Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Guest post: The Devil DeVere historical erotic romance series by Victoria Vane + Giveaway

You might have seen this post at Book Lovers Inc. where we discussed the emergence of a new sub-genre, that of the historical erotic romance sub-genre. Today's guest new series is also part of this category as she masterfully combines historical settings with scorching love scenes. Please give a warm welcome to Victoria Vane who stops by to introduce you to her Devil DeVere historical erotic romance series, and you could even win one of her books!


A Machinating Rake and a Madcap Misadventure Lead to True Love…and an entire series... 
by Victoria Vane



I think every writer dreams of creating characters who are larger than life, those so strong and intriguing that they can carry an entire series, even if not the primary focus of it. But Ludovic "the Devil DeVere" who began as a rakish sidekick, became all that and more. I never could have imagined when I first conceived my "HANGOVER" inspired novella, that one story would become two, and then three, and then four, all because of one colorful character!

My tale begins with A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE, a romantic and erotic comedy adventure that pairs Phoebe Scott, a struggling actress with a bruised heart and Sir Edward "Ned" Chambers, a grieving widower, in an outrageous wager when devil-in- disguise, Viscount Ludovic DeVere, is determined to return his grieving best friend, Ned, to the land of the living. And what better way could there be to tempt a man out of three years of celibacy than attending a subscription only affair at the most notorious house of pleasure in London?

THE SET-UP (Excerpt):
Ned picked up his port, eyeing it appreciatively before draining the glass and remarking with a lazy a smile. "Not every man is a voluptuary like you, DeVere. I happen to enjoy quiet country living and rustic pursuits—hunting, fishing, tending my estate. Simple taste does not equate to a deficiency in or of life. One man's potion is, indeed, another man's poison and all that." He emphasized his point with a clumsy wave of his hand.

DeVere eyed him pointedly. "Very well then, as a purveyor of such poison, I needs must ask, if you are so blissful in your reclusive rustication, why have you really come to London?"

"I've told you, Ludovic, to find a house for the season."

"You could have easily hired an agent for the task," DeVere countered with a shrewd smile. "No, my friend, I fear you deny the truth. You were bored to distraction and came to town in desperate need of diversion. You sought me out knowing I'm precisely the man to answer that need." DeVere reached into his breast pocket and retrieved an elegantly scribed gold foil invitation, handing it to Ned.

Mrs. Charlotte Hayes presents her most respectful compliments to the Viscount Ludovic DeVere and humbly requests his presence at her establishment at King's Place tomorrow evening for the Otahetian Feast of Venus where under the tuition of Queen Oberea (in which character Mrs. Hayes herself will appear), a dozen exquisitely beautiful and untainted nymphs who breathe health and vitality will perform the celebrated fertility rites as practiced at the exotic Isles of the Antipodes. This most exclusive subscription-only event is offered for the modest sum of two hundred pounds to the first four and twenty guests who respond. RSVP is most humbly requested.

By the by, Ned, before you can make your excuses, you should know I have already responded that I will be accompanied by a dear friend in particular need of entertainment."

"You didn't."

"Indeed, I did." Ludovic's eyes held a diabolical gleam. "As I said, my friend, London offers unique delights to those who seek them, and amusement of a unique and titillating kind is precisely what I intend to provide."

(If you would like to read more about the true Feast of Venus at King's Place Brothel click here.)

DEVERE'S VERSION
"Ned and I have been best of friends since our University days, but then the fool up and leg-shackled only to bury himself in dull domesticity for nigh on fifteen years! When he finally came to town to arrange a house for the season, I was challenged to find a way to crack the boorishly respectable veneer he'd honed to perfection since leaving my sphere of influence. Although he would deny it, the truth is that he was bored to distraction and in desperate need of diversion. Being precisely the man to answer such a need, I avowed to become his savior…from himself!"

EVENTS ACCORDING TO NED
"For three years following my wife Annalee's passing, I had lived a perfectly quiet and orderly life in Yorkshire with my daughter, Vesta, but with her 18th year coming I was obligated to think of her come out. That's what actually brought me to London, but then I was dragged to a brothel, at great reluctance on my part, by my exceedingly interfering friend, DeVere. I'm afraid that events after that are a bit of a blur now. What the devil was in that vile Kava drink anyway?"

PHOEBE'S TALE
"I had been struggling for several years to make a name on the stage at Covent Garden Theatre, only to be passed over time and again for all but bit comedic parts. I was eking out the most meager existence by assisting the wardrobe mistress when my big break finally came, but immediately thereafter, the theatre closed for renovation! It was then that I realized my only chance to ever make it would lie in finding a benefactor- a wealthy and powerful gentleman protector. It was with this purpose that I sought out Viscount DeVere at Mrs. Hayes' King's Place, the most notorious brothel in London. It was there I met my darling Ned, all that a true gentleman could be but with no desire to take a mistress. When I asked for an introduction to his best friend, DeVere, I couldn't help feeling my appetite had been whetted for beefsteak only to be served liver instead! "

THE AFTERMATH (Excerpt):
His heart beating apace, Ned willed himself first to breathe and then to modulate a tone verging on panic. "I was with DeVere last night. Where is DeVere?"

"DeVere is locked safely in the linen closet." She hugged her breasts, her expression suddenly wary. "Don't you remember anything?"

He vigorously shook his pounding head only to bring forth a chaotic kaleidoscope of last night's events. With his eyes glued to the bed, Ned made a mechanical backward retreat to the center of the room where he had a clearer prospect of its crowning glory. His vision rose to the top of the headboard, to the heraldic shield seated betwixt the carved figures of a lion and a unicorn. His gaze slid with dread to the engraved scroll beneath.

‘Dieu Et Mon Droit,' God and my right, the motto of the king.

His chest seized. The room began to spin. He looked to Phoebe, his voice emerging as a strangled sound. "May the same God save me…for I'm going to be hung, drawn, and quartered for spending last night rutting in the King of England's bed!"

My tale continues with Ned's willful daughter Vesta in THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS. As for the Devil DeVere, he will meet his match in THE DEVIL YOU KNOW (part one of a two part story). The series concludes with THE DEVIL'S MATCH (to be released on August 24) when Diana finally manages to bring the Devil DeVere to his knees!

For more excerpts, please visit my website.



THE DEVIL DEVERE series by Victoria Vane

4 scorching HOT historical novellas/One continuing story

Book #4 - THE DEVIL'S MATCH - to be released on August 24, 2012


About the author

A lover of history and deeply romantic stories, Victoria combines these elements to craft romantic historical novels and novellas for a mature reading audience. Her writing influences are Georgette Heyer for fabulous witty dialogue and over the top characters, Robin Schone, Sylvia Day, and Charlotte Featherstone for beautifully crafted prose in stories with deep sensuality, and Lila DiPasqua for creative vision in melding history with eroticism. Ms. Vane also writes award nominated romantic historical fiction as Emery Lee.

Contact Victoria at her website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Victoria has generously offered an ebook copy of her debut historical erotic romance, A Breach of Promise,  to a lucky commenter!


All you need to do is leave a comment telling us who is your favourite literary badboy. :-)

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 7 August 2012!

Good luck!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Guest post by Stacey Kennedy + Giveaway

Today I would like to introduce you to erotica author Stacey Kennedy. You may know Stacey's paranormal romance/urban fantasy series, but if you haven't checked out her erotic BDSM stories you don't know what you've been missing! Her stories are scorching hot yet romantic, so if you are new to the erotica/BDSM genre I would definitely recommend Stacey Kennedy's Pact of Seduction series (you can read my thoughts about the 1st book in the series Bind Me here). Read on to discover why Stacey loves those Doms and you could even win one of her books!


What is it about a Dom that makes you sizzle?
by Stacey Kennedy

For me, there are three very good reasons that led me to write BDSM erotic romance. Anyone who has read my work knows that I love dominant men. My heroes are always chest-beating type of caveman. And there’s no one more dominant than a Dom. So, the transition to writing in this genre wasn’t such a leap for me. Of course, I needed to research my tush off, but that was a thoroughly entertaining experience.

So, why do I love Doms? Without a doubt it’s that strong alpha men make me go mushy. There’s just nothing sexier than a man who knows how to take control of a situation. But I do have a real soft spot for a man who can be tender, too. I love Doms who give the impression they can squish a person with their pinky finger, but also have a tender side to them as well. It gives that powerful edge to them much more of a punch when they have the ability to control it. And every so often we have a completely unexpected sweet moment that makes me melt. Sigh, right?

The next thing is a Dom’s focus on his submissive. I don’t know about you, but for me, there’s something very sexy about a man who truly understands what a woman needs. Maybe because sometimes women and men do seem to live on different planets, and I know in my own life I can say something to my hubby and he looks at me like my head is screwed on backwards. So yes, I quite enjoy being in the mind of a Dom who reads his submissives body language, understands her from the inside out, and knows exactly how to make his sub go wild!

Lastly, and without a doubt this is probably the most important for me, it’s what he does in a scene that makes me melt into a puddle of goo. I’m sure all women can relate to maybe having an ex-boyfriend in their life that had no idea what he was doing when it came to the bedroom. Maybe he was a horrible kisser. Possibly he was really shy. Or he simply wasn’t very good at what he tried to do! So for me, when I write BDSM I love that it extends from simple kissing and touching, but that he’s trained to use equipment that will heighten a woman’s pleasure.

That’s what it’s all about for me and why I love writing in this genre. I love that a man can use candle wax, a flogger, or even a whip in a way to make a woman soar. It’s every little moment that I find sexy. Every look he gives her. All the ways he creates the scene to make it perfect for her. It’s the emotional exchange during a scene that captivates me. How his focus is on only one thing…her!

So, you tell me…do you love those Doms, too?


Book 1 in the Pact of Seduction erotic BDSM series

Four best friends embrace their fantasies and make a pact of seduction to live out their deepest and darkest desires. The women place their lives in the hands of fate and one short straw declares Marley will be the first to awaken her secret wishes.

Reed, a Dom at sex club Castle Dolce Vita, has lived the BDSM lifestyle for awhile, but has yet to find a submissive that suits him. That is until he meets Marley, a woman seeking to indulge her fantasies.

As Reed guides her through a night of pleasure, Marley brings more to him than a perfect submissive--she stirs emotions in him long ago lost. By binding Marley, he runs up against his own limits, and now he has to choose between his self-protective barriers or surrendering to the wildfire Marley has reignited in his heart.

Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM theme and elements, including spanking.


Stacey Kennedy’s erotic romance novels are just that…erotic. There is nothing better than taking the dominant men she loves and watching them do wicked things to their women. But she just can’t write without a little humor added into the mix so that’s always a must have in her stories. And of course what’s a story without a big dose of emotional characters, too. Her urban fantasy/paranormal and erotic romance series have hit Amazon Kindle and All Romance eBooks bestseller lists.

Be sure to drop her a line at http://www.staceykennedy.com/, she loves to hear from her readers.

You can reach Stacey at her website, blog, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Stacey has generously offered an ebook copy of Bind Me, Book #1 in the Pact of Seduction series to a lucky commenter!


All you need to do is leave a comment answering Stacey's question: do you love those Doms, too? What is it about a Dom that makes you sizzle?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 7 August 2012!

Good luck!

It's Monday, What Are you Reading? (#84)


It's Monday, What are you reading? is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read and the books to be finished this week.

This week summer weather was in full swing and we made the most of it by having almost daily BBQs, which were delicious but not so great on my reading time, since the evenings were spent dining and winining instead of reading ;-) But I still managed to read a few great books, and have even more fantastic reads lined up for this week/next week. Here is what I have read this past week:

Books I completed


Don't let the cover and the typical title scare you away of this story, you would miss out on a heartwarming and lovely romance. My detailed review will be posted next week when Susanna Carr will stop by with a guest post, so keep your eyes on the blog to learn more about this book.



This is the second novella in Victoria Vane's The Devil DeVere historical erotic romance series. I much preferred the first one as the heroine in The Virgin Huntress irritated me too much, but I'm looking forwrad to reading Book #3 as it will finally tell the story of the protagonist Devil DeVere and the woman who will tame him (if such a thing is possible... ;-). You can get the 1st novella in the series, A Wild Night's Bride for only $0.99 at Amazon now. (And my review of The Virgin Huntress will be posted on Friday at Book Lovers Inc.)



 This is the 2nd book in Jessica Scott's Coming Home series. I found the first book Because of You exceptionally touching, and I am amazed how Jessica Scott managed to even top that! Until There Was You made me feel raw and humble and so moved! You should definitrely put it on your pre-order/wishlist, but if you'd like to get a first taste you could check out my review of Because of You here. Until There Was You releases on 7 October 2012, can't wait!!


Book I'm currently reading


Planning for Love is the very 1st novel in Christi Barth's new contemporary romance series, the Aisle Bound series to be published by Carina Press. So far the story matches the cover perfectly: it is romantic and sexy and so sweet! I love wedding themed movies and this story reminds me of The Wedding Planner and My Best Friend's Wedding, we'll see how it will go, but mark your calendars, Christi Barth will stop by next week with a guest post and a giveaway, and you'll be able to read my detailed review of Planning for Love as well! :-)


Books I can't wait to start


Don't forget that July is Steampunk Romance month in the Romance and Me Reading Challenge (if you'd like to join and win some great prizes or are just looking for some great steampunk recommendations you'll find it, just click on the links) and I still haven't gotten around to read this one, but I'm holding out hope I'll get to it soon!



Sweet Deception is the 2nd novel in Heather Snow's Veiled Seduction series, which combines the best elements of a lush historical romance and mystery. I LOOVED the 1st book in the series Sweet Enemy, it instantly became one of my Top 2012 Reads (read my review here), so I've been counting back the days until the release of Sweet Deception impatiently and can't believe it's around the corner now (the release will be on August 7th btw)! So I can't wait to start reading it and immerse myself in Heather Snow's wonderful storytelling.

And what are you reading this week?

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Win TWO eReaders with Entangled Publishing!


To celebrate the launch of two of their newest line, Entangled Publishing is offering not just one, but TWO fantastic eReaders, so now is your chance to win one to read all these sexy and fun stories!

Win a NOOK eReader with the celebration of the COVET line!


COVET: Contemporary romance with a paranormal twist.

The newly released titles are:


Vampire Nick Christos might have been born in the Middle Ages, but those days seem tame compared to the last eight years spent ruling the Supernatural Council. The only respite in his long days of governing is with his sweet neighbor Casey Meyers. Sure, he’s forced to take a cold shower after every encounter, but no way will he risk anything more with a human. Not with his blood thirsty ex on the prowl and out to ruin Nick’s life.

But when said crazy ex shows up at the ball and flies her freak flag high, Nick has more to worry about than keeping his hands off his neighbor. He’ll have to stay closer than ever if he hopes to keep her alive, but will she want to leave him forever when she learns the truth?



Eros, the Greek god of love, swore off the useless emotion after his ex ran off with some Viking godling. He’s lost all interest in his matchmaking business, Made in Heaven, until he spots the sweet baker who works across the street. Before she stirs his sullen heart, he’ll match her and get back to his ambrosia-laced wine in no time.

Lonely baker Annie Landon has given up on finding Mr. Right. What she needs is Mr. Right Here, Right Now, and this so-called “Greek God” she’s heard is on the rebound sounds exactly like the perfect kind of distraction. But picking up the bitter, workaholic is easier said than done…especially when he seems unreasonably determined to match her with someone else.

Can a woman looking for love—and the matchmaking god who wants her to find it with someone else—have a shot at a happy ending? May the best god—or mortal—win.


Storie Bell has a little secret—she’s a witch. But magic hasn’t exactly kept her life from being a complete mess—her love life is non-existent and the town thinks she’s a total nutter. Plus there’s her neighbor Reid Malone who runs hot one minute and cold the next.

Reid Malone can’t wait to escape Bloomington, Texas. Unfortunately, he’s stuck where he is unless he helps his father hide a very illegal secret. The only key to Reid’s freedom lies with the eccentric Storie…and he’ll do whatever it takes to get the information he needs from her.

But Reid’s holding something back. Something big. And if he’s not careful, he’ll find out exactly what when you try to deceive a witch…


To be entered in the giveaway just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 15 August 2012!


Win a SONY eReader with the celebration of the BRAZEN line!


BRAZEN: the naughty little sister of the Indulgence line.

Brazen publishes steamy category romances that blend young, fresh voices, and explore the more seductive side of modern relationships.

The newly released titles are:


Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Andrews’s chance to reclaim his title as light heavyweight champ is shattered when he’s injured only months before the rematch. To make sure he’s healed in time, his trainer sends him to recuperate under a professional’s care—Reid’s best friend’s little sister, all grown up.

Disorganized and bookish Lucie Miller needs some professional help of her own. She’d do anything to catch the eye of a doctor she’s crushed on for years, so when Reid offers seduction lessons in exchange for 24/7 conditioning for the biggest fight of his career, Lucie jumps at the chance.

Soon Reid finds himself in the fight of his life…winning Lucie’s heart before she gives it to someone else.


Prim and proper art gallery coordinator Elle Walser is no good at seducing men. Heck, she’s been throwing hints at her boss for months, but he’s completely clueless. Desperate to escape her mother’s matchmaking efforts, she comes up with a plan—buy some lingerie and climb into her boss’s bed. The plan goes brilliantly…until she accidentally seduces a sexy stranger instead.

Bad boy nightclub mogul Gabe Schultz just had the best almost-sex of his life. Too bad the smoking hot blonde thought he was his brother and bolted before he could finish what they started. Though her holier-than-thou attitude puts a serious damper on his mood, Gabe’s never been one to give up on something he wants. And he wants Elle. But does a man who lives on the dark side really have a chance with a proper lady?

To be entered in the giveaway just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 17 August 2012!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Guest post: Setting a Novel by Tracey Sinclair + Giveaway

Setting a Novel
by Tracey Sinclair

The Gherkin
London is a true 21st century city. A thriving – though admittedly tainted – financial services industry is one of the most successful in the world, operating out of towering buildings of glass and steel. We boast such wonders of modern architecture as the Gherkin and The Shard; hell, we even have wifi on the tube. But London is also a city thick with history: even its most contemporary marvels exist side by side with the centuries: and it was this contrast that inspired me to use it as a backdrop to my novel, Dark Dates.

I’m not the first to think this, of course: while the bulk of urban fantasy is North American, authors like Neil Gaiman, Kate Griffin and, to an extent, JK Rowling have reimagined London as a hive of supernatural activity; a parallel world that runs alongside the one we know, where tube trains lead to underground worlds, or phone boxes take you to magical ministries. So, if nothing else, when I wrote my novel I was in good company.

Smithfield Meat Market
In creating the world of Dark Dates, I must admit to a high degree of laziness: I was inspired by the scenery on my doorstep, and it features heavily in the book. I used to work in an office that overlooked Smithfield Market, and it never ceased to fascinate me – for those not familiar with it, it’s a beautiful, ornate Victorian building that, yup, is used to sell bloody great slabs of meat. The contrast of such an elegant building with such a mundane and grim purpose was striking: the fact that the site had such a brutal history just made it all the more compelling. Hundreds of years ago, traitors were executed here (tourists still leave flowers at a shrine to William ‘Braveheart’ Wallace), and the area at one stage housed a giant plague pit. Yet today it is a thriving hub of cool bars and coffee shops, graphic design studios and trendy boutiques: a perfect backdrop for a heroine like Cassandra Bick, who is a 21st century career woman – snarky, spiky and smart, she owns her own business, the “Dark Dates” of the title – yet for all her modernity she spends her time with immortal creatures. One of the themes of the book is how those creatures have – or in some cases haven’t – adapted to this rapidly changing metropolis; how some of them bury themselves in the ever-present past, and some change to face the future.

Tower of London
When I changed jobs, this contrast became even more noticeable: I moved to a state of the art, Richard Rogers designed glass building… which was across the road from the Tower of London, the place where Richard III murdered the princes and Anne Boleyn lost her head. The squat, sprawling stone of the Tower is now overshadowed by the skyscrapers around it, but it simply radiates history: you just need to walk past its thick imposing walls to imagine medieval knights jousting in the grounds. It made me wonder what it must be like to have seen those walls go up: and to still be alive when the office blocks and high rise flats started to spring up around it. Both the hunter Cain and the vampire Laclos – the novel’s ‘heroes’ (of sorts) – are over 1000 years old, and figuring out how they deal with (and quite often clash with) the thoroughly modern Cassandra was part of the fun for me.

But the best part of London history for me is not the famous buildings and monuments, stunning as they are. It’s those nooks and crannies that date from the time of Shakespeare, the knowledge that you can take a short cut through the streets of Cheapside, where Prince Hal drank with Falstaff; you can still order a pint the pub where Dickens drank, or walk down the alleys where Jack the Ripper plied his gory trade. Dark Dates may wear the city lightly – it’s a vampire romp, not a history book – but how could I resist adding my own creations into that mix?

Tell me, what’s your favourite setting for an urban fantasy or paranormal romance novel?


Tracey Sinclair works as freelance copywriter, editor and legal directories consultant. A diverse and slightly wandering career has included writing factsheets for small businesses, creating web content for law firms, subtitling film and TV and editing one of the UK’s largest legal directories. A keen blogger, she regularly writes for online theatre site Exeunt and science fiction site Unleash the Fanboy and her blog Body of a Geek Goddess was shortlisted in the Cosmopolitan Blogger Awards 2011. Her work has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies and her short play Bystanders was premiered in 2011 as part of the CP Players New Writing Season at Baron’s Court Theatre, London. She has published two small press books (Doll and No Love is This, both Kennedy & Boyd) and is now dipping a toe in the digital self-publishing world with her new urban fantasy novel, Dark Dates.

Contact Tracey at her blog / Twitter / Goodreads

Dark Dates by Tracey Sinclair

Book #1 in the Cassandra Bick Chronicles series

All Cassandra Bick wants is to be left to get on with doing her job. But when you’re a Sensitive whose business is running a dating agency for vampires, life is never going to be straightforward – especially when there’s a supernatural war brewing in London, a sexy new bloodsucker in town and your mysterious, homicidal and vampire hating ex-lover chooses this moment to reappear in your life…

Witty, sharp and entertaining, Dark Dates is a heady mix of vampires, witches and werewolves – with the occasional angel thrown in – and introduces Cassandra Bick, a likeable heroine destined to join the ranks of fantasy’s feistiest females.

GIVEAWAY RULES:

Tracey has generously offered an ebook copy of Dark Dates to a lucky commenter!


All you need to do is leave a comment answering Tracey's question: what’s your favourite setting for an urban fantasy or paranormal romance novel?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 3 August 2012!

Good luck!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Interview with Elle Aycart + Giveaway

One of the best book surprises of 2011 was More than Meets the Ink a steamy contemporary romance penned by Elle Aycart (you can read my review here), so when I heard that Book #2 was in the making I was impatient to get my hands on it! Finally the day has come, Heavy Issues, the story of the second Bowen brother is released and Elle stops by to answer some of my most burning questions about the series and the creative process (you can read my review of Heavy Issues here). So please give Elle a warm welcome, if you haven't read this series and you like your romance novels steamy pick them up! And if you share your thoughts with us, you could even win a copy of Heavy Issues.

Stella: When you started writing More Than Meets the Ink, was it a standalone project/story or was it the first in a series even at the start?

Elle: More than Meets the Ink was definitely a standalone project, as a matter of fact it wasn't even a project. I wrote it for fun, and I wasn't sure whether I was going to follow the story all the way to Boston or just leave it at their stay in Florida. Then I finished those first chapters and by then I had fallen in love with James and Tate and felt compelled to see their story through until the end.

Stella: When did you realize there were other characters whose story you also wanted to tell?

Elle: I'm not sure, I'd say it was at the end of the book when I realized I myself wanted to know more about Cole, Max, and Elle. Then, after More than Meets the Ink was published, I got a ton of emails asking about Jack, James's friend, and I got curious about him too ;-)

Stella: Share a bit about More than Meets the Ink: what inspired it, any funny or interesting tidbit to share about the writing process?

Elle: Many people are surprised when they find out that More than Meets the Ink's first chapter is based in real life. My mother-in-law, God bless her heart, pulled a similar stunt because she was convinced her neighbour had killed her cat. Pity the neighbour's son wasn't someone like James Bowen.

I had a great time writing about James and Tate in Florida. Those seniors were a riot. I hadn't read any romances set in a retirement community, so I thought it would be interesting to give it a go.

Stella: Now tell us about Heavy Issues: how/when did the heroine take shape, how did you know what kind of woman Cole needed? And what about Cole's "heavy issues"?

Elle: HI was a difficult book to write. Both the hero and heroine are very complex characters, both damaged, both real, and I wanted to do justice to them. Cole was very clear to me from the beginning, but Christy took shape later on. I had written the first 3-4 chapters before I realized Cole needed someone like Christy.

Christy is a very intelligent and compassionate woman yet she's psychologically damaged by her emotional eating disorder. She's somehow over it now, but it has left her with a bunch of body and self-esteem issues that she needs to overcome in order to find happiness. Cole helps her with that, while she helps him deal with his abandonment issues.

Cole is... Cole, no other way to describe him lol.

He is a sexy ex-Marine who doesn't do relationships, a take-charge kind of guy who's sworn to love them and leave them. He has plenty of emotional baggage he has to work through; he'd been hurt early in life by her mother abandoning him and as a result he'd closed off. Until Christy. Then his barriers proved useless; she waltzed through all of them and that terrified him, which brought him to make very stupid decisions to protect himself.

I loved Cole. Yes he's demanding and possessive and controlling, but he's golden. At least in my eyes.

Stella: Tell us a bit about the story behind the titles.

Elle: I suck very badly at coming up with titles, so I have left that to my husband. He's the one who came up with More than Meets the Ink and Heavy Issues. It's the same process every time; I tell him in a nutshell what the book is about and who my hero and heroine are, and then we brainstorm. Well, he brainstorms and I watch and wrinkle my nose when he suggests silly titles. It takes several days but he always comes up with a couple of good ones. Last word is always the publishing house's though. Funny thing is, he hasn't read any of my books.

You can read more Q&A with Elle and have a second chance at winning Heavy Issues here at Book Lovers Inc.

Where to find Elle: Website / Goodreads

More Than Meets The Ink by Elle Aycart

Wickedly sexy James Bowen is a bad boy of the highest order -- tattoos and attitude included -- which unfortunately ranks way up on Tate's not-a-chance-in-hell list, right there along with skydiving naked over Teheran and juggling Ebola vials just for kicks. But what the heck, she's on holiday, the guy is absolutely irresistible, and she needs to unplug from her life. With her dad and brother gone, Tate is left to deal with the family restaurant, which is fast going down the drain. Her employees are acting out, her boyfriend has bailed out, and her very own private stalker is emailing her to death with lovely threats of doom, fire, and dismemberment. So yeah, maybe a little holiday fling is in order. Strictly sex though, and no follow-up whatsoever once.

She hadn't counted on her take-charge holiday fling having an opinion of his own and stubbornly sticking around, before and after the sex, making himself at home in her life. There is definitely more to James than meets her prejudiced eye, and even if she's not ready to look deeper, James isn't prepared to permit her not to.



Heavy Issues by Elle Aycart

Steering clear of relationships has never been difficult for demolitions expert Cole Bowen, but now, with his brother's engagement sending the female population into full-blown hysterics and the town of Alden's month-long festivities helping along, he finds himself in hell. When he discovers Alden's new resident and the object of all his wet dreams, Christine Sheridan, has sworn off relationships and is going to hire a gigolo to get professionally laid, he decides to kill two birds with one stone.

Christy is so not drinking again. Thanks to José Cuervo she has her friends signing her up for stud conventions and Cole frigging Bowen offering sex in exchange of fake dates, which is so out of the question it isn't even funny. She knows the domineering man will push her boundaries, and after battling all her life with self-esteem issues, she isn't ready for that. Too bad he won't take no for an answer.

Cole is determined to strip away all of her defenses but refuses to lower his ever-present walls, so when Christy realizes she wants more, she's left with only two options; walk away or crack his shield and risk her heart in the process.



GIVEAWAY RULES:

Elle has generously offered one ebook copy of Heavy Issues to a lucky commentator.


To be entered all you have to do is leave a comment about the interview or ask a question to Elle, or tell us: do you prefer to read series or stand alone stories? Or tell us: if you were a compulsive/emotional eater what food would be the death of you?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 3 August 2012!

Good luck!

You can read more Q&A with Elle and have a second chance at winning Heavy Issues here at Book Lovers Inc.

Book Review: Heavy Issues by Elle Aycart

Title: Heavy Issues
Author: Elle Aycart
Series: Book #2 in the Bowen Brothers series
Release Date: 29 May 2012
Number of pages: 251 pages
Publisher: Loose Id.
Source: review copy provided by author
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon

Grade: 4 stars

Novellus superbus!

Goodreads appetizer: Steering clear of relationships has never been difficult for demolitions expert Cole Bowen, but now, with his brother's engagement sending the female population into full-blown hysterics and the town of Alden's month-long festivities helping along, he finds himself in hell. When he discovers Alden's new resident and the object of all his wet dreams, Christine Sheridan, has sworn off relationships and is going to hire a gigolo to get professionally laid, he decides to kill two birds with one stone.

Christy is so not drinking again. Thanks to José Cuervo she has her friends signing her up for stud conventions and Cole frigging Bowen offering sex in exchange of fake dates, which is so out of the question it isn't even funny. She knows the domineering man will push her boundaries, and after battling all her life with self-esteem issues, she isn't ready for that. Too bad he won't take no for an answer.

Cole is determined to strip away all of her defenses but refuses to lower his ever-present walls, so when Christy realizes she wants more, she's left with only two options; walk away or crack his shield and risk her heart in the process.

Review originally posted at Book Lovers Inc.

My Thoughts: You might remember how much I loved Elle Aycart's debut novel More than Meets the Ink, it was one of 2011's revelations, so when I heard the joyous news that Elle Aycart was busy writing its sequel, the story of how James' (the hero in More than Meets the Ink) big brother, Cole found love I was counting back the months, and Heavy Issues was everything I dreamed it would be and even more!

Cole is a wonderfully charismatic, sexy and dominant man, the female population of the whole town is panting after him and he has trouble keeping the pushy women at bay. But there is one woman he wouldn’t mind having up close and personal and that is newcomer Christy, whose innocent sexiness even Cole’s legendary self-control can’t resist.

He looked around, spotting her right away. It never failed. It was as if he was tuned to her on a primal level, as if she was his beacon. Hell, all he had to do was close his eyes, follow his dick, and it would invariably lead him to her. She was hell on his libido.

Christy moved to Alden because she needed a change of scenery after she caught her fiancé cheating. She is fed up with lousy dates and lying men, all she wants is some hot sex and to have fun, she doesn’t need the drama thank you very much. So one night when she and her girl friends get together, after a few rounds of tequila she makes the following vow:

“I, Christine Sheridan, vow that I’m done. No more searching for husband material. Or for love. No more meaningful long-term relationships. Just give me orgasms! Big, mind-blowing ones!” she added, flashing a look at her girlfriends, who were dissolving into giggles. Christy fought to keep her face straight and continued, “I’m getting on with my sex life and I…will…get…my…stud!”
It took her some moments to realize that her friends’ laughter had suddenly died out and someone was clearing his throat.
“Holy tamoli. It works,” she heard Annie mumbling.

When Cole hears of Christy’s decision of hiring a stud at first he’s amused but then he sees red. He doesn’t want anyone else to show her pleasure, only himself.

He needed to get some things cleared up before she put herself on the market, hooked up with some stupid asshole, and Cole found himself upstate doing time for murder. Determined, he marched to her table and placed the engagement ring on it.
“We need to talk,” he all but barked.

So he proposes a win-win solution to her: she’ll get her mindblowing orgasms and he gets fake dates to discourage the preying women.

“I’m very attracted to you, so it won’t be a burden to fuck you. Not by a long shot.”
She snorted in derision. “Jeez, thanks…I think.”

Oh yes, have I told you how Cole has some problem expressing himself articulately when it comes to Christy? lol :-D

The chemistry and sexual attraction between Christy and Cole is combustive! Seriously, I can’t remember the last time a book made me shiver, pant, catch my breath and fan myself this much! Cole is sex on legs and what he does to Christy is simply indescribable.

“Don’t be crude.”
He shrugged. “Sorry, I can’t change that either. I am what I am, and my crudeness is what’s making you pant, babe.”

Oh yeah, totally true! Cole’s dominant no-nonsense alpha maleness gave even me a very independent and headstrong reader shivers of delight.

Their deal seems to work at the beginning but soon they can’t help the feelings that start developing between them, and Elle Aycart wonderfully brings the heartache and romantic angst to the table.

Besides the plenty of hot sex, one of the main plotlines is how both Cole and Christy overcome or at least learn to accept and deal/live with their own heavy issues. Neither of them had happy childhood: Cole was only 10, the eldest of three brothers when his mother left them and he still hasn’t overcome his abandonment and commitment issues, while Christy’s coping mechanism was compulsive/emotional eating. Reading about their struggles and the very realistic description of Christy’s problems and body image issues was both horrifying and saddening as I felt her pain and discouragement. Her belief in her own unworthiness and then how Cole tried to convey to her how he really saw her made me tear up. Just one of these scenes:
“My body is covered in marks, Cole.”
Big deal. “Mine too, sweetheart.”
She snorted. “Yours are war scars.”
“Yours too, Christy. I waged war with others while you waged war with yourself. It’s the same. It’s just life; there’s nothing to be ashamed of. We both survived. This body tells its own story, and it’s an amazing story. You are amazing.”

Verdict: I enjoyed Heavy Issues a lot. It had a great story, lots and lots of steamy, tingly, scorching hot sex scenes, and the writing was superb as well: detailed enough so the reader could see and feel what the characters were feeling and yet the story flew smoothly. I just love how Elle Aycart makes her male characters sound so genuine and credible. They are unapologetic about being themselves, they don’t watch their language and it was darn sexy. This second story in Elle Aycart’s Bowen Brothers series is aptly titled, there were some heavy issues on both Cole and Christy’s side but I loved how their relationship developed and progressed and how they each helped the other overcome their issues. And the end, the Cole’s protective walls cracked and crumbled was just the perfect both touching and sexy ending! Heavy Issues was a fantastic story and I can’t wait to read Max’s story in book #3!

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Writing: 8/10
Ending: 8/10
Cover: 9/10 - just love how sensual Christy looks

Order of the series:

Book #1 - More than Meets the Ink (read my review)
Book #2 - Heavy Issues

Buy it:

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Guest post by Kym Grosso


Hi Everyone! I would like to thank Ex Libris for hosting me today on my virtual book tour for Kade’s Dark Embrace. I really appreciate the opportunity to stop by and share a guest post with readers. This post is about is about the popular trend of creating playlists for novels. Whether we prefer the solitude of a quiet library, music playing or the buzz of the city around us, everyone has a personal preference for how we like to read our books. How do you like to read your books? In silence? With music? Hope you enjoy my take on playlists for books.

My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence. ~Edith Sitwell

Book Playlists, a Novel Idea

A few weeks ago while doing an author interview, I was asked if I had a playlist for Kade’s Dark Embrace. In all honesty, I never really thought about the link between music and books. Immediately intrigued by the idea of a playlist, I matched music with the scenes and storyline in my book. When I finished creating the playlist, I was amazed at how naturally music fits with books. Even though it is a subjective process and therefore, subject to individual interpretation, music and books can be an enhancement to the written word and the overall experience of reading a book.

When we read, we unconsciously engage our five senses, immersing ourselves into another world. While it is true that we deliberately use our eyes to read the words, we also automatically visualize what is happening the book. We see pictures in our head of the characters, locations, etc. And while we do not actually smell anything, we connect the descriptions in the book with familiar smells from our own memories. We can also conceptualize the feel of textures, when described in detail. For example, as we read “He ran his hands over her silky smooth skin,” we think of touching something soft as silk, not rough or calloused.

When we read about sounds described in a book, like the beeping of a horn, or a driving techno beat playing in a club, we can almost hear it in our minds. In Kade’s Dark Embrace, there is a scene where Sydney meets Tristan at Café du Monde. Not only can I imagine the taste of the powdered sugar, the beignets and café au lait, I can hear in my mind the jazz being played by street performers. I can hear the Zydeco music being played as she walks down Royal Street window shopping.

So it does seem that music and books are synergistic. But what will readers do with the playlists? For some people, music can enhance the reading experience. And for those who prefer to read silence, the playlist can provide him/her with song ideas to listen to before or after reading the book. While a playlist is simply a collection of songs, it is yet another wonderful way to engage the reader’s senses. The creation of a playlist is a creative process that has potential to show readers an author’s perspective on the book. But the question remains: Will the playlist match up with songs the readers think should go with the book? Maybe yes, maybe no. In either case, it is a fun process and certainly worth a read and a listen.

So it is with great pleasure that I share my playlist for Kade’s Dark Embrace. Happy reading and listening!

Music is the universal language of mankind. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Playlist for Kade’s Dark Embrace:

• Zydeco la Louisianne ~Buckwheat Zydeco
• Naughty Girl ~Beyoncé
• I Know You Want Me ~Pitbull
• S&M ~Rihanna
• The Reason ~Hoobastank
• Shake It Out ~Florence and the Machine
• Stronger ~Kayne West
• Love is My Religion ~Bob Marley
• Rabiosa ~Shakira (Feat. Pitbull)



After a series of girls are ritualistically murdered on the cold streets of Philadelphia, seasoned detective, Sydney Willows, is forced to work with sexy, alpha vampire, Kade Issacson. While working the case, Sydney finds herself inexplicably drawn to Kade, fighting the passion she feels towards him. Kade, determined to solve the case and mete out justice, is captivated by the independent, fiery detective. As he attempts to protect her from a very real murderer, Kade grows concerned that the beautiful, but very human detective, could easily end up dead should she tangle with supernatural forces that are beyond her control.

The investigation leads them into a dark and dangerous world, deep in the heart of New Orleans, where together, they search for the perpetrators of the Voodoo killings. Sydney soon becomes the target of the killer and ends up fighting for her life and love in the Big Easy. Will she eventually give into the intoxicating desire she feels for Kade if she makes it out alive?



About the Author:

Kade’s Dark Embrace is my debut paranormal romance novel. I have also written and published several articles about autism. I developed a late interest in writing after my son was diagnosed with autism and started advocating on his behalf. Three years ago, I started my own website, http://www.autisminreallife.com/ and now blog and write articles for PsychologyToday.com.


I live in Pennsylvania with my husband, two children and our dog, Ace. My hobbies include autism advocacy, reading, tennis, zumba and traveling. New Orleans is one of our favorite places to visit with its rich culture and unique cuisine. But we also love traveling just about anywhere that has a beach or snow covered mountains.

I love reading mysteries, romances and about all things vampires, werewolves and other supernaturals. I hope readers enjoy Kade’s Dark Embrace. I have already started writing the next book in the series, about Luca, due out Fall 2012.

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