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1. Spotlight and Giveaway: The Rake’s Handbook (Including Field Guide) by Sally Orr

The Rake’s Handbook sounds like a cute read!  Check out the excerpt and enter the giveaway below!

The Rake’s Handbook (Including Field Guide) by Sally Orr (Historical Romance; The Rake’s Handbook, Book 1; ISBN: 9781492602118)

Summary:

The definitive guide to seduction…

The Rake’s Handbook was written on a dare, and soon took the ton by storm. Now its author, Ross Thornbury, is publicly reviled by the ladies—who are, of course, forbidden to read the handbook—but privately revered by the gentlemen. Unfortunately, Ross’s notoriety is working against him and he flees London painfully aware of the shortcomings of his own jaded heart.

Spirited young widow Elinor Colton lives next to Ross’s country estate. She’s appalled not only by his rakish reputation, but also by his progressive industrial plans. Elinor is sure she is immune to Ross’s seductive ways. But he keeps coming around…impressing her with his vision for England’s future and stunning her with his smiles.

How does one resist the man who wrote the manual on love?

About the Author:

Sally Orr worked for thirty years in medical research, specializing in the discovery of gene function. After joining an English history message board, she posted many, many examples of absolute tomfoolery. As a result, a cyber-friend challenged her to write a novel. Since she is a hopeless Anglophile, it’s not surprising that her first book is a Regency romance. Sally lives with her husband in San Diego, surrounded by too many nerdy books and not enough old English cars. 

Social Media:

Website | @OrrSally | Facebook | Goodreads

Pre-order:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound | iBooks

 

Excerpt:

“You really are a rake,” she whispered, the sight and feel of their joined hands warming her cheeks. “A proper gentleman would never hold a lady thus. I have been warned about your charms. Perhaps I too should write everything down. Pen a handbook to instruct my widowed sisters what to expect upon attempted seduction and how to fight it.”

“Factual or satirical?”

She bit her lower lip to stop an indelicate reply.

“I could write that handbook too.”

His boast made her smile. “I seem to have found another trait of a rake.”

“Humph. I’d be delighted to show you all of my traits. Perhaps start with chapter one?” The determination in his voice indicated he was quite willing to comply.

“Please do, sir,” she replied in a facetious tone, tugging her hand free. “But I can already tell that I’ll stop reading your book after the table of contents. You know, all of those funny pages in the front of the book numbered v and i.”

He chuckled softly, then stared at her until he captured her gaze. “My handbook starts with fine eyes.” He reached up and swept back a ringlet that had fallen over her eye and carefully tucked the curl under her bonnet.

Her heartbeat raced.

“The eyes are followed by a notable vee.” His gaze lowered to the upper edge of her bodice and lingered in the center.

“Oh my, if that’s the table of contents, I don’t dare read chapter one.”

“I’d be pleased to read you all of the chapters. There are a total of . . .” He glanced at her leisurely, from the top of her leghorn bonnet down to her sensible half boots. His focus returned up to her neck—almost. His chest broadened as he inhaled. “Ten.”

“Ten.”

He gave her a smoldering look from under heavy lashes. “Ten in volume one,” he continued in a silky baritone. “Let’s start with chapter one.” He leaned forward slowly, staring at her mouth, as if he might take liberties and kiss her. The distance between them shortened to inches. Close enough to feel his warm breath.

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Spotlight and Giveaway: The Rake’s Handbook (Including Field Guide) by Sally Orr appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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2. Novella Review: Meeting Her Match by Mary Connealy

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I really enjoyed Meeting Her Match.  This novella features an unconventional hero, and honestly, when we are first introduced to Marcus, all I could think was, “No!  He can’t be the hero!”  He is clumsy, he can’t look Hannah in the eye, and he’s completely tongue-tied in her presence.  Turns out our sweet hero has been in love with Hannah since he was a young lad, and he turns into a dithering clod whenever she is near. 

Hannah, who has spent many hours secretly finding matches for the eligible singles in town, has failed to find a match for herself.  She’s a busy gal, though, so it’s not surprising that she hasn’t found a man to get hitched to yet.  She’s the school teacher, she helps her sickly mother tend to her huge brood of siblings, and the timing never seems right for her.  Her fiancé was killed in a freak accident, and she’s been drifting through life ever since. 

When tragedy strikes her family, Hannah finds herself even more harried than before.  Then, when her father practically kicks her out of the house, she’s heartbroken.  She mopes about, feeling sorry for herself, not seeing the handsome, caring man that’s right in front of her.  Instead,  because of Marcus’ shy ways, she thinks that he doesn’t like her, even though nothing could be further from the truth.

With the meddling of the townsfolk, Hannah finally gets a clue.  This is a cute read, with likeable characters and a heroine who deserves a HEA.  The only glitch for me was that the ending took too long to wrap up.  Otherwise, this is a great time killer if you’ve got about an hour to fill.

Grade:  B

Review copy read on Scribd

From Amazon:

When the tables are turned and a tenderhearted meddler becomes the beneficiary of a matchmaking scheme, her world is turned upside down. As her entire life changes, will she finally be able to tell the banker’s son how much she cares for him?

The post Novella Review: Meeting Her Match by Mary Connealy appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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3. Interview with Laura Drewry, Author or Prima Donna and Giveaway

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Laura!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Laura Drewry] Happily blessed cheesecake-loving bibliophile

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your book?

[Laura Drewry] PRIMA DONNA is the second book in my new series which revolves around four women, each of whom has her own struggles she must learn to manage or overcome. Regan’s been so busy dealing with the loss of her business and the emotional and financial stress of her mother’s illness, she just doesn’t have the time, the interest, or the energy it takes to be in a relationship. What she could use, though, is a distraction, and that’s what she thinks she’s getting with Carter. Like her, he’s spent his life dodging any mention of commitment, minivans or picket fences, but it’s New Year’s Eve, they’re both consenting adults, so why shouldn’t they have this one night together?

One night and they’ll both move on with their lives, or so they think, but life has other plans for them.

It’s a story of how two people, who’ve spent their lives keeping everyone at bay, learn that sometimes being strong means letting yourself be vulnerable.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Laura Drewry] Carter and Regan first appeared in PLAIN JAYNE (the first book in this series) and I knew as soon as they presented themselves to me that theirs would be the next story. Carter was the easiest – I knew right from the get-go that he was a play-boy type with a heart of gold. I usually have a picture I base my characters on, not because the character looks like that person, but because there’s something in the expression or the body language in the photo that speaks to me. In Carter’s case, it was a photo of a hot guy who looks like trouble, but there was something about the way his head tipped a little, and the way he’s looking at the camera that made me think there was something behind the façade. He’s more than what most people think, maybe he knows he’s a bit of a dog, that it’s worked for him all these years and he gets what he wants, but maybe he’s tired of all that. Maybe he’s looking for someone who’ll expect more of him, who won’t put up with his crap, who’ll make him want to be a better man.

When we first met Regan in PLAIN JAYNE, the future of her salon was up in the air and we got a glimpse into her mindset about long-term relationships. One thing I knew right away with Regan was that she’d grown up in a difficult family situation, but it took a lot of digging and trying different ideas before the real story came out. And the funny thing is, as many writers will tell you, it doesn’t matter what we think the story should be; it’s the characters who ultimately decide and Regan’s story just wouldn’t work until I figured out what and where she came from. (It sounds crazy, I know! LOL)

Once I understood who each of them were, what they’d lived through, and what their fears were, the story just progressed from there.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Laura Drewry] One of my favourite things was the way Regan put Carter in his place. All his life he’s been ‘the golden one’ who gets what he wants, when he wants it, but Regan isn’t having any part of that. Sure Carter’s cute and all, but unlike every other woman he’s been with, she doesn’t cotton to the idea that the sun rises and sets on him – no matter how cute he is. She’s not going to be his flavor of the month, and she has no problem telling him that.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with this story?

[Laura Drewry] Keeping Regan true to her character. It would’ve been very easy to just let her transfer some of her burdens over to Carter or her friends, but that’s not who Regan is and she needed to remain true to that even as her character grew and she learned to trust.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Laura Drewry] The Beatles “Paperback Writer” of course. LOL

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Laura Drewry] My iPhone. Sad, but true. I hate carrying a purse and my phone case is one of the ones that looks like a book and holds the necessities, and like most people, I have the all-important Kindle app on my phone so I’m never without something to read.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Laura Drewry] My favourite coffee mug, Post-It notes covered in ideas & notes for the book I’m working on, and my niece’s birthday present.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Laura Drewry] That’s a tough one. I’ve got a pretty good gig going on in my life, and I can’t honestly think of one person I’d seriously like to change places with. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind job-shadowing Joe Girardi for a game or two if it meant I could be in the dugout and watch my man, Jeter, up close, but would I want to be either one of them? Nope.

Would I want to be one of my favourite authors for a day? No, but I wouldn’t mind being a fly on their wall just to watch how they work and what their process is (okay, that sounds creepy – LOL – but I don’t mean it in a stalker-kind-of-way, just in the ‘I’m completely fascinated by how other people write’ kind of way).

Hmmmm. Oooh, I’ve got it – I’d change places with someone like Michael Phelps or Jamie Oliver because I can’t swim and I hate to cook, so maybe if I spent a little time as one of them, I could change that. I’m sure if you quizzed my husband or boys, they’d unanimously vote for Jamie Oliver. LOL

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Laura Drewry] ‘Dr. Sleep’ – Stephen King
‘PUSH’ – Eve Silver
‘At the Duke’s Wedding’ – a 4-novella anthology by Caroline Linden, Miranda Neville, Katharine Ashe & Maya Rodale.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Laura Drewry] I love to read (of course!), watching movies, going on road trips and watching the Yankees play ball. Oh, and my husband has recently taken on bee-keeping, so I’m learning all about that and I’m teaching myself how to make candles.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Laura Drewry] I love hearing from readers! Here are some ways they can reach me:

On my website at www.lauradrewry.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laura-Drewry-Author/229599547078623

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lauradrewry (@lauradrewry)

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/lauradrewry

Pinterst: http://www.pinterest.com/ldrewry/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/lauraleedrewry

Tumblr: http://lauradrewry.tumblr.com/

Prima Donna

By: Laura Drewry

Releasing September 23rd, 2014

Loveswept

In USA Today bestselling author Laura Drewry’s witty, sizzling, and tender romance for readers of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery, a woman who can’t slow down discovers that the perfect guy is in hot pursuit.

Even when her hair salon goes under and she’s on the brink of breaking, Regan Burke keeps her “I’m just fine” attitude. She’s had a tough life, coping with a difficult family and keeping her act together . . . barely. Right now, she just needs a job, any job, so she can pay her mother’s medical bills. It’s the exact wrong time for Carter Scott to come into her life—and to be so damn sexy, so distracting, and so determined to get close.

Carter isn’t looking for anything serious—his heart belongs to the kids who depend on his pediatric practice—but something about Regan makes him reconsider. Maybe it’s the scars she hides so well, the secrets she can’t share. Carter knows all about that kind of pain, and he wants to help. But offering Regan a job in his office only makes things worse, even if their chemistry is off the charts. Lucky for them both, Carter isn’t about to let go of love without a fight.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/prima-donna-by-laura-drewry.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20945514-prima-donna?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IBZ60E6?ie=UTF8&tag=randohouseinc-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00IBZ60E6

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/prima-donna-laura-drewry/1118851140?ean=9780804177740

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/prima-donna/id841782953?mt=11&uo=4&at=10lrom

Author Info

Laura Drewry had been scribbling things for years before she decided to seriously sit down and write. After spending eight years in the Canadian north, Laura now lives back home in southwestern British Columbia with her husband, three sons, a turtle named Sheldon, and an extremely energetic German shepherd. She loves old tattered books, good movies, country music, and the New York Yankees.

Author Links

Website: http://www.lauradrewry.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laura-Drewry-Author/229599547078623

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lauradrewry

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/994651.Laura_Drewry

Rafflecopter Giveaway ($25.00 Gift Card to Book Retailer of Choice and Copy of PLAIN JAYNE by Laura Drewry )

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Interview with Laura Drewry, Author or Prima Donna and Giveaway appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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4. Interview with Lynna Banning, Author of The Lone Sheriff and Giveaway

 

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Good morning, Lynna!   Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Lynna Banning] Shy, smart, determined, and hard-working

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Lone Sheriff?

[Lynna Banning] I am partial to “wounded warriors,” and was drawn to an orphan of undetermined heritage (maybe part Indian, maybe part Mexican, but he doesn’t really know) who pulled himself up by his bootstraps and in adulthood worked his way up to being sheriff. I saddled him with a privileged back-East girl whom he sees as a “piece of rich fluff” but who earns his respect, then his admiration, and then his love based on her wit and strength of character.

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Can you share your favorite scene?

[Lynna Banning] My favorite scene is the opening one, where Jericho meets the train from Chicago, expecting a male Pinkerton agent, and instead finds himself looking at Madison O’Donnell, who turns out to be a very beautiful lady Pinkerton detective with a feathered hat and a mint-green parasol.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Lynna Banning] Working out the push-pull dialogue and interaction between Jericho and Maddie, with his stubborn streak and her very smart one-ups-manship capabilities.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Lynna Banning] A book, whatever I’m reading at the moment.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Lynna Banning] A photograph of my husband; a straw-basket bed for my cat; and a fluffy feather duster for my computer keyboard.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s your favorite snack when you’re working on a deadline?

[Lynna Banning] Anything chocolate. Sometimes if I’m out of peanut butter cups I pour out a handful of chocolate chips and nibble on those.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Lynna Banning] A reporter on 60 Minutes, interviewing women historical romance writers.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week.  Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

[Lynna Banning] My superpower would be the ability to bring clarity of thinking and humanitarian regard to people who are abusing other people, whether in the home, the community, or the nation—any nation.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Lynna Banning] Tracy Chevalier’s “The Last Runaway”; Christina Dodd’s “Candle in the Window”; “Duty” by Robert Gates; and my annual re-reading of “Anne of Green Gables,” by Lucy Montgomery.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Lynna Banning] I love to hear from readers! Write me at P.O. Box 324, Felton, California 95018. Email me at carowoolston@att.net. My web page is www.lynnabanning.net.

THE LONE SHERIFF

LYNNA BANNING

Harlequin Western historical ~ 75k words

As if tracking down train robbers isn’t enough, now Sheriff Jericho Silver’s backup detective is a gun-toting, head-turning beauty who sure spells trouble.

Madison O’Donnell had the perfect life—a beautiful home and all the ladies

luncheons she could stomach—but it left her bored to tears. Now the determined widow fills her days with daring deeds and wild adventures, including working with Jericho. But he insists on her returning to the city where she belongs and finds she is one lady who refuses to take no for an answer.

Buy links: Amazon B&N Harlequin Romance

Excerpt:

None of them looked remotely like a Pinkerton man. A Pinkerton agent would no doubt be wearing a proper suit. But the only male who looked the least bit citified was Ike Bruhn, home from his honeymoon with his new bride.

Sandy jiggled at his side. “Ya see ’im?”

“Nope,” Jerico grunted.

“Maybe he missed the train,” his deputy suggested.

“Naw, must be here somewhere. Look for a gent in a gray suit.” Pinkerton men always wore grey to blend in with crowds. He scanned the thronged station platform again.

“Check inside, Sandy. Maybe he slipped past me.”

His deputy jogged off and Jericho perused the crowd a third time. Nothing. Maybe Mr. Detective had chickened out at the prospect of fingering an elusive outlaw gang that was robbing trains. He narrowed his eyes and turned to check the station once more when someone stumbled smack into him.

“Oh, I am terribly sorry.” An extremely pretty young woman carrying a green-striped parasol gazed up at him. Her voice sounded like rich whiskey sliding over smooth river stones and for a moment Jericho forgot what he’d come for. She only came up to his shoulder and on her dark, piled-up hair sat the most ridiculous concoction of feathers and stuffed birds he’d ever laid eyes on.

He sucked in a breath to apologize, then wished he hadn’t. Goddam she smelled good. Soap and something flowery.

Made his head swim.

He stepped back. “’Scuse me, ma’am.”

She waved a gloved hand and peered at his chest. “Oh, you are the sheriff.”

“Yeah, I am.”

She smiled and his mouth went dry. “You are just the man I want to see.”

Jericho swallowed. “You have a problem?”

“Oh, no.” She twirled her parasol. “You have the problem. I have come to help.” She waited, an expectant look on her face.

“Help?” Jerico echoed.

“Of course.” The whiskey in her voice was now sliding over some pointy rocks. “I am Madison O’Donnell. The Smoke River Bank hired me to help catch the gang robbing their gold shipments.”

Jericho stared at her.

“I believe you were expecting me?”

He snapped his jaw shut. He sure as hell wasn’t expecting her. The last thing he’d expected was this frilly-looking female with her ridiculous hat. In her green-striped dress and twirling her parasol like that she made him think of a dish of cool mint ice cream.

“Whatever is the matter, Sheriff? You have gone quite pale? Are you ill?”

He jerked at the question. Not ill, just gutshot. “Uh, yeah. I mean No, I’m not ill. Just . . . surprised.”

She lowered her voice. “Most Pinkerton clients are surprised when they meet me. It will pass.”

Hell no, it won’t.

Madison O’Donnell picked up her travel bag. “Shall we go?”

Not on your life. “Uh, my deputy’s inside the station house. ’Scuse me, ma’am.” He strode past her without looking back. Inside, he found Sandy talking to the ticket seller.

“Charlie says nobody’s come in except the two Weatherby women. You want me to hang around and – ?”

Biography for Lynna Banning:

Lynna Banning combines a lifelong love of history and literature into a satisfying career as a writer. Born in Oregon, she has lived in Northern California most of her life. After graduating from Scripps College she embarked on a career as an editor and technical writer, and later as a high school English teacher.

An amateur pianist and harpsichordist, Lynna performs on psaltery and harp in a medieval music ensemble, and she also plays cortholt, recorders, and tar (drum). She enjoys hearing from her readers. You may write to her directly at P.O. Box 324, Felton, CA 95018, USA, or at carowoolston@att.net. Visit Lynna’s website at www.lynnabanning.net.

*** *** ***

Giveaway: Seven(7) copies of The Lone Sheriff…Seven(7) lucky winners

a Rafflecopter giveaway /

The post Interview with Lynna Banning, Author of The Lone Sheriff and Giveaway appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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5. Novella Review: No Match for Love by Carol Cox

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I enjoyed Cowboy Unmatched, another A Match Made in Texas novella, so when I was browsing around on Scribd, I was delighted to see other stories from the same anthology on the site.  I quickly added No Match for Love to my library and read it Sunday night.  This is a cute story and now I want to read the all of A Match Made in Texas novellas.

Lucy’s father left her penniless after his death, and she’s relying on the charity of her friend’s family to keep a roof over her head.  Overindulged by her father, she has never learned useful skills; she can’t even make a pot of tea, let alone find employment to give her some independence.  Her only option is to marry Walter, a man who makes her uneasy and who she doubts she could ever develop feelings for.  Her friend is marrying soon, however, and she knows that she can’t live with her parents forever, so Lucy is desperate for any opportunity to present itself.

When she’s offered a job far away from Dry Gulch, she jumps at the chance to escape Walter and being a burden to her benefactors.  All she has to do is care for Andrew Simms’ elderly aunt.  Martha refuses to sell her ranch, the Diamond S, but Andrew has concerns about her mental health.  She firmly believes she saw a cow leaping over the moon, in addition to other impossibly odd occurrences at the ranch, and now Andrew is worried about her living by herself.

Lucy expects to find a doddering old woman, but instead she is introduced to an intelligent, capable woman.  One who doesn’t want a stranger living with her on her ranch.  Andrew convinces Martha that she’ll enjoy the company, and a thankful Lucy has a place to stay, at least for a while.

I enjoyed the friendship that develops between the women.  Lucy is hopeless in the kitchen, and she doesn’t know the first thing about running a household.  Gruff Martha teaches her all she knows, and the two become friends.  The only sticky point? Every full moon, something weird does happen at the ranch.  With Martha hollering into the night, brandishing her shotgun, Lucy fears for the woman’s sanity, too.  It quickly becomes clear that something, or someone, is responsible for the disturbances plaguing the ranch, and Lucy is determined to discover the reason behind them.

I thought that the romance was secondary to the mystery.  The mystery was solved a little too easily, too, but I still enjoyed the interactions between the characters, especially between Lucy and Martha.  This is a quick, satisfying read with a very sweet romance, so if you’re looking to fill a short period of time, No Match for Love is an entertaining choice.

Grade:  B

Review copy read on Scribd

From Amazon:

Andrew can’t fathom how refined Lucy ended up as the caretaker to his dotty aunt, and somehow her arrival has prompted even more bizarre occurrences around the ranch. When they join forces to unearth the truth, will the attraction between Andrew and Lucy develop into more?

The post Novella Review: No Match for Love by Carol Cox appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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6. Guest Post and Giveaway: Bec McMaster, Author of Forged by Desire

I know you are dying of curiosity, so this morning Bec McMaster joins us to give us a glimpse of her office essentials.  Check it out!

Writing can be a lot of hard work. There’s the hour or two each day that’s spent staring out the window, daydreaming about sexy and dangerous heroes; the hours poring over my hero and heroine’s Goals, Motivation and Conflict – or plotting just how much torture I can dish out on my poor hero – heh, heh, heh…

So, a writer needs to be fully supported by her office essentials, in order to work at peak performance. Here’s a list of my top five desk/office essentials when I’m writing:

1. Pinterest. The go-to place for heroes galore. Whether you prefer them covered in tatts, or beards, or clean-cut and ripped, there’s a hero for you. This is a vital part of the casting process when you’re working out who your hero is.

2. My ergonomic cushion support system. My boyfriend bought me the best ergonomic chair on the market – and I hate using it. Instead I prefer my much more sophisticated cushion-at-the-back to support my spine, and one tucked between the table and my hips. It keeps me upright and comfortable, and when you’re spending 9-10 hours a day in that chair, it’s a definite necessity.

3. Tea. I think I’m presenting a strong case for sponsorship by Twining’s, with all of the product placement at my desk (AKA empty cups, random spills, half-drank cups of tea). See also: the tea towel next to my desk for errant spills.

4. Notebook and pad, to jot down ideas, and random notes to myself. Often incomprehensible.

5. My word count journal. Absolutely essential for tracking progress.

Bonus essential: A pile of my books, just to give me inspiration and prove, yay-I-did-it!

FORGED BY DESIRE

BY BEC MCMASTER – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2014

“You’re my breath when I feel like I can’t catch my own.”

Captain Garrett Reed of the Nighthawk guard has a deadly mission: capture a steel-jawed monster preying on women. He hates to put his partner, Perry, in jeopardy, but she’s the best bait he has. Little does he realize, he’s about to be caught in his own trap.

Perry has been half in love with Garrett for years, but this is not exactly the best time to start a relationship—especially when their investigation leads them directly into the clutches of the madman she thought she’d escaped…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds. Read more about her at www.becmcmaster.com or follow her on Twitter, @BecMcMaster.

To purchase Forged By Desire:

ORDER TRADE PAPERBACK

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

B-A-M

Chapters

Indiebound

Powell’s

The Book Depository

Sourcebooks

ORDER EBOOK

Kindle

Nook

Kobo

IBooks

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The post Guest Post and Giveaway: Bec McMaster, Author of Forged by Desire appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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7. Review: Hook’s Revenge by Heidi Schulz

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I was offered a copy of Hook’s Revenge for review, and how could I possibly refuse? Pirates!  Sword play!  Adventure! It was a no-brainer to load this on my Kindle and start reading.   Following Jocelyn, Hook’s 12 year old daughter, on her grand adventure to Neverland, I was captivated from the first page.  Jocelyn is a rough and tumble girl, with no patience for manners, baths, or hair brushing.  She’s brave and intelligent, but when she’s sent to Miss Eliza Crumb-Biddlecomb’s Finishing School for Young Ladies to learn how to behave in polite society, she bristles at every lesson.  She gets off on the wrong foot with her classmates, and once they discover that she’s the dreaded Captain Hook’s daughter, watch out!  Nobody wants to be her friend, and one of her roommates begins bullying her unmercifully.  While there is little that Jocelyn is afraid of, she is miserable and friendless at school.

Then Jocelyn meets Roger, the cook’s helper.  Suddenly, everything seems bearable again.  That is until the horrible Prissy finds a way to hurt Jocelyn by having Roger dismissed from his position at the school.  Dreadfully unhappy, Jocelyn makes a wish, and ends up receiving a mysterious letter from her father, delivered by Edger, a talking bird.  Before she knows it, she’s been whisked off to Neverland to face her father’s nemeses – Neverland’s crocodile.  Will she be able to carry out his final wish and defeat the monster that devoured her dad?

I enjoyed Hook’s Revenge because Jocelyn is such a capable girl.  She doesn’t sit around and wait for someone to come to her rescue.  Instead, she creates her own opportunities for rescue and adventure, relying on her bravery and intelligence to make her own luck.  Unlike her father, she’s a kind girl, though she longs to step into Captain Hook’s shoes, and be as terrifying as her father was.  The captain of her own ship, with Smee and the rest of her motley (a barely capable crew) at her command, she sets off to face the crocodile.  What she doesn’t expect is how terrifying the beast is, or how many dangers she’ll face during her quest.  She faces cannibals, rival pirate crews, and the Fairy Queen with equal aplomb, but will it be enough to see her safely to the end of her adventure?

Hook’s Revenge is a fun read with a humorous and droll narrator.  I really liked Jocelyn.  Peter Pan makes a few guest appearances, as do the Lost Boys, and it was interesting seeing Neverland through fresh eyes.  There’s room for a sequel, so I hope I’ll be able to spend more time with Jocelyn soon.

Grade: B

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

 

Twelve-year-old Jocelyn dreams of becoming every bit as daring as her infamous father, Captain James Hook. Her grandfather, on the other hand, intends to see her starched and pressed into a fine society lady. When she’s sent to Miss Eliza Crumb-Biddlecomb’s Finishing School for Young Ladies, Jocelyn’s hopes of following in her father’s fearsome footsteps are lost in a heap of dance lessons, white gloves, and way too much pink. So when Jocelyn receives a letter from her father challenging her to avenge his untimely demise at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile, she doesn’t hesitate—here at last is the adventure she has been waiting for. But Jocelyn finds that being a pirate is a bit more difficult than she’d bargained for. As if attempting to defeat the Neverland’s most fearsome beast isn’t enough to deal with, she’s tasked with captaining a crew of woefully untrained pirates, outwitting cannibals wild for English cuisine, and rescuing her best friend from a certain pack of lost children, not to mention that pesky Peter Pan who keeps barging in uninvited. The crocodile’s clock is always ticking in Heidi Schulz’s debut novel, a story told by an irascible narrator who is both dazzlingly witty and sharp as a sword. Will Jocelyn find the courage to beat the incessant monster before time runs out?

The post Review: Hook’s Revenge by Heidi Schulz appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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8. Interview with Lecia Cornwall, Author of What a Lady Most Desires and Giveaway

Good morning, Lecia!  Describe yourself in five words of less

Mother, Writer, Shy, Perceptive, Sentimental.

Can you tell us a little about your book?

WHAT A LADY MOST DESIRES is the third book in the Temberlay series, which began with HOW TO DECIEVE A DUKE and THE SECRET LIFE OF LADY JULIA. This book is Stephen Ives’s story. He’s a dashing, charming, elegant gentleman with a brilliant career as a soldier and a diplomat, and he’s happy with his life just the way it is, without love to complicate it. He’s tried love, and failed, and he has no interest in trying again. Ever. And if he was ever to be tempted, the last lady on earth he’d choose would be Delphine St. James, the most ambitious, flirtatious, and annoying lady in London. When Delphine sets her cap for Stephen, he sets his with just as much determination to deny her.

But Delphine is not a lady who takes no for an answer. When she and Stephen meet again at a ball before the Battle of Waterloo, she renews their acquaintance. When the call to arms sounds in the middle of their dance, they share a passionate farewell kiss that surprises them both. The battle leaves Stephen blind, wounded, and accused of cowardice, but Delphine stays by his side. Afraid and in pain, he’s surly and rude, but she’s determined to help him heal, and to at least be his friend, even if she can never be more.

As Stephen comes to know Delphine through every sense but sight, he realizes she isn’t the flighty society miss he thought she was. She’s everything he’s ever wanted. But a blind and accused coward cannot aim so high.

As a diplomat, Stephen is a man who depends on his eyes to read his opponents. Without sight, he must come to know the world through touch, sound, scent, and taste. As he falls in love with the woman he once thought unsuitable, he cannot help but wonder if she is all he sees in his mind. As they are drawn apart by obligations and accusations, Stephen desperately tries to hold on to Delphine, and in doing so, betrays her trust. He becomes the pursuer, and must prove to Delphine that he’s exactly WHAT A LADY MOST DESIRES.

How did you come up with the concept and the characters in the story?

Opposites make the most interesting pairings, don’t they? I love watching each character bend, adapt and change to find true love with their prefect match. It’s not that the characteristics weren’t there all along—it’s just that love brings the best part of us into focus, and changes us forever.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I love creating situations that force each character to become more honest, authentic, and worth loving. That involves a lot of conflict before we finally get to happily ever after. Creating conflict for my characters is such wicked fun!

What gave you the most trouble with this story?

Understanding what it feels like to be blind. I am extremely nearsighted, and without contact lenses and glasses for reading or driving on top of those, I’m just a point or two from being legally blind. Without eyewear, I see colors and shapes, light and shadow, and I am very grateful that my vision is correctable. I love nature and art and photography, and I can’t imagine never seeing the faces of the ones I love again if I lost my sight. So creating a sense of fear in Stephen and showing him managing his dark world was a very challenging part of the book.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

I think I’d choose Loreena McKennitt’s Never Ending Road. It tells of the endless journey of someone continually seeking her heart’s desire. I think that describes a writer’s life very well. You can listen to Loreena’s wonderful song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv2kmFZTDeY

Name the one thing you won’t leave home without.

I never go anywhere without a notebook, just in case an idea wanders in, clouts me over the head, holds me at pencil-point and demands to be written down at once.

Name three things on your desk right now.

There’s Emma, one of my five cats, in a box lined with her favorite sweater. There’s a miniature bottle of Writer’s Tears whiskey I got in my stocking last Christmas (half full) which I use to toast reaching the end of each manuscript I write. And there’s a small container of soil from the battlefield of Waterloo, a gift my daughter brought back for me when she visited Belgium on a school trip a few years ago. I must admit my desk is a testament to creative disorganization. Actually, “creatively disorganized” should have been two of the five words used to describe me in the first question of this interview!

If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

Anyone, present or past, real or fictional, just ONE? Remember the old TV show Quantum Leap, where the hero was part of a time travel experiment gone wrong? He ended up in a new body in a different era every episode while trying to get back to his own life. I’d try that—a new character every day. I’d be Catherine The Great one day, or Anne Boleyn (not THAT day!), or Eleanor of Aquitaine, or Wellington, or Napoleon, or Cleopatra, or Boudicca, or Jacqueline Kennedy. So many wonderful lives and adventures!

What are some of the books you’ve enjoyed recently?

Books are my worst/best addiction! I’m always reading three or four at a time (no, it’s not ADD, just the bad habit of a writer who wants to read EVERYTHING!). I just finished re-reading an old favorite, Edith Pargeter’s Eighth Champion of Christendom. Her brilliant descriptions stay with you forever. I also recently read Mary Balogh’s latest book, The Escape, and I’ve just started Larkswood, by Valerie Mendes.

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

I love to cook with my family (Moroccan cuisine is our latest favorite), and to garden—though my plants must endure good intentions, benign neglect, and Calgary’s harsh growing conditions if they want to live here. I also hook rugs when I have the time, including buying old wool sweaters at thrift shops, shrinking them down, cutting them into strips, and designing the patterns.

How can readers connect with you?

I love hearing from readers and I answer every single e-mail and Facebook comment! You can drop me a line at leciacornwall@shaw.ca, visit my website at www.leciacornwall.com for excerpts, blogs, and news, or visit my Facebook page at

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lecia-Cornwall/147981455226519?ref=hl

For a visual look at each of my books, check out my Pinterest pages. You can find the one for WHAT A LADY MOST DESIRES here: http://www.pinterest.com/leciacornwall/what-a-lady-most-desires/

Or, you can leave a comment or question right here! I’ll be dropping by throughout the day to chat.

What a Lady Most Desires

The Temberlay Series # 3

By: Lecia Cornwall

Releasing August 26th, 2014

Avon Romance

Blurb

On the night before the final battle against Napoleon, Lady Delphine St. James finds herself dancing with the one man she has always wanted, Major Lord Stephen Ives. He makes it clear he has no time for a lady he sees as flirtatious and silly, but as the call to arms sounds, she bids him farewell with a kiss that stirs them both. When he returns gravely injured, she is intent on caring for him, even if his surly behavior tests her patience.
After the battle, Stephen is not only wounded and blind, but falsely accused of cowardice and theft. The only light in his dark world is Delphine, the one woman he never imagined he could desire. But she deserves more than he can give her.
As their feelings deepen and hidden enemies conspire to force them to part forever, can their love survive the cruelest test of all? 

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/what-lady-most-desires-temberlay-3-by.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18518676-what-a-lady-most-desires?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/What-Lady-Desires-Lecia-Cornwall-ebook/dp/B00H1UMOFQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406664108&sr=8-1&keywords=what+a+lady+most+desires

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-a-lady-most-desires-lecia-cornwall/1117542226?ean=9780062332400

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/what-a-lady-most-desires

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/what-a-lady-most-%20desires/id771731765?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Author Info

Lecia Cornwall is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America’s Seattle and Calgary Chapters. Her background includes all facets of writing, including running a successful freelance writing business specializing in direct marketing and advertising. Both history and writing have been lifelong passions. Lecia currently lives and writes in Calgary, Alberta, the heart of the Canadian West.

Author Links

Website: http://www.leciacornwall.com/

Blog: http://leciacornwall.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lecia-Cornwall/147981455226519?sk=app_7146470109

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Leciacornwall

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4441913.Lecia_Cornwall

GIVEAWAY!

Leave a comment to enter for a chance to this awesome bracelet (worth $59), from Victorian Trading Company.

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Print Copy of THE SECRET LIFE OF LADY JULIA)

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9. Review and Giveaway: What I Love About You by Rachel Gibson

 

Review:

I haven’t read a Rachel Gibson book in ages, so I was eager to dive into What I Love About You.  I loved this book and could not put it down. Blake is a flawed hero, a “raging a**hole” according to heroine Natalie, and he’s only two steps above a Cro-Magnon.  He’s suffering from PTSD, and he’s an alcoholic, 62 days away from his last drink.  He’s also a bundle of rage; he doesn’t feel that his family is supportive, they keep ragging on him about the littlest things, and all he wants is a little peace and quiet.  Hiding out in his new home in a remote Idaho town, he’s determined to beat back his demons without any help from anybody.  He’s not a wuss, after all.

What he gets is daily aggravation from the little girl next door  a tiny pest with ninja-like skills of stealth.  Her pretty mom takes offensive with how Blake talks to her daughter.  I don’t know how I’d feel if someone told my kid he shit bigger than her, so I had to excuse her for giving him a piece of her mind.  The sparks fly between them, and both of them pretend to want nothing to do with the other.  Blake has to concentrate on beating old man Johnny, and Natalie is a single mom, working hard to provide for her daughter.  One puppy bomb later, though, and they are sharing custody of Recruit Sparky, much to Natalie’s dismay.

Natalie has been burned badly by the man she loved since high school.  After struggling to become pregnant, her husband leaves her, running off with a twenty-year-old – and a large portion of the money he’s been entrusted to invest for his clients.  Now he’s serving time in jail for embezzlement, and Natalie is still trying to put her past behind her.  She’s not having much luck, however, and her first priority is now the true love of her life, her daughter Charlotte.  The grumpy next door neighbor is a pain in the butt, but as long as he stays on his side of the property line, they won’t have any trouble.  Too bad she can’t keep Charlotte from ambling over to pester him.  Repeatedly.

I thought What I Love About You was a great read.  It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.  I loved how fragile both characters were, and how they both had to learn to trust in themselves and others again.  Add in one annoying kid and a rambunctious puppy, and you have a recipe that never fails to please.  Blake is a gruff, crass hero, and I loved him.  He tells it like it is, and goes after what he wants.  He doesn’t always come across as the kind of guy you’d want to wake up next to for the rest of your life, not at first, but his rough edges are smoothed by the end of the story, starting when he befriends the little girl who lives next door.   This pushed all the right buttons for me, and I highly recommend it.

 

What I Love About You

Truly, Idaho # 3

By: Rachel Gibson

Releasing August 26th, 2014

Avon Romance

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Gibson returns to Truly, Idaho, and to the fate of sexy SEAL Blake Junger
GIMMEE A B-R-E-A-K!
Ex-high school cheerleader Natalie Cooper could once shake her pom-poms with the best of them. But she’s paid for all that popularity—her husband’s run off with what’s left of their money and a twenty-year-old bimbo named Tiffany. Leaving Natalie to manage a photo store and having to see some pictures she, well, really shouldn’t.
GIMMEE A S-H-O-T!
Then she comes toe-to-manly chest with Blake Junger. Exiled to a remote cabin in Truly, Idaho, Blake wants nothing to do with anyone. Instead, he’s determined to struggle with his demons and win—all on his own. But the last thing he needs is Natalie distracting him with her luscious curves and breaking down the barriers of his heart.

GIMMEE YOUR H-E-A-R-T!

Can be read as a standalone. Returns to Truly, ID and is about the second Junger twin, Blake Junger.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/06/now-booking-tasty-virtual-tour-for-what.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19099609-what-i-love-about-you?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/What-Love-About-Truly-Idaho-ebook/dp/B00H1UFLDS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1406676705&sr=1-1&keywords=What+I+Love+About+You+%28Truly%2C+Idaho%29

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-i-love-about-you-rachel-gibson/1117542217?ean=9780062247391

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/what-i-love-about-you-1

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/what-i-love-about-you/id771697623?mt=11#

Author Info

Rachel Gibson lives in Idaho with her husband, three kids, two cats and a dog of mysterious origin. She began her fiction career at age 16, when she ran her car into the side of a hill, retrieved the bumper, and drove to a parking lot, where she strategically scattered the car’s broken glass all about. She told her parents she’d been the victim of a hit and run and they believed her. She’s been making up stories ever since, although she gets paid better for them nowadays.

Author Links

Website: http://www.rachelgibson.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RachelGibson

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/33952.Rachel_Gibson

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Two Print Copies of WHAT I LOVE ABOUT YOU)

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10. Interview with Margaret Mallory, Author of Captured by a Laird

 

Good morning, Margaret! Tell us what inspired your new series, THE DOUGLAS LEGACY, and book 1, CAPTURED BY A LAIRD.

I first came across Archibald Douglas when I was doing research for THE GUARDIAN (THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERS). I was intrigued by this handsome, young chieftain’s brazen power play in starting an affair with Scotland’s dowager queen, Margaret Tudor, so soon after the death of her husband, James IV. The affair led to lucrative appointments for his Douglas kin, and his eventual marriage to the queen put the Douglas chieftain in a position to vie for control of the young heir to the throne—and the country. For years, Archibald’s power rose and fell dramatically. He and his closest male relatives were forced to flee the country more than once to save their necks.

This series was born when I began to wonder what happened to the women of the Douglas family who were left behind when the men escaped. While information on Archie’s sisters is sparse, I found enough to suggest they were in serious danger at times. In fact, one sister was eventually burned at the stake in Edinburgh Castle by Archibald’s angry step-son James V.

Being a romance writer, I naturally wanted to give the Douglas lasses happy endings with men who would stand by them in tough times.

CAPTURED BY A LAIRD is a fictional story inspired by the real marriage between Archibald’s sister Alison and David Hume of Wedderburn. As is often the case with Scottish history going back five hundred years, history and legend are intertwined. That said, the real David Hume did capture Blackadder Castle and force Blackadder’s widow, Alison Douglas, to marry him in order to gain the Blackadder lands. I found no mention of David having any illegitimate children, and he and Alison had six children together. From that, I decided to write a story in which they fall in love after their forced marriage. I believe they did. ?

What draws readers to Scottish heroes?

Other than the kilt, the big sword, and the oh-so-sexy accent? ? The Highland warrior has a larger-than-life quality that makes him great hero material. In today’s world, I may not need—or want—a man who is as forceful and physical as the heroes in my books. But take me to 16th century Scotland in my imagination, and I want that alpha warrior!

A Scottish hero is usually fighting against terrible odds. To survive in his harsh and violent times, he has to be strong, resourceful, and ridiculously courageous. We love this hero for his unfailing courage in facing the powerful forces aligned against him and for his loyalty to his woman, his family, and his clan.

Another bonus is that the Scottish hero is surrounded by strong women who challenge and tease him. Despite how fierce and intimidating he seems to others, his mother and sisters and the old women of his clan all seem ready to set him straight when they think he needs it. And you can be sure that the heroine will have a spirit to match his.

Where to you get your inspiration for your stories?

I get a lot of inspiration from my historical research. Lucky for me, Scottish history is bursting with fascinating characters, murder, and mayhem!

Unfortunately, I can’t travel back in time, but I have been able to travel to Scotland to research my books. Every day I discovered a ruin or a legend I wanted to bring into my stories. For readers who love Scotland, I’ve posted a lot of my photos from my trips on Facebook and on the Videos & Such page of my website www.MargaretMallory.com.

As a historical romance writer, you must do a lot of research.

I’m always researching! Even though I do a lot of research before I started the first book in the series, I’m constantly looking things up while I’m writing. One thing often leads to another, and I’ll come across a legend about a historical character or a ghost story associated with a castle in my book. That’s always fun.

How much does real history play in your books?

Scottish romance readers care about history, but I think what’s more important than accurately reflecting every detail is to make them feel immersed in the time and place of your story. My readers want to be swept away to the Highlands!

I like to ground my stories in real places and historical events, though I feel free to make adjustments to suit the tale. I’ve also used bits of legends and ghost stories associated with castles and other sites that appear in my books. All that is fun for me.

I try to create characters who are true to their times and uniquely Scottish, such as seers, healers, pipers, and clan warriors. There are so many wild true-life characters in Scottish history that I usually include at least a couple of them in each book.

What drew you to Scottish historical romance?

I love history, and I have a serious weakness for stories involving castles and heroes who swing swords. ? I suspect I’m drawn to the British Isles, in particular, because of my Scottish-Irish-English heritage.

Why romance?

I love the Happily Ever After. I love that I can do justice and give a Happy-Ever-After to those who deserve it—of course, I make them suffer and earn it first. ? I’ve been married many years and am glad of it, but I enjoy writing about that intense, all-consuming, falling-in-love stage of love. Oh, to be young and in love!

What do you want readers to take away from your books?

I have an image in my mind of a woman putting her feet up after a long day and reading my book. The little time she has for herself is precious. My goal is to give her a riveting and emotionally satisfying story that she can get lost in for a few hours. I want to make her laugh, cry, and bite her nails. And when she comes to the end, I want to make her sigh because everything turned out exactly right.

Nothing makes me happier than to hear from readers who tell me they stayed up half the night or had to order pizza for dinner because they couldn’t put my book down.

What are your favorite scenes to write? What are the most difficult?

My favorite scenes to write are the ones that make me weep over my laptop. Seriously. If I’m making myself cry, I know it’s a good scene.

The hardest scenes are the first few in the book. I need to captivate my reader, immerse her in my story, and do it all very quickly. Adding to my troubles, I don’t know my characters as well as I will later in the book.

Which part of writing a book is the most challenging for you?

The first few chapters are always the hardest for me. Always. I need to capture the reader’s attention and immerse her in my story very quickly. I can’t bog things down with backstory, yet I must provide enough information about the characters, setting, and conflict so that the opening scenes are both understandable and compelling. Every word counts so much. I end up doing a lot of revising to make those first chapters work well and flow smoothly. Even deciding where to start is hard—a good book doesn’t start at the logical beginning, but at a high dramatic point when one or both main characters is on the cusp of change. Adding to my troubles, I don’t know my characters as well when I start as I will later in the book.

Every writer dreams of getting “the call.” What were you doing when yours came?

I was in a parking lot an hour and a half from home, and I had just come out of an exhausting, all-day workgroup meeting on high risk kids. Before starting my car, I saw that I had a call from my agent and called her back. She told me that Grand Central was offering me a two-book deal. I was dying to tell someone, but I couldn’t reach a soul. I left a screaming message for my husband, then I had to drive through terrible and seemingly endless road construction and rush hour traffic before I could talk to anyone. It was lucky I didn’t get into an accident!

What is the best writing advice you’ve been given?

In Stephen King’s book, On Writing, he recommends setting daily page or word-count goals. I’m a slow writer, but I am also extremely goal-oriented, so this was great advice for me. When I’m writing my first draft, I set daily, weekly, and monthly word-count goals.

Tell us a bit about your writing process.

I start with the characters and their conflict, and I usually have two or three pivotal scenes in my head. Before I write more than a scene or two, I make character sheets, and I try to have at least a sketchy outline of the plot. I figure out a lot of the plot as I go, but I write better when I know the basic direction I’m headed.

Deciding exactly where to start the story is hard—at least it is for me. A good book doesn’t start at the logical beginning, but at a high dramatic point, with one or both main characters on the cusp of change. The first few chapters are also challenging because I’m still getting to know my characters.

TITLE – Captured by a Laird

SERIES – The Douglas Legacy #1

AUTHOR – Margaret Mallory

GENRE – Historical Romance/ Highland Romance

PUBLICATION DATE – September 15, 2014

LENTH (Pages/# Words) – 319

THE DOUGLAS LEGACY
The Douglas sisters, beauties all, are valuable pawns in their family’s bitter struggle to control the Scottish Crown. But when powerful enemies threaten, each Douglas lass will find she must face them alone.
CAPTURED BY A LAIRD
Haunted by his father’s violent death, David Hume, the new laird of Wedderburn, sets out to make his name so feared that no one will dare harm his family again. The treacherous ally who played on his father’s weakness is dead and beyond David’s vengeance, but his castle and young widow are ripe for the taking. The moment David lays eyes on the dark-haired beauty defending her wee daughters, however, he knows this frail-looking lass is the one person who could bring him to his knees.
Wed at thirteen to a man who tried daily to break her spirit, Lady Alison Douglas is looking forward to a long widowhood. But when the fearsome warrior known as the Beast of Wedderburn storms her gates, she finds herself, once again, forced to wed a stranger. Alison is only a pawn to serve his vengeance, so why does this dark warrior arouse such fiery passion and an unwelcome longing in her heart?
With death and danger looming, these two wounded souls must learn to trust each other . . . for only love can save them.

BUY & TBR LINKS (Fill Out The Ones You Use)

BUY & TBR LINKS (Fill Out The Ones You Use)

AMAZON KINDLE US – http://www.amazon.com/CAPTURED-DOUGLAS-LEGACY-Margaret-Mallory-ebook/dp/B00N39NXHW/

AMAZON KINDLE CA – http://www.amazon.ca/CAPTURED-DOUGLAS-LEGACY-Margaret-Mallory-ebook/dp/B00N39NXHW

AMAZON KINDLE UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/CAPTURED-DOUGLAS-LEGACY-Margaret-Mallory-ebook/dp/B00N39NXHW/

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id917025270

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/captured-by-a-laird

GOODREADS –https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23121951-captured-by-a-laird

SHELFARI – http://www.shelfari.com/books/37933832/CAPTURED-BY-A-LAIRD-%28THE-DOUGLAS-LEGACY%29

EXCERPT (If You have a racy/erotica/steamy type book please provide 2 one for adults & one for under 18 blogs – thank you)

EXCERPT from CAPTURED BY A LAIRD © by Margaret Mallory 2014

David strode through the battle raging between his men and the castle defenders in the courtyard and headed straight for the keep, intent on his goal.

The castle would fall quickly. The defenders lacked leadership and were in disarray. His only concern was whether the castle had a secret tunnel for escape. During the siege, he had spread his men out through the fields surrounding the fortress to keep watch. But he had concentrated his forces for the attack and most were now inside the castle. If there was a tunnel, he must secure the widow and her daughters before they had a chance to escape. He did not relish the idea of having to chase them down through the fields with dogs.

The defenders had foolishly waited too long to withdraw to the keep, and most were caught in the courtyard when David’s men burst through the gate. He barely spared them a glance as he ran up the steps of the keep.

With several of his warriors at his back, he burst through the doors brandishing his sword. He paused inside the entrance to hall. Women and children were screaming, and the few Blackadder warriors who had made it inside were overturning tables in a useless attempt to set up a defense.

“If ye hope for mercy, drop your weapons,” David shouted, making his voice heard above the chaos.

He locked gazes with the men who hesitated to obey his order until every weapon clanked to the floor, then he swept his gaze over the women. Their clothing confirmed what he’d known the moment he entered the hall. Blackadder’s widow was not in the room.

“Where is she?” he demanded of the closest Blackadder man.

“Who, m’lord?” the man said, shifting his gaze to the side.

“Your mistress!” David picked him up by the front of his tunic and leaned in close. “Tell me now.”

“In her bedchamber,” the man squeaked, pointing to an arched doorway. “’Tis up the stairs.”

David caught a sudden whiff of urine and dropped the man to the floor in disgust. The wretch had wet himself.

“Take him to the dungeon,” he ordered. The coward had given up his mistress far too easily.

David started up the wheeled stairs to the upper floors with his sword at the ready. He expected to encounter Blackadder warriors, protecting the lady of the castle. But there were none on the stairs and none guarding the door on the first floor.

Damn it. She must have escaped. He gritted his teeth as he envisioned the lady’s guards leading her through the tunnel.

He was about to open the chamber door to make sure it was empty when Brian, one of his best men, came down the stairs.

“Laird, I checked all the chambers while ye were in the hall,” he said.

David’s jaw ached from clenching it.

“There’s one door on the floor just above us that wouldn’t open with the latch,” Brian said. “Shall I break it down?”

David waved him aside and pulled the ax from his belt as he raced up the stairs.

“Open it!” he shouted and pounded on the door.

He did not wait. She could be escaping through a secret door this very moment. Three hard whacks with his ax, and the door split. He kicked it until it swung open, then stepped through.

At his first sight of the woman, his feet became fixed to the floor. He felt strange, and his vision was distorted, as if as if he had swallowed a magical potion that narrowed his sight. He could see nothing in the room but her.

She was extraordinarily lovely, with violet eyes, pale skin, and shining black hair. But there was something about her, something beyond her beauty, that held him captive. She was young, much younger than he expected, and her features and form were delicate, in marked contrast to the violent emotion in her eyes.

David knew to the depths of his soul that a brute like him should not be the man to claim this fragile flower, even while the word mine beat in his head like a drum. He had no notion of how long he stood staring at her before he became aware that she held a sword. It was longer still before he noticed the two wee lasses peeking out from behind her like frightened kittens.

Anger boiled up in his chest. Every Blackadder man in the castle who could still draw breath should have been here, standing between him and their lady. Instead, she faced him alone with a sword she could barely lift with both hands.

It was a brave, but ridiculous gesture.

There was no defense against him.

AUTHOR BIO:

MARGARET MALLORY surprised her friends & family by abandoning her legal career to write tales of romance & adventure. At long last, she can satisfy her passion for justice by punishing the bad & rewarding the worthy–in the pages of her novels.
Margaret lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, goofy dog & crabby cat. With her two children off to college, Margaret spends most of her time working on her next Scottish historical romance. Visit her website for Book Group Discussion Questions, photos of Scotland, excerpts, & other info. Margaret loves to hear from readers!

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS:

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE – http://www.amazon.com/Margaret-Mallory/e/B002QZQJ5M/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

WEBSITE / BLOG – http://margaretmallory.com/

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/margaretmallory.author

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/MargaretMallory

GOOGLE+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/114714618099788790109/posts

GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2858606.Margaret_Mallory

SHELFARI – http://www.shelfari.com/authors/a2577761/Margaret-Mallory/

The post Interview with Margaret Mallory, Author of Captured by a Laird appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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11. The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–It Feels Like Fall!

 

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.

I think I found a new day care/boarding facility for the puppers.  It’s a little expensive, but I was greeted warmly by pleasant personnel on arrival, the dogs behaved themselves, and as an added bonus, I could check in on them via web cams throughout the day.  They were placed in huge play groups, and Bumble, who can be a complete butthead with new dogs, played well with his peers.  It’s a pain to get to after work because of rush hour traffic, but it’s clean, well-staffed, and the dogs returned home exhausted.  Always a bonus!

Temperatures have plummeted over the last few days, and the trees in the yard are starting to shed their leaves.  We went to one of my favorite cold weather restaurants for lunch: Johnny Carino’s.  Those never-ending bowls of minestrone, paired with a cup of coffee – YUM!  I brought my lunch entrée home because I was too full of soup to eat any of it! (The jalapeño garlic tilapia, in case you were wondering)

What’s your favorite autumn food?  I  love anything with pumpkin, but I have yet to locate Pumpkin Spice coffee creamer this year.  It is an annual ritual to stock up on bottles of it, so I can enjoy them until about spring.  They freeze well, but Dean gripes about all of the coffee creamer taking up room in the freezer.  Tough!

Check out my current contests!  See the Contest Widget on the Sidebar to enter!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews to share new additions to our library.  Click here to learn more about it.

New Arrivals at the Café:

I got swamped last week!

The Book of Ivy – I had an opportunity to read an early ARC.  Gobbled it up!  Not happy with the non-ending, but an entertaining book otherwise.

A Bollywood Affair

The Lone Sheriff (Thanks, Lynna!)

Mistletoe on Main Street

Black Widow

Wicked Jake Darcy (.99 for Kindle)

Cherish Me, Cowboy

Night Sky

Moonlight Raider

The Turning Season  (Sharon Shinn?? Haven’t read her in a LONG time!)

Racing into Trouble  (Yeah! Enjoyed the first book in the series so much)

Sugar’s Twice as Sweet (There is a dog on the cover – what can I say?)

A Hero for the Empire

Champions

Served Cold

Battle for Blood

A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

 Subscribe in a reader

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12. Interview with Susanne Bellamy, Author of Engaging the Enemy

 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Susanne!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Susanne Bellamy]  Technogumby, avid reader, wife and mother, traveller (not tourist).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Engaging the Enemy?

[Susanne Bellamy]  The idea came during a tram ride along Melbourne’s Swansdown Street. I spotted an abandoned red-brick building that piqued my interest and suddenly the story outline and characters were there! I loved the heritage aspect and these characters felt so real and right in the Melbourne setting.

Blurb: One building, two would-be owners and a family feud that spans several generations.

Andrea de Villiers couldn’t lie to save herself. But when developer, Matt Mahoney, buys the building that is home to the safe house she and a friend have established in the Melbourne CBD, she decides that protecting The Shelter is more important than her aching heart. Mahoney blackmails her into becoming his fake fiancée but she discovers his reasons throw up more questions than they answer. Pity there isn’t an app for her love life since her landlord and fake lover really seems to bring out the worst in her and make her want things she shouldn’t.

How can Andie protect the building and the families depending on her without losing her heart to the charming Irish developer?

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Can you share your favorite scene?

[Susanne Bellamy]  Meetings are often the first thing I ‘see’. They reveal much about the protagonists and the course their relationship will take. This is Andie and Matt’s first meeting!

Andrea de Villiers couldn’t have orchestrated the accident better if she’d planned for a year instead of just one night.

Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were almost finished as she edged closer to the group of Melbourne’s wealthy charity patrons and supporters and lined up her tray of drinks with Matt Mahoney’s chest.

One second to launch.

She took a deep, steadying breath and stepped forward.

His blonde companion’s arms drew a giant circle in the air, collided with the edge of her tray and Mr. Mahoney, corporate developer and all round jerk, was instantly wearing expensive champagne as an accessory to his Armani dinner jacket.

Round one to Andie.

Served him right for refusing to meet her. He brushed futilely at his shiny lapels and a thrill raced through her.

I did it.

Andie-never-puts-a-foot-wrong-de Villiers had done the unthinkable. If only she could tell him who she was, her triumph would have been complete.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Susanne Bellamy]  Matt’s Irish charm and Andie’s dogged determination to do what was best for The Shelter. These two characters and the city of Melbourne made the story for me. When I found a picture of Patrick Dempsey, I couldn’t believe it; he IS Matt!

Also, I could easily justify another visit to Melbourne to visit my daughter so I could ‘check my settings’!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Susanne Bellamy]  My Kindle. If I have to wait anywhere, it’s no longer a pain but a pleasure. Of course, it helps if I also remember my glasses. Somehow, reading a few words per ‘page’ without them just isn’t the same.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Susanne Bellamy]  Cuppa (tea or coffee depending on the time of day), calendar for planning edits, blog visits etc, and my Mac.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s your favorite snack when you’re working on a deadline?

[Susanne Bellamy]  Red Rock salt and vinegar chips.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Susanne Bellamy]  Bill or Melinda Gates. I’m in awe of the work they do and the positive changes made to so many lives through their foundation.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week.  Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

[Susanne Bellamy]  Teleportation (and the ability to continue breathing in all environments – hope that’s not greedy!) I would love to orbit Earth, land on the Moon, zip between countries and see the Great Barrier Reef. Given the vast distances and short time frame allowed, teleportation is the only option!

It would also allow me to see Earth from space, very useful for my Christmas novella which begins on the Bluefire space ship. Check back in late November on my website for details of this free gift!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Susanne Bellamy]  Anna Sugden – ‘A Perfect Distraction’ (in French; Le Feu sous la Glace); Annie West – ‘Le Captiv sur contrat’; Rachel Bailey – ‘The Nanny Proposition’; Noelle Clark – ‘Rosamanti’; Elizabeth Wein – ‘Code Name: Verity’; Incy Black – ‘Hard to Hold’; Hannah Kent – ‘Burial Rites’

I read many books in a wide range of genres although recently I have been focussed on romance, suspense and historical romances and I’ve challenged myself to polish my French language by reading a couple of wonderful authors’ works in translation. And I just discovered I’ve completed my Goodreads challenge in seven months! Bonus!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Susanne Bellamy]  I love to hear from readers and welcome interaction. You can find me at the following:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/susanne.bellamy.7

Twitter https://twitter.com/SusanneBellamy

Website http://www.susannebellamy.com/

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/susannebellamy/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

One building, two would-be owners and a family feud that spans several generations: all relationships have their problems.

Andrea de Villiers can’t lie to save herself. But when developer, Matt Mahoney, buys the building she and a friend have established as a safe house in the Melbourne CBD, she decides that protecting The Shelter is more important than her aching heart. She will confront Mr Mahoney, and she will emerge victorious. There are no other options.

But Matt has other plans for Andie, and she soon finds herself ensnared in a web of well-meaning lies and benevolent deceit. To protect the building and the families that depend on her, Andie agrees to play the part of Matt’s fiancée, and play it convincingly.

But lies soon bleed into truth, and what was once a deception starts to feel all too real. Can Andie accomplish her goals and protect The Shelter, without losing her heart to the charming Irish developer?

The post Interview with Susanne Bellamy, Author of Engaging the Enemy appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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13. Guest Post and Giveaway: Samantha Grace, Author In Bed With a Rogue

Please welcome Samantha Grace back to the virtual offices!  She’s here to share some private facts about Sebastian, and be sure to enter the giveaway to win a copy of In Bed with a Rogue!

Hi, everyone! I’m Samantha Grace, historical romance author of the series Rival Rogues. It’s great to be back at Manga Maniac Café talking about my newest release, IN BED WITH A ROGUE. My favorite characters to write are always the males, whether it’s the hero or a secondary character, so I was very happy to see the title for today’s blog:

Top 5 things you’d never find in Sebastian’s bedchamber

I love this topic, but I needed a little help from my street team, The Social Graces, to come up with a list. Here’s what we decided…

1) A mess—You would never find anything out of place in Sebastian’s bedchamber, and not just because he has a staff of servants. Lady Helena Prestwick notices when she first has a chance to study him at the theater that everything about his appearance is intentional, from the starch of his collar to his carefree hair made to appear as if he’d crawled from bed looking like perfection, to his high-polished footwear. “A lot of effort went into his appearance, suggesting he cared a great deal how others viewed him.” And how right she is. Sebastian believes one can never be too fastidious. “People were judged on appearances, and he took pains to set himself apart from the disheveled mess his father had become in his last years.” Sebastian’s father suffered from PTDS after his military service, which started rumors of madness in Sebastian’s family. Now that he and his sister have both been jilted before their weddings, the rumors have resurfaced, and Sebastian refuses to give any more evidence to back-up the gossips’ claims.

2) A muddy pair of Hessian boots—Even if Sebastian wasn’t a bit of a neat freak, you wouldn’t find the boots in his room because he…uh…he lost them one evening when attackers jumped him outside a tavern in Whitechapel.

His assailants ripped the coat from his back while he tried to catch his breath.

Found it!”

Another kick to his kidney paralyzed him in a cloud of pain. Two men grabbed his legs and tugged at his boots.

Not the Hessians,” he mumbled.

They laughed and ran off, the splash of footsteps growing faint.

Bloody… hell…” he said between wheezing breaths. He would have given them his purse if they had asked nicely, but no gentleman should have to part with his boots.

He rolled to his back and cried out as his muscles wrenched. If he ever learned his attackers’ identities, they were in for a shocking introduction of his foot to their backsides.

Lucky for Sebastian, Helena wasn’t far away and came to his rescue when he called out for help, even though she risked having her secret discovered.

3) A Do Not Disturb sign—Sebastian would never take his conquests home for a night of fun. He has a mother and younger sister under his care, and he would never dream of exposing them to anything inappropriate. He would, however, like to bar his sister from his room, but Evie will have none of that after he is delivered to the front stoop battered, bruised, and unconscious. (I think she burned the Do Not Disturb sign.)

He was in his bedchamber. God only knew how he had gotten there.

He smacked his lips. His mouth was dry, like someone had shoved a wad of muslin in it. With eyes still closed, he fumbled for a glass of water on his side table without success. He cracked open an eye.

Faith!” He jumped, then sucked in a sharp breath as pain sliced through his ribs.

His younger sister pursed her lips. “What happened this time? Did an irate husband chase you out a window?”

I refuse to respond to such a ridiculous accusation.” Gingerly, he probed the bandage around his middle. How had that gotten there?

Eve slid from the edge of the bed and went to retrieve a porcelain pitcher from a tray sitting on a side table. “The doctor said you bruised your ribs and knocked your head. And don’t pretend I have insulted you. I smelled the lady’s perfume on you before your valet cleaned you up.” Despite her scolding tone, her brown eyes were sympathetic when she glanced over her shoulder. “I worry about you, Bastian. God only knows what you are doing that causes you to come home with bruises. And no coat or boots at that.”

Well, it’s not bedding married women, not that you should know about such goings-on.”

4) A Letter of Complaint—Helena learns Sebastian knows her secret when he approaches her at a ball, and she thinks he intends to blackmail her. She invites him back to her town house so they can discuss the terms in private, but he suggests they wait to leave the ball separately so no one connects their names. In the meantime, Helena takes refuge in the ladies’ retiring room to avoid running into him again at the ball. She has the misfortune of crossing paths with Lady Lovelace and receives a favorable recommendation of Sebastian’s skills, although the Widow Lovelace insults him in the process. (Perhaps there’s a little jealousy at play?)

I saw you dancing with Lord Thorne.” Lady Lovelace plopped onto the tufted stool and smoothed a hand over her hair. “If you’ve a rendezvous with Sebastian, you will not regret it.”

Helena’s breath hitched.

The widow’s eyes gleamed in the looking glass. “Just as I suspected. He is worth the risk, so long as no one else finds out. Most every lady desires him in her bed, but she would be mortified if others knew she’d been bedded by a Bedlamite.”

She twittered at her joke, but Helena didn’t find her amusing in the least.

Forgive me, my lady, but you are mistaken about Lord Thorne and me.” Helena headed for the retiring room door, brushing past the attendant who wasn’t even bothering to pretend she wasn’t eavesdropping. Her owl-like eyes blinked several times at Helena.

Oh?” The widow swiveled on the seat. “You haven’t succumbed to his charms yet? You would be the only woman whose skirts he has chased but failed to lift.”

5) An Attack Cat—One of my favorite scenes involves a stray cat Helena rescued on one of her late night excursions to Whitechapel. Sebastian isn’t likely to forget his introduction to Luna.

He swept the hair from her forehead. “I want to see where you lived. And Fergus promised to take me fishing. Perhaps you and Gracie would like to come along too. Fergus said you are quite the angler. And he said his mother, the best cook in Aberdeenshire, will bake a pie in my honor. I am not one to turn down a sweet.”

She rolled her eyes, laughing, knowing sweets were not his weakness. “When did you and Fergus become confidants?”

I’ll have you know Fergus and I are the best of friends now.” Sebastian tugged his trousers over his hips. “He invited me fishing when he offered his congratulations belowstairs earlier.” His eyes flew open and he jumped away from the bed. “Damnation!”

Helena gasped in surprise. Luna was clawing her way up his leg, clinging to his trousers as he hopped and tried to shake her loose. When she sank her teeth into his thigh, a string of curses poured from him.

Luna, no!” Helena scrambled off the bed to intervene, but Sebastian pried her from his leg before she reached them.

The cat hit the floor at a run, sprang onto the desk chair and desk, then slipped on the pile of post before she gained traction and dashed into Helena’s dressing room. Letters plopped to the floor.

Sebastian turned incredulous eyes on Helena. “Did you see that hellcat? He tried to unman me.”

A laugh burst from her. “He is a she, and Luna didn’t mean to hurt you. She was playing.”

His dark scowl brought about another peal of laughter.

I’m sorry,” she said, her voice muffled by her hand over her mouth. “Are you hurt?”

He lifted a brow. When his lips twitched, she knew he saw the humor too. “You could have warned me you had a guard under the bed.”

I hope y’all enjoyed the sneak peek into IN BED WITH A ROGUE. I’d like to thank Manga Maniac Café for having me here today! I look forward to chatting with all of you.

Should we play a fun game of “In Your Pants”? The idea originally came from a Harlequin post on Facebook, but let’s put our own spin on it. I’m assuming most of us have at least one book on our bedside tables. List the title and add “In Your Pants” at the end to create a new title. I’ll go first.

The Templars and Assassins in Your Pants (That’s quite the crusade!) Now it’s your turn!

To connect with Samantha…

Samantha Grace Author | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Bio:

Historical romance author Samantha Grace discovered the appeal of a great love story when she was just a young girl, thanks to Disney’s Robin Hood. She didn’t care that Robin Hood and Maid Marian were cartoon animals. It was her first happily-ever-after experience and she didn’t want the warm fuzzies to end. Now Samantha enjoys creating her own happy-endings for characters that spring from her imagination. Publisher’s Weekly describes her stories as “fresh and romantic” with subtle humor and charm. Samantha describes romance writing as the best job ever.

Part-time hospice social worker, moonlighting author, and pilates nut, she enjoys a happy and hectic life with her real life hero and two kids in the Midwest.

In Bed with a Rogue

By Samantha Grace

Soucebooks Casablanca

Historical Romance

September 2, 2014

ISBN: 9781402286612

$6.99/£4.99

Mass-Market Paperback

He’s the Talk of the Town

The whole town is tittering about Baron Sebastian Thorne having been jilted at the altar. Every move he makes ends up in the gossip columns. Tired of being the butt of everyone’s jokes, Sebastian vows to restore his family’s reputation no matter what it takes.

She’s the Toast of the Ton

Feted by the crème of society, the beautiful widow Lady Prestwick is a vision of all that is proper. But Helena is no angel, and when Sebastian uncovers her dark secret, he’s quick to press his advantage. In order to keep her hard-won good name, Helen will have to make a deal with the devil. But she’s got some tricks up her sleeves to keep this notorious rogue on his toes…

Historical romance author Samantha Grace discovered the appeal of a great love story when she was just a young girl, thanks to Disney’s Robin Hood. She didn’t care that Robin Hood and Maid Marian were cartoon animals. It was her first happily-ever-after experience and she didn’t want the warm fuzzies to end. Now Samantha enjoys creating her own happy-endings for characters that spring from her imagination. Publishers Weekly describes her stories as “fresh and romantic” with subtle humor and charm. Samantha describes romance writing as the best job ever.

Website: http://www.samanthagraceauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Samantha-Grace/264436686918343

Twitter: @SamGraceAuthor https://twitter.com/SamGraceAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4946067.Samantha_Grace

Buy: Amazon | B&N | BAM! | IndieBound | !ndigo | iTunes a Rafflecopter giveaway

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14. Guest Post: Angela Dennis, Author of Fading Light

Please welcome Angela Dennis to the virtual offices today!

Thanks so much to Julie and Manga Maniac Cafe for hosting me today. Brenna, the heroine in my Shadow Born books, has had a pretty crazy life, and that life has left her with a few personality quirks. That being said, let’s find out….

Five Things You Would NEVER Find in Brenna’s Bedroom

5. Flowers or Plants. Although she’s a healer, Brenna has the brownest thumb imaginable. She’s tried for years to keep a garden in the courtyard of the boarding house, but between the horrible soil and her tendency to forget plants need water, nothing has managed to survive.

4. A picture of her and her father. At this point, he’s made three attempts to kill her, he’s not going to show up on her nightstand.

3. A bottle of synthetic blood. She’s a Shadow Bearer, not a vampire. Blood doesn’t make her world go round, it just refuels her magic. Only pure Shadow Bearer blood will work, but she can live without it, although, now that she has Gray, there’s no need.

2. Anything that reminds her of her home world. Brenna has no desire to return home. Any love or loyalty she had to that plane was stripped away when the Council banished her to Earth. She’ll lose Gray if she doesn’t return after the war is over, but that’s a problem for another century.

1. Keegan. No matter how hot he is, or how hard he might try, it’s NEVER going to happen. After all, Gray would kill him, and he’s too valuable an asset to the war.

EXCERPT: 

Copyright © 2014 Angela Dennis
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Darkness embraced Brenna like a thick wool blanket. It wrapped around her, blocking the dim lamplight as she walked toward the seedy bar. Glass residue from the riots crunched beneath her leather boots. Mixed with snow, the bits of broken beer bottles and smashed windows glittered like an army of broken icicles. She breathed deeply, inhaling the cool night air. It smelled of sour beer and clove cigarettes and left a bitter taste on her tongue.

Shadows embraced the sides of the stone structure that housed the Dirty Ruby, one of the few multi-species bars in Denver proper. They stalked across the snow and mixed with the night to merge into a black mass. From its midst stepped a man. Well over six feet, he moved with grace in contrast to his size. The moonlight played across his face, highlighting his chiseled features.

Brenna’s pulse quickened and she took an involuntary step forward. Self-conscious, she ran a hand through her copper curls, freeing them from the careless bun. The thick strands streamed down her back like fire as she moved, her breath coming in quick harsh bursts. She slipped off her black leather duster and draped it across her arm. Without it the tight black corset left her taut belly and back exposed, but she didn’t feel the cold. She never did around Gray.

“Four demons. Thirty humans. Keep the casualties to a minimum.” Brenna brushed past him, tossing him her coat. “I’ll bring them out. You send them back to hell.”

“Hell?” Gray grinned. His teeth gleamed in the moonlight. “You speak human now?”

She shrugged. “When in Rome.”

Her back to him, she turned toward the freshly white-washed door. But before she could move, he had her shoulder in a vise grip. His fingers twined in the hair at the base of her skull. His breath hot against her cheek. “I know your other partners let you boss them around.” He turned her to face him. “I’m not them.”

He stepped forward, forcing her back. They moved in an awkward dance until her ass hit the stone wall. Trapped, she stared at him, wary. A shadow fell across his face hiding all but his piercing violet eyes.

“We enter together. Once they’re dead, we leave.” He stepped back, loosening his hold.

“The humans—”

“Won’t remember a thing.” He crushed his lips to hers even as he slid the duster across her shoulders. “And I’m not your coat rack.” Releasing her, he stepped back.

Brenna rubbed the back of her hand against her bruised lips. Gray would be the death of her.

If she didn’t kill him first.

She leaned against the wall to regain her bearings as he stepped into the light. He moved like a jungle cat. Ropes of strong muscles slid beneath his bronzed skin as his wild untapped power stirred beneath the surface. Akin to a force of nature, he would never go unnoticed. Even incognito, only a fool wouldn’t recognize Gray was dangerous. He was a beautiful, powerful thing to behold. And he was hers.

If she wanted him.

His black hair shimmered in the pale lamplight. It was tied with the usual brown leather strap, but a few pieces had slipped free. They curled around his face, softening his features. The sight of him stirred memories of what they had been to each other. Memories she had struggled for nearly a hundred years to repress. But she still wanted him with a fervor that was both frightening and exhilarating.

A sigh slipped from her lips as she pushed off the wall to follow him into the bar. Wooden planks creaked beneath their feet as they stepped inside. The room was crammed wall-to-wall with sweaty bodies. Humans surged on the dance floor, moving in chaotic abandon. Brenna stripped off her duster. The heat from the wood stoves was overpowering. Sweat beaded on her forehead. It dribbled down her face, sliding across her bare skin to pool between her breasts.

She threw the duster on the seat of a red plastic booth then slid in beside it. Her leather pants moved across the slick fabric like silk as she took a quick inventory of the room. Humans clanked beer bottles together, their shouts drowning out the death metal band screeching in the far corner. She closed her eyes to focus and searched for her prey. It took several minutes, but she found what she was looking for. The stench of rotten flesh and brimstone. It was subtle, but unmistakable. The demon was here, but he wasn’t alone.

Her seat shifted as Gray slid into the booth beside her. “This is new. They don’t usually hunt together.” He tossed a muscular arm across her shoulders.

Brenna leaned into his body. Her head against his chest, she breathed him in. He smelled of sage and wood smoke. “I doubt they’re aware of each other. Demons are territorial. They don’t play nice, and they’re not that bright.”

Gray shrugged. “There’s a first time for everything.”

“True.”

He brushed a stray curl from her face. Unable to resist, she closed her eyes and enjoyed the simple touch.

“You take the males. I’ve got the females.” His breath was hot against her skin.

Her body tightened. She pulled back, a false smile playing on her lips. Beneath it she cursed her inability to keep him at a distance, even on a job. With a quick nod, she tossed back the shot of whiskey he shoved across the table. She leaned into him, her hands pressed against his chest. “We’ll meet at the van.”

“Agreed.” Gray kissed her lips. “Sam knows the drill.”

She could still taste him as he walked away, and that treacherous part inside her yearned for more. The best way to blend in was to act like a couple, but they needed another option. She was already sexually frustrated, and the night had barely begun. But there was nothing more cathartic than a good hunt.

Brenna glanced at the demon. It lounged on a barstool, deep inside a human man around thirty. With a bored look, he watched as a young woman, her shirt in tatters on the dirty floor, straddled him. Her skirt hiked to her crotch, her body trembled as he drained her life force. A second woman stood behind him. Clad in tiny purple panties and a lace bra, she swayed to the music. Glassy eyed, breasts heaving, she waited her turn. It was disgusting.

It had been a human war that had ripped through the Veil between the planes of reality, and the humans had paid the price. Supernatural creatures, the humans now called deviants, had poured onto the Earthly plane, only to be trapped once the Veil had healed. The humans had managed to survive the onslaught by allying themselves with sympathetic deviants, but they had gotten too comfortable. And the demons were taking full advantage.

Brenna slammed the shot glass on the table. Time to play human.

About the book:

Everyone has a breaking point.

Shadow Born, Book 2

Her hundred-year penance lifted, Shadow Bearer Brenna Baudouin returns to the Earthly plane with her partner, Gray Warlow, to keep the peace between humans and supernatural creatures—and to prevent another apocalyptic war from happening.

The attraction between them is nearing a critical point, but their checkered history has left Brenna unable to trust either her heart or her instincts.

It’s chaotic business as usual until humans begin turning to statues of dust. There is no explanation, no sign of magical foul play or a biological toxin. The humans are convinced it’s the work of a deviant supernatural faction, twisting the knife in the already tense relationship between their species. Brenna and Gray agree—the deaths have a former comrade-turned-rogue stamped all over them.

In a race against time, they enlist the help of both friend and foe to save the human race and stop the impending civil war. Along the way, they are forced to come to terms with their past and decide, once and for all, whether they will come together or fall apart.

Warning: Contains a heroine who knows her weapons but not her own heart, an outbreak of supernatural proportions, copious bloodletting, and a race to save an endangered species—humans. All tied up in a tight bow of sexual tension.

Author Bio:

Angela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, son and a sheltie with a hero complex. When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books.

You can visit Angela at her blog www.angeladennisauthor.blogspot.com. She loves to hear from her readers, so find her on Twitter for a chat @angeladennis.

Author web links: (web, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads, etc)

https://twitter.com/AngelaDennis

https://www.facebook.com/angela.dennis.7798

http://www.pinterest.com/angeladennis779/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/26267274-angela-dennis

www.angeladennisauthor.blogspot.com

www.angeladennisauthor.com

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15. Review and Giveaway: Not Quite a Wife by Mary Jo Putney

Review:

The last Mary Jo Putney I read was a Signet Regency Romance that was published in the 90s. I loved this line, and still have a box of Signet Regency paperbacks in the the basement.  When I had an opportunity to read a brand new book by Putney, I jumped at the chance.  I enjoyed Not Quite a Wife, though I did not buy into the conflict between Laurel and James.  I guess I am so indifferent to violence that I couldn’t understand why Laurel would leave her husband, James, after he defended her and himself from an assassin.  She didn’t even ask him for an explanation for his actions – she just packed her bags and walked out on her young, loving husband.

Laurel Herbert and her brother have been operating an infirmary and home for abused women and their children in Bristol.  Laurel is shocked when her newest patient is carried into the ward.  It’s James, her estranged husband.  He’s been beaten and robbed, and he’s suffering from a fever.  In the 10 years that they have been apart, Laurel has settled into a comfortable life, helping disadvantaged women learn skills to assist them in earning their independence.  Nostalgia and her confused feelings for her husband lead to a moment of passion between her and James.  Because he’s out of his mind with fever, James thinks he’s just had a very erotic, very vivid dream, and Laurel isn’t willing to divulge the truth.  Sending him on his way the next day, she returns to her duties and tries to put James out of her mind.

Unfortunately, her momentary indiscretion leaves her pregnant.  Putting on a brave front, she approaches James, confesses, and they agree to a month long reconciliation.  They’ll need to put up with each other for the sake of their child, so Laurel reluctantly agrees to accompany him to London for one month, with every intention of returning home afterwards.  Despite her misgivings about James, she knows that it would be best of all involved to attempt to reconcile.

This is an enjoyable read, but I didn’t feel that there was much conflict between the protagonists.  Laurel just can’t forgive James for taking a life, regardless of how justified he was.  James is a spy, and it’s his job to protect the Regent and all of England, but he doesn’t take any satisfaction from the fact that he’s killed.  It eats at his soul, and this darkness within him is what originally drew him to Laurel.  Though they were both very young, from the moment he saw her, James knew that he would love Laurel forever.  I think I liked that best about this story; he really did love her from that moment on, and when she left him, it destroyed him.  Determined to let her find her happiness, he respected her wishes and stayed away from her.  Now that he’s been given a second chance, he’s going to do everything in his power to keep her.  James was kind, patient, and understanding of Laurel, sometimes more than I thought she deserved.  The lack of communication between them was the biggest obstacle they had to overcome, and it took more than ten years to finally learn to talk to each other.

I’m kind of a sucker for sea battles, so the evil Captain Hardwick and his attempt to make off with Laurel’s lady’s maid was a welcome diversion.  It added a life threatening complication, and gave James a chance to be a hero.  It also gave Laurel some insight on how it felt to defend your loved ones, regardless of the consequences.  The entire abduction episode kept me on the edge of my seat, and I found the resolution to the battle fitting.

 

Not Quite a Wife

The Lost Lords # 6

By: Mary Jo Putney

Releasing August 26th, 2014

Kensington

Blurb

Marry in haste, repent at leisure.

James, Lord Kirkland, owns a shipping fleet, half a London gaming house, and is a ruthlessly effective spymaster. He is seldom self-indulgent…except when it comes to the gentle, indomitable beauty who was once his wife.

Laurel Herbert gave James her heart as an innocent young girl—until she saw him perform an act of shocking violence before her very eyes. That night she left her husband, and he let her go without a word of protest.

Now, ten years later, a chance encounter turns passionate, with consequences that cannot be ignored. But as they try to rebuild what was broken, they must face common enemies and a very uncommon love….

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/06/not-quite-wife-by-mary-jo-putney-lost.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18048060-not-quite-a-wife?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Not-Quite-Wife-Lost-Lords/dp/1420127160/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406678719&sr=8-1&keywords=9781420127164

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/not-quite-a-wife-mary-jo-putney/1117555664?ean=9781420127164

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/not-quite-a-wife

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/not-quite-a-wife/id836627729?mt=11#

Author Info

Mary Jo Putney is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has written over 60 novels and novellas. A ten-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA, she has won the honor twice and is on the RWA Honor Roll for bestselling authors. In 2013 she was awarded the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Though most of her books have been historical romance, she has also published contemporary romances, historical fantasy, and young adult paranormal historicals. She lives in Maryland with her nearest and dearest, both two and four footed.
Author Links

Website: http://www.maryjoputney.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaryJoPutneyAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MJPutneyNews

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/33876.Mary_Jo_Putney

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16. Guest Post and Giveaway: Lorraine Heath, Author of Once More, My Darling Rogue

Please welcome special guest Lorraine Heath to the virtual offices!  She’s here to share a Top 5 list about Drake, the hero of her latest release Once More, My Darling Rogue.  Check it out, and be sure to enter the awesome giveaway!

Drake’s Top 5 most irritating habits, according to his house staff  by Lorraine Heath

  1. He has no standards whatsoever when it comes to hiring staff and can set aside his qualms in favor of retribution when he discovers a lady who has given him a cut direct on many occasions has no memory and he is in need of a housekeeper.

  2. He is far too particular regarding how things are to be taken care of, insisting that clothes be folded and put away, beds made, kitchen scrubbed, hearths cleaned, boots polished.

  3. He is not averse to distracting a servant with a kiss when she is in the midst of her chores.

  4. He is incapable of washing his own back, which requires his housekeeper run her hands amuck over those broad shoulders and firm muscles.

  5. He cooks more for her than she does for him, tidies up the house more than she does, begrudgingly covers her expenses when she takes the maid next door on a shopping spree, and grumbles every time she brings home a stray animal—and yet he doesn’t make her cast out a single one. Making her fall just a little bit in love with him. Even though she knows she shouldn’t. Because, after all, he is a rogue.

Once More my Darling Rogue

The Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James # 2

By: Lorraine Heath

Releasing August 26th, 2014

Avon

Blurb

From New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath, comes the second book in a brand new series, The Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, featuring three eligible bachelors…and the scoundrels that reside within each.

Born to the street but raised within the aristocracy, Drake Darling can’t escape his sordid beginnings. Not when Lady Ophelia Lyttleton snubs him at every turn, a constant reminder he’s not truly one of them. But after rescuing her from a mysterious drowning, he realizes she doesn’t remember who she is. With plans to bring her to heel, he insists she’s his housekeeper—never expecting to fall for the charming beauty.

While Ophelia might not recall her life before Drake, she has little doubt she belongs with him. The desire she feels for her dark, brooding employer can’t be denied, regardless of consequences. So when Ophelia’s memory returns, she is devastated by the depth of his betrayal. Now Drake must risk everything to prove she can trust this rogue with her heart once more.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/08/once-more-my-darling-rogue-scandalous.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19099623-once-more-my-darling-rogue?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Darling-Rogue-Scandalous-Gentlemen-James-ebook/dp/B00H1UHLTU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407263432&sr=8-1&keywords=once+more+my+darling+rogue

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/once-more-my-darling-rogue-lorraine-heath/1117542218?ean=9780062276247

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/once-more-my-darling-rogue

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/once-more-my-darling-rogue/id771705715?mt=11

 

Excerpt

She darted her gaze to the left, the right. Without her noticing, he had managed to maneuver her into the shadows of an alcove and was now barring her way. Those she had been visiting with earlier were nowhere about. She should have known that Avendale and Langdon would side with this blackguard and escort her friends onto the dance floor, into the gardens, or off for refreshments. Blast them! Still, she’d not be intimidated by the likes of Drake Darling. “You, sir, are despicable.”

“And you’re a haughty miss who needs to be taught a lesson.”

“I suppose you think you’re the man to do it.”

His eyes darkened, his gaze dropped to her lips, and she found herself taking three quick steps back. “Don’t you dare,” she whispered, hating that her voice sounded more like a plea than a demand.

“You’ve been poking the tiger for some years now. You can’t always expect him to remain docile.”

He had the right of it there. She didn’t know why she had continually singled him out. Perhaps because she sensed a darkness in him, one that called to her, one that was dangerous to welcome.

“You’re making a spectacle of us,” she pointed out. “We’re in the shadows. No one is paying us any heed at all.”

Like some great hulking predator, he advanced on her. While she knew it to be unwise, she retreated farther into the alcove until her back hit the wall. Her heart beat out an unsteady tattoo. Within her gloves, her palms grew damp. “If you do anything untoward, I’ll scream.”

He laughed darkly. “And risk being caught with a guttersnipe? I think not.”

“You’re a black-hearted scoundrel.”

“Which is exactly why I intrigue you. You’re bored with all the fancy gents hovering around you. They’d never think of touching you with ungloved hands.”

Author Info

LORRAINE HEATH always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing. After reading a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s RITA® and a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times best-seller lists.

Author Links

Website: http://www.lorraineheath.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LorraineHeathBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lorraine_Heath

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/104926.Lorraine_Heath

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17. Guest Post: Rosanne Bittner, Author of Desperate Hearts

 

Please give a warm welcome to special guest Rosanne Bittner!  She’s here to share her deadline secrets, and after learning more about her latest release, Desperate Hearts, enter for your chance to win  a copy.

Hello to Manga Maniac Café! I was asked to participate in your blog site and am happy to visit with all of you! I have been writing over 30 years, and book #59, DESPERATE HEARTS (Sourcebooks), hits stores this month. It’s a wild western romance involving a Montana vigilante who falls in love with a woman from New York City who arrives in the little gold town of Alder, Montana with no clear explanation of why she’s come there. Little does Mitch Brady know that this heroine is running from accusations of murder!

What are your top five essentials in your deadline survival kit?

#1 – Don’t procrastinate to the point that you are pushed into rushing like a maniac to get your book turned in on time. Don’t put yourself in that position in the first place.

#2 – Get your research in order early in your writing. Don’t do too much “I’ll fix this later” and wait till you’re nearly done and your deadline is approaching to suddenly start looking up the small points needed for your book.

#3 – Keep track of how long it normally takes you to write one chapter. About half way into your story you should have a pretty good idea how long your story will be and how many chapters it will be. You can then determine approximately how long it will take you to finish the book. If it will take you almost as many weeks as you have left before your deadline, GET CRACKING! Make your book your priority over personal plans, housework, whatever is in the way.

#4 – Pertaining to #3 – Even though you are pretty sure of your story and your research and think you can finish your book by xxx date, add two or three months to the due date you agree upon with your publisher so that if you have problems or something personal comes up to interfere with your writing, you have some leeway and won’t be stressed out over the due date. If you finish your book early, that’s fine and your publisher will be happy.

#5 – Have a real good idea in the first place what will happen in your story so you don’t walk into a wall and realize you didn’t plan your story with enough detail and forethought as to how certain situations will work themselves out.

I have one last word of advice on turning in your book – If a certain part of the book or a certain event in the story or any other matter involving your story really bothers you, do not send in the book with the thought that you will just wait and see if the editor notices the same fall. Fix it first!

It’s better to feel confident about your story when you send it in than to sit and worry. Your editor will appreciate it if you call her and tell her you are finished but there are a couple of areas you think need some work. Almost always an editor will gladly give you a couple of extra weeks to fix things. Most editors are so swamped they won’t get to your book right away anyway, so sometimes they are glad to know they won’t get it for another week or two.

I hope all of this helps those of you concerned about deadlines, and thanks for inviting me to visit your blog! Be sure to visit my web site, and watch for DESPERATE HEARTS in stores or online!

Elizabeth Wainwright is on the run. Accused of a murder she didn’t commit, she has no choice but to cut ties with her old life and flee West. The last thing she wants is attention, but when her stagecoach is attacked, she suddenly finds herself under the fierce protection of one of Montana’s famed vigilantes…whether she likes it or not.

Lawman Mitch Brady is sworn to uphold justice. He’s never met a man he’s feared, and he’s never met a woman more desperately in need of his help. Something’s shaken the secretive Elizabeth, but as he gets to know the beautiful city belle, he finds the only thing he wants more than her safety…is her trust. Elizabeth longs to give herself to Mitch, but when her past finally catches up with her, can she truly trust her life to the vigilante who’s stolen her heart?

Rosanne Bittner is an award-winning novelist who is highly acclaimed for her thrilling love stories and historical authenticity. Her epic romances span the West—from Canada to Mexico, Missouri to California—and are often based on personal visits to each setting. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two sons. You can find her at www.rosannebittner.com.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1qk9EaK

BAM: http://bit.ly/1oUHG3Y

B&N: http://bit.ly/1ldx5q7

Chapters: http://bit.ly/1BudkQ1

IndieBound: http://bit.ly/1sPDWIE

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1v8RxbW

Kobo: http://bit.ly/XvlKXR

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18. Interview with Gwen Jones, Author of Kiss Me, Captain, and Giveaway

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Gwen!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Gwen Jones] Big, tall ball of contention.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your book?

[Gwen Jones] French billionaire Marcel Mercier loves women. And there’s a string of broken hearts across two continents to prove it. But as CEO of Mercier Shipping, he’s got more important things to worry about…like why the charter company he just purchased in the United States is suddenly the center of an international media firestorm. Now that big, bad Mercier Shipping owns Captain Dani Lloyd’s ship she’s sure her job is at stake. Not that she won’t go down without a fight—even if it means chaining herself to the mast of the Esther Reed and refusing to set foot on shore. The delectable captain and her news-worthy dramatics are a PR nightmare, but Marcel is happy to let Dani prove her skills on a week-long sail to Boston. He knows no woman can resist him for that long…in fact, he’s counting it. But Marcel’s plan to seduce Dani backfires as sparks fly between the billionaire playboy and the passionate captain. Which leaves Marcel realizing that winning her heart is a challenge he can’t afford to lose.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Gwen Jones] If you’ve read the first book in the “French Kiss” series, Wanted: Wife, you would have met Andy Devine’s half-brother, Marcel Mercier. The plot device used in Kiss Me, Captain comes from the family business. Now hurry and go get that first book! Now!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Gwen Jones] The book is set on a Delaware Bay schooner, which is patterned after New Jersey’s official tall ship, the A.J. Meerwald. The absolute best thing about that was getting to spend some time on the Meerwald, and doing the accompanying research. Research is always fun. Plus it’s tax deductible!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with this story?

[Gwen Jones] Learning all that nautical stuff! Before I approached this project, I couldn’t tell my bow from my stern, let alone how to gauge distance in nautical miles or steer by the stars. Still, it was fun, and know it makes me sound really smart.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Gwen Jones] “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Gwen Jones] My self-confidence.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Gwen Jones] A Creative Writing textbook, a cup of Twining’s Orange Bliss tea, and a promo lip balm I got from Damon Suede at BEA.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Gwen Jones] Myself, twenty years ago. I was a bookseller then, and man..was that was a great job. Sigh

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Gwen Jones] I just got off deadline for two books since February, so my reading’s been mostly academic (I’m also a college professor) or The New Yorker. But now that I can breathe again, I’ll tell you what’s on my TBA pile: Written In My Own Heart’s Blood, by Diana Gabaldon, When the Marquess Met His Match, by Laura Lee Guhrke, and Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, by David Sedaris. Plus other academia-related and non-fiction, but I don’t want to bore you to death!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Gwen Jones] Are you referring to what’s called “free time?” Interesting concept. I’m going to have to explore that sometime.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Gwen Jones] Oh, I’m all over the place like a cheap suit

Website: www.gwenjoneswrites.com

Facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/gwenjoneswrites

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gwenjones25

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/gjones043 (though I’m still working on this one)

Readers can also visit my page at Avon/HarperCollins for links to books, insider info, blogs, contests and all kinda fun stuff! http://www.harpercollins.com/cr-107501/gwen-jones

Kiss Me, Captain: French Kiss # 2

By: Gwen Jones

Releasing August 26th, 2014

Avon: Impulse

Blurb

French billionaire Marcel Mercier loves women. And there’s a string of broken hearts across two continents to prove it. But as CEO of Mercier Shipping, he’s got more important things to worry about . . . like why the charter company he just purchased in the United States is suddenly the center of an international media firestorm.
Now that big, bad Mercier Shipping owns Captain Dani Lloyd’s ship, she’s sure her job is at stake. But she won’t go down without a fight—even if it means chaining herself to the mast of the Esther Reed and refusing to set foot on shore.
The delectable captain and her newsworthy dramatics are a PR nightmare, but Marcel is happy to let Dani prove her skills on a weeklong sail to Boston. He knows no woman can resist him for that long . . . in fact, he’s counting on it.
But Marcel’s plan to seduce Dani backfires as sparks fly between the billionaire playboy and the passionate captain. Which leaves Marcel realizing that winning her heart is a challenge he can’t afford to lose.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/kiss-me-captain-by-gwen-jones-french.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20827366-kiss-me-captain?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Me-Captain-French-Novel-ebook/dp/B00ICN508E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406660322&sr=8-1&keywords=kiss+me+captain

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Kiss-Me-Captain-A-French-Kiss-Novel?store=allproducts&keyword=Kiss+Me%2C+Captain%3A+A+French+Kiss+Novel

iTunes : https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/kiss-me-captain/id824151710?mt=11

Author Info

Gwen Jones has an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Connecticut State University and is an adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Mercer County Community College. Gwen is a fabulously talented and creative writer who mirrors the style of Nora Roberts with depth of character, intelligence and humor. She is currently working on another brilliant romance, with an expected completion in the Summer of 2013. She is a member of Liberty States Fiction Writers, The Romance Writers of America, and blogs at http://gwenjoneswrites.com.

Author Links

Website: http://gwenjoneswrites.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gwenjones25

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gwenjoneswrites

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1439257.Gwen_Jones

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19. Novella Review: Captured by S J Harper

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I enjoyed Cursed and have been waiting impatiently for the next book in the  Fallen Siren series.  When I saw Captured, a prequel, up on Amazon, I didn’t hesitate to click the “Buy” button.  And why would I?  This suspenseful read is FREE.  If you enjoyed Cursed, too, or just want to get to know the characters before diving into the series, you have nothing to lose to snatching is up!  Plus it will tide you over until the October release of Reckoning.

Captured chronicles the first case Emma and Zack team up on.  On loan from the San Diego office when Zack’s partner is unable to help with a case, Emma is in Charleston to help Zack with two mission objectives.  First, locate Cooper Anderson, a four year boy who has been kidnapped, and two, capture the kidnapper before he or she strikes again. The federal agents are racing against time; two other little boys have already been murdered, and all signs point to the same perpetrator in their latest case.

Zack is a werewolf, and Emma is a Siren.  She’s been cursed for failing to keep Hades from kidnapping Persephone.  Tasked with redeeming herself in the eyes of Demeter, she works tirelessly to save innocent lives from harm.  She has a couple of rules that she won’t allow herself to break, the most important being:  never fall in love.  All of her lovers have met with unpleasant fates at the hands of the vengeful goddess, so Emma tries to save herself a lot of grief by not getting involved with anyone.  This proves a challenging task because the sparks fly between Zack and Emma as soon as they meet.

While the mystery isn’t too challenging, the blossoming romance between Emma and Zack kept me turning the pages.  They really click as a team, their work styles complimenting and strengthening each other in their race against time to find the missing boy.  Emma’s quest is doubly urgent, because she never knows if this is the the case that will bring her redemption for her failure centuries ago.  Every life held in the balance may bring about her freedom from Demeter’s vengeful rage.  Zack is a complication she doesn’t need, but can’t resist, regardless of how many times she’s been burned in the past.

Likeable characters make this a worthwhile read.  Captured reminded me how much I’m looking forward to the next book in the series! 

Grade:  B

Review copy purchased from Amazon FREE

From Amazon:

Join FBI Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.

She’s a Siren. He’s a Werewolf.

Their mission is redemption.

Emma Monroe is a Fallen Siren, cursed by the gods and banished to Earth for her failure to prevent the kidnapping of Persephone. She’s had many names and many lives, but only one mission: redemption. Now she works for the FBI and is on temporary assignment in Charleston. Solving this next missing persons case could be the key to ending her ancient curse—unless the temptation that’s her new partner gets in the way.

Zack Armstrong is a Werewolf. Tall, dark, and dangerous, he currently works for one of the bureau’s elite Child Abduction Rapid Deployment teams. In many respects the man is every bit as mysterious as his secret and perilous past. But there are two things he’s certain about, that he’s going to get his man and his woman.

When Zack finds himself suddenly shy a partner and a third child goes missing in Charleston, Emma goes from consultant to CARD team member in the space of a few hours. The abductions of the first two boys ended in murder, an outcome that neither Zack nor Emma can abide. As they race against time to track down the kidnapper and rescue the latest victim, they find themselves fighting something just as treacherous—a growing attraction that can’t be ignored or denied.

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20. Interview with Ellie MacDonald, Author of The Governess Club Sara and Louisa

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Ellie!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Ellie MacDonald] Humorous, intelligent, ambitious, creative, foodie.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Governess Club: Sara?

[Ellie MacDonald] Sara Collins is having difficulty adjusting to life as part of The Governess Club School and has her sights set on marrying the local vicar, a handsome, gentle man. When they get a new neighbor, Nathan Grant, a man who is tormented by something that happened to him that made him flee London, Sara finds herself attracted him and turns to this worldly man for adventure.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Ellie MacDonald]  When I create my characters, I start with who the story is going to focus on. In the prologue in the very first book, she is the one who leaves the room, who had to be convinced to join the endeavor. I thought: why was that? Suddenly, she had secrets. Her oppressive childhood gave her anxiety to the point of not being able to stand up for herself, speak her mind, or deviate from the status quo; she is a pleaser to the extent of being a doormat and finds herself swept up in the whole thing when she doesn’t even like teaching. So what does she want? Peace, of course, but even more she wants adventure, to experience life in a way her anxiety has never let her. She is tired of being this traditional, anxious person. Around that, I created Nathan Grant. He promises anything but peace. He is unlike anyone she has ever met; he rocks her boat, pushes her past her boundaries. So when Sara gets pushed to the point of finally pursuing her adventure, she turns to him. The concept grew from there.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Ellie MacDonald] I liked seeing both protagonists develop. They both were difficult for me, so finally getting a good enough grasp on them and seeing where they led me was rewarding. And Sara undergoes such a difficult transformation that it was nice to see her come out on top at the end.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with this story?

[Ellie MacDonald] This was actually a really hard story for me to write; it took me a long time to actually like my characters. I think in the case of Sara it was that she started off being such a weak person. I come from a family of very strong people – even the in-laws! – that it was hard for me to relate to her, to think like her. But on the flip side, she had more room to grow than any of her friends. I don’t think she will ever really be classified as strong, but she definitely ends the story stronger than when she started. In Nathan’s case, I had a hard time figuring out how to redeem him, but he did finally get to the point where he was putting Sara’s needs before his.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Ellie MacDonald] This changes daily! Today it is Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song.’ Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’ is a good one for most days too.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Ellie MacDonald] My smartphone. That sounds sad, when I put it in writing…

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Ellie MacDonald] Pile of papers that I don’t know whether to toss or file, a picture with a flatmate from England, a coaster for all the drinks I have when writing here.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Ellie MacDonald] Prince Harry’s girlfriend, no matter who she is at the moment. Ooowee, the things we would do! ;0)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Ellie MacDonald] I am a big Grace Burrowes fan, and have loved her new series so far, with THE CAPTIVE and THE TRAITOR. I had tons of trouble putting down Sarah Maclean’s NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED. I recently binge read Candis Terry’s SWEET, TEXAS series. Two that have lingered in my mind for a few months now are from Courtney Milan’s The Brother Sinister series, THE COUNTESS CONSPIRACY and THE SUFFRAGETTE SCANDAL. And I am always anxiously waiting for the next Mary Balogh book.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Ellie MacDonald]  Sleep! ;0) I read a lot, spend time with my family and friends. I watch TV, but have very little patience for shows I feel are wasting my time, so am pretty discriminating on what I watch; I usually stick to watching hockey. Facebook is also a big time suck for me.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Ellie MacDonald] My website is www.elliemacdonald.com. I have a Facebook page EllieMacdonaldAuthor and am on Twitter @elliemacdauthor

About the book:

The Governess Club: Sara &The Governess Club: Louisa

The Governess Club book 3 and 4

By: Ellie MacDonald

Releasing September 2nd, 2014 and October 7th, 2014

Avon Impulse

Blurb (Sara)

Sweet Sara Collins is one of the founding members of the governess club. But she has a secret… She doesn’t love teaching. She’d much prefer to be a vicar’s wife and help the local community. But this quiet mouse doesn’t want to upset her friends, and she resolves to help in whatever ways she can.

Nathan Grant is the embodiment of everything that frightens Sara. Which is why she can’t understand why the handsome but reclusive and gruff man is so fascinating to her. When Sara decides it’s time to take a chance and experience all that life has to offer, Nathan is the first person she thinks of.

Will Sara’s walk on the wild side ruin her chances at a simple, happy life? Or has she just opened the door to a once-in-a-lifetime chance of passion?

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22056725-the-governess-club?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Governess-Club-Sara-Ellie-Macdonald-ebook/dp/B00K53802M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1407070787&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Governess+Club%3A+Sara

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-governess-club-ellie-macdonald/1119443763?ean=9780062292261

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-governess-club-sara

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-governess-club-sara/id874398049?mt=11

Blurb (Louisa)

Louisa Brockhurst is on the run – from her friends, from her family, even from her dream of independence through The Governess Club. But sometimes it’s easier for her to hide from those she loves in order to escape the secrets of her past.

Handsome but menacing John Taylor is a former prize-fighter turned inn-keeper who is trying to make his way in society. When Louisa shows up at his doorstep he’s quick to accept her offer to help – at a price. He knows that she’s hiding something and he can’t help his protective instincts around the beautiful woman.

Their attraction grows, but will headstrong, fiery Louisa ever trust the surprisingly kind John enough to tell him the dangerous secrets from her past that keep her running? Or will the power of her feelings scare her into running yet again?
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22056682-the-governess-club

See the SERIES on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/107899-the-governess-club

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Governess-Club-Louisa-Ellie-Macdonald-ebook/dp/B00K537ZXW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1407071103&sr=1-1&keywords=the+governess+club+louisa

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-governess-club-ellie-macdonald/1119443764?ean=9780062292285

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-governess-club-louisa

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-governess-club-louisa/id874396700?mt=11

Author Info

Ellie Macdonald has held several jobs beginning with the letter t: taxi-driver, telemarketer and most recently, teacher. She is thankful her interests have shifted to writing instead of taxidermy or tornado chasing. Having travelled to five different continents, she has swum with elephants, scuba dived coral mazes, visited a leper colony and climbed waterfalls and windmills, but her favorite place remains Regency England. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada. The Governess Club series is her first published work.

Author Links

Website: http://www.elliemacdonald.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EllieMacdonaldAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/elliemacdauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7034029.Ellie_Macdonald

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/08/the-governess-club-sara-governess-club.html

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Two Digital Sets of The Governess Club Books One and Two: CLAIRE & BONNIE)

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The post Interview with Ellie MacDonald, Author of The Governess Club Sara and Louisa appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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21. Cover Reveal: Montana Actually by Fiona Lowe

 
 
Montana Actually
Medicine River # 1
Fiona Love
Releasing January 6th, 2015
Berkeley / Penguin
 
 
 

A big-city doctor in a small-town Montana practice….A former nurse who has sworn off doctors forever….The scene is set for passions to ignite in Big Sky Country. For readers of Robyn Carr and Sherryl Woods.

City doctor Josh Stanton and his sports car don’t suit the country, but with his medical school debt about to bury him, Josh has to make the best out of a bad situation. Adjusting to his new job and life in the middle of nowhere isn’t easy, but at least the views of the mountains—and one distractingly attractive local—are stunning…

After eight years away, Katrina McCade is back in Bear Paw for a break from her life, bad choices—and men. But when a broad-shouldered stranger bursts into town, she finds herself unexpectedly saddled with the town’s sexy new doctor as a tenant. Katrina doesn’t need a man to make her happy, especially a disgruntled physician. But try telling her body that…


 
 
 

Fiona Lowe is a RITA® and R*BY award-winning, multi-published author with Harlequin , Carina Press and, Berkley USA. Whether her books are set in outback Australia or the USA, they feature small towns with big hearts, and warm, likeable characters that make you fall in love. When she’s not writing stories, she’s a weekend wife, mother of two ‘ginger’ teenage boys, guardian of 80 rose bushes, slave to a cat and often found collapsed on the couch with wine.





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22. Review: His Secret Superheroine by Patricia Eimer

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I love superhero books, so I immediately snatched up Patricia Eimer’s His Secret Superheroine.  While I did enjoy this romance, I have some reservations.  The biggest one?  I did not like the hero.  Dylan is Petyon’s neighbor, and once he discovers that she’s the newest superhero in town, he betrays her trust and treats her inexcusably poorly.  I never bought his redemption, and thought it was motivated only because of personal gain, not because he sincerely changed his mind about superheroes.

Peyton is a divorced kindergarten teacher struggling to make ends meet.  She’s also Fantastigirl, a superheroine.  Her ex, Mr Marvelous, tampered with her birth control pills, and the unintended side effect had her manifesting super powers.  She has to keep her crime fighting identify a secret, because Safer America, a powerful political group, is pushing for legislation requiring that all supers register with a national registry.  They promote distrust and fear of superheroes, and have infiltrated police forces and the government.  Peyton fears being locked up and treated like a lab rat if her super secret identity ever gets out.

After her landlord throws her out of her house because of her connection with her ex, she has nowhere to go.  Her gorgeous neighbor, Dylan, suggests she move in with him.  Peyton has been helping to care for his young daughter, Liza, and Dylan would be grateful knowing that she’s not home alone while he’s working his crazy hours as a police officer.  Peyton reluctantly agrees, hoping she can keep her attraction to Dylan in check.  She doesn’t need any more complications in her life; her ex husband won’t leave her alone, and she hopes that living with Dylan will keep him off her back.

I liked the world building, as well as Peyton. As I mentioned earlier, I did not like Dylan.  He behaves like a sheep instead of a leader, and he betrays Peyton in the worst way possible.  Worse, she is almost killed by an attacker, but because Dylan accused her of not being able to control her powers, she takes the beating and doesn’t fight back.  Why?  To prove herself to a guy who has already proven to be narrow minded and unforgiving?  I just didn’t think that Dylan was worth it, so I’ll recommend His Secret Superheroine with that one reservation.

Grade:  B / B-

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

All kindergarten teacher Peyton Pearson wants is a nice, quiet life. Unfortunately, quiet isn’t something she’s had a lot of after tainted medicine turns her into a superhero. She’s single, and saving the city from criminals—which is increasingly dangerous as the anti-superhero movement in St. Louis gains traction. Then there’s her hot next door neighbor who makes her think super-dirty thoughts, and has no idea who she really is. 

Police officer Dylan Wilson is trying to make the world safe by working to unmask all superheroes. When his sexy neighbor, Peyton, is evicted, Dylan offers her his spare room, unknowingly opening his home—and his heart—to the city’s most reluctant superhero.

Can love survive when the masks come off?

The post Review: His Secret Superheroine by Patricia Eimer appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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23. Interview with Claudia Connor, Author of Worth the Fall and Giveaway

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Claudia! Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Claudia Connor] I asked my family for help on this one. Weird. Tired. Fun. Loving. Hungry. I’d say that’s pretty accurate.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your book?

[Claudia Connor] Sure. Worth The Fall is a love story, plain and simple, though love is never simple. Abby and Matt are two people with no other reason to be together and lots of reasons to be apart. Matt’s a Navy SEAL hero with skills, badassness and an intense sense of responsibility, but he’s also a man with so much love to give. He’s just never found anyone he wanted to give it to. Until Abby. But Abby’s been left all her life and knows she can’t watch another person walk away.

So it’s about falling in love, making choices and taking chances. It’s also about believing you’re enough, believing you’re worthy of what’s being offered. I absolutely LOVE these characters. I spent three years with them before I ever considered writing their story, then almost three more years writing it. Any minute of any day I can pop into their lives, be a fly on the wall. It’s like watching your favorite movie that never ends! Hopefully when people read the book they’ll feel the same.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Claudia Connor] I don’t really feel like I come up with anything or create anyone, as odd as that may sound. I only try my best to write down what I see and fill in any blanks the characters leave. Though sometimes those blanks are more like craters. Black holes. I watch and listen and write down what they say and do and hope I do them justice.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Claudia Connor] The characters. I could stay with them forever. Even though it was hard, there was so much love between Abby and Matt it always felt good to be with them.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with this story?

[Claudia Connor] Hmm…I guess I’d have to say the hero. I hate to point fingers fingers at Matt, but he had a lot to work out. And then there’s the whole men can be difficult thing:)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Claudia Connor] Ooh…That’s a tough one and it changes hourly, even minute to minute. Okay, I’ll admit, I even googled How To Find Your Theme Song. LOL It was a fun test but I’d never even head of the songs it suggested for me. Maybe…Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd. I’m not sure the song describes me in any way, but it’s always stuck.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Claudia Connor] During the day, my phone, my lifeline to the world. Over night, my little pillow, affectionately known as Baby Nino. It was in my crib when I came home from the hospital and I can count on one hand the nights I’ve slept without it. Where I go, Baby Nino goes. And yes, that includes my honeymoon.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Claudia Connor] Diet Coke. Empty mug. Laptop. And twenty-seven other things but you only asked for three;)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Claudia Connor] Back up dancer for J. Lo. Of course that would require a certain amount of talent. But, hey. It’s a dream.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Claudia Connor] Waiting On You, Kristan Higgins. It Happened One Wedding, Julie James. And a re-read, Safe Harbor, Christine Feehan

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Claudia Connor] I love watching TV. My husband and I have gotten into a habit of finding a show then watching the entire thing straight through a couple of episodes each night. We recently flew through every season of Game Of Thrones and just finished both seasons of Vikings. Now we’re sad. My all time favorite show was Alias. I own that and have re-watched with each of my daughters when they hit their teens. I LOVE going to movies. Gladiator is my all time number one favorite movie. I think at last count I’d seen it 14 times. If you haven’t seen it, GO NOW. I promise you will thank me!!! And of course, I love to read. Though there aren’t many hours in the day, not even on the weekend, that I’m not working, thinking, plotting, rewriting, or driving my children to activities.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Claudia Connor] I’m in all the usual social media places. In addition to the ones below, they can find me on Pinterest. I have a special board for each book, always great for procrastination:)

http://claudiaconnor.com

https://www.facebook.com/ClaudiaConnor

https://www.goodreads.com/claudiaconnor

https://twitter.com/Claudia__Connor

Thank you so much for having me!

Worth The Fall
The McKinney Brothers # 1

By: Claudia Connor

Releasing September 9th, 2014

Loveswept

Blurb

Prepare to be swept away by a talented debut author with a passionate, powerful story to tell.

They meet on a beach. . . . Abby Davis isn’t wearing a skimpy bikini or sipping umbrella drinks, not when she’s busy chasing around four little ones. And Matt McKinney isn’t looking for fun—he’s a Navy SEAL, a grown man with a long list of missions . . . and fallen brothers.

They only have a week. . . . Abby has brought her children to this beach to start over, to give them the enjoyable memories they deserve. Matt’s been sidelined by a combat injury, and haunted by the best friend he lost and the promise he made: to remain a SEAL—focused and dedicated. This leaves no time for what he’s always wanted: a family.

But a week is all it takes. . . . Matt opens her heart while Abby soothes his soul. And though they plan to say good-bye when the week is over, something magical happens on that beach, something neither can forget. Something utterly, completely worth falling for.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/worth-fall-mckinney-brothers-1-by.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21469653-worth-the-fall?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Fall-McKinney-Claudia-Connor-ebook/dp/B00J1IQX4E/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1407203839&sr=1-1&keywords=Worth+the+Fall

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-fall-claudia-connor/1120019663?ean=9780553390919

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-fall/id841778887?mt=11

Author Info

Claudia Connor attended Auburn University, where she received her undergraduate and masters degrees in early childhood education, and completed her studies in Sawbridgeworth, England. Always a lover of happy endings, she enjoys movies, reading, and spending her days putting on paper the stories in her head. She lives near Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband and three daughters.
Author Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/claudia.connor.18

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Claudia__Connor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8058866.Claudia_Connor

Rafflecopter Giveaway ($25 Gift Card to eRetailer of Choice and Digital copy of WORTH THE FALL)

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24. Novella Review: Rodeo Rebel by Donna Alward

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I am a big fan of Donna Alward, so when I saw this free novella, I scooped it up and immediately sat down to read it.  Like her other books, this short story just clicked with me.  I could easily relate to Megan; she’s a hard working vet during the week, but she loves participating in rodeo during the weekend.  Pax isn’t a bad guy, he’s just a bit misguided.  Five years ago, after a traumatic event puts him in charge of the family business, he abruptly breaks things off with Megan after she leaves for college.  He ignores her calls and emails, leaving her broken hearted and confused.  Hadn’t they fallen in love over the summer before she left for school?

Megan realizes that she never got over Paxton when she sees him at the fairgrounds where she’s competing.  His family breeds stock for rodeos, and he’s there with a trailer of animals for the show.  They immediately butt heads, and when he tries to apologize for ending things the way he did, Megan just can’t get past her anger.  He took the coward’s way out back then, and she doesn’t want to hear his excuses.  Deep down Pax thought he was doing the right thing.  By ending their relationship, he was ensuring that she would follow her dream of becoming a veterinarian, instead of being tied to the fortunes of his ranch. 

Now that Megan has built a life that she likes and is proud of, she resents that Pax has come marching back into it.  She has bulls to ride, and she needs to concentrate on that, and not let Pax distract her.  She keeps dredging up the past, though, and wonders if she’ll ever be completely over him.  When a bull ride goes wrong, Pax thinks that he made a mistake, but nothing has really changed, so he doesn’t see a way for them to be together.

Even though Rodeo Rebel is a short story, it packed a big emotional punch.  I could feel Megan’s pain and frustration over Paxton and his insistence that there was no way they could be together.  Though he originally thought he was acting in her best interests, he still refuses, years later, to compromise.  He doesn’t like being at the rodeo fairgrounds, but Megan thrives on the excitement and the commotion.  He loves the quiet of his ranch, and Megan has a job that she loves, at a vet practice far away.  Instead of thinking of ways to work things out, he keeps putting up road blocks, and threatening to break Megan’s heart all over again.

I enjoyed this so much that I grabbed the rest of the books in the Texas Rodeo Barons continuity, and I am looking forward to reading them.  I like the Harlequin American Romance line, but I don’t feel that I read enough of them, which is unfortunate, because I know I’m missing out on some good stuff.

Grade:  B+

Review copy purchase from Amazon – FREE

From Amazon:

The Barons, six tight-knit siblings—loud, daring and loyal—are about to discover that love can be as rough as the rodeo. Bestselling author Donna Alward introduces the exciting Texas Rodeo Barons series with her charming prequel novella, Rodeo Rebel.

Back in the ring

As the first female bull rider in her circuit, Megan Robertson needs to focus. But all she can think about is her ex, Pax Lantry. Megan knew their paths would cross again—she just wasn’t prepared for the effect it would have on her. More surprising than the old heartache is the jolt of pure attraction she still feels for him.

Even after five years, Pax has never gotten over Megan. All it takes is seeing her, just once, for him to know that their connection is as strong as ever. But he’s committed to his family’s ranch and Meg has her own demanding career. It seems as if Pax and Megan have moved on, so why can’t they let each other go?

Don’t miss the first heartwarming novel in the Texas Rodeo Barons series, The Texan’s Baby.

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25. Spotlight and Giveaway: Laura Marie Altom, Author of Control

 

Control

Shamed # 1

By: Laura Marie Altom

Releasing September 16th, 2014

Loveswept

Blurb

Laura Marie Altom’s heart-stirring new romance will have you believing in the power of love—and passion—to heal even the most wounded souls.

Never again. Fleeing her hometown to escape an abusive marriage, Ella Patton swears she has surrendered to a man for the last time. But while living under a new name, she meets a kind, handsome stranger who seems different—and will be moving on soon, making Ella reckless enough to break her rules. With a kiss, the stranger opens the door to desires Ella believed she would never know. Then he makes an unexpected proposal.

A dot-com billionaire from humble beginnings, Liam Stone is a man whose past has made him compassionate yet guarded—much like the beautiful, secretive woman he stumbles upon in a remote Southern town. Though he intends only a dalliance, when the time comes to return home to San Francisco, Liam cannot bear the thought of leaving her behind. But when he tries to entice her to join him, he finds the tables turning dizzingly fast. Suddenly a little seduction becomes a huge battle for one thing: control.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/control-shamed-1-by-laura-marie-atom.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21854540-control?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Control-Shamed-Laura-Marie-Altom-ebook/dp/B00J6YBOM4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1407208225&sr=1-1&keywords=Control%3A+A+Shamed+Novel

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/control-laura-marie-altom/1120019668?ean=9780553391435

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/control/id866755076?mt=11

Author Info

Laura Marie Altom is the author of more than forty books in three different genres. Now that her kids are in college, Laura spends her days writing and chasing after a menagerie of pets: a mini long-haired dachshund named Cocoa, a Yorkie named Daisy, a mutt named Sweet Pea, and Domino—a black-and-white stealth cat she rarely sees. She’s happily married to her college sweetheart (go Hogs!), and when night falls, Laura steals a few romantic moments for herself with her own hunky cover stud.

Author Links

Website: http://www.lauramariealtom.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauraMarieAltom

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LauraMarieAltom

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/131753.Laura_Marie_Altom

Rafflecopter Giveaway ($25.00 eGift Card to Book Seller of Choice and Digital Copy of CONTROL)

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