Pick of the Month Reads – July 2011 & Giveaway!

Having read almost 25 books the past July, almost all of them rating 4-stars or higher, I couldn’t have asked for a better month of reading even if I tried. Since I enjoyed so many great books the past July, choosing just one novel as my Pick of the Month turned out to be much harder than I thought. Eventually I gave up on forcing myself to choose just one because simply put, I could change the rules as I go. Yeah, I am unpredictable that way.

So in the end, after much deliberation, which lasted like about 5 seconds max, I picked up the 2 novels that has been haunting me (all in a good way of course!) since I let myself be swept away on their respective journeys towards their happily ever afters.

To make things much more interesting, I decided to go one step further and contact both authors with 4 questions, each of them about the novel that has rightfully earned its spot as one of my favorite reads for the year. And I am thrilled that they both agreed to answer the questions and are giving away an e-copy of their novel to the lucky winners of this giveaway! And let me tell you that you should all read these 2 books ASAP because they are definitely worth your precious reading time – in gold!

Pick #1: Something to Talk About by M.J. FredrickSomethingtotalkabout.JPG

MBR: You state on your website that “Something to Talk About” is “The Book That I Love”. Why do you say so?

MJF: I think it’s because it was the first straight contemporary romance I’d written in a while– no suspense or adventure. In fact, when one of my critique partners read it, she said she was waiting for the gunships to come over the cliffs! I think because I didn’t have to worry about who-done-it, or how my hero and heroine were going to get away from the bad guys, the story just flowed. I even enjoyed going back and doing edits on this book, I love it so much!

MBR: I think your love for the story comes across so well which makes Something to Talk About so hard to put down. Noah Wilson is so dreamy! How did you come up with his character? And is he based on any real life character that you have come across?

MJF: Okay, you want to know something sad? He’s not based on a real character, but the Christmas after I finished this book, my brother’s best friend’s wife passed away, and it was the most horrible thing ever. I asked myself if I had treated Noah’s grief with enough respect, because wow. It was just terrible. So he’s not based on a real person, but when I was going through edits, I did my best not to trivialize his grief because of what I knew Steve was going through.

As for Noah himself, I had a mad crush on Jeffrey Dean Morgan while I was writing this, and I’d been watching a lot of Gilmore Girls, and I loved Luke’s love/hate relationship with the town. I asked myself why would he stay if he was so cranky all the time, and I came up with Noah. God, I love Noah.

MBR: That is so sad. And maybe that is one reason why that Noah’s grief comes off so realistically and you have definitely treated his love for Lily with respect which made me adore this book that much more! And Jeffrey Dean Morgan? *gulp* Ellie Morgan is a true sweetheart. I love the way she comes across in the story. Is she based on any real life character?

MJF: In a way, she’s like my friend Cindi at school. When Cindi became teacher of the year (the first time) I wrote a speech saying she was the heart of the school. I wanted Ellie to have that dedication to her town, but I wanted to know what drove her to work so hard. So I gave her a mother who left them in a flurry of gossip, and Ellie is trying to prove herself better than that. Plus, she had to be this person that Noah saw as a light coming back in his life.

MBR: You have really brought to life what you wanted to portray for both of your characters in the story. So do you plan on writing any more books with the same setting?

MJF: I hadn’t, actually. In all my years of writing, I’ve never written a series (except the one I’m working on now, set in Minnesota). But there certainly are a lot of people in Winchester Cove who could use a happy ending, don’t you think? I should go back there!

MBR: Most definitely!

Combining breathtaking passion, a love that is so worth fighting for and a story definitely worth talking about, “Something to Talk About” is a novel that truly earns its spot as one of my Pick of the Month reads for July 2011!

Pick #2: The Merzetti Effect by Norah Wilsonthemerzettieffect

MBR: The Merzetti Effect is your first vampire romance and an awesome one at that. How did you come up with the idea to create such a unique spin on the world of vampires?

NW: It is a unique spin, but I can’t claim to have invented it. I actually stumbled across an article online many years ago, in which a guy on a discussion board talked about how ridiculous he found the conventional vampire model, the idea that a vampire could drink blood – digest it through a digestive tract – and somehow suddenly be infused with power. He felt it would make much more sense if the vampire could take the blood intravenously, for instance, through hollow, telescoping fangs. That really resonated for me. Our human experience tells us that things taken directly into the bloodstream are much more potent than something swallowed. At the end of his article, he said if any writers wanted to take up his model, they were quite welcome. Well, at the time, I thought it was all very fascinating (I love all things medical), but I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I would never write a vampire story. Of course, years passed, and the shelves became more and more dominated by vampires. I began toying with the idea of writing one, but I just couldn’t find a way into the story, a hook that would keep me interested enough to keep writing. Then I remembered this gentleman’s article. Unfortunately, so much time had passed that I could no longer find it online. I might even have bookmarked it once upon a time, but after several computer crashes, no trace remained. However, I remembered enough about it to get me started. I even had a physician read it to make sure it made a kind of sense (in the suspend-your-disbelief kind of way).

MBR: Dr. Delano Bowen, the name itself just makes me want to lay myself at his mercy and never look back. How did you come up with his character? Might he have any resemblance to a real-life character so that I can permanently fix his picture as my computer wallpaper? LOL!

NW: LOL! So glad you liked Del. I loved that man, too. I did worry a bit that readers wouldn’t find him Alpha enough. I mean, he’s no Black Dagger Brotherhood vamp. It’s not that he’s not strong – incredibly strong – but let’s face it, he’s a physician/research scientist. A little more cerebral than your average vamp. At least, that’s how he thinks of himself … until things get complicated with Ainsley. (I do so love to challenge a character’s self-concept!)

As for what he looks like to me, I almost hesitate to say. I’m more interested in what other people think my character looks like. LOL! But here goes. In my mind’s eye, I see him as looking like a younger Adrian Paul from back in his Highlander days. You know, long hair, dark eyes, and a sort of brooding, smouldering look. Not quite as muscled, perhaps, but with that kind of vibe. Does that mesh with the image you formed when you read the story? Or did you have someone else in mind? Inquiring minds want to know!

MBR: Believe me, I am hopeless when it comes to envisioning characters. Apart from their physique which tends to make my eyes glaze over, I have a hard time finding real-life characters that match up to the men that I read and fall in love with though I dearly wish I had the imagination to do so. *sigh*

Ainsley Crawford is my favorite type of heroine, someone who doesn’t play coy games, just ups and accepts the fact that her fate is sealed. But that doesn’t make her a wimpy heroine either. What made you come up with her character the way she is; or did she just morph her way into how she is as you wrote along?

NW: Thank you! It was a little of both. I certainly had an idea of what her personality would be like – a no-nonsense nurse who is pretty hard to rattle – but there are always little gifts that the universe hands you as you write. I think it helped that I gave her a bit of a tough background, with all those foster homes. She had to learn to roll with the punches a little bit, and she falls back on that resourcefulness. Even as an adult, it’s pretty much always been about keeping herself and those she loves safe. She really hasn’t had the luxury to learn to play games.

MBR: How many books are you planning on writing with the same setting?

NW: I don’t have any set number of books in mind at this point. When I started out, I think I had the idea that it would be a trilogy (we love threes!). But after having written the second book (if you loved Delano, you’re really gonna give it up for Aiden Afflack, the hero of NIGHTFALL), I have a number of characters who are clamouring for their turn. So who knows? Six? (That’s a multiple of three!)

MBR: Oh boy! I had a feeling that Aiden is going to put forth some serious competition when his story comes through! Glad you are going to give us a lot more books to enjoy! Six sounds like a perfect number! *winks*

A novel that delivers exceptionally well on the world of vampires with a unique twist and gives the reader an abundance of romance and mouth-watering passion, The Merzetti Effect is a must-read!

Giveaway Rules

  1. This post will give away 2 copies of both Something to Talk About and The Merzetti Effect, which means a total of 4 copies will be available for the giveaway. Please note all of them would be e-copies of the novels.
  2.  To enter, choose the novel that you want to win a copy of. If you don’t you will automatically be entered for the 2 books in the giveaway.
  3.  Leave a comment behind stating your name, a valid e-mail address, the title which you would like to win and why you would like to win a copy of the book you have chosen.
  4.  Help me spread the word about the giveaway to others like yourself. Tweet about it (mention @mdvbookreviewer) and earn 5 extra entries, share this post on Facebook and gain 5 extra entries. Please mention in your comment if you have done either.
  5. Post will be open for comments from 00:00 hours of 2nd August 2011 Maldivian time till 00:00 hours 4th August 2011 Maldivian time!
  6. Winners of the giveaway will be randomly chosen, e-mails will be sent out to winners and winners will be given a total of 3 days to respond to the e-mail.
  7. Please note that if the winner(s) do not respond within the given time frame, new winners will NOT be drawn.
  8. Please also note that to enter the giveaway, you DON’T need to share this on Twitter or Facebook. Doing so just would earn you extra entries!
If you want to know more about each book before entering the giveaway, you can always read my reviews which can be found by clicking on the image of the novel in this post.
Have fun, and don’t forget to leave a comment and enter the giveaway!


  1. I’m trying my luck again because Nora Wilson’s book sounds AMAZING! If I don’t win it I’m buying it, so I’m definitely reading it either way.

    I tweeted about it and shared it on FB as well, but I did it through the Blog’s page because that one has more followers than me (this isn’t a pity party is just that I’m not that into FB I do have friend in real life…. I call them books LOL)…


  2. Hi Brie,
    Believe me, her book is AMAZING! You should definitely read it.
    And thank you so much for spreading the word ;-)


  3. I want to read both books! So can’t choose, but flipped a coin and MJ Fredrick’s book it is. I’ve read your reviews of both books Mbr and both sound great.


  4. Dare I enter again? lol
    Something To Talk About sounds great, right up my alley! I would love to win it! Thanks for the opportunity. I tweetd about your giveaway.


  5. Ah, asking between choosing 2 brands of ice-creams ;) How could I choose? Me wants both…. :)

    And tweeted + put in FB about it(both ids are judimello)..Thanks for the fab giveaway!

    judimello AT gmail DOT com


  6. Great interviews! Thanks MBR!

    Both books sound like a must read, but Pick #1: Something to Talk About by M.J. Fredrick would be my choice. “breathtaking passion, a love that is so worth fighting for and a story definitely worth talking about’ This says it all. I must have it! lol

    I’m not really into the paranormal although I did love the Highlander shows.

    I tweeted and posted on Facebook, too. :-)

    Lorraine Nelson


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