May Madness! by Rula Sinara

May is finally here and, in my area, that means warm, sunny days are here to stay. It finally feels like summer has taken a hold. The chance of frost is negligible and I can finally plant my seedlings in the garden. Ah…gardens, beaches, hammocks, lounge chairs…all with a side of iced tea or lemonade and a book. I won’t argue that snuggling up by the fire on a snowy day with a book is a cozy, wonderful way to read, but for me, summer is synonymous with reading.

Maybe it’s because I grew up with library ‘summer reading challenges’ and school summer reading lists. Or maybe it’s simply because I was born a daydreamer and an avid reader. I have a million memories of lying down with my toes in the grass or sand and a book shading my face, as page after page whisked me off into a dream world. Sometimes it was fantasy, sometimes mystery…and sometimes it was a sweet or classic romance.

You could even go on a wild, romantic safari with this Harlequin Heartwarming series set in Kenya!

Summer is a time for relaxing with a book as a cooling breeze lulls you into a sublime, Zen-like, meditative reading zone. That’s right. Reading is good for you and not just on an academic level. For me, it can be a form of meditation and escape. A mini-vacation, if you will. Who doesn’t want that? Technically, that means when you take your e-reader or a few paperback books on your actual vacation, you’re taking a vacation within a vacation. Hey, you earned all that time off!! Keep reading!

So as May ‘Reading’ Madness begins, I’d like to congratulate my fabulous May Heartwarming sisters on their releases too. This looks like a perfect selection of romantic stories for kicking off any summer reading season.

Amazon

Many of you have been journeying with me to Kenya’s romantic Serengeti and Masai Mara regions through my Harlequin Heartwarming series, ‘From Kenya, With Love’…a series that not only centers on family, relationships and romance, but also pays homage to the courageous, honorable and loving people who devote their lives to fighting ruthless and evil poachers.

In the first book, The Promise of Rain, many readers told me they fell in love with the adorable, spunky little four-year-old Pippa Harper, who was being raised by her wildlife vet and baby elephant rescuing mother on a remote research camp in Kenya. She has made appearances in each book since, including book 2, After the Silence, in which we also met her young cousins, Maddie, Chad and Ryan, who’d just survived a tragic loss…an experience that left Maddie unable to speak. The last time we see them all as children is in book 3, Through the Storm. In book 4, Every Serengeti Sunrise (Dec 2017), readers got to see Pippa, Maddie and their childhood friend, Haki, all grown up and caught in a heart-wrenching love triangle. Not to give spoilers (this is nothing more than you can guess from the back-cover blurb ;), but everyone has been begging me to give Pippa her own happy ending. After all, we’ve watched her grow up through the series! 


As promised, this month’s The Twin Test, is all about Pippa finally finding her soul mate. It wasn’t easy finding the right man for this free-spirited, rule-hating, yet incredibly big-hearted heroine. Turns out, earthquake expert and widower, Dax Calder, comes with enough ‘double trouble’ to shake Pippa’s world. Getting two broken hearts to open up to love again can be close to impossible. Luckily, Dax’s mischievous, identical twin girls don’t know the meaning of the word…a fact that also ends up putting all their lives in danger.

I’m currently working on book six, the very last book in the series (a fact that makes my heart knot up...this series means so much to me). This story will center around Maddie’s younger brother, a wounded marine who finds himself protecting a pregnant, widowed nurse who runs a rural clinic in the wilds of Kenya. Though each story can stand alone, the characters are connected and readers have told me that reading the whole series provides and even richer experience. Many who started with the last book, went back to enjoy the rest. I hope you have the chance to enjoy The Twin Test this month, and perhaps spend some time in Africa this summer, as you catch up on the rest of the series ;).

Available now in ebook format (May 1, 2018) and paperback (May 8, 2018)!

His twins might be wild...

But she knows just how to tame them—and their father

Earthquake expert Dax Calder brings his eleven-year-old twins to the Serengeti to fulfill a promise to his late wife—never leave the girls. Meeting free-spirited teacher Pippa Harper feels like serendipity. She’s the perfect nanny for his mischievous twosome, even if her definition of rules is slightly different than his. But there’s one rule Dax never expected to break…falling in love again.




You can also find it on Goodreads :)

I'll also be popping by this blog on Saturday, May 12th for my 'Sit Down Saturday'. Hope to see you then!

And to leave you with a lovely taste of May and to inspire you to grab a book and head out into the garden, here’s a beautiful pic of Catherine Lanigan’s young weeping cherry tree. We can promise that, when you read a Harlequin Heartwarming book, you might shed both sad and happy tears, but the last ones that fall will be definitely be happy tears and the ‘The End’ will feel as heartwarming and beautiful as this tree.
Catherine's weeping cherry tree

What books do you have lined up to read this month? Or what's on your summer reading list and where will you be relaxing with your book?

Happy May!

Rula

Comments

  1. Hi Rula, your books sound great. My daughter and I spent some time on the Masai in 2000. I remember when they turned out the pole lights how dark it was! Congratulations on your series!

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    1. Thanks! And what an amazing experience you must have had with your daughter and the Masai!

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  2. Rula, you know how much I've loved your series. I was happy to read Pippa's much deserved love story. And I'm glad to hear the series has at least one more book to go. I learned a lot about elephant rescue and Africa from reading your stories.

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    1. Thanks so much, Roz. I hope the series has helped at least a little in raising awareness. After my first book or two came out, I discovered (in my research) the amazing David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and its matriarch, Daphne Sheldrick, who recently passed away. My Anna Bekker in book 1 is so much like her and what Daphne Sheldrick has done (in real life) to save elephants in nothing short of amazing. I have two foster elephants through DSWT and hearing about all they do to fight poaching is truly inspiring.

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    2. Oh and I'll add, because I know we have teachers among us ;), that another strong theme in the book is the importance of education and career opportunities for girls. Especially for those who might not otherwise have access to higher education. So important in this world.

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  3. I love reading outdoors all spring and summer. Listening to birds and tree frogs. It is the best way to “vacate” ones busy life!
    I adore your series and going to Africa through your eyes is the best!

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    1. Thanks, Catherine! Yes, I love the sounds of summer. When I'm writing this series, I can practically hear the wildlife sounds of the Serengeti :).

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  4. Rula, how exciting! Pippa deserves her own HEA and this sounds like such a fun premise. This setting is so lovely and you do such an amazing job of bringing it to life. Can't wait to read it.

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    1. Aw, Carol. You're the sweetest. Hugs!

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  5. I loved the summer reading programs! Wow, how old is Pippa now? I wonder if you're the first Heartwarmer to write "TNG".

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    1. I loved the summer reading programs growing up. It was the one thing I was good at lol! I wasn't the most athletic kid ;). And I really loved writing the next generation and seeing these kids in their twenties.

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  6. What a fascinating series, Rula! No wonder you have mixed feelings about leaving it. Congratulations on creating something unique in the romance world!

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    1. Thanks Moira! Having lived in Africa and loving the nostalgic, romantic feel of movies like Out of Africa...and loving animals and wildlife conservation...has made this a series close to my heart.

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  7. Happy happy May, Rula! And congratulations on the new release! Can't wait to dive in and escape. <3

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    1. Let me tell you, Beth...Pippa couldn't wait for her HEA either lol! ;) And she almost doesn't get it!

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  9. At our house, summer is the time for reading, although we read all year long. When my kids were younger, they created and posted a personal reading list each summer, and prizes were awarded. :) Now, my youngest just sets off on her own reading journey every summer when school lets out. This is her last in high school. We'll need to do lots of reading before she heads off to college. It's a bittersweet time and I'll need lots of good stories to help me through this transition. LOL

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    1. I hear you, Cathy. I remember when I started college, I ran out of time for leisure reading. It took years for me to get back to reading for pleasure and not because a book was assigned. Same goes with all the homework during the school year. Summer reading is for fun and to nourish the inner reader (and writer) in us. It feeds and nourishes imagination and creativity too. My second kid is about to graduate from high school and is headed to college in the fall, so I know how you feel! :)

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  10. Hi Rula--it's an honor being in the same release month with you and your new book. Love your summer reading challenges. I had the same experiences as a kid and loved those summers surrounded by library books. Your stories are inspiring in any season! Congratulations on this new one.

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    1. Ditto, Virginia! And congrats on your release too! I have such fond library days as a kid. It was a special place for me.

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  11. I think I've done well in both months I've had releases! As for reading...I can't really remember if I read more in the summer. Reading was a constant, almost as necessary as food, so it was always happening. According to my sister, I couldn't pass a cereal box without reading it.

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    1. By done well I meant the fellow authors. That didn't really come out the way it was in my head....

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    2. LOL, Kim. My mind runs faster than my fingers can type, so I totally get it, but I knew what you meant ;). And yes, the cereal boxes! My kids loved reading those too. And my youngest never sits at the counter for a snack without a book. I was the same way, so your tie in with food is perfect.

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  12. What a wonderful series, Rula, and I can understand your angst at finishing it. I’m looking forward to Pippa finding her soul mate! As for best times to read? For me, any time! Congrats to all the May authors and their releases!

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    1. Thanks so much, Janice! Love your 'any time' answer ;). Perfect!

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  13. Yay!! I can order this one soon, Rula. I’ve been waiting for Pippa’s HEA. Love the book’s cover.

    Book 6 will be the final one?? So sad to hear that. I’ve loved this series. You’ve done an excellent job on it. I sure will miss it.

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    1. Hey Laurie! I really love this cover too :). Pippa has wildly curly hair, so they did a great job of solving finding a model with the right hair by putting the head band on her. And my inspiration photos for Pippa were of Kerri Russel when she had very curly hair, or Kate Winslet in Titanic and they really came close with her face.

      I forgot to mention that this book is also available on Netgalley for reviewers who use that route. Thank you for being such an avid reader of Heartwarming books and it means the world to me that you have followed my Kenya series from the start. It truly does.

      And yes, I'll miss the series too, but maybe I'll find a way to come up with novellas here and there that are linked to it or something. We'll see, but my next book is the official last one of the series. I hope it earns that role!

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