Rae: Welcome to the blog. I’ve got a spiced Latte with Almond Milk and a drizzle of chocolate in my mug. What’s in your cuppa?
Kristen: Starbuck Vanilla Flavored Coffee with Almond Milk Creamer
1. What is your must read book and why?
As a romance author, it’s SO cliché, but my must read book is The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. I’ve read it several times and it was probably the biggest influence for my own career as a romance author. Sparks is one of my favorite authors and when my writing is compared to his in reviews for my book, it’s SUCH a huge compliment!!
2. If I visit your hometown, where am I going and what’s the best place to grab a bite?
My hometown is Madison, WI and all of my books are set there. I don’t live there anymore, but I have such fond memories of so many restaurants, including my all-time favorite, Porta Bella. It’s the best Italian restaurant (on the planet!) and the atmosphere is like none other! As far where to go, there is no better place than State Street! It’s the city’s renowned pedestrian mall, running eight blocks from the State Capitol to the University of Wisconsin’s campus. There are so many incredible shops, restaurants, museums and theaters!
3. What is one thing readers would be surprised to know about you?
I’m educated and trained as a licensed architect, and I own my architectural firm. I’m not happy unless I’m creating something, whether it’s floor plans for a new house or writing a new love story, as long as I’m exercising the creative side of my brain in some way.
4. What is your guilty pleasure?
I have several actually. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to embrace guilty pleasures! They include coffee, wine, cheesecake and binge-watching TV series on Netflix or Amazon. Oh, and spa days! I love being pampered from time to time too!
5. What are you afraid of?
I get teased about this all the time when I admit it, but….. moths and butterflies! They just freak me the hell out! They have the CREEPIEST little bodies and they fly so erratically that they’ve become a low-key phobia of mine! (Go ahead and laugh!)
6. Tats or No Tats? If tats, how many and what did you choose for your first one?
No tats on this girl! And I don’t really have a reason why. I’ve just never found anything that I’ve wanted to put on my body forever. But I do have a great line when people ask me why I don’t have any tats – “Why would you EVER want to put bumper stickers on a Ferrari?”
7. Binge watcher or weekly viewer? Which show(s)?
Mainly a binge watcher due to my busy schedule and never knowing when I’ll have time to keep up. And I have a wide range of favorites – Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Mr. Robot, NCIS, Blacklist, Dexter, Narcos, The Americans, Homeland, Stranger Things, Dead to Me, The Good Place, The Office (and you’d never think I was a romance author based o that list!).
8. If you could pick a book you’ve read and make it into a movie, which book would it be (besides yours 🙂 )?
There was a great thriller called “The Marriage Lie” by Kimberly Belle that I read a few years ago for a local book club and we all agreed that it would make an awesome movie. It was one of those books that kept you guessing at every turn and I can imagine it would translate very well to the big screen!
9. What is the one thing you can’t live without?
This is something I’ve actually recently learned about myself. Back in September, I did a 30 day cleanse – no sugars, no carbs, no dairy, no alcohol and…. no coffee!! I was all set with everything but the coffee. It turns out that coffee owns me. And I’m ok with that!
10. What’s the one career gives you the shudders?
Dentist. Hands down. Going into people’s mouths and giving them discomfort or pain? No thank you!! I honestly don’t know how they do it!
11. If I opened up your handbag/bag/briefcase, what item would I be shocked to see?
My purse is pretty boring, but my briefcase is a little more unusual. I always carry a 25’ tape measure and a laser measurer because I’m always measuring houses for my job.
12. What app on your phone/ipad gets the most use?
It’s a tie between Facebook and Instagram.
Rae: Thank you for hanging out today.
Kristen Morgen is a contemporary romance author and a licensed architect with her own architectural firm. A creative spirit, she can’t remember a time in her life when she didn’t crave designing, creating, discovering, and using her imagination in some way.
Her romance writing interests may seem rather different from her daily career, where she focuses on designing homes, but all good architects are, at heart, just artists creating something imagined onto paper. The two practices and creative processes balance each other well.
Kristen was an avid reader from an early age, and it was her love for the romance genre, her favorite guilty pleasure, that encouraged her to hone her passion for writing. She loves the art of shaping words and sentences into relatable stories while creating rich characters for her readers to connect with.
Her debut novel ‘Behind the Glass’ explores relationships and the little reasons people fall in love with each other while uncovering deeper truths.
Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, she currently resides in Connecticut with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not designing homes, she dedicates her free time to her second novel and reads almost anything she can get her hands on.
Kristen Morgen is a hopeless romantic to the end.
While many of you are struggling with the abrupt changes in our community, hopefully you are safe. We have been doing what we can to flatten the curve and staying home.
With all the things going on around us that we can’t control, check out these book adventures. You have choices of genre, heat, price, KU or one-click. If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited click for a FREE one month trial.
Confirm before you purchase and enjoy your book adventure. There is nothing sweeter than a book sale and there are many to share today. Now that the local shops are mostly closed, fill-up and support your favorite authors who are impacted with cancelled Book Conventions, Author signings, and conferences.
Let’s support romancelandia and fill-up!
Need to find that special someone in your life a gift? With one-click you can gift the readers in your life something they will really love you for!
As always, please verify the price before clicking as prices are subject to change.
Please note that Books I Love A Latte participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. If you click on the link and purchase the featured book and/or anything else during that shopping session, Books I Love A Latte will receive a small percentage at no cost to you. Any profit earned from this transaction is given directly back to readers via giveaways (gift cards, books, etc.)
Thank you in advance for your continued support.
Stay connected with Rae Latte and Books I Love A Latte for Book Reviews, Excerpts, Teasers, Coffee With (Interviews), Giveaways, Authors Dish, Book Sales, and other Tasty Tidbits.
As the first day of our new normal kicked in I have observed the following – empty shelves in the grocery stores, mass gatherings in parks, crowds a plenty and not much concern for contracting what many call “a mild flu.”
The closing of schools was done to protect the ENTIRE community, it takes the tribe to save the village. So, while we can’t send our kids to school, please don’t swap that out for large gatherings (restaurants, parks, movie theaters, the malls, etc.) We need to trust the doctors and experts, put partisan differences aside and have faith that this plan will work.
Many cities have already closed schools for SIX weeks. I shudder at the thought but if that means that I can see my friends and family who are in one of the hard-hit cities, I’m all for it! I hope our school changes from two to more!
Folks, I believe the ONLY way we can flatten the curve, ease our overcrowded emergency rooms, and keep those we love safe, is to follow the guidelines from the CDC. That includes using soap to wash our hands. Watch Dr. Oz on the Jimmy Fallon show for great tips, and google which songs are perfect for the recommended 20 seconds to soap and scrub. Tell me, what’s your favorite tune you sing while creating all the bubbles, comment below.
I know its disappointing to not hug our parents, shake hands, kiss loved ones goodbye, attend prayer services, and even gather for weekly meals. Instead of looking at the things we are missing, perhaps we can spin this sudden change. Take control of the situation and use the time to focus on our health.
Self-care is often neglected and due to unfortunate circumstances we’ve been given a chance to put ourselves first. Now, before you send me hate mail I understand many of you must work, must interact with people and can’t stay inside your homes. But you CAN control how close you are, follow best hygiene practices and keep to minimal interactions with those in high-risk groups.
So…what do we do with our time at home? There are so many options and here are a few suggestions. Feel free to comment with how you are spending your extra time below!
1. Exercise and/or meditate. Every day give yourself time to go for a run outside, workout at home (on-line videos on YouTube are FREE, Beachbody On Demand for a nominal monthly fee, or even many cable networks have fitness channels) can ease the inconvenience of not going to the gym. If you’re not going to the gym call them and see if they will suspend your monthly membership. The stress relief will help ease your concerns (hopefully) and if not, it will offset the extra calories as you eat through the contents of your pantry ;).
2. Keep your routine. This is true for all ages, don’t change your routine because you are working at home, your kids are home, or you are no longer at work.
A block or time schedule can be helpful. Work with the people in your home to delegate rooms, equipment, tv/gaming systems, and even bathroom time if needed. So many memes floating around about what our days should look like and the reality of how our household will manage. Glad to see people haven’t lost their sense of humor.
Great resources for block schedule can be found on YouTube and Pinterest.
Set a meeting time with the family/members of your house and create a calendar. Close quarters means we are all in this together.
3. Meal Plan. Before panicking that you don’t have enough food to manage these next few weeks take inventory of what you have. This morning I woke up in a panic because I hadn’t bought a few items. Once I had a minute to think and calm down, I realized I had purchased something similar that would substitute just fine.
If you find you are running low or missing something you must have, contact a neighbor or friend and see what you have that you can swap or barter. Even consider sharing a delivery order and safely separating the contents for each other.
4. Educational on-line resources at http://www.amazingeducationalresources.com/ for those with kids pre-school to 12th Grade. I am not paid to post these links and am not responsible for broken links or content. When in doubt … Pinterest always works!
5. Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans – First Month FREE Join Prime Video Channels Free Trial
6. Game Night – we love the following
For kids – they can play virtually with a friend who has Battleship. My daughter brilliantly suggested this as we asked what games her friends might have as well. Just set up your board and video chat. Voila. Something to do with a friend and still have fun!
Any board game will work if you each move the friend the appropriate number of spaces. Makes for a fun and unique way to stay connected.
7. Movie Night/ TV Shows. There are on-line libraries or if you’re lucky to have cable, a 24-hour library at your fingertips. Now is the perfect time to re-visit an old favorite or discover a new one.
I’m ready to re-watch The West Wing on Netflix. My DVR is schedule for days and I scored a sweet deal a few weeks ago with the STARZ app so I can stay current with Season 5 of Outlander. If you’re looking for fun family shows … try The Masked Singer and start a pool with who is behind the mask.
If you’re looking for suggestions let’s chat!
8. Take the pets out for a walk. Have an elderly neighbor who can’t? Offer to walk them and be sure to clean the leashes.
9. Discover a new recipe or teach the kids how to cook.This is the perfect time to have kids help prepare, cook and clean. Make it a game show with two main ingredients and they have to discover what to make with items in your pantry.
10. Read. Read. Read. Check out the reviews on my blog for something sweet or spicy. Stalk, I mean follow your favorite , follow authors, browse Overdrive via your local library or favorite bookseller. Many have free reads this week:
11. Check on loved ones and friends often. Everyone will be impacted at some point. Let’s take care of our friends, family and neighbors. Be mindful, respectful and polite. Not all feel necessary to stay at a distance. That is a choice and while I will happily say hello to you at a distance of 6 feet. I still adore you and hope we can shorten the distance soon.
12. Organize and clean up. Cabinets a bit untidy, clothes need to be sorted, bagged for donations or put away? No more excuses.
13. Start that home project. Find an on-line retailer and order what you need. Can’t spend money? Watch a few episodes of Trading Spaces and get creative at home.
14. Crafter/Planner Addict/ Hobby Enthusiast: Are you a crafter? Pull out the yarn, dust off the art supplies, use what you have and get going. I am so excited to see what you create. I’ve got projects still on my knitting needles. Folks, this is going to be so much fun. I can’t wait to start!
Need ideas…check out my Pinterest Board for inspiration.
15. Trust your Covid 19 resources for up-to-date information. Not all information is truthful. Not everyone who is sick has Covid 19, there are still other fun viruses traveling around so please, please, please wash your hands!
16. If you’re sick. Don’t rush to the ER. Call your Doctor and make a plan. We need to keep our health care professionals safe so that when we need them, they are healthy to take care of us.
17. Send a care package to those working on the front-lines. They are exhausted.
18. Buy gift cards from local shops to use once this is contained. Imagine the fun it will be to re-connect and enjoy dining/shopping at our usual places if you choose to stay at home or are unable in your community.
19. If you must go out – be mindful of your distance. Practice spacial distancing. Consider shopping at off times, be patient as lines will be long, be mindful that others need similar products and leave a few.
20. Thank those working the registers, re-stocking the shelves, still cooking and serving at the restaurants, and working in our communities while the rest of us reduce our time out.
I am right her with you and hope that you’ll visit and share your adventures.
I love you all a latte!
It’s time to discover a whole new world that includes a wicked Jafar that will push boundaries to take what’s his. Jasmine is all grown up and tired of being told what to do. Is she ready to take charge and get what she wants? It’s time for you to dive into your beloved fairy tale for a new spin on a story with a twist you won’t expect.
What will Jasmine do when two men covet her? Secretly her desires push boundaries and could ruin her family but the one who tugs at her heart is the one who has the ability to fulfill everything she wants. Cravings will ignite when Jafar discovers the truth.
A tale of Consent. A journey of discovering honesty and passion. Who will submit first? This F/F/M Inferno read will cause you to turn on the A/C, the fan, and take a cold shower.
I received a copy from the author for a fair and honest review.
Men of Valor
A CHARITY ANTHOLOGY
Cover by Raven Designs
All proceeds of this anthology will be donated to the CFA (Country Fire Association). As fire wages war with Australia, we would like to do our part in helping. Fall in love with the firemen in each story, while giving back a small part by purchasing a copy today!
In the depth of the bright orange glow, come the Men of Valor.
These are the heroes who risk their lives to save ours.
They’re the men who walk into the inferno.
Who step between the heat of danger, and give themselves in order to save lives.
They’re fearless, they’re heroic, and it’s time to honor them.
Welcome to The Extra Shot where you’ll find an excerpt from Blame It On The Billionaire by Naima Simone. Happy Book Birthday Naima!
“Why didn’t you want me to know your name?” Grayson finally asked, casting aside the socially acceptable tact that had been drilled into him since birth. “Do we know each other?”
Nadia’s sharp but low intake of breath glanced off his ears, and he faced her again, openly scrutinizing her face for any telltale signs of deception. But she was good. Aside from that gasp, her expression remained shuddered. Either she had nothing to hide or she was damn good at lying.
He couldn’t decide which one to believe.
“No,” she whispered. “We don’t know each other.”
Truth rang in her voice, and the vise squeezing his chest loosened a fraction of an inch.
“And I guess, I didn’t see the point of exchanging names. If not for this blackout or you being in this hallway instead of the ballroom, our paths wouldn’t have crossed. And when the power is restored, we’ll become strangers again. Getting to know each other will pass the time but it’s not because we truly want to. It’s not…honest.”
Her explanation struck him like a punch. It echoed throughout his body, vibrating through skin and bone. Honest. What did he know about that?
In the world he moved in, deception was everywhere—from the social niceties of “It’s so good to see you” to the cagey plans to land a business deal. He wasn’t used to her brand of frankness, and so he didn’t give her platitudes. Her honesty deserved more than that.
“You’re right,” he said. “And you’re wrong.” Deliberately, he straightened his legs until they sprawled out in front him, using that moment to force himself to give her the truth. “If not for me needing to get out of that ballroom and bumping into you here, we wouldn’t have met. You would be outside, unprotected in the parking lot or on the road. And I would be trapped in the dark with people I wish I didn’t know, most likely going out of my mind. So for that alone, I’m glad we did connect. Because Nadia…” He surrendered to the need that had been riding him since looking down into her upturned face, and clasped a lock of her hair, twisting it around his finger. “Nadia, I would rather be out here with you, a complete stranger I’ve met by serendipity, then surrounded by the familiar strangers I’ve known for years in that ballroom.”
She stared at him, her pretty lips slightly parted, espresso eyes widened in surprise.
“Another thing you’re correct and incorrect about. True, when the lights come back on and we leave here, we probably won’t see each other again. But in this moment, there’s nothing I want more than to discover more about Nadia with the gorgeous mouth, the unholy curves and the underwhelming fairy godmother.”
Maybe he shouldn’t have pushed it with the comments about her mouth and body, but if they were being truthful, then he refused to hide how attractive he found her. Attractive, hell. Such an anemic description for his hunger to explore every inch of her and be able to write a road map later.
Her lashes fluttered before lowering, hiding her eyes. In her lap, her elegant fingers twisted. He released the strands of her hair and checked the impulse to tip her chin up and order her to look at him.
“Why did you need to escape the ballroom?” she asked softly.
He didn’t immediately reply, instead waiting until her gaze rose to meet his.
Only then did he whisper, “To find you.”
©Blame it on the Billionaire, Naima Simone 2020
Blame it on the Billionaire by Naima Simone is perfection. Delicious, decadent, and satisfied my craving for a scorchin read. Be warned, you might find that despite the cold weather outside a sudden need to turn on the A/C.
A heroine who is genuine, passion that radiates through my e-reader click after click, and the flawless writing makes this one-click worthy.
Grayson Chandler is done with his meddling and nagging mother who is not afraid to remind him of his family obligations. Expectations don’t care about the heart or personal feelings. When Grayson finds the one woman who could potentially save him and satisfy all of his needs, he will propose a business deal that could jeopardize everything. Some things are worth the risk ;).
When Nadia Jordan meets Grayson during a blackout, her world will spin on its axis. What will happen when the lights turn on and the truth is revealed? Nadia will do whatever she must to overcome her mothers reputation even if it means breaking her heart. This journey is one that ticks all the boxes and will be one your recommend to other romance lovers :).
Warm up your winter nights with this read and discover a romance that dares to defy as we discover the emotional journey of two characters who are destined to be together. A journey worth taking and one that will leave you wanting more from Naima Simone. I wish there was more, not because the story didn’t have closure or ended too soon. I wanted more because I fell in love with the characters and could’ve kept on reading.
I received a copy from the publisher for a fair and honest review. I can’t wait for more from this must read author.
Get your copy now!
Good thing Naima has a backlist to keep you satisfied – click here.
USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey and Sandra Brown many years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights— writing sizzling romances with a touch of humor and snark.
She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.
Stay connected with Rae Latte and Books I Love A Latte for Book Reviews, Excerpts, Teasers, Coffee With (Interviews), Giveaways, Authors Dish, Book Sales, and other Tasty Tidbits.