Archive for March, 2012

If you have met a child with autism, you have met a child with autism.

I’m stepping back from book pimping for a moment to talk about something near and dear to my heart. April is Autism Awareness month and I am the mother of a child with autism. I rarely discuss my personal life on this blog but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to raise awareness. Because that is my job. More than being a blogger, more than my work week as a CNA, it is my job and responsibility to lay the groundwork for my child’s future. The best way to do that is to educate. To show the world my amazing little boy, to help others understand what autism is, that it is nothing to be feared or ridiculed. My Little Man does not need a “cure” because he is not sick. He just needs understanding.

On Thursday, the CDC released it’s recent autism report. The rate of autism cases in the U.S. has risen to 1 in every 88 children. Ten years ago, that was 1 in 150. That is huge. What can you do? Educate yourself and others. Know the early signs and symptoms. With the statistics being 1 in 88, the odds are you know or will know someone with autism. It could be your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew. Early intervention is vital for these children. Know what to look for and know what resources are available.

Educate your children. They may have never heard of autism. Let them know that the “weird kid” who sits by himself and sometimes does unusual things desperately wants to be included but doesn’t know how. That child is incredibly intelligent and has a sense of loyalty that is unshakable. Just because he doesn’t like to be touched doesn’t mean he won’t make them an excellent friend. And just because he doesn’t look at someone doesn’t mean he doesn’t hear every cruel, hurtful insult that is hurled at him from children that do not know any better. And that’s what it comes down to. No parent looks at their child and thinks “I want him/her to be a bully when they are older” but that’s what is happening. They mock the things they don’t understand and don’t realize the consequences. Teens with ASD are more likely to be depressed and even suicidal. Just typing that sentence terrifies me. It’s not a random statistic. That is my child, my sunshine, the person that my life revolves around. I’m begging you, teach your children understanding and compassion. It could save a life.

A couple of years ago, I read Water Bound by Christine Feehan and it made me reevaluate how I saw my Aspie. The heroine, Rikki, is a high functioning autistic adult and Feehan got it right. I saw so much of Little Man in that fictional character. I found myself nodding at food aversions and the obsessive need for everything to be the same. I ached when Rikki doubted herself and her ability to be loved. And it uncovered a hope that I didn’t realize I still clung to. See, when we got the autism diagnosis, I read everything I could on it and my dreams for Little Man became like an Etch a Sketch. I shook it hard to erase what was already there and started new. My ambition was no longer for him to go to college on a full ride scholarship, my husband was no longer visualizing his son playing in the World Series. My goal was to make it through half the grocery store without a meltdown. For Little Man to spend a full week at school without me getting a phone call from them. My biggest dream at that point was for him to initiate play with another child, which he did for the first time at 8 years of age. Then Water Bound brought back that other dream, the tiny hope I had buried deep because it was too fragile to handle. I want my precious Little Man to have his own HEA. I want him to find a partner that will be by his side for life. Someone that will love him, not in spite of the autism, but because of the amazing and loving person he his. I want that for him more than anything, and because of a romance novel, I now believe it can happen.

If you want to know more about autism but want a great love story too, pick up Water Bound. Yes, it is a fictional character but the portrayal of life with autism is accurate. I’ll be giving away one print or kindle copy to a commenter on this post.

Fatin will also be giving away a copy of The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism. All author proceeds from this book go directly to the Golden Hat Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers for people with autism around the world, and creating an environment that holds these individuals as intellectually capable.

To be entered in the giveaways, just leave a comment saying which book you want or if you want to be entered for both. Easy, peasey right? Giveaway ends next Sunday.

ETA: I had planned for this post to end here but there is something I need to add. If you are a parent of an autistic child, the online autism community is a fantastic resource and support system. The only  thing you need to do is reach out. But I know that is the hardest part. We are supposed to be Super Moms, right? Juggling therapy sessions, IEP meetings, and doctor’s appointments with ease? Always knowing the right step to take in this uncharted territory? Not flinching from those judgmental stares when our child melts down in public? Wrong. We get stressed, take the wrong paths and have to backtrack, and God knows we flinch. That is where the online community comes in. Sometimes you just need to see someone else is right where you are. If you don’t feel comfortable in the more public settings, I’m here. Email me (lillie80@gmail.com) anytime. I may not know the answers you need but I can point you in the right direction. If nothing else, I can listen. And I know from experience, that can help. This ride can get overwhelming but I saw a quote on the Flappiness Is blog that I think back on often and it helps keep my priorities straight.

You already knew you would walk through fire for him. Now suit up.

This is why I will Light It Blue on April 2, 2012.

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Deborah Cooke shared her new cover today also. EMBER’S KISS will be released through Signet and comes out October 2, 2012.

Only one woman can persuade him to embrace his powers.

Brandon Merrick is determined to banish his shifter nature forever. The charismatic tattooed surfer is on the cusp of the ultimate challenge – to prove himself on the whitecaps of Hawaii and secure his future as a pro surfer. But his dragon isn’t prepared to be tamed so easily…

One look at marine biologist Liz Barrett ignites the spark of the firestorm: Liz is his destined mate and his chance for happiness. While Brandon sees their first night together as just the beginning, his dragon seizes the upper hand. Awakening in the company of a raging dragon challenges Liz’s ability to believe her own eyes. Can Brandon accept his inner beast in time to make it work with Liz?

Neither one realizes that Brandon is caught in an ancient Slayer’s scheme to enslave him. When the deadly plot ignites, the very island will be at risk…and Brandon and his mate could be the ultimate sacrifice.

Not only do we have a cover and blurb but you can read an excerpt here.

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Shannon Stacey shared her new cover for her Carina Press novella coming out June 4, 2012. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Anna Frazier is used to living life at 100 mph, but being downsized out of a job in the financial industry has her permanently stalled. With nowhere to go, go, go, Anna hails a cab to her grandparents’ neglected New Hampshire camp to plan her next move. It seems like a good idea—until she realizes there’s no takeout to be had and the boy next door has grown into a sexy but surly recluse.

Cameron Mayfield knows he can kiss his peace and quiet goodbye when Hurricane Anna blows in. She was loud and bossy as a ten-year-old—and besides developing some attractive curves, she hasn’t changed. Cam’s not looking for a relationship, especially not with a woman like Anna. He nearly broke down on that road once before. So why can’t he stop thinking about her?

It’s not long before their sizzling attraction leads to smoking-hot kisses. But as the days get shorter, Anna must decide if she’s found a new road to happiness, or just taken a detour.

Slow Summer Kisses will be also be available in a special anniversary collection, Carina Press Presents: Editor’s Choice Volume I, with two other fabulous stories! Here’s the back cover copy for the collection:

There’s a time and a place for romance: any time, any place!

In honor of our second anniversary, Carina Press brings you a trio of amazing novellas by some of the freshest voices in romance today! A highland laird and an unconventional physician fight monsters and fall in love in Cindy Spencer Pape’s Kilts and Kraken. In Adrienne Giordano’s Negotiating Point, two security operatives try—and fail—to keep their professional distance while working a high-stakes case. And a driven career woman takes a detour to enjoy Slow Summer Kisses in a contemporary story by Shannon Stacey. Three very different tales, three very happy endings.

Edited by Angela James, this anthology includes:
Kilts and Kraken by Cindy Spencer Pape
Negotiating Point by Adrienne Giordano
Slow Summer Kisses by Shannon Stacey

Pre-order links for the novella is here for Kindle/Nook and pre-order link for anthology is here for Kindle/Nook.

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Ever since I read the excerpt for Lord’s Fall in the back of Oracle’s Moon, I have been obsessively checking Thea Harrison’s website for more information. Then yesterday, oh happy day, she finally revealed the cover and blurb. I’m so excited! Hurry up, November 😀


Front cover

Step-back cover

In the latest Novel of the Elder Races, two mates find themselves on different paths, torn between their duty to the Wyr and the passion that binds them…

Before she met Dragos, half-human half-wyr Pia Giovanni was alone and on the run. Now, she’s mated, pregnant and heading south to repair the Wyr’s frayed relationship with the Elves. Being separated from Dragos is painful, but for the good of the Wyr demesne they need to figure out how to be partners, in more places than just the bedroom.

In New York to preside over the Sentinel Games, Dragos is worried about his mate, but knows that finding two replacement sentinels is essential to show the rest of the Elder Races just how strong and brutal the Wyr demesne can be. But as the games heat up, Pia’s negotiations with the Elves take a turn for the dangerous, straining her bond with Dragos and threatening everything they hold dear…

Expected release date: November 26, 2012

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The Book:


The Tease:

Snippet (warning… Toronto is something of a smart-ass)

Not the ideal place for a fight. He’d done it before and managed to avoid human casualties, but he suspected that Sylvia James was a different breed from what he was used to. Ferals fought to live, so they could kill—by nature, most of them weren’t always clearheaded. Sylvia, like him, was a trained killer. Shewould be clearheaded. It would make a difference.


He hunted the ferals.


She hunted for money.


In the end, he’d win, because he was stronger.


But he didn’t want to have to fight her. He wanted to have sex with her—down and dirty sex, maybe up against a wall, in the light so he could watch her. Then on a bed, her body under his, or over . . . his hands tangled in that dark, silken hair.


“You know, most men would at least bother to introduce themselves before the guy starts picturing the woman naked,” she drawled, coming to a stop eighteen inches away.


Toronto smirked. “That’s bullshit. We see a woman, we frequently picture them naked. We mess with the names when we want to actually think about getting them in bed. Some of us, at least.” He skimmed a look over her body, taking in the sleek muscles, the powerhouse curves. Then he focused on her face again, smiled slowly. “So. What’s your name?”

The Blurb:

His past is a mystery, even to him—a werewolf with memories so lost in a fog that even the Hunter’s healers cannot help him. Two hundred years ago,Toronto awakened on an unfamiliar street, naked and alone. Dogged by the unanswered questions of his enigmatic existence, he fears he will never find the missing pieces of the puzzle that is his life.

The vampire Sylvia is no Hunter. She’s a take-no-prisoner mercenary that just barely skates this side of what the Hunters consider acceptable. She has no use for them, their laws, their rules. All she wants is to hunt her quarry, and make a lot of money. Her newest prey is a killer as devious as he is slippery. But her newest complication is of a more intimate sort: A blonde, blue-eyed werewolf who interferes with her plans in so many exquisite ways.


Available April 3, 2012


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The Book

The Tease

“See, that’s where you got it wrong, babe. I was never good. Not then, not now. I stole money from my foster parents, I smoked weed, I went through girls like potato chips.”

“You had it tough,” she argued. “And look how you turned out.”

He slammed a hand against the wall behind her. “You look, Mike. You look at how I turned out, because sometimes I think you don’t even see me. You just see this shiny fucking knight, your buddy Tomas, who will beat up a kid for taking your lunch or pick you up when a date goes bad and let you crash at his place.”

He laid a hand on her neck, closing it gently over her throat. His voice was low and urgent. “But what you don’t see is the Tomas who jerks off to the memory of you bent over in your boxer shorts. The one who closes his eyes and imagines fucking you from behind then pulling out at the last second so he can come on your juicy, round ass that’s still pink from the palm of his hand. The one who wants to tie your wrists and ankles to the bedpost so he can make you scream and cry out his name.”

He rubbed his thumb over her pounding pulse, and her breath caught in her throat. His eyes were wild, his expression pained. He stepped back, and his voice dropped to a whisper.

“And that? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Do you get it now, babe? The big bad wolf is sleeping one door away. Don’t come knocking again, or you’ll wake him up for real next time.”

The Blurb

Micah’s new living arrangement with her best friend is quickly becoming unbearable. Not because Tomas isn’t a good roommate. When they’re alone, he shows her his sweet, loyal side. It’s just that he shows the rest of his parts to half the women in town. If she can’t scrape together the money for her own place soon, witnessing the aftermath of his late-night carousing is going to break her heart.

Then again, if it’s going to break anyway, maybe she should just go ahead and make a move on the man she’s loved since high school. And risk his rejection a second time.

It hasn’t been easy for Tomas to share space with the one damsel he can’t bear to see in distress. To have her within easy reach has been torture. His foster mother’s words echo in his head: a classy girl like Micah deserves more than the likes of him. But lately Micah’s been rattling his cage. If she does it one more time, she’d better be ready for the animal she awakens.

Unfortunately for him, Micah’s hot little hands are already wrapped around the bars…

Available April 24, 2012


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Flying from sin…

Andrew Rossiter has used his gorgeous body and angelic face for all they’re worth—shocking the proper, seducing the willing, and pleasuring the wealthy. But with a tiny son depending on him for rescue, suddenly discretion is far more important than desire. He’ll have to bury his past and quench his desires—fast. And he’ll have to find somewhere his deliciously filthy reputation hasn’t yet reached…

…into seduction

Miss Gemma Peartree seems like a plain, virginal governess—or so she hopes. True, she has a sharp wit and sharper tongue, but handsome Mr. Ross wouldn’t notice Gemma herself. Or so she hopes. No matter how many sparks fly between them, she has too much to hide to catch his eye. But with the storms of a Scottish winter driving them together, it will be hard to keep her secrets. Keeping her hands to herself might prove entirely impossible…


Master of Sin releases today! Some of you might remember the exclusive excerpt that was up on a Teaser Tuesday last month. MOS features damaged hero Andrew Rossiter and Gemma Peartree, a determined governess who teaches him that he is worthy of love. She’s a big believer in Fate, for why else would she wind up on an isolated Scottish island in the Outer Hebrides with such a man if not to change both their lives?

If you read Mistress by Marriage, you’ve already met Andrew—beautiful, corrupt, yet with his own kind of honor. He has no expectations of ever being truly happy. Being normal. His life’s goal thus far has been to make others satisfied, and if he experiences a moment or two of pleasure himself, all the better. But his world is upended by an assassin and the need to rescue his toddler son from certain death.

Amoral Andrew is no one’s idea of a father. And to make matters worse, the boy speaks only Italian. No matter how well-meaning Andrew is, he cannot even communicate with his own child. He needs an Italian-speaking governess, and Gemma, the daughter of an Italian courtesan, fits the bill.

Both Gemma and Andrew have made mistakes and lived to regret them. But here’s what Andrew thinks in the very last chapter:

Normal. His heart stuttered, corrected and resumed its steady tick. “I’m not a normal man, Gemma.”

“No,” she said, “you’re not. You’re so much better.”

Andrew shut his eyes. He knew nearly perfect happiness at this moment, in bed with his wife, his newest child, Marc dozing next to him. He’d never trade one misstep of his past if it meant being robbed of this present. Present in terms of time, present in terms of the gifts that had been bestowed upon him. He’d been bent and hammered, torn and mended. With Gemma beside him, he’d been given another life. In this new incarnation, anything at all was possible.

Sigh. Andrew definitely deserves his HEA after all I put him through. 🙂

I’ve got a signed copy of Master of Sin for one commenter. Do you sneak ahead and read the last chapter of a book? Or are you mad at me because I included an excerpt from it? 😉



For more info about Master of Sin, visit www.maggierobinson.net. And don’t forget to comment for your chance to win. Good luck!

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The blurb:

Lou Crushek is a reasonable, mellow, easygoing kind of guy—especially for a shapeshifting bear. But once someone starts killing the scumbags he works so hard to bust, that really gets under his fur. Especially when that someone is a curvy she — tiger who’s bringing his passion out of hibernation…

Marcella Malone is a member of an elite feline protection unit, and Crush is proving one major pain in her gorgeous tail. The only reason she’s joined forces with him is to track down the wealthy human who’s got her entire species in his ruthless sights. But there’s no denying that beneath that big, burly exterior is a man who knows how to rub her in all the right ways…


Crush and Cella were both introduced in previous books, Crush as Dez’s (The Mane Event) co-worker. Cella is Dee-Ann Smith’s (Big Bad Beast) … I’m not sure how to explain their relationship. Friends who like to beat the hell out of each other? We’ll go with that. The interactions between those two and Dez  helps make this book shine and provided more LOL moments than I can count.

Add in the smoking hot relationship of Crush and Cella, and this book was as close to perfect as it gets for me. Crush is a bear that likes his life the way it is and hates change. Of course, Cella turns his nice, orderly life on its ear when she convinces him to pose as her boyfriend and save her from match-making relatives.

Favorite quote:

“How do you get rational, well-respected people involved in your insanity? I mean is it something you taught yourself to do or is it part of your sociopathic nature?”

Bear Meets Girl was easily a 5 star read for me and one that I know will be getting many rereads.

You can find more information, including an excerpt, at www.shellylaurenston.com.

For a chance to win a print copy of your own, just leave a comment below. The winner will be drawn on Sunday. Good luck!

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Sheri Moore

wins Chase and Seduction by Randi Alexander


Congrats! To claim your prize, please email mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces). You have 48 hours to email before a new name is chosen.

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Author Elise Rome has her 2nd Annual March Madness going on at her website this month and today I’m the guest at her blog. Check it out, there’s a giveaway involved! 🙂

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