Monday, December 11, 2017

Interview with Darrel Sparkman, AFTER THE FALL


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
My next published book will be available November 16, 2017. After the Fall is a post-apocalyptic novel set about twenty years after an event that spirals the United States back to a near-frontier footing. John Trent is a courier traveling between the few outposts left in the Ozarks. He’s tired of the constant fight for survival and ready to go sit on a mountain and watch the world go by when a few problems confront him. He finds women murdered in the forest. He meets Katherine, a woman taking supplies back to her town and realizes she may be the next victim. After the Fall is a story of survival, love, and betrayal in unexpected places.

It’s a stand-alone book.

Do you have a favorite character?
I have several. In my frontier westerns it would be Sean MacLeod from Spirit Trail. In contemporary westerns it would be Coble Bray from Hallowed Ground. In apocalyptic novels it would be Colt Blaine from Chrysalis.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
I think it’s just happened. I have an un-published short story that has been marked by readers as a western romance. While not exactly minor characters, I think the interaction between mother and daughter is going to push me to make it a full length novel.

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?
I queried several years before my first novel Osage Dawn was picked up by an audio book publisher, Books in Motion.

What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?
That’s easy. They were the first to show interest and I went with it. Not sorry.

Briefly describe your journey in writing your first or latest book.
I blame my wife. We were in a book store and I picked up a post-apocalyptic novel, took it home and read it. I remarked that I could write a better story and she said, “So, do it.” I’ve been trying ever since. She is always after me to write something contemporary, so Limestone County will be out in the third quarter of 2018.

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
I’m under contract with Oghma Creative Media for several sequels up through 2018. I’m looking at self-publishing short stories just to keep my name out there between novels.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
The first publishers I had gave me little, or no input on covers. With my current publisher, I have the yes/no/back to the drawing board input that I think an author needs. Of course, Oghma Creative puts out such super covers I rarely do anything but say, “Great.”

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer. Once I start, I just let it go. I cannot listen to music while writing. If it’s good music I have to listen to it. Sometimes if I’m writing an emotional scene, I’ll listen to Samuel Barber’s Adagio For Strings before I start. Silence is golden.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I tried outlining a few times and it never worked for me. The characters always take over and go somewhere else. I wish I could outline and stay with it. It would take some time off the process because often I have to go back and read what I’ve done.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Time is always hard to come by. I have that glorious retirement plan of “work till you die”, so most of my writing is done in the winter and 10 to midnight during our busy season.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
I’ll just repeat what Dusty Richards preaches. Write the book. Worry about all the other stuff later. When you finish, write another one. And my own advice, start early, get serious about it early, and keep at it.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Used to hunt, fish, and do other sports. Now it’s mainly work and writing. My wife and I run a garden center from March through June, and that keeps us busy.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?

Dogs, not cats. Pretty much anything sweet. Hate coffee. I’d rather text than talk, unless it’s face to face. I’m more a night person, but still get up early. I guess I’m not a sleep person.

What’s next for you?
I’ve got a few more books in me. Hopefully we can get to a place in life where we can actually retire.


Author bio and Links:
Darrel Sparkman resides in Southwest Missouri with his wife.  Their three children and eleven grandchildren live nearby.  His hobbies include gardening, golfing, and writing.  In the past, Darrel served four years in the United States Navy, including seven months in Viet Nam as a combat search & rescue helicopter crewman.  

He also served nineteen years as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician, worked as a professional photographer, computer repair tech, and along with his wife Sue, owned and operated a commercial greenhouse and flower shop.  Darrel is currently retired and self-employed.  He finally has that job that wakes you up every day with a smile

After The Fall: http://amzn.to/2g9sBSA
OghmaCreative Media: http://bit.ly/2kFRnOW
Facebook Author Page: http://bit.ly/2g7BBpP

Friday, December 8, 2017

Interview with Christina Bauer, CROWNED


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
My latest book is CROWNED, aka the final book in my Beholder series. It’s the story of a strong medieval chick and her adventures—think GAME OF THRONES, only the heroine doesn’t die.

Do you have a favorite character?
That’s like choosing a favorite child! Heresy!

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
In my latest book, CROWNED, I had a scene where two massive orange monkeys literally dropped into the scene. They ended up being trickster gods who were critical to the story. Fun!

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
I do marketing for my day job, so I didn’t see the need to pay a publisher to do that for me. Plus, I’m a control freak.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
Since graphic design is part of my day job, I felt very comfortable sourcing artists and providing direction.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I never did the critique group thing, but I have spent a lot of time networking and finding the right writing support group. For me, this has a critical part of my success.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
That I enjoy this industry a TON!  I have since opening my own publishing company, Monster House Books, and love developing both stories and talent.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I am also a wife, mother and have a day job in high-tech marketing.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
Dogs. Chocolate. Coffee. Talk. Day.

What’s next for you?
Now that the Beholder series is done, I’m actively working three different series, all of which have releases in 2018: Angelbound (YA fantasy), Dimension Drift (YA fantasy/sci fi) ,and Fairy tales Of The Magicorum (YA urban fantasy). Lots of details to be seen at www.monsterhosuebooks.com!

Thanks for having me blog…I look foward to seeing you at my next book launch!


Crowned
Christina Bauer
(Beholder, #4)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: November 28th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Beauty. Romance. Power. It’s all in the eye of the BEHOLDER.
At last, Elea has found the love of her life. Unfortunately, the evil Tsar Viktor is about to unleash an army of twisted mages bent on killing everyone Elea cares about… including the man who’s stolen her heart.
So what’s a powerful witch to do? Why, organize a league of magical warriors, of course!
Elea recruits and trains a fighting force to take down the Tsar. That’s challenge enough, but on the eve of battle, Elea realizes that her true enemies may be far more powerful than even Viktor: The deities Oni and Yuri could be out to destroy her as well. With major battles brewing on two fronts, Elea’s not sure that she’ll win, but with true love to inspire her, she’s certainly ready to fight.


Author Bio:
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.


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#Pre-order .99: PERSUADED BY THE REFLECTIONS by Sean Sweeney


The day we've waited for is here--the day Persuaded By The Reflections: A Thriller, my 27th novel, is available for pre-order. Let the balloons and streamers fly!

But seriously...

I'm incredibly proud of how this book came out. Between David's striking cover--I've gotten plenty of comments of how it has drawn readers in--and the work my team and I have done to make this book tight, this might be my best work to date. (Well, until Scouring Agent comes out in February. But we're just arguing semantics here, aren't we?)

Now: I've been rather vague about what this book is about. That ends today.

The blurb:

Det. Ricky Madison is back in this pulse-quickening, gritty sequel!

Now suffering from PTSD following the events at the end of THE LONG CRIMSON LINE, Ricky returns to Worcester, Mass., the city where he was once a police detective; he’s undergoing therapy in both solo and group settings, and in his first session, he meets a young lady struggling to cope with her love life’s tribulations—she’s a cutter, and he offers her his ear whenever she needs it.

When elements of past crimes he had investigated creep back into the present, Ricky is brought back into the fold of Worcester Police to help link the crimes together—even though the one in charge of the investigation isn’t thrilled about his presence.

Together, the two comb through the facts and similarities of the respective cases until Ricky discovers the one responsible for everything.


Just screams bestseller, doesn't it?

So it's available now for pre-order, and I want you to pre-order this wonderful book as it's only 99 cents from now until Christmas Day (consider it my Christmas gift to you). Release Day is Dec. 26, so on that day, the price goes up to $2.99, its usual price. You're getting a steal and a half here!

Here's where you can pick up your copy:

Remember that those who have Kindle get the book at 8 p.m. on Christmas Night. So after the kids are asleep, you can fire up your Kindle, sync it up, and Persuaded By The Reflections: A Thriller will be at the top of your reading list!

Author Bio:

Sean Sweeney's love of reading began in 1988, when he was handed J.R.R. Tolkien's classic The Hobbit, and was given a needed boost with John Grisham novels and the Star Wars Expanded Universe. His passion for writing began in 1993, as a sophomore in high school, when he began writing sports for his local newspaper. Born and raised in North Central Massachusetts in 1977, Sweeney has written for several newspapers and radio stations. When he is not writing, he enjoys the Boston Red Sox, the New England Revolution, Arsenal F.C., Gold Coast F.C., the New England Patriots, and playing with his and his wife's two horses and five cats.

Website: http://www.seansweeneyauthor.com




Thursday, December 7, 2017

#SALE .99 THE ACCIDENTAL WEDDING by Debra Elizabeth


Just in time for your Christmas reading pleasure, THE ACCIDENTAL WEDDING is on SALE for only $.99.

Be sure to grab a copy before the price goes back up to $2.99.

Blurb:
Has Keira made the worst mistake of her life?

Unemployed Keira Callahan decides to try her luck at the casino before delving back into job hunting. As she walks through the casino, she bumps into the most handsome man she’s ever seen. When he asks her to dinner, she doesn’t hesitate. As she learns Cade Tyndale’s story—he needs to wed or lose his British estate, her impulsive nature rears up and she agrees to marry him and move to England for one year. What does she have to lose except her heart to the impossibly handsome Earl of Barrett?

What Reviewers are saying:

5 stars “okay this book pretty much sums up my dream fairy tale life lol!.... I would absolutely recommend this book to all romance readers! This is a wonderful take on a modern-day fairy tale! I can't wait to see what Debra write's next...” An Amazon Customer

5 stars “This book made me go Squee! This is a plot that my younger self had floating in my head when I daydreamed about marrying a handsome Brit...and if not a member of the aristocracy, at least Davy Jones from The Monkees or George Harrison...or Simon Le Bon. I'm a sucker for a cute accent. This was a wonderful quick read that gave me warm fuzzy feelings. Keira and Cade are just a perfect couple.” An Amazon Customer

5 stars “My, my. Royals, a marriage of convenience and relatives that are just vile. Love it. It’s catnip to me. I love royals and the trope of a marriage of convenience but I’ve said that already. What makes this one special are the characters themselves. Keira and Cade are just the hero and heroine that I like. They are NOT perfect and have some baggage but they are just so dang likable. While reading the trope, usually the hero is the idiot, non-relateable or I just don’t connect with him. Not so with Cade. He’s a gentleman to a fault and really tries to make everyone around him happy; just not himself.” An Amazon Customer

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Interview with Beth Merlin, S'MORE TO LOVE


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
S’more to Lose is the second book in my Campfire Series. It is set four years after the ending of Book 1, One S’more Summer. The reader quickly finds out that Georgica and Jamie did follow their dream of starting their own clothing line, G. Malone which has been taking the fashion world by storm. When G. Malone is chosen to design the royal wedding dress, Gigi is forced to confront her ex-fiancé, Perry Gillman, now a successful composer with a hit show on the West End. As the world gears up for the wedding of the century, Gigi is on the brink of buckling under the immense pressure of the uncertainties of her future and failures of her past.

Do you have a favorite character?
I love Jamie. He is the perfect best friend. He’s loyal and supportive, but he also puts Gigi in her place. He is a much bigger character in S’more to Lose, and I had a lot of fun writing all the scenes between him and Gigi. Their dialogue always comes really easily and naturally to me.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
When I started writing S’more to Lose, I took a lot of inspiration from Kate Middleton’s wedding to Prince William. As a nod to Pippa Middleton, I wrote in the character of Annabelle Ellicott, Victoria’s sister. I never intended for her to be a major character, but suddenly, I got the idea to make her Perry’s love interest. That one decision completely changed the trajectory of the book, making the stakes even higher for Gigi. Annabelle went from a tertiary and somewhat insignificant character to a fully realized, completely vital aspect of the book. 

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I pretty much always listen to music. For S’more to Lose, I listened to the Hamilton soundtrack a lot. In the book, Perry writes a hit musical called Elizabeth, which was my play on Hamilton, so I used the soundtrack as inspiration. I also listen to a lot of Gershwin and jazz standards when I am writing any scenes involving Perry. Thank goodness for Youtube!

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
A little bit of both. I have never created a formal outline for a book, but I usually have a general sense of where I want the story to go and some important plot points I have to hit along the way. That being said, a lot of twists and turns happen while I am writing. In the past, a line of dialogue, a setting, or even something I’ve experienced in my real life has totally caused my story to change course-usually for the better.  

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I hired a copy editor to review my final draft of One S’more Summer, the first book of the Campfire Series before I started submitting it to agents and publishers. It was important to me that what I submitted be free of grammatical errors and as clean a draft as possible. Ultimately, any published book goes through several revisions, but it was worth the investment to me to have that first draft be as strong as possible.
  
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Definitely! I am lucky that my publisher, Inkmonster, takes on a lot of that work, but I have learned that being an author is more than just sitting down and typing out a story. In this day and age, you also have to be a self-promotor. Being engaged on social media and in the community is incredibly important to the success of a book. It can be a tough juggling act, but worth it when you see it affect sales numbers and know how many people are being drawn to your work. 

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I love Broadway musicals, New York City, fashion, shopping, museums, swimming, and spending time with my 3-year-old daughter and husband.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
Dogs, for sure. I have a two-year-old Cavipoo named Sophie who is another member of my family.
Vanilla
COFFEE!!!!!! Preferably iced, even in the winter.
A little bit of both. I definitely prefer talking to friends on the phone -but given that most of them are also busy working moms, I get a lot more accomplished and am able to stay in touch better because of texting.
Day

What’s next for you?
I am currently working on Book 3 of the Campfire Series, Love You S’more. It releases in the summer of 2018.


S’more to Lose
Beth Merlin
(The Campfire Series #2)
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

Four years after her life-changing summer, Gigi Goldstein thinks saying goodbye to Camp Chinooka means saying hello to a brand new life. Now faced with a second chance at her career, she is filled with more hope than she’s felt in a long time. Her design house is taking the fashion world by storm, even attracting notice of Victoria Ellicott, the fashionable British socialite who just happens to be engaged to the future king of England. When Gigi is chosen to design the royal wedding dress in London, she is forced to confront her ex-fiancé, Perry Gillman, now a successful composer with a hit show on the West End.
But when Gigi learns Perry’s been dating Victoria’s sister, who rivals her in looks, style and sophistication, Gigi can’t help but feel inadequate in everything. Her world begins to crumble as she develops a creative block so debilitating, she fears that a wedding dress of royal proportions is never going to happen. Even a budding relationship with the handsome, wealthy, and rich Viscount of Satterley can’t make her forget about Perry and her inability to get over him. As the world gears up for the wedding of the century, Gigi is on the brink of buckling under the immense pressure of the uncertainties of her future and failures of her past.
Will she be able overcome her creative paralysis to design the dress of Victoria’s dreams, or will she break down now that she has even s’more to lose?

Author Bio:
Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.


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#Excerpt: SMOTHERED by M.C. Hall


Smothered
M.C. Hall
Publication date: December 1st 2017
Genres: Adult, Mystery

Fifteen years ago, Kitty Holbrooke was set to be the greatest child star since Shirley Temple. Days after completing her debut film, the young girl was kidnapped from her home in the middle of the night. The next day, a rambling ransom note appeared in the family’s mailbox, but as the family scrambled to gather the money, police discovered Kitty’s body. Due to the media circus surrounding the case, changing testimony from key witnesses, and police missteps, lead detective Andrea Bennett was never able to bring Kitty’s killer to justice, and the case that rocked a nation went cold.
Today, an online tabloid has uncovered Kitty Holbrooke’s shocking case files including never-before-seen police interviews, confidential emails, secret text messages, and sealed grand jury transcripts. The Internet explodes as fans devour and comment on each piece of new evidence, desperately hoping that they, too, can help solve the mystery.
Loosely inspired by the Jon Benet Ramsey case, this unique, thrilling mystery is told through police transcripts and documents, and will keep readers guessing until the very end.


EXCERPT:
DAY 1—THE ANNOUNCEMENT
July 2, 2017
Hollywood Inquirer, your daily online source for celebrity gossip and entertainment has recently come into possession of crucial evidence in the unsolved murder of child star Kitty Holbrooke!
For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past fifteen years, or for those too young to remember the tragedy, Kitty was set to be the next big thing in Hollywood before her tragic death at the tender age of nine. Years later, and the debate over the identity of her killer still rages on!
Kitty was discovered by an agent while picnicking with her mother and sister at a local park. She was immediately hired to star in a national campaign for Sunny Orange Juice and became an overnight sensation. A year later, days after Kitty completed filming for her debut appearance in the remake of Shirley Temple’s Curly Top opposite A-listers Ashley Maddox and Tyrese Jones, the brilliant star disappeared from her home.
Kitty lived in the small community of Elmhurst, California, just north of Los Angeles County, on a quiet cul-de-sac where no break-ins or thefts had ever been reported. There had not been a murder in the town for several years, and police were used to the cozy small-town atmosphere, where neighbors knew each other’s names and friendships were formed over block parties and barbecues. No one could have expected such a horrific crime to happen in such an idyllic setting.
On the night in question, Mr. and Mrs. Holbrooke claimed they put their daughters Kitty and Allison to bed around 8pm. Kitty’s disappearance was supposedly discovered the next morning when Mrs. Holbrooke woke to take her daughter to an audition.
Police were called in, but first believed the young girl had run away. Tragically, this was not the case. The next day, the family received a bizarre, rambling ransom note asking for over $200,000 in non-sequential unmarked bills. An Amber Alert was issued, and police set off on a nationwide manhunt for anyone transporting a girl matching the child star’s description.
Strangely enough, law enforcement failed to properly search the entirety of the Holbrooke estate for nearly two days. When the search finally took place, Kitty’s body was discovered in a shed on the edge of the Holbrooke property.
The darling girl had been smothered by a small, white pillow, duct-taped over her face. There were cuts and bruises scattered across her broken body, and investigators put her time of death somewhere around 3 o’clock in the morning on the day she was discovered missing.
Through a series of missteps on the part of both the police and the district attorney’s office, the case went cold and the murderer was never brought to justice.
Today, that may all change. We’ve finally broken through the wall of silence surrounding Kitty’s murder!
An inside source has given Hollywood Inquirer a complete copy of audio files recorded during the days and weeks after Kitty’s disappearance and death. We have authenticated these tapes as the original police interviews with family members, witnesses, and other suspects. The source has also provided us with copies of emails, phone calls, and brand-new evidence never before seen by the public or any other media agency.
On our website, and only our website, you can have an exclusive insider look at one of our nation’s most talked about unsolved mysteries. Hopefully, we will find answers and justice will prevail! It’s time Kitty’s spirit finally finds peace.
Tomorrow, we kick off our explosive thirteen-part Kitty Holbrooke series. We have transcribed and pieced together the police recordings to give readers a clear picture of the suspects and their stories. Because of the scope and length of these interviews, we’ll be releasing a few each day… allowing plenty of time for you to comment, discuss, and come up with your own theories!
As most of you know, charges were never formally filed against any one suspect, and the case never went through for an actual trial. However, in proceedings closed to the press and public, the grand jury met and heard evidence from the prosecuting attorney, including testimony from forensic experts, eye-witnesses, and law enforcement.
The grand jury proceedings were sealed, but the judge in the case is now processing our request that they be unsealed and released for their substantive value in the public interest. After covering the police investigation, we will focus on these transcripts, as well as emails and phone calls between the district attorney and the police, showing just where their case went wrong.
Finally, we’ll present exclusive statements from the major players in the case, fifteen years later, as they reflect upon Kitty’s death, answer all our burning questions, and perhaps reveal the truth about their involvement.
We promise this will be the story of the summer! Stay connected with us on social media for updates as we try to solve America’s most heartbreaking mystery. This was the case that shocked the nation, so comment below. Let us know whose testimony you want to hear most!
Comments
Lonelyguy518: Holy crap! Happy 4th of July, everybody! Can’t believe they dug this stuff up. Was obsessed with this case back in the day. Hope they catch the bastard.
NOYB1: The bastard? More like the bitch. Everyone knows the mom did it.
Rush2Judgement: NOYB1, I totally agree. Mom was a nightmare. Complete stage mother fixated on her daughter’s career when she couldn’t make it as a star herself. Bet the girl wanted to quit the biz after the movie, and mom snapped.
afight4justice: No way. Dad did it. That ransom note was obvi. written by him
98DegreesofCooper: this is cray. Never heard bout this b4. Cant wait 2 read bout this little girl got 2 c her movie asap
Outtamyface21: Yeah. I still can’t believe they released that movie. I realize she finished filming it, but they should have held off on it out of respect for the family.
Daddysgrlll: Out of respect for the family? You mean the people who murdered her? Right. *Rolls eyes.

Author Bio:
Megan Cassidy Hall writes books for adults under the name MC Hall, and writes books for children and young adults under the name Megan E. Cassidy. In addition to writing, Megan works as an English professor teaching a variety of courses including Creative Writing and Children and Young Adult Literature. Megan’s novels include Always, Jessie, The Misadventures of Marvin Miller, and Smothered. Her poetry and short stories have been featured in numerous publications including Bete Noire, Pilcrow & Dagger, and Centum Press's 100 Voices. All of her short work can be found on her website: www.megancassidyauthor.com
In 2016, Megan co-founded 50/50 Press with her husband Stephen Hall. You can visit their website at www.5050press.com or follow them on Twitter @FiftyFiftyPress

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

#Review: TO THE DUKE, WITH LOVE by Amelia Grey


4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in "The Rakes of St James" in which Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn, is the hero. Hawk is desperately trying to save his sister Adele's debut into Society by having her betrothed to Paxton Quick before the Season starts. He's still trying to live down a prank by him and his 2 friends when they were younger and he's afraid that Adele may be a target for mischief because of the prank. On a visit to discuss this marriage proposition with Paxton, Hawk meets his beautiful sister, Loretta, and he's drawn to her.

The premise of arranged marriages in this book is probably something that happened quite frequently to young women. Adele, however, is perfectly fine with Hawk finding her a husband. Loretta finds the notion appalling as she had refused to marry the man her uncle had picked out for her. I loved the interactions between Loretta and Hawk, she was quite outspoken for a young woman, but Hawk finds her candor refreshing. The backstory for both these two is teased out and kept the story moving along. I wasn't very fond of Adele who seemed like a spoiled young woman who thought everyone should cater to her every whim. With the introduction of a street urchin, Farley, it kept the story interesting. Ms. Grey is a talented author and I look forward to reading the next story in this series. While this story moves along slower than some other romances, I applaud Ms. Grey for tackling some harsh realities in the Regency world.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Amazon buy link:

#Review: THE LADY IN RED by Kelly Bowen




  5 of 5 stars

Lady Charlotte Beaumont is willing to risk everything to follow her passion for painting. She has been ignored most of her life so she uses the only dangerous means available to her to secure the second painter slot for a dream commission. She is disguised as a man, Charlie Beaumont. The other painter, Flynn Rutledge, is a brilliant painter, but he hasn't done a significant piece in 5 years. Charlie, with her frank assessment of Flynn's work, helps him work his way back to joy in his work again, but what will happen when he finds out her true identity?

Ms. Bowen has written a beautiful novella invoking such powerful and passionate emotions as Charlie and Flynn inspire each other to create a masterpiece. The depth of their characters was slowly teased out throughout the story and I couldn't put the book down. I was sad to see this story end as I wanted more of these two and Charlotte's promise to the elusive man who got her the commission in the first place. One small criticism is that the cover and title don't really match the storyline or the description of Charlotte. Other than that, I would definitely recommend this story for regency romance fans.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Amazon buy link:

Friday, December 1, 2017

#Excerpt: RUN AWAY WITH ME by Mila Gray


Run Away With Me
Mila Gray
(Come Back to Me #3)
Published by: Simon Pulse
Publication date: November 28th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Emerson Lowe and popular ice-hockey player Jake McCallister have been best friends since third grade but just as their friendship starts to morph into something more, a terrible event occurs that heralds the end of innocence for both of them. Within a week, Jake’s living on the other side of the country and Emerson is left alone to pick up the pieces of her life in a small town determined to paint her as a liar.
Seven years on and Emerson is still living on the beautiful Pacific West island of Bainbridge, helping her family run their outdoor adventure company. The last thing she needs is Jake turning up, bringing with him old memories and opening up old wounds. But Jake—even better looking than Emerson remembered and on the cusp of a bright sporting future—seems determined to revive their friendship no matter how much Emerson tries to push him away and soon they’re in the midst of a passionate summer romance that neither of them wants to end.
But if they’re to have any kind of future, they’re first going to need to confront the past, a past that most people want to stay buried.



EXCERPT:
I hear a voice behind me.
‘Need some help with that?’
I spin around.
It takes a couple of seconds for my brain to confirm that it’s actually him. That it’s actually Jake McCallister standing in front of me and not a hallucination. My heart does this fierce smash and rebound against my ribs as though it’s been violently woken from hibernation. I draw in a breath so big it feels like my lungs might explode, as if all that air is filling a vacuum and I’ll never be able to let it out again.
I hate this feeling. Hate the way the adrenaline floods my blood stream and tears sting my eyes. Hate the way my body reacts in a thousand contradictory ways at the sight of him, as though someone has plugged me into a wrong socket and fried all my synapses.
I have an impulse to throw myself at him but I’m not sure if it’s because I want to hug him or beat the living crap out of him. I drop the kayak, my hands fisting automatically at my sides.
I watch the smile on his lips fade when he notices the set of my jaw. His expression had started off wary but now I see him swallow and press his lips together, something he always does when he’s nervous.
I take note of that and at the same time notice a dozen other tiny, insignificant, monumental details about this new old Jake. I see the faded white scar on his chin—the one I gave him and the new scar cutting across his eyebrow. Then there’s his height – we were always the same height but now he’s tall. . . much taller than me. His dark brown hair is the same, though – unruly, untamed, falling in his eyes. He’s looking at me with the same mix of uncertainty that he looked at me the very last time I saw him.
I glance away, down at the sand. My whole body is shaking and I can’t seem to get it under control.
‘Em?’ I hear him say.
My head flies up before I can stop it. No one calls me that any more. His voice is deeper, mellower. The inflection though when he says my name is still just the same… and instantly something inside me starts coming undone. Jake always used to say my name like it belonged to him, and only him.

Author Bio:
Mila Gray is the pen name for Sarah Alderson, author of Hunting Lila, Losing Lila, The Sound, Fated and Out of Control.
Originally from London she has lived in Bali for the last four years with her husband and daughter.
As well as writing young adult fiction under the name Sarah Alderson and adult fiction under the name Mila Gray, she also writes screenplays.


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Thursday, November 30, 2017

#Excerpt: CHRISTMAS WITH A PRINCE by Noelle Adams


Christmas with a Prince
Noelle Adams
(Rothman Royals, #4)
Publication date: November 29th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

I might be a former party girl and the over-indulged daughter of a multi-millionaire, but for the last few years I’ve been trying to be work hard and be good. I have enough right now to deal with–graduate school, my community literacy program, preparations for Christmas, and my dad’s constant attempts to find me a husband. I definitely don’t want to put up with Henry always hanging around, acting obnoxious and looking far too sexy.
My boss forced me to take on Henry as a literacy volunteer for the month of December. I don’t know anything about him except he’s from somewhere in Europe, and he’s spoiled, entitled, arrogant, stubborn… and incredibly hot. He’s the kind of guy I’ve been trying to stay away from. Plus he’s got a secret–something he’s hiding from me.
Now I can’t think of anything but him, and I’m stuck with him until Christmas is over.


EXCERPT:
I tried—very hard—not to feel an amused satisfaction at the look on Henry’s face as he saw the task in front of him.
“You think I have time to do it all?”
“Why wouldn’t you? Unless you’re planning to waste time while you’re here.” I remembered I was supposed to be nice to him now and tempered my tone with a smile. “I’m sure you’re not. You’ll get through them in no time.”
His eyes narrowed again in that suspicious way, as if he thought I might have questionable motives. “Why are you being nice to me today?”
I stiffened my shoulders. “Why wouldn’t I be nice?”
“You weren’t nice yesterday.”
This was unfortunately true, and I felt guilty about it. “I’m sorry about yesterday. I was… I didn’t know who you were, and I overreacted.”
If anything, his expression looked even more suspicious than it had before. “And you know who I am now?”
I frowned in confusion. “Of course I know who you are. Marcus told me you were authorized. You’re not some creep who came in off the street to get close to the kids.”
His face relaxed slightly but not all the way. “I see.”
I felt even more confused, rattled in a way that wasn’t normal for me. I didn’t like it. I gave him a little scowl. “Why are you being weird?”
“I’m not being weird.” He spoke the last word with care, as if he weren’t used to saying it.
“Yes, you are being weird. You seemed to like it yesterday when I was rude to you, and now you’re all stiff and off-putting because I’m trying to be nice.”
“I’m not off-putting.” He was relaxing even more now, that little smile on the corner of his mouth making those adorable creases.
I scowled even more. “Yes, you are. Do you have a problem with people being nice to you?”
“Only if they have ulterior motives.”
I gasped. “What possible motive could I have to be nice to you, other than being a decent person? Maybe you’re not used to being around decent people, but there are a few of us out there. If I want to be nice, I’ll be nice. I don’t have to have a motive for it.”
He was back to yesterday’s mood now. His eyes were laughing and appreciative both. As if I amused him and he also liked what he saw. “You’re not being very nice now,” he drawled.
“Well, I would if you’d let me. I find it very hard to be nice to obnoxious people.”
“And you think I’m obnoxious?”
He was teasing me. I knew it, and I also knew I shouldn’t play along. But I couldn’t seem to help it. “Of course you’re being obnoxious. I can’t be the only person who’s ever told you that.”
“You actually are. Almost everyone likes me.”
“That can’t possibly be true.”

Author Bio:
Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she reads any book she can get her hands on and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.
She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.


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