New Release: On Waves of Wanderlust

waves of wanderlust - liwen ho

After Macy Grant breaks up with a man who won’t commit, she escapes heartbreak with a weekend on the seas. The last person she expects to meet and fall for is entrepreneur Jake Olsen. A believer in love at first sight, he seems perfect for her in every way … then her ex-boyfriend shows up on the cruise ship with a ring.

This 10,000-word short story is perfect for your lunch break, workout, or while you wait in line at the mall. Read it today to get into the spirit of summer any time of the year!

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Review

Liwen Ho is a master at short story romance. I love how she sets the stage for falling in love.

On Waves of Wanderlust is the fourth in the Seasons of Love series. You don’t have to read these in order to enjoy them either. They stand alone.

One of the things I really liked about this one was Jake. While he’s initially attracted to Macy, it’s not love at first sight. Although Jake decides very quickly that Macy is  the one, it merely begins a chain reaction of what he is willing to do to win, and keep her love forever.

Being a short story, the one flaw might be in the appearance of Macy’s estranged/ex-boyfriend. However, this is a short story that leaves you believing in the Happy Ever After. Don’t let that distract you from that.

Over all, this was a wonderfully story. And it does illustrate a rather romantic truth. It is possible to have a HEA with a second date proposal. It boils down to, are you willing to put in the work and effort required to make a lasting relationship? In the case of Jake and Macy, I think the answer is yes.

You can check out more Liwen Ho’s works here.

 

Book Review: The Secret of the India Orchid

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Expected Release date: August 1, 2017 by Shadow Mountain

Anthony Blake is in love with his best friend’s sister, Sophia Elliot. But his plans to court her are put on hold when he is forced to resume his role as an undercover spy for the Crown. A secret document listing the names of the entire network of British spies-including his own-has been stolen. To protect Sophia, Anthony cuts off all ties to her and exchanges his life as an honorable earl for the façade of a flirtatious playboy.

Heartbroken and confused, Sophia travels to India, hoping to find healing in one of the most exotic regions of the British Empire. But the exotic land isn’t as restful as she had hoped. Instead, she finds herself embroiled in a mystery of a missing sea captain, a possible murder, and a plot that could involve the prince of India. And when Anthony appears at the British Residency, asking questions and keeping his distance from her, she is stunned.

She still loves him, and, in her heart, she knows he loves her too. But how can she rebuild her relationship with him if he won’t confide in her? Does she dare offer her heart to him a second time, or will their love be lost under the India sun?


My Review

I enjoyed this book. Full of mystery, suspense, and gentle romance.

Sophia’s heart belongs to Anthony, yet he has to abruptly cut off ties, leaving Sophia alone to deal with the wagging tongues of the Ton.  Unable to forget him, she decides to travel to India.
Of course, Anthony is there, and Sophia finds herself in the midst of a dangerous investigation. I enjoyed putting the clues together along with her. I loved how Anthony still loved her, and I love the ending.

I received an ARC via netgalley for review

 

New Release: Celebrity Superhero

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When Anna Eom isn’t reading fantasy novels, she’s obsessing over her favorite K-pop group, SUPER. Each boy in the group has a different superpower, but Sungwook stands out from the crowd with his super-speed and super-strength, not to mention his super-hotness.

The day that SUPER’s latest music video drops, Anna’s mom does the worst thing imaginable and cuts the wi-fi to make her clean house instead. All because some old family friends are visiting them from Korea. Not only are the almost-strangers cutting her time short with her favorite K-pop group, but she knows she’s going to be thrown together with a boy she only remembers as a bully.

Caleb might be her age, but the last time she saw him ten years ago he stole her precious Disney princess necklace. What’s worse is Anna’s mom has threatened to clear her bookshelves if she doesn’t greet the old friends at the door with a fragile vase as a gift.

Anna complies, planning on getting back to her books as soon as she can, but when her parents open the door it’s not Caleb standing on the other side, but Sungwook from SUPER. Judging by the way he caught the vase she dropped with lighting speed, his super-powers might not be fiction.

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I had the pleasure of reading this before it was out. I’ve been wanting to share it for awhile now, but set the goal of announcing on it’s release day. This book was delightful. I read it the first time in one day. This book is a delightful romantic comedy, complete with hilarious mix-ups, and adventure.

Even if you don’t particularly like Kpop, you’ll connecting with Anna. What teenager hasn’t daydreamed of dating/marrying their favorite celebrity?

Imagine you discover the kid you don’t remember fondly, that your parents want you to marry, is that celebrity?

Imagine he seems to do some extraordinarily feats, just like in his videos?

And he’s keeping something a secret from you, and even admits as much?

What conclusions will bookish Anna come to?

Read this book for an enjoyable story.

K-fiction is our way of paying tribute to Korean dramas

Are you curious to the book genre I’m calling K-fiction?

Recently over on my website I wrote a post about Korean dramas. One of my readers had written to me with some questions. And once you get to know me better, you’ll know that I enjoy,  really really enjoy,  watching Korean dramas. (You can click here to go to my main blog to see which ones I’m currently viewing.)

K-fiction is our way of saying it’s a Korean drama style book. So, here’s what I wrote:

A Korean drama, in its most simplistic definition is a miniseries television show from South Korea. They usually only run one season and will have a set number of episodes, with 16 to 23 being the usual. (However, this will be changing as they are breaking what was formerly one hour episode to two 30 minute episodes to increase commercial viewing.)    A great thing about Dramafever and Viki is, since they are licensed, we get to watch the new episodes of currently airing dramas, usually a day after they have aired in South Korea.

The two main genres are saeguks/historical and contemporary.

One thing that really got me into Korean dramas as the strong family values.

Saeguks that are also a blend of fantasy are my favorite. This includes titles like Gu Family Book. Like a traditional historical, it had real history tied in. (The Japanese fleet was invading, and Admiral Yi had his turtle ships.) And it had fantasy, as it had the love story between Kang-chi, a half 9 tailed fox, and his human love interest.

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Image from Dramafever. Used with permission. Click to view.

Contemporaries are modern settings. (That’s easy to remember.) These you can break down further into rom-coms, melodramas, thrillers, etc.  Again, the focus is often on family ties.

There is usually two primary leads (male/female) and two secondary leads (male/female.)

Let’s look at the love triangle. (Yep, those are pretty normal even in Korean-TV land.)  Often, there’s two male leads, and one female lead. The main lead, especially the male, tend to be a bit rude.  Even mean.  In my opinion, this is because he’s going to be doing the most growth.  The girl is usually naive and innocent. It’s this dynamic that causes the male lead to change. By the end of the show, he’s kinder, more responsible. The girl has also grown up, but usually not as dramatically.

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check out Viki’s store

The second male lead. Have you heard of “Second Male Lead Syndrome” yet?  (As a writer, one of the best compliments I got over Foxtails was when a reader wrote to tell me she had a serious case of second male lead syndrome, and even third male lead syndrome.) SML Syndrome is when you fall in love with the second male lead. And it’s hard not to. He is often the best friend. He’s the sweetheart that won’t get the girl. He stands by as her support when the male lead is basically being a spoiled mean brat.  Sometimes, he even has a show down with the lead.

There may also be a second female lead, who loves the main guy. She’s often the “mean girl,” and a catalyst in the boy loses girl situation. But not always.

Sometimes the second leads aren’t interested in the main leads, and have their own complimentary love story going on.

As in most romance stories, there’s the basic boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back.

A quick word on subtitles and swearing.  Different translators will make different choices.  For instance on Viki, they sometimes leave some Korean words intact.  Dramafever tends to switch them to the giv3n names.  (This is why you’ll hear a girl call an older boy Orabeoni in a historical, and it says his name (Eun Ki) on DF, and  Viki will say Orabeoni.)

I am a fan of Korean dramas.  I love how there is no sex.  I love how the kiss is often the romance highlight, and it’s closed mouth. (I don’t want to see them playing tonsil hockey.) I love the strong value placed on family, and family ties.

I don’t mind the patriarchal family and social structure. I like how there is an order.  I like how the women are valued and protected.

What I don’t like I show it is considered unfilial to die before your parent, at least historically. Nor how it was unfilial to your husband not to die with him (which was something Prince Sado’s wife wrote about, as she had to deal with his death, and living for her son, as it was also her place to remain for her son.)

But you know, with all cultures there is the beautiful, and the unbeautiful. I choose to focus on the beautiful.


You can check out our line of Korean drama inspired books here.

Book Blitz: Love Defined

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Title:  Love, Defined
Author:   Leila Tualla
 Published:  August 4th, 2015
Publisher:   Limitless Publishing, LLC
Genre:  YA Christian Fiction
Recommended Age:  Upper YA

Synopsis:  Into their final summer before graduating college, three childhood friends, Alex Makapulo, Lori Hanson, and Andy Taylor had each expected an uncomplicated transition to adulthood.
Alex is toying with the idea of leaving the Catholic Church and becoming a member of her best friend, Jack Page’s church. Jack wonders what is keeping Alex from being baptized and fully accepting a new life with Christ. Alex wonders the same thing and believes that she needs to be 100 % in her conviction before fully committing to a new Christian life.
For Lori’s twenty-second birthday, her grandfather, Pete Hanson, presents her with a summer vacation to England. While looking up various tourist spots, she meets and befriends Colin Watson, a British musician, online who then suggest they meet when she lands in London. They hit it off instantly but Pete is angry and believes that she only used him as a means to meet Colin. When he finds out that Lori met Colin online, he forbids Lori from seeing Colin entirely. Lori, who has fallen in love with Colin, is heartbroken. Pete threatens to leave England with Lori’s passport. Colin and Lori try to arrange meetups where they can see each other but Pete catches on. Lori takes this as a sign that it wasn’t meant to be. She unhappily finishes her trip with Pete and goes home vowing not to forgive her grandfather.
Andy reconnects with her old crush, Miles Webber and decides she wants a more meaningful relationship with him. She tells Alex about the situation and Alex truthfully tells Andy that Miles only wants her for sex. This angers Andy and she walks out of the apartment. After she’s cooled down, she comes up with an idea to throw a surprise birthday party for Alex. Andy believes that if Alex and Jack were to hook up, the focus would shift from Miles and her. Andy spikes all the drinks for Alex’s party and leaves her friend while she goes in search of Miles. He shows up at the bar with another girl. In an effort to soothe her wounded ego, she goes home with someone else. When she wakes up the next day, she realizes she’s in bed with Alex’s young boss from the coffeehouse, David Roberts, Jr.
When Alex wakes up the next day, she finds Jack in her room and freaks out. They figure out that Andy had spiked the drinks. Alex gets angry but Jack tells Alex that he is in love with her, and has been since they first met in ninth grade. It only confuses her all the more and causes her to contemplate whether he is God’s blessing or a test to distract her from her beliefs. While she has strong feelings for him, she chooses to ignore Jack’s confession and hopes that he moves on, as she doesn’t want to complicate their friendship.
Andy comes home and confess everything to Alex. Alex hesitatingly accepts the apology. Andy vows not to do anything crazy for the next few months and drops the Miles subject altogether.
When Andy learns she is pregnant and doesn’t know if Miles or David is the father, she decides to abort the baby, as she not ready to be a mother. Alex opposes the idea of abortion and begs Andy to change her mind. Andy doesn’t waver from her decision and even asks Alex and Lori to take her to a clinic.
Their trip to Houston tests their friendship and Alex’s faith. Can their friendship still survive after Andy’s decision? Will Alex find her conviction in the midst of this emotional rollercoaster?

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About the Author:
Leila Tualla is a Filipino American. She is a Christian blogger and writer. Leila Tualla is the author of Love, Defined, a contemporary YA romance. An avid reader, she often posts book reviews on her website at http://www.leilatualla.com. Leila is currently writing a memoir about her faith, anxieties of motherhood, postpartum depression, and preeclampsia journey. She is a two-time Preeclampsia survivor and online advocate. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found chasing her ‘Mexipino’ rugrats and simultaneously trying to learn her mother-in-law’s recipes and language, and making sure the eggrolls are “made with love,” per her Mama ‘Lil.’
Excerpt from Love, Defined by Leila Tualla

Alex: 

“Do you think no matter what we do, we are still forgiven?” Somewhere between Francesca Battistelli’s He Knows My Name and Casting Crown’s I Will Praise You In The Storm, Andy finally spoke. “I mean.” Andy stopped.
The last song had reached its thunderous ascent and rolled towards the finish. Alex had barely heard her and for a second, thought that perhaps she had imagined it. Almond shaped brown eyes locked briefly in the mirror with a pair of big blue eyes and Alex waited, expecting Andy to go on.
She didn’t. Instead, Andy broke eye contact and turned her head to face the window.
“Yes.” She finally replied. Andy jerked up, and the two caught each other’s gaze again before Alex had to look back at the road again, frowning. “We can be forgiven as long as we ask for forgiveness, and repent and promise not to do it again.”
Another song began and once again replaced the gap of silence. Alex turned her head this time to see Andy’s eyes closed, headphones on, effectively dismissing her. She sighed out loud and set her sights on the horizon.
Lord, I pray this won’t be the last time she asks about forgiveness.
Skyscrapers of oil and energy giants glistened as they neared downtown Houston. After some guidance with the GPS, her car pulled up into the tightly spaced parking lot of the Women’s Clinic. The brick building was among other non-descript buildings that they could have easily passed by. A lot better than a little backroom, Alex surmised.
“How did you find this place?” Lori asked reluctantly. Alex got out of the Volkswagen and immediately wanted to retreat back inside. The thought of what took place inside started to make her stomach churn. Despite the blaring sun and Texas humidity, she shuddered.
“The internet.” Andy mumbled the answer as she was getting out of the car.
The three of them stood in the parking lot, in a small circle, looking at their surroundings, the traffic behind them, and nervously at each other.
Alex fixed her eyes on Andy. She wanted to say that ‘You have to forgive yourself and then ask for forgiveness.’ But her lips couldn’t form the words. She had three hours on the drive to craft the perfect words to get through to Andy and yet, here they all were, under the Texas heat, in the middle of a parking lot, shivering with nerves and barely registering each other.
After a brief period of silence, Alex cleared her throat. “Andy, you can still change your mind.”
“I know.” Came the softest reply.
Alex’s jaw tightened, and she looked at her feet to hide her feelings once more. Again, her brain tried to tell her lips to formulate the words it wanted and she looked up to open her mouth again and frowned when no words would come. Again.
This time, Alex searched her friend’s beautiful face and prayed that somewhere in those blue eyes, she could find the one thing for her to go ‘Aha! You’re just as scared as I am. You’re just as doubtful about this thing. Let’s get out of here.’ Her heart sank when instead of those things she hoped to find in her friend’s eyes, she found a quiet and settled determination.
She swallowed the defeat, shoulders hunched down and felt there was only one more thing left to say. “You are loved, Andrea Grace Taylor, remember that. Find your courage.”
Andy just nodded with the faintest smile on her lips
“Okay, you guys.” Alex said trying to keep her voice light and tried to respond to Andy’s smile. It wasn’t working. “I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble we saw on the way here. Call me when you’re done.” She was heading for the car, when she turned around and added, “Call me if you change your mind.”
A few minutes later, she maneuvered in and out of traffic, half concentrating on finding the bookstore. The other remained back at the parking lot of the clinic. A bright green Scion cut in front of her with a slew of bumper stickers. Coexist and Got Jesus, but Alex fixed on the yellow sign with black letters that read “Headed in the wrong direction? God allows for U-Turns.” Andy. Dear God, am I doing the right thing?



Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • Signed copy of the book and $10 Starbucks Gift Card
Giveaway is US only.
Ends June 19th, 2017 at 11:59 PM ET.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Review: The Taken by Elicia Hyder

 

elicia hyder the taken
Click here to buy on Amazon

Sloan Jordan’s days are numbered. She has 139 to be exact. In that time, there’s a lot to do: a missing friend to find, a wedding to plan, and her own murder plot to overthrow.
When a lead takes the crew back to Chicago, the truth they uncover is more shocking than they ever imagined—to fight the enemies of the present, they must first face the demons from the past.

**The Fourth Book In The Soul Summoner Series**
Book 1 – The Soul Summoner
Book 2 – The Siren
Book 3 – The Angel of Death
Book 4 – The Taken

 

 


 

The Taken  is Elicia’s fourth book in the Soul Summoner’s Series. It has suspense, mystery, crime, and of course, romance.   You don’t want to miss this series. Just be warned, this book, as in the last three, ends on a spectacular bone tingling cliff hanger.

I enjoyed this book.  With each installment I learn more about the characters as they continue on their journey. They try, they  make mistakes, they grow, and they love. And to me, that is what a good story is all about. I look forward to book number five.

Content rating: PG 13  for mild adult language/adult situations. Some violence.