Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Just Good Friends by Rosalind James (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Reading Addiction Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Rosalind James, author of Just Good Friends, book two in the Escape To New Zealand series!

Author Guest Post

Why I Don't Get Writer's Block
By: Rosalind James

"What do you do about writer's block?" I hear this question all the time. Short answer: I don't get it! After ten years as a marketing writer, I can't tell you how many hours I've spent toiling to make alphabet letter tiles or fireplace inserts sound sexy. Writing stories about two people falling in love? Piece of cake! 

The longer answer is that the techniques I developed to keep myself on track while writing about Building Your Classroom Library or Our Salon Services have continued to serve me well in writing fiction. Here they are:

1. Take a walk. Or a run, or a bike ride, or a swim. We're not just giant disembodied brains. Something about moving my body makes the left brain/right brain combination work. I don't try to force my story to come to me, just let my mind wander. For the first ten minutes or so, it DOES wander. Then somehow, without any direction, it comes back to the book. Often, the scene that appears isn't even the one I thought I was working on. I've learned to trust the process, and go home and write the scene that came to me. Maybe that other scene will appear next time - or maybe it wasn't right after all. 

2. Try a different spot. I often take a notebook to the coffee shop in the morning. The walk up there gets my mind working (see #1), and the change from my normal writing place shakes up my mind a bit. The difficulty arises when I'm scribbling a particularly steamy scene in longhand, hoping devoutly that nobody can look over my shoulder and read what I've written - or that they'll guess why I'm concentrating so hard! 

3. Just write. Don't worry about getting it perfect at first. Your words may start out stilted, but the act of writing will make the ideas start to flow, and you can go back and edit later. I often don't start at the "beginning" of a scene, as that bogs me down. I start with the "fun" part, the part that presents itself most insistently. Afterwards, I'll come back and write the graceful introduction. 

4. Give it a day. I start each day by going back over what I wrote the day before. I can always improve it. It also jump-starts that day's work by getting me back into the book. 

5. If you're stuck, move! This goes back to #1. If I'm blanking out, I get up and make a cup of tea, empty the dishwasher, anything to shake myself up. The right idea always comes once I stop trying to force it. 

There you go. I hope my tips help. And happy writing! 

About The Author

Rosalind James is the author of the Kindle bestseller Just This Once and the three subsequent books in the Escape to New Zealand series. She is a former marketing executive who has lived all over the United States and in a number of other countries, traveling with her civil engineer husband. Most recently, she spent several years in Australia and New Zealand, where she fell in love with the people, the landscape, and the culture of both countries. Visit to listen to the songs from the books, follow the characters on their travels, watch funny and fascinating New Zealand and rugby videos, and learn about what's new!

Rosalind James ~ Just Good Friends ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $30 Amazon Gift Card 

Contest Dates: December 3 - 16, 2012

To celebrate her book tour for Just Good Friends, and her new book, Just For Fun, author Rosalind James is running a $30 Amazon gift card giveaway! Just click on the Rafflecopter link below and follow the instructions to enter! The contest is open to all, and the winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review

Just Good Friends by Rosalind James
Publisher: Independent Publishing
Publication Date: August 30, 2012
Format: eBook - 294 pages / Kindle - 487 KB 
ASIN: B00948KF7C
Genre: Contemporary Romance 

BUY THE BOOK: Just Good Friends

BUY THE SERIES: Escape To New Zealand

*Note: Just For Fun (book 4) will be released on December 8th! 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Reading Addiction Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Some bets were made to be lost.

Kate Lamonica isn't Koti James's type. Too small. Too dark. And heaps too much work. So it's an easy bet that he can be her friend for six weeks without making a move on her, no matter what his mates would have said.

Kate can't believe she's made the bet at all. New Zealand had seemed like the perfect escape from the stalker who'd threatened first her peace of mind, and then her life. She certainly doesn't need any more trouble. Why on earth has she agreed to spend time with a Maori rugby player who's far too handsome and charming for his own good--and knows it?

But there's more than one game Koti's good at playing...

Book Excerpt:

“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” Kate muttered the following Saturday afternoon as she descended the broad steps to Takapuna Beach. There was Koti at the foot of the stairs, his usual hoodie having failed to preserve his anonymity, having his picture taken with two young women.

“Should I go away and come back later?” she drawled as she approached the group, just as one of the excited women switched places with the photographer to allow yet another picture to be taken.

“Last one, girls,” Koti told them with a smile. “Got to go.”

Kate rolled her eyes as they walked across the broad beach toward the water’s edge. “That’s quite a fan club you’ve got there. Must be nice.”

“You think so?” 

“Don’t tell me you don’t enjoy that. You sure seem to.”

“Comes with the territory,” he shrugged.

“That doesn’t mean I always enjoy it.”

“Good spot here?” he turned to ask her as they neared the high-tide mark. “Want to swim to the point there, and back?” At her nod, he kicked off his flip-flops and pulled his hoodie and shirt over his head, dropping them with his towel onto the beach.

“You’re kidding,” Kate said, staring at him.

“What? Bad spot?” he asked, confused. “I thought you said it was all right.” 

“No. I mean, you. That’s just . . . that’s just ridiculous. Plus the tattoo, the pendant, everything. You’re like some kind of walking advertisement for New Zealand.”

“My tattoo isn’t ridiculous,” he said, genuinely offended now. “My moko honors my ancestors. My pendant isn’t ridiculous either. It’s not for decoration. You’re slagging off my mana now.”

“I’m sorry,” she said quickly. “I didn’t mean to be offensive. I just meant, I’m getting it now. You always have that hoodie on, that’s all. I never realized what you looked like. A little blinded here. I’ve never seen anyone as ripped as that in real life.”

He sighed. “It’s how I look. I’m not going to apologize for it. I’ve been training and playing rugby most of my life, you know. And I’m Maori. I can’t help being big, or having some muscles. You’re just going to have to get over it.” 

“Should have worn my sunglasses,” she muttered.

“Were you planning on dropping your own gear anytime soon, so we can get in the water?” he complained. “Freezing my arse off here.”

“No. I don’t think so,” she decided. “I’m seriously insecure, all of a sudden. Let’s forget it and go for coffee instead.”

“Piking out first time, eh,” he mocked. “Not up to the challenge. Reckon I’ve won already.”

Kate’s chin shot up. “You’re right. But don’t watch me take off my clothes. Look at Rangitoto or something for a minute. Because I’m embarrassed now.”

He turned his back with a sigh. “This is what’s ridiculous,” he told her over his shoulder. “I’ve seen you in your togs twice now, remember? I have a pretty good memory of what you look like, too.”

“I remember.” She adjusted her goggles and stepped out into the water. “I’m not your type. Too small and too dark. That’s OK. One of us being that beautiful is more than enough.”

She pushed off and started swimming before he could answer. Just as well, Koti decided as he followed. He wasn’t sure there was any good answer to that one. If he told her what he really thought, she’d probably poison his coffee. Or drown him.

My Book Review:

When a boyfriend turns into a violent and obsessed stalker, American Kate Lamonica knows her life is in danger, so she flees her home in California for New Zealand, where she lives in hiding and wants to feel safe and live in peace. What she doesn't count on is meeting Koti James, a hot Maori pro rugby player!

Kate takes a position as an accountant with The Blues rugby team, and when a flirty Koti introduces himself, Kate thinks he is a chick magnet and wants nothing to do with him. Kate is wary of men and has a wall up, the last thing she wants or needs is a man who has a reputation for being a player/ladies man. But Koti doesn't give up, so Kate challenges him to a bet that he couldn't be "just friends" with a woman, and the stipulation is that he has to become friends with her for two months and spend "friend" time with her once a week without him making any moves on her.

Can reluctant friends stay just good friends? Or will Kate and Koti's friendship develop into something more?

Just Good Friends is a fun and flirty story of two people whose reluctant friendship turns into love. In the second book of the Escape To New Zealand series, author Rosalind James weaves a sassy tale of romance between two people who challenge each other to become friends, only to discover their mutual attraction along the way. Written in the third person narrative, the author draws the reader in with the sarcastic banter, sexual tension and chemistry between Kate and Koti that heats up the pages as their relationship unfolds. And if that isn't enough for you, the author also adds suspense into the mix with an obsessive stalker!

Rich in detail and vivid descriptions of the setting, the author transports the reader to the picturesque South Pacific island country of New Zealand. The author does a wonderful job of weaving in New Zealand's history and dialect, the Maori culture and traditions, and the nuance of the professional game of rugby into the story. The descriptions definitely will peak the reader's interest and imagination.

I enjoyed the author's character development of Kate and Koti throughout the story. Kate is a sassy little spit fire and Koti is a real charmer with a laid back personality. I really appreciated the author's style of slowly building their friendship from a reluctant start, and utilizing their different personalities and playful banter to grow their mutual attraction and chemistry into a romantic relationship. And a bonus was the addition of Drew and Hannah, the main characters in book one of the series, Just This Once, as secondary characters in this book.

With fun banter in the dialogue and interactions; interesting Maori dialect, culture and traditions; and a storyline that mixes humor, romance, suspense and everything rugby; Just Good Friends is an entertaining story that will whisk you away to the scenic land down under!

Just Good Friends is the second book in the Escape To New Zealand series. It can be read as a stand alone book, but once you read one book in the series you'll want to read the others!



  1. What a wonderful, thoughtful review, Kathleen! And thanks for running my guest post as well. Best, Rosalind James

    1. Hi Rosalind! Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host your virtual book tour event. I will be hosting your virtual book tour event for Just For Fun! :)

    2. That's great! I just put it up on Amazon . . . published tomorrow, Dec. 8--very nervous time!