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Archive for August, 2013

Winners!

IzaC

wins a download off Carrie Ann’s Redwood series & Vivian Arend’s Takhini series.

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Azteclady

wins a download of Ningaloo Nights by Tracy Cooper-Posey

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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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*dancing in my seat* A new Shelly Laurenston book! Color me oh so very happy since I have mad love for this series of hers. Mad. Love. 😉

SL_biteme

Livy Kowalski has no time for idiots. When you shapeshift into a honey badger, getting through life’s irritants is a finely honed skill. Until she gets stuck housing her nutso cousin and dealing with her dad’s untimely and unexplained demise.

That’s where Vic Barinov comes in—or his house does. Vic can’t step outside without coming back to find Livy devouring his honey stash and getting the TV remote sticky. It gets his animal instincts all riled up. But he’ll have to woo her at high speed: all hell is breaking loose, and Livy is leading the charge…

Excerpt




Release Date: March 25, 2014




www.shellylaurenston.com

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Love and Other Games is a collection of four sexy new adult stories centered around athletes competing in the Winter Games by Ana Blaze, Melinda Dozier, Aria Kane, and Kara Leigh Miller. It releases October 1st from Swoon Romance in all major electronic formats.



Worth More Than Gold by Ana Blaze


Amy Pierce, the klutzy sister and manager of America’s Skating Sweetheart, is used to being invisible. But when a friend drags her to a party near the Olympic Village, Amy catches the eye of a sexy Norwegian ski jumper. It’s a magical night, but an awkward next morning has her running.


Everyone knows Erik Andresen’s best shot at an individual medal was back in 2010, before an injury pulled him from the competition. He’s there for his team, but a hot night and a remarkable final training session have him wondering if a gorgeous good-luck charm could give him another chance at the podium.With a little bit of luck, these two might have a shot at something worth more than gold.


Ana Blaze’s: Website| Twitter | Facebook


Trouble With Gold by Melinda Dozier


US snowboarder and notorious prankster, Ty (Trouble) Madsen is only getting a taste of his own medicine when his Olympic teammates shackle him to a fence wearing nothing but his boxers.


Reception and protocol volunteer, Nadia Hoffman, gets up close and personal with the sexy snowboarder to rescue him, but she’s not the kind of girl who lets her hormones get in her way. A professional performance could help her land her dream job at Olympics Committee Headquarters, but her new assignment supervising the rambunctious US Snowboarding Team is making that difficult.


Can she see behind the snowman in the community center bathroom and into the warm heart of the man everyone calls Trouble?


Melinda Dozer’s: Website| Twitter | Facebook


The Girl Behind the Gold by Aria Kane


Greek aerial skier Lia Milonas’s parents are about to lose the family farm. Saving it means medaling and landing a huge sponsor. While her no-nonsense attitude has her well on her way to a medal, it hasn’t won her a place in fans’ hearts.


“Come back with a story that will make readers cry, or don’t come back.” This is what Brandon James’ boss told him before he left New York to cover the Winter Games for Moment Magazine. With a wink and a smile, he can charm his way into any invite-only party, but that career-making story is nowhere to be found – until he meets Lia.


The two strike a deal that should get them both what they want – but neither would have guessed they’d also find what they need.


Aria Kane’s: Website | Twitter | Facebook


Ice Gold by Kara Leigh Miller


Colton Campbell thrives on the fast paced, adrenaline rushed lifestyle of being an Olympic hockey player. Despite Brenna Jessup’s abhorrence for the games and the athletes, she’s hand-picked as the official photographer for the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. When a faux pas by Brenna almost costs Colton his career, she owes him. Too bad for her, Colton doesn’t want apologies — he wants retribution! And he knows just how to get it — and her — in the process.


Kara Leigh Miller’s: Website | Twitter |Facebook


To celebrate the cover reveal, the authors are giving away a $20 gift card to the bookstore of the winner’s choice. Check out the rafflecopter below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter direct link

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TCP_ningaloonights

To find out what happened to her sister, Sherry just has to go with Mason Hayward to the ends of the earth…oh, and give him utter control over her mind, body and soul.
New York cop Sherry Abandonato cashes in her savings and dashes to Ningaloo in remote north-west Western Australia to find her sister who disappeared ten days ago.

The only one with the skill to guide her to Derremawan is Mason Hayward, once an official guide and still with a reputation for getting people out of trouble, but now the town’s bad man.

In a searing afternoon of unexpected passion, Mason strikes a bargain: He’ll get her to Derremawan, if she agrees to go there with him unconditionally, on his terms, and his conditions. Sherry is astonished to find herself agreeing to the insane bargain, and worse, responding positively to the idea of three days of Mason Hayward dictating terms out under the Australian sun…

Warning:  This story features multiple sex scenes, including anal sex, the use of sex toys and MF sexual play.  Do not read this book if frank sexual language and sex scenes offend you.
No panties were seriously harmed during the production of this book.

Ningaloo Nights is part of the Go Get ‘em Women Collection

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Ningaloo – The Deadly But Beautiful Territory

BeachTCPOne of the odd facts about writing that the Internet has made more convenient for writers, and at the same time a more open fact for readers, is that writers use “beta readers” – readers who love the genre but have no intentions of ever becoming writers themselves, who agree to read a writer’s work before it goes before an editor.  A beta reader provides essential early feedback to an author, and lets them know that they’re on the right track.  Often, the writer is just looking for reassurance that the book they’ve just written doesn’t totally suck.  J.  Sometimes they’re looking for more subtle information about characters, story turns and surprises:  “Did that come as a genuine surprise for you?  Did I cover it up enough?” and so forth.

I don’t always use beta readers, usually because they’re so damned hard to find, which may come as a shock to most readers reading this.  But authors are constantly looking for skilled beta readers and there’s never enough to go around.

However, I’m getting past the point I wanted to make (that’s me, Aussie loud mouth).

I do reach out to beta readers when I’m writing a story that is unusual or outside my normal genre, and in the case of Ningaloo Nights, I absolutely knew I had to use a beta reader to bounce off, because I had to make sure that all the Australianisms didn’t leave the mostly North American readers scratching their heads and going “huh?”  I’ve been having running arguments with the line editors for years over certain words and phrases that “aren’t real words,” that were real enough where I came from, but had to go because the line editors didn’t understand them.  But in this case, because the book was very deliberately about Australia, and featuring Australians in their native element, I needed to make sure it was still comprehensible to non-Australians.

But the single question that came back from the readers had nothing to do with grammar.  They all loved the book, understood everything in it and wanted to instantly pack for an extended vacation in the outback, preferably with a guide that looked a lot like Mason Hayward, the hero in Ningaloo Nights.

The single question I got back, though, was a puzzled and politely phrased disbelief.  “You don’t really have to be that careful about travelling around the countryside out there, do you?  Surely it’s not that dangerous anymore?  You just tweaked it a bit for the story, right?”

In the story, Mason takes great pains to conserve water, as they have to cart all their own water to and from Derremawan.  They also have to travel during the cooler parts of the day and into the night because it’s simply so hot that petrol will simply evaporate before it reaches the engine block.  But they can’t travel completely at night because they’ll miss the tracks that others have left in the dirt, that are the only markings that show the way to Derramawan, the remote location where Sherry, the heroine, needs to reach to find her missing sister.  Then there’s other precautions that include staying out of the sun to avoid sunstroke…and more that I can’t explain here without spoiling the story.

These are all valid and still viable safety precautions that every Australian traveller understands and uses in the more remote areas even today.  I learned them as a kid, when I was travelling with my parents — right around the Ningaloo area where Ningaloo Nights is set.  The fact is that the Australian country looks flat, dry and pretty uninteresting when you look at it in the hottest months of the year.  Nothing moves but the heat hazes, and the odd snake.  There’s not even any crocodiles in the west.  Too hot, too dry.

Yet Ningaloo and the reef is some of the most spectacular and still mostly untouched territory in the world.  It’s virtually unspoiled and very few people seem to have heard of it, yet.  It’s like the world’s best kept secret.  Plug “Ningaloo Reef” into Google Images, and brace yourself.  It’s amazing.

But the land there can kill you in a dozen different ways if you don’t know what you’re doing out there.

So yes, I had to assure the beta reader that I really wasn’t exaggerating any of this for the sake of a good dramatic read.  This stuff is still real and deadly, even today.

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Tracy Cooper-Posey is an Amazon #1 Best Selling Author.  She writes erotic vampire romances, hot romantic suspense, paranormal and urban fantasy romances.  She has published over 50 novels since 1999, been nominated for five CAPAs including Favourite Author, and won the Emma Darcy Award.

She turned to indie publishing in 2011. Her indie titles have been nominated four times for Book Of The Year and Byzantine Heartbreak was a 2012 winner.  She has been a national magazine editor and for a decade she taught romance writing at MacEwan University.

She is addicted to Irish Breakfast tea and chocolate, sometimes taken together.  In her spare time she enjoys history, Sherlock Holmes, science fiction and ignoring her treadmill. An Australian, she lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, a former professional wrestler, where she moved in 1996 after meeting him on-line.

Her website can be found at http://TracyCooperPosey.com

Blog:  http://tracycooperposey.com/blog

Facebook:  http://on.fb.me/ZRAy03

Twitter:   http://twitter.com/TracyCP

Buy Your Copy Now:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Smashwords | ARE | Kobo |

 

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For a chance to win a digital copy of Ningaloo Nights, just leave a comment below. Good luck! 🙂

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New series coming out by Maya Banks in 2014. Woot! 🙂

LETTING GO, February 4, 2014
GIVING IN, May 6, 2014
TAKING IT ALL, September 5, 2014

MB_lettinggo

Josslyn found perfection once, and she knows she’ll never find it again. Now widowed, she seeks the one thing her beloved husband couldn’t give her. Dominance. Lonely and searching for an outlet for her grief and wanting only a brief taste of the perfection she once enjoyed, she seeks what she’s looking for at an exclusive club that caters to people indulging in their most hedonistic fantasies. She never imagined that what she’d find is the one man who’s long been a source of comfort—and secret longing. Her husband’s best friend.

Dash has lived in an untenable position for years. In love with his best friend’s wife and unwilling to act on that attraction. He’d never betray his best friend. And so he’s waited in the wings, offering Joss unconditional support and comfort as she works past her grief, hoping for the day when he can offer her more.

When he finds her in a club devoted to the darker edges of desire, he’s furious because he thinks she has no idea what she’s getting herself into. Until she explains in detail what it is she wants. What she needs. As realization sets in, he is gripped by fierce, unwavering determination. If she wants dominance, he is the only man who will introduce her to that world. He is the only man who will touch her, cherish her…love her. And the only man she’ll ever submit to.

MB_givingin

Kylie sees the way Jensen looks at her. The dark promise in his eyes. That rough edge of dominance she knows he possesses. But dominance is the one thing that frightens her above all else. She and her brother barely survived a childhood steeped in violence and abuse. She could never give up total control and submit to a man. Especially a man like Jensen. Could she?

Jensen sees the shadows in Kylie’s eyes. Knows he has to tread very carefully or risk losing any chance he has with her. All he wants is the opportunity to show her that dominance doesn’t equal pain, bondage or discipline. That emotional surrender is the most powerful of all, and that to submit—fully to him—will fulfill the aching void in her heart in a way nothing else ever will.

MB_takingitall

Chessy and Tate have been married for several years. In the beginning, their relationship was everything she wanted. Passionate. All consuming. She offered her submission freely and Tate cherished her gift with a tenderness that made her feel safe. Content. Wanted. And loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business the success it has become, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappier with the status of their once blissful marriage, Chessy knows that something has to give. Or they stand to lose it all

Tate loves his wife. Has always loved her. Providing for her has always been his number one priority. But lately she’s seemed unhappy, and he’s worried. Worried enough that he arranges for a night together that he hopes will reignite the fire that once burned like an inferno between them.

But a business call at the wrong time threatens everything. Chessy’s safety, his concentration, his wife’s faith in him as her husband, a man sworn to love and protect her above all else. Gutted with the realization that he’s going to lose her—has *already* lost her—he readies for the fight of his life. Whatever it takes, he’ll get her back. And prove to her that nothing is more important than her love. And that if she’ll allow him to prove himself one more time, he’ll take it all. Everything. But he’ll give far more back. Himself. His undying love.

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ShiftintoPassion

SHIFT INTO PASSION

This summer two exciting new shifter books in bestselling series hit the shelves. SHATTERED EMOTIONS, Book 5 in the Redwood Pack series & DIAMOND DUST, book 3 in the Takhini Wolves.

Carrie Ann Ryan and Vivian Arend have joined forces to bring you a few tidbits from their books. Take a minute, and we hope you enjoy!

The theme for this post?

First Kisses

 

Viv Arend: Let’s talk about 1st kisses. Not ours…our characters!

Carrie Ann Ryan: Let’s see. I was 13. The guy had braces… Oh.

Viv Arend: lol! Oh man, kissing with braces, THAT was fun.

Carrie Ann Ryan: In an “OMG that hurts” sort of way.

Viv Arend: Especially when you BOTH have them! Good thing our shifters don’t wear braces. What’s your favourite kind of 1st kiss for your characters?

Carrie Ann Ryan: For these two characters I wanted soft. They NEEDED soft. Usually I like them hard and against a wall without taking a breath, but Mad and Ellie needed soothing first.

Viv Arend: Yes, they totally did. That kiss was perfect for them! I find my characters always do the opposite of what I think they’re going to do. Like out of the blue that ‘about to consume you’ turns into the gentlest caress. Hmmmmm. 😀

Carrie Ann Ryan: I agree. At first I didn’t know if Maddox or Ellie would ever move on from softness. Boy was I wrong. *blushes*

Viv Arend:  Heheh. Blushing is good. I was surprised by Caroline and Tyler in that Tyler ended up being far more gentle then he seemed at the start. Love surprises like that

Carrie Ann Ryan: Oh yes! Though that Tyler. *whew* I loved how he turned out.

Viv Arend: …and Caroline loved how he turned out as well, so it’s all good! On to the kisses?

Carrie Ann Ryan: ‪Oh yeah.

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Shattered Emotions

He was done talking, done with words and all that they meant. He needed to taste her, to feel her in his arms.

He ran a hand through her hair, loving the soft feel in his hands. She leaned forward but didn’t say anything, didn’t breath. Maddox moved closer, letting his lips barely brush hers, the soft feel almost his undoing. He moved his head side to side so their lips gently touched each other’s then pressed harder, loving the way she melted against him, her mouth parting ever so slightly.

He let his tongue barely trace her lips, teasing, testing, then opened her mouth farther, blending her moan with his own. He knew she needed softness, and he’d be the one to give it to her—even if it hurt to hold back.

Her mouth parted wider, and his tongue tangled with hers, their kiss deepening, their breath quickening. He pulled back, nibbling on her lips, moving his mouth along her chin to her ear. She turned her head to the side so he could nibble down her neck to the place where he’d mark her when they were ready.

He traced his lips back through his trail until he met her mouth, kissing her softly, wordlessly.

His wolf howled in pleasure, and he pulled back, cupping her face so he could look her in the eyes.

“Slowly,” he whispered, his voice shaky.

“Slowly,” she agreed, her lips partially swollen from his kisses.

Hell, slowly would kill him, but he needed to give her a chance to back out—something that would also kill him.

A promise meant nothing without the threat to break it up on its trail, and he wouldn’t let her hurt for him. They’d find a way to make it work.

They had to.

~~**~~

Diamond Dust

She turned in the doorway. “There we go. Safely home. Thanks for the lovely evening, and we’ll be in—”

He twisted her to the side and pinned her to the wall. Frustration, hunger—it all came together in one moment of need that had to be answered.

“Maybe it’s the fact you can take care of yourself that makes you so damn attractive.”

He wrapped one hand around the back of her head, the other at her hip as he kept her completely under his control. He caught her with her mouth open as he kissed her. A rush of excitement roared through him at her taste, and his bear finally settled in satisfaction.

She hesitated, and he wondered if his balls were in danger, then she thrust her fingers into his hair and dove wholeheartedly into the kiss. Tongues tangling, bodies pressed tightly together. She wrapped a leg around his thigh, opening her body to him. He used both hands to lift her, lining up their mouths better while easing his erection between her thighs.

Caroline groaned as his lips left hers, kissing his way along her jaw to her neck. The sound fluttered as he took hold of her earlobe and sucked lightly.

“How hard did I hit my damn head this morning?” Her muttered complaint was negated by the fisted grasp she maintained on his hair, holding him to her throat. She was nearly purring with satisfaction as he tasted her skin.

He licked, once, and her full-body shiver made the hair on his arms stand on end with the desire to take more.

To hell with restraint, he wanted to take it all.

~~**~~

SHATTERED EMOTIONS, book #5 in the Redwood Pack series by USA Today bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan is available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ARebooks | Kobo

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Vivian Arend‘s DIAMOND DUST (Takhini Wolves #3) is available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Samhain Publishing

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Giveaway: Winners choice of backlist ebook in the series (one from Carrie Ann’s Redwood series & one from Vivian’s Takhini series.) For a chance to win, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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ajh-drou-azraelslight3Azrael longs for a vacation that’s over two hundred years late. Overworked and heartsick, he’s desperate for peace and solitude.

Diane, a former goddess, wants nothing to do with the immortal world or its inhabitants. She’s living on Earth, posing as a bartender and couldn’t be more content. That is, until a tall, dark, and dangerous Soul Runner storms in and turns her world upside down.

Azrael’s confused by a beautiful little barmaid who appears to be human, but something’s not quite right. He doesn’t know which frustrates him more, the fact that he doesn’t know who or what she is or that she’s pulling at his heartstrings with her stubborn chin and the sexiest set of eyes he’s ever seen.
But it might not matter when they are called on to prevent the collapse of Unearth and find Lucifer’s lost daughter. Coming from opposite realms with opposing needs, will the two immortals find more than they bargained for?

 

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How does an author get their characters from hate to happily ever after? You take two people who despise each other and by the story’s end, make them fall in love. If done well, it makes for a great read, but if the story is lacking it may come across as contrived or unbelievable.

So how do we get from that first angry meeting to the final kiss that means forever?

Here’s my take on the enemies to lover trope.

Conflict, it’s the bread and butter of the relationship. Could anything be worse for a hero than being forced into a life or death situation where you have no choice but to work with a person who you don’t think you can trust? Frustrating for the characters? Definitely. But what better way could there be to find out what makes our characters tick?

Intrigue and high stakes. How can these two characters standing on opposite sides of the fence, find a way to come together, not only as partners but as lovers? When I’m reading and the obstacles seem insurmountable I think it keeps my mind engaged. It keeps me guessing. How can they possibly overcome this and get to the happy?   I know it’s supposed to happen, but how? That curiosity keeps me coming back for more.

Chemistry. It’s one more ingredient I believe is necessary in the makeup of good romance. That fire in the blood, burning like an addiction that haunts you with every breath you take. It’s that magnetic pull drawing the characters back to each other again and again, despite their differences.

But there needs to be more than even the hottest chemistry. No matter how hot those sheets get, it’s not enough build a permanent foundation for a true HEA. In romance, that’s what we want in the end for the characters who, if the author has done them justice, we as readers have come to love. We need that HEA and want it to be a believable, sustainable relationship that lives on even after we read those final words. The end. In our hearts, we need to know that those characters we came to know and love like our own family will truly live Happily Ever After.

What elements do you think make up a great enemies to lovers story? Or do you have a favorite that you read again and again?

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