Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Contests and other items of interest (updated again!)

Sorry, had forgotten to put some of the links up...


Grace Burrowes' The Bridegroom Wore Plaid is free for a limited time!


Mia Marlowe has historical romances in a 3 box set for $.99

6 great erotic cowboy titles by Randi Alexander, Sable Hunter, Myla Jackson, Donna Michaels, Paige Tyler, and Melissa are available for $.99 at Amazon as the bundle, Cowboy 6 Pack (clicking on above cover will take you to the site...IF you buy anything on this visit, I will get a small portion of the purchase so thank you)

R.G. Alexander's erotic title, Marley in Chains is available at no charge

Lisa Renee Jones' New Adult romantic suspense title, Escaping Reality is out now!  E-book version is only $.99 for limited time.

The delightful Gemma Halliday has a new title out with the great title, Snuff the Magic Dragon


Don't forget the Summer Fun Scavenger Hunt at Night Owl, start at this link

The Heat Up Summer contest at Romance Books 4 Us has started at this link

The DFRAT (digital first read a thon) celebration ends very soon.  Link.

Happy wandering!

And don't forget to come by the readers' chat on Aug. 6, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. (West Coast time) to meet some authors and talk about their new releases.  Say hi to me if you drop in!  Link

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Touch of Lilly (Adult title), Guest Post, review and Giveaway

A Touch of Lilly           
by Nina Pierce is my feature today, a yummy science fiction ADULT title.

I am delighted to have a guest post from the author.


The Fascination of Science Fiction

 by Nina Pierce

I’m pretty sure I can say, without exception, all writers were readers first, and that includes me. Before I even thought about putting fingers to keyboard, I was an avid reader. Not as fast as many, but a couple of novels a month for most of my adult life.

And when it comes to genres … I’m kind of all over the place. But my favorite by far, is first off a romance and usually something that falls in the paranormal or science fiction suspense realm.

I remember reading my first science fiction book in fourth grade. I kept up the love through middle school when even my English teacher knew how much I enjoyed stretching my imagination and chose this really awesome book about stars and witches and mountains for me … I remember LOVING it (though I have no idea the title or author). I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out where the characters were going to take me. It’s that fascination with other worlds and the possibilities of something different from our reality that keeps me picking up science fiction stories.

Madeleine L’Engle’s A WRINKLE IN TIME is still one of my all time favorite series. It’s the story of a young boy whose father disappears and he and his sister take a perilous journey through space and time to find him. The story so captured my imagination, decades later I can still recall many of my favorite scenes in vivid detail.

As I got older, I found myself drifting to the science fiction section of our little town library and read my way through a better part the books. Many of the authors I can’t recall, though I did pick up William Shatner (his brief stint into a writing career … don’t bother), but also found Isaac Asimov’s FOUNDATION series. But the one that got me, the one that pulled me completely into her worlds and kept me coming back for more is Anne McCaffrey’s FREEDOM series. (She’s also the author of the Dragon-Riders of Pern series.) She’s got this great combination of love story, action and other worlds, including aliens, that just makes a science nerd like me go all weak in the knees.

And since my reading life was supplemented by television series like Star Trek and Stargate and movies like Logan’s Run and Total Recall, it was no wonder my writing drifted into the futuristic and fantasy realm as well. I’ve got paranormal stories whose main characters are vampires and another series with cougar and wolf shifters. My first foray into a dystopian future is a very sexy romantic suspense involving humans trying to repopulate the earth after a devastating plague. But my newest release, A TOUCH OF LILLY, is my first foray into deep space.

Like Ms. McCaffrey, I let my imagination take over and created a solar system very different from our own. A TOUCH OF LILLY is at its heart—a romance—but murder, revenge and yes, a little bit of space travel will hopefully keep readers turning the pages.

What about you? Have you ventured “out of this world”?  Please leave your e-mail address and a comment stating the most recent science fiction title you have read or watched.

(A note from ELF:  I LOVED A Wrinkle in Time and still fondly think of the concept of tesseract that I was introduced to in that book, The Ship Who series by Ms. McCaffrey definitely expanded my horizons and I am so excited that Jean Johnson has just released a new book in her Theirs Not to Reason Why series called Hellfire!)

A Touch of Lilly
by Nina Pierce


Ex-Chicago detective LILLY D’ANGELO has a secret she doesn’t share with anyone. A master of the one night stand, she’s given up ever finding a soul mate and thrown herself head first into her career. That is, until she captures the wrong alien. Kidnapped and sold into the sex slave trade, she’s shipped into deep space. Barely escaping with her life, Lilly now travels the galaxy working as a bounty hunter using her secret talents to bring down criminals and seeking revenge on the one male who ruined her life. 

Agent DALLAS SAWYER works for deep space’s version of the FBI. After a disastrous mission that left several of his team members murdered, a president executed, and Dallas near death, he’s determined to take down the assassin targeting government officials. When a sexy human female gets between him and his goal, Dallas and his alien partner find themselves on the receiving end of a passionate night they won’t soon forget and a proposition that may very well blow up in their faces.

Because in deep space … true love can happen with just a touch.



Dallas threaded his way through the crowded sidewalk back to the alley. He’d learned over the past month the residents of this territory on Garalon Five were night owls. Not that they had a choice. Things wouldn’t slow down until the first two moons were well below the horizon and the third just beginning to rise. The lack of daylight had thrown him when he’d first arrived. Though the Nebulae Galaxy had a major star at its center, the weak light didn’t reach a good portion of the planets. Heat on the inhabitable planets came from deep within their crusts.

He didn’t give a shit about the specifics, just that the interminable darkness was fraying the ends of his taut nerves. Another two days, a week tops and this mission would be finished and Dallas could return to Earth for a much needed vacation with some human companionship.

Working for the government was a lonely business. Lonelier still when he was out in deep space away from his own species. Five years ago, when Dallas had graduated from Quantico, he’d envisioned this life—traveling the stars in search of bad guys and adventures. But working for QAL wasn’t all the pamphlets had promised. It seemed even in space, shit happened, people died and no matter how far he ran, he couldn’t outrun a broken heart.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

USA Today Bestselling author, Nina Pierce, grew up in a house full of readers. Nina's discovered the passionate side of romance with her sexy stories. For her, it's all about the sweet scent of seduction mixed with the heartwarming aroma of romance.

Nina resides in New England with her high school sweetheart and soul mate of twenty-eight years and several very spoiled cats who consider her "staff". When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her three grown children, one love-sick son-in-law and a heart-melting grandson.

You can keep up with her new books at her website or by following her on Facebook or Twitter

Nina will be awarding A print copy of HEALER’S GARDEN and author swag (Shipping to US winner only. International winner will receive a $25 Amazon OR BN Gift Card in lieu of print book and swag) to a random commenter during the tour.

Please leave your e-mail address and a comment stating the most recent science fiction title you have read or watched, then visit some (or all) of the other tour stops for additional chances to win.

Tour stops:
July 29:  Illustrious Illusions
July 30:  The Reading Addict
July 30:  Deal Sharing Aunt
July 31:  Books and Other Spells
August 1:  Erotica For All
August 2:  Tina Donahue Presents
August 5:  Beyond Romance
August 6:  Wickedly Wanton Tales
August 7:  Wicked Readings by Tawania
August 7:  Smoldering Heat
August 9:  Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess
August 9:  Literal Hotties Naughty Books Reviews 

My review:

4 out of 5 stars
“A Touch of Lilly” by Nina Pierce is an erotic science fiction romance novella.  Lilly is a bounty hunter who has a few extra assets that others don’t, she has the ability to drive males mad with lust and she was trained as a police officer until she lost her position.  She is struggling to survive in the Nebulae Galaxy after escaping the threat of sexual slavery.  Unfortunately, her activities cause her to cross paths with Dallas Sawyer and his partner Thaegan who are out to catch a traitor and thwart an assassination.  Now they have to decide whether to become allies or enemies.

This was a fun and sensual story.  There is a nice blend of familiar elements such as Quantico, bounty hunters and political machinations combined with aliens, a galaxy with twelve planets that are populated by a variety of beings and an imaginative history involving the interaction of humans with an ancient alien race.  I enjoyed the interaction between Lilly and Dallas although I had a little trouble accepting the abrupt about-face of Thaegan’s attitude.  The author has done a nice job of world-building and has lain the groundwork for more exciting science fiction romance tales that connect to this one.  I look forward to additional stories in this universe.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Brush With Catastrophe (Adult title)

Brush With Catastrophe:  Book 2 of the Aloysius Tales    

Brush with Catastrophe is an ADULT m/m erotica paranormal romance tale that continues the saga featuring characters introduced in Spell Cat (featured in post at this link) as well as new charismatic men who become integral to the society of witches.  Sammy is an artist who inexplicably adopted by Aloysius, the cat familiar usually seen with Witch Master Killian even as his best friend Alvish transforms into a being who would rather be called Ryder.  Sammy’s prophetic paintings will play a key role in the events that are about to take place, even as his relationship with the BFF he has lusted after goes through its own radical changes.  The question is whether anything will ever be the same for any of the witches and their friends after a new witch named Lucien comes to town and shakes everything up.

This was another great addition to an imaginative series that combines witchcraft, college life and magic in a very spicy read.  The delightful characters which populate this universe are sexy and caring and remarkably humble, despite their exotic powers.  The romances are often fraught with danger and the risk of rejection as the characters search for partners who will accept them for who they are but the struggle is always fascinating to read as realistic occurrences are intermixed with magical complications.  I love Al the cat as a character and look forward to reading more of his adventures in the third title in the series, Cataclysmic Shift.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Unwanted by Shiloh Walker (tour, review and giveaway)

The Unwanted          
by Shiloh Walker

Sizzling, suspenseful, and very, very dark—THE UNWANTED is a sexy, fast-paced thriller that will leave you breathless!-Alyssa Day, New York Times bestselling author

Amazon      BN   iBooks        Kobo   Samhain

A Novella of the FBI Psychics

Destin Mortin’s psychic gift comes with an ugly twist—she excels at tracking down violent rapists. But it’s rough on relationships. Once, her partner Caleb was her everything: filter, shield, rescuer, lover. The only man who didn’t think her a freak. Then he walked away.

Destin turned her back on the FBI to work for a private agency, but now a particularly horrendous case has come up, and her boss wants her paired with only the best.

For Caleb Durand, leaving Destin was an act of self-preservation. Every time she flung herself headlong into dangerous situations, every time he nursed her through soul-crushing visions, he’d died a little more inside.
Now they are forced to work together one last time. Tragedy has changed them both, but Caleb knows if he lowers his shields for an instant, he won’t have an icicle’s chance in hell of resisting the temptation to lose himself in her wild power.

But to catch the rapist, it’s exactly what he’ll have to do.

Read an excerpt HERE

A little about Shiloh:

Shiloh Walker has been writing since she was a kid. She fell in love with vampires with the book Bunnicula and has worked her way up to the more…ah…serious works of fiction. She loves reading and writing just about every kind of romance. Once upon a time she worked as a nurse, but now she writes full time and lives with her family in the Midwest.  She writes romantic suspense and paranormal romance, and urban fantasy under the name J.C. Daniels.


Please leave a comment about whether you believe in psychic phenomena

Rafflecopter giveaway code
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please visit the other stops on the tour:
Tour Stops
7-21 I am a Book Addict…and proud of it
7-22 Rambling Reads
7-23 United by Books
7-24 Fiction Vixen
7-25 Book Loving Pixie
7-27 Smile Someone Loves You
7-28 Wicked Reads by Tawania
7-29 Storm Goddess Book Reviews & More
7-30 That’s what I am talking about
7-31 Enchantress of Books
8-1 Salacious Reads
8-2 Harlie’s Books
8-3 Queen of the Night Reviews


My review:

“The Unwanted” by Shiloh Walker is a novella in the ‘FBI Psychics’ series. Destin Mortin is a psychic whose abilities connect her with sexual predators and aid her in tracking them. Her failed relationship with Caleb Durand is painfully revisited when he is brought in from his latest FBI assignment to assist her. Caleb’s own abilities have garnered him a position away from the woman who both completed and tortured him and they both have gathered visible and non-visible scars as they struggle to survive without one another. They will have to resolve their issues if they plan to move on with their lives, let alone solve the case which has even more ties to them than they realized.

This mesmerizing tale provides a glimpse of intriguing characters who have remarkable powers that wreak their own cost upon those who are blessed (or cursed) with these amazing talents. This author always seems to provide starkly emotional tales that feature people who are somewhat damaged yet have found a way to continue to function, not always efficiently, but enough to survive. This is a great vignette that gives an insight into the lives of two driven people who are scarred and tied together by bonds that they are not sure they want to maintain. The mulitlayering that characterize Ms. Walker’s tales is apparent in this tale that showcases several complicated people and prompts a desire to read more of this series. I am hopeful that there will be many more stories in this fascinating series although I admit that I am torn because I am anxious to read more in another of this talented author’s series. If only she could clone herself and work on both at once!  

© Night Owl Reviews

I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bare it All (and gardening adventures)

Bare It All                                

by Lori Foster is part of the ‘Love Undercover’ series and continues where “Run the Risk” leaves off, but changes the focus to the intriguingly eccentric and resourceful neighbor, Alice Appleton. Alice has formed a tentative relationship with Detective Reese Bareden because of the stray dog that he has adopted and named Cash. Reese is fascinated by his reclusive neighbor and his instincts lead him to explore the reasons behind her possession of a surprising number of defense tools. His growing attraction to the skittish woman is complicated by the danger that she seems to attract but fortunately there are plenty of allies to call upon in his quest to keep safe the woman who is becoming increasingly important to him. Of course, he also has to break down some of her defensive walls but he has never shirked a challenge, especially when the stakes have been so high.

This fun romantic suspense tale combined characters from two of this author’s very enjoyable series even as it continued to touch upon a serious underworld which threatens women. It is fun watching the alpha males interact with each other as they struggle to subdue their dominant natures enough to protect the women in their lives. A new perspective of several of the characters, including the intimidating Lieutenant Peterson, gave an entertaining spin and provides fodder for potential stories in the future. I enjoyed the opportunity to get more insight into Rowdy Mullins as he gradually begins to accept that he will have a policeman for a brother-in-law and Alice was a poignant blend of former victim and increasingly secure woman who enchanted the intense detective who constantly demonstrates both his protective instincts and his compassion. It was great to get a brief glimpse of several familiar characters and one can only hope that there will be plenty of additional stories about these deliciously alpha males and the essentially powerful women who capture their hearts. Another delightful read.

© Night Owl Reviews

I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review. 


 Adventures in gardening...

Ok, last year my hubby had the brilliant idea that he wanted to grow tomatoes so we tried our hand at cherry tomato plants.  We bought the plants and raised one in the high desert where we live (think triple digit temps) and took one down to the more moderate climes where the MIL is.  Both plants were very generous at giving us fruit (until the MIL drowned the one at her house) but hubby wasn't thrilled that the skin was a bit tough (don't ask me, I am not a tomato connoisseur--they tasted like tomatoes to me, lol).  So, this year we decided to try to raise full-sized tomatoes.  

It gets pretty cold here so we started seeds indoors (did I mention I am a procrastinator?) but evidently should have started them earlier in the year.  I, of course, wondered what on earth we were going to do with all of the fruit from the 6 plants that survived my less than assiduous attentions so my best friend very kindly accepted one, we took one down to the MIL's house (with instructions that she NOT water it, lol) and kept the others.  We have been anxiously watching and were thrilled when the blooms started appearing.  

The problem...the blooms came and went...but NO FRUIT!  Uh-oh.  Hmm, perhaps not enough water...after all, I tend to hibernate indoors when the temperature exceeds 98 F because I am heat sensitive and believe me, it has been much hotter than that for the past several weeks.  Ok, I have been slinking outside when it is only high 80's at 9:00 p.m. or so and watering more.  Probably not the ideal time to water but hey, at least they are getting water.   I have a liquid fertilizer that indicates that it is specifically for tomatoes (and yes, I tried using it on the cherry tomato plants) so I tried adding that.  Still sadness...blooms come and go, but no fruit.

Sigh.  Ok, when desperate...research.  Oh, this is a common problem amongst novice tomato farmers.  Hmm...calcium...seaweed extract...ok, trip to home improvement store.  Stern warnings about not getting things too close to the main trunk.  A little difficult since we are growing these things in a pot.  (Yes, I know...but if you saw the sand that is considered the soil in our yard, you would understand why I am not anxious to try to put in enough potting soil to change the ground to an arable bed).  So, I have been adding measly amounts of the new 'food' to the outer circumference of the pots...but I am a coward so it has been a very gradual process.  I still anxiously peer nearsightedly (yes, I still hate my bifocals) at the ugly dead blooms and I was frustrated enough yesterday to start removing some of them...only to discover that one in my hand had a microscopic bud...that was no longer attached to the plant that would have nurtured it.  So...elation and sadness...yes it is POSSIBLE for us to get fruit, if Ms Impatient will leave things to take their course.  (Oh yes, the plant at the MIL's house?  It's THRIVING...beautiful leaves, thick sturdy trunk which is quite crooked since I didn't get it into a support system quickly enough...and...fruit...but it had black spots on it so I picked it off.  We will have to research that as well!)

So...I am hopeful...maybe sometime in September, I will get a tomato before the weather starts getting cold, lol.  Now, if only I can figure out how to make the lettuce survive in this heat...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Battle by Michelle Sagara-West


by Michelle West (nee Sagara) is another of those fantasy books that I can't help gushing about!  What boggles my mind is that this author has SEVERAL impressive series going:  the 'Chronicles in Elantra' series which all begin with the words...Cast In (my review of Cast in Peril is at this link); the 'Queen of the Dead' series that started with Silence (post about it is here and review is here) and they ALL are fantastic reads.  My mind boggles even more that this amazing author also works (at a bookstore, yum) and has a family to care for (including a special needs child).

This title is the sequel to Skirmish (review link).

Any reader of epic fantasy has to be willing to devote a considerable amount of time to reading an individual volume in a series.  Then there are usually multiple volumes which comprise the series and the populations seem to explode exponentially until there are a bewilderingly large number of connections and characters to keep track of.  The key is to get the reader so invested that he or she doesn’t worry about how much time is passing and to make the characters so engaging that one is willing to either just go with the flow or start diagramming who is related to whom and why it is important.  Personally, I hate books with large casts of characters because I get overwhelmed by trying to remember who goes where but this author consistently makes me ignore all of that and get lost in the story. 

I really hated to start this series because I haven’t read the first arc that is tied to this one nor had I read the first 3 books in this particular series.  I am obsessive enough that I usually try to go back and read the first books in a series if I have time before the review for the one assigned is due.  I knew there was no way I could do this for these because this author is so thorough at making a richly textured tale that they are very weighty tomes and the imagery is so impressive that one can’t rush through them.  This particular story is no exception and I delighted in the twists that makes one unsure whether certain characters are going to be a help or a hindrance, the vivid imagery, and the exciting occurrences.  The fabulous and fussy felid trio, Shadow, Night and Snow are as distinctive and mysterious a set of companions as ever as are the mage Meralonne APhaniel, the enigmatic Avandar and the more than a simple tailor Havel.

I included a couple of quotes in my review below but there were so many I really liked, here are a couple of more:

"...kept his complaints largely on the correct side of his mouth."
 (p. 577)

"But blind or no, you stand in death’s shadow; every minute is borrowed....And you love fiercely because you can.  You create with the whole of your will when will is bent to create.  You sing, and we hear in your song what we see in the flowers that gird your gardens:  life.  It is a life that is celebrated because it is brief.  It must be watched, because it is otherwise over so swiftly it cannot be experienced by those it cannot otherwise touch."   (p. 430)

My review (submitted to Night Owl)

Battle by Michelle West (nee Sagara) is book 5 of the impressive epic fantasy series, ‘The House War’ which centers around Jewel Markess ATerafin.  She has ascended to the position left empty when her mentor Amarais was assassinated but her position is still precarious.  Not only are there ongoing assassination attempts but her household is still adjusting to the major changes in their lives and responsibilities.  The Kings and many others are very uncomfortable with the power that Jewel is manifesting but her concern about the coming battle against the god and the threat posed by the Sleepers is exacerbated by her desire to keep those she considers part of her Den safe.  Unfortunately, there is no way to continue on her chosen pathway without risk to everyone around her, particularly since some of her allies are just as dangerous to her as her enemies.

In keeping with the other tales in this wonderful fantasy series, there is a wealth of action and characters which form the intricate tale surrounding one exceptional female, Jewel.  As her powers strengthen and morph, so do her surroundings and the challenges which she faces.  I love the imagery in this universe and the author’s dexterity with using phrases that say volumes without adding to the already considerable number of pages in the tale.  Two among my many favorites are, “Andrei tactfully said nothing further, but he had a way of saying nothing that was actually quite loud.” and “ a tone so chilly it would freeze whole lakes if he dropped a word in their water.” but there are countless passages just as striking to be savored. 

This is another impressive addition to an almost overwhelming series that immerses the reader in another time and place, and almost functions as a ‘spa day”...or should I say, ‘spa week’ to a fantasy lover.  The occasional comic relief provided by the quarrelsome winged felines (I ask you, if one had wings, who would try to occupy the same airspace as another just to be difficult?) helps lighten some of the intensity of the read but one still has the feeling of being a powerless yet willing passenger on a juggernaut that is hurtling toward an inescapable fate.  It is not recommended that this be read as a stand-alone since there are so many backstories that have bearing on the characters that populate this story but I can’t imagine that you would be sorry to get entranced by starting with the beginning of the series (except for the pesky issue of needing to meet other responsibilities).  Another  sensational story from an author who is a genius at world-building.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Free reads and a couple of bargains


Don't forget, if you join XOXO After Dark (part of Simon and Schuster), they have free reads every month.  This month it looks like Molly Harper's Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs, Karen Hawkins' The Taming of a Scottish Princess, Laura Griffin's Snapped (a yummy romantic suspense!, my review is at this link), Karen Robards' Justice, Jennifer Echols' Levitating Las Vegas

Now, I am preparing this post a few days in advance so it is possible that these titles will change by the time this goes live but still, who can complain when there are new yummy books to read for FREE?  You will have to register on the site but make sure you wander around, there are interesting posts, including one that explains this recently seen category, New Adult Romance (my private definition is that there is a little spice but not the quantity found in erotic romance, a little sex but not overtly carnal).

Also, if you haven't seen it elsewhere...there is a wonderful introduction to the first book in several series for a remarkable price, $0.99  Please click on the cover to access.  (IF you purchase on that visit, I will get credit for the click so thank you!)  No idea how long this will last, so don't procrastinate!  How can you go wrong with books by Shayla Black, Lisa Renee Jones,
and the other set has Marie Harte, Carrie Ann Ryan, Cari Quinn and Jayne Rylon


She Does Know Jack by Donna Michaels is free on Amazon right now.

And don't forget the DFRAT (digital first read-a-thon) that is going can start at Tracy's Place but there are other blogs such as Book Binge also participating.

Happy reading!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Dreams of Ivory, Carrie Ann Ryan spotlight

Dreams of Ivory: Holiday Montana #5

by Carrie Ann Ryan
Release Day: July 16, 2013

Jackson Cooper hates magic. Even though his brothers are falling prey to the seductive draw of the paranormal world, Jackson wants nothing to do with it.  He also wants nothing to do with marriage, babies, and all that comes with it. He's content with being the stoic, but quiet Uncle Jacks. But when a woman from his past, one he's been dodging for years, comes back to town, Jackson might have to reevaluate his plans.

Honor Bridges is the tooth fairy. Well, not the tooth fairy, but at least one of them. For the past eight years she's been on her own, hiding from what she truly wants. Now she's back in Holiday and ready to take over her well as deal with Jackson once and for all. But there's another player in town who isn't happy with the decisions she made all those years ago and Jackson might be the one who takes the brunt of that anger.

Warning: Contains a wickedly spicy tooth fairy--complete with sparkly wings, the most tortured of all the Cooper brothers in all his broodiness, and dreams that are sure to make you never want to wake up in this final Cooper Brother’s installment of the Holiday, Montana series.

Buy links:

  Amazon Print  
Barnes & Noble  


A little about Carrie Ann:
Carrie Ann Ryan is a bestselling paranormal and contemporary romance author. After spending too much time behind a lab bench, she decided to dive into the romance world and find her werewolf mate - even if it’s just in her books. Happy endings are always near - even if you have to get over the challenges of falling in love first.
Carrie Ann’s Redwood Pack series is a bestselling series that has made the shifter world even more real to her and has allowed the Dante’s Circle and Holiday, Montana series to be born. She's also an avid reader and lover of romance and fiction novels. She loves meeting new authors and new worlds. Any recommendations you have are appreciated. Carrie Ann lives in New England with her husband and two kittens.
Carrie Ann loves hearing from readers. You can find her at:
Website | Facebook  | Goodreads | Twitter: @CarrieAnnRyan

Friday, July 19, 2013

Smokin' Hot Firemen (Adult title) Guest interview, feature w/excerpt and GIVEAWAY!


Smokin' Hot Firemen

is an Adult anthology edited by the prolific and talented Delilah Devlin which features an awe-inspiring lineup of authors.  I am delighted to feature an interview with the delightful Cynthia D'Alba and an excerpt from her contribution to the collection.
(My review is at this link)

Smokin' Hot Firemen:

Who can melt any woman's heart with a single smile? The sexiest icon of all--a fireman!

 They enter fiery structures with selfless courage--the very definition of the word "hero."

Women understand their allure... A soot-covered face, sweat dripping from hard, chiseled muscles, the sharp snap of suspenders -- yes, only a fireman can make suspenders sexy!

Delilah Devlin's burning-hot book includes thrilling stories teeming with gorgeous firemen from some of today's hottest romance writers.

In "Saving Charlotte," Sabrina York's firefighting Dom rescues a woman tied to a red-hot bed; from Cathryn Fox comes "Temperature Rising" where a fire chief fulfills some very steamy fantasies; Elle James's "Chasing Fire" sees a daring smoke-jumper parachuting into the hot zone of a forest fire then setting his girlfriend ablaze with erotic heat; and Magic Mike ain't got nothin' on Delilah's own fireman-turned-exotic-dancer-for-a-night "Johnny Blaze."

With a list of award-winning authors that includes Ily Goyanes, Shoshanna Evers, Adele Dubois, and Rachel Firasek, Delilah delivers tales of these courageous men sliding down their big poles to steal readers' hearts!

Smokin' Hot Firemen imagines the romantic possibilities of being held against that massively muscled chest by a man whose mission is to protect and serve...


First, a few words from Cynthia D'Alba

ELF:  What fact surprised you the most to learn while you were writing for this book?

C D'A:  My story in the Smokin’ Hot Firemen anthology (Something’s Burning) came from a novel I started way back in 2006, a time in which I had just begun to write. What surprised me was how much I liked it and how easy it was to pick up that story and finish it.

I hadn’t read much of my early writing in quite a while. Plus I’ve learned so much more about the writing craft so sometimes I hesitate to read early works, but the story was so much fun and I’d always meant to get back to it. Of course I had to tweak it and write a new ending (making it a short story instead of chapter one of a novel) but I think the playfulness I intended way back in 2006 is still present.

ELF:  What feeling do you want readers to experience the most when they read your story?

C D'AHappiness. I want people who read this story, or any of my works, to get lost in the story, become part of the story, and live vicariously through my characters.

ELF:  What do you do to refresh yourself?

C D'A:  Read, sometimes in my genre, sometimes outside.
       If I want to completely get out of the book world, I’ll work in my yard. But I confess…my jobs in the yard are to pull weeds and overgrown ivy, mow the grass, rake leaves and burn fallen limbs. Notice all that is some type of destruction. If you want pretty flowers to thrive, or any sort of living plant to make it past a week, then it’s up to my husband. He has the green thumb. I have the black thumb of death.

ELF:  Who is your favorite new author and why?
C D'A:    I’m glad you qualified “new” author as I have so many old favorites! Still this is a tough one. I’m going with two…Darynda Jones and Adrienne Giordano. Two totally different genres!
         I love Darynda’s paranormal storytelling because it’s fast and fun and the storylines have turns and twists that are totally unexpected.  
         I love Adrienne’s work with romantic suspense because she writes wonderful tortured alpha males who get tamed (and whipped into shape!) by the perfect heroine (perfect for them, not necessarily perfect women.) Her work is sexy and thrilling and fast-paced.

ELF:  What is your favorite dish to order when you go out to eat?
C D'A:  Sort of depends on the restaurant. But I love chicken fajitas (or just about anything Mexican).

ELF:  Where is your favorite place to take out of town guests?
C D'A:    Out on my boat. I live on a 7500 acre lake. There are restaurants where we can drive up in the boat, park, and eat. There are also quite a few multi-million dollar homes that are fun to see.

ELF:  What do you want to accomplish with your writing in the next year?
C D'A:   I’d like to get book 3 of my Texas Montgomery Mavericks series out, as well as two novellas that go with that series. I have a romantic suspense (a new romance sub-genre for me) that I’d like to get out also.

ELF:  What most surprised you about getting your first book published?
C D'A:   That people actually liked Texas Two Step! J
        One of the nerve-wracking aspects of writing is waiting for those “1” ratings and reviewers to slam your book. For me, that just hasn’t been the case. My experience with Samhain Publishing was everything I would wish for a new author…a responsive editor who gave me excellent feedback but didn’t try to change my voice (or insert hers), a book cover to die for, and a publishing company who backed me.

My thanks to Cynthia D'Alba for that fun interview!

And now, an excerpt from her story, Something's Burning:


Something’s Burning
Cynthia D’Alba

Through the burned opening in the fence, Ronan eyed his grill-challenged neighbor holding a small kitchen pitcher. She stood in a short, pink silk kimono that barely covered her crotch. Long, wet hair dripped down both sides of the robe plastering the damp material to her full, lush body. When she turned toward her house to shush her dog, he got a nice view of the back of the robe cupping the globes of her rear and an erect nipple saluting him through the now almost transparent material. His cock sat up and took notice of her bodacious body. He adjusted the crotch of his cargo shorts.

Throughout the twenty minutes it took for his guys to put out the fire and complete the fire report, his neighbor kept tugging at the robe as though pulling the edges closer would somehow maintain her modesty. Instead each tug hiked the hem up a fraction of an inch. A couple of more and they’d all know if she was a natural blond or not.

Bree looked at her grill lying in the mud by the fence. Its legs collapsed, wet coals spilt in the black burned grass next to the remnants of the fence. Now that all the guys were gone, she had to admit, she was embarrassed. First by starting a fire that burned down the fence of a fire lieutenant, but then she stood in the yard with a group of fireman in a short robe that was stuck to her wet body like a second skin. She could have been naked in the yard and the men would have been able to see her body just as well.

“I hope you have insurance,” a deep male voice said.

Her gaze jumped up from the mess in the grass into the angry grey eyes of her hunky neighbor. Not the way she’d planned on meeting him but…

“I am so sorry,” she said.

“I’m sure,” he said.

She flinched at the harsh tone in his voice. “Really. I am so sorry. I never dreamed that something like that could happen. I thought I was being careful to get the hot coals away from my house.”

He arched an eyebrow. “So as to only burn down your neighbor’s place?”

Heat flushed her cheeks. “I didn’t mean to burn down your fence,” she said defensively. When he didn’t reply she added, “I’ll make it up to you.”

“Do you have insurance?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Then it’ll replace the fence but that’s not the current problem.”


“My dinner is now overcooked and ruined.”

She cringed. “Please, let me do something to make up for this mess.”

“Really? You want to make this up to me?”

“Oh yes. Please. Nothing would make me happier.”

“Fine. You can replace my dinner. Tomorrow night. You cook at my house wearing exactly what you have on right now.”

Bree’s heart skipped a beat. Her pussy throbbed. Arousal trickled down her thighs.


He gave a careless shrug and turned to leave. “So you weren’t serious about making it up to me.” He took one step.

“Wait,” she said. “It’s just that…”

He turned and gave her that damned arched eyebrow again. “Take it or leave it, honey. Makes no difference to me.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Cynthia D’Alba started writing on a challenge from her husband in 2006 and discovered having imaginary sex with lots of hunky men was fun. Her first book, Texas Two Step, released in 2012 to outstanding reviews, was a Samhain Publishing best seller. The second book in the Texas Montgomery Mavericks series, Texas Tango, will be released by Samhain Publishing in November 2013.

She has stories in two anthologies to be released later this year…Smoking Hot Firemen (Something’s Burning) in July 2013 and the Mammoth Book of Medical Romance (Wake Me When It’s Over) in the Fall of 2013.

She holds a Bachelor Degree in Nursing, a Master Degree in Business Administration, a Master Degree Curriculum and Instruction and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration.

She is currently at work on book 3 of the Texas Montgomery Mavericks series (Texas Twist) and novella.

She loves to chat online with friends and fans. You can find her most days at or

Follow her at Facebook, Twitter, or email her

And now for information about the giveaway!


Congratulations to the winners:

Grand Prize $50 Amazon GC: Marcy Meyer

July 15: Erzabet’s Enchantments (Delilah) – Carol L.
July 16: Nana Prah’s Blog (Maggie Wells) – Kimberly Mayberry
July 16: Promo It’s Raining Books (Maggie Wells) – Susan W
July 17: Wicked Readings by Tawania (M. Marie) – Kate
July 18: Ramblings From This Chick (Adele Dubois) – Rebe
July 19: The Reading Addict (Cynthia D’Alba) – Eve Millien
July 19: Promo Books to Light Your Fire – Eve Millien
July 22: Books and Other Spells (Tahira Iqbal) – Charlene Michael
July 23: Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess (Sabrina York) – Dianalyn Thomas
July 24: Musings From An Addicted Reader (Elle James) – magic5905
July 25: Promo Long and Short Reviews – Eva Millen
July 26: Musings and Ramblings (Elle James) – Rita Wray .

If you would like to see more excerpts and interviews, please visit the following blogs:

July 15:  Erzabet's Enchantments
July 16:  Nana Prah's Blog
July 16:  Promo  It's Raining Books
July 17:  Wicked Readings by Tawania
July 18:  Ramblings From This Chick
July 19:  The Reading Addict
July 19:  Promo  Books to Light Your Fire
July 22:  Books and Other Spells
July 23:  Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess
July 24:  Musings From An Addicted Reader
July 25:  Sharing Links and Wisdom
July 25:  Promo Long and Short Reviews
July 26:  Musings and Ramblings