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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dearly Beloved series by Margo Hoornstra Blog Tour & #Giveaway




Art Imitates Life; Or Is It The Other Way Around?
by Margo Hoornstra
In Only If You Dare, recently divorced Cynthia Buckingham has a one night stand with well- respected judge Jonah Colt. Except they soon discover life just simply isn’t that, well, that simple. As their story unfolds, all sorts of personal issues surface they have to deal with. Jonah is a military veteran suffering, and denying, PTSD. Cynthia happens to have just begun a psychological practice and helping those with PTSD is her specialty.  When they have their first fight and Jonah leaves Cynthia at the restaurant to ‘fend for herself’ she’s mugged and her purse is stolen.  Add to all of this, many of their clandestine times together are interrupted by face-time calls on the computer from Cynthia’s grown daughter with various crises she needs solved in the planning of her quickly approaching wedding.  Given that Cynthia’s goal is to keep Jonah’s presence in her life a secret, these calls pose a special, and physical, challenge.

Enter me, the author, to present all of these issues and make them believable. I’ve never been divorced, never indulged in a one night stand, never served in the military, never been a judge, never been a psychologist, never suffered from PTSD, never been mugged, though I once had my purse stolen, have face timed with my grandchildren, and helped two grown daughters plan their weddings. Out of ten things, I have, hands on, personal experience with three of them.

That’s where imagination comes in. I put myself in the shoes of my characters and try to envision how they would act, think and feel in various situations. I’m not trying to suggest that I’m an expert at any of it.

In my writing, I’m a true pantster from the word go. I come up with an idea--no let me rephrase that--an idea comes to me and I begin a mental game of what if. Sometimes--let me rephrase again--most times my characters surprise me. They will say or do something in a beginning chapter, and I won’t have a clue why. Then a few chapters down the road, whatever it was they said and did before makes perfect sense to me now.

I guess you could say I view writing as an adventure, a journey, a joy. Here’s hoping those who read my work agree.



Only If You Dare
by Margo Hoornstra
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Wild Rose Press
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 26, 2013
Length: 117 Pages

All the pleasures and none of the pain, that's what Cynthia Buckingham wants in a relationship these days. A one-night stand with Jonah Colt seems to fit that bill perfectly. Newly divorced, she's too busy planning her daughter's wedding for any serious involvement. Besides, her true passion is helping victims of PTSD reclaim their lives.

Waking up after spending the night with a woman he barely knows, Jonah is stunned to realize sex for the sake of sex isn't enough for him anymore. A veteran of more military battles than he cares to count, he wants to forget it all and focus on peaceful civilian life. Except flashbacks won't allow it.

Falling for Cynthia makes Jonah regret his weakened state, but he'd rather hide the truth than face it. When she sets aside everything she believes in to help him heal, can he accept her help--and her love?

REVIEW by Diane Burton

You can count on Margo Hoornstra to deliver an emotional story. She starts with two characters who are hurting—Cynthia, newly divorced; Jonah, suffering from PTSD. Neither wants a relationship. Fun and sex is fine. Only it isn’t enough. Their relationship is too new to trust each other, especially Jonah, who is in denial that his wartime service is a problem. Although I don’t know anyone personally who has PTSD, I imagine it would be very difficult for a man to admit he needs help. But when Cynthia, whose job is to help those with PTSD, tries to help him, Jonah rejects her. Double whammy for Cynthia whose husband rejected her and their marriage. Ms. Hoornstra provides good character analysis, the dialogue is realistic, and—since this is a romance—a happy-ever-after for Cynthia and Jonah.

 Night Stars and Mourning Doves
by Margo Hoornstra
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Wild Rose Press
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 22, 2013
Length: 90 Pages

Elyse Monroe may be her sister's maid of honor, but that doesn't mean she has to follow the bride's example and fall in love. Battle-scarred and weary from previous relationships, she has no desire to take a chance on another--no matter how many hints her little sister drops about the best man.

Devastating life events have taken a toll on Eric Matthews. After losing his wife and unborn daughter, he's come home to heal. Serving as best man at his kid brother's wedding is the only relationship he cares to contemplate--no matter how attractive the maid of honor.

Thrown together again and again by wedding duties, Elyse and Eric reluctantly agree to explore a possible relationship--only to have their casual date turn into a glorious night of passion. Can two hearts, convinced a happily ever after will never happen, recognize love when it finds them?

REVIEW by Diane Burton
I was only supposed to review ONLY IF YOU DARE, but I enjoyed both books so much I had to write about them.

Margo Hoornstra knows how to pluck the heartstrings. She tells a sensitive story of two people learning how to deal with tragedy in their lives. Eric lost his wife and baby daughter in a miscarriage; Elyse lost her innocence through sexual and physical abuse. Neither believes they will ever find true love. Though a quick read, the story is packed with emotion. I especially liked the explanation for the title. Very heart warming. The characters are well drawn, especially Eric. I have to add that the cover does not reflect the story. I know the author has no control over the design. I wish the publisher had given her a better cover.
About Margo Hoornstra
Website | Blog Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page
 Like many writers, it’s hard to determine exactly when my fiction writing career began. I remember composing a short story in grade school (I have no idea about what) which was chosen for publication in an all school anthology. A journalism class taken in junior high school led to a job on the school newspaper and a weekly column.

I always loved reading. I loved writing too. Someday, I thought, maybe when I grew up and received the right training, I could actually write a book. After all, I was often told, laughingly most times, I had an extremely vivid imagination.

Through the years, the desire to write was always there. I had so many ideas and characters roaming around in my head, so many stories. But the business of living—going to college, getting married then raising a family—took precedence over something as frivolous as writing a book.

Then one day out of the blue I was downsized—effective immediately—from a job I’d held for over thirty years. What seemed so unfair at the time, I now recognize the tremendous gift I was given that day. As I’m now able to spend more and more time doing what I love—writing romantic fiction—I find I really do have an abundance of stories to share.


16 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today and for those fabulous reviews. So glad you enjoyed my stories.

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    1. My pleasure, Margo. I do enjoy your stories. Hope you have a great tour.

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  2. Great reviews, Diane. What, you're not an expert on everything, Margo? I'm crushed!

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    1. I was wrong, Jannine. **wink wink** I do know everything. Just ask me.

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  3. I loved Night Stars. Now I'm going to have to read Only if You Dare!

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    1. Thank you so much, Patty. Hope you enjoy!

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  4. Margo, I trust your writing prowess and Diane's sincere reviews. Amazon here I come.

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    1. Oh, oh. No paperback copies yet.

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    2. Sorry, Rohn. These two are only e-books. Sign of the times, I'm afraid.

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  5. Okay, two more for my reading pile! Luckily my Kindle has plenty of space left. :-)

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    1. Great to have friends like you, Leah. Thanks so much.

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  6. Wonderful reviews. I have these books and am working my way thru my list to read them! I can't wait!

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    1. Music to my ears, Melissa. Nice to hear.

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  7. Margo, you sound like a girl after my own heart with your writing process. Both of these books sound wonderful and will have to make their way onto my TBR pile. As far as knowing what you write, we all know and can identify with heartache and love, trials and triumphs, that is what is important in your story, so you are an expert. Can't wait to follow where you lead me!

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    1. MJ, you are so right about knowing heartache, trials and such. I really hadn't thought about it that way. Just ask and I will lead you. Thanks for coming by.

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    2. I admire pantsers. I am such a plotter--researching every detail before writing my story. Your new book sounds like a winner!

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