Friday, 14 April 2017

New Release Spotlight: October Daffodil by Richard Malloy

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October Daffodil
By: Richard Malloy
Released February 15, 2017
Soul Mate Publishing

Every autumn after the first frost, hundreds of resplendent daffodils bloom behind the old gristmill. Teens Dick Ladson and Callie Ewing will always remember the moonlit haven where they loved, hoped, and dreamt.
In October 1960, they defy Callie’s controlling mother, vowing to share a life together. “Let’s lie in the mill flowers ’til it’s time for you to go,” Callie whispers, her words garbled with sobs. They exchange poignant goodbyes, hoping his enlistment in the Army will provide the means for their marriage. As they face an uncertain future, will the strength of their love survive?
Dick’s thoughts returned to the present. The geese continued chanting, and the watermill continued trickling, echoing peaceful rings throughout the village. Pleasant October breezes caused colorful maple leaves to flutter to the ground.
It had been the most exciting day of his life. He looked forward to going to the cabin the following morning, but for now he couldn’t stop thinking about Callie. He stared at her house a few yards away, hoping to catch a glimpse of her passing by a window, but she never came into view.
When he went to his room, he doodled around with a few lines of verse while visualizing her hurried glance through the boughs of the butterfly bush.
Was she an angel in disguise
That she may flaunt such azure eyes
A single glimpse of her hauntingly
Etched deeply in my reverie
He knew beyond doubt that he’d found the mysterious girl he longed to meet. But, what will tomorrow bring? Will she feel the same? Will we walk along the river? Will she be my steady girl, or am I just a passing craze? Will I remain mesmerized by her, or will I suddenly wake from a wonderful dream? I’ve got to be with her, touch her, kiss her.
Meanwhile, Mally Wrinn sat on her porch swing at the end of the street and wrote the first lines of a new love story.
The majestic hummingbird winged in slow-motion above the handsome stranger, as if conducting a melodic overture in the prelude of a classic love saga.
His cerulean eyes savored a glimpse of an enchanting face amidst the amethyst butterfly blossoms before she vanished mysteriously into the gathering of spectators marveling at the great flock of Canadian geese alighting around the magnificent watermill.

He snubbed the flock the crowd admired and sought the one he most desired. Damsel to damsel, his eyes frisked them over like bees fox-trotting from clover to clover. ‘She’s there!’’


A late-bloomer in the world of writing, author Richard Malloy never dotted a fictional ‘i’ before the age of fifty. As a youngster, he bounced around southern Indiana like a chaotic Ping-pong ball, always landing on the poor side of the tracks everywhere from the now ghost hamlet of Ewing to the Indiana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s Home near Knightstown and many spots in between. At seventeen, he struck out on his own and enlisted in the U.S. Army.
Following his military service, he worked in construction, eventually becoming a factory supervisor while raising his family. Reaching middle age, his lifelong dream of trying to learn the art of writing finally came to light.
Learning that the future of the company he worked for was in question after all his struggles to keep it afloat, he stared out the office window into the gloomy, rainy weather and muttered, ‘Sometimes on a rainy day, I’d just like to chuck it all’ . . . and that was the start of his first poem, Rainy Day.
After the publication of his poem, The Spiraling, Richard began writing his first novel, October Daffodil, and he plans to write many more stories.

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Review: The Playboy Bachelor by Rachel Van Dyken

by Rachel Van Dyken
The Bachelors of Arizona, #2
April 11, 2017
eBook: $4.99 USD

She's no Sleeping Beauty. And he's definitely no prince . . .

Margot McCleery could have lived her whole life without seeing Bentley Wellington again—her ex-best friend and the poster boy for Hot, Rich Man-Whores everywhere. But Margot's whiskey-augmented grandmother "buys" Bentley at a charity bachelor auction, and now suddenly he's at her door. Impossibly charming. Impossibly sexy. And still a complete and utter jackass.

Bentley's just been coerced by his grandfather to spend the next thirty days charming and romancing the reclusive red-haired beauty who hates him. The woman he abandoned when she needed him the most. Bentley knows just as much about romance as he knows about love—nothing. But the more time he spends with Margot, the more he realizes that "just friends" will never be enough. Now all he has to do is convince her to trust him with her heart . . .

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I love going into a new novel blind and this surprise early release by Rachel Van Dyken certainly hit the mark in this second standalone book in The Bachelors of Arizona series.

Margot McCleery is furious when her grandmother informs her she's paid ten thousand dollars in an auction for a handsome date for her. The fact the man is millionaire playboy Bentley Wellington is even worse. Her grandmother has high expectations of romance, but Margot can't feel anything but contempt for the former best friend who abandoned her when she needed him the most.

With his arm twisted around his back by his grandfather, Bentley Wellington has little choice but to go along with the plan that has been hatched for him to prove his worth. If he is to take up the vacant VP of marketing position in the family business, he needs to clean up his tarnished 'man whore' reputation, to make the board of directors accept his grandfather's appointment proposal. Only he has to spend the weekend with his former best friend and he's not sure how he feels about that. He lost her and still misses her but can he make her like himself again?

I was instantly drawn into the narrative as we begin with a throwback to how the protagonists were before their mutual worlds fell apart. The writing is mostly light and humorous, yet times when you can't help but feel sorrow and pity Margot and Bentley; both have issues they need to share, but communication, especially among themselves means constant misunderstandings and presumptions. The supporting cast of characters adds hilarious banter as they plot and connive. Especially the elder folk.

4.5 stars because, a bit too much back and forth, going around in circles happened in what otherwise is a highly entertaining second chance romance novel. I wasn't familiar with this series when I began this book, so I'm looking forward to reading Brock's story whilst waiting for Brant's because Nadine Titus is a woman of intrigue I want to know more about her and her matchmaking ways.

Overall, it's my favourite Rachel Van Dyken novel I've read.

***arc generously received courtesy of Forever Publishing via NetGalley***

The Bachelor Auction, #1
The Playboy Bachelor, #2

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult, Regency, and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her husband, son, and their snoring boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers!

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