Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Winner of the Mid-Winter​'s Eve Blog Hop!

We ran all the comments and followers through and it chose:


We've emailed the winner -- she gets a book wish up to $10 from any online bookstore.

Thanks to everyone for playing!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Farsighted by Emlyn Chand

Today we're welcoming author Emlyn Chand to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the paranormal YA novel, "Farsighted".

Emlyn is giving away a $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter. So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!

What's Farsighted about?

Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he’s blind. Just when he thinks he’ll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.

Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to “see” the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

And now ... let's hear a little from Emlyn!

Why YA?

It all comes down to the enjoyment factor. YA is my favorite genre to read, so it’s only natural that I would choose to write it as well. I like the vulnerability and changeability of the characters. I love the ease of language and the connection that is created by writing in first person point-of-view. But mostly, I like the readers of YA. YA readers WANT to enjoy books .Their primary goal is not to dissect the literary merit of a story but rather to find a bit of entertainment. YA readers are also extremely loyal to authors they like and can border on fanatical. It makes you feel good as an author ;-)

What research went into creating a believable blind main character?

I read books about coping with blindness in a school setting and spent a great deal of time pondering how I might behave if I couldn’t see. In the story, Alex has always been blind; he’s always known the world to be a certain way. Not everyone understands that, and they have trouble talking about it with him. I gave Alex a tendency to overcompensate. He knows who he is and what he’s capable of, and he wants the world to know it too, so sometimes he overdoes things a bit.

Was it difficult writing from a teenaged boy's POV?

You know, it wasn’t as hard to write blind as I initially thought it would be. As I got to know Alex better and better, it became easier to tune into his way of seeing things. Now, of course, I had to self-edit and rely on my 7 beta readers and 2 editors quite a bit to be sure that I had taken out any visual descriptions that accidentally slipped in. Another really strange thing that happened as a result of writing blind is that I actually wrote the whole story without knowing what anyone or anything looked like (except for Alex). When it came time to shoot the book trailer, the directors were asking me questions about the scenes and which props they should bring, and I really, really didn’t know what to tell them!

Do you write full time? If not, do you hope to?

Not full time, no. I also have my own business, which requires a lot of work to keep it going. I am lucky in that I love BOTH my jobs—both writing and running Novel Publicity. I think I’ll need both to keep me happy. Right now, I work about 100 hours per week, mostly devoted to Novel Publicity. I’d like to be able to work 30 hours per week for NP and write 30 hours per week. That would be the best life!

What's a typical day for you?

Ultimately, My day is quite simple. Wake up (usually anywhere from 2 AM to 6 AM depending on how much I need to get done). Work until 7 PM. Eat dinner with my husband. Either watch television or read a book until I fall asleep. Repeat on loop. When I’m actively writing (as opposed to editing or marketing my work), I like to write at least 1 1/2 hours first thing in the morning. I go to Biggby or Panera to get it done. The rest is devoted to my burgeoning business, Novel Publicity.

Hey, didn’t somebody important say, “far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing?” I don’t mind having to give-up the other parts of my life to pursue my work, because I love it. I know I’ll eventually need to achieve a better balance, but for now, I’m content to push the pedal to the metal.

Plotter or Pantser?

Um, both actually! I begin with a seed of an idea and work out from there. With Farsighted, I started with Alex and created the rest of the story and characters to fit around him. Using the runes as a structural framework for this novel created an outline for me too. I’m a numbers person as well as a word person. I love things to be organized just so. If you set a stack of papers in front of me; I’m going to fuss with them until they are lined up in a perfect stack. It’s just the way I am. Shaping each chapter around a rune gave the story order, which made me feel happy and comfortable. Whenever I got stuck and didn’t know what should happen next, I was able to learn more about that chapter’s rune and get the inspiration I needed to continue. The runes themselves tell a story, one that is successfully completed. I felt that boded well for Farsighted.

Anything coming up from you we should be looking forward to?

Farsighted is a 5-book series. Each book will be told from a different character’s point-of-view, so in book #2, we’ll actually be able to see what Grandon looks like! Next up is Open Heart. I hope to have that ready by the middle of next year. I’m keeping the narrator a secret until closer to the release date ;-)

Do you mainly read in the genre you write in? Why or why not?

Absolutely. I LOVE YA—I read it, write it, love it! My favorite author is JK Rowling. The more I read, the more I realize how brilliant she is as an author. If you remove the dialogue tags from Harry Potter, you still know which character is speaking, and Rowling managed to create an intricate beautiful world without allowing her character development to suffer, which is tremendously rare. I consider her literary God. Suzanne Collins, and JD Salinger are classic faves. But… my favorite book is A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, definitely. The novel has so many layers and entertains on so many levels. Also the characters in that novel seem more real than those from any other I’ve ever read. It’s just beautiful—that’s the only word for it.

Tell us about some author who's inspired you? How?

I’ve been inspired by so many authors. The most profound influence would have to be the earliest. As a child, my favorite book was Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson. It opened my eyes to the world that could exist if only I was willing to create it—I think it’s what encouraged me to be a writer in the first place.

Any questions for our readers?

Sure! Hello, readers: What elements really attract you to read a story in the first place? And what elements make it memorable and worthy of recommendation to your friends? I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

Where can we find you?

Author Website:
Novel Publicity:

Care to share an excerpt with us?

Simmi and I arrive at this rally point together from Mrs. Warszynski’s to wait for Shapri. Several minutes go by. I want to suggest we leave without her but don’t think that’ll score me any points with Simmi.

“You didn’t want Shapri to come tonight, did you?” Simmi asks.

“Well, I—no, I mean, it’s fine. I’m glad she could come,” I sputter.

“You’re such a horrible liar,” Simmi teases, pushing me playfully.

“Hey, that’s not fair. I can’t hit you back. You’re a girl.”

“I’m just teasing you.” Simmi blows a raspberry and pulls her body up onto the circular wall surrounding the flagpole area. I hesitate before pulling myself up too. Simmi scootches over so we touch at the hip. She loops her hand through the crook of my arm and places her head on my shoulder. “I never would have gotten away with this in India,” she says. “But I’m glad I can here. I’m a psychic feeler. I need to be in touch with others.” She pauses and strokes my arm with her free hand. “You know, when I touch someone I can make them feel what I want them to, but I can also sense their existing emotions. It’s almost the same as being able to read minds. Everything important has to do with the heart, not logic.” She lightens her tone. “But don’t tell Dr. Brown I said that, he’d take marks off of my next chem exam out of spite.”

I laugh nervously. Is she like Miss Teak in a way? Can she read my feelings for her? If she can, why hasn’t she said anything? I contemplate reaching over and kissing her, so I can know for sure how she feels. But I’ve never kissed anyone before. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to initiate it. Do I take her out for dinner and a movie first? Or make some lengthy speech declaring my intentions? Do I kiss her, just like that? Or do I ask for her permission before making my big move?

I decide to ask if it’s okay. Simmi is a classy girl. She needs respect. I swallow, hoping the motion will open up my airway, because right now, I’m kind of having trouble catching my breath. “Simmi,” I start.

“Yeah, Alex?” She lifts her head and links her hand in mine, nudging her slender fingers in between each of mine.

“Would it be okay if I…”

“There you two are!” Shapri says, running over to us, panting heavily. “I thought we were meeting in the commons.”

“No, we agreed on the flagpole,” Simmi says, hopping down from the wall.

The moment is gone. I don’t know when I’ll get the chance and the nerve again. My opinion of Shapri transforms from cautious indifference into outright hatred. Why did she invite herself along?

Shapri clears her throat. “Did I—Did I interrupt something here? Maybe a little romance?”

“What? No, no,” Simmi says shaking her head adamantly. “Nothing like that, Alex is like a brother to me.”

Ouch. Pain. Stabbed in my heart. I’m like a brother to her? I guess this means romance is off the table…

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I have the PDF for your book and will be reviewing it next year. I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Belle Stalker by Minnette Meador

Today we're welcoming author Minnette Meador to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the urban fantasy thriller, "The Belle Stalker".

Remember, Minnette is giving away a small Kindle ($79) plus a Portland Tote filled with goodies to one randomly drawn commenter. So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a Kindle and goodies!

And there's more: anyone who sends their name and address to will be sent a surprise package of goodies!

Even better? She has a special prize for THIS blog and its commenters ONLY: One commenter will win an opportunity to be cast as a secondary character in the next GHOST OF A CHANCE book coming out in 2012.

So, don’t forget to leave a comment. How can you go wrong?

And now, without further ado, please welcome Minnette:

I see that you write in a great number of genres. Do you find it a challenge to switch gears? Do you have a favorite genre in which to write?


I have very unique “voices” for each genre that I like to use. You have to focus to maintain them as you write. My acting experience has taught me every character has a different tone and rhythm. I’ve extended that to every book has its own voice, just as every character within that story has theirs. For example, the historical novels have a slow elegance of language and my comedies are quick and frisky. THE BELLE STALKER, my first thriller, has fantasy, comedy, and suspense, so the voice is quite varied. Each element adds to the texture of the story. Or at least I hope it does! LOL I always say whatever I’m writing is my favorite genre and that’s probably very close to the truth. I’ve never met one I didn’t like.

Do you write more than one thing at a time?

Someone told me once that Sagittarians are very linear people. For me that is the absolutely truth. I like balance in my art, calm in my music, and to finish one thing before going onto another. If I have incomplete projects before I go onto the next, it drives me crazy, so I plow through and get one done before another. ~sigh~

What's a typical day for you?

Since I work full time, I won’t bore you with the humdrums of Monday – Friday and the frantic rushing at night to get stuff done, but the weekends are my days to write. There is no such thing as a typical day; again, being a Sagittarius I grow bored quickly of the same old routine (while at the same time thriving on it… go figure). My ideal day is:

1. Kiss my husband, and then again if it is called for.
2. Go through email/FB/Etc. over a cup of coffee and good tunes
3. Clean up my space (I’m not a neat freak but I can’t work on a messy desk… although the rest of the house doesn’t bother me so much)
4. Write, write, edit, write
5. Write, write, edit, write
6. Have DH throw food at me from time to time.

Ah, that would be heaven. The truth of the matter is I write in spurts, knocking out 10-15K at a sitting whenever I can get the world (and myself) to shut up long enough so I can work. Then I layer and edit for hours. I wrote the last 20 chapters of Centurion over four marathon days because an agent asked for a full and all I had was a very small partial. Necessity is an absolute mother sometimes.

Share any writing quirks or habits you have.

Writing in spurts is one. I listen to music, but it has to be absolutely perfect. I’ve spent hours looking for that perfect combination for each book. I can write anywhere… buses, cars, walking (yes, walking – I write dialogue while I walk), chatting with friends. My focus to pretty good when I’m motivated. I love coffee when I write, so I’ve adopted decaf since the docs won’t let me drink the stuff after 12 noon.

Who are some authors that have influenced or inspired you? Why? How much time do you have?

Just like writing, there are very few genres I don’t LOVE to read. The classics have always inspired me; I wish we could still write like that, but these days it’s frowned upon (I would LOVE to know what today’s publishers would think of Plato, Dickens, or even H.G. Wells). I started out in Sci-Fi/Fantasy so such writers as Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Robert Heinlein (a personal favorite), Frederick Brown, Piers Anthony, Farmer, Philip K. Dick, Larry Niven, Asimov, Greg Baer, and then sci-fi comedy writers like Douglas Adams, Spider Robinson, and Terry Prichard really influenced me. Ann McCaffrey, JRR Tolkien, Mary Stewart, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers (the Lord Peter Wimsey series), and of course, one of my all time favorite writer, Rex Stout (of Nero Wolf fame). I read an eclectic assortment of books both fiction and non-fiction. I’m currently reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Haunted America, and several others. Though I can only write one book at a time, I can apparently read several at a time. It’s an enigma! Oh, and why do they inspire me? Because they are so flipping good! I mean, come on!

Do you have anything in the works we can look forward to? If so, tell us all about it!

The Egyptian Pirate (2012) - Hasani has a reputation to uphold as the world's greatest pirate; but that's hard to do when you're wasting away in a Syrian jail for making love to one of the Parthian king's daughters. For the first time in his life his luck has run out and he faces a very real possibility of losing his head for good this time. When a mysterious woman shows up and helps him to escape, he falls in love for the first time. The problem is... she is taken prisoner and swept away to Egypt, the last place he wants to be. Will he risk his life and riches to save her or follow old habits and simply walk away. There is something about this girl...

Haunted Hearts (2012) - Book II in the Ghost Series. Dyna is having a bad day... a really bad day. Her house is now filled with ghosts, the neighborhood association is trying to get her evicted, and she just found out she's pregnant with a demon child. To top everything off, a handsome cop thinks he can make it go away, but all he is doing is making it worse! What's a girl to do?

Phantom Hearts (2013) - Book III in the Ghost Series. He's suave, he's debonaire, he can say or do no wrong, the ladies love him, and life couldn't be any sweeter. That is until he finds out he's the devil's love child and strange things start happening around him. Enter a sexy, snoopy female reporter who not only seems immune to his charms but does everything she can to double his trouble. He simply can't resist her and that's where the fun begins. Will he fight the evil deeds blooming in his head or will he finally succumb to his father's wishes and "join" the family business. Only a crazy girl knows... and she's not talking.

Arpeggios In The Darkness (TBD) - Sci-Fi YA - It's hard being the first half-Alien/half-Human hybrid... Your mom and dad are gone all the time, the paparazzi follow you everywhere, and you find out your voice can kill. What's a girl to do?

Then I have several other work in the works (go here for a list). After this last tour this year, I’m heading into relative seclusion to get the next four books done.

Thanks so much or inviting me to this amazing blog site. You are an angel!

Would you share the blurb for The Belle Stalker?

The police have done all they can, but it isn’t enough. When Belle finds the mutilated body of her lover strewn across the furniture she knows only her ex-husband, Homicide Detective Mike Cranston can stop the maniac who has been dogging her steps for over a year. The only problem is the man who stalks not a man at all. Belle plays a dangerous game and only hopes that Cranston can stop the monster before it’s too late.

Find Minnette and her books: Audio Excerpt Written Excerpt Blog URL

RESPLENDENCE PUBLISHING (all eFormats except Kindle & Nook):




All Romance eBooks:

Blog Hop and Giveaway: Mid-winter's Eve Giveaway Hop

We all love books here. So what better way to celebrate the upcoming holiday that with a book giveaway? A huge thank you for I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Oasis For YA & The Daily Harrell for hosting this! Now, on to the giveaway!

To win my giveaway, all I ask is that you follow my blog (make sure your email is associated with your profile). Earn a second entry by leaving me a comment with some books you might choose if you win!

I'm giving away a book wish up to $10 from ANY online bookseller. It can be a print book or eBook. Barnes and Noble, Borders, Amazon, Smashwords, All Romance eBooks, Fictionwise ... wherever I can buy you a book and send it to you (US only for print books, eBooks can have an international winner).

Now ... go forth and visit all the other folks participating and fill your stockings with books!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want for Christmas

Today's Top Ten Tuesday are the ten books I would most like to find under the Christmas tree. So, in no particular order, here are ten books I've been wanting to read, even have on my to-be-read list on Goodreads, and would love to see Santa (or any of his many helpers) bring me:

1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho-- PAULO COELHO'S enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom points Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find wordly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transformation power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

2. Sorry by Zoran Drvenkar, Shaun Whiteside

One. Two. Three. That’s all it takes to drive the nail into her head, to leave her hanging on the wall. She deserved to die. Now all he needs is absolution for his sins, and he knows just the people who can help.

We know what you should say. We say what you want to hear.

Kris, Tamara, Wolf, and Frauke. Four young friends with too much time on their hands and one big idea: an agency called Sorry. Unfair dismissals, the wrongly accused, jilted lovers: everyone has a price and the Sorry team will find out what that is. It’s as simple as that. The idea catches on like wildfire and the quartet are soon raking in the cash, doing the emotional dirty work for fat cats, businessmen, and the romantically challenged.

But what they didn’t count on is that their latest client would be a killer.

3. Forbidden (The Books of Mortals #1)by Ted Dekker, Tosca Lee

New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker teams with Tosca Lee to create this gripping thriller set in a desolate future.

Many years have passed since civilization's brush with apocalypse. The world's greatest threats have all been silenced. There is no anger, no hatred, no war. There is only perfect peace... and fear. But a terrible secret has been closely guarded for centuries: Every single soul walking the earth, though in appearance totally normal, is actually dead, long ago genetically stripped of true humanity.

Fleeing pursuit, with only moments to live, a young man named Rom stumbles into possession of a vial of blood and a piece of cryptic writing. When consumed, the blood will bring him back to life. When decoded, the message will lead him on a perilous journey that will require him to abandon everything he has ever known and awaken humanity to the transforming power of true life and love.

But the blood will also resurrect hatred, ambition, and greed.

Set in a terrifying, medieval future, where grim pageantry masks death, this tale of dark desires and staggering stakes peels back the layers of the heart for all who dare to take the ride.

4. Second Nature: A Novel by Jacquelyn Mitchard

New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard’s novels, with their riveting stories and unforgettable characters, have won the hearts of millions of readers. Now, from the author of The Deep End of the Ocean and No Time to Wave Goodbye, comes the fierce and moving tale of one woman’s fight for her identity and her life when fate holds out a second chance.

Sicily Coyne was just thirteen when her father was killed in a school fire that left her face disfigured. Twelve years later, a young surgeon, Eliza Cappadora, offers hope in the form of a revolutionary new surgery that may give Sicily back the grace and function she lost. Raised by a dynamic, tenacious aunt who taught her to lead a normal life, and engaged to a wonderful man who knew her long before the accident, Sicily rejects the offer: She knows who she is, and so do the people who love her. But when a secret surfaces that shatters Sicily’s carefully constructed world, she calls off the wedding and agrees to the radical procedure in order to begin a new life.

Her beauty restored virtually overnight, Sicily rushes toward life with open arms, seeking new experiences, adventures, and, most of all, love. But she soon discovers that her new face carries with it risks that no one could have imagined. Confronting a moral and medical crisis that quickly becomes a matter of life and death, Sicily is surrounded by experts and loving family, but the choice that will transform her future, for better or worse, is one she must make alone.

An intense and moving story of courage, consequence, and possibility, Second Nature showcases the acclaimed storyteller at her very best.

5. Wicked Autumn(A Max Tudor Mystery #1) by G.M. Malliet

What could be more dangerous than cozy village life in the English countryside?

Max Tudor has adapted well to his post as vicar of St. Edwold’s in the idyllic village of Nether Monkslip. The quiet village seems the perfect home for Max, who has fled a harrowing past as an MI5 agent. Now he has found a measure of peace among urban escapees and yoga practitioners, artists and crafters and New Agers. But this new-found serenity is quickly shattered when the highly vocal and unpopular president of the Women’s Institute turns up dead at the Harvest Fayre. The death looks like an accident, but Max’s training as a former agent kicks in, and before long he suspects foul play.

Max has ministered to the community long enough to be familiar with the tangled alliances and animosities among the residents, but this tragedy surprises and confounds him. It is impossible to believe anyone in his lovely village capable of the crime, and yet given the victim, he must acknowledge that almost everyone had probably fantasized about killing Wanda Batton-Smythe.

As the investigation unfolds, Max becomes more intricately involved. Memories he’d rather not revisit are stirred, evoking the demons from the past which led him to Nether Monkslip.

In WICKED AUTUMN, G.M. Malliet serves up an irresistible English village—deliciously skewered—a flawed but likeable protagonist, and a brilliantly modern version of the traditional drawing room mystery.

6. Damage Control by Denise Hamilton

Critically acclaimed author Denise Hamilton weaves an engrossing story of teenage friendship and adult betrayal, featuring a high-powered public relations executive who gets swept up in murder and scandal involving a political family.

Maggie Silver is solidly middle class, with a mortgage to pay and an ill mother to support. She does her best to scramble up the ladder at an exclusive, high-powered PR firm in Southern California, whose clients are movie stars and famous athletes. Now, Maggie is being asked to take on her toughest client yet: Senator Henry Paxton, distinguished statesman from Southern California, who also happens to be the father of Anabelle, Maggie’s former high school best friend.

Senator Paxton’s young, female aide has been found murdered, and it is up to Maggie to run damage control and prevent a scandal. Thrown back into the Paxtons’ glamorous world, Maggie is unexpectedly flooded with memories from the stormy years in high school when her friendship with Anabelle was dramatically severed after a tragedy that neither of them has been able to forget. As Maggie gets further embroiled in the lives of the Paxtons, she realizes that the ties of her old friendship are stronger than she thinks.

Riveting and suspense-filled, Damage Control examines our craving for celebrity and spectacle and how far the bonds of friendship can stretch before they break forever.

7. The Strange Man (The Coming Evil #1)by Greg Mitchell

Dras Weldon is a twenty-two-year-old unemployed washout. He lives in a world populated by horror movies and comic books, content to hide in the shadow of adolescence. Under the scrutinizing eye of his older brother, Jeff, a pastor, Dras lives a life of professed Christianity with very little observable spirituality. He must change. However, when a demon known only as “the Strange Man” comes to his small town of Greensboro and threatens Dras’s best friend, Rosalyn Myers, Dras discovers that only by putting his faith into action can he save his friend from danger. Suddenly he is thrust into a race against the clock and forced to battle demonic forces in an effort to convince Rosalyn to accept Christ and turn away from the coming evil.

8. In the Bleak Midwinter (Rev. Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mystery #1)by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Heavy Snow...Icy Desires...Cold-Blooded Murder

Clare Fergusson, St. Alban's new priest, fits like a square peg in the conservative Episcopal parish at Miller's Kill, New York. She is not just a "lady," she's a tough ex Army chopper pilot, and nobody's fool. Then a newborn infant left at the church door brings her together with the town's police chief, Russ Van Alstyne, who's also ex-Army and a cynical good shepherd for the stray sheep of his hometown. Their search for the baby's mother quickly leads them into the secrets that shadow Miller's Kill like the ever-present Adirondacks. What they discover is a world of trouble, an attraction to each other-and murder...

9. The Chair: A Novel by James L. Rubart

If someone gave you a chair and said it was made by Jesus Christ, would you believe them?

When an elderly lady shows up in Corin Roscoe's antiques store and gives him a chair she claims was crafted by Jesus, he scoffs. But when a young boy is miraculously healed two days after sitting in the chair, he stops laughing and starts wondering . . . could this chair heal the person whose life Corin destroyed twelve years ago?

As word spreads of the boy's healing, a mega-church pastor is determined to manipulate Corin into turning over the chair. And that mysterious woman who gave him the piece flits in and out of his life like a shadow, insinuating it's Corin’s destiny to guard the chair above everything else. But why?

Desperate, he turns to the one person he can trust, a college history professor who knows more about the legend of the chair than he'll reveal. Corin's life shatters as he searches for the truth about the artifact and the unexplained phenomena surrounding it. What’s more, he's not the only one willing do almost anything to possess the power seemingly connected to the chair.

10. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Review: Snow Spell by Sonia Pereira Murphy

Snow Spell by Sonia Pereira Murphy

(A short/novella length YA Fantasy / Fairy Tale, self-published)

Loosely based on Grimm’s Snow White, Snow Spell (a novel in prose poems) recounts the tale of a poverty-stricken young teen living in Paris and completely unaware of her magical powers. Only when she starts seeing gorgeous ghosts floating on her family’s cracked apartment walls, does Neve suspect she may not be quite normal. But will her talents as a witch prove strong enough to protect her from her stepmother’s desire to see her dead and buried or will a cute but evil warlock be the cause of her downfall?

Ms. Murphy has taken the fairy tale of Snow White and created a beautiful modern-day story.

We first see Neve (snow, in Italian) as a beggar girl on the streets of Paris, who tells those who give her money that "My father is a peacock with sad purple and green eyes decorating his luminous feathers.

And Maman? A beautiful black swan who bathes in rainwater."

Neve dreams of being one of the beautiful creatures she sees on the streets, not knowing that one, her "beautiful stranger," means her harm from which her parents, Jacinta and Vasco, have hoped to protect her by keeping the story of her past from her.

Because the story is written in prose poetry, it's a quick read. The language is lyrical and enables the reader to clearly see the action, without further descriptions by the author.

The story is told through three POVs: Neve (the Snow White figure), Rosa (the evil stepmother), and Jacinta (Neve's foster mother who takes Neve away at Rosa's request). The POV of each woman was clear and the reader could identify in some way with each of them. It was interesting to see Rosa's thoughts as she justified her plans for Neve. Anyone who has felt awkward or unlovely as a teen will identify with Neve and her desire for a better life, and every mother will feel the pain and love that Jacinta has for her daughter.

Even if you aren't a fan of poetry, I would recommend giving this re-telling a look. My favorite part was near the end, but I don't want to give away spoilers, so read it yourself to discover the extent of Neve's powers.

FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Review: Legacy of the Highlands by Harriet Schultz

Legacy of the Highlands by Harriet Schultz
(a full length contemporary romantic suspense published by Cottage Park Press)

What does a vow made 700 years ago in Scotland have to do with a murder in twenty-first century Boston?

When Will Cameron’s body is discovered in a Boston alley, the only clue to the thirty-four-year-old man’s murder is a pristine Scottish sgian dubh dagger left beside it. His devastated widow, Alexandra, flees Boston to find refuge in the Miami villa of Will’s best friend, Diego Navarro, who has the means, power and temperament to solve the puzzle and to avenge the senseless killing.

Diego, a handsome and wealthy Argentine, is equally determined to win the grieving widow’s heart. The growing attraction to each other becomes hard to resist as Alex and Diego follow leads that take them from Miami to Buenos Aires and Scotland, unraveling the Cameron family’s secrets and the Legacy of the Highlands.

I want you to know that after the first few pages, this story jumped into high gear, and I couldn’t put it down. I had to know what was going on. Why had this murder happened? And even when it was explained, I wanted to know more.

This story is absolutely heart stopping and has a lot of twists and turns. I wanted to hurry and finish it so I would know how it ended, but I also wanted to savor it along the way. This is not just another mystery. It is a wonderful example of how a suspense novel should be written. It kept me on my toes the entire time I was reading it.

Mixed in was a love story that was touching, warm and honest. It had plenty of heat, but the emotions were primary to the relationship. And the love story fit in so well that you could see that it was a very important portion of the whole plot in this tale. Without it, the story wouldn't have worked. Even the hero in this story had secrets that were part of the things that were going on.

I couldn’t help but feel some sympathy for some of the Scots, but not for all of them. It was fascinating the way past history was woven into the story and the author's imagination was just amazing.

Watch out Tom Clancy. This is one of the most exciting, hold-your-breath stories I’ve read in a long, long time. Except, unlike Clancy, there’s a bit of sexy romance involved.

Legacy of the Highlands was a fantastic book that I devoured with pleasure. I can't wait to see what this author does next. She's got amazing talent and I'll be first in line for whatever she releases.

FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Highland Honor by Christine Young

Today we're welcoming author Christine Young to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the historical romance, "Highland Honor".

Christine is giving away the following:
* a $50.00 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter for the blog tour.
* a Clan MacPherson book mark awarded at each stop to one randomly drawn commenter.
* Antique Gold Double Thistle Broche for the blog host with the most comments (excluding Christine's and their own).

So make sure you comment and follow her tour -- click on the above banner for a list of stops.

And now, without further ado, please welcome Christine!

Christine, I'm always fascinated by historical romance and wonder how the authors get even the smallest details right. Tell us about how you did your research on this book to make sure your details were accurate.

Research is so important to historical books. I spend a lot of time at the library reading about the country as well as the time period I am writing about. I take notes on details I want to incorporate. Dialect, clothing, food, as well as the geography of the area are important.

The Highland Games can be attended in many parts of the country. The Games in Oregon are at Mt. Hood Community College. I bought books, ate authentic food, watched dancing and cabers tossed by men in kilts. The bagpipes—wow!

Some of the maps I obtained gave clan locations, other monasteries and old churches. They showed roads and towns situated along well-traveled roads. I have a book of castles and their layout among other things.

By using my name book I am able to give my characters names that suit them as well as the particular country they reside in.

And last but not least I will pull the family card. My great grandparents on my mother's side migrated to Canada in the early 1900's. Many stories of their lives were passed down to my mother who passed them on to me. Granted they were stories, perhaps a bit embellished but they sparked an interest in the Highlands and the Scottish way of life.

Willfully stubborn, innocently courageous, Callie Whitcomb braves a journey through the treacherous highlands to the MacPherson castle. Callie flees from an unwanted marriage as well as her ruthless half brother. Naively she believes Colin MacPherson, the head of the clan, is loyal to her father and will give her sanctuary, protecting her from the vile plans that have been made for her.
As hard and as unyielding as the winter storms that sweep through the countryside, Colin is irresistibly drawn to the impetuous beauty who has magically appeared on his doorsteps. Despite his vows of revenge against her father, she stirs his passion as well as his sense of justice...but to love her would violate all his vows of revenge.

Born in Medford, Oregon, novelist Christine Young has lived in Oregon all of her life. After graduating from Oregon State University with a BS in science, she spent another year at Southern Oregon State University working on her teaching certificate, and a few years later received her Master's degree in secondary education and counseling. Now the long, hot days of summer provide the perfect setting for creating romance. She sold her first book, Dakota's Bride, the summer of 1998 and her second book, My Angel to Kensington. She is the author of 10 published romance books and 2 novellas.

Christine is a retired high school math. Her teaching and writing careers have intertwined with raising three children. Christine's newest venture is the creation of Rogue Phoenix Press. Christine is the founder, editor and co-owner with her husband. They live in Salem, Oregon.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Margo Hoornstra

Today we're welcoming author Margo Hoornstra to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the three contemporary romances: Glad Tidings, To Be or Not To Be and Next Tuesday at Two.

Margo is giving away a $20 GC to The Wild Rose Press and a $20 Amazon GC to randomly drawn commenters during the tour. So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND earn a GC to buy more books. It's win-win.

And now, without further ado, please welcome Margo who's here today to talk about why she writes romance.

Thank you for having me here to discuss my three latest releases, Glad Tidings; Next Tuesday at Two; and To Be, Or Not.

All three are part of the Class of ’85 series from the Last Rose of Summer line of The Wild Rose Press. The premise is a twenty-fifth reunion for a fictional Summerville High School class of 1985.

Writers are often asked why they choose to write in a particular genre. In the case of Glad Tidings, you could say the genre chose me. By that I mean I had a book written about Bethany Thomas and Jake Holbrook, forever friends from high school who are reunited several years after graduation. Then the Class of ’85 series was announced and I found a market where the book would fit. Next Tuesday at Two features Blane Weston and Matt Durand who, after they meet, begin to rethink if they are truly happy with the lives each thought they wanted. In To Be, Or Not former high school sweethearts Amanda Marsh and Barry Carlson seek the second chance at happiness denied them when they were younger.

As you can see, the Class of ’85 stories take place in the present day, have a make-up-for-what-was missed flavor to them and are populated by characters who are forty something in age. Which brings me to another question I’m sometimes asked. What are the challenges and joys of writing older characters? In the following explanation, I’m not sure where the challenges end and the joys begin and vice versa.

Older characters have faced and successfully navigated the ups and downs of life. Along the way, in my mind, they tend to have become more accepting, more tolerant.

And being more tolerant, they are less easily offended by the actions of others. Subsequently, I found the conflicts between the characters needed to come more from their internal, or personal, fears and regrets. Or when someone came along who messed with their hopes for the future. Where a younger character, man or woman, might view a misstep in a new relationship as a reflection of their self-worth, a bad omen to the potential for failures in their future.

There’s a certain self-assurance that comes with having staying power at anything, up to and including life. Older heroes and heroines, while more tolerant of others as I said, also seem more confident in themselves—set in their ways if you will—and maybe less apt to change those ways for someone else.

These are characters who know where they are going and have collected enough experiences from where they’ve been to have a pretty good idea about what they don’t want out of life. Maybe the stakes are higher for them as there’s less time in their future. Maybe they’ve thrown in the towel and decided to just not try anymore, because the way of life they have strived for just didn’t end up as they’d hoped. They’ve experienced lost dreams or dreams hung onto for so long it seems they never will come true. Then when they do, are all the sweeter for the wait.

My inspiration for the books came from the overall description of the series: Did you ever wonder what happened to…The Prom Queen? The guy most likely to serve time in federal prison? The couple voted most likely to succeed? If intrigued with the opportunity to rewrite a bit of history…or exact a little revenge…The Last Rose of Summer invites you to a reunion of the Class of ’85.

Who couldn’t write any number of stories based on that? Because, like it or not, what happens to us during our high school years shapes who we are at the time and who we will become in the future. Who among us hasn’t received an invitation to the event we either celebrate or dread—maybe both?

Reunions denote re-connection and most certainly the opportunity for second chances. To turn what might have been into what will be.

And realize the happily ever after promise of romance.

About Margo: Like many aspiring writers, it’s hard to determine exactly when my fiction writing career began. I remember composing a short story in grade school (I have no idea about what) which was chosen for publication in an all school anthology. A journalism class taken in junior high school led to a job on the school newspaper—and a weekly column.

I always loved reading. I loved writing too. Someday, I thought, maybe when I grew up and received the right training, I could actually write a book. And, through the years, my desire to write fiction was always with me. I had so many ideas and characters roaming around in my head. So many stories I wanted to tell. I was even told, laughingly most times, I had an extremely vivid imagination.

But the business of living—going to college, getting married then raising a family—seemed to take precedence over something as frivolous as writing a book. Then one day I just took the plunge and began a novel, which I completed in a year. Unfortunately, that one never sold. (And I might add, never will.) During this time, I was introduced to a relatively new writing organization, Romance Writers of America and attended a few meetings of a local chapter. Those meetings were held a couple of hours drive from where I lived and sometimes traveling all that distance could be a problem. At the coaxing of a girlfriend, I helped found an RWA chapter closer to my home. One which, I’m pleased to say still exists and thrives today.

For a few years, I was able to balance being happily married, taking care of a home, raising four children and a full time job in public relations with writing fiction—romance fiction. I even completed three more novels—all eventually rejected. Disappointed but not discouraged, I kept trying. I did have some success with my short stories. One story even won first place in a local writing competition.

But, real life does go on. I was soon promoted at my day job. More responsibility required more of my time. Soon the free time I had been able to devote to writing my stories became less and less available and eventually dwindled down to no time at all. For the next twenty plus years I ‘went corporate’ as I call it, serving as a magazine editor, television producer, script writer, ghost writer and speech writer. Sure I was writing on a regular basis, but what I created amounted to other people’s words. Not my own. Still the desire to write fiction stayed with me. Not having the time to devote to completing another novel length manuscript, I wrote short stories and essays. A few were published in national magazines—Woman’s World and Country Woman.

One day out of the blue, I was downsized—effective immediately. Being allowed about ten minutes’ notice to clean out my desk and leave an organization where I’d worked for over thirty years seemed so unfair at the time. I now recognize the tremendous gift I was given that day.

With the unending support of my family, including one absolutely terrific husband, I was finally able to realize my dream to write full time. To free the many characters and their stories that have been waiting for so long. My own words at last. For me and for you.

After a couple of years and too many rejection slips to even count, I sold a short story to The Wild Rose Press, then another and another and another, then a few more.

Life is certainly good! And, today, with the children and grandchildren near, my husband Ron and I now live with two formerly stray cats and a half grown German Shepherd rescue—my husband’s latest contribution to the household.

And, as I spend more and more time doing what I love—writing romance fiction—I find I really do have so very many stories to share.

Stories I enjoyed writing and hope you enjoy reading.

Amazon Author Page:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Girl Most Likely by Jana Richards

Today we're welcoming author Jana Richards to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the contemporary romance, "The Girl Most Likely".

Remember, Jana is giving away a $20 GC to The Wild Rose Press and a $20 Amazon GC to randomly drawn commenters during the tour. So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND earn a GC to buy more books. It's win-win.

And now, without further ado, please welcome Jana who's here today to talk about the hero and heroine of her story.

The Characters in “The Girl Most Likely"

Cara McLeod is the heroine of “The Girl Most Likely”. She’s a woman who has definitely had ups and downs in her life. In high school she was one of the popular girls. Pretty and athletic, she was captain of the cheerleading squad and a member of the student government. After graduating, she married Peter, her high school sweetheart, and for many years lived a charmed life. At least that’s what it looked like from the outside.

But on the inside, Cara is constantly afraid of losing everything she has. In high school she devotes herself to being one the ‘in’ group not because she has a burning desire to be the most popular girl in school, but because she wants to please her mother. Cara desperately tries to live up to her mother’s expectations in order to win her approval. But no matter what she does, it’s never enough.

Her marriage to Peter starts out fine, but over the years cracks begin to appear. Again, Cara finds herself desperately trying to please someone else. Finally, on her 40th birthday, Peter tells her he no longer finds her attractive and he wants a divorce. To rub salt in her wounds, Peter begins dating a succession of skinny, much younger women.

So, when the story opens, Cara is at her lowest point. She’s divorced, overweight, and a single mother, raising two teenage daughters with issues of abandonment resulting from the divorce. After being out of the work force for many years, she finally manages to get an entry level job at a TV station. The job is okay, but it’s not going anywhere; she’s basically a gopher – go for coffee, go for lunch – you get the picture. And then she gets the invitation to attend her high school reunion and her whole life changes.

Enter Finn Cooper, physical trainer and the hero of “The Girl Most Likely”. Finn first meets Cara at her TV station where he’s a guest on the noon hour local events show. He’s immediately attracted to her and thinks she’s beautiful just the way she is. He’s impressed with her poise and grace under fire. Not being terribly smooth with women, Finn offers Cara a coupon for a free consultation at his gym, not knowing any other way of seeing her again. Unfortunately, Cara interprets the coupon as meaning he’s only interested in her as a client, and that he thinks she’s fat.

You see, Finn doesn’t have a lot of experience with women. Up until five years ago, he was obese and unhappy. When his doctor tells him on his thirtieth birthday that he could have a heart attack before he turns forty, he completely turns around his life. He begins exercising and eating better, eventually losing one hundred and twenty-eight pounds. He changes careers as well and becomes a trainer, dedicating himself to helping others lose weight and become healthy.

When Cara comes to him for help in losing weight for her reunion, he’s thrilled. He turns his schedule, and his life, upside down to spend time with her and her daughters. It doesn’t take long before he falls head over heels in love. But Cara doesn’t feel the same way. She can’t get over him being eight years younger. How can he convince her he loves her just the way she is? And how will Cara react when she learns his secret?

Jana here. Thanks for letting me visit with you today on your blog and to talk about two of my favorite people.

Cara McLeod, the girl most likely to have the perfect marriage, is now divorced and, in her own words, “fat, frumpy, and over forty.” The thought of facing former classmates—and the ex-husband who dumped her—at her high school reunion terrifies her. Cajoled into attending by her kids and her best friend, Cara enlists help at the gym to lose weight and look great for the reunion. Personal Trainer Finn Cooper is more than willing to help—but does he have to be so to-die-for gorgeous?

Finn thinks Cara is perfect just the way she is. She’s everything he wants in a woman, except for one thing—she can’t get past the fact that he's eight years younger. To Finn, age and weight are just numbers. But can he convince Cara the numbers she worries about add up to only one thing for him—love?

Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.

When not writing up a storm, working at her day job as an Office Administrator, or dealing with ever present mountains of laundry, Jana can be found on the local golf course pursuing her newest hobby.

Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren, along with two university aged daughters and a highly spoiled Pug/Terrier cross named Lou.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Turkish Delights by Liz Crowe

Today we're welcoming author Liz Crowe to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the erotic novellas, "Turkish Delights", "Blue Cruise" and "Tulip Princess" -- three stories in the 1NightStand series from Decadent Publishing.

Liz is giving away three Turkish themed prize packages to randomly drawn commenters which may include, but aren't limited to:

* a holiday stocking made from authentic Turkish kilim rug
* a mug with the Turkish "evil eye", meant to ward off said evil
* a pewter dish, that is traditionally used to hold "lokum" or the actual Turkish delight confection/candy
* a box of traditional lokum
* a small Turkish kilim rug (reversible--authentic)

So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND earn a GC to buy more books. It's win-win.

And now, without further ado, please welcome Liz:

What genre do you write and for what publisher(s)?

I write contemporary erotic romance. I currently have 3 publishers: Breathless Press, Rebel Ink Press and Decadent Publishing.

Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it?

The Turkish Delights trilogy was inspired by my years living in Istanbul. I fell head over heels in love with the country, the people, the food, even the Extreme Frustrations of it (and I was actually arrested by the Gendarme once so I have seen it all). I channeled the amazing history and beauty of Istanbul and the coast into a family story that is part of the 1NightStand series with Decadent Publishing.

How do you build characters and their personalities and looks?

I build scenes first. The characters sort of tumble from the ends of my fingers fully formed to be honest. I will go back and hone them of course, coming up with quirks and stuff. But for me, it's story first.

Tell me about some of your heroes/heroines.

In the Turkish Delights series, as I said is a family story. In the first story (Turkish Delights) you meet Emre Deniz, whose twin Tarkan is in the next book. Their parents are Turkish and American, their father a self-made millionaire in construction. They've spent the last four years in America at University, Tarkan at Stanford and Emre at Vanderbilt. They're tall, like their father, unusual in Turkish men, dark and deliciously handsome and charming. Emre is desperately in love with Elle, a woman 15 years his senior, an American recently named CEO for a pharmaceutical company that had her stationed in Istanbul as VP of Eastern European operations for the last six years. Tarkan's lover is Elle's personal assistant Caleb. Their story ends tragically in Blue Cruise.

As Hero of Blue Cruise, Caleb Blessing is classic California handsome, fit and whip smart, (as Elle says: "well worth the money I overpay him.") He comes to terms with Tarkan's exit from his life and finds new love in this story. I don't want to give away much more except to say "bring the tissue box."

Lale (pronounced "Lah-Lay"--which means "beautiful tulip" in Turkish) is their younger sister. She's wild, and wildly unhappy now that Tarkan has exited her life. She was very close to him, and never got along with Emre who was the "mature" (read: boring and bossy) brother to her. She's borderline out of control when her parents send her to California to live with Emre and Elle after a medical scare that leaves Elle unable to care for her daughter for a while.

Andreas Michos, Greek former NFL star is her hero, but only after a difficult, sexy and sometimes funny journey to happiness for them both.

Let's just say Madame Eve works overtime for this family!

All the stories are part of the popular OneNightStand series wherein Madame Eve's high end private dating services comes to the rescue--or not, as the case may be.

What do you do when the muse decides to take a holiday or become really difficult? How do you try to coax them back to the drawing board?

I just walk away. I own a microbrewery and have plenty of other stuff I need to be doing anyway! He usually shows back up after a good long pout because I've ignored him to do promotional stuff.

Do you have any specific things (or rituals) that help you to write or that inspire you?

Having music on and a hot pot of coffee in the mornings and a few cold craft beers at night….that's all I need!

Does travel play a part in your stories? Have you ever traveled for research purposes for a book?

These stories are set overseas mostly. I lived in Istanbul for two years, England for two and Japan for another two. And, I've traveled all over so I use my experiences as ex-pat American a lot!

Are there any authors who have influenced your work?

Margaret Mitchell, Stephen King, JR Ward (currently), Jonathan Franzen, Anne Patchett, Ann Tyler, Charles Dickens

If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as your main character(s)?

HA! Noomi Rapace (Swedish actress) would definitely be Lale. I have a couple of hot Turkish actors in mind for Emre/Tarkan and Adem (Caleb's new love) and Matthew Morrison is most definitely Caleb while Elizabeth Moss will play Elle.

What do you have coming next? Anything you want to tell us?

I have a prequel to the Turkish Delights series under consideration at Decadent. It's more of a novella with lots of Istanbul in the 1960's scenery and concepts. Turns out their mom was as wild child herself as a diplomat's daughter. And I, like all of us, have a couple of Big Projects sitting around being considered by some Big Publishers. Fingers crossed!

And I was recently inspired to ponder a time travel story…lovely female brewer is in Germany touring some of the original lagering caves and early breweries. Meets one of the hottest, bossiest, talented German brewers---for some reason dressed in period costume when she emerges. They have a Seriously Hot Night. She wakes up and he is….still acting like it's the early 1900's. Because it is.

If you came with a warning label, what would it say?


What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?

I love to create stories that reflect real people in real lives, with real jobs having real sex. It's not always romance formula and you won't always like my characters all the time. But I promise to write a story you won't soon forget.

Where can we find you on the web?

How about an excerpt from one of your stories?

“I miss you already,” Emre said, with his usual candor. “I can’t believe I just met you and now we must part.” He finished his tea and signaled the waiter for another. Before she could lean back, he reached over the tiny table and captured her hand, putting it to his mouth. Elle’s entire body zinged. His lips were gentle, soft but with a firmness that spoke of his potential talents with them. Exactly as she thought they would be, even if only pressed to her hand. She bit her lip, no longer caring what the gawkers around them thought, as she pressed her thighs together to ease the ache building between them.

“I know.” Her voice was a whisper. “It’s been…nice getting to know you.” Lame, her brain screamed. Just kiss him, for crying out loud. You are the newly-named CEO of a major pharmaceutical company. You eat fear for breakfast. What the hell is your problem?

She stood, pulling up her bag. Emre remained seated, staring at her.

“I’m not what you think,” he said, as he stretched long legs out in front of him.

Her face flushed with anger. Good. Now I’m on familiar ground. Mad at a man for assuming things about what I think.

“Just what do I think, if you don’t mind sharing.” She used her coolest-cucumber voice, and it pleased her to see the young man frown. Anger she could cope with. Besotted was beyond her, especially since she felt the same damn way about this boy nearly fifteen years her junior.

“Never mind.” He stood, towering over her even as she stood in her highest heels. “Let’s not fight. It’s our last day together, no?”

The urge to run a finger down his strong, stubbled jaw was intense. She clenched her hands together so hard they hurt. He put a familiar arm around her shoulder, nearly bringing her to her knees with lust. The smell of his subtle cologne, mixed with the exotic manliness she’d come to associate with him in his element at his grandfather’s spice booth nearly sent her over the edge. She shut her eyes, leaning into his strong torso ever so slightly. Was it her imagination, or did he flinch? She drew away, ashamed at herself.

“I should get back,” Gesturing in the general vicinity of where her car and driver waited, she gasped when Emre held her close then dropped to one knee right onto the cobblestones. Embarrassment and excitement fought for her brain. He took her hand, kissed it, held it to his heart.

“You are the most amazing woman in the universe. It has been my honor to know you. I wish….” He blinked, and she used the opportunity to pull her hand away. “I just wish we’d known each other sooner.”

About Liz: Microbrewery owner, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great middle west, in a Major College Town. Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry) has prepped her for life as erotic romance author. When she isn't sweating beer inventory, sales figures or promotional efforts for her latest publication, doing pounds of laundry for her sweaty athletic children, watching La Liga on the Fox Soccer Channel, or trying to figure out what to order in for dinner, she can be found walking her standard poodles or doing Bikram Yoga. Liz loves her Foo Fighters Pandora station, and watching reruns of Deadwood, when there isn't any decent European football on the telly.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Congratulations to the Booklover's Blog Hop Giveaway winner!

I gave away a hardback, new copy of "Lethal" by Sandra Brown -- a romantic suspense novel.

The winner was drawn by from my followers and the folks who commented on the post. And the winner was:


:::applauds wildly:::

Thanks to everyone for visiting.

Waiting On Wednesday: Copper Beach by Jayne Anne Krentz

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

"Copper Beach" by Jayne Anne Krentz

A rare book. An ancient code. An all-new novel from the New York Times-bestselling master of passion and the paranormal.

Within the pages of very rare books some centuries old lie the secrets of the paranormal. Abby Radwell’s unusual psychic talent has made her an expert in such volumes—and sometimes taken her into dangerous territory. After a deadly incident in the private library of an obsessive collector, Abby receives a blackmail threat, and rumors swirl that an old alchemical text known as The Key has reappeared on the black market.

Convinced that she needs an investigator who can also play bodyguard, she hires Sam Coppersmith, a specialist in paranormal crystals and amber—“hot rocks.” Passion flares immediately between them, but neither entirely trusts the other. When it comes to dealing with a killer who has paranormal abilities, and a blackmailer who will stop at nothing to obtain an ancient alchemical code, no one is safe.
What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Children's Books

Growing up in a single-parent home, money was normally tight; however, I never remember feeling that we were missing out on anything. Mama was great at making do. For Christmas, she always bought us at least two new board games ("I could buy a board game for the price of going to the movies," she told me one time, "and we'd get enjoyment for a much longer time.") and, of course, books.

Every year, I'd get books for Christmas--and I loved them. Many of them were the little Wonder Golden Books--a bargain at 99 cents each (and, yes, I know I'm dating myself here.) Then there were the Disney and Peter Pan Read-Along books and records ("SEE the pictures, HEAR the record, READ the book."). As I got older, I graduated to chapter books. are some of the books I remember best growing up.

1. This was my favorite book for years. I could identify with Biff the Bear--no matter which trick he tried, he messed it up. In the end, though, his mishaps led to a HEA for Miss Polly... see romance loving even back then!!

2. Grandpa shares his wonderful magnifying glass and it's amazing what the kids can see!

3. Sam and Bam were early NASA astronauts...I was intrigued by the space program. Watched the first space launch while I was in kindergarten, so this book stuck with me.

4. What was in that tree? A fun read.

5. To this day, I can't think of The Gingerbread Man without hearing the song in my head: "I've run away from a little old woman, I've run away from a little old man..... and a cow! And I can run away from you, I can."

6. I was given the entire set of Anne books--and I fell in love.

7. I don't remember where I got this book, but it's another one I remember fondly. I found a copy in a vintage store a few years ago and bought it.

8. My love for mysteries also started at an early age. Walt Disney put out a series of mysteries starring Annette Funicello from The Mickey Mouse Club, and I loved her convertible!! I think that's why, to this day, I would love to own one.

9. Trixie Beldon, along with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, also fueled my life-long interest in mysteries.

10. This was a sweet book that I remember loving as a kid. It's been years since I've read it...:::marking it down on my To-Be-Re-Read list:::

So...there you have it. Ten books I remember well from my childhood. I was always a voracious reader (things haven't changed much), so there are many others that I've read...but that's for another day.

Looking forward to seeing other memories of books gone by.