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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

NBTM, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - Spicing Things Up (Mill Pond #3) by Judi Lynn


Contemporary Romance  



Tyne Newsome promised to help Daphne Ferris pick up the pieces if her professor boyfriend dumped her. Tyne is a hottie chef with no intentions of committing to anyone. He has big plans for his future. Daphne owns a stained glass shop and spends most evenings eating dinner with her parents. She prefers safety and solitude, but Tyne keeps bumping her out of her usual routines. He's not someone she can ignore. And soon, they find that they complement each other so well, they're both pushed to places they've never been before.

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Miriam looked Tyne up and down.  “So what’s the deal?  Why are you pestering Daphne?  Because if you’ve tagged her for sloppy seconds, I’ll tar and feather you and drive you out of town.”

A warrior.  He grinned.  He liked this woman more and more.  “What are you, her protector?”

“Yes.”  She crossed her arms.  “The professor hurt her enough.  I’m warning you off.”

“You’ve got it wrong.  I don’t have to chase women.  They chase me.  I’m pestering Daphne because she’s a friend.  I think the professor’s a dick, and I don’t want her to retreat back into her shell since he dumped her.”

Miriam’s eyes went wide.  He doubted too many people surprised her, but he must have.

“So, you’re playing the Good Samaritan?”

“I don’t make a habit of it.  And I’m not all that patient, but I thought I’d give it a shot.”

He watched Miriam’s right eyebrow rise.  He knew that look.  He was the recipient of it many times.  “Are you a teacher?”

“That obvious?  High school English.  But don’t think I hide behind books.  I intend to rattle Daphne’s cage, too.  I don’t care if I end up single, living with cats, and talking to myself, but she will.  She took a step.  I want her to keep going.”

“So do I.”

Miriam nodded.  “Good, then I don’t have to threaten you or hire someone to hurt you.  You do your thing, and I’ll do mine, and hopefully, we’ll move Daphne in the right direction.”

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4 out of 5 (very good)

Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

The blurb for this story really promised to be a sweet, romantic, heartfelt book. I definitely don’t think that this story falters from those details.

As a whole, I enjoyed reading this story. I enjoyed the characters and enjoyed the details. I appreciated the relationships each character held with other characters and the way that the author told the story was sweet.

My only complaint about this story was it seemed a little wordy. While I enjoyed reading the story, I think there was a little too much detail during the majority of the book, and then it was a rushed ending. It didn’t ruin the story by any means, it just made it feel like it took longer to read.

Descriptions and details were incredible. The scenery sounded absolutely stunning and made me long for the beautiful colors of fall. The foliage and the trails seemed near perfection and they were a dream to close my eyes to and visualize very easily.

I absolutely did enjoy reading this story. The characters kept you on your toes, made you feel, and kept you reading. The details helped finish off a great story. I do recommend this story, it was a sweet romance.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE

1.  What was your favourite book as a child?
My second grade teacher read Charlotte’s Web to our class, and I worried about Wilbur from page one to the final page.  When I became an elementary school teacher, I read Charlotte’s Web to my fourth grade class, and I had to let the kids have an extra recess after I read the scene where Charlotte dies.  They were all a mess.  It was pretty amazing how much that book touched them.

2.  What book do you wish you had written?
I love Elizabeth George’s A Great Deliverance.  It was a great mystery with a strong emotional impact.  The main characters were complicated and flawed.  I thought the plotting and pacing were perfect.

3.  Are you a planner or a pantser?
I’m a plotter, always have been.  I’ve perfected my technique the longer I write.  Now, I divide a book into four parts—the set-up, a twist at the half, a twist at the end of part 3, and the rush to wrap up subplots and have the big dark moment, win or lose, and tie up loose ends.  I need map points to keep my books moving in the right direction.  Some people say that that ruins the surprise, but it doesn’t for me.  I might know where I’m going, but I’m never sure how I’m going to get there.

4.  Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
I have a drawer full of them.  The thing is, most of them are in that drawer for a reason.  The more you write, the better you get—that is, if you work at it and learn from your mistakes.  A few books, I didn’t do anything with.  The ones I think were good, but I didn’t give a fair chance, I put on my webpage.  Not the same as finding a publisher, but at least someone can read them.  The rest?  They served their purpose.  They were a great learning experience for me.

5.  What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I really enjoyed writing the scene where Tyne bullies Daphne into going to the national forest to hike with him.  Daphne’s afraid of everything.  She lives right next to the forest, but has never hiked it.  She might twist an ankle, get bitten by a poisonous snake, or break out in poison ivy.  Tyne offers to let her piggyback on his shoulders to keep her safe.  When she points at a hole in the ground, and a chipmunk runs into it, he tells her she’s lucky she survived.  He’s mocking her, but only to break her out of her shell. 

6.  How did you come up with the title?
Tyne loves spices—curries, salsas, and Thai cuisine.  Daphne eats supper at her parents’ house most nights—spaghetti, meatloaf, or roast chicken.  Tyne loves to travel, to explore, while Daphne likes to hole up in her sewing room or art studio.  Tyne drives a Jeep or motorcycle.  Daphne’s SUV is bright yellow because it’s supposed to show up more to avoid accidents.  Daphne plays it safe.  Tyne doesn’t, so when he decides to help her get over the professor dumping her, he pushes her to expand her horizons and “spice up” her life.

(answered as Daphne from SPICING THNGS UP)

7.  What are you keeping a secret?  

I don’t think I’ll ever find the happiness I really want.  That’s why I settled for the professor.  I knew it wasn’t true love, but I thought if I fawned over him enough, spoiled him enough, he’d stay with me.  I knew everything would always be about him, but I’m so boring, that doesn’t matter.  The only person I can be myself with is my best friend Miriam.  She loves me just as I am.  Tyne is trying to be a good friend, too, because he feels sorry for me.  That’s nice of him, but it will get old eventually.  And I’ll be alone.

8.  What scares you about this person?
I wish I could be more like Tyne.  He’s so confident, so fearless.  I love spending time with him, but my parents don’t approve.  I’m a grown woman, but their opinions matter.  Tyne doesn’t plan on staying in Mill Pond.  He’s going to work here a while, then move on to open his own restaurant.  And then what happens to me if I make my parents angry?  I’ll be eating supper by myself at Ralph’s Diner.  Is a flash of happiness with Tyne worth risking what I have now?

9.  What parts of loving come easy to you ? Hard?
I think I’m a loving person, but I’m afraid of getting hurt.  The professor left me to go back to his wife.  They’d been separated a long time.  They’d filed for divorce.  It was almost final.  Tyne thinks that hurt me.  Mostly, it made me mad at myself.  I was willing to settle for so little.  Why?  Tyne expects so much from life.  I’d be happy with far less.  But if I had Tyne for a while, and then I lost him, how much would that hurt?  Tyne goes after what he wants, and I admire him for it.  But I’m not brave enough.  If I had him, I’d love him, but he’s beyond my reach.

10.  If you had one wish, what would it be?
I’d like to like myself.  I’d like to look in the mirror and like what I see.  I’d like to believe that I deserve to be happy. 

11.  What do you like best about your best friend?
Miriam makes me laugh.  I use cuss words when I’m around her.  She’s so sassy, so funny.  She’s the best English teacher in the entire world, totally dedicated to her students.  But she can raise an eyebrow and make kids shiver.  I never know what she might do next, and neither does she.  She chose me as a friend.  I’ll never understand why, and I tried to ignore her, but no one can ignore Miriam.  I was lucky.

Judi will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Judi Lynn lives in Indiana with her husband, a bossy gray cat, a noisy Chihuahua, and a parakeet.  She loves to cook and owns more cookbooks than any mortal woman would ever need.  That’s why so much food sneaks into her stories.  She also loves her flower beds, but is a haphazard gardener, at best. 

You can find her webpage at:

Her author facebook page:

Twitter: @judypost

Tour Organised by: Goddess Fish Promotions


  1. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :0)

    1. This is my last stop, Lisa. Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the chance to win. I really enjoyed these interview questions. They were very creative!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the interviews. So did I:) And good luck.

  3. Thank you, Archaeolibrarian, for hosting me! And thank you so much for the book review! I really enjoyed doing the character interview.

  4. I have enjoyed the tour. Sounds like a great read.

  5. Which writer had the biggest influence on your career? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(At)hotmail(d0t)com

  6. Probably Agatha Christie, but a more modern writer would be Elizabeth George's first mystery A Great Deliverance.
    This is my last blog stop and then Goddess Fish Promotions will randomly pick the winner for the tour. Good luck.

  7. Great post, I enjoyed reading your review. I also had fun following the tour for Spicing Things Up and I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Thanks for following the tour. It's been fun!

  8. This book sounds good! I've added it to my TBR on GR. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

    1. I hope you like the book. I had fun writing it. And good luck.

  9. I enjoyed the character interview. What a neat idea!

    1. I liked the character interview, too. She asked great questions.