Friday, 31 May 2013

Guest post by Erin Nicholas + Giveaway

You all know what a huge and die hard Erin Nicholas fan I am, so it comes as no surprise that when I heard she would have a brand new 5 book-series coming I did cartwheels (ugh only in my mind as I can't actually do them)! I was excited and anxious to see how it would live up to her beloved Bradfords series, well let me tell you it is exquisite! :-D And now the release day is soon here (June 11th - mark your calendars!), so it's time you got to learn more about Erin Nicholas' brand new Counting on Love series! :-)

Have you ever had a choice to make between doing something you know will be fun and something new that you’re not sure of? I have. We had a chance to take a vacation last summer to Disney World that we knew, based on past experience, would be a great time or heading to Sedona, Arizona. Now, it’s not like we thought Sedona would be terrible or boring or a waste. We’d just never been there before and when weighed against Orlando-- one of the best vacations we’d ever had—it was a tough choice. Well, we chose a new adventure and headed west and… had a fantastic time. In fact, we’d love to go back. The gamble paid off.

Something similar happened when a new restaurant opened downtown. We have a regular place, a restaurant that delivers on great food and great service every time. But this new place sounded interesting and variety is good, right? I mean, what if the new place was even better than our regular place? We’d be missing out if we didn’t at least try it.

Yeah, that one didn’t turn out as well. While the food was great, the service left a lot to be desired and we felt it was overpriced.

So, trying something new, especially when you have something tried and true, is hard. You just never know how it’s going to turn out.

I faced a similar decision when deciding to write a new series with Samhain Publishing. I have a series called the Bradfords. It’s five books, a short story and a novella that acts as a series epilogue. I’ve been hanging out with these characters since 2010 and they’ve brought me a lot of good times and new friends and readers as others fall in love with them too. They’re fun, they’re sexy, they’re this special little group of friends that has formed an odd, but strong family unit. And I love them.

I had left, as often happens in a series, some secondary characters that were a little intriguing though we didn’t know much about them. So, when I was ready to start a new book I thought, why not just keep this one going? I mean, it’s been a great ride. I could keep coming up with storylines here, no problem.

But then I thought, what if keeping to the world of the Bradford gang somehow limits the next stories? I wasn’t sure that would happen, of course, but it was something to consider. Or what if the old characters and friends start to take over the story? Now that I was pretty sure could happen. I know these guys and girls really well. And some of them are most certainly the type to take over whenever they can. Okay, most of them. And as a group, they’re a force to be reckoned with.

So, I finally decided to make a new series about a whole new group of people.

But one of the guys, Conner, came from the Bradford books. So it made sense that some of them would show up here and there in the new books too.

Some people would call that a compromise. Others would call it having your cake and eating it too.

I call it Counting on Love, the new sexy contemporary series that starts June 11th :-D

You can find out more about the whole series, and book one, She’s the One, on my website at www.ErinNicholas.com

She's the One by Erin Nicholas

Book #1 in the Counting on Love series

She’s the One

Sometimes you see love clearly. And sometimes it has to smack you in the face.

When a stranger walks up and punches him, Ryan Kaye assumes there’s a good reason. But he’s stunned to learn it’s over a one-night stand that never happened —with his friend’s sister, straight-laced Amanda Dixon. When Ryan confronts her about the lie, Amanda apologizes, but Ryan realizes he doesn’t want her to be sorry…he wants the night they supposedly spent together.

Amanda’s not looking to add anyone to her long list of commitments, so she was only trying to let a nice guy down easy by telling him a fling with Ryan broke her heart. So what if the fling only happened in her dreams? But when Ryan Kaye tempts her with the chance to go crazy and fulfill a few fantasies, she can’t resist. Thank goodness one night isn’t enough time to fall in love…

Warning: Contains a hot paramedic who knows how to get a girl to let her hair down, a girl who thinks she prefers her hair up, some naughty laser tag, some naughty role-playing and a lot of falling in love.

Pre-order at Samhain (it's on sale now for only $3.85!)

Excerpt

Ryan signaled Carrie, the waitress. “Two of whatever each of the ladies want,” he said, pointing to Emma, Isabelle and Olivia. He looked at the girls. “Stay here and mind your own business. Or at least mind someone’s business other than mine and Amanda’s.”

Emma grinned. “You and Amanda have business in common?”

He looked down at the woman beside him. He still held on to her elbow and he became aware that she smelled really, really good. Yes, it appeared that he and Amanda had business in common. How interesting. “Just stay here,” he finally said to Emma.

He tugged Amanda through the crowd to the corner near the back door. It wasn’t exactly private, but it would work for a few minutes. That was all he would have, he was sure, before Conner realized one of his friends had one of his sisters off in a dark corner alone.

“Yes, I talked to Tim Winters,” Ryan said when they were as alone as they were going to get. “Right after he clocked me and knocked me on my ass.”

Amanda gasped. “He hit you?”

“Yeah, because I slept with you.”

“I… Oh… Um…”

Ryan fought a smile. “But it’s weird. That really seems like something I’d remember.”

She rolled her eyes. “We all probably blend together after awhile.” She said it quietly, more of a mutter really, but he heard it.

“What’s that mean?” he demanded. He put a finger under her chin and tipped her head so she had to look at him. “Amanda, what does that mean?”

She shrugged and pulled her chin away from his touch. “It means that it’s got to be difficult keeping track of everyone in and out of your bed without making them all wear name tags.”

He grinned. He couldn’t help it. She was sassy too. He liked that. And liked even more that it didn’t show all the time. Emma was pretty much what-you-see-is-what-you-get. He liked knowing that there might be layers to Amanda Dixon to discover.

“Where would they pin the name tags?” he couldn’t resist asking.

For just a moment, Amanda seemed surprised. Then she smiled. “You’ll have to get the adhesive ones, I guess.”

“Might cover up something I need to see.”

“You could try only dating women named Jennifer or something.”

He smiled. “But then Tim Winters wouldn’t believe whatever you told him about you and me.”

Amanda pressed her lips together. Then said, “I’m really sorry he hit you.”

“I’ll live. What I want to know is why he did it.”

“I thought he…told you.”

She actually blushed and Ryan wondered if he could remember the last time he’d seen a woman blush. Not off the top of his head.

“I want to hear it from you.”

She looked at the collar of his shirt instead of his eyes. “I told him I had a one-night stand with someone and had feelings for him.”

“Me.”

“Yes.”

Pre-order at Samhain (it's on sale now for only $3.85!)

Erin Nicholas has been reading and writing romantic fiction since her mother gave her a romance novel in high school and she discovered happily-ever-after suddenly went a little beyond glass slippers and fairy godmothers! She lives in the Midwest with her husband who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books, her kids who will never read the sex scenes in her books, and family and friends who say they’re shocked by the sex scenes in her books (yeah, right!).

You can reach Erin at her official websiteblogTwitter and Facebook account.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

There are TWO giveaways:

The ebook giveaway

Erin has generously offered winner's choice of any of her Bradfords books! yay!

 
 
To be entered just leave a comment and tell us which book in the Bradfords series would you choose?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 14 June 2013!


The Gift Card Giveaway

There is a grand prize of a $75 USD gift card to the winner's online retailer!


To be entered fill out the Rafflecopter form below and tell us: which book in the Bradfords series would you choose?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 15 June 2013!

Good Luck!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Guest post: When Honey Got Married + Giveaway


You all know how much I love wedding romances and with summer just around the corner I couldn't be more in the mood for some wedding bell romances :-D So imagine my excitement when I saw that Entangled Publishing has a brand new wedding romance anthology, When Honey Got Married...! So come and meet two of the anthology's four heroines and to win an Amazon gift card just tell us whose story you are most interested in reading! :-) 


Full name: Grace Henson (formerly Gracie Lee Duggins)
Occupation: Events Planner
Age: 24
Birthday: March 24
Favorite color: Blue
Likes: Jazz, those stores that sell all the stuff to organize your life, weddings.
Dislikes: Cooking, the fact the whole world is designed for right-handed people, Mean Girls.

Grace had a rough start in life poor, no mother, an alcoholic father. That early chaos lead to a love of organizing things, and that led to her career as an event planner. She likes to see people happy and she likes things to be pretty. She sets very high standards for herself and those that she works with and prides herself on her professionalism. Outside of her job, though, she still has some insecurities, and those were definitely brought to the surface when she had to face Bellefleur and its residents again.

If Hollywood would like to make a When Honey Got Married... movie, I think Brittany Snow would make a fabulous Grace!

A good theme song for Grace would be "I Dare You to Move" by Switchfoot:


especially the lyrics "Maybe redemption has stories to tell/Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell/Where can you run to escape from yourself/Where you gonna go?"

*****


Name Nina Moreau
Occupation: Aerial silk circus artist
Age: 24
Birthday: June 13
Coloring: medium brown hair with darker highlights, pale complexion, smiley light brown eyes.
Passions: Dance, music, performing.
Turn offs: Judgmental people, troublemakers, indecision.

Born to wealth and status, Nina enjoyed a close relationship with her parents and her sister – right up until she joined the circus at 17, with a burning desire to become an aerial performance artist. Success followed success, but the price was estrangement from her family. Nina misses her family far more than she ever lets on. She tries not to get attached to any of the restless souls who pass through the circus, but Alexander Carradice changes all that and more.

In the movie: Ellen Page (Juno, Inception) would make a divine Nina Moreau.

Nina’s theme song is Stephen Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns, sung by the incomparable Barbara Streisand. The Night Circus closes their show with this song – with Nina in mid-air and a mime clown on the ground.




Find out more about the book at: 


When Honey Got Married (Anthology) by Kimberly Lang, Anna Cleary, Kelly Hunter and Ally Blake


Four high school friends and a high society bride reunite to celebrate the wedding of the year with the sexy, successful men who steal their hearts and set their skin aflame...

Grace Felt the Heat by Kimberly Lang

A wedding planner should never mix business and pleasure, but Grace couldn’t resist breaking rule number one for a hot night with her high school crush!

Eve Met Her Match by Anna Cleary

Eve hoped to make one last play for the groom-who-got-away...but instead the down-on-her-romantic-luck actress instead found herself in dark corners with his successful, seductive cousin.

Nina Tempted the Lord by Kelly Hunter

The sister of the bride needed a date of convenience and who better than her hazel-eyed, mysterious co-worker? If only Nina could keep her hands off his perfect body until she learned his true identity...

Pippa Bared All by Ally Blake

The groom proposed to her eight years earlier, but it was the steamy kiss that Pippa shared with his brother the night she left town that haunted her memories. Now she’s back and sharing much more than just kisses.


Nothing was going to ruin Honey’s wedding to the man of her dreams. And she has just the wedding surprise for her beloved groom!


GIVEAWAY RULES:

As part of a tour-wide giveaway the authors are offering a $40 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!


To be entered fill out the Rafflecopter form below and  tell us: Whose story (Grace, Eve, Nina or Pippa) are you most interested in and excited to read? And why? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 2 June 2013!

Good Luck!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Guest post by Cathy Pegau + Giveaway

Usually what makes a book a keeper besides the gripping plot and the captivating writing style are its characters. And sometimes it's not even the main characters that will grab your heart and hold your interest but a secondary, maybe even just a one-scene kind of character who steals the show. Today's guest is here to tell us about the strange life and powers of secondary characters, please give a warm welcome to Cathy Pegau, and you could even win a copy of her newest book, Deep Deception!

The Care and Feeding of Secondary Characters
by Cathy Pegau

My current books—Rulebreaker, Caught in Amber and Deep Deception—have several reoccurring characters who change from minor to main players, depending on the story. Nathan Sterling and Natalia Hallowell have been in all three books. Sasha James and Genevieve Caine switch roles from primary to secondary characters, respectively. None are mere cardboard cutouts, no matter when or where they appear. Even though they’re only given a few lines or brief scenes, secondary characters deserve proper treatment and development.

Before I get any further, let me help you sort out who was in which book and what status they held. (Thanks for the suggestion, Sharron!)

Primary characters: Liv - Zia
Secondary characters: Sterling - Natalia


Primary characters: Sterling - Sasha
Secondary characters: Natalia - Gennie


Primary characters: Natalia - Gennie
Secondary characters: Sasha - Sterling


Sterling was a secondary character in Rulebreaker. His portrayal as the stalwart lawman hunting Liv and her crew set the stage for his personality. Sterling does everything it takes to get his man (or woman. He’s no sexist.). The reason he joined the Colonial Mining Authority and the work ethic he followed were, I knew, due to a strict upbringing. But that’s all I knew at first. By the time I finished Liv and Zia’s story, there was more to him and he merited his own book.

Writing Caught in Amber revealed things about Sterling I hadn’t consciously known during the development of Rulebreaker. Like where he got his scar, and the fact he’s the only boy in a blended family. Those details were waiting for me to discover. They’d pop onto the page as I typed, sometimes surprising me yet sounding so natural. He’d been there all along as I wrote Rulebreaker, just waiting for his moment to step into the limelight.

Perhaps one of the most complex characters I’ve written to date, Sasha James shines as the heroine in CiA. A recovering drug addict, she displays an inner strength and vulnerability that impresses Sterling and serves her well. In Deep Deception, she’s part of the supporting cast but no less for it. Sasha doesn’t lose a gram of personality or strength after moving past her own story. Like the A-list celebrity who makes a cameo in an indie film, her appearance enhances that of the main characters yet doesn’t detract from them.

Natalia was barely a secondary character in Rulebreaker. A few lines, a small role in plot development, and her job was over. Her function in CiA wasn’t much more than that either, but I knew I wasn’t done with her. Or she wasn’t done with me. The few scenes she has in CiA highlight her intelligence and humor. I liked this woman. I wanted to see who she was beyond the masks of her undercover work and professional activities. Mulling between bouts of active writing on CiA produced the glimmer of a plot for a third book.

The introduction of Genevieve Caine in CiA sealed the idea. She took on a life of her own off the page, her history such a contrast to Natalia’s. Also smart and quick-witted, Gennie plays things close to her chest. She would make a determined, get-the-job-done person like Natalia nuts. But at the same time, I knew they would be perfect for each other. They required a great conflict combined with the need to join forces, something that could hold these two strong women together. Gennie and Natalia have their turn in Deep Deception.

Secondary characters shouldn’t just be puppets or figures to be moved about on the field of your story. They serve a purpose, yes, but they have lives. Personalities. Histories. But unless it’s germane to the plot or your main characters’ development, that information probably shouldn’t be in the current story. You as the writer, however, should know there’s more to each character.

In Rulebreaker and Caught in Amber, there are glimmers and hints of who the characters will eventually become, particularly Sterling and Natalia. Once I learned their personal stories, it was relatively easy to see why they did the things they did even back a book or two. What motivated them. Why they love the people they love.

I say relatively easy because even characters you make up yourself can surprise you. Ask them the right questions or put them in the right situations and you’ll be amazed by their answers and reactions. You’ll start seeing them take on bigger challenges. That’s half the fun of character development right there. The discovery that your secondary or minor characters have what it takes to lead.

Who are some of your favorite secondary characters? Which ones were given their own stories? Which would you like to see get their own stories?

Deep Deception by Cathy Pegau

Colonial Mining Authority agent Natalia Hallowell doesn’t always play by the rules, but she wouldn’t compromise a case either. Put on administrative leave under a cloud of accusation, with no support from her boss, Natalia seeks a little anonymous companionship at her favorite bar. But she’s surprised when the woman who catches her fancy starts buying her drinks.

Desperate, Genevieve “Gennie” Caine had no choice but to seduce, drug and tie Natalia to the bed to get her attention. With the Reyes Corporation after something she has, Gennie needs Natalia to open an investigation and distract them long enough for her to get off Nevarro.

Natalia doesn’t trust Gennie—despite the growing attraction between them—but the corporation’s suspiciously high profits convince her that they must be hiding something. But she has no idea just how deep the deceptions run….


Buy at Carina Press | Amazon | B&N

Cathy Pegau's muse always finds some sort of science fiction, fantasy or paranormal bend to the stories it offers. Her science fiction romances are available through Carina Press, Amazon, B&N and other fine retailers. Caught in Amber and Deep Deception are also available at Audible.com.

Cathy enjoys chatting with other writers and readers. Connect with her at: 


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Cathy has very generously offered an ebook copy of Deep Deception to a lucky commenter!


All you need to do is leave a comment and answer Cathy's question: Who are some of your favorite secondary characters? Which ones were given their own stories? Which would you like to see get their own stories?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 7 June 2013!

Good luck!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Guest post by Stacy Gail + Giveaway

I'll share a secret with you. I love angels. I find them one of the most (if not THE most) fascinating paranormal creatures. Today's guest has a whole series about those dark and haunted yet irresistible angels, please give a warm welcome to Stacy Gail who is celebrating the release of Wounded Angel, the 3rd book in her Earth Angels series and will tell you a bit more about how the series came to be. Also if you share with us your favourite oaranormal creature, you could win an Amazon gift card! ;-) 

Monster Plot Bunnies. I Haz Them
by Stacy Gail

Before I begin, I’d like to thank Prosperine for allowing me to chat about my latest release, WOUNDED ANGEL, the third book in The Earth Angels series published by Carina Press. Thank you so much! ^_^

I don’t know if every writer gets mugged by huge plot bunnies, but if so they have my sympathies. The smaller ideas for a single book are demanding enough, but when a storyline shows up that encompasses several novels… oy. When I’m assaulted by one of these furry thugs, I can pretty much guarantee sleep-deprived months of writing like a wild-eyed, twitchy-fingered madwoman. (Nice mental image, eh? :D)

That pretty much describes how I spent 2012. I’d always wanted to do a story involving the 21st-century remnants of the Nephilim, human-angel hybrids (Goliath was supposed to be descended from one, so that shows you how big these mythological dudes were supposed to be). But the idea had always been pushed to the backburner. It never really had anything else going for it—just almost-human people trying to blend in, with the burden of angelic DNA tossed in to make life miserable. Vaguely interesting, but otherwise? Meh.

Then it happened. While researching another project, I came across a name. A demonic name that I thought sounded… well, sexy. I read the description of this sexy-sounding (but thoroughly nightmarish) demon, and the monster plot bunny attacked. Need-to-be-told-NOW stories hit so hard I had no hope of escaping. By the time I turned out the light around three in the morning, I had four sets of amazing characters outlined, do-or-die loves that would last a lifetime, and the frame of a four-part story arc tentatively called The Earth Angels.

I also had a headache, but the monster plot bunny didn’t care. Merciless bugger.

The first book was a novella written in less than a month—NOBODY’S ANGEL. It gushed out, spotlighting one of my favorite paranormal tropes, the haunted superhero. I left it novella-length, though, because I wasn’t sure anyone would publish something I had never really seen in the PNR genre. SAVAGE ANGEL was born a mere eight weeks later (a full-length novel this time around), and both went off to Executive Editor Angela James at Carina Press. Would she and the Acquisitions team be okay with individual PNR stories being told within a far-reaching, overall story arc? Would they get it?

As I waited to hear whether or not I’d gotten it right, the monster plot bunny was still on the rampage. The third book took a little longer to write. It needed research on PTSD, which I was able to do thanks to a great psychologist friend who works with soldiers returning from combat (she helped so much with the writing of this book I dedicated it to her ^_^). This third book, WOUNDED ANGEL, was accepted along with the others (yay!), and the whole series was handed over to another editor, Andrea Kerr (poor Angela. I slammed her with this AND another contemporary romance series all at the same time. Oops :P).

Released on May 27th, WOUNDED ANGEL is a pivotal piece in The Earth Angels series. At last we see the evil stalking the descendants of the Nephilim. The hero and heroine, Nate and Ella, must find courage and strength in each other to confront it head-on. It’s the beginning of the end for The Earth Angels, where nothing short of an apocalypse looms on the horizon.

And if that doesn’t grab your interest, here’s the blurb and official excerpt for WOUNDED ANGEL!

Wounded Angel by Stacy Gail

Book #3 in The Earth Angels series

A descendant of the Angel of Vengeance, Nate da Luca was gifted with an uncanny ability to find things. It made his job as a detective a breeze--until he learned the hard way that some things should remain hidden. After that, his powers vanished, along with his belief in himself. Which is going to make tracking down Gabriella Littlefield for his latest client a challenge.

Personal trainer Ella Little paid a hefty price for her life--now all she wants is to live it in peace. Then a sexy hulk of a man turns up in her gym, reigniting desires she thought she'd left behind along with her real name and hair color.

Desires she can't deny even after she discovers Nate's no stranger to her dark past.

Before he can convince her the attraction is mutual, Nate's going to have to earn Ella's trust. But a demon is playing for keeps in the world of humans, using Ella as bait, and the last thing they have is time...

Go back to the beginning with Nobody's Angel, available now!


Buy at Carina Press | Amazon | B&N

A competitive figure skater from the age of eight, Stacy Gail began writing stories in between events to pass the time. By the age of fourteen, she told her parents she was either going to be a figure skating coach who was also a published romance writer, or a romance writer who was also a skating pro. Now with a day job of playing on the ice with her students, and writing everything from steampunk to cyberpunk, contemporary to paranormal at night, both dreams have come true.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Stacy has very generously offered a $10 USD Amazon gift card to a lucky commenter!


All you need to do is leave a comment and answer Stacy's question: what is your favourite paranormal hero and why?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 7 June 2013!

Good luck!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Guest post by Kaylea Cross + Giveaway

You all know that I am a big fan of Kaylea Cross' military romance novels, but recently she got to realize her longtime dream and release a Civil War romance! Read on to learn more about Kayle and her love and fascination for the Civil War and her new release, The Vacant Chair. I already have it on my to-be-read list, it's time for you to add it as well. :-) 


Thanks again to Stella for having me here to talk about my latest release!

I’m Canadian, so I know it seems a little weird that I’m such a huge American Civil War buff. No one’s really sure how that came to be, but it happened when I was around twelve or so. I remember watching a TV commercial for the Time Life series of Civil War books and my heart was pounding like mad. I immediately called my father at his office and begged him for his credit card number so that I could order the books. He’s always been hugely supportive and tolerant of my love for history, so he let me order them. A new volume would arrive every other month and whenever I saw that familiar cardboard packaging in my mailbox, I’d run with it straight to my room and read it from cover to cover. I still have all the books too.

The Vacant Chair combines my two favorite things about the Civil War: the medical practices of the time, and the cavalry. I did more research for this story than for any of my other books, and that’s saying something. *g* I even dragged my poor hubby (boyfriend, at the time) to a re-enactment in Virginia and made him drive me to every single battlefield in the area where my main character’s regiment was involved. My hubby doesn’t much like history, so it was amazing to me just how patient he was, hiking across the fields to locate markers, plaques out in the middle of nowhere and wander through museums with me.

Near the end of the trip he actually pulled off the best surprise ever, and got down on one knee in the middle of the cemetery at Fredericksburg, VA, and proposed. I know that’s probably not romantic to very many women, but he did that just for me and made it the most romantic gesture of all time. He even wore a Union cavalry uniform to our wedding reception and we cut the cake with one of my sabres I’ve collected from the war. Is it any wonder why I married the guy?

I usually write contemporary military romantic suspense, but since you all now know about the level of my obsession for the Civil War, it probably comes as no surprise to you that I wrote a Civil War romance. I hope you’ll enjoy the story, and that you’ll learn fascinating new things about this terrible conflict. The digital version of the book is only $2.99 and it’s also available in paperback as well.


The Civil War has torn Brianna Taylor’s family apart and made her a widow. Determined to ease the suffering of the wounded crowding the Union hospitals and honor the memory of the man she loved, she embarks on a career as a nurse. But then he arrives—a patient who makes her feel alive again in spite of her resolve to stay detached.

Captain Justin Thompson understands the cost of war all too well, yet he felt compelled to fight for the Union his father died defending. Wounded at Cold Harbor and left to die at a military hospital, he owes his life to Brianna, who seems determined to guard her professional boundaries despite his best efforts to breach them. Just as he’s winning the battle for her heart, he’s forced to return to the front of a cruel war that could very well separate them forever.

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - B&N - Kobo

Here’s a short excerpt:

The ship’s whistle blasted. Her heart squeezed in misery.

As the sound faded away, Justin’s eyes brimmed with regret. “I have to go, angel.”

With their last seconds together slipping away from them, Brianna hugged him tight, memorizing everything about the way he felt, the way he smelled. The strength of him wrapped around her. A sob worked its way up her throat. His arms tightened protectively.

“Don’t cry,” he whispered fervently against her temple. “I’d rather be shot again than make you cry.”

“I’m not crying,” she choked.

He kissed her temple, her eyelid to catch a teardrop before it could fall, and pulled away. Don’t go! her heart cried in agony. Don’t leave me.

“I’ll write as often as I can, but there might be stretches when you won’t hear from me.” His smile was impossibly tender, so sad she thought her heart might break. “I’m coming back to you. Just swear you won’t give up on me, Bree.”

“I won’t.” Not while she was still breathing.

He pressed one last lingering kiss to her lips, then let his eyes sweep over her face. “Bye, Brianna. Never doubt or forget my feelings for you.”

How could she ever forget? She smiled, though it felt like her face would shatter like glass.

Tell him you’re falling in love with him too.

The words stuck in her throat.

Tell him.

God help her, she couldn’t get the words out. They were too terrifying. “Bye.” Holding her arms around her middle, she watched him walk away and bit the inside of her cheek to keep from calling him back. He glanced back at her from the dock and raised an arm to wave once.

She lifted a hand in reply, fighting back the hideous pain ripping through her chest. Why hadn’t she told him?

You might never see him again.

Her heart pounded, urgency clawing at her.

You have to tell him.

She stood on tiptoe to catch sight of him. Too late. He was already boarding the ship.

Tell him.

Her breathing was shaky, her whole body trembling at the pressure in her ribcage.

Justin was halfway up the gangway.

Tell him!

She took a stumbling step forward. “Justin!”

He whipped around at her cry and, when he saw her running toward him, pushed his way back through the throng as she raced over.

Tears clogging her throat, Brianna caught him around the waist and buried her face in his wide chest.

His hard arms closed around her in a protective embrace, one hand cradling the back of her head to press her cheek against his solid chest. “What? What’s wrong?”

She lifted her head. I can’t let you go. With a hard swallow, she gazed deep into his eyes. “I’m falling in love with you, too.” The moment she said it, the painful pressure in her chest eased.

His eyes darkened, and a slow smile spread across his face. “I knew it.”

Rather than laugh, she kissed him, dizzy with relief, not caring if she was making a spectacle. The ship blew its whistle again, sharp and grating on her nerves.

“Damn,” he muttered against her lips. “I really have to go.”

“I know. I know.” It was so hard to step back.

He bent to kiss her one last time, gave her a heart-stopping smile that warmed her insides. “I’m glad you told me.”

“Me too. Now go.” She stepped back and tucked her arms around her waist, tried to stay strong so he wouldn’t see how devastated she was. Her teary gaze followed him back up the gangplank. Blowing out a deep breath, she lifted her hand in farewell, and at last he disappeared from view.

Alone on the dock, Brianna wiped her wet cheeks and tipped her head to gaze up at the vivid blue sky overhead, praying for strength. She’d never expected to find love again. Did you do this, Caleb?

Maybe she had a guardian angel watching over her after all.

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - B&N - Kobo

Hope you enjoy the story!

Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards and has been nominated for both the Daphne du Maurier and the National Readers’ Choice Awards. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her family.

You can find Kaylea at her website - Twitter - Facebook and her blog.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Kaylea is gifting a $50 gift card to Amazon.com or B&N.com (winners choice) to one lucky commenter during the tour. The more tour stops you comment on, the greater your chances of winning.
 
To be entered just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 17 June 2013!

Good luck!

And the winners are...


Hey Everyone!

The weekend was quite busy so I'm a bit late with the winner announcement, but as you can see at least there are a lot of happy winners this week :-)

Congratulations to

the lucky winner of a $10 USD Anazon gift card offered by Christine S. Feldman is

Paula S


the lucky winner of an ebook copy of The Rebound Girl by Tamara Morgan is

Veronica


the lucky winner of an ebook copy of Hold Me Down Hard by Cathryn Fox is

Katha


the lucky winner of an ebook copy of Femme Fatale by Cindy Dees is

Christine LaCombe


the lucky winner of an ebook copy of His Risk to Take by Tessa Bailey is

esined615


the lucky winner of an ebook copy of Tempting Acquisitions by Addison Fox is

Lorie


Congratulations winners! You will all be notified of your win in e-mail by tonight, please get back to me within 48 hours or I will have to draw a new winner. Thank you.

There are still a lot of giveaways going on, you can enter them by clicking on their individual links at the top of the blog. 

Have a nice week everyone, good luck surviving Monday! 

I'm at All Romance eBooks Cafe!


Hey Everyone!

Just thought to let you know (in case you missed it on Twitter) that I have an interview up on All Romance eBooks Cafe :-) You can find it HERE.

Come over and say hi :-)

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Guest post by Ninette Swann + Giveaway


Stella has graciously allowed me to guest post, and since I'm doing another post later this week, I thought I'd do an alphabetized list in two parts. Here is everything you need to know from A to M!

These are things, books, people, and authors who have had an impact on me as I've gone through my journey. I'm an eclectic mix of experience and personality and that's what drove me here. I started in television as a producer and reporter and through various ins-and-outs of life ended up staying at home, caring for my young twins. Instead of slowly losing my mind, I turned to reading, the Internet and authors and each of the things on the list marks something that helped me gain the confidence to actually sit down, finish writing a book, and then keep going. And they appeal to a reading crowd, too. =)

A - Adler, Renata. If you have not read this woman, go pick up one of her books. I recommend Speedboat. It is a novel of sorts, but it's incredibly ethereal and her ideas flow through her words moreso than her plotline (which remains a mystery through much of it.) I loved this book.


B - The Belle Jar. Not Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, although, yes, that too. But The Belle Jar by Anne Theriault. An amazing feminist and parenting blog that's going places fast.


C - Charles Dickens. Yes, I know you already know about him. But did you know there's a test online to see if you know the difference between his writing and that of Edward Bulwer-Lytten, the man who coined "it was a dark and stormy night."


D - Direct Contact. My new book! It's a mix between dystopian genre fic, sci-fi and romance, and it's getting high reviews thus far!


E - Elizabeth Hawksworth. Amazing poet and historical fiction short-story writer.


F - Finding Home. A contemporary romance for the holidays with a twist.


G - The Great Gatsby. "He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced--or seemed to face--the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself."


H - Hit and Stay. My first book. A romantic suspense about a police man, a woman on the run and a journalist.


I - Ishiguro, Kazuo. Check it.


J - Just the Messenger. A hotter ménage piece that's getting the most response of anything I've ever written and published. It's a spy thriller.


K - Kristen Duvall. Writer and owner of Fey Publishing. A rare gem and someone to pay attention to.


L - The Layton Prophecy. I know you've never even heard of it. This is a mistake. It may be the best romantic suspense I've ever laid my hands on. Ever.


BONUS: Literopathy. Have a life problem and need a book solution? This team prescribes books for whatever ails you. Amazing idea.


M - Milan Kundera. Author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being and the Book of Laughter and Forgetting, there is not a time Kundera puts his pen to paper that magic does not come out.


Ninette Swann is a journalist turned novelist who writes her books from sunny Florida in between parenting, freelancing, editing and going to grad school. She writes all genre of romance, including contemporary, thriller, suspense, and dystopian. Her books include Hit and Stay, Body Combat, Finding Home, Just the Messenger and Direct Combat. You can connect with her at: 


Direct Contact by Ninette Swann

Julie Gladwell has a secret. Acting as chief attendant for the New Government’s procreation program, she rears girls to carry the emperor’s heir. Only a few are chosen for the program, called “The Special Ones,” and they are given no names, only numbers. They see no one but authorized personnel until their twenty-first birthday. Which is usually when they die. Direct contact is forbidden. As she cares for these girls, no one ever suspects who she actually is.

Scientist Malcolm Odin hated his job and hated himself. Put in charge of the entire human engineering program, the experiments and suffering he witnessed made him sick. Still, it paid the bills and kept him living comfortably in Terrecina. He knew of far too many who’d fallen through the cracks, living on the earth below. The Level People, they were called.

When he confides his unease to Julie, she lets him in on her secret and into her heart. What starts as fancy ends in revolution, but how will they choose between their fellow man and each other?

GIVEAWAY RULES:

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

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Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 31 May 2013!

Good Luck!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Book Review: Kissing the Maid of Honor by Robin Bielman

Title: Kissing the Maid of Honor
Author: Robin Bielman
Series: Book #1 in the Secret Wishes series
Release Date: 13 May 2013
Publisher: Entangled Publishing - Bliss imprint
Number of pages: 230 pages
Source: ebook copy provided by publisher through NetGalley
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's WebsiteAmazon, B&N, Kobo, iBookstore

Grade: 5 stars

Novellus perfectus!
Goodreads appetizer: Kissing her best friend's brother never felt so right…

Sela Sullivan is resolved to be the best maid of honor ever, even if it means tolerating the best man. Insufferable, too-handsome Luke Watters is not only the guy who humiliated her at a kissing booth in high school, but he also happens to be her best friend’s older brother. Positive he’s the same arrogant jock, Sela vows to focus on her duties and steer clear of the frustrating—and frustratingly tempting—Luke.

As a world-renowned extreme-sports photographer, Luke is used to undertaking life-risking adventures. But risking his heart for the beautiful Sela Sullivan, who clearly still hates him for his rejection all those years ago? He didn’t see that coming. Sela inspires a passion he’s never known, and the more time they spend together, the more he craves her. But can he prove to the maid of honor he’s become a man of honor?

My Thoughts: You might remember that one of the best revelations of 2013 was discovering Robin Bielman when I read her short novella, Yours at Midnight. I loved her captivating writing style and was very much looking forward to her next novel, which I'm doubly happy to report is here since not only is it part of a series (yay!) but it is also a wedding romance, a sub-genre I just love! (double yay!)

Kissing the Maid of Honor is the first in the Secret Wishes series and it is the kind of story I would LOVE to see made into a movie!

The story opens with our heroine, Sela, making a wish to survive the next couple of weeks and the wedding of her best friend without having to spend much time with the older brother of said friend due to a mortifying crush and the most memorable high school humiliation she had to suffer thanks to him. But Lady Luck not only doesn't grant Sela her wish but makes everything in her power to thrust Luke, who is even more handsome and irresistible than ever, in Sela's path.

Seriously I loved everything about this story. Sela was so lovable, kind and relatable, the kind of heroine I wish I had as a best friend, while Luke was simply irresistibly sexy and sweet. Not only was he handsome, but he was tender, thoughtful charming and warm-hearted, the lethal combination lol ;-) Their chemistry was terrific, Robin Bielman sure knew how to up the sexual tension between these two, the air was sizzling nonstop whenever they got together either through their bickering or because of their attraction. I just loved their playfulness :-D

“You…” Sela pursed her lips together and shook her head.
“Me what?” He moved around her and took an apple out of the fridge.
(You look too good for words and smell like heaven and I want to run my fingers through your hair and press my body against yours and ask you to do things to me no one has ever done before. )
“... You’re annoying.”
“That’s the best you’ve got?”

I especially loved that the development of their romantic relationship was realistic and credible.

How had she let this happen? How had she let her heart get involved? At first she’d been lured by the vulnerable side he’d shared with her at the hospital. She’d defy any girl not to be smitten with that. Next had been the banter that turned from annoying to playful to flirtatious. The scorching looks across the room. He’d helped her be more adventurous, and she had helped him get over his accident. The connectivity between them had snapped her wariness and made her uncontrollably crazy about him. But the kicker was his apology and how he’d admitted to feelings for her, too.

But trust me when I say that besides Sela and Luke there are so many other things to appreciate in Kissing the Maid of Honor, like the crazy, adorable and quirky secondary characters:

“I can take it from here.” She exchanged her helmet for the gasoline container in his hand.
“I’m sure you can, but what kind of gentleman would I be if I left you alone on the side of the road?”
“Do not play that chivalry crap with me. We both know the only thing I need to worry about at this time of night in this town are the nosy neighbors.”
“Does Mrs.Finnegan still patrol?” The seventy-something great-grandmother had been the first female police officer in Cascade and even though she’d retired years ago, she’d always taken it upon herself to keep an eye out for “riffraff.”
“She never leaves her house without binoculars around her neck, a water gun in her pocket, and a mug of hot tea in case a stakeout is required.”

the fluent and captivating writing style, Robin Bielman's chuckle-out loud humour:

[He] pressed the buzzer for Sela’s apartment. He tightened his hold on the brown paper bag in his arm.
“Hello?” One word and his muscles grew taut.
“Hey, it’s Luke. I’ve got a special delivery.” She didn’t know he was coming and he hoped that enticed her to let him up even if she was busy.
“Luke who?” He smiled like a damn teenager.
“Luke, omigod, Luke, don’t stop, Luke. Ring a bell?” The door buzzed.

and the heart-warming affection and love between the tight-knit community of family and friends. Cascade was a small town I wouldn't mind living in, especially if I got to meet these characters in real life ;-)

Amidst applause and shouts of good wishes, she met Luke in the middle of the dance floor. He kissed her like no one else was in the room. “Damn you’ve got an irresistible mouth,” he said, coming up for air. That mischievous gleam sparkled in his impossibly green eyes. “You should hold it against me more often.”

Verdict: Kissing the Maid of Honor was a lovely start to Robin Bielman's new small town romance: it was heart-warming, sweet and funny, the only complaint/request I have is that it could have been a bit sexier (after so much tension and sizzle between Sela and Luke I would have enjoyed to see the explosions ;-) ). With characters you'll fall in love with, a romance that will make you sigh, Kissing the Maid of Honor is a novel not to be missed!

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 10/10 - I just loved them!
Writing: 9/10 there was a lot of sexual tension between Luke and Sela and I would have liked to read more about how those sparks ignited
Ending: 8/10 - It was cute, though happened a bit quickly
Cover: 10/10 - just perfect!

Kissing the Maid of Honor was a lovely introduction to the series and I can't wait to read the next ones, another keeper from Robin Bielman!

Buy it:


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