Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Excerpt: Bewitching in Boots by Lila DiPasqua + Giveaway

You all know how much I love fairy tale retellings, and there's no contest Lila DiPasqua is the Queen of erotic fairy tale retellings! Her Fiery Tales series is sizzling hot, you'll need a fan (or some smelling salts ;-) nearby when you read it!

Today I'm happy to share with you an excerpt of Bewitching in Boots, Book #6 in the Fiery Tales series and a great deal: you can grab your copy of this thrilling, sensual historical romance for only $0.99! Hurry, the offer ends soon. And there's also a giveaway at the end! For a chance to win Little Red Writing, leave a comment and tell us what was the last historical romance you've read!

Bewitching in Boots by Lila DiPasqua

Inspired by the tale of Puss in Boots—an erotically charged historical romance novella from the acclaimed Fiery Tales series.

Elisabeth de Roussel, daughter of the King, is accustomed to getting what she wants-and she wants gorgeous Tristan de Tiersonnier, Count of Saint-Marcel, the ex-commander of the King's elite private Guard.

A recent injury has forced Tristan to leave his distinguished position. But Elisabeth is determined to make him see he's every bit the man he once was-and more than man enough for her...

NOTE: Originally published in the AWAKENED BY A KISS anthology.

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - KoboiBooks - B&N

**Just 99 cents for a limited time, grab your copy NOW!**


“Is this what you do all day? Sit in the library?” Gabriel de Tiersonnier asked with a smile as he strolled into the room.

Seated on the settee, his leg propped up, Tristan stared out at the gardens. Without glancing at his brother, he responded dryly, “No. Sometimes I sit in the salon.” His tone was caustic. Embittered.

He wanted to be left alone and tried to ignore his younger brother and his good mood. It was as infuriating as the unrelenting dull ache in Tristan’s leg. An incessant reminder of his debilitated state. All these weeks and no bloody sign of improvement. He still walked with a cane. He still couldn’t make peace with his crippled limb. He hadn’t wanted to believe the royal physicians’ prognosis. Now he was beginning to lose all hope of a complete recovery. And his frustration and fury over it mounted daily.

Still smiling, Gabriel shook his head and sat down in a nearby chair, making himself comfortable.

Merde. His brother meant to stay.

“Really, Tristan, this sedate existence of yours is as exciting as living among celibate monks.”

“You should know. You were one of them—that is until they tossed you out last week.” Gabriel had returned two days ago, shattering Tristan’s solitude, and he resented it.

He resented just about everything nowadays. He resented how far he’d fallen for a man who had it all—command of the most prestigious, most elite corps in the realm, the ear of the King and his esteem, magnificent apartments at Versailles, and a number of women to bed whenever he chose, including his favorite, Veronique. But his favorite turned out to be a conniving little opportunist, who was quick to leave. The moment he was replaced as Captain of the Guard, she was bedding his successor.

What did he have left when all the dust had settled? A lame leg. A broken-down château he cared nothing about. And worse, staid empty years stretched out before him—a life so contrary to his active existence. He’d fought in countless campaigns for his country during his distinguished military career. He’d risen through the ranks to eventually head the King’s private Guard, and had conducted covert operations and quashed conspiracies while in charge of the safety and protection of the royal family.

Gabriel chuckled good-naturedly. “I was not a monk, and well you know it. I was in the seminary. I hadn’t taken any vows yet. Our dear departed father felt he needed to have one son in the service of God. I told him it was a mistake to send me.”

“I suppose ‘our dear departed father’ overestimated your restraint. Here you thought celibacy was a mere suggestion and not a requirement for a man studying to become a member of the Holy Church.”

“Exactly.” Gabriel grinned. “Glad you see my point.”

“Yes, and who could have guessed they’d take it so seriously when they caught you with two women at the same time—twice.”

Gabriel laughed. “Ah, now Tristan, those women were well worth being expelled from the seminary. Who needs to wait to die to go to paradise when a man can sample those four lovelies right here on earth?”

“Tristan?” The sound of his uncle’s voice grabbed Tristan’s attention. He turned to see Richard de Tiersonnier entered the room, his brow furrowed. Despite his salt and pepper hair, he was still the tall, strong figure he’d been during his years in the military. “Are you expecting a Duc?”

“A Duc?” Tristan repeated. “Of course not, why?” No one from court had visited him since his departure from the royal palace. He’d been well forgotten in mere weeks—after years of loyal service to the King and his family.

“There is a six-horse carriage among the entourage outside.”

Tristan was baffled. Entourage? A six-horse carriage was definitely a Duc. What Duc? Why was he here?

Grabbing his cane, he struggled to his feet, refusing help from Gabriel, and made his way to the courtyard to greet his notable visitor, his uncle and brother falling in behind him.

The moment Tristan stepped outside the main entrance of his château, he arrested his steps. His heart lost a beat. Two carriages, one with six white horses, and thirty of his former men each on horseback filled his courtyard.

But if that wasn’t enough, by far the most astonishing sight was the King’s favorite daughter, Elisabeth, Duchesse de Roussel. Flanked by her maid and her sister, she stood not twenty feet away dressed in breeches, black boots and a white shirt—male clothing custom-fitted to her form.

She looked like anything but a man.

Her breeches accentuated her mouth-watering curves, black boots—like none he’d ever seen—molded to her slender calves, and then there was her shirt. The breeze fluttered the white material, teasing him with glimpses of creamy skin above her breasts. He felt his pr*ck harden.

Tristan squeezed the handle of his cane. Jésus-Christ, he hadn’t had sex since his injury. He’d definitely gone too long without a good f*ck if the sight of the King’s most spoiled offspring, dressed in men’s clothing, was stiffening his c*ck.

“Where is the Duc?” his uncle asked.

Gabriel stepped around Tristan. “Never mind that, Uncle. Who is that woman dressed in breeches?”

“One of His Majesty’s illegitimate daughters.” Tristan couldn’t keep the disdain from his tone.

“I thought he legitimized all his children born to his mistresses,” Richard stated.

“He did. He gave them status and arranged powerful matches for them, too,” Tristan said. “This is one of the more self-indulgent among those in the royal brood.”

Tightening his jaw, he made his way across the courtyard, hating it that his former men had to see him hobbling like a cripple. Whatever Elisabeth wanted, he’d refuse. Whatever game she was playing—and it was obvious she was up to no good—he wouldn’t engage in it.

He was going to send her and her entourage straight back to Versailles.

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - KoboiBooks - B&N

**Just 99 cents for a limited time, grab your copy NOW!**

Lila DiPasqua writes wicked & witty historical romance for Penguin/Berkley. She lives with her real-life hero husband and three children and is a firm believer in the happily-ever-after.

For more information about Lila and her books, visit
 her website / blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads


Lila is generously giving away TWO signed copies of Little Red Writing to two lucky commenters!

Just leave a comment and tell Lila what was the last historical romance you read?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 8 July 2016!

 Good luck!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Hero Least Likely Box Set Giveaway!

Meet the Authors:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats.

Connect with Darcy: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

USA TODAY Bestselling author CHRISTI CALDWELL blames Judith McNaught’s “Whitney, My Love!” for luring her into the world of historical romance. While sitting in her graduate school apartment at the University of Connecticut, Christi decided to set aside her notes and pick up her laptop to try her hand at romance. She believes the most perfect heroes and heroines have imperfections, and she rather enjoys torturing them before crafting them a well deserved happily ever after!

Christi makes her home in southern Connecticut where she spends her time writing her own enchanting historical romances, chasing around her feisty seven-year-old son and caring for her twin princesses in training!

Connect with Christi: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

USA Today Bestselling and Award Winning Author of more than a dozen unusually unusual historical romances that have been known to include scarred heroes, feisty heroines, marriage-producing scandals, far too much scheming, naughty literature and always a sweet happily-ever-after.

When not escaping to another world via reading or writing a book, she spends her time chasing two young boys around the house, being hunted by wild animals, or sitting on the swing in the backyard where she has to use her arms as shields to deflect projectiles AKA: balls, water balloons, sticks, pinecones, and anything else one of them picks up to hurl at his brother who just happens to be hiding behind her.

Connect with Rose: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Best selling author Sue London created the beloved Regency romance series The Haberdashers. If you like your historical romance with a little action, a little humor, and a lot of strong-minded women, then this is the series for you!

Sue London began writing short stories about horses and teen sleuths when she was seven years old. After that she traveled to distant worlds, fought with swords and sorcerers, and played with a few undead things. As you might have expected, this means she went into accountancy. Well, maybe that was an odd plot twist, but that’s the difference between real life and fiction – fiction has to make sense.

In her twenties she developed a deep affection for romance, especially enjoying the work of Nora Roberts, Mary Balogh and, most recently, Lauren Royal, Rose Gordon, Danelle Harmon, and Diane Farr. You can thank those authors for leading a sci-fi tomboy into writing historical romances set in the Regency period.

Connect with Sue: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

RUTH ANN NORDIN is a stay-at-home mom of four school-aged boys and the proud wife of a veteran of the US Air Force. She lives in Montana where she is blessed to spend her days creating new worlds with her characters. To date, she's written over fifty romances and has plans to write many more in the years to come.

Connect with Ruth Ann: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Erica Ridley learned to read when she was three, which was about the same time she decided to be a writer when she grew up.

Now, Erica is a New York Times best-selling author of historical romance novels. Her latest series, The Dukes of War, features roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England.

When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.

Connect with Erica: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

LAUREN ROYAL decided to become a writer in the third grade, after winning a “Why My Mother is the Greatest” essay contest. Now she’s a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of humorous historical romance novels. Lauren lives in Southern California with her family and their constantly shedding cat. She still thinks her mother is the greatest.

Connect with Lauren: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

DEVON ROYAL is the daughter of romance novelist Lauren Royal. After attending film school, she wrote an award-winning TV comedy pilot and spent several years working in digital video production before turning her focus to fiction writing. Devon lives in Southern California with her fiancé. She also thinks her mother is the greatest.

Connect with Lauren: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

About the Box Set:

7 Heroes you least expect....7 Heroes you'll never forget.

When wallflower Audrey Cheswick runs away with England’s most wanted criminal, she learns adventure comes with a price—not just her reputation or her virtue, but her heart. If Ethan Jagger can escape the hangman’s noose and start anew, will she consent to love a scoundrel ever after?

War-torn veteran, Lord Drake devotes himself to forgetting his days on the Peninsula through an endless round of meaningless associations. He no longer wants to feel anything, but Lady Emmaline is making it hard to maintain a state of numbness. With her zest for life, she awakens his passion and desire for love.

Giles Goddard, Lord Norcourt is odd. Odder still, he has suddenly taken a fancy to his brother’s love interest, the fallen Lucy Whitaker. Lucy was once thrown over by a lord and she has little desire to let it happen again, but she’s about to learn that his desires just might be enough for the both of them.

Quincy Telford, Duke of Beloin, has hated Viscount Bittlesworth as long as he can remember. Now the man’s daughter is constantly in his path. Can he escape her temptation and avoid peril in the increasingly dangerous game of cat and mouse he is playing with his blackmailer?

Season after Season of not being able to secure a wife, Lord Clement's life changes for the better when a beautiful stranger kisses him. Now he has a wife who has it all: beauty, passion, and excitement. But it's not over. Thanks to her tainted past, her newfound love with Perry is threatened when her brother comes back into her life. Can she protect Perry from finding out the truth or will her brother get the upper hand?

When Major Bartholomew Blackpool learns the girl-next-door from his childhood will be forced into an unwanted marriage, he returns home to play her pretend beau. He figures now that he's missing a leg, a faux fiancée is the best an ex-soldier can get. He admires her pluck, but the lady deserves a whole man--and he'll ensure she gets one.

CORINNA ~ Lauren & Devon Royal
What’s a colorblind Irishman to do when he’s blackmailed into impersonating a renowned landscape artist, lying to all of London society, and risking the TON’s collective wrath if he’s found out? Why, fall for the lovely and unattainable marquess’s daughter next door, of course. But his fetching neighbor is no simpleton and an artist in her own right. When she realizes his ruse, will she expose his misdeeds…or find herself drawn into the hoax?
Add to Goodreads


One winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card, to be entered just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 2 May 2016

And the winners are...

Hey Everyone!

A few giveaways have ended and that means it's time to announce who won!

So congrats to

the lucky winner of an ebook copy of Passion Storm by Diane Escalara is

Kim Pinch

the lucky winner of an ebook copy of The Exorcist Who Loved Me by Jennifer Savalli is


the lucky winner of an ebook copy of Silent Sentry by Theresa Rizzo is


Congratulations! I have sent you a notification e-mail, please get back to me within 48 hours or I will have to draw new winners. Thank you!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Excerpt: Passion Storm by Diane Escalera + Giveaway

If you are dreaming of sunshine and sandy beaches and can't wait for the warmer weather to finally be here (or just winter to be over), read Diane Escalera's new book Passion Storm, taking place in the hot Bahamas! Nothing like a sizzling romance to make you forget about the chilly weather outside. (And if you are lucky to be flying off for an impromptu spring break to some place sunny and warm, then take this book, perfect for some lazy beach reading in the sun ;-)

A looming hurricane has nothing on the storm raging inside...

Karina Valdez loves a good adventure, but jetting off to the Bahamas with a complete stranger is taking it to the extreme. She can’t believe her meddling best friend entered her in a radio dating contest. Even more shocking? Karina won! A tropical getaway she can do. Making a love connection with a hot local bachelor, not so much. Especially when she’s not looking for a man.

Meteorologist Andrew Romano is psyched over winning the radio contest. He’s ready to settle down and get married, prove once and for all that he’s not a player. The contest will surely help his chances—he’s been matched with his perfect woman. Too bad she doesn’t want him. To make matters worse, an erratic storm has shifted direction and is whirling toward them. Andy will do whatever it takes to win over the elusive beauty and keep her safe. He can handle a hurricane. But what about the other storm waiting to be unleashed?


Andy had never felt happier. He couldn’t believe his good fortune. Karina in the Bahamas, and staying right next door. It hadn’t been easy getting her here, but he wouldn’t dwell on the past when the present offered way more excitement. Just him and her. No tricks. No games. A man and a woman with a weeklong vacation to get to know each other. He’d let things evolve naturally. If his suspicions were true, that’s all he would have to do. Karina would come around. She’d learn what he already knew. Overly optimistic? Maybe. But he’d always been a positive guy.

Early evening now, he figured she had to be hungry for dinner. He took the initiative and made all the arrangements. “Want some company?” he called out to Karina, who sat on her deck sipping a cocktail. She watched as he climbed the wooden stairs. “Food?” He stepped onto the patio and flashed his biggest smile. With a bottle of wine and a picnic basket in hand, he said, “You can’t say no this time.”

“Actually, I can.”

He looked at her pretty lips. “Yeah. But you won’t.”

Instead of tossing his ass down the stairs, she laughed. “I’ll let you stay this time.” She took the wine from him.

Without saying a word, he popped open his basket and began to extract all kinds of goodies. First he draped a white cloth over the table. Then he lit a lavender candle. He fished out two crystal goblets and set them down. Next he laid a foil-covered plate in the center. When he removed the aluminum, a tangy aroma engulfed the deck.

“What is that?” She set down the wine and hovered over the scent.

“That’s Bahamian maki rolls with conch, and this is mango and cucumber with pickled ginger.”

Karina studied the plate. “Smells good.”

“Last time we ate together we couldn’t see.” Chuckling, he slid out a colorful chair. “Have a seat.”

“No thanks. I’d rather stand.”

“Okay. I’ll stand with you.”

“Fine, I’ll sit,” she said, dropping into the chair.

He uncorked the wine and filled their glasses. “We couldn’t find our mouths,” he said, handing her a drink.

“We still managed.”

“We did, didn’t we?” He analyzed her more carefully. Her hair looked different tonight. Long bangs that were usually swept to one side were clipped back. It emphasized the shape of her oval face and made her striking eyes stand out even more.

“What is this again?”

He lifted a roll and brought it to her mouth. “Here. Taste it.”

She gave him a look. “We’re not wearing blindfolds. I think I can feed myself.”

“Right,” he said, and stuffed the piece into his own mouth. He let out a pleasurable moan. “Good stuff. You’re missing out.”

She picked up a roll and tore off a hearty bite. “Am not.”

Unlike the blind date, this time they watched each other intently. For every bite he took, she took two. 

First she polished off her cocktail. Then she killed the glass of wine. Without taking his eyes off her, he refilled her glass. They played their little food game until every crumb had been eaten.

“What is it with us and food?” He liked their form of foreplay. At least, that’s how it felt to him.

She shrugged her shoulders. “This is an awesome place. The radio station got one thing right.”

“They got more than one thing right.” Angling his face, his eyes met hers and he winked. “No regrets here.”

“Well, I have one or two.”

He laughed at her bold spirit, her fight. A captivating mouth turned him serious again. She had the most amazing lips. How long would it take to kiss her again? Not long, if he had any say in the matter.

Born and raised in the Bronx, NY, Diane Escalera makes her home in coastal North Carolina. The sultry surroundings are a steady source of inspiration for her hot love stories. Diane is married, has two children and a super cute dachshund she can’t get enough of. She writes contemporary romance and is published with Kensington Publishing and Lyrical Press.

Connect with Diane at her website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads


Diane has generously offered one ebook copy of Passion Storm to a lucky reader!

To be entered simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 23 April 2016!

Good luck!

Monday, 11 April 2016

Guest post by Jennifer Savalli + Giveaway

I don't know about you, but I looove my romances to have some chuckle out loud humour in them. It can be a funny character, a hilarious situation or just a spark of a line that makes me smile/chuckle/laugh out loud. I've noticed that those stories, which make me laugh are more memorable and stand out from all the books I read. And talking of witty and humourous stories, just reading Jennifer Savalli's post about what inspired her novels I'd bet her Must Love Ghosts series is plenty entertaining! So read on to get a first taste and if you answer Jennifer's question you'll be entered to win yourself a copy of The Exorcist Who Loved Me :-)

People often ask me how I come up with story ideas. I love this question because one of my favorite things about writing is that magical moment of inspiration. And inspiration comes from everywhere around you.

The idea for MUST LOVE GHOSTS, the first in the series, came one day when my mother-in-law told me how, every day, she talks to the urn holding the ashes of her mother. Much to my surprise, my scientifically-minded father-in-law chimed in that he too talks to the urns containing the ashes of his relatives. I’d always been a bit weirded out that my in-laws kept the ashes of all their nearest relatives and their pet dogs, but in that moment a spark of creativity ignited in my brain and I wondered, “What if a woman inherited the urns of her family members … and the spirits in the urns talked back?”

As usually happens, the idea for that story morphed and grew and became something different by the time I’d finished. But the kernel of that moment with my in-laws remained.

When I sent the first chapter of MUST LOVE GHOSTS to my critique partners, one of them marked a line where I’d written about how the heroine believed the hero had conned one of her patients. My awesome CP wondered in the margin if I could give a quick hit of juicy details, like the patient was a widow with two young children. Bam, the idea for THE EXORCIST WHO LOVED ME exploded in my brain.

I’d write a story about a widowed single mom who’s possessed by a ghost and the sexy exorcist who falls in love with her. As usual, the story changed as I teased it out in my mind. Who’s possessing her? The husband seemed to be the obvious choice, but I didn’t want obvious and having her dead husband watch over her courtship would be too creepy, even though I knew by then she’d been very unhappily married. What if she were possessed by her husband’s mistress? That sounded like a fun story (yeah, I’ve got a warped sense of humor), but why would her husband and his mistress both be dead? Because her no-good husband was involved in high-stakes fraud, that’s why, and it had gotten him killed.

That is where my story ideas come from: chance comments combining with the wackiness in my brain.

I hope you have as much fun reading THE EXORCIST WHO LOVED ME as I had writing it. And I had a lot of fun writing Holly’s and Lawe’s story, possibly because Lawe became my favorite book boyfriend as I wrote.

Speaking of fun, I’m giving away an e-copy of THE EXORCIST WHO LOVED ME to one lucky winner. Just leave a comment below and tell me who’s your book boyfriend.

The Exorcist Who Loved Me by Jennifer Savalli

Book #2 in the Must Love Ghosts series

Digging up the truth could lead them to their graves.

Hiring an exorcist is not something widowed single mom Holly Archer ever thought she’d do. But the blackouts she’s been having mean someone—or something—is hijacking her body and she wants it stopped, like yesterday.

The hottie who shows up at her door is the first man who’s sparked her interest since her awful marriage. It’s no hardship to give herself over to his skills, and in short order the spirit is ejected—and Holly comes face to face with Celia, the ghost of her dead husband’s mistress.

Lawe Callahan figured this would be an easy case, and by morning he’d be headed for another town, leaving Holly and her witchy amber eyes behind. Until she agrees to help the ghost, who refuses to budge until her killer is brought to justice.

As the investigation heats up, so does Lawe and Holly’s attraction. But their differences not only threaten any chance of something real, their quest for the truth could drive a killer to tie up all loose ends—permanently.

Warning: Contains a footloose exorcist who doesn’t let grave dirt stick to his feet for long, and a woman who isn’t in a hurry to commune with the dead. A little sleuthing, a little more gettin’ nekkid, and a lotta angst.

Buy at Amazon - B&N - Samhain


The man on her doorstep didn’t look like any priest Holly Archer had ever seen.

He was about her age, late twenties, and wore a black cowboy hat over curly brown hair. The fading red and orange sunlight glinted off his silver glasses. They were like some kind of steampunk accessory, round with dark lenses. Under an open jacket, his gray T-shirt stretched across a muscular chest unfairly wasted on a man of the cloth. She kept her eyes on the two necklaces he wore—one a silver cross and the other some kind of small leather pouch—to stop her gaze from roaming lower. She was already headed to the special corner of hell reserved for women who ogled holy men. Given the reason she’d called him, she’d get the upgrade to a direct flight, no stops, no waiting.

“You look more like a guitarist than a priest,” she said.

An awkward silence stretched out, broken only by the rustling of dead leaves falling from the trees.

“Yeah, I get that all the time,” he said at last. “I’m not a priest.”

“Oh, thank God. I mean, that’s a relief. I mean, that’s not what I mean.” Her fingers clenched on the doorframe, and she imagined banging her head into it. Stupid, stupid. She sounded like a teenager tongue-tied over a cute boy instead of an exhausted widow with toddler twins and absolutely no interest in men. One awful marriage had been enough.

His words caught up with her short-circuiting brain. “Wait, what do you mean you’re not a priest? I have a situation here that needs to be resolved, like, yesterday.”

Now he smiled, if you could call that slight shift of his lips a smile. “This isn’t the movies. We don’t need an old priest, a young priest, a goat, or the blood of a virgin. Or the blood of a non-virgin, for that matter.” He hitched the strap of his black duffel bag higher on his shoulder and held out a hand. “I’m Lawe Callahan. Exorcist.”

His skin wasn’t soft and manicured like her husband’s had been. What roughened an exorcist’s hands? Best not to think about it. Besides, he felt warm and comforting, and she was in desperate need of warmth and comfort.

“You really aren’t a priest? And you’ll still be able to get rid of...” Her voice trailed off and she swallowed. “You can get rid of my problem?”

He hadn’t let go of her hand, and now he gave it a squeeze. “Trust me. I’m good at what I do.”

He’d been recommended by someone she trusted. Okay, the paranormal investigator who’d done the preliminary work on her case had been recommended by someone she trusted. That guy had said she needed an exorcist and put her in touch with Lawe. It wasn’t like she had a lot of options. Googling “exorcist for hire” had produced a freakshow of possibilities. This guy seemed sane. Strange, but definitely sane.

She stepped back from the door. “Come on in.”

Buy at Amazon - B&N - Samhain

Jennifer Savalli loves all things paranormal, chocolate and Whedon. Her writing career began in the third grade when her teacher asked for one sentence on each of six pictures in a series, and she turned in a multi-page detective story. Now she spends her days writing about the magic and mayhem of falling in love.

Connect with Jennifer at her website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads


Jennifer has generously offered one ebook copy of The Exorcist Who Loved Me to a lucky reader!

To be entered just leave a comment answering Jennifer's question: who’s your book boyfriend?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 23 April 2016!

Good luck!

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Guest post by Theresa Rizzo + Giveaway

Please give a warm welcome to Theresa Rizzo, who is here to tell you about how she went about to write her latest release Silent Sentry and how deep she went to research it! There is also a giveaway waiting for you at the end. ;-)

Thanks for featuring me on you blog, Stella.

With each book I write, I like to give myself a challenge, whether it be the subject matter or the genre. For Silent Sentry, my challenge was to write a totally fresh story that wasn’t cliché—that didn’t feature a navy seal, a damaged war vet, or a cynical, burned out cop/detective. I wanted an unlikely hero like Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. So my hero was going to be a surgeon.

At the time, the advice was to write what you know. Well, I knew Grosse Pointe, I had a bachelor’s degree in nursing and grew up in a medical family, I’m married to an engineer, and I know big Italian families. So I thought of a plot to tie it all together.

Silent Sentry, is a complicated romantic suspense. I researched the complex problem of Detroit’s decline. I was fascinated to learn the history of the mafia in both Detroit and Grosse Pointe and how it exerts control still—even though the Grosse Pointe Officer I interviewed initially denied their existence. I studied gangs in Detroit. I researched local settings used in the story, ie hotels, restaurants like the historic Whitney where the climax takes place and local stores like Ahee Jewelers.

My dad was a general surgeon before he retired and Dad’s partner was a very early adopter of laparoscopic surgery, so I consulted with him about that part of the story. For the computer aspects, my husband is an electrical engineer who architects integrated circuit computer chips. So he was my main resource for Prometheus and Gianna’s computer work.

I used the internet to research, I email experts and interview them, I interview them in person, I went on “field trips” into bad neighborhoods of Detroit to plan Gianna’s neighborhood, take pictures and get a solid “feel” for the environment. I interviewed Grosse Pointe police about the current mafia; I consulted with Macomb county Sherriff to fact check the entire book. I read many books on the mafia and various subjects, watched documentaries, kept computer files and binders of pictures, articles, and book plot and character sketches.

I also like to include contemporary issues in my stories to give them a bit more texture and depth. In Silent Sentry I explored Detroit’s deterioration before it’s bankruptcy. So I put a lot of work outside of writing into my books.

I like to dig in deep and give my readers a little more than just an entertaining read. What about you? Is an entertaining story good enough or do you like a little more depth to your books?

Theresa Rizzo is an award-winning author who writes emotional stories that explore the complexity of relationships and families through real-life trials. 

Born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she currently lives outside of Boulder, Colorado with her husband of thirty years. She’s raised four wonderful children who are now scattered across the country.

Find Theresa on the web at her website - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads

Award-winning author Theresa Rizzo delivers a thrilling crime novel packed with suspense, romance, and redemption.

The Scarfilis and Donnatellis love deeply and protect fiercely. “Family takes care of family” is the code they live by.

So when a hacker threatens Gianna Donnatelli’s life, Dr. Joe Scarfili is determined to keep her safe, only he has no police or tech experience, and Gianna’s penchant for aiding Detroit’s underprivileged is the same kind of altruism that got his wife killed. Gianna protects Joe with the same unyielding resolve.

Gianna pushes all his insecurity buttons. Joe tries her patience like no other. But together they’ll fight to save each other and their love… Or die trying.


Theresa has generously offered an ebook copy of Silent Sentry to a lucky commenter!

To be entered just leave a comment and answer Theresa's question: What about you? Is an entertaining story good enough or do you like a little more depth to your books?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 20 April 2016!

Good luck!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Guest post by Kara Leigh Miller & Jody Holford + Giveaway

Creating Strong Characters

by Jody Holford & Kara Leigh Miller

There are loads of awesome articles about how to develop strong characters. You can create long outlines or lists that help you get to truly know your character inside and out. When we create our characters, particularly the women, we want to create someone that audiences can identify with, connect to, and see themselves in.

There’s a careful balance when putting together a character because they must be flawed but not annoying. No one wants to read an entire book about the girl in the horror movie who knew better than to go outside. She’s annoying. This is why she doesn’t last in the movie. If she’d just listened to you screaming at her not to, she wouldn’t have opened the door and she’d have survived.

However, they can’t be perfect, because that is also annoying. None of us are perfect and it’s human nature to compare ourselves to others. That’s hard enough in real life, but in fiction, we want an escape. We want to fall into a world where we could be friends with the character. Someone who never messes up, falls flat on their face, or makes a mistake is not realistic. Likewise, how they recover from those moments impacts how we feel about them.

Our character Kristy has several flaws. For one, she’s ignoring the fact that she has anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. She doesn’t heed the warnings from her friends, she blows off their concerns, and she ignores the symptoms and signs that she’s escalating. To balance this and hopefully make sure that readers don’t become frustrated with her, we have to have other qualities that redeem her. She’s funny, even when she doesn’t mean to be, which is sometimes funnier than if she’d tried. She’s got a charming innocence and faith and looks at the bright side of situations. She’s a loyal friend, she’s brave, and she’s willing, finally, to ask for help when she learns she’s in too deep.

For every characteristic we have, in real life and in fiction, there is a positive and negative. We capitalize on that when we write. So, for example, stubborn could be a highly irritating trait in a character if they never listen to reason, if they won’t do what they should, or if they push back against those trying to help them every time. Yet, flip the coin and that same stubbornness can be what saves a character’s life, helps them find the answers because they didn’t give up, and in Kristy’s case, refuse to let Jackson block her out because he’s scared of feeling too much.

The key, in our opinion, is to try to make a character that is relatable. Even your closest friends have ‘quirks’ or things you might wish to change. Your fictional friends need these as well. They need the good and the bad, the up and the down to round them out, to balance them and make them authentic. When you do that, you allow the reader to fall deeper into the story so it feels more like they’re along for the ride.

Jaded Love by Kara Leigh Miller & Jody Holford

They can pretend they’re fine…

Moving to NYC is supposed to be the fresh start Kristy Andrews so desperately needs, but she can't seem to shake the after-effects of having been kidnapped last year.

Detective Jackson Reed never meant to kill an innocent man, but knowing that doesn’t change the guilt he lives with every single day.

But they can’t hide forever…

When Kirsty and Jackson meet, the connection is instantaneous, but neither is ready to open up about their pasts. Can love and trust conquer their demons?

In order to have a future, they’ll have to face their past…

When Kristy starts receiving threatening messages, her anxiety kicks into overdrive, but the last thing she wants is Jackson worrying about her.

Jackson may doubt his ability to return to active duty, but he has no doubts about his instincts concerning Kristy. Someone is trying to hurt her, and he refuses to let that happen, even if it means going back to work; something he wasn’t sure he’d do.

As the threats increase, Jackson shows Kristy that strength doesn’t mean facing her fears alone, and Kristy shows Jackson that forgiveness starts from within. Can they save each other before it’s too late? Or will the past come back to haunt them?

About the authors:

Kara Leigh Miller

Kara lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three kids, three dogs, and three cats. When she's not busy writing romance novels, she's spending time with her family or attending one of her many writer’s groups. An active member of The Romance Writers of America and the CNY Writers Haven, Kara is also Managing Editor for Anaiah Press' Surge and Romance Imprints. She absolutely loves to hear from her fans and fellow authors, so feel free to drop her a line anytime!

Connect with her at her 

Jody Holford

Jody is a wife, mom, reader, and a writer. She is also a blogger and follower, a word twister, and a Gemini.

Connect with her at her website - Twitter


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