Roller Coaster by Karin Kallmaker

From the blurb: “Their first roller coaster ride together may turn out to be only a prelude…”

This book opens with Laura Izmani (chef) and Helen Baynor (actress) joining each other to ride a roller coaster for different reasons. Helen is attempting to overcome her crippling fear of heights and Laura is celebrating a year of sobriety. The coaster gets stuck near the top of a tall hill long enough for the two to share a nicely supportive bonding experience. Laura inspires Helen to go for her dreams and Helen gives Laura the judgment-free support she so desperately needs at this point in her life.

Now fast forward 23 years and you find a successful chef interviewing to become the personal chef to Helen Baynor (now famous Broadway actress) and her two grown children. However, only Laura appears to remember that fateful day that gave her the strength to go on, as Helen doesn’t recognize her.

Similarly to Finder’s Keepers, a large majority of this book has the two main characters separated by great distance (Helen in New York, Laura at her home in California). I actually like that Kallmaker has begun doing this with her stories. It allows the reader to really learn a lot about each character independently, and for the protagonists to become friends before lovers.

Laura has her demons, and a lot of her problems are tied up with her drug addiction. Helen has gone 50 years of her life before realizing that she may have been looking for love in the wrong place. They have their own issues to overcome but do so with a minimum of angst and misunderstandings.

I can usually count on Kallmaker to write solid story and interesting characters. It’s not a terribly complex story, but then if I wanted that I wouldn’t pick up a romance. Still, I enjoyed the dialogue as well as the minor characters in the story. If you’re a fan of Karin Kallmaker, you’d do well to pick this one up.

Roller Coaster

Tick,Tock by Karin Kallmaker

I’m not really fond of the autumn as everything starts to points towards a dark, cold and windy winter season that will last for months, luckily enough there are a few things that lighten up the bleak autumn days – The Halloween Invitational at The Royal Academy of Bards and The Autumn Romance writing contest at The Athenaeum!

Yes you’ve got it right a lot of new fic’s to lighten up your life – follow the links and go look at the new stories for your self.

The Halloween Invitational gives us a number of fic’s from the pen of well-known writers from the (fan) fiction world. I can’t say that I have read them all, but I did take a look at the ones penned by the writers that I like the most.

If you want a taste of the possibilities of new love you can look up Artemis Callaghan’s “Light up the sky with Standard fireworks” it’s not exactly Halloween, but it’s a celebration and it holds a promise of a new loving relationship. If you can live suspended in time in the memory of shared love you might want to look up Karin Kallmaker’s “Tick, Tock” – it’s touching but sad, and if you are ok with a visit from beyond – you can look up Lois Cloarec Harts “Midnight Message”. Finally if you want a bit of a scare – and it is a Halloween Invitational after all – you can try out the short fic (!) from S X Meagher “Stormy Weather”.

The Autumn Romance writing contest at The Athenaeum is quit different – this is a contest! We – the readers – get a month to read the 9 stories entered in the contest and vote for the two titles that each of us like best. While the voting is on the stories is posted without information on who penned each story. As long as the contest run I don’t think that I should tell you which stories that I like the best, but I guess that it would be ok to say that I do have a couple of favourites.

The stories entered present a mix of storylines – you’ll find a story with a bit of a supernatural soul mate theme in an ancient Chinese setting in “Forbidden History”, a short modern-day romance in “Still Standing”, and a story of mature love that lasts a lifetime in “An October Romance” – and a number of other themes. I urge you to go read and cast your vote.