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

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.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

SMT: Dandelion Wishes

Dandelion Wishes
Melinda Curtis
Contemporary Romance

SOMETIMES WISHES DO COME TRUE, SHE'D HEARD IT SAID 

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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. 


Rafflecopter Giveaway:

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Monday, August 18, 2014

CLOSED Giveaway!!! Snow Fence Road and Purple Goodies!

Hey there, you wonderful readers!  I am so excited to tell you about a fun giveaway today generously sponsored by Phyllis Edgerly Ring.  She is offering one lucky winner a copy of her book, Snow Fence Road, but also a pair of beautiful earrings and lavender bath salts!  What a great way to relax in the tub with a good book and look cute when you're done!



For Amazon's page on Snow Fenced Road, 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 to US mailing addresses only.  The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on Aug 27, 2014.  All entries must be submitted before then.  The winner will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond.  If there is no response, a new winner will be chosen.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Author Interview: Susan Stoker

Susan Stoker
author, Outback Hearts

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

I currently live in Texas. Imarried a military man I met on the Internet 14 years ago and we’re still going strong. We have lived in several states and have settled (for now) in the great state of Texas. We have three rescued dogs which we’re crazy about.

Fill in the blank favorites - Type of hero. Type of heroine.

My favorite type of hero is the “Knight in Shining Armor”. I know, I know, women are independent and don’t need rescuing...but there’s something so romantic (in my mind) about a guy who can swoop in and help a woman out of a bad situation.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Romance. Any kind. Although suspenseful romance isn’t my favorite, I always have to read the end of the book to see “who did it” before I can read the book. (I know, I’m one of THOSE people). Lol

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

I haven’t delved into writing more steamy romances. I like to read those now and then, but for now the stories that I’ve written haven’t really called for the extreme side of sex.

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

The last book in my Beyond Reality series will hopefully be out before not too much longer. Then I have a series with a SEAL team planned. I know, I know, the SEAL thing has been done, but I just can’t resist. They are the poster children for the “knight in shining armor” type of book. This will be a series of 7 books, and I already have 3 of them complete. So that should be good news for my readers.

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

The best thing I’ve heard from my readers is that they couldn’t put my book down. I think that’s the highest compliment an author can have. It means the reader is so engrossed in the story you’ve written that they just don’t want to stop.

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

I’ve written a lot of “stories”. They aren’t complete books, if I was going to turn them into “books”, I’d have to add quite a few words to some of them. But I constantly think of good “scenes” I’d like to read and jot those down. There are probably around 15 left on my computer that I haven’t turned into books yet.

Please share about your book 

Outback Hearts is the first book in my Beyond Reality series. It’s set in Australia and it’s a behind the scenes look at how a reality show might look. Alex is the “bachelor” and Sam is one of the women competing for his attention. Each book in the series is a stand-alone and the man always gets his woman in the end.

What are your hero and heroine of the story like? 

Alex is kinda na├»ve, but genuinely wants to find a woman to love. He is allowed to watch the tapes of the behind the scenes on the show, so he can really see what the women are like. Sam is a normal woman, not a beauty queen, not a former model, just normal. She has a hard time fitting in with the other women on the show and she fights with herself on whether or not she should fight for Alex’s attentions or if she should just give it up.

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

Outback Hearts is a nice easy beach read that will entertain you for a few hours.

BUY LINKS

Outback Hearts




Flaming Hearts


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Blog Tour: Shadows in the Curtain




Every stage actress wants fans, but what happens when one goes too far?

Emmy has the perfect life— a house on the beach, a successful career headlining the local theater, and love. But when a brutal murder brings unimaginable grief, Emmy’s world comes crashing down. As she tries to pick up the pieces, she can’t seem to avoid Josh, the new fireman in town.

Emmy does her best to fight the sizzle in her chest when Josh is near. But with the stalker still out there, terrorizing her and those she cares about, she can’t fall for anyone—especially Josh, a suspect in the murder investigation.

If Emmy allows a man to get close, it’s not just her heart she puts at risk, it’s her life.

“Cami Checketts can spin a tale like no other. Love, suspense, thrills, she has it all, and Shadows in the Curtain is no exception. What a thrill ride! I highly recommend this book. 10 stars!!”
Sherry Gammon, author of the Port Fare Series

“I’m a sucker for the exciting parts, and this book has scenes that had my eyes racing my heart to the end of each page!”
 Amanda Tru, author of the Yesterday Series

Shadows in the Curtain - Only $2.99 at the following retailers:
Buy it in print here for only $8.63

Cami Checketts' books Poison Me and The Colony are only $.99 for the length of the Shadows in the Curtain blog tour - August 4th - 9th.

Poison Me 
Jake Merrill was raised by his grandmother, Ruby, and her hilarious friends. After a suspicious death at the retirement home where Ruby lives, she enlists Jake and Chanel, the beautiful activities director, to help her find the killer.
But secrets Ruby has kept for decades threaten her family and the man she’s always loved but could never have. Chanel’s unstable ex-boyfriend, a presumably dead relative, and vicious criminals add to the confusion. Time is running out as Jake, Chanel, and Ruby desperately search for clues to solve the murders and fight to save those they love.

The Colony
To protect her sons from the mistakes of her past, Brinlee Trapper escapes to a secluded mountain home. But there are dangers lurking in the mountains she has never encountered. The little family is saved from injury by Jed, a mysterious hunter. Brinlee is drawn to him, but she worries about his involvement with a peaceful commune hidden deep in the mountains behind her property.
Lance, Brinlee's attentive neighbor, has his own troubled history. Between his obvious attraction to Brinlee and his developing love for her children, Brinlee finds it more than difficult to guard her heart against this tender intrusion.
While Jed offers a life of excitement and freedom, Lance holds the key to the family Brinlee always wanted. When it comes time to choose, she learns that both men have secrets that could shatter her fledgling trust in men and the wrong decision could leave more than her heart exposed to danger.

Excerpt from Shadows in the Curtain

Timothy stuck to her side while people surged passed with compliments, hand squeezes, and the occasional hug. Emmy searched every eye, but only saw excitement from a fun performance or weariness from sitting too long. If anyone had murder in mind, he was as good at putting on a fake face as she was. 
No one piqued her curiosity. Until he came. She had no clue what his name was, but the past few weeks she’d seen him almost every morning at the gym. He was much too good-looking, with his rippling muscles and deep blue eyes. She always avoided looking directly at him, though she knew that was as obvious an indicator of her attraction as staring would be. She couldn’t avoid him now. 
The wide entryway, which featured plush, faded carpet and wood-planked walls, shrank as he drew nearer. The babble of the crowd faded. He reached for her hand, staring deep into her eyes. Her hand fitted itself into his like he was a magnet. Her entire body leaned toward him. 
“You were amazing. So passionate.” He smiled and the room swayed.
Emmy was quite sure the passion she experienced right now had nothing to do with singing or acting. She should draw away but couldn’t force herself to. “Thank you,” she managed, embarrassed by the huskiness of her voice as she tried to catch a breath.
The crowd pressed forward, and he was forced to release her hand and move to the side. His blonde date gushed over Emmy for a second, and then they were gone. 
Emmy continued greeting other patrons but couldn’t forget the allure of his blue eyes. He didn’t seem like the creepy stalker type, but she had to wonder. Could he be the one sending the notes?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Author Interview: Kimberly Troutte

Kimberly Troutte
author, God Whisperer

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

I am a Southern California girl. Once my family settled here, I dropped roots and planted myself. My sister, sister-in-law, two sons, and one niece were all born in the same hospital. I met my husband in elementary school, but I let him grow up a little before I married him.

While I love my town, I do enjoy getting away and seeing new places. I guess the adventure bug bit me when I was a little girl. My father traveled for business and sent beautiful postcards to his Love Bug (me) from all over the world. He told me such interesting tidbits about the places that I felt like I was there. He’d return home with a doll from Bulgaria, Denmark, or Germany. When I was old enough, and he could swing it, my dad took the family with him to England, Australia, Scotland, Poland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan. Gosh, I was so spoiled.

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? 

Oooh, good question. I like to set my books in interesting places. So far my stories have taken place in Spain, China, Macau, Colombia, and the quaint made-up town of Solberg, California (a place suspiciously like my hometown).

Currently, I’m writing a book set in the Alaska. Wow, there are so many places I’d like to visit. It would be great if the company would fly me to Europe for research. I’m sure I could write an adventure that winds its way through France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Austria...Maybe on a train!

 What is your favorite genre to write? 

This is a really tough question because I have been known to genre-blend a little. Okay, a lot. It’s almost an illness. I write the way I cook. It drives my mother insane when I don’t follow a recipe. I start throwing in a spice here and there, a pinch of cinnamon, or a little fresh basil, hot peppers, a touch of zest...I can’t seem to help myself. My books always have a romantic suspense flavor, but some of them have a touch of historical, or dash of inspirational, and usually a heavy sprinkle of danger and action-adventure.

What is one silly fact about you?

My kids would say, “Just one?” My time is limited so I usually write or edit while I work out. Members of the YMCA are getting used to the crazy lady who edits her chapters while on the elliptical machine or who plots books during spin class.

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

I write love stories, some of them sweeter than others. I don’t see myself ever writing books steamier than an R rating and my wheelhouse is more along the PG-13 variety. I’m not making any statements about other books, or authors, just stating where I feel comfortable writing. Because there is a sweet little boy in GOD WHISPERER, it needed to be a clean, sweet romance.

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

My first book in the SEALs EXtreme Team series released in April and was included in the NY Times Bestselling SEALS of SUMMER Military super bundle. The second book and a short story came out shortly after that. Book 3 will release in November. There is talk of another SEAL super bundle on the horizon but I better keep my lips zipped on that for now. I love my SEALs books and will write more of them next year. I also am planning another series with a dash of inspiration.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

Touching readers and maybe, hopefully, making a difference in this world. Years ago, my mom was having a tough time because her mother was dying. Nana was old, sick, and down to her last weeks. It was so sad, but we all knew what was coming. My mom was distraught and couldn’t sleep. In the dark, quiet house, she tiptoed downstairs and curled up with one of my books. Even though she was feeling gutted when she started reading, she surprised herself by laughing out loud at one of my humorous section. I was honored to do that for her—take away her pain for a short time and lift her spirits.

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

Some of my humor sneaks into the pages and I use my past experiences in foreign countries when I write. GOD WHISPERER is a whole other ball of wax. It is humorous in spots, and full of danger in others, but it is also a deeply personal book inspired by my son. He was born with an incomplete, deaf ear. The surgeon at UCLA drilled a hole and created an eardrum from tissue behind my son’s ear. When my boy could hear out of both ears for the first time?

Holy moly, what a miracle! The feelings I experienced during this real-life adventure flowed right onto the page. The characters, the setting, the medical stuff are authentic but fictionalized.

Your Book

Blurb for GOD WHISPERER:

A frightened mother on the run...

LONNIE HOGAN has lived and breathed fear for the eight years she and her son have been on the run. She cut ties with the past and is hiding out in a small offbeat Danish community in California. Will the killers find them? She’s ready to run again, or fight for her son’s precious life, but she won’t let anyone take David.

A desperate man searching for his family...

Few people on St. John, Virgin Islands, know their favorite doctor, MARK NORTON, is a desperate man searching for the life that was stolen from him. After hours, he surfs the internet for leads and retraces paths gone stone-cold to find his missing family. He’ll do anything to find them and get his son back.

Will sacrifice everything to protect the boy who hears God...

DAVID HOGAN is a regular kid, if you don’t count the one-ear thing. He didn’t mind being deaf in one ear, but it hurt his mom, way down deep, as if she caused it. Why won’t she see bad things can happen for good reasons? Like the ear surgery that allowed him to hear God. Talking to God is one of the greatest things to ever happen to him, even if Mom doesn’t believe it. But the killers can find them now. Can one little kid save them all?

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

Heroine: Frightened mother protecting her son.

Hero: Desperately searching for his family

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

GOD WHISPERER is an uplifting story of heart-break, sacrifice, redemption, and undying love. It proves that anyone can change the world, including one little boy born with a deaf nub instead of an ear.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Robber Knight


Robert Their
Medieval Romance

"Falkenstein was not a man to make idle threats; he enjoyed making real ones far too much."




With he father lying sick abed, it is up to young Ayla to respond to the dreaded Falkenstein's demands.  Unfortunately, he doesn't want a forfeit of land from them.  He wants her hand in marriage.  Refusing to marry such a monster, Ayla accepts a fued, and the coming war with it.  But she doesn't know how to fight a war.  She can't even stand up to the red robber knight that has plagued her village, and most recently, herself.  When she takes home the mangled body of a man claiming to be a merchant that was accosted by her enemy, Ayla has no idea just what kind of man she is helping.  Ruben has been a fierce warrior for as long as he can remember, and hasn't had an honorable thing to fight for in years.  So what is it about this Ayla that makes him wish his injuries would heal so he could help defend her?  And him to regret ever becoming her other enemy as the red robber knight?

My Opinion: I'm afraid this one had some fun potential, but fell well below the mark.  It was agonizingly slow with what seemed like the same scenes over and over and over.  There was never a reason for the people and Ayla to be victorious, while Ruben was inconsistent in his own character and apparent abilities.  Ruben seemed to be a coarse and never-redeemed or justified fallen hero.  His backstory was frustratingly never explained, until, by the time I got to the extended chapters which were supposed to explain it, I no longer cared.  Ayla was a rollercoaster of emotions that would be fitting for a modern teenager, but it was placed in a time where she would not be allowed or expected to show such immaturity.  Several words and phrases were jarringly and obviously out of time for the setting.  The story stops in the middle, like a bad cliffhanger in a mini-series that leaves you hanging for the next installment.

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


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