Friday, November 27, 2015

Color of Love Blog Hop

I'm so excited to take part in the Color of Love Blog Hop where multi-cultural and interracial books are highlighted. There are great prizes to be won! Take a look:


1st Prize - $75 Gift Card & 6 E-books
2nd Prize - $50 Gift Card & 5 E-books
3rd Prize - $30 Gift Card & 5 E-books
4th Prize - $15 Gift Card & 5 E-books
5th Prize - $10 Gift Card & 5 E-books
6th Prize - $5 Gift Card & 5 E-books

If you read to the end of the post, I'll put some links to the prizes. The rafflecopter code is also below. But hold on, don't scroll down. Read about my Color of Love book!

I think most of my books are multi-cultural as they're set in Africa, but only one of my books is interracial. I'd been wanting to write one for years and finally took the plunge.


Mix together a beautiful ballerina and ballet teacher, a sexy single dad, and a precocious-yet-sweet daughter, and emotions run high. Add racial and cultural differences, work contracts coming to an end, and hurts and memories from the past and sparks fly.

Rowena loves to dance but has ended up teaching ballet instead. When she helps out Cameron’s difficult daughter, a bond develops between the two dancers. Cameron makes Rowena uncomfortable because he stirs up new, unwanted feelings which make no sense when he intends to leave Zambia soon when his contract ends.

Cameron can’t resist sanguine live-wire Rowena who makes his daughter smile for the first time in years. But can he risk his heart again when memories of his late wife come back to haunt him? And Rowena has a lot more at stake in giving her all.


She’d expected him to disappear. Instead, she jumped as a shadow appeared in front of her. The man stood a foot from her. Close up, his presence seemed to permeate her. For a brief moment, her gnawing sorrow vanished, and attraction surged in like a current of potent goodness. His features were clear-cut yet contrasting: bronzed skin against almost ginger hair. It could pass for golden brown. Speckles of day-old matching beard. Light brown eyes like the earth near Lake Kariba. Sturdy posture, straight and purposeful. Broad shoulders. Strength she could rely on at this time.
She pushed the crazy thoughts away.
His expression had changed to almost lost. Patience settled upon her, sweet and refreshing after days of pure irritation at everything that moved.
“Maybe you could help Jamey.”
“I’m sorry?”
He raked his fingers through his hair. There was anxiety there. Suffering. She took her leg down to give him her full attention.
“What could I do?”
“You could give her extra lessons.”
“I’m full up already, Mr. Hosking. I don’t have time….”
“Jamey loves to dance. Her late mother was a ballet dancer. It’s her only connection with her.”
Late mother! Rowena’s lungs drained of air. Oh, how she could identify with her pain. Although her mother’s death was recent, only six days ago, and she wasn’t a child, she suddenly wanted to hug Jamey and fill her heart with love to take away the lonely hopelessness. How could she have been so impatient with the child? No wonder she was so restless. The recital had become more important than the children. Creating a good image for her studio to increase the size of her classes had taken precedence over putting something into the ones she had.
He peered into her frozen face. “I’ll pay you double the price of a normal lesson. Please.”
She nodded. “I will. Of course.”
He instinctively grabbed her hand. “You won’t regret it. Jamey’s a very bright child, and she’s crazy about you.”
Her insides shuddered, and her toes curled at the simple contact. His hand was warm, and he squeezed a little too hard, but suddenly she wished he would keep it there. But he didn’t.
He laughed. “Yes. She says you’re so beautiful, like her mommy. You do look a bit like her.” His eyes became dreamy and distant, as though a lifetime of memories passed through his mind.
A pang shot through her. Imagine a man like him loving her with the intensity he directed toward his late wife? What a selfish thought. He was still grieving. 


I'm giving away two e-book copies of my book, The Dance of the Firefly, to two lucky commenters on this post. Please put your email in the comments so I can send you your prize.

There are also two sets of books up for prizes during the whole tour. Click on the links to look:

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

Take part in the Rafflecopter competition:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And here are the other blogs where you can discover new books, enter and win prizes:

List of Blogs

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Blog Post Not About Books

Today, I'm blogging about something totally different and not related to books although I will mention a book in the post.

What could it be?

I've been following some wonderful bloggers and periscopers and Facebook group leaders and even followed people on Instagram - all about body image and body love. This topic has a dear place in my heart. I have suffered from body image issues my whole life. Even though for a large portion of my life so far, I wasn't overweight, I worked very hard to stay thin and I worried about my appearance constantly. I think it's a female thing and directly related to society's pushing women to be objects / ornaments and not people. Also, the media constantly focuses on women who are often unnaturally thin. Very few actresses are a normal, everyday weight and seldom over forty. This is a scary fact. The more you see of a certain body type, the more you are conditioned to think that's the norm and the more you criticise yourself for not measuring up to that.

And these issues don't only affect young women. Every women feels the pressure to be beautiful constantly. I feel such a burden for the youngsters as I see the teen actors are getting skinnier and skinnier so the standard is dropping. And the trend now is "fit is the new skinny." This doesn't solve the problem - it only makes it worse. Women feel they don't only have to diet to remain or become thin, but they have to exercise and push themselves to the limits to build this perfect physique. For one, exercise should be something enjoyable and something that enhances health, not a burden. As soon as it becomes this "have to" it either becomes obsessive or it doesn't become sustainable long term.

I've also done extensive reading on dieting and metabolism. The more I read, the more I realise how dangerous dieting, specifically yo-yo dieting is for our health. If we just ate when we were hungry, our body would give us the cues as to how much and what we need. Yes, in the beginning, we may eat too much ice cream or pizza, but let me assure you, it won't last. A year ago, I broke a diet I'd been on for two and a half years. I started this diet as I noticed I began to put on weight as I reached my forties. My thighs were becoming too large for my liking. So, I went on a low-carb diet. It made me very sick, although at the time I didn't connect my sickness to my dieting. A year later, I can see how much I've improved in my health. But I've put on weight. More than before - that's what happens with dieting. One good thing - it's made me realise how dangerous dieting is. Anyway, when I first broke the diet, phew did I like my carbs - bread, rice, pizza, cookies, you name it. And I ate a lot. But my body really needed them. I didn't restrict myself - I followed my appetite. Now, a year later, I notice that my appetite has changed - I seem to be craving more fruit and vegetables - the so called "healthy" foods. Yeah, they are healthy, but what I'm saying is, our bodies know what we need and we'll crave them at the right times. As long as we aren't into emotional eating which is largely caused by restrictive eating in the first place - that's a whole new world and I can't go into too much detail in one blog post.

Anyway, I wanted to share the exciting news that I won a competition. One of my favourite body image bloggers is Summer Innanen. She's got so much presence and she really cares about women who've struggled with body image and disordered eating. I entered a competition and I won a copy of her new book which is coming out on the 27 November! Woohoo. Here is a link to pre-order: Amazon I think the Kindle book should be available soon too.

And I won an online program with her on body image (21 step body image remix). Even though I've come a long way in the last few months, I still struggle with comparing myself to other women. If you're keen to find out more about Summer, here's her website. If you're fast and subscribe to her blog, you can get a free copy of her book anyway. Woohoo! Oh, and by the way, she didn't ask me to promote her. I'm doing this purely because I hope someone will benefit from her amazing work.

Another blog I've just discovered which I thoroughly enjoy is the following:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New Review Blog Tour for Dance of Love by Inge Saunders

Dance of Love New 4 Star Review

Dance of Love by Inge Saunders is a short, fun and flirty read. The author paints a convincing tale as she introduces her characters whose depth and emotions are so raw and relatable you feel it! Ashley's passion for achieving her goals, to finding true happiness no matter what obstacles stand in her way I find sincere. And her determination, her grit and her passion to make her dreams become a reality compliments and enhances the plot. The hero is likable and sincere. He is true to his beliefs and stands by his decisions with a strong sense of thoughtfulness and determination one just has to respect.

At the end of the day I'd say Dance of Love is a remarkable story of life, love and chasing dreams, teaching us to never give up on things our heart sets out to achieve but rather to put our best foot forward until we win the battle of fulfillment in the end.

4 Stars.


All roads lead to Rome when Ashley Solomons embarks on fulfilling her dream to become a world-class dancer. But there’s one person who stands in her way. “It`s a no from me,” Antonio Machiavelli.

When Antonio’s auditions for a lead principal end in wintry Cape Town, the last thing he expects is to have more than a knee-jerk reaction to an audition. Ashley not only verbally challenges him, but also translates her fire and cheekiness into an edge of your seat performance.

Can Antonio keep his distance from Ashley? Can Ashley focus on fulfilling her dream of becoming a lead principal? Or will love have its way?

Ashley grimaced.                                               
He let the girl get to the chorus before dismissing her as well. The other panel members spoke kindly, and she didn’t leave in tears as the candidate before her had.
Before he could call next, she walked out on stage. She didn’t stand a chance in hell, so why give him the satisfaction of ordering her around? Finding her center, she met the eyes of the panel and blinked. Maybe she should have Googled Antonio Machiavelli, she mused standing transfixed. He was much younger than she expected and more attractive.
He appeared to be in his early thirties, with a mop of dark curls falling across his forehead. Even seated, he towered over the other judges. No wonder every girl’s unnerved. He`s intimidating with his tanned hands folded in front of him on the table.. His grim scowl reminded her to not cave.
“What’s your name?” the lone woman on the panel asked with a kind smile.
“Ashley,” she replied.
The woman glanced down at her clipboard. “It says here you have no formal training.”
Antonio Machiavelli gave a deep sigh. Her brow furrowed. “Yes.”
Nail-biting silence reigned for a moment then the woman waved her hand. “Proceed.”
Antonio Machiavelli placed his fingers at his temples. “Do we have to? She has no formal training. She’s wasting everyone’s time.”
Ashley’s jaw clenched. “How about you let me finish my audition? You’ll have enough ammunition to ridicule me with after.”
That got his attention. She couldn’t see the color of his eyes, but if she had to guess, she’d say fiery red. He sat forward in his chair, leaning over the table, dwarfing it.
He had the persona of an angry wolf out to devour her. The thought set her heart racing. What? She watched too much True Blood.

Other Buy Links: 


Play Google:      

Author Bio:

Inge Saunders fell in love with books when she started reading romance novels with her grandmother. Intrigued by the worlds books unlocked, it was inevitable she would take pen to paper.
She forms part of Romance writers’ Organization of South Africa (ROSA) and currently has two books out with Decadent Publishing; Falling for Mr. Unexpected and her latest release Dance of Love.

Books by Inge Saunders Facebook Page:
Other Sites:

Friday, November 13, 2015

Too Old for Christmas

Today, I have Robyn Echols writing as Zina Abbott talking about her new Christmas novel. She's offering a giveaway too. This book looks fascinating. I love the unusual premise and the excerpt hooks me straight away.

A holiday romance set in 1854 Columbia, California.
Too Old for Christmas, by Zina Abbott.

About the Book:

Irishman Sean Flood survived the potato famine, crossing the Atlantic, the Mexican-American War, and wandering the Western wilderness with his mules and freight wagon. But, due to poor diet and deprivation, his teeth did not fare well. It’s November of
1854 in Columbia, California, Queen of the Southern Mines, a city Sean is helping to rebuild after the disastrous fire the previous summer. Intense stabbing tooth pain drives him to see Doc Massey, the local dentist. He first stops by the mercantile to pick up a bottle of whiskey—for medicinal purposes—and food­­­­ he’ll be able to eat when it’s all over. If only the beautiful but aggravating
woman ahead of him who keeps her face half hidden and insists she won’t accept charity would finish up with her purchase so he can get his supplies, his tooth pulled and return home to his mules and half-built cabin….

That night, Sean meets the woman’s two sons, Jesse and Benjy McNair, and learns her secret. He decides with only three teeth left in his head, he needs widow Ona McNair’s charity—and he’s willing to pay for it. Sean won’t accept nine year-old Jesse’s declaration his family’s poverty means the boy is too old for Christmas that year. Sean is a full-grown man and he’s not too old for Christmas. He not only plans to come bearing gifts to Christmas Eve dinner with the McNairs, but he knows exactly what gift he wants for himself.  

*Sweet Romance

Excerpt #1:

Sean stopped by the Columbia Mercantile  in order to buy a bottle of
whiskey, some dried beef for flavoring—for he certainly didn’t have the teeth to chew it—and a small sack of flour to have something to cook into a soft gruel for supper. He knew he would not feel like shopping after seeing Doc Massey, the dentist. Those supplies would be his daily menu until his gum started to heal. As much as he preferred the thought of pulling up a chair to warm himself by the glowing wood stove for an hour or more, he didn’t linger once he
felt his clothes start to dry.

Sean shrugged off Mr. Magendie, owner of the retail store, as the man sought to convince him to buy the newly arrived cast iron stove he had for sale. All Sean cared to focus on was buying the whiskey he planned to start consuming as soon as he stepped out the door so he could face getting his tooth pulled. Sean impatiently waved away the man and his polite sales chatter.

Sean’s annoyance over his situation increased as he stood behind the woman talking to the clerk at the counter.

Finish your business, woman, and move on. My patience be wearing thin.

Through his self-absorption with his pain, Sean realized that the woman asked for credit for the three small sacks of goods on the counter in front of her.

“I know I can’t charge to a standing account until the other matter is settled, but if you can just wait until tomorrow afternoon for payment, I’ll have made my delivery by then and collected my fee. I’m owed enough to not only cover this, but I can put some on the other account as well. I promise I will bring it right in.”

“I’m sorry, Mrs. McNair, but Mr. Magendie has given me strict orders…”

“Give over, man, I’m in a hurry, now,” Sean interrupted him, realizing the exchange could take longer than he was willing to wait. “Here…” Sean sorted through the coins he held in his hand in anticipation of paying for his items. He selected one he felt would surely cover whatever the woman was trying to purchase and, leaning past her, he slapped the coin on the counter. “’Twill cover the shortfall, certain. Now, if you don’t mind…”

The woman rounded on Sean, her eyes flashing with anger. “I do mind. I’ll thank you to take your money back and wait your turn. I can take care of my own business and I don’t take charity.”

(Author's note: The Columbia Mercantile at the time of this story was a wooden building. This brick building with iron shutters was built a couple of years later.)

Too Old for Christmas is now available on pre-order at Amazon. You may purchase it by clicking HERE. It will be available on Nook soon.

About the Author:

Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels. 

The author currently lives with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” She is a member of Women Writing the West, American Night Writers Association, and Modesto Writers Meet Up. She currently lives with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” She enjoys any kind of history including family
history. When she is not piecing together novel plots, she pieces together quilt blocks.


Zina Abbott Links:

Website |  Blog  |  Facebook |  Pinterest  |  Goodreads |  Twitter

Tweets for Supporters:

Five excerpts, Q&A, history & prizes. Follow @ZinaAbbott by email #TooOldSeries #ZinaAbbott

@ZinaAbbott Too Old for Christmas blog tour. 1854 holiday romance. Excerpts, prizes, join us! #TooOldSeries

R U Too Old for Christmas? Blog tour w/ excerpts, prizes for this Columbia CA 1854 holiday romance #TooOldSeries

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Spotlight and Review for Dandelions on the Road by Brooke Williams

Today, I'm putting the spotlight on Brooke Williams' lovely book, Dandelions on the Road. You can also read my review at the bottom of the post.

Dandelions on the Road

By Brooke Williams

Release Date: November 5, 2015

Order HERE

Join the Nov. 5th Release Day Party on Facebook HERE
Enjoy giveaways and fun chats!

Twelve men…one woman…plenty of dandelions. Eva Merida has her life in order. She loves her job at the Furry Friends Rescue League and has a loving, supportive family. But she’s still missing that one special person to stand by her side. When she comes in third place on the local TV version of “The Bachelor,” entitled Accept this Dandelion, she nearly loses all hope for romance. Fortunately, the TV station decides to do a second season of the dating show…and they name Eva as the Bachelorette! With a plethora of dating mishaps recorded for TV, Eva finds herself falling for several men at once…including the show’s host. Will she find love at last or simply embarrass herself in front of the entire city?

Add “Dandelions on the Road” to your Goodreads list HERE

About the Author

Brooke Williams writes in a sleep-deprived state while her daughters nap. Her romantic comedy is best read in the same state. Brooke has twelve years of radio in her background, both behind the scenes and on the air. She was also a television traffic reporter for a short time despite the fact that she could care less about hair and make-up. Today, Brooke stays at home with her daughters and works as a freelance writer for a variety of companies. When she isn’t working for paying clients, she makes things up, which results in books like “Dandelions on the Road.”  Brooke is also the author of " Mamarazzi," "Accept this Dandelion," “Wrong Place, Right Time,” “Someone Always Loved You,” and “Beyond the Bars.” She even has children's books on the market, such as "Shower in the Rain" and looks forward to releasing “Baby Sheep Gets a Haircut” in June 2016 with Wee Creek Press. Brooke and her husband Sean have been married since 2002 and have two beautiful daughters, Kaelyn (6) and Sadie (2).

Connect with Brooke:

Note from the Author on the book's inspiration:

I wrote "Accept this Dandelion" in a silly, sleep-deprived mood and thought that was it. But the characters in the book kept coming back to me, begging me to continue the story. Eventually, I listened, turned the tables, put a woman in charge, and created "Dandelions on the Road." I got so much joy from writing it, I'm glad I did! Now I just hope those reading it get even half the pleasure I got from writing it.

And next from Brooke Williams....

She has two more completed novels entitled:
After the Final Dandelion
The Leftover
Watch her website for details on upcoming releases....

My Review:

I don't know if you've ever watched Bachelor or Bachelorette on TV. Well, I used to love it. But then after about the third series, I'd had my fill. The reasons being that I couldn't imagine finding the love of my life while surrounded by many other choices, cameras and rushing by doing activities all the time. I can only fathom falling in love when I see someone in real life showing their true colours.

Enough of me rambling.

This book is about a TV series based on the Bachelorette. I was hooked from the beginning as I usually seem to be when I read one of Brooke's books. She's a master story-teller. Her pacing is amazing. There isn't a moment of boredom and you want to read on to find out what's going to happen next.

I loved Brian. I wanted him to get the girl right from the beginning. I mean, he has dimples. No, that's not the real reason. He was such a genuine guy. The real deal. The man with the soft heart who cares for the girl and everything she goes through.

I kept on wondering when Eva would see him for his true goodness. But she had a process to go through. I loved reading about the "bachelorette" experience. Brooke has a way of making Hollywood touchable to the reader - she brings us into their world and yet keeps her characters real and likeable. They were all great.

If you're looking for light-hearted, feel-good, gripping and fun romance, look no further. This book ticks all the boxes.