Every Minute–A Goodreads Review

Every Minute (Music, Love and Other Miseries, #2)

Every Minute by C.J. Burright

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Adara’s brother dies, her world collapses. Barely living, she isolates herself. All she does is work. She struggles to be the awesome Elementary teacher she was before Joey died. Grief is rapidly killing her. Then Garrett, a very handsome, very charismatic, and all-grown-up violin protégé returns to his hometown. He’s rich and successful—at the top of his game, but he’s lonely and looking for purpose. To spread his love of music, he volunteers to run a music enrichment course at the local school where Adara teaches, and, of course, he gets paired with her. He sees the vital, incredible woman inside her grief-stricken shell, and he’s determined to set her free.

He invites her to live again, asking her out, engaging her in conversation, and even trying to keep pace with her when she jogs around the neighborhood. She won’t have it. They may have to team teach music together, but that’s it. She doesn’t want to live—let alone get involved with anyone, yet his gentle kindness intrigues her. Sparks and witty banter fly… and, if you’re like me, you won’t be able to stop turning pages to find out what will happen next.

Garrett and Adara are interesting likable characters I couldn’t help rooting for. I wanted to see Adara’s healing and just like Adara, I fell for Garrett.

I highly recommend this story for readers that enjoy fun and heartfelt contemporary romances.

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Every Kiss–Book Spotlight

Hey Readers, This book is awesome. I’m betting you’ll love it as much as I do, and, right now, it’s only 99 cents! Here’s its back cover blurb.

Doesn’t the blurb sound exciting? Here’s an excerpt to check out the author’s voice.


“I have an even better idea.” Ian lowered his voice into a honeyed drawl and his attention again dropped to her lips and stayed there. “We could forgo all bets and mistletoe. No one else is around. You can kiss me now for thirty seconds, a minute, but if you want it to go on longer, we’ll have to retire to your office and shut the door.” His mouth curled into a half-smile. “I promise I won’t tell.”

Gia gasped and lifted a hand to her throat, only half-pretending. “Are you propositioning me, Mr. O’Connor? I’m shocked, not to mention appalled, that you’d go to such sordid lengths to win a bet.”

He eased closer and his heated gaze drifted over her face and along her neck, as if he couldn’t decide where he wanted to start nibbling first. “You have no idea what lengths I’ll go to for you, Ms. Hellman.”

Her breath caught and it had nothing to do with pretending. Her blood raced faster, suddenly too hot, and a tingling invaded her lips, as if he’d already kissed her, hard and hungry, and left her wanting more. Holy crap, the man was a menace. And she couldn’t stop looking at his mouth, couldn’t stop wondering if he could truly deliver on all the decadent, delicious promises in his darkened eyes.

Probably. But she wasn’t willing to lose the bet to find out.

Subtly, as if drawn against her will, she leaned nearer, keeping her attention on his mouth. Even with her four-inch heels, she had to lift her chin to bring her lips closer to his. Gia made her voice soft and sultry. “Mistletoe or not, I won’t be kissing you. Not today, tomorrow or any time on Saturday.” She patted his cheek. “Get used to losing.”

He captured her wrist before she could withdraw her hand, keeping her gently captive. His eyes were blue fire. “I never lose.”

C.J Burright is a native Oregonian and refuses to leave. A member of Romance Writers of America and the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal special interest chapter, while she has worked for years in a law office, she chooses to avoid writing legal thrillers (for now) and instead invades the world of paranormal romance, fantasy, and contemporary romance. C.J. also has her 4th Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and believes a story isn’t complete without at least one fight scene. Her meager spare time is spent working out, refueling with mochas, gardening, gorging on Assassin’s Creed, and rooting on the Seattle Mariners…always with music. She shares life with her husband, daughter, and a devoted cat herd.

You can find C.J. at her website or at Totally Bound Publishing. To stay connected, follow her on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Bookbub, subscribe to her newsletter here and follow her blog here.

Want to Write Compelling Fiction? The Key is in the Details

Photo by Artsy Vibes on Unsplash

Hey, I’m busy with classes and homework, but I want to share another writing tip. Somebody once said that the key to selling a lie is in the details. The same is true in story. It’s the details that will capture your reader will convince her to empathize with the characters and buy into the scene you’ve described.  Okay, so you include details, but what kind of details?

William Strunk Jr., author of The Elements of Style, gives us this advice, “the surest way to arouse and hold the reader’s attention is by being specific, definite and concrete. The greatest writers… are effective largely because they deal in particulars and report details that matter” (30-31).

But how do you know if a detail is specific and concrete? In Writing Fiction, Janet Burroway tells us details that are specific are things we can touch, feel, smell, see or hear. In other words, make sure that the details included in your scenes appeal to the senses (23).

Words Cited

Burroway, Janet, and Elizabeth Stuckey-French. Writing Fiction. Pearson/Longman, 2007.

Strunk, William. The Elements of Style. With Revisions, an Introduction., and a New Chapter on Writing by E.B. White. Macmillan, 1969.

Dialogue That Delights

Janet Burroway’s Writing Fiction lists many great tips on writing dialogue. I’m sharing some of them on the Wisconsin Romance Writer’s blog at this link.

Minimum Wage Magic-A Goodreads Review

Opal Yong-ae, a graduate-mage whose spells backfire more often than work, owes the wrong people. She has to find money fast, so she becomes a cleaner, a person who bids on and then empties out foreclosed apartments. The job’s like Storage Wars with magic in the mix. In the past, Opal’s landed lucrative digs; however, in recent months her luck has changed. It’s like she’s cursed. Her most recent bid lands her a sub-basement apartment along with its last tenant—a dead wizard. The mysterious spell-working he’s left behind is different, and possibly priceless. Trouble is the esoteric magic caused his death and will likely take Opal’s life as well. Not that it will explode or anything, but a bunch of bad corporations-slash-villains want it. She should turn it over to city authorities, but she needs the money, so Opal teams up with a spunky AI, and Nickola Kos, a rival cleaner working off his own troubled past. Together, they dodge bullets, cyber-enhanced mercenaries, crackpot wizards, and over-controlling dragons in the Detroit Free Zone, which readers can think of a cyberpunk Wild West with magic, spirits and fantastic creatures.

I loved how complex the characters were, and the crazy twists the plot took, but my favorite part of this story was the world building. I bought this book on through an Audible sale and it was so good, I paid full price for the sequel.

If you like urban fantasy, I’m betting you’ll like this book as much as I did.

WisRwa’s Second Annual Afternoon Tea

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so instead of telling you how fun it was to talk writing with friends, I’llb just share a few photos.

Kristin Bayer, Joanna Jelen and Linda Olson
Carla Luna Cullen and Jennifer Rupp
Carla and all the awesome treats
Vicki Hinshaw, Laura Vietmeyer and Jennifer Rupp
Kristin Bayer
Tricia Penske Quinnes
Laura Vietmeyer, Brenda Davis, Jennifer Rupp and Cathleen DeLong

Other Than @ Red Carpet Fiction

I’m pleased to say Other Than will be part of the Red Carpet Fiction’s August Event. You can take part by following this link–

Writing Tip: Make Dialogue Active

photo by Dustin Lee on unsplash

Currently, I’m attending university in pursuit of M.A. in English, but even before I started the program, I’ve studied writing craft book in hopes of becoming a better writer. And because Facebook is a place where people post events, opinions and things that interest them, I thought I’d share writing tips I come across in my studies in hopes you’ll find them helpful.

Most readers want a story that moves, that has action, so one of the keys to crafting effective dialogue is to make sure it isn’t stagnant, that it has the possibility of affecting the characters and the plot.

“Dialogue is action when it contains the possibility of change…
If in doubt, ask yourself: Can this conversation between characters really change anything? There needs to be an opportunity for change” (Burroway 47).

Works Cited
Burroway, Janet, et al. Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft. University of Chicago Press, 2019.

CampNanowrimo Winner

I always get a kick out of crossing the finish line! I’m a Camp Nanowrimo winner, and I’d like to thank family and friends for their tolerance and support.

Bloodstone-A Goodreads Review


Bloodstone by Helen C. Johannes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In debt with the local lord, Mirianna and her father must locate bloodstones. To do so, they seek the only known source, the Shadow Man, who dwells in the Wehrland, a mountainous waste filled with cursed beasts. Even before they set out, she suspects it’d be dangerous, but once in the Wehrland, things turn deadly. She and her father are betrayed, lost in the wastes, and reliant on a man shrouded in darkness, a man under an impossible curse, but he’s also the man she’s dreamed about. He and the ruined castle he takes her to set up what could be a classic Gothic romance until the author switches things up with innovative and imaginative twists.
I love it when stories surprise me!
And this story which is as intricately put together as a Russian nesting doll has a lot of wonderful surprises–the castle ruins, the cave pool, the blind boy, the green-eyed lioness, and the meek heroine are more than what they seem. Mirianna’s inner steel is inspiring and how cleverly she manages to kick some villain butt and save all including her father and the hero inspired me to buy the kindle version of this story, so I could read along with the narration. Also, I loved the author’s take on the dragon—it’s unique and well done. I’d tell you more, but I don’t want to spoil the very reveals that delighted me. If you like dragons, this is a novel not to be missed.
I received an audio version of this story for review, but in my humble opinion, it’s worth multiple reads, especially for readers, who enjoy fantasies about dragons, and classic Gothic romances where the sweet introvert awakens her inner heroine.
My final rating 4.5 stars, which I’m rounding up to 5 because of well-plotted surprises!

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