Saturday, April 25, 2015

SMT: Innocent Tears

Innocent Tears
Iris Blobel
Contemporary Romance

Becoming a parent can be daunting at the best of times, but for Flynn, a business lawyer in Melbourne, it almost pulls the feet from right underneath him. He’s become a father to six-year-old Nadine literally overnight! He had no idea about her existence, and the news throws him into chaos, even more so when he is asked to take over custody. 

With the help of Emma, an employee at the hotel where Nadine and her grandparents are staying, and his parents, Flynn tries to do the right thing. Yet, the right thing in his eyes differs from his parents’, and Emma is voicing her opinion as well. And right in the middle is little Nadine, still grieving the loss of her mother and finding a wonderful friend in Emma. There’s no doubt she’s afraid where and with whom she will settle. 

But in the end, it’s a letter Flynn receives that helps him figuring out what to do.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Tempting Treasures


Michele Buchholz
Regency Romance

"They were now witnesses to his humiliation, thus proving just how distracting beauty could be."





Lady Elena St John has run her deceased grandfather's estate alone, unbeknownst to its new owner, the Earl of Richmond.  She has to.  There is an old family secret, and the lure of a buried treasure that could give her independence she doesn't have as a ward to an unknown earl.  The problem is, the only one who knows meaning behind the mysterious clues is the ghost of Lady Katherine, and she isn't telling.  Though that doesn't stop her from pestering her descendent as she searches.  When the Earl of Richmond returns from war and discovers his overlooked responsibilities, he is determined to get the the bottom of the strange and beautiful girl he finds running his estate.  As she hides secret after secret, and things get more and more dangerous, Elena must decide if she can trust James with her secrets, and her future.  

My Opinion: This was an exciting story with some really great twists and turns.  I liked Elena and James.  Their chemistry was good, and they got some nice toe-curling scenes between them.  The emotions ran a roller coaster and pulled you along with the mystery.  Unfortunately, I felt like the mystery lost steam at times, and was a bit unsatisfactory in its actualization.  The characters were a bit inconsistent at times, with unsubstantiated emotions.  I did enjoy the side characters that filled in the story, especially Katherine.  The English and grammatical mistakes were distracting.

I received a free copy of this book to review.  No other compensation was given.  The summary and review are 100% my own.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Book Spotlight: Between Now and Never

Between Now and Never
Laura Johnston


A convict’s daughter should never fall for an FBI agent’s son, certainly not a feisty teenager like Julianna Schultz who is furious over her mother’s incarceration and the injustice of it all. But that’s exactly what seventeen-year-old Julianna finds herself doing when Cody Rush, the cocky son of the FBI agent who put her mom behind bars, moves into her hometown of Gilbert, Arizona.

Cody Rush—studious, principled, athletic, good looking and blond to bootis everything Julianna hates, or so she thinks. Yet a series of ill-fated events one night brings them dangerously close, entangling the futures of two people who were never meant to be…

Author Bio:

Laura Johnston lives in Utah with her husband and three children. Growing up with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. She fell in love with the young adult genre both through her experience in high school as well as her job later as a high school teacher. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, traveling, writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids.

Other Links:

Laura Johnston's Facebook page:

Purchase Links:
AMAZON:

BARNES AND NOBLE:

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Author Interview: Wendy Andrews

Wendy Andrews
author, The Duke Conspiracy


Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)

I am from the east coast of Canada but now live in downtown Toronto. I am a middle child but the only girl. I totally believe in the psychology of birth order, but while I am typical middle child in certain ways, I think being the only girl gave me enough of a self identity that I don’t fit the stereotype completely. My parents are my biggest fans when it comes to my writing. While my husband is totally supportive of my writing, he has not been nearly as thorough as my parents in reading everything I have written. But my husband is my traveling companion which has been great for my writing. I think you need to be exposed to new people and cultures to have a deeper understanding of people, which is vital to be able to get into your characters’ heads.

Most writers are readers. What are some of the books you have on your nightstand and/or on your "must read" list? 

My first love in the romance genre was Georgette Heyer and I still love to reread any of her books. These Old Shades is on my must re-read list.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Since all my books are set in England, I would love to go back and do some more exploring. When my husband took me to England a few years ago we stuck to London but next time I would like to explore other places like Bath and all the towns between London and Bath. There are many old estates still set up like they would have been in the Regency period so it would be wonderful for research.

What is your favorite genre to write? What is your favorite genre to read?

My favorite genre to read and write is Regency set Historical Romances. I love everything about that time. I wouldn’t necessarily want to live then, but it’s wonderful to read/write about. I am rather attached to my modern conveniences but people seem to have gotten along quite well back then without them.

What got you started on your writing journey?

Unlike me, my husband is not an avid reader. He cannot quite understand my love of books and the fact that a train could drive through my front door and I would barely notice if I was stuck in a good book. So one day he said, “Why don’t you write one of those things instead of reading them all the time.” At the time I scoffed at the thought, thinking I would never be able to. But I rose to the challenge and wrote my first book, which was published in 2010 by Avalon Books. And I’ve been grateful to him ever since as I love writing almost as much as reading.

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance?  Do you write steamy romance as well?

I don’t think steamy and romance are automatically synonymous. For me the emotional journey the hero and heroine embark on is the main reason I love romance novels and the steam is unnecessary to portray that journey. I only write clean/sweet. I never want to be uncomfortable to show my words to my mother

What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year 2015?

Now that I have discovered CleanReads (formerly Astraea Press) I am looking forward to dusting off all my unpublished manuscripts and submitting them, hopefully getting them published over the next year. I am also in the midst of finishing the novel I started during NaNoWriMo2014. So I have many books on the horizon.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

I had skipped this question but after answering the question below, five words to describe my character, I had to laugh as I realized those same five words could describe me. I would have said that not too much of my life experiences make it into my books as they are set two hundred years ago, but clearly I am still learning about my writing

Where do your ideas come from?

For me ideas come from everywhere. Sometimes I’ll be watching tv or a movie and think this plot would be fantastic set in a Regency era novel. Or I’ll overhear a snippet of conversation that will spark an idea. I have no shortage of ideas, it’s finding the time to get them all on paper that’s the problem.

How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published?

I have written six completed manuscripts. The first and the most recent have each been published. The middle four are still waiting.


Please share about your book 

My book, The Duke Conspiracy, is about childhood best friends who grew up on neighboring estates but a feud between their families tore apart their friendship. My  heroine, Rose, has just returned from Vienna where she had been assisting her diplomat father. At a social event Rose overhears two men conspiring against the duke, her former friend, and is faced with the dilemma about whether or not to tell him about the plot. Rose and Alex have to overcome their personal problems in order to thwart their enemy.

If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be?

Rose is determined, loyal, slightly stubborn, optimistic, and spirited. Sorry, that’s a little more than five words…

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

The Duke Conspiracy is a fun, entertaining read that will have you rooting for the perfect happily ever after.

Do you have a favorite character you have written so far? 

My favorite characters are always the ones in my current work in progress since they are the freshest in my mind. But I will always have a soft spot for Emily and Phillip, the heroine and hero in my first novel. That book took me the longest to write so I spent the most amount of time with them.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

SMT: Fresh Beginnings

Fresh Beginnings
Iris Blobel
Contemporary Romance

The small town of Hobart in Tasmania has witnessed many beginnings in recent years. At yet one more beginning, the wedding of a friend, Jared Fraser decides it’s time for some fresh beginnings to come his way… and he sets out for a holiday to the US to travel along the Route 66 in a motorhome. 

Ivy Bennett thought leaving her boyfriend would be the hard part. It doesn’t take long to figure out how wrong she was. As she struggles with making a new start in her life, the last person she expects to lead her to happiness is a laid-back Australian on holiday. 

Then the arrival of family friend Mia Levesque and her boyfriend, Josh, turns Jared’s holidays upside-down when he’s forced to play arbitrator between the two teenagers.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Author Interview: Petie McCarty

Petie McCarty
author, The SEAL's Angel

Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)

Thank you for allowing me to spend time with your Clean Romance Reviews readers and to share my newest release, The SEAL's Angel.

 My background includes a degree in zoology -- no help for writing there, but a great career if you love the outdoors. I spent a few years working for the state of Florida surveying lakes, streams, and marshes for aquatic vegetation, using every type of floatable craft and more often than not airboats. The rest of my career was spent as an aquatic biologist for the Walt Disney World Resort. I worked in the land of fairy tales by day and wrote my own fairy tales at night. I gave up my wonderful day job last summer to write full-time.

Most writers are readers. What are some of the books you have on your nightstand and/or on your "must read" list?

The books presently on my nightstand are Diana Gabaldon's Echo in the Bone and Grisham's Sycamore Row. My must-read list contains any new books by Monica McCarty [sadly, no relation], Rachel Gibson, Tessa Dare or Cathy Maxwell.

And of course, whatever follows Evanovich's Top Secret Twenty-One.

What is your favorite genre to write?

Contemporary romance, though my present WIP is a time-travel romance.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Any genre of Romance. I'm addicted to happily-ever-afters. *grin*

What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year 2015?

I've started work on a second series: The Cinderella Romances -- fall in the love with the fairy tale all over again. Not a true series with returning characters, but a series of love-at-first-sight tales guaranteed to make you believe there’s a Prince Charming just for you.

The first story -- Cinderella Busted -- is complete and being reviewed by a publisher. The romantic fairy tale shifts to present-day Jupiter Island when a beautiful gardener is mistaken for a wealthy socialite by a billionaire resort developer.

Anxious for one fabulous date with her handsome prince, the gardener cultivates her inadvertent masquerade. Love at first sight controls their mutual attraction, and feelings run deep before her deception is inevitably discovered.

Well-meaning friends on both sides are determined to intercede and resort to inept high jinks to reunite the estranged couple, while a vindictive ex-girlfriend plays dirty to keep the couple apart. Just when the concocted reunion schemes are about to succeed, an explosive finale disaster threatens to submarine the “happily ever after.”

I also have a WIP titled Duke Du Jour. The fourteenth Duke of Reston falls into a fountain in an overgrown section of his ancestral estate and wakes up in regency England in 1816 where he is mistaken for his great-great-and-so-on grandfather, the seventh Duke of Reston, who has been missing since the battle of Waterloo.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

There is no greater feeling in the world than to have someone approach you or email you and say, "I just read your book, and I loved it!" We don't write for the money. We write to entertain others.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

I love this question. In my first published novel Everglades, the heroine Kayli Heddon is sent on an airboat safari into the famous and dangerous River of Grass to do a photo-essay for the governor and ends up stranded overnight with her hunky, though mysterious airboat guide.

I spent two years of my career doing aquatic plant surveys all over Florida usually aboard airboats. Everything that happens to Kayli Heddon on the airboat safari in the story happened to me at some time in my career: the bug storm, swimming with a gator, the leeches, the heart-stopping airboat maneuvers. Everything, that is, except getting stranded overnight with a sexy, hunky airboat guide. I never got one of those. *sigh*

How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published?

I've completed a total of eight novels and have three other partials more than half-done. Of the eight completed novels, five are under contract to Desert Breeze Publishing and a sixth under review by a publisher. My first two novels are happy to be stay-at-home manuscripts. *wink*

What are the elements of a great romance for you?

Every reader is different, but for me, the best  and most memorable romances have a hero who isn't gorgeous or ripped. Instead, he is smart or funny or a little quirky, and he does things for the heroine that make you sigh, "Awww!"

Nora Roberts' character, Carter Maguire, in the first of her Bride Quartet, Vision in White, is a perfect example. The "professor" wasn't a hunk; he was adorable with his quirky, sweet nature. I recently read another great example in Megan Bryce's To Wed the Widow. Her hero George Sinclair was sweet, funny, and carried a Pomeranian puppy in his pocket. Altogether a memorable hero.

Please share about your book 


I'm very excited about my April 1st release, The SEAL's Angel. This is the third of the Mystery Angel Romances -- love stories with an angel hidden in the plot, and the angel's identity is not revealed until the finale unless the reader figures it out first.

In this new MAR, Navy SEAL Sean MacKay's teammate is murdered after stealing a deadly nerve-gas formula from Syrian terrorists. Naval Intelligence believes MacKay's teammate was a traitor and shipped the stolen formula to his sister in the states for safekeeping. MacKay is given orders to find the sister before the terrorists do and to retrieve the stolen formula at all costs.

Foreclosure looms for Cory Rigatero as she struggles to keep her rustic resort near Mt. St. Helens afloat after her brother deserted her to join the SEAL Teams. Cory's whole world dives into a tailspin when Sean MacKay shows up at her resort with the news of her brother's death and the wild suspicion her brother may have sent her traitorous classified documents for safekeeping. No way will Cory trust MacKay -- the man who once seduced her and then vanished into the night without a trace.

What are your hero and heroine of the story like?

Both the hero Sean "Mac" MacKay and the heroine Cory Rigatero have trust issues -- Mac because he is a product of the foster system, and Cory has only her Bel Tesoro resort family for support. Thrown into a double melee -- Syrian terrorists are coming after Cory and someone local is sabotaging her resort -- Mac and Cory are forced to depend on and trust each other, so they can save Cory's resort and prove Cory's brother is no traitor.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

With a colorful supporting cast, The SEAL's Angel provides scene-to-scene suspense that will have you rooting for the delightfully "flawed" hero and heroine both.

Do you have a favorite character you have written so far? 

Hands down, it's Skye Landers from my novel, Everglades. I never got to survey with a sexy, hunky airboat guide, so I wrote my own. *grin*

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Book Spotlight: The Viscount Beseiged

The Viscount Beseiged
Elizabeth Bailey


In the tradition of Regency Romance, an energetic country house tale of tangled plots and counter-plots. Determined to outfox the Errant Heir, Isadora finds she’s taken on a tougher challenge than she bargained for. It is a question of who will outfox who!

Author Bio:
Elizabeth Bailey grew up in Africa on a diet of unconventional parents, theatre and Georgette Heyer. Eventually she went into acting and trod the boards in England until the writing bug got her, when she changed to teaching and directing while penning historical romances and women’s fiction. An 8 year apprenticeship ended with publication by Mills & Boon, for whom she wrote 18 historicals. Latterly she's had two historical mysteries published by Berkley (Penguin US) and is hoping to release more Lady Fan novels soon. Meanwhile, she says it’s wonderful to be able to return to her first love and put out new and old releases in ebook.

Other Links:
Goodreads:

Facebook:

Twitter

Amazon author page























Saturday, April 11, 2015

SMT: His Saving Grace

His Saving Grace
Heather Gray
Regency Romance
Christian Romance

Will she be able to save him from himself? 

Grace finds herself wed to a man who loathes her. She is shunned and exiled to the farthest corner of the land. It wouldn't hurt so much if he hadn't once been her best friend. 

Thomas became a duke long before he was ready. Now he can't go anywhere without women trying to entrap him into marriage. He expected better from his childhood friend. 

How can friendship, let alone marriage, thrive in the face of bitterness, suspicion and misunderstanding? 
What's to be done when the hurtful choices made in anger have lasting consequences? 

It takes a special kind of person to see past the pain to the beauty that lies beyond…


Friday, April 10, 2015

Book Spotlight: Beauty Unveiled

While Brimsfield is buzzing with excitement
over Katherine’s upcoming marriage…

Sarah struggles to tame her restless heart. The small town she used to love seems like a lead weight around her ankle. With one semester of college remaining, she can see the finish line ahead, but will the thirst for excitement jeopardize her future?

Katherine wanted a simple wedding ceremony, but her mother’s extravagant plans for the big day override her wishes. Being forced to compromise is the least of her worries though. When an old friend returns to town, her relationship with the man she loves will be put to the test.

Distracted with wedding preparations, the Riley family is unprepared for the approaching storm that could change their lives forever. Will their legacy of faith survive the trials to come?

Author Bio:
Rachel Skatvold is an inspirational author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance, devotions, encouraging blogs. Rachel is currently working on the third installment of the Riley Family Legacy Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons.

Links:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Book Tour: Crossroads

A former soldier battles for the soul of a prodigal...

After a devastating divorce, a bitter single mom and atheist starts her own real estate company in the nostalgic and picturesque town of Miller’s Creek, Texas. Then her young daughter’s disturbing symptoms lead doctors to discover that her leukemia has relapsed. With her new life now turned upside down, Mara Hedwig struggles to keep her business afloat. And her daughter’s worsening condition forces her to rethink her beliefs about Carter Callahan and his God. Will Mara make the return to Christian faith in the face of life’s greatest challenge?
An ex-military operative struggles with the return to civilian life while coping with his rebellious teen-aged daughter. During a house-search, Carter meets Mara, a headstrong Realtor who wants nothing to do with his God. But when Mara’s little girl is diagnosed with leukemia, the clock begins ticking for him to convince Mara to return to a life of faith. Just as he seems to be making headway, circumstances beyond his control throw his efforts into a tailspin. Can Carter learn to rest in the sovereignty of God?


Order CROSSROADS here: http://bit.ly/CRKAA
(You can also snag a free digital copy of TEXAS ROADS by subscribing to Cathy's monthly newsletter. Your e-mail will be kept confidential, and you can unsubscribe at any time.)

About Cathy Bryant

Amazon best-selling author Cathy Bryant writes Christian fiction set in the heart of Texas. Her popular romance and romantic suspense novels take place in the fictional town of Miller's Creek, where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth's front porch beckons. All the Miller's Creek novels have been on the Amazon Best-Seller list and are rated at 4.5 stars or higher on Amazon. Her debut novel, TEXAS ROADS, was a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist. Since then five other stand-alone novels have been added to the series, one of which was a reader-nominated 2013 Grace Award nominee (PILGRIMAGE OF PROMISE). Readers have compared her work to that of Karen Kingsbury and Nicholas Sparks. 

A native Texan, Cathy currently resides in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico with her minister husband of over thirty years. She's written devotions for The Upper Room devotional magazine, two devotional books in collaboration with other Christian authors, and for online sites. She also has released a Bible study book, THE FRAGRANCE OF CRUSHED VIOLETS. In addition to her writing, she enjoys thrift store shopping, romping in the great outdoors, and mini-farming. To learn more about Cathy and her books, visit her website at www.CatBryant.com or make contact with her in these places:


Tell us about yourself.
I’m a Christ-follower, wife, mom, Nana, daughter, mini-farmer, and Christian writer. I enjoy just about anything outdoors, including hiking, canoeing, camping, and gardening. I also enjoy creative activities—home improvement projects, scrap-booking, painting, composing, and of course, writing. I love to watch movies and read, though since becoming a writer, I can’t stop analyzing what I’m watching and reading. I’m a big reality TV fan, my favorites being Survivor and The Amazing Race–both great material for analyzing human behavior for my books! In addition to fiction, I also write Bible studies and devotionals.
Where do you write?
We currently live in the lovely Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico, but will soon be making the move eastward to get closer to our family. Our current home has an upstairs sleeping loft that has served as my writing space. It’s one large open room with the best view in the entire house. My writing desk is there, but I force myself to write in a corner facing a wall to keep myself from being distracted. (It works most of the time…)
What are you writing now?
I just finished writing Crossroads, the sixth book in the Miller’s Creek novels. The book tells the story of a bitter single mom and atheist and the former soldier who battles for her soul. Her little girl’s life-threatening illness forces her to re-think her beliefs of Carter Callahan and his God. Will she return to Christian faith in the face of life’s greatest challenge?
What inspired you to write CROSSROADS? All of the Miller’s Creek Novels feature a spiritual theme that is relevant to me for different seasons in my life. In Texas Roads it was Christ being our home rather than placing our security in a place or building. A Path Less Traveled was about finding enough faith to follow God even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. (Boy, has He used that lesson in my life, and proven His faithfulness through it all!) The Way of Grace was my spiritual journey of learning how perfectionist tendencies can be a real hindrance to spiritual progress. The spiritual theme of Pilgrimage of Promise followed right along with my hubby and I stepping out in faith in a bad economy and high unemployment rates to do what we sensed God telling us to do, and the resulting joy and peace spurred on by the Lord’s faithfulness. A Bridge Unbroken follows my own quest to be obedient to Christ in the matter of forgiveness. The spiritual theme of Crossroads came from watching the movie God’s Not Dead and realizing that we all know someone who has defected from the faith. As believers, we need to love them unconditionally, pray for them consistently, and never give up in our efforts to lead them back to God.
What do you want readers to take away from this book in particular? I hope that readers will realize the importance of living out the faith we profess. My prayer is that God will embolden us and make us ready to give a defense for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15), so that we can win back these prodigals from the faith.
Tell us how you come up with characters. The characters actually introduce themselves to me. (I know, I know, they’re not real. I promise I’m not certifiable…) After they make their appearance, I fill out extensive character charts, including taking online personality tests for them! (Hmm, maybe I am certifiable…) But no matter how much preparation I put into the characters in the pre-writing process, they always reveal another facet of their personality during the actual writing of the book.
Of all the characters you’ve created, which is your favorite and why?
Without a doubt the answer would have to be Mama Beth, the wise woman/matriarch of Miller’s Creek who makes an appearance in all the books. She’s also the main character in the fourth book of the series, Pilgrimage of Promise. She is everything I want to be when I grow up—wise, kind, and loving. Just so you know, I’m not alone in choosing her as the favorite character. When I asked this question to the Miller’s Creek Reader’s Group on Facebook, the majority’s answer was Mama Beth, followed closely by Matt Tyler, the hero from The Way of Grace.
Have the books received any special recognition or awards?                                                            I’ve been blessed to have all the Miller’s Creek novels make the Amazon Kindle Best-Sellers list. The first book Texas Roads was an American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis finalist. The fourth book Pilgrimage of Promise was reader-nominated for the 2013 Grace Award.
What do you hope to accomplish through your writing? I want my writing to honor and glorify God. If only one person is touched and moved closer to God as a result of my writing, then the hours of hard labor (and numb backside!) are worth it. One early reader of Texas Roads (the first book in the series) told me the story brought healing to her life. I can think of no higher compliment.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

CLOSED Giveaway!!! Rori's Healing



Still stinging from the publicity surrounding her father's death, social phobic Rori Harmon prefers the solitude of her animal sanctuary, accepting that marriage isn’t in her future. Racecar Driver Graham Decker refuses to be wrangled into a relationship by another money-hungry female. On a philanthropy mission, he arrives just in time to assist Rori with a llama birthing, but his appearance thrusts her into the media spotlight again. Has Graham found a woman who doesn't care how deep his wallet extends? Has Rori finally met a man who will stick around when times get tough? Is healing for a hurting heart finally within Rori's reach?

Rori’s Healing releases on June 5, 2015, with Pelican Book Group/White Rose Publishing, and is the first in the Harmon Heritage series about three siblings who struggle to find healing and love years after their celebrity father’s suicide.

A little about Dora


After a successful auditing career, Dora left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons. When her youngest son no longer wanted her hanging out at school with him anymore, Dora started writing Heart Racing, God-Gracing romance.

She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and her local chapter, Carolina Romance Writers.

Dora and her real life hero make their home in North Carolina. When she takes a break from cranking out stories, she enjoys reading, family gatherings, and mountain cabin getaways. She despises traffic, bad coffee, technological meltdowns, and a sad ending to a book. Her books always end with a happily-ever-after!



Want to win a free, advanced e-copy?  Enter the giveaway below for your chance!!

Official Rules:  This giveaway is open internationally.  Entrants must be 18 years old or older.  This giveaway will end on April 13, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST.  All entries must be submitted before then.  The winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond.  If there is no response, a new winner will be chosen.

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

SMT: Secret Bodyguard

Secret Bodyguard
Lori Crawford
Contemporary Romance

Erica Kellogg is a former Olympic synchronized swimmer who has been blackballed from the sport she adores. She's dealt with her loss by joining a world renowned security firm where she can lose herself in a myriad of dangerous assignments.

Needless to say, she's not thrilled when she learns her latest case barely amounts to babysitting duty. If that weren't bad enough, Trevor Cole, the man she's been assigned to protect is, in her opinion, nothing more than a spoiled rock star. She doesn't count on finding out there's more to him than meets the eye or falling in love.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Author Interview: Kathleen Perrin

Kathleen Perrin
author, The Keys of the Watchmen

Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)

I was born and raised in a small town in Utah, and my world view was rocked after spending a semester abroad in Paris, and later marrying a Frenchman. We lived in New York City while my husband studied at Columbia University and then with a newborn baby  moved from Manhattan to a small island in French Polynesia, where he conducted his doctoral research. Talk about  culture shock! After obtaining his doctorate, my husband was hired as the principal of a private school in Tahiti, where we lived on and off for a total of eight years and added two more children to the family. Back in the States, my husband’s employment allowed us to travel throughout the world, often with our children, and I have visited over fifty countries. My children are all bi-lingual and are now married with children of their own. Our latest adventure has been to renovate a family cottage in Brittany, and my husband and I manage to visit France three times a year.

What is your favorite genre to write?

Historical suspense, but always with romance as a key element.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Mystery and suspense.

What is one silly fact about you?

I am a certified scuba diver and once came to the rescue of a crippled Korean Fishing ship when its fishing line became entangled around the ship’s propeller. My diving friend (also a woman) and I were able to cut away the rope deep under the hull with some 80 Korean sailors looking on!

What got you started on your writing journey?

I was raised by parents who valued education, proper grammar, and good literature. My father was a master wordsmith who wrote brilliant poetry, and my mother is a voracious reader.  She is over 90 now, and every corner of her home is filled with books. So, I didn’t have much of a choice!  I was already writing stories and poems as a child, and as a senior in high school, I was named the outstanding English student at my school because of my writing, which helped me obtain a college scholarship. I have published a non-fiction book and many non-fiction articles, but it has been a thirty-year quest to get a novel published. With the support and constant encouragement of my husband and children, I finally made it happen this year, and I see no end in sight!

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance?  Do you write steamy romance as well?

I have strong religious beliefs and morals, and I am not willing to compromise my standards by writing steamy romance.  I do not and will not write erotica because I believe it cheapens both women and authentic and lasting relationships. Besides, I have found that if the storyline is compelling enough, graphic love scenes  are not needed to draw the reader into the romance. Romance is all about the quest.

What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year?

I am currently working on Book II of THE WATCHMEN SAGA, and hope to have it in print by the end of the year. My husband and I just returned from France where we took 1500 photos and visited sites that will be featured in Book II. We will also go back to France in May and September before the final manuscript is completed.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

The mysteries of France are my muse, and after having received bachelor’s degrees in both French and Humanities, being a professional French translator, being married to a Frenchmen, having lived in France (where my husband and I have a cottage), having traveled extensively throughout France, and having taken tourists to France for nearly ten years, my settings and plots are absolutely a result of my life experiences. I write about what I know. As for my personality being a part of my writing, once again, I write what I know, so I am influenced by my own personality traits, but also by the personality traits of the members of my family and close friends.

How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published?

With a university history professor, I co-wrote and published a religious history, and I have also written two romantic suspense novels (also set in France) that have not been published, THE PEACOCK STONE and THE SIGN OF THE OWL. I haven’t given up on them though, and hopefully you’ll see them in print in the coming years!

If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be? 

Sarcastic, techie, strong-willed, resourceful,  evolving

What are your hero and heroine of the story like?

My heroine is an average American teenage girl, who is bitter over her parents’ divorce and is placed in extraordinary and life-threatening  circumstances.  She has a sarcastic—but not mean—nature, although her strong personality can sometimes be overpowering. She quickly learns that in order to survive, she has to squelch her natural inclinations, become a team player, stretch herself, and use every resource she has in her possession to save a population and fulfill her unexpected destiny.

My hero is conservative, trustworthy, obedient, loyal, devoted to his aging mentor and their mutual cause, and initially judgmental of Katelyn, who doesn’t fit that mold. He detests her belligerent attitude, but is troubled when he realizes that he doesn’t detest Katelyn! He quickly comes to recognize that true bravery doesn’t always come in a standard package and that he can learn to trust someone who is completely different from his expectations.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

You should read my book because you will enjoy trying to discover a centuries’-old secret , and solve the puzzle of how a 17-year-old American girl can save medieval Mont Saint Michel,  one of the most magical places in France. You will be drawn in by the setting, the connection between Katelyn and Nicolas, and the suspense of whether they will be successful in their nearly-impossible task, survive their ordeal, and ultimately be together.

Do you have a favorite character you have written so far? 

My favorite character has to be Katelyn Michaels, the main character in THE KEYS OF THE WATCHMEN, because she wrote herself! Her personality just flowed out with little effort on my part. At the beginning, she is in no way exceptional. In fact, she is quite sarcastic and snarky, keenly aware of the fact that everyone believes  her younger brother is her intellectual superior. However, she is able to evolve when faced with a threat to her family and new friends, stretch herself to achieve the unimaginable, and forgive what she thought was the unpardonable.  She retains her strong personality, but she learns that she doesn’t need to rely on sarcasm to discover her untapped potential and abilities.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Honor


Rachel Rossano
Medieval Romance
Fantasy Romance
Book 2 in Rhynan Series
Duty, Honor

"I doubt my mother would care, my lord. She has grown calloused in her despair of me."


The Earl of Dentin has never had a problem doing his job for the king, nor has his rather caustic reputation bothered him much in the past.  So why does he find it so irksome now?  Is it the callous orders to remove the adoptive son from his old friend's home?  Or is the lovely Lady Elsa Reeve who holds him in low regard?  Either way, he finds himself more and more entangled with her and the problems that seem to surround her.  Lady Elsa knows she had a responsibility to her floundering family, but an unwanted marriage is not something she is willing to do.  Additionally, she wants nothing to do with a man like the Earl of Dentin, but when circumstances push her toward him, will she see the man under the image?  When murder, treason, and intrigue get involved, will she find in him a man to trust, or will her heart lead her down a road with more disappointment?

My Opinion: This was another wonderful chapter in the imaginary medieval world that Rossano is meticulously weaving.  Though to be honest, I'd recommend reading or re-reading the first book again before starting this one, as I felt like I had forgotten some details that took a while to remember about the characters and world.  The plot is intricate, but eventually all falls into place and tells a wonderful tale of love and intrigue.  Some good surprises and twists kept me reading all night.  The characters were relate-able and the romance grew naturally and splendidly.  I loved all the characters and am left satisfied with true love being found once again in Rhynan, but anxious for more characters to find their own happily-ever-afters.  And perhaps a selfish desire to someday see a crossover between various of Rossano's series storylines.  Definitely a good read.

I received a free copy of this book to review.  No other compensation was given.  The summary and review are 100% my own.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Blog Tour: Dangerous Love





He’s fighting to forget his past while she struggles to remember hers...  
Doctor Josh Parker lives with guilt about his wife’s death every day.  
He believes himself incapable of ever loving again, but when a mysterious woman arrives in the Emergency Room, brutally beaten and left for dead, he starts to feel something he hasn’t felt in far too long: hope.  
Alessandra Matthews has no memory of the events that led to her being hospitalized. Worse, she has no idea who hurt her or why. Although she’s uncertain of who she is, she is fully aware of one thing—she’s falling for her doctor.  
Sometimes, what you don’t know can kill you...  
As Josh and Alessa work to solve the mystery surrounding her past, she soon realizes just how much danger she’s really in, but Josh refuses to let her face the darkness of her memories alone. With each of them struggling to put their pasts behind them, theirs is a DANGEROUS LOVE.  


Get your own copy of DANGEROUS LOVE by Kara Leigh Miller and Jody Holford:


Amazon      B&N     Smashwords

About the Authors:

Kara Leigh Miller


Kara 

Leigh Miller
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Kara lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three kids, three dogs, and three cats. When she's not busy writing romance novels that leave readers swooning, she's spending time with her family or attending one of her many writers groups. An active member of The Romance Writers of America and the CNY Writers Haven, Kara is also Managing Editor for Anaiah Press' Surge and Romance Imprints. She absolutely loves to hear from her fans and fellow authors, so feel free to drop her a line anytime!
Website</ a>     Twitter      Goodreads     Facebook


Jody Holford


Jody 

Holford

Jody lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters. She is a fan of Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis, Rachel Gibson, and Rainbow Rowell. In reading and writing, she likes characters who are flawed, but driven toward the pursuit of love and happiness. In November 2013, she published A Not So Lonely Christmas with Foreward Literary. In December 2014, she published Forever Christmas through Kindle Direct.
Website     Twitter      Goodreads</ a>     Facebook
 
Author Interview

Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)

JODY: I was born in Ontario but my family moved to BC when I was 7. We live about an hour and a bit from Vancouver. I’ve been married for 15 years this summer and we have two daughters, ages 12 & 9. I’m an avid reader, a diet-Pepsi-oholic, a chocolate chip cookie lover, and my idea of “camping” is a three star hotel. I like to be with my family and friends and am always in awe of how lucky I am to have such amazing people in my life. 

KARA: I was born and raised in Upstate, New York, in a very small town named Mexico. I still live there today. We have two traffic lights in our town. lol. Growing up, I hated it. There was never anything “fun” happening, but now, as a parent, I love the small town feel. It’s a great place to raise my kids. I have five of them. Four girls and one boy. Them and my husband are my reasons for getting up every morning. I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded with my family and some really terrific writer friends. 

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

JODY: New York City. Or Italy. 

KARA: California, maybe. Or someplace tropical, like the Caribbean. 

What is your favorite genre to read?

JODY: I love romantic suspense. Like Sandra Brown. Or Tess Gerritsen. Or just happily ever after with depth. Like Rainbow Rowell. 

KARA: Young adult paranormal, but sweeter ones, like The Twilight Saga. I’ve only ever written contemporary books. They’re easy as they’re set in the world I live in each and every day. So when I read a paranormal where the author was able to create a variation of our world with new beings and new “rules” it leaves me in awe. I’m not sure I could ever do that, so it’s nice to read how others are able to do it. 

What is one silly fact about you?

JODY: There’s a lot of silly about me to choose from. Let’s see....I’m really bad with directions. I find them complication so I often tune out when people are trying to direct me somewhere and then I end up lost. Or I would if my husband didn’t drive most of the time. 

KARA: I’ve never had a broken bone. I’ve had a few crazy, rare conditions -- stepped on a rusty nail when I was a kid, but I’ve never had so much as a sprain or fracture or broken bone in my life. Also, like Jody, I’m very directionally challenged. lol. 

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? Do you write steamy romance as well?

JODY: It wasn’t really a conscientious decision I set out to make. It was a wonderful opportunity that came up. Kara ran a contest to co-author a book with her through Anaiah Press and I won. Being a Christian publishing house, the clean and sweet were a given, but I’m glad that it was a romance contest because that’s my preference. And yes, I write steamy romance as well but not as steamy as some. I just like when the chemistry between the characters makes your tummy jump. 

KARA: Honestly, I started out writing steamier romances, and while I don’t discourage or judge those who primarily write in that subgenre, it just wasn’t for me. I felt it was too “cookie cutter” at times. Certain things were almost expected, and anyone who knows me well, knows I don’t like to follow strict writing rules. lol. I like to be able to go where my characters go and take the plot in different directions. I’ve found the sweeter, cleaner romances afford me that opportunity because there are no real expectations on the characters to engage in certain behaviors. But above all that, it’s a real stretch as a writer to let that chemistry and tension come through on the page without resorting to the physical acts of love. I think writing sweeter has made me a much stronger writer. 

What other things do you have planned with your writing for the next year or so?

JODY: I’m going to have to break out of my comfort zone this year to promote Dangerous Love. That’s the most immediate thing. I’ve spoken to local bookstores about doing author signings and even though the idea excites me, it terrifies me too. The staying at home and working on the computer part is much easier for me. Kara and I are working on Jaded Love now, which will also release through Anaiah. We have a third book in the Mending Hearts Series that we will be working on later in the year. I have a picture book coming out, also through Anaiah, in January 2016. On my own, I’m working on polishing up a contemporary romance to query more widely to agents. And my WIP is a romantic suspense. 

KARA: Primarily, just keep writing! As Jody said, she and I are currently working on a second book, Jaded Love, with the possibility of a third: Broken Love. In addition, I have a new series of romantic suspense books that will also be released from Anaiah Press starting in mid 2016. I’m also working on a New Adult book series for my agent to submit that will more than likely be released under a different pen name. I’m also planning to attend a few writers conferences this year in an effort to learn and grow as a writer. Hopefully I can get some book signings lined up, too. 

Where do your ideas come from?

JODY:From Kara. Haha. I’m heavily influenced by what I read, by lyrics in a song, or by moments-- things that happen that somehow define the next step for a person even though they didn’t expect it to. 

KARA: Everywhere! Literally, I can hear a snippet of dialogue or see a meme on Facebook or see something when I’m at the grocery store, and an entire idea will begin to form in my mind. Sometimes, I’ll even read a book that I fall in love with and will look up the author and his/her journey to creating the story I loved or their path to publication will inspire me to want to create something just as amazing. 

What are the elements of a great romance for you?

JODY:I love when the main conflict is not between the characters-- for example, in The Search, by Nora Roberts, we aren’t on the edge of our seats wondering if the two mains will stay together, but we are caught up in how they can possibly make it through the situation they’re in, together. It’s an external conflict that pushes them closer together and that heightens, almost speeds up, the relationship. I love watching how they get through, together. Because that’s what real life is like. You choose the person you’re going to face everything with and it’s not about whether or not you’ll stay together but how you’ll get through these moments and still be okay. 

KARA: A hero and heroine who are likable and relatable is the number one element! Once I’m connected with the characters, there needs to be a lot of attraction -- not just physical, but emotional as well. I want to read about characters who can relate to each other on a lot of different levels. Humor is also a must. 

What are your hero and heroine of the story like?

JODY:I think flawed is the first word that comes to mind. They have issues, together and separately. They’re both fighting their own internal battles that make them somewhat insecure in the relationship they now finds themselves in. I agree with Kara-- they’re real. We are all insecure and unsure of ourselves at times and we often (at least, I do) question how this person we care about so much about and admire so much can see something in us. Josh and Alessa have to work through their own perceptions of themselves and see what the other person sees in them. And they’re funny. Humor helps everything. 

KARA: I’d like to think of them as real. They’re normal, everyday people you’ve probably encountered in your own life. They’re flawed and, at times, unsure of themselves. Like you or me, they often struggle with their emotions and choices, but ultimately find their way, even if things don’t happen as they thought it would. 

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

JODY:Our pasts shape the people we are but they don’t have to define us. Alessa and Josh learn this lesson as they take risks to be together, despite it sometimes feeling like a Dangerous Love. 

KARA: If you’ve ever felt like your life was out of control, like no matter what you did, nothing would ever be “right” again, or if you’ve ever lost someone close to you and felt like you’d never recover, then you have to read Dangerous Love. It’s a story of overcoming loss, finding your way in life, and trusting in love.

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