Archive for the ‘December 2010’ Category

Wow, this was a hard list to make. It has been a fabulous year for books! After fighting with this list for 2 weeks, I have finally narrowed it down to my favorite 10 books published in 2010.

Sin Undone by Larissa Ione – The Demonica series started off great and has continued to get better with every book. A female demon assassin and the dhampire who can’t decide if he loves her or wants to kill her = Perfect.

Crossroads by Moira Rogers – Shapeshifters, spellcasters, crazy politics, forbidden love, family loyalty, waffle batter, and a scene that left me a big sniffly mess means that Crossroads must go on any “best of” list I make.

Riding The Night by Jaci Burton – Jaci Burton (an author I love) writes a book about a menage relationship (a theme I love) that has biker heroes (who doesn’t love bikers?!) It goes on the list 😉

Lion’s Heat by Lora Leigh – Watching the most manipulative bastard ever created by the council be brought to his knees by his secretary and her baby was a thing of beauty. When he started purring to calm the baby, I melted.

Colters’ Lady by Maya Banks – The long awaited sequel to Colters’ Woman was well worth the wait. Filled with heat and emotion, this has become a comfort read for me.

Shaken by Dee Tenorio – I’ve never fan-girled over a short story before but Shaken just worked for me. It is a seamless blend of heart and heat that didn’t feel like a short story.

The Darkest Lie by Gena Showalter – I have to give props to an author who can write an entire book of dialogue for a character that can’t speak the truth and not leave me completely confused. I never thought that seeing a hero say “I hate you” would be so sweet.

Hold On Tight by Stephanie Tyler – SEALs!! The conclusion to this trilogy kicked ass and left me panting for more books.

Second Chances by Lauren Dane – This is the only book that has ever caused me to walk away for a while just so I could gain some emotional distance. This isn’t the first time Ms. Dane has made me cry (hello Laid Bare) but Second Chances was at a different level. I connected with this book like I have few others and it left a lasting impression.

The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks – When I read an early excerpt for this book over a year ago, I fell in love with Ethan and anticipated his story more than I have any other book.  When I finally got to read it, it was official. All the angst and turmoil of this couple finding their way to a HEA makes The Darkest Hour my favorite book of the year.

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Secrets don’t stay buried long in cattle country. Sarah Allen,the beautiful girl who humiliated Jackson Raines in high school, is back in town. Not so long ago, she couldn’t wait to leave Wind Canyon, Wyoming, in her dust. But recently widowed, she has nowhere else to go and finds herself on Jackson’s ranch.

Despite everything, Jackson is reluctant to get rid of her. He can’t resist trouble, and Sarah brings her own special kind. Enemies of her dead husband show up on the ranch making threats, thinking she has something they’re owed. They’re not taking no for an answer, but what they will take is the one thing she has left—her daughter—and Jackson may be the only hope she has of getting little Holly home alive.


It’s amazing the places an idea for a story can come from.  Years ago, my first book, MAGNIFICENT PASSAGE, started swimming around in my head as I watched a TV show called The Quest, a tale about two half brothers.  I’ve actually had people ask me if that is where my story idea began.

NIGHT SECRETS was inspired by the old song “Brandy,” about the tavern maid who fell in love with a sea captain whose heart belonged to the sea.  Fortunately, the story was only loosely connected to the song–which saved me from a lawsuit by the people who wrote it!

Often my Contemporary novels blossom from something I’ve read in the newspapers or seen on TV.  SEASON OF STRANGERS was about a young woman and her sister who had an encounter with a UFO, a subject I’ve read a great deal about.

My new book, AGAINST THE WIND, began in a similar fashion.  I was cruising along the 90 Freeway crossing Montana, enjoying the crisp fall weather, the brilliant colors of the leaves, and listening to the country channel on the radio.  As I headed toward home, a Trace Atkins song came on, How do you like me now?  It’s a wonderful tune that tells a great story.  And it gave me the kernel of an idea for a story I was able to expand into a book.

In the song, a young girl humiliates a boy who has a crush on her.  Later that boy grows up to be extremely successful and he wonders how that girl feels about him now.

In my mind, that boy and girl became Jackson Raines and Sarah Allen, the hero and heroine in the book.  Years later, Sarah returns to the small Wyoming town of Wind Canyon, in trouble after her failed marriage.  Unfortunately for Sarah, the only person who can keep her and her little girl, Holly, safe is Jackson Raines, the boy–now a man–she humiliated in high school all those years ago.

Most of the time, my story ideas seem to come out of nowhere.  One day I’m looking for a plot for a book and then suddenly, I know that I want to write about Gabriel Raines and his struggle to find the arsonist who is trying to kill him.  Then I search for the woman Gabe is going to fall in love with, no easy task for a macho man like Gabe.  Lady architect, Mattie Baker, filled the spot perfectly, and the book became AGAINST THE FIRE.

AGAINST THE LAW, the third book in the trilogy, seemed to come fairly easily once I got started.  I loved Dev Raines, the sexiest and wildest of the Raines brothers.  Once Lark Delaney walked into his life, the plot began to roll.  The novel developed as I wrote it, which is unusual for me, and it turned out to be one of my all-time favorites.

I’ve discovered that readers seem to like trilogies.  I wonder how you all feel about them?  Like them?  Hate them?

I hope you’ll watch for the Raines Brothers trilogy, AGAINST THE WIND, AGAINST THE FIRE, and AGAINST THE LAW.  They’re coming January, February, March.  Till then, happy reading and all best wishes, Kat

Enter my Against the Wind Contest
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Many thanks to Kat for joining us today! For a chance to win an autographed copy of one of Kat’s books, leave a comment answering the question. Two winners will be drawn on Sunday. Good luck! 😀


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Abandoned by her wolf shifter father and raised by her human psychic mother, Carmen Mendoza can’t deny she’s different. She craves things most women shy away from–and she has a trail of shapeshifting ex-boyfriends to prove it.

Working at a clinic for supernatural creatures, she’s escaped the notice of her father’s legacy-obsessed family. Until they need a pawn in their bid for power. Snared by a vicious spell designed to wake her inner wolf, Carmen’s only hope is to trust the one man strong enough to soothe her darkest instincts.

Alec Jacobson was once the heir apparent to the wolves’ ruling elite, until he walked away to marry the woman he loved. She paid with her life. He lives as a rebel, a black-sheep alpha who protects the supernatural residents of New Orleans from the wolves’ barbaric class system. Too bad he can’t protect himself from his need for Carmen.

Yet staking his claim on his enemy’s niece will turn his city into a battleground. Unless he can find a way to stop breaking the rules–and start making them.

Warning: This book contains a renegade alpha wolf, a smart empathic doctor, very dirty sex with psychic safe-words, the occasional dominance game in and out of the bedroom, and a group of supernatural citizens ready to take on the corrupt leaders of their world.


DEADLOCK is the third book in the Southern Arcana series and I have been anticipating Alec’s story since book one. A bossy, grumpy, alpha shapeshifter that keeps a cage in his basement and has a tendency of kidnapping people that pose a threat to his friends? What’s not to love!

Carmen Mendoza has some pretty simple goals. Help the supernatural creatures of NOLA and to avoid all the political marriage traps her family keeps tossing in her path. Alec has a goal as well. To keep NOLA safe from the political games the shifters like to play. When Carmen is attacked by a spellcaster, it’s time for Alec to do what he does best.

To say I enjoyed this book would be an understatement. I loved it! The suspense in DEADLOCK is off the charts with many unexpected twists that kept me guessing. And the heat! Oh, the heat. Alec is a dirty, dirty boy. 😀

I could fan-girl gush for a while about this one but I’ll save you all from that. I’ll just say that this is definitely a recommended read. And I’ll leave you with my favorite quote from DEADLOCK.

“Couldn’t think of a more dangerous place to stick your dick? There’s a garbage disposal right here. I’ll give you two a minute alone.”

To read an excerpt from DEADLOCK, please visit the Moira Rogers website.

Available from Samhain Publishing on January 4, 2011


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


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Every Serial Killer Knows. . .

The vicious burns scarring the victims’ flesh reveal the agony of their last moments. Each woman was branded with a star, then stabbed through the heart. With every death, a vengeful killer finds a brief, blissful moment of calm. But soon it’s time for the bloodshed to start again…

The Perfect Time. . .

Ten years ago, Eva Rayburn and her sorority sisters were celebrating the end of the school year. That party turned into a nightmare Eva can’t forget. Now she’s trying to start over in her Virginia hometown, but a new nightmare has begun. Every victim is linked to her. And Detective Deacon Garrison isn’t sure whether this mysterious woman needs investigating—or protecting…

To Make His Mark

Only Eva’s death will bring peace. Only her tortured screams will silence the rage that has been building for ten long years. Because what started that night at the sorority can never be stopped—not until the last victim has been marked for death…


Eva Rayburn, my heroine in my January release SENSELESS, has a standing motto—Eyes Forward.  Eva’s had a rough past and lots of reasons to give up or be bitter.  But she doesn’t look back, nor does she wallow in what went wrong or what might have been.  Her thoughts are to the future and the things she wants to accomplish.

This is about the time of year when we’re all looking ahead a little.  We’re thinking about New Year’s resolutions and the things we want to accomplish in the New Year.  For the aspiring writers, the resolution may center on starting, finishing or perhaps selling a book.  With my fellow writers in mind, I’ve broken down these larger goals into mini-resolutions.

Create your own office space.
I’ve had many different writing spaces.  First it was a card table in the corner of an empty living room.  Then I was able to furnish the living room with second hand office furniture.  And when my puppies came along and the house got just a little too noisy, I rented cubical space in a real office.  And when that got too noisy, I converted my tool shed (believe me it’s nicer than it sounds) to an office.  The main point is that I’ve always had a place that was mine where I could work.

Write five minutes a day.
Commit to writing five minutes a day.  This is the number one advice I give to beginning writers who are scrambling to find more time.  Once you start typing, five minutes quickly turns into ten minutes, a half hour and before you know it you’ve written a couple of hours.

Dig into our character.
Do a detailed character sketch.  Determine my character’s archetype.  Take the Myers-Briggs personality test for my character.  Create a collage of images that depict your character.  Knowing your characters is the first step to designing a great plot.

Join a local writers group.
Before I wrote my first chapter, I joined the Virginia Romance Writers.  For the first time, I found a group of folks who shared my goals and interests.  This group became invaluable to me as I struggled through several unsold manuscripts and was there to cheer me on when I sold my first.  And if there are not local groups in your area, check out some of the online chapters available.

Take a writing class
When I first started writing I was hungry for any information I could find on craft.  I would travel to conferences and sit in on every session I could.  Nowadays, I still take online classes.  No matter how much I think I know there’s always more to learn.

Send out that query letter or proposal
I’ve met many talented writers along the way, but some unfortunately were too afraid to send out their work.  So fearful of rejection, they simply could not work up the courage to show their work to the world.  If you want to be a writer, you’ve got to be willing to send out your stories and brace for rejection.

Celebrate the successes
Once a year I allow myself to look back over the last twelve months and take stock.  With all the baby steps it seems we take each day, it’s easy to loose track of the fact that we’ve covered quite a bit of territory.  So ask yourself: how many pages did I write?  How many times did I send out my work?  How many requests for more did I receive?  Did I get The Call?  A great review?  A wonderful cover.

Once you’ve taken stock, shift your gaze forward and set your sights on the next horizon.

Mary Burton captivates readers with stories of mystery, crime and relationships–destined to keep readers on the edge of their seats.  Her January 2010 book SENSELESS is a romantic suspense set in Virginia.  When she’s not writing her latest novel, she is most definitely in the kitchen cooking.

A big thank you to Mary Burton for joining us today. To find out more about Mary and her books, please visit her website. For a chance to win SENSELESS, leave a comment below. What is something you would like to accomplish in 2011?

For those with e-readers, SENSELESS will be available for e-readers starting on January 1st.

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I’ll be the first to admit that I have a habit of getting stuck in a reading rut. I have my list of auto-buys I stick to and I don’t search out new-to-me authors. Even when a trusted friend tells me that I will love an author, I hesitate. And when I finally give in to pressure, I open the book with a sense of dread. I expect to be disappointed. It’s not fair of me, but there it is.

I guess that last paragraph should all be in past tense because over the last 6 months, things have changed. I’ve started reading so many new-to-me authors. I don’t know what changed but I’m grateful it did!

As 2010 draws to a close, I wanted to share my favorite new-to-me author of the year but I can’t choose just one! So my favorite TWO new authors of 2010 are Vivian Arend and Dee Tenorio. (Now I have to wait on Fatin to say “I told you so”)


Have you discovered any new-to-you authors this year? Any I need to add to my TBR pile? 😀



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Thanks so much to Mad and the gang for having me back! It’s a pleasure to close out the old year with new book releases. Even if you’ve spent all your money on Christmas presents, here’s a way to win two books…my Brava anthology Lords of Passion with Virginia Henley and Kate Pearce (December) and Mistress by Midnight (January)! My stories are pretty different from each other—one’s pretty funny, and one is…not. See if you can tell which is which. 🙂

Here’s the blurb for “Not Quite a Courtesan” in LOP:

Sensible bluestocking Prudence Thorne has been too busy keeping her cousin Sophy out of trouble to experience any adventures of her own. But when Sophy begs Prudence’s help in saving her marriage, Pru encounters handsome, worldly Darius Shaw. And under Darius’s skilled tutelage, Pru learns just how delightful a little scandal can be.



Mistress by Midnight:

As children, Desmond Ryland, Marquess of Conover, and Laurette Vincent were inseparable. As young adults, their friendship blossomed into love. But then fate intervened, sending them down different paths. Years later, Con still can’t forget his beautiful Laurette. Now he’s determined to make her his forever. There’s just one problem. Laurette keeps refusing his marriage proposals. Throwing honor to the wind, Con decides that the only way Laurette will wed him is if he thoroughly seduces her.
Laurette’s pulse still quickens every time she thinks of Con and the scorching passion they once shared. She aches to taste the pleasure Con offers her. But she knows she can’t. For so much has happened since they were last lovers. But how long can she resist the consuming desire that demands to be obeyed?

Excerpts and reviews can be found on my website www.maggierobinson.net.

I bet you can guess already which book is angsty and which book is amusing, but can you guess which of the things below can be found in MBM and which are in NQAC? Take a guess on these teasers for a chance to win! (Hint: Several items are in BOTH books.)

  • A love nest on Jane Street, AKA Courtesan Court
  • A mock wedding in a circle of standing stones
  • An auction of erotic objects
  • A secret baby (no one was more surprised than I to discover I had written a secret baby story, LOL)
  • A faux harem girl
  • A wicked dark-haired hero
  • An antique ruby and diamond ring that has mysterious powers…at least over the heroine
  • A feckless brother (I love the word feckless)
  • The Regency equivalent of a blow-up doll
  • A flock of sheep (This is a trick, two-part question—one book has sheep, one book’s hero wants sheep)

Even if you guess wrong, you can still win. And spelling doesn’t count. 😉 Have a wonderful 2011 filled with love, laughter and lots of books!


Many thanks to Maggie for joining us today!

One reader will win both LORDS OF PASSION and MISTRESS BY MIDNIGHT so don’t forget to take a guess at the teasers. Good luck!

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This is the only series by Dana Marie that I haven’t tried yet but after watching this trailer, I’m buying the first one tonight.


Coming from Samhain Publishing on January 18, 2011


by Dana Marie Bell

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Anticipation is Making Me Want


In erotic romance it’s not only what happens in bed that’s entertaining, it’s the lead up to the big sex scene that adds to the genre’s allure.

As a reader, I want to feel the characters’ lust, know their passion, endure their impatience to be within each others’ arms. The best romances I’ve read have accomplished this. I’ll be on the edge of my chair, reading as fast as I can, while my excitement builds.

For me, the lead up is what makes the sex scene so great. If the characters simply fell into bed without any emotional connection or conflict, I doubt I’d be as turned on.

In my newest erotic romance Sensual Stranger that released on December 15th, I strove to keep the sexual tension high between Toni and Zach. From the get-go, they wanted each other, but circumstances and their histories keep them apart…at least for a little while.

To show you what I mean, here’s the blurb and an excerpt:


Into his life she came—wanting…willing…wanton

It’s no ordinary morning when Toni Starr arrives at Zach’s garage. Flat broke, with a past she won’t share, Toni’s instantly taken by such a potently virile man. Direct and unashamed, she tells him she’s a motorcycle performance artist who needs work and knows motors.

Zach knows women, and Toni’s unlike any he’s met. Lushly sensuous, exceedingly assured, she’d easily be his match in business and bed. A provocative challenge that stirs him as nothing has since losing his wife. A chance he’s reluctant to take, offering no more than a month’s employment, then she’ll have to be on her way.

The hours tick by. Each word and glance intensifies their denied yet escalating desire, forcing them to surrender to passion and Toni’s need for Zach’s dominance. Driven by carnal hunger, conquered by yearning, they face the unforeseen truth of Toni’s past and a future neither of them expected.


(This scene happens at Zach’s garage. It’s hours before they can be alone and make love for the first time. A matter that’s stoking their desire and impatience.)

He moved into her so fast, Toni stepped back instinctively, her hip hitting the side of a cabinet. Briefly, the metal rattled. Wrapping one arm around her waist, Zach pulled her into his solid length. His other hand went to the back of her head, keeping it still as his mouth imprisoned hers.

Surprise stole all of her breath. Yearning took over, defeating what little defense she’d built against him. A moan whimpered from the base of her throat. With her knees sagged against his and her arms wrapped around his torso, she held on for dear life, wanting him as she had no other man.

His tongue filled her so well, his firm embrace was so welcomed, the room spun. She moaned again.

Abandoning her mouth, Zach pressed his lips to her ear and whispered, “Quiet. Do you want the guys to hear?”

Breathless with arousal, she could barely manage words. “I don’t fucking care.”

Subdued laughter vibrated his chest.

Toni tried to quiet him with her kiss. Zach wasn’t having it. Stepping back, he turned her around to face the cabinet and the shop’s front door.

He’d closed those blinds too. No more than a sliver of space remained between them and the door frame for someone to peer inside. Unless they came in.

She whispered, “Did you lock the front door?”

“Not till closing. I’ve a business to run.”

Toni nearly laughed at his ludicrous comment given what he was doing. Her head snapped down at him unzipping the front of her overalls, sneaking his hand inside, straight past her tank top and bra to settle his fingers on her naked nipple.

A mew caught in the back of her throat. Her knees bumped the cabinet, rattling the metal. Head tilted to the side, she bit her lower lip, trying not to cry out her pleasure as Zach suckled her neck.

Where in the hell had he been for the last couple of hours? What had caused such a change in him from when he’d left?

Arm tightened around her waist, he pulled her even closer, grinding his erection into her buttocks. She blew out a breath.

“Quiet,” he ordered again, cradling the side of her face in his hand, turning it to him so he could capture her mouth once more.

He kissed her greedily, without finesse, his lust telling Toni he couldn’t help himself. Her thoughts rejoiced, while the truth nagged. He’d loved Meg, a depth of emotion he’d never give her.

Ignoring sorrow, she told herself it was okay. At least he wanted her. A few minutes ago, it was more than she’d hoped for. With her head against his shoulder, eyes closed, she allowed him what he willed, what she desired. Hunger for him pulsed through Toni, forcing the air from her lungs, dampening her channel.

He squeezed her breast firmly, not painfully, finished his kiss and pressed his lips to her ear. “Someone’s coming to the door.”

Eyes snapping open, she tried to look, but could not as Zach turned her around quickly, zipped up her overalls and swatted her butt. “Back to work.”

Not moving, she stared at him.

With hooded eyes and a voice laced with danger, he asked, “You want more?”

Oh yeah. A lot more. He awakened a desire in her not only to be pleasured, but to be taken, dominated, something she’d allowed no other man. Zach was different. She trusted him not to hurt her. “Later,” she murmured. “Whatever punishment you decide.”

Surprise swept across his features. “You mean like spanking? You like to be spanked?”

Only if he was the one doing it. She ran her finger down his fly. “I like a strong man that takes charge and teaches me how to obey in bed.” The thought made her toes curl.

“You’re sure?”

Toni heard the danger in his voice and matched it with her own. “Very.”

“Then I’m going to hold you to that,” he warned and swatted her ass again.

Cheeks burning, heart singing, she’d just opened the door to the bays as an elderly female customer came in through the front.

Sensual Stranger is available now!!

Buy Link: http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-8932-50-sensual-stranger.aspx

Email: tina@tinadonahue.com
Website/blog: www.tinadonahue.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/tinadonahue
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000458023097

To celebrate the upcoming release of Sensual Stranger, I’m offering a contest today. One lucky commenter will have her choice of one of my following books**:

Lush Velvet Nights – ebook
Adored – ebook
Deep, Dark, Delicious – ebook
Close to Perfect – mass market paperback
Bad Boys with Red Roses – trade paperback
Take My Breath Away – trade paperback

** Winner chosen at random. Winner in continental US has her choice of one of the six. Winner outside continental US has her choice of one of the ebooks

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Is it April yet? 😀

Keeper of the demon of Secrets, Amun can manipulate the darkest thoughts of anyone nearby. But when new demons possess him, the immortal warrior must be chained and isolated to protect those he loves. Death is his only hope of release—until he meets Haidee, a fellow prisoner whose beauty and hidden vulnerability draw him into a reckless test of his loyalty…. Haidee is an infamous demon assassin, raised to despise Amun’s kind. Yet how can she hate the man whose touch sets her aflame? But to save him, she must give herself body and soul…and face the wrath of a powerful adversary sworn to destroy her.

More information, including an excerpt, can be found at Gena Showalter’s website.

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She’s the cat’s meow, and he’s ready to pounce!

Five miles of leather-clad leg is all it takes to lure Kyle Branegan out from his carefully hidden lifestyle as part of the Cougar Corp, a secret branch of the Shifter Enforcer League. He’s hoping for a night of fun and frolic, cat-style, no strings attached. With a sultry swing of her hips, Eloise Scott tangles him up in her ball of tricks, and just when he thinks he’s about to get lucky, she cuffs him-naked-to her bed.

An undercover cop in the human police force, El’s been given a top-secret mission to keep the big cat under her paw until he’s needed to testify in court in the New Year. Her decision to take him home for a quiet Christmas in her sleepy hometown turns out to be far more interesting than she expected. Her parents are suddenly rich, her old boyfriend is sniffing around and all six-feet-plus of sexy cougar male is sleeping in her bed.

And that’s before they announce their fake engagement…


Man, oh man… Well. Heroes. Hmmm. Let’s simply dive into what we’re offering in the stories, shall we?

Kyle’s one of my favorite laid-back dudes. It’s not so much that he’s a reluctant hero, but he’s just not into the posturing He-Man Alpha stuff. He’s tough enough when needed, but most of the time? That leadership shit is for others. He’s happy to be a cat-shifter, with all that entails—a vigorous sex life and lots of time to prowl. Or at least he’s content…until he meets El!

Shane Sullivan is hiding—from the world and the past, sure, but mostly from himself and his true nature.  He considers himself a monster, and he’ll do anything to hold the beast back—including live above the freeze line, where magic is dulled and he can rest easy keeping his inner wolf under wraps.  He needs Nadia to show him that half a life is no life at all, so he can learn to accept himself for who and what he is.

Jay is a total Alpha male, but he’s been working at being un-Alpha because he’s stupidly convinced Sasha would freak if she found out the truth – that’s he’s really half-demon and tough enough to face down the Devil himself. Jay’s tried his damnedest to be Clark Kent, but the mild-mannered persona isn’t fitting very well and in Hell all bets are off as this demon lover finally reveals who he really is. (And it doesn’t hurt that he’s shirtless at the time…)

Excerpts:     Freeze Line | No Angel | Tangled Tinsel

Buy Links
Freeze Line:        Carina | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
No Angel:        Carina | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Tangled Tinsel:    Carina | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

We’re going to add onto the contest, and throw three copies of Winter Wishes onto the pile. That’s the anthology that includes all the books in one bundle. To be entered in both contests, share an example of a hero who really makes you smile.

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