Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!




Jillian's Touch by Jax Jillian (spotlight)





Jillian's Touch
By Jax Jillian
Release Date: December 27th 2016


 Jillian's Touch takes readers on a journey with Nathan Long as he struggles to find Jillian, the mysterious woman who wrote him a love letter. After a near-fatal motorcycle accident, Nathan Long has received a second chance at turning his life around. Battling depression since his parents were killed several years ago, Nathan feels lucky to be alive. With the support of his friends, shrink, and a new girlfriend Stephanie, Nathan feels ready to move on from the suicidal thoughts and reckless behavior that was consuming his life.    But when he receives a letter from a woman named Jillian claiming to be the love of his life, Nathan's focus turns to finding out who she is, and if she is in fact real. When Nathan finally finds Jillian, he learns that the circumstances surrounding their time together are beyond anything he could ever imagine. 


Excerpt:

My dearest Nathan,

You don’t know my face, but you know my touch. You don’t know I exist, but you have felt my love. I have caressed my hand upon your face countless times. It is a touch that has not only saved your life, but mine as well.  A touch that has marked the beginning of a new life for me, even though it may be a life that I have to live without you. If only you could remember…

Just remember Nathan. Try to remember my touch. My caress would take away your pain and your fears.  A brush of my fingers would reach the depth of your soul and calm your sorrows.

Try to remember our love. A love that was so bright, even the darkest days seemed a million miles away. A love that made everything and everyone else disappear, and you and I were the only ones with the world at our feet.

Even though we spent just a small moment in time together, it was filled with a love that will last a lifetime. If only you could remember. You and I had a special place we would go. A place you told me no one else knew about. Do you remember? You called it the place where only you and I could shine. 

Just remember, Nathan. Remember the night we made love. The night when you gave me this beautiful necklace.  I don’t want to let go of it, but if it means you remembering, then I have to. I need to.

Close your eyes and go to that place. I will wait there every night for you. Every night until you remember. And if you never remember, I will still go there and I will continue to wait. Hoping, believing, and shining for the both of us.

Love, Jillian







Jax Jillian

Jax Jillian was born in Albuquerque, NM but before she turned a year old, her parents moved east to Harrisburg, PA where she was raised. After graduating high school in 1995, Jax attended La Salle University (1999, B.A., Communication), Temple University (2001, M.Ed, Sport & Recreation Administration), and Central Pennsylvania College (2005, A.A.S, Physical Therapist Assistant). She settled in Philadelphia, PA with her husband and son before she became a writer. 

Jax found a passion for motion pictures at a young age when she remembers “getting lost” in films, and that passion ultimately led her down the path to writing. she loves “getting lost” in her writing and particularly loves writing heartfelt love stories with a touch of tragedy which she believes is the key to truly reaching readers. 

Jax is the author of Larkin’s Letters and Ryan’s Letters, two contemporary romance novels that have seen early success from reviewers, with both averaging 4.8/5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads. She is currently writing her third novel and aspires to write a screenplay one day. When not writing, she works full time as a physical therapist assistant and as a mom to her three-year-old son.

Brought to you By:
 



Friday, December 30, 2016

The Mirror of Doom by Bailey Baxter (VBT, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT



I have the pleasure of a guest post from author Bailey Baxter, who shares her thoughts on...

Fear.

We all have it, in some form or other. Sometimes, we learn to conquer it. Other times, it holds us back from our dreams.

Yeah, fear can be a real dream-killer. I should know. I let it keep me from pursuing the one thing I was truly passionate about for years.

You see… I’ve loved writing stories since I was a child. And one of my English teachers told me I was quite good at it. I had a gift, he said.

But my brain got in my way. I made the mistake of looking at the statistics – and I discovered that only 20% of published authors can make a living writing books.

Just 20%! I’m not a gambler, but, even if I was… those odds stink.

And that’s when the fear of failure started whispering in my ear. “You’re not good enough,” it said. “If 80% of writers fail, so will you.”

So, I didn’t even try. I got my degree in Business and set out on a safe – and mind-numbingly dull – career path through corporate America.

I was miserable.

But, dreams don’t let go that easily. About 15 years ago, I started writing again. And eventually, I began working on my first book, “The Mirror of Doom.”

Has it been hard? Yes. Writing a book while working a full-time job is an exercise in discipline and perseverance, that’s for sure.

Did “fear” still whisper to me that I would probably fall flat on my face? Absolutely.

But this is what I’ve learned…

If you have a passion to do something, don’t let fear stop you. Yes, there’s a chance you might fail. But, if you never step out and pursue the dream that’s on your heart, failure is 100% guaranteed.

In The Mirror of Doom my characters face challenges that seem unsurmountable. And they find surprising strength within themselves to achieve greater things than they ever thought they could. 

It’s the same for you. Toss fear aside and take a chance on your dreams. You never know what you’re truly capable of until you try.

Bailey Baxter

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by Bailey Baxter


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GENRE: Middle Grade

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BLURB:

What would you do if you got stuck in another world? 12-year-old Tim Hunter and his two older siblings panicked. Just a little. (Can you blame them?) Unfortunately, the only way they can return home is to steal a magic mirror from an evil queen. Yes, that’s right. Evil! To make matters even worse, enemy soldiers, horrible creatures called galrogs, and even a dragon will do anything to stop them. Do they have what it takes to make it home alive? There’s one way to find out. This fun, fantasy-adventure for middle-grade readers is available on Amazon.com.


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EXCERPT


Then a strange sound startled me out of my thoughts.

Was that thunder?

Kat stopped and looked around. “What was that noise?”

“Everyone, keep going,” Gavril said from behind me. “We need to get off this bridge now.”

“Why?” I asked. “What’s going on?”
“Just move, Tim!”

Before I had a chance to even take one step, something dark and huge flew over us and let out an ear-splitting roar that shook the entire bridge.

Kat screamed, and we all hit the deck, so to speak. As I clung to the trembling bridge, I could hear a shower of stones falling into the cavern below.

Okay, that definitely wasn’t thunder.

“What was that?” Ron yelled.

“Akar!” Beriman yelled back.

“What’s an Akar?” I asked.

There was another roar, and we all ducked our heads as the shadow swooped over us again. A stream of flames burst from its mouth, lighting up the entire cavern and answering my question.

Akar was a dragon.



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Bailey Baxter is the pen name of a somewhat successful copywriter who writes online "junk mail” for health supplement companies. She's been writing stories since childhood. In fact, when she was 12, Bailey wrote and illustrated tiny books that she stapled together and passed to her friend during class. (She was never caught.)

Bailey grew up in Ellington, CT – a small town where cows outnumbered people 2 to 1. She currently lives in Asheville, NC with a mischievous Shih-tzu named Lucy. Fortunately, Asheville is weird - and proud of it - so it gives her plenty of inspiration and plot ideas for new books.

Her first book, The Mirror of Doom, was inspired by a certain pesky brother named "Jimmy" and the childhood desire to find a wardrobe to a place like Narnia.


Website
Facebook
Twitter



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GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway  

The tour dates can be found here



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

An FYI about All Romance eBooks (ARe)

I am sad to report that All Romance eBooks is closing at the end of the year. If you are anything like me and tend to procrastinate downloading the books in your library, retrieve them, because it is my understanding they will go poof in a few days!



Update:

And, if you are tempted to buy a few things just to support the authors...maybe you should hold off and contact the author directly or use another venue to purchase the items because it seems that there may be issues with the authors getting their deserved royalties.

For more info, check this link.

The Diamond Head Deception by James Blakley (Spotllight, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT






The Diamond Head Deception

by James Blakley

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GENRE: Mystery/Thriller

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BLURB:

After putting Iowa crop insurance cheats out to pasture, independent insurance fraud investigator Luna Nightcrow heads to Hawaii, but not for a vacation. The Shilpa, an Indian ocean liner, sinks and Luna is hired to determine if it still carries "Pacific Splendor" (a rare diamond insured for $15 million). The trouble is that Luna's not the only one looking for the diamond. Secessionists, sportsmen, and other suspects might sink to any depths to recover or smother Pacific Splendor.

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EXCERPT

When dispatch confirmed, Valerosa hit the brakes and twirled a U-turn. The squad car took off in the opposite direction and didn’t stop, until it reached a small, red-and-white colored light house state park off the highway. And parked on the road that led to the historic marker and small picnic area was a battered, gray cargo van with a blown back tire.

Valerosa brought the squad car to a screeching halt. She drew her Smith & Wesson 9 MM pistol and got out. Luna followed, but Valerosa signaled for her to stay back. The Detective Sergeant moved swiftly toward the van. Once there, she peeked through the driver’s side window. No one was inside. Then, Valerosa proceeded to search around and below the van.

Meanwhile, Luna decided to try the light house. She crept down the narrow dirt path to the cliff on which the old structure stood. Once there, she noticed the door was ajar. The insurance investigator drew the Browning semi-automatic handgun from her back pocket. She pushed the door open and stepped inside.



Amazon
Inkwater Press



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

James Blakley was educated at Missouri Western State College and Washburn University. While at MWSC, he was a local and national award-winning columnist and section editor of "The Griffon-News." Blakley worked 10 1/2 years as a page and as an Assistant Librarian for the River Bluffs Regional Libraries of St. Joseph, MO. He currently lives in Topeka, KS where he worked for The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and several years in clerical and customer support capacities for international computer companies, such as EDS and HP.

Goodreads


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GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here

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My review:


3.25 stars

The Diamond Head Deception by James Blakley features insurance investigator Luna Nightcrow as she deals with a couple of cases in vastly different circumstances. Using her intuition and analytical abilities, plus a variety of allies and assistants, Luna does her best to bring her cases to a successful close, hopefully while remaining alive.

This mystery story has elements of suspense and gives an interesting view of the lengths an investigator might go to in order to make sure a claim is legitimate. The unconventional solutions she comes up with are vividly depicted in the initial case described, and then the action shifts to more exotic climes. There are multiple secondary characters who act both as intriguing foils and red herrings as the mystery unfolds. I am dismayed by the frequent shifts in points of view which detract from the story as it unfolds but I enjoyed the glimpses of the Hawaiian Islands as experienced by Luna and her associates.

There are intriguing nuggets of information scattered throughout the story, and a delightfully diverse cast of characters although some of the connections didn’t quite ring true for me and I wasn’t completely convinced by way some things turned out. I like capable heroines, and Luna was a fun character to read about, and, although the action got a little fantastical, this will probably be enjoyed by those in search of an entertaining light mystery.


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

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I Should Have Said Yes by J B Glazer (VBT, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT


It is my pleasure to share a guest post from author J.B. Glazer, who answers my question...



ELF: What do you think is the strongest attraction about the genre(s) you like to write in?


JBG: I like to write the kind of books that I read. While I enjoy a variety of genres, Chick Lit and Contemporary Romance are my favorites. As an eternal optimist, I love writing uplifting books. We are all too often inundated with news of tragedies. I’m a big believer in Happily Ever After. Real life is hard enough, so I like books that offer an escape from reality and give women hope that happiness is attainable. I guess I figure, why not live the fairy tale once in a while?

My latest novel, I Should Have Said Yes, is Chick Lit by technical definition, but I really like to think of it as a Romance. The book follows serial dater Tara Winters on her journey to finding Mr. Right. Tara is a successful interior designer, Master’s student, blogger, jewelry maker, and bona fide dating expert. While she has a constant stream of suitors, none are what she considers husband material. From dating websites to set ups, Tara has tried it all. She meets plenty of outrageous men along the way, from guys who can’t handle their alcohol, to dealing with body hair and mommy issues. At least it gives her plenty of fodder for her blog! In a short time she amasses a huge following and is seen as the quintessential singleton. But all she really wants is to settle down. So love is definitely a key theme of the book.

One of the reasons I like to write about love is because it’s powerful, mysterious, and universal. While it’s difficult to put the significance of its meaning into words, it can be summed up with a simple icon such as a heart, cupid, x, or kiss. And though times may have changed, the fact that we are all searching for love has not. It’s the work of movies, songs, poems and of course, books. Some people fall in love easily, while others spend a lifetime looking for that one perfect someone. While the goal may be the same, we all have a different journey. I love exploring these journeys. In my first novel, Out in the Open, my protagonist Lexi is nursing a broken-heart and is scared to let love in. In I Should Have Said Yes, all Tara wants is to meet the One. She’s just having a hard time finding him and has to kiss a lot of frogs before she meets her prince. Two sisters, two very different paths to finding love. But in the end they both find happiness. Because I think that’s what love is all about. It’s not finding someone who makes you happy. We are all in control of that and I think it needs to come from within first. It’s about finding someone to share your happiness with.

And that is the key reason why I write: it makes me happy, and in turn, I like making others happy. I guess it’s my way of sharing. J I seriously get an endorphin rush after I have a breakthrough or finish a chapter. Some people get that rush from exercise, mine comes from creativity. (Kind of wish the working out thing did it for me). Anyway, I agree with the sentiment that happiness is contagious. And it can start with something as simple as a smile. As I said, I’m an eternal optimist, so I’ll end with a quote that I think is perfect during this season of giving.
“Happiness adds and multiples as we divide it with others.”
– A. Nielsen



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I Should Have Said Yes

by J B Glazer

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GENRE: Chick Lit

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BLURB:

Blogger extraordinaire Tara Winters has always regretted saying no to D. J. Parker. She vowed never to repeat her mistake, and her “yes” dating pact was born. After meeting countless Mr. Wrongs, she’s seriously considering her friend Andy’s drunken marriage proposal. Then Andy meets Natalie, and Tara finds herself competing for his affection. She must decide if it’s love—or a game to win. After each outrageous date Tara shares advice with her followers, but embracing “no” just may be her key to happiness.


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

EXCERPT

The soft opening of the Gallerie, a restaurant that my firm helped design, was a success. I also met an adorable chef while I was there. OK, he’s technically not a chef yet, but he’s studying to become one. Right now he’s the bartender, and I almost let that dissuade me from giving him a chance. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m at the point where I want to be with someone who has high aspirations, which he does. He made me a delicious drink, so that’s also a bonus in my book. If you check out the Gallerie, which you should, ask for the T. W. Twist! I just made it up, but I think it has a nice ring to it, don’t you? I’ll have to talk to them about that. Anyway, something I’ve discovered is that I’m attracted to guys who are creative—they don’t call it the culinary arts for nothing. I’m more of a freethinker, so I don’t mesh well with analytical types. And I like a guy who sets a goal for himself and goes for it. That’s an admirable quality and says something about his character. We haven’t gone out yet, so I’ve probably already jinxed myself. But I’m excited about seeing him again and would’ve said yes on my own accord, not because of some pact. More to come. Ciao for now!

Amazon link

Only $.99 during the tour!


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:



J B Glazer developed a love of writing at a young age. She followed that passion to the University of Illinois, where she graduated summa cum laude from the College of Communications. She pursued a career in advertising, a field that provided an outlet to express her creativity. In addition to being a marketer, she’s a wife, mom, blogger, chauffer, referee, short-order cook, maid, chocoholic, shopaholic, and multitasker extraordinaire. I Should Have Said Yes is her second novel. Visit www.jbglazer.com for random musings and other inspiration. You can also connect with J B in most of the usual places.

Facebook
Twitter @JBGlazer
Authorjbglazer@gmail.com


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a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here


Monday, December 26, 2016

At the Heart of the Stone by Roxanne D. Howard (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT






by Roxanne D. Howard

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GENRE: Contemporary Paranormal Fantasy Romance

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BLURB:

Dreams are the perfect shelter for our fantasies, safe havens to step inside without changing our daily lives. For Lark Braithwaite, all that is about to change. During the last six months, Lark has dreamt of a mysterious Irish lover who knows what she wants and gives her exactly what she needs. In her waking life in busy London, things aren’t as ideal, as her long-term relationship with Charles, her controlling fiancé, has hit a dry spell.

When Lark is called home to Oregon for her father’s funeral right in the middle of a high-stakes corporate merger, she heads back to face the demons from her past. What she doesn’t expect is to meet her dream lover in the flesh. Niall O’Hagan steps straight out of her fantasies and right into her life, and the powerful connection they share rocks her foundation. Although she's dealing with the bitterness of being betrayed by Charles and his jealousy, Niall soon stirs Lark’s awareness of the superficiality of her existence and reawakens not only her sexuality, but her soul.



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EXCERPT

If the kiss had stayed careful and guarded, she might have continued to question it. But the blindfold disappeared, and she realized she’d fallen asleep. Her eyes flew open, and he was there. Oh my God. He was there! Heated eyes watched her. Rakish dark hair fell over his forehead as he breathed hard, and the morning sun lit up the world behind him. She took a deep, shuddering breath to speak, but his hands moved to cup her face. He held still and closed his eyes as his lips took her mouth. Right then and there, it was very clear that this was real. That was the weight of a real man on top of her, clothed, and smelling citrusy and clean. What in the hell is happening here?

How did he get here? He was only her dream lover.

Or was he?

Confused beyond all comprehension, Lark didn’t have any time to contemplate what was really going on. His lips delivered a breath-stealing, soul-shattering kiss, and then they were all over each other. This, ah, this she knew. Lark hooked her ankle over his and put a hand on his shoulder, trying to rid him of his jacket and draw him closer. She clenched her hand in his hair as he devoured her mouth. He tasted the same as her dream lover, and she put her tongue in his mouth to savor more of that tangy sweetness.

They were both making noises they never had in her dreams, little breathy gasps and blasts of air as their mouths met and separated as they sought new angles and depths to their passion.

He made a disgruntled sound as he tried to get more comfortable in the cradle of her hips over the hindrance of clothes, and she realized she really wasn’t dreaming anymore. He nibbled on her lower lip as she opened her mouth to tell him to stop, but then she was carried away in the undercurrent of his large, warm hands, which were caressing the skin of her stomach beneath her hoodie and T-shirt. She continued to accept his kisses but pawed down her still zipped-up sweat jacket. Okay, so she was still clothed. He was rock hard against her, and he ground his hips into her, a disbelieving grunt escaping his lips. Lark rolled her eyes back, shivering at the jolt that went through her.

“Wh— Mmm. Whoa. Stop!” She finally managed to say against his mouth. She furrowed her eyebrows and scrutinized him as he breathed in and out, bracing himself on the weight of his hands above her, his bright green eyes bearing into hers. His face was the face of her dreams—the sensual, bowed lips and cleft chin, the built body, and the thick hair. His hair… She blinked. It was cut at the nape and styled for a day at work. She glanced down at what he was wearing.

“Um, why are you wearing a suit and tie this time?” she asked, squinting against the sunlight. Please, God, let this be a dream. He moved his head, putting her in shade.

“This time?” He lifted an eyebrow, perplexed. “You’ll have to forgive me, lass, but I’ve no idea what the devil you’re talking about.” He maneuvered himself off her and sat upright at the end of the swing.

She tucked her feet against her and sat up, unable to do anything more than blink at him in utter disbelief.

“I was coming up to knock on the door when I saw you lying here, and given how you were tossing and the noises you were making, it looked like maybe you were having some sort of a seizure.”
Buy links:

Amazon
All Romance
Barnes and Noble
Google Play
iTunes
Kobo
Loose Id




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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Roxanne D. Howard is a romance novelist who resides in the mid-western United States. Her first award-winning novel, At the Heart of the Stone, was published in February 2016 with Loose Id. Her other titles include Chicks Dig the Accent, and the recently released three-part Costa Mesa Series. Roxanne is a U.S. Army veteran, and has a bachelor's degree in Psychology and English. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. She is also an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and loves everything related to marine biology. She is the proud mother of two beautiful girls, several pets, and loves to spend time with her husband and children when she's not writing. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and she can be contacted at author@roxannedhoward.com. To find out more, please visit her website.



Winner of the Coffee Time Romance Reviewer's Award!



Social Media Links:

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads



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GIVEAWAY



a Rafflecopter giveaway




Thursday, December 22, 2016

Season's Greetings (updated)



I wish you and those who are important to you a wonderful holiday season filled with happy times and wonderful goodies to eat. Try to let tension and bad feelings go and enjoy the positive aspects of the season.



I am TRYING to catch up on some of my reviews, as well as enjoying the new releases from so many of my favorite authors. Naturally, I read things much quicker than I get them written up so the following are either part of my recently read or are near the top of the pile (0;  Maybe you'll find a title or two to spend your new GCs on!


(Please note: I am an Amazon affiliate, so clicking on the titles and buying ANYTHING during that visit may provide me with a small stipend...so thank you (0;)


Update: I have been told by someone who gets my posts by e-mail that NONE of the covers showed up! I promise, my life has been really hectic...but I really did put covers in. Who knows what happened to them?

I will try again, at least putting actual titles in...and hope that they go through. My apologies!

Some of these are ADULT titles




The Night Stalkers White House: Books 1-3
M.L. Buchman




Rejoice, Dammit
Kaje Harper




Den of Wolves
Juliet Marillier




Vicky Peterwald: Rebel
Mike Shepherd




As I Am
A.M. Arthur




Dragon Spawn
(fair warning, this ended on a CLIFFHANGER!)
Eileen Wilks




At Close Range
Laura Griffin




The Night Stalkers Whitehouse (Books 4-6)
M.L. Buchman



Monday, December 19, 2016

The Trouble with Dukes by Grace Burrowes (review)





The Trouble With Dukes

by Grace Burrowes


Blurb:


THEY CALL HIM THE DUKE OF MURDER...
The gossips whisper that the new Duke of Murdoch is a brute, a murderer, and even worse--a Scot. They say he should never be trusted alone with a woman. But Megan Windham sees in Hamish something different, someone different.

No one was fiercer at war than Hamish MacHugh, though now the soldier faces a whole new battlefield: a London Season. To make his sisters happy, he'll take on any challenge--even letting their friend Miss Windham teach him to waltz. Megan isn't the least bit intimidated by his dark reputation, but Hamish senses that she's fighting battles of her own. For her, he'll become the warrior once more, and for her, he might just lose his heart.

Amazon link


My review:

4.5 out of 5 stars


The Trouble With Dukes by Grace Burrowes is the first in the ‘Windham Brides’ series and introduces the vision-impaired Megan Windham, who finds a way to see Hamish McHugh clearer than any of his so-called friends and acquaintances. Hamish is struggling to adapt to his position as the new Duke of Murdoch despite his inclination to return home to Scotland, and Megan is a wonderful diversion from the burdens he willingly shoulders for his family. Unfortunately, like Hamish, Megan has her own dark past to deal with, and it may be an impossible dream to prevent the past from tarnishing any future they may have together.


This historical romance is another great story that ties in with other series by this author yet expands upon the society she is so adept at describing. I love the way the mystery unfolds about the terrible history that plagues the hero, Hamish, even as there are lighthearted moments to leaven the angst and drama. The scene with the marzipan consumption is hilarious and who can resist the image of the kilt-wearing Scots who threaten to turn Society on its ear (and not just because of the sibling brawling)? There are wonderful cameos by characters familiar to fans of the various connected series and a delicious combination of heat and cherishing that appeal to my romantic nature. The fact that neither of the main characters is the epitome of perfection makes them very appealing to me, and of course I cheered when the villain got his comeuppance, although I think some of the punishment was a bit too mild. I think this is a great introduction to this family, and threads for the next story have been deftly dangled so I am anxious to continue reading about the adventures of these charismatic folks.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review, a version of which has been submitted to Night Owl Reviews 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Kilty Pleasures by Nancy Fraser (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT ADULT title






Kilty Pleasures

by Nancy Fraser
ADULT title

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GENRE: Erotic Romance

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BLURB:

Ronan MacAlister’s return to Glencoe, Maine reignites every one of Aileen MacDougall’s adolescent fantasies.

Ronan is drawn to the beautiful Aileen, who now serves as the manager for his late uncle’s business ventures. However, it’s not her business acumen he’s after.

Will being trapped in a remote cabin lead to a happily-ever-after? Or, will they discover they have differences even kilty pleasures can’t overcome?

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EXCERPT

Ronan pushed the last letter into place atop the triple word square. “Reticent. Tacking on to your word and utilizing the ‘e’, that’ll be another eighty-six points for me.”

“Nice play. Too bad you’re still forty points behind.”

He shot her a glare, followed by what he hoped was his most lascivious grin. “You know what would make this more interesting?”

“Let me guess, Strip Scrabble.”

“I was going to say Nude Scrabble, but I’m willing to work for it.”

“I bet you are. Why don’t we put the game away and go to bed? It is after midnight.”

He gathered his remaining game pieces and dumped them into the storage pouch. “I’ll go light a few candles, maybe take a quick shower.”

She nodded and then stood, gathering up the game board and box in her hands. “When you come out of the shower you should put the kilt back on.”

“Hmm...kinky. I like it. What will you be wearing?”

“A smile.”

Today only: 1/2 price at Wild Rose Press at this link

Amazon link (regular price)
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for four publishers. She has published twenty-two books in both full-length and novella format. In November 2016 Nancy will be celebrating twenty years as a published author and will release her 25th book in mid-2017.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy splits her free time between her five grandchildren. She’s also an avid traveler with Las Vegas being her favorite destination. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.



Media Links:

Twitter  @nfraserauthor


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GIVEAWAY

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Life as a Teenage Vampire by Amanda Meuwissen (VNBtM, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT



I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post by author Amanda Meuwissen who answers...

ELF: Which author(s) has/have been the most influential to you and how or why?




Anne Rice – My Favorite Author, However Flawed

by Amanda Meuwissen

People often ask what authors were the most inspirational for me growing up, and for the most part, I didn’t have a lot of authors that resonated, just certain stories. I didn’t tend to read much from one author, but sought out plots that drew me in at any given time.

Anne Rice was and was not an exception to this.

I read all of her original Vampire Chronicles starting when I was 12. I read a little of the New Tales, but mostly let any interest in those die off when the development of my favorite characters started to stray from what I ultimately wanted. But I never read any of her other series. I was solely engaged with the Brat Prince and his supporting cast.

The story of how I started reading a very adult book series at such a young age is one of my favorites. Ever since I was very young, I’ve had an obsession with vampires. I pinpoint the start of that to watching the cartoon Count Duckula when I was little, and even seeing iterations of Dracula in other mediums quite young, but this all came to a head when the film adaptation of Interview with the Vampire came out in 1994.

I was entranced by the trailer. I wanted nothing more than to see it. But since it was rated R, my mother said no. Stumbling upon the book in Barnes and Noble, I went away with a mission. I saved my $5 a week allowance for over a month so I’d have enough money to purchase the hard cover and defy my mother’s decision. When I tried to buy the book, she relented and said she’d let me see the movie and then I could get the book if I still wanted it.

Well, I loved that movie, and today it remains one of my favorite films. I can speak almost every line along with the characters. Anne Rice’s vampires are my favorite singular version of the creatures, and they always will be. I proceeded to read the books and never looked back.

It wasn’t just the writing that drew me in though, but the characters. I fell in love with Lestat, and because Rice had such an integral hand in the creation of the film version, it was a great adaptation for all its changes, and Tom Cruise embodied Lestat so perfectly, my internal vision of him never strays far from that portrayal.

That’s what really good writing, good storytelling does—it makes the characters, even if just one, so alive to readers that they remain enamored with them for life. Lestat will always be one of those characters that I love without hesitation, because of how Rice wrote him, how I got to see him both on the page and in film.

My newest novel, Life as a Teenage Vampire, takes elements of Rice’s vampire lore but also has its own tweaks, and definitely has a lighter, younger tone. It’s Young Adult. It is the novel I wish I’d had to read when I first picked up Interview with the Vampire—not that I have any regrets.

I hear Rice is thinking of bringing her vampire series to TV. If so, I hope it’s amazing.

One thing I choose to do very differently from Rice, however, is how I address fandom. Allowing fans to be inspired by your work to write their own connected stories and to draw art, is a wonderful, beautiful thing, that I would only ever encourage. I wish one of my writing heroes felt the same, but alas, I can’t embrace everything about Rice; I’ve since had to move on from my naïve younger years thinking she could do no wrong.

But she still gave me something beautiful that I know to this day influences my writing, especially where it concerns vampires.



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Life as a Teenage Vampire

by Amanda Meuwissen

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GENRE: YA Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

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BLURB:

Emery Mavus just wants to survive his senior year of high school. Becoming a vampire complicates things. So does a bizarre mentor, a group of vampire hunters, and an unexpected, new attraction for his openly gay best friend, Connor. An occasional uncontrollable hunger for blood might be the least of his worries.


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EXCERPT

It was a trick. Emery had made it all up, knowing that the details would lead Connor to vampires. These were just Halloween fangs. Connor wasn’t really hypnotized into submission; he was just stunned, believing his own crazy imagination. He’d longed for years to have Emery this close, after all, crowding him into a corner, lips descending. He’d just imagined them descending a little closer to his mouth, though his neck wouldn’t be so bad…

…if not for the sharp sting, the breaking of the skin and rush of blood sucked out of him so fast he felt dizzy, and then—wow.

It didn’t hurt at all. It felt like Emery was tucked into his shoulder intimately, fully aware of the pleasant buzzing he caused in Connor’s gut every time they touched. Connor had dreamed of this, imagined it just like this, and felt lulled by Emery’s body being so close, and the way he shivered feeling those lips on his skin. He almost thought he heard Emery’s soothing voice whispering affirmations he’d always wanted to hear.“Em…” Connor breathed out, barely audible.

The room was dimming, but he felt cozy where he was. His arms were limp and heavy as he lifted them to pull Emery closer, feeling the soft fabric of the sweater against his somewhat numb right palm. He pulled tighter, twisting flesh and plastic fingers alike in the fabric, pulling…with the faint sense that he should be pushing instead.

“Em…” he choked out like a whimper, like he was crying. Why was he crying? This was everything he’d ever wanted…



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Amanda has a Bachelor of Arts in a personally designed major from St. Olaf College in Creative Writing, and has been posting content online for many years, including maintaining the blog for the digital marketing company Outsell. She spent a summer writing screenplay script coverages for a company in L.A., and is an avid consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games. Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their cats, Helga and Sasha (no connection to the incubus of the same name).


Author web links:

http://crimsondomingo.tumblr.com/
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