my kids for all the fun children’s books I get to read with them.  The sequel is great too.

Animal Farm by George Orwell-I read this in junior high.  I found it very thought provoking and definitely worth reading, but not something I would have read on my own.

Have you read any of these?  If so, what did you think?  What books would be on your list?

Winter Blogfest: Myra Nour

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook copy of Time Shifters & $20 gift card from Amazon.

Christmas with the Nours

Pecan or pumpkin pie has been our dessert favorites for many years at Christmas. But, since tasting Éclair Pie made by Anne at our church last year, this is our new favorite. It’s so good you feel like consuming the whole thing, but it is also rich, so one or two portions is my limit per meal.:) Every time I’ve brought this to events people go nuts over how delish it is and want the recipe. Best of all it is super easy to make!

Éclair Pie
1 Box Graham Crackers
2 Small Instant Vanilla Pudding
3 ½ Cups Milk
One 12 oz Cool Whip
1 Chocolate Frosting

Spray 9 x 13 pan, then line with graham crackers.

Mix pudding & milk, beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in cool whip; spread ½ mixture over graham crackers. Layer more graham crackers then rest of pudding mix. Add another layer of graham crackers.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Spread frosting on top of graham crackers. Note: I use 1 ½ can of frosting because I like a thick coating of frosting. Also, I found it is easier to spread if you soften in microwave first. Cover and store in refrigerator. Enjoy!

Simon and I have always loved Christmas, but it is even better ever since we moved to our cabin in the North Carolina Mountains. Nothing screams Christmas like being cozy inside a beautiful cabin with amazing Mountain views. Our favorite Christmas tradition is to start watching Christmas movies the month before. It just doesn’t seem like the season is coming until we watch Christmas Vacation! Other favs are Elf, Bad Santa, The Christmas Card, Silent Night, White Christmas, The Grinch (Jim Carrey), Santa Clause, & Scrooge (all are great but the singing version is the best) It’s a Wonderful Life is a lifetime favorite of course.

Briana has heard his voice for years in dreams. Calling to her. She hears that same voice from the handsome stranger she meets on vacation, captivating and so familiar. When he unexpectedly transforms into a werewolf, Briana flees in horror. She knows him … he is the wolfman who haunts her nightmares. More than anything else, it is her lustful response to the beast that terrifies her.

When Raynor finally meets his mate, he is confused by her reaction and even more so by her response when he shifts. She doesn’t recognize him. In an attempt to escape, Briana jumps through the time portal of his people, landing her in Medieval England. Raynor must rescue her, which requires bonding with Briana as her mate. But first he must teach Briana that she is a shifter, then convince her not to be repelled by her other self, an ancient, powerful shifter. A snakewoman.

About the Author: Myra Nour is the author of several best-selling romance novels, including Love’s Captive. She retired as CEO of BTSeMag in January 2016 and began focusing on her horror books. She is a huge fan of horror, loves The Walking Dead and devours zombie books. She is currently working on a zombie novel of her own.

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Winter Blogfest: Helen C. Johannes

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle e-book copy of BLOODSTONE, US only.

Coping with the Winter Wonderland…

This is what I do when it’s cold outside—and for us it’s cold and snowy for five months of the year! I stay inside with my handy electric throw blanket. I read, write, and watch movies. And I bake.

Staying inside means planning shopping and errands around the snow/ice/freezing rain forecast and daylight hours. It means cozying up at the kitchen table with a cup of hot tea while DH blows the snow from the driveway. It means watching the neighborhood kids frolic in the park across the street from the warmth of my living room. If it sounds as if I’m a winter hermit, you got it.

My local library is my lifeline. We stop by at least once a week, sometimes more. Old movies and new, new books and old are just the tonic for the winter blahs. I grew up addicted to reading; if it’s in print, I’ll read it. (I read a lot of cereal boxes as a child.) I take a book everywhere. Thank goodness for e-readers!

You’d think since I’m not such a fan of winter, I wouldn’t write winter into my books, but it makes an appearance more often than not. It’s such a useful metaphor for hardship, loneliness, and challenge. The movie Frozen has that absolutely right.

To warm up the house and fill it with delicious smells, I bake: pies, cakes, cookies, breads. There’s nothing like a flavorful treat, fresh from the oven, accompanied by glass of milk or hot beverage. Here’s a favorite recipe of mine that can be enjoyed any time of the year:

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
• ½ cup shortening
• ½ cup white sugar
• ½ cup brown sugar, packed
• 2 eggs, beaten
• ¼ cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 and 2/3 cups oatmeal
• ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
• ½ cup dried, sweetened cranberries
• 1 and ½ cups flour
• 1 teaspoon soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
1. Cream shortening with sugars; then add beaten eggs, milk and vanilla extract.
2. Combine mixture with oatmeal, chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
3. Add flour sifted with soda and salt. Beat thoroughly.
4. Drop by teaspoonful onto non-stick baking sheets, two inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350°F. Makes about 3 dozen.

What if looking at the face of the man you loved meant death? Years ago, warrior Durren Drakkonwehr was cursed by a mage. Now feared and reviled as the Shadow Man, he keeps to himself, only going to town to trade rare bloodstones–petrified dragon’s blood–for supplies. Though he hides his face, he can’t hide his heart from the woman who haunts his dreams… Needing bloodstones for a jewelry commission, Mirianna and her father journey across the dreaded Wehrland where the beast-men roam. When their party is attacked, only the Shadow Man can save them. Strangely drawn to him, Mirianna offers herself in return for her father’s rescue. Living in the ruined fortress with the Shadow Man, Mirianna slowly realizes that a flesh-and-blood man–not a fiend–hides there in hoods and darkness. But are love and courage enough to lift the curse and restore the man?

About the Author: Helen C. Johannes lives in the Midwest with her husband and grown children. Her first book, THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE, is an EPIC winner in Fantasy Romance. Her second book, BLOODSTONE, is a Launching a Star Winner in Fantasy Romance.

Growing up, she read fairy tales, Tolkien, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Agatha Christie, Shakespeare, and Ayn Rand, an unusual mix that undoubtedly explains why the themes, characters, and locales in her writing play out in tales of love and adventure. A member of Romance Writers of America, she credits the friends she has made and the critiques she’s received from her chapter members for encouraging her to achieve her dream of publication. When not working on her next writing project, she teaches English, reads all kinds of fiction, enjoys walks, and travels as often as possible.


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Winter Blogfest: C F White

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win an ecopy of Won’t Feel a Thing (St. Cross#1).

I Believe in Father Christmas

Christmas is magical. There is no doubt about that. But for some, it truly is filled with magic, fairy tales, and joy. And it doesn’t matter how old you get, you can always believe in that.

Like my son, and the others like him, who have a rare genetic condition called Williams Syndrome. This strange realignment of genetics, and missing chromosomes, make for a unique and engaging personality. They love everyone and everything. They see the joy and magic of Christmas every day of the year. So Christmas for them is the ultimate holiday.

I volunteer for the Williams Syndrome Foundation as a regional rep. As part of this role I lay on a fully funded party for all those families in my area who have a member in their clan with WS. It’s a day I love every second of. The sheer excitement and fun bursts through each and every one, from the young to the old. Because the absolute marvel of WS is that they are all eternal children. They love like children; they dance like children, and they believe like children.

I arrange for Father Christmas to visit the party. He brings along a toy for each one (bought by the parents, handed to me in secret) and delivers them to the delighted and eager recipients, bouncing on their toes in excitement. Of course, this happens in many a grotto all over the world. But here, it’s something different. Something magical. Every child, every adolescent, every fully grown adult with WS believes, wholeheartedly, that the man in the red suit is the real Father Christmas.

One year, a young girl of sixteen sat cross-legged on the floor after having danced nonstop since she arrived at the party. She watched patiently as each child was called up, handed their beautifully wrapped gift, had their chance to sit on the big man’s knee and have their photo taken. With her long hair in bunches tied in bows with red Christmas ribbon, her sparkling eyes were wide behind the thick lenses of her pink glasses. She clapped, she cheered, she helped the smaller ones up from their heaps on the floor so they could retrieve their gifts. She asked where Rudolph was as she clutched a carrot in her hand. But, what happened next will never leave me. Father Christmas (aka my husband in a red Santa suit) rummaged in the black sack. Empty. No gifts left. I hadn’t noticed that her parents hadn’t handed me a present to add to the bag on arrival. The mother, mortified, hadn’t seen the message that she needed to provide one.

The girl sobbed. She asked, over and over, if she had been on the naught list. She hadn’t meant to have the last biscuit in the tin. She hadn’t meant to be mean. She was sorry. She would try better next year. She still handed Father Christmas the carrot to give to the reindeers anyway. She believed.

Not to end on a bad note, we did manage to find her a gift from the shops still open in the market place where we were. We found some paper to wrap it in. We then passed it over with an apology from the elves that they had left it on the sleigh on the roof. The girl beamed. She cried, happy tears, and hugged Father Christmas, thanking him and telling him she loved him and always believed in him.

That stuff—it’s magic. So, now, I believe in Father Christmas, too. Don’t you?

It takes more than a doctor to mend a broken heart.

Ollie Warne, fresh out of nursing school and working his dream job as a pediatric cardiology nurse at St Cross Children’s Hospital, London, wants to start the new year free of personal heartache after his track record of falling for the wrong man—his New Year’s resolution is to live a life of carefree liaisons from now on.

He immediately meets Jacob, father of one of Ollie’s patients and a man harboring more guilt and past demons than even Ollie, which is saying something…

Their growing attraction makes it hard for Ollie to keep his distance, but he has to―not only do the ethics of his profession demand it…but Ollie is entangled with another man. A predatory doctor who has a huge personal and professional stake in Ollie’s life.

Ollie risks more than his job by getting involved with a patient’s father―and much more than just the success of his New Year’s resolution, something that was supposed to ensure that, this time, he won’t feel a thing.

About the Author: Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail—leave.

Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly searches for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.

She eventually moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.

After her second son was born with a rare disability, C F White’s life changed drastically and brought her pen back to paper after she’d written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Now, having embarked on this writing journey, C F White cannot stop. So strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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Winter Blogfest: Aidee Ladnier

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

The Three Best Things About Going Home for the Holidays

With the holidays fast approaching, I’m looking forward to a few of my favorite things I get to share with my extended family.

1. Getting to drink guilt-free hot cocoa with marshmallows. I’m a hot chocolate fan. And I love to sip it in hot and cold weather. But I never, ever, ever buy marshmallows to go in my cocoa because while staring at them in the grocery aisle, all I can think about is the extra calories that the cocoa will already be providing. But when my mom hands me a warm cup of cocoa, she has already sprinkled marshmallows on top and I couldn’t possibly be rude enough to dip them out. I just enjoy them to the fullest.

2. Taking a drive around the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights. Full disclosure – I’m related to the person, you know who I’m talking about, who spends a month or more putting up outside decorations and has to take up a collection to pay the electric bill. So a visit to drive through my cousin’s twinkling wonderland complete with holiday music is a must. And it’s also wonderful to see every other house in the neighborhood just as brightly lit with trees, Santas, and plastic snowmen. And when we get back, everyone piles out of the car and my mom serves another round of cocoa!

3. Hearing all the great stories of holidays past. I come from a family of storytellers. Which means anytime everyone gathered, someone would have a funny story or a poignant one to pull out for the rest of us. My favorite stories were my grandmother’s. She regaled my sister and me with stories of riding on the buckboard to church, cutting paper dolls out of the discarded Sears catalog, and waking up to a special breakfast just for Christmas. And now that I’m one of the storytellers in the family, I’m passing those stories down to the newer members myself.

I love writing about family traditions and this year I’ve even written a story set at Christmas. I hope you’ll check out A Hundred Promises of Love and may you have a wonderful holiday!

For Ethan and Nico, a broken millefiori ornament is more than a few shards of glass−it’s a chance at finding love at Christmas.

Ethan Carson wants to treat his mother to the perfect Christmas while she’s visiting over the holidays. He’s spent all his savings on presents and bought an enormous tree that takes up half his living room. But when he starts to trim the tree with the family heirloom decorations, he finds her favorite ornament, the one his late father bought on their honeymoon, is broken.

Glassblower Nico Kazan doesn’t celebrate Christmas—unless you count trying to sell the art glass in his gallery to holiday shoppers. When Ethan, the object of his secret crush, asks him to recreate a broken Murano ball, he knows it will take more than his skill and time. Can he risk his heart to give Ethan back a symbol of love and family for Christmas?

About the Author: Aidee Ladnier, an award-winning author of speculative fiction, began writing at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, fold origami, and send ping pong balls into space. A lover of genre fiction, it has been a lifelong dream of Aidee’s to write both romance and erotica with a little science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.

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Winter Blogfest: Darragha Foster

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest.

This author is also a professional card reader!

Norse Mythology inspired, Buddhist concept interpreted intuitive readings—and the first twenty who email with the subject line: NEW YEAR’S READING, will get a free 3-card “general” reading about your brilliant 2018.

My mama taught me how to “read” for people (psychometry and tea leaves) when I was 12 years old. Her mother had taught her. So…not to give away my age, but I’ve been doing professional readings for over 40 years.

Let’s do this!

Death. It is the only constant in her life. It comes with little to no warning. When you’re raised in the Red Zone, you know it’s only a matter of time before it cuts you down. A harsh environment breeds harsh people. Reggie has made a life for herself by being the best of the worst—a pit-fighter.
Her right fist is all that matters, until she meets a shape-shifter, whom she first bests in a fight, then makes love to him. Is the only constant really death?
On the eve of the most important battle of her life, Reggie is forced to choose between her will to survive, and her need to love.
It all goes back to the three rules of the pit. Sharpen your wits. Watch you back. And don’t fall in love.

About the Author: Darragha Foster is the author of a myriad of strange and wonderful romance novels featuring such unique heroes and heroines as shape-shifting orca whales and vampiric bed and breakfast owners.

She lives and loves in Bellingham, Washington, a city with a claim to fame for having had way too many serial killers visit due its proximity to the Canadian border. She thinks the best place to get fried oysters is, unfortunately, the local establishment known to have served drinks to at least three notorious murderers. Got to be a story in there somewhere!

Darragha lives outside the city limits with her husband and several animals.


Winter Blogfest: Ingrid Hahn

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win tea and a mug for cozying up by the fire to read romance novels this winter!


My father taught at a high school where service to the community was one of the most prized values. Every holiday season, the homerooms collected food and gifts for a family in need. One year, several grades before I started high school myself, I rode along and helped him deliver boxes.

Some of the homerooms did a satisfactory job collecting for their family. Some did an outstanding job. And one homeroom, where my father returned to the car for box after box after box, did a such a good job, that the family members cried in wonder and thanks.

It stayed with me, that night. I was too young at the time to be more than a clueless observer without the emotional resources or life experience to process or understand my experience.

It did not leave me, though. In fact, it partially inspired the pivotal part in my first published book, TO WIN A LADY’S HEART. The hero, the Earl of Corbeau, carries on a family Christmas tradition in which he makes a tour of his lands, bringing gifts to tenants, and accepting a gift in return. Not just any gift. Food. Something he will put on his Christmas table and something that the tenant family will put on their Christmas table. In this way, the earl remembers that he is not an arbitrary lord, but has people in his care. A duty he takes extremely seriously.

It’s on a sleigh ride through the snow in which the impoverished heroine—forced into an engagement with the besotted hero whom she doesn’t want to accept because she doesn’t want to marry for money—first begins to reconsider the hero not as a means to an end, but as someone with whom she could build a happy home centered around love.

England, 1811. When John Merrick, the Earl of Corbeau, is caught in a locked storeroom with Lady Grace, he has but one choice—marry her. He cannot bear to tarnish any woman’s reputation, least of all Lady Grace’s.

Lady Grace Landon will do anything to help her mother and sisters, crushed and impoverished by her father’s disgrace. But throwing herself into the arms of her dearest friend’s older brother to trap him in marriage? Never.

Each book in the Landon Sisters series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.

Series Order:
Book #1 To Win a Lady’s Heart
Book #2 To Covet a Lady’s Heart

About the Author: Ingrid Hahn is a failed administrative assistant with a B.A. in Art History. Her love of reading has turned her mortgage payment into a book storage fee, which makes her the friend who you never want to ask you for help moving. Though originally from Seattle, she now lives in the metropolitan DC area with her ship-nerd husband, small son, and four opinionated cats. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves knitting, theater, nature walks, travel, history, and is a hopelessly devoted fan of Jane Austen.

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