Friday, September 14, 2018

Review: Ann Everett's TRUE

I'm finally making good on my promise to review Ann Everett's contemporary romance TRUE. Ann visited Journeys with Jana back in July: you can read an excerpt and our interview here




My Review:

I received a copy of TRUE from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

I thoroughly enjoyed Ann Everett’s contemporary romance TRUE. The characters were likable (except for the bad guy) and I really wanted all of them to get their happy endings. That’s endings—plural, because three couples fall in love in this book! And there are many laugh out loud moments that will keep you reading.

What I especially loved about this book is that Ms. Everett takes well-used romance tropes and manages to make them fresh. The girl with amnesia plot could have been tedious but instead it was funny and almost believable. I loved that just before her accident, True vows to become a different person, and when she comes out of the coma that’s exactly what she does. Instead of being the shy, conservative-dressing doormat she was previously, the new, assertive True goes after what she wants. And she decides she wants Ritter. I like that in a romance heroine!

The small-town hero trope is also well-used. Here it is played for laughs – Ritter is a reluctant hero who keeps saving people’s lives, including True’s. But there’s a more serious side to Ritter that makes him want to look after everyone – his mother, his sisters, and especially True. And that makes him a very appealing character. 

One of the romance tropes that I think Ms. Everett handled particularly well was the love at first sight trope. From the moment Ritter’s sister Swan sees True’s brother Teague, they were in love. And I believed it! It was probably the best love at first sight scene I’ve ever read. I’m hoping Swan and Teague get their own book!

All the characters face obstacles on their way to true love (no pun intended), and the sexual tension is off the charts in this book. By the time they actually “do it”, all the reader can do is sigh in relief. 

All in all, TRUE is a fun read. And it should probably get an award for best character names in a romance novel!

Buy Link:
Amazon - ebook and Print

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

FIRST AND TEN by Margo Bond Collins and Erin Hayes

Margo Bond Collins and Erin Hayes are with me today to talk about their new release FIRST AND TEN. Sounds like a hoot! Please welcome Margo and Erin!

First and Ten: A Contemporary Reverse Harem
A Team of Her Own Book 1: Preseason

by Erin Hayes and Margo Bond Collins






 When Madison Harte inherits a football team with three hot players who all want her, there’s one problem: when it comes to America’s favorite sport, she’s clueless. 

I have the worst luck. Failed tech startup? Check. Cheating ex-boyfriend? Check. No idea what to do next? Check.

Then my Uncle Dusty passes away and leaves a whole football team to me. Never mind that I’ve never even seen a game. Who has time for that, right?

But I can sell the team and turn my life around, so I fly from San Francisco to Birmingham, Alabama, where I find a whole new level of football obsession—and start to develop a fascination of my own. Mostly with the three players who are very, very interested in me. 

I never expected to find a team of my own. Or that there would be so many obstacles in our way.

Luckily, Madison won’t have to choose just one man in this contemporary reverse harem where Friday Night Lights and Bridget Jones collide and where—hallelujah—it’s still raining men.


Excerpt:

The last time I had anything to do with football, Timothy Bartley threw the ball at me during PE, and it hit me in the face. I was left with a shiner for three weeks after that, barely able to see out of my poor eye. Everyone made fun of me, and I still sported a small scar on my eyebrow where my skin had split from the swelling.

That was in sixth grade. Seventeen years ago.


Since then, I hadn’t watched a game, hadn’t paid attention to who’s who, or even glanced at ESPN. That was fine by me. I was happy not having to spend my Saturdays watching the big game. My money was spent on video games, comics, and shoes instead of tickets and merchandise.


Football was in an entirely different universe that didn’t touch mine in the slightest.


Until now.


“Excuse me?” I asked in disbelief, sitting forward in my chair. My black business suit stretched as much as it possibly could, but it still felt tighter than the last time I wore it. Yet another sign that my size-14 waist was now a size 16. I’d put on some weight since my ex Jacob and I broke up six months ago. My boobs looked great though, so I really didn’t mind. He was the one missing out.


“Did you just say what I thought you did?” I asked.


My lawyer, an old family friend named Daniel Reiss, a balding man with a permanent scowl, stopped his reading of my late uncle’s will and looked up. “Which part?”


He must have continued reading while my mind slowly processed what had been bequeathed to me.


“The part about the football.”


He frowned, the wrinkles in his face deepening, and he flipped back a few pages in my uncle’s very long will.


Uncle Dusty had been eccentric when he was alive, amassing a huge fortune that had once covered a vacation home in Tahiti, several of the most expensive cars ever produced, a private jet, and millions of dollars in capital. But, being eccentric, he had spent or sold most of it before he died. Fair enough, I would have done the same. Most of the will consisted of what to do with his coin collection or each of his rare, exotic stamps.


But the part about football was, well, let’s just say unexpected.


Finding his place on the page, Daniel cleared his throat. “‘I leave my football team, the Birmingham Yellowhammers, to my brother’s daughter, Madison Harte.”


Madison Harte. Me.


I blinked. “Is that like a little kid’s team or something? Or his collection of footballs? Or a set of those shirts they wear?”


“Jerseys?” Daniel supplied.


“Yeah, those.”


“No.” He watched at me, perplexed. “They’re a team for the major league.”


I looked at him blankly.


“As in professional football, Ms. Harte.” Ugh. Daniel only used my last name when he thought I was being stupid. I should’ve been used to it by nowhe’d used it for the last several months as I refused offer after offer from Jacob to buy out my half of our tech startup, even as my savings dwindled. I finally took him up on it when I had no choice.


I hesitated for another beat, still trying to come to terms with Daniel’s words. “You’re not talking about soccer, are you?” At least I knew something about soccer. I played on a rec team when I was in college. Still terrible at it, but at least I knew some of the rules. Like, you couldn’t use your hands to touch the ball.


Daniel couldn’t hide the derision from his face. No matter how grumpy someone looks, they can always make you feel like the stupidest person in the room.


“No, Miss Harte. American football.”


I worried my bottom lip, a million thoughts running through my head. “Uhm, how can you leave someone a whole football team?”


None of this made any sense.




Margo's Top 5 Favorite Sports Movies One of the things I loved about co-writing First and Ten with Erin Hayes is that neither of knows anything about football! Lucky for us, though, neither does our heroine. We’re not quite as clueless as Madison, though I have to admit, much of our (small amount of!) combined knowledge of the game comes from popular culture, including movies. I was originally going to do a top 5 football movies post…but then I realized I couldn’t think of five football movies. Clearly, I’m going to have to fix that as this series continues! But for now, here are my top five favorite sports movies: 1. Bull Durham 2. Bend it Like Beckham 3. A League of Their Own 4. Rocky 5. Field of Dreams What I love about all these sports stories is that ultimately, they’re not about the sports—they’re about what it means to be human, to function as part of a team, to live and love and win and lose. Tell me: what are some of your favorite sports movies, and what do you love about them?

About the Authors

Erin Hayes


Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.

She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she's an award-winning New York Times Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.
You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.


Read More from Erin





Margo Bond Collins

USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times bestselling author Margo Bond Collins is a former college English professor who, tired of explaining the difference between "hanged" and "hung," turned to writing romance novels instead. (Sometimes her heroines kill monsters, too.)




Read More from Margo

Monday, September 10, 2018

Fall Into Love Romance Giveaway!



FALL INTO LOVE
All-Genres Romance Giveaway
September 10-30

Kindle Fire 7 • Ebook Prize Packs • Amazon Gift Cards


Between quaint country inns, falling leaves, and weather that invites snuggling, nothing tops Fall for sheer romance. And we’re holding an all-genres romance giveaway to celebrate the season. Enter now for your chance to win!

Plus, it’s reading season and we have the perfect books in every romance genre for you to snuggle up with on a chilly night or two or seven, falling in love with your new book boyfriend. Or should we say boyfriends? Browse our book fair and see how many you discover to make your own!



(Fall Into Love is sponsored by the 58 authors listed below)

Amanda Uhl • Amy Knupp • Andy Wayne • Aubrey Wynne • Ava Bradley • Candace Blevins • Cecilia Lane • Cecy Robson • Constance Bretes • Cynthia Cooke • Debbie White • E.B. Black • Elizabeth Rose • Elsie Davis • Heather Slade • Holly Cortelyou • Jan O’Hara • Jana Richards • Jenny Gardiner • Jessica Jayne • Joanne Dannon • Julieann Dove • Karyn Gerrard • Kris Michaels • Lane Hart • Lara Ward Cosio • Laura A. Barnes • Laurel Greer • Laurel O’Donnell • Lucy Lakestone • M.C. Cerny • Marie James • Marina Simcoe • Melissa Belle • N.D. Jones • Natalie Ann • PG Forte • PJ Friel • Rachel Everly • Ruth A. Casie • S.L. Sterling • Sabrina Kade • Sahara Roberts • Sandra Marie • Sarah Williams • Shelley Munro • Sherrie Lea Morgan • Simone Leigh • Soraya Naomi • Stacy Gold • Stephanie Queen • Susan Sheehey • Sylvia McDaniel • Tamara Ferguson • Teddy Hester • Theresa Paolo • TL Clark • Zoe Dawson


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Review: VENGEANCE IS MINE by Kat Henry Doran

Kat Henry Doran was my guest back in June and she talked about her contemporary romance VENGEANCE IS MINE. I promised to a review her book, and better late than never, here it is. Thanks for letting me read your book, Kat!



Blurb:

Ever think about going back to study hall to face down the school bully? The mean girls? The brainless jocks who made your life a pure misery? For Dru Horvath, gypsy orphan turned Pulitzer Prize winning photo-journalist; Rafe Archangeli, Scourge of Summerville who now heads a multi-million dollar trust; and Fiona “Fat Aggie” Thorpe who recreated herself into an A-list model with her own A-list agency, the opportunity to exact revenge is too good to pass up. Will they find the vengeance they crave? Or something more valuable? 


My Review:
How many of us would love to go back to high school and exact revenge on the bullies and gossips and the mean girls (and boys)? 

In Kat Henry Doran’s VENGEANCE IS MINE, three former graduates of Summerville High School in western New York state, get the chance to do just that. But this revenge comes a different way than they expect.

VENGEANCE IS MINE is made up of three novellas – Mad Dog and Archangel, Embraceable You and The List. The three stories are intertwined, with characters from one story appearing in the other books. 

The stories were well-written and the author’s depictions of certain occupations were very real. All three novellas explore racism and bullying, but mostly they’re really good love stories, with characters you want to root for. In Mad Dog and Archangel I could feel the instant attraction between the Rafe and Grace. In Embraceable You, I wanted Dru and Rory to get past their fears so they could have a life together. In The List, which I confess was my favorite story, I admired Fiona’s strength and perseverance and willed her to see how much Mick, her former tormentor, had changed. Ms. Doran didn’t disappoint me in any of the stories.

In each story, the author did a good job of showing how love changed the characters for the better. And she also did a skillful job of showing that revenge isn't what they thought it would be. 
Instead, they discover the best revenge is living well.

I received a copy of VENGEANCE IS MINE from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Buy Links: 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Cosplay Live on Instagram!

       

Photo shoot live on Instagram with Nik as Pietas


The first weekend in September 2018, Nik will portray Pietas, the immortal king from the Bringer of Chaos series by Kayelle Allen. The cosplay will be performed in a live feed from Russia. To take part, follow Nik on Instagram. Exact date and time to be announced. The anticipated date is Sept. 1, 2018.





About Nik

Nik Nitsvetov is photographer and award-winning cosplayer. A gamer and anime fan, he often cosplays characters from popular series. He lives in Russia and is a strong supporter of Russian Cosplay. His personal photography ranges from cosplay to portraits and often includes animals and nature. You will find him online through various social media.

Instagram - Nik Cosplay   Twitter - Nik    Facebook - Nik


 

About Kayelle Allen



Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She's a US Navy veteran who's been married so long she's tenured. Author of the Bringer of Chaos series www.kayelleallen.com ~ www.twitter.com/kayelleallen Find a new book every day www.rlfblog.com

Friday, August 24, 2018

An Interview with Olive the Pug from SUNSET IN LAGUNA

Claire Marti is here today with a very sweet interview with one of her characters from SUNSET IN LAGUNA, the latest installment in her Finding Forever in Laguna series. As a service dog, Olive the Pug is an  important part of the story, and she gives a very good interview. Welcome Claire and Olive!  


INTERVIEW WITH OLIVE: SERVICE DOG EXTRAORDINAIRE

HI OLIVE, THANKS FOR CHATTING WITH US ABOUT ALL THINGS SUNSET IN LAGUNA. LET’S DIVE RIGHT IN.

HOW DID YOU END UP PARTNERING WITH CHRISTIAN WOLFE?

When Christian came to Peaceful Warrior, I was finishing up some training. The minute I sniffed him, I knew he was suffering and I could help him. He wasn’t so sure about me at first, but I knew immediately he was my special person.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT CHRISTIAN THAT CONVINCED YOU HE WAS YOURS?

Well, it was my intuition. I’m very book-smart, but my emotional intelligence is what sets me apart. I simply locked eyes with him and knew deep in my heart he was mine.

UMM…BOOK SMART? AREN’T YOU A PUG?

I’m just trying to communicate in a way you’ll relate to. Training, routines, all that jazz. I consider that school training. My real skills are something else.

OF COURSE, FORGIVE ME. SO, ARE THERE MANY PUGS WHO ARE SERVICE DOGS LIKE YOU?

Actually, yes there are. I know people assume most service dogs are large breeds, but actually pugs are some of the busiest workers out there today.

WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY? 

Pugs are especially sensitive and intuitive and we can immediately tell if someone is feeling anxious or nervous. We specialize in helping people who feel like a panic attack is coming on or who have generalized anxiety. 

WHO IS THE BOSS IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

Who do you think?

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT CHRISTIAN THE MOST?

He is brave, honest, loyal and actually very sweet under his tough soldier exterior. He’d make a great dog.

DO YOU APPROVE OF KELLY?

Absolutely! If it weren’t for Kelly bringing Christian out to Peaceful Warrior, I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet him. I like her, she smells really good, and knows how to scratch my belly just how I love it.

WE DON’T USUALLY GET TO INTERVIEW DOGS IN ENGLISH, SO WE HAVE A COUPLE QUESTIONS WE HOPE YOU’LL CONSIDER:

HOW ARE YOU SO EXCITED TO EAT THE SAME FOOD EVERY DAY, YEAR AFTER YEAR?

I don’t understand the question? Doesn’t everybody? I love my kibble! Or do you mean treats? Those are good too.

WHY DO DOGS LIKE TO SNIFF EACH OTHER’S BUTTS?

Oh, I can’t actually share that secret with you. It’s against the dog code. But I will say if humans dispensed with all their formalities, it would be a lot easier to see who your friends are right away.

DO YOU REALLY CONSIDER US BEST FRIENDS?

Absolutely.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CHAT WITH US AND GIVE US SOME INSIGHT INTO CHRISTIAN WOLFE!

**** 

SUNSET IN LAGUNA BLURB and Buy Links:

Returning to Laguna Beach after four tours in the Middle East, Christian Wolfe leaves the military behind and buys a wine bar, vowing to keep his life simple. He fights to keep his devastating PTSD a secret and refuses to burden anyone else with his baggage. When stunning Kelly Prescott and her red stilettos saunter into town, she drives him past the bonds of his self-control.

Successful in her father’s stuffy law firm, Kelly’s too compassionate to survive in the cutthroat world of corporate litigation. Leaving behind both family and courtroom drama, she moves to Laguna to become general counsel for a nonprofit veterans’ organization.

She didn’t bargain on a gorgeous modern-day Heathcliff, and in Christian, she sees another kind of challenge—one she can’t resist.


AMAZON: https://amzn.to/2uaYvEm

B&N https://bit.ly/2NAsbmu: 

iBooks: https://apple.co/2O5XDtL

TWRP: https://bit.ly/2KENE0i

Excerpt:

Maybe he just needed a punishing session with the punching bag or a few fingers of Jameson whiskey. Stop being such a damn wuss. Workouts and alcohol weren’t driving the demons away. He stepped forward. 

Something needed to change.

“Christian?” A husky voice lilted his name. His head whipped to the right. A beautiful woman dressed in a conservative dark suit and tortoiseshell glasses stared at him. Somewhere in his brain he registered dangerously toned legs encased in red skyscraper-high stilettos. 

Sweat popped onto his brow, and he swallowed, his throat suddenly parched. Recognition flooded his system when he dragged his gaze up from those spiked heels. Her tawny cat eyes captured his—Kelly Prescott. Didn’t she live in San Diego?
 
“Um, hey, Kelly.” What the hell was she doing at Peaceful Warrior? 

“What are you—?”

“Why are you—?”

“Ladies first.” Distract. Deflect. Damn it to hell. 

“Well, it’s kind of a secret at the moment, but I’m about to interview for the general counsel position here.” The corners of her rosy lips curved up. 

“General counsel?” For some reason he couldn’t seem to utter more than two words at a time. 

“Yes. They’ve needed one for a long time and recently got a grant to fund it. So here I am.” She walked toward him. Hints of cinnamon and some exotic scent assaulted his nostrils. 

He drew in his abs and expanded his chest. Kind of like a rooster. He grunted. “You’re going to commute?”

“No, if I get the job, I’m actually moving up here.” She shrugged and flashed perfect white teeth, oblivious of his discomfort. 

“Huh.” Over a year ago, her golden beauty had caught his attention when she’d accompanied his buddy Nick and Sophie to Vines. He’d been single at the time—hell, he was always single—and asked Nick about her. She was Sophie’s best friend. His attraction cooled when he’d learned she was a wealthy corporate attorney working for her daddy’s firm and dating another lawyer. Too complicated. 

“So what are you doing here?” She tilted her head up, still about a foot shorter than he was, even with those damn shoes that would be forever burned into his brain. 

“Oh, just taking a break from work, getting some fresh air.” He gestured with palms sweatier than they’d ever been in the searing heat of the Middle East. 

Author Bio:


Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress. 

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. At Last in Laguna is the second book in her Finding Forever in Laguna series from The Wild Rose Press.



Twitter:  @clairepmarti

Instagram: @clairepmarti

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

TRUTH AND SOLACE #free at Amazon!

I'm excited to let you know TRUTH AND SOLACE, book three in the Love at Solace Lake series, is FREE from August 22 to 26, 2018. Yay! Maggie and Luke's story is the conclusion to the series. I hope you enjoy it. And remember, it's #free at Kindle Unlimited. Download it today!



Series Blurb:
Love is worth the risk…

When their grandfather dies, the Lindquist sisters, Harper, Scarlet and Maggie, inherit the northern Minnesota fishing lodge that had been in their family for three generations. The inheritance is bittersweet. They were raised at the lodge by their grandparents. The natural beauty of the place hasn’t changed, but the building itself is crumbling and desperately in need of repair. The lodge also reminds them of what they lost. Twenty-two years previously, their parents died there in what was ruled a murder/suicide.

 As the sisters struggle to breathe new life into the failing lodge, old fears and questions rise to the surface even as new love presents itself. Why did their father murder their mother? What truths did their grandparents keep from them? The sisters must fight to keep the wounds of the past from putting their futures, and their fledgling relationships, in jeopardy.

Blurb, Truth and Solace:
The truth could destroy them. Or set them free.

Maggie Lindquist left Solace Lake determined never to return. Circumstances have pulled her back and she’s helping to restore her family’s dilapidated fishing lodge. When she agreed to the plan she didn’t expect to have to work side by side with the man who abandoned her ten years earlier. She didn’t expect to like him, or want him ever again. But can she trust him as she once did?

Luke Carlsson rushes home to tend to his ailing mother. Her lengthy illness means he needs to stay, at least temporarily. And to stay, he needs to work. Solace Lake Lodge offers him a job and an opportunity to work with the woman he’s never stopped loving. But the restoration is unleashing secrets hidden for decades and no one is left unscathed. Especially not Maggie and Luke, whose love needs to be resilient enough to forgive, and strong enough to build a future together.


Buy Links:




Au: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B079WFZXV2


Excerpt:

A memory flashed through her mind. Luke driving an ancient, mostly rusty Ford pickup to the lodge that summer. He’d worked odd jobs summers and after school for three years to buy it and keep it running. The old Ford had been his pride and joy.

Every chance they got, they’d sneak off in the Ford and park somewhere secluded. They’d been in that truck the first time Luke had kissed her. He’d pulled her toward him and covered her mouth with his, and she’d sworn she’d heard angels singing. And then, her body had gone up in flames in a very unangel-like way. As the summer went on, they’d grown bolder in their explorations. Harper had given her ‘the lecture’ on sex, but she hadn’t prepared her for the way her body would react to Luke’s kisses, or his touch. Like the way her nipples would harden as he caressed her breasts, and the way her panties would dampen. And when he’d reached inside her panties and inserted a finger inside her—

“Are you ready?”

Maggie stared at Luke in incomprehension. And then the present returned with forceful fury. Heat infused her cold cheeks. They were on their way to see his sick mother. Her thoughts shamed her.

She reminded herself that Luke had left her once and would do so again.