Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘August 2012’ Category

Winners!

wolfwattitude

wins A LADY NEVER LIES by Juliana Gray

*

Andrea Silva

wins DEFIANT by Pamela Clare

*

Chelsea B.

wins a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card from Christine Bell

*

Texas Book Lover

 wins SECRETS OF AN ACCIDENTAL DUCHESS and PLEASURES OF A TEMPTED LADY by Jennifer Haymore

*

Pat Cochran

 wins a digital copy (kindle or nook format) of FIRE ON THE ISLAND by J.K. Hogan

*

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.

Read Full Post »

Hello everyone! Thank you to RR@H for having me. Let me tell you a little about myself: I’m a country girl and I provide my husband with endless amusement with what I’ll call my “dialectal idiosyncrasies.” I’m an avid reader and an artist in addition to being an author, and I also enjoy dog sports such as agility and dock diving. My husband and I are also expecting our first child. I just released my debut paranormal romance, FIRE ON THE ISLAND earlier this month.

I finished FIRE ON THE ISLAND at the end of October (fitting, once you read the story), and shortly after began shopping my manuscript to all of the publishers I could find that would accept unsolicited work.

The results were mixed. Many rejections, as was to be expected. But I did have a few who got back to me and said they liked my story and my writing, but would want me to change this or that to be able to consider it. I decided I wanted to exhaust all other options before I made any significant changes to the story. At that point, I began querying literary agents, and did a lot of research on mastering the art of query letters and synopses—the notsofun parts of writing. Again, a mixed bag of reviews. Many rejections again, plus more positive feedback but still no takers. What I took from that? My story wasn’t a total bomb, but I needed to find someone to take a chance on me.

Through my twitter community, I became acquainted with Katie Henson Sapphire Star Publishing, and learned that they were having a romance writing contest. I emailed Katie to see if the entry could be a full length finished manuscript, and she wrote back personally to say of course! I sent in FIRE ON THE ISLAND, marked the end of the contest on my calendar, and went back to furiously querying.

I was between jobs at the time, and sleep has never come easy to me even when I was working all day. I was up late cruising twitter one night, at 3 am to be exact, when I received an email from Amy Lichtenhan, the co-owner of Sapphire Star Publishing. They loved my manuscript, and it had won the contest in which the prize was a publishing contract. What? So I ran into the bedroom and woke my poor husband up to tell him.

So now, my first book is being published! The sequel, BLOOD IN THE VALLEY with come out next spring, and I’m currently working on the third installment of the series. Everyone at Sapphire Star is so much fun and so supportive of each other, I can’t imagine it being anything other than a complete success. Funny thing is, I just turned thirty this year and I’m just now figuring out what I want to be when I grow up!

Fire on the Island Blurb:

Fire On The Island (Vigilati, Book 1) – August 2nd 2012

“She who wields the mark is the barrier between man and monster. She is the daughter of gods, the mother of man, protector of all. Vigilati Usque Ad Mortem”

All Isla Macallen wanted was a simple existence on her little Scottish island, free from her mother’s insanity and the prying eyes of neighbors. What she got was embroiled in a war for the souls of mankind. A war of good versus evil, of witches versus demons, and Isla learns that she alone can end it.

Dr. Jeremiah Rousseau was a self-proclaimed nomad, traveling the world researching paranormal phenomena. He doesn’t expect his research to lead him to Scotland, and to the woman who will turn his world upside down.

Together with a facetious shapeshifting animal spirit guide, Jeremiah and Isla discover that she is part of an ancient bloodline bred to protect the gateways between the human world and the spirit world, to keep evil demons from destroying them. They must find the key to defeating Alastore, the demon king, and closing the gate before Samhain, when the veil between the worlds is lifted. As the war for their souls wages around them, Isla and Jeremiah will risk it all for love—a love neither had ever thought possible.

 

I love talking to readers. You can find me here:

http://jkhogan.com/

http://twitter.com/JK_Hogan

http://www.facebook.com/OfficialJKHogan

http://www.goodreads.com/jkhogan

http://www.amazon.com/author/jkhogan

And my book:

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Island-J-K-Hogan/dp/1938404173/ref=la_B008UXO15E_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345334929&sr=1-1

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Island-Vigilati-ebook/dp/B008RO8BZM/ref=la_B008UXO15E_1_1_title_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1345334929&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fire-on-the-island-jk-hogan/1112102519

 

***

J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them.

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives on a farm with her husband and their three horses, one miniature donkey, one cat, and two champion agility dogs.

In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit http://www.jkhogan.com.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

For a chance to win a digital copy (kindle or nook format) of FIRE ON THE ISLAND, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

Read Full Post »

Thanks so much for inviting me to blog with you! I’m so excited to be here talking about my latest release, PLEASURES OF A TEMPTED LADY.

 

PLEASURES is the last of a trilogy of novels about the Donovan Sisters, five sisters raised in the Caribbean and sent to London to marry proper husbands when they reach a certain age. The Donovans aren’t your average family of the London ton, so when they arrive, all kinds of juicy scandal ensues.

 

I’m especially excited about PLEASURES OF A TEMPTED LADY, because it’s about Meg, the Donovan sister who was lost at sea for eight long years. She has to go through QUITE a bit to get her happily ever after, and I hope readers enjoy her tumultuous journey. I sure had fun writing it!

DANGEROUS DESIRE

Captain William Langley knows the ocean well, but nothing could prepare him for what he discovers adrift on the cold Irish Sea. The tiny boat carries two passengers: a child–and Meg Donovan, Will’s long-lost love. Meg’s disappearance at sea eight years ago was a devastating blow. Now she’s back, as beautiful as ever, and with secrets as deep as Will’s own…

 

After years held captive by a cold-blooded pirate, Meg has finally escaped with little Jake, the boy she’s come to love as if he were her own. But the pirate wants his revenge–and Meg must do whatever it takes to shield Jake from the madman. Determined not to lose Meg again, Will vows to protect them both, yet Meg can’t risk putting the only man she’s ever loved in danger. With the threat to her safety growing, and her passion for Will burning brighter every day, surrendering herself to Will might be a pleasure too tempting to resist…

 

Here’s a short excerpt from the book, wherein our hero, Will Langley, finds his long-lost love and his own Sleeping Beauty floating in a tiny sailboat after a storm has ravaged the sea.

 ***

 

Will bent over and reached down for her, managing to grasp her beneath the armpits, and with the two men’s help, he was able to maneuver her onto the deck. It wasn’t that she was heavy—she was actually a slip of a thing. But the movement of the ocean combined with her dead weight and the frothy torn clothing combined to make it a cumbersome process.

Cradling her head, Will gently lay her on the deck.

“She’s breathing,” Jasper gasped as he scrambled up the ladder. “She lives!”

Will heaved out a sigh of relief.

Holding the little boy—who looked to be about five or six years old, though Will was certainly no authority on children—Briggs stepped onto the deck. The four men hovered over the woman. Crouched near her feet, Jasper cleared his throat and tugged the filthy hem of her dress down over the torn and dirty stockings covering her legs.

Something about those legs was…familiar.

With his heart suddenly pounding hard, Will raised his hand to push away the blond mass of hair obscuring her features. Her hair was dense with wetness and salt, but he cleared it from her face, his callused fingertips scraping over the soft curve of her cheek.

“Oh, God,” Will choked, his hand frozen over her hair. “Oh, my God.”

“What is it, Captain?” The question came from somewhere above him.

Will blinked away the water threatening to stream from his eyes. Was he overtired? Was he having visions? Had the intensity of the storm and lack of proper sleep caused him to have strange, perverse dreams?

No. God no, he was awake. There was too much color—the dewy flesh of her skin, the light brown spatter of freckles on her nose, the pink and white of her dress. Beyond the rancid smell of bilge water—originating mostly from the boy, he thought—he could smell her, too. She’d always smelled sweet and pure, like the sugarcane from the plantation in Antigua where she’d been raised.

Was she a ghost?

Half fearing she’d evaporate like fog beneath his fingers, he clasped both sides of her face and turned it upward so she would have been staring at him if her eyes were open.

“You’re real,” he whispered. He crouched over her mouth and nose and closed his eyes as the soft puff of her breath washed over his cheek.

Jasper was right—she was alive.

This was impossible. She’d been lost at sea eight years ago—on the other side of the Atlantic. Had she been adrift all this time, like some sleeping beauty, waiting for him—her prince—to find her and kiss her awake?

Did he dare hope that this was a true miracle and not some cruel joke of fate?

“Meg,” he breathed. The dewy feel of her skin beneath his fingertips swept through him like the stroke of a rose petal. “Meg? Wake up,” he murmured. “Wake up, love.”

The urge overcame him, and forgetting the men staring at him—at them—he bent forward and pressed his lips to hers.

 

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

Just comment on this post to be included in a drawing to win two of Jennifer’s Donovan Series Books: SECRETS OF AN ACCIDENTAL DUCHESS and PLEASURES OF A TEMPTED LADY. To read blurbs and excerpts, visit www.jenniferhaymore.com.

Read Full Post »

Very excited to be back here at RR@H Novel Thoughts and Book Talk! In honor of my new Entangled Indulgence release, Wife for Hire, I’ve been on a blog tour talking about indulgences. My dictionary defines an indulgence as “something allowed as a luxury” but I think of them more as “things we do for ourselves to stay sane”. Life is sooo frigging hectic sometimes, and if you all are anything like me, some days it feels like an indulgence just to get more than four hours sleep or to eat a meal at a table. With, like, napkins. And plates. And food that comes from the oven instead of a box.

But even on those days, I find that, in order to keep the crazy at bay, kids and cleaning and care-taking have to fall to the wayside for a few blissful minutes. So what to do with them? Here are some of my favorites:

Sneak a read- Whether this is just for 15 minutes in lieu of a little extra sleep at the end of the day, or while I’m snorking down my lunch at the day job, I read pretty much every day. Romance, of course, but also thrillers and mysteries. If I was stuck on a desert island with enough books, a store of chocolate and some sun screen, I’d do just fine. It’s a great escape and gives me a chance to recharge and decompress.

Sneak a cookie- Or a piece of chocolate or something sweet and be really present while I’m eating it. I have a killer sweet tooth, as in I feel it’s NECESSARY to eat something sweet every day. The good thing is, it doesn’t have to be a big portion. A square of Dove milk chocolate makes me feel just a little happier.

Sneak a snuggle- One of my favorite places to be is hunkered in next to my husband. I feel instantly more calm, happy and centered, no matter how stressful everything is. When we’re surrounded by kids (ours and then sometimes half the neighborhood) we make desperate eyes with one another and both know that means “Let’s head for the bedroom for ten minutes of quiet, alone time”. Then I latch on like a barnacle on a boat and we talk. Ten minutes is usually long enough that we both can recharge.

Sneak a list- This one is a little weird because I’m exposing a bit o’ the crazy in me. When I feel totally bonkers nutso out of control because I have work and a deadline and bills to pay and dentist appointments to schedule and school supplies to buy and not enough hours to do it all, I take a few minutes to make a (or several) list(s). Just seeing it all on paper, in a nice, neat row calms me a little. And then, as I complete a task, I also get IMMENSE pleasure from crossing things OFF my list. In fact, I *may* or *may not* write things on my list that I’ve already done, just so I can cross more things off. Because nothing is sexier than a dwindling list. You can quote me on that. Actually, we should start a new genre. List-rotica. Somebody trademark that, fast!

Sneak a coffee- Sometimes even just the smell makes me feel better.

Now here’s the blurb from Wife for Hire (and please stick around to comment because I have an EPIC contest running!)

He needs a wife for three weeks…

Owen Phipps is out for revenge. His mission? To expose the man who stole his sister’s money and dignity. All he needs is a “wife” who can play along. Too bad his last best hope is an actress who tries to mace him with perfume when he offers her the role of a lifetime.

Lindy Knight is a real sap. She loves too hard, feels too deep, and often finds herself saying yes when she should be saying “Let me think about it.” She can’t believe her good fortune when Owen offers her more than enough money to hold off foreclosure until she can find a job. Three weeks at a resort, money she desperately needs, and she gets to help bring a criminal to justice? Score.

It seems easy enough until the first time a couples bonding game turns intimate, and they realize how dangerous their mutual attraction could be. Can they keep their hands to themselves long enough to find the evidence Owen needs? Or are the close quarters more temptation than they can handle?

Check out the Entangled website here if you’d like to read an extended excerpt of Wife for Hire, and readers, stick around to comment, because, to celebrate the release of my new Entangled Indulgence, I’m offering to indulge YOU! One commenter on this post will win a $10 Barnes & Noble or Amazon gift card, so she (or he!) can buy a couple (or, if you buy from the Entangled Indulgence line, a few because they’re only $2.99!) new books.

AND I’m also running a Let Me Indulge You contest. If Wife for Hire gets onto the Amazon OR Barnes & Noble top 500 list by September 18th, I will be giving away a $250 gift card to the salon or spa of one lucky winner’s choice. Sign into Rafflecopter below and every comment from my blog tour will be counted as an entry. Follow my whole blog tour? EACH comment = another entry! Extra entries will also be given for tweeting or posting the link to the book on your Facebook page:

(Lillie here! The blog isn’t playing well with widgets and I can’t get the rafflecopter to post. Click HERE to go directly to the page and enter the Let Me Indulge You contest)

So now to you, blog readers! Do tell. What’s your favorite indulgence?

Read Full Post »

NT: Hi Pamela! Thank you for being my guest today.

Pamela: Thanks for having me! I really appreciate it!

NT: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How long did it take for you to make your first sale?

Pamela: I knew I wanted to be a writer at about age nine or 10 when I read MISTY OF CHINCOTEAGUE and the world vanished around me. I realized books were magic. The could make the world around you vanish and replace it with a time and place you’d never been. The story lingered with me long after I read it, and I felt that was a kind of magic, too. I knew I wanted to write stories that crept into people’s hearts and became a part of their lives whether they realized that or not. I told my parents that I wanted to write novels when I grew up, and I don’t think they took me seriously at all. They do now.

As for my first book, I had an atypically easy path to publication. I wrote my first book over seven years. I was newly divorced with two small kids and a full-time job, so sometimes I was able to write only for a few hours on a weekend. But after seven years, I finished it. I sent out five query letters, signed tentatively with an agent who wanted some revisions. I put off the revisions for most of a year, then sat down and did them in three weeks. My agent loved them, and nine months later I had a two-book contract.

NT: You have a new release this month, DEFIANT. Can you tell us about it?

Pamela: DEFIANT is the third book in the MacKinnon’s Rangers series, which is set on the Colonial frontier in upstate New York during the French & Indian War (Seven Years War to Brits). DEFIANT tells the story of the youngest MacKinnon brother, Connor, and Lady Sarah Woodville, the niece of the MacKinnon brothers’ most hated enemy, Lord William Wentworth. Lady Sarah has been sent away in disgrace by parents who don’t know what to do with her and seeks the help of her beloved uncle. Before she can reach him, however, the party she is traveling with is attacked by a war party of Shawnee out to avenge the death of a Shawnee mother. Lord William sends Connor and Captain Joseph, the Mahican war chief who is blood brother to the MacKinnons, to rescue her and bring her back alive, knowng that if anyone can do it, they can.

But when they reach the village, Connor realizes the only way he’s going to be able to save Sarah is to fight the warrior who abducted her — and then claim her himself.

This will not make Lord William happy.

Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:

Major Connor MacKinnon despises his commander, Lord William Wentworth, beyond all other men. Ordered to rescue Wentworth’s niece after the Shawnee take her captive, he expects Lady Sarah Woodville to be every bit as contemptible as her uncle. Instead, he finds a brave and beautiful lass in desperate peril. But the only way to free Sarah is for Connor to defeat the Shawnee warrior who kidnapped her—and claim her himself.

Torn by tragedy from her sheltered life in London, Lady Sarah is unprepared for the harshness of the frontier—or for the attraction she feels toward Connor. When they reach civilization, however, it is she who must protect him. For if her uncle knew all that Connor had done to save her, he would surely kill him.

But the flames of passion, once kindled, are difficult to deny. As desire transforms into love, Connor will have to defy an empire to keep Sarah at his side.

For the visually inclined, here’s a link to the live-action trailer my son and I made together. He put his film degree into it, while I mostly stood around watching the sexy male model and giggling. But, as I was the money, I got to stay on set. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYQA2WhPz58

NT: Do you have a writing routine? What is your average writing day like?

Pamela: As soon as I can get other baloney out of the way — breakfast, shower, important chores — I sit down with my computer and write all day and into the evening. In the summer, I grow a lot of veggies, and that means that I’m outside very early watering the garden before it gets hot, harvesting the veggies, and washing/slicing/preparing salads and so on for later in the day. It’s a huge amount of work, but I really prefer organic vegetables, and the only way to know for sure what goes into them is to grow them yourself.

I’m always eagerly awaiting the first hard frost so I can quit doing that and focus more on writing. I love building a nice fire, then sitting beside it with my laptop and lapdesk sipping coffee and writing. That’s my idea of heaven.

FREEZE, zucchini plants! FREEZE!

NT: Is there anyone you use as a sounding board when you’re stuck on a scene?

Pamela: My sister, Michelle, is my rock. I can’t tell you how many hours we’ve logged on Skype talking about my books. She lives in Stockholm, so she’s eight hours ahead of me. But we manage to connect every week. She was here when I was finishing DEFIANT, which for some reason was very hard for me. And my sweet baby sister sat there on my couch till 4 AM night after night as I was writing to help me stay focused. My younger son Benjamin has been a part of discussing scenes and such since he was in high school. He just graduated summa cum laude with a film degree and is an exceptional writer, so maybe it’s been a good exercise for him. I have friends, too, whose feedback is always helpful. Author Norah Wilson, Marie Force… It takes a village.

NT: What was the most interesting thing you had to research and what was the hardest thing to research?

Pamela: Research is something I love to do. My college degree and work in graduate school was in archaeology, and I spent 20 years working as an investigative reporter. Compared to trying to prove that Person X is a depraved criminal, there is no difficult research in fiction. It’s just a matter of being persistent. I have my own techniques, and they work wonderfully well. And since I love it — LOVE it! — it never feels like work.

For the MacKinnon’s Rangers series, I research the French & Indian War extensively focusing on Fort Edward, Robert Rogers and Rogers’ Rangers, a band of colonial frontiersmen who helpd the ill-prepared British face a new kind of warfare here in North America. Don’t get me started or I’ll still be going at midnight.

NT: When not busy writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? (If there is such a thing 😀 )

Pamela: Well, there’s that ominously enormous veggie garden. I also have a very large rose garden, and I love it! In early summer, you can stand anywhere in my yard and just float away on the scent of roses. Deadheading the whole thing probably takes about three or four hours. In theory, I like to hike. I just haven’t done much of it lately. I live right next to the mountains, so hitting the trails involves maybe 10 minutes of driving to the parking lot. I love spending time with my kids. They’re both grown — the older one was born when I was a freshman in college, the second when I was a senior — and I adore them.

NT: What are the latest additions to your TBR? What are you most eager to read?

Pamela: Oh, goodness! I’ve got TRUE SHOT by Joyce Lamb that I’m reading. I have several Norah Wilson titles on my Kindle (GUARDING SUSANNAH, SAVING GRACE) along with Marie Force’s Gansett Island series. I want to read Sylvia Day’s BARED TO YOU. I have a shelf of Monica McCarty I desperately want to read. I think my most recent acquisition is BRIDE OF THE HIGH COUNTRY by Kaki Warner, which I also desperately want to read. Where does this reading time come from? Not sure.

NT: Any advice to aspiring authors? What craft books helped you that you would recommend to aspiring writers?

Pamela: People might throw rotten tomatoes at the screen when I say this, but I didn’t read any craft books. I didn’t workshop my books. I wasn’t a member of RWA. I didn’t belong to any writers groups or critique groups. I just sat down and wrote what I saw in my head. Granted, I’d been a working journalist for a while. I had my college degree and some grad school under my belt. But writing/language has always been my gift. I accidentally wrote an extra paper in a graduate level archaeology course, and the professor offered to auction it off. “She writes like a pro,” he said. “Bid high.”

I did take a creative writing course in college and one class about writing autobiography, and the feedback I got in both classes was overwhelmingly positive — at least where the professors were concerned. The students in the creative writing class were the black-clad clove-smoking sort who didn’t know what to think of a chick who was already a mom. Everything I wrote was savaged during critiques. In the middle of my last critique, the professor interrupted the students in the midst of shredding me and said, “Isn’t this interesting that you all feel this way because I think Pamela has written the only publishable work we’ve seen this entire semester.” Eat that, clove-smoking haters! That was awesome!

Poet and essayist Reg Saner was my professor for the autobiography class shortly before he retired. My writing just exploded in his class. I couldn’t get the words on the page fast enough. I would sit my baby on the floor with tupperware and spoons and just pound out as much as I could while he was diverted. At the end of the semester, Prof. Saner invited me into his office for my final critique and grade. I sat down and he said, “I’m afraid I have to apologize.” Naturally, this concerned me. He said that all he could give me was an A when it was clear that I was writing on a different plane than the other students. “Students come to me all the time and say, ‘I want to be a writer.’ I look at what they’ve written and tell them to do something else because they just don’t have it. You’re one of two students I’ve had during my entire career to whom I can say, ‘Go for it. You can do anything you want to do.’”

I cannot tell you what his words meant to me. It was an affirmation that THIS was the path I needed to be on, not graduate school.

I saw him a few years ago, and he knew I was published and was very happy for me. He said, “If anyone gives you a hard time about writing romance, ask them what they’ve published lately. The difference between what I write and what you write is that people read what you write.” (His Reaching Keet Seel: Ruin’s Echo and the Anasazi is phenomenal, and I recommend it for anyone who enjoys reading nature essays.)

So my advice to aspiring writers… Read a lot. Follow your heart. If this is what you want to do, commit to it with the devotion of an Olympic athlete and make it your life. Don’t give up. When you do, you lose.

NT: What can your fans look forward to from you in the near future? What are you working on now?

Pamela: Right now, I’m working on STRIKING DISTANCE, the next book in the I-Team series. I hope to finish it soon. Theoretically, it will be out next spring. After that, I’ll be writing another historical, perhaps Joseph’s story in a follow-up to the MacKinnon’s Rangers series.

NT: If someone has not read any of your books, which would be the one you’d recommend they try first?

Pamela: For historical fans, I would say Surrender, the first book in the MacKinnon’s Ranger series. For romantic suspense fans, I would suggest Breaking Point or Unlawful Contact, Books 5 and 3, respectively, in the I-Team series. People who are adamant about reading things in order can start with Extreme Exposure.

NT: How can readers contact you?

Pamela: There are so many ways!

I have a contact form through my website, where readers can send me an email and also sign up for my newsletter. http://www.pamelaclare.com/guestbook.php

I’m @Pamela_Clare on Twitter.

I’m on Goodreads and have a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pamela-Clare/167939496589645

NT: Thanks for being our guest today!

Pamela: You’re so welcome! Thanks so very much for having me!

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

For a chance to win DEFIANT, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

 

 

Read Full Post »

LIKE A WOLF WITH A BONE by Shelly Laurenston

Quiet little Darla Lewis couldn’t be happier when the most-feared member of the South’s rowdiest pack kidnaps her. A girl gets real tired of being overprotected by her own shifter family, and there’s nothing like an oh-so-big bad wolf to start a pack feud, unleash her instincts—and have her surrender however and whenever she wants…

WED OR DEAD by Cynthia Eden

Gage Ryder knew his human bride had her wild side. But spending their honeymoon night on the run from hunters out to finish him and his pack is sure not the kind of fun he was looking forward to. No problem—Gage will do whatever it takes to lay bare Kayla’s secrets and find the truth. If he can keep from being captured by his own seductive game…

LIKE A WOLF WITH A BONE

This story was everything I hoped it would be. I’ve been a fan of Laurenston’s shifter series for years and Eggie has been a favorite since he was first mentioned. When I saw that this would be his and Darla’s story, my anticipation level hit code red.

It’s the summer of 1974 and Egbert Ray Smith is on leave from the military when he meets pacifist Darla Mae Lewis. Chaos immediately ensues when Eggie saves her life and rushes her off to Smithtown to keep her safe, with their families hot on their heels. Eggie is already the stone-cold killer we know from other books (once you meet his mom, you’ll understand why) and watching him soften and worry about how Darla sees him is so sweet. And seeing Darla embrace and except Eggie is beautiful.

The various family interactions provide the hilarious moments that puts Shelly Laurenston books on my keeper shelf and has me going back for rereads. I loved every moment of it!

Favorite quote:

They’re not a Pack, they’re a hillbilly cult filled with criminals and ‘shine runners.

WED OR DEAD

Kayla is a hunter and her only mission in life is to stop supernaturals like the one that killed her parents. Her current job is to get close to wolf shifter Gage so her team can eliminate him and his pack. When Gage proposes after a whirlwind courtship, Kayla says yes. Not just because it will get the job done but because she wants a night with Gage. Gage knows his bride is keeping secrets but it doesn’t matter. The wolf has found his mate. After a passion filled night, their honeymoon is interrupted when Kayla’s team shows up and she realizes that all the things she’s been led to believe may be lies.

WED OR DEAD hit all my happy reader buttons. Steamy hot sex, secrets, violence, angst, and a HEA that made me smile. It even has a hero that not only accepts the heroine’s ass-kicking side but he counts on it to make his pack safer and stronger. This book pushed Cynthia Eden from “author I enjoy” to auto-buy status.

Favorite quote:

Kayla had her secrets. So did he. The time for the big reveal would come later. The time for fucking – yeah, that was now.

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 28th, 2012
Format: Print and digital

Preorder:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Read Full Post »

Alexandra, Lady Morley, an alluring widow, is on holiday to escape her creditors and devise a plan to reverse her fortunes. Distracted by the arrival of Phineas “Finn” Burke, a brilliant inventor with a shocking past, she despairs of ever getting what she needs…until they kiss. 

Finn, naïve to the female species and intent only on perfecting his “horseless carriage” engine for an exhibition in Rome, never dreamed he’d meet a woman like Alexandra, who is as maddening as she is comely. Finn longs to make Alexandra his wife, but his own vows stand in the way…unless Alexandra can sacrifice everything she knows to realize her deepest desires.

 

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

 

Like most courting couples, my husband and I tortured each other in the early days with forced viewings of our respective favorite films. I sat valiantly through all testosterone-drenched parts of The Godfather, leaving guns and taking cannoli, and in return, I gave him Flambards.

 

“I don’t get it,” he said, as the opening credits rolled by in a montage of galloping fox-hunters and soaring early Bleriots, accompanied by increasingly frantic music and a woman’s voice humming mum…mum…mum…mum. “What’s with the horses and airplanes?”

 

“That’s the whole point,” I told him. “It’s the juxtaposition of ancient and modern, the clash of romantic and scientific that ends in the great conflagration of the First World War. It’s the centuries-old British aristocratic tradition giving way to the relentless juggernaut of technological and social progress.”

 

My husband replied with something unprintable.

 

“There are also cars,” I said. “And a love story. It’s about this orphaned girl who’s sent to live with her distant cousins in the countryside, and she has to choose between the older foxhunting one and the younger one who’s busy designing airplanes. It’s like she’s choosing between the old and the new.”

 

“Oh, I get it.” He nodded sagely. “It’s a chick flick.”

 

Years later, when we were living in London, we happened upon Hyde Park on a foggy November morning, just as some hundred or so antique cars were lining up for the annual London-to-Brighton race. “Oh my God,” my husband said, “it’s like that movie you made me watch, with the airplanes and horses.”

 

“And the cars,” I said. But he was right. All those ancient automobiles, all those men in tweed suits and duster coats and goggles: to me, it was unspeakably romantic. Like Christina, the heroine of Flambards, I loved the was these men so single-mindedly pursued mechanical perfection. I loved the flashes of genius as they solved each problem. I loved the mastery over machine, the smell of oil and the foggy air, the woolen caps and the potent male energy. I watched the drivers rattle away at last in their shining vanguards of automotive technology, circa 1900, and I felt as if I were watching another age.

 

I took a more circuitous route myself, when it came to my own life’s work of writing novels. Still, I knew even before I started that I wanted to write about this period, from perhaps 1890 until 1914, when the wheels of change were whirling furiously through the Western world, powered by geniuses of every stripe. I wanted to write about men who strode forth from their centuries of British tradition to take all the old pillars and shake them soundly; I wanted to write about women who saw all this and made up their minds to seek their own adventure and freedom. I wanted to write about what happened when these men and these women came together, with their traditional ways and their modern energy, equal companions as well as passionate lovers.

 

My husband wasn’t surprised that my debut historical romance, A Lady Never Lies, takes place in 1890 during the run-up to a (fictional) early automobile exposition. He shook his head at my hero, Phineas Burke, a genius inventor with an aristocratic background, and raised his eyebrow at my witty and independent heroine, Alexandra Morley.

 

“So it’s like that movie you made me watch, with the horses and the airplanes,” he said.

 

“And the cars.” I patted his hand. “You know, I think you may be right.”

 

 

 

Juliana Gray’s debut historical romance, A Lady Never Lies, won the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence for August. She has not yet taken up Mr. Gray on his offer to ask him just one time about his business, though she did name one of her heroines Kate.

 

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

To find out more about Juliana Gray, visit www.julianagray.com. And for a chance to win A LADY NEVER LIES, just leave a comment below. Good luck! 😀

 

Read Full Post »

More Winners!

bettysunflower

wins BIG SKY MOUNTAIN by Linda Lael Miller

*

pamerd

wins SWEET ENEMY by Heather Snow

*

Megan@Riverina Romantics

wins COPY THAT by HelenKay Dimon (digital or print)

*

Jen (Red Hot Books)

wins ETERNAL BEAST  by Laura Wright

*

Maria D.

wins PLANNING FOR LOVE by Christi Barth

*

wkonsunshine

wins FEELING HOT by Elle Kennedy

*

ladymilano and Na S

wins BLACKSTONE’S BRIDE by Kate Moore

*

ms bookjunkie

wins STIGMA by Annie Nicholas

*

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.

Read Full Post »

Aline

wins DREAM LAKE by Lisa Kleypas

*

June M.

wins LESSONS FROM A SCANDALOUS BRIDE

*

winnie

wins FOREVER AND A DAY by Jill Shalvis

*

Stacy S

wins LOTHAIRE by Kresley Cole

*

Joanne B

wins TANGLE OF NEED by Nalini Singh

*

Congrats! To claim your prize,  email mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces). Please include Share The Love Winner in the subject line. You have 48 hours to email before a new name is chosen.

Read Full Post »

Each book in the Vanguard series is about a different member of the original Omegas wolf shifter pack from book one (The Omegas).

 

Sigma is book five in this series and about the least known hero, Sam. I saved him because he’s one of my favorites, a bit of a bad boy with a broken heart.  He hides his vulnerability behind one night stands and man-whore behavior.

 

It took me awhile to figure out who his mate would be. She’d have to fill a big hole in his heart and bring out the protector in Sam because as Sigma, he’s all about defending the weak. Yet, I wanted her to have a backbone.

 

Clementine finally introduced herself to me. A submissive accountant at Pal Robi inc. that’s never met a wolf shifter her whole existence. Sam rescues her and sweeps her off her feet, literally. Who could resist a damaged shifter made of any woman’s fantasy?

 

 

 

To defend and protect, at any cost.

 

Sam is Sigma of his pack, defender of the innocent and frail. Too bad the one time it mattered most, though the urge to guard the weak runs strong in his shifter blood, he failed to protect his best friend from an attack. Just when his self-confidence can’t go any lower, he becomes entangled in a vampire skirmish and is left with an injured female in his arms.

 

Vampire accountant for Pal Robi, Inc., Clementine can’t believe her master would ask her to commit corporate espionage. She’s shot when discovered, but a shifter comes to her rescue. It’s as if he’s made of her fantasies, and in the few hours with him she lives more than the decades she’s spent among her clan.

 

Hiding with him on the streets of Chicago, in the midst of fighting together to stay alive, can a petite vampire break through her hero’s jaded heart?

 

WARNING: Hot dominating sex, an action packed evening, and a first date gone all to hell.

 

http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_9&products_id=542

 

 

Excerpt:

 

“Clementine?”

 

“Lightheaded.” She waved Sam’s hand away. His touch stirred too many unexplainable desires. They’d barely met, under terrible circumstances. However, her skin still tingled wherever he’d touched her.

 

Closing her eyes made the dizziness worse. How much blood had she lost? She glanced at Sam, who lounged on the bed in his torn clothes. “None of this fazes you, does it? The fighting, the running, the gunshots?”

 

He shrugged. “A few years ago, it would have. Life’s hard in the pack. It’s adapt or perish.” He eyed her as if trying to figure out what species of bug she belonged to. “Thanks for explaining things to Daedalus. We don’t get along too well. He’s not my biggest fan.”

 

A hot flush washed over her. From lack of blood or from his gratitude, she wasn’t sure. Drinking from him, pressed against his strong, muscled body, would be a fantasy come true. What female hadn’t dreamed of a wild shifter in bed?

 

Except when imagination and reality collided, all her hidden insecurities suddenly jumped out and did the conga. She was plain for a vampire: short brown hair, little boobs, too much junk-in-the-trunk. Not exactly a vixen of the night those stupid human movies portrayed.

 

She needed to feed and Sam had agreed to her backhanded request. Licking her lips, she knelt on the mattress. “Where would you like me to bite?”

 

A crooked, sensual smile spread across his mouth. “Are you always this polite to your meals, Clementine?”

 

“Of course. Just because we’re not human doesn’t mean we have to act like monsters.”

 

He tugged his shirt off, exposing a hard muscled chest, and then lifted his chin, offering her his jugular.

 

Hunger growled to life in her body. Overpowering. Fast. Bloodlust seized her, and any semblance of control disintegrated as her vision went red.

 

Rich fluid coated her tongue. Salty and warm, it eased the cramps in her stomach. She sank her teeth deeper into the source of her bliss, and then popped open her eyes.

Swallowing reflexively, the warmth spread from her stomach into her starved system. She lay on top of Sam, his arms and legs sprawled across the bed. She released her clenched bite on his neck. Oh crap, had she killed him? “Sam?” Her voice trembled and she shook his shoulder. How much had she drank?

 

He still had that sultry smile on his face as he peeked at her under heavy lids. The dark chocolate of his gaze melted over her body. “Hungry?” His flesh healed where she’d bitten him.

 

Something dripped from her chin. She swiped a hand across her mouth and stared with widening eyes at the blood on her palm. “Merciful heavens, I’m an animal. I’m so sorry.” The apology didn’t cover her horror. She hadn’t lost control since she’d been a fledgling. “The blood loss–it’s been a long time since the lust has gripped me so hard.” Desire to lick her palm almost overwhelmed her. She needed to feed more.

 

“I’m used to being fed upon. We’re Daedalus’s main source, but I like your style of feeding better.” He ran his hand over her bare spine and quirked an eyebrow at her. “The wound is gone?”

 

Now that she’d fed, her body healed fast. Tissue had knitted together, growing seamless, smooth skin where her injury had been. “Yes.”

 

He raised his chin and offered his neck once more. “Better to feed from me than attack the housekeeping.”

 

Annie Nicholas

www.annienicholas.com

www.annienicholas.blogspot.com

 

~~~*~~~*~~~

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

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »