Friday, January 31, 2014

Behaving Badly by Kristen Beairsto - Interview and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kristen will be awarding an eCopy of Behaving Badly to five randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a Grand Prize of the complete set of all 5 of Kristen's ebooks to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to It's Raining Books. Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I love contemporary romances because there's so much possibility with everyday situations. I write in the genre because I love trying to make something special and magical out of the ordinary.

What research is required?

Most of the research I have to do involves state laws or police procedures. Or if there's special information that my characters need to know. In one of my previous books, Going After the Heart, I had to research about bears because my heroine and her daughter are cornered by a bear in the back woods of Oregon. Being a city girl from San Diego, I had to figure out everything I needed to know to make it work for the story.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

It wasn't something I learned new, but more reminded of: there's always someone there willing to help. In Behaving Badly, Delaney gets caught up in the mindset that she's solely responsible for the survival of the family business and her family's livelihood. The reality was she wasn't alone in that responsibility, her sister was there to help and shoulder some of it too.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I don't think they're weird, but I'm sure others do. LOL! One of the things I'll do if I'm having trouble with a scene is read it out loud and use different voices for the characters. :-)

Are you a plotter or pantser?

For the longest time I was a pantser, but over the last year I've become a plotter. I have no idea why it's taken me so long to become a plotter, I try to plan nearly everything else in my life. LOL! But I've found that I write so much faster when I have everything plotted out.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

As I'm answering this, one of my five brother-in-laws. Yes, I said five. Hubby comes from a big blended family. LOL! He's on his computer looking at equipment for the family excavation business. :-)

Anything new coming up from you? What?

As far as writing goes, I'm just working on promoting Behaving Badly along with my new non-fiction, Treat It Like A Business: An Author's Guide to Setting-Up the Business Side of Writing. Personally, my family is prepping for moving to another state during the spring. Very exciting! But this big change is going to prevent me from coming out with anything new until after the summer.

Do you have a question for our readers?

Yes! I'd love to hear about what your favorite character point of view to read in is. I've started writing a story for the first time in the first person point of view and am loving it. I've also recently discovered some authors that write mostly in the first person and really enjoy their books. So I'm curious to hear what people think of first person romance stories.

Delaney Pierce is desperate, no, determined, to rebuild the family business, Manners Matter, after the disaster her own mother brought down on it, and her, a year ago. With two crazy aunts living life moving from one misadventure to the next and her younger sister waitressing to help make ends meet, she pins her hopes on her commission to curb the undesirable habits of Cyrus Chapman, one of New York's premier businessmen and one of the city's most eligible bachelors.

Her resolve to succeed with Cyrus is immediately put to the test during her very first meeting with him and she realizes that no matter how much she prepared for all that was Cyrus, it all paled in comparison to the real man. Things only get worse when he starts hinting at wanting more than a professional relationship.

But Delaney can’t entertain the idea of having more than a professional relationship with Cyrus. After all, that’s something her mother would do and she’s not about to start emulating that woman now. However, fighting her attraction to Cyrus becomes harder and harder the more she’s around him and she finds herself wondering if she’s become so wrapped up in trying not to be her mother that she’s forgotten to just to be herself.

Enjoy an excerpt:

As he stepped up to the door, he wondered briefly what a life coach would look like.

Probably a tall skinny guy that weighed about a buck fifty soaking wet with slicked back hair, who thought he knew everything. He hated know-it-alls.

Shoving open his office door, ready for a fight, he spotted the focus of his irritation staring out the window behind his desk, her back to him.

He froze. A woman?!

Clearly hearing him enter, she turned to face him.

Pushing the door closed behind him, he took his time looking her over.
,br> Despite the neat black skirt falling modestly below her knees and the trim blazer that didn’t give away a hint of any of the skin beneath it, failed to hide an obviously curvy figure. A definite change from the usual stick figure models he normally associated with, but he had to admit, he’d always liked navigating curves.

He noted she held her hands clasped in front of her, creamy skinned hands that matched the creamy skin of her oval shaped face that wore a carefully blank expression. She watched him from a pale aqua gaze that concealed any thoughts that might be going through her mind.

At least he’d been correct about the slicked back hair. What appeared to be deep fiery strands were smoothed back severely into a bun at the base of her skull.

He wondered what she’d look like with her hair down around her shoulders.

Naked.

Under him.

Mentally kicking himself for letting his mind go there, he shoved his hands into his pockets. She firmly belonged on his Do-Not-Touch list at the moment. Besides, he didn’t need a prissy life coach in his bed. She’d probably try to lecture him on what to do.

“Hello, I’m Delaney Pierce.” Her smooth timbre held only the slightest of hints of a city accent.

About the Author: In between her to-be-read pile and trying to bring the characters in her head alive, Kristen spends as much time as she can with family and friends. Much to her husband’s dismay, she enjoys collecting purses, shoes, and jewelry. During those rare times she’s not working at her day job, rushing her daughters somewhere, watching movies with her husband, and trying to meet a deadline, she can usually be found energetically cheering for one of her favorite New York sports teams.

As with just about every other writer on the planet, Kristen grew up an avid reader. She started with young adult before she technically hit the age range and moved on to sci-fi classics by Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. At fifteen, her best friend gave her a book she just had to read! The book was Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts. Always a sucker for a happy ending, she was a goner and fell in love with the romance genre. Having started writing novel length stories at the age of eleven, Kristen’s stories all took a romantic turn from that point on.

You can connect with Kristen through her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Buy the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, or Kobo.

Untangle My Heart by Maria K. Alexander - Book Blast and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maria will award a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

When her marriage ended in tragedy, Kate DiFrancesco rebuilt her life, but has never gotten over the pain of what she lost. Seeking the help of an ex-lover ignites feelings she’s promised never to have again. She’ll need to untangle herself from dangers in her past in order to break the hard shell around her heart.

Edward Weston has a lot to prove, both to his stuffy upper-crust British family, and to himself. Working alongside Kate, a woman he had a casual relationship with, stirs unexpected feelings. Helping her family makes him realize what he's missing. For the first time, he wants more than a one-night stand.

When Kate is threatened, Edward must overcome feeling unworthy to protect the woman he loves and fight for the family he never thought he’d have.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Good morning,” he said. “Ready to go?”

“I’m all set.” She swung her laptop bag over one shoulder and grabbed the handle of her suitcase with her opposite hand.

“I’ll take that,” Edward said, reaching for the suitcase. “I have it,” she snapped and held firmly onto the handle. His old-fashioned ways sometimes annoyed her and today was one of those days. Why was he always trying to be nice to her? It would be easier to maintain her distance if he wasn’t so damned considerate. Damned British manners. “I don’t need your help.”

He raised an eyebrow at her outburst but let go of his hold on the suitcase. “Fine. I see someone didn’t get her coffee this morning.”

“Wrong. I had two cups.” And a restless night of sleep with alternating dreams of Edward and Lucas. Frustrated from tossing and turning all night, she’d gotten up at four and started baking.

“I made biscotti if you’d like some.” She handed him a white bakery bag, hoping her offering of food would compensate for her irritable mood.

He opened the bag and pulled one out. “Are they safe to eat or did you use arsenic instead of sugar?”

Rather than dignify him with an answer, she leaned forward and took a bite. It was still warm and the chocolate chips melted in her mouth. Edward’s gaze studied her mouth as she chewed and for a minute Kate thought he may take a nibble out of her.

“Perfectly safe. I swear,” she said after swallowing.

He popped the other half in his mouth. “Not bad.”

“Not bad, my ass,” Kate said.

“That’s pretty fine, too.”

Didn't you like that excerpt? Guess what--during this tour, you can get Untangle My Heart FREE at Amazon. About the Author:
A romantic at heart, Maria K. Alexander spent hours as a young girl getting lost in and wishing to be one of the heroines in the stories she read. Books gave her the ability to go to another world where she loved meeting new characters, learning about their problems, and watching them fall in love.

Maria blogs and shares her writing journey with her critique partners at: http://thevioletfemmes.com.

When not writing, Maria loves to read, bake, downhill ski, visit the beach, and watch romantic comedies. Maria lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, and writes in her “spare” time between juggling a full-time job and her kids’ busy schedules.

You can keep in touch with her at: http://mariakalexander.com, Twitter, Facebook, or Goodreads. Buy the book at Amazon.

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Worth Keeping by Susan Mac Nicol - Spotlight and Giveaway

1_27 BBT Worth Keeping Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Susan will be awarding one randomly drawn commenter a digital copy of SAVING ALEXANDER and STRIPPED BARE. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour for more chances to enter.

1_27 MEDIA KIT WorthKeeping_CoverNick Mathers pulls Owen Butler from the freezing waters off the Norfolk coast, but Owen’s love can carry Nick back from the edge of oblivion.







Enjoy an excerpt:

Nick cursed the daylight and the truths it brought with it. He finally moved to get up, deciding a morning woody was worth the embarrassment as opposed to this thorough inspection of his body.

Owen grasped his shoulder, holding him back. Nick stilled at the expression on Owen’s face, a mixture of compassion and something else—sheer tenderness. He lost his breath at that look. Nick was torn between badly wanting this man to touch him and fleeing.

He stayed. Owen’s long, warm fingers started to explore his past. Owen’s fingers moved lightly over Nick’s chest, touching the scars, finding the long, jagged one underneath his right arm that trailed down to his ribs.

Nick’s own morning hard-on got steelier by the minute at the other man’s gentle touch. Owen drew a deep, shuddering breath. “Jesus, Nick, someone really did a number on you.” His voice was uncertain. “Unless you did that to yourself?”

Nick laughed shortly. “No, I can’t take the credit for these ones. Not my work.”

Owen shook his head in incredulity. “Who the fuck could do this to someone? Nick, what the hell happened to you?”

Nick shook his head. “I don’t want to talk about it,” he whispered. He shivered as Owen’s fingertips slowly circled the burns. Then Owen did something totally unexpected. He leaned forward and kissed one of them. It was a soft, fleeting caress by a pair of warm lips that felt incredibly good against Nick’s skin. Nick pulled back defensively, sitting up, but Owen’s hand moved gently, pushing him back. The duvet fell to Nick’s hips and he closed his eyes in mortification at the tenting of it around his groin.

1_27 worth keeping MEDIA KIT susan-mac-nicol-newAbout the Author:Susan Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. At the age of eight, her family moved to Johannesburg, South Africa where she stayed for nearly thirty years before arriving back in the UK in December 2000. She has written nine novels, two novellas and a screenplay since February 2012 and clearly believes in keeping herself busy. She has found herself wanting to stay in the genre that is M/M Romance so more can definitely be expected.

Sue is a member of Romance Writers of America and Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She is also a member of a rather unique writing group, called the Talliston Writer’s Circle, which in itself has a story all of its own to tell and lives in the rural village of Bocking, in Essex, with her family. Her plan is to keep writing as long as her muse sits upon her shoulder. Her dream is to one day make enough money to give up the day job and get that big old house in the English countryside overlooking a river, where she can write all day and continue to indulge her passion for telling stories.

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ LinkedIn
Buy the book at the publisher or Amazon.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Happy Medium by Meg Benjamin - Interview and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Meg will be awarding the complete Ramos Family Trilogy: Medium Well, Medium Rare, and Happy Medium (all ebooks) to one randomly drawn commenter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

Actually, I write in two genres—contemporary and paranormal—but they’re related (or at least they are when I do them). I like working in the present because it’s usually easier for me to get inside the characters’ heads. They’re not that far removed from me and I have a pretty good idea how they feel and why. My Ramos Trilogy books (Medium Well, Medium Rare, and Happy Medium) are technically paranormal since they’re ghost stories, but the characters aren’t exotic. They’re “normal” people dropped into extraordinary situations. I can figure out how they think and feel because I can understand how I’d feel in the same circumstances. I love working with people I’d like to know in real life, and for me, that’s pretty much contemporary romance. As for the romance genre in general, I love a good story and an interesting setting, but it’s the relationships between the characters that interest me most—and that’s where romance excels.

What research is required?

For the Ramos Trilogy, I had to read up on ghosts, although I didn’t feel that I had to follow any particular “rules” about the way ghosts behave. One of the nice things about paranormal is that you can push against the boundaries a bit without causing too much trouble. Some of the information I found seemed obvious, like the idea that ghosts appear most frequently at twilight (if the light is making everything indistinct, it follows that you’d be more likely to see something unusual). Some of it wasn’t as obvious, but was interesting, like the way some cultures use iron and salt to repel ghosts. I’m not sure why this is supposed to work, but the claim shows up so frequently that I was willing to buy in. In the end, I found far more information than I ended up using. But just doing the research was fun.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

I’m not sure I learned it from Ray, but doing research on historic home renovation (Ray’s job) taught me a heck of a lot about all of the things that can go wrong!

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I always write each chapter in my first draft in a separate file, then put them together at the end, so I’m never entirely sure how long the book is until I’m finished. I’m not sure why I started doing it this way, possibly to make it easier to bring chapters to my critique group. But I don’t really want to change it now. Each time I start a new book, I do it in individual chapter files.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I’m a plotter, but I’m not a fanatic about it. I like to have a rough outline of where the plot’s going to go, along with some basic character sketches for the major players. But I never end up following the outline exactly. The characters change as I work with them, and I’ll start having ideas about different things the plot could do and different ways of telling the story. I’ve even changed characters’ names partway through the book and had to go back and redo everything. For me, the outline is a preliminary sketch rather than a blueprint.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

A lot of wine! I write in our family room and the wine rack is right beside me. I guess if I ever get totally blocked, I can always grab a bottle or two!

Anything new coming up from you? What?

My eighth Konigsburg book, Hungry Heart, will be out from Samhain Publishing in March. It’s all about barbecue, and it features some familiar characters and some newcomers.

Do you have a question for our readers?

I’m always curious about how readers see ghost stories. Some people have suggested to me that ghosts are more mystery/suspense than paranormal. I always considered them paranormal because they weren’t strictly realistic. So what do you think?

Love is good for the soul… unless it’s one that you’re trying to exorcise.

Ray Ramos has a problem–the King William District mansion he and his business partner purchased for a fast renovation needs more work than expected. Ray could use a quick infusion of cash. Enter Emma Shea, assistant to Gabrielle DeVere, the star of American Medium. Gabrielle is looking for San Antonio houses to use for her televised séances, and Ray’s fixer upper seems to fit.

When Gabrielle does a sample séance, Ray and Emma become the target of a touchy ghost with no respect for boundaries. After Ray learns his family has a special affinity for ghosts, the two decide to investigate the haunted house. It doesn’t hurt that Emma is immediately attracted to the laconic Ray or that Ray is intrigued by the buttoned-down beauty who seems determined to hide her considerable assets behind sober business suits. But can the two of them fight off a vengeful succubus bound to the house while getting a lot closer than either of them planned?

About the Author:
Meg Benjamin is an author of contemporary romance. Her Konigsburg series for Samhain Publishing is set in the Texas Hill Country and her Ramos Family trilogy for Berkley InterMix is set in San Antonio’s King William District. Meg’s books have won numerous awards, including an EPIC Award for Contemporary Romance, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Indie Press Romance, the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers and the Beanpot Award from the New England Romance Writers. Meg lives in Colorado with her DH and two rather large Maine coon cats (well, partly Maine Coon anyway). Her Web site is http://www.MegBenjamin.com and her blog is http://megbenj1.wordpress.com/. You can follow her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/meg.benjamin1), Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/megbenjamin/), and Twitter (http://twitter.com/megbenj1). Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at meg@megbenjamin.com. Happy Medium, the third in the Ramos Family trilogy, is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

The Life List by Chrissy Anderson - Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Chrissy will be awarding a $50 Victoria’s Secret Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Hi Guys,

Thanks so much for hosting me on your fabulous blog! I’m so happy to be here and even happier to share 5 things you’d probably NEVER guess about me, Chrissy Anderson, author of The Life List,(part I of The List Trilogy). To be honest, I share so much about myself in my real life love story that it’s challenging to come up with some secret stuff, but here’s my attempt….

1) The Bridges of Madison Country is the scariest movie I’ve EVER seen. If you’re an ounce of the truly, madly, deeply gal I am, you understand why.

2) I really did buy my first house when I was 23. (Had to! It was on the list!) It was a shack in the middle of the woods and for a short time my neighbor was Richard Allen Davis. Scary!

3) I never considered jogging until I needed to run away from my own thoughts and fears. Now I’m addicted and get in about twenty miles a week. (You might actually be able to tell if I didn’t drink so much wine.)

4) Two of my best friends were actually diagnosed with cancer and on the exact same day. (One friend with pancreatic cancer and the other with breast cancer.) The Life List was originally written to reflect this sad truth. The breast cancer storyline was later edited out because focus groups found the coincidence to be too unbelievable.

5) I have a reccurring dream and it goes like this…:

Buriiiiiing, buriiiiing, buriiiiing…
“Hello?”

“Hi, is this Chrissy Anderson?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Hi, hunny, this is Rita Wilson. It’s an honor to speak to you.”

(Long dubious pause on my end of the receiver)

“Hunny…are you there?”

“Rita Wilson? The Rita Wilson…as in Mrs. Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson?”

“Yep! Hey, listen, I read The Life List and I have to tell you I was blown away. It’s not your average chick-lit read and Chrissy’s not your average chick-lit heroine; she’s opinionated, judgmental…snarky. I found her personality hysterical, clever and totally relatable!”

“You did?”

“Are you surprised?”

“Well, no, not surprised with what you said. It was my intention to write about myself as an authentic person that women of all kinds-twenty-somethings, housewives and super woman wanna-bes- could relate to. I think all of us can connect to the pressure of constructing the ideal life, only to fall short. I guess…I’m surprised the book found its way to you. I’ve been trying to get a copy of it in your hands for over a year. I think the closest it got was to your agent’s assistant’s assistant.”

“Are you kidding? I found my way to your book! Everyone in Hollywood is reading it. You’ve created something really special and I want to help you take it to the next level. It’s got to be a movie.”

“That’s exactly what I think!”

“You know what I love the most about it…well, beside the fact that the role of Chrissy’s therapist, Dr. Maria, is made for me!”

(OMIGOD, OMIGOD, OMIGOD! I’ve been blogging about that for over a year!)

“I love that The Life List is part I of a trilogy. This whole project has the shelf life of a can a soup! It’s going to last forever. And the whole love triangle thing happening between Kurt and Leo, and how you took two men who are polar opposites, sexy and compelling in their own right, and made them both these guys that Chrissy could easily fall in love with…it makes me giddy with excitement! I went to your website and voted for my choice. Love how you have the ability to do that there! It’s so cool to see how the votes are split between the two guys, isn’t it?”

(OMIGOD, OMIGOD, OMIGOD! Rita Wilson went to my website!)

“I go crazy thinking about the marketability of your work, Chrissy!”

“I know, right? Show me one woman who can’t identify with something I went through in this book, and I’ll show you a woman who is either very young, very much in denial, or the very luckiest woman on earth.”

“Well, hunny, I hope right now you feel like the luckiest woman on earth, because we’re about to make all of your dreams come true. Your convoluted and chaotic real life love story is about to become the American version of Bridget Jones’s Diary. Are you ready?”



Aaaaaaand this is where I usually jolt awake with a huge smile on my face.

Thanks again for hosting me guys! Hope I made you laugh a little and I hope even harder a few of your readers check out my reviews on Amazon (260 reviews/4.8 star!) and get started with the first two books in the trilogy, The Life List and The Unexpected List. The last book, The Hope List, will be released in the next few months. It’s all very exciting stuff! Next up is a test pilot for a TV series. Yep…I’ve been contacted by a screenwriter to begin this exciting journey. Can’t wait to get started.

When she was just sixteen, Chrissy Anderson made a life list…

…The outcome is a dream husband, a career to envy, and the kind of best friends every girl wants. Then out of nowhere…an affair. What would you do if you realized the life you created wasn’t right for you? You think you know the answer? Think again. Follow Chrissy as she lies and cheats and ultimately learns to tell the truth to herself and those that she loves.

At twenty-eight, Chrissy has been steadily checking off the boxes on her life list as she mocks the style and life choices of everyone around her. She’s got it all—or so everyone thinks. Her life begins to fall apart when she unexpectedly meets a much younger man, Leo, who makes her question just how perfect her “perfect life” really is. With the help of her no-nonsense therapist, Dr. Maria, Chrissy learns more about herself than she anticipates. But it isn’t until she stares an untimely death in the face that Chrissy is catapulted into an overdue reality check. Only then does she scramble to correct the mistakes of her past…trying to figure out if it’s her husband Kurt, her lover Leo, or both that she has to leave behind to make everything right.

Women of all kinds will be able to relate to the pressure of constructing the ideal life, only to fall short. Not everyone will agree with Chrissy Anderson’s decisions, but all will pause as they follow along on her journey to ask, “What would I do if I were her?”

The Life List, book ONE of The List Trilogy, will take you on a rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows as Chrissy makes mistakes on her bumpy road to happiness. Come along for the ride and you’ll be left breathless and ready to find out what she does next in book TWO, The Unexpected List.

About the Author: CHRISSY ANDERSON spends her life doing exactly what she always wanted: doting on those she loves. A former fashion executive, she is a writer, wife, and mother whose own life events inspired The Life List. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with the love of her life and her beautiful daughter.

www.askchrissy.net
www.facebook.com/chrissyandersonbooks

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Yucatan Dead by D.V. Berkom - Review and Giveaway


(Thriller Action/Adventure)



This review is posted in conjunction with a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

"...an unrelenting thriller of a tension-filled novel...Yucatan Dead is the stuff of which blockbuster movies are made...very highly recommended..." ~ Midwest Book Review

"...Yucatan Dead is a gripping thriller with a gutsy heroine and a tightly woven plot; it will no doubt please Berkom's current fans and gather more." ~ Pacific Book Review

"...Yucatan Dead ratchets up the tension from the start as Kate deals with hit women, warring Mexican drug cartels, and unofficial paramilitary organizations. Survival is never a given..." ~ Big Al's Books 'n Pals

She was a dangerous man's lover...now she's his dangerous enemy.

YUCATAN DEAD...

For Kate Jones, being on the run from her former lover--the vicious leader of a Mexican drug cartel--was never going to be easy. But with a new identity, a new lover, and a new life in Arizona, she was beginning to believe she'd made it through the worst.

Then, in an act of twisted revenge, Kate's kidnapped and imprisoned by her deadly enemy, his intention to force her to pay back the money she stole before he kills her.

Fate intervenes and she finds herself working against the cartels deep in the Yucatan with a group of off-the-grid commandos. From peaceful northern Arizona to the steamy jungles of Mexico, Kate Jones must decide for herself if she'll continue to run...

...or turn and fight the evil that pursues her.

My review:

Hang onto your hats, folks, this book is an adrenaline rush from first page to last!

I wasn't sure what to expect with this, especially since it's part of a series -- but no worries, it stands alone just fine. And honestly, once you start reading, you're not going to care much about anything but catching your breath.

Our heroine, Kate, is gutsy and brave, but unfortunately made the bad choice of being involved with a man who turned out to be part of the Mexican drug cartel. She left, helped put him in jail and then went underground. Unfortunately for her, there is nowhere to hide when someone that powerful wants you found.

I don't want to give away any of the story, but just know going in that you'll be on a nonstop rollercoaster ride. No one is safe here, and nothing is certain, even the survival of our protagonist and several other main characters. The author is one of the best thriller authors I've read, and I'm still trying to slow down my heart beat from the rush. If her other books are this crazy and amazingly well written, I have a new auto-buy author to add to my list. So while this book may stand alone, I have every intention of going back and starting from the beginning. And I'll definitely grab the next book, because I HAVE to know what happens next. 5 Flowers and a hearty recommendation that you get your copy now.

About the Author:
DV Berkom is a slave to the voices in her head. As the author of two bestselling thriller series (Leine Basso and Kate Jones), her love of creating resilient, kick-*ss female characters stems from a lifelong addiction to reading spy novels, mysteries, and thrillers, and longing to find the female equivalent within those pages.

Raised in the Midwest, she received her BA in political science from the University of Minnesota and promptly moved to Mexico to live on a sailboat. Many, many cross-country moves (and several years) later, she now lives just outside of Seattle, Washington with the love of her life, Mark, an ex-chef-turned contractor, and writes every chance she gets.

For more information, please visit her website at www.dvberkom.com.

Buy the book at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, or iTunes. Social Media Links: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DvBerkomAuthor Twitter: https://twitter.com/dvberkom Website: http://www.dvberkom.com Blog: http://www.dvberkom.wordpress.com Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dvberkom/ Amazon Author Page: US: http://amzn.to/oMUb1Z UK: http://amzn.to/pBwClD a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visions of Fire and Ice by Teresa D'Amario - Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $50 Amazon or BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Trapped on a planet not their own, the Petiri spend their lives hiding the natural gifts that set them apart from the world. They live long and unfulfilled lives, unable to find their soul mates on this backward planet known as Earth. That is until the night Ramose comes face to face with Tamara, a woman whose gifts rival his own. Determined to find why this human is in possession of an ancient magical Petiri relic, he arranges a meeting.

But Tamara, embittered from past events, is wary despite lifelong dreams of Ramose and a sure knowledge he is her soul mate. Before long the couple find themselves ensnared in a battle that has raged for millennia in Egypt’s desert. Set, Egyptian God of Chaos, is determined to take his just due: the throne of Osiris.

The only way to stop him is for Ramose to put his trust in Tamara, but first must gain the same from her. The ensuing sensual relationship is filled with romance, lust and love. Their relationship is tested by an unnatural evil. Will her powers over fire, combined with his ice be enough to win the day? Or will the ancient gods and goddesses of Egypt destroy more than just their love?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Tamara pulled out the costume with a grin. It was red. Fire red. Small bits of orange peeked beneath the folds, enhancing the image. This would be perfect for her youngest sister who always teased her about the fire she herself wielded. She held the costume before her, judging its size. A spark of energy caught her attention, and she raised her eyes to Ramose. He was moving toward her, his muscles tight, his face pale in the darkened light. But his eyes, they burned with unfettered need.

Tamara swallowed. Hard. Never in her life had she expected to see any man, much less Ramose, look at her the way he did now. What had she done to trigger such a response? Maybe he thought shopping was sexy. Hell, it didn’t matter. He had the look of a man ready to cross to the next level in their relationship. No, not the next level. He looked ready to leap all the way past and into a new relationship. His eyes were filled with need, but other emotions glimmered beneath the surface. Possession. Relief. Stark, irreversible hunger.

Before she could utter a word, he was there, pulling the dress from her fingers, handing it to the shopkeeper still standing beside her.

He spoke in rapid Arabic, handing the man cash. The store owner protested loudly, probably hoping for a good bartering session.

Ramose totally ignored him, his focus glued only on her. Never had he seemed so tall. Powerful. And even imposing. Tamara stepped back. Just moments before, he’d stood across the room, silent, watching. Now his scent whispered over her, dark and sensuous. Her blood rushed through her veins, heating her body in response. She bit her lip at the sudden onslaught of emotions and need building inside her. Inside, her heart fluttered in panic, while the rest of her body yearned for him. She was part rabbit, part tigress. She was terrified. She was starved.

“I can….” She could what? Pay for it herself?

Ramose leaned forward, his lips brushing against her ears, his breath feathering across her neck.

“Nanik,” he whispered fiercely.

Mine, her mind translated.

Tamara’s heartbeat spiked, and her knees weakened. She grabbed the clothing rack and struggled to breath, yet it was impossible. Not with him so close. So hungry. Did he suddenly recognize her as his soul mate? Did he have that skill as well? She tipped her face to meet his gaze. Heat coiled low in her belly. His scent stripped her of her desire for control. The fear fluttered inside her, yet she ached for more, to feel his lips against her flesh.

The hard lines of his jaw, shadowed by the late afternoon beard, combined with the power surging from his being, gave him the look of a warrior of old. Demanding. Powerful. And sexy as hell.

Her body moved of its own accord, leaning forward, blending his heat with her own. Muscles inside her softened, melting, while others drew taut, hungry for his touch. Her lashes fluttered, her eyes heavy, her mind and body drugged by this man’s desire.

“Ramose—”

But he wanted none of her words. His eyes silenced her, as though he were afraid she’d reject him. Long, warm fingers closed over hers. It was the first touch of what she hoped was soon to be more. The pulse in her throat beat a rapid staccato message. Need. Fear. She wasn’t even sure which held more power.

When the shopkeeper returned, Ramose held out his hand, not even looking at the man. His fingers closed around the plastic bag, and, without a word, he turned, escorting her out the door.

Once outside, they moved past the small shop, pressed inward by the throngs of people surrounding them. He didn’t seem to care. He stopped, right in the middle of crowd, tugging her hand until she turned to face him. His eyes raked over her, searching. With calloused fingers, he brushed away the wisp of hair now falling in her face. The heat from his fingers burned her flesh, regardless of his gift of ice.

“Kha-Ib.”

The word was so soft, so worshipful, she had to strain to hear it. Tamara shook her head. “What, Ramose, what is it?”

“Nanik,” he whispered again, his gaze softening, offering her a smile of wonder.

Oblivious to the crowd surrounding them, Tamara’s knees wobbled. She should be running, racing to her hotel to block away the world. This was too fast. Too dangerous. And, yet, the sudden possessiveness in his response only built the hunger inside her. Her gaze moved to his lips.

She wanted to feel him. Against her mouth. Hungry. God, what was wrong with her? His arm hooked about her waist, and, as his head lowered, she tipped her face to meet him. Wanting. Breathless.

His gaze held hers, even as his face inched closer.

When at long last their lips met, her heart, the one she was sure had quit beating, exploded in her chest, pounding as though to crack her ribs. The exquisite heat of his lips burned against hers. Oh, God. Please. Please what?

He groaned when she wrapped her arms about his neck, drawing even closer to him. He swept his tongue over her lips. She needed no further encouragement. For the first time in her life, she didn’t hesitate when a man touched her. She opened. And, when their tongues met, it was divine.

The inside of his mouth was hot and hungry, his taste an explosion of wild masculine heat, and, yet, he swept in slowly, as though in wonder, tasting her. The chill of his mouth drew her, cooling the overwhelming heat burning inside her. The combination of need and gentleness sent a shudder of hunger through her body, and she wanted more, needed to crawl even closer.

About the Author:
Born in Atlanta, the daughter of an Army Soldier during the early stages of the Viet Nam war, I spent my childhood traveling from state to state, finally ending up overseas in Germany where I graduated high school six months early.

My writing career however began as a young Airman in the Air Force, writing monthly articles for the weekly base paper. The articles ranged from climatological data to full center fold articles on the destructive forces of hurricanes. As I increased in rank, my writing changed to more technological instruction, including such works as WSR-88D Doppler Radar Data Interpretation Guide for North Carolina Stations, and Station Operating Procedures.

But my early writing wasn’t limited only to the technological side. I’ve written multiple dog training and behavior articles for canine websites such as Sonora Canine Freestyle, and also the Ask Blackjack column, a fun training column in the voice of my labrador retriever, then a young pup.

My first book, SheWolf, won 2nd place for Best First book in RWA’s PFF&P Prism awards.

I’m married to a wonderful man named Doug, who is also retired Air Force. We live in North Carolina with our two dogs.

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Website


Buy the book at Freya’s Bower. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Country Roads by Nancy Herkness - Review and Giveaway


(Contemporary Romance)



This review is done in conjunction with a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nancy will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour. You can see the other stops on the tour by clicking the tour banner.

When sheltered artist Julia Castillo flees her hometown, she has one goal: to prove to her overbearing family she can make it on her own. She knows they only want the best for her, but when they question her artistic vision, it’s time to break free. Julia’s search for independence carries her to the small town of Sanctuary, West Virginia. There, her courage is tested as never before—by her love for a handsome country lawyer, her bond with a dangerous black stallion, and a secret she is desperate to keep…

Paul Taggart abandoned his high-powered legal career to return to Sanctuary, giving up his own dreams to care for his troubled brother. Then Julia Castillo blows into town like a fresh mountain breeze, changing his staid, predictable life forever. Has Paul earned his second chance at happiness? Or does loving Julia mean having the strength to let her go?

My Review:

An entertaining read which addresses some issues not always seen in romance novels like epilepsy and alcoholism and recovery.

I enjoyed reading about a heroine determined to break out of her familial chains and become her own woman. Julia is nervous, uncertain and has amazingly poor self-esteem considering how famous an artist she is. She alternately takes huge leaps forward (like leaving home with nothing but a little cash and her paintings and not even taking a cell phone with her), then back again. Sometimes she frustrated me, but regardless she was ultimately an admirable heroine who sought to see the best in people.

Paul was a nice guy, but a bit forceful and controlling. I was a little surprised at how easily Julia let him start dictating her life, even from their first lunch together where he ordered for her. Perhaps that is an understandable conditioned response for her, since she'd spent her entire life that way, but it still surprised me. Thankfully, Paul comes to understand Julia's background and makes some attempts to throttle back on those urges. He's a good, decent guy so she could certainly do worse for a love interest.

The whisper horse plot line was an interesting thing to read about. However, I did find it a little difficult to believe that a mistreated stallion who wanted to attack and destroy anyone and anything it saw was instantly gentle with her. Granted, the entire book only takes place over a couple of weeks, so things have to move quickly, and the idea behind the whisper horse sort of means he'd behave that way, but I've had horses almost my entire life and have never seen that kind of thing happen instantaneously.

Don't let that make you think I didn't enjoy the book. All my complaints were small things. The big things all worked for me: the romance itself and Julia's fight for independence. I really enjoyed the read and am so glad I chose to pick this up for review. It's my first foray into writing by this author and it definitely won't be the last. 4 Flowers.

Enjoy this excerpt:

Another vehicle whooshed past, then flashed red brake lights and pulled over to the side of the highway well in front of her. Now that she had a potential rescuer, all the warnings about what happened to unprotected women with broken-down cars flashed through her brain. As the black, low-slung car reversed toward her, she wished she hadn’t tossed the wrench; hefting it would have made her look a little threatening. Instead she had to settle for arranging her keys between her fingers so their ends stuck out as she made a fist, another tidbit she’d picked up from television.

The car’s door swung open, and a man in a pale-blue shirt, red tie, and navy slacks emerged, unfolding his long legs as he stepped out onto the gravel.

“A tie seems pretty upstanding,” she muttered, loosening her grip on the keys. “Serial killers probably don’t wear ties on a regular basis.”

She planted her feet wide apart and crossed her arms as the Good Samaritan approached with a fluid, ground-eating stride. She guessed he was in his early thirties, and her artist’s sensibility quivered with the urge to paint the planes and shadows of a face that was too strong for classic handsomeness but far more interesting. He had hair like an ancient Greek portrait: thick, dark waves you wanted to bury your fingers in. As he approached, his silver-gray eyes almost glowed in contrast against his olive skin. He would be a perfect model for one of those half-immortal, half-human offspring the Greek gods were always fathering. What were they called? Demigods.

About the Author:
Born and raised in the mountains of West Virginia, Nancy Herkness’s passion for writing romance began the day her grandmother gave her a Georgette Heyer novel. After graduating from Princeton University with honors in English literature and creative writing, she had successful careers in retail, computer programming, and marketing before finally returning to her first love: writing. The author of Take Me Home and three other contemporary romances, Herkness was named one of 2003’s Best Up and Coming Authors in the Affaire de Coeur’s readers’ poll. She is also a winner of the Golden Leaf Award, the Aspen Gold Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and two mismatched dogs.

Website: www.NancyHerkness.com
Blogs: http://fromthegarret.wordpress.com/ and http://sistertowns.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nancyherkness
Twitter: @NancyHerkness. Buy the book at Amazon. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 27, 2014

Annie Seaton - Interview and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Annie will be awarding a boomerang and a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Thanks for stopping by to visit with us and answer our questions. Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I have always loved reading romance and losing myself in different settings across the world. Now that I have the opportunity to write stories and have been published by the wonderful Entangled Publishing, I get to write all of the stories that have been in my head for years. The main draw card to contemporary romance is the variety of settings and the different characters you can write about from all walks of life.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Each of my heroines is a very determined character. Often where they think they are heading in life is changed by the hero they fall in love with. I guess the think I have learned from letting deal with this change is the resilience of the female spirit endures despite adversity and is supported by the love of the right man.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I have to have a tidy work area before I can commence work. The problem is ...it gets very chaotic each day and I often wonder if it is a subconscious form of procrastination.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I use to boast of being a died in the wool panster but my dear editor has beaten that out of me. Now I must submit structures, plot and characters and you know what? Despite all my resistance and how much I hate the planning stage…it is much easier to write when you plot.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

A foot stool with my strapped ankle propped on it… I sprained my ankle last week and it has been lovely being tied to my desk with my dear husband doing all the chores and looking after me. On the desk to my right…there is a list of things to do today. And I don’t think I am going to get them all done. Are you getting a picture of me?

Anything new coming up from you? What? I have my first book with the Covet Imprint being released on 24th February and I love it. Hot Rock has a sexy rock star, time travel and is set in England…one of my favorite settings…And this one is a little steamier too.

Do you have a question for our readers?

I love to hear from readers. One of the questions I love to ask… is do they prefer…sweet or sexy or somewhere in between? I write across all heat levels and it interests me to hear what a reader’s preferred heat level is…and the big question. Why do they prefer that?

About the Author:
Annie Seaton lives with her husband, and ‘Bob’ the dog and two white cats in a house next to the beach on the east coast of Australia. She sits in her writing chair, gazing at the ocean and writing stories. Their two children are grown and married and she loves spending time gardening, walking on the beach and spoiling her two grandchildren. She has always been fascinated by all things romantic and has found her niche in life writing romance novels, ranging through contemporary, historical, suspense and paranormal...but all with romance of course. Her love of reading and history began at an early age and she was a child who always carried a book (or two) no matter what she was doing. Several of her favourite books were confiscated from beneath her desk by teachers who had no understanding of her capacity to read while she was doing her schoolwork!

Her working life has seen her through several major career changes and Annie has now retired from the world of full time work and has fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a published author.

Annie’s debut full length novel, Holiday Affair, a contemporary romance set in the South Pacific was released as part of Entangled Publishing’s Indulgence line in March 2012 and has been a best seller on both Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. The sequel Italian Affair was released in June 2013, and will be followed shortly by Outback Affair. Annie has more books being released in 2013 and 2014 with Entangled Publishing in the Bliss, Entangled Ignite and Covet imprints.

Annie loves to hear from readers at: annieseaton26@gmail.com
Website: http://www.annieseatonromance.com/
Blog: http://annieseaton.blogspot.com.au/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnieSeatonAuthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annieseaton26
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Annie-Seatons-Affair-Series/365004260285896?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/annieseaton26

HOLIDAY AFFAIR

Nothing more than a holiday fling…until he moved in next door!

Staid professor Lissy McIntyre believes that choosing a mate should be based on common sense, not runaway passion. And Lissy would certainly never pick a rolling stone like Nick Richards for long-term love. But a red-hot, tropical romance? Oh, yeah. He’s got a body just made for sinning and his sizzling kisses leave her senseless.

When Nick blows into town, he’s stunned to discover that his no-nonsense new neighbor and co-worker is the same sultry creature he seduced for one night of forbidden island pleasure. He’s unaccustomed to staying in one place for long, but he just can’t seem to keep his hands off the multi-faceted Lissy. Will Nick break loyal Lissy’s heart or will she be the one woman he simply can’t walk away from?

ITALIAN AFFAIR

Free-spirited sex therapist Brianna Ballantine has four days to find a fiancé so she can inherit her birth mother’s Italian villa. Commitment is not on the agenda. Writing her sex therapy book and signing legal papers are. And once all is said and done, she’ll return home to Scotland.

For finance guru Tomas Richards, relationships have been a bad investment—give him stocks and shares any day. When Tomas offers a marriage of convenience to help Brianna secure her inheritance, the sizzle between the sheets promises an affair to remember, despite family complications at every turn. But Tom must convince Brianna to stay, and make this Italian affair a lifelong commitment.

OUTBACK AFFAIR

Jessica Trent wants to be a full-time writer for Cuisine magazine, but in order to land the gig she has to snare a one-on-one with the reclusive Alessandro Ricardo, a man hell-bent on staying out of the limelight. The last thing she expects as she heads to Crocodile Springs resort in northern Australia is to end up traveling across the Outback with a rugged and far too sexy barramundi fisherman.

Ex lawyer Alex Richards protects his privacy and his heart in equal measure. So when a Yankee bombshell in need of a ride turns up and threatens both, he decides to teach her a lesson. As they make their way through the wild country together, the attraction between them ignites. Alex must choose between his heart or letting go of his past … and will Jessica understand why he lied once she finds out who he really is?
Buy the collection at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 24, 2014

Here's to You, Zeb Pike by Johanna Parkhurst -- Interview and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Johanna will be awarding one ebook to one randomly drawn commenter and one print book (US only - international winners will receive an eBook substitution) to a second randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

First of all, thanks so much for having me! It’s such a pleasure to be featured on your blog.

I’ve always been drawn to YA. When I was studying creative writing in college, my main characters were always teenagers. Then I started teaching middle school English, so virtually all I ever read was YA lit. It made sense that I’d just keep writing it. I’m incredibly inspired by my students—by the everyday struggles and challenges that they face, and by the incredible wisdom and courage they have when they are handling difficult situations. I love writing about them and with them as my audience.

What research is required for your writing?

Most of my initial research—the idea for the conflict and the characters—usually comes straight out of situations I’m watching my students go through. From there, my research can go in a lot of different directions. For Here’s to You, Zeb Pike, I’ve had my internet browser on sites about Pikes Peak, on blogs about how social services handles foster care situations in different states, and once on a YouTube video about different hockey plays. All of that makes a lot of sense once you’ve read the book, but if you haven’t, my internet browsing history probably looks crazy.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Failure isn’t always what we think it is. Oh, and the difference between a regular and goofy position in skateboarding. I’d say more about the first lesson, but I’d end up giving away a lot of the book. The second lesson came with some help from my students, who are often my best source of research.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I tend to work on a lot of writing projects at once. I just go back and forth between ‘em all. Sometimes this can become a little frustrating, because it can get hard to keep all the characters and plot points straight in my head. At other times it’s really nice, because if one story isn’t cooperating, I just switch over to another one for a bit.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I actually only learned these terms during a recent interview. I am TOTALLY going to teach them to future students, because I kind of love them. I think I’m a little of both. I like to start with the plot in mind, but it usually ends up getting away from me, and the next thing you know I have no idea what the characters are about to do next. Which can be fun, when it’s not driving me crazy.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

The giant dog I’m pet-sitting for this week. His name is Boo. He’s been pretty content to sit next to me all week, no matter where in the house I’m doing my writing. At this rate, I’m going to have to include him in some upcoming acknowledgements. He’s shown great unconditional support for me and my laptop.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I have another book coming out from Harmony Ink Press in March. It’s called Every Inferno, and it’s my first attempt at writing a mystery. It’s a little dark. The main character is dealing with a lot of anger and grief, and he’s struggling with alcoholism. He’s also trying to solve the mystery of who killed his parents. Oh, and the guy he’s trying to solve the mystery with might just be more than a friend. It was a really fun, if often difficult, book to write.

Do you have a question for our readers?

I always wonder what convinces people to read a certain book. Is it the cover? The blurb? The genre itself? Some combination? I myself tend to get sucked in by blurbs, but I often wonder if that’s the case for everyone.

About the Author: Johanna Parkhurst grew up on a small dairy farm in northern Vermont before relocating to the rocky mountains of Colorado. She spends her days helping teenagers learn to read and write and her evenings writing things she hopes they’ll like to read. She strives to share stories of young adults who are as determined, passionate, and complex as the ones she shares classrooms with.

Johanna holds degrees from Albertus Magnus College and Teachers College, Columbia University. She loves traveling, hiking, skiing, watching football, and spending time with her incredibly supportive husband. You can contact her at https://www.facebook.com/johannaparkhurstwriteson or find her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/johannawriteson.

Fact: When Zebulon Pike attempted to climb what is now known as Pikes Peak, he got stuck in waist-deep snow and had to turn back.

That’s the last thing Dusty Porter learns in his Colorado history class before appendicitis ruins his life. It isn’t long before social services figures out that Dusty’s parents are more myth than reality, and he and his siblings are shipped off to live in Vermont with an uncle and aunt they’ve never met.

Dusty’s new life is a struggle. His brother and sister don’t seem to need him anymore, and he can’t stand his aunt and uncle. At school, one hockey player develops a personal vendetta against him, while Emmitt, another hockey player, is making it hard for Dusty to keep pretending he’s straight. Problem is, he’s pretty sure Emmitt’s not gay. Then, just when Dusty thinks things can’t get any worse, his mother reappears, looking for a second chance to be a part of his life.

Somehow Zebulon Pike still got the mountain named after him, so Dusty’s determined to persevere—but at what point in life do you keep climbing, and when do you give up and turn back?

Buy the book at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Dreamspinner Press. Amazon:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman by Wareeze Woodson - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Wareeze will be awarding one eBook to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and one $50 GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A special thanks to Wareeze for stopping by today and answering our questions. First, why do you write in this genre? What draws you to it?

At this time, I write historical romance, Regency at present, because I love history, and I enjoy reading about things that happened long ago. My imagination takes flight, and I land in that time. In the third grade, I remember my first history lesson. I marveled at the adventures Lewis and Clarke (real people-boy, oh boy) had while trekking into the wilderness to survey and explore the land. I was fascinated. Now I’m hooked. For me history has an element of make-believe as well. No one living today was actually there, so some boundaries can be fudged, entering into the realm of pretend.

What research is required?

The Regency world is a fact, but research must be done to draw a picture of what life was like back in those days. The rules of society, the laws that governed the people—rich and poor alike, while attitudes as well as language spoken color or flavor each story. The reader should recognize a different setting separate from today and be drawn into another place. I’ve discovered that people are still people today as in the 1800s. We love, we hate, we grieve, and we cuss or pray. We have desires, wants, needs, and we love our families. Human nature, for good or evil remains with us, and is covered by what we perceive as civilized.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Like my heroine, Laurel, one should never give up. Her son’s new guardian was against her, believing her to be an unfit mother. The law was against her assigning all the power to the guardian, Lord Adron. Her sister-in-law was against her, jealous and complaining, but against all odds, Laurel fought on to be with her young son.

The hero, Lord Adron, is a tougher nut to crack. Described numerous times as a jerk, I watched him grow from the total autocrat, demanding and intolerant, to a man willing to give all for love. Did it work in his favor? Of course not!

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I suppose many would consider it odd that I write in scenes before knitting them together. I started one novel at the ending scene and wrote back to the beginning from there. Now I usually start at the beginning and progress forward—but not always.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I suppose the answer to the above question sort of answers that. I’m more of a pantser. However, after I get going, I stop and plot for a while. Both work for me. Truth be told, I think I like pantser better with a brief plot laid out—sometimes. My characters don’t always want to follow a plot.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

A wall with the framed acceptance letter I received for my first published book, Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman. I not certain how "of" arrived in the title, but oh well! I wanted to say something besides well, but I refrained. I love, love, love having my first book published.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

My second novel, An Enduring Love, will be released in 2014. Here is a brief blurb.

Born and raised in Latvia, Rebecca Balodis marries Rhys Sudduth, an English diplomat. Shortly thereafter, he is summoned home to attend his father’s death-bed. Rebecca cannot accompany him at the time and becomes trapped in the turmoil plaguing her country. He is informed she died in the upheaval.

Nearly four years later, she escapes and arrives in London with their son in tow. Arriving in the middle of his sister’s ball is very awkward, especially since Rhys plans to announce his betrothal to a young debutant later in the evening.

Trouble, tangled in suspense and danger, follow her from Latvia. Can this pair ever find or even recognize an enduring love? Is it worth keeping?

Do you have a question for our readers?

What would you do if it seemed the world was against you? Would you throw up your hands and give up, or would you fight? If someone tried to separate you from your child, would you merely accept the situation or try to change the circumstances? Would you give up hope or always search for a glimmer in the darkness? Would you kill to save your child?

Enjoy this excerpt from Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman:

His voice floated down to her. “Are you or the child injured?”

“I think several scrapes and bruises at most.” Laurel trembled and brushed her bonnet out of her face. She heard his quick intake of breath.

“You’re positive? You must have taken quite a tumble when the coach overturned. Possibly you’re more injured than you know.”

“Only a little shaken.” She took a deep, calming breath then continued with more force. “I’m certain we’re both fine.”

He hesitated and exhaled deeply. “A damsel in distress then. Do you perhaps have a name?”

Authority rang in his voice. She clutched Jamie a little tighter and offered him a tremulous smile. “Laurel Jane Laningham. Thank you for coming to our rescue.” She shaded her eyes with one hand, waiting for him to return the introduction.

“Let’s get you out of there. Hand me the boy first.”

He reached down into the overturned coach and Laurel lifted Jamie above her head into the waiting arms of the stranger. Her rescuer leapt to the ground with her son. A chill of foreboding curled around her. He’d said the boy. An unknown man shouldn’t know the child was a male. With every one of her senses alert, she listened intently for the stranger to return. Saddle leather squeaked and the thunder of hooves struck the ground in retreat.

Laurel screamed, “Bring my son back. I’ll see you hanged for this, you blackguard. Come back here. Help. Driver, help me.”

About the Author:
I am a native Texan and still live in the Houston area. I married by high school sweetheart, and after raising 4 children, they blessed up with 8 grandchildren. AND after all these years, we still love each other. True romance is happy ever after.

Website: www.wareezewoodson.com
Twitter: @wareeze
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wareeze-Woodson/523727757689755

Recently widowed Lady Laurel Laningham flees Landings to escape her untenable position. Alone now and at the mercy of her sister-in-law, she decides to nestle under her aunt’s wings for a spell. To add to her burdens, her young son’s new guardian, Lord Adron Gladrey, has announced his intentions to take complete charge of his ward. The killer is stalking her and a devious jewel thief is stealing the family jewels. Can she convince her son’s guardian she is not a dangerous lunatic and is perfectly capable of raising her son or will he always consider her untrustworthy as a mother to his ward? Will his stubborn blindness send her straight into the path of the murderer, or will he relent in time to save her from following her husband into the grave?
Buy the book at Amazon.

Blood and Gold by Hawk MacKinney -- Excerpt and Giveaway

SBB Blood and Gold Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hawk will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banners to see the other stops on the tour.

MEDIA KIT B&G cover smallerBlood and Gold, the third book in The Craige Ingram Mystery Series, once again tests the instincts and skills of retired Navy SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram. Lust, greed, body parts and unrestrained wild sex parties are what await Craige Ingram when he leaves the comforts of his South Carolina home to visit his former SEAL buddy, Detective Spinner Krespinak. Set in the Colorado underbelly of a sordid sable and faux glitz ski mecca, Detective Spinner Krespinak suspects drugs have made their way to the snowy playground that is Aspen. An Olympic ski hopeful is brutally murdered, Spinner vanishes, and Craige Ingram is shot as events spin out of control with a Catch-22 no one anticipates.

Here's an excerpt for you to enjoy:

The drive up the narrow mountain rutted road was a risky, hands-on-the-wheel icy slid-and-skid. With a grim set to his jaws, Spinner didn’t say a word the whole way. They parked among the jumble of squad cars. Craige avoided the taped-off areas while Spinner huddled with Loopy. Silently they paced-off and studied the layout of each room of the mansion…each room except the one where death waited to greet Spinner. No one except Craige and Loopy knew how Spinner wasn't as detached as he appeared. Spinner traced and retraced his steps. Seeing beyond Spinner’s detached veneer of the professional, Craige could read the surly stir of emotions Spinner was struggling to control.

Finally…there was nothing left except to face the grizzly business of felony homicide and the dead. Spinner went back to where Loopy was busy. As though wanting to avoid seeing what waited in that room, he said, “Any ideas about the time of death?”

Loopy said, “Only a rough approximation at this point. I'd approximate somewhere between eight in the morning and two or three in the afternoon. We haven’t moved the bodies yet, but from what indications of livor mortis I could see, I’m leaning toward it being earlier. Central heat was off…fireplace ashes are still warm. Once we determine algor mortis changes in the body temps, I’ll be able to narrow that some. We've already picked up thirty to forty different sets of prints. Could easily be twice that before we finish. Most so smudged they're no good. The rancher who lives at the valley turnoff said cars were going back and forth all night. How it wasn't the first time they had all-night mountaintop blowouts up there. We bagged used condoms from all over this place—bedrooms, baths, all over the house. We’ll compare DNA with that of the victims. See if we get any matches that narrow down any persons of interest. Looks to be marijuana and freebase by the fireplace and in the breakfast room. And what is likely Mexican black heroin on the carpet in the den. Lord only knows what else we'll turn up. I’ll be surprised if we don’t find Silk or S-K. There's at least a case of empty aerosol cans, probably for heavy-duty huffing. We'll see what the lab tells us…hopefully that’ll fill in more details.”

Spinner said, “Before Frannie left for Denver last night, Ski came by and borrowed my wheels to get here. Brought them back about noon. Christy and the two men had to be alive at the time Ski left. Depending on road conditions, it takes about an hour to get from here back into town. The low last night was below zero, but there was no heavy weather—no wind.” His eyes flashed hurt and anger, a silent reckoning stirring somewhere deep and hidden. “Ski would party 'till the last minute.” Spinner hesitated. “Least, I’d like to think it was that. I wouldn’t like thinking he'd use me as an alibi.” The thought of the possibility was a heart-pain that sliced deep into his soul. “Give me a few minutes before you zip them up.”

Loopy nodded. “No hurry. Take what time you need.”

A very still Spinner turned a masque-face back to the bed…emotions churning his features. A lump knotted his throat. Looking down at Christy’s lifeless body, the bullet hole a vulgar insult to a death mask of frozen beauty…it seemed somehow otherworldly. “…never could trust your flighty-canary way of life.” The niche occupied by carefree fun-loving Christy seemed stark and empty.

About the Author: MEDIA KIT Hawk-DSC3027_jpgWith postgraduate degrees and faculty appointments in several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction.

Hawk began writing mysteries for his school newspaper. His works of fiction, historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven, and reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series… murder and mayhem with a touch of romance. Vault of Secrets, the first book in the Ingram series, was followed by Nymrod Resurrection, Blood and Gold, and The Lady of Corpsewood Manor. All have received national attention. Hawk’s latest release in the Ingram series is due out this fall with another mystery-thriller work out in 2014. The Bleikovat Event, the first volume in The Cairns of Sainctuarie science fiction series, was released in 2012.

"Without question, Hawk is one of the most gifted and imaginative writers I have had the pleasure to represent. His reading fans have something special to look forward to in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. Intrigue, murder, deception and conspiracy--these are the things that take Hawk's main character, Navy ex-SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram, from his South Carolina ancestral home of Moccasin Hollow to the dirty backrooms of the nation's capital and across Europe and the Middle East."

Barbara Casey, President
Barbara Casey Literary Agency

www.HawkMacKinney.net
Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Five Things You'd Never Guess About Catherine Castle - Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Catherine will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Five Things You’d Never Guess About Me


1. I’ve been married longer than I’ve been single... and it’s been to the same guy I started dating in the summer of my junior year of high school. I won’t say how long ago that was though, because I want you think I’m younger than I really am.

2. I have a dish fetish. I own ten different sets of dishes and continually lust over more every time I walk through houseware departments. In fact, my hubby won’t let me go into the dish department when he shops with me. I could describe the dishes for you, but just writing down the fact that I own so many seems outrageous.

3. I’m a crafty person. I can knit, crochet, quilt, draw, sew (which has been recently limited to mending my daughter’s clothes—guess I need to teach her how to sew), and I dabble in paper crafts (card making, card recycling crafts). I haven’t taken up sculpture, weaving, or pottery yet, and probably won’t unless we get a bigger house and I learn how to live without any sleep.

4. I collect nativities. I currently have 23 different nativities, not including paper ones, and I’m working on making a knitted nativity right now. I especially like different themed nativities like southwest, Celtic (my latest addition—they look like Stonehenge boulders with faces carved in them), Eskimos, Native American figures and so on.

5. I’m techno challenged and not allowed to touch the hubby’s computer because I crash things. I’ve crashed twice as many computers and phones than the normal person. I always say it’s my electric personality. Hey, it makes me seem less clutzy and more mysterious. :-) That’s a good thing, right?

What about you? What’s something no one would guess about you?

Enjoy an excerpt from The Nun and the Narc:

“Why don’t you tell me, Miss . . . whoever you are?”

“Margaret Mary O’Connor. Sis—“ Her introduction changed into a scream. “Look out!”

Jed’s head whipped around just as the car plowed through a market stand of live chickens. Poultry, wooden cages, and feathers scattered over the car. An angry hen dropped through the car’s open sunroof, squawking and flapping in front of Jed, beating his head with its wings.

Margaret reached over, grabbed the bird, and threw it back out the sunroof opening. But it was too late. The car glanced off an adobe wall into a second market stand and careened toward another building. Jed jammed on the brakes. The car spun three hundred and sixty degrees before screeching to a stop.

The impact threw Margaret sideways against the passenger window. She hit her head on the glass, the blow blinding her for a second. Jed’s body slammed into the steering wheel setting off the horn. The wail echoed in Margaret’s head as she struggled to remain conscious. Warmth trickled down the side of her head. Margaret managed to focus her eyes as the noise stopped. Two Jeds leaned toward her, in slow motion. She blinked to clear her vision.

“You all right?” he asked.

“I think so.” Something warm and sticky seeped down her face. She reached up and wiped her temple. “I’m bleeding,” she said as she stared at her fingers. The words sounded slurred. At the sight of the blood on her fingers, her stomach rolled.
About the Author:
Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist and is a 2013 EPIC finalist.

Catherine’s website: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com
Catherine’s blog: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com/blog/
Catherine’s Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/catherinecastle
Catherine’s Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085414.Catherine_Castle
Twitter: @AuthorCCastle
Facebook: http://facebook.com/catherinecastleauthor

Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicable attracted to him he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them, because he is making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.

Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.