Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Book Spotlight: Another Summer

Another Summer
Rebecca Stevenson

When literary agent Tracy Ratcliffe travels to the sleepy village of Wentworth Cove,
Maine, for a much-needed vacation, the most excitement she’s expecting is a sunset
walk along the beach. Instead, she hears about a portrait of a woman who looks
suspiciously like her that had hung in the local art gallery for years, even though she’s never set foot in Wentworth Cove before.

Tracy also meets handsome Nathan Norsworthy, a moody aspiring novelist who
takes her breath away. Nathan helps her deal with the suspicion that the man she
knew and loved as her father probably wasn’t. That is, until she begins to suspect
that Nathan is using her to break into the world of publishing.

Author Bio:
Rebecca Stevenson is a freelance editor and writer whose frequent visits to New England have become the inspirations and settings for her stories. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Dallas Area Romance Authors and currently lives in Texas with her husband.

Other Links:
Twitter: becki_stevenson
Facebook: becki.stevenson.3

Saturday, July 4, 2015

SMT: The Key to Charlotte

The Key to Charlotte
E.A. West
Contemporary Romance
Christian Romance

Charlotte Harris can't speak due to a quirk in her autistic brain, but that doesn't stop her from communicating with others. Unfortunately, it prevents her from achieving two of her dreams--praising God through song and to carrying on a simple conversation using her own voice.

Zakaria Rush is the new Director of Children's Ministries at Charlotte's church, and he can't keep his thoughts off the partially mute blonde with a love for guitar music. Her love of the simple things in life intrigues him and makes him long to give her what she wants more than anything: her voice.

Can Zakaria help Charlotte find the key to unlocking her ability to speak, or will his attempt to help her only lock away their chance for love?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Royal Date

Sariah Wilson
Contemporary Romance

"I was the lyingest liar who ever lied."

Kat McTaggart has every intention of enjoying the ski trip in Monterra with her best friend by not skiing.  When convinced to try out the bunny slopes, she reluctantly agrees, never imagining she'd find herself accidentally on a black diamond slope.  Nor being rescued by the very attractive man she'd seen at the lodge.  His royal highness, Prince Nico is intrigued by the beautiful American who refuses to date him.  Finding a way to convince her that their worlds aren't that far apart is a task he's willing to take on.  Especially with the help of his family and her best friend.  But when scheming ladies and paparazzo interfere, they may find their blossoming feelings tested too soon.  Can they find a way to work past it all?

My Opinion: This was a very cute and engaging story.  The main character was fun with a hilarious inner monologue.  The storyline was slightly stilted at times with some very easily overcome problems, but was still fun.  The romance was great and the overall arch was definitely a squeeze-your-heart-out kind of emotional battle as you root for them to find love.  There were great side characters.  Granted, they flung money and circumstance around rather haphazardly, rather like a good Hallmark movie, but it was still fun.  A good story to curl up to and read on a rainy day.

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

Saturday, June 27, 2015

SMT: Breaking Ties

Breaking Ties
Jo Gafford
Historical Romance

Intelligent and well ahead of her times, ROSE PAYNE'S world is shattered after a secret betrothal to the duke’s son costs her job as a clerk in his father's household. Without a letter of recommendation, she becomes an easy target for recruiters to the Colonies. Desperate for work, she signs up for a risky overseas venture and sails for the New World, vowing never again fall for a wealthy gentleman. 

Returning from a diplomatic tour in London, CHIEF MANTEO is bewitched by the elusive, fiery-haired ship clerk and determined to overcome her distrust. He contrives a daring plan to win her heart – a plan he prays will protect her from a chilling conspiracy involving murder, blood money, and a betrayal of their fledgling colony so terrifying it can only be revealed in BREAKING TIES.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Book Tour: The Villain

The Villain
By May Nicole Abbey
Western, Christian Romance, Time Travel Adventure

A fall and crash
A violent journey through the doorways of time
A villain or hero in the making

Rosemary Mayfield teeters on the brink of ruin. With the murder of her parents she is left the sole guardian of her younger brother and sister. Once a wealthy socialite in New York City, she now finds herself stranded in the untamed wilderness of the American West. When a wounded man comes crashing through her roof, as rough as the savage land, it is against her better judgment to bring him into her home and her heart. But she soon discovers he holds a secret that shatters everything, and she must make a choice, unaware that often destiny hinges on a single moment.

Fresh from an unsavory past and a violent fall through time, Nicolas Ekkridon awakens to find himself cared for by three orphans ignorant of the role he played in their parents’ untimely death. They accept and embrace him, and a lifetime of hardened barriers begin to crumble. On the precipice between good and evil, only Rosemary and her spirited defiance stands between him and villainy. But time and space are against them. As its weaving tentacles envelop them in an indifferent grasp, they are swept into a shattering series of circumstances that threaten the very makeup of their lives. But when time can be bent, nothing is written in stone.

Author Bios

Caroline Gregory and Shawnette Nielson are sisters on a mission. Their goal is to write clean, adventuresome time travel stories, full of lovely characters, personal growth, truth, and hope.
Although they are many miles from each other, and are both busy with the daily needs of their respective families, they carve out time each night to put fingers to keyboard and write. Their goal? Twenty completed books. Set all over the world and throughout time, they thrill at the freedom that writing time travel offers them. From Georgian society, to Ancient Egypt, and the Wild West, there are even plans for books set in Ancient Greece, the future, as well as today. The possibilities are limitless.

Available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1JYjqgk

Author Interview

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

We love flawed characters who are honest and kind hearted, despite their trials. In a hero, he must be strong and capable. But he must have a weakness, something that makes him vulnerable. Like John Brooke in Little Women. He is such an admirable and capable character, but his poverty makes him vulnerable and he overcomes it to win Meg and lead a dignified life.
And heroine? We love women who are strong, but also essentially gentle and kindhearted. Elizabeth Bennett comes to mind (and only by sheer force of will I didn’t name Mr. Darcy above). Elizabeth is strong and dignified and fun, but she essentially kind and good. It is a difficult line to walk, but it is lovely when it is done well.

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

I just read “God Wills It! A Tale of the First Crusade” by William Stearns Davis. Wonderful. So much romance and human conflict side by side with larger than life historical figures. I’ve never read anything like it. I learned so much! Never a dull moment!

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?

England. See the English countryside I’ve read so much about, to walk the streets of London. A lion share of the books I’ve read have taken place in England. To me it is the literary mecca. Perhaps not necessarily by blood, but by language and national history, it is my heritage.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer? 

Being able to create the story I want. Though I love to read, the best part of writing is that I have absolute control over my story, over what happens to the characters and what decisions they make.

Where do your ideas come from? 

That is the best part about having two brains working together! We can bounce ideas off each other. When one of us gets stuck, the other seems to know where to go from there, and we have more ideas than we know what to do with!

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

More than I can count. Haha! And of those, four novels and a children’s book.

What are the elements of a great romance for you?

I like to think of romance in the old sense of the word: mystery, adventure, sacrifice, beauty, the best parts of life highlighted and savored. My favorite types of romance (and this might sound contradictory) are very down to earth, almost ordinary, but with shots of magic throughout.

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

Brave, dignified, spunky, witty, intelligent

What are your hero and heroine of the story like? 

Rosemary is from New York City and finds herself in the Wild West. Tragedy strikes and she is the sole guardian of her younger brother and sister. She is sophisticated, but brave and spunky. Nicolas, a time traveler, comes crashing through her roof one night. He is rough and dangerous, but is exactly what they need to survive in the wilderness. He has a difficult past, and Rosemary and her brother and sister help to heal him.

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

It has it all: adventure, romance, history, super-natural elements all wrapped up in the enchantment and brutal beauty of the American Wild West. The characters are fun and spunky, but genuine and vulnerable.

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

I’d have to say it is a side character: Shannon. She helps Rosemary throughout the story and is the very living soul of the Wild West. She is unschooled but sharp, world-wise but optimistic, full of vice but full of virtue. Some of my favorite lines of the book come from her!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

SMT: Along the Way Home

Along the Way Home
Christi Corbett
Historical Romance

Kate Davis is intrigued when her father reveals his dream of starting a horse ranch in Oregon Territory. Settlers out west value a strong woman, and though she manages the financials of her father’s mercantile her competence earns her ridicule, not respect, from Virginia’s elite society.

Jake Fitzpatrick, an experienced trail guide, wants land out west to raise cattle and crops. But dreams require money and he’s eating dandelion greens for dinner. So when a wealthy businessman offers double wages to guide his family across the Oregon Trail, Jake accepts with one stipulation—he is in complete control.

Departure day finds Kate clinging to her possessions as Jake demands she abandon all he deems frivolous, including her deceased mother’s heirlooms. Jake stands firm, refusing to let the whims of a headstrong woman jeopardize the wages he so desperately needs—even a beautiful one with fiery green eyes and a temper to match.

Trail life is a battle of wills between them until tragedy strikes, leaving Jake with an honor-bound promise to protect her from harm and Kate with a monumental choice—go back to everything she’s ever known or toward everything she’s ever wanted?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Author Interview: Bernadette Pajer

Bernadette Pajer
author, The First Time

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

I'm from the Pacific Northwest and love it. I was born and raised in Seattle, lived on Orcas Island for a few years when newly married, lived for a couple years in the Southeast--North Carolina & Tennessee--and always felt like I was on vacation. It was beautiful, especially in the fall, but my heart is here, with the mountains and sea and Douglas firs. So back we came and happily settled outside of Seattle.

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

I'm an eclectic, moody reader. By that I mean, I get in moods about the sort of story I want to escape into and indulge myself until the mood changes. On my nightstand are recent reads, THE BOYS IN THE BOAT by Daniel James Brown, and DEAD WAKE by Erik Larson, both excellent books that satisfied my mood for creative nonfiction. Now, I'm in an audiobook chick-lit phase, happily listening my way through Sophie Kinsella's standalone titles.

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance?

I love the journey of falling in love, and I enjoy examining the challenge of life in general--career, family, children--and how it all relates to relationships. I find that the emotion is stronger on the page when an abundance of sex isn't distracting the senses.

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

I'm working on a suspense novel (which will also be a clean-read, except for a bit of language. One of the characters is menopausal and you're in her thoughts, so . . .), and when that's done, I will assess what to do next. I've got a contemporary fiction novel that I've dabbled with for 20 years that keeps evolving and maturing as I do (I call it my cow story because a cow is rescued in it), another time-travel romance at the revision stage, another suspense novel to follow up the first, if the first sells (cross your fingers), and I'm also looking forward to returning to my beloved Professor Bradshaw, who is patiently waiting for me to write the 5th book in the series (historical mysteries, clean reads.)

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

The people I meet. I mean that most sincerely. Writing is a lonely art to practice, but it is so rich with kindred spirits in the sharing. Online and in person, I've made connections with people, made friends, I never would have met were it not for the common tie of books. It's a magic, wonderful thing, to meet someone who enjoy either the story-worlds I create or that enjoys books I love, too.

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

I don't intentionally put my personality into my writing, but I'm sure it's there, in some characters. I do channel my emotional experiences through my characters. What happens to them isn't real, but it's true, if you know what I mean. Love, life, loss, pain, regret, hope, all of that. I tap into what I've emotionally experienced and move my characters through those emotions. Occasionally, I do use some details that my family can recognize. In THE FIRST TIME, the house where Ivy lives with her Aunt Daisy is the house I lived in as a little girl. The games she tells Harrison about, especially running through the sheets on the clothesline and making wishes, those were things my sisters and I did. And I was a grocery checker for many years. If you've ever wondered what that absentminded checker is thinking about as she rings up your groceries--maybe it's a story like this. I drafted quite a few books as I beeped and bagged.

Please share about your book

In a nutshell, THE FIRST TIME is the story of an ordinary grocery checker who finds adventure, a purpose, and love, when a new scanner opens a portal in time to a British soldier in 1901 South Africa.

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

Ivy O'Neal: sweet, smart, selfless, giving, courageous

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

To me, there's no “should” when it comes to reading for pleasure. Sample everything, including THE FIRST TIME, and when a story says “howdy” to you, keep reading to enjoy the journey.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

SMT: Honor: Second Novel of Rhynan

Honor: Second Novel of Rhynan
Rachel Rossano
Fantasy Romance
Medieval Romance

The Earl of Dentin excels in his position as Securer of the Realm. But the king’s order to pluck an orphaned child from a loving home unsettles Dentin. When a dark-eyed woman challenges his honor regarding the mission, Dentin finds himself unable to justify his actions or get her out of his mind. Something about her lack of fear intrigues him. 

Lady Elsa Reeve attempts to avoid the marriage of convenience her brother and mother demand of her. She understands the need to pay off her brother's massive debt. She only wants her family to consider her wishes in the process. 

As Elsa becomes further entangled in a snare of her brother’s creating, only one man defends her. But can she trust Dentin, her unlikely champion, and his motives? With a murderer on the loose, Elsa’s fate in jeopardy, and a traitor plotting against the king, Dentin finds his priorities shifting in an unexpected direction.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Book Spotlight: Not Every Girl

Not Every Girl
Jane McGarry

Olivia Davenport knows what she needs to be happy. Now, if only she could get the rest of the world to come around to her way of thinking. Strong willed and independent, she enjoys life in her small country of Stewartsland where she trains with the kingdom's squires. At nearly seventeen, Olivia dreams not of becoming someone’s wife, but of becoming a knight in her own right. So far her father, who is the Master-of-Arms, has indulged her, much to her mother's chagrin, but the date for her training’s end looms.

Olivia learns of an important mission for the kingdom. She pleads for the opportunity to participate, but her father is adamant about its impropriety. Heartbroken, but undeterred, Olivia devises a plan to disguise herself in order to set out with the men. The first day goes extremely well, if she overlooks the fact that the brooding Prince Liam has come along. Her previous encounters with him have been less than pleasant.

The next day, Olivia is unmasked, an obstacle she fully expected, but thought she had outwitted. Since there are no women to chaperone her home, she assumes her continuation on the trip is guaranteed. That is until Prince Liam ruins her well-crafted scheme giving his royal word to see her home safely. Furious, she has no choice but to concede and leaves, humiliated, with the Prince and a guard. Then, an unexpected turn of events puts them at the center of a dangerous plot against the King.

The ensuing adventure finds her grappling with mercenaries and outlaws and Olivia must come to terms with the hard realities of being a soldier. Witnessing actual blood and death unnerves hers and makes her question if she is fit to be a knight. But this is nothing next to the bewildering attraction she develops for Liam. She wavers between confident belief that he feels something for her and decimating uncertainty that she misreads the situation entirely. The girl, who is usually so self-assured, finds herself tongue tied and insecure while she tries to sort out her run away emotions. In the end, it is her courage and unique spirit which must guide her through the challenges she encounters both physical and emotional

Author Bio:
Reading was always a big part of my life. Creating my own stories developed out of this love. Finally, I decided to try my hand at writing a novel and that was when Not Every Girl was conceived.

I live in New Jersey with my husband, two sons and an extremely spoiled cat. When I am not running around with my family or writing, I can be found curled up with a good book and said cat. It is my belief that a good book, a loyal pet and anything made of chocolate can brighten just about any day.
Happy reading!

Other Links:

Saturday, June 6, 2015

SMT: The Rose Ring

The Rose Ring
Lucie Ulrich
Christian Romance

With a will that reads like a piece of fiction, the return of his long-lost brother, and the possibility of losing the family ranch, Micah Cooper calls on high school friend, Sky Baxter, to bail him out of a bad situation. 

Though her brain tells her no, Sky’s heart says yes. She accepts Micah’s in-name-only proposal, knowing it’s unlikely anything permanent will come of it. She’s been in love with him since the ninth grade, and if he hasn’t figured it out by now, there’s little chance he ever will.

When an unexpected kiss ignites a spark, giving Micah hope for a possible future with Sky, a tragic accident threatens to take it all away. Torn between following his heart, doing the right thing, and forgiving the past, Micah is lost in a whirlwind of pain and emotions. Will he make it through the next two years, or will a long-kept family secret be the undoing of them all?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Book Spotlight: Summer in Snow Valley

#1 Bestselling Authors of Christmas in Snow Valley, have teamed up again with six wonderful summer novellas that are sure to make your summer sweet and sassy!

Catching Caytie by Amazon Top Seller Cindy Roland Anderson

On the night Caytie Holbrook intends to break up with her cheating boyfriend, he blindsides her by announcing their engagement at a dinner party. When Caytie discovers her father is in on the scheme, she runs away from her home in Beverly Hills to hide out at her uncle’s ranch in Snow Valley, Montana. While Snow Valley is a beautiful place, Caytie only plans to stay until her twenty-fifth birthday when she’ll inherit a trust fund her grandmother left her, allowing her to pursue her dream to move to Italy. That is until she meets Jace McAllister, an incredibly sexy—although somewhat grumpy—cowboy who threatens to disrupt her plans.

Tin Foil Tiaras by Amazon Top Seller Jeanette Lewis

Cameron Elliott has come to Snow Valley to coach Annalisa Drake in the Miss Snow Valley pageant, and prove to her demanding boss that she deserves a place at the prestigious Westbrooke Agency. But Annalisa’s handsome and protective big brother, Kyle, is determined to keep his sister from becoming a reluctant beauty queen. As Cameron tries to win Kyle over, Kyle insists some things are more valuable than a title and as crazy as it sounds, Cameron might just believe him.

A Touch of Love by Amazon Top Seller Cami Checketts

Annie Stirland has endured a lifetime of teasing, embarrassment, and isolation due to her speech impediment. When irresistible cowboy, Luke Wilson, seems to be falling for her, she’s certain he’s too good to be true. A tragedy involving his ex-girlfriend proves she’s right. What man can resist sheltering someone they once loved? Annie knows she should walk away, but Luke isn’t ready to give her up.

First Love by Amazon Top Seller Taylor Hart 

Janet Snow doesn’t expect to get caught in a full-blown make out session at her brother’s wedding. Especially not with Michael Hamilton, the boy she’d written off ten years ago. Even though they both agree to no complications, Janet's not sure they can stick to it given their past. After a trip to the hot springs, a helicopter ride, and a proposal, even the most cautious single mother would start to wonder if true love really is just about the timing. Now Janet has to make a choice—play it safe or trust that her first love could also be her last. 

Romancing Rebecca by Amazon Top Seller, Kimberley Montpetit

Rebecca Dash loved spending her teen summers swooning over Jane Austin and helping her aunt at the Starry Skies Bed & Breakfast in Snow Valley. But as a recent college grad, she’d rather write sappy romance novels than go out with guys that make her a nervous wreck. When a team of fire-fighters set up camp on the lawns of the B&B and Captain Wade catches her eye, Becca soon learns that there’s more to a happily-ever-after than a flirty fireman with muscles the size of the Montana hills.

Love in Light and Shadow by Amazon Top Seller Lucy McConnell

Mercedes O'Shay has sworn off gorgeous men because they have a tendency to break her heart. When she meets her new neighbor, Chet Bauer, she immediately puts him in the Do Not Date category based on his well-defined muscles and stunning blue eyes. But the more Mercedes learns about the cowboy who reads classics and forges iron, the more she realizes the heart doesn't see in black and white; it sees light and shadows.

Excerpt from A Touch of Love

“Do you ever write down what you’re thinking?” Luke asked.
Annie's eyebrows arched. He loved the way she did that.
“Would you write for me? What you’re thinking?”
She shrugged her shapely shoulders and studied him for a few seconds before pulling out a notepad. She wrote for a few seconds then handed it to him.
I’m thinking that this cowboy is a nice guy who’s uncomfortable with my silence.
“I guess you got me there. I don’t really talk too much, usually just swear at the cattle. So I’m not a nice guy at all.”
She took the pad back, wrote, and handed it to him again.
You’re definitely a nice guy. I knew that when you bought the thoughtful gift for your sister. Why do you want to take me to dinner? Feeling bad for the new girl in town?
He grinned. “Nope. Feeling intrigued by the new girl in town and wanting to get to know her better.” He handed the pad back to her.
You don’t have the time to get to know me better, it would take hours for me to get anything out with my stutter.
He laughed. “Sweetheart, I’ve got the time and the desire to get to know you better. I really do love the sound of your voice, but if you’re more comfortable we could communicate like this.”
Her grin widened. How about we give it a few days? I don’t go to dinner with men I don’t know.
“How about I come back tomorrow and see you so you don’t have to go to dinner with a man you don’t know?” He paused. “Dang. Tomorrow we’re checking the range cows. Friday?”
She looked dubious.
“I’d like an appointment Friday at five for...” He looked over the list of options. “A foot zone. If you’re available, I’d like to take you to dinner after.”
She wrote quickly. Reading your feet will definitely help me get to know you. Are you sure you’re ready for that kind of disclosure?
A surprised laugh escaped him. “You can tell stuff about me from rubbing my feet?”
She pointed at the word reading.
“Reading my feet?”
She nodded, looking very smug.
“Okay. I have nothing to hide. You’re sure we can’t go to dinner tonight?”
She waved at him.
Luke inclined his head. Annie was a challenge. He liked her more each minute.


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