Recent Reviews...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tour! A Review of Ladd Springs by Dianne Venetta, + Interview with the Author!

Genre: Adult Fiction (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: April 9, 2013
Publisher: BloominThyme Press

The Blurb:
A deathbed promise and a mysterious find in the Tennessee forest bring Delaney Wilkins and Nick Harris together in a dramatic fight for the rights to Ladd Springs.
Delaney Wilkins finds herself at odds with hotel developer Nick Harris over a deathbed promise and a mysterious find in the forest. Both are after title to Ladd Springs, a mecca of natural springs, streams and trails in the eastern Tennessee mountains, a tract of land worth millions. But Ernie Ladd, current owner of the property and uncle to Delaney, is adamantly opposed to them both.

Felicity Wilkins, Delaney’s daughter, deserves to inherit her family’s legacy, but neighbor Clem Sweeney is working against her, ingratiating himself with Ernie Ladd. Clem is also harboring a secret that will make him a very wealthy man—unless the others stop him before he can bring it to fruition.

Complicating matters is Annie Owens. Ex-girlfriend to Jeremiah Ladd, Ernie’s estranged son living in Atlanta, she declares her daughter Casey is Jeremiah’s, making Casey every bit as entitled to the property as Felicity—only Annie hasn’t proven this claim. Yet.

All are fighting to get the property, but only one will walk away with the gold. Which will it be? Find out in the first installment of Ladd Springs…

My Review:
Ladd Springs  is the first book in the Ladd Springs series by Dianne Venetta. The first few chapters worried me. The characters were selfish and self centered. They were very stereotypical too, which bothered me quite a bit. Coming from a girl who has lived most of her life in the hills of Tennessee, I definitely know people like these characters, but I promise you not all Tennesseans are like them. Anyway, there was no one I could root for. If you can't like the characters, well, what's to like? Right? But I'm stubborn, and I like to finish books I start, plus this one takes place in Tennessee. Built in brownie points. *wink* Well.. most of the characters stayed selfish and self centered, but the ones that mattered grew on me as they themselves grew. Though I didn't like her at first, Delaney ended up being my favorite. Thankfully, most of the story was from her point of view. I loved her love of family and horses. We are given the point of view of other characters as well. Annie, was the perspective I enjoyed the least. She's starting a fight she has no place involving her self in until she has a certain bit of information. Even then, it may not apply to her. What information you ask? Well, you'll just have to read it to find out. All in all, I ended up enjoying the story. It was a quick read, that provided a nice little escape into the hills. Check out an excerpt here!

Ladd Springs by Dianne Venetta was provided to me by the Partners In Crime Tours for review. The opinions are my own.

An Interview with Dianne Venetta

How long have you been writing?
For about fourteen years now, off and on between a new marriage, the birth of my children. It took a while for me to navigate the genres. Originally I set out to write romance, but after a few years and few more rejections, realized what I wrote was romantic women’s fiction. Once I understood this simple fact, I was able to narrow down my target audience. Gee, and it only took ten years to do that!

Ladd Springs is more romantic fiction, with less emphasis on the women’s fiction angle. It’s a fast-paced read with a little intrigue, a lot going on and of course, romance. I do love a HEA!

What inspired you to write your first book?

Years ago the inspiration struck. It was quite unexpected but very insistent. Like every other devoted romance reader, I was consuming books at alarming rates and one day, a story popped into my head and demanded to be written. It's about the mother-daughter relationship and how we must first learn to accept ourselves and our choices before we can begin to accept another's. And of course there's a romance involved. Two, in fact!

While my debut novel is not the book of this first inspiration, I do hope to publish the original story one day. Simply needs a bit of tweaking.

Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?

I relate to all of my characters on some level. I understand Jennifer Hamilton’s need to achieve, Sam Rawlings need for freedom, Sydney Flores insecurity in a hard-nosed business world. I share the turmoil and doubt with the mothers in Condemn Me Not and understand Delaney Wilkins’ desire to protect her family legacy. While Ladd Springs deals with a tract of land, what truly drives Delaney is the yearning to keep her family close. Her family has lived there for generations and if she loses it, she fears she will lose a part of herself.

What is a secret about you that nobody else knows?

I talk to myself. Out loud, in the middle of the house, out in the garden, on my walks. I have great, long conversations—sometimes with other people! Weird, I know. My son caught me one time and asked who I was talking to and I replied, me. He gave me a queer look and I laughed. What? I’m good company!

If your real life was a fictional book, what would you, the main character, be like?

Not sure who’d I actually be, but I wouldn’t mind being a combination of Sam Rawlings from Lust on the Rocks and Delaney Wilkins from Ladd Springs. Both are strong women with whom family come first, and they both enjoy tall, dark and handsome men. Imagine that. Me, too!

What book have you read too many times to count?

The only book I've read more than once is Gone With The Wind, and there were about twenty years in between readings. In general, I find there are too many books on my “to be read” pile that I don’t have time to go back for seconds! Though I do enjoy a second taste of the book in “movie” form—but it’s never as good as the book.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?

Write, write, write, and keep a notepad, a napkin—anything that you can use to scribble your thoughts before you forget them. I took this to heart and have strategically placed paper by my bed, in my car. With my iPhone, I have a virtual notepad everywhere I go! Now if only I could find that waterproof paper for the shower. I get some of my best ideas under that warm stream of water!

If you could hop into the life of any fictional character, who would it be and why?

I’d live in Scarlett O’Hara’s world for a little while, when she was married to Rhett and living the high life. As a child, Nancy Drew would have been fun. She’s so brave, smart and curious!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That your brain can read the same line again and again and miss simple typos and mistakes. Amazing. Even when I’m looking for them, they can be missed!

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

When I’m not writing, you’ll probably find me in my garden. I have a huge organic vegetable garden that I blog about over at It’s fun, rewarding and actually relaxing. Plus, you reap the joy of harvest!

Are any of the things in your books based on real life experiences or purely all

The women’s fiction themes are about real-life people, situations myself and my contemporaries have faced, but other than that, I pretty much make it all up (and have a lot of fun doing it!).

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

In writing Ladd Springs, I enjoyed writing the first chapter. It was the scene that popped into my mind as the story first came to me. I was in Tennessee, staring down a wooded trail, and this woman crouched in the brush appeared in my mind’s eye. I followed her line of vision and low and behold…

You’ll have to read the book to find out what happened from there!
Thanks for having me today! It’s been fun. J

 Thank you for stopping by!! Come back again!

About the Author:
Dianne Venetta lives in Central Florida with her husband and two children--and her part-time Yellow Lab (Cody!). An avid gardener, she spends her spare time growing organic vegetables. Surprised by the amazing discoveries she finds there every day, she wondered, "Who knew there were so many similarities between men and plants?"

In addition to writing women's fiction and romance, she pens the blog for What began as a brief hiatus from writing has blossomed into a garden blog, children's fiction series and more volunteer hours at school than she imagined!

At the end of the day, if she can inspire someone to stop and smell the roses (or rosemary!), kiss their child and spouse good-night, be kind to a neighbor and Mother Earth, then she's done all right.

To learn more about Dianne Venetta and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.



  1. Appreciate your review, Gabby! And yes, they are all fighting for the same thing and while they may have cause, sometimes this sort of "feud" doesn't bring out the best in us. :) You'll love how they progress in the next installment!


Thank your for stopping by. Please comment! I'd love to hear from you!