Archive | August 2022

Christmas Once Again #romance

From Amazon: She’s dead broke. And eviction looms. On Christmas Eve antique consultant Madison Knight takes a phone call from local rancher Zach Murdock. Through a mix-up at an estate sale, Madison’s company purchased his grandmother’s beloved painting. He offers double the money for its return. Madison risks her job to track down the artwork, but success falls short when she’s stuck in a blizzard. Stranded, she seeks help from a frontier family. Are they living off the grid, or did she somehow travel through time? Zach’s the only person who knows her plan. He also knows a secret about his gran’s painting. It’s up to him to rescue Madison, but maybe he’s not cut out to be a hero.

My Review: This is the absolutely perfect short story romance set in, and next to, Denver on Christmas Eve. Imagine, if you will, time traveling on Christmas Eve! Five stars! It’s perfect! Truly perfect!

This entry was posted on August 29, 2022. 2 Comments

A Mother’s Deceit

From Amazon: 1841: Mary Cooper dreams of escaping her mundane life in a small Norfolk farming community. Until a mysterious stranger takes over the village inn. John Cozen will change her life forever. His rugged good looks cause a stir in the sleepy village and it is love at first sight for the beautiful, young couple. Their future appears to be perfect. It will not be. To her distress, Mary finds that there are three people in the marriage. Jack, a local farmer, had his eye on Mary before John arrived on the scene but failed to make his move. He is determined to come between the happy couple. How far will Jack go to win the woman he lusts after?

My Review: Times were hard in the 1800s. The times of the 1900s and 2000s not much better in many ways. However this book covers two different times in a woman’s life in the 1800s. Life was a different kind of struggle, but love was found by many. Not for one man, though, for he never found romantic love, yet he knew the love of his three children. The actions of those in this story speak of taking the blame of wrong actions upon themselves.

Meghan Misunderstood

From Amazon: Meghan Misunderstood is a pioneering book that sets the record straight on the most talked about, unfairly vilified and misrepresented woman in the world. Meghan Markle was eleven when she first advocated for women’s rights; a teenager when she worked in a soup kitchen feeding the homeless; a popular actress when she campaigned for clean water in Africa and passionately championed gender equality in a speech to a United Nations Women’s Conference. Even before she met Prince Harry, hers was an extraordinarily accomplished life. Meghan’s wedding to Harry was a joyful occasion, marking happiness at last for the Queen’s grandson who had captured our hearts twenty years earlier when he bravely walked behind his mother Diana’s coffin. Theirs was a story that the screenwriters of Hollywood – where Meghan had made her name – could scarcely have imagined. The rom-com fantasy, however, soon turned into disturbing drama: any expectation of a life happily-ever-after was cruelly dashed by bullying tabloid newspapers and their allies, both on social media and within the walls of the Palace itself. Meghan was targeted for her gender, her race, her nationality and her profession. The abuse became so bad that seventy-two female MPs signed a letter of solidarity against the ‘often distasteful and misleading press’, calling out the ‘outdated colonial undertones’ of the stories. Now, Sean Smith, the UK’s leading celebrity biographer, pulls no punches as he reveals the remarkable and powerful story of this self-made, intelligent American woman with a strong social conscience who has made such an impact on our lives.

My Review: I found this book to be rather one sided. I didn’t research every comment or assertion described within, but I must say, that from what I’ve read in the past, Meghan has been bullied and faces racism everywhere she goes. So wrong for others to do this. The parts about Meghan growing up and her schooling was informative and insightful. Parts in England were left out. I think this book would’ve set a greater stance with the public if her time when “she didn’t want to live” had been written in this book. That is a huge learning point the author failed to capture. Depression and feelings are what strikes the heart of the reader. The author missed that point. More teaching and learning must be done in this area. Of note, the fact that Meghan miscarried a baby was left out in the Monticeto part of this book. WOMEN, especially, would’ve benefitted from this inclusion. Mother’s need validation that their baby mattered. Their child mattered. Their children mattered. This is an enormous area that could’ve helped other’s in their similar time of need, hurt, and loss. To me, Archewell doesn’t care, either. I’ve written to them on this subject and its importance, but not even a form email back to say it was received. Obviously, not all topics can be dealt with, but crushing blows due to child loss, miscarriage, and the entire gamet of this realm was sorely non-existent in this book. Four stars for not being inclusive, for being one sided, and not touching men and women on matters as I’ve described above. The golden opportunities were missed. All in all, racism has NO place in this world.

Trekker Girl by Dawne Archer #memoir

Welcome to my blog, Dawne. Shall we have a chat? I welcome your words of wisdom on my blog.

Hello, my name is Dawne Archer, also known as Trekker Girl.

I ventured into writing following my trek in the Sahara Desert in 2012. Before that, I had only written pieces required in my job in marketing. Nothing substantial or with an ongoing theme. Curiosity led me to join a Writer’s Group that advised me to “Write about what you know.” As my desert trekking experience was fresh in my mind (it was more challenging than I expected), that was where I started.

This was my first attempt at giving a voice to my emotions and experiences and I often found it difficult. Each chapter was commented on at a Writer’s Group meeting, with constructive criticism helping me onwards. I found it hard to accept initially but soon realised I had to listen to other opinions whilst keeping my voice.

Reliving the experiences as I was writing about them brought back strong emotions.

I never contemplated giving up the writing side of things as I was focused on that rather than “Will this ever be a published book.”

Most of my support came from the Writer’s Group and my writing mentor Van Johnson who has self-published many adventure novels.

1 in 4 people die of issues related to blood clots, an astonishing statistic from Thrombosis UK, the charity I chose to support on my trek. Also, after 90 minutes of sitting, we lose 50% of the blood flow in our legs. As readers and writers, we often lose track of time, sitting in one position for prolonged periods. Get up and move around every hour or so and be aware of the signs and symptoms of clots. Lucky to have survived the ones I had in my leg and lungs, it is my aim to raise awareness whenever possible and continue to support Thrombosis UK in any way I can.

The best advice given to me about books is… Write more!

The best life advice? Enjoy today, plan for tomorrow and don’t dwell on the past, my philosophy for life.

“If you love memoirs, travel tales, and stories of endurance, this is an essential read.” Taken from an Amazon review, I think it sums up this book.

When I first published it in 2017, I used a photo from my trek for the cover. It was a view of trekkers climbing up the ridge of a huge dune. I felt emotional when I did this climb, as I had always pictured myself in that position. However, this year I decided to relaunch the book. Putting to good use all I have learned over the past few years; this included a new cover. I had some help with it, resulting in the current one. I think it makes much more of an impact.

I have been concentrating on the relaunch and promotion of Trekker Girl Morocco Bound this year. However, I plan to write about some of my other exciting travel adventures in the future.

Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself to readers of your blog. Your questions are interesting and have made me think about writing in general and Trekker Girl Morocco Bound in particular. Your support is appreciated.




Amazon author page:

Twitter: @DawneArcher19

Universal buy link

Dawne lives a full and active life, indulging her curious nature through travel by any means possible. Backpacking, road trips, cruising, sailing, whatever opportunity comes her way.

Brave or foolhardy? That is the question Dawne asks herself when she stubbornly pursues her goal of trekking in the Sahara Desert to raise funds for Thrombosis UK.

Suffering blood clots in her leg and lung at the age of 26, Dawne’s quest is to raise awareness of thrombosis, donating profits from sales of Trekker Girl Morocco Bound to the charity.

As a radio presenter, she interviews people from all walks of life. Often, she becomes the interviewee, talking about her brush with death and how life is still an adventure, despite her diagnosis of an inherited clotting disorder.

Dawne started writing to describe the ups and downs of her unforgettable desert trek. Reliving her travel experiences encourages her to write on.

Watch out for more from Dawne Archer, Trekker Girl.

This entry was posted on August 22, 2022. 1 Comment

Simone LaFray and the Chocolatiers’ Ball

Book Link

From Amazon: Simone leads a double life. As a covert agent, she walks in the footprints of her spy mother, darting between the shadows. If she’s not sleuthing, she’s icing eclairs and dusting pastries in her father’s patisserie. When a notorious thief returns to Paris, the patisserie is threatened, and Simone questions everything. She and her father must participate in the exclusive Chocolatiers’ Ball to redeem themselves and catch the thief. Simone’s concealed life is crumbling, the shop hangs in the balance . . . and now she needs a ball gown! Life in a French patisserie may not be as sweet as she thought.

My Review: Ahhhhh. Paris and fancy delicate chocolate confections throughout this story. I have decided I live in the wrong country since the LaFray business is so far away across the pond. This was a treat to read. If you love chocolate, pastries, tea, art, and espionage, this five star book is for you.

Apples & Angel Wings #ChristmasRomance

From Amazon:

Heather Robbins

Age: 26

Looks: Tall, platinum blonde, and curvaceous

Favorite Food: Apple pastries from The Nightingale Diner

Status: Single, but secretly in love with Bells Pass’s police detective

Gabriel Dennison

Age: 27

Looks: Tall, dark, and handsome

Favorite Food: Baked Chicken from The Nightingale Diner

Status: Single, but secretly in love with his favorite cosmetologist

It’s Christmastime in Bells Pass again, but Heather and Gabe are anything but jolly. A disastrous homecoming dance in high school hurt them both, and neither knows how to cross the gulf of pain between them. Old bets, hidden truths, family secrets, and tiny angels will come together to show them true love does conquer all. This Christmas, Gabe and Heather might be the couple that proves the legend of the Bells Pass gazebo isn’t just a legend after all.

My Review:

Mettner has done it once again! My favorite contemporary romance writer has written another awesome book set in Bells Pass near Christmas time. Bells Pass is evocative of old small town Christmas’ and everyone takes great care of each other. The sense of loyalty to others, the love and caring, and the ambient atmosphere is sublime! Mix in a woman and a man who’ve known each other since childhood, toss in old hurts, and family dysfunction, lots of love, and kindness makes for a book that should be a Christmas movie! No one is perfect, but love prevails over skin issues, self-confidence issues, drama both nice and not as nice, and true love winning in a most beautiful “happily ever after”. That’s my perfect read.

This entry was posted on August 12, 2022. 2 Comments