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, May 2, 2014

Precious Words by Leigh Fleming (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Precious Words by Author Leigh Fleming!

Author Guest Post

What would possess a fifty year-old woman to suddenly decide to become a writer? Was it peri-menopause? A mid-life crisis? An “empty nest”? A bucket list item? It was recently reported that women in their forties and fifties find that their creative side, the side that has been screaming to get out, can finally reveal itself because the kids are out of the house and she can explore all the possibilities of what’s been locked away in her mind.

I’d say that report accurately describes me, as well as all the other reasons. My entire adult life I’ve said I am going to write a book someday—not a how-to or an autobiography, but a can’t-put-it-down work of fiction. At the age of fifty, I found myself with extra time on my hands: my children were in college; my scrapbook retreat business was running smoothly; my husband was working a lot; so, I was alone for long stretches of time. And yes, I may have been having my own form of a mid-life crisis and definitely experiencing peri-menopause. Because my house was quiet, my undistracted mind had a chance to open up and imagine. Suddenly I was thinking of all kinds of crazy scenarios, intriguing plots, and interesting characters. The itch was there, but I didn’t know how to scratch it.

During a cold winter afternoon, to entertain myself, I decided to look at and start researching my family. This afternoon activity turned into a two month obsession in which I’d spend every afternoon digging deeper into my side of the family as well as my husband’s. One day I stumbled onto my great, great grandmother who was living in northeastern Maryland in the 1850’s. I located a census report which listed her as the head of household with five children, three of which had a different last name than her own. At the bottom of the list was a man who had the same name as hers—my maiden name. Why wouldn’t his name be listed first as head of household? With a little more digging, I found the marriage license of my great, great grandmother and the man with the same name listed at the bottom of the census report. What I discovered was that my great, great grandmother had lied to the census worker about her true last name. She had been married before and had three children and at the time of the census report she was living with my great, great grandfather who was fifteen years younger and they had two children. They were married three years after the census was taken.

This sordid story got my ever-spinning wheels turning. How did they get away with living together out of wedlock in the mid 1800’s? What must have their neighbors thought? I’ve got lots of theories which I decided to write down. That’s the day I finally started writing a novel. For three months I wrote my great, great grandmother’s fictional autobiography. Then, suddenly one morning I awoke after dreaming about a steamy Italian tennis player (did I mention I was a tennis fanatic?) who falls in love with an American girl, but someone in is life wants to ruin his career and happiness. That dream was so vivid, something about it compelled me to set my great, great grandparent’s story aside and write it. That was the beginning of Precious Words.

Writing and completing my first novel was an exciting journey. Some days the words gushed out and other days I struggled to put my thoughts into words. My mind was constantly turning with potential dialogue and plot twists—it never seemed to rest. But, I did it…I completed the book I always said I’d write and now I can’t stop. I’ve outlined at least six more books and have nearly completed the second novel which follows Precious Words. One of the six books is great, great grandmother’s story—the story that started it all. So for those who have read and enjoyed Precious Words, hang on…there’s more to come.

About The Author

Leigh Fleming is the owner of the Scrapbook Cottage, a weekend retreat center for craft enthusiasts. She lives with her husband, Patrick, in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and is mom to adult children, Tom and Liza, and two beloved dogs, Lula Belle and Napoleon. Precious Words is her first novel.


Book Review

Precious Words by Leigh Fleming
Publisher: iUniverse
Publication Date: December 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover & Paperback - 274 pages
             Kindle - 214 pages ~ 326 KB 
             Nook - 276 KB
ISBN: 149171347X
Genre: Romantic Suspense

BUY THE BOOK: Precious Words

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Emberly Fallon is a smart, beautiful American attorney who goes on a dream vacation with her two best friends to the UK, where she meets the irresistible Niccolo Bartoli, an Italian tennis pro who is just as commanding off the court as he is on.

Emberly resists his advances, not wanting anything to do with the paparazzi and Nico’s rabid fans.

Currently ranked number two in the world, Nico finds himself struggling with his game and his personal life. Although always surrounded by his entourage, he is lonely in his world of celebrity and constant travel. Emberly makes him feel grounded, and despite her best intentions, she does fall in love with the dashing, foreign sportsman.

Their romantic adventures take them to Miami, New York, and Rome. This whirlwind love story was not in Emberly’s future plans, but she allows herself to be happy with Nico—until she becomes the victim of threats. Someone is trying to bring Nico’s success and newfound happiness to a tragic end … and that person is much closer than they suspect.

Book Excerpt:

Annie reached for Emberly’s arm. “Oh, he’s too hot to resist. We’re getting his autograph, and you’re coming with us.” Emberly felt herself being propelled forward as Annie and Kate firmly tugged on her wrists. Embarrassed by her friends’ exuberance but refusing to make a scene, she decided to hide behind Annie and Kate as they approached the table.

The four swarthy men were huddled at a round table tucked in the corner of the pub, eating sandwiches and talking rapidly in Italian. Nico was sitting in the corner facing the three girls, sipping what appeared to be lemonade. His head jerked up as Annie boldly announced, “We’re sorry to bother you gentlemen, but our friend here would like to get Nico’s autograph for her mother, who is probably his biggest fan.”

Nico appeared amused at this unusual request and smiled at his companions. “Sure. Which friend are you referring to?” His confused gaze fell on Annie and Kate. The two girls quickly stepped apart and pulled Emberly forward despite her resistance. She smiled timidly, mesmerized by Nico’s inky dark eyes and glowing smile. Nico’s smile faded and he stared silently at Emberly. She watched his eyes trail from her face to her long blond hair, which lay casually across one shoulder. He seemed to be drinking her in as his gaze settled back on her face. It felt like an eternity before he spoke. “Hello,” he said softly without taking his eyes off her.

My Book Review:

Can an unexpected whirlwind romance between a beautiful young American attorney and an irresistible Italian tennis star survive someone's dangerous attempt to stop it from blossoming, or will the romance meet a tragic end?

In her debut novel, Precious Words, author Leigh Fleming weaves an intriguing romantic suspense tale that follows the unexpected meeting and whirlwind romance between American attorney Emberly Fallon and Italian tennis pro Niccolo Bartoli, and a threatening and personal attack by someone who wants to end the budding romance.

Precious Words is a fascinating love story that is full of passion and suspense, it takes the reader on a thrilling roller coaster ride as Emberly and Niccolo's whirlwind romance is put to the test by someone who doesn't want the relationship to develop. As Emberly and Niccolo's romantic adventures take them to famous worldwide locales such as London, Rome, Miami, and NY, the reader has a court side seat to their blossoming love that grows unexpectedly, all the while dodging the paparazzi and a dangerous "Messenger" who sends Emberly blatant and threatening text messages that puts both her and Niccolo's lives in danger.

I loved the story's mixture of passionate romance and intriguing suspense. The unexpected and shocking twists and turns kept me on my toes, while the gradual development of Emberly and Niccolo's relationship was exhilarating and romantic. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I absolutely loved the rich descriptions of the couple's adventurous travels, the author does a wonderful job of transporting the reader to each of the locales.

Precious Words is a fast paced and enjoyable romantic suspense novel that will leave the reader wanting more.


Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

April 28 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
April 29 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
April 30 – Carol Clarke Blogs – Review
May 1 – All Around the Circle – Review & Excerpt
May 2 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Author Guest Post & Excerpt
May 5 – Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
May 5 – Books and Tea – Review


  1. thanks for hosting and Happy Friday!

    1. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event. Have a great weekend! :)