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Summer Reading: Kaira Rouda

I’ve got another wonderful guest author hanging out with us this weekend.  Readers, please help me welcome the wonderful Kaira Rouda, who lives in Laguna Beach…just a stone’s throw from me. So excited to be neighbors with Kaira.  And now without any further delays, let’s introduce Kaira!

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Jane! Thank you so much for having me on your blog. It’s an honor to be here with you and all of your readers. And I do hope we get to meet one day soon as you are just down the road from me, and I, too, have just arrived. Transitions are tough and I’ve found what helps the most are girlfriends. So, remember, I’m here! I loved She’s Gone Country and Flirting with Forty – and I can’t wait for your newest release in September!

A little about me

My name, Kaira, is pronounced “care-ahhh”, just in case anyone is wondering and yes, I’ve heard and answered to just about every variation of it! I’ve wanted to be a novelist for as long as I can remember. In fact, in third grade I wrote to the author of my favorite book, Make Way for Ducklings, and told him I wanted to be just like him someday. Robert McCloskey wrote back and said thanks for the note but that he was an illustrator not an author and wished me luck. Undeterred, the dream stayed alive but it took me until my 48th birthday last summer until I was able to hold my first novel in my hand. I’ve learned dreams will come true if you keep believing in yourself and don’t give up.

Dreams are at the heart of my new novel All The Difference as Ellen, Laura and Angie – three very different women – strive for their goals. Because it’s a chick-lit with a murder mystery tossed in (note darker than normal beach book cover), in All The Difference some of the characters go to extremes.  In my first novel, Here, Home, Hope, Kelly is facing her 40th birthday and decides to change her life, with the help of friends and family.  Are you living the life of your dreams? Are you fulfilled? Happy? I hope so. As with most everything in life, happiness and dreams flow in phases and stages so if you aren’t now, take steps to be sure you will be soon. I’ve found that it really is up to you.

A little more about All The Difference and a contest!

I’ve been a fan of light murder mysteries a la Jessica Fletcher and Susan Isaacs. Not bloody, just surprising. And the notion of an unreliable character appealed to me, too. So I’ve mixed some mystery into the traditional chick-lit, beach read. I had so much fun writing this book – and I’m proud of how it turned out. I’d be honored if you gave it a try!

Kirkus just gave All The Difference a great review, and I was thrilled! Here’s part of the review: “A trio of strong women living in Grandville forms the centerpiece of Rouda’s absorbing new novel. . . .The murder mystery serves as a captivating backdrop to the finely drawn characters and the twist at the end is a fantastic revelation. It’s a nod to Rouda’s talent that despite the inherent (and severe) flaws each woman displays, the reader still forms an attachment to each of them. A light, engaging read that keeps readers guessing until the end.”

Jane and I would like to give two readers a chance to win a copy of All The Difference, a Starbucks drink card, and lots of fun goodies. Just leave a comment below about how you’re making your dreams come true.  The contest will run from now until Monday, August 6th, and we’ll announce the winners in a comment below.  Be sure to check back on Monday, August 6th to see if you’re one of our lucky gals!

For more about Kaira and her novels, please visit her website. She loves to Skype with book clubs and she’s a social media addict. Please find her on FacebookGoodreads, Twitter and  Pinterest.

 

57 Comments

  1. Linsey T says:

    My husband & I have have a wonderful daughter & a fun loving black lab. We have a wonderful family! Also my American Sign Language professsor my freshmen year of college helped me shape my dream of becoming a teacher of the deaf. I’ve taught Deaf kids for 10 years now & I still love it!

  2. Laney4 says:

    Welcome, Kaira!
    I think you have it all wrong, Kaira. WE would be honored to read your book (and not the other way around)!
    As for making dreams come true, that is like asking Oprah what she wrote in her Grateful Journal! My dreams include being out in the open air, breathing deeply, and enjoying life to the fullest! My dreams include leaving my children not only with life lessons, but with a visual reminder, so I am converting all our magnetic photo albums into scrapbooks for them (and for my husband and our friends to enjoy for hopefully years to come too). My dreams include visiting with friends and family as much as possible, and we are trying to do that almost every week (but sometimes “real life” gets in the way). Many, many dreams; so little time….

  3. Jill W says:

    Thanks for introducing us to another talented author, Jane! Kaira’s book, All The Difference, sounds great as does, Here, Home, Hope…..my Amazon cart is going to be overflowing with all of these wonderful books! My dreams are realized every day. Good health, happiness, the love of family, great friends, a secure job, writing….so many! I’ve learned that if you have lots of dreams, one or two are bound to become a reality! :)

  4. Kari N. says:

    Thanks for the introduction to Kaira, Jane! I look forward to reading some of her work – sounds great!!
    Well, I made my dreams come true by having my wonderful children!! That was my biggest dream ever since I can remember! :) I make my dreams come true daily, with my job. Working at a hospital and providing others with care and compassion is such a wonderful feeling. Not always an easy job, to say the least…but very rewarding.
    I am also helping my husband make his dreams come true by being a supportive wife and allowing him to go all of the way across the other side of the United States to attend grad school for the next 27 months. No one said it’ll be easy. I am stressed like crazy about finances and knowing how much we will miss him, but this is his dream. I would never want or expect anyone to give up on their dream!!! Thanks for that reminder, Kaira! It is such an important message!

  5. Susan says:

    What a fabulous-sounding book!!! Right now, I’m making my dreams come true by reorganizing my life–a new (simpler) home in a new, better school district. Career dreams are on hold while I reorganize those dreams, but reorganize them I will!

  6. bn100 says:

    The book sounds intriguing. I’m trying to make my dreams come true by traveling when I can.

  7. Julie says:

    Thanks Jane for introducing Kaira to all of us. Welcome Kaira! Congratulations, on your first novel….”All The Difference.” I’m so excited for you and look forward to reading your novel. Lots of my dreams have come true…and, becoming a first time published author was one of them. ;)

  8. kribss says:

    Thanks again for introducing us to a new author!

    Not to have this be taken the wrong way because I’m super grateful for all I have and for my wonderful, healthy family but I’m still searching for my dream.

  9. Maureen says:

    I like the idea of chick lit with a murder mystery. It sounds like a good story. I am working at a job I do enjoy and have raised two lovely children. I now want to travel once they are done with college.

  10. Meg Munson says:

    I loved Kaira’s first novel and this one sounds just as good. I have also wanted to write something one day…as soon as I figure out what to write about! Thanks for sharing this and I look forward to reading this book and more to come:-)

  11. Marlene Engel says:

    I am making my dreams come true by devoting my life to children (especially the special needs population). They have always been my passion and I have been blessed with the ability to be an advocate for them.

  12. Janine says:

    Welcome Kaira! I know how you feel about having to pronounce your name to people. I too have been called all different names and down to Janet and Janice (which I don’t have a “c” or “t” in my name). but, I have gotten used to going by what ever anyone calls me. I wish I could say I were living my dream. But, I’m still waiting to win the lottery to make my big move to my dream home and place. Your book sounds very interesting to me. I look forward to picking up a copy of it. And, congratulations on your new book!

  13. Racer51 says:

    Welcome Kaira and thanks Jane, for another introduction to a great author – I always love getting those from you! You have amazing taste and I haven’t been dissapointed yet! :)

    As I get older, I realize my dream is just to have a happy life and healthy family. Although, I plan on traveling the world. That has always been a huge dream of mine.

  14. Kim says:

    Jane,

    Thanks so much for introducing us to such wonderful writers. I will have to add her to TRL.

    Kaira, the book sounds like fun, I was glad you said that it wasn’t a bloody kind of mystery, because I can be a little squimish, even though I work in medical.

    I am working on living my Dreams. I have been really bad about always putting myself last, but I have started taking baby steps towards making my dreams realities.

    Hope everyone has a great week!

  15. Karen B says:

    My dream was to raise my 3 boys to be happy productive men living their own dreams and being on their own. Success!!!

  16. mb says:

    the book sounds like a great read. living life to the fullest everyday is what i try to do…

  17. Alysha says:

    Oh Jane all these new readers I just feel like I can’t read fast enough to get to them. I will try and catch up. I will definetly add to my tbr on good reads. Thank you for all the suggestive reading. Enjoying your home? I sure hope you are.

  18. Kaira says:

    Wow! So wonderful to meet all of you here. Thank you again for introducing me to your wonderful readers, Jane!
    I love reading all of these comments about making dreams come true! As women, we can all inspire each other so much by simply sharing our dreams!
    Keep them coming everyone – and thank you again Jane! I’m honored to be here!
    Kaira

  19. faith says:

    Here, Home, Hope is one of my all time favorite books. Kaira let me interview her for a school project. Isn’t she the sweetest.
    To answer the question; I am 2 semesters away from becoming a college graduate, at soon to be, 41.
    You don’t need to enter me, I have All the Difference on my Kindle. Loved it too.

  20. ellie says:

    All The Difference sounds captivating. best wishes and happy adventures. I have been fortunate with a loving family and raising productive and successful children. Living a happy, healthy and giving life to others is important to me.

  21. Allie says:

    Sounds amazing. It’s been a while since I’ve read a mystery. Love that it’s not bloody:)!

  22. Library Lady says:

    Thanks Jane for introducing us to Kaira and her writing. I will look for her books.
    I did live my dream of being a librarian and now am enjoying family and friends in retirement. Hope you two writers get to meet and become great friends!

  23. karla says:

    Thanks for the new author intro. The only mystery is how to find time to read all these new interesting books!

  24. Quilt Lady says:

    Hi Karia, glad to meet you and your book sounds just fabulous and I would love to read it.I always wanted to family and I have a husband and a great son and you just can’t ask for more. I still have not got to go to Ireland and Scotland but maybe one day I will get there.

  25. Jessica says:

    That’s a hard question. I don’t really have any dreams. Um I guess having a job and making money to support myself is how I’m making my dreams come true.

  26. Célio says:

    Oh, You two are beautiful and só talented. I love a good mystery. Thank You both.

  27. Clio says:

    Sounds like a great book, Kaira, and what a beautiful name.

  28. Tina M says:

    Your book sounds like it would be a really good one to read…Dreams Some came already. I have 2 beautiful children and 4 beautiful Grandchildren and a Husband I love.

  29. mary hay says:

    My dream was to raise a happy and healthy family…now I have 5 grown children and 6 grandchildren, so I think that I can say my dream came true in the best way. I’d love to win this book.

  30. Maria A. says:

    Would LOVE a copy. Thanks.

  31. Dee D says:

    Thanks so much Jane! Kaira, can’t wait to read your books! I have been married for last 22 years..done that … now moving forward in my life…I do have 3 amazing children. I am enjoying my work, everyday life. I am making some good changes in my life, plan to live my dreams… my dreams are more touchable, just recently in the last year. And living life with “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz… is refreshing. Plus I am getting a passport and just met a Handsome Man that treats me like a Lady! Yes, there are a few men out there.. left, that actually treat women like Ladys.
    Happy Writing!!

  32. Debbie Williams says:

    I love finding out about authors I have never read before. The book “All the Differences” sounds like a good read. I am fulfilling my dreams by finally at the age of 60 getting back to my novel I started a few years ago. And I know dreams do come true and this has been a dream of mine for many, many years! :)

  33. JanieC says:

    I’m just trying to live my life and do what makes me and my family happy.

  34. My hubby and my dream is to have healthy happy kids, a happy healthy romantic marriage, and a home to enjoy it all. So far, yes it can change, we have it all and are very happy.

  35. Fe Y Roberts says:

    Kaira,

    I can’t wait to read your book. It sounds wonderful.

    I am following my dreams by being the best me I can be. I don’t let others define the person I should be.

  36. MaryC says:

    Congratuiations, Kaira, on the release of your new novel!
    So many life changes since the beginning of the year – I’m currently in a state of transition.

  37. SusieQ says:

    Welcome, Kaira!! Would LOVE to win a copy!!! Have a great weekend!

  38. Lanette says:

    Hole Kaira
    always looking for new authors. I’ve been a big fan of Jane’s since Flirting with 40. Hope to had you to that list.

  39. J.N. in OR says:

    Thanks for the introducing us to all of these amazing writers! I look forward to reading Kaira’s novels.

    I am making two of my biggest dreams come true ( traveling and helping those in need ) by doing humanitarian work. It is an amazing feeling to meet such amazing people in other countries and be able to give them the help they need.

  40. nova c. says:

    i will look forward to reading this book; thanks for introducing us to a “new” author.

  41. Laura Russell says:

    Hi Kaira, Dreams? I try to write in my gratitude journal every day. Those notes make me notice all the good things in my life.

    Congrats on the new book.

  42. Linda Mc says:

    Oh, this book has been added to my to be read list. It sounds great! As for dreams, I’ve been procrastinating with my own writing for a long time now, but I’ve finally gotten into the groove and am working on a new story. :)

  43. Melinda Freeland says:

    I have also wanted to be a writer since I was a child. I already dipped into the pool of non-fiction writing when I was a newspaper reporter. I’m now making my dreams come true of becoming a full-time novelist by recently going part-time on my “day job” so I can concentrate on finishing the final edit of my first manuscript — my goal is to have it ready by Jan. 2013.

    Both your books sound great, and I’ve added them to my TBR list!

  44. Runner10 says:

    Jane always recommends great authors!!

  45. Faye says:

    I have retired and babysit my only grandchild. My husband is recovering from lung cancer, we take life one day at a time and are so thankful for each day.
    I love to read, as a child I was always in trouble for walking around with a book in my hand. I have passed that love down to my daughter. Thanks for the review and meeting a new writer. Looking forward to reading her book.

  46. Mariska says:

    how you’re making your dreams come true ?

    well, work hard i guess..no pain no gain, right :)

  47. Elisabeth says:

    Hi Jane & Kaira,

    What a nice blog. I really enjoyed reading it.
    I´m trying hard to make my dreams come true. My dreams are constantly changing as I get older.
    One of my dreams was to become a parent and after many years it finally came true last year.
    Now I´m fighting for “me” time so that I can make my next dream come true.
    Have a great week :-)

  48. Ruth Bousquet says:

    Great to meet Kaira and I hope the two of you get to be special friends as well as neighbors. My dream is coming true with some traveling in the next three months…can’t wait to hit the beach tomorrow, then next month again, then Palm Springs, Ca…where I used to live.

  49. Donna M says:

    I am making my dreams come true by spending as much time with my family and friends as I can. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to take more risks and have fulfilled some of my dreams because I’ve learned to say yes to things more.

  50. Kathryn in Montreal says:

    Hi Jane, welcome Kaira! Making dreams come true at this moment for me means, being strong enough to make big changes in my personal life… and there are a couple of changes in the works! The best dream come true of my life, though, is my children and my ongoing relationship with them even though they are all young adults now… I adore them and love spending time with them. Can’t wait for your new book, Jane, and Kaira, your books sound intriguing.

  51. Sandy M. says:

    Hi Jane,
    Thanks for introducing another author. I help make my dreams come true by trying to keep balance in my life.

  52. Cindy says:

    Lovely to meet you, Kaira. I can’t wait to read your books. I would love to write also but just don’t have the time right now. One day it will come and I will do it as you said…it’s never too late.

    Thanks for sharing!!
    Cindy

  53. Megan says:

    Looking forward to reading!!

  54. Lisa G. says:

    Hi Kaira! Nice to meet you! You are a “Newbie” to me! I would so love to read your book. I have so many dreams, some very easy to achieve and others that are not within fingertip’s reach. I have tried so many ways to reach them and found the best way is taking them on ~ One Day at a Time.~

  55. Becky says:

    Recently my sister passed away from lung cancer at the age of 48. She’s only 18 months older than I. So, I’m changing my life style to become healthier. I’ve never smoked and I don’t drink, it’s not a religion thing. It’s because if you open up a beer next to me, I get drunk just from the smell. I’m such a lightweight! lol. I’m nolonger a couch potato, I’ve started a running program. I’m aiming at running my very first mini marathon, and my goal is a full blown marathon in the future. I’m very excited! I’ve taken up yoga, not drinking sodas, eating more heathier, no fast food joint junk. I’m very happy at this stage of my life, my sister is in a much better place and because of her I’m going to make sure I’m around and healthy for my family and myself.. also I just completed a novel and so thrilled..

  56. kirsten says:

    I would love to read that! I am doing my best to get healthier. My body is having issues with me..lol but I am trying.

  57. Jane says:

    Hi everyone,
    I’m so glad you’re enjoying my Summer Reading feature and have added some new names and books to your reading pile!
    Our winners for Kaira’s post are -

    #46 Mariska
    #25 Jessica

    Yay! Shoot me an email with your mailing address, girls, and we’ll get the prizes in the mail to you!

    love,
    Jane

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