Archive for March, 2010

Ever since her father was stabbed to death in a home invasion, Julia “Jules” Farentino has been plagued by nightmares. Her half-sister, Shaylee, now seventeen, has had her own difficulties since the tragedy, earning a rap sheet for drug use, theft, and vandalism. Still, when Jules learns of her mother’s decision to send Shay to an elite boarding school in Oregon, she’s skeptical. The Academy has a reputation for turning wayward kids around—but one of its students went missing six months ago and her body has never been found. There are rumors she may have died during one of the school’s questionable treatments. Once enrolled, Shay grows fearful, convinced her every move is being watched. And the deeper Jules digs, the more concerned she becomes.

On impulse, Jules applies for a teaching job at the Academy. Though the facility boasts state-of-the-art equipment and a breathtaking campus, Jules senses cracks in the director’s do-good demeanor. Shortly before Jules arrived, a student was found hanged, and a hysterical Shay believes it was murder. Staff members are wary and unwelcoming—all except Cooper Trent, another recent hire who has his own suspicions, and his own secrets.

Then another girl goes missing, and yet another is found dead. There’s no doubt something sinister is at hand—but Jules may be too late to stop it. Behind the Academy’s idyllic veneer lurks an evil force on a brutal and terrifying mission. And Jules has become the next target of a bloodthirsty killer without limits, without remorse, without mercy…



You know how people “Google” themselves?  Well, I don’t really do that, not out of any lack of vanity, but mostly because there’s so many listings of books for sale on such an amazing multitude of sites that, even I want to dig for some feel good mentions, it would take forever to get to them.  At least that’s what I tell myself.  I think maybe I just don’t want to take the chance of running across anything negative.  I can be a chicken that way. 

However, recently someone in the office did take a look and reminded me of an interview in which I talked about my sister (and now co-author of Wicked Game and the 2011 Wicked Lies!—plug intended) Nancy Bush and growing up in Molalla, Oregon, a small timber town in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.  The interview was tied to Final Scream, which was set in an Oregon timber town–apple not so far from tree.  I started thinking about how much I enjoy writing about the Pacific Northwest, even though I haven’t done it all that frequently in my suspense novels.  Fatal Burn is also set close to home, as is Nancy and my  Wicked Game

It made me wonder what took me so long to set a story in one of my favorite places—the truly breathtaking Siskiyou Mountains in the southern part of the state. That’s where Without Mercy is set, right on the Oregon-California border.  I wanted to set my fictional Blue Rock Academy somewhere rugged, beautiful and untouched.  Blue Rock is an elite boarding school for troubled teens so it needed to be hard to reach and hard to leave. And I wanted the contrast of an idyllic setting against the terror that is about to overtake the school’s staff and students.  I think it worked. Certainly it did for me.  Even when I did my best to view the story dispassionately, I was uneasy thinking about how the evil people can harbor can arise in the most unexpected, seemingly safe havens.

So, yes, amid the landscape I love, I had Jules Farantino walk into the unknown, determined to safeguard her half-sister Shaylee, whose been sent there instead of juvenile detention.  Jules is troubled by the rumors surrounding the disappearance of a student months ago and, now, by Shay’s insistence that the missing girl was killed by someone at the school. 

Jules heads to Blue Rock” undercover,” managing to be hired as a last minute replacement for a teacher who left under accusations of an affair with a student.  She doesn’t know exactly what she expects to find, but it certainly didn’t include discovering her former lover on the staff and another student missing the very day she arrives.  Things get worse.

I’m not going to give any more away.  It’s not fair.  But I will say I hope you’ll read and enjoy Without Mercy and the trip to southern Oregon. I don’t think it will be too long before I’m drawn back home for another story.  First though, I’m heading back to New Orleans.  I hope you’ll meet me there next year.



Huge thanks to Lisa for being our guest today! for more infomation on her books and what she has coming out next, visit her website here. Don’t forget to leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of Without Mercy. Good luck!

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Leslie Michaels is a visionary, and only those close to her know of her special gift and the visions that come when her mind and body surrender to sleep.  Fate has a way of righting many wrongs, and for Leslie it is a destiny that changes her life dramatically. But not before she is forced to flee into the wilderness to escape a murderous trapper bent on claiming her for his very own.  Faith and a strong will to survive are her only companions, until she encounters Winnokin, the handsome Seneca war chief who first came to her in her dreams.  Not only does he prove to be her rescuer and protector, he teaches her that tragedy can breed happiness and the passion to live and love deeply once again.


Hello everyone.  I am so thrilled to be a part of Fatin’s blog and first want to extend a very gracious and heartfelt thank you to her for allowing me to participate.  Like you, I lived for reading … it filled many long and lonely evenings when I was raising my children and much later on when my marriage came to an end.

I’m a true believer that when tragedy strikes and you’re standing on the edge of that precipice and all you see is darkness looking back at you, faith lies in knowing one of two things will happen.  You can either let fear consume you or, you can take a leap of faith and learn how to soar like an eagle.

Wind Warrior first came to life 12 years ago when I was meeting my greatest challenge to simply survive head on.  I received so many rejections throughout that time frame I nearly gave up on my dream.  That is, until I realized it just wasn’t my time.  I needed to live through and get beyond the pain in my own life before I could transform that experience into the kind of passion and emotion I wanted my readers to feel personally through my writing.

Wind Warrior is book one of five of my Iroquois series and will officially be released by Tate Publishing June 15th.  It is, however, available now for purchase through Tate’s website.  I hope readers find it as enthralling to read as it was to research and bring to life.  Book two Captive Heart is expected to be released the end of this year.

Now that the writer in me has been unleashed, stay tuned for future projects which will include a series introducing contemporary shape shifters and two mainstream romance thrillers entitled Pawn For Malice and The Keeper’s Watch.


Thank you for visiting with us, Ms Roberts!

To read an excerpt from Wind Warrior,  visit Ms Roberts’ website. And don’t forget to leave a comment to enter the drawing to win a print copy of the novel (to be mailed after it’s release)

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New voting round started last night and the two books I had as my Final 2 are currently both behind. I need you all to go vote for Larissa Ione and Sarah Mayberry if you haven’t cast your vote yet. My bracket is toast if they lose and last year I made it to the Final 4 before I lost. Please help them (and *me*) stay in the game! Poll ends at midnight tonight so share the link with all your friends and family and tell them Fatin was shameless in her begging and you felt sorry for me…heh, say whatever you want, just please vote for Larissa and Sarah before midnight tonight! Poll can be found here.

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Latest Winners!!


Latest winners!!


Wins a copy of Leave Me Breathless by HelenKay Dimon.

Brandy (bookmom)

Wins a copy of Mind Games by Carolyn Crane.


Wins a copy of The Wild Marquis by Miranda Neville.

Congrats to all the winners!

You all know the drill. Email me your address at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces) within 48 hours or a new name will be chosen.

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The Marquis of Chase is not a reputable man.

He is notorious for his wretched morals and never received in respectable houses. The ladies of the ton would never allow him in their drawing rooms… though some of them have welcomed him into their bedchambers. Rejected from his father’s house at the age of sixteen, he now lives a life of wanton pleasure. So what could the Marquis of Chase possibly want with Juliana Merton, a lovely, perfectly upstanding shopkeeper with a mysterious past?

A moment’s indiscretion?

A night’s passion?

Or a lifetime of love?

Even the wildest rakes have their weaknesses…


First I’d like to thank Fatin for inviting me to her blog. I can see she has a lot of chatty readers, the best kind. In case you don’t know me, I write historical romance for Avon. My books are set in the ever popular Regency period. Never Resist Temptation came out a year ago, a mystery romance featuring a heroine who was a pastry chef. The Wild Marquis was released this month. The heroine is a rare bookseller, down on her luck, whose business perks up when a rakish marquis with a terrible reputation walks into her shop. It emerges that both of them have mysteries in their pasts that are entwined thought a pair of rival book collectors. Along the way this very unlikely couple fall in love. (more…)

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Coming out a week from today, to shelves near you:


Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.

Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.


First, thanks so much for inviting me here! This is my first official guest post of my first novel, so it’s really special.

I’m a believer in novels being exciting, and for big things to happen in them, on the relationship or threat level. But I’m also a fan of little moments of pleasure. Those times when a character gets to stop and smell the roses. (more…)

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Permission To Approach

According to Judge Bennett Walker, trying to kill him is a dumb idea. They might make him wear a big black nightgown to work, but it covers a lot of muscles, and he’s definitely packing beneath it. He’s also an ex-prosecutor and an ex-GI Joe. So when his brother brings in Callie Robbins to protect him, Ben has a few issues. First, he doesn’t need a bodyguard. Second, she’s a 130-pound girl—more smoking hot than smoking gun. And third, what if his body wants her guarding the night shift?

Callie has no problem brushing aside Ben’s disbelief. She left the FBI to escape the boys’ club, but she can be deeper undercover and twice as lethal as any beefy John Doe. As for whether someone’s after Bennett or not, the death threats and car bombs look pretty convincing to Callie. Of course, she might get distracted, sitting inches from the sexiest judge in DC for ten hours a day. Keeping him safe is no picnic. Keeping it professional—that might be impossible.


Hello everyone.  A big thank you to Fatin for inviting me back!

My newest single title, LEAVE ME BREATHLESS (Kensington Brava, March ’10), just hit the bookshelves.  I have to admit it. I love this book. [Yeah, no ego problem here.] Mostly, the book makes me smile because of the mix of personalities of the hero and heroine.  The hero is Ben Walker, a superstar in the legal community and a very successful judge. The youngest judge on the bench, in fact.

And he’s a bit clueless about women.  (more…)

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Visit Fireworks Over Toccoa before March 30th to enter Jeffrey Stepakoff’s Sweepstakes. One Grand Prize winner will win a gourmet romantic picnic basket for two along with their copy of Fireworks Over Toccoa300 runners-up will receive a copy of FIREWORKS OVER TOCCOA.

Every so often that story comes along that reminds us of what it’s like to experience love for the first time—against the odds, when you least expect it, and with such passion that it completely changes you forever.

An unexpected discovery takes eighty-four-year-old Lily Davis Woodward to 1945, and the five days that forever changed her life. Married for only a week before her husband was sent to fight in WWII, Lily is anxious for his return, and the chance to begin their life together. In honor of the soldiers’ homecoming, the small Georgia town of Toccoa plans a big celebration. And Jake Russo, a handsome Italian immigrant, also back from war, is responsible for the elaborate fireworks display the town commissioned. But after a chance encounter in a star-lit field, he steals Lily’s heart and soul—and fulfills her in ways her socially-minded, upper-class family cannot. Now, torn by duty to society and her husband—and the poor, passionate man who might be her only true love—Lily must choose between a commitment she’s already made and a love she’s never known before.

Fireworks Over Toccoa takes us to a moment in time that will resonate with readers long after the book’s unforgettable conclusion. A devastating and poignant story, this debut novel will resonate with anyone who believes in love.

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Bunch of winners!


Felicia & Armenia

Both win a copy of Stolen Promise by Lisa Marie Wilkinson.


Wins a copy of BOUND, BRANDED & BRAZEN by Jaci Burton.


Wins a copy of Too Wicked To Kiss by Erica Ridley.


Wins a copy of Something About You by Julie James.

And finally, the winner of the ARC of Sweet Temptation by Maya Banks is….


Congrats to all the winners!!

You all know the drill. Email me your address at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces) within 48 hours or a new name will be chosen.

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Today I have an awesome prize to share with you all. Guess what I have here sitting on my desk? An ARC of SWEET TEMPTATION by Maya Banks! This comes out next month, April 6, 2010 but you all have the chance to win it early. Believe me, you want this book. Micah was amazing and very very hawt in it. *eg*

Contest will run from today until Saturday night. Winner will be announced Sunday afternoon and book will be shipped out on Monday or Tuesday, whichever day the post office isn’t busy! 😉 All you have to do to be in the running is tell me what books, besides Micah’s (of course! *g*) you’re looking forward to adding to your TBR in the next couple of months.

Giveaway is open to everyone. Good Luck and Happy Reading! 🙂


He was a by-the-book cop who broke the rules in the bedroom…

Micah Hudson has painful secrets he’s run hard from. He has new friends, a new life, but he’s about to be confronted with the one person who reminds him of all he’s tried to forget—Angelina, the sister of his oldest friend David. She knows everything about his past, including how he and David fell in love with the same woman, and how they decided the best way to prevent her from tearing them apart was to share her between them. But then a terrible accident left Micah alone…

She was willing to do anything to make him see the woman she’d become…

Micah lost the two people who meant the most in the world to him. Angelina lost her only family. And she kept her deepest secret close to her heart. Her love for Micah. No longer willing to wait, she decides it’s time to go after him and bring him to his knees. She knows his secrets, his desires, his kinks and fetishes, and she’ll use whatever it takes to reel him in. Behind the easy going, loves women exterior lies a man with dark needs and passions. She can give him what he wants. But will he decide she’s what he needs?



Excerpt can be found here.

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