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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Romance, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. A Lot Further Down The Romance Road

Back in 2012, I found Daughter of Smoke and Bone to be both romance and fantasy, two genres I'm not fond of in and of themselves. I need something more in those genres, such as a strong character, or, in the case of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, a mystery. Who was the main character, Karou? Why was the guy with the wings always hanging around her? There was a journey thing going on, as Karou discovered who and what she was. I can't find a post on Days of Blood and Starlight, the second book in the trilogy, but I recall feeling it was a connector, which second books in trilogies often are.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters, the last book in the trilogy, is more clearly a romance. There's various other things going on, but the real significant storyline here is all about Karou and Akiva. Their eyes meet across a crowd. There are many paragraphs about kissing. Lots of relationship stuff. There are teases for the reader, too. Will they kiss? Someone shows up at the cave opening and No! The kiss is off! Will they get together for some real hot and heavy stuff? Oh, they're getting closer...closer...No! Akiva has disappeared!

You can probably tell I'm not that keen on Karou and Akiva anymore. No, Liraz was my big interest in this book. I won't tell you who she gets together with because that's the best surprise.

The Significance Of Romance And Marketing "Gods And Monsters"

 

I happened to read A Billion-dollar Affair in the Oct. 24 issue of Entertainment Weekly while I was reading Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Sales of romance are huge, there's an enormous market. At the same time, though, author Karen Valby says the "long-ridiculed" genre is "dismissed by the critical mass." As a result, I started wondering how Dreams of Gods and Monsters is being marketed. Is it being promoted as a fantasy or paranormal romance, which could bring it to a large and appreciative audience? Or is it being marketed as something else, perhaps to avoid the romance label?

In a USA Today interview, Taylor talks about working on a short story for a romance anthology, so she thinks of romance as a genre she works within, at least some of the time
. I think there is a romance thing going on in the publisher's marketing of the book, but it's subtle. The publisher's copy at its website includes the line "They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves--maybe even toward love." There's also talk of various beings fighting, striving, loving, and dying.

Wait. I just realized. My romance reading is limited to historical mysteries with couple characters. I don't read advertising copy for romance novels. "They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves--maybe even toward love" may be exactly how a romance novel is marketed.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters is a Cybils nominee in the Young Adult Speculative Fiction category.
From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera, and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. - See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/laini-taylor/dreams-of-gods-monsters/9780316134071/#desc
They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves--maybe even toward love. - See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/laini-taylor/dreams-of-gods-monsters/9780316134071/#desc
They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves--maybe even toward love. - See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/laini-taylor/dreams-of-gods-monsters/9780316134071/#desc
They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves--maybe even toward love. - See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/laini-taylor/dreams-of-gods-monsters/9780316134071/#desc
They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves--maybe even toward love. - See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/laini-taylor/dreams-of-gods-monsters/9780316134071/#desc
They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves--maybe even toward love. - See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/laini-taylor/dreams-of-gods-monsters/9780316134071/#desc

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2. Novella Review: Sweet Cowboy Christmas by Candis Terry

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I have been struggling with this review, and I don’t know why.  I thoroughly enjoyed Sweet Cowboy Christmas, but I just can’t seem to put my thoughts down in any coherent manner, so I will instead give you my Top 5 reasons why you should read it

1.  This romance will put you in the mood for the holidays.  I read it last week, and afterwards, I was geeked for the holiday season.  Christmas plays a big part in the story, because Chase lost his father on Christmas years ago.  He’s still not over his loss, and he dreads the holidays, because he certainly doesn’t share in the holiday cheer that surrounds him.  Faith loves Christmas and giving to others, so she wants to help Chase regain his love for the holidays

2.  Both Chase and Faith are running unsuccessfully from their pasts.  Chase can’t get over the loss of his father, and now he’s just had a health scare himself.  He’s not sure who he is anymore, because he’s been told he has to give up his fast-paced, stressful life or he’s not going to be around much longer.  Faith is still smarting from a romance gone bad.  Her ex belittled her and she still hasn’t recovered her confidence after his contemptuous treatment of her.

3.  Chase is a caring guy, who realizes a good thing when he sees it.  When he learns that Faith’s confidence is still suffering from her past disastrous relationship, he isn’t shy about letting her know how special she is.

4.  The interactions between Chase and Faith are humorous, sweet, and romantic.  The ranch setting is the perfect backdrop for their budding romance.  How can galloping across a field and then sharing a kiss not be romantic?

5.  Sweet Cowboy Christmas is a novella, so you don’t have to invest a lot of time to reach the happy ending.  This is a great choice if you have some free time in between your own holiday preparations.  Who knows?  It may even get you in the mood to put out some extra Christmas decorations.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Mistletoe, holly, and cowboys, oh my! Christmas in Texas has never been sweeter.

Years ago, Chase Morgan traded in his dusty cowboy boots for the shimmering lights of New York City and a fast track up the corporate ladder. But when his shiny life is turned on end just in time for Christmas, Chase knows he needs to reevaluate—even if that means going home to Texas to endure his least favorite holiday.

When Mr. Tall, Dark, and Smoking-Hot walks through her door at the Magic Box Guest Ranch, Faith Walker sees just another handsome, rich exec looking to play cowboy for a week—at her expense. She’s sure the grumpy-but-sexy-as-hell Scrooge will put a crimp in her holly jolly plans. Until a sizzling kiss has her seeing him in a new light.

Chase is haunted by secrets, and even though it goes entirely against her “hands off the guests” rule, Faith is tempted to help him leave the past behind. As the magic of the season swirls around them, she is determined to succeed, because now she is certain one sweet cowboy Christmas will never be enough.

The post Novella Review: Sweet Cowboy Christmas by Candis Terry appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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3. Interview and Giveaway: Jennifer Delamere, Author of A Bride for the Season

Please welcome Jennifer Delamere to the virtual offices this morning!

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in five words or less.   

[Jennifer Delamere] Travel-loving history geek

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

[Jennifer Delamere] My CamelBak water bottle. I’m a big believer in the benefits of drinking lots of water.

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

[Jennifer Delamere] My RITA® finalist pin (taped to my computer);

a coffee cup filled with bookmarks from my favorite authors;

an engraved silver bookmark with the George Eliot quote: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

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

[Jennifer Delamere] I’d stop time long enough to catch up on my writing and all my home projects!

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

[Jennifer Delamere] “The Anatomist’s Wife” by Anna Lee Huber; “The Girl Who Came Home,” by Hazel Gaynor; “Sailing Out of Darkness,” by Normandie Fischer

About A BRIDE FOR THE SEASON

London’s most scandalous bachelor has finally gone too far. Caught in a situation that was innocent but too compromising, James Simpson is forced to admit that he must do the honorable thing and marry the lady. Unfortunately, marriage alone will not be enough to appease her father. He won’t agree to a dowry unless James can find a suitable husband for the lady’s elder sister-the shy and awkward Lucinda Cardington.
Lucinda doesn’t care that she is close to being “on the shelf”; she has more serious pursuits in mind. She enjoys the friendship she and James share over their love of photography, but she leaves dreams of romance to silly young ladies like her sister. James does manage to find a match for Lucinda, and his efforts to get them together are about to succeed…until James comes to the distressing realization that he doesn’t want Lucinda in anyone’s arms but his own.

Amazon

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iTunes

BAM!

Goodreads

About Jennifer Delamere

The youngest child of a Navy pilot and a journalist, Jennifer acquired a love of adventure and an excitement for learning that continues to this day. She’s lived in three countries and traveled throughout theU.S. An avid reader of classics and historical fiction, she also enjoys biographies and histories, which she mines for the vivid details to bring to life the characters and places in her books. She resides with her husband in North Carolina–where, when not writing or dreaming up romantic adventures for her characters, she can be found fantasizing about her next ski trip or European vacation.

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The post Interview and Giveaway: Jennifer Delamere, Author of A Bride for the Season appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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4. Sublime: Review

Sublime is a dark, atmospheric romance. It’s the story of a living boy and a ghost who fall in love, but more than that it’s about the lengths someone will go to be with the person they love. There were things I liked and things I didn’t, but overall I thought it was a very romantic, unique paranormal romance. The best part about this book were the two main characters. The chapters switch between Lucy and Colin’s perspectives, and I think each character is given equal depth. I was especially surprised by Colin. He was sensitive and likable, even when he did stupid things (like crazy bike stunts that break his arm). A lot of times when I read young adult books I don’t feel like the boys come across as authentic, but Colin did effortlessly. He thought and acted like a teenage boy. His chapters were some of the... Read more »

The post Sublime: Review appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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5. Review: Twice Tempted by Eileen Dreyer

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I was in the mood for a historical romance, so I fired up my Kindle and started reading Twice Tempted.  I was hooked from the first page.  I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but a sweet romance, sprinkled with spicy interludes and a light spy thriller wasn’t it.  I enjoyed as the mystery slowly revealed itself, as well as the secondary characters helping Alex and Fiona solve it.  They actually made the read for me, because Chuffy and Mairead were so unique and their eccentricities were delightfully surprising.

Fiona isn’t having a good day.  The man she has obsessed over for the last four years has just delivered the heartbreaking news that her older brother Ian has been killed.  Worse, her cranky grandfather promptly throws Fiona and her twin sister Mairead out on the streets, because the honorable old man can’t abide the thought of Ian’s scandal rubbing off on his good name.  His granddaughters were only tolerated because Ian was his heir.  He can’t forgive them for the stain of growing up in the slums, and he can’t wait to be rid of them.

Alex, Ian’s friend, is dismayed to find Fiona and Mairead gone when he returns to inform the girls that Ian is still alive and the news of his demise was premature, as was the outrage he was accused of.  Now Alex truly is a man of honor, and he is consumed with guilt for not being there to protect the girls.  Four years ago he delivered Fiona to her grandfather’s estate, and after stealing a kiss from her, he thought that she was in good hands.  Little did he know that Fiona was verbally abused by the marquess, and constantly made to feel unwelcome in her new home.  Alex had only known love and support from his own family, so the thought that Fiona and Mairead would be treated so poorly never occurred to him.  Now he’s determined to find her and give her the life she deserves.

When Alex locates the young women, they are not interested in his plans for their future.  Both Fiona and Mairead are consumed with their intellectual pursuits, and they have no intention of giving up their mathematics and astronomy for a life of luxury.  Fiona has serious trust issues stemming from her childhood in the slums, and she doesn’t believe Alex is capable of delivering on his promises.  She fought to keep her and Mairead safe and fed, and it wasn’t always easy.  I have to say that I don’t understand where Ian was during this time; after their mother died, why didn’t Ian do anything to see the girls in a safer environment?  There was no excuse for him to have left them alone and defenseless for so long, regardless of his circumstances. Ugh.

I had a hard time putting Twice Tempted down, especially as Alex and Fiona became more enmeshed in the plot that threatened to destroy both of them.  They both have trust issues due to their pasts, and secrets they are keeping from each other.  I enjoyed the action, the romance, and how the diverse characters interacted, gaining strength and confidence from their new friendships.  This was a fun read!

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Fiona Ferguson’s troubles began with a kiss . . .

It feels like a lifetime ago that Alex Knight saved Fiona from certain doom . . . and stole a soul-shattering kiss for good measure. Wanting nothing more than to keep her safe, he left her in the care of her grandfather, the Marquess of Dourne.
But Fiona was hardly safe. As soon as he could, the marquess cast her and her sister out on the streets with only her wits to keep them alive.

Alex has never forgotten that long-ago kiss. Now the dashing spy is desperate to make up for failing his duty once before. This time he will protect Fiona once and for all, from a deadly foe bent on taking revenge on the Ferguson line-and anyone who stands in the way . . .

The post Review: Twice Tempted by Eileen Dreyer appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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6. The Orphan of Torundi, by J. L McCreedy | Dedicated Review

The Orphan of Torundi delivers all the key ingredients for a successful young adult novel. Romance, fast adventure, and a believable landscape blend together for a consuming read with a strong protagonist.

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7. Guest Post and Giveaway: Megan Frampton, Author of The Dukes Guide to Correct Behavior

Please welcome Megan Frampton to the virtual offices this morning!  Check out what she has to say about her latest release The Duke’s Guide to Correct Behavior, and then enter the awesome giveaway!

Thank you to the Manga Maniac Café for inviting me to guest at their site today. I am a fan of both manga and cafes, although I am not certain about maniacs. I guess it depends on what type of maniac you are. I am maniacal about IPAs, peanut butter, and black sweaters, myself. Not to mention tall, dark-haired British men (see: Most of my heroes).

My new release, The Duke’s Guide to Correct Behavior, pairs an incorrect duke with an improper governess. Both the hero and heroine have a lot to learn about their respective positions in life, and of course they make a muddle of it as they (spoiler!) fall in love with one another.

Marcus, the Duke of Rutherford, is particularly ill-equipped to be a duke, since he never expected to inherit such a lofty title, and has really only wasted time with trivial pursuits prior to this. But just as he’s inherited the title he also gets another responsibility—the care of a child he knew about, but hadn’t had to worry about before.

So Marcus has to hire a governess and take his place in society, which means dressing for the part. But unfortunately, Marcus is usually improperly dressed, which causes his valet some consternation.

Marcus’s valet, Miller, has a few complaints he would like to air here in this safe forum.

  1. The duke cannot seem to keep his cravat on. Each time after he’s met with his daughter’s governess his cravat is nowhere close to his neck.

  2. The duke does not care about whether or not he is appropriately garbed for a ball. He would be just as happy—perhaps moreso—if he could just wear trousers and a shirt.

  3. The duke’s hair seldom needs any kind of styling. I would not admit this to His Grace, but it looks best just after he’s run his hand through it, which he does when he is thinking about something.

  4. The duke is far too tall to fit into most men’s clothing. This requires his wardrobe to be specially ordered, which would be fine if His Grace actually cared about he was wearing. He does not.

  5. Have I mentioned his cravats? Because they are to be found scattered about the house, often with jam on them, and never on His Grace’s throat.

 

The Duke’s Guide to Correct Behavior
Dukes Behaving Badly # 1

By: Megan Frampton

Releasing November 25th, 2014

Avon

Blurb

All of London knows the Duke of Rutherford has position and wealth. They also whisper that he’s dissolute, devilish, and determinedly unwed. So why, everyone is asking, has he hired a governess?

When Miss Lily Russell crosses the threshold of the Duke of Rutherford’s stylish townhouse, she knows she has come face to face with sensual danger. For this is no doting papa. Rather, his behavior is scandalous, and his reputation rightly earned. And his pursuit of her is nearly irresistible—but resist she must for the sake of her pupil.

As for the duke himself, it was bad enough when his unknown child landed on his doorstep. Now Lily, with her unassuming beauty, has aroused his most wicked fantasies—and, shockingly, his desire to change his wanton ways. He’s determined to become worthy of her, and so he asks for her help in correcting his behavior.

But Lily has a secret, one that, if it becomes known, could change everything . . .

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/09/the-dukes-guide-to-correct-behavior.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20957414-the-duke-s-guide-to-correct-behavior?ac=1

Buy Links : Amazon | Barnes | iTunes | Kobo

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dukes-Guide-Correct-Behavior-Behaving-ebook/dp/B00IRCZCRY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1409072698&sr=1-1&keywords=duke%27s+guide+to+correct+behavior

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dukes-guide-to-correct-behavior-megan-frampton/1120020579

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dukes-guide-to-correct-behavior/id833988081

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-duke-s-guide-to-correct-behavior

Author Info

Megan Frampton writes historical romance under her own name and romantic women’s fiction as Megan Caldwell. She likes the color black, gin, dark-haired British men, and huge earrings, not in that order. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and son.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Website: http://meganframpton.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meganframptonbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/meganf
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/686916.Megan_Frampton?from_search=true

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The post Guest Post and Giveaway: Megan Frampton, Author of The Dukes Guide to Correct Behavior appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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8. Spotlight and Giveaway: Twice Tempted by Eileen Dreyer

I am in the middle of Twice Tempted, and my project for the rest of the day is to finish reading it.  Check back soon for a review!

About TWICE TEMPTED:

Fiona Ferguson’s troubles began with a kiss . . . 

It feels like a lifetime ago that Alex Knight saved Fiona from certain doom . . . and stole a soul-shattering kiss for good measure. Wanting nothing more than to keep her safe, he left her in the care of her grandfather, the Marquess of Dourne. But Fiona was hardly safe. As soon as he could, the marquess cast her and her sister out on the streets with only her wits to keep them alive. Alex has never forgotten that long-ago kiss. Now the dashing spy is desperate to make up for failing his duty once before. This time he will protect Fiona once and for all, from a deadly foe bent on taking revenge on the Ferguson line-and anyone who stands in the way . . .

About Eileen Dreyer:

New York Times best-selling author Eileen Dreyer has won five RITA Awards from the Romance Writers of America, which secures her  fourth place in the Romance Writers of America prestigious Hall of Fame. Eileen is an addicted traveler, having sung in some of the best Irish pubs in the world.  Eileen also writes as Kathleen Korbel and has over three million books in print worldwide. Born and raised in Missouri, she lives in St. Louis County with her husband Rick and her two children.

Eileen’s social media:

@EileenDreyer

http://www.EileenDreyer.com

http://facebook.com/EileenDreyer

Buy links:

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1FasQzq

Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/1ukNFH7

IndieBound: http://bit.ly/1xon12i

Amazon: http://amzn.to/11MnbDz

Excerpt:

He arched an eyebrow. “Lord Whitmore again? Please, Fiona. Don’t do that to me. When I hear Lord Whitmore, I think of my uncle, who had six fingers and thought bathing was a trick of the devil.”

She giggled. “I can understand your wanting to maintain the distinction.”

“Every time you call me Lord Whitmore, I will call you Eloise.”

She glared at him, the curtains clutched to her chest like bedclothes, as if she were a maiden in threat of seduction. “You wouldn’t.”

He shrugged. “It is your name. Lady Eloise Fiona Ferguson Hawes.”

“No one knows,” she hissed.

He leaned in very close. “I do.”

She reared back and almost tipping the ladder again. “That is patently unfair.”

He shrugged and reached up for the curtains. “All is fair in love and safety.”

She refused to budge. “I do not believe that is precisely the quote.”

Grinning, he put his foot on the second rung, just beneath her. “Close enough.”

And then he made the mistake of looking into her eyes. Her blue, blue eyes that were suddenly black with arousal. He heard the sharp intake of her breath and saw the erratic pulse beating at the base of her long white throat.

His own body reacted just as it had every time he’d gotten close to her. He focused in on her, his grip on her tightening. Still she didn’t move, caught in the circle of his free arm, her hip pressed against his chest, her mouth just above his. All he had to do was climb another rung, and he could satisfy a four-year-old craving.

His heart was galloping suddenly, and he could feel a bead of sweat roll down his back. He could see a glow on her forehead, her upper lip. Her eyes widened, as if she could read his thoughts, and he could scent something new. Arousal. Need. Hunger. His own body was shaking with it. He swore his cock had taken on a life of its own, and his brain simply shut down.

He leaned a bit closer, his foot still on the step beneath her and paused, giving her a chance to escape, to clout him in the head if necessary. She didn’t. She watched him the way prey might a raptor, unsure and wary. He didn’t blame her. He wasn’t certain how much control he had over himself. It had been so long since he’d had a woman. So much longer since he’d really liked the one he had.

Slowly, so he didn’t startle her into tipping the ladder, he rose up and set his other foot on the rung. She was frozen in place, one hand fisted around the blood-deep velvet, the other clenched against the ladder, as if she was still uncertain whether to use it.

She didn’t. She inhaled, her mouth opening just a bit, as if there wasn’t enough air. As if she were struggling to stay afloat.

Sink, Alex wanted to say as he lifted himself face-to-face with her, mouth-to-mouth. Sink into me.

“I knew it!” a voice screeched behind him, shattering the moment. “What did I tell you about lettin’ them jackanapes in here?”

Fiona reared back, as if he’d attacked her, again throwing the ladder off balance. Alex instinctively pulled back to stabilize them. He pulled back too far and the ladder tipped.

There was a lot of yelling and a couple of muffled thuds as Alex landed on his back, cushioning Fiona’s fall. He wasn’t so lucky.

“Are you all right?” Fiona asked immediately, leaning over him.

“Serves him right,” the housekeeper snapped from the doorway.

He had hit his head so hard he was seeing stars. But he was smelling cinnamon and Fiona, so he really couldn’t complain

“That is enough, Mrs. Quick,” he heard. “Alex? Your eyes are open. Can you hear me?”

Rather than admit that he was too distracted by the plump pressure of her breast against his chest to answer, he simply closed his eyes and groaned. The act would have been unworthy of him if his head weren’t pounding and his arse aching from hard contact with the floor

“Mrs. Quick,” she was saying, her hand on his cheek. “See if Mr. Clemson is outside. Send him for the doctor.”

He knew his injuries didn’t merit such concern. “No doctor.” He blinked a couple of times until the multiple Fionas resolved into one. “I’ll live. My head is a bit bruised is all.”

In retaliation, she took away both her hand and breast, which almost set Alex to groaning again. She actually smacked him on the arm. “Then don’t frighten me like that….again.”

“Don’t know why you let him in here at all,” came the grumble from the doorway.

Untangling them both from the curtains, Fiona sat up. “Thank you, Mrs. Quick. I think we’re all right now.”

“Ya think that, do ya?”
Fiona gave her the kind of glare that betrayed her aristocratic heritage. The housekeeper, still grumbling, clasped her hands in a parody of good servile behavior and stalked off down the hall.

Fiona looked back down to where Alex lay, and he could see the cost of the last tumble on her face. He should have been outraged. He was lying in a nest of curtains with a fresh headache and the humiliation of his fall, and she was…laughing.

She tried so hard not to. She held her hand to her mouth. She shook her head. He could see her shoulders heave. He would have chastised her, except the minute he opened his mouth, he burst out laughing, too.

“You are not very beneficial to my amour propre,” he wheezed up at her.

She couldn’t stop laughing, full-throated, full-bellied, as if too much suppressed laughter had simply spilled over. “I…I….didn’t…”

“Mean it,” he managed, making it up as far as sitting beside her. “Yes, I know.”

She frantically shook her head. “Think anything could be so…funny!” She was gasping, bent over her hands at her waist. “The look on your face!”

He had meant to get up, to reassert his mastery of the situation. He refused to sacrifice this perfect moment with her on the floor. Wrapping an arm around her shoulder, he wiped at the tears that coursed down her cheeks.

“It’s not that funny,” he groused.

She started laughing again. “Oh, yes it is. You can have no idea of how long it’s been since I had the chance to laugh. Since I last saw your sister, I think.”

He had to grin. “Well, yes. Pip would set anybody to laughing. She’s a ridiculous little thing.”

For that he got a resounding smack on his chest. “Do not dare speak ill of my best friend.” She hiccuped, her eyes widening a bit. “My only friend, actually. Except for Sarah and Lizzie. And now that Sarah is married to my brother, I have no idea at all how we will meet again.”

There was the faintest plaintive note in her voice that made Alex want to curl her completely into his arms and shield her from hurt. Dear God, how lonely she must have been. “I promise,” he said instead. “I fully respect my sister’s loyalty. It’s her good sense I frequently question.”

Her breathing was evening out. She nodded. “Pip does have a knack for acting before thinking.”

“She’s like a whirlwind.”

“She needs to finally capture her Beau,” Fiona said with a definite nod. “That would settle her down.”

Alex snorted. “Poor Beau. He’d never have another moment’s peace.”

And for a long moment, they just sat there in a pool of sunlight and velvet, his arm around her and her head on his shoulder. It felt so good. So whole.

It couldn’t last. If he didn’t move, he’d damn well take her here on the floor. He opened his mouth to tell her, and then made the mistake of meeting her gaze again.

Her lips were still parted, but she wasn’t laughing anymore. He could see the pulse jumping at her throat, and her hands were clenched again, as if she were trying hard to keep them to herself.

He didn’t know why. Lifting his own hand, he cupped her cheek. Again he gave her the chance to pull away. Again she didn’t. His own heart started to skip around. He was rock hard. There was no longer a question. He had to kiss her.

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The post Spotlight and Giveaway: Twice Tempted by Eileen Dreyer appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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9. Candis Terry’s 12 Days of Sweet Blog Tour

Please join in as we celebrate Candis Terry’s 12 DAYS OF SWEET BLOG TOUR!  Be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour. I have two giveaways for you to enter, too!

DAY 4:

Allison Lane Wilder (from Something Sweeter)

The day I met Jesse Wilder I never dreamed I’d be the one to take Sweet, Texas’ favorite playboy off the market. Yet that’s exactly what happened even though we didn’t start out exactly liking each other. Stripping him down and having my way with him? Now that’s another matter. After all, how could I resist him? And while I may have once been the queen of party planning, I’ve never been that great in the kitchen. Jesse’s much better in the kitchen (or anywhere for that matter). But this is a recipe that’s pretty easy to make and isn’t overly sweet. I’ll let the something sweeter be him. And as the old saying goes, I’m happy to let him eat crackers—and cookies—in my bed. Any day. Any time.

Wilder Shortbread Cookies

Yield:

24-30 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup icing sugar or 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

1/4 cup red maraschino cherry

1/4 cup green maraschino cherry

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • In a mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, combine butter, flour, icing sugar and vanilla extract; mix until mixture is a smooth consistency.

  • Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  • Spoon out dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets by teaspoonfuls or by tablespoons for larger cookies, spacing about 2 inches apart.

  • Cut maraschino cherries into quarters and place one piece in the middle of each cookie, alternating with red and green cherries.

  • Bake in preheated 350 F oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until bottom of cookies are lightly browned. Do not overbake.

  • Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes.

  • Transfer onto wire racks to finish cooling.

  • Store in a container with a lid and separate each layer with wax paper.

NOTE:

  • If you wish to add some extra flavor to the cookies, add 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract or almond extract.

  • Use sprinkles, half an almond or half a cashew or chocolate to the top of the cookies before baking.

  • Press a thumbprint in the cookie and fill with your choice of jam.

Exclusive Twelve Days of Sweet Giveaway

Leave a comment sharing the Holiday Dish/Desert/Drink you ‘Pass On’ every year, with a Valid Email Address, to be entered to win a Sweet Texas Series Romance of the winner’s choosing and Box of Candy straight from the lovely state of Idaho.

Sweet Cowboy Christmas
Sweet, Texas # 3.5

By: Candis Terry

Releasing November 25th, 2014

Avon Impulse

Blurb

Mistletoe, holly, and cowboys, oh my! Christmas in Texas has never been sweeter.
Years ago, Chase Morgan traded in his dusty cowboy boots for the shimmering lights of New York City and a fast track up the corporate ladder. But when his shiny life is turned on end just in time for Christmas, Chase knows he needs to reevaluate even if that means going home to Texas to endure his least favorite holiday.
When Mr. Tall, Dark, and Smoking Hot walks through her door at the Magic Box Guest Ranch, Faith Walker sees just another handsome, rich exec looking to play cowboy for a week-at her expense. She’s sure the grumpy, but sexy as hell Scrooge will put a crimp in her holly jolly plans. Until a sizzling kiss has her seeing him in a new light.
Chase is haunted by secrets, and even though it goes entirely against her “hands off the guests” rule Faith is tempted to help him leave the past behind. As the magic of the season swirls around them, she is determined to succeed because now she is certain one sweet, cowboy Christmas will never be enough

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/10/sweet-cowboy-christmas-sweet-texas-35.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22552585-sweet-cowboy-christmas?from_search=true

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes | iTunes | Kobo

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Cowboy-Christmas-Texas-Novella-ebook/dp/B00L1AK6CA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414523533&sr=8-1&keywords=Sweet+Cowboy+Christmas

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sweet-cowboy-christmas-candis-terry/1120159648?ean=9780062380296

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sweet-cowboy-christmas/id890047235?mt=11

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sweet-cowboy-christmas

Author Info

Candis Terry was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers. Only one thing has remained the same: her passion for writing stories about relationships, the push and pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily ever after.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Website: http://www.candisterry.com/

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

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CandisTerry

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4935263.Candis_Terry

Excerpt

“Anger and regret don’t change anything,” he said. “Haven’t you ever heard the saying, ‘the best revenge is to live well and be happy’?”

“You’re not at all who I think you are,” she said, her eyes squinting. “Are you?”

“I hope not.”

For a long moment, they stood there, gazes locked, the air around them thickening.

He took that last step closer to her. Simply because he couldn’t have stopped himself if he’d tried.

Then he did exactly what he’d promised himself he wouldn’t do. He reached out his hand and gently cupped her cheek. Her thick, dark lashes fluttered as she looked up at him. But she did not pull away. Unable to fight the desire burning through his blood, he lowered his head and pressed his lips to hers.

To his surprise and absolute satisfaction, she slid her hands up his chest, wrapped her lovely arms around his neck, and leaned into his kiss.

As she lifted to her toes, her full breasts pressed into his chest, and a hot zap of lust spiked deep in his groin. His arms went around her, pulling her closer just as her moist mouth parted and let him in.

When their tongues met, a surge of pleasure so different from anything he’d ever felt before lit him up inside. Kissing Faith was like the Fourth of July and Christmas morning all rolled into one. In the warm recess of her mouth, their tongues tangled, danced, and made love. Chase could have stood there all day, holding her in his arms, kissing her until she moaned with the need of something more.

When she did just that, he gathered his wits and ended the kiss by once more pressing his mouth to the center of her luscious lips, then one to her forehead.

With a sigh, she stepped away, and his arms were instantly void of the pleasure of her warmth.

“Why did you kiss me?” she asked.

“Because I wanted to. Why did you kiss me back?”

She grinned. “Because I wanted to.”

He returned the gesture. “Then we’d better be prepared. Because I’m guessing there are probably more where that one came from.”

She flashed a come-and-get-me grin as she spun on the heels of those worn-down boots, and said, “A girl can only hope.”

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Grand Prize: Print or Digital Set of SWEET, TEXAS Series (Bks 1-3) and $25.00 Amazon Gift Card)

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10. Guest Post and Giveaway: Tina Wainscott, Author of Wild Nights

Welcome Tina Wainscott back to the virtual offices!

Top 5 things you would never find in Saxby’s duffle bag by Tina Wainscott

Saxby Cole is a Southern charmer, dubbed the “prince of Cole, Louisiana” by the ladies in his hometown. While he was supposed to head up his family’s grill company, Sax is all about doing bigger things … like fighting for his country. And now, fighting for justice outside the bounds of the law. He’s been told, since he was knee-high to a mudbug, that Cole men are incapable of monogamy, so Sax is committed to never committing and breaking a lady’s heart.

I’m going to let Sax himself tell you the Top 5 things you would never find in his duffle bag:

“One of those protein bars. Haven’t found one yet that tastes like food and doesn’t remind me of MRE’s—meals ready to eat. That’s the stuff we ate when we were deployed, like spaghetti in a bag. If I’m throwing a snack in there, it’s a Snickers bar. Chocolate, caramel, and peanuts … all good.”

“Sweatpants. Not that I’m a prima donna or anything, but baggy ole sweats are just damned ugly. And I don’t like them on a lady either.”

“Flip flops. While I’m no pretty boy, I do value a classy pair of shoes. Flip flops are for girls, sissies, or surfers.”

“A care package from my sisters. Man, did I get teased about that when I was in the SEALs. They’d pack obnoxious things like nose hair clippers, a portable urine holder, and homemade cookies with smiley faces on them and goofy sayings. It was sweet but embarrassing at the same time.”

“A CD with a love song mix. I don’t do mushy music. For one thing, if I’m with a lady, it gives her ideas. And it makes me kinda sad, too, that I won’t have that ‘everlasting love’ thing. You know who has sexy music without it being obvious? Led Zeppelin. Yep, some Zepp, some Kings of Leon, a little Maroon 5, and we’re rockin’.”

 

Wild Nights

The Justiss Alliance #3

By: Tina Wainscott

Releasing: Nov 4th, 2014

Loveswept

Blurb

The courageous men of USA Today bestselling author Tina Wainscott’s Justiss Alliance series never give up and never make a promise they can’t live up to—especially when love is on the line.

The only commitment Saxby Cole has ever made is to the SEALs. He follows a long line of Southern charmers who swear monogamy isn’t in their blood. He’s never met a woman who made him want to swear his allegiance—until, while undercover for a Justiss Alliance assignment, he finds a woman who makes him think twice.

When Jennessy Shaw’s boyfriend dumps her right before their vacation to a hedonistic Caribbean resort, she goes without him to explore her wild side. Throwing caution to the wind, she propositions Saxby—only to suffer his gentle rejection.

When she wakes in Saxby’s room with no memory of the night before, Jennessy discovers his real purpose: to sniff out an operation where women like her are drugged and prostituted to resort guests. She goes from victim to his investigative partner . . . but getting too close to the sexier-than-sin Saxby may be her wildest move yet.

Praise for the Justiss Alliance series

“Tina Wainscott delivers high-octane suspense and red-hot romance! Full of edge-of-your-seat action and red-hot passion, Wild on You is a souped-up roller coaster of a page-turner.”—Julie Ann Walker, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Black Knights Inc. series

“Bad boys breaking rules and hearts and dishing up justice—Tina Wainscott nails it!”—New York Times bestselling author Cindy Gerard

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/08/wild-nights-justiss-alliance-3-by-tina.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22234180-wild-nights

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KAFVOGE?ie=UTF8&tag=randohouseinc-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00KAFVOGE

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wild-nights-tina-wainscott/1119471240?ean=9780345548368&itm=1&usri=9780345548368&cm_mmc=Random%20House-_-Wild%20Nights-RandomHouse-9780345548368-_-Wild%20Nights-RandomHouse-9780345548368-_-Wild%20Nights-RandomHouse-9780345548368

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/wild-nights-6

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wild-nights/id877158042?mt=11

Or, Purchase at Amazon | Barnes | iBooks | Kobo

Author Info

USA Today bestselling author Tina Wainscott has always loved the combination of romance and suspense, because nothing complements falling in love better than being hunted down. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas, Wainscott creates characters with baggage, past hurts, and vulnerabilities. They go through hell, find love, and, at the end, find peace in who they are and everything they’ve gone through. And isn’t that what everyone wants?

Author Links

Website: http://www.tinawainscott.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tinawainscottbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tina_Wainscott
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4731539.Tina_Wainscott

Or,

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Rafflecopter Giveaway ($25.00 Choice Book Seller eGift Card and Loveswept Mug & Tote)

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The post Guest Post and Giveaway: Tina Wainscott, Author of Wild Nights appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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11. Novella Review: Can’t Wait by Jennifer Ryan

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Kicking off the holiday reading season, I picked up Can’t Wait by Jennifer Ryan because I liked the cover and because it has one of my favorite tropes.  I can’t get enough stories with the heroine falling for her brother’s best friend.  The setting didn’t hurt either; all of the action takes place on a ranch in Montana.  While Montana would not be my first choice if I were to ever relocate (the winters last forever!), the whole ranch thing is so appealing to me that it makes me giddy.  Working with and around horses all day long seems so much better than herding IT professionals on a daily basis.

Summer has fallen so hard for her brother’s best friend that she’s had to move out of the main house and into the smaller cabin on the ranch by herself because being so close to him is driving her crazy.  The flirting and longing looks she casts in Caleb’s direction should be clear for everyone to see.  Everyone but Caleb, it seems.  He’s not taking the bait, no matter how hard she casts her lures.  She’s at her wits end and decides to take a different route; to heck with the subtle approach, she’s going to let him know exactly how she feels.

Caleb is far from indifferent to Summer, but because he owes so much to Jack, he can’t go after his best friend’s sister.  Jack kept him sane and alive during his stint in the military, and now Caleb is helping Jack run his ranch. He has too much to lose if things don’t work out with Summer, but the temptation is driving him to distraction.  But being a man of honor, he can’t allow himself to show his interest in her.

I really liked Summer because she is a woman who knows what she wants, and she’s not afraid to go after it.  She knows that they would be good together, if Caleb would only give her a chance.  Summer isn’t just working against Caleb’s sense of honor, she’s also battling his PTSD.  Both Caleb and Jack saw and did terrible things while overseas, and they are both haunted by the experience.  Caleb’s distress is so severe he can’t sleep at night, but once he opens his feelings to Summer, she gives him a sense of peace he had been lacking.  She becomes his anchor, something that he desperately needed.

The story takes place in the run up to Christmas, and Summer’s holiday traditions are seamlessly incorporated into the action.  Who wouldn’t want to go on a snowy trail ride in search of the perfect Christmas tree?  The snowball fight I could have lived without, but only because of my aversion to being cold and wet.  I was definitely in the holiday mood by the time I finished reading Can’t Wait.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Originally appeared in the e-book anthology All I Want for Christmas Is a Cowboy.

Jennifer Ryan, author of the New York Times bestselling The Hunted Series and the upcoming Montana Men Series, takes us to the very beginning in this Christmas prequel about two people who finally receive the one thing they’ve always wanted … each other.

Though she is the woman of his dreams, Caleb Bowden knows his best friend’s sister, Summer Turner, is off-limits. He won’t cross that line. Summer shares a connection with Caleb she’s never felt with anyone else, but the stubborn man refuses to turn their flirtatious friendship into something more. Summer will have to take matters into her own hands if she wants her cowboy for Christmas.

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12. Guest Post and Giveaway: Mia Marlowe, Author of A Rake By Any Other Name

I have a fun guest post this morning from Mia Marlowe, author of A Rake by Any Other Name.  Please enjoy, and be sure to enter the giveaway below!

Hullo! Eliza Dovecote, at your service. (You can’t tell, I’m sure, but I’m giving you my best curtsy!) I’m Miss Sophie Goodnight’s lady’s maid. The folks at Manga Maniac Café asked Mia Marlowe, my author, what five things I might have to complain about in regards to my employer. ‘Tis a difficult job to find five things since I owe a good deal to Miss Goodnight, but I’ve never been one to shy away from hard work. I shall endeavor to please.

 

  1. Miss Goodnight is not what you might call a pattern sort of lady. In fact, she’s not a lady at all. She seems to delight in reminding me that her family is as common born as mine. The difference between us, of course, is that her father is simply swimming in lard and dotes upon her, while I barely remember mine. He lit out, leaving my mum with a passel of mouths to feed. Now that I’m earning a lady’s maid salary, I have good bit more to send home. I have Miss Goodnight to thank for that. Oh! Wait a moment. This was supposed to be about my complaints, weren’t it? Beggin’ your pardon, I’m sure.

  1. Because Miss Goodnight’s not the conventional sort, she’s not used to having a lady’s maid. I have to almost force my service upon her. In fact, we had to travel to London so she could order a new wardrobe that requires my help for her to wear. Yes, she’s perfectly capable of dressing herself in her old things, but why should she have to?

  1. Miss Goodnight doesn’t much care what other people say about her. If she wants to do something, she does it, devil take the hindermost. Everyone at Somerfield Park was scandalized when she breezed into the parlor after a ride with Lord Hartley, covered in mud with her hair tumbling around her shoulders. They were taking some jumps and landed in a soggy patch, she said. Whatever they were doing, both she and Lord Hartley appeared to have enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

  1. My employer is not a very good hostess. Please don’t think this impertinence on my part. Miss Goodnight would agree with me. Her attempt at having a lady’s tea resulted in disaster all around. Of course, that was also the time when I came to Miss Goodnight’s notice and she offered me the position as her maid, so I should be grateful for small calamities.

  1. Miss Goodnight has very little idea about the way things ought to be done with regards to the order of things Below Stairs. Before I entered her service, I was only a scullery maid at Somerfield Park. By lifting me to the position of lady’s maid, she caused me to skip over several rungs on the servant’s ladder. I ought to have moved up to parlour maid, and then if I proved worthy to chamber maid. Only the best, most experienced servants aspire to the position of Lady’s Maid. Yet, here I am, only one step lower than Mrs. Graham, the housekeeper at Somerfield Park. Again, I’m thankful Miss Goodnight isn’t aware of the breach of order she’s created.

Can I say some good things about my employer? Oh, thank you ever so. One of the best things about Miss Goodnight is that she has given me some good advice about David Abbot. He’s the first footman and ever so handsome. I have a feeling if I follow my lady’s advice, I’ll have David noticing me in no time.

And for something good, I hope.

And now, my author says I need to ask a question so’s you’ll feel like talking with me here. How about you? What sort of work do you do? Do they give you more than half a day off each week? That’s what we get at Somerfield Park, though Miss Goodnight will make an exception if I ask off for something special.

A Reluctant Lord. A Resistant Lady. A Superfluous Fiancée.

And a Devastating Family Secret…

When Richard Barrett, Lord Hartley, is abruptly called home to take the reins of the estate, he discovers the extent of the family’s financial straits. The remedy: marry the heiress their families have picked out for him. Unfortunately, he’s already planned to marry someone else.

Miss Sophie Goodnight isn’t too keen on becoming his purse with feet…and she sabotages all attempts to woo her. But when Lord Hartley discovers the shenanigans in his father’s past, he realizes that deciding between two beautiful women is the least of his problems.

Mia Marlowe is a rising star whose Touch of a Rogue was named one of Publishers Weekly‘s Top Ten Best Romances for Spring 2012. Mia learned about storytelling while singing professional opera. She knows what it’s like to sing a high “C” in a corset, so she empathizes with the trials of her historical heroines. Mia resides in Boston, Massachusetts. For more visit www.miamarlowe.com.

Buy Links for A Rake By Any Other Name:

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

Apple: http://bit.ly/1wCvcUG
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1o0l4FT
BAM: http://bit.ly/ZeSiFr
Book Depository: http://bit.ly/1vO3N2I

Chapters: http://bit.ly/ZMrFbj

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1rthIGo

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1pIPzeQ

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13. Guest Post and Giveaway: Vanessa Kelly, Author of Tall, Dark and Royal

 

Please welcome Vanessa Kelly to the virtual offices this morning! She’s here to share a list of items her hunky hero won’t leave home without. Check it out, then enter the giveaway below!

5 Things Sir Dominic Hunter Never Leaves Home Without by Vanessa Kelly

Sir Dominic Hunter is England’s greatest spymaster, a brilliant magistrate, and a truly impressive dude. An orphan from the streets of London, he was raised as a charity case with England’s royal princes. It wasn’t an easy life since the princes bullied him, but he learned to use his brains as well as his brawn to get what he wanted.

Needless to say, he’s quite the alpha male, but he also has a kind heart; he particularly goes out of his way to protect women and children. And he’s got a secret—he’s madly in love with Chloe Steele, his long-lost sweetheart who’s just recently reentered his life.

So what kind of things would a complicated guy like Dominic never leave home without?

  1. A pistol in the inside pocket of his greatcoat. After all, you never know when you’re going to have to rescue your long-lost love from a tricky situation with a crime lord. To be fair, Chloe was doing a pretty good job of handling things before Dominic showed up, although she did appreciate the backup. Well, not really, since she wanted to show Dominic that she was capable of managing her own problems, even ones involving notorious crime lords. Needless to say, an interesting discussion followed this particular incident.

  2. A knife sashed inside his boot. For those annoying occasions when you can’t get to your pistol fast enough or there’s more than one villain to deal with.

  3. A magnifying glass. For close reading of maps and letters in code. Also for looking for clues at crime scenes.

  4. Lock-pick tools. You never know when you’re going to have to break in somewhere in order to rescue someone. Dominic likes to be prepared.

  5. An extra clean handkerchief, just in case Chloe starts crying when she finally accepts his proposal of marriage. Not that she has accepted his proposal of marriage, at least not yet, but hope springs eternal!

Tall, Dark & Royal
The Renegade Royals # 2.5

By: Vanessa Kelly

Releasing November 25th, 2015

Zebra / Kensington

Blurb

He’s the man behind the mission to track down the illegitimate children of England’s Royal Princes and help them get their due. But his deepest desire is far more personal… Magnificent and stubborn.

Fourteen years apart had not changed Chloe Steele, or Dominic Hunter’s love for her. He’d been a street urchin, a boy raised at court, and finally a magistrate, yet he’d never belonged anywhere–except by her side. Now Chloe devoted herself to girls threatened by scandal–like she had been. But she was in danger, and Dominic was determined to help–and hopefully make up for lost time…

Even in childhood, Dominic had made Chloe feel safe. Now she also felt thrillingly flustered by the powerful man he’d become, and by the longing he inspired. Because Dominic meant not only to protect her, but to untangle the lies that had separated them. Yet for Chloe, surrendering to temptation may be easier than risking a future that could ruin them both…

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/tall-dark-and-royal-renegade-royals-25.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22737926-tall-dark-and-royal?from_search=true

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes |iTunes |Kobo

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Tall-Dark-Royal-Renegade-ebook/dp/B00LGZ9JMI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414456398&sr=8-1&keywords=tall+dark+and+royal

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tall-dark-and-royal-vanessa-kelly/1119908498?ean=9781420131314

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tall-dark-and-royal/id895504736?mt=11

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/tall-dark-and-royal

Author Info

Vanessa Kelly is an award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her current series, The Renegade Royals is a national bestseller. Vanessa also writes USA Today bestselling contemporary romance with her husband, under the pen name of VK Sykes.

Author Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Website: http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com/

Blog: http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com/vanessa-blog/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VanessaKellyAut

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1vCc1Zs

Excerpt

Dominic strode through but came to a sudden halt, his heart jolting at the sight of Chloe reclining on a chaise with a bandage wrapped around her head. Justine Steele, Dominic’s godchild, sat next to her holding a teacup. Lounging in a nearby armchair was Griffin Steele, Chloe’s son and Justine’s husband.

“What the hell is going on here?” Dominic snapped. He glared at Griffin, who had a knack for finding or, indeed, creating trouble. “How did your mother get hurt?”

Griffin let out a dramatic sigh as he came to his feet. “You have a lamentable tendency to blame me for everything, Dominic. I had nothing to do with Mother’s, er, little accident.”

Chloe threw aside her lap robe and stood. “Dominic, I’m fine. There’s nothing for you to worry about.”

But when she wobbled, Justine had to make a grab for her. In an instant, Dominic was by Chloe’s side. “For God’s sake, sit down.” He gently lowered her back to the chaise.

Her tall, slender body felt fragile in his hands, as if the merest touch could break her. But appearances were deceptive. For all her pale, delicate beauty, Chloe had a strong will and character that had withstood years of tribulation.

“You know the doctor told you to stay off your feet and rest,” Justine affectionately scolded.

“I’m not sure how she’s supposed to rest with you lot fussing over her,” Griffin said. “Hill has been popping in and out like a character from a farce, not to mention all the girls sneaking in. It’s a bloody circus.”

Justine frowned at her husband. “They’re worried about Chloe.”

Dominic throttled back his impulse to snap. “I would be most grateful if someone—anyone—would answer my question. Wait,” he said to Justine. “First, tell me what the physician said.”

“Perhaps you might try asking Chloe, Sir Dominic,” Chloe said with pointed courtesy. “As you can see, she is perfectly capable of speech.”

Dominic mentally winced. Chloe only used his title when annoyed with him. “I’m sorry, my dear. But it was a shock to come upon you looking like you’d been set upon by thieves.”

Thankfully, she flashed him a wry, forgiving smile. “Apology accepted.” She shifted her legs and patted the seat of the chaise. “Sit down and let Justine get you a cup of tea while I’ll tell you all about it. Not that I wanted you to drag you into this ridiculous and unfortunate episode, but my son insisted. Who knew Griffin could fuss and worry as much as any old maid?”

Her son—one of the most ruthless and powerful men in London—rolled his eyes but declined to defend himself.

“What happened to your head?” Dominic eyed the bandage wrapped around her brow.

“I bumped it, that’s all,” Chloe replied. “The doctor insisted I wear this silly thing and my son won’t let me take it off.”

Griffin narrowed his dark gaze on his mother. “You didn’t bump your head. It was bumped for you when that bloody bastard shoved you into the wall. And you will keep that bandage on for as long as is required.”

Dominic had been reaching to accept a cup from Justine, but his hand froze in mid-air. Slowly, he turned to Chloe. “Someone shoved you?”

Chloe’s shoulders unconsciously hiked up a notch. “Yes, but it wasn’t a very hard shove. Truly, I’m fine.”

Dominic could hear Griffin grinding his teeth from several feet away. He sympathized, but the situation was confusing enough without him losing his temper, at least not until he’d apprised himself of the facts.

But once he tracked down the man who had dared to touch Chloe, the bastard would rue the day he was born.

Rafflecopter Giveaway ( $30 Amazon or B&N Gift card and FOUR sets of the first two books in the series (Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard, Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom) )

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14. Adelita’s Secret by Christopher Cloud

AdelitasSecret_Ecover-187x300Title: Adelita’s Secret

Author: Christopher Cloud

Publisher: Create Space Independent Publishing Platform

Genre: young adult fantasy romance

Format: paperback copy, kindle 

Lost in a superficial world of materialism and social status—and ashamed of her Latino heritage—seventeen-year-old Adelita Noé is loved by two men, two men separated by a hundred years and vastly different stations in life. One man owns little more than the shirt on his back. The other, a poet at heart, is heir to a vast fortune. Their love for Adelita serves as the backdrop for the Latino girl’s quest to better understand herself and her Mexican roots.

For More Information:

Title is available at Amazon kindle,  or paperback

Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble

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Award-winning author Christopher Cloud began writing fiction full time at the age of 66 after a long career in journalism and public relations. He writes middle-grade and young adult novels. Chris graduated from the University of Missouri in 1967 with a degree in journalism. He has worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist at newspapers in Texas, California, and Missouri. He was employed by a major oil company as a public relations executive, and later operated his own public relations agency. Chris lives in Joplin, Missouri, and enjoys golf and hiking. 

Visit Christopher Cloud’s website

Visit Cloud’s blog

More books by Christopher Cloud


0 Comments on Adelita’s Secret by Christopher Cloud as of 11/18/2014 4:29:00 AM
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15. Guest Post and Giveaway: Jennifer Ryan, Author of Can’t Wait

Jennifer Ryan stopped by the virtual offices to share her heroine Summer’s favorite holiday traditions.  I’ll have a review of Can’t Wait tomorrow, so please check back.

Summer’s Favorite Holiday Traditions  by Jennifer Ryan

Summer is very close to her family. Especially to her twin brothers Jack and Sam. This Christmas she’s trying to hold on to the traditions from her past since her parents have left the family ranch to travel, Sam is working non-stop for the FBI, and Jack is suffering from PTSD, which has turned him into the Grinch since he returned from Iraq. To top it all off, Caleb, her brother’s best friend and the man of her dreams is leaving for Montana, never to return. A last ditch effort to avoid acknowledging his feelings for her.

Summer is determined to get Jack and Caleb out of their funk and into the holiday spirit. Jack’s not in the mood, but he’ll go along if Summer promises to make their mother’s special chocolate chip and almond cookies. His favorite.

Summer’s favorite tradition, every year after the first snow, they ride on horseback and find the perfect tree for the living room. Inevitably, her brothers are the ones to start the snowball fight, pummeling her. Not this year. She ambushes Jack and Caleb. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Summer slips on some ice and falls from a mound of boulders. She’s okay, but Caleb can’t help letting his true feelings show.

There’s something nostalgic about decorating the tree. So many memories tied to the special ornaments that have been collected over the years, like the ones you made when you were young. That dough candy cane you made in first grade and painted yourself has somehow survived. It gives you a sense of accomplishment even now when you laugh at it’s odd shape and terrible paint job. Those special memories have a way of softening the most hardened heart.

Sharing those special memories with Jack brings a rare smile to his face and makes the bond between them seem less tenuous as their lives have grown apart. It’s a way for them to connect back to the way things used to be when they were young. Sometimes going through the motions helps you to remember all the important things about family and holding onto the ones you love. Traditions are the glue that hold us together.

Trimming the tree, hanging the stockings, backing cookies with my kids are some of the traditions that remind me of Christmases past when I was a child and did the same with my parents and brothers. I used to love to go to my grandmother’s house each year to bake cookies and make the holiday candies everyone in the family loved. Now, there’s one thing I have to make each Christmas with my kids…

Raspberry Jam Shortbread Cookies (I triple this recipe)

½ Cup Butter (room temperature)

¼ cup Sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 ¼ cup all-purpose Flour

¼ cup Raspberry Jam (my kids like the seedless kind)

Powder Sugar (to dust on cookies)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer. Stir in flour, then beat with electric mixer until dough comes together. (It usually looks like dough crumbles. Use your hands to press dough into a large ball.)

Divide dough into thirds. On a floured surface, roll out each portion into a 1 inch thick rope about 8 inches long. Place ropes 3 inches apart on a buttered baking sheet. Press your finger into the dough to make ½ inch indentations at 1 inch intervals. Fill the indentations with a small dollop of raspberry jam.

Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 12-15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet. Dust each rope with powder sugar. Cut each rope diagonally into individual slices.

(You can substitute the powder sugar and drizzle either melted milk, dark, or white chocolate over the ropes before cutting. Yum!)

What is your favorite must have holiday treat? Include the recipe if you’d like to share.

Can’t Wait
Hunted Series Prequel

By: Jennifer Ryan

Releasing November 11th, 2014

Avon Romance

Blurb

From the All I Want for Christmas is a Cowboy Anthology comes Jennifer Ryan’s story of Caleb and Summer. Before the Hunted series they had a whirlwind romance not to be forgotten…

Caleb Bowden has a lot to thank his best friend, Jack, for – saving his life in Iraq and giving him a job helping him run his family’s ranch. He also introduced him to the most incredible woman he’s ever met. Too bad he can’t ask her out. You do not date your best friend’s sister. Summer and Caleb share a closeness she’s never felt for anyone, but the stubborn man refuses to turn the flirtatious friendship into something meaningful. Frustrated and tired of wishing to be happy, Caleb tells Jack how he feels about Summer. With his friend’s help, he plans a surprise Christmas proposal she’ll never forget – because he can’t wait to make her his wife. 

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/10/cant-wait-by-jennifer-ryan.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22552581-can-t-wait?ac=1

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes | iTunes

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cant-Wait-Originally-anthology-CHRISTMAS-ebook/dp/B00L1AJVGM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414521749&sr=8-1&keywords=can%27t+wait+by+jennifer+ryan

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cant-wait-jennifer-ryan/1119738863?ean=9780062379665

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/cant-wait/id890045828?mt=11

Author Info

Jennifer Ryan is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted Series and The McBrides Series. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances featuring strong men and equally resilient women. Her stories are filled with love, family, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find.

Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home and in how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Website: http://www.jennifer-ryan.com/index.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Ryan/520021168037391?ref=hl
Twitter: http://twitter.com/JenRyan_author
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4693347.Jennifer_Ryan

Excerpt:

Lost in the rhythmic stroke of the brush over the horse in front of him, he didn’t hear her come up behind him.

“Caleb.” Her tentative voice made his heart ache. It shouldn’t be like this. Not between friends.

Braced to face her, he held back a gasp, seeing her beautiful face framed in her golden hair. Sometimes, the woman took his breath away. Her blue eyes held a touch of sadness. She looked lovely in tight blue jeans and a red sweater beneath a brown leather vest lined in thick shearling.

“Jack told me you’re leaving. Going home to Montana and your family.”

He dropped the brush on a nearby shelf and took the few steps to stand in front of her. He owed her that much, to face her eye-to-eye when he said good-bye. He hoped she knew how much it broke his heart to leave her.

“I meant to tell you myself. I need time to figure out what I want to do.”

“Time to heal, too. How long’s it been since you slept a whole night?”

“I’m fine.”

“That’s what Jack says. You both need … well, neither of you cares what I think you need.”

“That’s not true.”

“Then why are you leaving?”

“Because it’s best.”

“For who?”

Caleb tucked his hands behind his back and bowed his head, unable to answer. Nothing he said would make sense, because leaving her didn’t make sense. Not when he wanted to be with her, and she wanted to be with him.

Summer sighed out her frustration and hurt. She rubbed one hand over the box in her hand and touched her fingers to the sparkling red bow. “This is for you.”

“What?”

“Your Christmas present. Since you won’t be here, I thought you’d like it now.”

“I’m not leaving for a couple of days.” He shouldn’t keep putting it off. He made one excuse after another to delay the drive to Montana. Why? He’d made up his mind to go. He should leave. Now. Before this got any more complicated and difficult.

Who was he kidding? Leaving her was impossibly hard.

“Open it.”

“Did you wrap this yourself?”

“Just for you.”

“It’s a pretty package. I hate to mess it up.”

“You don’t have to. Just lift off the lid. I’ll hold the bottom.”

The excitement built in his gut. He didn’t know what she’d bought him, he didn’t care. He’d have something to take home with him to remind him of her.

He pulled the lid free and set it aside at his feet. Tissue paper concealed the gift inside, so he pulled the loose paper away and took a step back, surprised and floored by the gift she’d picked out for him.

“Summer, that’s …”

“To remind you of who you really are. Who you were when you left for the war and who you are now. A cowboy.” She pulled the dark brown Stetson from the tissue paper and dropped the box on the floor. She closed the short distance between them and set the hat on his head. “Perfect fit, Montana Man. Matches your eyes,” she said, her voice husky with emotion.

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Digital Set of The Hunted Series, Books 1 – 4)

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16. Review: Siren’s Treasure by Debbie Herbert

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I love books about mermaids, and I enjoyed Debbie Herbert’s first novel,  Siren’s Secret, so I was eager to dive into Siren’s Treasure (excuse the bad pun!).  Jet is my least favorite character of the three Borsage mermaids,  though, so it did take me a while to warm up to her.  She made some terrible decisions in her past, and they are about to bite her in the butt.  She has always felt like  an outsider with the merfolk, and her mother’s emotional distance left her desperate for acceptance.  She falls for the wrong man, giving her ex a powerful weapon to blackmail her with.  Regretful that she’s given him so much power over her, Jet fears she will never be rid of him, and that she’s put her race in danger of discovery.

When FBI agent Landry Fields enters her life, Jet is at a low point in her life.  Her shady ex has been released from prison and now he wants to go back into business with her, and he’s not taking no for an answer.  She’s just won a tough competition at the mermaid games, but nobody is excited for her triumph.  She wants to know why she’s treated so poorly by other mermaids, and why her mother insisted she spend so much time on land, but her mom’s not fessing up.  Frustrated and lonely, Landry’s intrusion into her life takes her by surprise.  She’s attracted to him, and even though they are at odds over his latest case, Landry can’t help but feel drawn to Jet as well.

I found the pacing of the story a little uneven, until Perry and his thug friends abduct Jet.  They need her to salvage something for them, and the thought of the millions it will bring them has them desperate to do anything to earn her cooperation.  Perry’s new acquaintances are dangerous, and they think everyone is disposable, even Perry.  They won’t hesitate to use extreme force to get what they want, because they have even more dangerous clients waiting to bid on the salvage, and they won’t take kindly to being disappointed if Jet doesn’t find it.  Failure is not an option!

The abduction/rescue sequence of events kept me rapidly turning the pages.  I loved this part of the book.  I liked how the other mermaids worked with Landry to rescue Jet, and I enjoyed getting to know Jet’s mother better. She’s a great character; even though she and Jet might have had their misunderstandings, nobody is going to stop Adriana from saving Jet from the unsavory criminals that have snatched her away.  I also loved how, ultimately, it was Jet who saved Landry, and his complete faith in her that she would succeed at that endeavor.  

Despite some bumps for me, I enjoyed Siren’s Treasure, and I’m really looking forward to Lily’s book.

Grade:  B-

Review copy provided by Author

From Amazon:

Deep in the bayou, a strange and beautiful world of merfolk exists… 

Mermaid Jet Borsage never fit in with her own kind. Her dark hair and eyes set her apart from the other merfolk. Which was why she fell for the wrong man, and why she is still paying the price. One that has made her unwilling to trust any man. Until she meets Landry Fields… 

Agent Landry Fields is investigating Jet’s former boyfriend, but he knows Jet is hiding something, as well. At first he believed the beauty was involved in her ex-boyfriend’s dangerous undersea excavations. But when he realizes he is falling for a real-live mermaid, Landry’s by-the-book beliefs are rocked. Now can he save Jet and her clan from modern-day pirates to claim a future with the feisty beauty?

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17. Guest Post and Giveaway: Paige Tyler, Author of Her Lone Wolf

Paige Tyler stopped by the virtual offices to share 5 mobile apps hero Clayne wouldn’t load on his smartphone.  Check it out, and then enter the giveaway below!

Top 5 mobile apps Clayne would never download on his smartphone? by Paige Tyler

1. Any Social Networking Apps…Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Clayne completely lacks the social gene. If he wants to talk to someone, he’ll drive to their place and talk to them face to face. And he’s never had a “chat” in his life!

2. Road Ninja. He’s male, he’s alpha, and he’s a wolf shifter. Do you seriously think he’s going ask a small hand-held computer app for directions?

3. Tinder. Clayne is not the kind of man who’d ever hop on an app for a quick hook-up. If he was in the mood for company, he could just walk into a club, a store, or a restaurant—heck, or stand in the middle of the street with his shirt off—and he would have all the company he wanted. Except of course, he’s rarely in the mood for company. Unless it’s his significant other, of course!

4. Gaming Apps. Clayne has a few anger management issues. Angry Birds tends to lead to Broken Phone. He simply doesn’t play games. He works, he exercises, he eats, he sleeps, he makes love to his significant other, then he starts the routine over again.

5. Weather App. Simply put…Clayne rarely cares what the weather is like. If it’s raining, he’ll get wet. If it’s snowing, he’ll be cold. Why bother looking on an app for a weather forecast is you don’t care what the weather is going to be?

*hugs*
Paige

Social media links:

Website: http://paigetylertheauthor.com/

Blog: http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com/

Facebook Profile Page: http://www.facebook.com/paige.tyler.9

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/PaigeTylerAuthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PaigeTyler

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

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/paigetylerauthor

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101473514319460388322/posts

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2300692.Paige_Tyler

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/BBrEP

Email: paigetyler@paigetylertheauthor.com

Her Lone Wolf

Series: X-Ops Book 2

Author: Paige Tyler

Pubdate: November 4th, 2014

ISBN: 9781402292125

Leaving him was Impossible…

It took everything she had for FBI Special Agent Danica Beckett to walk away from the man she loved. But if she wants to save his life, she has to keep her distance. Now, with a killer on the loose and the stakes higher than ever before, the Department of Covert Ops is forcing these former lovers into an uneasy alliance…whether they like it or not.

Seeing her again is even worse

The last thing Clayne Buchanan wants is to be shackled to the woman who broke his heart. She gets under his skin in a way no one ever has and makes him want things he has no right to anymore. All he has to do is suffer through this case and he can be free of her for good. But when Clayne finds out why Danica left in the first place, everything he’s tried to bury comes roaring back—and there’s no way this wolf shifter is going to let her get away this time.

Paige Tyler is the USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kickbutt heroines who fall in love with them. Visit www.paigetylertheauthor.com.

Buy Links:

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

Apple: http://bit.ly/1sqM3MF

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

B&N: http://bit.ly/1mt7rxS

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

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1oi6CDQ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1pdr2xU

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18. Giveaway: Win Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark) by C C Hunter!

This morning I have a giveaway for C. C. Hunter’s Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark)!  Open to US addresses only, please.

From Amazon:

Just when Della feels like she’s starting to figure out her life, she finds herself

reborn…and her new existence comes with a whole different rulebook.

Della’s secret powers always made her feel like an outsider in the human world. Now, just when she’s starting to feel like she belongs—at Shadow Falls, a camp for teens with paranormal powers—her life is turned upside down all over again. Attacked by a deadly virus, she must make the difficult choice to be reborn. It’s her only chance at survival, but it comes with a price: It irreparably bonds her to Chase, a tall, dark and mesmerizing vampire who makes her laugh one minute and infuriates her the next.

Chase already knows too many of Della’s secrets, and being eternally bonded to him is the last thing she wants. Even worse, she doesn’t fully understand what their bond means. Is the attraction she’s started feeling for Chase real—or does fate have something else in store? And what does that mean for Steve, the hot shapeshifter whose kisses make her weak in the knees? Now Della’s battered heart is about to take another hit. While investigating her latest case, she discovers shocking evidence about her father’s dark past, making her question everything she believes to be true…and her place in the world she loves.

Open to US addresses only, please

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19. Meet Wade from Victoria Vane’s Slow Hand and Giveaway

Sexy Wade from Victoria Vane’s Slow Hand dropped by the virtual offices to answer a few questions. Check it out!

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

[Wade Knowlton] Tall, handsome, charming, witty…and modest ;-)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in your life?

[Wade Knowlton] It usually involves, work, work and more work. I divide my time between two law practices, one in Bozeman, the other in Virginia City, and help out at the Flying K, our family ranch, on the weekends. I haven’t taken a day off in four years.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Nicole?

[Wade Knowlton] Damsel. In. Distress. Though I admit the first two words that came to my mind when I first saw her were “hot ass.” It was the first part of her I saw and unavoidable, really, given that it was parked in front of me at eye level.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s her most appealing quality?

[Wade Knowlton] Nikki is honest, insecure, fiercely independent, and endearingly vulnerable, but most of all, she’s genuine.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What just drives you nuts about her?

[Wade Knowlton] She’s stubborn as hell once she makes her mind up about something. It was really hard to convince her to give us a chance after she’d sworn off anyone in boots.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?

[Wade Knowlton] I don’t believe in do-overs as all of our experiences shape who we are. Just a few years ago I suffered a major personal tragedy that sent me on an 18 month bender. It was really hard to get my shit back together after that. Part of me would like to take it all back, but then I never would have met the woman I love.

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

[Wade Knowlton] Depends on where I’m going. If I’m at the ranch, I don’t leave without my rifle.

Other than that I guess, my iPod. George Strait helps me think.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How do you relax after a hard day of work?

[Wade Knowlton] I don’t relax, or I should say I didn’t until Nikki came along. She’s teaching me and I think I like it. A Lot.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less.

[Wade Knowlton] I want to make a difference. (Sorry that was six!)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

[Wade Knowlton] Thanks for having me!

ABOUT VICTORIA VANE

Victoria Vane is an award-winning author of smart and sexy romance. Her works range from historical to contemporary settings and include everything from wild comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Her books have received more than twenty reviewer awards and nominations to include a 2014 RONE Award for Treacherous Temptations and Library Journal Best E-Book romance of 2012 for The Devil DeVere series. Look for her hot new contemporary cowboy series coming from Sourcebooks in Fall of 2014.

Social Media

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Email | YouTube

Slow Hand By Victoria Vane

Sourcebooks Casablanca

ISBN: 9781492601128

$7.99/£5.99 Mass-Market Paperback

Summary

In rural Montana…

Wade Knowlton is a hardworking lawyer who’s torn between his small-town Montana law practice and a struggling family ranch. He’s on the brink of exhaustion from trying to save everybody and everything, when gorgeous Nicole Powell walks into his office. She’s a damsel in distress and the breath of fresh air he needs.

Even the lawyers wear boots…

Nicole Powell is a sassy Southern girl who has officially sworn off cowboys after a spate of bad seeds—until her father’s death sends her to Montana and into the arms of a man who seems too good to be true. Her instincts tell her to high tail it out of Montana, but she can’t resist a cowboy with a slow hand…

 Buy Links

Amazon | Apple | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound

GIVEAWAY (5 handmade Victoria Vane bookmarks)

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20. Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brutally frank look at one of the most racially charged moments in the history of the United States.  Sarah Dunbar is a teenager, and she’s one of the first black students to attend a traditionally white school in the south.  Sarah is a bright girl with a promising academic future – until her parents enroll her Jefferson High School.  She faces opposition every day, and the honor student’s schedule is full of remedial classes, because the school administrators don’t want these new, unwanted students holding back the rest of the class.  The white students don’t want her there, their parents don’t want her there, and even the faculty looks the other way as she is tormented daily. 

After reading this, all I can say is “Wow.”  I don’t know where Sarah found the strength to endure the daily abuses she suffered at the hands of her white classmates.  To say that she was constantly bullied understates her situation.  She was taunted, called names, spit on, tripped, pelted with spitballs – the list goes on.  There was no one at school for her to ask for assistance because the teachers practiced selective blindness when it was happening.  Before even starting at Jefferson, Sarah and the small group of teens who were selected to attend with her were given training and strict instructions to never talk back, to always be polite, and to never fight back.  I don’t think I could have done it.  I know I wouldn’t have lasted more than a day or two if I had been in Sarah’s shoes.

Linda is one of Sarah’s white classmates.  Her father is the editor for the local newspaper, and he is very outspoken in his thoughts on integration.  He is totally against it and he’s still fighting it, tooth and nail, even after the court order paving the way for Sarah to attend the former all white school.  Linda’s relationship with her father is contentious, but what she wants most in the world is his approval.  Even a shred of attention is uplifting.  To gain his approval, she parrots his views on the colored interlopers at her school, but as she gets to know Sarah, against her will, she starts to question her own poisonous views.

I enjoyed getting to know the girls so much.  The story is told in alternating POV, and Sarah’s narrative made it difficult to put the book down.  It took a while for me to warm up to Linda, because of the things she said and did.  Every now and again she would do the right thing, then, in the next breath, she would do something to negate her selfless acts.  Argh!  She made me so frustrated!

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot.  Lies We Tell Ourselves is a thought-provoking read that will make you angry, sad, and ultimately, hopeful.  I loved the ending, and it left me reassured that both Sarah and Linda would find their place in the world, and they would meet each new challenge with courage and strength.

Grade:  A

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever. 

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily. 

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept “separate but equal.” 

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another. 

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.

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21. Guest Post and Giveaway: Leigh Greenwood, Author of To Love and To Cherish

 

Please give a warm welcome to Leigh Greenwood!  She’s here with a Top 5, as well as a giveaway!

Top 5 reasons cowboys make such appealing heroes?

1 – They’re ruggedly handsome

2 – They don’t hesitate to stand against the world alone

3 – They are idealists as well as pragmatists

4 – They hold all women in high regard

5 – They have a gentleman’s code of ethics they won’t break for anyone. Their word is their bond.

Torn Between a Desire to be Free…

When Laurie Spencer said “I do”, she never realized she’d be trading one pair of shackles for another—until her husband’s unexpected death leaves her with an opportunity to escape her controlling family for good. Determined to be independent, Laurie approaches sexy rancher Jared Smith with an offer she hopes he can’t refuse…

And a Longing to be His…

Jared’s determined to make it in Texas, but with the local banker turned against him, it looks like his dream may be slipping through his fingers. When unconsciously sensual Laurie offers a partnership, his luck may be changing…but when she throws herself in as part of the deal, Jared’s not sure he’ll be able to respect the terms of their agreement and keep his eyes—and his hands—to himself.

There’s something about Laurie that awakens every protective instinct Jared has…and when all hell breaks loose, there’s nothing and no one who’ll be able to keep this cowboy from her side.

Leigh Greenwood is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Seven Brides, Cowboys, and Night Riders series. The proud father of three grown children, Leigh resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. He never intended to be a writer, but he found it hard to ignore the people in his head, and the only way to get them out was to write. Visit him at www.leigh-greenwood.com.

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

Apple: http://bit.ly/1xw9imm

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

B&N: http://bit.ly/1tZr0kX

Chapters: http://bit.ly/1xwaki8

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1oQkEm7

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1wBHWgb

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22. Review: A Little Something Different

A Little Something Different: Fourteen Viewpoints, One Love Story by Sandy Hall. Swoon Reads, an imprint of Feiwel and Friends. 2014. Review copy from publisher.

The Plot: Lea and Gabe meet in creative writing class. It's going to take more than sharing a college class to get these two together, even though they sit side by side.

What's keeping them apart? And what will it take to get them together? Well, Lea and Gabe won't tell you, but their friends, family, and others around them, from the bus drive to the waitress, will.

The Good: I just loved the narrative device of fourteen people (including those who don't like Lea and Gabe, as well as a squirrel and a bench) telling the romance of Lea and Gabe.

I loved this -- both because I've always been a fan of large casts and multiple viewpoints, and because it strengthens this particular story. While we don't see what Lea sees or Gabe sees, we see what those around them do, and it's like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. We see more of their world than they do.

Admittedly, fourteen voices is a lot to keep track of, as a reader, even when some are as unique as 'Squirrel!" The book design helps make this easier for those who, unlike me, don't keep a notebook with a running list of characters as they read. Instead of simply saying "Casey" or "Danny" or "Bob," it always says "Casey (Gabe's friend)" or "Danny (Lea's friend)" or "Bob (a bus driver)". It's just that little bit extra to help keep track of who is who.

I've written before (both when talking about New Adult and just in general) that when I was in high school I looked for books set in college out of curiosity about what college would be like; and when I was in college, I wanted books with a college setting to reflect the reality I was living. A Little Something Different meets that reading need, because it's not just about Lea and Gabe's slow road to romance; it's also about the things, small and big, that make up college life: parties, cafeteria food, overlapping friends, ordering take-out.

I would call this New Adult; but -- in part because of who is telling the story, and because it does take a while for Lea and Gabe together -- this isn't a sexytimes romance. What it is a sweet, funny glimpse into the lives of Lea and Gabe and those around them. This is more for those whose search for New Adult is more about setting than romance -- but the romance is so great! It's just not a hot and heavy romance, it's a slow burn of missed opportunities by two of the shyest people on the planet.

Another thing I liked about A Little Something Different is how Hall wove in diversity into the narrative. For example, Lea's friend Danny is gay; the creative writing professor is a woman married to another woman; Lea is Chinese-American. Gabe had been in a car accident the year before, and it -- and the physical after effects of the accident -- are something he doesn't easily share (it's a bit of a spoiler even saying that here), and those things have an effect on how he interacts with others and how others see him.

Note: Sandy Hall is a fellow New Jersey librarian.

Other reviews: Wondrous Reads reviews; Good Books & Good Wine

Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

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23. Guest Post and Giveaway: Sally Orr, Author of The Rake’s Handbook

 

Please welcome Sally Orr to the virtual offices this morning as she takes over the control panel!

Top 5 books you would never find in Ross’ library by Sally Orr

1. What to do when there are two.

2. The effects of a wicked smile upon female resistance.

3. Methods that allow you to keep your boots on.

4. How to make a proper introduction memorable.

6. Ten top tips for amorous congress.

 

The Rake’s Handbook (Including Field Guide)

By Sally Orr

Sourcebooks Casablanca

November 4, 2014

ISBN: 9781492602118

Mass Market Paperback $7.99/£5.99

Synopsis

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?

Author Bio

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.

Buy Links

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

Social Media

Author Website http://www.sallyorr.com/

Twitter @OrrSally

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

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5268402.Sally_Orr

Rafflecopter HTML – For 3 copies of The Rake’s Handbook: Including Field Guide (3 winners)

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24. A Letter to FAMOUS IN LOVE by Rebecca Serle

by Becca FAMOUS IN LOVEby Rebecca SerleAge Range: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and upHardcover: 336 pagesPublisher: Poppy (October 21, 2014)Goodreads | Amazon When Paige Townsen gets plucked from high school obscurity to star in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a

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25. Guest Post: Carla Kelly, Author of Softly Falling

Carla Kelly is celebrating the release of Softly Falling, a historical romance set in Wyoming.  She stopped by the virtual offices to share Lily’s winter survival kit with us.

Top 5 items in Lily’s winter survival kit by Carla Kelly: 

Bits of food for the school’s pack rat

Copy of Ivanhoe and Ben-Hur, because Lily has been put in charge of morale.

A lady’s pair of long johns, because her English underwear won’t do in a Wyoming winter

Hand hatchet for busting up furniture to burn

A railroad timetable, with San Francisco underlined and circled in red.

And a bonus: slivers of wood soaked in coal oil for fire-starting purposes.

About the book:

Beautiful Lily Branson learns that her wayward father has lost his Wyoming cattle ranch in a card game to handsome cowboy Jack Sinclair, no less! When a series of deadly winter storms sets in, Lily and Jack must work together to save the cattle—as well as their hearts.

About the author:

Carla Kelly is a veteran of the New York and international publishing world. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas for Donald I. Fine Co., Signet, and Harlequin, Carla is the recipient of two Rita Awards (think Oscars for romance writing) from Romance Writers of America and two Spur Awards (think Oscars for western fiction) from Western Writers of America. She is also a recipient of a Whitney Award for Borrowed Light and My Loving Vigil Keeping.

To order, click on the cover:

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