Posted in contest, my books, writing inspiration

Crossword Puzzle Game

Are you any good at crossword puzzles? If you have read my books, this one is easy. I’m giving away a $5 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Fill out the puzzle send it back to me and get your name added to the drawing. I will draw Halloween, October 31st, 2023 and announce the winner November 1st!

Read Remy’s Dilemma for more clues!
Posted in audio books, Book Review

The Awesome Penny Reid Rom-Coms

Penny Reid’s Neanderthal Marries Human is a great sequel to her Neanderthal Seeks Human and I suggest reading them back to back. Narrated by Sebastian York and Jennifer Grace.

Janie Morris and Quinn Sullivan are the Yin and Yang of romance. They compliment each other bringing out the best parts of the other. When Janie’s insecurities threaten their future happiness, Quinn gives her what she needs to prove his love is real and he won’t leave her. With a little help from their friends, an Elvis impersonator, a naked Vegas wedding and a lot of love and laughter, this couple just might make it to the church on time. This is a must read if you love romantic comedies with a lot of heart. Penny Reid tackles some real-life issues using humor and a bit of sexy romance to help it go down easier. Like a spoonful of sugar, Reid helps readers understand those difficult life lessons by making them more palatable.

After reading the two Neanderthal books by Penny Reid, I suggest going straight to Friends Without Benefits narrated by Devra Woodward, this book brings Dr. Elizabeth Finney face to face with the boy who’d tormented her throughout most of her life only to end up being her first sexual conquest. She and Nico’s backstories are interwoven but they both have a different interpretation of events. Can they come to see the truth before it’s too late or will they lose each other yet again because they can’t see eye to eye.

Penny Reid does it again, she uses humor, romance, supreme sexiness and our own foibles to create a story that is both relatable and fantastic. She is one of the leaders in the romantic comedy genre that proves this is not all fluff and stuff, this genre can check all the boxes from deep emotions, real-life issues and still entertain. If you haven’t guessed it, yes, I’m a huge fan.

Posted in audio books, Book Review

How-To Manuals for Romance?

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams, Narrated by Andrew Eiden, Maxwell Caulfield

What do smart guys do when their love lives are on the rocks? They turn to romance novels for advice. When second baseman Gavin Scott of the Nashville Legends discovers his wife has been faking it in the bedroom, he is hurt and angry, his pride destroyed. He behaves badly. When his wife Thea asks for a divorce, he realizes he must do something, anything to get her back.

He is desperate and willing to listen to anyone who has a plan. When his friends show up and take him to a meeting of book club, he is skeptical but with nothing left to lose agrees to read the book to get ideas on how to reach his wife. At first Gavin’s goal is to just stop his wife from divorcing him but it soon becomes more. He realizes he needs to get to know his wife.

This was a fresh idea on relationships and romance. I love how the guys were all willing to help their friend get his wife back, but their plan is forever not just a temporary fix. The friendships of these Alpha males is a wonderful part of the story. They explain the use of the romance novels is to help them better understand their own failings and what their wives and girlfriends need from them. One of my favorite parts of the story is when Gavin starts thinking and arguing as a Regency Count.

Lyssa Kay Adams did an excellent job portraying these characters and using humor to deal with real issues. They were fun but deep. When Thea explains that faking it in the bedroom wasn’t the only place she was faking it, the couple begins to find their way back to each other. Like all happy endings, it didn’t come easy but when they finally reach that moment it’s so satisfying.  

Posted in interview

A Warm Creekside Cafe Welcome to Cendrine Marrouat

Welcome to Creekside Café Cendrine Marrouat. I have to comment here that your poetry journal, Auroras and Blossoms feels a little kismet as I’m from Aurora, North Carolina. Life is strange and so are most people I know, but welcome to my virtual café.

Cendrine: We were probably meant to meet. 😉

I would say that life is very interesting.

Thank you for having me! I appreciate the opportunity.

Sherri: I guess you know all about strange, from reading your promo on your book “Bad. Pitches. Period. 30 Flavors of Spammy Emails” I had to chuckle at just the name.

Cendrine: The first part of the title comes from the name of an old blog that I created years ago to highlight the spam I received. I mostly featured terrible pitches from self-proclaimed marketing gurus. The few people who read it found the concept hilarious.

Sherri: I cringed wondering if one of my bad pitches might have shown up in your book, but I think I’m good, maybe. We’ll talk later.

Tell me, how does a serious poet and photographer end up writing a comedy book about spammy emails?

Cendrine: I don’t show names, so you wouldn’t know. ah ah ah

I am a very private person. I do not share much of life on social media. But my friends know that I love a good laugh. Actually, I laugh every day.

So, why a humor book about spammy emails? Because I could. When I used to be a social media coach in the 2010s, thousands of emails landed in my inbox every week. Most of them were terrible pitches from different people.

At first, I felt really annoyed and had a few heated discussions with the culprits, who almost never realized the errors of their ways. Then, I chose to look at spam as entertainment. My focus shifted and I ended up saving it in a specific folder. Every evening, I ended my day smiling (and sometimes laughing) thanks to spam!

Sherri: As I was reading your promo on your blog, I was struck but the fact that an author of more than twenty books would have doubts about writing. Could you tell us about your doubts and how you pushed through to create this book?

Cendrine: I have never doubted my writing abilities. In the case of Bad. Pitches. Period. 30 Flavors of Spammy Emails, the problem was that I had never delved into comedy before. I had no clue how my sense of humor would be received by readers.

But then, I remembered that I had had a first time with poetry, photography, social media, and theatre too. So, self-doubt didn’t last long. 

Sherri: You also talk about the cover on your blog, I believe you call it “cheesy.” I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed or not, but I like it. It catches the eye and makes me want to pick it up and see what it is about.

Cendrine: Thank you! And please, don’t be embarrassed. I called the cover “cheesy” and designed it that way on purpose. Spam is cheesy in itself. Look at the font some spammers use!

In my mind, spam is the same thing as the badly designed websites of the 1990s-early 2000s…

Sherri: According to your biography, you are a French-born Canadian photographer, poet, author, and the co-founder of FPoint Collective and Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal, tell us first about where you are from and then more about your other works.

Cendrine: I was born and raised in Toulouse, France, and moved to Canada in 2003.

In 17 years, I have worked in many fields: translation, language instruction, social media coaching and training, content creation and curation, photography, poetry, theatre, art reviews, blogging, and journalism. I am the author of 25 books in different genres.

I am the creator of the Sixku (poetry form) and the Reminigram (photography genre). As a photographer, I specialize in nature, closeup, and black-and-white images. I also teach French to adults and occasionally advise clients on social media strategy.

I am always very busy, but in a good way. I have achieved a lot in almost two decades, which often prompts people to think that I am older than I actually am. lol

Sherri: What or who do you think has been the greatest influence on your work?

Cendrine: Life and Kahlil Gibran. I love sharing the lessons I have learnt.

Sherri: Looking through your list of titles I’m in awe of the work you have created. The time and effort it must have taken to do all of the research and data gathering is staggering. Which book was the most difficult to write? Do you have a favorite book?

Cendrine: Thank you for the compliment!

Actually, the only major research I did was for my play titled In the Silence of Words. As a former English major, I studied theatre (and Shakespeare). But, as far as writing a play was concerned, I was a complete newbie. So, I spent several months educating myself. I read guides and researched names.

I also wanted to make my story as realistic as possible. As such, I studied the importance of movement.

No book has been really challenging. Unlike many authors, I don’t pressure myself into reaching a specific number of words. I don’t have deadlines. I just write at least ten minutes every day.

After 25 books, it’s hard for me to choose a favorite. For the sake of this interview, let’s just say that Bad. Pitches. Period. 30 Flavors of Spammy Emails is the one for now.

Sherri: Cendrine, it has been delightful to have you here at my Creekside Café, I hope one day we can meet in person. Thank you for stopping by and thanks to our readers for dropping in and having a drink with us. If you enjoyed our interview, check out Cendrine’s books and social media links below.

Until next time, y’all have a great day.

Cendrine: Thank you again very much, Sherri! I hope we meet in person someday too!