Archive for October 13th, 2012

For months now I’ve been wondering what to do with the extra print books I have in my house. I’ve done several giveaways on the blog but I wanted something new to do. I finally found it after seeing Karen Ranney’s post here. I’m totally borrowing her “Just Because” idea and want to use it here at RR@H Novel Thoughts. Every month I’ll pick two names and send them a book, along with some swag goodies. As I send out the books, I will remove your name off the list until there are no names left. If you’d like to be on the list, please fill out the form below and let the fun begin! 🙂

***This is open to all, both US & International readers.

Can’t get the form to embed into post so follow the link below to send me your info. Thanks!

Form Link

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Book Dish is a new feature at Novel Thoughts. This isn’t a review. It’s Mad and Lillie honestly discussing a recent book. Book Dish will be full of SPOILERS. And possibly bad words. Except in this one, we will use “fudge ripple” instead of the f bomb because that’s what our heroine does 😀


by Monette Michaels

Security Specialists International, book 1

Lillie: So we have Keely, our heroine. She has 5 brothers, all badass SEALs, Marines, etc. Her dad is a marine. She went to MIT at 13, got 3 doctorates, spent 5 days in BUDs before she was caught, then went to sniper school, all while working with the DOD and other alphabet agencies through MIT. Through that work, she discoveres her brother Tweetie (yes Tweetie) and his band of badass mercs are walking into a trap and goes to South America to save them. That’s where the story begins. Did I forget anything about her background?

Mad: Don’t think so, isn’t that enough?

Lillie: Obviously not, since we got a full book about her awesomeness.

Mad: Oh oh! Her Spider sense, don’t forget her spider sense.

Lillie: Yes! Her spider sense that always lets her know about bad stuff. And her flaming hair that attracts all men by the droves. And her perfect tiny body.

Mad: Yes because it’s a burden to her but *sigh* It is what it is.

Lillie: Such a burden. Poor tiny perfect heroine

I don’t even know where to begin with this one. I guess all the butt kicking in South America?

Mad: Yes. Because you know when you’re in the middle of a butt kicking, you pause long enough to make googley eyes at hero and flirt with him.

Lillie: Yep, all his boners and butt patting were so romantic when done in front of her brother while people were shooting at them and THROWING LIVES GRENADES!

Mad: And that’s all after she took out 2 bad mercs and then killed a third before getting to her brother.

Don’t hate, they were very romantic, where else did you expect them to do that? Haha

But did you truly believe the hero got so possessive so quickly? I kept wanting to say “slow down, man, breathe.”

Lillie: Yeah, that was really fast. Within seconds of her showing her face, he was beating his chest and growling mine.

Mad: Give me a sec, I have to grab my Kindle. I made so many highlights reading this. Close to 100. Did you?

Lillie: I don’t have as many. I knew you did so I zipped through and let you take the time to highlight the crazy.

Mad: That first scene when she took out those 2 mercs and told them that it was “Too bad you had to run across me on one of my mean days.” I knew it was just beginning of the WTFery to happen in the book.

Lillie: And that attitude sticks through the whole book. Let the wtfery begin!

Mad: I think I said “Girl, shut up.” a billion times (not really but it sure felt like it!)

Lillie: But if she didn’t tell us how awesome she is, how would we know? Not when she killed a dozen baddies after she found her brother, not when she dived and threw the before-mentioned grenade back at the baddies, not when she was dizzy with a fever and killed 2 more bad guys. She has to tell us so we know!

Mad: That was such a stupid scene. She’s got a fever, feeling weak and dizzy yet she’s like the Energizer Bunny that won’t quit and keeps on killing.

Before she passes out and needs to be carried and fed through a straw because she is so weak and out of it.

Lillie: Wait! We must discuss my favorite (not really) scene.

Mad: And that is?

Lillie: After the guys discover the bruises and bite marks from her kidnapping and torture pre-rescue and she takes out 2 of the baddies while sick, the hero gets back to her to find her delirious. He scoops her up, and after knowing her for 30 minutes, a tear runs down the ultimate badass’s manly cheek because he was afraid for her. *sigh* So romantic!(we really need a sarcasm font)

Mad: That scene, it made me roll my eyes so hard while saying “you big ass crybaby, you don’t even KNOW her yet!”

Lillie: But it did lead up to the scene that should never be in any book outside of Flowers in the Attic.

I’m not even going to try to describe the next part. We’ll just put the actual quote. Ren (hero) has Keely in a cool tub to bring down her fever. Her brother is in the bathroom with her and they are examining her wounds.

Keely’s brother knelt by the tub and efficiently gave her a shot in the upper arm. “A dead one. But first, my brothers and I will want a little ‘talk’ with the fucker.” He took another cloth and began to bathe his sister’s legs. His hand halted almost immediately. “Aww, fuck, just fuck.”

At the look on Tweeter’s face, at the tone in his voice, Ren stiffened. Icy fear traveled his spine. “What?”
“You can’t see from there–” Tweeter choked back what sounded suspiciously like a sob. “Between her legs … on her inner thigh.”
“No!” He howled the word. Had she been raped? The bathroom door banged open and Vanko rushed in.

“What’s wrong with the little one?” Ren was so upset he didn’t even think to order Vanko to leave the room. He just pulled Keely into his arms, laying her across his lap, then gently spread her legs. Bruising on her inner thighs looked like finger marks. He traced the ugly evidence of her legs being forcibly held apart. He scanned every millimeter of her skin up to the red-curl-covered mound. There was a multitude of bruises.

Mad: Yes, that was a little too creepy for my tastes. I have brothers and never would I think there would ever be any situation for something like that to happen. No. Just no.

Lillie: Tweeter is looking at her privates. Hero is looking at them. Then the other team member is too. And they see nothing wrong with this! Toooo much for me.

Mad: YES. I seriously had issues with that scene like it was NORMAL for such a scene to occur.

Lillie: And that’s not the last time we see siblings talking about each others pink parts or dangley bits but that part comes later.

Mad: Then when she woke up after 3 days of being unconscious and she’s all “oh, I need a Pepsi but oh wait, I’m also hungry, the guys aren’t here so I’ll go downstairs BY MYSELF and get something to eat knowing the villain was STILL out there waiting for them.




Lillie: Yes! Soooo damn dumb. But she’s super heroine so what do you really expect?

Mad: Yes, I know, her Spider sense and all. I had NO IDEA Spiderman had a sister.

Lillie: One of the things I did like about this book and is one of my favorite parts in many romances, is that the hero takes care of her. Loved seeing that soft side of him, even if it was way over the top.

Mad: Her over the top-ness just blinded me to him for the most part, to be honest.

And so, she’s downstairs in a private cabana, waiting for her food when two mercs come in and want to take her to their boss. But, not only are they there to take her to their boss, she’s noticed they both have an erection by just talking to her.

Lillie: Because she’s awesome, of course. But she still kicks their asses after she was unconscious for three days.

Mad: I’m just glad I knew going in from the Amazon forums this book was first mentioned on, that it was very over the top. I guess knowing that before I went in kept me from having this end up as a DNF for me plus, the whole WTFery business of it all kept me glued to it and kept me turning pages.

And the mom. I just can’t even…I have no words for that scene she was in. I kept thinking “Seriously? Are you fudge ripple kidding me?!” lol

Lillie: When her parents show up to help kick butt (because that’s what all super families do) for the very first part I got what I would have expected. Her family being over protective of the 21 year old virgin. Then her mom notices the hero’s erection and they all have a convo about his boner. Really?! REALLY?! How is this normal?

Mad: I know. That was beyond strange AND THEN!!

That scene where the heroine announces to the whole room that she’s not wearing any panties. Why? For the love of God, WHY would you do that? Yes, they’re your family but there were guys in there that YOU DID NOT KNOW and you nonchalantly say this then walk out of the room?

That’s something you take your Mom aside for…the mom that was already in the room too when you announced that. You don’t bring that up like a “oh, by the way, I lost my keys” bit. This was personal business no one else needed to know.

Lillie: Then it says that all males eyes were glued to her ass as she walked away. That made me shudder since 5 sets of those eyes were her brothers’ and one was her dad’s. Why would the author do that to us? *gag*

Mad: Yes. I just….mercy, I have no words.

Lillie: I had that problem often in this book.

So hero puts Keely, her mom, and bro on a plane back to base. He stays in SA to find the bad guy and she becomes all super woman by fitting his base with top notch security programs.

They are apart for 7 days and only talk on the phone every evening. Then he comes back…

Mad: Yes. This is a week later. She’s spent what? a day/ a day and a half with him before that? 3 of them she was unconscious with a fever so I’m NOT counting those.

And all of a sudden she’s thinking to herself that she can’t sleep without the hero in bed with her.

Lillie: They were together and conscious a total of maybe 6 hours.

Mad: Exactly! Not even a day and she’s gotten so used to him that she now can’t sleep without him because he keeps the nightmares away?

Major major eye rolling on my part.

Lillie: Well, he was crying over her within an hour of their meet. *shrugs*

Mad: Not even an hour, that wuss.

Lillie: Don’t hate on the manly tears. They were MANLY!

Mad: They were NOT needed at that point. That was just so silly. Manly tears or not. Haha.

Lillie: So he gets back just as the bad guys arrive at base. And of course super woman and Tweetie (god help me) are out in a blizzard. Hero loses his shit, Keely is uber badass sniper and eliminates all the bad guys but becomes sick from being out in a blizzard.

Once again, hero takes care of her.

And then I get my favorite scene (no, no sarcasm) where hero confides his feelings about her to his brother.

Mad: That seemed the theme though, right? She’s all badass. She kicks ass, kills the baddies and when it’s all said and done, she’s all faint and weak and can’t keep her eyes open anymore.

Needs to be carried, needs to be coddled and let’s not forget that she needs to eat through a straw because OMG she’s so weak.

Lillie: Yes, that is every action scene and there are tons of those.

Mad: But then, she bounces back and she’s all Rambina again.

Lillie: She’s weak and has a needle phobia. And a blood phobia. And a killing phobia. And…yeah. All that and then some.

Mad: I was exhausted just reading about all her kickass then weakness scenes.

Oh oh!

Lillie: Oh?

Mad: Let’s not forget that whenever the hero was around her he had an erection that would not go away and her womb clenched every time she thought of him. *snickering*

Lillie: Damn clenching wombs.

Mad: I’m dying, stop! lol

Lillie: During all this, she’s using her uber genius ability to sniff out the traitor. But, wait! Still no sexy times and the heroine has waited long enough! (you know, all big whopping 10 conscious hours.)

Keely wants sex. Ren is afraid her wee little vagina can’t handle his massive manliness. She explains that her mom is smaller than her (eww) and her dad is his size (double eww) and they will be fine. Hero is not convinced. Then there is this scene….

She changed her caress, tighter and rougher on his shaft, then a light swipe over the head with her palm before moving more firmly down the shaft. “Better, big guy? And I do mean big. You are larger than all my brothers.”

Mad: Where I shared on Twitter with comments of “Moron” “Idiot” and “Dumbass” if I remember correctly.

That was sooo dumb! So dumb!

Lillie: I didn’t even have words. Still don’t. Just a lot of blinking and “whaaaa?”

Mad: And then the vegetables! She goes looking for vegetables to get rid of her virginity since hero won’t do it.


Lillie: Not just goes looking but announces to all the mercs (including her brother) that’s she’s looking for veggies to stretch her wee little vagina. Then tells hero, still in front of everyone, that the zucchinis were too small!

Mad: Yes. That had WTF all over.

Lillie: This is when I started drinking…

Mad: *giggling* But then wait….

They finally get down to the sexytimes business.

Lillie: Hero decides that nothing, not even veggies, are stealing what belongs to him and drags her back to the cabin. Sexy times occur that really weren’t all that sexy.

Mad: He doesn’t wear a condom. She tells him she’s on the Pill. They have sex. THEN he decides after they have unprotected sex that he’s going to go down on her to lap up her creamy juice…which is also his since he had no condom on.

Ew. Just ew.

Lillie: Blech!

Mad: And tells her that’s how he’s going to do it with her from then on. Unprotected sex, then he’ll go down on her. *covers eyes*

Lillie: Then it’s 3 weeks later. Hero is on another mission and Kelly tells her brother she needs to go to town for clothes and to get a refill on her birth control. She actually ran out BEFORE they had sex but she should be safe right? You see where this is going…

Mad: It’s taken another turn in cray-cray town.

Lillie: Off we go to town. She’s pregnant of course and is feeling weak and sick on their way back. Then the bad guys show. Again.

Mad: And she turns into Rambina. Again.

Lillie: Of course. Saves the day, then hero shows for clean up. But she’s sick! And wounded. Oh noes!

Mad: And so exhausted. Needs her man.

Lillie: She faints (again), is taken to the hospital where the doctor tells the hero she is knocked up. Hero is ecstatic. And terrified because Rambina is a kickass warrior sprite who can’t be contained.

Mad: Yep but oh my god, she’s pregnant with his baby so all is right in the world.

Lillie: Except….(dum dum dum) the bad guys make it onto base and grab the pregnant Rambina!

Mad: Completely off topic but now I wonder if Quinn and Lacey (secondary characters) have a book of their own.

Lillie: No idea but I’d probably read it.

Mad: Have no fear, Lillie! Rambina can handle herself.

Lillie: Of course she does! But the hero ultimately gets to save the day and shoot the bad guy for the first time in the book.

Mad: He’s no longer a wuss. Rejoice with me.


Lillie: *much rejoicing occurs*

And that’s basically the end.

Mad: NO!

Lillie: Oh no…

Mad: You forgot the part where she’s horny and calls her MOTHER for tips on how to get raunchy sexytimes with hero again.

Because she’s tired of vanilla sexytimes.

Not only does SHE call her mother but HERO calls her father for advice too.

Lillie: Yes, he called her dad to see if he could bang the man’s daughter doggy style.

I think I forgot that on purpose.

Mad: ROFL Yes.

Lillie: The answer was yes, by the way. The parents said it was just fine to have dirty, energetic sex with their pregnant  daughter. So they do.

I hate to even ask this but what’s your final grade on this one?

Mad: I gave it a 2.5/3 star. The whole WTFery kept it from being a DNF & I did have fun with the over the top-ness of it all. I think I’ve finally read my first cracktastic book!

But…in all the shootings, the villain was still not caught so that was kind of lame.

What about you?

Lillie: It would have been a 4 star for me if the family part hadn’t happened. But with Tweetie staring at her vag, her talking about sibling penis size, the parents, etc, it was bumped down to 2.5 stars. I love the over protective hero and all his care of her so that kept it from being a DNF for me. But yes, this is pure crack.

I was disappointed that she had a 30+ body count but the bad guy was still around at the end. Lame.

Mad: After this WTFery read, you won’t be surprised at all that I bought book 2 in the series today. I plan to see if that is as over the top as this one is although, kind up upset that the hero is not one of her brothers nor one of the hero’s brother. Just one of the dudes the hero works with who got a 1 page phone call with hero towards the very end of the book.

Will keep you posted on this read. 😀

You can read all of Mad’s Kindle highlights and notes here and Lillie’s here.

Buy links:



There is also a free follow-up novella on the author’s site!

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It’s fall here (and given the record lows we’ve seen, some would call it winter!) and that calls for two things—a dinner to warm your belly and a story to warm your evening. I love, love, love food, and love cooking, and have had a ton of fun combining my love of cooking with love stories in my Sweet and Savory Romances series.

Out now, THE GROOM WANTED SECONDS is a prequel to the popular and fun Sweet and Savory Romances series (check out THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE, THE DEVIL SERVED DESIRE and THE ANGEL TASTED TEMPTATION). Each of the books has recipes written by the characters—tried and tested recipes, as evidenced by the extra pounds I gain writing each book!

In THE GROOM WANTED SECONDS, Jeremy Hamilton is desperate to reunite with the one who got away. When Rebecca returns from a summer in Indiana, Jeremy decides he’s going to win her back, and make up for his earlier clunky marriage proposal gone awry. Though there are still sparks between the two of them, Rebecca is hiding a secret that has her keeping her distance from Jeremy. His determination to win her back sends her diving for the cookie jar—and a little homecooked comfort food!
Rebecca’s recipe for chili is the one I use in my house (I change it up sometimes and used chunks of steak instead of ground beef). It’s a hit here with my family, and I hope it’ll be a hit with yours too!

Check out THE GROOM WANTED SECONDS for a great love story, and some tasty dishes to enjoy while you read!


Rebecca’s Regrets Burn Spicy Chili






2 pounds ground round

1 green pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

8 ounces water

1-3 tablespoons chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 16-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed, optional



You’ve made a few bad choices over the last few months, and now all that regret is giving you indigestion. Try something spicy to take your mind off things you can’t change. You’ll wake up your palate, and get your metabolism roaring (which means more room for Girl Scout cookie calories later!). In a Dutch oven, brown the ground beef with the onion, pepper and garlic. Drain off fat (you don’t need those calories to add to your guilt, now do you?).


Add remaining ingredients, except for the kidney beans. Simmer slowly for about 45 minutes (or you can put it in a crock-pot for 4-6 hours on low if you have all day to wait). Add beans and heat through. If you have a lot of regrets to sweat away, increase cayenne pepper and/or chili powder until the heat level is enough to get you out of your seat and moving forward again.


What’s your favorite dish for a chilly fall night? Do you have a secret chili ingredient? Share below and be entered to win a digital copy of THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE (U.S. residents only. eBook provided via Amazon or Barnes & Noble).


For more information about Shirley and her books, visit www.shirleyjump.com. And, for this weekend only, THE GROOM WANTED SECONDS is available free at Amazon!

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