Monday, December 10, 2012

All I Want by Rachael Anderson, Jolene Perry & Kaylee Baldwin





Pretty Near Perfect

by Jolene Perry

The last thing Norah needs is to be attracted to anyone – especially in her deceased fiancé's parents' home. Collin’s starting a new career, and has no business getting involved – especially while staying with his roommate’s family, who very kindly offered to take him in for the holidays. Unfortunately, you just don’t always pick the most convenient time and place to fall for someone.

Six Days of Christmas

by Kaylee Baldwin

When Natalie goes home with her best friend for Christmas, she expects plenty of quiet time to work on a winning ad so she can turn her dream internship into her dream job. Instead, she gets time-consuming Christmas festivities, a house full of children, and Jimmy, her best friend’s brother - someone who makes her question everything she’s always thought she wanted.

Twist of Fate

by Rachael Anderson

When a postcard meant for Kenzie winds up in Ty's mailbox, Ty's faced with a decision. Should he tell her that her fiancé is breaking up with her and let it ruin her favorite holiday, or should he do what he’s wanted to do since he met her - make a move and hope that he can win her over before she discovers there won’t be a wedding after all.

4 Stars

These three stories certainly hit the spot for me in terms of being romantic, Christmas-y, and heart-warming.  Each one is set around the Christmas holiday, and in each story the characters get another chance of finding love if they are able to move past some current obstacles.   In each of the stories the prose flowed beautifully, the characters seemed like real people with problems and concerns that I found easy to relate to.  They are all sweet romances, but not super sugary or overly sentimental – which I personally appreciated.
My favorite story is Pretty Near Perfect, but the other two were also quite engaging, and fun to read, as well. I think all three authors are to be commended for their contribution because each story stands out well from the others while still blending with them superbly to create this romantic romp that is sure to make any reader feel warmer this season.  Recommended for a quick little pick-me-up when the hustle and bustle of the holiday gets a tad overwhelming and a spirit re-charge is needed.
This book was given to me by the authors in return for my honest review.  I received no additional compensation. 

Reviewed by Laurie-J
Today I'm excited to interview Jolene Perry.  Welcome Jolene!

What was your first sale as an author?

My first sale was to Cedar Fort and a book called The Next Door Boys. I got an agent shortly after signing that contract, and have been putting out books both on my own and with publishers ever since.

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

 Some projects grab me and won't let go. So on those days I'll write ALL day and into the night and get up early the next day and do it again. I've drafted a few books in a week this way. That's not recommended because it took me a week to recover ;-)

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

 Writing is the easiest part. The hard part is when I go back through them over and over and over to layer in setting and action. And then, to keep focused on the book enough to catch all the little typos and awkward phrases that come through. Because when you've already read a story 50 times, it's hard to stay focused to make it perfect.

What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

Does your significant other read your stuff?


My husband is my biggest supporter and first reader. I read the first draft out loud and he helps me w/ sticky plot points, and awkward phrasing, and when I forget to add in setting...

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

 I am VERY lucky in that my crit partners are nearly all published authors, and a couple of them edit for larger publishing houses, so that's a VERY nice thing to have.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

 Honestly? That I could write a whole book. I still look at the books I've written on my shelf and think - Wow. I wrote a whole book. And not just one. LOTS :-D

Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?

 I get the most mail from The Next Door Boys just desperate to know more of Leigh's story (I did write two more books for Leigh that are just out) and I get a lot of people writing to me about Knee Deep and how much they cried and laughed and loved it. I've had several teens tell me how much they appreciated me tackling such a tough topic (abuse from a boyfriend) and how it changed them and the way they see relationships, and that's HUGE for me. HUGE.

What do you think makes a good story?

I'm a character first kind of writer, so I like books that are character first kinds of books. I loved Seinfeld (the show about nothing) because it was all about the characters. So I'll take a character driven story over a plot driven story any day. When they merge, that's an incredible thing and something I feel like rarely happens.

What was the scariest moment of your life?

 I think our scariest moments often turn into our most serene, because in those moments, we realize how very little control we have over our own life. And then when that fear passes, I think we take better control over the parts of our life that we DO have control over. But my scariest moment is probably when my raft flipped over at the top of a long line of rapids, and I knew no one could hope to pull me out of the water until I hit the end. If you've ever gone swimming in a fast moving river, you know that water pulls you under, even with a life-jacket. So it started as the most terrifying and then as I was underwater, having no idea when I'd get my next breath, it turned very serene. 


And on that odd note, thanks so much for having me :-D


A Beloved Christmas Tradition  
by Rachael Anderson

In order to help instill the true meaning of Christmas in the hearts of our sometimes "want-monster" children, I decided to make a stocking for Jesus that we hang next to ours. At the beginning of December, we pull out a jar filled with many service opportunities and let our kids draw from the jar every night. They're young, so the services are simple: Write a nice note to a teacher or bus driver, make a siblings bed without them knowing, say hi to someone new at school, etc. Then, the following evening, they report. If they did their service, they get to put their slip of paper in Jesus' stocking and on Christmas morning, that becomes our present to Jesus.

I so badly want my children to learn how to give, how to love, and how to look beyond themselves. It's the recipe for happiness and the best way to feel the true spirit of the holiday season.

And now we get to hear from Kaylee Baldwin :D

What are ten things that drive you absolutely insane? 

1) Slow walkers. I have long legs and like to get places fast.

2) When my internet is running even a tiny bit slow. I try to remind myself that we had dial-up in high school and I could watch whole episodes of Friends before my webpage was loaded. Now, if a page takes longer than five seconds to load, I debate calling Cox.

3) When I'm at a crowded place (say, Disneyland or the mall on Black Friday) and oblivious people just STOP WALKING right in the middle of a walkway. Move to the side, people!

4) When a book leaves me on a cliff-hanger ending. Some people love the cliff-hanger ending. It feels like an unfinished task for me and it drives me crazy to not know what happened next.

5) When my husband finds out a secret and won't tell me because he knows it's going to drive me crazy until I figure it out (and okay, he's a good secret keeper, but he could tell me. I wouldn't tell anyone...)

6) When a book has a super-awesome premise, but I can tell that the author didn't take the time to edit it or make it as great as it could be. That's always a huge let-down.

7) The Z-key on my laptop. One of my kids accidentally broke it off (it seriously was an accidental freak hit when a thrown toy hit the keyboard just right and popped the key off) and now I have to push the little rubber nubbin when I type Z. At least he didn't break the A key.

8) The first Wednesday of the month at Fry's (my local grocery store). It's 10% off for seniors that day and I ALWAYS forget and end up showing up to do my grocery shopping. I love seniors, but I hate grocery shopping with hundreds of them at a time. Maybe it goes back to my slow-walking hang up. Probably.

9) The phone. I'm not a huge fan. We have two cell phones and a landline, but I only answer the phone about 20% of the time. It's usually someone trying to sell me something or survey me about something else, or trying to get me to donate money. And it ALWAYS rings when I'm trying to take a nap.

10) All the dust in my house. I hate it. It makes me sneeze. It coats EVERYTHING. But we live in the desert, in a construction zone. I don't think the dust is going away anytime soon! 

Author Jolene Perry

Jolene Perry is an enigmatic figure. She is most often seen behind her laptop, staring at the words flying onto the screen with reckless abandon.

She survived growing up in rural Alaska, driving like a lunatic, and her husband’s careers in the military, as a perpetual student, and an Alaska State Prosecutor. She also survived as a middle school math teacher using her degree of Political Science and French.

One day Jolene was playing her guitar (probably some-thing juvenile for her kids) when she wondered what it would be like to write a song for a rockstar, and her first book was born. (that book is shelved)

She now lives a very glamorous life as a stay at home mom, elbow deep in dirty dishes and peanut butter sandwiches. She doesn’t even attempt to keep up with the laundry because non-writing time is precious, and her family is sorta awesome.


Author Rachael Anderson

Rachael Anderson is the author of four contemporary romances: Divinely Designed, Luck of the Draw, Minor Adjustments, and The Reluctant Bachelorette. She's the mother of four, can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.


Author Kaylee Baldwin

I grew up in Mesa, Arizona, and graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in English literature.

I currently live in southern Arizona with my husband, Jeremy, and our three children. When I am not writing, I enjoy reading, starting new craft projects, and spending time with my family.


Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card

Ends 12/24/12

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Next Few Stops
Monday, December 10th
Laurie's Thoughts & Reviews - Review & Interview with Jolene,
Tens List with Kaylee, GP with Rachael
Why Not? Because I Said So! - Review & Excerpt
Reader Girls - Review & Excerpt
A Writer's Life... Caroline Clemmons - Guest Post with Kaylee

Tuesday, December 11th
Froze8's Blog - Guest Post with Rachael
Books Beside My Bedside - Excerpt

Wednesday, December 12th
The Lucky Ladybug - Review & Guest Post with Jolene
Literary Time Out - Review
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

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