Thursday, September 18, 2014

Author Interview: Sharon Drane

Sharon Drane
author, Touch the Sky

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

 I was born in Florida, but moved to Texas as a child and stayed there so long I became a naturalized Texan (or at least I think I am.) I’m back in Florida due to family responsibilities but intend to return to the Lone Star State one of these days. I’m single with four-legged children. My favorite places to travel are Hawaii and New Mexico. I love the islands. As for New Mexico, the high desert is a spiritual place that speaks to me.

Fill in the blank favorites – 

Type of hero - I like a strong man, capable of protecting the heroine, but with a flaw that makes him human.

Type of heroine – I like a strong woman, who may not always realize she is one. She is capable of taking care of herself and her family – no shrinking violet.

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? 

Back to Hawaii – I’ve got a historical suspense novel in process that takes place in the 1890s when the islands were annexed by the US.

What is one silly fact about you?

I am a kazoo virtuoso.

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? 

Honestly, I’m at a point in my life where steamy romantic scenes don’t interest me anymore. I’m not too fond of reading them or writing about them. I tried to work in some steamy scenes in my Regency, but it didn’t work. For their wedding night we have a bit of foreplay and then the door is shut. Much later there is a bit of afterglow.

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

I’m currently working on the sequel to Touch the Sky. It’s called Swept Away and is the story of Mimi who was six years old in the first book. Hopefully it will be out in 2015. Then I can work on the Hawaiian historical suspense.

Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader? 

I write some suspense, some paranormal, as well as historical romance. In one short story, they caught a serial killer but he wasn’t working alone. At the end, the woman who escaped him was being stalked by one of his associates. I ended the story with that. One of the readers wrote, “oh no, you can’t leave it like that!” That tickled me because I knew the reader was involved in the story.

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

I use my personality for certain characters and my life experiences to make the scenes and the characters real. I am a theatrical director and an actor trained in the Stanislavsky Method. That helps me with characters, situations, and visualizing the scene complete with movement and gestures.

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

Touch the Sky is my third novel and the first to be published. My publisher likes the idea for one of the other novels and advised me to dust it off and polish it. So we’ll see what happens with that one.

Please share about your book 

Touch the Sky is a sweet Regency romance. It is the story of Celeste Hargreaves, daughter of an English Baron and the man she loves, Colonel Sheridan St. John, second son of the Duke of Richmond. His accusations lead to the execution of her father. She knew her father was innocent. Not only was her father executed, her mother died in childbirth a few days later, leaving Celeste to take care of her younger siblings. Three years later the real traitor confesses. The Prince Regent restores the Hargreaves family to their former place in society. With their parents gone, they have been deemed the wards of the Duke of Richmond. Colonel St. John arrives to escort them across the country to his family’s estate, determined to atone for his role in the terrible miscarriage of justice. He also wants to win back the woman he loves, if such a thing is possible. Thus begins a difficult journey to restore the family’s place in society, as well as determine the real reason their father was targeted. Bit by bit, Celeste learns Sheridan was duped by the true conspirators. As she and Sheridan work together to learn the truth, they grow closer as they once were. In the end, they are happily together and the true culprits have been revealed.

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

Celeste – stubborn, strong, resilient, independent, intelligent

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

Touch the Sky is a positive story in spite of its dark beginning, with a relevant healing message. We can overcome even major obstacles if we just persevere.

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

My favorite is Mignon (Mimi) the baby sister in Touch the Sky. I like her so much she is the heroine of my current work in progress. Her life experience will be quite different from that of her older sister.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

His Favorite Cowgirl

Leigh Duncan
Contemporary Romance
Book 2 in Glad County Cowboys Series
The Bull Rider's Family, His Favorite Cowgirl

"Having Kelly in his arms again was enough to make a thinking man forget his own name."

Hank Judd needs to make a few changes in his life and where better than at the Circle P ranch?  Feeling the need to re-connect with his ten-year-old daughter, he invites her to the last place a now uppity pre-teen wants to go - a cattle ranch.  Knowing he has his hands full, he doesn't realize that he'll also have to juggle the sudden appearance of Kelly Tompkins, his old flame.  Especially when he realizes Kelly might just be the key to breaking his daughter's tough shell.  Kelly left home years ago and never planned to go home.  But when word that her grandfather was in the hospital, she figures she owes the old man something.  Despite all her hard work, it would seem she never really got over Hank and their past together.  Though her determination to at least put space between them falters as she realizes that time might have changed him.  Can she trust him with her heart again?

My Opinion: This was a fun book by a talented writer.  Though the set up of the story was slightly cookie cutter, the characters brought it to life in new and exciting ways.  It is rare to find a book where the characters are deeply flawed and yet you find yourself wanting to urge them to forgive and forget and try again.  The romance was sweet and realistic.  The wonderful web of characters and setting bring you into the mix of a series and setting that makes you want to search out all the other books as well to hear everyone's story.

Note* Though this is labeled as the second in this series, I have read another of her books whose characters make an appearance in this one, so there is a whole lovely world out there she has created.

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

Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Spotlight: Rewind to You

Rewind to You
Laura Johnston

One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.

When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…

Author Bio:

Laura Johnston lives in Utah with her husband and two 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. REWIND TO YOU is her debut novel.

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

SMT: Tess in Boots

Tess in Boots
Courtney Rice Gager
Contemporary Romance
Christian Romance

Tess Dougherty plans every aspect of her life right down to the last detail. But she doesn’t plan on running her boyfriend off by bringing up the topic of marriage before he’s ready. And she doesn’t plan to lose her job on the day she’s set to receive a huge promotion. So when her perfect world unravels, Tess makes a new plan: disappear.

Tess packs her bags and leaves her city apartment for a remote vineyard in North Carolina. At first, she’s put off by the slow pace of small-town life in the South. She’s especially irritated by Thatcher, the vineyard’s smart-mouth, dimple-faced farmhand. But she soon begins to appreciate the area’s charm, and Thatcher’s charm, too. She even swaps her trademark heels for a pair of cowboy boots. As Tess spends more time getting to know Thatcher, she finds herself loosening her grip on her old life little by little. Unfortunately, things on the vineyard aren’t as simple as they seem. There’s a secret here, and when the truth comes to light, Tess is forced to reconsider every plan she’s ever made.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Giveaway!!! Jane and Austen

Hello all you wonderful readers!  I am so excited to tell you about a wonderful giveaway here today for all of you!  Author, Stephanie Fowers, if offering TWO lucky winners an e-copy of her wonderful contemporary romance, Jane and Austen, that is a treat for all Austen lovers out there, die-hard or not.

For my summary and review, please click here.

So, how do you enter to win?  It's easy!  Just use the Rafflecopter form below.

Official Rules: All entrants must be 18 years old or older.  This giveaway is open internationally.  This giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on Sept 19, 2014.  All entries must be submitted before then.  The winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond.  If there is no response, a new winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 1, 2014

Author Interview: Susan Berry

Susan Berry
author, Dance of the Heart

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

I was born in the state of Washington. I have lived here most of my life in the Puget Sound area. I’m the oldest of seven children. It was an adventure being from such a large family that I really enjoyed except maybe when I was stuck babysitting!

What is your favorite genre to read?

I like reading a lot of different novels from fantasy to suspense but my favorite is romance. I love the way a romance novel shows us a glimpse of the hearts of a couple. How they overcome the obstacles to love while protecting their hearts. Each of us can identify with the fear that the prospect of love sometimes brings.

What is one silly fact about you?

I can’t resist bringing home a rock from where ever I travel. It started when I was a child. My grandmother was always picking up rocks to bring home to polish. She would spend hours admiring them when she was finished. Although I do not polish my rock collection, I can tell you where each one is from and what memory it holds for me.

What got you started on your writing journey?

I read my first romance novel when I was ten-years-old. My grandmother gave it to me to help pass the time on a long car ride to the Midwest. I grumbled as I opened the book and began reading. Ten miles later, I couldn't put it down.

The characters came alive, the tension between them building as I frantically turned the pages. I had to know how it all worked out. That experience never left me. From that day forward, I read romance novels every chance I got, and reading turned into writing, which eventually led to my first novel, a contemporary romance called Dance of the Heart.

What are the elements of a great romance for you?

One of the elements I really enjoy in a fictional romance is the chemistry between the hero and heroine. The elements of friction when two people meet as they decided if they like one another bring life to a novel. If they don’t instantly feel strongly one way or the other it would signal there is not enough passion between them. I also enjoy how a couple handles the conflict of the budding relationship. We all learn from reading the struggles others go through as they reach for happiness.

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

I am currently working on the sequel to Dance of the Heart. After that I’m trying my hand at a fantasy novel my daughter has requested. I have already written several chapters and I think she is getting a kick out of peering over my shoukders as I write.

Please share about your book. 

Dance of the Heart is the story of Maggie Campbell. Her mother drowned when she was twelve leaving her with an uncaring father and a broken heart. As soon as she was old enough, she left the painful memories behind and headed for California. Just when she thought her life was settled, a letter from her sister forces her to face her past. Returning after a seven-year absence, Maggie finds the new neighbor, Desmond Kinsley, is suspiciously entangled in all her families’ lives. Maggie instantly doesn’t trust him but when once again tragedy comes to the ones she loves, Desmond is the only one who can help. Maggie must decide how much she trusts her own feelings and the man who seems to hold the key to all their futures. The dance in her heart as she chooses to finally let herself feel again or run and be forever lost in grief.

What are your hero and heroine of the story like?

Desmond is strong, handsome and guarded, never letting people in. He is suspicious always and quick to judge. Not one to waste words, he speaks his mind. His passion is intense and can knock a girl to her knees.

Maggie is headstrong and independent. She doesn’t like to feel and when she’s confronted with love, her first response is to drive it away. It will take a determined man to push through her wall of resistance and find the heart longing to be loved.

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

Dance of the Heart is the romance novel we all want to read but can’t find anymore. The characters are full of life, the storyline full of twist and turns, and as a result, the love full of a richness that will leave you wanting more.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sweet Confections

Danyelle Ferguson
Contemporary Romance
Book 1 of Indulgence Row Series

"It should be illegal for jerks to look so good, she thought, taking in the way his tux fit his tall, very fit and fabulous body."

Rachel Marconi love life could use some help, especially after finding out her boyfriend is married.  Swearing off men for a while, she focuses on her bakery and anticipation of a television baking competition.  But Graydon Green took one look at the fiesty redhead and has every intention of convincing her to give romance and him, a chance.  When vandalism starts popping up around her, should she blame it on her ex?  Or is something else going on?  And can she really take the time to start a new relationship right now with everything else going on?

My Opinion: While this book was sweet and fun most of the time, the storyline seemed a bit disjointed.  There was little fluidity to the overall plot, a the characters had a few issues of inconsistency.  The overarching romance was immediate and without conflict, but was based in a web of drama.  It did get exciting eventually, but I would have liked more drama in the actual relationship as well.  The side characters were well developed and made a nice cocoon to fill in the story.  Overall a good read, but didn't live up to its potential in my book.

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

CLOSED Giveaway!!! Goddess Born

I'm so happy to tell you about another wonderful giveaway!!  Don't you just love books?  Well, here's a great historical, paranormal romance that you won't want to miss.  Author Kari Edgren is offering TWO winners an e-copy of her novel, Goddess Born.  Check it out!

For my summary and review, please click here.

So, how do you enter to win?  It's easy!  Just use the Rafflecopter form below.

Official Rules:  All entrants must be 18 years old or older.  This giveaway is open internationally.  This giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on Sept 3, 2014.  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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 23, 2014

SMT: Dandelion Wishes

Dandelion Wishes
Melinda Curtis
Contemporary Romance


Will Jackson was a control freak and a killjoy. He had been since they were kids. He'd made it his mission to come between Emma Willoughby and her best friend—his little sister—all their lives. But why? Until the day of the accident, Emma had always thought of herself as adventurous, not dangerous…. And then her friend had almost died. 

She desperately needed to apologize, to try to explain, if she could. Will had managed to keep the two apart while Tracy was in the hospital, but now that she was home in Harmony Valley, the winemaker wannabe had to understand that getting past this was the only way they could heal. And yet even if Tracy was able to, Emma wasn't sure she could forgive herself. And Will had made it abundantly clear: he wouldn't sleep until he'd found retribution.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Jane and Austen

Stephanie Fowers
Contemporary Romance

"For every romantic girl like me there was an unromantic guy . . . who clearly wasn’t interested."

Jane's life is about romance.  When she's not working at the charming inn as the assistant wedding and event planner, she is immersed in the novels of Jane Austen.  Now, if only Austen, the owner's son, would play the part of her own Austen-esque hero, everything would be perfect.  But Austen is the farthest thing from a storybook hero, eschewing both her ridiculous romantic notions as well as a future in his parents' quaint hotel.  Jane is devastated when he leaves, and resolved to ignore him when he finally deigns to return amidst her boss's upcoming wedding and the craziness that ensues, especially when it seems that there is more than meets the eye with many relationships.  As Jane notices the various guests and characters in her own life have an uncanny correlation to Jane Austen's plethora of characters, Jane must figure out just exactly who is who, before disaster can ensue.  Will Jane be able to rely on Austen's help, and charm, or will he leave her and her crazy romantic ideals once again?

My Opinion: This was a very cute and fun  and enjoyable contemporary romance.  Definitely a fun play on characters for those who are fans of Austen's works.  I was a little confused on some of them - probably because I haven't read all of the originals.  Despite the play with Austen's characters, the romance and story is unique and funny and stressful and heartbreaking and tender and all those other wonderful things you want from a romance - real or fiction.  It drags you into a modern Austen tale, leaving you a bit unsure until the end who will end up being the hero and who is the villain.  A vast cast made it a little hard to keep track of them all, but they made for a wonderful setting for the various plots to weave their magic in.  Overall definitely worth recommending - even more so if you'll recognize more characters than I did!

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

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book Tour: Crossing the Ice

Falling hard never felt so good.

Pair skaters Courtney and Mark have one shot left at their Olympic dream. They vow not to let anything get in their way, especially not Josh and Stephanie, the wealthy and talented brother and sister team.

The heart doesn’t always listen to reason, though...

The more time Courtney spends with sweet, shy Josh, the harder she falls for him. But they are on opposite sides of the competition, and their futures are headed in opposite directions. Will their friendship blossom into more or are their paths too different to cross?

Purchase: Amazon

Jennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she’s a diehard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating. One of her favorite pastimes is traveling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing. 

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