The Inside Habit

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Women’s Fiction category.

Trish Perry Sunset Beach

I haven’t actually received my ARC for Sunset Beach yet, but it’s coming. I’m promoting the book nonetheless, and will review it later.

Sunset-Beach-cover-194x300 In the popular Beach House series (more than 60,000 copies sold), a worn and comfortable coastal home in San Diego intersects with charming, contemporary stories—Sally John’s The Beach House and Castles in the Sand followed by Trish Perry’s Beach Dreams. In Sunset Beach, Perry delights fans by returning to the beloved backdrop where women gather and lives change.

Meet Sonny Miller, a recent college graduate with plans to get her master’s degree in psychology. With the intention of resolving some family drama and putting her academic interests to the test, Sonny cleverly invites her mother, Teresa, and her mother’s estranged twin, Aunt Melanie, to the quiet and quirky beach house. They both show up…and with surprises of their own. Teresa, a successful classical singer, brings her latest protégé, Irina, and Melanie brings along secrets about Teresa and the identity of Sonny’s long–gone father.

The strong personalities cause some big waves, and Sonny is in over her head. Soon she is drawn to Irina and Irina’s charming brother, Grigori. Her faith is strengthened by their story of being adopted as children from a Russian orphanage by a Christian couple from America.

Readers will love being a guest alongside these characters. Between each sunrise and sunset is another day for healing, laughter, rediscovering the importance of family, and embracing the hope of God’s care.

Here’s my short interview with the author:

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think I probably wanted to be an actor when I was a child. I memorized dialogue, imagined scenes, and studied actresses I admired. But I never went out for Drama in school. I was horribly shy and couldn’t imagine auditioning for anything. Still, I was well served by my obsession with dialogue and the visual exercises of creating scenes in my mind. Sometimes I still come up with my scenes and dialogue by simply visualizing them on screen or acting them out with imaginary characters. I try to keep these antics private, of course. I’d be in big trouble on one of those Big Brother type of reality shows.

What’s the most difficult part of the writing process for you?
Being disciplined enough, especially at the beginning of a project, to just sit here at the computer and do it. I’m always amazed, once I’ve put something up there, how easy it is to make it better. If you have something to work with, you’re halfway there. So I’m trying to be better about the beginning of a project—not to over think it before I start.

When you write do you generally know where you’re headed or are you sometimes as surprised as your characters about the way things end?
There is always surprise, no matter how well I plan out a book’s progress. I was just talking with my editor about that the other day, the fact that the initial summary I write might change a bit as events unfold around my protagonist. I think that’s happened with every book I’ve written. I typically write a summary, which tells me generally where the story will go, and then I write a sentence or two per chapter idea, and then I start hammering away on Chapter One. As I write actual chapters, the events between “Once upon a time” and “The End” evolve in more significant ways than I expected in the first place. It’s an exciting process!

Where did you get the idea for the book?
The setting (the funky little house on Mission Beach) and time frame (one or two weeks’ time) were already established for me by my publisher. All of the books in The Beach House series fall within those parameters. But the characters and their stories formulated over time. First I dreamed up Sonny—a young woman who had lived her entire life devoid of details about her family background, thanks to her secretive mother. Sonny had reached a point where she wanted to take control of her own life. Her mother was the barrier to that, so Sonny needed to both go around her mother and barrel headlong towards her. The hidden details about Sonny’s past arose as I created each new character. Even though my own family is close and forthcoming about our family history, there have always been fuzzy areas about which I’ve wanted to know more. I imagined how difficult it would be if your entire family history were fuzzy. I know I’d be compelled to act as Sonny did.

With which character do you, personally, identify most and why?
Although we’re nothing like each other, I’d have to say I empathized the most with Sonny. As I mentioned above, I shudder at the idea of being in the dark about all of your family members, including your own father. I don’t identify with the questions Sonny had, but I can certainly imagine them. And the fact that Sonny got her degree in Psychology, of course, is the closest tie I have with her. Knowing how little I know with a B.A. (versus graduate education and years of actual practice), I had fun making Sonny charge forth as if she thought she could cure her family’s woes. She certainly had her heart in the right place, but her methods were slightly half baked.

What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
First, I hope they’ll find the book entertaining. I want them to enjoy Sonny’s journey and the way her discoveries uncover secrets and feelings for the people around her. I hope they’ll be amused, but only when I mean them to be! On a grander scale, I hope readers will be touched by the whole issue of personal identity and how God factors into that. I never want to write a preachy book—but I certainly enjoy hearing when my books are inspiring. My prayer before every book I write is that God will give me the story someone somewhere needs to read in order to feel more of what He wants them to feel. Then I leave it up to Him.

Okay, not so short interview. Hope you enjoyed it!

Sunset Beach on Amazon:

Trish Perry’s Website and Blog:

Trish Perry’s Facebook Profile:

Follow Trish Perry on Twitter:

Others on the book tour:

A Peek at My Bookshelf
A Spacious Place
All Creature’s Great and Small
Blog Tour Spot
Book Junkie Confessions
Book Nook Club
Cindy’s Stamping and Reviews
Cornhusker Academy
Drive Home Productions
Edgy Inspirational Author Blog
Fresh Brewed Writer
Gatorskunz and Mudcats
Giving Up on Picture Perfect
Heart Chocolate
I Don’t Wanna Blog
J’s Spot
Lighthouse Academy
Net’s Book Notes
Our Family’s Adventures
Real Women Scrap
Refresh My Soul
Scraps and Snippets
Sherry Kyle
Springs Writers
The Friendly Book Nook
The Sarah Jane Diaries
The Writing Road
This That and The Other
wandering, wonderings of a whacked-out woman
Word Up Studies
Word Vessel


Review: Match Point by Erynn Mangum

match-point-250Book3 in the Lauren Holbrook series, an inspirational novel. Here is the blurb:

Matchmaker Lauren Holbrook is happy after putting together four successful couples. That is, until the tables are turned and she’s on the receiving end of the matchmaking!

Lauren and her boyfriend, Ryan, devise a plan to make it look as if they’ve broken up so people will get off their backs about marriage. No problem, right? That’s of course until Lauren realizes she’s in love.

The first and last (this one) books in the series were definitely my favorite. Lauren finally had the cards turned on her. Some readers have said that it’s not as funny as the previous two books and this is true. However, it’s also more romantic (thank goodness! Was I the only one asking why the heck Laur-Ry weren’t locking lips??) Obviously I’m not going to get into my heartbreak over Lauren not marrying her best friend. (Got over that at the end of the last book). Ryan won me over in the end with the “weird” looks he gave Lauren.

With that said, the supporting characters didn’t exactly make my heart sing. I get that it was Lauren’s story finally being told but the others just seemed to lose their zing in this book (where did you go Brandon?).

Rating: 3/5 (Amazon; Barnes & Nobles; Chapters)

Review: Milkrun by Sarah Mlynowski

cover_milkrunYes, I know the original book came out in 2001. But with the new cover here… and me never having read it, I thought…

Anyway, here is a the blurb on the book:

milkrun\’milk run\ (plural) milkruns noun
1. a routine and often slow journey esp. taken from the delivery of milk
2. The process of dating to no avail why am I on the milkrun and not the express?!

When Jackie’s boyfriend announces, out of the blue, that he’s outgrown coupledom and is off to Thailand “to find himself” (and a leggy Claudia Schiffer look-alike), Jackie is struck by a bizarre irony: her (almost) glittering career is devoted to editing romance novels; yet here she is, single again, without even a hint of a meaningful relationship-other than with her TV remote and pizza delivery boy. So much for Mr. Right!

Undaunted, Jackie does what any smart, self-respecting twentysomething would do: transforms herself into a sex kitten in knee-high black leather boots, and goes looking for Mr. Wrong! Astonishingly, Jackie finds she has a talent for being single in the city. Ditching inhibitions along with her sensible wardrobe, she braves Boston’s hippest bars and discovers her true self-and a whole lot more.

This was a fun read. A vague reminder of Bridget Jones (except she’s twenty-five). Jackie was a likable character and I didn’t hate her at the end of the book which is always good. She had just the right amount of wit, sarcastic humor and stupidity (? – is the quest for love ever really stupid?) to keep me reading on. I’m glad to be able to say that while I saw the ending coming, I didn’t quite see the end coming. Make any sense? (Read: Maybe I should drink some more coffee) I love a character who learns everything and nothing in a book! You know what I want? To find out what happened next… in the next book… that does not exist 😦

Rating: 3.5/5 (Amazon; Barnes & Nobles; Chapters)

Review: Love Finds You… by Sandra Bricker

9781934770450lovefindsyou_snowball_lrI read my ARC of this pretty quickly. I think it was just what you’d expect from seeing the cover (love the cover!).  Here’s the back blurb:

So what if she can’t hook a fish? This city girl has a plan to snag something else…and his name is Justin. Lucy Binoche is reasonably attractive, intelligent, and fit. She has French lineage and better-than-average hair. So why is she nearly 30 and still single?

Justin Gerard is the rugged hottie new to her church’s singles group. When he signs up for a camping trip in the Ozarks, Lucy loses no time writing her name on the line beneath his. There’s only one problem Lucy’s idea of “roughing it” is suffering through a long line at Starbucks. She assumes she can rely on the grace of God and the assistance of her friend to get through.

But at the campsite in Snowball, Arkansas, Lucy bungles everything she attempts as she tries to impress Justin. She can’t fish, hike, or ride a horse; caves make her hyperventilate; and hot-air balloons make her ill. Soon, events are snowballing out of control. Will Lucy pretend to be someone shes not just to snag a boyfriend? Or will she discover someone who loves her just as she is?

A quick fun read. I mean, after a while, it was a little annoying – the way Lucy couldn’t seem to keep her butt out of trouble. But she was CUTE (in that want-to-pinch-her-cheeks kind of way). Seriously. Plus it wasn’t preachy and that is always good. I laughed out loud a few times when I wasn’t expecting to. I guess that’s because in a way I could relate. (Actually, I would have given up on the guy the minute hooking a fish came up in conversation).

All this said, I’m getting tired of the fact that most chicklit/women’s books evolve around a woman who’s life will be over the minute she turns 30. There’s so many of them out there and if I have to read another one…

Anyway, Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas = fun inspirational read. Recommended if you’re looking for something light-hearted to delve into.

Rating: 3/5 (Amazon; Barnes & Nobles; Chapters)

Currently Reading: Stand-In Groom by Kaye Dacus