≡ Menu

We are continuing to honor A.M. Willard this week as promised. See the first post here for details.

If you’ve been keeping up all week you will be aware that I’ve been paying tribute to A.M. Willard. In doing this I’ve been starkly reminded of what fuels the passion here at writing pearls.

I am always about supporting other Authors if it is in my capacity to do so. Never would I think of supporting an Author who left behind a family in an untimely death. I felt lead to do this, this week and I am so glad I did.

It’s had me reflecting deeply on the reality that none of us are leaving this world alive. Some of us are given more time than others. It’s struck a chord with me when I take my last breath will I be satisfied with what is left behind? Was A.M. Willard?

I can’t help but wonder how many more books she had to write, how many more do I have to write? Will they make a difference when we are gone? I have done all that is in my power that Willard will be remembered for as long as there is the internet.

They say we come into this world with nothing we leave with nothing. I don’t believe that we come with nothing but we leave with our stories. If you are a writer you’ve left that to be discovered in the works you leave behind. Death has a way of reminding us how mortal we really are.

With deep condolences, my prayers and support continue to be with the Willard family.

If you would like to help the family with the unexpected funeral expenses go here. 

A.M. Willard Tribute Week Taste of Love Book 4Spicy Sweets (A Taste of Love #4) by A.M. Willard

The final installment of the Taste of Love Series.

I said ‘I do’ to the first guy to sweep me off my feet after my heart shattered all those years ago. I didn’t just vow to love him; nope, I signed on that line for both him and his daughter.

This lifestyle is new and one that I never thought I'd want. Why? Because over the years, my job and friends were the most important thing to me. Don’t get me wrong, the girls are still my family. It’s just this tattooed mechanic changed my outlook on love. Let's not forget that the cute blonde-haired princess has me wrapped around her fingers, and I'd do anything to protect her.

Love isn’t always natural… Nope, and we already have a few problems to work through. I’m not his daughter’s mother, and the guy who broke my heart all those years ago works in the office next to me.

You guessed it, things are about to get a little spicy when love goes sideways.

We are continuing to honor A.M. Willard this week as promised. See the first post here for details.

In an Oyster Shell –  Every book in my series is my favorite until the next one. This was a satisfying ending to the series.

The Pearls –  This is a super great series. I am impressed by how the author kept the characters centered around the bakery but still had them have their own lives. This is a super great series and I am glad I stumbled upon it.

What makes these books are the characters and the strong bonds they make with each other. These bonds jump off the page and wrap around you, drawing you in. I super appreciate that the author gave us a satisfying conclusion on all the characters in the end.

I like the romance between Natasha and Deisel. Natasha the laced up lawyer and Diesel the residential bad boy. I liked the push and pull between the two of them. I loved Diesel’s daughter that was a super cute addition to the happy family.

The Sand – It was a good book.

4 Pearls!


If you would like to help the family with the unexpected funeral expenses go here. 

About A.M. Willard

A.M. Willard is a bestselling author. Her books focus on contemporary romance and romantic comedy. Her new release, Follow Your Arrow is available now! Mark your calendars now for her upcoming standalone romantic comedy Forty Candles, coming August 8, 2018.

A.M. Willard Tribute Week Taste of Love Book 3Heated Sweets (A Taste of Love, #3) by A.M. Willard
on May 17, 2017
Pages: 244
Source: Purchased Amazon

A romantic comedy that explores insecurities, and new loves.

Do you believe someone can change your whole perspective on life? I didn't, but I do now... It all happened when my sexy neighbor, Evan Taylor moved in.

I've been hiding behind my camera for years, and it's what I know and love - not to mention the best way for me to disguise myself.

I have one problem... Evan, and his son can see right through me. There's no hiding when it comes to the two of them. Evan's also the one that's showing me a new way to see life and experience passion.

Will it be enough for him to accept me, for me?

We are continuing to honor A.M. Willard this week as promised. See the first post here for details.

In an Oyster Shell – Another great addition to the series with a focus on Frankie.

The Pearls – I really liked that there was a more personal touch in this story. It touches on the heartbreak and struggle of Endometriosis. Not something I’ve personally struggled with. Frankie’s pain and insecurity were palpable. That she found her happy place, made for an exciting read.

The girls rally together again. Zara is about to pop, Morgan is planning her wedding and Natasha is off in her world with her ready-made family. The guys start to rally together and form their own group. There is a surprising twist with Frankie’s old friend who everyone thought she’d end up with.

I like Even’s, son. I think it can be hard to do child characters well. It’s done well here. I was impressed.

The Sand –  There was a biological issue that wasn’t quite realistic.

3.5 Pearls!

If you would like to help the family with the unexpected funeral expenses go here. 

About A.M. Willard

A.M. Willard is a bestselling author. Her books focus on contemporary romance and romantic comedy. Her new release, Follow Your Arrow is available now! Mark your calendars now for her upcoming standalone romantic comedy Forty Candles, coming August 8, 2018.

A.M. Willard Tribute Week Taste of Love Book 2Sugary Sweets (A Taste of Love, #2) by A.M. Willard
on August 24, 2016

Zara James never expected to fall in love, leaving the hopeless romantic lifestyle to her friends. She also never imagined she’d be expecting a baby and married to the one guy she fought so hard to keep at arm’s length. Faced with life’s challenges of insecurities, pregnancy hormones, and the pressures of being a new wife in the burbs of Atlanta, Georgia, Zara tries to master them one cupcake at a time. Well, that is until her world is turned upside down by one accident that could change everything.

Hatcher James knew his smart-mouthed wife was the only woman for him years ago. He just had to figure out the correct formula to make her fall in love with him. Putting together the perfect mixture of intimacy, spice, and frosting might just do the trick, and bring joy to both of their lives.

As Hatcher tries to come up with the right ingredients, will all the hard work end in smoke or will they conquer life’s hurdles together, one tasty treat after another?

Sugary Sweets continues the Taste of Love series as we join the gang for some comical scenes, life challenges, friendship, and most of all, love covered in sugar.

We are continuing to honor A.M. Willard this week as promised. See the first post here for details.

One passionate tryst in the bakery kitchen and Zara is carrying Hatcher’s baby. He convinced her to elope and now they are settling into suburbia. Adjusting to life with Hatcher and raging hormones Zara does her best to navigate her new life. With fears inundating her she turns to her faithful friends to help her see up from down.

In an Oyster Shell – Zara is hilarious and loves to get freaky. It does not get explicit but you can tell Zara enjoy’s her husband.  Every book in this series is enjoyable but each featured couple becomes your favorite.

I like how this author portrays all the characters from all the books. Instead of getting one book, you get four to keep track of your favorite characters. They are all in different stages of a relationship. That they are always there for each other is so endearing.

The romance was sweet yet I enjoyed Zara’s character growth the most. She seemed like the most immature of the group in the last book. This one she blossoms as she accepts her new role as wife and mother.

The Sand – It was good.

4 Pearls!

If you would like to help the family with the unexpected funeral expenses go here. 

About A.M. Willard

A.M. Willard is a bestselling author. Her books focus on contemporary romance and romantic comedy. Her new release, Follow Your Arrow is available now! Mark your calendars now for her upcoming standalone romantic comedy Forty Candles, coming August 8, 2018.

Tribute Week For A.M. Willard Review of Taste of Love Series Book 1Frosted Sweets by A.M. Willard
Series: ,
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on May 23, 2016
Pages: 198
Source: Purchased Amazon

A romantic comedy from a bestselling author where frosting will never be the same.

I'm a hopeless romantic who thought the wedding dress draped over my shoulder was going to be the start of my future... What I didn't expect was to meet Jayden in the park before witnessing my fiance with someone other than myself.

As my life seems to be fitting in with the latest gossip magazine, I'm trying to avoid the frosted feelings that are baking up in the oven for Jayden.

He's not just new to town, he's new to me and something I'm not sure I'm ready to taste.

This week I am doing something a little different. It was brought to my attention that Author A.M. Willard died at a very young age. (41) Leaving her husband and son behind. Here at Writing Pearls you know I have the heart to support authors and promote them any way I can. I am deeply saddened that this author has been sitting in my To Be Read Pile for nearly two years. I didn’t get the chance to honor her while she was still here. I took the time this week to read and purchase her Taste of Love series to help support this author and her family. We want to do our part to help. I will add a G0 Fund Me at the end of every review this week. If you don’t want to contribute with a donation please go buy her books. Every little bit helps! Keep her memory alive by enjoying her sweet and sassy romantic comedies. My prayers go out to the Willard family.

In an Oyster Shell –  This was a sweet and sassy read with a little bit of heat that will have you falling in love with Morgan and all her friends.

The Pearls –  I love a good Romantic Comedy and they are so hard to find these days. I wouldn’t say these books are completely wholesome as they have some heat but they are not intolerable in that department. This story was sweet and sassy and I love that you get to follow the group all through the four books.

You’ll fall in love with the characters. Warning! These characters will induce binge reading. You’ll want to demolish the whole series as fast as possible. These ladies always have something up their sleeve and are always leaving their men on their toes.

The romance between Morgan and  Jayden is sweet with a side of sexy. I feel out of this series they are the most foundational couple. They are the glue that holds the rest of the group together. Though other couples will get their limelight. Morgan and Jayden were my personal faves in this series.

The Sand – This was a good book.

4 Pearls!

If you would like to help the family with the unexpected funeral expenses go here. 


About A.M. Willard

A.M. Willard is a bestselling author. Her books focus on contemporary romance and romantic comedy. Her new release, Follow Your Arrow is available now! Mark your calendars now for her upcoming standalone romantic comedy Forty Candles, coming August 8, 2018.

Review Kissing Cousins by Savannah SingletonKissing Cousins by Savannah Singleton
Published by Inkitt on November 19, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 106
Source: Inkitt

I received this book for free from Inkitt in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


When Megan Forester’s plane touches down in her hometown of Lubbock, Texas, she is flooded with uneasiness. After moving away with her family 8 years ago and not looking back, she is certain that she’ll be an outsider at her cousin's wedding.

As she collects her bag and considers turning around and booking the next flight out of dodge, she is stopped in her tracks by a handsome young man holding a sign with her name on it. Though there is something familiar about the tall, good-looking man, she cannot place him. Not until, that is, he greets her with an enthusiastic “welcome home, cuz”, and a gentle kiss on the lips.

Stunned, memories and forgotten feelings come flooding back as Megan realizes her mysterious valet is none other than Bradley Bosley; a close family friend whom she spent her summers with as a young girl. He was her first love, and her first heartbreak.

This weekend might turn out to be a lot more interesting than Megan could have ever imagined. Will there still be a spark between the two kids who used to steal kisses behind the Bosley family barn?

Megan Forester is going back to her hometown in Lubbock, Texas for her cousin’s wedding. That town holds a lot of memories for her like her first kiss and love Bradley Bosley. They were so close when she lived there even being confused for cousins through the figured out that was not the case. The wedding weekend gets interesting when Bradley is the one to pick her up. Megan is flooded with memories and nerves as she reconciles her first love and heartbreak.

In an Oyster Shell –  It was a short and sweet read, it would be good if you just want a quick easy read.

The Pearls –  I liked the brevity of this novel. It as short and sweet and to the point. Some people may not like this but I did.

The characters were well developed and were memorable. It’s hard to develop characters in that short amount of time but this author did it well.

The romance was enjoyable. I love first loves being reunited. It’s a dream that a few people have and a fantasy we may all enjoy from time to time. Seeing it played out in this book was entertaining and swoon-worthy.

Sand – There was not too much depth to it which is good but also not great.

3.5 Pearl!


3.5 Stars
Blog Tour with Review – The Lady Loves A ScandalThe Lady Loves A Scandal: Regency Novella by Christina McKnight
on May 22, 2018
Genres: Regency
Pages: 111
Source: Barclay Publicity

I received this book for free from Barclay Publicity in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Originally published in IT STARTED WITH A WHISPER Anthology

Lady Sybil Anson thought she had it all. Even a match of the heart, despite so many London elite marrying for convenience. But the night before their betrothal was to become official, the love of her life vanished—with a hastily scrawled note and little more. She feared the worst as her heart ached for Gideon, and the scandal sheets simply made matters worse with their preposterous musings on the hows and whys of Viscount Galway’s disappearance. Now, more than a year later, he’s unexpectedly back, and Sybil will have her answers.

Many, many years ago, Gideon Lyndon made a grave mistake. One he’s spent most of his adult life trying to rectify. And despite the progress made, the sacrifices were extensive and damaging. On the verge of repairing one misdeed, he finds himself faced with his greatest challenge yet: winning back the woman he has loved since the moment he met her. But after a year of silence, convincing his headstrong paramour to take him back will not be easy. Especially since he can’t even explain why he left—not if he wants to keep her safe.

Lady Sybil Anson was elated that she was going to be betrothed the next day. Much to her shock, Gideon Lyndon leaves town that night with no explanation. Her sorrow and shame are all over the gossip rags lead by Lady X. There is even more to gossip about when Gideon shows up a year later to win Sybil back unable to explain why he left.

In an Oyster Shell – This author is extremely talented and showed again in this novella short and sweet.

The Pearls – I was beyond excited that this Regency had some similarities with my favorite show gossip girl. I was over the moon. Every time Lady X said her peace I was giddy. It was an extremely clever concept and well executed. The story is short but it feels full. I would love if she turned this into a series.

The characters are well developed given the short amount of time you get to spend with them. McKnight packed a lot of punch in few pages. Sybil is strong but faithful and so is Gideon. For a time this is to their detriment. The side characters added depth. I loved Gideon’s friend.

The romance was sweet and palpable. The faithfulness that the two had almost written the story itself. It was why it was able to be done in such few words. They were faithful from the beginning. Their love for each other surpassed the pages of the book.

4 Pearls

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Christina McKnight

Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since. Currently, she focuses on Historical Romance.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

{ 1 comment }
Blog Tour with Review – The Wedding Date by  Zara StoneleyThe Wedding Date: The laugh out loud romantic comedy of the year! by Zara Stoneley
Published by HarperImpulse on April 20, 2018
Genres: Chic-Lit
Source: Rachels Random Resources

I received this book for free from Rachels Random Resources in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


One ex.One wedding.One little white lie.

When Samantha Jenkins is asked to be the maid of honour at her best friend’s wedding, she couldn’t be happier. There are just three problems…

1) Sam’s ex-boyfriend, Liam, will be the best man.2) His new girlfriend is pregnant.3) Sam might have told people she has a new man when she doesn’t (see points 1 and 2 above)

So, Sam does the only sensible thing available to her… and hires a professional to do the job.

Actor Jake Porter is perfect for the role: single, gorgeous and cheap! Sam is certain it’s the perfect solution: no strings, no heartbreak and hopefully no chance of being found out.

But spending a week in the Scottish Highlands with Jake is harder than she imagined. He is the perfect boyfriend, charming, sexy and the hottest thing in a kilt since Outlander! And his dog Harry is quite possibly the cutest things Sam has ever seen!

As the wedding draws closer, Jake plays his part to perfection and everyone believes he is madly in love with Sam. The problem is, Sam’s not sure if Jake is acting anymore…

Samantha Jenkins is thrilled for her best friend that is getting married. The problem that she is marrying Sam’s ex’s brother and he’s going to be the best man. Everyone’s going to know he’s cheated on her when he comes with is the hugely pregnant girlfriend. To save face Sam and her friend come up with a plan to pay for a date to the week-long wedding festivities in Scotland. There is one rule no sleeping together. Jake agrees to the terms and as the week goes on it’s hard to remember that it’s all just pretend.

In an Oyster shell –  This author had me laughing out loud and leaving me wanting to share the funny bits with my husband. I almost embarrassed myself because I started reading this on the train and it was so hard not to bust out laughing! Books like this are so rare and so needed.

The Pearls – Sam was just an amazing character. I like how the author wrote from her perspective. Sam’s inner commentary was what sent me over the edge in laughter most of the time. Her humor was absolutely contagious. Jake played a great hero he’ll make somebody a great book boyfriend if you are into that.  The supporting characters added to the humor and dynamic making for a well-rounded story.

The plot was thorough and interesting. You had to keep turning the pages to eagerly see what was happening next. These characters always had some kind of shenanigans going around. Even though it was a funny story, there were some somber moments that made it more realistic. That made for a complete story that was wholesome to boot.

This author was in complete command of her British English language. She had great word choices that made this an intelligent write. It read really well and the flow was good. It was very well done.

The Sand – A good book always ends too soon. Don’t get me wrong the ending was great.

I hope to read more from this author.

5 Pearls!


About Zara Stoneley

Born in a small village in Staffordshire, Zara Stoneley wanted to be James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. Writing novels means she can imagine she is all these things, and more!

Zara’s bestselling novels include ‘The Holiday Swap’, ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ and the popular Tippermere series – ‘Stable Mates’, ‘Country Affairs’ and ‘Country Rivals’.
She lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a naughty cockapoo, and a very bossy cat, and loves spending time in sunny Spain.


Happy Friday Everyone!

I’m writing this late (It’s almost not Friday anymore!) and coffee has turned to wine. It was a red blend of sorts I am not even sure how I acquired it, but one glass was enough. If you have any suggestions for excellent wines, let me know.

No matter what you write, a bit of poetic license can be a valuable asset to any writer’s arsenal.” 

Robert Lee Brewer

The last discussion I talked about overcoming writer’s block. I mentioned that poetry was in part, how I overcame it and I want to talk about it. I was inspired by the above quote that I got from the most recent Writer’s Digest. I agree I feel that every writer can benefit from some elements of poetry.

Poetry for me has been the building block of my creativity. I quit poetry five years ago because I was so discouraged by the negativity I found in my local poetry scene. I can’t help but wonder if leaving poetry had to do with my writer’s block. It’s like stopping took the wind out of my creative sails.

What happened was I looked for a mentor in a poet who deemed himself an expert in the city where I live, and it ended very badly. Portrayed himself as a willing person to help up and coming poets. Come to find out he had an insufficient understanding of how poetry should be and hurt me very badly with lack of support all the way to harassment. There is more to the story but not needed for this post. I quit poetry because to me I thought it was nothing but drama.

A few months ago I was sharing some of my writing with a friend, and I snuck in a few poems. She read my poetry and asked why I was not writing poetry. I gave her the answer that it was too much drama. She kept asking questions and it she helped me see that I had quit because I was wounded. She strongly encouraged me to start again. It made me think and meditate on doing just that. I processed through the hurt and worked through forgiveness and it got me ready to get on the right path.

A poetry site that I had been a part of just happened to send me an email to come back, so I did. I found 171 poems that I had written and forgotten. I mentioned this last time I saw a lot of writing I had squirreled away when I thought I had writer’s block. I went through the poems, and it took me three days to find them all and get them organized. Then I took up my pen and started.

When the poetry started flowing, I felt freedom. All these years of writer’s block are now only a memory. When I write poetry I connect to a depth of myself I pour out on paper. It not only makes me a better writer but a more consistent one at that.  I feel like poetry puts the heartbeat in my prose.

The brevity of poetry makes you focus on the poignancy of your word choices. There are also other poetic devices that help with flow and rhythm. When you train yourself to do it on a small scale, you naturally do it on a longer piece like prose. Poetry is my training ground, a prelude to more powerful prose.

Your prose is what most people are going to see. When you do poetry on the side, it’s helping you do the work behind the scenes to strengthen your narratives. If you get into poetry, you can use the poems you generate as another genre to publish in. Poetry itself at the moment is not a big money maker, but it is a satisfying way to get your work out into the world if you so choose.

As Robert Lee Brewer says “a bit a bit of poetic license can be a valuable asset..” I mean it has been for me, and I suggest you try it. There are some great poetry sites online that can help you learn more about it. I am currently taking some free courses on Allpoetry.com If you need help figuring out how to get to the classes message me and I’ll be glad to help!

Whatever helps you to get your words on paper do it with boldness.

Do you have experience with poetry?

Review Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David AhernMadam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David Ahern
Published by Malin Press on April 12, 2018
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 362
Source: Author

A surprise role in a movie takes actress Derry O’Donnell to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands. But romance soon turns to fear and suspicion. Someone means to kill, and Derry, moonlighting as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip, is snared in a net of greed, conspiracy and betrayal.

A millionaire banker, a film producer with a mysterious past, a gun-loving wife, a PA with her eyes on Hollywood, a handsome and charming estate manager—each has a secret to share and a request for Madam Tulip.

As Derry and her friend Bruce race to prevent a murder, she learns to her dismay that the one future Tulip can’t predict is her own.

Madame Tulip and the Bones of Chance is the third Madam Tulip adventure.

Derry is back waiting for that next big audition. When she is given a spot on a movie with no audition she is very skeptical. Especially when she finds out she was recommended by someone she does not trust. After some negotiating she and Bruce get onto the movie. Things get dicey when she puts on her Madam Tulip costume and finds herself deep in a mystery. As always she gets more involved than planned as she tries to figure out what is going on.

In an Oyster Shell –  I feel like this was the best installment yet. I love this series and am excited when a new book comes out.

The Pearls – I love the push and pull of Derry and her Madam Tulip persona. She’s getting to be well known in Europe and that makes for exciting possibilities. It’s very interesting that she get’s cast as a fortune teller though they really wanted Madam Tulip. I love her seventh son sense that always seems to get her in trouble.

This book is extremely well written. There is great word economy with excellent style. Ahern is a very talented author and it came through in this particular book. The writing devices used made for an almost immaculate novel.

You can’t talk about the Madam Tulip series and not say something about the characters. I love that Bruce is Derry’s sidekick and is often there in her time of need. There was a nice array of characters that were causing lots of trouble this made for an interesting read. Vanessa and Jacko always add depth to the story and more problems for Derry.

The Sand –  There is one part of the story I don’t understand but I’ll ask the author. I’m sure I just missed something.

5 pearls! Well done David!

5 Stars

About David Ahern

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate and taught in major universities but could never explain to his granny why he didn’t own a stethoscope.

Finding the challenge of pretending to know things exhausting, David Ahern shaved off his beard and absconded once more, this time to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series. He won numerous awards but found nobody was much impressed.

For want of a better plan, David Ahern took to writing fiction. Madame Tulip isn’t his first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’s ever had with a computer. He is now writing the third in the series and enjoys pretending that this activity is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.