<![CDATA[shannaswenson.com - My Blog]]>Mon, 20 Jan 2020 22:00:04 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Review for To Have by Kali Brixton]]>Tue, 21 Jan 2020 01:10:46 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-to-have-by-kali-brixton
Five fantastic stars for To Have

Heart-breaking, endearing, beautiful. A great start to a new series.

Ladies, get ready to swoon....

This book had me pulled in from the first page.

Deacon Deveraux is charming, devoted, humble--the perfect broken alpha. And I love those broken alphas…plus he’s raven-headed and blue-eyed; it doesn’t get much better than that in my book ;-)

Charlotte Kasen is a lot sweet, a little sassy and has a heart of pure gold.

These two have been meant for one another from the moment of their meeting when little Charlotte came to help a devastated Deacon bury his dog. He’s only had eyes for her ever since...but life has thrown these two star-crossed lovers into tale spin after tale spin and no matter how many times Deacon tries, he simply can’t be without his one true love. He’s harboring some secrets though that he’s not sure Char can handle...and Charlotte has a few of her own. Can fate finally bring these two souls together?

To Have had it all. I was enthralled with the past of these two characters who’ve known each other for so long and how their lives delicately intertwined, I loved the movie references, Elsie, the banter between Charlotte and brother Mason, and how Kali’s personalities came through so eloquently in her writing.

This book was funny, sad, swoony, real, and so so good! I cannot wait until the next one. I need to know more about Deacon’s past, and Kasen brother Mason. Such a great start to this series!

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills, and warms her heart...and makes her swoon like Deacon Deveraux did in this one ;-) 

<![CDATA[The Writer's Block-Interview with fellow indie author, C.L. Stewart]]>Mon, 20 Jan 2020 01:00:00 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/the-writers-block-interview-with-fellow-indie-author-cl-stewartPicture
I met C.L. Stewart in a group chat on IG. I had seen her beautiful covers for her Soul series and knew I wanted to read her work. When her latest book, The Intimidation Game, came out, I signed up for an ARC and fell in love with her characters. I knew I wanted to know what inspired her to write such a powerful romance novel. And she's Scottish (like my ancestors) so I knew I needed the scoop ;-) 

Here's what she had to say: 

Me:   Hi C.L., tell me a little about yourself? When did you know you were going to be a writer?

C.L: My name is Claire and I live in Lanark, Scotland. I live with my husband, 3 children and a springer spaniel who is wired to the moon. I always loved to write when I was young and when I was in 1st year at high school I wrote a short story that my English teacher said was excellent. So good in fact that it was read out to the whole class. It was about a carrier pigeon during the First World War. I wrote it from the perspective of the pigeon and the praise I got for it cemented my love of writing. More short stories followed and I got better as the years went on and so in 2011 I started writing Shattered Soul and here I am today with 4 books under my belt.

Me:   Wow, that’s amazing! Congrats, girlie! So, what inspired you to write The Intimidation Game?

C.L: The character of Nikki is briefly introduced in Heart and Soul. Her sister is the main character’s best friend. She has a very strong character and I wanted to make Nikki her total opposite. As is common in families, there are never really two siblings who are identical in all their characteristics. Nikki is not as strong-willed as her sister and this is partly the reason she ended up in such an abusive relationship. The domestic abuse side of the story came about through watching various documentaries on TV and the fact that it has been mentioned quite a lot in the news in the UK recently because of changes in our laws. It is not something I have written from personal experience but having done a lot of research on it, I feel it is still thought of as hushed subject, something people don’t feel comfortable talking about.

Me: I love the awareness that you brought to this topic. And you’re right--no two siblings are the same. Now, how many books will be in the Game series?

C.L: At the moment, I have three books proposed for the series...however this could change.

Me:  LOL! I understand whole-heartedly. Which character in the series is your favorite? Why?

C.L: At the moment, I love Damo. He’s funny and so sweet to Nikki. He makes Nikki his friend and never asks for anything in return. I like to make my secondary characters great lines and stories of their own.

Me:   Agreed and Damo was one of my faves too! Now, did anyone in real life inspire your characters? Nikki? Dan? 

C.L: I don’t base my characters on real people, however there are a lot of little things in the stories that are based on personal experiences. And no, I’m not spilling which ones they are. Ha Ha.

Me:   LMBO. Understood ;-) So, what are you working on now?

C.L: Right now I am writing book 2 in the game series, War Games, an enemies to lovers romance, and I’m plotting the third too. Book 3 doesn't have a title yet, but it is a second chance romance.

Me:   Nice, I love me some enemies to lovers! Tell us a little about your writing process? 

C.L: Oh dear, this is a messy subject. I work a very physically demanding job (I run my own plumbing business) and I have three children, so my writing happens as and whenever I get any spare time. You wouldn’t believe how often I have to stop working to write notes on things that pop into my head during the working day.

Me:   Oh, I would too. ;-) I work full-time too. It’s tough but I commend you! Now, what drew you to the suspenseful romance genre?

C.L: I love suspense stories and I love romance, so it was a natural decision to meld them together. I like a story where you can’t guess what the outcome is going to be. You know those ones that give you shivers when all the plot points finally come together. I try as much as I can to keep the element of suspense for as long as possible.

Me:   I love those too! Who are your favorite authors/books?

C.L: Well I read a lot of romance but then it is the best genre. I honestly can’t say I have a favourite author or book but I will say that in the last two years I have taken to reading mostly indie books and I swear some of them are better than traditionally published books. I love to support indies as much as I can. 

I will tell you that my favourite author of all time is Roald Dahl. Obviously he didn’t write in the genre I now read and write in but his stories are what got me hooked on reading. His short stories are amazing and full of suspense and intrigue (probably why I like them so much).

Me:   That’s awesome and I agree, indies are totally worth it ;-) Now, what do you personally love about writing?

C.L: Oh that’s easy. Getting lost in my own imagination. I love conjuring up scenarios for my characters and sometimes I even see them as real people. It’s a bit of escapism from a hectic life and I love nothing more than shutting the world out for a few hours and coming up with exciting new storylines.

Me:  LOL, I understand. What are you looking forward to in 2020?

C.L: I am looking forward to writing more books. I’m making a promise to myself that I’ll get my writing schedule more structured for next year. It’s far too chaotic right now and isn’t as productive as it could be. I also have a few other ventures in the pipeline for next year too. Let’s just say, I’ve decided to broaden my horizons and try to make a lifestyle change that will benefit my family as well as allowing me to write more.

Thanks for having me Shanna and I look forward to seeing what you have planned for this year too. xx

Me: That’s great, Claire. I wish you all the best this year and look forward to reading more of your work. Thanks so much! 

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

Where swoony cowboys await to take your breath away :-D 

<![CDATA[Review for Nav'Aria: The Pyre of Tarsin]]>Sat, 11 Jan 2020 20:10:42 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-navaria-the-pyre-of-tarsin
5 Fiery Stars for Nav'Aria: The Pyre of Tarsin

Coming back to Nav’Aria was even more amazing the second time around, and let me just say, now I’m super hyped to read book 3 because this one left me wanting even more.
Darion, along with his mighty steed Triumph, has left Nav’Aria in search of answers--a way to stop Narco of his wicked plague upon the land. He is wandering across the Shazla desert and happens upon creatures, both fierce and majestic, he wasn’t expecting…
Meanwhile, back home the storm is brewing and coming to a head, the battle for Nav’Aria has begun, and the troops prepare, but Riccus, too, has set off for answers in the mountains…
Trinidad and Lyrianna are still recovering from their imprisonment and the bond they share is greater than they know…
And Narco is just the tip of the iceberg in the ocean of evil that surrounds this majestic land, for a powerful sorcerer grows stronger and his clutches on Nav’Aria are tighter than this reader ever imagined possible.
Twists, turns, surprise, and non-stop action await as we journey back to Nav’Aria. The character development was even more poignant in this one; I loved seeing the strength, determination, and individuality come to light in the Meridias. Darion’s fortitude (he’s coming into his own and I’m just eating him up) Lyrianna’s willpower (you go, girl), and Vikaris’s (totally swoon-worthy) regal might. I was blown away by the unexpected twist at the end. And utterly captivated by the world building that KJ Backer has created, yet again.
It’s quite clear that this lady right here has a spirit as incredible as the fantasy world she’s crafted; your beautiful soul shines through, my friend, and it is bright enough to leave all in awe! Keep doing your thing and this reader will keep reading. Loved this book and you will too, so go grab your copy now! 

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

Lover of fantasy, dragons, unicorns, AND King Vikaris ;-) 


Book Reviews
The Writer's Block Indie Author Interviews

<![CDATA[Review for Pitchfork by Nicole Scarano]]>Sun, 05 Jan 2020 01:26:23 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-pitchfork-by-nicole-scarano

Five fantastic stars for Pitchfork

Clash of the Titans meets 300 in this
epic and bone-jarring sequel to the incredible Pomegranate.

Olympus and the Underworld have been rattled by a prophesy from the oracle of Delphi, “The first have come and they seek the last.” With this one sentence everything will change for the Olympians, and even hell--nor Hades, Zeus or Alkaios--isn’t prepared for what comes next.

Evil is coming for Mount Olympus and the gods, it will not stop and there’s nowhere to hide, and it looks like even the mighty Hades may be doomed by an ancient horde none have ever seen the likes of.

This book was intense, action-packed, and a true page-turner as I literally held my breath for what was coming next. Hades has never shined so bright, and I simply loved her fortitude, grace and raw power.

I loved how Alkaios embraced his own power and position in this book, how the gods united, and how plot and backstories were twisted to include myths and legends we Greek mythology lovers have all heard of and been spellbound by for centuries now.

If you're a lover of Greek mythology, unexpected twists, and bloody battles of epic proportion then this book will have you unable to set it down…trust me, I know! ;-) I absolutely loved this book!

Another winner for Nicole Scarano. I’m eager to read the next book in this series and don’t want it to ever end…in fact, I think I may have to read Pomegranate over again... Yup, catch y’all later.


Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

And lover of Greek mythology :-D


Book Reviews
The Writer's Block Indie Author Interviews

<![CDATA[Review for Rebellion by Evelyn Montgomery]]>Fri, 13 Dec 2019 13:00:00 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-rebellion-by-evelyn-montgomery
Five fierce stars for Rebellion

Again with these Spanish guys...Drooooolllll!!!!

I mean, who doesn’t love a broody, dreamy, Latin-American FBI agent who’s a closet romantic? I won't spoil it and tell you just how romantic, you'll have to read the book to find out ;-)
And who's not a sucker for a sassy, broken heroine with a dark past?!

This is one action-packed, steamy, romantic ride, just in time for Christmas too.

Get ready for Brittany and Dylan to sweep you off your feet and take you to Miami where you’ll encounter drug cartels, revelations that will break your heart, and unexpected love.
I loved these characters; Brittany is strong, tough, but also earthly vulnerable too which made her super endearing in my opinion. And Dylan- gah, he was super swoony. I loved how poetic he was and how he had a soft side to his hard exterior. These two clash like lightning and their lives won’t be the same…and neither will yours ;-)

Grab this one up and escape to Little Havana with two unlikely lovers fighting their attraction while trying to take down a drug lord.

You're in for one exciting ride, buckle up! 

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series 

Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills, and warms her heart...and keeps her on the edge of her seat, like this one did :-D

<![CDATA[Review for Saddler at Stake by Nicole Rodrigues]]>Thu, 12 Dec 2019 13:00:00 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-saddler-at-stake-by-nicole-rodrigues
Five fiery stars for Saddler at Stake

First off-- This cover, guys--what guts it took for my friend, Nicole and her hubby to be the cover models on this stellar book cover! Doesn't it look awesome?!

Rafa, Rafa, Rafa… I just LOVE me some Spanish heroes, those accents are soooo flippin' hot, and the swoon queen didn’t disappoint with this guy. Rafael Silva is everything an American girl could want- he’s sweet-talking, sexy AF, and can dance his a$$ off.

He quickly hooks our girl, the comedic Rochelle Saddler, in her youth and she’s left completely blown away by him and his easy charm, as to be expected, because the boy simply ooooooozes it.

Ten years have come and gone since their sparks were lit, but neither has ever been able to move on. Rafael for different reasons than Rochelle originally thought, but he’s back and only wants her and he aims to prove himself to her no matter what.

I absolutely loved Rochelle in the other books in the series. From the very beginning, she had me cracking up. But in this one, I was literally busting out laughing!

These two were straight fire from the get-go. Rafa was smooth-talking, sexy as hell, and a gentleman, except for when he was in the bedroom ;-) He and Rochelle were perfect for each other. And their banter is absolutely hilarious. They put a whole new meaning to renovating a house.

If you enjoy a good romance with laughs, love, (catching up with the Saddler crew) and spicy love scenes then pick this one up, it’s sure to please.

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series 

Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills, and warms her heart...AND swoony Spanish accents too ;-) 

<![CDATA[Review for The Intimidation Game by C.L. Stewart]]>Tue, 03 Dec 2019 13:00:00 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-the-intimidation-game-by-cl-stewart
5 stars for the Intimidation Game

First off, isn't this a great cover?!

This is my first book by C.L. Stewart and I can say with confidence that it won't be my last!

This book was raw, endearing, witty, funny, and heart-breaking. It was a workplace, slow-burn, broken heroine, single-dad romance with several twists and turns.

I enjoyed getting to take a trip to Glasgow, Scotland, adored the Scottish dialogue, wording and culture. I loved Nikki and Dan's relationship, Nikki's friendship with Damo and how strong Nikki became despite how fragile she was in the beginning of this novel. She was easy to love, a broken soul healing from a dark past, and Dan was a gentleman with a bad boy side too, the perfect balance of professional and sexy. Both their pasts were heart-breaking but these two souls learned to heal together and that was the most beautiful part of this book. 

If you want romance with a new, refreshing twist to the "game", check this book out! It won't disappoint! 
Grab a copy of The Intimidation Game
Follow C.L. Stewart

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

Where swoony southern heroes await to take your breath away...

<![CDATA[Review for Saddler's Sacrifice by Nicole Rodrigues]]>Mon, 11 Nov 2019 13:00:00 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-saddlers-sacrifice-by-nicole-rodrigues
5 selfless stars for Saddler's Sacrifice

This book...Oh this book!

Just when I think I’ve read my favorite Nicole Rodrigues novel, I see that I haven’t.

This book hurts like no other before it; it hits your heart in its most sensitive parts and breaks it in a million pieces before putting it all back together again.

I fell in love with Valentina Saddler and Declan O’Sullivan in Saddler’s Start. Their young love was a whirlwind of emotions, their story is one of heartache, regret and deep loss...but there are two sides to every story and theirs is unlike anything you’ve read before, trust me when I tell you.

Declan is such a stud, Val is so strong, and Faith was just precious. The twists and turns in this book are sure to knock you for a loop.

I loved the rawness of this book and the hope. This one deals with regret and time lost, for it’s such a precious gift given to us and how we use it so important. It also deals with second chances, forgiveness, and moving on from our pasts--the things we can’t change. I loved catching up with all the Saddlers and the message here that shone so brightly.

Let Nicole sweep you away once more in yet another wonderful novel in her new series.

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

Shanna enjoys good books that thrill, chill and warm her heart...and rip it right out only to put it all back together again, like this one did :-) 

<![CDATA[Review for Deadly Receptions by Veronica Cline Barton]]>Sat, 09 Nov 2019 15:59:40 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-deadly-receptions-by-veronica-cline-barton
5 dazzling stars for Deadly Receptions

Deadly Receptions
was full of paparazzi, premieres, and even a proposal. The wedding pavilion opened and the season began at Cherrywood Hall, aka Castlewood Manor, and as promised, drama, deception and debuts ensued. I mean, who knew a veil with a sordid past could cause so many problems? LOL!

Book three didn’t disappoint in this funny, action-packed, and light-hearted mystery series of Veronica Cline Barton’s. I laughed, cried, and gasped (out loud) as twists, turns…and trains took me to various destinations- England, NYC, Vail, Malibu, and even Iceland (swoon)!

Gemma’s feistiness and sense of humor never fail to tickle me and I just love her and Kyle together. Some revelations that I can’t say and meeting her father had me surprised, but as always, Veronica’s characters are super lovable and, despite his flaws, I enjoyed getting to know Dr. David Phillips.

Jillian, aka Ma-Ma, Aunt Margaret, and Evan are always fun to catch up with and the drama in this one was high, at every turn, and kept me on my toes.

This book truly had it all and I absolutely loved it. I even told V that this one was my favorite thus far. She told me to “just wait”, I know what that means! :-D

Get on board and grab this series up for murder, mystery, and so much more. I’m excited to return to Castlewood Manor for Mistletoe and Mayhem…I mean who doesn’t wanna spend Christmas in a gorgeous English estate with Gemma, Kyle and crew? I know I do!

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series 

Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills, and warms her heart...and takes her on exotic destinations (where murderers lurk) like in this book ;-) 

<![CDATA[Review for Jericho by Joshua Grant]]>Mon, 28 Oct 2019 21:42:32 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-jericho-by-joshua-grant
I just love how Joshua Grant writes horror. And of course he didn't disappoint in this one...

The Organization strikes again in the second installment of its namesake.

Jericho reaches into your deepest nightmares and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

This story follows Angela Way, her brother Alex, Coby Warren and his father, Jack as they are all drawn into the folds of literal Hell on earth in Shadow Pines, where a sinister evil far more menacing than they ever imagined lies, for, once again, the Organization has its claws embedded deep into innocent lives.

Upon first entry, Shadow Pines appears to be a literal ghost town, born out of horror games, Silent Hill and Resident Evil, and the movie, The Thing, but the clandestine carnage soon comes to light as Ange, Alex, Coby and Jack, make their way into the heart of it all.

All arrows seem to be pointing them in one direction and they follow, unaware of the dark enigmas that will be revealed to them.

This one was a real page-turning, edge of your seat thriller that I found hard to put down!

As you know, I don’t do spoilers, and I won’t with this one, but if you enjoy things that go bump and conspiracies, and that things aren't exactly what they seem, then jump into this second book in Josh’s horror series and be sure to leave a light on once you do ;-)

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series 

Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills, and warms her heart... and creeps her out, like this one did! ;-)