Audio Review: Snow Falling on Bluegrass (Bluegrass, Book 3) by Molly Harper

molly harper snow falling bluegrassSummary: Snowed-in at a lodge on a work retreat, Kelsey will not only have to organize her work colleagues, but also her love life. First Darrell, her ex, makes her life miserable by handing her credit card debt she didn’t sign up for or enjoy. Then the cute statistician at the office, Charlie, flashes hot and cold with her. Is he interested or not? And then there’s Luke, who is running the lodge in the absence of other employees and he’s a Ranger. He’s definitely interested in her. Maybe being snowed-in isn’t such a disaster after all!

Review: Molly Harper is funny, which is no surprise as she’s a former humor columnist. It’s even funnier to hear the narrator, Amanda Ronconi, say and act some of these lines. Kelsey is a smart, funny, high energy person. She’s got a sense of humor and is willing to crack jokes at herself. You have to wonder how a girl like her stuck it out with Darrell for as long as she did. Molly does explain and it is plausible but the backstory made me feel more like I was missing a key element than filling in the blanks. Perhaps this was more readily apparent in a previous book in the series. Both of Kelsey’s crushes are good guys. I would happily see her wind up with either one of them, which is very rare for me to say so. And I would definitely read about the one who didn’t win Kelsey’s heart.

Narrator: I recently listened to Amanda Ronconi in another audio book. She did a great job then and she did a great job this time. When I first heard her speak I couldn’t place the previous audio book I had heard her narrate. I think that means she did an excellent job adapting to the character profiles and accents. I’d listen to her again. She’s definitely a great listen for contemporary romances.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Snow Falling on Bluegrass, Snow Falling on Bluegrass (Audiobook)

Get into Bed with Molly Harper (Author Interview 2)

molly harper snow falling bluegrassKeira: If Kelsey, the heroine of Snow Falling on Bluegrass were to recommend her top five places in Kentucky – where would she tell us to go?

Molly Harper:

  • Moonlight Barbecue in Owensboro, Ky. – a Kentucky tradition. Get the pulled pork shoulder.
  • Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville
  • The Kentucky State Fair
  • Tater Day in Benton, Ky. – A local festival that has to be experienced to be believed
  • Vent Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell, Ky. – The only museum in the world solely dedicated to the ventriloquist arts.

Keira: I love secluded romances where a set of circumstances (such as a snow storm) cause the main characters to be isolated together away from the “real world.” What is your favorite aspect of secluded/isolated romances?

Molly: The improvisation.  I love that they cook frozen pizza on a gas grill and make romantic pillow forts. It was like writing a “desert island” romance because any random item can become a solution to any problem.  My only regret is that I didn’t get to build a fictional Swiss Family Robinson house. It’s considerably sexier than my own ice storm experience, when the only time I saw my husband was when he stumbled in from twelve-hour emergency police shifts to sleep for a few hours and then get back out for another shift.

Keira: Snow Falling on Bluegrass also features a love triangle. What are the three best aspects of Luke and Charlie (in their opinion and/or Kelsey’s opinion)?

Molly: Well, there’s insane hotness on both of their parts, which is always a plus. Kelsey enjoys Charlie’s quiet genius and the fact that he has a snarky center she is trying to help him cultivate.  They share the same sense of humor and enthusiasm for their work. They were friends first and slowly fell for each other.

But while Charlie is shy and reluctant to tell Kelsey how he feels, Luke is very upfront about his appreciation for Kelsey.  Not only does he enjoy her subversive personality, but he very openly admires her looks, something that Kelsey is a little insecure about, after getting out of a relationship with a guy who made her self-conscious about them. She appreciates that he’s straight-forward with her.  He doesn’t make her guess.

Keira: What’s the best part of writing a love triangle and what’s one of the pitfalls?

Molly: It’s fun to write not one, but two, romantic connections. The drawback is writing the characters to be equally good matches for the hero/ine, without obviously leaning toward one or the other.

Keira: As a former humor columnist, do you find humor to be easy to write or is it one of those things that’s difficult to always get right?

Molly: For me, humor has always come effortlessly. It comes a lot easier than plotting, characterization, etc.  In some cases, it happens unintentionally and I have to go back and remove it because it’s inappropriate.

OK, that happens a lot.

Keira: What’s next for you in life and/or books?

Molly: I’m writing five more Half-Moon Hollow spin-offs.  My Christmas novella, I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas will be released in November.  And I will have some interesting news to announce in the next few weeks!

Book Blurb:

Kentucky Tourism Commission employee and executive assistant extraordinaire Kelsey is known around the office for having everything under control. So it’s not surprising that she and her boss, Sadie, have everything planned to the second for the office winter retreat. But there are things even Kelsey can’t micromanage.

An unprecedented snowstorm smothers half of Kentucky and knocks out the power, closes the roads, and generally shuts down the state. Luckily, the lodge has working fireplaces and enough food to keep the staff from turning on each other like something out of The Shining. Kelsey wouldn’t mind being stuck inside if it wasn’t for the tension with her not-so-secret crush, Charlie, the office’s statistician. But handsome Ranger Luke, the lodge’s only employee on hand, is there to take Kelsey’s mind off her discomfort.

Even though this weekend is supposed to be a planning session for KTC, Kelsey can’t help her mind from wandering and finds herself conflicted over Luke and Charlie. Someone’s love will keep her warm, but whose will it be?

Buy: Snow Falling on Bluegrass

Giveaway: Two readers will get a digital copy of Snow Falling on Bluegrass by Molly Harper. Leave a comment to enter! Last chance to enter is 9/28/2014.

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Review: Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

better homes and hauntingsReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Nina Linden is in one of the areas of the country that I love to visit – this would be a great book to take with you when you go to visit. She’s trying to come back after having someone try to discredit her. She’s just one of those characters that you want to root for and that all will be right in the world for her.

Deacon Whitney is a law unto himself and has brought some people, Nina included, to help him restore his ancestral home. The attraction between them is muted compared to the ghostly mystery that is afoot. I found that I was more interested in what is going on with the house then any type of romance.

This author introduces you to a character named Dotty. She’s a relative of Deacon’s and she appears to be the comic relief in this story. There’s one scene in this book that just solidified my awe in Dotty. You will understand when you read the scene where she talks about how she reads a book – that used to be me before I broke that bad habit.

This is one of those books that I would read more than once. The author does a great job in building the momentum that carries the reader from beginning to end and leaves you wanting more. I can picture having this around come Halloween. What a perfect time to set the mood, add the perfect music, the perfect drink and sit back and relax. And speaking of setting the mood, I had to laugh to myself when some music is referenced in the book–I just happened to be listening to that music as I was reading.

Now I’m anxious to see what Molly has in store for her readers now that this book has come out.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Better Homes and Hauntings

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Get into Bed with Molly Harper (Author Interview)

Molly WhiteLynn Reynolds: Was it hard to make the switch from werewolf to haunted house in Better Homes and Hauntings?

Molly Harper: Not really.  I have always been fascinated by hauntings.  I was that weird little kid who checked out the non-fiction paranormal books out of the elementary school library so many times that my mom got a concerned note from the librarian. And I watched an inordinate amount of Scooby-Doo as a child. I remember being disappointed that the Velma couldn’t just once say, “Jenkies, Fred, I’m pretty sure this creepy abandoned candy fact really is haunted by a gumdrop ghost.”  But, then again, I was often disappointed by the “true” ghost stories I read or watched, because the ghost’s backstory wasn’t scary enough for me. I’d been tinkering with the idea of “the biggest and best” haunted house story I could tell for a while now.  I hope that the readers enjoy it.

Lynn: Which do you like writing better the paranormal or the contemporary?

Molly: I have a bit more fun with the paranormal, because giving these big bad supernatural creatures very human foibles is hilarious. But every once in a while, I really like working with characters who can go out during the day and eat normally. (With all due respect to my werewolf characters.)

Lynn: Has your husband ever played a part in more than one of your books?

Molly: My husband, David, is a six-foot-four, manly-man police captain and he takes a lot of teasing over what his wife does for a living. He hears, “Oooh, does your wife base all of her heroes on you? Hahaha!”  And he will be the first one to tell you, “Yep, it’s all right here.”

And to be honest, yeah, it is. We’ve been together since my freshman year of high school, so naturally, he has a lot of influence of how I think about men and how they should interact with women. His ability to tease me back into a good mood and his tendency to be a wee bit overprotective is in Gabriel Nightengale.  His occasional wildly inappropriate humor is in Dick Cheney. His gruff, morning person persona is the basis for Cooper Graham’s surliness.  And his weird on-the-job stories made their way into And One Last Thing …… for Monroe, who is a retired police officer. (David usually asks me to tell people that unlike Monroe, he has never been shot in the butt.)

Lynn: Is there an author that you love to follow?  What draws your attention to a book?

Molly: I fangirl all over people at conferences.  It’s embarrassing, but I’m a reader, just like everybody else. I met Teresa Medeiros at SOKY Book Fest a few years ago and I thought I was going to faint, because her books were the first romances I was “allowed” to read.  (I’d been sneaking paperbacks out of my mom’s romance hoard for a while.) But I also love Nora Roberts, Alice Clayton, Nicole Peeler, Christina Lauren, Rachel Caine, and a bunch of others.

Lynn: Why did you choose the New England coast for your latest book?

Molly: I usually stick with a Southern setting for my books, but I started reading about Newport and the Gilded Era mansions – the Vanderbilts, the Astors, etc. And I knew it was a perfect setting for a ghost story.  Everything was so beautiful and glamorous but with an ugly underbelly. People had secrets upon secrets, and unresolved business leads to ghosts aplenty.

Lynn: Have you ever stayed in a haunted house?

Molly: Not on purpose!  But while I was attending Western Kentucky University, I did live in a dorm that was supposed to be haunted by the spirit of the woman it was named for – Mattie McLean. The rumor was that she was very protective of “her girls.” If we were being mistreated by a man, Ms. McLean was supposed to find a way to make the man leave, by making him ill or just too uncomfortable to stay. She also supposedly wandered the halls at night, locking our bedroom doors if we forgot to do it before going to bed. I never saw anything, beyond the typical creeped out feelings in the basement laundry room, but it was a basement laundry room, so that was pretty natural.  And one morning, I woke up to find the blankets I KNEW I’d kicked off during the night tucked around and under my body, but I still think my roommate did it… even though she was similarly tucked in and under her blankets and would have had a really hard time doing that by herself…. Nevermind.

Lynn: Have you ever listened to one of your own audible books?

Molly: I always listen to the audio books!  Amanda Ronconi does such an amazing job.  Her voice makes the story new for me all over again.

Lynn: Can you give the readers a hint as to what you have in store for them next?

Molly: If you enjoy audiobooks, Better Homes and Hauntings will be released by Audible on the same day that it is released in print and ebook.

Also, my Half-Moon Hollow Christmas short story, I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas, will be available in ebook on November 3, 2014.

And third book in the Bluegrass contemporary series, Snow Falling on Bluegrass, will be released on September 22.

I will be writing several new Half-Moon Hollow spin-offs and hope to have some other announcements soon!

better homes and hauntingsBook Blurb:

When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate—he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in nineteenth-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.”

But Nina shows no signs of being scared away, even as she experiences some unnerving apparitions herself. And as the two of them work closely together to restore the mansion’s faded glory, Deacon realizes that he’s found someone who doesn’t seem to like his fortune more than himself—while Nina may have finally found the one man she can trust with her bruised and battered heart.

But something on the island doesn’t believe in true love…and if Nina and Deacon can’t figure out how to put these angry spirits to rest, their own love doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance

Buy: Better Homes and Hauntings

Review: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

The Heroine: After her fiancé dumps her, Mo Wenstein decides to head to small town Alaska to find herself. The biggest perk? It’s far far far away from her trying overbearing hippie mother. Grundy is everything she could hope for and exactly what she needs. Sure, the male population seems to be performing an odd mating ritual with all of them propositioning her with meat. But on the bright side she makes friends faster than she thought, gets a job cooking at a local restaurant, meets a man who’s a jerk (just her type) and comes face to face with a large freaking wolf just off her back porch.

The Hero: Cooper Graham is a werewolf. Not just any werewolf, but the alpha of the pack, a pack which he abandoned years ago after a really horrible incident. He’s large, hairy, broody, moody, and swoon worthy. Loved him. It’s like Mo said, “Well, that cinched it. He was an asshole. I was definitely going to end up sleeping with him.” You might want to hit him the first time or two he appears on the page, but goodness gracious you’re going to want to crawl into bed with him in minutes. Hot. Seriously hot.

Mystery: When people around Grundy get mauled by wolves, Cooper thinks it’s him because he can’t remember everything when he’s a wolf. Lucky for him, Mo’s pretty certain it’s got to be another wolf. But who could it be? He’s the only werewolf around! Right? (Semi spoilery – It’s not the creepy trucker. I was really worried about that.)

Review: In brief, How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf is the hottest, yummiest, funniest paranormal romance of 2011 so far! Harper is hilarious. I laughed, I chuckled, I chortled, I smirked… any outward sign of amusement you can think up I expressed it. This book was so darn cute I got a toothache. I don’t care if you’re not a regular werewolf fan; if you read paranormal you need to read this book. If you want to try paranormal romance you should read this book. Like contemporary? Read this book! I mean it, read this book. I loved it.

Recommended: For the vampire girl, the wolf girl, the paranormal girl, and anybody who wants to read something cute and funny and overall fabulous. Yes, I know I’m raving, take that as a sign. :)

Naked Werewolf Books:

Rating: ★★★★★ As if you couldn’t tell. ;)

Buy: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf

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