Monday, June 29, 2009

Taking the Blogosphere By Storm Today

Launch Week Madness! Come see me at:

The Wet Noodle Posse where I'm talking about that One Magic Moment

The Book Addict on Pop Syndicate where I'm all about Rules Schmools:

And Novel Thoughts where I'm talking about Friendship Turning to Love

I'm giving away copies of both books, so come leave a comment to be entered into the drawings!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Happily Forever After Gives L@FF 4.5 Stars

Love At First Flight is the tale of how a chance encounter can change the course of your life forever...

Michael is a handsome, young lawyer who has not only been managing his career, but a long distance relationship with his fiance, Paige. This story starts out where Michael--although in the midst of prosecuting a huge case--is called away to Florida to attend an engagement party. His engagement party to be exact, and one being thrown by his wealthy in laws. Never one for flashy parties, he's anything but thrilled about having to go. But is doing so to keep his fiance happy.

By chance, his flight is delayed, and while waiting to board he meets the one person who would change his life forever.

Juliana, a hairdresser (I'm diggin' the hairdresser bit *wink*) has also been dealing with a long distance relationship with her high School sweetheart, Jeremy. After nearly ten years together, Juliana has been feeling like something is seriously up with Jeremy's behavior lately. He's been acting strange on the phone and she's hoping that her current trip down to Florida will help settle any worries she might be having about their relationship and his feelings toward her.

While waiting to board the plane she meets, Michael and the two hit it off immediately and get to chatting. Michael is fascinated and scared of his immediate attraction to Juliana. Her beauty, her scent, her sweet disposition...He knows he loves his fiance and yet, he can't seem to figure out why he would be so attracted to this woman he just met.

They remain travel companions through the remainder of the flight. Sharing tales of how they are each coping with their long distance relationships and of their plans for the future.

Juliana is also instantly taken with Michael's charms. He's funny, kind and easy going. As luck would have it, during the course of their conversations they realize that they would be returning on the same flight at the end of the weekend. They agree to accompany each other back and share tales of how their weekend panned out.

The plane lands, and Michael and Juliana go their separate ways.

Over the course of the next two days both Juliana and Michael are forced to face some harsh realities. Michael realizes that if he is to go through with marrying Paige, he will never be free of his future father in laws grip, and of course Paige's never ending demands. He is a man who likes things simple. A nice house, a few kids, and with Paige as his wife, he knows nothing will ever be simple. Michael comes to the decision to call off his engagement.

Juliana is faced with a devastating betrayal and the realization that after years of talking about marriage and kids, her relationship with Jeremy may not be all she believed it was. Heart broken, she realizes that she and Jeremy need a break. Three months away from each other to see if they are truly meant to be together.

When Michael and Juliana meet up on the return flight home, what had began as a cordial companionship blossoms quickly into a trusting friendship. They understand each other's turmoil and in turn offer each other a shoulder to cry on.

But before long that friendship blossoms into a all consuming love. But Juliana is intent on keeping her promise to Jeremy, and when the time comes for Juliana to make her decision, will she choose the man who had loved her for as long as she can remember, or the man who is promising to love her forever?

Ms Force did a wonderful job of drawing you in to the story. She made it very realistic in the sense that not only did I fall madly in love with Michael, but she forces you to really feel for Jeremy (Juliana's first love). You are struggling inside as to which man you really want her to be with.

Here are two examples of what I mean:


They went upstairs to his room where he grabbed a heavy blanket and led her to the secluded roof deck. The lights of the city twinkled in the clear night sky as Michael drew her down next to him on the blanket. He tugged the shirt over her head and then did the same with his own.

Her eyes fixated on the engagement ring hanging from the chain around his neck.

"Do you think we can pretend?" he whispered reaching up to unhook the chain. "That just for tonight you're mine and this belongs right here?" Sliding the ring on to her finger he kissed his way up her neck. Page 216

Now Jeremy:

"You're the only one for me. You always have been, and you always will be. Don't stop loving me, Jule. I don't think I'd survive it." Page 267

My heart broke for both of them. And it isn't until the very end that it becomes perfectly clear who she was meant to be with all along.

My only issue while I read was that it seemed to take Juliana so long to make her decision. But in hind sight it makes complete sense. As I mentioned above, I was struggling with my own decision as to who she should choose, so how could the woman IN the situation not? LOL. Men, see what they do to us ;)

I will definitely be looking forward to future releases by this author.

My rating 4 1/2 stars

Thank you Barbara! Read the review and comments.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Five Stars for Love at First Flight!

Thank you so much to Kara at the World According to Books blog for her wonderful review of Love at First Flight. Honestly, she left me speechless! Here's what she had to say:

Love at First Flight - Marie Force
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Published: 2009
Pages: 383
Genre: Romance

I had the immense pleasure of being asked to review another book written by Marie Force. I absolutely loved her first book Line of Scrimmage, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on her next book.

After reading this book, I have to say that Marie Force has written another hit - at least with this reader. The first pages grab your attention, and the book holds it until the very end. I was ready for the emotional impact from the book (because of her unique writing style), but I wasn't prepared for the suspense and intrigue that encompassed the story. Marie Force certainly knows how to pull on your emotions when penning the romantic aspects of her stories, but I was equally impressed with her ability to draw out the suspense. It had me sitting on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen next - both with the decisions they each had to make and with the intrigue behind the high profile trial that was going on throughout the book.

To recap the story a bit...Michael and Juliana meet at the airport heading in the same direction to meet their significant others. Michael is an attorney who is meeting his fiance for the weekend, and Juliana is a beautician who is meeting her boyfriend of ten years. They discover that they are on the same return flight and agree to meet and discuss how their weekends went. Needless to say, both were disastrous, with each of them breaking it off with their intendeds. This starts the relationship between Juliana and Michael. Get ready for a roller coaster ride through laughter, tears, nail-biting scenes, and life-altering decisions. Michael is the prosecuting attorney in a high profile case which leads to his life being in danger. Juliana, being connected with Michael, is not safe either. What will happen to their love? Will they get through the trial alive; what will happen in the end - together or back to their old lives?

While some creative license was taken with the legal aspects surrounding witness protection, it did not in anyway detract from the story. I look at it this way - fiction is just that - fiction. I loved how strong both Michael and Juliana were. There wasn't that airhead quality in Juliana - she kept her head on straight, made wise decisions, and didn't take chances concerning her safety during the trial. Michael was everything you could want in a hero - strength, intelligence, protective, and he loved with his whole heart. He was there for Juliana - even in the darkest of hours, and his love never wavered. Ahhhh to be loved like that!!

What else can I say - I loved this book. It is definitely on my keeper shelf. And a HUGE "Thank You" goes out to Danielle from Sourcebooks for giving me the opportunity to read this book and review it. And to you, Marie Force, what a talented author you are - your characters are captivating and come to life through your writing - they jump out of the pages and into the reader's heart. The plot is well-developed, flows smoothly, and engages the reader from beginning to end. Emotions are strong and written with such clarity that you feel them inside as if they were your own. Congratulations on your new release - and here's to many many more!!

Rating: 5/5
Pages: 383
Completed: 6/9/09

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Love at First Flight: Another Review

From Connie at Once Upon a Romance:

For some time now, they’ve each been conducting long distant relationships…

Their flight has been delayed. Michael Maguire and Juliana Gregorio are both on their way to Jacksonville FL to see their significant others. He’s to attend his engagement party and she’s hoping for a romantic weekend with her long-time boyfriend. Michael and Juliana hit it off instantly. There’s an ease to their conversation as they talk about their jobs (he’s a prosecutor, she’s a hair stylist) and their lives.

The weekend turns out to be catastrophic for both of them. They commiserate on the plane back to Baltimore, but it doesn’t end there. Michael and Juliana’s lives entwine and connect in ways they never imagined.

Michael has been prepping for a high profile case. Juliana is attempting to work through her personal issues with confusion nipping at her heels. The pressure and stress is building. Add to that threats targeted at Michael, which seem to be coming from the defense. Danger follows them and catches up to them more than once, but they find comfort and strength in each other’s company and arms.

Unfortunately the trial isn’t the only thing they have to worry about. Michael’s ex-fiancée won’t give up and Juliana’s ex(ish)-boyfriend can’t seem to let her go. Once the trial is said and done, there are other decisions that will have to be made. Decisions that could break hearts and change lives.

I read this book in less than a twenty-four hour period. I can’t remember the last time a story held me as mesmerized as Love at First Flight; I couldn’t get enough and wanted more (though I could have done with out a select word used frequently). It’s a great story that knits together friendship and new-found love around bitter and sweet emotions, fear and sacrifice, and heartache and joy.

While the threats were real and seemingly around every corner, I appreciated how Ms. Force kept control of the situation, or perhaps it was just that her characters were mature, had their heads on straight. Michael and Juliana (most especially, which I was really thankful for) were always smart when it came to the threats, there were no impulsive actions, no stupid decisions. Finally, a heroine I could truly enjoy reading about.

Ms. Force pens so much more than a simple romance, her voice has that "certain something" which captivates the reader from first word to the last. She creates a story and characters the reader can embrace and cheer on whole-heartedly with a smile and a lump in the throat.

Thank you, Connie!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Love At First Flight: New Review

From Natalie at Wild on Books:

Love at First Flight

Marie Force

Juliana is on her way to see her boyfriend Jeremy. Michael is in the same airport waiting on a flight to take him to an engagement party being hosted by his soon to be in-laws. They strike up a conversation and promise to look for each other after the weekend is over to compare their visits on the flight home.

Juliana’s weekend goes nothing like she ever planned. Jeremy is just as she remembered him except for his admission that he has had thoughts of cheating. Juliana does her best to forgive him but when his cell phone rings while he is showering and a woman’s name pops up on the caller ID, Juliana knows that she and Jeremy need a break.

Michael’s time with his fiancée Paige and her parents is pure torture. Paige’s father is a military man through and though and as such, makes no qualms about trying to find Michael a job in Florida so that Michael and Paige can live close to home. When an announcement is made at the engagement party – one that Michael had not been notified about – he sees red. Enough is enough and Michael has had enough. Breaking off his engagement to Paige is the hardest thing he has ever done but it is something that had to happen. Now Michael can concentrate on the upcoming trial of two murderous mob bosses in peace.

Juliana and Michael see each other in the airport as planned and enjoy the flight home. What starts out as simple conversation with a stranger turns into something so much more and before Juliana and Michael know it, they are spending every waking moment together.

LOVE AT FIRST FLIGHT is a captivating look at how two strangers can build a relationship of love and commitment. Juliana and Michael had no idea when they started talking before their flight that they would end up together. Michael was swamped at work with a trial to worry about – Juliana needed to be concerned about her boyfriend and her mother. Michael’s treatment of his fiancée Paige was infinitely better than I thought she deserved – especially after every single thing she put him through. I despised her from the first scene and never really warmed up to her. I found Paige to be selfish and the typical spoiled rich princess. Michael put up with her more than I would have and I caught myself trying to tell him how to handle her. As for Juliana, she was loyal to a fault but I never doubted her feelings for Michael – even with Jeremy still trying to win points with her and get back in her good graces.

When you add in the intrigue and suspense of Michael’s high profile trial, I found myself on the edge of my seat frantically reading to find out what happened. Realistic to the ‘nth’ degree, I could see the events unfolding in the courtroom and felt like I was right there to witness them.

The love Michael and Juliana felt for each other seemed to happen quickly and simultaneously but I never discredited their feelings. The love they found themselves sharing with each other was that of soul mates and it was exactly what each needed. They loved sensuously and every touch was full of emotion and caring. I found their exploration of each other to be fascinating and it was as if I was witnessing a realistic and committed relationship unfold.

LOVE AT FIRST FLIGHT by Marie Force is most definitely a keeper. It is an astounding book. I loved every single word!

Thank you, Natalie!

Friday, June 5, 2009

July 20: Join Me for a Book Club Chat

We're going to talk about Love at First Flight right here on the blog on Monday, July 20, from 8 p.m. Eastern Time until we're done! So get your copies early and get them read so we can talk about all the juicy details. I'll pose a couple of questions and then we'll burn up the comments talking our faces off about Michael, Juliana, Paige, Jeremy, Rachelle, Mrs. R, the rotten Benedetti brothers, Juliana's dysfunctional family, Michael's sisters—the whole gang.

I want to know what you think of a few things that happen in the book. And, you can ask me any questions you have about the plot, the characters, the settings, the writing process. It's open mic night on the blog!

July 20, 2009
8 p.m. EASTERN
Bring Your Questions, Your Opinions and a Glass of Wine!

**There Will Be SPOILERS, so if you haven't read the book, don't look!

**A prize will be awarded to the most insightful book club participant!

Check out my blog tomorrow, June 6, on the Casablanca Authors Blog where I talk about Love, Sex and Murder as it applies to Love at First Flight!

Twenty-four days to go!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

This Could Only Happen to a Romance Writer...

Before I forget, I want to say HELLO to Dan's cousin Jerry and his wife who told me when I was recently in Indiana that they are big fans of the blog and read it regularly. Thanks guys, but I think you have to prove it to me by commenting one of these days!! :-) Nice to see you both!

Right outside my office window is a bird house that sees a LOT of activity every spring. Each year a new family (I assume they are new or this woman has a LOT of kids by now--the bird world's Octomom) moves into the little house and the parents spend hours each day carting in junk from the yard to make their nest. They loved when Consuela was around because her hair was everywhere and it was very popular bedding material. Yesterday, I'm sitting here minding my own business and trying to work when Mom and Dad decided to "take a little time for themselves." Outside the house. In front of me. OMG, I have NEVER seen birds humping before. I didn't even know they could! Dan says, DUH, where do you think the babies come from? To be honest, I'd never given that much thought! Wings were flapping, there was lots of chirping, and then a THIRD bird came along. Apparently this was too much for Mom and Dad because they chased off the interloper and continued what they were, ahem, doing. I was relieved to discover that Mom and Dad aren't swingers!

Today, in a brazen attack, a squirrel ran up the side of the shed where the birdhouse is mounted and plopped himself on the roof of the birdhouse. Mom and Dad FREAKED out and managed to chase away an animal that was easily ten times their size. I guess the parental protection gene is the same in all species. In a few weeks, the incessant chirping of the baby birds will drive me BATTY, but until then I'm enjoying watching Mom and Dad and their many adventures. It's like Wild Kingdom around here.

While we are on risque topics (and there will be a risque point to this if you stick with me), my friend Cheryl initiated a discussion about Twitter today, basically asking the question: WHY? This is what she said, and I couldn't agree more even though I'm under tremendous pressure to join the Tweet bandwagon to help sell books: There's actually a fairly big divide in our company about this, with the youngsters wondering 1) how we (old people) could breathe every day without using (social media tools), 2) how did we even get to live this long and 3) why we don't jump on this bandwagon, for which we are already way behind the curve. The old people like me and my bosses wonder 1) what the hell do you do with all this stuff, 2) what's in it for me, 3) if I want the information I seek it out, 4) if I want to talk to someone I call them or email them, I don't need to track down my old gym teacher from 1st grade, 5) if the youngsters are so smart, why are the old folks their bosses? (I like that last part the best. Reminds me of that line from Fried Green Tomatoes: I'm older, I'm stronger, and I have better insurance. We may be old and stupid, but we are the bosses!) Anyway, so one of her friends replied with this gem: I do not tweet, but I laugh because in an interview, Stephen Colbert said that he had "twatted." Now that is funny!

And since we're going for it on the risque for the day, I give you this, which quite simply cracked me up:

Thanks to my friend Chris who sent that one!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

T Minus 29

I meant to write a T Minus 30 posting yesterday, as we are now in the 30-day countdown to the launch of Love at First Flight! However, I was felled by my annual spring sinus event over the weekend, and yesterday was a bit of a lost day. Sooooo much has been going on around here that I've had zero time for anything. I'm sorry to have been out of touch lately. Since we last chatted, my father-in-law passed away in Indiana. He was 86, and it was expected, but it still came as a surprise to us when we got the call two weeks ago today—and yes, that was two weeks to the day after Consuela died. His funeral was held the Friday before Memorial Day, the one weekend of the year when something really big happens in Indiana: The Indy 500. We got some major sticker shock when we looked into flying. So we ended up driving. Before we left, however, we had to make a mad dash to the mall to outfit two kids who grew a foot this winter and had not a funeral-worthy stitch of clothing between them.

Here's a little something I wrote about my father-in-law for the Casablanca blog:

As writers we strive to create unforgettable characters, and sometimes we meet people who are so unique, so singular that we realize we could never make up something better than what’s right in front of us. Richard Force was just that kind of person. His life spanned many adventures—including a stint as a carnival worker and service to his country in World War II as a member of the prestigious Flying Tigers, during which he was shot down over occupied China and spent a month hiding in rice fields until he was rescued. He never ate rice again.

After the war that took the life of his older brother, Richard returned home to Indiana, married his childhood sweetheart, fathered six children (mine is the fifth Force of nature), and went to work building bridges for the railroad in the Midwest. He took great joy in his ten grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He was one of the funniest, most outrageous people I’ve ever met—a true character in every sense of the word. And when I think of him, I’ll remember living near them in Florida and how he came running any time I needed help with my kids when my husband was deployed with the Navy. Our relationship was all about razzing each other on a wide variety of topics, ranging from who was a better Euchre player (definitely him, but I can only admit that now that he’s gone) to whether the Cubs or the Red Sox were baseball’s most cursed team (I finally prevailed on that one thanks the 2004 Sox). I’ll never forget mentioning that I was the only woman in the Force family who can’t sew like a professional. “You,” he said, “have other talents.” I certainly hope he was referring to my writing, but knowing his wicked sense of humor, I was afraid to ask! I loved him, and I’ll miss him.

The road trip out and back was fairly smooth. The kids are great travelers as they've been road-tripping with us since they were babies. Back in the day, we had to bring car seats and pack-n-plays as well as two rowdy dogs. These days, it's all about electronics: iPods, iTouches, PSPs, cell phones and a huge bag of chargers to keep all the gadgets going. We also took along my dad's Garmen, the first time we've traveled with the aide of GPS technology. We named her Lola, and Dan finally found a woman who bitches at him more than I do. He argued with her all the way to Indiana and back again! I got wife of the year points by allowing him to listen to the Indy 500 on the radio for FOUR HOURS. Zoom, zoom, zoom...

It was great to spend time with our Indiana family as well as the large group of cousins and friends that six siblings accumulate along the way. I also enjoyed watching my son Jake, the youngest grandchild on both sides of the family, chase his older cousin's babies. He loved that he finally got the chance to play the role of the BIG cousin. On the way back, we drove the full 16-hour, 950-mile trek in one very long day. What seemed like a great idea in eastern Pennsylvania became a bit precarious by eastern Connecticut. But we made it safe and sound and were glad to be home.

For those of you keeping track, yes this has really been a hell of a year for my family. But while we were away, my father got a clean bill of health from his neurologist, closing the final loop on his January head injury. And July 1 marks the start of the second half of the year, the same day Love at First Flight hits stores. Let's hope it's the start of a positive, productive, PEACEFUL second half of 2009! Nowhere to go but up!