More titles for your tbr pile

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Taming Miss Tisdale (review) GFT



I had the pleasure of having a guest post by Jessica at this link earlier this summer.  To refresh your memories, below please find the excerpt and blurb info, giveaway link and my review.



                                          



                                Taming Miss Tisdale

By
Jessica Jefferson

BLURB:  

Miss Tamsin Tisdale believes herself to be completely unsuitable for London life. After a myriad of social mishaps, and the potential ruination of her family name, she’s shipped away to her cousin’s northern estate. Only after she comes to her senses will she be welcomed home.

Marcus Winston, the Duke of Grayson, has a lackluster reputation. The last in a dying line, he’s endured a protected life—rank with privilege, encumbered by isolation. After a brief encounter with rebellion, he learns the devastating consequences of his carelessness and willingly accepts living life from inside his gilded cage.

However, a chance meeting with the brazen Miss Tisdale gives Marc the opportunity to reinvent himself into the man he’s always dreamed of being. When his deception comes to light, and ghosts from both their pasts threaten to unravel the intimacy they’ve come to cherish, will either of them set their fears aside long enough to embrace love? Or will Miss Tisdale’s stubbornness divide them?

EXCERPT


    Jason looked bored. “Get to the important part, Grayson. Was she beautiful?”

    Again, Marc was ill-prepared to answer such a question. Taken individually, that large mouth, those plump pink lips, her long nose, red hair, and freckled skin—nothing about her was spectacular by any means. But together, all those odd pieces and parts, which seemed so ordinary at first glance, fit together to form the picture of a particularly stunning woman.

    “Yes,” he answered quite simply. No need to give Jason any more fodder for discussion by rambling on like some sort of awful poet.

    Jason grinned from ear to ear. “Well, that is quite eventful, indeed.” He swept a crumb off his jacket sleeve. “Does this original have a name?”

    Marc stopped suddenly, his coffee halfway to his lips. “Name?”

    Jason laughed. “Yes, her name. This unique creature has to have a name. Diana? Aphrodite? Venus, perhaps?” Then Jason stopped laughing as realization spread over his face like a mordant rash. “You don’t know her bloody name, do you?”

    Marc set his cup down on the table and stared at it. “She never volunteered the information and I never bothered to ask.”


Buy link:

Amazon
 



AUTHOR INFORMATION:



Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it—almost Chicago.  She is heavily inspired by classic sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy.  She invites you to visit her at jessicajefferson.com and read more of her random romance musings.

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REVIEW

3.75 stars


Taming Miss Tisdale by Jessica Jefferson is a historical romance that explores the travails of countering Society’s perception of one’s role, from the perspective of each gender.  (Fern) Tamsin Tisdale has been sent away to escape the consequences of her actions but she continues to be true to herself, much to the surprise of the gentleman who introduces himself as Mr. Winston.  Tamsin finds herself strongly attracted to the man who finds the freedom to be himself when around her but they both have to find a way to share their respective truths and decide whether they are going to let those around them shape their futures.

This story is a gentle read that combines multiple tropes in an entertaining story.  The hero is tired of dealing with the strictures imposed upon him and finding his backbone.  The heroine is determined to go her own way, no matter who she has to defy, but she slowly discovers that there may be someone worth changing for although he has secrets of his own that may change everything.  There is a friend of the hero who may or not be trying to be helpful but seemed to almost steal the spotlight, hopefully he will get his own book.  I found myself a bit frustrated by some of the events as they didn’t quite seem logical but there were great episodes of banter that enlivened things.  Be forewarned that this tale features someone who is not a strong alpha male but rather a mild-mannered hero who is finding a way to cope with his handicap.  This story can stand alone yet connects to another story about a sibling who has found her own path to follow and undoubtedly will be augmented by more entertaining tales about the Tisdale siblings. 



A copy of this title was provided to me for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Favorite Obsession by Nancy Corrigan ADULT title (excerpt tour, review and GIVEAWAY) GFT


 



                                         


Favorite Obsession
is an ADULT title by Nancy Corrigan


BLURB:

Book 3, Royal Pride

Centuries after what should have been a blessing from a goddess, Mira has gone from the chosen daughter to a woman shamed. She’s found a tentative peace among her family and the females they’ve chosen to mate. And despite the potentially fatal consequences, Mira has found the one thing she never thought she’d have—love. Josh is the only male she’s ever wanted, desired and burned for, and he’s the only man she can never hope to keep.

One glance into Mira’s exotic feline eyes and Josh is lost. She’s everything he never knew he wanted and loving her becomes a passion he can’t deny. The obstacles keeping them apart seem insurmountable, but Josh knows he’s the man Mira needs. With every passionate encounter, every stolen touch, his certainty that he and Mira belong together grows. He’ll defy every shifter decree and fight to his dying breath to convince those around them of the truth—Mira belongs to him, mind, body and soul.

A Romantica® Paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Forbidden love…Undeniable passion.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT

Mira grasped his wrist, stopping him from reaching for the next movie. “Ignoring this won’t make it go away.”

He yanked his hand free. “What do you want me to do? I’ve made it clear that I want you. You said no and I’m in no mood to fight tonight.”

Silence stretched while he continued to unpack. He felt her eyes on his back no matter where he moved in the room.

Finally, she sighed. “No matter who I end up mating, I don’t want to lose you.”

He slammed a disc down. “You can’t lose what you don’t have, Mira. And this,” he brushed his fingertips over his scarred cheek which carried her scent, “doesn’t give you any rights to me.”

He turned away, unable to bear the hurt expression on her face, and reached for another movie. Not looking at her didn’t stop the memory of her laving the wound her brother had caused when he’d swiped a clawed hand across Josh’s face.

Josh had almost kissed her that night, probably would’ve made love to her too if she would’ve let him. Kade had stopped them in a frenzied panic as if he’d known they were about to get naked. That was when all the ridiculous rules had started.

“It makes you my beloved human.”

He whirled around. “No, it makes me Devin’s fucking beloved human. Or did you forget that rule?”




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Publisher
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:



 Nancy Corrigan believes in unending love and epic tales with a paranormal flare. She enjoys transcending the boundaries of reality to take her readers on an erotic, emotional and romantic journey.

She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children. When she’s not weaving sizzling fantasies, she works as a chemist in a pharmaceutical lab.

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GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here.



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My review:

4.5 out of 5 stars




Favorite Obsession by Nancy Corrigan is Book 3 of the ‘Royal Pride’ series.  Josh Conway is a human with ties to the shifter society, not least of which is his guardianship of his niece Megan and the complications with Megan’s twin, Molly.  Josh is frustrated by his exclusion from the shifter-human matings that are allowed for male royal shifters since he and royal Mira have formed a connection, with the approval of her cats, yet the Council is ordering her to take a mate.  There are complications due to the conflict between the single-shifters and the royals with their multiple animals, the need for secrecy to keep the existence of shifters from becoming common knowledge, ex-lovers, and the past traumas each has experienced.  It will take divine intervention for Josh to find a way to survive his courtship of the complex yet alluring Mira and convince the shifter world to accept their bonding.


This erotic paranormal tale provides an intriguing twist on shifter tales with its focus on a schism within shifter society itself.  The heartrending backgrounds of some of the characters make this a poignant tale that is counterbalanced by the intense relationship that forms between Mira and Josh.  Those who are squeamish should be forewarned that there is a fair amount of violence that forms the natures of the hero and heroine but it is still a compelling story.  The author does a nice job of establishing enough background that this story can be read as a stand-alone but the connections are so intriguing that I definitely would like to read the stories that lead up to this one and am anxious to read subsequent tales that explore further the remarkable events that take place in this story, particularly if the twins are spotlighted.  This is a nice exploration of the star-crossed lovers theme with a paranormal flavor and an intense and enjoyable story.


A copy of this story was provided to me for an honest review
Review submitted to Night Owl Reviews

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Veiled Target by Robin Bielman (book blast and review and GIVEAWAY?) Tasty Book Tours





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$15.00 eGift Card of Winners Choosing



Veilers #1
Robin Bielman
Released July 22nd, 2014



Never take Fate along on a date. The kiss goodnight could be deadly.

Tracking down Veilers—non humans—is only a sideline for Tess Damon. Vengeance for her fiancé’s murder is her reason for living. But with two botched jobs on her record, if she fails to eliminate her next mark, she’s dead. She’s not afraid to die, but not before she gets even. Too bad fate has a really bad sense of humor.

Hugh Langston, a wolfen half shifter, lives to keep both humans and his pack safe. But when rogue humans kidnap his apprentice, his rescue mission is compromised by a hot-as-hell, kick-ass woman who makes him think only one thing: mine.

Tess tries to ignore her feelings, but temptation trips her up. Especially when Hugh figures out he’s her next target and forces her into an inconvenient alliance that tests all the laws against their attraction. Now, with the line between good and evil getting blurrier by the minute, it becomes clear Tess’s only hope of living to see another day—and finding a murderer—lies with the one man she’s supposed to kill.








“Cut the crap, Tess. Why were you following me?”
“How do you know I was following you?” Oops. She meant to say, “What makes you think I was following you?”
He gave a knowing smile—that looked ridiculously sexy rather than irritating. “I know you don’t want to insult my intelligence so let’s just say for argument’s sake, if you were following me, why would that be?”
At least she’d gotten him to change his tone.
“Truthfully?” She leaned a little closer to him. She couldn’t help it.
“That would be nice.”
“I’m really not a very nice person,” she announced.
“Neither am I.” He reached out and moved a strand of hair behind her ear.
Was he trying to confuse her? Because it was working. She’d nearly fallen into his hand before he pulled it away. He was indeed a very bad man.
“That’s good. I hate nice guys. So where does that leave us?”
“I haven’t got all night, Tess.” He lowered his chin, indicating—she presumed—he was growing tired of their banter.
      She lifted an eyebrow. “No? That’s too bad. I’m a night owl. I can—”
“Answer my question before I haul you to your car over my shoulder.” His tone sent a little zing of pleasure right to the tips of her breasts.
“As if you could—” She was over his shoulder in one second flat. He moved swiftly, quietly and with superhuman strength. Uh oh. “Hey, put me down!”
He started down the alley, seemingly unbothered by her spastic attempts to get him to let her go. “You ready to walk and talk now?”
“Fine,” she conceded, although the view of his backside was pretty damn good.
When both feet securely hit the ground, she tugged down her dress and shifted the V-neck into place. He watched her squirm to put the rest of the material back where it belonged and his roving eyes heated her from the inside out.
“I followed you because I wanted to help.”
He started walking. “Do I look like I need help?” A little gleam—and major interest?—flickered in his sideways glance.
     “Well, no. But I’m very capable and I didn’t feel like going home, so I decided there was no harm in making myself available to you should you need me.” She took a deep breath. It was time to put the question out there. “Did you know Dane is a—”
“Wolfen? Yeah I know.”
“How do you—”
He stopped and turned toward her with confusion and passion in his deep blue eyes. For several seconds he stared at her, like he was trying to get inside her head. Guess what she was thinking. “I’m the leader of the Night Runners,” he finally said.
She imagined he’d told her something he’d never told another human being before.
What the hell was she going to do now?









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USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Bielman lives in Southern California with her high school sweetheart husband, two sons, and crazy-cute mini Labradoodle, Harry. When not attached to her laptop, she can almost always be found with her nose in a book. She also likes to run, hike, and dip her toes in the ocean. Filled with wanderlust, she longs to visit many different places and fulfill her curiosity. She wouldn’t mind indulging her sweet tooth in every location either. She’s a lover of sticky notes, cable television shows and coffee drinks. Writing is a dream come true, and she still pinches herself to be sure it’s real.

She writes contemporary and paranormal romance and loves to connect with readers. Learn more and sign up for her newsletter on her website. She can also be found online here:

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My review:

3.5 out of 5 stars

VEILED TARGET by Robin Bielman is Book 1 in the ‘Veilers’ series.  Tess Damon is an eliminator for Private Investigations and Elimination (P.I.E.), which is a clandestine government-sanctioned organization that investigates and removes dangerous Veilers, which include the non-humans such as wolfen and vampires.  Her next assignment becomes very complicated when she realizes that she is interested in Hugh Langston,  the sexy alpha of the pack known as the Night Runners who have more abilities than other werewolves.  Tess’ search for justice for her murdered fiance and her misgivings about Hugh’s guilt runs plus Hugh’s determination to never suffer from ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’ definitely complicate any relationship that may develop but it’s possible that they may not survive long enough to explore what they could have.

This paranormal romance novella introduces an intriguing combination of non-human beings coexisting with mostly unsuspecting humans and gives a glimpse of the complicated system that helps govern their interactions.  Tess is a contradictory combination of naivete and kick-butt agent and her tenacity occasionally tips over into a frustrating bull-headed determination which I found a bit annoying.  There are nice twists to the talents displayed by the shapeshifters and multiple non-human beings introduced but it would be nice to have more in-depth descriptions of the various factions and reasons for the conflicts that are alluded to.  I enjoyed the twists and turns to the story and look forward to tales featuring other beings in this world and hope that a few more clarifications will be forthcoming.  A fun light read.

 



A copy of this title was provided to me for an honest review.





Monday, July 21, 2014

All In by Autumn Stark, ADULT title (guest post, spotlight and GIVEAWAY)






Yum, what a wonderful guest post by author Autumn Stark...and, wow, more titles that I haven't read and need to!



The Top Ten Books That Inspire(d) My Life
by Autumn Snark


I think as an author it’s important to know where you’re coming from and how you got to where you are. Here are ten books that influenced how I write stories and characters. From my first romance novel to the novels that taught me to break the boundaries, here are my favorite and most memorable influences:

Until You by Judith McNaught: This was the first romance novel I ever read and boy was it one to start with. The characters were so well developed and the sensuality level was unparalleled. I can honestly say that to this day I still find it fantastically elegant and sexy. Some of those sex scenes and their emotional contexts are just the most complex and human moments I’ve ever read. From the beginning of my experience with the romance genre, it showed me what a good story should look like (and good sex).

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronté: This is one of those books that we’re all supposed to read in high school and usually hate because we’re supposed to read it in high school. I fully expected that at 17. But I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I adored the oddness of Mr. Rochester and Jane and how beautifully and ironically they fit together. I liked that their relationship was built on hidden weaknesses and vulnerabilities that ultimately flip-flopped into strengths (or vice-versa). It gave me a vastly different understanding of my own interest in the world. It helped me to realize I truly enjoyed the exploration of the complexity of relationships--also men in drag. Hilarious.

Hidden Riches  by Nora Roberts: I first read this when I was babysitting at age 12. I found it on a side table in the living room and could not put it down. When the parents came home, the mother let me borrow it...and gave me three more Nora Roberts books to read after. I inhaled them. I was just coming off of Until You and my new found (and illicit) love of romance novels, and here was Nora like a beam of light into my addiction. What I began to love about her characters is that they all had their own “things.” The women in her novels had issues they openly dealt with and real lives. Even cooler was that they all seemed to be driven toward something. All the heroines were women with careers, not just jobs. Her books gave me a sense of what I wanted to shoot for in my own life.

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding: One of the funniest love stories of all time. I really appreciated Fielding’s epistolary format and how she manipulated it for a modern reader. Bridget is, of course, one of the most empathy-inducing heroines in literature. I could identify with Bridget and her love of Darcy. Fielding’s retelling of Pride and Prejudice is one of wonders of the modern world if you ask me. She did it so well and, frankly, its what prompted me to explore romance AS literature.

The Abduction of Persephone/The Myth of Persephone by Homer/Ovid: As a kid, I moved around a lot and on one such move I resorted to raiding the local library--a very small library. I made it through the children’s section in about two weeks (we lived in a foreign country at that point and the library was limited). So naturally I gravitated toward mythology at the ripe age of 9 or 10. This myth stood out above all of them. No wonder--bad boy woos good girl.

Saving Grace by Julie Garwood: I love this book so much I keep accidentally buying copies out of fear that I don’t own a hard copy after all of my traveling. I also tend to hand it out at the slightest sign someone might be interested. Johanna was an amazing heroine for me to discover because she was one of the first historical (or any other genre really) heroines I’d seen who began as a seemingly weak woman who needed the protection of an alpha male...and really ended up saving herself. 

New Moon by Stephanie Meyer: I know a lot of people talk a lot of smack about the Twilight series, but at the end of the day...it’s a fun story. New Moon in particular was a great and unforgettable read for me because it introduced me to some new ideas in narration. In particular, the way Meyer used the blank pages to emphasize the passage of time really resonated with me. Whatever else you think about her, she has a presence and an emotional resonance that is hard to deny.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Classic. I mean, really, if you read romance this is a must need read/watch. I know the formal language of Austen is not everybody’s cup of tea, but this is simply the story that launched a million novels. It is THE story of the romance genre. Darcy is the prototype for the modern romance hero and Elizabeth for the modern heroine. The best part? It’s a universally accepted romance novel.

You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister: I was already an adult when I read this one, but honestly it was one of the first times I realized you could have a humor-filled romance novel with a hilarious and flawed heroine. More than that, the heroine could be irreverent and flaw-filled. Where Bridget could do all of that and more as a Chick Lit romance heroine, I didn’t realize until this moment that a full-on romance heroine could as well. Interestingly, where Bridget was sometimes oblivious and vulnerable, Aisling was strong with a quick wit. It was a great discovery.

10. It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips: S.E.P. is a phenomenal writer. She just is, but her books are works of art all in their own right. This book was the start of a series that really had an impact on me. Unlike a lot of the “perfect” heroines I had grown up reading, her heroines were flawed, but often charmingly so. Phoebe, the heroine of this book, was all kinds of complicated just like her life. She and the hero, Dan, were not at all perfect and made mistakes left and right. Their romance was rocky and their choices were built on shaky assumptions most of the time. I really liked that S.E.P. gave her characters questionable characteristics and ultimately redeemed them as humans who would continue on enlightened, but basically the same.

******---------******---------******---------******---------******---------******---------


                                         



All In
is an ADULT title
by Autumn Stark

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Jay Markham, a wildly popular actor and a chronic womanizer, has become bored with his life. Jay decides to take a break and goes to visit his life-long best friend and famous romance novelist, Anthony Tate. But just because Jay decides to take a break doesn’t mean his fans will let him. The fans and the paparazzi follow him to the small Washington town and, in an effort to escape a particularly dogged fan, Jay ducks into the first open door he can find.

Parker Hardisson is a fairly normal, if self-contained, woman in her, ahem, early thirties. Relatively happy with her life as a freelance translator, she gets to work out of her own home and enjoy her life as quiet and drama-free as possible. So what if she’s a teensy bit lonely? So what if there’s some part of her that wants to explore the world? Things are working out just fine. So, when a mega-movie star comes slamming into her house, she wonders if she’s finally cracked.

Parker seizes the opportunity to make the deal of a lifetime. No strings, no questions. The problem is, Jay is playing this game by his own rules.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT


Jay heard Abby gasp and Tony curse, but he kept his eyes locked with Gabe’s. The other man seemed to consider for a second. There was one heartbeat, and then two. Gabe nodded to himself and uncrossed his arms.

“Outside, Markham.”

“Gabe! Seriously? What is with this family!” Tony yelled as he moved to grab Jay’s arm. “Jay, man, this is ridiculous. What the hell are you thinking?”

“Stay out of it, Tony.”

“Stay out of--” Tony gaped at him before anger filled in the confusion. “Goddammit, Jay. I’m the only one here looking out for you at the moment. Fine, you want to get into it? Why don’t you just explain what happened?”

Jay turned to look at Tony and Abby. He smiled grimly down at Abby and rubbed a hand over his face.

“It doesn’t matter, Tony. My reasons don’t really matter, do they?” Jay turned, directing his question at the Stephens brothers. They both shook their heads.

“Nope. Outside.” Gabe left the kitchen, letting the screen door slam behind him. Connor pulled it open and held it in place, waiting for Jay to step forward.

Jay should have figured this moment was coming. The Stephens treated Parker like a sister, not a friend, and family, real family, defended their own. Not only had he wronged Parker, he’d wronged her family, too. He was going to have to get into it with this big ass Marine and suck up a bloody nose or a scratch or two. Jay might not be a Marine, but he wasn’t the boy Parker had once called him, either.

Buy links:


Buy Links:

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(Note from ELF)  All In  is the second title in the series, the first is


Break Me

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Autumn Stark writes Romance with a sense of humor and a whole lotta steamy fun. Doesn’t mean there aren’t a few whips every now and then, but she’s a sucker for a happy ending. Autumn has been writing in one capacity or another her entire life, but Break Me is her debut novel.

Autumn Stark is the pen name for author and publisher, April Oglesbee. (http://apriloglesbee.com/)

All In is the second book in the All In series. Book 1 is already available on Amazon, B&N, and iBooks. Book 3 will be released in June 2014.

Website
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GIVEAWAY


Autumn will be awarding at each stop a signed copy of All In to a randomly drawn commenter (US ONLY), and a Grand Prize of a $25 Amazon/BN GC plus a signed copy of All In will be awarded to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY).  

Please leave a comment with a valid e-address about a book (or two) that you found inspirational.


Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here



 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Simon by V.A. Dold ADULT title (feature, excerpt and GIVEAWAY)


NOTE: Complete novel. No cliffhanger. Dual POV. Rated 18+ for language and strong sexual content. 

Four years of honorably serving his country has left Simon, Cade’s younger brother, damaged and trapped in wolf form. Little did he know the only person with the ability to heal him completely would be found at home. Literally. Now that he’s found her, he is desperate to claim her. 

Rose is a beautiful, voluptuous woman with limited experience with men. Although she's confident, she still has reservations. Never having a family of her own, her fear of abandonment has her fleeing romantic relationships, and doubting herself. 

Travis is insane. A deadly loose cannon that a secret organization hired to destroy the Le Beau family by denying them their mates. Permanently. 

Simon’s dream will be lost forever unless he is able to maintain human form. 
Rose needs unconditional love and a mate to create the family she’s always wanted. 
Travis’s all-consuming drive is to take Rose for himself. 

Will Simon ever be whole again, able to claim his mate, giving Rose the love and family she so desperately craves? Or will Travis destroy them both?
Buy it AMAZON


Excerpt 
She looked at him over her shoulder. His blue eyes seared her with heat. The intensity of his stare made her shiver. Lifting one hand, he laid his fingers against the blush of her cheek. Then he wrapped his arms around her from behind. He buried his nose in her hair and let his wolf rumble in satisfaction. “I’m ready to show you off at Julia’s whenever you are.”

“Let me check my face and hair. It’ll only take a minute.” She returned a few minutes later looking amazing.

Her hair was pulled back in a fashionable messy bun. A single strand was left loose to fall down the side of her face to the tip of her breast. He longed to follow that strand to its destination, scrape his teeth against her nipple and inhale her precious scent.

She was without a doubt the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen in his life. Rose placed her arms around his neck, and he relished how her warmth seeped into his body.
“I may have to change my mind, you look too good, and I’ll be forced to kill some idiot who tries to dance with you.”

She rolled her eyes at him and grabbed her purse. “Come on, Romeo, I’m ready for a boat ride and a turn around the dance floor.”

Simon held her hand as she got into the boat then jumped in and revved the motor. “I’ll go slow so I don’t mess up your gorgeous hair.” He winked.

She blew him a kiss and fluffed her hair dramatically.

Even going slow it only took twenty minutes to reach the pier serving the bar. He already heard the music and boisterous patrons. He cut the motor and helped her exit safely; boats weren’t designed for high heels.

Rose looked up and down the line of boat slips and shoreline. “Where’s her sign?”

“She doesn’t have one. We’d rather random humans didn’t wander in. Mates are more than welcome, but the occasional human to happen upon the bar isn’t very well received.”

He led her to an open table. “I’ll get us drinks, would you like wine or a whiskey Coke?”

“A whiskey Coke sounds great.” Her eyes were bright with excitement as she checked out the crowd.

He squeezed into an open spot at the bar and waved over his cousin. “Julia! How are you, cher?”

“Oh, mon dieu! Simon, it’s so good to see you. I heard you found your mate.”

“I did.” He gestured to their table. “Rose is seated right there, stop over if you get a break.”

“Oh, elle est de toute beauté. You’re a lucky man, cuz.”

“Don’t I know it.” He grinned. “Can I get a Whiskey Coke and a beer?”

Oui.”

He turned his back to the bar to check on Rose. Simon’s breath caught as she unconsciously moistened her lip with the tip of her pink tongue. That mouth was made for sin, with its plush lower lip. He imagined her mouth doing wicked things to a certain part of his anatomy. Blood thrummed in his veins.  Simon turned to inconspicuously adjust himself, his faded jeans were suddenly way too tight. Her intoxicating scent of coffee and cinnamon rolls licked at his groin even from across the room. He wanted to rub himself all over her, saturating her with his scent whenever they were in public. His wolf wouldn’t be satisfied until they were mated.

Gazing at her across the room his blood surged, he imagined her naked on his bed, her thighs parted in invitation. He lowered his head and tasted her passion. Loving her long into the night, her excited cries entwining with his hoarse groans as they made the bed shudder and shake. He shook his head. He really needed to get control of his randy thoughts. This was date night and he would show her a good time away from his bed for once. Down boy, he snarled at his wolf. When he glanced at her again she was snickering and shaking her head at him. He must be imagining loudly.

“Here you go, no charge, and congratulations, Simon.” Julia rapped her knuckles on the bar top before she turned her attention to making another customer’s drink. She was very busy, so he left her to it. He’d barely taken his seat when the band took the stage for another set. He stood and held his hand out to Rose. “May I have this dance?”

“Why, yes, you may,” she said playing along.

Simon held her close enough to see the sparkles in her blue eyes. He loved the way her gaze lit up when she was happy. But his wolf itched to see her eyes dazed with passion as he made love to her, and then sated and sleepy afterwards. For now holding her on the dance floor would do. Rose’s intoxicating fragrance surrounded him, teasing his senses. He was in heaven.

He cupped her cheek with a large, warm palm. “I’m so happy you moved into our house, Rose. Having you in my arms makes me the luckiest man in the world.” The moment she agreed to move to his house he’d called it their home. His glowing blue eyes regarded her with a tenderness that made her breath hitch.

She tightened her arms around his neck, urging his face closer to hers. “I didn’t want to go back to Anna’s, to an empty bed anymore,” she told him. “If you really plan to have me as your mate, it only made sense.”

“Just say the word and I’m yours completely. Forever.” He smiled, then dipped his head, kissed her deeply and nuzzled her.




V.A.  Dold is the bestselling author of the Le Beau Brothers series, New Orleans wolf shifter novels. A graduate of Saint Cloud University, she majored in marketing. Prior to becoming a full time writer, she was a publicist to the authors, owning Innovative Online Book Tours and ARC Author & Reader Con's (ARC NOLA) (ARC Phoenix). Still is. The companies mesh so well together, much like PB&J.
Her idea of absolute heaven is a day in the French Quarter filled with nothing but her computer, her coffee mug and the Brothers, of course.
A Minnesota native with her heart lost to Louisiana, she has a penchant for titillating tales featuring sexy men and strong women. When she's not writing, she's probably taking in a movie, reading or traveling.
Her earliest reading memories are from grade school. She had a major fixation with horses, and the Black Stallion was a favorite. Then junior high came along and teenage hormones kicked in. It became all about the Harlequin Romances. She has been hooked on romances ever since. 

Connect with V.A.Dold



Follow on twitter at @VADOLD 



Friday, July 18, 2014

Rebel by Cheryl Brooks (ADULT title) Guest post--about her beautiful garden and other things, spotlight, excerpt and GIVEAWAY)

                                  


I have the very great pleasure to host Cheryl Brooks today...she is visiting to remind us that her yummy paranormal series, 'Cat Star Chronicles' has a tenth book out, called Rebel (an ADULT title)
Don't forget that she also has a delicious contemporary erotic romance series as well.
And...here's Cheryl...


Hello! My name is Cheryl Brooks, and out of all the guest blogs I’ve been writing for the release of Rebel, the tenth book in my Cat Star Chronicles series, I saved this one until last. 

Why? Because I was told I could write about my garden instead of my book, and I was waiting for my lilies to bloom. Trust me, there have already been plenty of posts about the book, along with my favorite color, where I’m from, and what my writing process is like. 
But nowhere else will you see what you’ll see here.

In the summer when I’m not writing, I’m doing yard work. The mowing alone takes about three hours a week, and keeping the weeds under control is practically a full-time job. One particularly noxious weed, galinsoga is supposedly edible, although I can’t vouch for it being much of a taste sensation. They say one plant can produce up to 7500 seeds, and I’m here to tell you that is absolutely true. Every time it rains, about a billion more of the little buggers sprout. I’m surprised I don’t dream about them!

For several years, my squash and cucumber plants have been infested with vine borers that killed the plants as soon as I picked the first of the veggies. Last year, I didn’t plant any squash or cucumbers at all, hoping the bugs would go elsewhere. My garden was about one tenth of its usual size last summer, which given the drought conditions here in Indiana, was about all I could keep alive.

This year is different—the milder temperatures and above average rainfall have made my plants grow like crazy, and I finally have a garden that’s worth a few pictures!



I planted this wild Monarda (Bee Balm) next to the deck three years ago, but this is the first time I’ve seen it bloom.





Unfortunately, the deer and rabbits are also flourishing, with the result that most of my lilies are gone and very few of my roses have bloomed because the deer keep eating them. But the deer don’t seem to care for these tree lilies.








Along with the garden, there are a few other things that keep me busy. Meet Jadzia, 



And Kes.



I don’t ride anymore, but these two ladies still keep me trekking to the barn twice a day year-round to keep them groomed and fed and their barn clean. The ticks have been especially horrible this year. The horses usually get a few in their manes and tails, but this year, they’re all over. I’ve been spraying the mares with insect repellent at least once a day, which is finally starting to bring the ticks under control. 

For some reason, though, Kitty Cat seems to be immune to ticks, fleas, and other nasty infestations, despite living in the same barn. And no, she didn’t lose her tail, she was born that way, as were several other stray cats in the area, including two that live in my house.


At the time I took these pictures in late June, the purple coneflower was blooming, but the black-eyed Susans were just gearing up for their midsummer show.



Last year, I lost a huge tulip poplar that was the centerpiece of my back yard to disease, drought, and a late frost. This year, I planted flower seeds all around the stump. You can barely see the stump now, and by the time this blog is posted, the coreopsis, zinnias, and marigolds should be in full bloom.





Which brings me to another member of the family, Peaches.




Only she gets to sit down and enjoy the garden. Me, I’m always seeing another weed to pull or branches that need trimming!


I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour of my garden. I’ll leave you now with a few things about the new book. If you get the chance to read it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved writing it!

The Cat Star Chronicles: REBEL
He's Had a Galaxy of Women
A refugee of the annihilated planet Zetith, Onca has no family and no surname—only the fortune accrued by selling his prime services in a high-class brothel. When he comes to the rescue of a homeless Zetithian woman, passion flares, but he dares not touch someone who seems so young and innocent...
But None Has Touched His Heart
Kimcasha has lived by her wits on the streets since the age of ten. When her friends start to go missing, Kim uses herself as bait to find them, but her plans goes awry when Onca intervenes. As they are led into a dangerous underworld, Onca offers to join her crusade to liberate her friends, and Kim cannot refuse...
Excerpt:
Other women paid for him,

Only she gets to keep him.

The city of Damenk never slept, but parts of it did get a little drowsy now and then. Onca strolled down a dimly lit street in just such a neighborhood, enjoying the peaceful stillness. Talwat was a residential district. No pheromones or subliminal advertising fogged the atmosphere here, and it was quiet after dark, especially in the hours just before dawn.

Although he’d taken this same route hundreds of times, this day was unique. His most recent client had seemed honored that she was his last before taking a much-needed rest. She had smiled, tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear, and told him to call on her if he ever needed help. Allowing her to feel special had cost him nothing, but really, it didn’t mean a damn thing—even her name escaped him now. That session simply marked the end of a long stretch before the time when there were no appointments, no ladies waiting for the use of his body, and certainly no need to sleep at the Palace. He was going home.

There were plenty of men who would have loved his job and would never have considered taking a vacation. Onca didn’t see it that way. No matter how pleasurable or lucrative it might be, it was still a job. He recalled hearing someone say that any occupation, no matter how much fun it was as a hobby, took on all the trappings and burdens of a job the moment money became involved.

That someone was right. Since his partners Jerden and Tarq had left the business, Onca had been trying to keep up with the demand, but he was finally forced to admit that even he couldn’t maintain the pace forever. He had fucked six—no, eight—women that day. Although none had complained that he’d rushed them, he knew he had. Still, he doubted they would have blamed him for hurrying had they understood the circumstances. Onca’s days began at ten and went until four the following morning, and he’d gone from doing one client every three hours to one every two—an hour with the lady followed by an hour to relax, plus an hour each for lunch and dinner.

It’s a wonder my dick still works.

He didn’t even have that excuse. One whiff of an aroused woman’s scent, and he was ready to go again—all set to dive cock-first into a hot, wet pussy. He could think about it now, but without the scent, his cock remained flaccid. He’d even gotten to where he could stifle an erection if he smelled feminine desire in public, which was a useful skill for a Zetithian man to possess. Particularly one who worked in an area where the street pheromones had every passing woman panting with need.

He planned to put that skill to good use over the next few weeks. From now on, he was simply another inhabitant of a large city—anonymous and invisible. He had even donned clothing prior to leaving the Palace, something he’d rarely bothered to do before. For that matter, he didn’t always go home. Roncas had long since given up trying to wake him after the last appointment, merely allowing him to sleep right where his client had left him. She would wake him in plenty of time to have breakfast and a shower before his first session of the day.

Poor Roncas. The tiny Zuteran woman would be left to deal with the calls from new customers, even though Onca had told her to stop making appointments two years ago, following his return from Jerden’s wedding on Terra Minor. Instead of posting an announcement, she had opted to stay on for a week or two before taking her own sabbatical—no doubt deriving some sort of fiendish delight in telling desperate women that the resident Zetithian stud had taken an indefinite leave of absence.

She certainly didn’t need the extra pay. Onca knew precisely how many credits she had stashed away, and her hefty parting bonus would allow her to live in style for the rest of her days. He could have lived like a prince himself, had he chosen to do so. However, he preferred a simpler lifestyle. Granted, he owned a house on Rhylos, which was pricey enough, but it was a modest dwelling in a neighborhood noted more for its peace and quiet than its ostentatious display of wealth.

Until the next moment, when the blessed silence was broken by running footsteps. The smack of two bodies colliding followed, accompanied by a masculine grunt and a decidedly feminine gasp.

“Let go of me, you creep!”

The man’s chuckle raised the hair at Onca’s nape. “Not likely, girly. You’re mine now.”

Onca sighed. A knight errant, he was not, although he was carrying a pulse pistol—something Jack had insisted upon if he persisted in pursuing what she considered to be a dangerous occupation for one of the galaxy’s few remaining Zetithians.

“You’ll end up dead,” Jack had warned. “Rutger Grekkor isn’t the only jealous man in the universe. You just watch yourself, bucko—especially when you’re out on the street. And in restaurants, make damned sure you’re sitting in the gunfighter’s seat.”

She’d had to explain what she meant by that, of course. Jack had made a study of old Earth’s culture, with the result that her conversation was peppered with figures of speech that no one else understood, and she took smug satisfaction in insulting miscreants with thousand-year-old expletives.

Unlike the words now issuing from the captive lady’s mouth. They were all explicit, succinct, contemporary terms—some of them having their origins on worlds far removed from Rhylos.

A highly diverse vocabulary for a lady.

Rounding the corner, he spotted the couple. A hulking Herpatronian with enough leather strapped to his simian body to satisfy the most perverse fetish held a struggling woman against the wall of a nearby dwelling.

At least, Onca assumed she was a woman. At the moment, all he could see of her was a mass of dark brown curls peeking out from beneath her captor’s arm. Then it struck him that if her size was any indication, this was a young girl rather than an adult. Suddenly, the fact that he was armed was immaterial. A child must be defended, if only with bare hands and fangs.

However, since he was armed, he drew his pistol, set it for a light stun, and fired a shot, pinging the man in the ass. With a howl, the beast abandoned his victim and took off running.

If Onca had expected the girl to fall at his feet in gratitude, he would have been sorely disappointed by her reaction, which was more akin to the ire of a hissing, spitting cat.

“You idiot!” she screeched. “What the hell did you do that for?”

Onca stared at her, not quite believing his pointed ears. “Let me get this straight. You wanted that big ape to rape you?”

Her scowl was enough to scare off more than a Herpatronian; therefore, he concluded that she must not have been trying to escape. A quick once-over revealed a small, thin girl clad in skimpy strips of ragged green satin—attire that might have been alluring on a more voluptuous form, yet only made her look like an underage streetwalker fallen on desperate times.

“No, I did not want that big ape to rape me,” she mocked. “I’m trying to find my friends.”

“Peculiar method,” he commented. “Unless, of course, he knows something you don’t.”

Her face seemed to crumble slightly. “I don’t know whether he does or not. I’m trying to find out what happened to them. Three of them just…disappeared.”

“Why didn’t you go to the police? I’m sure their methods would be more effective—and less dangerous.”

Bowing her head, she muttered something he couldn’t catch.

“What was that?”

Her head snapped up, and she glared at him. “I said they’d probably lock me up if I said anything.”

“You mean the police are in on this?”

“No, I mean…” With a wince, she sniffed in a breath, crossing her arms over her nonexistent bosom. “I’m the sort of person they don’t like running around loose.”

“Ah, I see.” A homeless waif—and probably an orphan—which was one of the few things Rhylos prided itself on not having in abundance. “I agree. You shouldn’t be running around loose. It’s much too dangerous, as you can see. There are schools and orphanages for kids like you.”

“I’m not a kid.” She practically spat the words at him. “I’m twenty-two years old and I’ve been on my own since I was ten. I can take care of myself, thank you very much.”

At least she had said thank you. Sort of. “Did you ever consider that the authorities might have picked up your friends? If they were living on the street and someone reported them…”

She shook her head. “I don’t think so. I’ve seen that happen before. It’s very official and well publicized. The cops like to advertise when they do something good—at least, something they think is good. This was different.” Her arms were still crossed over her chest, and she hugged herself, shuddering. “All three of them disappeared during the night without a trace.” She nodded in the direction her assailant had taken. “He was the first lead I had.”

Onca refused to apologize. “Don’t worry. I can report this little skirmish to the police myself. After all, I was a witness.”

Squaring her shoulders, she glared up at him, sweeping her curls behind her ears in an angry, infuriated gesture as she stomped her foot. “You will not.”

Onca’s jaw dropped. “Mother of the gods,” he whispered. “You’re Zetithian.”
Buy links: 
 

Author Bio

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Cheryl Brooks is a former critical care nurse who resides in rural Indiana with her husband, two sons, two horses, four cats, and one dog. Her Cat Star Chronicles series was first published by Sourcebooks Casablanca in 2008, and includes Slave, Warrior, Rogue, Outcast, Fugitive, Hero, Virgin, Stud, Wildcat, and the current release, Rebel. Self-published works include Sex, Love, and a Purple Bikini, Midnight in Reno, and the Unlikely Lovers series: Unbridled, Uninhibited, Undeniable, and Unrivaled. She has also published If You Could Read My Mind writing as Samantha R. Michaels. As a member of The Sextet, she has written eight erotic novellas published by Siren/Bookstrand. Her other interests include cooking, gardening, singing, and guitar playing. Cheryl is a member of RWA and IRWA. You can visit her online at her website or email her.







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Click below for the link to the collection of books in this series on Amazon:
Cheryl Brooks' Cat Star Chronicles


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GIVEAWAY


Cheryl is also very generously providing a giveaway of a book (please specify e-book or print) to one lucky person who leaves a valid e-mail address and a comment about whether or not they have a green thumb and what is grown in the garden?  Contest winner will be chosen using random.org after July 21, 2014.