I write because I must. I'm driven by the story that I must tell, to myself first and then share with others. The process of writing is a joy to me, a treasure of existence as an artist. The satisfaction of a printed book in my hand that contains my story is really all that drives me. It is enough. But the icing on this cake of a creation is when positive feedback from readers comes to me.
Today I want to share with you this delicious feast of positivity that my recently released romance novel, Better Late Than Never, has received.
Following are excerpts from Book Reviewers. If you've written a review, please let me know. I'm thankful for all who take the time to share their experience with my books. And I'm also thankful for all who have taken the time to step into the world of Manny and Carrie.
"Austen has created a unique couple in Manny and Carrie. Not only is Manny smart, sensual, and sensitive, he also has strong ties to his family on the reservation in New Mexico. For her part, Carrie is a formidable romance lead who has raised a daughter on her own while making a living as a painter and art teacher. These characters and their history make for rich conflict..."
- Kirkus Reviews
***** "The chemistry and the descriptions of the love scenes are riveting. The author does a fantastic job of describing the heat and desire between the two of them."
-- Book Junkie Reviews
***** "This was a terrific read! Great story overall. I loved the characters. Yes, even opinionated Carrie. They were all quite unique yet went together so well. Manny was my favorite. Wise, gentle, and the type of human this world needs way more of.
There were two things in the novel that totally won me over. Both Manny and Carrie were able to recognize the importance of maintaining one's identity and independence when considering a relationship. I haven't seen a lot of that in stories.
The other thing I really enjoyed reading about was Carrie's art process. I understood how she was feeling as she put her soul into her projects, and I truly felt like I saw these pieces of art come to life."
-- Kerri Davidson, Author
***** "I absolutely loved this story. Manny, Carrie and Emily's family circle had me hooked from the first page. The guilt that Carrie felt and the secrets she kept for so many years, how Manny felt throughout the story through the ups and downs, I felt the perfect connection with these two and I loved reading about how they rekindle their old relationship while juggling their careers and raising their teenage daughter."
-- Natasha C, Reviewer-NetGalley
***** "Such a sweet and romantic story. I loved the dynamic between Manny and Carrie. Emily adds her own brand of teenage drama to keep things interesting. This is a light, easy read but perfect for a lazy day inside with a cup of cocoa. I really enjoyed the Native American history and the artistic imagery."
--From Amazon - Kindle Reader - 5 Stars
"This was a sweet and good read." -- Ivanna C, Reviewer - NetGalley
"I loved how the book was multicultural and how it talked about real life situations and the after effects they can have." --Joy B, Reviewer -NetGalley
Book Junkie Reviews - 5 Stars:
"The book is a wonderful romance novel. It is a book you snuggle up with on a cold, rainy day. It is about a multicultural couple that meet in college and fall in love. Carrie and Manny are young and impetuous, they have their fling and move along. Not so fast! Their passion results in a baby unbeknownst to our hero, Manny, and then the story starts. Manny is a Chiricahua Mescalero Apache native from New Mexico and Carrie is a Jersey girl from the shores of New Jersey. With nothing in common except passion they leave college and go their separate ways.
Fast forward 15 years and Carrie decides to tell Manny about his little girl. At this point Manny is an architect and a college professor. Carrie is a community activist and an artist. Manny works diligently to connect with his daughter and decides to relocate his life and career to be close to Carrie and Emily, his now 15-year-old daughter.
They are still drawn to one another. The chemistry and the descriptions of the love scenes are riveting. The author does a fantastic job of describing the heat and desire between the two of them. Manny who is kind, compassionate and patient is infatuated by Carrie who is loud, bold, and strong. There is a woman from their past who stalks Manny and introduces a haunting cast over their relationship, especially when Manny ends up working for her father as the architect that is to destroy Carrie's home.
Both have secrets that they are keeping from one another. As the story unfolds, the reader tries to figure out what their secrets are - to no avail. Author Austen keeps bringing in switches and twists that keep you on edge.
Working together as a struggling couple trying to revive their relationship and independently being parents of a teenager is not an easy task for any of the characters. Together Carrie and Manny redefine the meaning of love, family, and home.
It was an easy, enjoyable read. I recommend it to all readers who love romance novels."